More from New Zealand

Parts of my latest interview with Reese Jones are embedded below. Part 1 can be found here.

Robin Westenra provides a description of a recent event, and he includes several photographs. It’s a bit unusual, and it’s posted here.


As indicated below, McPherson will be hosted by Kevin Hester in New Zealand for another couple of days, with limited access to the Internet. Please try to behave.

New Zealand poster October 2014

New Zealand poster number 2


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.

This week Pauline Schneider serves as guest host and interviews two activists in Pleasantville, New York. The podcast is available here.


McPherson’s latest book is co-authored by Carolyn Baker. Extinction Dialogs: How to Live with Death in Mind is available.


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 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, and by more than three dozen readers at Amazon.

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Comments 153

  • Scientists on Abrupt Climate Change

  • If interested and you have not seen it: “I Am” (2010), 1 hr, 17 min documentary recommended by my dance instructor, April, available from Netflix, or from Hulu Plus here: About movie director Tom Shadyac’s experiences with post-concussion syndrome and how it changed his thinking about life and death. Includes interviews with Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Desmond Tutu, Thom Hartman, Elisabet Sahtouris, and many others. It nicely discriminates in an intuitive way between the extremely popular alienated, reductionist, deterministic, Baconian-Cartesian-Newtonian scientific thinking (as done at Fractal Planet) and the thinking involved with modern physics, nonequilibrium thermodynamics, and complexity theory. (But it does NOT use any of those words!) Nobel Prize winner Daniel Khaneman’s book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, supports many ideas presented here. It has much to say about Khaneman’s neurological “System 1” vs. his “System 2”, and it emphasizes the deep, fundamental nature of physical energy (not woo woo “energy”) in the universe. It strongly supports a pantheistic view of the universe. In my opinion this definitely goes on the “must see” list. Thanks so much April!

  • @ Guy,

    When are u coming to the SOUTH, where, everyone is a climate denier. I do not suggest it. There would be a crowd of one. I cannot find one single person who is tuned up to the facts. Shameful BUT, after all, this is the bastion of white supremacy. The final fortress!


    Had a thought! Do u think quantum mechanics fails in absolute zero conditions?

  • Colin,

    Thanks. Sorry, I have not seen any “Naked and Afraid” programs so I cannot comment. I have not had a television for years and I see it only occasionally, when visiting friends, and then usually in the form of the entertainment often called “news”. Regarding your comment to Ram, I think that in the highly unlikely event that any humans survive for long after the unfolding Great Dying, they will necessarily do so at a very low energy level: at the level of primitive skills. I think that they will not do this out of choice, but out of survival necessity related to biological energy flow issues. Meanwhile, I do NOT work at learning and implementing those skills based on any personal survival fantasies! I do it because I love the challenges, the direct in-nature processes close to the biosphere that produced me, minimizing my dependence on industrial civilization as a form of protest and activism—and it helps keep me off of the streets and out of trouble. I fully expect to die soon, just as most if not all others will, with suicide an option when things get chronically, physically painful enough, as they eventually will (probably sooner than later).


    I can see that some of the things I have written and copied here have touched some deep emotional issues for you and some others. Unlike some here who insist otherwise, I do not see the scientific paleoanthropological view of human history devaluing the many wonderful and important contributions of the world’s indigenous peoples. I did not intend to elicit a lot of angry, defensiveness and negative stories in response to unanticipated cognitive dissonance and have felt surprised by them. I feel sincerely sorry that you and some others find so much of the anthropology and archeology personally threatening: threatening to your views of yourself and of your people. Again, I did not intend that and I feel sorry that it has happened.

    As I reflect on this, it strikes me that these angry, defensive responses bear a close resemblance to the ways many Christians reacted to the early scientific discoveries a few hundred years ago. Indeed, many of those highly emotional religious reactions to many aspects of natural science continue to this day. (Similarly, most people obviously consider Guy’s NTHE theme VERY threating for various religious, cultural, psychological, and political reasons, thus the strong reactions against him and his message!) Related to this, I feel curious to know: do you think that the various fields of natural science (which I do NOT take as “the authoritative, ultimate truth”!) should report only evidence that the surrounding religions and cultures consider “acceptable”, and that supports their world views? Should all, or certain, scientific research papers pass through a religious and/or cultural review board for censorship before release to other scientists and the public? If I understand you and some other’s arguments, here, you do expect or demand that. Please correct me if I have this wrong, but you seem to insist that “No one must ever seriously report on or discuss any scientific evidence or reasoning that clashes with MY favorite beliefs about how the world presumably ‘must’ work!” If you insist on this, I disagree, and just as Guy refuses to bow to the bullying that he receives daily as he reports the global heating and ecological collapse evidence and his understanding of it, I also refuse to bow to any such bullying here, and I will continue, in a respectful and hopefully sensitive way, to report and discuss relevant evidence as I best understand it until Guy lets me know that he would prefer that I not do that.

    If you will read Keeley and LaBlanc’s books, I think you will find that they answer all of your questions, and many, many more, with plenty of detail and depth and with many references that you can follow up on, if you wish.

    By the way, like Shep and many others, I also hate the term “savage”, which originated several hundred years ago. Most authors I know of use that term only in referring to the titles of and terms used in old papers and books, and as quotes from them. People also often use “primitive” with negative connotations; I use it in a non-judgmental, neutral sense.


    I sure agree that “Re-hashing the past isn’t going to change what’s going on now…”! As more a generalist than any kind of specialist, I find it interesting to learn a little about a lot of different things.

  • @ Bud Nye Says:
    October 30th, 2014 at 7:05 am

    Thank you for the thoughtful response. I can’t fault you for not having an idiot box, I sometimes think of ditching mine. Alas, I’m addicted to a few, very few, comedy programs (can’t dwell exclusively on bad news), nature & science programming (though much of the latter seems to have increasing levels of, ahem, inconsistencies) with a little golf and tennis at appropriate times. While I concur that few, if any, people survive beyond the next decade or 2, I can’t imagine that more than a handful will have any primitive skills and, moreover, as you said, “choice” will be irrelevant and those skills will be of little-to-no benefit. As illustration, the “Naked and Afraid” series places 1 male and 1 female primitive skill expert(!?), strangers to each other, in remote wilderness areas around the world and challenges them to survive for a mere 21 days. I think you would find it quite amusing as many of these alleged experts spend their 21 days (more than a few don’t make it and “tap out”) being VERY hungry, thirsty, cold, sometimes sick and, more often than not, in utter disagreement and non-cooperative with each other. Those that make it through the 21 days lose 10-20 pounds of body mass or more. It’s really quite a hoot. It is important to note that they are far from any urbanized or industrialized areas where VOCs, other pollutants and pathogens, not to mention roaming bipedal predators, would make whatever skills they have completely irrelevant.

    @ Modern Money Mechanics Says:
    October 30th, 2014 at 5:37 am

    Thank you for the video. It’s nice(?!) to see more scientists acknowledging reality!

  • The only problem I have with Tom Shadyac and Thom Hartman is that
    they are still capitalists if one is to truly to walk the talk
    then do it! I will always be a socialist to the day I die.

  • Dredd, here’s one for ya (because he writes about this topic, among many) – and anyone else interested.

    A Virus Found In Lakes May Be Literally Changing The Way People Think

    [interesting article though the sample size is too small and from only one place, concludes]

    Don’t Go In The Water?

    While this study presents some new and fascinating information, it isn’t nearly comprehensive enough to say what it all means.

    “The thing that’s different about what we found is that [the virus] is something that we wouldn’t have suspected would actually have any effect on humans or animals,” Yolken told Healthline.

    The whole group of people tested was from Baltimore, so we don’t know how common this virus is in the rest of the world — or even in the rest of Baltimore, as 92 people is still a small number. And while the information from the mice is interesting, there’s no way to say that genes in human brains necessarily change the same way.

    And even then, this is a very small effect — and just one of many brain and behavioral changes that may be caused by the trillions of creatures that live in and on us. Others that we know about make people more or less social, and may be connected to mental health issues like depression and anxiety, all of which cause cognitive changes.

    Still, something microscopic that we didn’t even know existed in humans is changing the way some of us think and see. That’s pretty crazy.

    “There’s more and more studies showing that microorganisms in your body have a bigger influence than anything anyone would have predicted,” the paper’s senior author, James Van Etten, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln plant pathologist, told Healthline.

    [carry on .. . ]

  • Other news from NZ: The attack of the fascists on the general populace continues (is being ramped up), with the right of ‘slaves’ to have meal breaks being removed.

    Working hours will be more flexible, with meal and tea breaks no longer fixed entitlements.

    Employers will be able to offer “reasonable compensatory measures” in place of breaks.

    The bill passed its third reading by 62 votes to 58.

    National, ACT and United Future voted for the bill.’

    (National, ACT and UF being the most fascistic of the various parties in the NZ parliament. Just think, many people voted for increased fascism at the recent ‘election’ -if that’s what it was.)

  • Scientists “blown away” by the vicious winds in climate change model.

    Rapid subsurface warming and circulation changes of Antarctic coastal waters by poleward shifting winds

    The southern hemisphere westerly winds have been strengthening and shifting poleward since the 1950s. This wind trend is projected to persist under continued anthropogenic forcing, but the impact of the changing winds on Antarctic coastal heat distribution remains poorly understood. Here we show that a poleward wind shift at the latitudes of the Antarctic Peninsula can produce an intense warming of subsurface coastal waters that exceeds 2°C at 200–700 m depth. The model simulated warming results from a rapid advective heat flux induced by weakened near-shore Ekman pumping and is associated with weakened coastal currents. This analysis shows that anthropogenically induced wind changes can dramatically increase the temperature of ocean water at ice sheet grounding lines and at the base of floating ice shelves around Antarctica, with potentially significant ramifications for global sea level rise.

    Ho hum, just another feedback loop…

  • Tom,

    Yes, I read the paper at PNAS (Chlorovirus ATCV-1) and am planning to use it to update a series of posts.

    Thanks for the heads up … I like to read both the scientific jargon and the street talk versions of the story.

  • Is there anyone here who doesn’t consider industrial civilization utterly pathological? Isn’t everyone here well beyond being in agreement on this self-evident fact, and most likely long before any of us ever thought about NTE?
    Is there anyone here arguing in favor of IC? 
    If not, and I don’t believe there is, then why the recent overwhelming need to state the obvious from the likes IC, Shep, Wester, Kevin, Artleads and now Oldgrowth? 
    You’re all acting as if the information you’re presenting hasn’t been standard leftist reading for the last century, which I suspect most people here are rather aware of. 
    It’s as if you’re all in agreement in choosing to overlook the same thing, which probably has much to do with why you’re all fomenting with a similar need to put the blame on someone. 
    No one here, is denying that Europeans are responsible for colonizing the world, establishing capitalism and Industrial civilization, and in the process destroying most of the natural world. Of course “we” did! Only a fool would argue otherwise, which is why no one here is. You’re all arguing against a pile of Straw men of your own creation. 
    Have none of you thought to ask why or how such a technologically advanced culture first rose out of Europe?
    Is it because “Europeans”were/are just pure evil? Or were there other factors contributing to why Captain Cook came upon many cultures who never advanced beyond the Stone Age use of tools, literally thousands of years after dozens of races within the trade friendly European sub-continent had learned to smelt metals?
    And no one is making the claim that theses HG indigenous cultures where in any way inferior. I don’t believe I’ve ever heard anyone claim this on NBL.
    The ONLY reason why virtually the entire Southern Hemisphere and North America succumbed to the advancement of European culture is that they were not as technologically advanced. That’s it. And that’s all that was required for hundreds of years of subjection to ensue. 
    It was just tribal warfare writ large, where one tribe had metal and the other tribe didn’t. Throw in some gun powder, horses, shipwrights and some viral mutations from the domestication of animals, and not only do have the title of Jared Diamond’s masterpiece, but apparently NTE as well. 
    So lets be very clear, of course HG societies were more sustainable compared to IC, no one in their right mind would argue otherwise. But for almost the exact same reason we can’t return to an HG existence today, is why no one ever could once a neighboring tribe developed a comparative advantage, regardless of how shortsighted that advantage would eventually prove to be. 
    Add a few thousand years of one geographical region having an incredibly technological advantage over another geographical region, and presto! You end up with global colonialism, regardless of the color of skin. 
    Do not let the sins of Cortez blind you to the sins of the Aztecs. 
    All that is being argued, is that there have been numerous civilizations around the world that eventually collapsed for more or less similar reasons, with resource exhaustion being the primary culprit. World history is more than replete with common cruel and short-sighted behavior. 
    Again, no one is arguing that HG culture wasn’t comparatively more sustainable, its just that some of us here–proponents of NTE go figure–are just stating that in light of NTE, it’s now irrelevant, and that ultimately no one can point to another and say: “You are the sole cause of NTE”. 
    And anyone who wants to put the blame specifically on “others” are most likely needing to blame someone for some other reason…….NTE rationally gutting the conviction of resistance possibly?

  • @ Daniel Says:
    October 30th, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    Simply brilliant, sir, I tip my cap!

  • peace lovin’ bonobos split off from the fickle chimp, who is capable of dastardly deeds when led by an over-aggressive male, which can lead to a culture of aggression. the nature of the beast has been consistently present for some couple of million years. it is our nature to be both noble and rapacious as a strategy for offspring to survive under disparate circumstance. i have grandkids and i fuckin’ feel very sorry for them.

