Facing Truth

by  Jonathan Woolson (bio follows)

These are our choices, that we choose to continue,

…and the results of our choices, that we make every day…

 

…and the fragmented limbs and bodies of South Sudanese, Syrian, Israeli, and Gazan children,

…and the Right of Return is ground into the pulverized dust of Palestine’s concrete and bricks,

…and the hungry multitudes left behind by the “free market”,

…and the energy-hungry multitudes of house lights and street lights and car lights crowding out the watchful stars,

…and the flailing façades of money-glutted “democracies”,

…and the bodies of children and non-combatants smashed, without apology, by U.S. remote drone strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen, controlled by American pilots from faraway places like Buffalo NY,

…and the tentacled intrusions of permanent, totalitarian mass domestic and foreign spying and prying into everyone’s affairs, from janitors to Senators, all for our own protection, of course, Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

…and the brittle-dry boreal forests of northern Canada and Siberia flashing into ash and acrid smoke,

…and the stinking tar sands production facilities and holding ponds, stretching for thousands of industrialized, deforested hectares, crying toxic tears into the Athabasca River,

…and the drying, dying Californian fields struggling to find water to feed the ground, to feed the people,

…and the burning heart of the Daiichi reactor pouring its ionizing radioactivity into the quiet Pacific,

…and the return of ugly, long ago-repudiated fascisms to the governments of Nippon and Europa while it plants new choking roots in America and Canada,

…and the merciless meta-national corporations eating up the land, the people, the water, the sea, the sky,

…and the lies, manipulations, toxic agendas, and paper-thin propagandas pretending to be information, playacting the “the news”,

…and the aspirants of patriarchy in the U.S. Supreme Court and Congress, seeking to control and enslave sovereign female bodies,

…and the lifeless bleached reefs and acidifying ocean ecosystems,

…and the lifeless plastic soup of a throw-away culture, stirring slowly in Texas-sized gyres of garbage, mistaken for “food” by sea birds and fish,

…and the anaerobic dead zones of Gulfs and Oceans,

…and the endless sellout and theft of indigenous peoples’ lands for drilling and hydrofracking and death,

…and the U.S. Navy’s long range sonar tests which deafen and bludgeon the bodies of thousands of sentient cetaceans, our warmblood-brothers,

…and the bees fading unnaturally into a future natural history exhibit, slaughtered by neonicotinoids and greed,

…and the rotting containment barrels leaching plumes of Strontium 90 seeping through the packed clay toward the aquifers, toward the Cattaraugus Creek and into the Great Lakes of Erie and Ontario, down the Saint Lawrence into the World Ocean, because ALL WATER is connected,

…and the kilometer-wide patches of methane hydrates bubbling lazily up from ocean shelf, through an ever-warmer Arctic Ocean.

…and the glaciers cracking and washing and sliding ever-faster into the patient, rising ocean,

…and each new unconventionally hydrofracked and “accidentally” poisoned aquifer and stream continuing to leech its poisons into the bodies of uncounted generations of animals, plants, and humans, because ALL WATER is life, connected,

…and the human extinction-level limits we choose to race blindly past, smashing through each finite ecological tipping point,

…and the endless crashing waves of extinguished species, each winking out, forever,

…and the ever-present sting of cognitive dissonance each time I turn on a light, or get into a car, open the refrigerator, or start up the laptop,

…and…

…and

…and allow ALL OF THIS to pour into my heart,

…almost, but not quite to breaking,

…learning to…

…let go of anger,

…let go of grief,

…let go of blame,

…let go of guilt,

…let go of shame,

…let go of denial,

…let go of fear,

…and remember to breathe,

…transform this weight,

…with love,

…with gratitude,

…within each sheltered moment of precious stability,

…now,

…before the oncoming storm,

…which promises to smash everything in its path,

…and listen to the echoing, pounding urgency of this planetary transition,

…utterly still,

…in this dark truthful moment,

…listening, while Great Mother shifts through our wrenching, improbable birth to Another Way of Being.

…and implore, “What can I do to help? Where do we start?”

 

———-

 

“The trouble is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it. And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. There’s no innocence. Either way, you’re accountable.”

 

— Arundhati Roy, Power Politics (2001) South End Press, page 7

 

———–

Jonathan Woolson serves as the university webmaster for the State University of New York at Fredonia. An open source culture advocate, Jonathan has been known to dance with with Nahko and Medicine for the People fans, groove to the Hungry March Band musicians & street dancers, and to keep some occasional company with straight edge punks, Upstate Occupiers, Quakers (Friends), Unitarian Universalists, Greenpeace hippies, Deep Green resisters, Red Earth Women’s Alliance marchers, U.N. People’s Climate activists, Nuke-Free Cattaraugus Creek water walkers, lovely acupuncturists, tons of awesome kids, serious professors & teachers and other ne’er-do-wells and assorted riff raff. Read more here.

_______

McPherson was interviewed by Coral Reef for Radio Free Santa Cruz on 26 September 2014. Listen here.

_______

McPherson was among the panelists for a local television show in Santa Cruz, California the night of 28 September 2014. The result is embedded below.

_______

Catch Nature Bats Last on the radio with Mike Sliwa and Guy McPherson. Tune in every Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, or catch up in the archives here. If you prefer the iTunes version, including the option to subscribe, you can click here. Tonight’s show features Cory Morningstar, an independent investigative journalist, writer and environmental activist, focusing on global ecological collapse and political analysis of the non-profit industrial complex. She resides in Canada. Her recent writings can be found on Wrong Kind of GreenThe Art of AnnihilationPolitical ContextCounterpunch, Canadians for Action on Climate Change and Countercurrents. Her writing has also been published by Bolivia Rising and Cambio, the official newspaper of the Plurinational State of Bolivia.

_______

McPherson’s forthcoming book is co-authored by Carolyn Baker. Extinction Dialogs: How to Live with Death in Mind is at the print shop and is scheduled for release before 1 October 2014.

_______

Find and join the Near-Term Human Extinction Support Group on Facebook here

_______

If you have registered, or you intend to register, please send an email message to guy.r.mcpherson@gmail.com. Include the online moniker you’d like to use in this space. I’ll approve your registration as quickly as possible. Thanks for your patience.

_______

Going Dark is available from the publisher here, from Amazon here, from Amazon on Kindle here, from Barnes & Noble on Nook here, and as a Google e-book here. Going Dark was reviewed by Carolyn Baker at Speaking Truth to Power, Anne Pyterek at Blue Bus Books, by Thomas Reis (in German), and by more than three dozen readers at Amazon.

Comments 108

  • I was in Santa Cruz last Tuesday night to support Guy. Joe Jordon showed his own Ted Talk on the wonders of solar energy hopium, AND stopped the presentation so the group could walk outside to see a lovely Santa Cruz sunset that was visible from the classroom. ANYTHING but let Guy have a few more face-melting minutes to talk about the self-reinforcing feedback loops of NTHE. I don’t know how Guy stays so patient and good-natured with these people!

  • Jonathan, thank you,

    “… and allow ALL OF THIS to pour into my heart
    … almost but not quite breaking”

    into my heart too.

    Good to know you’re out there.

  • I found it funny that the two scientists that disagreed with the findings from the paper Dr. McPherson mentions hadn’t read the paper. I would be quite embarrassed if I had done something like that.

  • Thanks Jonathan, for those emotional cries through your essay.

    We wait while the Earth lets go

    of the sustenance for trees as the roots dry out

    of pollinators to continue doing their natural work

    of predictable, comfortable weather and any idea of ‘normal’ climate

    of its stores of ice

    of its natural constraints and generosity as to rainfall, snow, and wind

    of a viable habitat for life

    of multiple species including ours

    [Benjamin, please weave your magic here]

    It’s the Age of Letting Go

    How do you feel about that?

    Does it matter?

    Did it ever?

  • “We could do this…”
    “We will make this…”
    “It’s crazy.’
    Sorry, but these people suck.
    Who sees anyone on a global scale doing anything?
    My fav:
    civilization is not violent.
    WTF
    Guy, how do you sit through this shit?

  • You can live but it’s gonna cost ya.

    Should not have watched, I am so angry that our “smart” minds of today say this crap

  • Wonderful contribution by Jonathan, best I’ve seen in awhile at NBL. Excellently capturing so much and doing so thoughtfully and succinctly, well done.

    I’m sure many have seen this already:

    “This latest edition of the Living Planet Report is not for the faint-hearted. One key point that jumps out is that the Living Planet Index (LPI), which measures more than 10,000 representative populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish, has declined by 52 per cent since 1970.”

    http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/all_publications/living_planet_report/

    Every time I see another report like this it’s like a punch to the stomach…

    Liked the video from Santa Cruz although it’s continually frustrating to watch (can’t imagine what it’s like to sit there participating!) the utter denial of the scope and nature of the predicament, especially from people aware of the dire nature of climate change like Joe and Carol. In one breath Carol talks about the insanity of extracting and burning every last drop of fossil fuels and in the next voicing her opinion as to the absurdity of Guy’s reference to Garrett’s paper regarding complete collapse of indciv as the only way to avoid runaway climate change. She speaks as though indciv and fossil fuel extraction were somehow separable issues and not causally linked. It boggles the mind that those with PhDs next to their names and lofty titles at “respected” institutions can be ignorant of such basic fundamental aspects of he climate predicament. I will give credit to Rick though for not only acknowledging he hadn’t read Garrett’s paper but that he would at least that was something.

  • Guy, I would NOT let any of these creeps watch my dog-REALLY.

  • “it’s all connected”

    drought and mudslides

    http://phys.org/news/2014-09-ominous-mudslide-depleted-mount-shasta.html

    An ominous mudslide on a depleted Mount Shasta

    Jonathan Dove was patrolling Mount Shasta on a clear, warm afternoon when a group of backpackers asked him if Mud Creek Canyon on the Northern California peak always flowed so heavily.

    The U.S. Forest Service climbing ranger scrambled up a ridge to investigate. He peered into the canyon below and found a small creek flowing like a brown river. There was a loud roar, and then a wave of boulders, mud and water 4 feet high.

    “It sounded like a freight train barreling down the canyon,” he said, and at times “like a thunder rumble. In my 10 years as a ranger on Mount Shasta, I’ve never witnessed anything of this magnitude.”

    Government scientists say exceptionally hot, dry conditions and a lack of insulating snowpack primed Mount Shasta for the massive mudslide that rumbled down over the weekend after a pulse of water burst out from under an alpine glacier.

    That a severe drought could cause flooding is the latest expression of a three-year dry spell that is afflicting California with increased wildfires, crop losses, water shortages and spikes in air pollution.

    The U.S. Forest Service is still investigating exactly what caused the thick slurry of mud, boulders and debris to pour through Shasta-Trinity National Forest Saturday afternoon, damaging roads below. Their working theory is that water from melting ice pooled up underneath a glacier along the mountain’s southeastern side, then flushed out all at once into Mud Creek about 2:30 p.m.

    When water from melting ice becomes trapped beneath a glacier, “it’s almost like a cork in a bottle popping out suddenly,” said Steve Bachmann, a hydrologist with U.S. Forest Service.

    He has made several helicopter trips to search for clues to the mudslide’s origin but has seen nothing unusual on the glacier’s surface. “The release must have been very rapid based on the conditions we saw below,” Bachmann said.

    While debris flows can occur any time, he said, the heat and lack of precipitation have raised the odds considerably. With the drought, snow that usually acts to insulate Mount Shasta’s glaciers has been heavily depleted.

    “In a year like this, all the snow is gone and it’s just the glacialized ice exposed to the sun day after day,” Bachmann said.

