A Report from the Front Line and More Media from New Zealand

by Andrew Rundle-Keswick

Yesterday Guy McPherson met with a group of us at Tapu te Ranga Marae in Wellington, New Zealand. Guy’s presentation is embedded below, along with subsequent discussion.

We had a very interesting and lively discussion.

Part way though the discussion one of the participants, Robert Atack raised up the subject of the possibility that any child born today, won’t make it past their 20th birthday, and asked the question why are people still having kids. (This is not a direct quote, just the essence of the discussion that I remember.) The response from the room was very loud and strong against him and I wanted to jump in and offer my support for a conversation exploring the issues he was raising. At the time, as I was sitting there listening to the strong back forth flow of discussion, I couldn’t think of anything to say. It’s only now (at 3am) that the points that I would have liked to have raised have come to mind.

If I had not had a brain freeze and had had the courage to stand up and comment to the angry room, this is what I might have said.

During the tea break some of us were discussing the film “The Road” based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy. As a parent when I watched that film I tried to decide what I would do for my children if (or when) the world degrades to that level of Anarchy (state of disorder). If you haven’t seen “The Road” substitute your favourite Hollywood dystopian film (“Book of Eli” through to “Mad Max”).

If I was in a world similar to “The Road”, where cannibalism was rife, what would I choose for my children, the way out (of suicide) that the character of the mother did in that film, by walking out on her husband and child to freeze to death in the snow. Or would I be more like the father and try to struggle on in a slowly deteriorating world trying to bring up my child in that horrible world where a highlight of my child’s life is to have the experience of having a coke with my dad. (Even in a dystopian movie coke has to get its advertising in.) Or is there a 3rd choice, which is to have the guts to help my son and daughter to commit suicide (IE some sort of family drink the kool-aid thing), or be willing to kill them my self. When my wife and I finally got to grips with all the information from “Nature Bats Last” and other such sites, we had a conversation about if we had known earlier would we still have had our children? Don’t get me wrong, I love my 2 children very dearly and now that I have them I wouldn’t give them up, so I guess my choice would be to do as the father did in “The Road” and do my best to give my children the best life I can provide.

These are the sort of questions I think we need to be willing to talk about and I know this is not an easy subject to talk about and I was very disappointed that a room of people (many of whom had listened to Guy’s talk on Friday night at the Dowse) were not more willing to be open to discuss these issues.

So I wish to apologise to Robert for not standing up and supporting him and encouraging the room to be willing to consider his point of view.


23 October 2014 podcast with Tim Lynch in New Zealand: Dr Guy McPherson – Collapse, Disruption, Runaway Greenhouse Gases and Ecological Overshoot

Comments 165

  • Video from Saturday.

    Part 1

  • Andrew Rundle-Keswick

    Guy McPherson 25-10-14

  • The mood of the room was strongly opposed to Robert raising it in the fashion he did [ there were two youngsters and their mum in the group].
    I just sat quite and followed the debate

    Martin – of the Pink Floyd T shirt

  • I just recently thought about this myself. I don’t have children and I think one of the main reason I did not get them was, that I grew up in West Germany in the 70s and 80s, smack in the middle of Cold War times. The notion, that we could kill ourselves off, disappear from the face of this planet in the very near future was kind of the main theme of my childhood. I grew up with jet fighters over my head, pershings stationed a few kilometres from our house and in the direct vicinity of the European NATO headquarter. The most consoling thing our teachers in school could tell us was that, when shit hit the fan, we would be among the lucky few who’d die in the first nuclear blast and would not have to worry about radioactive fallout, plutonium poisoning or starving to death afterward. It was always “when” it wasn’t an “if” … actually, reaching adulthood kind of came as a surprise to me.

    I also, believe it or not, learned about the Limits of Growth in school, about fossile fuels being a limited resource, about the planet suffocating under human overpopulation. I remember a trip to a mathematics museum where they had a population clock … a simple counter that tried to keep up with the number of people on this planet. The single digit was just a blur, but even the tenth and hundredth sped by way faster than I would have thought possible. I don’t remember how many humans were added to the world population in the few moments I stood in front of that clock. Several thousands? Tenths of thousands? Anyway … I kind of made a vow to myself in that moment not to add to that number.

    I guess what I am saying is: this human extinction thing is not really that new … we have been working on it for a while.

  • I have two mentally disabled children. They are the most beautiful souls on the planet. But they go through 50 nappies a week, and we are just just starting to teach them how to feed themselves.

    We live in Cape Town, South Africa, and summers are hell since they are abnormally big (gigantism comes to mind – we are testing for this) and we have no zircon.

    I would not have had my children. I love them with my whole heart, but seeing them suffer like this…I don’t believe I would have had them if I could choose. They don’t want for anything but a piece of string to play with, they are soooooo loving and makes me tear up just by thinking of them. I believe God places certain people in your life though and they have helped me grow so much as an individual – I have learned about natural living and not being materialistic. I still learn daily and their teaching never ceases.

    So having said that, I have to say I would not have had them. I would spare them the suffering. But in the absence of this decision having been made 9 years ago, I agree with the writer and say I am doing my utmost best to give my children the best life I can.

    People are so oblivious to what is happening in the world – they carry on and party and live as if they are immortal and the earth will last forever. But God has foretold this – up till the last days people will still marry and have children. When I look at facebook t is riddled with photos of parties and people going on trips accross the globe – I remember how I used to be and therefore cannot judge them, but feel a sharp sense of sadness that I know what their ‘holiday trips’ and ‘honeymoons’ are costing us.

    People don’t want to know – it hurts too much. I think the pain is too much to bear and therefore “if the world is gonna die let’s enjoy it while it lasts” type of scenario. Everyone likes to hear that the thing they want most can be attained, but at a cost. The listen to the previous sentence only until the ‘but’.

    This is the saddest truth – those who collect knowledge collects sorrow. And if I didn’t believe what I do and know what I do now…would I live any differently? Because I also enjoyed my life at the cost of the earth and myself before.

    People will deny what is happening and the crisis until the second they die from it. Only in their last moments will they realise they could have made a difference, if only…

  • If humanity hadn’t possessed empathy we doubtless wouldn’t have progress very far along the evolutionary path.i don’t think I’m wrong in claiming that McCormic’s The Road emerges from a culture that promotes a lot of fear and encourages a belief in the survival of the fittest. Therefore the depressing take on human nature.
    It is quite possible we are to be bumped off the planet and for once in the history earth a supposed rational speices will be responsible for its own demise. However when confronted with this overwhelming fate I still choose to believe that our empathic nature is our “other road”.
    100 million were killed in wars and political turmoil in the 20th century. I think we can conclude, despite everything, empathy prevailed.
    Though I must admit here in the 21st we could end up with a future of untold suffering because of our cultures obsession with cultivating fear instead of promoting empathy. I still believe we have a choice as to how we will make our final exit.

  • I first became aware of climate change living in England in 1976. The dry hot drought felt more like Spain I knew this was exceptionally abnormal.During the 80s living in Central New Zealand people talked of flowers and shrubs blooming in the middle of Winter! In 1991 I picked up a book in the “reduced to clear” box called “It’s a matter of Survival” based on a Canadian radio series one of its authors was David Suzuki. It said we had one last chance to dismantle Industrial Civilisation, the ten years to 2000. If we didn’t we’d lose the World that nurtured us and it’d be unrecognisable by 2040 the “year of despair.” Since 1979 our atmosphere has accumulated the heat equivalent of over 3 billion Hiroshima bombs! This road of observation has concluded now that NTHE is on the cards maybe well before 2050. basically we’ve destroyed the habitability of the Planet and our own human future- there is none.We thought this couldn’t happen to us that arrogance and our inability to cooperate ( just look at all the appalling wars and atrocities we’ve done to each other since recorded civilisation! began- a never ending list and now we’re willing to nuke each other!) will see us out.We have the distinction of being the most destructive species ever in this Planet’s history of billions of years.

    I believed this book and since then for 24 years watched as its predictions have come true.

  • So long Jack Bruce.

    Cream – Strange Brew

    Here it is late October and no killing frost in my neck of the woods. Calm before the storm no doubt.

  • Andrew,

    Thanks for your comments. I have often had similar brain freezes; I usually don’t think very quickly “on my feet”. I have found that the most helpful thing involves practicing in advance, but of course we often don’t have the opportunity to do that. (But I do have myself prepared for when someone makes sexist or other kinds of prejudicial remarks or jokes in groups. I will no longer passively support that behavior.) I agree with Robert (and you) about not having children. We often talk openly about this issue in our monthly Extinction Support Group (ESG) meetings, an excellent venue for exactly this kind of discussion. Have you considered starting an ESG in your area?


    Thanks for the link to the excellent Abby Martin program with Tavis Smiley! (I do disagree with Smiley’s advocacy for rage near the end, and his assertion that lacking rage necessarily results in apathy.)

  • Relevancy alert!

    as the fracking bubble explodes out from the U.S. to China, China’s emissions will come down switching from coal to gas while America enters the poverty of unsustainable sustainable wind and solar power in a post gas bubble implosion. we now expensively treat inexhaustible thorium as radioactive waste while we extract the heavy rare earth elements our hi-tech sustainable energy needs. if we use thorium to pay for the sheer thermodynamic idiocy of green power, we perhaps have a chance to use thorium to clean up uranium. are we just too stupid to live? yes.

  • Sore Talking Points:

    It’s like GE says, “Let’s use more conflict minerals and rare earth elements and nano-particles to produce 4 times less rated energy while depleting the world of more, not less, of its resources.” We’ll call it “green energy!”

    Then we’ll pay the McKibben/Klein apocalypt-optimists to ensure that governments and corporations take charge of carbon tax dividends and the private citizen be damned. We can use workfare gulags or run them over with armored personnel vehicles.

