Fiddling While Rome Burns

by Alton C. Thompson

The fire, in 64 CE, that destroyed much of Rome came to have associated with it the claim that then-Emperor Nero “fiddled” while the city was burning.  Although Italy gave birth to the violin, this did not occur until the sixteenth century—making Nero’s “fiddling” in 64 CE impossible.

This is not to say that Nero was unmusical, however:

Roman historians record that Nero had a real passion for the cithara [an instrument that resembled the harp].  In conquered lands, Nero coordinated festivals that featured musical competitions on such dates that he could attend and compete in them all.  Nero is said to have been very emotionally invested in these competitions [source:  [Mary Francis] Gyles].

One can, of course, “fiddle” without playing a musical instrument—for one meaning of the word is to “to waste time; trifle; dally.”  The word “fiddle” (or its equivalent in Latin)—having, that is, the meaning “waste time”—may not have existed in 64, but can it be said that Nero “wasted time” during the fire?  Apparently not:

To the contrary, Nero actually did take immediate and expansive measures to provide relief for his citizens.  He rushed back to the city when news of the fire reached him at his palace at Antium, on the outskirts of Rome. The historian Tacitus, who was a boy in Rome during the blaze, provides accounts of the steps Nero took in the midst of the fire.  The emperor himself coordinated fire fighting efforts on the first night.  He also opened the public buildings and his own gardens as temporary shelter for homeless residents.  Nero imported grain from nearby cities and supplied his citizens with food at a fraction of the normal cost.

Although Nero’s rule was notorious for its “tyranny and extravagance,” on this one occasion he demonstrated some humanity, evidently.

When most people today hear, or use, the phrase “fiddling while Rome burns, they are not alleging that Nero played the violin while Rome burned—or even “fiddled” in the sense of “wasted time” while that fire occurred.  Few people today have much interest in history, and most are ill-informed about Nero—except that some associate his name with the persecution of Christians.  The interpretation that most people give to the phrase is that “fiddling while Rome burns” is wasting time—but without any geographical reference.

That’s an ironic fact, because although there is little need today to be concerned about what’s going on in Rome (Roman Catholics, though, would take exception to this), there is great need to be concerned about what’s going on with Earth.

A better way of putting this is that it’s unfortunate that there was not widespread concern for Earth 30 or more years agoHad there been such concern then, what might have occurred is that decisive actions may have been taken by our leaders—political and corporate—to address the problem of global warming.  It has been known since the late 1930s that global warming was a potential problem, but to date nothing of significance has been done to address the problem.

The reason that is a problem is that it’s likely too late now to halt the further “progress” of global warming—meaning that it’s “just a matter of time” before our species will go the way of the dinosaurs (but for a different set of reasons).  It’s conceivable that our “leaders” will, at some point, “wake up,” and begin introducing geo-engineering measures in an attempt to halt global warming.  But if that occurs, who’s to say that the unintended consequences of such efforts will not be “worse than the disease”?

I can’t think of a more succinct way of describing what has been, and is, occurring in our world today—led by the United States—than to say that we have been, and are, “fiddling while Rome burns.”  Examples could be given of this, but given our unfortunate destiny, the question that arises in my mind is:  Why should I waste my time, and the time of readers, by elaborating on a point of so little importance?!

Irrelevance is the appropriate descriptor of most thought and action today (including most of what appears on internet sites!—Guy’s being one of the few exceptions), given the predicament that we humans are in at present.  But virtually no one recognizes this fact!  Thus, when the end comes—within a few decades, if not years—virtually everyone will be surprised.

Usually, one welcomes surprises; few, however, will welcome the surprise that lies ahead for us humans.

What should those who know that that surprise will not be a pleasant one do?  This really separates into two questions:

  1. What should one do now?

 

  1. What should one do “when the time comes”?

As to the first question, there is no single right answer; each individual will need to choose a course for himself or herself.  As to the second question, I suspect that many will “put their loved ones out of their misery,” and then themselves accomplish suicide.  I realize that this is a grisly prospect, but it is also a reasonable one.  (Given that the only gun in my possession is a percussion cap pistol, and that I have no (a) percussion caps, (b) no black powder, and (c) no balls, I frankly don’t know what I will do when “the time comes”—although, at 74, it’s possible that I will have died beforehand.)

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McPherson was featured in a newspaper article after his recent trip to Chico, California. Read it here.
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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, McPherson’s guests are Myrna Lorraine and Mike Ferrigan. Lorraine and Ferrigan are anarchists who administer the Near Term Human Extinction Support Group page on Facebook.

Myrna Lorraine is an unschooling mom and a novice permaculture gardener living in the small town of Paris, Ontario, Canada. She has a background in Political Science and Women’s Studies from York University in Toronto.

Mike Ferrigan lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, and he has coordinated many campaigns on environmental and social justice issues. A grassroots activist for 30 years, Ferrigan received the Best Green Campaigner award in the inaugural Scottish Green Awards of 2009 for his life-long dedication and achievements.
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McPherson’s latest book is co-authored by Carolyn Baker. Extinction Dialogs: How to Live with Death in Mind is available.

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

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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.

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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, and by more than three dozen readers at Amazon.

Comments 71

  • From the article…

    It’s conceivable that our “leaders” will, at some point, “wake up,” and begin introducing geo-engineering measures in an attempt to halt global warming. But if that occurs, who’s to say that the unintended consequences of such efforts will not be “worse than the disease”?

    If anyone finds it conceivable that our “leaders” will, at some point, “wake up,” then you may be better served putting that prodigious imagination to work in more useful areas, if such exist. Personally, I find such a notion utterly inconceivable because A) the required expense for anything remotely effective will make the last bankster bailout look like pocket change for a night out (despite what others believe) and B) there is NO profit in it. Nonetheless, IF any such endeavors are implemented, given the whole sad history of “humanity” and its unintended consequences I think it is a dead certainty the effect will be worse than the disease!!

  • The time is now. As Bobby Seale recommends: Seize the Time.

    Lest we fall back into the idea that “humans” are the problem, as is all too often the wont in this forum, let me quote a few passages of Indigenous People’s History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz:

    “By the time of European invasions, Indigenous peoples had occupied and shaped every part of the Americas, established extensive trade networks and roads, and were sustaining their populations by adapting to specific natural environments, but they also adapted nature to suit human ends…Rather than domesticating animals for hides and meat, Indigenous communities created havens to attract elk, deer, bear, and other game. They burned the undergrowth in forests so that the young grasses and other ground cover that sprouted the following spring would entice greater numbers of herbivores and the predators that fed on them, which would sustain the people who ate them both. Mann describes these forests in 1491: “Rather than the thick, unbroken, monumental snarl of trees imagined by Thoreau, the great eastern forest was an ecological kaleidoscope of garden plots, blackberry rambles, pine barrens, and spacious groves of chestnut, hickory, and oak.” Inland a few miles from the shore of present-day Rhode Island, an early European explorer marveled at the trees that were spaced so that the forest “could be penetrated even by a large army.” English mercenary John Smith wrote that he had ridden a galloping horse through the Virginia forest. In Ohio, the first English squatters on Indigenous lands in the mid-eighteenth century encountered forested areas that resembled English parks, as they could drive carriages through the trees…When Lewis and Clark began their trek up the Missouri River in 1804, ethnologist Dale Lott has observed, they beheld “not a wilderness but a vast pasture managed by and for Native Americans.” Native Americans created the world’s largest gardens and grazing lands—and thrived…
    Roads were developed along rivers, and many Indigenous roads in North America tracked the Mississippi, Ohio, Missouri, Columbia, and Colorado Rivers, the Rio Grande, and other major streams. Roads also followed seacoasts…This brief overview of precolonial North America suggests the magnitude of what was lost to all humanity and counteracts the settler-colonial myth of the wandering Neolithic hunter. These were civilizations based on advanced agriculture and featuring polities. It is essential to understand Indigenous peoples’ relationships prior to invasion, and how colonialism cut them off”

    The problem is obviously not “humans”.

  • Wester,

    U are right except i might add, the problem is obviously *elite white* humans!

    My only friend is sort of an expert of trees and the way the indigenous folk managed them through *burn* cycles. His descriptions are sweeping and on a grand scale. He can really get the imagination going.

  • Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku #102

    Another climate
    tipping-point recedes in the
    rear-view mirror. Sigh.

  • Another musical analogy is the “band that played on” as the Titanic sank. To keep the passengers calm, and behaving “civilly”, supposedly. Have you seen that movie recently? — so much of it resonates with our predicament today.

    Most of my thoughts since encountering Guy and NBL two years ago have been about the burning of fuels, especially in transport, and my hatred for cars has grown into new and grisly speculations.

    In my recent thoughts, especially after watching Guy’s panel with the scientist/academics, is that “ending industrial civilization” requires in particular ending industrial agriculture, the agriculture that feeds the world’s urban (“civilized”) population, especially of white Europe and America.

    Deliberately veering away from industrial agriculture means asking that urban population to “please take a number” as to who will be fed and the 50-80% who would not be, and would presumably be jettisoned and quietly go along to whatever dispatch is prepared for them.

    And this, before the fully-triggered climate effects are felt and widely agreed upon. Therefore, not gonna happen. Uh uh. Never.