  • Joe: almost completely clueless. “I think there are things we can do.” Doing things [industrially] is what generates excess CO2 and exacerbates the predicament. …*Get carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.”

    We live in scientifically illiterate societies.

    Carol: “Immediate and definitive action needs to be taken.”

    I suppose she means something like:

    1. Blow up the entrance to every coal mine.
    2. Blow up every oil and gas pipeline.
    3. Blow up every oil refinery.
    4. Blow up every blast furnace.
    5. Blow up every hydro-electricity dam.
    6. Blow up every grid transformer except those immediately associated with stabilisation of nuclear electricity generation. Proceed as quickly as possible with cooling off reactor cores and isolation of nuclear materials. 🙂

    Nothing less than that, or a very similar set of actions will prevent humans pouring millions of tonnes destabilising CO2 into the atmosphere and oceans every day.

    However, she is correct in saying that bringing down civilisation will never be on the agenda of the vast majority of people, and collapse will come because civilisation destroys itself.

    Rick: ‘My experience, people learn the hard way…..People are so short-sighted…”

    Yes.

    Good try Guy.

    Another day of Life at the end of Empire on the Planet of the Maniacs.

  • Poignantly written summation, Mr. Woolson, of what should be a sufficient number, but not quite all, of the reasons “humans” should have, long ago, changed its modus operandi. Alas, as that did not happen, those reasons will pale in comparison to the imminent effects they are producing.

    I thought the conversation in Santa Cruz was delightfully civil and, as usual, Guy was the standard bearer of knowledge and reason. Additionally, I found it somewhat “encouraging” that Dr. Rick Nolthenius supported some of Guy’s points, albeit tepidly, as he seemed uncomfortable in doing so. However, the other 2 “scientists” quite clearly demonstrated and embodied compartmentalized “thinking” and cognitive dissonance. One might also note a failure of auditory comprehension on their part at a few points in the video. If they were to review this video attentively, perhaps they would find it a self-teaching moment.

    I was going to post the following on the Witsend blog but here might be more appropriate in light of Mr. Woolson’s article. It is alleged that Albert Einstein said, but has yet to be proven, “Insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results,” or some equivalent verbiage. I propose a corollary…

    “Insanity is endeavoring in the same destructive and dehumanizing activities repeatedly and believing they are creating a better world, otherwise known as progress.”

  • I wasn’t too impressed with the dialogue, overall. Dr. Rick Nolthenius seemed to be the only other rational voice on the program, aside from Guy. In fact, it seems to me that he “gets it” and sides with Guy on many issues. Joe Jordan? It seemed to me he didn’t really like what Guy had to say. Body language speaks volumes.

  • Here are the exact type of Arctic methane reports that Alex and the deniers say they want.

    http://www.swerus-c3.geo.su.se/index.php/oerjans-blog-leg-1/170-observing-and-investigating

    https://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/07/28/1317252/–Vast-methane-plumes-escaping-from-the-seafloor-discovered-in-Siberian-Arctic-Sea?detail=email

    Now, considering the difficulties of exact measurement over such a vast area, at such varying depths, from your small team on an icebreaker, how precise does he insist the measurements (and their totals) be, in order to conclude that even a small — and growing — percentage release of these ancient gases presents a likely terminus to human habitat?

    The middle argument — that methane is a GHG, and that it contributes to climate warming, is scientific fact. Alex won’t touch that, but he can sow doubt elsewhere.

    So he/they can only deny the hypotheses at either end: that (1) there is “not so much methane” as Shakhova & Co. estimate there is, or that it can be easily released, or (2) that human habitat is somehow and somewhere so resilient that it can withstand a runway temperature increase of 4 deg. and beyond.

    This is what they rely upon, and given that most humans cannot parse two ideas simultaneously in their heads, they leave most listeners in a state of doubt, or resignation at attempts to understand.

    Which is it? What level of obtainable scientific data would they find satisfactory, or should the precautionary principle prevail? (Of course, their sympathies lie in the same directions as all of us — they just want to spread out the urgency to match their own comfort levels.)

    ======

    Listening to Guy’s recent philosophical and ethical ideas in interviews, I’m hearing an echo of John Woolman, itinerant Quaker preacher of the 1700s, who got after the Quakers who held slaves and paid taxes for war, and who also profited from these:

    “May we look upon our treasure, the furniture of our houses, and our garments, and try to discover whether the seeds of war have nourishment in these our possessions.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Woolman

    Of course, the War now is against Nature — it is Total War, and it is so widespread and so variegated, and we ourselves are so immersed and compromised in its prosecution, we can’t even see it as such.

    We are ALL the “slaveholders” of our time, though most hold only a single “slave” or two, and the Abolitionists among us are few and far between — and not treated lightly for their stances.

    But Abolition is what it will take, and in one country, at least, the Abolition of Slavery was not accomplished so easily…

  • This crap is so damn funny. The biggest comedy show, ever! Joe Jordan is a head in the sand ignoramus.

  • ‘I am so angry that our “smart” minds of today say this crap’

    it depresses the fuck out of me. it’s like the final nail in our coffin, this incredible delusion/ignorance of most ‘savants’. a mind is a terrible thing to waste?! most of our best minds are wasted, it seems.

  • The Santa Cruz discussants know their own territories well enough. Having never glimpsed anything beyond its well except a blue dot in the daytime called the sky, the frog in the well feels “well” qualified to discuss it.

    The reptilian brain so throughly controls its mammalian brain that, as Upton Sinclair said

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”

    It is even more true with existential threats and expectations for survival than for salary.

  • Guy, The Force is with you. And so are we.

    Santa Cruz panel : best-of-species that controlled a planet but lost its soul , and won’t even know how to navigate the ‘wormholes’ when they land there.

  • taking action : grief is pain trying to leave the body

  • Take action 2 : be really great company for the 200 species extincting every day…

  • Scribbler just perfectly described Callaghan’s tactic :

    “I’ve found that negative renewable energy misinformation is just as rampant as climate change denial and misinformation. Add to that a complete denial of policy response.

    The strategy appears to be:

    1. Deny climate change, failing that see 2
    2. Deny renewable energy’s viability as a response, failing that see 3
    3. Deny effective policy response

    The first tier involves an appeal to the hard core of the right wing church of climate change denial. The second tier involves a broader appeal to those who are generally leery of technology. The third tier involves a much more broad appeal against anyone who is suspicious of government action.

    The strategy appears to be to completely and utterly dominate the policy debate with the bully deniers acting as spoilers to demoralize the opposition. It’s tough to respond rationally to such a cynical set of approaches. I moderate most of it out here as it simply repeats the same arguments endlessly in propaganda style fashion.

    The problem with the endless repetition is that the individual refuter has to redo the work each and every time.”

    I’ve pointed out the misinformation Callaghan keeps pasting, several times, but he ignores it, waits a few days, then pastes exactly the same misinformation again. And some people here even applaud him for it.

    He even admitted his propaganda is considered SPAM on other sites, and is treated as such..

    Make no mistake, I’m not taking the position that capitalist greenwashing is in any way sustainable or will “save us”, but the blatant exaggeration, misrepresentation and misinformation, repeatedly pasted word-for-word, despite exposure and debunking, is one of the tactics the fossil fool stink tank’s use to preserve status quo, as Scribbler pointed out above. Reading the 83 comments about half of which are Scribbler himself, it appears his position has been misrepresented as well. For example he explicitly says he acknowledges the methane bomb and in fact wishes for more baseline data to help convince people, since a favourite denier argument is that we can’t say methane is increasing when we don’t know what it was to begin with (I’ve heard this repeated several times over the last few months)

    We can look at the continually increasing global measurements, along with the descending veil, and there IS some data available showing historical levels (ice cores?), but no well established sets of direct measurements.

    The deniers used to do the same thing with satellite measurements – claimed they don’t go back very far and therefore are invalid..

    The fossil fool stink tanks are a billion dollar a year effort, and as noted above, there’s more than one way to sow FUD.

    Casting doubt on renewable efforts which are an ACTIVE ONGOING area of research, development and improvement, while also ignoring any/all low-tech, old fashioned ways, from windmills, to passive solar heat, to wood, is but one of many tactics this billion dollar a year PR industry has come up with to blind people to better ways of consuming energy, keeping them discouraged, passive and reliant on fossil fuels.

    I’ve seen memos and internal documents explicitly spelling this out, and electric utilities and their front groups along with ALEC are actively attacking renewable energy standards as we speak.

    Meanwhile NYC, California, Germany, Finland and other areas are pursuing renewable energy.. This tactic of trash talking renewable energy is right out of the ALEC playbook..

  • In line with Paul Beckwith’s tree analogy, the first creaking from the tree being sawed came after February 1985(?): the continuous run of months of global temperatures above the twentieth century global average. The creaking has become louder as of late, with runs of months and quarters with highest global temperatures ever recorded.

    An eyeblink in geologic and similar timescales may be barely perceptible, if at all, on human timescales: it is perhaps another way to mask unpleasant reality.

  • “Facing truth?” It is getting harder & harder to avoid. Before I visited this site, I visited a site where a freied had received a letter from a friend who is a nurse in one of the African areas stricken with Ebola. This friend of a friend was brief in her dispatch, but her words were stark & matter-of-fact & brief. She is English, working with a religious group from England which when they left for Africa, the “outbreak” had not yet begun. Since then more medical people have joined them.

    I now believe we are indeed in the first stages of our downfall. So much of what is happening in the world would have evoked shocked headlines & “News specials” & “Coverage by teams of reporters” So much is simply skimmed over, or a paragraph’s worth of generalizations., There is not enough “air time” in the world, or words, letters…

    In August of this year, the drinking water in Toledo Ohio was found to be unsafe to drink. There was a great deal of local coverage but little nationally, a brief inconvenience that 5 years ago would have had the area bursting with reporters. The water in our township was tested, declared safe & most of the coverage was word of mouth, a few lines appearing in the local paper.

    Even the most dangerous & compelling events are give a fraction of what would be noted in our past. (a digressin I don’t know when we slipped off this edge from a past when new-worthy events were given normal coveerage on the news & when they are mentioned only briefly or perhaps, not at all.)

    Was it Jesus who said “Weep not for me but for your children?”
    Who do we weep for? The future that lies in ruins before it has arrived ? The hopes & dreams of young people who will never grow old? The elderly who are beginning to believe that they have lived too long?
    I will be a turtle. I will pull in my head & arms & legs. I will hide among the rocks. If my children & grandchildren ask me uestions I will tell them I do not know and I am sorry. There are no other words.

  • crazy_inventor

    You need to do a course in basic chemistry. Then you will understand why there is no such thing as industrially-generated renewable energy.

    The closest humanity ever got to renewable energy was when humans relied almost exclusively on firewood, or its derivative charcoal, for heating and processing, and relied on naturally generated food for sustenance. And that ‘renewable’ and more-or-less-infinitely-sustainable phase ended approximately 500 years ago, when people started digging up appreciable amounts of coal.

  • let’s see half the animal populations are gone since 1970, half the remaining populations will be gone in 40 years, yet Germany is using solar power to build cars. cars run on roads made of oil. there is a lot of green energy misinformation. there is no such thing as a green car. roads will not be made of hemp. lot’s of green jobs for everybody. all things made of metals mined by leaching minerals with slave labor are destructive including lead-acid batteries, silicon, aluminum, steel, glass, cement etc. Anybody who calls them self “crazy inventor” obviously has a tech fetish bias.