  • Here’s what we get

  • “too stupid to live” well too stupid to not parrot big nuke talking points at least ;)

    I already went over – in detail – the folly of nuclear energy by exposing their ‘dirty little secret’ of neutron activation producing millions of tons of nuclear waste. speaking of which, had a whiff of WHIPP lately?

    so besides this jewel:

    (direct quote)

    “The destruction of the natural world is not the result of global capitalism, industrialisation, “Western civilisation” or any flaw in human institutions..”

    another shining example is “I don’t think the over 400 nuclear reactors melting down will be the extinction event some people say it will be” and that “Fukushima isn’t really a problem”

    and all of this hilarity is coming from this same ‘small group’ of which Robert ‘Goldwater’ Callaghan has been pasting his list of talking points verbatim, bullets and all, there too, to acclaim I might add..

    and now speaking of ‘small groups’ :

    that’s a nice convenient version of history that leaves out two very important details:

    1.) ‘small groups’ were in reality over 100 million, just on the North American continent alone

    2.) the ‘small group’ responsible for exploiting fossil fuels is also the ‘small group’ responsible for the largest genocide in history – of this (and many other) ‘small groups’

    a 100 million plus ‘small group’ that lived in balance with nature, having deep respect for nature as part of their culture, for tens of thousands of years.

    the colonists specifically wiped out this respect for nature – because in their ‘culture’ nature is something to be exploited ’till exhaustion or extinction, for profit, for coin

    [- insert portrait of beautifully stamped genuine Native American hand made coins here -]

    Native Americans were polar opposite of all this and so had to be eliminated along with this diametrically opposed to capitalistic exploitation, respect for nature

    the colonists actually took our children to impoundment camps they called ‘schools’ where they ‘re-educated’ them on ‘superior European / colonist ways – our children were forced to wear their clothes and learn English, while any display of traditional Indian culture or values was savagely punished & suppressed.

    – the same thing took place on the ‘reservations’ (open prison camps – you know, like they’re doing right now to the Palestinians)

    this ‘small group’ is the culture of invasion, colonisation, exploitation, usury, profit and enslavement and call themselves ‘the master race’, and presently, ‘the masters of the universe’ – the too-big-to-jail bankster crooks.

    okay Mr. Goldwater, heads up ;

    THIS is the ‘small group’ that extends the loans for fracking they profit from the interest payments on, while the frackers are paying them $ 1.70 for every $ 1. they make from ‘tight oil’ and tar sands, a ratio that is getting even worse as the price of oil drops.

    in other words this ‘small group’ – the bankster crooks – are directly funding the most ecologically distructive type of fossil fuel extraction on earth, while blowing yet another financial bubble who’s rupture will be covered as always, by the working poor’s taxes

    privatize the profits, socialize the losses – THIS is what capitalism really is

    okay Mr. Goldwater, go back to your Thorium pebbles, I mean bullet points..

    a tiny ‘small group’ (what OWS calls the 1 %) exploiting and raping everything and everyone else, and the CO2 charts show that it is THIS ‘small group’, doing what they do, that created the 6’th extinction, by their own hands.

    specifically their capitalistic exploitation of fossil fuels ’till exhaustion (see fracking, above)

    all this blather about ancient cultures and people not being perfect little Angels, by this “small group’s” cherry-picked version of reality (which totally ignores what the CO2 charts show, and specifically rejects rising greenhouse gases as being the cause of the 6’th extinction, but instead focuses exclusively on species and habitat loss, cherry picks the worst examples (or just makes them up – Hi BUD!), pretends it was like that everywhere, and that we’re all like this, and then calls for BAU – for the continued extraction and exploitation of fossil fuels, to ‘protect’ from the predicted cold hungry hoards of poor people ‘chopping down all the trees’ (exact quote)

    and like the attack on renewables, this attack on history’s goal is, to maintain the lifestyle and privilege of this tiny ‘small group’ and protect them from everyone else

    their greatest fear is that ending fossil fuel extraction will bring about ‘chopping down all the trees’ and having to deal with ‘hoards of cold hungry poor people’ coming after them

    the state of the rest of world’s people is of no concern to them – they’re seen merely as ‘excess population’ or as they used to call them ‘useless eaters’

    the rich’s wet dream is to eliminate the excess population so they can exploit what’s left of nature for themselves, and hold off climate chaos a bit longer by reduced emissions produced by this vastly smaller ‘small group’ while actually on a per-person basis, their carbon footprint is a million times larger

    but they don’t care – they’ll do anything to maintain their comfortable privileged high fossil energy elite lifestyle

    this is why you don’t see the rich going all out to build ecologically friendly communities, or ‘eco-villages’ as they like to call them.

    hell, they spend more on PR to convince us that “we’re all to blame” (therefore no one’s to blame – and specifically THEY’RE not to blame)

    following the money trail and what the PR is bought for (what the PR narratives are) leads directly back to them

    sourcewatch and PRwatch data shows they’re spending billions of dollars a year to maintain BAU and deflect attention away from the capitalistic exploitation of fossil fuels by this tiny ‘small group’ who directly fund the think tanks and front groups, and who fund an army of lobbyists to turn democracy into oligopoly.

    they know sooner or later as things spiral out of control, people will put two and two together and rightly target them as the biggest environmental criminals history has ever known, so they’re pulling out every stop now while they still can, to shift the narrative as far from this reality as possible.

    the gameplan is simple:

    every dumb ‘useless eater’ we fool into blaming themselves for our ecocidal profiteering is one less rioter that won’t be coming for us when the SHTF

    they have no other concerns

  • Thank you, Crazy Inventor, for pointing out the numerous logical fallacies in Robert Callahan’s rant. You saved many of us the trouble. Callahan’s speech is dripping with indignant innuendo, phony outrage, and blanket condemnation vilifying solar power technology that is one of the greatest success stories of our time, while extolling the virtues of nuclear power which is unfolding as the greatest catastrophe in the history of life on earth.

  • crazy_inventor

    Thank you for fighting the good fight. You make connections that many of us are too uninformed to make for ourselves.

  • yo Martin! (that’s Philadelphia-ese for ‘hello’)

    Your group meeting elicited a lot of the same responses and thoughts as ones here, only we don’t live on the “last best place.” No pressure, right? Thanks for your description of the mood.

    Guy, I think you’re teaching right now! You’re doing a masterful job of getting people to at least acknowledge and converse about the predicament we’re in – and patiently explaining it scientifically if need be. Best teaching assignment ever. Glad you’re at the helm.

  • @ Andrew,

    The point about whether or not to bring children into this dying world is very important but I don’t think that people will be ready to discuss this, ever.
    It’s easy for me, I don’t have children and never wanted any, for many reasons including population overshoot. I took that decision in the 70s. But is was unusual then and it still is. Danger of extinction, something that most people can only imagine on a personal level, has never stopped people from having children. On the contrary.
    But to have to discuss what a parent like you has to imagine now would take much courage. Most people would never go there, it’s the ultimate step, a step they can’t take. In a way I don’t blame them because it must be truly terrifying – even I can imagine that.

    All that parents can do, is to try and live in the here and now as much as they can and do their best until the last moment. I know, tried old advice, but I can’t think of anything better or comforting. When the moment is there, you’ll know what to do, I’m sure. I’m sorry that I can’t say anything more useful but your dilemma is dire.

    I saw the film The Road after I’d read the book. I’d like to think that if I had to live through that, I would have walked out to die too. The heartbreak would have been too much to take. But then, how will we ever know what we would do until the moment arrives. In reality, nobody will.

    Not much help, I know.

  • Hello all – I recently discovered this blog and I have been doing some reading of back posts to get caught up.

    I have to say that the message resonates well with me as I have come to the same conclusion on my own through much research over the last 6-8 years.

    I have always had this concern in the back of my mind that My certainty of total collapse of the human species might just be because part of me wants it to happen, believes that it should happen. I am much pleased to read and understand that there is plenty of well documented evidence from others to clarify the point.

    P.S. I am looking for a comment I read somewhere recently that went something like, “we have pumped as much co2 into the atmosphere in the last 20 years or so as in the prior 200 years or so”. Anyone read anything like that?

    Thanks in advance!

  • crazy_inventor,

    Clearly, you love to find and emphasize what tears people apart. If someone does not give you a clear target, as “needed” you often misrepresent what they have written so as to construct an enemy to attack, and then attempt to get them to counter-attack in response. In this way you drive divisive wedges in between people, working to form “in-groups” and “out-groups”, “we good guys” versus “you bad guys”. What do you see that brings us together in our discussions here at NBL instead of tearing us apart?

  • @Capella

    Menschen so wie du und ich, die sich entschieden haben keine Kinder in die Welt zu bringen, fassen diesen Entschluss immer, wenn sie noch sehr jung sind. Das ist ganz typisch. Ich bin mittlerweile 66 und habe es noch nie bereut.

    Schön, dass ich nicht die einzige Deutsche hier bin.

  • I’ve made direct quotes and cited sourcewatch and PRwatch – you’re attempting to attack the messenger again, lacking such quotes or sources..

    “Our race is the ‘Master Race’
    We are divine gods on this planet. We are as different from the inferior races as they are from insects…

    other races are beasts and animals, cattle at best. Our destiny is to rule over the inferior races. The masses will lick our feet and serve us as our slaves.

    – Menechem Begin



  • “I’ve got three kids that I would say are ten times smarter than I am. {If} I can’t come up with a solution, maybe one of them can.”

    In view of the well-documented fact that human intelligence is declining along with survival skills) in most western populations, we must ask whether the person saying such a thing has an IQ (for what it’s worth) of 8 or 9. It certainly seems to be so.

    Watching the video, I was personally horrified at the level of ignorance and denial displayed by some of the people who went to the Wellington event.

    Never mind the facts, “I think……”

    Sadly, we get constant confirmation that most people are:


    Yes Robert, we are in population overshoot by approximately 6 billion (it was only 5 billion when I raised the matter on Taranaki Television in 2007).

    Please put the population overshoot predicament back in the box, along with overconsumption, and let’s get on with building windmills, and ‘Easter Island statues’.

    Guy, I loved the anecdote: “I drank what!” (recommended by Ron Resneck, who could not hang ion long enough to see the most spectacular phase of the ‘freak show’.)

  • And more on the thorium nonsense. I must say i’m disappointed, Callaghan sounded on the ball. He’s just as much a scammer as is C_I.
    Energy Skeptic on thorium
    Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 92014)

  • Alas, as the non discussion showed most people still think we live in a world were multi colored unicorns fly everywhere crapping out cupcakes.
    And most of the attendants vote for a political party that pushes fractional reserve money printing, manufacturing, and investing in the US stock market, clearly Guy has a lot more convincing to do. …. but we got art FFS
    I wounder if reciting poetry would have helped the 100 million plus victims of this industrial fuckup last century?
    The only thing you get from navel gazing is a hand full of lint.
    A heads up to the breeding fools, I didn’t make up the facts, I’m just repeating them.
    “I wondered lonely as a cloud” wow I’m feeling better already.