    Just as the main political-economic job of the President of the USA is to keep consumers happily motoring along on cheap gasoline, so the secondary mission is to keep them burgers coming out the drive-up windows.

    All powers available will be marshaled in these directions, not in their needed opposites. Therefore, it’s “Thelma & Louise” time, right over the cliff we go… Adjust your actions and expectations accordingly.

  • Denise,

    I’m so pleased to read you here again. It’s been a long time.

  • @ Henry check out one of my favorite sites:

    Death by Car – capitalism’s drive to carmageddon

    http://www.deathbycar.info/

    Thanks Wester for that more detailed description, and Shep for the BAR link. I rely heavily on BAR’s media clips and their radical perspectives, to the point where I often read the commentary aloud for airing, (mainly Glen Ford’s) in cases where such clips aren’t provided..

    And along those lines, I’ve just changed the format of the main station back to all Jazz again, featuring Women of Jazz – Cassandra Wilson, Chaka Khan, Marilyn Keller, Tok Tok Tok, Della Griffin, Etta Jones and Leny Andrade among others, along with Latin Jazz, Orienta Jazz, Santana, Al Di Meola, Spyro Gyra, Weather Report, Sergio Mendes, Wayne Shorter, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Victor Bailey and other under-appreciated artists, both modern and classical, like it was for years before we moved.

    for basicly the same reason you just mentioned 😉

  • Though it is clear to me that the odds are potentially heavily loaded against human survival because of the seeming confluence of multiple crises working against us, I see no reason to believe we have an absolute zero chance for survival if the crises culminate and unfold full bore. But having doomers proclaiming in abject conviction that the end is nigh, has its value. It may help goad us to cast off our psychic blinders once and for all, in that case, everything changes. I have noticed that in the case of Guy, and for many here (as well as many that make up a thin strata of educated humans) around the world, those blinders have potentially taken a new and all but hidden form. The idea that nature just cannot survive our ultimate badness and evil, because we are the baddest and evilest of all and we have it all figured out. While I am not rejecting all science outright, I am noting the kind of science we have is very likely to be terribly flawed because of the very apex of egoist imbalance we all suffer from. Sure scientist can be given some exemption, but not all exemption. You can’t just notice what is wrong outside of yourself and admit how wrong it is and then expect to be free from it or that science is free from it that is holmium indeed. Guy expresses the difficulty of the process in trying to shed his own deeply entrenched conditioning in the latest interview with Reese, and is clearly in process. I champion him for that and I feel we are kindred spirits. But why would I align myself and stake everything with clearly flawed and conditioned science? Is it that Guy still hopes there is good to be found in the Industrial Civilization? Is he in the final stronghold of hope. Hope in science? There is little value in any by-product of the egoist aberration we are stuck in until we are clear enough of our conditioning as by-products of this aberrant conditioning. That mean all scientists must go through a process like what Guy is doing and he must be championed for that and leading by example. I think that soon Guy might hit his own tipping point in clearing and freeing himself and I look forward to that. Can we be more conscious of what is real here?

    Dear Wester,

    The problem is apex humans, though one could argue the use of that word. Apex hints at value but as I understand it we did need to go through this to grow. Will we grow? Or does it end here? I think we cannot answer that question with any finality, we must fight for what we love and fight for that until we cannot fight any longer. But if the current batch of domineering imbalanced humans go extinct, possibly there will be a flowering of healthy indigenous humans again.

    I found this essay to be a potential expression of the egoist human man at his most advanced level hubris mania and expressing killing those you love as solution seems to express what is wrong in the world quite well. Though I do sympathize because to a degree we are innocent victims of the very insanity gripping us, but we can and should cast it off now.

  • I keep coming back here because I am interested in the answers to two key questions, 1) is it really too late? and 2) if its not too late, what and how drastics would the measures have to be to prevent human extinction? Though these imply a third question of how much time is left.

    I’m agnostic on these questions. I do see as evidence that its too late the fact that interest in the elites in preventing climate change have if anything lessened in the last twenty years, and they mainly seem interested in loot now. The behavior of the insiders implies that either the denialists are correct and this just isn’t a problem, or that the game is up as Dr. McPherson has been arguing.

  • Alton,

    I believe, in fact I have a mass of evidence to prove, that our so-called leaders are not ‘fiddling while Rome burns’. They are:

    actively ‘pouring gasoline on the fire’ in every way imaginable

    actively seeking out means to enrich themselves at everyone else’s expense

    actively expanding fascistic police-state systems in an attempt to gain greater control over the ignorant the masses who populate most western nations

    actively ramping up military capability in preparation for the inevitable showdown between psychotic, money-driven, power-driven western societies and the two big nations that stand in the way of total global domination by NWO bankers and corporation, Russia and China.

    All so-called democratic systems are merely a ‘puppet show’, a staged performance to keep the uninformed proles believing in the system and supporting that which is destroying their progeny’s futures, and in most cases their own futures.

    Yesterday the Nikkei ‘dropped like a stone’ in the first half-hour of trading, and a ‘mystery buyer’ came to the rescue and pulled the index out of its nosedive, resulting in a drop for the day of 2.38%. Presumably today’s mission will be to push the Nikkei back over 15,000.

    The system is rotten to the core, and it’s just a matter of time before it collapses, regrettably going down the fascistic-control route rather than some less unpleasant alternative. But we’ve known for a long time that the policies imposed on us by the psychotic sociopaths who are in control will always be those that provide short-term rorts for those near the money valves and contracts spigots.

  • Colin: well put at the top of the thread! [and the answer to your question to me on the previous thread is that the question I posed was rhetorical – having gone over all that ground too many times]

    Ed: stay tuned and keep an eye on the ever-increasing evidence and you’ll make up your mind.

    http://theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com/2014/10/13/migration-beginning-out-of-west-african-countries-hit-by-ebola-epidemic-as-i-predicted/

    Migration beginning out of West African countries hit by Ebola epidemic – as I predicted

    October 2014 – AFRICA – As the world panics over the Ebola outbreak, West Africans are reportedly fleeing their countries in a bid to outrun the virus – some even headed overland for South Africa. According to the Sunday Independent, this could place South Africa at considerable risk. Johannesburg-based members of the immigrant communities from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, told the newspaper that there is a considerable number of people attempting to reach SA, most trying to reach it overland – a 5,000km trek. One man said he alone knew of at least five people who were on their way. The newspaper reports that it would just take one carrier to change the situation in SA – particularly in a community that is largely housed in the densely populated city centre of Johannesburg – an ideal breeding ground for a communicable virus such as Ebola. In addition, these often undocumented migrants also enter the country through the porous border at Beitbridge in northern Limpopo – an entry point that has no measures such as temperature radars in place to check visitors who could be carriers.

    However, Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba and Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi have stated that although caution needs to be exercised, it cannot be done at the expense of fuelling xenophobia. Motsoaledi said that he feels SA is too far away for most people to reach by land and if they were carrying the disease, the chances are they would not make it to the border alive, reported the newspaper. Meanwhile, as reported by News24 on Saturday, the UN special envoy on Ebola says the number of cases is probably doubling every three to four weeks and the response needs to be 20 times greater than it was at the beginning of October. David Nabarro warned the UN General Assembly on Friday that without the mass mobilization of the world to support the affected countries in West Africa, “it will be impossible to get this disease quickly under control, and the world will have to live with the Ebola virus forever.” –AFK Insider

    [“Forever” is over when there aren’t any more humans left to infect.]

  • C-I,

    Airing what?

    Intuition is a fun thing. These days it is simple since we are managed by pyscho-pathics.

  • sorry another 3’rd post tattle tattle shake that rattle

    @ Shep

    mainly his expose’ on the too-big-to-jail banks criminal activities of ‘robo-signing’ fake titles to take away people’s homes, a full year before anyone else was talking about it.

    When I brought this fact up to Mark Ames of Exiled Online, I started getting attacked by one of his sockpuppets in response. I found this out when I analysed the timestamps of the comments, so then I did some digging on Mark himself and decided to dis-associate from that operation entirely.

    My last post there accused them of really just being “establishment media wearing black face” (he was actively censoring me trying to post citations backing up what I said, but let that last comment pass for some reason)

    Since then other people have commented about them (mostly on naked capitalism) calling them a “one note orchestra” 🙂

    I probably got on their bad side by asking them (twice) where their promised weekly expose’s were on the new S.H.A.M.E. website, right after it launched.

    If you go there now, a few years later, you’ll see the effort petered out very quickly, since by now there should be well over 100, but there’s only a dozen or so..

    Ford’s been riding O’bomba’s ass since the day he was elected, trying to warn people about what they’d really elected, and always on top of his bankster crook sugar daddies 😉

    Lifting the Veil Obama and the Failure of Capitalist Democracy.wv (as I aired it)

    http://metanoia-films.org/lifting-the-veil/

    (if you can’t obtain this free I can U/L it from my broadcast wavpack file converted to MP3)

  • @ kevin moore Says:
    October 14th, 2014 at 11:10 am

    As always, the clarity of your perception is delightful to behold, despite the subject matter being less than such. May you weather the coming “storms” as well as is possible. 🙂

    @ Tom Says:
    October 14th, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Thank you and I had a hunch your question on the previous thread was just that, rhetorical. Nonetheless, my reply there was intended as a “clue” to any potential newcomers and a “reminder” to the regulars, not that many of the latter group need it.