  • Daniel

    ‘why the recent overwhelming need to state the obvious from the likes IC, Shep, Wester, Kevin, Artleads and now Oldgrowth?’

    We know you tend to live in a world of your own but you do need to recognise that there are people who are not convinced that industrial civilisation is pathological (and unsustainable) lurking in the background of NBL, and there are people (perhaps even as I am writing this) who reach NBL for the very first time today.

    If you had your way NBL would have no discussion because ‘we are all totally fucked’, Guy’s travels and presentations are a complete waste if time, and there is nothing to discuss. Your postings along those lines do get tedious.

  • @ Daniel,

    So why do you even care what is said? Why do you even fucking care. If it is so god damned obvious, just say, I agree, or say nothing. You too, Colin.

    Where I live, in the Southern United States, there are nothing but morons that are so stupid that I admit it is ridiculous to even think for a second that it is doing any good, but…the urge is so great… these people can’t even spell industrial civilization much less know much of anything! Even supposed learned folk (veterinarians for instance) constantly show appalling ignorance. I can’t wait for these lunatics to start the war that was never ended, even after the terrorist Sherman showed his ass.

  • @ Daniel #2,

    At least we know that IC, Shep, Wester, Artleads and Old Growth, understand what’s important. Maybe you need to enroll in one of Guy’s classes on learning empathy.

  • Daniel,

    Please take a moment to listen to Guy’s first presentation (at the top) from the last thread. The “culprits” you list have no argument with Guy’s thesis in that empathetic presentation. I believe we all have appreciation and respect for his empathy, understanding, honesty and courage. No one is here to point fingers. I could tell you things about myself that would shock you. We just all need to come clean, and face up to our limitations–you, me and everybody. Otherwise, what point is there in being here?

  • Daniel,
    I endorse Kevin’s comments.I listed the many reasons that IC and AC are not sustainable
    on the last thread because I think that not everyone who reads NBL are aware of them.I may be incorrect,and just wasted everyone’s time.Never mind.
    Your quote’And no one is making the claim that these indigenous were in any way inferior .I don’t
    believe I’ve ever heard anyone claim this on NBL’ is incorrect.
    Maybe go back to the last thread and read Gail’s comment.The whole comment was ridiculing HG society.

  • Growth
    The difference between linear and exponential growth, and why it matters.
    The Frogs And The Lily Pad

    “It can be difficult to spot (and even harder to accept) the early warning signs of an exponential growth curve, making it difficult to act before it is too late. One of the biggest mistakes can be to misinterpret too small a range of data. As you can see on the chart, it takes a long time for an exponential growth curve to become visible, but once it does, it gets big very, very quickly. If you take a small segment of any part of that exponential growth curve, what will it look like? Linear!”


    “No one here, is denying that Europeans are responsible for colonizing the world, establishing capitalism and Industrial civilization, and in the process destroying most of the natural world.”

    PTL&PTA (“Praise the Lord & Pass The Ammunition): That’s how my parents met; that’s how their common language (and consequently my first language is) was English. Not too shabby. In the short term.

    “Where I live, in the Southern United States, there are nothing but morons that are so stupid that I admit it is ridiculous to even think for a second that it is doing any good,”

    When push comes to shove, they could be edtble: puppy chow.

    “We just all need to come clean, and face up to our limitations”

    Reminds one of Bill & Monica: Bill wouldn’t come clean and Monica wouldn’t …

    “Have none of you thought to ask why or how such a technologically advanced culture first rose out of Europe?”

    Skip Europe. They’re continental.

    “no one can point to another”

    The trouble with pointing to another is that one has three fingers pointing to oneself.

    IC and a fossil fuel lifestyle are necessarly as finite as the nonrenewables they need. But that lifestyle sure is addictive. Trouble is, the fossil fuel slaves are too flatulent emitting greenhouse gases. And that’s only one of the problems.

  • Thank you Daniel!

    Maybe tedious is over the top, but the trying to “prove” things about civilizations in the past is futile. It is in the realm of theory. And theory well worth reading as in the longer Diamond books or Ronald Wright’s “A Short History of Progress.” Wright’s book won the Massey Prize. I find it worth watching the ebb and flow of ideas in the ecology of humans called anthropology – between the interesting wise ones who can explain their views. I took 8 hours of anthro, and 30 plus years later I still read and ruminate on it.

    Side track. I like the Massey Lectures. I have lived 20 years around people who deeply, almost too deeply study the 1998 book Becoming Human by Jean Vanier, which also was a Massey Lecture. Jean invited 3 mentally challenged men into a small house at the behest of his “guru”. This happened the same day as the Gulf of Tonkin incident. L’Arche is now 150 communities in over 35 countries. Rough times in L’Arche Ivory Coast, the community of Aleppo, Syria, communities in Haiti, Zimbabwe, etc. etc. But amazingly they still continue.

    I wish to mention two other interesting group of communities that might also be a light as we traverse into the darkness – the catholic worker communities and the oh, so, different Camphill communities. The catholic workers have some CW farms, and more commonly houses of hospitality to feed and shelter people and raise holy hell about why such poverty happens. The Camphilll communities, like L’Arche, are focused on living and working with mentally challenged individuals in rural settings with lower input agriculture, like harvesting and sorting prairie seeds and selling to the state of Minnesota for one example. The book “Touching the World” by Dan McKana is a side by side comparision of Camphill Communities and the Catholic Worker movement. It is a really good book.

    And not only can I recommend those books very highly, I can strongly recommend Camphill, L’Arche and the catholic worker houses and farms to people wanting to increase their empathy, decrease their environmental footprint and learn a bit about how difficult community is. 5 years working in a state testing laboratory versus 6 years living dirt poor with the homeless, where did I learn more? 4 years getting a chemistry (and biology) degree or 20 years with the mentally challenged, where did I learn more?

    Getting back to tedious. I am reminded of the allegory or gedanken thought experiment about the man who was shot with a poisoned arrow and demanded all the answers to all the wrong questions from a healer.

    The scatter shot exchanges about, it was 1.5 millions years ago; no, the arrival of Cro-Magnon; no, the plough, steel or bronze culture; coal; oil, etc. These sorts of conversations-ruminations to me are to be shared with friends inside a house-or even better around a camp fire.

    I don’t need to know that I and all vertebrates have been shot with a very toxic poisoned arrow. Every plane and every bomb train (I live by a CN track) I see reminds me how short a time we have.

    I know I am in the severe, near obsessive gathering information mode from many realms to piece together a gestalt of NTHE and my insane fleshing out a rough draft about how many decades we might have at the most. I did something similar for a couple of months during the first massive bombardment of Fallujah about depleted uranium. I was introduced to DU in the 1990’s via Catholic Worker friends who went to Basra and met the chief of Pediatric oncology at a hospital there about DU, but devoured all I could find about it in 2003, 2004. And then I moved on. I need to move on.

    I look forward to a good distillation with a smidgen of technical jargon about the possible inter-reaction between Chlorovirus and our brains, looks interesting. Things about community. How to get unstuck from the various poxes that civilization epoxies onto us. Balance.

    Be nice. Maybe not so concise, but please, don’t overpopulate this forum with prolific points of profound certainty.


  • David Higham,

    I’ve re-read Gail’s comment a number of times looking for the ridiculing of HG society.
    Still haven’t found it.
    Found plenty of ridiculing of posters here who go on about the evils of IndCiv and who get pretty exuberant about the relatively evil-free nature of HG societies.
    But not HG societies as such.
    Your reading comprehension may vary.

    About 34 years ago Gil Scott-Heron had a song with a lyric “It’s 1980…and there ain’t even no way back to ’75…much less 1969”.
    What I get from Gail’s comment is something similar. However many hundreds of thousands of years ago you care to posit as the analog of The Summer of Love (I know the analogy is off by a few years…change it to Salad Days if you like), that period certainly predated use of fossil fuels and probably predated the widespread use of agriculture, metallurgy, and maybe even fire. Once those four horsemen mounted up with the human nervous system cavalry the race was on to see if we would get smart enough to find substitutes or have the nerve to cashier one or more of them before they did irreparable damage.

    Maybe if we had had a lower percentage of sociopaths with their hands on the levers of power…maybe if the priest-mathematician-astronomers of the Mayans and Egyptians had found a way to disentangle their craft from that of their states/empires…maybe a whole lot of things…but they didn’t happen.
    The Enlightenment did…and the next thing you know Jed Clampett discovers black gold and the glister hits the fan.

  • We are in an inescapable progress trap.That accurate description is from Ronald Wright’s
    ‘A short history of Progress’ ,which mrogness mentions,and I agree is well worth reading,as is Dilworth’s’Too smart for our own good’.
    I can’t see any possibility of avoiding the collapse of this civilisation this century,and I won’t spend any time explaining why that is so,because Daniel thinks it is all obvious and understood by everyone.
    We might as well spend our time discussing knitting techniques for all it matters.
    Guy might as well spend his time twiddling his thumbs.
    Discussing which societies and which civilisations had the potential of long term sustainability,and which had unavoidable systemic flaws,which guaranteed that they could not ,seems to have a much closer connection to the main theme of this blog than most of the subjects in the ‘Batter up’ section of this blog.
    What would keep Daniel happy? Maybe the only essay that should be posted is Daniel’s,and the only topic to be discussed is whether to commit suicide or not.

  • When people constantly ask “What can we do?”, I have to think that the invading settler culture who made the mess really has no business at all pontificating or proscribing various actions for remedy. Really. If you want to know what to “do”, I’d go ask the people whose land you are living on. Stolen land. Seems the only polite and considerate thing to do. Ask *them* what to do. It is after all *their* land. As a certain despised author says, “Native people don’t have claims to land. They have land. It’s their land. Some of you others might have claims to land.”

    Ask the people whose land you posture from, live on and pretend to own if it’s game over. Ask them about their opinions on NTE and what you may call hopium. Everything else, as E.O. Wilson says, seems just commentary.

    Mr McPherson deserves great props for opening his recent presentation in NZ with acknowledgement that he grew up on Nez Pierce land (that’s the French term. Their own term for themselves is Nimíipuu). And further that he and Mr. Sliwa now live, if I remember correctly, on Cheyenne land (but I’m not sure). That’s big cajones for a 21st century United Stateser. Would be nice if all the colonial beneficiaries up over and down under would start doing the same regularly.

    And for the 4th or 5th time now, indigenous North America stopped being John Zerzan-esque Hunter Gatherers *thousands* of years before Columbus arrived. By mid 2nd millennium CE, these were well-connected *farming communities and village polities. Not “savages”, not “hunter-gatherers”.

    Here is the rejoinder to “all-war-all-the-time” from the same reviled author mentioned above:

    “Didn’t Indians fight wars with one another?” the question goes, implying that the native practice of engaging in rough intergroup skirmishing—a matter more akin to full-contact sports like football, hockey, and rugby than anything else—somehow equates to Europe’s wars of conquest and annihilation, and that traditional indigenous societies therefore stand to gain as much from Euroamerican conceptions of pacifism as anyone else. (You bet, boss. Left to our own devices, we’d undoubtedly have exterminated ourselves. Praise the Lord that y’all came along to save us from ourselves.)…

    …[As to militarism, no one will deny that Indians fought wars among themselves both before and after the European invasion began. Probably half of all indigenous peoples in North America maintained permanent “warrior” societies. This could perhaps be reasonably construed as “militarism.” But not, I think, with the sense the term conveys within the European/Euroamerican tradition. There were never, so far as anyone can demonstrate, wars of annihilation fought in this hemisphere prior to the Columbian arrival. None. In fact, it seems that it was a more or less firm principle of indigenous warfare not to kill, the
    object being to demonstrate personal bravery, something which could be done only against a live opponent. There’s no honor to be had in killing another person, because a dead person can’t hurt you. There’s no risk. This is not to say that nobody ever died or was seriously injured in the fighting. They were, just as they are in full contact contemporary sports like football and boxing. Actually, these kinds of Euroamerican games are what I would take to be the closest modern parallels to traditional interindian warfare. For Indians, it was a way of burning excess testosterone out of young males, and not much
    more. So, militarism in the way the term is used today is as alien to native tradition as smallpox and atomic bombs.]

    …The “cutting edge” ecologists of Earth First! have conjured up queries as to whether Indians weren’t “the continents first environmental pillagers”—they claim we beat all the woolly mammoths to death with sticks, among other things—meaning we were always sorely in need of Euroamerica’s much more advanced views on preserving the natural order…

    Not until such apologist and ultimately supremacist attitudes begin to be dispelled within at least that sector of Euroamerican society which claims to represent an alternative to U.S./Canadian business-as-usual can there be hope of any genuinely positive social transformation in North America. And only in acknowledging the real rather than invented nature of their history, can they begin to come to grips with such things.

    From there, they too will be able to to position themselves—psychologically, intellectually, and eventually in practical terms—to step outside that history, not in a manner which continues it by presuming to appropriate the histories and cultural identities of its victims, but in ways allowing them to recapture its antecedent meanings and values. Restated, Euroamericans, like their European counterparts, will then be able to start reconnecting themselves to their indigenous traditions and identities in ways which instill pride rather than guilt, empowering themselves to join in the negation of the construct of “Europe” which has temporarily suppressed their cultures as well as ours.”