  • I just have to share that I’ve seen at least one person online express the sentiment that she would have a child in the face of NTHE as a sort of ‘bucket list’ item. I suspect she was just one of many, only rare in being bold enough to say so. She admitted it might seem selfish, at least. The reasons and sentiments behind human reproduction are the subject of some of the most fascinating reading I’ve ever enjoyed via comments on a Newsweek article back about 10 years ago reporting on the results of a study into whether or not having children actually makes a person happier. The conclusion was that it’s an even bet whether it will or it won’t. Lots of indignation at the question posed, championing of parenthood, some stating it as an absolute obligation, and everything in between and to the other extreme. I’ll never forget it.

  • To RobertThankyouForBringingUpTheConceptOfNotBreedingAtack,

    Thank you for having the courage to speak the “unspeakable” in a group of strangers. Suggesting that people consider not spawning is the last great conversational taboo.

    I often remember when you wrote that your sign in name was not allowed on the Near Term Extinction Group because the suggestion to not breed might offend some people in a group discussing the death of all humans.

  • I’m mystified. A childless woman I know is active, as is her husband, in some of the “green” events hereabouts, and was excited to tell me about an upcoming presentation. I said that, while intellectually I found some of it interesting it was hard for me to keep going to these things when no one ever wanted to address the main issue from which all else springs: overpopulation, and that to keep on avoiding it seemed dishonest. I said “I know it’s a third rail and upsets people.” And she said “no, no, you’re right..” BUT she *was upset*. Just at me mentioning overpopulation, with no particular judgment on her… She was upset.

    I really fail to understand what is going on in people’s heads…

  • @stormcrow “the suggestion to not breed might offend some people in a group discussing the death of all humans.” Hilarious!

    I seem to be offending people right and left these days. And everyone is getting more and more prone to taking offense. Very hard to be eternally kind.

  • 2. Anger

    It’s normal to get in a rage
    At the end of the Holocene age;
    So when you’re feeling pique,
    There’s no need to freak:
    It’s only a passing Stage.

  • B t D

    Most excellent!

  • It’s nice to be so shallow
    And let the mind go fallow
    When empire is great
    There’s nothing to hate
    As long as you’re eating the tallow



  • The “why do you hate us?” meme is nothing more than the American “left” swallowing the official 9/11 myth wholesale, without even water to wash it down with, believing that “foreign terrorists” carried out 9/11.

  • Having a kid on your bucket list? YGBFK me !
    As to the question of whether having children makes one happier, there is a mathmatical formula for that …

    Your chance of being happy in life is inversely proportional to the number of children you have.

    Reason – because once you have even One, you are Only happy if they are happy.
    And not just through childhood, but for fucking ever.
    If, for any reason, they are not happy, then you are not happy.
    Multiply this by (however many offspring) to get an idea of your odds.

  • ‘I really fail to understand what is going on in people’s heads…’

    the whether or not having children brings happiness debate reminds me of an atheist comic routine i saw too many years ago to recall the name of the relatively obscure comic who gave it. at any rate, his very serious conclusion was that only by getting out of the selfish routine of only having oneself to look after, does fulfillment come. seems true to me. the urge to procreate may be strong, as is the potential fulfillment, under ideal circumstances. the trick is grokking that presently, circumstances are about as far from ideal as they can be, to bring new life into this world. sadly, this ‘trick’ is too complicated (or inconvenient) for most sheeple to grasp.

  • It is the nature of flora and fauna to produce more of their kind than the system can maintain. The excess dies off. That outcome can be postponed for many generations, to allow 7+ billion humans, or a vat full of yeasts.

    But not postponed forever: this is beyond the ken of our breeding multitudes, sapiens as these Homoes may be.

    The big question that now looms ahead is, who will be asked to pay the piper. At least in the case of the yeasts, they may leave their carcasses in beer or wine. No such luck with the folks in the video.

  • “as much a scammer as.. ..C_I.”

    and of course Jeff S has quotes & citations to back that up..

    but at least we agree about Thorium, though for slightly different reasons – in his case it’s because he copied & pasted something, while in my case it’s because I’ve done research on the issue while looking into nuclear contamination in Afghanistan that nuclear shills tried to deny but which logic and even basic knowledge about nuclear physics says has to be man-made since there’s no way, process or method, natural or otherwise, to simply concentrate K-40. it has to be created, and it turned out the same process that creates it, is also the nuclear industry’s dirty little secret.

    ..but since this is considered classified information you’ll have a hard time copying & pasting your way to an easy ‘win’ on that particular issue ;)

    gee what a scam. what’s the world coming to when ‘ol Sour grapes can’t copy & paste his way to respectability ?

    and it worked out well for so long too, until ‘stupid’ came out of lurking :(

    Well thank the sockpuppets that popped in out of nowhere and attacked the 1’st NBL show then disappeared, never to be seen again, for that

    ..hey maybe if I dumbed down

    but what am I saying? I’m already a ‘just a stupid scammer technician’

    maybe possibly

    it’s so confusing.. the more useful information you post outside the usual, the pasted, the ordinary, the dumber you become, according to one career paster at least..

    and with reverse engineer laying low, there’s no convenient punching bag that one can stand on to raise himself up, I guess.

    peak patsy

    Re: 9/11 and the ‘why do they hate us’ meme

    yeah you’re right Jeff, the drones were a real bitch back then


    PS. I quoted you there and added this:

    – another brilliant observation by not the brightest bulb on the string I’m afraid

    ..you seem more at home there than here ;)

    on having babies

    surely the much bigger carbon footprint per-person of rich families can find it’s way into the ‘debate’ somewhere – no ?

  • “surely the much bigger carbon footprint per-person of rich families can find it’s way into the ‘debate’ somewhere – no ?”

    Most definitely. A pride of lions may need the support of a large, tasty and prolific herd of wildebeest to meet its nutritional requirements. But both produce an excess of their own kinds, and that excess perishes.

    That’s how selection works with the variation provided by genetic mutation: adaptation and transformation through progressive genetic change. Otherwise we’d all be one giant slime mould even to this day.

  • @Robert Thankyoufornotbreeding Atack

    Apparently they didn’t get the memo:

    “Smarter people have fewer kids.” … [Doctor Doom, Eric Pianka, Receives Standing Ovation from Texas Academy of Science
    Jonathan Witt April 3, 2006 3:15 PM | PermalinkThe following is excerpted from “Meeting Doctor Doom” by Forrest Mims, Chairman of the Environmental Science Section of the Texas Academy of Science:]

    In Texas no less 8-)

  • Steve Goddard: “US Having Its Coolest Year On Record.”

    Saturday, October 25, 2014
    Steve Goddard Now Just Outright Lying
    Tony Heller (@SteveSGoddard) isn’t even trying very hard to cover his lies anymore.

    He has a headline, “US Having Its Coolest Year On Record.” It even got pickup up by another climate liar, Drudge.

    NOAA’s USA48 data says the US isn’t even close to its coolest year on record — in fact, through September the year-to-date average for 2014 is very average: the 57th-warmest since 1895 (120 years).

    On what basis does Goddard build his lie? That

    “the percentage of US HCN stations to reach 90 degrees was the smallest on record this year…”

    which is, of course, isn’t even how monkeys define the “coolest year.” They (and the higher primates) define it as a real, actual average, not the percentage of stations below or above some arbitrary value.

    “USA48 in tie for warmest year — highest percentage of US HCN stations above 52 degrees!”

    To that lie Heller adds

    …with four of the five coolest years occurring above 350 PPM CO2.

    which, of course, isn’t right either — 2014 is 63rd-coolest out of 120 years.

    Besides, doesn’t Heller claim (falsely) that the surface station data are manipulated or something? Yes, he does.

    I’m seeing more and more deniers doing this — simply lying, without any care about their credibility. Even they seem to know they have none left. Still, how do you counter outright lying when those lies are what some people want to hear?

  • BBC: Venus is our destiny (or be happy if you don’t have gas this winter).

  • @ crazy_inventor:

    I have attacked no messenger(s); don’t think I ever have, and hope I never do. Of course, I DO sometimes draw attention to, discuss, and perhaps disagree with various messaGES, certain IDEAS, and I do sometimes point to the communication processes going on. This differs in important ways from attacking the messenger. Again, what do you see that brings us together in our discussions here at NBL instead of tearing us apart?

    @ All, regarding having children four paragraphs from LeBlanc’s book, Constant Battles, The Myth Of The Peaceful, Noble Savage:

    “In attempting to answer the much more fascinating question of WHY warfare was so prevalent in the [distant, pre-agricultural] past, I kept coming back to the idea that people had to be fighting for reasons. Reasons like revenge or to gain prestige just did not seem important or universal enough to account for so much warfare over such great spans of time and space. In the process of my research, the theme that kept recurring as I looked at particular cases was that the subjects were fighting over something, whether it was land, food, or even access to women for wives. Or to put it more broadly, people seemed to fight for scarce resources. For most of the time in the past, the most scarce and valuable resource was the most basic: food.

    If prehistoric warfare was a result of food being scarce, the question that arises is, Was food hard to come by most of the time in the past? This question led me square up against another popular misconception. Not only was it commonly assumed that the past had been peaceful, but there was a very strong belief that it had also once been a land of plenty, a veritable Garden of Eden. This pristine past world is believed to have been peopled with inherent conservationists, inhabitants who carefully managed and took care of their environment and made sure they never misused or over-exploited any precious resource.

    As I began to question this premise, I came to the revelation that I, and most other people (scholar or not), was under the spell of a second myth: the myth of the inherent conservationist. The reality is that not only do humans not have hardwired ability to act in an environmentally benign manner today, but they rarely, if ever, had such an ability in the past. Humans have not been able to control their population growth, nor have they been able to avoid overexploiting their environments. I am not referring just to modern humans, but to all humans, as far back in time as one wants to look. Of the two myths, misunderstanding the human ecological situation is probably more profound. This second general misperception of the prehistoric world is perhaps even more ingrained in current thinking than the myth of a peaceful past and, as a consequence, is much harder to dispel.