    Regarding all the ebola “news,” I’m wondering how much of it is “real” and how much is an intentional “ploy” to further divide the masses and obviate any potential blow-back on the oligarchs. In the long(?!) run (a decade or so), it is all pretty much irrelevant as the imminent cornucopia of cascading ckalamities will overwhelm concern regarding any one factor.

  • I did hear of a plan where they nuke Yellowstone,and try and make it blow as a last ditch effort to reform the ice caps.Seems pretty desperate but may be the last hope.

  • As if CA didn’t have enough trouble with the on-going drought – i’m wondering if this has anything to do with this next problem (as considerable mass has been evaporated away):

    http://dutchsinse.tatoott1009.com/10142014-professionals-say-california-is-primed-for-a-large-earthquake-coming-soon/

    10/14/2014 — Professionals say California is primed for a LARGE Earthquake — Coming soon

    Main stream news reporting serious pressure has built on several fault zones along the West Coast.

    Saying the region is “primed” for a large earthquake event.
    [link to news story]

    “SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Three fault segments running beneath Northern California and its roughly 15 million people are overdue for a major earthquake, including one section that lies near the dams and canals that supply much of the state’s water, according to a geological study published Monday.

    The three fault segments and one other in the region are loaded with enough tension to produce quakes of magnitude 6.8 or greater, according to a geological study published Monday.

    They include the little-known Green Valley fault, which lies near key dams and aqueducts northeast of San Francisco. Underestimated by geologists until now, the fault running between the cities of Napa and Fairfield is primed for a magnitude-7.1 quake, according to researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey and San Francisco State University.

    The water supplies of the San Francisco Bay Area, Southern California and the farm-rich Central Valley depend on the man-made water system that links to the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, noted James Lienkaemper, the U.S. Geological Survey geologist who was lead author of the study. The Green Valley fault is last believed to have ruptured sometime in the 1600s.

    The study shows the state “needs to consider more seriously” the earthquake risk in that area, Lienkaemper said by phone.

    All four vulnerable fault segments belong to the San Andreas fault system, the geological dividing line that marks where the western half of California shifts northwest and away from the rest of North America at about 2 inches a year.

    View gallery

    The other fault sections that have built up enough tension for a temblor with a magnitude of 6.8 or greater are the northern Calaveras and Hayward faults in the east San Francisco Bay Area and the Rodgers Creek fault to the north, scientists concluded in a study published in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.

    Geologists reached their conclusions partly through regular data readings that geologists and San Francisco State University geology students began in 1979 along fault lines. The tracking now features annual readings at 80 monitoring sites at 29 sections of faults in northern California.

    The surveys measure fault creep, movements of fractions of inches that slowly release strain on some faults. When no fault creep is recorded, a fault is considered locked, and stress builds until an earthquake unlocks it.

    Roughly two-thirds of the 1,250 miles that comprise the five major branches of the San Andreas fault feature fault creep, the study concludes.

    Northern California recorded its biggest earthquake of a quarter-century Aug. 24, when a magnitude-6.0 quake hit Napa, north of San Francisco. Seismologists estimate seven quakes of 7.3 magnitude or more have hit California just since the 1800s, most of them when the state’s population was a fraction of what it is now.”

    [lots of background videos from site’s owner provided below article]

  • TIAA

    I too appreciate Guy’s openness and generosity of spirit.

  • I always wondered who invented crazy. Did you know that wind turbines kill up to 600,000 bats every year? Seems the bat’s sonar leads the bat to think it is navigating around a tree instead of a deadly fan blade. The Ivanpah passive solar heated turbine cost 2 billion bucks and literally ignites birds in mid-flight so that when they fall to the ground, they leave a trail of smoke called a streamer. During construction of Ivanpah, the heavy equipment and materials crushed up to 3,000 endangered desert tortoises who had their legal protection temporarily voided to aid construction of this monster.

    The ongoing mass extinction is caused by six factors of which only one factor is global heating. So while every problem looks like a nail to a hammer, green energy is not going to do anything to prevent mass extinction. While staying out in the sun too long can cook your brains, it doesn’t necessarily pacify you.

  • Well said, Robert. We’re killing ourselves, no doubt. I don’t know why people don’t “get it.” Even if they did, I fear that we’re too far gone.

  • This essay really sums up my most essential personal response to our ‘situation’, aside from my journey through information and process leading to the conclusion that there is “nothing to be done” a la Samuel Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’. My response to the first question has been to try and straddle the two worlds in which my consciousness lives – the ‘business as usual’ world in which people continue to reproduce, dream and plan as if the end is far from nigh (and that it is nigh is nothing short of an insane notion) and the other in which my intuition tells me everything we ‘know’ is wrong and the end is just around the corner. Straddling these worlds, for me, has meant taking a step back from common worldly goals and everyday conformity, toward the goals of lessening my load on the planet, living for my own purposes so that I don’t get caught up short by ‘the end’ and simply being observant as I feel there is some purpose in bearing witness to these events and this death march that we, as part of the planet, are caught up in. With respect to the second question, I have been considering my thoughts, feelings and emotions toward the potentially valid choice of suicide – not now, but I know not when at any point I may no longer be able to straddle the two worlds or the threat of living on might appear greater than the risks of suicide. Thanks for putting words to this internal status that can be a difficult one to appreciate as real and/or navigate as real. I do think that is helpful.

  • “Those who destroy and kill everything, should be killing themselves. The end of suffering seems to be the only realistic hope in this unjust Universe. This unjust Universe, where the innocent suffer unjustly, should not continue to exist.” (“The God A-hole” by treenoise © 2014)

  • 1.What should one do now?

    The question asked when someone whose attention was needed, was sitting at a computer screen and appeared preoccupied, and the querent was hesitant to disturb that person:

    “Working or jerking?”

    They are both good options at the moment, and may continue to be so for a while.

    2. What should one do “when the time comes”?

    Much depends on which option is operational at that moment.

    Tilting the glass the other way while serving drinks at the Titanic’s bar, after the vessel develops a pronounced list. This would be working.

    Taking another good sip before the train’s dining car impacts the bottom of the gorge. This would be jerking.

    “Adjust your actions and expectations accordingly.”

    That is the formula for continued servitude (karmic servitude, if such things tickle one’s fancy). The alternate would be to adjust one’s actions in accordance with rational anticipations, and to ditch all expectations.

    “I see no reason to believe we have an absolute zero chance for survival if the crises culminate and unfold full bore.”

    Indeed no reason to. Particularly if one happens to be in the carrying capacity for the
    +/-35,000,000 out of the
    7,000,000,000+ now surviving directly or less directly on the profligate use of fossil fuels. And if one is sanguine enough to believe that that primal biospheric ecosystems that once provided that carrying capacity, now after being most thoroughly trashed by industrial civilisation, will miraculously reappear. Or one could pick a four-leaf clover and/or chop off and pocket a rabbit’s foot.

    From comments on the preceding post:

    “@Robin Datta…clearly there’s no connection or feeling of one…see civilization.”

    Exactly. That clarity comes from the primal ignorance, the first defilement: that ignorance is so mighty that for almost all persons it remains totally unperceived. Ignorance of ignorance.

    “He who knows & knows he knows, he is a wise man: seek him.
    (Or nowadays, he knows too much: assassinate him, or give him a one-way ticket to Gitmo or other “special rendering” in consideration for “advanced interrogation techniques”).
    He who knows and knows not he knows, he is asleep: wake him.

    (And these last two are not valid in the Biblical (i.e. Judaic), Vedic and Buddhist traditions, because according to them, “Everybody Knows”, but in a sense quite different from Leonard Cohen.
    He who knows not and knows he knows not, he is a child: teach him.
    He who knows not and knows he knows not, he is a fool, shun him.

  • How the Gods Kill
    http://morecrows.wordpress.com/2014/10/13/ebola-updates/

    Emory hospital works closely with the CDC, and hence has some of the best isolation facilities in the world. The clinical care section of the document is the single best description of the course of the disease I have ever seen (http://www.magnetmail.net/actions/email_web_version.cfm?recipient_id=252410565&message_id=7159249&user_id=IDSociety&group_id=1191715&jobid=22381830)

    There is 5-10 liters of fluid loss per day, largely through leaking into tissue outside the bloodstream due to loss of albumin (the protein that keeps fluid in the blood.) The disease also depletes electrolytes, which we all know and love from gatorade commercials. As well as facilitating muscle contraction, electrolytes are the electrical “juice” for nerve and heart cells, and screwed up electrolytes (from, say, prolonged vomiting) can lead to heart arrhythmias and death.

    Albumin, for the record, is produced by the liver, and is one of the first proteins “economised” in a starvation situation. This is why the typical image of kwashiorkor starvation is a skeleton with a pot-belly: that belly is actually fluid that has leaked out of the bloodstream because there isn’t enough protein to hold it in. Not blood, not bleeding, just fluid. I’m not clear why Ebola patients would lose albumin during the illness, the document mentions “nutritional depletion” but there may be more liver-specific reasons as well. I’m speculating.