    – End Quote

  • Bud Nye wrote “Regarding your comment to Ram, …”

    What comment is that?

    In any event, I think the positions taken by people are fairly clear and I am not sure that any argument is threatening or defensive. They are all opinions held by people. Even science itself, what I consider the best thing humanity has done (however it is practiced), is still subject to the complexities of human biological behaviour (i.e., from peer review to grant review and so on). All of us are here posting on the Internet using the language and technology of IC and it is what it is.

    On the one hand, there is the argument that the human animal’s behaviour and trajectory is always one of inevitability—that we’d end up with an extinction trajectory no matter what caused by maximising resource use or environment abuse. It’s somewhat unclear to me if we’re just talking about this trajectory or possible other trajectories (which is what I’m talking about, since this trajectory, as I said, is what it is and almost likely beyond our control.

    On the other hand, there is the argument that some cultures/civilisations (and from me, some organisms) have managed to live within the limits to growth until the trajectory was interrupted by external forces. I don’t think this is the same as saying everything is utopian or whatever It just means that they didn’t go from the edge of chaos to chaos or stagnation *by their own hand* and if they did meet their end (as everything must), or more precisely, changed trajectory, it was through some action not of their doing.

    Complexity science does not support the former viewpoint and there is evidence against it both from simulation (you can do it yourself but the Limits to Growth people got there very early on) and from observations of other complex systems in nature. Complexity, to be clear, follows from Newtonian physics and classical thermodnyamics. It doesn’t even require QM but QM makes it all the more complex, particularly with regards to the specification of (initial) conditions.

    What the latter implies it is possible under certain boundary conditions to go on a complex trajectory for an arbitrary number of steps and not meet extinction due to actions undertaken by the population (like what we suppose happened to the dinosaurs). Mankind wasn’t doomed to this and in another universe it is possible that intersecting complex trajectories synergistically interacted and kept going just like the capable offspring of capable parents. Turns out it doesn’t happen often and is rare from the simulations I did a while back but it doesn’t mean it never does. There are examples of this in molecular biology.

    I think long before IC, other cultures and civilisations had plenty of time on their hands and spent their time looking inward, instead of outward, as modern science does. What is unfortunate is that the two views weren’t able to meet and produce a positive union resulting in our current trajectory. I agree with whoever said that this trajectory’s “bad guy” may be the next trajectory’s “good guy” and I also agree that certain populations seemed more capable of living within their means than others and these populations and subpopulations also intermingled with complex trajectories of their own with synergy for millenia. I think it is a matter of luck of the draw.

    For instance, what might’ve happened if during the colonial era when the Europeans were conquering the world, if the people being attacked had some how managed to integrate with the Europeans in some synergistic matter. What would a future look like had the prior inhabitants and the new inhabitants had done something that would’ve made Lennon proud? But the reason this is rare and difficult is that the dice would’ve had keep coming up sixes consistently. It does happen. If you flip a coin enough times, you’ll get as many heads as you want in a row.


  • Men are so quick to blame the gods: they say
    that we devise their misery. But they
    themselves in their depravity design
    grief greater than the grief fate assigns.

    – Homer, The Odyssey

  • As with Native Americans, precolonial Africa is misunderstood. If one looks at the Wikipedia account of the scholarship (Diop, especially) the complexity of the continent is apparent.


    Gail’s disparaging comments about life in precolonial societies don’t show curiosity to get beyond the stereotypes. And what she writes feels more akin to the stereotypes of Africa I grew up with than to Native American society. (But that might just be due my seeing what I’m most familiar with.)

    In my early adulthood, African independence burst upon the scene, and there was great interest in looking at Africa anew. The tendency was to highlight the aspects of African history that most approximated the west’s notion of civilization. Metal tools, realism in art, cities, etc.. The African Diaspora was ashamed to be associated with naked people, or scarificaion, or any number of characteristics that departed sharply from the west.

    More recently, with consciousness of the desperate impasse resulting from IC, I’ve started to wonder what’s the point of being like the west. Human beings don’t swing on trees (as subterranean lore would have it about all of black Africa), but what if they did? What if Africans were hardly distinguishable from apes (which they aren’t)? Why would that be bad in light of NTE? Many here talk about the innate depravity of HS. Does that mean that HS who are closer to animals get preference? By disparaging the precolonial lifestyle, is that defending IC as preferable?

    Another poster declares his preference for a minute of high stimulus IC over 50,000 years of stable precolonial life. But what about all the non human forms of life that IC is killing in the sixth great extinction? Does anyone note the inconsistences and mixed messages coming out of NBL?

  • OSHbot will take the job your ‘not-so-bright’ daughter, son, granddaughter, or grandson may have got to support themselves.

    How long will OSHbot continue to serve without electricity-on-demand?

    I will contribute to the discussion on Hunter Gatherer groups from the last thread. As I missed it.

    Gunter Gatherers ruled!

    Their way of living, though varied with the geography and earlier cultural practices, was the only way to live – period.

    I will use the plant analogy, and the animal cell division gone mad-Cancer, analogy here.

    When many small food plants ‘go to seed’ it is because they sense conditions have come to a point that they need to replicate as their own, (adult), form is threatened or tenuous. This can be from lack of water, too much water, not enough nutrients, too much or too little warmth, or sunlight. Pretty well any environmental condition can set a plant to ‘going to seed’ out of the cycle we might expect. I think 2009-2010 there were fruit trees in England that were baring fruit and flowering at the same time, 😉 , (go figure).
    Many plants flower, and reproduce seasonally, and they manage this cycle by getting their procreation done in an environmental window of opportunity that is efficient and makes use of factors that maximise success. An example is desert plants, which reproduce in a matter of days after seasonal rains. Willows at the vacant lot where I presently camp, after 90 days of relative dry, burst into cones and new leaves after 2 days of heavy clearing rain.
    So, seasonality and opportunism are normal factors, but when environmental factors move beyond the range of recent adaptation, or those that are normally clustered together, come in an unusual combination, it is a trigger moment for a plant, or a population of plants to ‘go to seed’ or reproduce. There is another aspect to this. That is a super survival mechanism, because if there are significantly new environmental factors manifesting in the geographic region, the next population which is very quickly deployed by ‘going to seed’, will have a new selective pressure emerge, and will have a good chance of some being able to make it under the new conditions. Simple stuff for all us new Darwinists to understand.
    If we move to the animal cell process of cell division it is even clearer what is going on.
    In the usual healthy multicellular animal, the cell cycle has only a relatively short period when it divides, or reproduces, compared to it’s total time of its life duration. It seems that it is not that the cell gets told it is now time to divide, and make two from itself, as scientists made themselves believe. The way it works is that in a typical healthy cell’s experience- bathed in (but still squashed like sardines) plasma from blood flow- it receives a pretty constant stream of chemical markers that attach to the cell wall, then detach, that say “all OK, stay functioning as you are”, eg, “keep producing Bile if you are a Liver Cell”, or ” keep producing white blood cells if you are a bone marrow cluster in a long bone”. However, if those messages are less frequent, or stop altogether, many cells will no longer stay in the BAU mode, and quickly go to cell division. And those daughter cells will probably also do that if those marker/messages are also absent. So rapid cell division takes place, and that is essentially what cancer is, in both tumour form and others spread out like nervous system deterioration.
    I am no expert on this, just saying some basics. Thalates, and Besphenol B Industrial products, as well as radiation, and many thousands of other chemicals( which H/G’s never encountered), have the capacity to disrupt these BAU chemical markers from circulating in the body. They are call Endocrine disruptors. Stress, or emotional trauma may also be disruptors. But if you live in a resilient human community, like close knit tribal people did all over the Earth, there was a very effective psycho-social mechanism to heal and assuage individual emotional trauma. But the Industrial chemicals found in high concentrations is much harder to effectively detoxify from the body in time to re-establish health, (but not imposable), but you have to be aware these are what is doing the cell damage to get them fixed!
    Now, humans were not only technologically doing different things in different places, but they were spiritually doing different things in different places.
    I rekon that we tripped into rapid population growth not only via the technological know-how route, but synchronisticly because we began to believe we were mortal beings. That scared the shit out of us-spiritually.
    H/G’s always were aware of their population levels, and in the case of Australian Aborigines had developed a very robust and genetically sane continent-wide relational dynamic that among other things precluded too much inbreeding by rules on clan and moiety partner selection. This was by no means universal in all parts, but those rules were adapted to the overall needs of the regional groups, land area domain , and many other factors.
    However, the simple fact was there was a conscious awareness of how many children were needed to keep populations within a safe range.

    Too many individuals in clans and tribes, and over use of hunting and gathering grounds occurred meaning too many moving ons in a season to be sustainable, and/or and greater conflict arose with neighbours.
    Too few individuals and the viability of replacement numbers were threatened by environmental variability, and disease.
    I don’t presume to know the ins and outs of that particular conscious process, of the figuring, but Humans that emerged from the open woodland, and Savannah’s, and spread the Earth as walkers, had the unique capacity to reproduce in any month of the year. I don’t feel this is an accident. It was selected for, because we walked around so fast.
    So to sum up, something made us go over the threshold, of forgetting we needed to stay within some limit to our numbers.
    I think it was, at it’s root, a loss of awareness of us as mostly spiritual beings, with an acceptance of individual Death. Show me a tribal H/G situation without some shamanistic, spirit conveyance tradition.
    I say ‘mostly’ spiritual, but perhaps it varied. I’m referring to the conditional existence of the individual body-mind, born and later dying- what Indo-Europeans term the mortal part of self existence.
    Somehow, we changed our view of ourselves as mostly mortal, and lived in the stressed state, that lives in fear of…the world and everything.
    So we felt we needed to put out more copies of ourself, so the species would have enough variation to survive.
    As Guy is want to say, the yeast will eventually kill itself. And perhaps we are at that stage now, it looks very likely to many here, even a sure bet to some.
    So my view is we got here because of deep existential FEAR.
    The work of Professor Bruce Alexander, psychologist on Addiction in a globalised labour market is seminal on psycho-social causes of Addictions. His easy to read bulldozed paper:

    “The roots of Addiction in Free Market Society”

    goes a long way of explaining what happens when two key factors are disrupted in human populations – 1. Connection to the Natural Environment, and 2. Connection to the known community.
    He uses Canadian native peoples, among others, as a case study for what transpires as a people (rapidly) lose those two connections, having mostly existed with no impediment to them historically.
    Without going too much into his thesis on psych-social origins of addictions, (gross and subtle, in his definition) I can say he also poses that reconnecting to these two factors in an empowered way is a powerful factor in rehabilitation and healing, both individually and collectively.
    I find no significant issue with his thesis, and it is consistent with all I know about even instinctive impulses people have when threatened, or wish to feel safe. We seek out the natural world to de-stress from ‘Civilised living’, and we seek out trusted family, friends and community gatherings to feel socially included and safe.
    The turning to technology only as solutions to our big problems will in my view, only see us turn into materialistic robots ourselves. The experiment that was North America shows very clearly what happens when the social system has no capacity to accept the individual as a conscious being, but merely recognises an economic, or grudgingly even a political, dimension to human existence. This is because the previous seats of spiritual power, have given way and are now entirely given over to the corporations, which are about economic accumulation of material wealth, (=power).
    All this has been possibly by some kind of rapid transformation of what we conceive ourselves to be.
    It took a little green rubber glove puppet about 2 minutes in the 1980’s to reflect to collective humanity the essential message:

    “Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter”

    A person can only really accept themselves as entirely material, (aka Mortal) in nature if they are surrounded by individuals and a culture so convinced. Unless one meets an individual, or visits a culture where consciousness is in some sense freed from this presumption, that individual will tend to feel robotic and completely unfulfilled, and unhappy. In those conditions, reaching for SOMA, or Hopium, or exciting substances, or altogether fist-world life-porn, is understandable, expected, and eminently economically exploitable.

    For me, the only way forward is to look at what were the resilient strategies that kept ancient cultures alive, and thriving, in such a powerful but altogether beautiful world, and see if they can be adapted and applied to our present circumstance- individually and perhaps collectively.

    To what purpose some may ask, if this rock is soon to become uninhabitable?

    Well, that answer would be longer than this post has run so far, and is perhaps only of a personal leaning.

    But I have come to accept humans are consciousness itself, which I guess is the uber-spiritualist position, or proposition.

    However, if one is very well founded in their early life in those two parameters Professor Alexander points to, then the possibility of a mature and stable Identity is experienced such that a spiritual understanding of our underlying existence might emerge.

    Maybe not for every individual, but perhaps for the odd rare beings who have understood who we are.
    Such beings were highly valued by tribal peoples, I’m guessing-but heh, I wasn’t there.

    ‘The Ancient Walk-About Way’

    Something to read if you are ever gripped by the anxiety of you are going to die, or collectively humanity, and most life-forms on Earth might snuff it very soon.

    Cheers 😉

  • Of course I have another theory of how we got here.
    Some very switched on ones might have seen ahead and realised a once in a lifetime opportunity to find a way out of here, and for as many individuals as possible too.
    Leave that for the long timers here to laugh at, or scoff as usual.’