    …That human-induced environmental change is universal is increasingly clear. …The issue isn’t why the ancient people who lived in the Aegean overgrazed their land and silted up their bays, but why this process seemed to repeat itself again and again, in all time periods around the world. Environmental degradation was not a unique and rare accident; it was inevitable. I would expect farmers always to cause such problems. The consequences of environmental stress will be scarce resources, and the consequences of scarce resources will be warfare.”

    So, much that we see going on today just continues these ancient, prehistoric themes, but now occurring on a global scale and turbocharged by fossil-fueled, industrial technology and its supporting social organizations.

  • C_I:
    “yeah you’re right Jeff, the drones were a real bitch back then


    PS. I quoted you there and added this:

    – another brilliant observation by not the brightest bulb on the string I’m afraid”

    Your link shows an unreadable bar graph. That’s your defense of the official story? Serves me right for trying to engage a troll who proudly proclaims he doesn’t read any of the articles posted here.

  • Bud: I agree with LeBlanc and you about food always being scarce. Only time it wasn’t was during fossil fuel use…now.

    War, famine, and disease control population. Also drives the selection process of evolution.

  • I think that most of the population denial comes from people with children, and for several reasons. 1. It’s taken as a personal attack if one’s already done the very thing that’s being excoriated, reproduced. 2. It implies that somehow one’s own beloved children are bad/wrong/terrible. 3. In some way, it hints at the idea of killing those children, or other children.

    None of that is actually rational, (almost) no one is suggesting blame or elimination efforts toward people who are already here on the planet. But there is a very strong drive toward protecting one’s offspring blindly, and while population decrease / limitation conversations may not mean to threaten, they do, from an instinctive perspective below or beyond logic.

  • Bud,

    How do you apply this to pre-colonial sub Saharan Africa or to pre-colonial Australia? These are two large parts of the planet.

  • crazy_inventor,

    Clearly, you love to find and emphasize what tears people apart in various discussions here at NBL. If someone does not give you a clear target, as “needed” you often misrepresent what they have written so as to construct an enemy to attack, you attack them repeatedly based on your misrepresentations, and you repeatedly attempt to get them to counter-attack in response. In this way you drive divisive wedges between people, working to form “in-groups” and “out-groups” among various commenters here: “we good guys” against “you bad guys”. Regarding this quite destructive pattern, which has become your “trademark” here, I have two questions: (1) What motivates you to do this? (2) What do you see that might bring us together in our discussions here at NBL instead of tearing us apart?

    Dairymandave and Robbin Datta,

    Yes. I think that you point to and emphasize processes that occur with ALL species, certainly including Homo sapiens, all of the arrogant, human supremacist bluster notwithstanding. (This, of course, includes the human supremacists who consider themselves supreme over all other human supremacists.) The biological and ecological research evidence of this remains both massive and compelling.

  • @ ed: Sorry, better late than never: I enjoyed reading your limericks!

    @ Daniel, thanks! I’m always delighted when you post to remind us what our discussion is about (not that it seems to help much haha).

    How to Fix the Social Hierarchy Problem

    Social hierarchy’s a flop:
    It’s the cause of evil nonstop;
    Still, things would work fine
    If we kept the design
    But put me up at the top.

  • Paraphrasing emeritus professor Albert Bartlett, no aspect of our predicament is in any way improved by having more people.

    What do most governments want and actively promote? More people. Why? Because governments are agents of money-lenders and corporations, and one of the ways to expand debt-slavery is to have more debt-slaves. And there is still the ludicrous perception amongst planners that the
    ‘burden’ of paying for infrastructure can be better supported by a larger population And one of the ways to expand corporate profits is to have more consumers.

    Thus, we note that most governments, having morphed into agents of bankers and corporations, are now operators of Ponzi schemes which sabotage of the health, welfare and long-term viability of populations. That is certainly the case in New Zealand, where the government pushes ahead (often surreptitiously and always on the back of a plethora of lies) with policies that cause substantial harm. Governments ensure there is no public debate about anything of significance, including overpopulation. Indeed, at the moment the NZ government is actively encouraging severe population overshoot in major cities, and especially in Auckland, which has more than doubled in size in the past 40 years, and is now growing faster than ever under the pressure of the biggest immigration numbers ever, with the ‘stampede’ many of us anticipated apparently underway.

    More houses, more roads, more sewage systems, more electricity systems, more opportunities to import ‘crap’, more consumption and more opportunities to make a fast buck help maintain the illusion New Zealand that is ‘doing well’.

    I see that oil prices remain manipulated to ridiculously low levels for the moment (Brent below $86 and WTI below $81), at levels guaranteed to cause implosion of high cost, low EROEI extraction throughout much of the western world, probably in a matter of months.

    These are indeed ‘Interesting Times’.

  • kevin moore Says:
    October 27th, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    “I see that oil prices remain manipulated to ridiculously low levels for the moment (Brent below $86 and WTI below $81), at levels guaranteed to cause implosion of high cost, low EROEI extraction throughout much of the western world, probably in a matter of months.

    These are indeed ‘Interesting Times’.”

    I don’t agree. The price of oil is plunging because demand is cratering. See a good discussion of this at


    I do agree this are “interesting times.” But i’m beginning to wonder if we have overdone this near-term extinction thing, at least in terms of human social structures, in big part because of our (vey justifiable) hatred of the social status quo. We all may be underestimating the willingness of the populace to endure no matter what because of hopes, however unrealistic, that things will return to normal at some point, since “they always have.” “Normalcy” may be more sustainable than we have surmised (and wished).

  • For those who might want to speak with another human about these questions, I host a phone bridge on the 2nd and 4th monday evenings of each month. As a matter of fact there is one taking place in a little under 3 hours. As this is the 4th monday of october.

    Are you are willing to speak about these questions with other human beings that are also giving thought to these questions?

    If so, then email me for the details on joining us.

    mac (dot) inminn (at) gmail.com

    ps you are free to indulge in adult beverages during the call if that sounds like a good idea. byob

  • Ah human error abounds.

    macinminn (at) gmail.com

    Sorry, some of my personal email accounts have dots in the field. This email if strictly for the purpose of organizing this phone bridge activity.

    thanks, mac

  • Jeff.

    Yes, of course there is much demand destruction, especially in Europe and the US, but do not overlook the deliberate manipulation in order put pressure on nations that do not comply with Washington edits, to bring about ‘regime change’ and to ‘punish Putin’ etc.

    Manipulating oil prices down (EVERYTHING IS MANIPULATED THESE DAYS) helps prevent staggering economies from imploding in the short term.

    There has been considerable discussion about Saudi Arabia flooding the market with cheap oil for political reasons, even if it hurts the Saudis in the short term. And, of course, there are various groups that have recently acquired oil wells and are offering oil at discount prices.

    What is perhaps more significant is to look at who is buying up much of the cheap oil being offered.

  • @ dairymandave Says:
    October 27th, 2014 at 7:19 am

    Thank you for the reminder and “new” link for the BBC’s “Global Dimming…” doc from 2012 as the youtube version is no longer available. Reviewing it was especially chilling(?!!) after hearing the new info presented by Dr. Anton Vaks in Methane: The Tippiing Time Bomb! The combined content of just these 2 videos should clarify that we are “Damned if we do AND damned if we don’t!!” More succinctly, the game of life is nearly done regardless of the spin, hopium or delusion one wishes to swallow.

  • Ocean Temperature Rise

    Of all excess heat resulting from people’s emissions, 93.4% goes into oceans. Accordingly, the temperature of oceans has risen substantially.

    Globally, the average September ocean temperature marked a record high for that month in 2014, at 0.66°C (1.19°F) above the 20th century average, breaking the previous record that was set just one month earlier. On the Northern Hemisphere, the temperature of the ocean in September 2014 was 0.83 °C (or 1.49 °F) above the 20th century.

    The danger is that the Gulf Stream will keep carrying ever warmer water from the North Atlantic into the Arctic Ocean, threatening to unleash huge methane eruptions from the Arctic Ocean’s seafloor, in turn causing even higher temperatures and more extreme weather events, wildfires, etc.

    See the included ocean temperature exponential chart with data lining up for a 2C increase by 2030.

  • I think attributing value judgements to human actions isn’t very insightful, and I think few people who understand Nature would claim that it was good once upon a time and bad now, etc. Human behaviour I don’t think is really anything that different from the behaviour of other organisms. Humans are animals, the products of Nature and Nature is Nature, a combination of complex biological, ecological, geological, etc. systems. In the context of complex systems, all the feedback loops are just a form of self correction, establishing or reestablishing different equilibria. I believe we are somewhere in a phase transition, one that has started, and hasn’t ended yet, and will take time to unfold. It is what it is: action/reaction.

    I observe animal behaviour ever so often and I sometimes flinch at what I perceive as cruelty, but that’s just me assigning a value judgement to a carnivore that is feasting on something lower in the food chain, that is just trying to survive. The behaviour of individuals within a system is only relevant in the context of how it perturbs the trajectory of the whole system, and the fitness of a system in the context of its survival is the criteria that enables evolution to operate. Individual organisms within a complex system are complex systems in and of themselves, and there are tangled hierarchies (what Hofstadter thinks gives rise to consciousness ultimately).

    What matters in terms of behaviour of complex systems is not whether it is good, comfortable, beautiful, elegant, peaceful, noble, etc. but its survival fitness. I believe bacteria will continue on long after humans have gone, until the sun itself goes nova, and perhaps the tardigrades and cockroaches. :) This doesn’t mean I think bacteria, tardigrades, and cockroaches are happy, peaceful, and noble, but that they are able to exist in a complex dynamic equilibrium with their environment for arbitrarily long periods considered in a wholistic manner.

  • The rich white man has led the charge to kill off the animals, poison the soil, and turn the poor on each other. But the earth, cares not who the greedy are. The one percent are not in control now. They are fools.

  • Guy,

    That first clip was truly noble. I’m for more of us leveling about our racist conditioning–unavoidable, I think, within the institutional-racism structure. This took courage and decency, for which you have my appreciation.