    Clinical care seems to be electrolyte replacement, nutritional support, in liters of fluid. The Emory team “engaged the FDA, CDC and pharmaceutical manufacturers in active discussions” about experimental therapies, but its not clear what was used and without more data points we can’t know if anything helped.

    On the question of airborne transmission, I mentioned in the last post that testing was by reverse-transcriptase PCR which means looking for viral RNA. The Emory team tested every fluid and (it seems like) every surface the patients were exposed to, and found Ebola virions only in the fluid samples. That makes a dry airborne transmission less likely. However, its also worth noting that, again as I mentioned before, wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) consistently and constantly is grueling and in some climates impossible for the human body. Staff at Emory switched to using battery Powered Air Purifying Respirators or PAPRs for their own comfort, as these are cooled by airflow. Whether they become the standard of care for comfort reasons, compliance reasons, or as a hedge against fear of “airborne” viruses, they seem to be acceptable for use in a hospital setting at least.

    … if I were a hospital administrator, I’d be on the phone to purchasing right now.

    [Well, I am not a hospital administrator and I think it may be a good idea to have several of these around the house before they become unavailable.]

  • Ebola Ebola
    http://morecrows.wordpress.com/2014/10/08/ebola-ebola/

    Ebola presents like most any other viral fever, with severe headaches, runny snot, puking, diarrhea, muscle aches, fatigue, and mental vagueness (“depersonalization”). It also causes intravascular hemolysis and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) and means, pretty much, blood clots randomly until it runs out of fibrin, then it never clots. It is this profusion of blood clots and uncontrolled bleeding that leads to the rash (small specks of bleeding from capillaries under the skin), the black vomit (bleeding into the stomach) and the bloody stool. Ebola also causes nosebleeds, bloody spit, and bloody urine (from bleeding in the kidneys.) Ebola also causes profound hiccuping.

    … facts aren’t really there to support the idea that Ebola has mutated to spread through the air. Just to be clear, air transmission means Ebola virions traveling on air currents into your lungs, without the protective shell of a droplet of fluid, has yet to be demonstrated.

    That doesn’t mean that everyone who shares space with an Ebola patient and who doesn’t touch them directly is safe. In fact, given how rapidly this disease is spreading without airborne transmission, its hard to see why so much emotional energy is caught up in this fairly technical distinction.

    … [Worst case] If everybody gets sick. 19% of the population will survive and everyone else dies. Incidentally, there’s a bunch of BS about case fatality in the press – at any time in the course of this outbreak, the number of deaths is likely to be half the number of sick people. However, most of those sick people were infected too recently to have died or not, and the epidemic is growing. These factors combine to make it look less lethal than it is. The ratio of currently dead, to infected-sixteen-days-ago, has been 0.81 from the start of the epidemic, with very tight confidence intervals. This is likely the “true” case fatality rate (CFR) and closer to what we’ll see on the way down. Almost certainly everybody getting sick is not going to happen; there’s too much else going on.

    If the average person interacts with a hundred people over the course of their illness, and potentially infects two of them, what difference does it make if 50% of those people are immune? [R0 of x is the ratio of contagion where R0 of 1 is stable and R0 of 2 is doubling, etc.] The R0-Effective has to take this into account. This is why measles doesn’t kill every unvaccinated American – the high R0-20 for measles crashes into the high vaccination rate to produce an effective R0 below 1.0.

    For Ebola, a “raw” R0 of 1.4 will still die out if ~71% of people are immune. To get there without a vaccine, of course, 93% of your population has to get infected and 75% of your population dies – the remaining 18% who got sick and survived make up 72% of the remaining quarter. This isn’t much better than everyone getting sick, but it at least shows how everybody does not have to die.

    The CDC’s Excel-based model terminates some time in 2015 (its a 300-day model) based on moving more and more of the population to hospitals. As noted above, transmission does occur in hospitals, but the R0 is less than 1.0, and far, far below the R0 in the wild. These hospitals don’t exist, but the US and the rest of the international community is building them like crazy. Without a vaccine, this is probably the most sensible response available. Remember that not everyone has to be hospitalized, only enough people that the overall transmission rate drops below replacement. Other guesses generally range from two to four years (Summer 2016-Fall 2018).

    This is the scariest outcome of all, and the one that popped up in my own clumsy model. Essentially, Ebola reaches a stable island bio-geography – an outbreak here, an outbreak there, none lasting more than a year, but never really burning up the planet, but never quite catching the last case or immunizing enough people to contain the spread altogether.

    =========================================
    [2-Oct-14]
    Estimating and Predicting Epidemic Behavior for the 2014 West African Ebola Outbreak
    http://grantbrown.github.io/Ebola-2014-Analysis-Archive/Oct_02_2014/Ebola2014/Ebola2014.html

    … models appear to have resumed predicting a fairly catastrophic continued spread, especially in Liberia. In particular, the models predict that the epidemic will take off in Nigeria, as the countries are assumed in this case to share several intensity parameters. We may hope that this particular simplifying assumption is invalid, however it is not a hopeful sign that WHO predictions are also becoming catastrophic.

  • thanx P! 🙂

    Robin, lol
    sometimes i work to jerk
    sometimes jerkin’ ain’t workin’
    he who not knows, and not knows he knows not is abso-fucking-lutely normal
    that shit is deep

    an organic farmer was served a warrant to search his farm for marijuana plants.
    the farmer warned the DEA agent, to go anywhere except one particular field.
    the DEA agent became angry and flashed him his badge and said, “See this badge, it says I can go where i want.” and proceeds straight to that field.
    not much later, the farmer hears the agent calling for help as he was being chased by a bull.
    the farmer calls out to the agent, “Show him your badge! Show him your badge!”

    my wife tells me that whenever i’m surrounded by clowns, to always go straight for the juggler first, but you can’t trust my wife because she hates it when i fiddle on the guitar. cheers.

  • Tokyo Contaminated and Not Fit for Habitation, Doctor Says
    http://permaculturenews.org/2014/09/25/tokyo-contaminated-fit-habitation-doctor-says/

    “I must state that the policies of the WHO, the IAEA or the Japanese government cannot be trusted.” and “if the power to save our citizens and future generations exists somewhere, it does not lie within the government or any academic association, but in the hands of individual clinical doctors ourselves.”

    Mita claims that all 23 districts of Tokyo are contaminated, with the eastern area effected more than others — up to 4,000 Bq/kg. (The becquerel is a unit of radioactivity. One Bq is the activity of a quantity of radioactive material in which one nucleus decays per second.)

    These findings confirm what the nuclear physicist Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Nuclear Education found in 2012, when he picked up five random soil samples in Tokyo from between paving stones, in parks and playgrounds. The levels of contamination were up to 7,000 Bq/kg; in the US, anything registering these levels would be considered nuclear waste.

    As a general practitioner in medicine in Tokyo, Mita also discovered changes in the white blood cells of children under 10. He is moving his practice to the western city of Tokyo to Okayama City; he claims that radioactive contamination in the eastern part of Tokyo is 1000-4000 Bq/kg and in the western part, 300-1000Bq/kg. He compares these levels with Kiev, in Ukraine, after the accident at Chernobyl, of 500 Bq/kg, and with measurements taken before the 2011 Fukushima accident at Shinjuku, the site of the Tokyo municipal government of 0.5 – 1.5 Bq/kg. He says that: Tokyo should no longer be inhabited, and that those who insist on living in Tokyo must take regular breaks in safer areas.

  • October surprise:

    ‘Yesterday we lamented the ridiculously oversold levels in West Texas Intermediate, which as BofA calculated, has hit “oversold” levels for only the third time in six years. We assumed that this could be the basis for a short-term rebound. We were wrong, because we clearly had no idea just how determined the Saudis are to crush Putin into the ground courtesy of plunging oil prices.

    As of moments ago, WTI has tumbled nearly $4, some 5%, to just over $81…’

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-10-14/crude-crashing-brent-most-oversold-ever

  • Gail Tverberg has a fairly recent article about the collapse in oil prices, seeing it as a sign of a general debt bubble collapse.
    http://ourfiniteworld.com/2014/09/21/low-oil-prices-sign-of-a-debt-bubble-collapse-leading-to-the-end-of-oil-supply/

  • green energy is not going to do anything to prevent mass extinction

    whoopsie there’s those strawmen again (and those fossil fool talking points)

    applying real science and research:

    Johnson, Joshua B. et al. (2012). Effects of Acoustic Deterrents on Foraging Bats

    purl.fdlp.gov/GPO/gpo36973

    In April 2009 the Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative released initial study results showing a 73% drop in bat fatalities when wind farm operations are stopped during low wind conditions, when bats are most active.[79] Bats avoid radar transmitters, and placing microwave transmitters on wind turbine towers may reduce the number of bat collisions.[80][81]

    Fossil-fueled power plants, which wind turbines generally require to make up for their weather dependent intermittency, kill almost 20 times as many birds per gigawatt hour (GWh) of electricity. Bird deaths due to other human activities and cats total between 797 million and 5.29 billion per year in the U.S. Additionally, while many studies concentrate on the analysis of bird deaths, few have been conducted on the reductions of bird births, which are the additional consequences of the various pollution sources that wind power partially mitigates.[40]