  • see for yourself
    https://e360.yale.edu/feature/boom_in_mining_rare_earths_poses_mounting_toxic_risks/2614/
    http://www.miningwatch.ca/files/epa_ree_report_dec_2012.pdf
    http://ourfiniteworld.com/2014/01/21/ten-reasons-intermittent-renewables-wind-and-solar-pv-are-a-problem/comment-page-2/#comment-25754
    https://e360.yale.edu/feature/a_scarcity_of_rare_metals_is_hindering_green_technologies/2711/
    http://jmkorhonen.net/2013/11/29/graphic-of-the-week-the-hidden-fuels-of-renewable-energy/
    http://www.resilience.org/stories/2010-11-25/how-sustainable-renewable-energy
    http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/commentators/2188848/offshore_wind_is_too_expensive.html
    http://min-eng.blogspot.ca/2013/02/the-real-cost-of-using-neodymium-in.html
    http://cen.acs.org/articles/92/web/2014/02/Researchers-Study-Rare-Earth-Nanoparticles.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+cen_latestnews+(Chemical+%26+Engineering+News%3A+Latest+News)&utm_content=Serving+the+chemical%2C+life+sciences+and+laboratory+worlds&utm_term=Chemical+and+Engineering+News
    http://www.windpowerengineering.com/uncategorized/rare-earths-minerals-used-in-windpower-technology-could-fall-into-short-supply/
    http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v2/n6/full/nclimate1451.html?WT.ec_id=NCLIMATE-201206
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/renewable-energys-hidden-costs/
    http://instituteforenergyresearch.org/analysis/big-winds-dirty-little-secret-rare-earth-minerals/
    http://www.eike-klima-energie.eu/news-cache/solarstrom-in-deutschland-klimakiller-nummer-1/
    http://spectrum.ieee.org/green-tech/solar/solar-energy-isnt-always-as-green-as-you-think

  • I am one cynical SOB and it is hard to hook me, but by the time I reached the end…

    …and listen to the echoing, pounding urgency of this planetary transition,

    …utterly still,

    …in this dark truthful moment,

    …listening, while Great Mother shifts through our wrenching, improbable birth to Another Way of Being.

    …and implore, “What can I do to help? Where do we start?”

    Damn, Jonathan, you got to me…

    But then I recalled …

    Earth’s salt water mass to air mass ratio of 500/1 results in thermal inertia estimated to be a 40-year lag for 60% of global warming to take place

    In-situ amount of Canadian Arctic methane, in hydrates, is estimated to be 1012to 1014 m3

    Gas is greatly concentrated in hydrates where a unit volume of methane hydrate can produce about 160 unit volumes of gas at one atmosphere. Worldwide, the methane contained (in-place volumes) in gas hydrates is, at minimum, twice the amount of carbon held in all the earth’s fossil fuels

    Oh yeah that’s right, we have passed the methane tipping point. So, ho hum, back to watching sunsets in my back yard…

  • …learning to…
    …let go of anger,
    …let go of grief,
    …let go of blame,
    …let go of guilt,
    …let go of shame,

    Well, hell, as an American White Male all that is fucking easy.
    Perhaps the key then to embrace some anger, grief, blame, guilt and shame instead. Not sure it matters. No matter what lofty height you’re on or awful pit you occupy, your murder has already taken place. The only thing we appear to be debating now is time of death.

    There’s seems to be only a few things of concern:
    When was the last time you made someone laugh?
    When was the last time you made someone happy?
    When was the last time you were kissed?
    Remember, to be loved you must first be lovable.
    Connecting with other people has never been more important than it is now. We’re be murdered. Some compassion is in order.

  • Interesting, in watching a film (“Dresden”) that immerses me in, and brings back, the times of Germany’s near-to-defeat, early 1945, and the massive cognitive dissonance in each individual.

    “Defeatism” was considered but a notch above traitor, and all were expected to keep up the combative morale, even as cities were reduced to rubble, and wives sold themselves to bring home a block of ham.

    Propaganda films, rallies, broadcasts — all civilians were expected to agree that “victory” was inevitable as always, and all awaited the new “secret weapons” that would avenge their fallen.

    Interesting, that this time “die weltkrieg” (“world war”) is against the world itself. And that like many conquered populations of centuries past, the invaders will put all to the sword. Never mind that, like the Germans of 1945, we had brought it all upon ourselves.

    And, we are likewise expected to deny that our defeat is close at hand. Small consolation as death approaches, but then, humans are social animals, always seeking the approval of their peers. (At what expense! Just think of the ranks that marched into shrapnel fire at Gettysburg, and Ypres. Any stupider than we are today?)

    Of course, the innocents — yes, them — they always exist, and we may wipe a tear of mourning as they are cut down by the million. Still, humans have done it before, and there’s no sign of remorse or flinching at doing it again, this time with orders of magnitude added to the death count.

    We’re not the first to go through this, to see what’s coming.

    As Harry Haller speaks to Hermine in Hesse’s “Steppenwolf”,

    “Two-thirds of my countrymen read this kind of newspaper, read things written in this tone every morning and every night, are every day worked up and admonished and incited, and robbed of their peace of mind and better feelings by them, and the end and aim of it all is to have the war over again, the next war that draws nearer and nearer, and it will be a good deal more horrible than the last. All that is perfectly clear and simple. Anyone could comprehend it and reach the same conclusion after a moment’s reflection. But nobody wants to. Nobody wants to avoid the next war, nobody wants to spare himself and his children the next holocaust if this be the cost. To reflect for one moment, to examine himself for a while and ask what share he has in the world’s confusion and wickedness — look you, nobody wants to do that. And so there’s no stopping it, and the next war is being pushed on with enthusiasm by thousands upon thousands day by day. It has paralyzed me since I knew it, and brought me to despair. I have no country and no ideals left. All that comes to nothing but decorations for the gentlemen by whom the next slaughter is ushered in. There is no sense in thinking or saying or writing anything of human import, to bother one’s head with thoughts of goodness — for two or three men who do that, there are thousands of papers, periodicals, speeches, meetings in public and in private, that make the opposite their daily endeavor and succeed in it too.”

    Hermine had listened attentively.

    “Yes,” she said now, “there you’re right enough. Of course, there will be another war. One doesn’t need to read the papers to know that. And of course one can be sad about it, but it isn’t any use. It is just the same as when a man is sad to think that one day, in spite of his utmost efforts to prevent it, he will inevitably die. The war against death, dear Harry, is always a beautiful, noble and wonderful and glorious thing, and so, it follows, is the war against war. But it is always hopeless and quixotic too.”

    “That is perhaps true,” I cried heatedly, “but truths like that — that we must all soon be dead and so it is all one and the same — make the whole of life flat and stupid. Are we then to throw everything up and renounce the spirit altogether and all effort and all that is human and let ambition and money rule forever while we await the next mobilization over a glass of beer?”

    Remarkable the look that Hermine now gave me, a look full of amusement, full of irony and roguishness and fellow feeling, and at the same time so grave, so wise, so unfathomably serious.

    “You shan’t do that,” she said in a voice that was quite maternal. “Your life will not be flat and dull even though you know that your war will never be victorious. It is far flatter, Harry, to fight for something good and ideal and to know all the time that you are bound to attain it. Are ideals attainable? Do we live to abolish death? No — we live to fear it and then again to love it, and just for death’s sake it is that our spark of life glows for an hour now and then so brightly. You’re a child, Harry. Now, do as I tell you and come along. We’ve a lot to get done today. I am not going to bother myself any more today about the war or the papers either. What about you?”

    Oh, no, I had no wish to.

  • @ Kevin

    that’s rich coming from someone who believes we never went to the moon and thinks fluorine added to drinking water is dangerous, while ignorant of the often higher levels (sometimes MUCH higher) in many wells, along with seafood, sea salt and seaweed.

    @ Callaghan

    but none of that are the points I refuted. windmills don’t require rare earth metals, painted solar cells are being _invented_ which are far less toxic and less energy intensive than first generation silicon (including quantum dot and even chlorophyll based), passive solar heating using materials as eco-friendly as bales of straw, vegetable oil for lamps, lampblack, paint base, recycled materials such as old drums, thrown away electronics (e-waste) recycled and re-used (my speciality) – none of these are accounted for or even addressed.

    instead we’re treated to exactly the same pasted hit piece over & over again that appears to be prepared by a fossil fool stink tank, the most obvious of which is the solar concentrator killing birds – a favourite that’s been making the rounds.

    Take Germany, one of your own examples. Do not examine how much coal is saved every sunny day, how much of electrical base load is saved, how many tons of CO2 are not spewed – instead focus on what some capitalist greenwashers are doing to EXPLOIT renewable efforts then paint the entire country with that brush, while ignoring the benefits just listed.

    – and on & on it goes, EVERY statement does the same thing, only focusing on the worst examples in the worst places (like China) implying the entire breadth of renewable efforts are as bad.

    When I mentioned planting trees, chopping them down for firewood, planting more, you then used a specific example of INDUSTRIAL INCENERATION in a specific place, which, in the context of the Amish, is not at all what I was referring to.

    Somehow, someway tribes, cultures have managed to live as one with nature, managed to live in balance with their environment for thousands of generations, without tech, without electricity. Managed to put food away for the winter, keep a roof over their head, etc..

    – it’s as if the past never happened and history began at the point in time where industrial civilisation was IMPOSED by a tiny group of rich people, who to this day are doing millions of times more damage than an average person, and who have names and addresses.

    So, while inventing renewable energy systems and ways to re-use and recycle e-waste, I keep track of such people, and their apologists. call me crazy 😉

  • Chemists Use Chlorophyll From Plants to Create Solar Cells

    “Chlorophyll is a true gift of nature to photonics, as it absorbs the wavelengths of blue and red color from sunlight very efficiently.

    A long-lasting raw material for organic electronics.

    Functional materials and nanophotonics offer possible application options for structures based on chlorophylls. These could be used for instance in organic solar cells, LEDs and lasers. For example, a solar cell manufactured from this type of material would be able to function even on cloudy days.

    “Chlorophyll is a nearly infinite raw material. It is the world’s most abundant pigment measured by biomass. Also, there is no need for excessive amounts of material: as only a few micrograms of chlorophyll is needed to produce a thin film with the surface area of a postage stamp”

    Nature an infinite source of inspiration

    “All life on Earth is based on the photosynthesis of plants, in which chlorophyll plays a key role. It cannot be a very poor starting point for research if you seek ideas from such a perfectly functioning process,” Professor Tittonen says.

    Applying biological methods and chemical reactions that take place in nature to the research and development of technology is called biomimetics. Complicated mechanisms developed by nature arouse astonishment in many researchers.

    “Nature has had 5 billion years to develop structures and systems that people can only dream of duplicating,”

    As a chemist Kevin out to be right on top of this. Hell I’ve had 3 chemical laboratories and worked at the Hoffmann La Roche institute of microbiology, but mostly work with electronics now.

  • .
    umm, while you are “letting go” of pretty much everything, why not “let go” of your last breath and join those whom you lament.

  • ~
    I don’t understand the “letting go” part.
    Is that so that ‘we’ can feel better?
    As for me, I’m not “letting go” of anything.
    I intend to die in the trenches with the warblers and monarchs and wolverines.

  • ci

    I never said ‘we never went to the moon’. What I did say is that there were huge discrepancies in the ‘documentation’ of the ‘first landing’ and more questions than answers -as was the case with 9/11 (though it is now pretty much proven that 9.11 was an inside job).

    As for fluoride, well teeth are composed of calcium hydroxy-phosphate, not calcium fluoride, and fluorine does not play any part in any biological systems I am aware of: indeed fluorine/fluoride is regarded as toxic, as is bromine.

    If you have evidence to the contrary please present it.