    ‘All Along The Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix


  • New World Disorder Kofi Annan Speech

    Published on Oct 28, 2014

    This is a speech that Kofi Annan gave in NYC at Baruch college that was titled “New World Disorder.” We couldn’t believe it ourselves so we wanted to post the full video of the former general secretary of the U.N talking openly about the plan for a New World Order.

    Friday, 31 October 2014

    Facebook politics

    Nicole Foss blocked

    [some back and forth between Robin, Nicole and Guy]


    Biological Hazard in USA on Wednesday, 29 October, 2014 at 04:26 (04:26 AM) UTC.

    A kind of mosquito known to spread the deadly dengue hemorrhagic fever has been found in San Diego for the first time. Four “yellow fever” mosquitoes – formal name, Aedes aegypti – were found in offices at the 32nd Street Naval Station. Whether the mosquitoes arrived on Navy ships is unclear, according to Chris Conlan, supervising vector entomologist for San Diego County. Navy and county vector specialists have put out traps in an attempt to catch the mosquitoes, which are small and black with white stripes and prefer to feed during the day. The public is warned to get rid of standing water. The same kind of mosquitoes were found recently in the Los Angeles County cities of Commerce and Pico Rivera. “We’re hoping we caught it early,” Conlan. The Aedes aegypti likes anything with standing water and is known to be more aggressive than California mosquitoes, Conlan said. It also can carry chikungunya, a viral disease that causes fever, severe joint pain, and a rash. Chikungunya is found in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Indian and Pacific ocean areas. Dengue fever is found in tropical areas of Africa and Latin America. There is no vaccine for chikungunya or dengue fever.

    Happy Halloween everyone as humanity’s worst nightmare continuously unfolds.

  • The other day I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Lynx rufus.

    Two images were captured of this magnificent creature.



    The tail of the cat is bobbed. Thus bobcat.

    The cat was first observed less than two meters away from a window when it appeared out of the woods revealing amazing details of its coat and physical appearance. Holy shit! Never saw anything so startling. By the time the recharged camera batteries and memory card were loaded into the twelve year old camera the cat had wandered off some distance towards the cover of Ilex opaca which were propagated asexually (cloned) a decade or two ago. Basic biology indeed.

  • Hi boys!

    Many of us old timers have fallen away due to boredom with the endless debates of how and why we got here.

    What Daniel may be attempting to say is that it doesn’t matter anymore. Time is running out.

    What DOES interest me, and maybe some others, is what, if anything, might be done now to help other critters survive our mess? Given the radiation fallout, I’m thinking short life cycle creatures may be able to evolve and live. Chernobyl comes to mind.

    ogardener….what a gorgeous kitty! Lovely photo, sir.

  • Modern Money Mechanics
    Tom Says:
    October 31st, 2014 at 5:55 am
    On Friday, 31 October 2014, Facebook politics (fracas) Nicole Foss blocked. [some back and forth between Robin, Nicole and Guy]

    The better read is at A discussion with Nicole Foss – Serving the Empire of lies

    To which I attempted the following response…

    Thank you seemorerocks for the detailed analysis. And thank you Pauline Schneider for the belly laugh. Ms. Foss can “squirt ink in the water” and wiggle all she wants, but she cannot deny logic and reasoned arguments based upon observables (and given her education, it is the very definition of intellectual dishonesty).

    Having said that, PETM data does show that mammals (horses), the size of house cats, were present at some point. Global Warming 56 Million Years Ago at the Paleocene-Eocene-Thermal-Maximum (PETM): What it Means for Us

  • Tom

    I stopped taking Nicole Foss seriously when I heard her on Radio NZ a few years ago (I don’t normally listen to Radio NZ because it’s primarily business-as-usual propaganda, but made an exception, as with Guy on RNZ a couple of years ago); it was clear from her babbling that she did not really understand peak oil. So how could we expect her to understand something as complex as abrupt climate change?

    I don’t specifically attack her because at least she does point out the present system is unsustainable, and the more people who do that the better. I do occasionally scan through Automatic Earth because there are snippets of news that I might not otherwise come across presented there. But I take no particular notice of Nicole’s ‘analysis’ because there usually isn’t any truly in-depth analysis, and a lot of what she says is just opinion.

    For approximately the past 15 years I have been asking two questions:

    How do we prevent industrially-generated carbon dioxide emissions triggering abrupt climate change?

    How do we feed people when the supply of oil necessary to maintain present food supply systems goes into steep decline?

    Neither of those questions has been seriously addressed by more than a handful of people, and all the institution we would have expected to deal with them (particularly local government) have more-or-less totally ignored them.

    I now know why: governments are agents of global corporations and opportunists, and what passes for governance is simply facilitation of looting-and-polluting, with propaganda being churned out continuously to keep the ‘slaves on the plantation’ from realising they are slaves.

    In recent times I have added a third question:

    What level of ill-health, oppression, destruction of the local environment, deceit, poverty fascism, transfer of wealth upwards etc. will the populations of western nations endured before they recognise they have been lied to for decades by so-called leaders?

  • Kevin Moore wrote:

    “For approximately the past 15 years I have been asking two questions:

    How do we prevent industrially-generated carbon dioxide emissions triggering abrupt climate change?

    How do we feed people when the supply of oil necessary to maintain present food supply systems goes into steep decline?”

    Well, the answer to the second question is that we are f—ed, as Guy put it in another context, though there will be and is an attempt to substitute chemically created swill for food that may keep things going for awhile. If enough countries other than China had adopted something like a one child policy, the world population could have been walked down to a level where it could be supported without cheap fossil fuels, and something like this would still limit the number of people who starve to death or die of some starvation enabled disease, but this obviously didn’t happen and isn’t happening.

    We know that fossil fuel exploitation is needed to support the current world population level of 7 billion plus, just because the historical record shows the world population not getting above 1 billion before the coal-fired steam engined, and not above 2 billion before sweet liquid crude oil production on a massive scale. These fuels are used to power the machines that move food from areas with high food production to areas with low fuel production, plus the machines used in agriculture direction, plus fertilizers, plus assorted chemical industries used to support the “green revolution”. Just making oil extraction more expensive and therefore food more expensive makes feeding 7 billion people considerably difficult.

    For the first question, I am less certain than Guy because we have not been in this situation before in recorded history. There is a danger that continued carbon emissions and the changes triggered by them will make the biosphere uninhabitable by all humans. But the carbon emissions themselves are mostly a byproduct of overpopulation. I think there is still a chance of a sufficient population collapse that will reduce the carbon emissions enough in the nick of time, but Guy has studied this more than I have and disagrees. And my scenario is still pretty dark, its better than no more humans forever but not by much.

  • @ozman
    I tend to agree with you on the subject of ‘existential fear’. It is literally a fear of life itself. It is my personal experience that this simple act of inward looking cures the disease and brings sanity to the mind:

    Just One Look Is All It Takes:

    hunting and gathering is what corporations do by law no matter how many noble savages can dance on the head of a pin. we started with berries and roots and now we scramble for conflict minerals, heavy metals and rare earth elements. egos and intelligence seem to go hand in hand snubbing common sense. i have the emotional intelligence and empathy of a slug, but even i can sense stupidity.

  • And the News heralding the end of the automotive era the end of the ethos or the beginning of the end of driving . Germany , The Otto motor, the Gasoline engine, Mercedes Benz (benzin-what do you think what was it named after even if here it is called GAS it is in fact Benzin ), Das Autobahn , The VW Käfer (The Hitler Bug-gy) USW ,USW, Und so Weiter, AKA ETC.

  • Did i mention “No speed limits ” ? !

  • Has anybody else had difficulty obtaining Guy’s book:

    McPherson’s latest book is co-authored by Carolyn Baker. Extinction Dialogs: How to Live with Death in Mind is available.

    My credit card was charged by TAYEN LANE PUBLISHING, but no book!?! And they do not respond to my email…

  • Modern Money Mechanics,

    If possible, please repost the link to the Nicole Foss/Empire of Lies read.
    Maybe it’s a local problem here, but I can’t get it to operate.


    kevin moore,

    To answer your 3 questions:

    1) We didn’t then, so we won’t (not that we can, now),
    2) We won’t, unless the population gets a lot smaller (achieve that by epidemic, non-replacement, or a combination of the two),
    3) For a USA-related answer go to and read up on the large white underclass that consistently votes against their own self-interest.
    I think you’ll get the sense that they have already (long ago) reached the recognition (that they have been lied to by their ‘leaders’) that you mention.
    But the level of ill-health, oppression, etc. that they will need to experience before they *do* anything about it is very high. They’ll probably go along with all sorts of ‘austerity measures’, up to the point where there’s no water at the taps or food in the stores…then they’ll finally snap, grab their guns, and go hunting for leaders to punish. The ‘heads on pikes’ contingent here can do it themselves or just exercise patience and wait for the massive waves of Shep’s neighbors to ‘execute’ a real-life version of a Hieronymus Bosch’ painting using formerly high-echelon meat robots as their medium. How events will play out in Europe around that time, I’ll leave to other posters who know the scene there better.

  • A discussion with Nicole Foss – Serving the Empire of lies

    Nicole Foss – “I do regard this issue (climate change) as of lesser importance than those things we can hope to change. This not to say that climate it not important of course, merely that investing time in the humanly immutable is probably wasted time, and I don’t have a lot of time on my hands

    The difference is that both financial crisis and peak oil are far more personal and immediate than climate change, and so are far bigger motivators of behavioural change. For this reason, addressing arguments in these terms is far more likely to be effective. In other words, the best way to address climate change is not to talk about it.”

    Guy McPherson – “I’d be hard pressed to find a stupider statement than this: “the best way to address climate change is not to talk about it.” In other words, channelling Orwell, “truth is treason in an empire of lies.” At least in this case, Foss apparently prefers the empire of lies.”

  • (….Has anybody else had difficulty obtaining Guy’s book ?)

    Same thing here . Tayen Lane ( publisher ) hasn’t replied to an inquiring e-mail.

    I also paid early on ( Summer ) when the possibility of ‘pre-ordering ‘ was 1st mentioned.

    Patience is probably in order. They are not ‘Amazon’, etc.

    No sweat lost in waitng for a bit more . Nice surprise when it shows up… is how I’m figuring !

  • Bud, thank you for your response, I guess. I do appreciate it. But, you are surprised at our responses? Have you never heard Floyd Westerman’s song, “Anthros”? Have you never read John Trudell? The “anthros,” especially the non-native anthros, and their perspectives are often considered to have a lot of facts, and not much of the truth. The way you put things together ends up looking like a cultural version of like Victor Frankenstein’s monster, and not the real thing.

    If you are surprised, why can you not simply answer my question as to why having warfare and cannibalism means they were not ecologically sophisticated? What does current use of fossil fuels by modern indigenous people have to do with anything? It is no measure of anything. Why are you even mentioning the “noble savage” nonsense? You provided nonsensical support for your point, but you’re mystified as to why it might be offensive? Please read my comments on the earlier thread regarding the origin of “noble savage” and its use in this country. It was a racist tactic and propaganda used in the 19th century to justify Manifest Destiny and rob the remaining indigenous peoples of their lands. Why does anyone use it today and think it is meaningful?

    The difficulty is the presumed superiority, as Wester and Ram and others point out, the presumed superiority and racism that intrinsic in non-native America about America and about American indigenous people. I mention it on the other thread in one of my most recent, lengthy posts.

    You project, Bud. I do not dismiss “scientific evidence” in favor of MY views. I have not contested any scientific evidence. But I have very much contested the interpretation of it, like the brilliant quote you provided of esteemed learned men regarding Native American warfare and equating that to not being ecologically balanced. I questioned the logic of it. You, however, missed the lack of intelligence and logical validity in it.

    I plainly stated that this is where the offense lies, and I do argue against it because of clear cultural biases that I have pointed out, that Wester has pointed out, that others have pointed out.

    “I am not sure that any argument is threatening or defensive.” Thank you, Ram.

    I don’t like the word “primitive” used to describe them, because it’s not true. I don’t like the racist dismissal of their achievements because “all that noble savage nonsense is a myth.” That is an entirely nonsensical, irrelevant to anything, STUPID comment. It is idiotic. It’s as stupid as you think fundamentalist Christians are. In fact, it’s your mew fundamentalism.

    I don’t “blame” anyone, per se. Human beings are human beings. We all are capable of evil. But all this other stuff about how NTE was inevitable because of “human” limitations that are universal, that no one ever did it better, that other people who did do better were not consciously doing things more intelligently, they just were too primitive to do all the damage we did, is a lie. It is a lie. It’s a genocidal lie. And I see it on this blog in comments all the time.

  • Ed
    ‘But the carbon emissions themselves are mostly a byproduct of overpoulation’
    I would just like to point out that this is incorrect.
    The basic reason is industrial civilisation.The main contributor,by far,to atmosphericCO2 is burning fossil fuels.(The other main contributor has been the deforestation of the Earth)
    If we had a population of 1 billion burning fossil fuels,we would still end up in a similar predicament to the one we are now in,it would just take longer o do so.

  • @ OZ Man,

    Thanks for the OSHBOT clip. What a disaster! The machine continues to gnaw away.