    A 2013 meta-analysis by Smallwood identified a number of factors which result in serious under-reporting of bird and bat deaths by wind turbines. These include inefficient searches, inadequate search radius, and carcass removal by predators. To adjust the results of different studies, he applied correction factors from hundreds of carcass placement trials. His meta-analysis concluded that in 2012 in the United States, wind turbines resulted in the deaths of 888,000 bats and 573,000 birds, including 83,000 raptors.[57]

    Also in 2013, a meta-analysis by Lossa and others in the journal Biological Conservation found that the likely mean number of birds killed annually in the U.S by wind turbines was 234,000. The authors acknowledged the larger number reported by Smallwood, but noted that Smallwood’s meta-analysis did not distinguish between types of wind turbine towers; older wind turbines were more often on lattice towers, which attract birds. The monopole towers used almost exclusively for new wind installations appear to result in fewer bird deaths.[58][59]

    Bird mortality at wind energy facilities can vary greatly depending on the facility’s location, with some facilities reporting nearly zero bird fatalities, and others as high as four birds per turbine per year.[60] An article in the journal Nature stated that each wind turbine in the U.S. kills an average of 0.03 birds per year, and recommends that more research needs to be done.[61][62]

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_wind_power

    okay – there’s ^ the science

    NOW, lets look at Robert’s “worthwhile contribution” :

    google search: “wind turbines kill bats” talking point

    1’st result: wattsupwiththat

    sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Anthony_Watts

    “Willard Anthony Watts (Anthony Watts) is a blogger, weathercaster and non-scientist, paid AGW denier who runs the website wattsupwiththat.com. He does not have a university qualification and has no climate credentials other than being a radio weather announcer. His website is parodied and debunked at the website wottsupwiththat.com Watts is on the payroll of the Heartland Institute, which itself is funded by polluting industries.[1]”

    2’nd result: spectator.co.uk

    and the next several results after that: cfact.org

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Committee_for_a_Constructive_Tomorrow

    Funding:

    ExxonMobil
    Chevron
    Carthage Foundation
    Sarah Scaife Foundation

    “In December 2009 CFACT was a co-organiser of the Copenhagen Climate Challenge, a conference for climate change skeptics.”

    NOW let’s look at Robert’s 2’nd talking point:

    google search: Ivanpah turbine ignites birds in mid-flight talking point

    wattsupwiththat.com

    foxnews.com

    dailymail.co.uk

    – and notice how he substituted passive for concentrated:

    “The Ivanpah passive solar..”

    google search: No results found for “The Ivanpah passive solar heated turbine”.
    No results found for “The Ivanpah passive solar”.
    No results found for “Ivanpah passive solar”
    No results found for “Ivanpah passive”

    ..because that’s not what it is, it’s called the Ivanpah concentrated, solar power towers.

    his own personal intellectual slight-of-hand 😉

    and notice he provided no quantity on the number of birds – I had to look that up too:

    “1,000 roasted birds per year”

    “[but] it’s important to keep things in perspective. Back in January, it was estimated that — in the US alone — between 365 million and 988 million birds are killed every year by crashing into windows. We’re mostly talking about domestic, low-rise windows, too — not skyscrapers. Likewise, a study last year showed that domestic cats — yes, your beloved Fluffy — are killing more than a billion birds per year in the US.”

    so lets do the math

    2 billion divided by 1,000 = .00005 %

    see, this is the difference between unbiased fact gathering, and agenda driven fossil fool stink tank funded talking points and FUD, masquerading as concern trolling.

    You see the first results that come up (try it yourself) – notorious AGW deniers and their fossil fool funded stink tank front groups..

    And this time he tried to slip in “passive” too, when passive specifically means unconcentrated solar, which is why no results come up for this concentrated solar boondoggle, which is it’self a strawman since I’ve never advocated for centralized power generation (concentrated or not) or distribution in the first place – but quite the opposite.

    “Human beings like stories, and the more dramatic and scary the better.”

    “Modern civilisation is renowned for the historical amnesia that permeates its public discourse. Thanks to the tireless efforts our media, our educators and, above all, our elites, people enjoy a level of ignorance that approaches the sublime.”

    Robert please say you’re not the Goldwater fellow Robert Balling

  • Kevin Moore

    You seem to be hitting home runs with your eloquent and biting comment.
    Hard to criticise such clear and passionate, if not also frustrated, analysis.
    I particularly warm to you snippet that we had ample warning 30 years ago….it is as if many power gamers wanted it to go this way, it seems.

    I find it ‘interesting’ that Ebola just happens to be emerging at a time when the lemons are just starting to go through the squeezer. What a coincidence….
    I am guessing some regions, locations etc will be off limits to all but registered personnel. To hide some of the worst of the environmental, human damage etc. or just to hide stuff, or establish compliance to authority etc. Stuff will leak and wont be repaired, and cause massive damage to waterways, etc.

    I suppose if the FEMA Camps are hit by Ebola, then who was to guess it was going to kill everyone there. What an unforeseeable accident, repeated everywhere many undesirables, that can’t be fed congregate.

    Bunker down everyone, a storm comes a knocking near you.

    From this region today, down under….

    ‘Sydney storms cause power cuts across New South Wales’

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-29611144

    Some news stations are reporting Cat 2 cyclone over Sydney, 150km/hr winds. It seems this storm lasted a while longer than usual, it hung around several hrs.

    ‘NSW storm, snowfall cuts power to tens of thousands: Sydney wild weather prompts flood rescues’

    http://www.weatherzone.com.au/news/nsw-storm-snowfall-cuts-power-to-tens-of-thousands-sydney-wild-weather-prompts-flood-rescues/161840

    We had 6 inches of snow here, and strong winds bringing down a lot of trees, cutting electricity too.
    Halted train services and ice on the roads meant some schools had 10 kids.

    When I reflect that this is just one 24 hr period, and that the disruption and material costs are huge I am refocussed on not hanging on to any way of life that will pass for a ‘normal’ situation. It will be eventually untenable, and uneconomic to sustain ‘ordinary’ cycles of domestic suburban living.

    Things will change, and many will see the need to adapt. But have even the early ‘seeers’ actually adapted?

    I see many Grey Nomads passing through the Blue Mts this holiday season, and new, resilient Nomadic life seems a likely option – but, one will have to be able to afford, or otherwise have access to fuel, and that is a big question mark in our future, as most here know all too well.

    Those long servers here have hashed all these beans before, and looked hard and long at the possible permutations of any which way collapse can happen. We should still be on the look out for the things we didn’t expect, I guess.

    Best of good fortune to everyone wherever we be now and when our local version of TSHittingF comes, possibly in waves.

    Please keep posting what happens in your region, as long as this net thingy stays afloat.

    Happy Day to all.
    🙂

  • Forgot to post this a few days ago:

    ‘ANU mining investment sell-off move backed by business, investors as Tony Abbott labels decision ‘stupid”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-15/anu-investment-decision-backed-by-business-people/5814884

    A quote:
    “Dozens of Australian investors and business people have written an open letter in support of the Australian National University’s (ANU) decision to end investment in mining companies.

    It came as Prime Minister Tony Abbott labelled the ANU’s move a “stupid decision”.

    The Federal Government previously criticised the ANU for selling off $16 million worth of shares across seven companies due to what the university said was social responsibility reasons.

    It also flagged a review of the ANU’s funding and described the investment decision as “bizarre” and “outrageous behaviour” that could cause financial and reputational damage to the seven companies.

    A group of prominent leaders and business people including former prime minister Malcolm Fraser, former Greens leader Bob Brown, and representatives from superannuation companies and ethical investment firms have taken out a full-page newspaper advertisement to back the university.”

    I read the article in the SMH a few days ago, and when one scours the fine print it seems the reinvestment decisions do not omit some of the larger players in Mining and Carbon fuels. The reasons given for ditching the smaller and medium sized operations(stocks) is they are not diversifying their operations and will be stranded soon, and it is inferred the big ones are.
    I just think that is a con job. Can’t say why right now, but just smell something there.
    It seems the bubble is poised to pop.

    Is everyone off grid yet?
    😉

  • Very small-scale wind-powered devices may help en route to oblivion. So might very small-scale passive solar. Could be enormously helpful once the phase of progressively decreasing energy flows is afoot. The windmills may offer a protein bonus in the form of bird carcasses at a time of progressively worsening food shortages. But neither jointly nor severally will they quell that methane monster.

  • “Very small-scale wind-powered devices may help en route to oblivion. So might very small-scale passive solar. Could be enormously helpful once the phase of progressively decreasing energy flows is afoot. The windmills may offer a protein bonus in the form of bird carcasses at a time of progressively worsening food shortages. But neither jointly nor severally will they quell that methane monster.”

    I gather that the “methane monster” has come to light for a relatively large public only in the past two years. How did that public feel about oblivion before then?

    Before the awareness of the methane monster, was there effective resistance to the oblivion trajectory? I doubt it, for no one up this date can see the significance of land use and land development. Neither does anyone see the significance of watershed planning. No one (50 years or so after the phrase was first coined) thinks globally. (The MIC, perhaps.) No one criticizes individualism and separateness. So no one had a clue about resistance even before the monster’s known appearance.