  • Having children gives people something to do .In fact majority of people on the planet have nothing else to look out or to live for . There own existence is a flop so they living it vicarious Hoping their offspring’s will live instead of them at least as some sort of substitute for their never lived existence . It is a Hope for them people will do anything just to hope to have a mental construct of a pleasant idea Here we are a very selected group in the know . So one can make an informed decision of the pro and against having children . I am not against have or for having . As a child i can recall having a blast 4-5 years old or at 10 years of age a lot of joy to have lived . That`s what`s all about to have fun sometimes . If you had real fun just once it was worth to live already . So if one has a child and there is 5, 10, 15 years still to go on in this world it is ok I think . If one says they will die soon after they born be it 5.10.15 years of age it can be still fun to be had . Lots of people die in that age group under natural circumstances . Being born is not a guarantee to reach old age so whats the problem with them dieing after having some fun . I think

  • Anyone who doesn’t ascribe value judgements to humans or refuses to acknowledge “control” and is hitting the Submit Comment button from the loverly Imperial Centers of power arguably better check and then re-check to see if their unconscious or conscious self-interest is in play. I and several scores of people I know personally are now suffering most egregiously under apathy and complete non-engagement from the Core. Pronouncements of peace and love don’t sound so friendly out here in the wilderness.

    I am fully aware of Benjamin Libpet’s studies of free will. We had these discussions last years in greater detail with the Welshman. And familiar with Lipbet’s conclusion that the best we have is a small margin of “free-won’t”. To that end, I cultivate what little free-won’t I can muster daily to refuse to participate in the madness, the delusion and the rationalizations. I am not and have no plans on coming together with denial, acceptance, passivity or surrender in any form. My psychologist of choice is not Kubler-Ross or any self-help guru, but Franz Fanon, who posits that the patient needs to metaphorically or actually engage and remove their literal & mental colonizer.

    Regarding the North American Indigenous who are supposedly scorched earth psychopaths in the US settler-colonial mode that therefore give all the nice little invaders a convenient out:

    “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.”
    (ref: Tom Holm, “Patriots and Pawns: State Use of American Indians in the Military and the Process of Nativization in the United States,” pp. 345–70) http://cryptome.org/2013/01/aaron-swartz/Acts-of-Rebellion.pdf

    This is further outlined in Dunbar-Ortiz’s Indigenous History of the United States.
    To whit, the pathology is not universal no matter how many well paid Ivy League anthropologists say it is. The same goes for Australia, which is as much of a charnel house
    as the US, as well as NZ, South Africa and the various colonial and neo-colonial operations currently at work (i.e. ripping up the lives of real human beings) all around the globe.

  • “Having children gives people something to do.”

    No, having sex gives people something to do. And sex
    is rather fun. Having kids is the result. Kids can
    be rather fun too. Being alive is the major cause of both
    sex and children. Can’t blame anyone for being alive.

    You are born and eventually you die. In between is called “living.”
    Being alive is a lot more fun than not being alive, and though I
    have no proof of this, I would much rather embrace life and every thing that entails including heartbreak and sorrow instead of embracing nothing.

  • Wester,

    Not knocking your overall take on things, but this quote from above had me wondering…

    “There were never, so far as anyone can demonstrate, wars of annihilation fought in this hemisphere prior to the Columbian arrival. None.”

    Since the Columbian arrival (1492?), has there been a war of true annihilation fought in either hemisphere ? I’m thinking most wars are inter-state (nation vs nation) or intra-state (civil war, faction/region vs faction/region).

    I’m not the most well-read person on history, but have we really seen (in the past 600 years or so) a war where ‘the last member of the losing side’ was killed ? I don’t think I can name a conflict where even the last member of the losing army was executed.

    Wars of domination, subjugation, etc., sure…but when whoever the winner turns out to be gets enough of an advantage, then the losing side “sues for peace” and gets it (on less favorable terms than they had hoped for).

    This general way of doing the war business seems to work out well for industry and banks. If the winners annihilated the losers, who would cover the losers’ debts to the almighty banks ? Gotta have a population left there to practice ‘austerity’ and slave away for the banksters (who always get what they’re owed) if not for the winners (who sometimes get ‘reparations’).

  • kevin moore Says:
    October 27th, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Yes, of course there is much demand destruction, especially in Europe and the US, but do not overlook the deliberate manipulation in order put pressure on nations that do not comply with Washington edits, to bring about ‘regime change’ and to ‘punish Putin’ etc.

    Manipulating oil prices down (EVERYTHING IS MANIPULATED THESE DAYS) helps prevent staggering economies from imploding in the short term.

    There has been considerable discussion about Saudi Arabia flooding the market with cheap oil for political reasons, even if it hurts the Saudis in the short term. And, of course, there are various groups that have recently acquired oil wells and are offering oil at discount prices.

    What is perhaps more significant is to look at who is buying up much of the cheap oil being offered.”

    The Saudi angle is in fact one of the things Gail Tverberg discusses in the article i linked to, it’s definitely a factor. But the biggest blow to the demand side is actually China, where growth in demand has gone from 7-8% a year to just about zero. Yes, China is buying the cheap oil, but China is also experiencing a dramatic slowdown in economic growth, so drastic it may well destabilize the social system.

    And yes, everything is manipulated, particularly markets, particularly stock markets. Keeping going the reality show which modern life has become is the policy makers’ number one priority, and they are winging it from one day to the next.

  • Wester,

    When you’re living by the teachings of someone who died before “Silent Spring” was even written, and you’re continuing to write on a blog that is primarily ecologically and not politically based, your agenda comes through loud and clear, if not terribly late. And when your agenda has very little, if anything to do with NTE…..well then, you’re surely wasting your precious time.

    Wester, be proactive on your home turf, stop being needlessly reactive to those across the world. And find a better way to channel your passion, it’s only wasted here.

  • Jeff.

    I don’t think there is any fundamental disagreement between us, just slightly different interpretation or emphasis.

    I assume you recognise that GDP is a fraudulent measure anyway, and the GDP figures are very misleading, thought they are arguably a good proxy for the rate of destruction of the planet’s life support systems.

    Whereas we can fairly attribute most of the blame for planetary meltdown up this point of time to Britain, the US, Japan, France, Germany and Italy, it is clear that China is now largely responsible for big push towards extinction of life on Earth.

    ‘China has produced and used more cement in the last few years than the United States did over the entire 20th century. Data from US and Chinese government sources compiled by the historian Vaclav Smil – and publicized by the blog of Bill Gates – show that China consumed 6.6 billion tons of cement in 2011-2013, vs. 4.5 billion tons consumed by the United States from 1901-2000.’

    And with respect to the bursting of the Chinese bubble:

    ‘In China, it will be no different.

    Growth miracles have always been the relatively easy part; it is the subsequent adjustment that has been the tough part.’


  • EtyerePetyere and I think a few others have stated that even if the kid lives 5,10,15 years, then that is/was worth it, and a ‘blessing’ or whatever ???
    As I said in the ‘debate’ I’m talking about the one on one, you and your child/children, at some time in the near future the parents are going to have to have the ‘talk’ – not so much about were babies come from, but the fact that we are ‘dead meat’ inside of the next 5,10,15 years. Being lucky enough not to have children, I don’t understand how a child reacts, to being told they are never going to own a house, have a family, drive a car, have warm showers, 3 meals a day, law and order, medical assistance, air etc.
    At sometime in the near future, the global environmental collapse is going to be undeniable, the collapse of the food system is going to be undeniable, the collapse of the energy system is going the same way ….. is that when you have ‘the talk’?
    Sorry kids, but wasn’t it fun? I for one couldn’t look my offspring in the eye and say well actually I new we were coming to this point, but I had you anyway.
    I’m not blaming parents for the children they have, I’m blaming them for the ones they are planning to have. And the continued denial that having the current generation is wrong. Not having them is about the only thing ‘we’ can do to reduce future suffering, because if you aren’t alive you are going to miss it.
    It was interesting how some of the group were against the TPP (?) thing, which is all about global trade, and control by the multinationals etc, when if they have been listening to Guy (as one example) they would understand the global trade and multinational companies have as much of a future as the available energy and the global economy, inside of maybe 5 years, New Zealand may be holding public holidays, when a ship arrives in an NZ port, “Yippee, we have a weeks supply of oil”. Or medical supplies.
    Protesting is just pretending there is a future. And an example of people with too much fossil fuelled time on their hands.
    Like the occupy movement – people sitting on their butts protesting the system that allows them to sit on their butts, instead (without this current system), being at each other’s throats, fighting over the last morsel of food or potable water, which is what the streets of New York are going to look like, in the life time of the generation being born now …………..
    Protest by all means, don’t let me stop ya, you might as well show ‘them’ you are against whatever, but also point out having children is part of the problem for the environment, and all of the problem for the innocent who never asked to be created.
    It is hard to convince Kiwis, as we have it so bloody good here, and we have the so called pro the environment political party suppressing the truth, The Greens, and promoting utter bullshit planet stuffing scams like Kiwi Saver. We do the best we can to help children to be born into poverty (western standard), everywhere you look there are woman about to, or just had a kid. I have become numb to it mostly.

  • Don’t believe what you read in ‘newspapers’.

    ‘Humanity’s ‘inexorable’ population growth is so rapid that even a global catastrophe would not stop it’


  • http://robinwestenra.blogspot.co.nz/2014/10/chiles-crops-devastated-by-unseasonal.html

    Tuesday, 28 October 2014

    Chile’s crops devastated by unseasonal frosts

    This is just the start of a process by which plants and animals will be unable to adapt to rapid climate change – something that Guy McPherson talks about. See this asanine headline – Kiwifruit growers profit from Chilean woes. Don’t worry this will come to New Zealand as well in short order.

    Chilean producers crushed by second consecutive year of frosts

    Fresh Fruit Portal,
    27 October, 2014

    Update: Since Ruiz-Tagle’s comments were published, a variety Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX) has issued a statement clarifying what the total damage may potentially be industry-wide.

    Lightning seems to have struck twice in Chile as frosts last week devastated crops in some southern growing regions, with one large producer estimating between 30-100% crop loss for fruits including kiwifruit, blueberries, cherries and apples.

    The poor weather came roughly one year after severe frosts wreaked havoc on almost the entire Chilean agricultural industry.

    Producer and exporter Special T co-owner Gonzalo Ruiz-Tagle told http://www.freshfruitportal.com frosts that occurred between Oct. 8-9 damaged crop production across roughly a 250-mile stretch between Molina in the VII region and Temuco in the IX region.