  • The worldwatch institute issued a report about 2 years ago stating that livestock were responsible for 51% of annual GHG emissions.I placed a comment on this site about 12 months or so ago stating that
    that figure would be wildly inaccurate,and explained the reasons why.
    ‘Nature ‘ published a detailed report a few months ago.Worldwide agriculture is responsible for 15% of annual GhG emissions,and livestock responsible for about half of that 15%,I.e.about7.5%.
    It would be interesting to know what has happened to the individuals of the worldwatch institute who were responsible for that wildly innacurate report .Have they been sacked?
    That report has led a large section of the public who don’t understand the carbon cycle to believe that the climate disruption problem would be solved if livestock production ceased.
    There is a local (Australian) current affairs program ,’Q and A’ (TV) which was discussing climate disruption .Jane Goodall was on,and she had evidently read the worldwatch institute report,and had a little model cow,and duly explained to the viewers that the cow was a huge problem,and our
    climate disruption problem would be largely solved.if livestock production ceased.
    I wish it was that simple.

  • Tedious?

    Well Kevin and David, at least this is something in which we can all agree, this is becoming rather tedious. In fact, it’s been tedious for quite some time. It’s just that we very much disagree on the source of tedium.


    You’re correct, many old timers have moved on for the same reason I probably should as well. Ultimately, I’m the fool to think that eventually a critical mass of people who are capable of accepting something as life changing as NTE, would eventually emerge here at NBL who were willing to collectively explore the greatest unprecedented moment in human history, but as I’ve repeatedly stated, as long anyone can come here and just spout off whatever is on their mind irrespective of NTE, to the point of openly declaring they have no interest in even discussing it, then this space will constantly be overrun by needless contrarian opinion, much as it has. You and Kathy C are wise to have taken a step back. Take care. 

  • @ Modern Money Mechanics
    “Has anybody else had difficulty obtaining Guy’s book:”

    Same here, I ordered the book on October 10. They finally replied last week, “So sorry for the delay, sales have moved very briskly!Your book will be out to you next week.”
    I’m still waiting…

  • I don’ t comment very often here,but if my listing the reasons why IC and AC had unavoidable systemic flaws which guaranteed that they would not be sustainable has disrupted things,I won’t comment again.
    All the best to everyone.

  • Weather Olympics: more records shattered …

    Global Analysis – September 2014

    “The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for September 2014 was the highest on record for September, at 0.72°C (1.30°F) above the 20th century average of 15.0°C (59.0°F). ”

    “The global land surface temperature was 0.89°C (1.60°F) above the 20th century average of 12.0°C (53.6°F), the sixth highest for September on record. For the ocean, the September global sea surface temperature was 0.66°C (1.19°F) above the 20th century average of 16.2°C (61.1°F), the highest on record for September and also the highest on record for any month.”

    “The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the January–September period (year-to-date) was 0.68°C (1.22°F) above the 20th century average of 14.1°C (57.5°F), tying with 1998 as the warmest such period on record.”

  • “I don’t comment very often here,but if my listing the reasons why IC and AC had unavoidable systemic flaws which guaranteed that they would not be sustainable has disrupted things,I won’t comment again.
    All the best to everyone.”

    This is too interesting a blog to actually LEAVE, but I plan on posting a lot less for now.

    “I don’t “blame” anyone, per se. Human beings are human beings. We all are capable of evil. But all this other stuff about how NTE was inevitable because of “human” limitations that are universal, that no one ever did it better, that other people who did do better were not consciously doing things more intelligently, they just were too primitive to do all the damage we did, is a lie. It is a lie. It’s a genocidal lie. And I see it on this blog in comments all the time.”

    Thanks, Oldgrowth. But the chances that anyone will listen are not worth betting on.

  • I take it back. I don’t appreciate your response nor your characterizations that I’m like a fundamentalist Christian. You are the one using the term “noble savage” when you do not understand what it actually means, something that is very apparent from your quotation and your comments.

    I think you’re the one acting like a fundamentalist. You read something in a book, and despite the fact that it makes no sense, you defend it. ????

    You ask:

    ” do you think that the various fields of natural science (which I do NOT take as “the authoritative, ultimate truth”!) should report only evidence that the surrounding religions and cultures consider “acceptable”, and that supports their world views? Should all, or certain, scientific research papers pass through a religious and/or cultural review board for censorship before release to other scientists and the public? If I understand you and some other’s arguments, here, you do expect or demand that. Please correct me if I have this wrong, but you seem to insist that “No one must ever seriously report on or discuss any scientific evidence or reasoning that clashes with MY favorite beliefs about how the world presumably . . .

    Invalid frame. As I wrote above, I do not argue the evidence. Evidence is evidence. Obviously. But we are talking about culture here, and understanding cultures is not a case of compiling “scientific evidence.” Culture is deeper than that by far. It is a dynamic and complex combination of human knowledge, sustainment, and worldview. No one can understand culture from “facts” and “evidence.”

    As for the holy cosmic truth of Science, science is objective measures. What’s to argue? But the putting together of those measures is something else. Making a valid model of reality from those measures is a whole separate step. Accusing me of rejecting science instead of your comments is an attempt to deflect any valid criticisms or points I may make. Example, your comment, one that is generally accepted today as Cosmic Truth: “Humans have not been able to control their population growth, nor have they been able to avoid overexploiting their environments.”

    Yet, Oz points to evidence that this comment is not at all true in connection with aboriginal populations of Australia. I am aware of evidence, as is Derrick Jensen, that it is not true of Native Americans, either. They practiced birth and population control, through herbs, culture, and a number of other ways. I know it both from my own personal experience with them, and from anthropological evidence, including the Yupiks that you are familiar with.

    But I realize now that I think I adore Wester, Oz, artleads, and a number of others here. There are people here who have information and are able to put it together meaningfully in connection with native cultures. It can be done, apparently, but not by everyone. I want to thank you guys again for your comments.

  • @ ogf

    I’m busy elsewhere, so very brief. Just for the record, I support you and Wester on this particular issue.

  • Thank You Wildwoman!

    Here’s to all the other forms of life that were either here first or came later.Here’s to species that have survived for millions of years and to the ones that are relatively new on the evolutionary stage.Here’s to all the creatures that have gone extinct and to the ones that might continue.

    As for humans – the way I see it is that once there were none,and then some, and then many, and then too many, and now this. We are all from the same place.

  • oldgrowthforest,

    I’ve got no serious disagreement with the overall ideas you & others are putting out here, but I’m not sure you realize how far back the “noble savage” phrase and meme go.

    In French, Montaigne used descriptions of indigenous people (Brasilian, as I recall) who ate the bodies of dead enemies as a counterpoint to Europeans who burned each other (alive) at the stake for having different religious beliefs.
    That was written in 1580.
    In English, the term appears in a play by Dryden in 1672.
    Neither writer (barring ownership of a severely modified Delorean) was writing in relationship to Manifest Destiny, which would come about 170-260 years later, depending on whether you count from Montaigne or Dryden.

    I’m not familiar with whatever sources you have to support your assertion that the term was consciously used in propaganda to support Manifest Destiny, but if it was used that way, then I guess the propagandists hijacked an existing meme and bent it to their own ends.
    Wasn’t the first time and it wasn’t the last time that happened.
    Tell someone today you’re interested in ‘truth’ and they’ll hand you a roll of Reynolds Wrap.

  • Daniel,
    Why don’t you start a new blog on the BatterUp’ section on the forum?That way we could have a more contemplative section,where people could discuss the issues you mention,and avoid the more chaotic main blog.I might even make the odd comment there.I don’t have an argument with anything you have said.My occasional comments are generally providing a few facts that I think a few people may not be aware of.How about it?Seems like a good solution to me.I look forward to reading it.

  • ‘Americans are woefully misinformed, according to Ipsos MORI polling results released Wednesday. In a comparison of 14 industrialized countries, the United States trailed only Italy in the pollsters’ index of ignorance about the realities of modern life.’

    New Zealand does not feature but it would be fair assumption that the level of ignorance here is on a par with that in the UK and Australia, i.e. people are somewhat better informed than the average for an industrialised nation but nevertheless on the whole very ignorant.

    Robert Thankyoufornotbreeding Atack rang today and we discussed the Wellington event and the reluctance of those present to talk about the crucial issue Robert had raised -of not bringing more children into the world when to do so is to increase the overall level of suffering, and could well result in the parents sharing starvation with this offspring. Robert’s comment was: “That was the best that NZ could manage.”

    Clearly, populations do respond to dismal living conditions, as demonstrated by the response of the Japanese to their moribund economic situation. I believe the birth rate there has fallen to around 1.38 per woman, well below the replacement level of 2.1. Far too late of course, since there are still 126 million of them.

    Following up on david highamn’s comment:

    ‘Maybe the only essay that should be posted is Daniel’s, and the only topic to be discussed is whether to commit suicide or not.’

    I did put it to Robert that the discussion should not be about whether to commit suicide or not but whether to persuade others to commit suicide or not….and as I discussed with Robert, that does not sit well with Guy’s stance on the matter.

    In other words, we have already gone too far down the rabbit hole, partly as a consequence of various things Daniel has written (and which I have in the past suggested were too much too early). But what is done cannot be undone. We cannot put NTHE back in the box until we know for sure that nature has some trick we are currently unaware of to preserve some remnant of life as we know it. And at the moment there is no such evidence.

    Ed. You mentioned population collapse being a possible ‘saviour’.

    ‘I think there is still a chance of a sufficient population collapse that will reduce the carbon emissions enough in the nick of time’

    The reality is, the average American is responsible for a hundred times as much pollution as the average Bangladeshi. Australia and New Zealand are not too far behind, and Canada may even be in the lead, now that so much destruction of forests is taking place, so much steel is being used and so much natural gas is being consumed to extract bitumen from tar sands and export it.

    A proper analysis requires the population to be multiplied by the energy intensity (carbon intensity), and such an analysis suggests that the best way to slow the march towards a largely or completely uninhabitable planet is to eliminate the population of the United States (with the exception of the Amish, a few indigenous people living semi-naturally and those living similar lifestyles to Guy and Sheila etc.), along with eliminating the manufacturing sector in China.

    It’s all very interesting in an esoteric kind of way but we know nothing that would actually make a difference will ever be attempted and this mess will be resolved, one way or another, by the Albert Bartlett ‘method’.

  • @ old growth forest,

    most of you have probably heard this, but… it is a joke that succeeds in getting to the bottom of the puffed up, perfumed wigged, white, george washington, authority figures of yesteryear, and for eternity.

    jay silverheels and the lone ranger were riding the plains and suddenly were surrounded by ‘indians’! the white ranger, ‘what are we going to do now, jay’, what do you mean, ‘we’?

    i was fortunate in ordering the book you recommended – got a used copy – hope it is marked up with comments.

    tks OGF for the tips, quotes, and ur gentle spirit.

  • There is no human agency that can prevent the release of methane that will soon bring about the total collapse of civilization and heat the planet to the point where most higher lifeforms will be pushed into extinction.

    This is the fix we’re in, and this is what matters. No matter how charming and delightful we can imagine the life of the Americas before they were stumbled upon by those horrible, dastardly European trash merchants and slavers, that era is gone. Looking backward does little good, especially if one is imaging not only a people, but an entire ecosystem. It’s gone. Buried under several feet of parking lots and fast food joints. If survival is your goal, best seek for it in the future and not in the buried past.

  • @ Grant Schreiber

    That comment makes no logical sense. You say that there isn’t going to be any survival, only extinction. You then go on to contradict yourself, ‘If survival is your goal…’

    Surely, if extinction is guaranteed, it really doesn’t matter what we talk about.

    One topic which is of interest, and which turns up repeatedly, is how and why we got into this mess. Some are bored by the repetition, some have strong views concerning the conflicting theories.

    There are some whom dispute the initial premise that extinction for all is indeed inevitable. For years now, the same points have been made. New people are going to keep on making them.


    Saturday, 1 November 2014

    Climate change violence

    Let’s Call Climate Change What It Really Is—Violence

    No species, place or beings will be spared in the coming catastrophes wrought by carbon barrons.

    [and the article directly beneath the above]

    Climate change news – 10/31/2014

    This is just TWO days worth of stories on climate change

    Apart from the certifiably insane and the genuinely evil there is little real climate change denial. What we have now is denial of abrupt climate change.

    Share this with your skeptical friend.

    The world’s climate change watchdog may be underestimating global warming

    Study Says Curbing Population Growth Won’t Help Address Climate Change

    [also, robin has comprehensive, up to date ebola information above the lede article I linked to]

  • Grant, there is a small difference if we’re going to become extinct in the next 20 years or the next 100 or the next 200. There is a difference depending on the number of species that will go extinct with us.

    There are other solutions besides space travel, and self-contained biospheres, biospheres, that have yet to be discussed I think. One of those is what has been proposed here in this thread but is not practical and probably not doable by most people even if they had the ability.

    I also think a natural extension of the tangent we’ve been having about complex systems is that if there is to be a solution (and I think the likelihood of it is close to zero, but it is not yet zero) it is something we can’t necessarily think of. I don’t know anyone who can predict events that change the world’s trajectory in a significant manner regular accuracy and consistency a priori. We still need to cross the tipping points: I feel we’re right in that region, without any quantitative analysis, but we’ve not crossed those regions yet. The Arctic sea ice hasn’t melted yet in the summer and I’m not sure if it’ll happen this year or in the next decade or in the next two decades. These kinds of events have to happen.