    To be quite honest I think you are way out of your depth and your best strategy is to shut up.

  • http://energyskeptic.com/2014/out-of-time-50-years-to-make-a-transition-210-years-at-the-current-rate/

    A 9/30/14 reposting by “Energy Skeptic” (Alice Friedemann) of an article by Kurt Cobb from exactly two years ago. Good antidote for hopium merchants like crazy_inventor, who simply doesn’t understand basics such as EROEI, lag time,……

    Her site in general has a LOT of good info on energy, in particular the “alternative energy” hopium.

  • Let go of anger? Let go of blame?
    That’s bullocks. Somebody killed all life on earth and I should do what? Just get over it?

    Not on your life pumpkin.
    We did the ultra-reactionary “can’t we all just get along” Rodney King schpiel back in 92 and what did it get us? A collapsing infrastructure? A dying society? A dead planet?
    ___________________________________

    With trepidation, I just picked up Naomi Klein’s book “This Changes Everything”. Reading through the table of contents, I was impressed with the first chapter: Revolutionary Power of Climate Change. OK – I can dig that. But I turned immediately to the chapter “Indigenous Rights and the Power of Keeping Our Word”

    Aieegh. The chapter turned out to be too short by sixes and doesn’t even come close to what needs to be happening. It is clear that Ms. Klein wants the “crown” state of Canada to continue and be reformed. She wants the Candadian judicial system to make concessions and amends to the so-called First Nations. She wants them to, in effect, play ball within the Canadian system.

    That’s tripe. Sick and twisted. The Canadian judiciary needs to go to the flames. The “state” of Canada needs to cease to exist. Pure and simple. The Queen and all this “crown” BS needs to get a spiked boot right in their grotesque, overfed, hyper privileged ass.

    I was in with some serious discussion with Idle No More back in 2012 and 2013, and I tried to explain in excruciating detail how their militancy needed to be stepped up and taken to another level. But what prevailed was a totally accomodationist stance towards the Canadian government – and all those lovely caucasian people who got so utterly bent out of shape by having their logging roads blocked, their services interrupted, and their adorable, precious lives inconvenienced in any way. Rot and piffle.

    I can’t read any more of Klein’s book. Her line on this is too absolutely deluded. I’m sure there is something to be said for getting fence sitting libruls and gdo-gooders on board, but personally I feel Nothing good will come of any of this as long as that’s the stance.

    Here’s the map produced by Nixon’s attorney general in the 1970s indicating all the indigenous lands that are ILLEGALLY occupied by the so-called US. That is, illegally occupied according to the US’ own laws. Prima Facia evidence that what constitutes “The Lower 48 is pure criminality by it’s own definitions:

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-LTkmdkWwqgI/UzvWnc-v6DI/AAAAAAAABBI/TIxCWeEn4LA/s1600/530721_10151225663473107_2017418002_n.jpg

    Those are not “territories”, “lands” or “tribes”. They are SEPARATE COUNTRIES. That is, if justice is to be done, most of what people understand as “America” – needs to cease to exist. Kaput. Gone. Finito. Yeah and I hope that gives both you, my acquaintances and relatives in North America and Ms. Naomi Klein a heart attack.

    Good Day.

  • @ Jeff S

    “hopium merchant”

    Make no mistake, I’m not taking the position that capitalist greenwashing is in any way sustainable or will “save us”

    I guess you missed this ^ part before deploying your strawman.

    @ Kevin

    neither are the points I raised

    I personally watched the lunar lander separate from the command module through my own telescope.

    Naturally occurring fluorine goes un-mentioned and un-concerned about, which in some cases is much higher (10 to 20 ppm) than the strictly limited amount added to drinking water in some localities. (.4 – 4 ppm)

    Iceberg lettuce up to 180 ppm
    Romaine lettuce and leaf lettuce 40 ppm
    Citrus fruits 95 ppm
    Potatoes 22 ppm
    Raisins 55 ppm
    Wheaties 10 ppm
    Shredded Wheat 9.4 ppm
    Black and green teas are naturally high in fluoride.
    Almonds 99.8 ppm
    Sea salt 5 ppm

    some brands of ‘natural’ toothpaste simply have seaweed in them for fluorine

    I agree fluorine has no business in the body, however people who scare monger about it (which includes you) never mention natural sources and their levels. THAT is my point.

    ..any chemist ‘worth his salt’ would already know this

  • Miss me? LOL.

    Fun new Rant for Batters!

    Fed Gate, PIMPCO and Oil Prices

    RE

  • With regard to four of the “Five Eyes”, they were “settled” through a policy of lebensraum. So were many lands in prehistoric times, though not explicitly so. Much of North India was “settled” by the Aryans, even though prior to that time it was inhabited by the Dravidians, a negroid race related to the Australian aborigines. So did many peoples invade and evict others wherever humans have lived. It is also true for non-human species.

    The tetrapyrrole ring has amazing properties. It is formed of four pyrrole rings laid out at the corners of a square.

    With iron it forms the heme of haemoglobin, which provides a handle on the transport of oxygen (and carbon dioxide) in the blood. With magnesium it forms the active moiety of chlorophyll, which provides a handle on carbon dioxide in its conversion to oxygen and carbohydrates. With nickel it provides a handle on methane for both methanogenic (methane producing) and methanotrophic (methane eating) bacteria and archea (abundant bacteria-like microbes of a separate kingdom of life). With copper it forms haemocyanins for oxygen transport in the Mollusca. With cobalt it forms the active moiety of cobalamin, Vitamin B12, of which the adult human body’s stores are 4 mg. It has many reactions, including moving hydrogen atoms from one bound site to another, the same with methyl groups and halogen atoms.

    Absolutely fascinating, more interesting than science fiction. Of the five metals, four are elements 26, 27, 28 and 29 of the periodic table, and include all the magnetic elements (Fe, Ni & Co).

    Wielding chlorophyll groups in the lab is still a long way from the photosynthesis of chloroplasts. Chloroplasts are endosymbionts, like mitochondria. Both were microbes that still have their own DNA and both invaded the host cell and took up permanent residence to mutual benefit. The mitochondria did so first, and in some cells (that went on to become the plant kingdom) the chloroplasts did so later.

    Fluoride competes with other halogens. Its statistical linkage to hypothyroidism and other thyroid disorders may be related to its interaction with iodine.

  • “Miss me? LOL.”

    Could it be a typo? “Piss me! LOL.”

  • ci.

    I really don’t know why you are going on about fluoride. It is entirely irrelevant, other than being symbolic of industrial empire and corporate control.

    So what if there are places in the world where fluoride ion levels are higher than others. That does not mean it needs to be added to drinking water, particularly since fluoridated toothpastes are widely available and any action achieved is by ion exchange in the mouth, not by active ion transport though the bloodstream. But as I said, all irrelevant.

    By the way, if lettuce have 180ppm fluoride in them it’s probably because they have been dosed with crappy Florida rock phosphate, noted for its high fluoride content, and should not be eaten.

    The mater under discussion is denial by techno-fundamentalists that ‘alternative’ energy sources contribute to increased CO2 levels and are unsustainable.

  • sugar plums and fairy dust, that’s what solar panels are made of.
    all solar panels, even experimental ones, require filthy, dirty batteries.
    wind turbines only provide 25% of their “rated” 90% of the time.
    a 100 watt solar panel is a zero watt solar panel at night.
    building water dams to store solar-wind energy requires massive diesel power.
    all mining requires fossil fuels, there are no solar powered mining trucks.
    world population is increasing faster than thought,
    animal population is decreasing faster than thought.
    in terms of ecology, there is no green power.
    by crazy inventors crazy logic, I should accuse him of working for GE.
    he uses the same attack tactics you see on Fox News.
    but I imagine he’s just a star-struck techno-weenie.

  • sugar plums and fairy dust, that’s what solar panels are made of.
    all solar panels, even experimental ones, require filthy, dirty batteries.
    wind turbines only provide 25% of their “rated” 90% of the time.
    a 100 watt solar panel is a zero watt solar panel at night.
    building water dams to store solar-wind energy requires massive diesel power.
    all mining requires fossil fuels, there are no solar powered mining trucks.
    world population is increasing faster than thought,
    animal population is decreasing faster than thought.
    in terms of ecology, there is no green power.
    by crazy inventors crazy logic, I should accuse him of working for GE.
    he uses the same attack tactics you see on Fox News.
    but I imagine he’s just a star-struck techno-weenie.
    puppy dog tails, snakes and snails that’s what solar panels are made of.

  • photovoltaics are under continuous development, the latest are being made by school students out of spinach

    batteries aren’t ‘required’, there are other ways of storing energy such as super capacitors (also under development), hydrogen storage by hydrolysis during the day, centrifugal storage (now for sale in UPS’s)

    plus you forgot wood, vegetable oil, windmills and most of all RECYCLING

    mining this mining that PEAK MINERALS recycling is the new normal

    “wind turbines only provide 25% of their “rated” 90% of the time.”
    – right out of the fossil fool talking point playbook

    “a 100 watt solar panel is a zero watt solar panel at night.”

    a completely useless and redundant statement especially with the trash talk about batteries being ‘required’, about how they’re all ‘dirty’

    the latest ‘battery’ hydrolyses piss (a waste product) at 1/3’rd the power required for plain water, into hydrogen (a clean carbon-free energy source and storage)

    – with all this hostility against modern living you’d think one would go back to old-fashioned ways, but even that is completely ignored.

    the original ‘solar energy’ is simply plants growing, the chlorophyll converts CO2 into carbohydrates which can be fermented into alcohol for liquid fuel (along with vegetable oil), or burned as wood, more plants and trees planted to maintain a balance..

    ..trash talk that

  • Ci

    And what does it take to make capacitors? Mining of metals, reduction using carbon, transport using diesel-powered transport systems, plus the manufacture of insulators, also requiring complex, energy-consuming and CO2-releasing processes.

    Not just ‘crazy’, ci, you are completely insane (incapable of rational thought).

    Looks like we have a troll on NBL again. As on previous occasions, the best strategy is stop feeding it.

  • “the original ‘solar energy’ is simply plants growing, the chlorophyll converts CO2 into carbohydrates which can be fermented into alcohol for liquid fuel (along with vegetable oil), or burned as wood, more plants and trees planted to maintain a balance.”

    What are the best trees to plant for fire wood?
    If I cut down all the oaks in the area to keep warm, when should I expect the oak saplings to be big enough to cut down for more fire wood?

    How easy is it to ferment grass into alcohol? Suppose the grass is corn and I ferment it into bourbon. What engines run on bourbon? If no engine runs on bourbon, how long will it take to build one that does and what horse power will it have?

    What’s the best way to get vegetable oil out of wild parsnips?

    If you chew up a maple leaf is that the same as getting maple syrup?

    How come these simple obvious solutions aren’t simple or obvious?

  • oddly enough, I agree with much of what you say, except that none of these ideas will scale up fast enough to make a difference. the current toxic green energy plants in china will not close down in time. if there were only a billion people, these things would take flight. hydrogen or ammonia batteries are good in themselves, but require huge metal tanks and infrastructure. liquid metal and molten salt batteries are good in themselves but the required scale for part-time energy just doesn’t add up. you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see this. just because things can happen means nothing when they don’t. i remember the days when we were told we would all be driving nuclear cars. i actually am all for greener energy, not green behind the ears energy. the uplifting music of hope at the end of all environmental videos will not be enough. a little denial is good, too much is bad.

  • Wowee! The panic is palpable.