    “From my understanding, and from what I have seen on my farms, blueberry losses are at around 70%, mainly for the varieties O´Neal, Brigitta, Cameillas, Duke, Star, Jewel, Legacy, and Brightwell, and to a lesser extent the later varieties,” he said.

    He said about 50% of Pink Lady apples had also been lost, along with 30% of cherries.

    For kiwifruit the figure was somewhere between 80-100%.

    “On the subject of blueberries, at least for me – and according to analysis carried out by grower associations – the losses will be over 10,000 metric tons [MT] and will affect production until January in these regions,” Ruiz-Tagle said.

    “For apples I still don’t have all the information – we’re currently working on that.”

    “This was completely unexpected – absolutely no one had predicted this. On October 9 it wasn’t that cold – maybe -1,5°C to -2° [29°F to 28°F] to – but it lasted for hours, maybe three or four hours.”

    He said that during the day the weather had been sunny and windy, which had probably led to lower humidity which produced an effect known as ‘black frost’, damaging the plants.

    After the cold weather Ruiz-Tagle immediately started assessing the damage, finishing a few days later on Tuesday (Oct. 14).

    He concluded that over 60-mile stretch of land between Linares and Chillan there would likely have been crop losses of around 60-70%.

    “I think that much of fruit still hasn’t shown a lot of damage because it’s still growing, unfortunately. Fruit that was bigger than about 8 millimeters will keep growing, but it will have a poor internal quality,” Ruiz-Tagle said.

    According to the Special T co-owner, some producers in the region did have frost protection systems, but they had not turned them on as the cold temperatures had not been anticipated.

    He said he was particularly concerned for the 1,500-2000 smaller farmers in the regions who may well have lost everything, and probably wouldn’t have had insurance like bigger producers.

    Ruiz-Tagle also alleged that the authorities’ response to the situation had thus far been inadequate, and he therefore wanted to spread the information to raise awareness.

  • http://theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com/2014/10/26/powerful-x-class-solar-flares-hit-earth-cause-radio-blackouts-largest-sunspot-seen-in-24-years/

    Powerful X-Class solar flares hit Earth, cause radio blackouts – largest sunspot seen in 24 years

    [just a few months ago, scientists were surprised by how quiet the sun was]

    October 2014 – SPACE – At 17:09 UT (12:09 p.m. EDT) today (Saturday), active region (AR) 2192 erupted with another X-class flare directed at Earth. This is the second powerful eruption in less than 24 hours to be triggered from the large sunspot that occupies the region. Today’s flare registered at X1 on the solar flare Richter Scale, the most powerful class of flare, but weaker than Friday’s X3-class flare. Further radio black-outs have been recorded on the daytime side of the Earth, but, once again, today’s flare did not generate a significant coronal mass ejection (CME). There was already a high probability that active region (AR) 2192 was going to erupt with a powerful solar flare, so it came as little surprise when, yesterday, the huge sunspot fired a powerful X-class flare right at Earth. And we sure did feel its impact.

    The sun has a myriad of effects on Earth during intense solar activity. When a flare erupts in the lower solar corona, the radiation generated can cause extreme ionization in the upper atmosphere, interfering with the propagation of high-frequency radio waves, meddling with global communications. Signals from global positioning satellites (GPS) can be interrupted, air traffic communications can get patchy and the interference can even be measured by amateur radio operators. On Friday at 21:40 UT (4:40 p.m. EDT), AR2192 erupted with an X3-class flare as the huge sunspot was facing Earth. Like looking down the barrel of a solar gun, the region crackled with X-ray and extreme-utraviolet (EUV) radiation that immediately washed over the Earth’s ionosphere. A “radio blackout” was reported across the sun-facing side of our planet, including much of the US. With the immediate effects of the X-class flare (which is the most powerful class of flare) subsiding, solar scientists monitored the region for any trace of a coronal mass ejection that may have been associated with the flare.

    Coronal mass ejections, or CMEs, are magnetic bubbles of highly-energetic particles that are hurled into space from the sun’s lower corona. They may take hours or days to reach Earth orbit, but their impact on our planet’s magnetosphere can be dramatic. However, it appears that yesterday’s flare did not launch a CME. In fact, none of the dozens of flares (all of lesser energies than yesterday’s event) AR2192 has produced have generated a CME, which is interesting. Although CMEs and flares are thought to be triggered by a common phenomenon (magnetic reconnection in the lower corona), they are not necessarily triggered at the same time. A flare may occur without a CME and vice versa. But for an active region not to generate any significant CMEs, and yet still generate a large number of flares, is rare. Needless to say, space weather forecasters will be studying this large sunspot — the largest sunspot seen on the sun for 24 years — until it rotates out of view to understand what is going on. –Discovery

  • Watching the videos above teaches me to appreciate Guy McPherson and his wisdom. He has nailed and can describe our world from every conceivable angle, so well, that it is comparable to the Einstein revelations. He delivers numerous Socratic wisdoms. Guy is a bit like Jesus too. Parables anyone? Truth? How many actually listen, and more astonishingly, then practice what they have heard?

    And before you say, “Hey, nobody is Einstein or Socrates or Jesus!”, They existed! Guy exists!

    Thank you Guy.

  • Every species uses all its resources, including environmental and genetic, for its success. The environmental resources may include cooperative and competitive species. The genetic endowment includes physical adaptations and includes in humans, speech and the non-genetic transmission of acquired behaviours/skills and knowledge, that gives the species capabilities without the wisdom in how to use them.

    Like a kid in a candy store, but with more profound consequences. Not as evident prior to fossil fuels. But most (not all) indigenous people welcomed the products and artifacts of newer technologies.

  • I wasn’t going to post this but we tell the truth here, don’t we? As a farmer in this age of high tech, I expect our problems to be far worse than just “too much rain”. We also need electricity, fuel, chemicals, trucks, and parts. Not looking good.

    From a book: ‘A New Green History of the World’ by Clive Ponting

    “The origins and effects of widespread famine can be illustrated by the events of 1315-17 when medieval Europe experienced its worst ever food

    shortages at a time when the population was at the very limit that the agricultural system could support. In 1314 the harvest was reasonable but

    the weather in 1315 was dreadful, being wet in every season. The spring sowing failed in most areas because of waterlogged fields, ploughs

    stuck in the mud and the hay crop was not properly ripe or dry when cut and stored. Crop yields were about half the normal level and what was

    available was of low quality.

    By early 1316 food was already in short supply across the whole of Europe and seed for the next crop was being eaten. The winter and spring

    were again very wet and the rain continued through the summer, producing another harvest at about half the average level. The resulting food

    shortage brought catastrophe to most of Europe. Wheat prices rose to three times their normal level and in some places of acute shortage they

    were over eight times higher. This meant that many of the poor could no longer buy food but even people with money could not buy simply

    because there was no food available – as Edward II discovered for himself when the court arrived in St Albans in August 1316. The King of

    Bohemia lost thousands of sheep because he could not buy feed for them. All over Europe animals were killed in large numbers as feed supplies

    ran out.

    The poor were dying in large numbers or turned to robbery in an attempt to get food; huge bands of starving peasants swarmed across the

    countryside. The food that was available was often of very low quality – bread was mixed with pigeon and pig droppings, and animals that

    had died of disease were eaten, causing outbreaks of disease in the human population. Some people were driven to even more desperate

    measures, as the many reports of widespread cannibalism in an area stretching from England to Livonia on the Baltic coast bear witness.

    In Ireland in 1318 bodies were dug up from graves to provide food and in Silesia executed criminals were eaten. There were still numerous

    cases of cannibalism as late as 1319.

    Animal diseases, increased by the lack of feed, added to the carnage, killing about 70 per cent of the sheep in some areas and in the four years

    1319-22 some two-thirds of Europe’s population of oxen died. Only slowly did better weather and improved harvests bring some relief from the


  • “I drank, WHAT!”

    Every person should get to know a Veterinarian. He puts down animals with Nembutal. He is usually a decent chap.

  • Generally, species use available resources to do what “works” that allow their offspring to reproduce. That’s it. Evolution is about what works, not what is optional or the use of all resources. Bacteria “worked” and there’s an ancestor to E. coli that potentially could be traced back to billions of years. Plants, an offshoot/form from the trajectory that represents the evolution of bacteria, also “worked”. Humans are also an offshoot of the bacterial evolution trajectory as Gould argued. They’ve “worked” up to this point but don’t seem to be doing too well currently and indeed seemed to have succumbed to the optimisation trap, as the Cheetah did (albeit in a different manner).

    If you look at the process of mutation/selection, what is selected for at any given point in evolution is what “works”, not what is optimal. The system is almost designed to not optimise in a global manner, since that quickly leads to bottlenecks and less adaptability. There are error correcting enzymes that work in a sloppy manner.

  • Maybe I have not thoroughly digested Guy’s understanding of Climate Change but if he is stating that fossil fuels are the impetus for such drastic global destruction then I have serious doubt that he has fleshed out all of the information/feedback from multiple sources.
    Every planet in our Solar System is heating ( or going through massive change) as well so this points more to a cyclical change throughout our Solar System rather than a carbon/industrial induced climate change.
    Am I missing something here? If I am can someone point me to studies that he has done that takes into profound consideration of what I mentioned above?
    I have read Immanuel Velikovsky as well as Sitchin’s work and it seems more realistic that what we are experiencing is that which is described in these books. Actually, they read as current events.

    I hope that we get to appoint where we are intellectually curious rather than arrogant and opinionated as we currently appear to be. I have seen all manner of information stifled through these attitudes.

  • Sorry….that shoud read, “….I hope that we get to a point…”

  • Interviewed on 27/10/14 Monday morning 9.15 am (NZ time):
    Prof. Guy McPherson Interview By Radioactive.FM

  • Wester,

    Sorry, but on a proportional basis, the proportion of war casualties in primitive societies almost always exceeded that suffered by even the most bellicose or war-torn modern states, in many cases by a very wide margin. In terms of both annual percentages of mean population and proportion of all deaths caused by war, primitive warfare was much deadlier than its modern counterpart. For example, the highland peoples of New Guinea were engaged in almost continuous warfare when encountered in the 1930s with about 25% of the men dying from the warfare. Wounded soldiers who fall into the hands of civilized foes may receive very poor care or may be killed to prevent them from becoming a burden to their captors, but a similar misfortune for a primitive warrior usually meant certain death. Entirely typical of many indigenous tribes, old women and babies captured in Nuer of Sudan raids were clubbed to death and their bodies burned with the Dinka huts. Groups that used or sold war captives as slaves usually preferred to subjugate women and children and immediately dispatched all adult male captives, and, uncommonly today, in many cases, 100% of those who lost a war were butchered, men, women and children. I could continue with pages of examples from all around the world, but I think that this makes the point. (Read the books for many, many more well documented examples.)