  • oldgrowthforest,

    I considered responding to your most recent comments in detail, but have decided not to. Why? Because I strongly sense that if you and others who think as you do do not have sufficient interest and willingness thoughtfully to read and consider anthropologists LeBlanc and Keeley’s fascinating, very understandable, and highly educational books that I have referred to and quoted from (Constant Battles and War Before Civilization), you have little or no scientific interest in the subject.

    You insist that anthropology, primatology, and archaeology presumably have little or nothing valid or of value to say concerning human cultures around the world, a surprising claim indeed. You make it clear that you have primarily or exclusively only an emotional, religious, and/or political interest. Certainly emotional, religious, and/or political interests remain perfectly valid and important(!), but we have little in common to discuss because my interests here lie mainly in the anthropological, primatological, and archaeological evidence, what that evidence suggests concerning past and present human and closely related cultures (your insistence on irrelevance of that scientific evidence notwithstanding), the related biological and ecological issues, and the implications for the future.

    You make it clear that you believe you have “special”, infallible knowledge of these things that makes the related, most up-to-date scientific evidence irrelevant. Your interests lie elsewhere so we have fundamentally different agendas. Meanwhile, I respect your right to believe whatever you may wish to believe and for whatever reasons you may wish to hold those obviously strongly held beliefs. I guess we will just have to agree to disagree regarding the validity, importance, and relevance of anthropology, primatology, and archaeology, and their related scientific fields in which people spend their entire professional lives studying these things in detail all over the world in order best to understand ourselves, how we got here, and implications for our future. I simply disagree with you that you presumably know better and more than they, thus presumably making these fields of study irrelevant. So, we have little to discuss.

  • Thank you, Shep and U. Thanks for the joke Shep. It’s a good one.

    Infant, this is a link that discusses “noble savage.”

    “Noble savage” is a moving target that means everything and nothing. It is much more than a “myth.” It is a device that has been used in theater, philosophy, politics, literature and numerous other aspects of European culture. To believe that it is “based on” anything other than European ideology is more than a stretch. During the first 150 years that “noble savage” concept was being discussed, it was exclusively being discussed in Europe by people who never saw an American Indian and knew only the most mundane and distorted facts they had gathered second hand from people who had reported back from travels to this hemisphere. Because it was an abstract ideal borne from their own cultural ideologies, it served every purpose possible in the plays and the essays and the criticisms of European “civilization” and peoples. It was like the word “terrorism” or “liberty.” It meant whatever the person using it and the person hearing it thought it meant.

    This was not occurring in the colonies however. It was not until the early 19th century when new Americans with sufficient distance from the remaining native societies did a “romantic” ideal of the American Indian become prevalent in a number of Americans. It was not really the same thing as the “Noble Savage,” however “Noble Savage” absorbed that idealization, also. Later, after the Civil War and the mass intrusion into the remaining lands, many Americans (with their romantic notions and tabloid accounts of Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Geronimo and many others) held Native Americans as heroes who were defending their understandable human rights.

    At that time the “myth of the Noble Savage” really took hold. It has been used, as the article discusses, repeatedly for almost or about two centuries exactly as it is used in threads on this blog, to dismiss and deny the cultural achievements, complexity, and reality of Native Americans. And you can see it easily here. People mention facts about indigenous societies, and out it comes, “they were not, they had warfare, that’s just the noble savage myth.”

    Who acts like the fundamentalist Christian here? It is a perfect parallel to the fundamentalist’s argument. In my first response to Bud I pointed out the illogic of the “proof” that Native Americans did not live in ecological balance, which is that they had warfare. What was his response? You’re anti-science.

    Christian to Bud: I know the truth, it’s in this book which is the word of God.

    Bud to Christian: But your book doesn’t make sense. See here how this is nutso?

    Christian to Bud: You’re anti-God!

    Whatever. Wester’s Indian scholar has it absolutely correct. It’s the ideology of the ideal. I said the same in a less succinct and less elegant way. If it doesn’t fit the ideological fantasy of what all these terms like “balance” and “conscious conservation” mean to the mentally masturbatory and highly creative Western mind, then it didn’t really exist, it was just a myth.

    It’s a racist tactic. And it’s why I have so much difficulty here. It is only this one issue. I don’t want to spend the end of the world with people who talk that way about my ancestors and family, because it’s ignorant and hateful. I want to spend time with other people who get it, but not if means enduring that.

    Gail’s comments and her questions are appropriate for a six-year-old, not an informed discussion on Native culture or history or their practices that would have prevented where we all are now.

  • Oldgrowthforest,Wester, David Higham, Shep- I appreciate your comments and support your views with regard to the tedious defence of the agenda driven anthropology and archaeology that Mr Nye and Gail attempt to promulgate.
    Having come to NBL via GA, I have read around the subject for approaching 20 years or so and am in complete agreement with your stance(s).

  • music [electronic]

    ODESZA – It’s Only (feat. Zyra)

  • Posted this on the forum by mistake, sorry for the duplication

    @ Bud

    With respect, I think you are completely misunderstanding the problem here, which is identical to the one you encountered with Scott Johnson (or whatever his name is, and those people you argued with for so long) only this time the situation is reversed and you are the one who is unable to see the limitations of your own perspective.

    You appear to believe that anthropology and archaeology support YOU and Gail and that there’s no issue or doubt. I mean, the debate has been raging for decades. Are you unaware of that ?

    I don’t know what Gail was when she first appeared here, but she appears to have become a supporter of neoliberal capitalist fascism.

    You appear to be suggesting that science is politically neutral, which is completely absurd. Sure, the empirical measurement of the salinity of seawater or the temperature of the air is objective and ‘a fact’, but after that, comes the INTERPRETATION of what the data MEANS. Which involves the worldview and cultural belief system of the individual who tries to fit the ‘fact’ into a mental model of what ‘reality’ is and what ‘existence’ is and what ‘the world’ is, etc.

    The fuckers that Gail quotes, Dawkins, Pinker, Diamond, etc, are, in the main, apologists and shills for Empire. They got their prestigious lucrative jobs by telling political and corporate power what it wants to hear. They get their names and books publicised by corporate media, because they say what’s acceptable to corporate media.

    Gail supports Pussy Riot. She’s not sufficiently astute to grasp the insanity of her position, on the one hand complaining about the ozone killing the trees, and on the other, supporting the very forces which are the root of the problem. Pussy Riot are the storm troopers for the colour revolution crap, to fool the liberal and progressive morons into supporting more corporate looting and pillaging. They’re the equivalent of John Perkins’s jackals.
    Modify message

  • Bud, you distort my words. I realized when I wrote it that I should have written that facts and science alone cannot allow anyone to understand culture. I have read plenty of anthropology, and archeology on the subject. I have read hundreds of books on the subject since I could read. I began as a child reading biographies of Sacajawea and other books on Indian people, like Tupe and Island of the Blue Dolphins, Scalps and Tomahawks, which has been reissued by the Smithsonian under a different title, and I never stopped. It’s my heritage, and I have visited reservations, visited museums, attended native cultural functions from Texas to California to Alaska. I have an education, thank you, and I took ample anthropology courses in college. In addition, I have read modern Indian scholars at length, including anthropologists.

    I asked you point bland three very important questions.

    1. Why does engaging in warfare or cannibalism mean they did not live in ecological balance? per your book and your quote.

    2. What does their use of fossil fuels have to do with anything? This is your comment that is meant to say something about their cultures. You are making a clear comment about the issue with this statement, and the merit of their cultures. It’s a jolly, “hey, they wouldn’t go back to what they had,” implication, when it doesn’t really imply that at all. Of course they wouldn’t go back to not having chainsaws and four wheelers as things now stand. The inference, however, is that they wouldn’t go back at all, and that is not accurate. There’s no evidence for that PERSONAL PERCEPTION that has nothing to do with science.

    3. Why is the term “noble savage” being discussed at all? It has no more substance to this conversation than discussing Santa Claus does. It is a racist, meaningless term for any of our purposes beyond dismissing them.

    You just insult, and you do so unjustly. I do have a special insight, a living insight of 62 years duration that spans Indians from Oklahoma to the Inupiat of Barrow. I have education and living experience, and it’s a hell of a lot more than a year. I spent two years meeting every week with Alaska’s most well known elder and traditional healer, discussing nothing but her life and her Yupik traditions. She has also been a friend for 15 years, and I’ve had lots of other talks with her, too. My job in Indian Health Services concerned culturally appropriate deliver of medical and behavioral health services to Alaska Natives in the bush.

    If you think I have nothing to offer here, I frankly don’t care. Your way is not enough. It’s not good enough. You think I’m the one who has limited information because I don’t value academia as you do. I’m okay with education. In fact, I was an exceptional student. But no one is as smart as Europeans think they are and your world view distorts much of the information, skewing your understanding of how it really works, because you address things from the outside in, attempting to determine their values (conservation) from material evidence. As a native person I see it the other way. I read your evidence and I have my personal experiences, a wealth of them, to weigh it against. And I see your evidence differently than you do.

    artleads, you are so correct. It never penetrates. Never. I’ve seen it all my life. It’s heart thing and a deep insecurity that compensates. Lots of Native scholars have commented on it. It’s funny, but this culture is the culture with rampant terrors and anxieties. It’s why more earths are needed so they can eventually get living on the planet right. The problem has never been education or knowledge. It’s always been that heart thing.

    I think at the end of the world everyone gets to decide for themselves what is important.

  • oldgrowthforest

    you said:

    “The problem has never been education or knowledge. It’s always been a heart thing.”

    So true! I agree with you in every way.
    Empirical evidence, information is all very well but if you can’t also feel/experience with what we call heart (or every fibre of your body), then you’re nowhere near.
    I think it’s not about “getting it”, “grasping the knowledge/information” but to feel,to experience. And there, descriptions which rely on words, are rarely adequate. I often feel that as soon as I’ve written something down, it loses its power. You probably feel that too.
    So science can never be enough because it doesn’t have the power to engage in the same way as real experience has. Observing and analysing bits and parts out of context will always take attention away from the whole. Science, in its place is good but it doesn’t help at all when coming to terms with NTE which involves paying attention to the whole. This, you have to feel.

    So, from what I can tell from your posts, paying the “right” attention to the world inside and out, is something you’ve done.

    And you’re lucky to know somebody like your healer friend of 15 years.

    Be well and keep on posting.

  • Tom Says:
    October 30th, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Dredd, here’s one for ya …
    An expansion on the theme (The Real Dangers With Microbes & Viruses).

  • oldgrowthforest & ulvfugl,

    I repeat and emphasize my November 1st, 2014 at 9:07 am comment. Furthermore, it seems both extreme and bizarre to me to consider the fields of archaeology, anthropology, and primatology, and someone who references them, as “racist”, turning to racist and other kinds of ad hominem attacks on me and others who disagree with you because these fields study GENERAL human characteristics, and their most up-to-date evidence and interpretations often do not support your favored emotional, religious, cultural, and political views.

    Daniel Kahneman makes the following points in his book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, that I think bear directly on this discussion by largely explaining many people’s strong desires to LIMIT THE EVIDENCE that they allow themselves to consider. This obviously also includes people who begin to learn about the global heating, ecological, and nuclear collapse self-annihilation trap:

    “…the presentation of one-sided evidence had a very pronounced effect on judgments. Furthermore, participants who saw one-sided evidence were more confident of their judgments than those who saw both sides. This is just what you would expect if the confidence that people experience is DETERMINED BY THE COHERENECE OF THE STORY THEY MANAGE TO CONSTRUCT FROM AVAILABLE INFORMATION. It is the consistency of the information that matters for a good story, NOT its completeness. Indeed, you will often find that knowing little makes it easier to fit everything you know into a coherent pattern. …‘what’ you see is all that is’ (WYSIATI) helps explain a long and diverse list of biases of judgment and choice, including the following among many others: Overconfidence: As the ‘what you see is all that is’ rule implies, NEITHER THE QUANTITY NOR THE QUALITY OF THE EVIDENCE COUNTS FOR MUCH IN SUBJECTIVE CONFIDENCE. The confidence that individuals have in their beliefs depends mostly on the quality of the story they can tell about what they see, even if they see little. WE OFTEN FAIL TO ALLOW FOR THE POSSIBILITY THAT EVIDENCE THAT SHOULD BE CRITICAL TO OUR JUDGMENT IS MISSING—WHAT WE SEE IS ALL THERE IS (WYSIATI). Furthermore, our associative system tends to settle on a coherent pattern of activation and suppresses doubt and ambiguity. Example: ‘They didn’t want more information that might spoil their story. WYSIATI.’”

    As I wrote, I respect your right to your beliefs and opinions (just as I have a right to mine). It looks as though we will just have to agree to disagree about some of these things. Meanwhile, just as both Keeley and LeBlanc provide both huge amounts of evidence and excellent reasoning to assert, humans throughout all of human history appear to have had severe trouble doing just that: respecting and allowing others to have their beliefs, and agreeing to disagree about many things.

  • @ Bud

    Wtf ?? Where did I suggest by any stretch that you are or were being ‘racist’ ?

    You obviously have some sort of problem with comprehension going on, and spin off into side tracks which have absolutely no bearing upon the actual points ogf raised and addressed to you.