    This site has more literary artists and deep philosophers than any I have seen. Why the hell are we fighting each other when we all agree the end is the same? Let’s come up with a way for each and every one to be able to obtain Nembutal when it is needed. Surely some of u chemists can write a RX for us. I would feel a lot better if I had the correct amount to carry me home in peace when the obvious time appears.

  • Now that’s “Facing Truth”.

  • @ Robin Datta

    Well said, in regards to Paul Beckwith’s analogy of a falling tree. Unfortunately, I believe we are well past the “pops” and “snaps” of initial collapse. We’ve crossed too many tipping points and are in free fall. Clear the area! We’re just waiting (like the bus off the cliff) to hit the proverbial forest floor. Call me Debbie Downer. 😛

    @Henry

    Thanks for the dailykos link to the July article of Siberian Shelf Methane Plumes. I must have missed that one this summer. Truly a frightening article! Like, I just said, we’re in free fall now.. waiting to hit bottom.

  • I see a common theme here

    this ‘scaled up enough to make a difference’ – a difference about what ?

    we’re toast

    ‘the required scale for part-time energy just doesn’t add up’ – add up to what ?

    we’re toast

    ‘green behind the ears energy’ – ‘green’ is a marketing term, a brand. nothing more

    the only denial I see is coming from you – you’re framing the entire renewable energy discussion into green branding and scaled up to ‘save us’ when it’s already too late – climate chaos is already baked into the cake.

    the nihilist then asks what’s the point?

    because, when the grid goes down, renewables and recycling will be _all that’s left_

    All my planning and efforts are directed to that point in time – it represents a huge change in civilisation, and billions will die shortly after.

    Any chance of survival beyond that point strongly depends on what skills knowledge and power the community has. Most people can’t afford to pick up & move, can’t afford to have remote homesteds, underground bunkers or concrete domes. Survival for most depends on community, and community depends on being able to bring benefits to the table.

    You can’t become wealthy, but you can accumulate a wealth of skills and knowledge. The time to do that is NOW

  • @ Grant Schreiber

    What are the best trees to plant for fire wood?
    If I cut down all the oaks in the area to keep warm, when should I expect the oak saplings to be big enough to cut down for more fire wood?

    This might seem a tough question for a dumb American living in a city, but it was solved by smart people in the British Isles at least five thousand years ago.

    Of course, the species growing in N. America and other parts of the world are different, so I cannot speak in detail about them, but here, I can.

    You don’t need to ‘plant’ for firewood, because the ‘best trees’ are the ones that grow naturally in the area, and plant themselves. Everywhere. To the extent that you have to fight them to stop being overwhelmed by forest, and to keep some open space.

    In about 12 years, they’re about 6 or 8 inches diameter, which is good for a firewood log, without splitting, or easily split in half. Without chainsaws, small diameter logs are a lot easier to cut with hand saws and axes.

    So, how long do you need to wait until they grow again after cutting them all down ? Well, because they do not die, when they are cut, and they already have an established root system, they grow back very much faster than from a seedling, so they’ll be back to log size twice as fast.

    So, all you need to do is to cut them on a rotation. You cut enough for one winter, and if that’s half an acre, and it takes 6, 8, 12, years to get back to a good size again, then you want 3 or 4 acres, or whatever it is, per household. Because this was, traditionally, a communal effort using communal woodland that everyone had an interest in caring for, because their lives depended upon the trees and the woodlands.

    The woodlands didn’t just provide firewood, they provided wood and other products for thousands of other uses for several thousand years, without ANY loss or deterioration, quite the opposite, there was an INCREASE of biodiversity.

    Trees managed under this system are called coppice. That’s when they are cut at ground level. However, that makes the new shoots vulnerable to browsing animals, and if the new shoots get eaten the tree dies. Otherwise, it can live to a much greater age than a tree that is not coppiced.

    So, the people developed another method called pollarding, where the cut us done several feet up, out of reach of deer and cattle.

    Here is an example with photos of such a method, and what happens when it is abandoned, which has just happened in the last generation, in the Basque country. The trees are no longer tended. Presumably the people now use gas and electricity, or they have left the area altogether.

    There are still some traces of coppice and pollard management of woodland in Wales, where hazel, oak, ash, where used this way for sheep hurdles, gates, fence posts, etc, up until the 1950s, when they were replaced by sawn conifer treated with chemical preservatives and metal gates, and so forth, mass produced in factories, at lower costs, less labour intensive, the skills have been lost and forgotten.

    The whole concept of a local community having its economy and livelihood based upon a local forest in which it was more or less embedded, has been completely forgotten. Even ecologists and scientists have no idea that any of this stuff ever happened. It was erased by the enclosures, by capitalism, by industrialisation. The very idea that trees need to be ‘planted’, like a crop of vegetables that you harvest, is assumed, and is ridiculous, but is part of the capitalist paradigm, of exploitation and grabbing a profit from an investment.

    http://dok20580.livejournal.com/1192705.html

  • @ Shep

    I told my buddy Senator Inhofe about you, he sent me an email, said you sounded like you needed therapy, he thought you’d enjoy this.

  • crazy_investor: you aren’t crazy, just oblivious. Oblivious to such facts as in the article i posted, to which you didn’t respond, regarding the impossible time frame for a transition to alternatives, EVEN IF such a transition were possible. “Wannabe techno-winnie” is a good description. Berkeley is full of them, all dew-eyed over their latest ideas, with zero connection to material reality. At moments like these, i really value Energy Skeptic.

  • Warm water extends from Laptev Sea to North Pole
    https://arctic-news.blogspot.ca/2014/09/warm-water-extends-from-laptev-sea-to-north-pole.html

    Oh yeah that’s right, we have passed the methane tipping point. So, ho hum, back to watching sunsets in my back yard…

  • Thank you, Jonathan, for your poetic and grotesquely beautiful description of the view from The Beach. My appologies for initiating this thread with a rant about the proceedings in Santa Cruz, without acknowledging your excellent piece. Cowgirl has lost her manners- my bad!

    This just in on the “mourning news”…

    http://www.commondreams.org/news/2014/10/01/what-35000-walruses-forced-beach-tell-us-about-global-warming

  • @ Jeff S

    I didn’t respond because it doesn’t apply

    “transition to alternatives”

    we’re toast, climate chaos is already baked into the cake..

    I cite techo-hopium disciples on pacifica and sister stations for this fallacy.

    My sister station Freak Radio Santa Cruz is far better, and it’s a point of pride to see Guy produce interviews there.

    The last one (before this one) had somewhat goofy co-hosts, but goofy is fun, and it’s important for radio to be fun 🙂

    – as I just stated above, my perspective is entirely on dealing with what’s left WHEN THE GRID GOES DOWN, which will be renewables & recycling.

    all these other scenarios are strawmen. a product of black & white thinking, mental refugees of green marketing projecting their dysfunctional thinking on to others..

    – one can usually tell when a person’s position doesn’t hold water – they start flinging handfuls of shit hoping some will stick or to just muddy the issue, attacking the messenger rather than addressing the issue.

    the issue quite simply is what will you do when the lights go out?

  • @MMM
    It seems our news bits are two sides of the same coin. I cried over the photo of the walruses, while the images on Arctic News made me want to hurl!

    Yet another tipping point recedes in the rear-view mirror.
    Ho hum, indeed.

  • Dear Guy:

    You know how people hate religion and also hate religious people? I feel the same way about people like Jordan and Stoker. They give science a bad name, but so do a lot of other people.

    Stoker sure didn’t like you, did she? I noticed how she characterized your personal steps taken as some kind of survivalist mentality. A person who creates such realities as that woman does with her words and her judgments cannot recognize humility and moral conviction.

    They have a very high opinion of human beings and civilization. I don’t know how you stand it, really. People like that have really bad vibes. It’s quite painful to be in their vicinity. Their hunger and need are palpable, and what ordinary evil looks like.

  • I watched the video.

    I was tempted to say that “Guy was surrounded by pompous asses for the most part.”

    But I recalled what Professor Lakoff said about cognition … we CANNOT think what we do not have cognitive circuits oriented toward thinking about that issue.

    Study up on psychology, specifically the fear of death.

    That is what was motivating their cultural amygdala.

    Those people are not here yet (You Are Here).

    In one sense it is not a fault, it is a missing cognitive ability.

  • Dear Johnathan, absolutely the highest plateau of sublime we’ve seen here so far. It’s funny you wrote this because it matches the essence of the feelings and thoughts I have been having recently. One thing that got me, I mean got me today was an article posted at the guardian today. An excerpt from Naomi Klein’s newest book being released; this changes everything. Kind of bad wording considering reality, I would prefer her title read something as follows; ‘this gives us a chance of unknown value, perhaps great and perhaps minuscule to change.’ But my irritation with the psy-ops denial lite industry aside, what got me was the apparently willful ignorance she has to bring up the fact that while immersed in the current industrial arrangement, she could not even get pregnant. Her body was too stressed and toxic. Then after removing herself from the industrial arrangement and allowing her body to balance and heal, she got pregnant and seems to have a healthy boy on the way or already born. Does she then give credit to walking away from empire and condemn empire? Oh no, she actually states that she has no idea what allowed her to become pregnant and not miscarry this time. We are doomed with ‘great’ brains like this leading us. Ditto for Guy and the entire panel from the village in CA. The lack of congruency, the subtle but effective attacks and inability to agree on a line of understanding only keeps and carries the leadership status quo and the message given like a clarion call that humans not one of them can think straight and are trapped by their own hubris and egoism from doing what they otherwise might be able to do; save themselves.

    Dear Artleads, have you ever visited the blog, themindfuleconomist.com? It would be good to see your comments on the thoughts being considered there.

  • Dear Artleads, I ment themindfulecologist.com

    Cheerio!

    ~TIAA

  • @ crazy_inventor.

    For fucks sake man !!!
    I post once in every third blue moon, so it is saying something special that I feel the need to respond to you.

    “– as I just stated above, my perspective is entirely on dealing with what’s left WHEN THE GRID GOES DOWN, which will be renewables & recycling.”

    Renewable wind energy Goes ONTO THE GRID! get that?? GOES ONTO THE GRID!
    so when the grid goes goes down the renewable wind energy that GOES ONTO THE GRID will be fucking redundant.
    Look, I live in Scotland which is undergoing the greatest onshore industrial wind experiment ANYWHERE on the planet, it is an absolute effing disaster and is destroying HUGE tracts of wilderness and the accompanying flora and fauna, mainly from huge corporate parasites like SSE who are plying both FF and renewable energy to cram their coffers fit to burst, so you tell me, why would garbage like SSE still be playing the FF card if they cared about CO2 reduction eh?
    Give it a break. yes?.
    Take it from someone who has seen this beast up close and personal,
    it’s a hoax, a chimera, a scam, a FF derivative dressed up as a non FF derivative… nothing more nothing less, Scotland’s environment is being absolutely TRASHED under the guise of “a green future”.
    If you are opposed to FF (as I am) then you are de facto opposed to renewables (as I am)
    Please grok this.

    AC
    (apologies about the excessive bad language but deary me.)

  • @ Wolfbird.

    Might I appeal to you to post the Fawlty towers sketch where Cleese explains to Sachs about the need to not tell anyone about the Horse. I would do so myself but lack the PC skills.

    @Crazy inventor.
    Please observe the urgency of the need to understand something embedded in the fabric of this comedy masterpiece (if ULVFUGL graciously posts)

    AC.

  • another sockpuppet another strawman

    as I stated, when the grid goes down, renewables and recycling will be all that’s left

    what a dumbass. wind generation can’t support the grid, when the grid goes down the wind farms will have to disconnect because not only do they not supply enough power to keep it up, their output is highly unstable and the grid has to maintain stability to operate – all the feeds must match their phase and voltage together, and such variable sources use base generation (generally fossil fuel or nuclear) as a ‘master’ which they ‘slave’ and add to.