    You wrote “How do you apply this to pre-colonial sub Saharan Africa or to pre-colonial Australia? These are two large parts of the planet.” I don’t feel sure that I understand your question. Will you please clarify what “this” points to in your question? If by “this” you mean the paragraphs that I have recently copied from the two books, War Before Civilization and Constant Battles, the archaeological and anthropological evidence that Keeley and LeBlanc refer to in these books, with much documentation, comes from all over the world, certainly including pre-colonial, sub-Saharan Africa and pre-colonial Australia. They both provide many references to and examples from both regions, but I will provide just a few specifics here, from other sources provided by Gail Zawacki:

    You don’t know that pre-colonial Africa had a robust slave traffic for centuries, and the prehistoric Australians altered the landscape and not for the better?

    Archaeological evidence (in the form of charcoal) indicates that fire, over 100,000 years (from ash deposits in the Coral Sea) was already a growing part of the Australian landscape.[19] Over the last 70,000 years it became much more frequent as hunter-gatherers used it as a tool to drive game, to produce a green flush of new growth to attract animals, and to open up impenetrable forest.[20] Densely grown areas became more open sclerophyll forest, open forest became grassland. Fire-tolerant species became predominant: in particular, eucalyptus, acacia, and grasses.

    The changes to the fauna were even more dramatic: the megafauna, species significantly larger than humans, disappeared, and many of the smaller species disappeared too. All told, about 60 different vertebrates became extinct, including the Diprotodon family (very large marsupial herbivores that looked rather like hippos), several large flightless birds, carnivorous kangaroos, Wonambi naracoortensis, a 5 metre serpent, a five metre lizard and Meiolania, a tortoise the size of a small car.[21]

    The direct cause of the mass extinctions is uncertain: it may have been fire, hunting, climate change or a combination of all or any of these factors, although the rapid decline of many species is still a matter of dispute.[22] With no large herbivores to keep the understorey vegetation down and rapidly recycle soil nutrients with their dung, fuel build-up became more rapid and fires burned hotter, further changing the landscape. Against this theory is the evidence that in fact careful seasonal fires from Aboriginal land management practices reduced fuel loads, and prevent wildfires like those seen since European settlement.[23]

    The period from 18,000 to 15,000 years ago saw increased aridity of the continent with lower temperatures and less rainfall than currently prevails. Between 16,000 and 14,000 years BP the rate of sea level rise was most rapid rising about 50 feet in 300 years according to Peter D. Ward.[24] At the end of the Pleistocene, roughly 13,000 years ago, the Torres Strait connection, the Bassian Plain between modern-day Victoria and Tasmania, and the link from Kangaroo Island began disappearing under the rising sea.

    Or try New Zealand (From Deforestation and the settlement of New Zealand | Prehistoric settlement | Landcare Research):

    Wherever humans have gone, fire has gone with them. Besides being essential for heating and cooking, fire has always and everywhere been the primary tool for clearing unwanted vegetation. Prehuman New Zealand was one of the few regions on the globe where natural fire played an insignificant role. Our native trees and shrubs are, with few exceptions, highly vulnerable to fire and only very limited range of native plants (for instance manuka, matagouri, bracken and tussock) are favoured by repeated burning. The widespread burning that accompanied the first settlers in the 13th century was therefore devastating. Much of what had been a largely forest-covered land was transformed into a patchwork of scrub, grassland and forest.

    The fire-driven deforestation of New Zealand was unparalleled for its speed and completeness. Our research interest centres on explaining how and why it happened, and what the implications are for how we manage our post-fire landscapes. Globally, fire is now recognised as one of the major drivers of landscape and vegetation change and there is intense interest in understanding its fundamental dynamics.

    From the book, Deforesting the Earth: From Prehistory to Global Crisis:

    Not only were Europe and North America affected by changes in the climate, but tropical regions as well — although less is known about the latter. As humans migrated to newly forested areas, they would have nearly as much impact on the forest over the subsequent 10,000 years as the glaciers had for 100,000 years. Chapter 2 points to fire as the main vehicle used by primitive peoples for deforestation. Williams argues that the manipulation and taming of nature by prehistoric and native peoples is commonly ignored and underestimated. Their actions have been romanticized and asserted to have been ecologically benign. But, according to Williams, natives never were “in perfect harmony” with nature, but attempted to transform it, and fire was the first great force. The combination of human predation and destruction of habitat through burning led to the extinction of many species across the planet, and Williams provides examples from Europe, North America, and Polynesia. He argues that the first Europeans to visit North America likely observed a profoundly disturbed landscape. At their peak around 1492, the Indian population of North America had long been transforming the forest for agriculture and hunting. Chapter 3 turns to the rise of agriculture, which involved both the domestication of animals and plant species and the removal of forest. The examination begins with the Neolithic period in the Middle East, Europe, and North and South America, and moves on to describe the gradual expansion of agricultural methods and clearing practices.

    These serve as just a few of many, many examples.

  • New video highlighting Anton Vaks (Oxford University) 1.5C as the methane tipping point…

    Methane: The Tipping Time Bomb

  • Kevin: we indeed pretty much agree. And yes, that was a good article on China and hard landing, saw it last night.

  • Bud,

    Since climate change is not exclusively a scientific issue, I tend to look at it from the areas I’m more familiar with (using my best judgment about what scientists tell me).

    So, on NBL I’ve seen well educated comments concerning Africa not having destroyed its megafauna. I’ve also seen comments dealing with the tens of thousands of years of Australian aborigine settlement that did not drive them or their environments to extinction. Meanwhile, Easter Islanders destroyed their environment in a relatively short period of time. I’m concerned with the nuanced differences between these and other pre-industrial people that have allowed some of them to survive up to the present. If they were all hellbent on destroying their environments due to some genetic disposition, how come their ability to sustain has been so varied?

    More in line with what Wester, Shep, C-I have been saying, I don’t subscribe to removing the moral dimension from conversation about NTE. When I was a kid in school, the best way to insult a clearly African-descended peer was to refer to him/her as “African,” often adding that African lived in the jungle and swung on trees like monkeys. The imputation of backwardness within black Africa was deadly. This was because, ostensibly, African were uncivilized, knowing nothing of the western, civilized world. (In fact, this myth has not essentially changed up to the present time.) But now on NBL we are offered the new orthodoxy: We are all the same, wired for destruction in the same way. There must be no reassessment of the moral and ethical dimensions of European domination.

    People who have been traditionally on the short end of the domination stick will not readily accept this view.

  • Too much good stuff to read (and watch) all so thanks, all. How to make gym membership pay off vs. enjoy all of NBL? Impossible dilemma.

    Here, the question asked “What do 7 billion people do?” suggested to me Goldfinger’s answer to Bond’s “Do you expect me to talk?”. “No Mr Bond, I expect you to die.”


    As for children, there are millions worldwide, some near you, just as worthy as your own, who could use a helpful ‘uncle/aunt’ to look in on them weekly, even monthly, to make a disproportionately big difference in their future. And the excess cash we blow daily on trivia, their parents can stretch for miles.

  • Ha ha, Henry.. that Goldfinger line came to me a while back, as well!

    @Bud Nye and @kevin moore.. I just want to say how happy I am that you continue to respond here. I really enjoy your comments and, Bud, that last of yours was most fascinating.

    @Robert thankyoufornotbreeding, was that you raising such points at the NZ event (white T-shirt, longish hair, went to put on a dark jacket)? I completely get what you are saying. These folks simply have not extrapolated out in a competent fashion what the world is going to look like (imo).

    When my mom was dying, the hospice org. left us w/o morphine and that feeling of helplessness in the face of direct and intimate need is one I never hope to experience again. I can’t imagine facing children when the cupboard is bare, knowing I could have spared them this fate if not for my own lack of regard. Does the fact that I might make them happy now with Snickers and Pokemon balance that out? I don’t think so.

    When people talk about death coming to all, and children being born only to die, that’s true. But there’s a difference between dying a ‘natural’ death (or maybe peaceful is a better word, because starvation is perfectly natural), and dying calamitously amidst near-universal suffering, disease, terror, and want. In my opinion. People with access to birth control who intentionally procreate knowing we are coming to a bad end are child abusers. I’m looking at you Chris Hedges and Naomi Klein! I don’t know how not to see them that way.

    I have a hard time believing that Hedges truly thinks these are things that are only going to keep happening in far-away places. Pity the children? Really? When he has no pity for his own?

    @karenishere, those are all good points. The woman in my previous story, though, was in her fifties and childfree by choice, so that’s why I was surprised at her being upset at the suggestion that the world might be overpopulated. Sadly, most of the “green” activists I have run into seem to think the issue is merely a political one: that there is plenty of food to feed everyone *and that there always can be*. If you start talking about limits they lump you in with evil right-wing austeritarians —only saying there won’t be enough because “we” want more..

    Another difficulty to overcome is that many people seem to think that, by predicting a thing, you want that thing to happen—as though merely talking about it invokes it. This is also at some superstitious, irrational level. There are a lot of people convinced, not just of the power of prayer, but of the Power of Positive Thinking.. the Secret, etc.


  • Population controls ‘will not solve environment issues’


  • I think what that says is in line with what the Limits to Growth people have said, that there is something called a carrying capacity and different variables have different limits given a finite planet and humans as we are today. The population numbers they advocated for a maximum sustainable carrying capacity with a particular quality of life was significantly lower than our current population numbers.

    artleads, I think you are on the right track with the notion of nuances (differences) in behaviour among members of a species (population). With humans those nuances have a moral dimension but that is exclusive to humans IMO and it is a value judgement we place. I don’t think we can talk about other organisms such as bacteria or plants using moral judgements and certainly not with OUR idea of morality. Nonetheless, what you are saying is that within humanity there are members who can act differently than other members, and if those members were running the show things would be different. I think one can do a thought experiment in this regard and decide whether that is true or not given the carrying capacity limits. It’s the aggregate behaviour of the system that matters, not individual events here and there. Also for a complex system to remain complex and not become stagnant or collapse or implode or explode, it needs to stay on the edge of chaos (whatever that means :) and continue with the dynamic trajectory. As I said before, the encompassing system is both robust and fragile and can take some punishment. Things don’t have to be perfect; they just have to be good enough (sounds like a moral judgement, eh?).