    You think that Kahneman reference is relevant ? I don’t see that AT ALL.

    I happened to argue with Gail at great length right from the start of her researching on this subject and watched as she developed her arguments.

    She began with the conclusion she wanted to end up with and then went searching for the evidence to support it. She’s a forceful character who tolerates no dissent from her line of reasoning. Imo, her whole methodology was faulty right from the start. I told her that.

    The fact that she can find authoritative academic sources to back her arguments is no surprise, is it. At least, it’s not to ME. The social sciences are not like chemistry and physics, where experimentation and replication can decide an issue. Even then, there’s any amount of dispute and bickering. But in anthropology and archaeology it’s a million times worse, because almost everything comes down to interpretation.

    I find your position completely ridiculous and untenable, as I do Gail’s. It assumes that all people, at all times, are the SAME. Which we all know to be nonsense. Humans are immensely variable, and human cultures seem to be almost unbounded in what they can come up with.

    People here have raved about Jared Diamond because they like the idea that his work showed how civilisations collapsed, and that idea could be used as a stick to wave at Industrial Soceity. But numerous people have now gone over his work and found much that is wrong, and he’s been completely shredded, imo.

  • Ram writes:”We still need to cross the tipping points: I feel we’re right in that region, without any quantitative analysis, but we’ve not crossed those regions yet. The Arctic sea ice hasn’t melted yet in the summer and I’m not sure if it’ll happen this year or in the next decade or in the next two decades. These kinds of events have to happen.”

    You’re thinking in models that are outdated. The methane release is exponentially increasing and that’s really the only tipping point that is needed to be crossed. All the rest is window dressing for the funeral carriage. There is every indication we have far less time than any of us realize and it is both frustrating and highly amusing that having intellectual circle jerks is the best we can do. Since we’re too refined to stand around measuring our penises, we’re measuring our empathy levels today instead. I see no point in dying politely. Gonna make like an ape man.

  • Grant.


    How do know when you have passed a tipping point? Often we don’t until it’s too late and the a system makes a rapid change to a new state.

    A good analogy is a see-saw, which will remain tilted if the load on one end is greater than the other. Pouring grains of sand into a container fixed to the higher end apparently has no effect. And then, quite suddenly, the high end drops to the ground as the tipping point is passed. To the casual observer the system looks quite stable…. until it isn’t and flips to its new [stable] state.

    Good to see Apeman linked again. It is my ‘theme song’ and I have posted it several times in the past.

    “We haven’t learned much since the 1960s, have ‘we’?

    I am doing my best to ‘make like an apeman’ within the constraints of the ‘slave camp’ I am trapped in.

  • Grant and Kevin, that’s my point: the system has to change into a new state (or at least shift out of the current state) to say a tipping point has been crossed. We’ve not changed into a new state overall, and even the subsystems haven’t shifted, though I will say that we are changing. Even the shift is part of a continuum.

    Using the see saw analogy, we’ve been tipping over and over but it still hasn’t tipped over yet (so still the illusion of “all is well” to most). And there are multiple see saws.

    Saying “the methane release is exponentially increasing” is like saying the see saw is tipping over. You need to say what has happened as a result that has caused the earth system or subsystem to shift into a new state. The time it takes for a subsystem to shift into a new state gives you an indication of the relationship between cause and effect and the time taken.

    My point is simply that we’re in the process of shifting and in fact, right there in the thick of it. I’ve already said that I’ve given myself the Arctic ice melting to zero in the summer as my personal and arbitrary marker to state change as far as that particular subsystem is concerned (i.e., increased GHG levels, temperature rise, ice melting, albedo loss, methane release, increased GHG levels, etc.). This is really an arbitrary marker and all signs point to us crossing it sometime, but when? Today? Tomorrow? Next year? A decade? It has ramifications not just for humans but for other species also.

    The nice thing about chaotic systems is their unpredictability. Even if the human aspects are predictable what about the rest of the planet and the other species, from other mammals to plants to bacteria. What happens to them is of interest to me.

    Satisfying my curiousness to the extent possible is one of my pleasures and passions.

  • The Red Indians certainly had their cultural traditions and adaptations to their envronments. And they were assuredly massacred right, left and centre through conventional and bio-warfare just about anywhere there is human habitation today in the u.S. of A.

    But the Red Indians themselves had reached their own equilibrium amongst various tribes and nation through resorts to arms, amongst other means.

    My opinion of them changed radically with the reading of Carlos Castenada’s works. The giants among humans are to be found everywhere, even as the lotus may bloom from mud in a pond.

    “It’s heart thing” is operative at the reptilian brain, as intellect is at the mammalian (neocortex) and primate (frontal lobe) brain. The Yaqui way of knowledge referred to by Carlos Castenada as tne second attention, pragnya or bodha in the Vedic/Buddhist tradition.

    With regard to tipping points, Wile E. Coyote Esq., having run off the cliff, should be permitted the indulgence of feeling around with the toe for solid ground before he looks down.

  • Industrial civilization can’t run on high priced fuel. It could only happen in the first place with cheap, abundant fuel. I conclude that economic, financial, geopolitical events will bring collapse (melt down) before most of the ice melts down. Therefore, there won’t be food in the stores, not because it can’t grow, but because the industrial system can’t work. Remember North Korea? In other words, which will tip first; the ecosystem or the world economy? And yes, the changing climate is putting pressure on the world economy. They affect each other.

    Moving from a world that runs on fuel back to a world that runs on photosynthesis will be something to behold. IC was just a flash in the pan. It could happen in just a few months. The grass will still be growing. Some cultures won’t know that anything big has happened.

  • @ OGF,

    In haste, I sort of messed up my white ranger joke. the actual punch line is, “what’d u mean, we, PALEFACE.”

    @ obama

    the man finally uttered a true line: “when u ask a republican if they believe in climate change, they reply, ‘i’m not a scientist. when u ask them about a woman’s right to choose, they suddenly become doctor’s.’

    @ pbs

    this corporation is, of course, a one percenter, however, the programs have suddenly taken on a new face in the last few months or so. climate change and racism are fairly prevalent. however, they all end with a whitewash and hope.

  • Ram says “Grant and Kevin, that’s my point: the system has to change into a new state….”

    And the New State is the one we’re in. In case you haven’t noticed, Radical Changes are going on Right Now. Your personal line in the sand of there being an ice free Arctic summer is completely arbitrary.
    The methane release doesn’t care about projections, ideologies, ethnic background or moral fortitude. The rays of the sun are not aimed to make anyone happy.

    The see-saw is too simplistic a metaphor. There is no ON/OFF switch to methane release, at least not one we can live to see because we’re talking about tens of thousands of years. By the time there is a clearly defined, easy to see for even the dumbest of US Senators marker between Livable Planet and Hellscape, we will all be dead.

  • Well, as I wrote, Bud, why don’t you answer the three questions instead of going off on more theories that you’ve acquired from scholars and deciding that is all there is to my comments. Obviously, a lot of people who are knowledgeable don’t agree with you.

    I think you misunderstand me, Bud. I’m not saying Native Americans NEVER over exploited their environment, NEVER had a civilization crash and dispersed back to the forests, or that they never exhausted their agricultural fields from lack of knowledge, or that they never managed their environment in what others could argue was “unnatural.”

    What I am saying is, the knowledge available to people now is insufficient to make such simplistic sweeping judgments like, they NEVER lived in balance, they were not conscious custodians of their lands, or, as appears here ~ they were at the peak of their whatever and were on their way down. I do not believe that such simplistic statements can be made about them and be valid. I don’t think those things have been proved in the least. And I’m not convinced those conclusions are the only conclusions that the evidence supports. On the contrary, I think the evidence shows that whatever they might have done in the past, when Europeans arrived they were doing well enough. Well enough to continue well into the future. The land was rich, abundant, and closer to a natural state than anything in Europe had been for a few thousand years. Apparently, you’re so confident in your knowledge that you cannot handle anyone questioning it, because you refuse to answer my questions.

    And yes, I stand by my statements that the entire “noble savage” dismissal is absurd and racist. Does anyone really believe that 21st century educated Americans are laboring under the “noble savage myth” of the late 17th century? Three hundred and 40 or so years later, arguing against the “noble savage myth” seems irrelevant and ridiculous. Get over it. It’s not even a mediocre dismissal, it’s an old, trite, and stupid dismissal, an all-purpose, means everything and nothing tactic that is pure ad hominem.

    And yes, Bud, I do have a lot of confidence in my above comments. And so far, you have not given any good reason that I should not, other than you understand how wrong I am.

    Thanks, Sabine. You wrote, “Observing and analysing bits and parts out of context will always take attention away from the whole.” It’s difficult to articulate what I want to say along those lines, but yes, bits and parts out of context do not give a perfect model of reality. I worked in the medical field for a very long time, and if anyone understands science applied to living organisms, it’s the medical field. Medicine is about as scientific as it gets, includes all the rigorous research, all the peer reviews, all the theories, all the science, and then doctors and medical staff get to apply all that to living humans and see how it works. And we all know it’s not anywhere near as effective, consistent and valid universally as “science” is in the laboratories, theories and the books. Yes, we do know this.

    What I am trying to articulate is two vastly different world views. It’s almost like cultures create different universes on a shared planet. Native Americans were almost universally accepting of spiritual realities. Their entire reality was spiritual as well as material, and their experience of reality was that of a relationship. They lived in a relationship with the world. The earth wasn’t a resource. It was a living world of change and response that required a perspective of subject to subject, not subject to object.

    The Western, modern scientific view of reality is that it is exclusively material, and it is a magical machine, creating a world of cause and effect. It is fundamentally a dead world, where people keep trying to understand it and the Life in it, by removing parts and examining them at microscopic and subatomic levels.

    The two world views are irreconcilable. That is part of why the native peoples had to be entirely removed, because collectively we cannot live in the world both ways, it must be one or the other. One of those ways of seeing may not be perfect, but I’m convinced that the evidence proves that one way is far more effective at preserving life than the other. I think it’s undeniable.

    Further, as Wester points out, I don’t think the ideas and so-called “knowledge” that drives the destruction of the world and has for millennia in Europe, where animals and forests were decimated thousands of years ago, can possibly be qualified to judge the value, the consciousness, and the limitations of what they destroyed (and started destroying from the first moment Columbus put his filthy, psychopathic toes on sand). Not only are they not quailed because of the destruction, but also because no peoples from the dominant culture have ever achieved anything close to the balance the Indians did have, even if what they had was not “Eden on earth.” Whatever they had it was good enough to steal every single bit of it, and it was far better than where we all are now, especially for every other form of life.

    Real human intelligence isn’t about intellectually understanding the universe in a god-like manner.

  • Sorry huymans, but I need to post this somewhere, anywhere except my head.

    There are 6 reasons for the current mass extinction event, and climate heating is only just one of those six reasons, this is why “green” energy won’t save us.
    ► 10,000 years ago humans and our livestock made up 0.01% of all animal biomass.
    ► Now humans and our livestock make up 97% of all animal biomass.
    ► Humans and livestock consume 40% of earth’s annual green land biomass.
    ► 1 million people born every 4½ days. People live longer.
    ► 50% of All Vertebrate Species have gone extinct since 1960.
    ► 50% of All Vertebrate Species that are left will be gone by 2040.
    ► 90% of Big Ocean Fish gone since 1950.
    ► 50% of Great Barrier Reef gone since 1985.
    ► 50% of Fresh Water Fish gone since 1987.
    ► 30% of Marine Birds gone since 1995.
    ► 28% of Land Animals gone since 1970.
    ► 28% of All Marine Animals gone since 1970.
    ► 50% of Human Sperm Counts gone since 1950.
    ► 90% of Lions gone since 1993.
    ► 90% of Monarch Butterflies gone since 1995.
    ► 93 Elephants killed every single day.
    ► 2-3 Rhinos killed every single day.
    ► Bees die from malnutrition lacking bio-diverse pollen sources.
    ► Extinctions are 1000 times faster than normal.–Facing-the-Mass-Extinctiony
    What’s going to happen to us?
    ► Ocean acidification doubles by 2050.
    ► Ocean acidification triples by 2100.
    ► We are on track in just 13 years to lock in a near term 6°C earth temp rise.
    ► Mass Extinction will become unstoppable and irreversible in 40 years.
    ► Permian mass extinction of 95% of life took 60,000 years 250 million years ago.
    ► Dinosaurs mass extinction took 33,000 years after asteroid impact.
    ► Anthropogenic mass extinction will take 300 years max.
    ► This mass extinction is 100x faster than anything before us.
    ► Antarctic meltdown now irreversible and unstoppable.
    ► Arctic methane burst is irreversible and unstoppable within current system.
    ► It takes 10 times as much rated “green” energy to displace 1 unit of fossil energy.
    ► Efficiency and conservation only causes more growth within our current system.
    ► World Bank says we have 5-10 years before we all fight for food and water.

    World energy demand is to increase 50% by mid-century exactly when we should decrease fossil fuels use close to 80% to mitigate climate heating. To increase green energy up to 40% of total energy use by 2050, we would need 200% more copper with future ore concentrations lower than the current 0.4%. We would need 150% more aluminum and 90% more iron at the same time it starts to cost too much money to send the trucks that far down into the pits.

    Dr. Ugo Bardi explains why mining ore grades below energy break even costs leads to economic collapse.