  • I think that the greatest problem facing the top 1% is being blamed for their misbehavior. Think pitchforks and Marie Antoinette. If Ebola was around during her time, the bourgeoisie would have been volunteering their services as is being done now. Add lower gasoline prices to the situation and TPTB are in a safe spot. They know the good times can’t last and now might be the best time to “bring it on”. They might actually be able to fiddle while Rome burns if they don’t lose their heads.

  • Data for Datta

    “each wind turbine in the U.S. kills an average of 0.03 birds per year”

    I haven’t even proposed turbines, but maybe old fashioned winmills (which have a different, even lower mortality statistic) built of wood, for those who live where there’s sufficient wind, (tree shade is more important and trees block wind) and when desired, but even assuming this bad example (read: worst case) you’re going to feast on a (likely tiny) bird once every 30 years according to the data datta.

    – but when grandstanding who needs facts?

    ah yes I see the picture now, of the (rather crude) home-made wooden windmill – so much for the ‘rare earth conflict minerals and polluting energy hungry steel towers’ talking point, though to be fair (what a concept!) the context of that talking point was in order to ‘save everybody’ or ‘prevent mass extinction’ or ‘quell the methane monster’

    – which the fossil fool stink tank talking point sugar daddies are directly responsible for in the first place

    but nevermind that, there’s colonies to build, lands to invade, fossil fuels to steal, and so the ‘victors’ can’t have reality interfere with them ‘doing god’s work’. – best to deploy Team Themis, Palantir and HBGary to ‘quell’ such talk to protect the masters of the universe from the public’s awareness and re-direct their possible wrath..

    http://philebersole.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/u-s-chamber-and-high-tech-dirty-tricks/

  • It is, after all, a simple task to go out in the backyard and construct a windmill for one’s power needs as well as to ground up the wheat to make flour for one’s bread oven. If everyone on the planet would simply farm the two acres of land they have and grow organic vegetables not only would they save on driving to the grocery store, but they would eat better too. It is even easier when one can order their slaves to work on the forty acres of land they own. As abundant rains are always guaranteed and as we have God’s Word that he will not flood the coastal regions the “crisis” is already well taken care of. And if not, certainly at this very moment some genius in his garage has already invented a solution that will not only solve our problems but make him a millionaire.
    Since I have been alive the human race has never gone extinct before, therefore such things can not happen. Why worry? Sit back, relax and sip the freshly squeezed orange juice from your orchard and enjoy the boundless energy your windmill provides.

  • sorry for the 3’rd post

    @ ‘digi’ Grant

    whoopsie – “everyone on the planet” “a solution” “solve our problems” “boundless energy”

    “abundant rains are always guaranteed” “not flood the coastal regions”

    the cart before the strawhorse reverse logic

    “some genius in his garage” “make him a millionaire” “such things can not happen. Why worry? Sit back, relax”

    attacking the messenger, worse yet attributing greed in doing so

    – if not for strawmen, red herrings and attacking the messenger using false pretexts, there would be no comment at all

    I think I photoshopped those 3 1/2 digit clock displays I linked to, too 😉

  • **sorry for the 3’rd post**

    Oh you*re not *sorry* — you regularly exceed 2 posts — you*re a babbling fool who believes his words are golden so rules be damed, you must educate the plebes.

    What an asshat.

  • Gentlemen, ladies, The other shoe has just dropped…

    Breaking: Ebola May Have Just Spread To An American Who Doesn’t Even Work In A Hospital
    http://www.westernjournalism.com/breaking-conflicting-reports-say-infected-nurses-texas-boyfriend-may-ebola/

    Nina Pham Boyfriend: Ebola Nurse Boyfriend Admitted to Hospital with Ebola-like Symptoms?
    http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/1018543-nina-pham-boyfriend-ebola-nurse-boyfriend-admitted-to-hospital-with-ebola-like-symptoms/

    Oh Hum…

  • Bob S. Says:
    October 15th, 2014 at 7:55 am
    “**sorry for the 3’rd post**

    Oh you*re not *sorry* — you regularly exceed 2 posts — you*re a babbling fool who believes his words are golden so rules be damed, you must educate the plebes.

    What an asshat.”

    Totally true. However, giving the asshat attention just feeds his ego, will probably make him post for a 4th time (and apologize for doing so.:-)) Best treatment for trolls is shunning.

  • time for some humor:

    http://www.sott.net/article/287270-The-widely-cited-physicist-who-doesnt-exist-turns-out-to-be-total-sshole

    The widely cited physicist who doesn’t exist turns out to be ‘total *sshole’

    An Italian science writer reviewing a paper written in 1987 by two well-known physicists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, noted a third author with an intriguing and profane Italian name which translates to “total *sshole.”

    Vito Tartamella discovered what turned out to be a private joke, when reading “Diffusion in a Periodic Lorentz Gas”, published in 1987 in the Journal of Statistical Physics, and credited to physicists Bill Moran, William G. Hoover, and ‘Stronzo Bestiale.’ Recognizing the Italian name as slang meaning ‘total *sshole,’ Tartamella contacted the now-retired Hoover for an explanation.

    According to Hoover he had submitted a paper on “connecting fractal geometry, irreversibility and the second law of thermodynamics,’ only to have it rejected by the Physical Review Letters and the Journal of Statistical Physics refused to publish it because, according to him it “contained too innovative ideas.”

    Hoover explained that, while flying to Paris, he sat next to two Italian women, whom he overheard using the expressions “Che stronzo (what an *sshole)!”, “Stronzo bestiale (total *sshole)”

    “Those phrases had stuck in my mind. So, during a CECAM meeting, I asked [Giovanni Ciccotti, professor of condensed matter physics at the University La Sapienza University in Rome] what they meant. When he explained it to me, I thought that Stronzo Bestiale would have been the perfect co-author for a refused publication. So I decided to submit my papers again, simply by changing the title and adding the name of that author. And the research was published.”

    Since that time, the papers listing Stronzo Bestial have been cited in research published in some of the world’s most well-regarded physics journals despite the fact that one of the authors doesn’t exist.

    As Tartamella notes, the continuing citing of Bestiale as a real person lays “bare how vulnerable control systems in the review of scientific research were (and still are!) . If you are able to insert in a publication the name of a nonexistent author in a publication, who will guarantee that even the scientific contents have been examined with care? Incredibly, even today, 27 years later.”

    Tartamell also notes that non-existent Bestiale even has a Scopus profile stating he teaches at the University of Vienna Institute for Experimental Physics, Institute of Experimental Physics, in Austria.

  • Dear Artleads,

    First, I was truly sad to hear of your hardship. When I can I will be happy to help you out and if push comes to shove I have a spare room and we can talk about that. Just contact Guy to get my personal email k?

    Secondly, yes, Guy is on the Hero’s journey and all kind of good is and can yet come from that.

  • Hi TIAA,

    I’m blessed to have a secure roof over my head (although there’s at least one NBL poster who’s in dire straights). But thanks for your offer. I will contact you by email to talk about our generally shared POVs. 🙂

  • @ Tom Says:
    October 15th, 2014 at 9:26 am

    That is freakin’ hilarious!! Thank you, deeply and sincerely, as fractal geometry (being applicable to many fields) is near and dear to my heart/mind, just edging out related rates and thermodynamics!! 🙂 Now, after I finish my new shelf for the bathroom and have some lunch, I’ll have to see if I can track down those papers! 🙂

  • c_i.

    I decided not to read your trolling or respond to it, but just for fun today I have and will.

    You still don’t get it, do you?

    Short term future: economic collapse and social collapse, leading to mayhem (mass starvation, international warfare, high levels of intranational violence etc.), accompanied by ever-greater climate instability and ever-wilder weather events.

    Medium term future: return to the normality of some kind of nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle, with remnants of populations moving away from locations suffering severe environmental devastation to less devastated locations, and probably migrating seasonally, depending on severity of climate disruption.

    Long term future: there doesn’t seem to be one.

    Please explain how windmills. primarily constructed in the past to mill large quantities of grains -I assume that winmills was a typing error- wooden or other material, fit into any of those scenarios?

  • Of course we all know that bats, monkeys and dogs are mammals, like us. So are cows, horses, and pigs. Our vet says we are done. Well, Guy said it first.

  • Hey Colin, great to see you around; i kinda thought people would like that article.

    Guy has mentioned the military’s quadrennial review now and again. Well here’s an update brought to us by Desdemona Despair:

    http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2014/10/pentagon-signals-security-risks-of.html

    Pentagon signals security risks of global warming – ‘Droughts and crop failures can leave millions of people without any lifeline, and trigger waves of mass migration’

    WASHINGTON (The New York Times) – The Pentagon on Monday released a report asserting decisively that climate change poses an immediate threat to national security, with increased risks from terrorism, infectious disease, global poverty, and food shortages. It also predicted rising demand for military disaster responses as extreme weather creates more global humanitarian crises.

    The report, 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap [pdf], lays out a road map to show how the military will adapt to rising sea levels, more violent storms and widespread droughts. The Defense Department will begin by integrating plans for climate change risks across all of its operations, from war games and strategic military planning situations to a rethinking of the movement of supplies.

    Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, speaking Monday at a meeting of defense ministers in Peru, highlighted the report’s findings and the global security threats of climate change.