    I think there are extreme solutions that are generally not discussed and I do wonder what will happen as the feedbacks get more extreme. One never knows. It doesn’t mean I support such solutions; I’m saying there are things people haven’t generally discussed here (and I’m not talking about mass killings, space travel, biospheres, etc.).

    The field of reproductive genetics is burgeoning. If we can select embryos (or modify the DNA) so they they are free of any and all genetic disease, what happens then?

    That’s my two posts for the day… more on the forum.

  • “Population controls ‘will not solve environment issues’”

    True enough at this point to be sure. It’s more the curiosity to me that not only were we not interested in controlling population when it might have made a significant difference at least in the short term.. we’re not even interested in talking about it now, when the effects of our overconsumption of the planet are manifest and dire!

    I was made aware of an interesting statistic (arg, can’t find it now…): that China has used more cement in the last three years than all of the US in its entire existence(1). Cement, among other things, is not compatible with life. And yet we project more life, as well as more cement. We are a curious sort of creature.

    (1)Found another reference for this: Bill Gates’ blog!!!

    Wow. I’d be tempted to say Gates didn’t actually bother to write this crap, but then again he’s such an idiotic douchenozzle he very likely did:


    People are going to need more and more cement, but “…the cement industry now accounts for about 5 percent of all carbon-dioxide emissions. That’s one reason I think that developing affordable energy that produces zero carbon is one of the most important things we can do to lift people out of poverty.”



    Yeah, that’s the ticket—let’s sit down and develop some energy!


    Fucker lives in his own fucked-up imaginary universe. It’s scary that he’s directing billions in charity money in addition to foisting crap computers on people.

    Diet Coke.

    Holy fucking shit.

    Imagine having to sit in a room with people like this. I bet he and Larry Summers get on great.

  • Lidai.

    ‘I was made aware of an interesting statistic (arg, can’t find it now…): that China has used more cement in the last three years than all of the US in its entire existence’

    Read the ZeroHedge item I posted a link to earlier in the thread.

    Review Bartlett’s lecture ‘Arithmetic, Population and Energy’.

  • Lidia, you are hot today, and, Bud, thanks, and I’m hereby threatening to break the limit today, this is so short & I had such a good time at the new gym I found.

  • Nice acoustic in that wooden attic in NZ- more intimate than some of the institutional concrete shells that serve as the venue for some of Guy’s talks. Makes a difference IMO, especially to a microphone. The reverberations in those concrete places can reduce aural comprehension to zero sometimes, for me, anyway.

    Just sayin’, as they say…

    re Easter Island: I saw a documentary a while ago which suggested that it’s likely no coincidence that the demise of that culture dates from it’s ‘discovery’ by you-know-who, who, in their wisdom, imported and imposed a ruminant-grazing enterprise on the existing set of finely-tuned adaptations to local conditions.

    As ever, if you find a seemingly viable culture which mysteriously loses it’s viability, it’s not so much ‘cherche la femme’ as; ‘look for the wasichu’, or oftentimes the whole ‘gnawing tide’ of them, which of course you could hardly miss..

  • Lydia,

    “WTFFF!” CRACKED me UP! Great points regarding: people (including children) dying peacefully vs. calamitously amidst near-universal suffering, disease, terror, and want, as well as the (bizarre) idea that predicting a thing [or by pointing to natural, horrific consequences and lack of choice], you want that thing to happen, as though merely talking about it invokes it [and that by denying it we can more likely avoid it]. Yep: superstitious and irrational. But then, this comes as a surprise only if one starts with the belief that humans supposedly exist as “rational” animals. On the other hand it all makes perfectly good sense, and we EXPECT this irrational thinking and behavior, when we recognize humans as first and foremost highly emotional and irrational animals who think and behave rationally only occasionally and with great difficulty. While we have to work hard to think and behave rationally, like a hot cup of water spontaneously cooling to the surrounding air temperature, we behave irrationally and with strong emotions very easily and naturally.

  • I will post this comment in a couple of sections,as this tablet plays up and lost a long comment I yped yesterday.
    First,Easter Island is not an example of a failed hunter gatherer society.It is an example of a failed agricultural society.The existing forests were cleared primarily for the cultivation of crops,and soil erosion was severe.
    Wouldn’t it be great if we could run a 50,000 year experiment to see if humans can mange to coexist with each other and the environment?Well,we have ,and it’s called Australia.
    There is no doubt that when humans entered the Australian environment,the megafauna became extinct within a few thousand years.When we consider the impact all human societies have had,
    there is no question that the Earth would be a far richer,infinitely more biodiverse planet if we had not had the lethal mutation called intelligence.
    After the aborigines changed the ecosystem into a new state,what were the results after 50,000 years? The reports from the early British explorers all testify to the robust good health of the environment,rivers and wetlands teeming with fish and bird life,etc.
    There were certainly skirmishes between tribes,but arrangements were always made to allow travel of tribes to mmulti-tribal seasonal celebrations,generally around a seasonally abundant food source,bunya nuts for example.(See’The biggest estate on Earth’by Bill Gammage for many fascinating details.)

  • “Population controls ‘will not solve environment issues’”

    And yet fairly soon, environment issues will solve population problems.
    Isn’t it exciting? Everything is going to fall apart and we get to see it happen right in front of us!

  • As our flawed species exists,which system has the least impact on the Earth and has the potential of long term sustainability?I shall list some reasons why agricultural and industrial civilisation have unavoidable systemic flaws which did not exist under a hunter-gathere system.
    1. Industrial civilisation is dependent on fossil fuels .The use of those fuels has a lethal,invisible byproduct,CO2,the effects of which everyone reading this blog understands.
    Our grotesquely inflated population is only possible with the use of fossil fuels.Without the Haber-Bosch process supplying ‘fixed’nitrogen for industrial agriculture,the maximum population that could be supported on the land area now under cultivation is around 3 billion.
    The Haber -Bosch process is very energy intensive and requires fossil fuels.
    Hunter- Gatherers (HG) were not a society of ‘detritivores’,to use William Catton’s colorful and accurate description,and were subject to the same energy constraints as any other animal species.

  • Yes, 50,000 years without metallurgy will definitely lead a population down a different path than the one it did…..among a few other things that are to be found more in one geological location compared to another. I think it has a little something to do with our environment dictating the conditions in which we live. But let’s not let something like climate, latitude, geology, time, flora, fauna, technology, trade, etc….stop us from desperately looking for something in the past that validates our reasons to blame everything on this current round of one percentiles.

  • HG systems were reliant on the natural nitrogen cycle,and did not rely on the Haber -Bosch process for their protein supply.
    2. HG s did not cultivate or irrigate the soil,so excessive soil erosion ,salinization, and soil structure deterioration did not exist.These problems alone have been the main cause of the collapse of past civilisations.
    The informed estimate s of the amount of soil erosion on the cultivated and grazing land worldwide at present are around 26 billion tons per year.The informed estimates of the amount of soil formation on that same area are around 2.5 billion tons per year.A very serious problem.
    3. HG systems did not have non- biodegradable or toxic synthesised substances entering the ecosystem.
    4.Under a HG system, the nutrient cycles remained intact.When we have towns and cities taking food from cultivated land and then flushing their waste to the sea rather than returning it to the land from which it came,we are changing a cyclic nutrient system to a linear one.
    In geological terms,the nutrients still cycle,but in the shoshort term they are not cycling,but are in sea floor sediment.For detailed information. on this,see’Feed or Feedback ‘by Duncan Brown.

  • 5. Under a H.G.system,mining did not exist.Mining not only has large scale devastating effects on
    the environment,but our bubble civilisation is dependent on minerals,some of which are in very short supply.See,for example ‘Extracted’by Ugo Bardi or ‘Scarcity’ by Chris Clugston.
    6. HG s were not dependent on fossil aquifers for the water supply to produce their food.
    Many aquifers around the world are being drawn down at rates far greater than their rate of replenishment.Water shortages will become an increasingly severe problem during this century.
    See,for example, ‘When the rivers run dry’by Fred Pearce,or ‘Water ‘ by Solomon..

  • Why is it that people who are using computers bother to complain about industrial civilization while holding up primitive hunter-gatherer lifestyles as preferable?

    Why don’t you dump your computer, your electricity, the food you get from the store and just live the life you hold up as exemplary?

    Could it be that, in fact you know, that the life of a hunter-gatherer isn’t really the romantic idyll you crack it up to be? Maybe…it’s dark and cold and scary at night, and you have no idea why the sun goes up and down, so you can only plan for anything based on wild suspicion, and you are likely to die young of untreated disease or injury, or be attacked by a wild animal, or a vengeful fellow from the next village over because he either thinks you cast a spell on his uncle or else maybe he just wants your wife or daughter? And if you are that wife or daughter you live in constant fear of rape and captivity, toiling in what amounts to slavery to men your entire life?

    Could it be that you spend your days searching for food and frightened you won’t find any?

    Give it a try, anti-civs! Get back to us on your laptop after you do it for 6 months or so, and let us know how gratifying it was.

  • 7. HG societies were the most egalitarian of all.Parasitic classes did not exist.

    i realize that what I have typed is a purely intellectual exercise.There is a high probabilty
    that the climate on the planet will be uninhabitable this century by any society.
    Maybe cogitate a little on which society or civilisation is responsible forthat fact.It certainly wasn’t the fault of the HG societies.

  • The point isn’t to assign blame, as I see it. The question is how and why did we get to the point of ecocide – and could it have been otherwise? To answer that question it is essential to study the past. Romanticizing earlier cultures obscures the fact that humans have NEVER lived in equilibrium, in fact, the very idea is antithetical to the way nature works which is in constant rising and falling of populations based on the availability of resources. Not enough people study basic biology…sigh..