    Once base generation goes down, these supplementary feeds cannot stay connected because they have no master slave to, nor the capacity to support the voltage required to meet base load.

    – besides which I only ever suggested old fashioned windmills isolated from the grid anyway. the whole wind turbine and now wind farm issue is entirely a creation of the strawmen deployers, of which you just made yourself another one..

    the whining about wind farms reeks of NIMBY anyway, right up there with ‘wind turbines kill birds’

    I never suggested any capitalist or industrial grid-tie system on large scales to begin with. I’m only referring to small ‘islands’ or neighbourhoods of generation at best, although ideally generation should be individual houses, each independent (like me, I have my own power system consisting of solar, batteries and 2-stroke engine generation which is switched in as needed for blackouts ranging from a fraction of a second to hours. As the blackout continues I shed loads by gracefully shutting down until ultimately all that’s left are renewables. At that point I might try adding a home built windmill, but there’s a lot of trees here and we don’t get much usable wind. I always without exception use recycled parts, never buy new. Usually parts and equipment that would have ended up in the landfill, hazardous e-waste..)

    there seems to be a severe problem with people seeing what they want to see then attacking others based on their own mis-conceptions, pre-molded and shaped along the lines of industrial scale activities, ‘green’ capitalism, business-as-usual, status quo, ‘sustainability’ and ‘saving us’ – all of these keep popping up over & over again, when I never said, implied or support any of that.

    In fact my specific plans are for none of that but quite the opposite, when we’re left on our own, when the ‘diesel powered’ shipping lanes cease, the internet and cellular service is gone, all the big radio stations run out of fuel and go off-air, the streetlights don’t come on at night, and people are in the dark, afraid and have no way to contact others, because they bought into this consumer culture of depending on ‘cloud storage’ and telecommunications ran by corporations.

    The day after all that’s gone, is the situation I’m talking about – nothing more or less.

  • Things I Learned This Week
    ► humans and our livestock occupy 97% vertebrate land zoomass
    ► human population growing faster than thought
    ► 75% of river life gone in 40 years
    ► 50% of life gone in last 40 years
    ► 50% of life will be gone in 40 years
    ► 40% of annual green bio-mass consumed by humans and livestock
    ► 50% of annual green bio-mass consumption triggers mass extinction collapse
    ► 75% collapse of life becomes unstoppable and irreversible
    ► 102% past worse case emissions scenario of 2007 locks in 6°C temp rise in 13 years
    ► cascading extinction collapses i-need-that-to-live ecosystems for all life on earth
    ► the future of life on earth hinges on a non-existent battery technology
    ► race toward green energy lost before it starts
    ► green energy myth survives to the end.

  • Things I Spammed This Week

    ► sound bite
    ► factoid
    ► talking point
    ► sound bite
    ► factoid
    ► talking point
    ► sound bite
    ► factoid
    ► talking point
    ► sound bite
    ► factoid
    ► talking point

  • @ Denise

    So nice to see you here again, have missed the haiku-ing

    Here’s an ‘almost’.

    British PM slips,
    says the poor are
    “who we resent”

    http://boingboing.net/2014/10/01/british-pm-slips-says-the-poo.html

    And you too, ogf 🙂

    @ AC

    Well, I’m slightly torn on this one, because although imo c_i is 80% stupid, he’s 20% wise, it’s just kinda hard to unmix the two… I take his point about fighting the ALEC agenda as being solid. My view is, we go down, but we go down fighting. Not whining, bitching, complaining, etc. He seems to share that view.

    Btw, regarding the amount of coppice for firewood, I had the afterthought, none of those folk, during the last 5000 years, had the benefit of our latest knowledge re high-performance woodburning stoves, rocket stoves, those fantastic ovens built of bricks, I forget the name, etc. which reduce fuel consumption by a huge factor compared with the old open fires. Really, in cold climates now, you want to dig a big cellar first, then build the ceramic stove – are they called bakofens ? – and then you build the house around that…couple of acres of land for coppice wood, and you are ok for heat and cooking forever…

    Quite wtf the horse has to do with it, I don’t know… but now AC owes me a return favour… How do feel about blowing up BP HQ AC for me ?

  • @ ulvfugl

    I knew about the advantages of coppicing and pollarding, but I did not know about the advantage of pollarding OVER coppicing (keeping the tender sprouts for the most part out of reach of deer and other animals). Thanks for the great, highly educational summary!

    @ All regarding so-called “alternative” energy

    I don’t know of any recent speakers or authors who have even pointed to, much less emphasized, a critical and fairly obvious weakness in the alternative energy wishful thinking fantasy. Anyone familiar with Howard Odum’s ecosystem energy work will know that the biosphere makes maximum use of the energy that passes through it. How so? The energy “lost”, “wasted”, or dissipated by one living process gets used by one or more other species or processes so as to make maximum use of the energy as it “flows” down the thermodynamic density hill to its lowest level of dissipation. This largely discriminates between how non-human life uses the non-equilibrium energy flow versus how humans do: our systems dissipate most of the energy available in massively wasteful ways while Earth’s infinitely complex biosphere uses far more of it with minimum unused loss.

    With this background understanding, consider this principle, completely separate from and in addition to the critical EROEI issues related to the “alternatives”, that now should seem obvious: when we extract the energy that living ecosystems already make maximum use of, TO THAT EXTENT WE KILL THOSE ECOSYSTEMS; to that extent we harm the biosphere. Perhaps hydroelectric dams serve as the most obvious example of this, but exactly the same life-killing effects occur when we extract energy using tidal, wind, wave, and solar methods. So the alleged “alternative energy” savior just plays the role of trading in one set of now mainly fossil fuel technologies that kills the biosphere for another set that also kills it.

  • @ CI

    You condescending twat

    “wind generation can’t support the grid”
    You think I don’t know that?

    “renewables and recycling will be all that’s left” – is what you said, perhaps if you had qualified with more clarity your pollyanna-esque vision of a world with individually tailored house by house renewables I might have enquired as to when the new Ghawar had been discovered as it would take an oil find of this magnitude to manufacture this green day-after savior plan which I obviously overlooked – in my capacity as a FF shill and scarecrow assembler – to dismiss your fantasies.

    Are you saying turbine blades DON’T kill birds? – just to be clear that is.
    And are you saying that the hundreds of acres of Peatland torn up to make way for concrete turbine bases at 1000 tons apiece is beneficial to the bird/animal/plant life that inhabits the area? – just to be clear that is.

    It’s just that statements like “right up there with ‘wind turbines kill birds’” kind of betrays your technology trumps nature mindset.

    Guy – sorry ’bout the 3rd post but couldn’t let this one go.

    AC

  • ulvfulg: Well it was yet another ham-fisted joke on my part.
    Nonetheless, if the tree that is growing everywhere happens to be a pine tree one runs the risk of a chimney fire as various resins build up in the chimney. Chimney sweeps, another fine British Isle occupation, is also a lost skill. That’s all part of the trouble: gearing up for a post-collapse society based upon the limited knowledge we have now.

    If one burns up buckthorn, an invasive species that grows very rapidly, one has to be very careful because the smoke can be toxic.

    Old oak is better than new oak and cut wood for fire places is best after it has dried out for a year or so. Thus cutting down a single tree for winter isn’t the be best bet. One has to cut down a couple.
    Of course, one also has to figure out which ones to cut down. Assuming that the gas powered chainsaw is still good to go being able to cut down a tree without jamming the saw, or losing a limb or otherwise screwing up must also be considered. Tree cutting isn’t as simple as it seems. Plenty of videos showing people dropping trees on their house, car, themselves.

    Gas for the chainsaw used up to keep the generator running for another three hours? Fine. The axe and saw it is. Chopping a tree down is labor intensive. It’s not at all like they show in the video game. After the tree is down, it still needs to be cut into manageable pieces as the tree does not collapse into a neat pile of logs either.

    This is where having good relationships with one’s neighbors pays off.
    While the hearty hermits of the land chop down trees with ease and laugh at the time spent creating a cord of wood the survivalist group has failed to consider any labor, time, effort, skill to do so.

    I’m busting up furniture and burning that. Let the damn trees be.

  • I wanted to comment about how I follow all of your comments each day, how much I appreciate them – each of you regulars here – and how insightful and sometimes funny you are, but as always… by the time I set my fingers to type something here I’m so fucking depressed that I can’t think of anything useful to say. I honestly don’t understand how you guys do it. Right at this moment I feel like I have a lead blanket laying on top of me, and it really takes some effort to type this. Never mind. Carry on.

  • Barry

    That lead blanket should come in handy when the nuclear power plants start melting down 😉

  • lol you sum up the mass extinction on earth is a factoid, sound bite or talking point? Elon Musk is looking for Martians, you would be my favorite

    Mass Extinction
    factoid
    + sound bite
    + talking point
    —————
    = Glibness

  • keep this in mind as you read this link
    ► 102% achievement of worse case emissions scenario from 2007 locks in future 6°C temp rise in just 13 years.

    look at the chart for next year’s Paris talks
    https://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/10/01/3574471/2c-climate-pollicy/

  • Hi TIAA!

    Thanks for the referral. I left a comment to the top article. Very nice to see you here again. 🙂

  • To sum it all up, the biosphere is not going to survive electricity.

    RMHs only require stick fuel which is nicely provided by coppicing or pollarding. Leave those mature trees be and release yourself from the servitude of the wood stove.

  • Barry, it’s just a phase you are going through in the grieving process.

    3-4 years ago I went through a stage I described as beyond depression, which people couldn’t understand.

    Now I realise that most people are:

    uninformed

    deliberately misinformed and misled by politicians and the corporate media

    stupid

    stubborn

    irrational

    and that the vast majority of politicians are self-serving liars

    and that people making the important decisions are ignorant, stupid, self-serving, inept and irrational minions of the industrial empire

    it has become easier to cope with the insanity of mainstream culture and the insanity of industrial civilisation.

    Of course Derrick Jensen gave us quite a few clues many years ago, when he said that industrial civilisation is insane and most of those who adhere to it are insane and unreachable, and that those who benefit greatly from present arrangements are not going to give them up voluntarily, whatever the longer term (or now perhaps short-term) consequences.

  • Barry — Thanks for acknowledging the effort that so many put in here, to think and to communicate, which is one of the finer things that humans can still do.

    After awhile, you might not worry so much about the mega-picture; it’s not your responsibility, and you certainly aren’t guilty, personally, for what’s going down. So, (“first there is a mountain”?…) you just get back to enjoying your life, or doing the best you can as you did before.

    But you appreciate it just that much more, knowing how beautiful it is and how precious it has been, and how privileged we have been. NBL helps to frame that daily appreciation for me, and, while I don’t revel in every single moment, I know there are some that I would have missed, had I not taken up the counsel of Sir Guy and this Merry Band…

  • I was very happy to find NBL podcast being archived at http://www.radio4all.net
    http://www.radio4all.net/index.php/program/77423 Radio4all is a great resource for all kinds of information with archives going back years.

    Also, Against The Grain Radio out of San Francisco has been featuring Climate Podcasts recently, including this interesting one with Ruth DeFries, who addresses the all to often heard Protestant-theological claim that humans are completely corrupt and hopeless and long ago pre-destined to destroy everything they touch. Let me remind you that Saint Martin Luther is loooong dead.