    “The loss of glaciers will strain water supplies in several areas of our hemisphere,” Mr. Hagel said. “Destruction and devastation from hurricanes can sow the seeds for instability. Droughts and crop failures can leave millions of people without any lifeline, and trigger waves of mass migration.”

    The report is the latest in a series of studies highlighting the national security risks of climate change. But the Pentagon’s characterization of it as a present-day threat demanding immediate action represents a significant shift for the military, which has in the past focused on climate change as a future risk. [check it out]

    See you tomorrow (with any luck).

  • “Why didn’t you walk around the hole?” asked the Tin Woodman.
    “I didn’t know enough,” replied the Scarecrow, cheerfully.
    “My head is stuffed with straw, you know, and that is why I am going to Oz to ask him for some brains.”
    “Oh, I see”; said the Tin Woodman. “But, after all, brains are not the best things in the world.”
    “Have you any?” enquired the Scarecrow.
    “No, my head is quite empty,” answered the Woodman; “but once I had brains, and a heart also; so having tried them both, I should much rather have a heart.”
    “All the same,” said the Scarecrow, “I shall ask for brains instead of a heart; for a fool would not know what to do with a heart if he had one.”
    “I shall take the heart,” returned the Tin Woodman; “for brains do not make one happy, and happiness is the best thing in the world.”

    –L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

    With my personal history with heart and brains, as I turn 70 in a world of horrific extinction I find that, like the Tin Woodman, I too will take the heart. I prefer peace and joy in my remaining time and in my death.

  • I think that in our humanistic arrogance we have come to way, way overrate intelligence and rationality.

  • i think it’s a severe deficit of intelligence and rationality, both from our misleaders and from sheeple in general that’s to blame for our nightmare. however, i’m open to the idea that the prevalence of stupid-crazy is perhaps but a symptom of some greater problem. regardless, i’ll go on valuing intelligence and rationality over the alternatives.

  • Is the problem the heart or the head?

    Well, both have left many folks dead.

    And animals, too.

    Well, what can you do?

    That’s just how we butter our bread.

  • “i’ll go on valuing intelligence and rationality over the alternatives.”

    And without great intelligence and rationalizations along the way, we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re now.

    To paraphrase Doug Stanhope: “I cared greatly about all kinds of things and nothing happened. So I stopped caring completely and nothing happened.”

  • I don’t think the answer is ragging intelligence and rationality. That’s a bit too reductionary, although it made an excellent book in John Raulston Saul’s “Voltaire’s Bastards”.

    I’m pissed. And still angry. If I ever reach the “Acceptance” stage, you might as well, and have my permission, to just take me out back and shoot me.

    Thanks.

  • A bit of a wildcard Has been thrown in. According to Reuters, Lockheed
    claims a “breakthrough” in fusion technology, says it will have a
    commercial reactor in a decade. OK, most likely hype intended to boost
    its sagging stock price. But this for sure will scramble public
    perceptions regarding peak oil, as every denier will wave this item and
    scream “See?”

  • this just in (looks like dairymandave was correct):

    http://www.inquisitr.com/1541821/ebola-is-airborne-university-of-minnesota-cidrap-researchers-claim/

    Ebola Is Airborne, University Of Minnesota CIDRAP Researchers Claim

    Ebola is airborne, according to a new report by the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota. Researchers at the university just advised the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that “scientific and epidemiologic evidence” now exists that proves Ebola has the potential to be transmitted via exhaled breath and “infectious aerosol particles.”

    University of Minnesota CIDRAP scientists are now warning both health care providers and the general public that surgical facemasks will not prevent the transmission of Ebola. According to the airborne Ebola report, medical workers must immediately be given full-hooded protective gear and powered air-purifying respirators. CIDRAP has reportedly been a worldwide leader in addressing public health and safety concerns and preparedness since 2001.

    [read the rest]

    meanwhile, for all science fans:

    http://news.yahoo.com/exotic-particle-could-help-explain-holds-matter-together-111405002.html

    New Exotic Particle Could Help Explain What Holds Matter Together

    A new exotic particle has been hiding out amidst the gobs of data collected by the world’s largest atom smasher, physicists have discovered.

    The new particle, called Ds3*, is a meson — a type of unstable particle made of one quark and one antiquark. Quarks are subatomic particles and are the most basic building blocks of matter that make up protons and neutrons. They’re held together by the strong interaction, or strong force, that is one of the four fundamental forces in nature. (Electromagnetism, weak interaction and gravity are the other three.) No stable form of matter would exist without the strong interaction holding it together. [read more]

  • This is a re-post since y’all did not read it the first time. Aerosol does not mean airborne. Air transmission means Ebola virions traveling on air currents into your lungs, without the protective shell of a droplet of fluid, has yet to be demonstrated.

    Also, Ebola has a 81% CFR, not 50%, not 60%, not 70%, but a solid 81%.
    =====================
    October 8, 2014
    Ebola Ebola
    http://morecrows.wordpress.com/2014/10/08/ebola-ebola/

    Ebola presents like most any other viral fever, with severe headaches, runny snot, puking, diarrhea, muscle aches, fatigue, and mental vagueness (“depersonalization”). It also causes intravascular hemolysis and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) and means, pretty much, blood clots randomly until it runs out of fibrin, then it never clots. It is this profusion of blood clots and uncontrolled bleeding that leads to the rash (small specks of bleeding from capillaries under the skin), the black vomit (bleeding into the stomach) and the bloody stool. Ebola also causes nosebleeds, bloody spit, and bloody urine (from bleeding in the kidneys.) Ebola also causes profound hiccuping.

    … facts aren’t really there to support the idea that Ebola has mutated to spread through the air. Just to be clear, air transmission means Ebola virions traveling on air currents into your lungs, without the protective shell of a droplet of fluid, has yet to be demonstrated.

    That doesn’t mean that everyone who shares space with an Ebola patient and who doesn’t touch them directly is safe. In fact, given how rapidly this disease is spreading without airborne transmission, its hard to see why so much emotional energy is caught up in this fairly technical distinction.

    … [Worst case] If everybody gets sick. 19% of the population will survive and everyone else dies. Incidentally, there’s a bunch of BS about case fatality in the press – at any time in the course of this outbreak, the number of deaths is likely to be half the number of sick people. However, most of those sick people were infected too recently to have died or not, and the epidemic is growing. These factors combine to make it look less lethal than it is. The ratio of currently dead, to infected-sixteen-days-ago, has been 0.81 from the start of the epidemic, with very tight confidence intervals. This is likely the “true” case fatality rate (CFR) and closer to what we’ll see on the way down. Almost certainly everybody getting sick is not going to happen; there’s too much else going on.

    If the average person interacts with a hundred people over the course of their illness, and potentially infects two of them, what difference does it make if 50% of those people are immune? [R0 of x is the ratio of contagion where R0 of 1 is stable and R0 of 2 is doubling, etc.] The R0-Effective has to take this into account. This is why measles doesn’t kill every unvaccinated American – the high R0-20 for measles crashes into the high vaccination rate to produce an effective R0 below 1.0.

    For Ebola, a “raw” R0 of 1.4 will still die out if ~71% of people are immune. To get there without a vaccine, of course, 93% of your population has to get infected and 75% of your population dies – the remaining 18% who got sick and survived make up 72% of the remaining quarter. This isn’t much better than everyone getting sick, but it at least shows how everybody does not have to die.

    The CDC’s Excel-based model terminates some time in 2015 (its a 300-day model) based on moving more and more of the population to hospitals. As noted above, transmission does occur in hospitals, but the R0 is less than 1.0, and far, far below the R0 in the wild. These hospitals don’t exist, but the US and the rest of the international community is building them like crazy. Without a vaccine, this is probably the most sensible response available. Remember that not everyone has to be hospitalized, only enough people that the overall transmission rate drops below replacement. Other guesses generally range from two to four years (Summer 2016-Fall 2018).

    This is the scariest outcome of all, and the one that popped up in my own clumsy model. Essentially, Ebola reaches a stable island bio-geography – an outbreak here, an outbreak there, none lasting more than a year, but never really burning up the planet, but never quite catching the last case or immunizing enough people to contain the spread altogether.

  • @ Jeff

    C

    @ Keven

    D

    @ Bob

    *
    ~

    @ Grant

    1

    ♥#♥

  • Let’s get to the root of this. When a person exhales, moisture comes out. Is that moisture single molecules of H2O or are there groups of H2O in the form of droplets and are the droplets large enough to carry a virus?

    This reminds me of the argument about the warming potential of methane now by stating its warming potential 20 years from now. Is this the best that intelligence can do? This is just spin. If a farmer used this much spin, he would never get anything done.

  • “I’m pissed. And still angry. If I ever reach the “Acceptance” stage, you might as well, and have my permission, to just take me out back and shoot me.”

    Right. And the executions happening to Keep the Empire Strong are only going to spread.

    “New Exotic Particle Could Help Explain What Holds Matter Together”

    I’m under the impression that it’s a little thing called Love.

    “Let’s get to the root of this. When a person exhales, moisture comes out. Is that moisture single molecules of H2O or are there groups of H2O in the form of droplets and are the droplets large enough to carry a virus?”