    We can’t have hi-tech green energy without producing thorium as a costly radioactive waste byproduct usually discharged into tailings (lake sized) ponds. China is planning to get carbon free energy from thorium to pay for the minerals we need to produce our information green energy dreams.

    China has produced a bit over 6 gigatons of cement in the last 3 years.
    U.S. has produced a bit over 4 gigatons of cement in the last 100 years.
    China’s banks have produced $15 trillion of debt in the last 5 years.
    U.S. commercial banks have produced $15 trillion of debt in the last 100 years.
    China plans to build 500 nuclear plants in 35 years.
    China and India are in a crash course program to produce thorium energy forever to sell us computers, solar panels and wind turbines which wear out in 25 years.

  • Grant, my personal line is part of a continuum of change and I myself said it was arbitrary but anyone who claims to know what’s going on needs to be able to tell me how long it will take for that line to be crossed and be right about it. A see saw is a fine metaphor provided it is viewed continuously as I was doing, representing a phase diagram: it is not just on/off but rather on/off (left/right) and all regions of change in between continuously. And as I said, there are multiple see saws representing different phases for a given state.

    Like I said, if you feel so confident that you know where we are, then tell me how long it will take for the Arctic ice in the summer to go to zero (both area and volume). Will it happen in 2015 you think? Or 2016? As many have predicted. Within this decade? Heck, I am confident it will happen someday because of the 40 year lag even with emissions going to zero tomorrow provided there’s no geoengineering to remove the excess carbon, but I can’t predict how long it will take for the saw to tip over. I think you’re misunderstanding me if you think I am saying it won’t happen. I’m saying we don’t know the time it will take to happen properly yet and that determines a lot of other things regarding the quality of life of humanity and other species.

    Our climate hasn’t shifted to a new equilibrium yet. It would be quantifiable. See the plots by Sam Carana in his recent posts and also in this one, which illustrates where we are in the phase change:

    The entire “plateau” in surface temperatures is a signal to me that we’re somewhere in the thick of mixing of phases. The plots of Arctic and Antarctic temperature anomalies, where the temperature changes have been the greatest, mostly have this same trapezoidal/serpentine curve shape.

    As Robin says, we’re at the equivalent of Wile E. Coyote having gone off the cliff and falling down (I think we’re beyond the tip toeing point) but not having hit the ground yet. I agree we’re in the process of falling but how long it takes to hit the ground will determine the quality of life humanity and what will happen to all the other species out there. I see many people write about worrying about other species—isn’t a collective cornered animal response a concern?

  • I accidentally posted this on the other post.

    It appears that my understanding of “noble savage” is more common than I realized. While we all know that Wikipedia is not scholarly material, clearly the culturally biased and racist use of “noble savage” is not an obscure understanding.

    “During the 19th century the idea that men were everywhere and always the same that had characterized both classical antiquity and the Enlightenment was exchanged for a more organic and dynamic evolutionary concept of human history. Advances in technology now made the indigenous man and his simpler way of life appear, not only inferior, but also, even his defenders agreed, foredoomed by the inexorable advance of progress to inevitable extinction. The sentimentalized “primitive” ceased to figure as a moral reproach to the decadence of the effete European, as in previous centuries. Instead, the argument shifted to a discussion of whether his demise should be considered a desirable or regrettable eventuality. As the century progressed, native peoples and their traditions increasingly became a foil serving to highlight the accomplishments of Europe and the expansion of the European Imperial powers, who justified their policies on the basis of a presumed racial and cultural superiority.” [37]

    “Ellingson finds that any remotely positive portrayal of an indigenous (or working class) person is apt to be characterized (out of context) as a supposedly “unrealistic” or “romanticized” “Noble Savage”. He points out that Fairchild even includes as an example of a supposed “Noble Savage”, a picture of a Negro slave on his knees, lamenting lost his freedom. According to Ellingson, Fairchild ends his book with a denunciation of the (always unnamed) believers in primitivism or “The Noble Savage”—whom he feels are threatening to unleash the dark forces of irrationality on civilization.”[56]

    Ellingson argues that the term “noble savage”, an oxymoron, is a derogatory one, which those who oppose “soft” or romantic primitivism use to discredit (and intimidate) their supposed opponents, whose romantic beliefs they feel are somehow threatening to civilization. Ellingson maintains that virtually none of those accused of believing in the “noble savage” ever actually did so. He likens the practice of accusing anthropologists (and other writers and artists) of belief in the noble savage to a secularized version of the inquisition, and he maintains that modern anthropologists have internalized these accusations to the point where they feel they have to begin by ritualistically disavowing any belief in “noble savage” if they wish to attain credibility in their fields.”[57]

  • Once they make their pitch, you can pretty much stop watching, but these guys make a pretty convincing argument about the economic collapse that will precede the ecological collapse.

  • Grant.

    Although the playground seesaw appears simplistic, it is nevertheless not a bad model.

    Humanity has been pouring grains of sand into the container on the high end for thousands of years, initially as a very tiny trickle, but more recently since the 1700s) at an ever-faster rate.

    Perhaps I should have added when I proposed the seesaw analogy that there is considerable friction at the pivot which substantially slows the movement when the weight difference between the two ends is small.

    That leads me to the important point:

    You said: ‘And the New State is the one we’re in. In case you haven’t noticed, Radical Changes are going on Right Now’.

    I disagree. I put it to you that the low end has started to lift off the ground but still has a long way to go to reach its ‘new state’ (unless you are counting moving as the ‘new state’.)

    The point of much disagreement amongst commenters on NBL is rate at which the new state will be reached (15 years versus 50 years) and how long the seesaw is (determining how high the currently low end will reach.

    The ignorant masses who make up the bulk of western societies have no idea the seesaw can move and believe their purpose in life is to add sand to the high end, or think the seesaw has gone up and down in the past and that there is nothing to worry about. The evil sociopaths that pass for leaders in the western world are primarily concerned with adding more sand because they make short-term profits from trading in sand.

    I have no problem accepting that the currently low end could rise in temperature by between 4oC and 10oC (average biosphere temperature) before the end of this century. I have considerable difficulty accepting that such a massive shift will occur in a decade or two.

    However, that is not the most important point as far as I am concerned, the important point is that the small displacement already achieved of about 0.8oC has proven to be enough to destabilise longstanding climate conditions and lead to catastrophe in the form of severe droughts, floods and wild swings in temperature. The maniacs in control of the system ignore all the scientific evidence and all the mayhem and say: “Pour sand onto the high end faster.”

  • Grant, I don’t know what I’d do without you. I’m skipping almost everybody nowadays. But then, hey, you show up! Thank God you’re still here!

    A Pathetic Game Of Grab-ass

    Bicker, bicker, bicker,
    get your boots it’s gettin’ thicker.
    I don’t even want to know
    what drives your freaking egos so.
    I just wish the end was quicker.

  • @ OGF & C-I

    I ran across this tune and lyrics when I was dubbing an old tape to DVD. It is a tune sung by Peter Rowan of Bluegrass fame called Land of the Navajo that is full of lament and sorrow. I hope you fellows like it.

    Land Of The Navajo

    Oh the wind blows cold
    On the trail of the buffalo
    Oh the wind blows cold
    In the land of the Navajo
    In the land of the Navajo

    A hundred miles from nowhere out on the desert sand
    One Eyed Jack the trader hold some turquoise in his hand
    By his side sat Running Elk his longtime Indian friend
    He vowed that he would stay by Jack until the bitter end

    Jack had gambled everything he owned to leave this wondering life
    He might have had a happy home and a tender loving wife
    But his hunger was for trading trapper’s furs for turquoise stones
    Anything that the Indians had Jack wanted for his own

    Said Jack to Running Elk I’ll gamble all my precious stones
    Before I leave my body here among these bleaching bones
    Though now my time is drawing near and I’m filled with dark regrets
    My spirit longs to journey as the sun begins to set

    We raped and killed we stole your land
    We rule with guns and knives add whiskey to your waters
    While we stole away your wives
    said Running Elk what’s done is done you white men rule this land
    so lay the cards face up and play your last broken hearted hand

    * Refrain

    When your dealing cards with death the joker’s wild the ace is high
    Jack bet the Mississippi River running Elk raised him the sky
    Jack saw him with the sun and room and upped him with the stars
    Running Elk bet the Rocky Mountains Jupiter and Mars

    The sun was sinking in the west when Jack draw the ace of spades
    Running Elk just rolled his eyes and smiled and passed away
    Jack picked up his turquoise stones and cast them to the sky
    He stared into the setting sun and made the mournful cry

    * Refrain

  • “Our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.” Notice Sagan talks about our “fervent hatreds” and makes no distinction between race, class, geographical or temporal location when he describes the “folly of HUMAN conceits”. When you look at the BIG picture, at scale, we are all one species and our destructive, extractive behavior is indistinguishable between cultures and epochs. This doesn’t excuse egregious evil. But it puts it solidly within the purview of who we all are.

  • And a lot of people look toward Sagan with awe and reverence, as some sort of guru- as indeed I did myself once, when I first watched his Cosmos series. And I suppose, when so many Americans are completely batshit crazy, he’s refreshing. But now I regard him with very different eyes. He seriously planned blowing up the Moon with nuclear weapons, just for kicks, to show it could be done, to impress everyone, down here on Earth, just how powerful HIS AMERICAN SCIENCE was. And of course, seeing as the Moon, just like everything else that exists, is ‘just stuff’ and has no MEANING, what would it matter, if the Moon was blown to pieces… and he had total right to do this, without consulting anyone else on the planet, just because he could, because USA had the technology and nobody else could stop them…

    Fucking egomaniac schoolboy show off tv star pot head whose wife was twice as smart as he was.

  • And this ‘we are all the same’ bullshit. If you mean we all have two arms and two legs and fuck to reproduce, yes, there’s broad general biological similarity. But what matters with humans, is behaviour, and that’s mostly down to culture, which is almost infinitely variable.
    The Tairona empire was conquered by the Spanish (or Portuguese, I forget which) and decided that the Europeans were evil and wrong, and rejected their culture. They CHOSE not to adopt any of the so-called advantages of Western technology. They stayed with that decision for 400 years ! They’ve done fine. They consider ‘our civilisation’ as totally immature, deluded and irresponsible. They call us the ‘reckless younger brother’ who destroys everything.

    We don’t listen to them because we despise them because we know better, hahahaha, because WE have the power to blow up the Moon, and they don’t ! We also have the power to cause our own extinction. If we lived as the Kogi live, that would not happen.

  • This One not from New Zealand but from Australia wich is close by thats why it is fitting Tony Abbott says ‘coal is good for humanity’ while opening mine

  • Re: Robert Callaghan

    Actually, more than 1M people are born every 4 1/2 days. Births over deaths is 1M in that period.

  • ogf, i don’t know why u take such umbrage at the term ‘noble savage’. to me, it’s a compliment. i wish i was a noble savage. free from dogmata/’authority’, more in touch/tune with nature. it would surely beat the existence i do have as a domesticated animal, an ignoble sherson, living a largely meaningless life in comfort, repression, and resentment.

    ‘► 1 million people born every 4½ days…’

    callaghan, this is the third or 4th time i’m pointing out to u that the above bullet point, among the moderately lengthy list u post repeatedly (i don’t mind; such a list bears repeating imo), is in error. to be correct, it should state that human population is increasing at the rate of 1,000,000 every 4 1/2 days. births for that time period are actually well in excess of a mil., but hundreds of thousands of deaths occur simultaneously.

    kevin, re. your most recent comment using the metaphor of the friction impaired see-saw and all the rest, i agree with it all. of all the doom prognosticators here regarding likely severity and uncertainty of when devastating climate change occurs, your proposals most closely mirror my own. and yes, those ‘in control’ r fucking maniacs, while the ‘masses’ r ignorant. this also bears repeating.

  • Kirk Hamilton says:

    A Pathetic Game Of Grab-ass

    Bicker, bicker, bicker,
    get your boots it’s gettin’ thicker.
    I don’t even want to know
    what drives your freaking egos so.
    I just wish the end was quicker.

    Kirk, very nice! ☺

    Kirk Hamilton says: “I’m skipping almost everybody nowadays.”

    Little-Known Slogan from the Sixties

    Some wisdom at times intervenes
    In my usual dumbass routines
    When fate has me recall
    A short scrawl on some wall:
    “Thou shalt not take part in bad scenes.”

  • “ogf, i don’t know why u take such umbrage at the term ‘noble savage’. to me, it’s a compliment. i wish i was a noble savage. free from dogmata/’authority’, more in touch/tune with nature. it would surely beat the existence i do have as a domesticated animal, an ignoble sherson, living a largely meaningless life in comfort, repression, and resentment.”

    Going back and reading the number of posts where ogf talks about the subject might be helpful. The phrase is not an innocent one (or a term of respect) but one caught up with the prerogatives of empire and control. It isn’t a phrase used for people you see as fellow beings of equal worth. It objectified people in keeping with the need to subjugate and marginalize. At least, not having given much thought to the term previously, that’s the sense I get.

    On NBL, facing NTE, we are entreated to live lives of excellence; not lives of callousness and willful ignorance.

  • The greatest biomass on planet Earth for the past several billion years has been microbes and viruses.

    Including now.