    Are we humans preordained to create ecological crises? Environmental geographer Ruth DeFries http://www.againstthegrain.org/files/files/atg/atg_2014.09.23_big_ratchet.mp3

    Meg Chadsey describes the phenomenon of ocean acidification and the myriad physical and social threats it poses. http://www.againstthegrain.org/files/files/atg/atg_2014.02.25_ocean_acidification_wbb_hq_0.mp3

  • Barry says: “I honestly don’t understand how you guys do it.”

    Barry, I don’t know if this repost will help any, but since you ask:

    The Abyss

    I went to look in the abyss,
    Hoping to find me some bliss;
    Its stare had me beat,
    So I had to retreat
    And write wretched drivel like this.

  • @ kevin moore Says:
    October 1st, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    You, sir, have precisely, exactly, hit the nail on the head! For more than a decade I have been asking…

    In a society governed by ‘the majority,’ what happens when that majority is ignorant, ill-informed and irrational? Do you think we’re witnessing those effects now?

    However, the real clincher is when you begin to understand that the individuals who comprise that majority sincerely believe that they are smart, well-informed and have a real good bead on things, despite incessantly exhibiting nearly zero knowledge or comprehension of even the most rudimentary facts of math, science, nature and communication. While this is yet further evidence of the insanity of ‘our’ species, it provides nary a clue as to ‘why’ this brain damage has affected so many. Frankly, I’m amazed that the species has survived as long as it has!

  • @ ulvfulg

    if everyone were the same the world would be a very boring place.

    (another case of damned if you do – damned if you don’t)

    It can be hard to separate the messenger from the message when the messenger has called your message into question

    – projecting that resentment onto the messenger without enumerating the fault(s) of the message is an easy road to take

    sort’a like shooting fish in a barrel, the mark of a moral coward:

    “propaganda isn’t designed to fool the critical thinker, but only to give moral cowards an excuse not to think at all”

    I won’t stoop to assigning percentages to the mere ‘words on a screen’ of a person of which I know nothing about, however I will state for the record, that over the years of running sound for bands, I’ve found musicians tend to have particular personalities, which in issues involving sound re-enforcement systems (PA) they tend to second-guess, argue then stew and axe grind thereafter, no matter how many audience members refute their position (which is what sounds good to them on-stage must be what sounds best to the audience over the PA system, but NOT the stage monitors – those are always to be set as the musicians desire) that they then have a permanent chip on their shoulder and rarely miss an opportunity to engage in passive-aggressive weasel ankle biting. Which gets tiring really fast when you’re only doing your job (which is to have the best possible sound for the audience)

    Such drama, repeating over & over, led me to withdraw from running sound for bands entirely (plus the cigarette smoke) and just run the station instead. Musicians often become more absorbed in drama than performing, and often the less ‘successful’ they are at being musicians the worse they become at it, which is why bands break up so much (they have a really high churn rate) with musicians personalities taking center stage rather than artistic expression. It seems to have something to do with their identity being wrapped around what they do rather than who they are. It also turns out with many people, that who they are is largely merely what they do, so questioning what they do (or especially why they do it) is seen as an affront, an attack on their very person, so they counter-attack by seeking out flaws, even making them up if neccessary, to regain balance and a sense of worth.

    some of what I do:

    I just made the 2’nd station stereo the other day, this time by generating the multiplex entirely in software rather than, as always before, in hardware (I design and build myself). I’m evaluating the power consumption options of different encoders vs CPU speed-step options to get the power down to hopefully 35 Watts, which would be acceptable.

    the social dynamics at play here reminded me of this:

    “We have evolved to find acceptance and belonging in social groups. Humans have been seeking inter-group acceptance for millions of years and this emphasis on social alliances throughout our evolutionary history has helped to shape our brains.

    The amygdala and posterior cingulate cortex help us make snap decisions about people. The amygdala has been linked with emotional regulation, and the posterior cingulate cortex is active when assigning value to situations.

    Humans have an innate drive to gravitate towards others. This desire is so strong in fact, that social groups can be formed for arbitrary reasons. Experiments conducted at Bristol University in the 1970s split strangers into two groups based on which one of two paintings they preferred. The participants didn’t meet each other, but were asked to distribute virtual money to members of both groups.

    Despite no contact, the participants favoured members of their own group. Why did this happen when they had nothing to gain through favouritism? In short, people form their own identities based on which groups they belong to socially. By favouring their own, this meant their group had a higher status.

    The simple fact is this: group membership is important to us as human beings. Our brains have actually developed to drive us to seek social interaction, and we can gain real physiological pleasure from the formation of social groups.”

    of course in order to form cliques there must always be outsiders to reject as not part of the group, in fact such rejection defines the group.

    People who are internally grounded, who’s identity and sense of worth is not defined by being a part of a group are usually targeted as outsiders, buy subtle social cues, observance and obedience to shared taboos. Those who don’t go along to get along are stigmatised as outcasts, providing the vital support that the group needs.

    Some even willingly play this role and automaticly launch into it, finding such cliques distasteful and shallow.

    The band members are such a clique I’ve found, even when I perform with the band on occasion, without those shared taboos as a backdrop, the drama begins when the session ends.

    The particular personality type musicians have are related to this emotional [what I call] lability, which is an asset for musical expression and creativity, but makes them unappealing for people like me.

    @ AC

    nice way to introduce yourself

    fling shit first then chew your own strawman cud while blaming the target for your own lack of reading skills

    I’ve already repeatedly quoted myself disavowing such accusations in this very thread several times already involving ‘renewable energy for everyone’ and variations whenceforth

    re: trees for firewood

    I knew Grant was trying to be sarcastic about it which is why I ignored him. It’s simply not practicable for most people anyway – ‘specially urban dwellers such as himself, likely to have little-to-no experience in gathering firewood or tree trimming anyway.

    Since I strongly dislike wood smoke, it’s not something I intend to pursue although I do have experience in chopping firewood as we heated the entire house with it, and I was the one responsible for the chore.

    (I’ve also depended on busting up pallets for heating wood which I since found is not recommended, since most of them have various chemicals on/in them. ditto for burning furniture)

    ulvfulg is right however about trimming vs felling. Indians simply gathered branches that have naturally fallen to the forest floor, but you need a lot of acreage to have enough to gather that way.

    I prefer passive solar heating, only supplemented by firewood when needed. Reduced living space, well insulated. I’ve completely insulated this room..

    The attic is un-insulated and gets quite hot in the sun, providing passive solar heat merely by opening the door and setting a fan in it. When the attic cools below the room temp, close the door..

    Passive solar need not involve building anything, just using your brain.

    @ Bud

    “hydroelectric dams”

    I saw one guy in New Jersey who ran a pipe up a steep hill a creek was flowing down, (buried a few feet deep so it wouldn’t freeze) which siphoned off some of the water a few hundred feet upstream (looked like about 5 % of it), ran it through a home made turbine made from salvaged parts, in a old covered well pit (so it wouldn’t freeze), and generated several thousand Watts of electricity (he had electricity to spare – he was wasting it in fact, running heaters in a barn with the doors wide open, which is what got my attention, and he ended up showing it to me) then discharged that water at the level where the turbine is, right back into the creek.

    No dam, but hydroelectric none the less..

    Care to explain the environmental impact – how he’s ‘killing the biosphere’ and the EROEI on that setup?

    I envision tapping a geothermal steam vent, running the steam through salvaged pipes for heating and hot water, then releasing the steam.

    and thus again ‘killing the biosphere’

    The whole fucking earth is solar powered. If I grow some plants, ferment the mash to alcohol and burn it, that’s solar power as well.

    really it comes down to capitalism, consumption, fossil fuels and population

    demonizing solar energy is laughable

    – the lower your carbon footprint the less impact you have on the earth’s eventual recovery, regardless of your lifetime and human generations or lack thereof in the grand scheme of things

    it’s not about ‘everyone’ being ‘saved’ it’s about YOU, here & now

    it also sets an example, for even at the very least in hindsight of what could (have been) done, to not travelled the path industrial civilisation did.

    I consider a moral imperative to do so, no matter what naysayers, fossil fool shills and nihilists think about it.

    – if more people had the intestinal fortitude to do so, we wouldn’t be in the predicament we’re in now.

    @ Callaghan

    no I sum up that your ‘contributions’ are called spam and propaganda in other venues by your own admission

    I fucking hate musk, as well as all other billionaires but especially billionaires the play the greenwashing game (which I refer to as greedwashing)

    Li-ion cells are inherently dangerous and I go around exposing that fact, though I have some salvaged and do make use of them rather than throw them away. I use them as a replacement for Ni-Cad’s which are far more toxic and harmful to the environment.

    One set even ‘participates’ (via power failure sense relay) in the backup power system, supplementing the lead acid batteries (also salvaged) to reduce depth of discharge during a power failure event – they supply about 15 amps of the total 20 amp draw for about 10 minutes until their voltage collapses equal to the lead-acid battery voltage at which they’re considered discharged anyway and the lead-acid battery takes over. I then manually charge & check them individually afterward, being very careful with them. If they either over-discharge or over-charge they become dangerous, (I assume you’ve seen the tesla cars blowing up – they have over 7,000 of these cells, any one of which can start a chain reaction and shoot flames that can’t be extinguished)

    I only have 8 of those type and I’m very leery of them..

    http://www.deathbycar.info/

    Death by Car – capitalism’s drive to carmageddon

  • from dutchsinse:

    September 2014 — A Month of Worldwide Volcanic Unrest worth remembering

    down south there are other concerns

    http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2014/10/grad-student-documents-human-price-of.html

    Grad student documents human price of oil in Peru – ‘I saw how many issues there are related to oil drilling: environmental issues, human rights abuses, crime’

    (Pinnacle) – Trees and creek banks stained black with petroleum. Lakes too polluted to fish. Villagers suffering skin and organ ailments associated with contaminated water.

    This was just part of the evidence Shauna Stoeger (’14, M.S., Forensic Studies) uncovered when she spent four months in remote Amazonian villages to investigate the effects of oil drilling on local people and their environment. Now she’s hoping to publish the thesis she wrote as an FGCU grad student so she can spread the word and help the people whose lives and way of life may have been tainted by poorly maintained oil pipelines, she says. [read the rest]

  • from HawkkeyDavis

    Signs Of Change Aug/Sept 2014 | Flood Of Extremes

  • I can usually find firewood in areas picked clean by campers. I pack a 40′ length of strong, lightweight rope to throw over dead limbs and yank them down. I get clean dry wood that hasn’t been on the ground rotting. Just be sure you get out of the way when the limb comes crashing down!

  • @ crazy_inventor

    blahblah ending with …but makes them unappealing for people like me.

    Which reminds me of your condescending dismissal of everyone on the Forum as ‘people like you’.

    When it was completely obvious and clear that YOU had not the slightest idea who the people are or what they are like, and had no real interest in finding out.

    ulvfulg is right however about trimming vs felling. Indians simply gathered branches that have naturally fallen to the forest floor, but you need a lot of acreage to have enough to gather that way.

    You see, whatever good qualities you might have, whatever technical skill you may have achieved, whatever your radical political stance, etc, I simply cannot abide this arrogant stupidity.

    First, I did not say ANYTHING about ‘trimming v felling’. Coppice management is NOT ‘trimming v felling’.

    Secondly, whatever the Indians did or did not do – and I do not know, I have no expertise to speak on their behalf – burning branches that have naturally fallen is NOT ecologically sound practice AT ALL.

    The whole idea regarding coppice management is that it mimics the natural process, where a tree that has reached maturity and closed the canopy, weakens from old age and decay and falls in a storm, to make a clearing. Then, herbivores and ungulates keep that clearing open, as a glade, for years, whilst all kinds of plants that had their seeds stored in the soil for many years, waiting for the opportunity, flourish, along with the insects and birds that go with them.