    Bacteria in the case of ebola. And yes, the bacteria is smaller than droplets in your breath. The real issue is the surprising amount of water/bacteria/all manner of things contained in a sneeze or a cough, which is the typical way a disease spreads. The rhino virus of the common cold has a pretty good “hang time” once released into the air via cough or sneeze, but it doesn’t survive long. The key to keep going is producing lots of coughing and sneezing until it can latch onto another host. The most successful diseases spread before the host appears to be ill. One of the big successes is tuberculosis in which a person can potentially infect ten other people before being diagnosed.

    A disease like Ebola might be more stealthy. You have the disease and maybe only have a slight fever. You rub your nose. You shake the hand of a friend. He rubs his eye. And the merry-go-round begins. There’s not enough information on what’s happening right now because frankly no one really cared until it hit Dallas.

  • A new post is up, written by me. It’s here.

  • ooops. Ebola virus. I was thinking about TB.

    TB’s alright to have
    friends treat you so low down
    TB’s alright to have
    friends treat you so low down

  • @ Grant

    Bacteria in the case of ebola”

    *cough*

  • Going off of what Guy just shared with the class.
    In other words, a large percentage of those who continue to write in this space, who don’t accept NTE, seem to all have at least one thing in common: They are still heavily vested in blaming others for the mess humanity now finds itself. Whether it be capitalism, western capitalist, white western capitalist, white male western capitalist, or American white male capitalist.
    Ring a bell with any of you? 
    Which also means you all have at least another two things in common: One, you’re all absolutely correct, there currently isn’t anyone in existence who bears a greater share of the blame than white American male capitalist. No doubt! And two, you’re all utterly dead wrong, because our specie’s goose was most likely cooked long before the America male or capitalism even existed. Cedar Forrest of Lebanon anyone? 
    But I’m sure that’s not going to stop the flood of NTE contrarians–who for some bizarre reason see themselves as a minority voice here, because they espouse a terribly common perspective on one of the most radical fringe blogs on the web–from finding cause to blame anyone other than themselves. Because where’s the fun in that?
    Once one accepts there’s no one to blame, it becomes rather difficult to know what or who one is resisting. And its harder still, if ones identity has been forged by a lifetime of resistance. And here I’m only looking in the mirror. 
    Its so much easier to continue to accuse otherness, than accept we’ve all been swept up in this massive vicious maw called life. 
    So, lets not continue to kid ourselves, NTE isn’t the most emotionally ruinous phenomena “we’ve” collectively ever had to accept, because it doesn’t render virtually all of our past identifiers irrelevant.

  • “a large percentage of those who continue to write in this space, who don’t accept NTE..”

    where in the hell did you get THAT idea?

    this comes across as yet another false dilemma, yet another way to deflect attention from :

    “The earth is not dying. It is being killed, and the people killing it have names and addresses.” –Utah Phillips

    I seem to recall something about deep green resistance mentioned on more than one show, along with featured guests..

    – a tiny handful of billionaires, war contractors, bankster crooks, the pentagon and corporate CEO’s are responsible for practically all the looting & polluting

    including pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into stink tanks, front groups and PR specificly to generate doubt & confusion (FUD) and keep anything from being done about AGW, which is still happening to this day.

    it’s not just about them looting & polluting, it’s also the propaganda campaigns they spend huge amounts of money on, and them using the profits to buy our political process though front groups like ALEC which are right now, fighting renewable energy by penalizing people for switching to it to protect mostly the electric utilities.

    the list of activities these tiny group of rich people are engaged in is immense. there WAS a time 30 years ago or so when it would have been possible to have altered course, to greatly reduce carbon emissions and serve as a shining example to the ‘developing’ world (like China), but this tiny group of looters & polluters have pulled out all the stops to sabotage this, and continue to do so.

    THESE PEOPLE HAVE NAMES AND ADDRESSES

    I will state right here I unequivocally accept NTE, but these people have names & addresses

    and I am part of a group that does not forget and does not forgive

    expect us

  • @Grant Schreiber

    I have been vaccinated for TB three times since moving to South Dakota. I guess it’s a problem on the reservations, ahem, pardon me, I mean prisoner of war camps. It’s also a major problem in Russian prisons. Anyway, I’m really enjoying your quarterly, Judas Goat, especially since it continues to arrive with postage due, lol!
    https://youtu.be/xdaNz5APlh4

  • “In other words, a large percentage of those who continue to write in this space, who don’t accept NTE, seem to all have at least one thing in common: They are still heavily vested in blaming others for the mess humanity now finds itself. Whether it be capitalism, western capitalist, white western capitalist, white male western capitalist, or American white male capitalist.
    Ring a bell with any of you? ”

    “Accepting NTE”? What’s to accept? As I gather, extinction is ongoing for species of flora and fauna and for dispossessed humans that live in remote places. The web of life is already going over a cliff and crashing below. Some of us in a tiny bubble within the developed world are concerned about ourselves, as if we were truly separate from all the extinction that is so virulent elsewhere. If “we” are part of the web of life, and that web is like a long rope strung and being pulled down a cliff, it should be clear that “we” are on the way down too. Either we are part of the web that is going extinct or we are not.

    But is it some innate human characteristic that is causing “our” extinction? What innate characteristic in them is causing all the other extinctions? Maybe it’s better to ask what, specifically, continues to pull the ropelike web of life over the edge?

  • to MMM: thanks for (re-)pointing out the spuriousness of the hype story I linked to about airborne Ebola yesterday [it sure looked legit to me] – i’m rejoicing that the information was wrong (even if perhaps premature). My apologies to everyone.

  • @ Kevin

    No I also looked into the moon dust issue.

    they had displays at the NASA openhouse of moon rocks (in glass cases), plus extremely high quality original prints taken by the astronauts of not only the pictures we’ve all seen, but dozens of others, up on the walls like in an art gallery. I became interested in the samples they brought back from the moon missions, and ended up doing extensive reading about the characteristics of the moon dust, including photo-micrographs of it’s structure, chemical composition and physical properties.

    this is where the problems the astronauts had with it came up. how they tracked it in, it has the consistency of flour, sticks to everything, spreads everywhere, how destructive it is to lungs, eyes and equipment. itches really bad, got all over their suits, in their gloves, up their sleeves, inside their suits when they removed their helmets. they tracked back into the command module, then back to earth when they splashed down

    how it’s affected their health, causes the same symptoms as silicosis. microscopicly it looks like shards of broken glass and splashed molten drops

    what’s absurd is you – you have no direct experience whatsoever with any aspect of the Apollo missions, while your ‘demands’ for proof keep getting more & more shrill and unrealistic. you already tried to frame a hobby many people took part of, as ‘a mighty powerful telescope -more powerful than any other on Earth’ which is pure grandstanding

    – all the while still ignoring the retro-reflector, the rock samples and the moon dust. not to mention calling the astronauts with their breathing problems, liars

    the video and audio signals received took a couple of seconds to transverse the distance, and this delay vs terrestrial origin signals is how organisations like SETI determine whether an unknown signal is from space. since this was live analog video, it would be impossible to fake both the delay, the direction AND the content. It would require a large receiving array or dish, at the same distance and very close to the same coordinates to receive a faked video signal from earth (which was also being broadcast live all over the world) then translate that signal, boost it and direct it back to earth to fool all the Ham’s watching it directly. Plus there were far better telescopes watching that could actually make out the shape of the spacecraft and see them travel all the way there. The only time they were out of sight (and radio contact) was when they were on the far side of the moon, and during re-entry.

    the delay factor steadily increased as they got further away with continually received telemetry, along with the steadily decreasing signal strength including increasing polarization twisting and phase dither, which cannot be faked without special rotating antennas. all three would be impossible..

    so now you’ve been reduced to placing the ‘witness’ on the lunar surface standing right next to the astronauts.

    – then the next demand would be “well you didn’t actually TOUCH THEM, maybe they were cardboard cutouts”

    – “well they weren’t real men, they were androids”

    – “well you didn’t take blood samples, that was hydraulic fluid”

    I suggest you talk to other people with direct experience, in person ideally. Failing that you’re going to have to settle for accounts like this..

    – or just believe stuff you see on random websites which suits your pre-conceptions. This isn’t the first moon landing denier I’ve dealt with, and I’ve visited those sites, showing grainy, low quality, over-exposed pictures (but I’ve seen the high quality the masters in person) and them making really stupid observations/accusations like “why can’t you see the stars in the background – that’s a studio”

    because, the sun is extremely bright in space, and the exposure has to be reduced far greater than even full sun at noon on earth. It’s possible to adjust the exposure to see the stars but everything hit by sunlight (or even reflections of it like the moon surface) would be severely over-exposed ruining the photograph. the pictures were being taken of objects on the moon – not stars. every ounce matters – wasting film and having to adjust the camera to vastly different exposure settings, then back again, wasn’t a priority.

    in some of the master prints I saw, stars were visible BTW, when the camera was looking at something in deep shadow along the skyline, for example

    you can believe what you want to believe, but propagating this BS to others, who wouldn’t know any better, is doing a grave dis-service to the cause of truth.

    – at least people here got to hear a first-hand account of actual direct personal experience on the subject

  • When all is lost, I will exit the clean way: Kevorkian used CO, which is available from car exhaust by cutting off the cat converter. With a vacuum hose through a window crack, full tank of gas, recline the seat, start the motor and fall asleep forever. A fitting end for the car culture?