    Eventually, young trees manage to grow and close the canopy again. This is a completely natural cycle, part of the forest system, that is part of the natural covering of much of Europe and elsewhere.

    Obviously, in the Kalahari, the Steppes/Prairie or Tundra, it’s irrelevant, it’s also irrelevant for coniferous forests, which different ecology.

    These woodland systems need the fallen branches as a vital component. Something like 80% of invertebrates use those during part of their life cycles.

    If you are going to remove material from the system, for human use, to make tools, furniture, firewood, whatever it is, then it need to be extracted from points in the system which have minimal impact upon the biodiversity. Fallen branches and rotten wood is not one of those points.

    The volume of wood in the forest can increase by about 10% per annum, so it’s quite possible to take 10% per annum out of the forest, and for the forest to remain pretty much the same, year on year.

    The rain, sunlight, minerals that are going in will let the humans take out what they need. That ten percent. Without doing any harm. Quite the opposite. Because the number of ‘natural’ glades occur more frequently than under natural conditions, all the associated flora and fauna, from the large herbivores right down to the microscopic soil creatures, all increase.

    If you do it right.

    What this means, that some humans – without the benefit of science – discovered a truly sustainable benign system to satisfy their needs. That was an option that we did have. The fact that other humans chose to disregard it, and then to destroy it, is of course, part of the tragedy that we all lament.

    I do think it’s important to explain this, just for the theoretical record, if for no other reason.

    When the first colonists began settling N. America, they had very little in the way of metal. Most of what they needed was made from wood. You can have a sustainable wood-based economy, to a large degree.
    People call it the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, because all the stuff that was made from wood, leather, plant fibres, etc, – which was most of it – decayed and vanished.

    @ Anthony

    RMHs only require stick fuel…

    Tell me about that please ?

  • The latest post includes more questions and abundant information from my ongoing speaking tour. It’s all here.

  • actually ulvfulg I don’t give a fuck what you think

    you’ll just have to carry that chip on your shoulder to your grave

  • Dear Artleads,

    I saw your comment, and yes we perceive alike. I think all humans have that perceptive ability but it is endangered. Here, here to preserving and promoting it. That will change everything even if it changes nothing 😉

  • @ C_I

    actually ulvfulg I don’t give a fuck what you think

    No ? Well, that doesn’t prevent me from pointing out your ignorance does it, and trying to prevent you from misleading other people.

    you’ll just have to carry that chip on your shoulder to your grave

    No problem, kiddie, I’ve earned the fucking thing, I wear it with considerable pride, and very lightly, it suits my complexion, so I’m told. I’m a grown up man, don’t need no stash of 4000 movies and shows to comfort me.

  • ulvfugl et all. Should be clear by now that crazy_inventor is just a troll. (hey, now that rhymes:-))

  • Why is there never any discussion on the element of ever-increasing human population? Everybody is always blaming other things for everything bad, when everything bad is merely the result of human breeding excesses, and not anything else that anyone can mention. And nobody sees that the monetary system requires ever-increasing growth to pay on the endlessly unpayable debts.

    Who had authority over others in the USA after King George was defeated? NOBODY. And you know what that means? It means that “law of the land” is “law of the land that you own”, and the USA was the first nation with private landowners, where every man was king on his own land, and that is the best mankind could ever hope for. Original designs of the USA are for landowners to pass their land from generation to generation, with each improving upon the last. These original designs force a population to be kept in check, because those without land have nothing on earth with which to sustain themselves. The organic laws (and all federal laws) for the USA only apply on federal land. The amercanized-form of the English common law is the only law that lawfully exists on the public highways (all non-private lands). Everyone is ignorant of territorial jurisdiction.

    Anyway, though I have my own private “green” thoughts and feelings, like many here, I never read environmental things more than a few times/year because I never find “greenies” to have any foundations in anything better or more practical than everybody they deplore. The plain and simple answer to all major problems and crisis would be to understand the foundations of the USA, and to live accordingly, lawfully. Not as in “democracy” (bunch of nonsense, mob rule over everyone? sorry, God didn’t appoint any ruler over me).

    Deeper than any problem I read on these type of blogs is the problem of human idolatry, the great sin in every religion. Idolizing “leaders”, and refusing to take personal responsibility. Always blaming others for something. Fact is, you are not supposed to like or depend on the world. You are supposed to own land, or inherit land from your parents, and you are supposed to improve it and sustain yourself upon it. And you are supposed to understand territorial jurisdiction and you part of a common-law court system in your county with a common-law sheriff (not EMPLOYEE sheriffs). Once you step outside the original designs of the USA, everything is bound to fail, because everything else puts responsibility for one’s life on the back of others … and there go the pointing fingers.

    The real problem is ignorance (mainly of law) and lack of humility (personal responsibility) IMHO, and anyone complaining has only themselves to blame. If you are not a landowner that is supporting yourself and your family off land you own, and you are not improving conditions for the next generation, and you are populating beyond what your land can sustain nicely, and you are ignorant of the law (not legal codes), then you are solely to blame for all things you dislike about the world. And no other.

  • Chad: you do quite well at ignoring the fact that the vast majority of the damage is being done by a tiny portion of the population, both in the US and (even more) world-wide. There is of course such a thing as carrying capacity. But the vast majority of the destructive practices can be traced to an economic system which REQUIRES growth for its very survival. Capitalism doesn’t do slow growth, let alone zero growth, even less negative growth, it has a growth IMPERATIVE. And private property is part of the problem, not the solution. See http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/09/29/environment-wildlife-idUSL6N0RU48D20140929
    Regarding the death of 52% of the world’s wildlife between 1970 and 2010. If everyone in the world had US living standards, we’d need 3.9 planets. It’s even worse in the Gulf States, which function on OIL.

    Also, your self-referenced US history leaves out the inconvenient fact that the entire land was STOLEN, from its indigenous inhabitants, and then populated by slaves kidnapped from Africa and peasants enclosed from their lands, first from the British Isle, and later from the rest of Europe. Presenting US property forms as something great is just plain SICK.

  • @Jeff S … The “damage” is being done by the “collective”, not a “tiny portion”. The “tiny portion” only have power because the “non-tiny portion” give it to them; thus, they are all in the same boat. And when you use the term “carrying capacity”, you use it in the collectivist/communist sense; whereas, it would be better applied to the land that one owns, where you are free to determine the meaning of that term. And yes, I did agree that the monetary systems require ever-increasing growth, and stated the ever-increasing population growth requirement as a problem – so I don’t see any argument there.
    I did read the Reuters article about wildlife decline you posted, and interestingly, again no mention of excess humanity as part of the problem; while I also note that this is occurring under the powers of human collectives, and not in a world of independent landowners. The people in the USA are not living in accordance with it’s lawful foundations, and if you don’t know what they are, you should understand the Organic Laws for the USA first. But I gave a fair outline of them already.
    My references are straight out of the Organic Laws: DoC, AoC, Ord for the NW Territory, Constitution (there are 4 cited in USC 1). All written law today is for federally owned private lands, and no other. As far as your last comments, it’s not clear what your point is, or how it creates a valid argument about anything.
    The general problem with indigenous peoples in the USA was that they, and most all peoples, do not know how to read written law, and if we choose to lay down any institutions for our protection, and wish them to be governed by written law, then we best know how to read it correctly before they turn on us (which they did). For example, how many people know that the “Constutition” has 3 presidents in it? Who knows the difference between the President of the US, President of the USA, and Office of President? NOBODY. Who notices that the “President” NEVER takes any of the required oaths in the Consitution to *support* it (only to protect+defend like a museum piece, and never written oaths)? How many people know that, therefore, the Constitution has never been adopted? How many know the federal govt is still operating under the Articles of Confederation? (This is why it was never any matter that a President was a “natural born” citizen – because the AoC President has no requirements).
    So, the native American problem is not only one of being unable to read written law correctly, it was also due in major part to disease. Settlers did not want to kill natives generally, and for the most part, felt very bad that they were all dying, for reasons unknown to them. Europeans were used to tilling soil and had long periods of evolution wherein they adapted to all the extra soil-born organisms, whereas, native Americans did not. Mucking around in the mud was not part of human life in their view, but the population densities of Europeans demanded high-density agriculture. So, I would see those 2 causes as a major part of the destruction of native Americans – with which I have lived most of my life around. They have concepts of “their territory/waters/land”, but are generally not inclined or interested in the intellectual games other peoples play. Anyway, this is a whole other problem, but they, as any other people/family, benefits most in the long term, and in accordance with nature,
    by being masters of the land they inhabit. Personal accountability is missing in this world, almost in it’s totality, and lawfully, it begins and ends with landownership (which is stewardship). Plunder is a result of the opposite: collectivism and unaccountability – pointing fingers and laying blame on others.

  • .
    All just diversions.
    .
    I no longer care about any of the “hot topics” discussed concerning anything.
    .
    I am no longer interested.
    .
    Just sittin’ on this runaway train, staring out the window, with a cat on my lap.
    .
    The Voluntary Extinction Movement
    Thou shalt not procreate.
    .
    The Church of Euthanasia
    Save the planet, kill yourself.
    .

  • Chad: You can read but apparently not understand a thing of what it is you are reading. A tiny share of the populace is doing the vast majority of the consumption which is destroying the planet. The American lifestyle would require 3.9 planet earths were it planet-wide, right now the planet’s way of being requires 1.4 earths. Rich Americans do way more than their share of the damage.

    The indigenous peoples didn’t need to read anything to live in balance with the earth. The colonialists could read (at least the ruling elite, the ones who created brought their land imperialist grab with them from Britain), but this did not mean a sustainable way of living, quite the contrary. Land ownership did not become an exclusionary thing even in England till the Enclosures and the birth of capitalism. That’s all part of the problem, not the solution. Hate to break it to you, pal, but the vast majority of human history is one of collective control of resources, in particular land. It’s the individual ownership thing which has featured ecocide. Growth is unsustainable. You admit your favorite system requires growth, but simply shrug it off. Oh well, you strike me as another ill-“educated” free market zealot, the term “libertarian” is such a deceptive title.

    And your BS about settlers feeling bad about the indigenous peoples dying is pure RETCH. They died due to organized genocide. Holocaust denial, American-style.

  • .
    It gives little satisfaction for sustainable population advocates to point out that the past twenty years saw an estimated 200 million hunger-related deaths worldwide. Relatively few occurred in countries where population was stable. The U.N. reports that today one in eight people in the world suffers chronic undernourishment. Almost without exception, they live in developing regions, where most of the planet’s population growth continues apace. If family planning had been energetically promoted years ago, enormous suffering could have been avoided.
    .

  • Pat: You also have to consider the homeless in the US. The homeless are often mentioned as societal leeches out to ride the system without any effort on their part, or as people who have chosen to be homeless for whatever political reason. What’s not mentioned, by anyone apparently, is the vast majority of the homeless in the US are under the age of 12. Fucking lazy bastards!
    No free food for them!

    So what about family planning? It’s too late. If the current sexually active, reproductive section of the human race decides today to only have one child or to wait until they are more financially secure to have children the damage to the planet has already been done. There isn’t a generation gap left for the young.
    People who are infants now most likely won’t reach reproduction age.
    People who are children now most likely won’t reproduce either because finding food and shelter will take up most of their time and energy. The population crisis solves itself as everyone dies. Enormous suffering is about to be commonplace.

  • Dear Chad, just had to say I really appreciate and agree to a great degree with your view and that you are sharing here. Welcome to the beach of kindness.