Where Are They? The Creatives of Our Generation

by Emma Fenton

It’s a peculiar dilemma in a world which is becoming increasingly globalized by the minute, revolutionizing our mass media and transforming connectivity into a virtual network where another individual on the other side of the planet appears at the click of a button. Our internet empowers us to share critical resources, express new ideas, and discover some of the most beguiling mysteries of the human race through social media, freely distributed education and other multi-dimensional hubs, liberal in its range of both fact and propaganda. We’ve seen petitions, campaigns and entire movements orchestrated with social networks at their helm and noble projects come into fruition via crowdfunding. People from other sides of the globe have connected and shared ideas and interests, forging life-long friendships. Yet surrounded by millions of friends, we feel lonelier than ever. We experience a huge disconnect which drives us apart and for those of us who are conscientious about our surroundings and feel an ongoing disillusionment with the world, we are compelled to question: where are they?

The Ubi Sunt Motif

What we mean by they is ultimately the people who we know exist, or are capable of existing, but whose presence is missing from our lives. The Ubi Sunt motif springs to mind here; its origins in literature date back from pre-medieval poetry with the Latin text translating into “where are they?” in reference to bygone days of honor and glory, lamenting and contemplating “the transience of life.” Today, this motif may bear little resonance to the woes of warriors from epic poems, but the cry for the elders, those who guide the community and share a common ethos, is louder than ever and we can apply this motif in a modern context.

Our jaded, younger generation, subjected to the challenges of austerity measures and oppressed by the reign of patrimonial capitalism which continues to cast is shadow over our most promising minds and most fragile environments, comes under considerable criticism. The misguided generation, the jobless generation, the lost generation – yet it is this same generation which has ventured forth and poured heart and soul into the uprisings in Hong Kong, Egypt, India, and the many Occupy movements across the globe. And it is the same generation who are searching for “the others” – the elders, the “true leaders”, those who would guide their peers towards a hopeful and sustainable future. We have some of those figures in the presence of activists like geneticist and environmentalist David Suzuki, the words of thinker Joseph Campbell (may he rest in peace), writer Margaret Atwood, and the Dalai Lama – just to name a few.

The Dalai Lama tells us that “The planet does not need more successful people. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds.” Expressing an ethos which diverts the focus away from the corporate ideals of personhood and restoring it to the fullness of what it means to be human, these are the very dreams which our generation seeks, searching for those of a like mind. Our biggest feat is to learn love – to help, to heal, to value others, and most importantly, value ourselves. Measuring ourselves up against virtually impossible goals and crumbling under pressure has led to a judgmental society where we fail to show compassion to ourselves, and subsequently, we fail to show it to others. Learning – or relearning – this very basic human instinct is where we begin to reconnect with our true selves and our values, as well as lead the way towards a more in-touch society which is based on sharing and accepting different perspectives. Compassion is a progressive approach for businesses and organizations who endeavor to take a sustainable and ethical stand in their practices which genuinely benefits others. And here is where the answer lies for the cry of “where are they?”

Our Future Hope

The “Cultural Creative”, a term established by sociologist Paul H. Ray and psychologist Sherry Ruth Anderson, is an individual who is concerned with the challenges facing the contemporary world such as the environment and the treatment of women and children and who actively engages – or contemplates doing so – in productive and proactive causes such as volunteering and creating. And in reality, cultural creatives are said to make up as much as one fourth of the adult population in the States alone. Sharing values of community, diversity, inclusion, and innovation, several places around the world have created their own self-sustaining communities comprised of artists, poets, scientists, doctors, engineers, farmers, and a myriad of other occupations who vigilantly work towards a better future.

It is these communities – empowered, creative, and passionate – who are the promise of our future. It can be as simple as setting up farmers’ markets and arts festivals, or developing a new tool for off the grid living. It can simply be creating or campaigning. The fact is that there are people out there who can make a difference in the world, and once we all connect, we can truly make a difference. Within what seems a lonely radius of people, there are more like us among the crowds than we think – and it’s time to find one another and take care of the planet which “We do no inherit from our ancestors, but borrow from our children.”

In this day and age, we need a message of hope, but not a delusional one. Finding those to guide us and inspire us and work alongside equally is something which is very much within our power, and our obligation as conscientious human beings to fulfill. It is through these vital connections that perhaps we can give our next generation something to hold on to.










McPherson was interviewed yesterday morning by Mort White for The Magic Garden. You can listen here.

Comments 77

  • dairymandave: I hope you won’t mind that I pasted your last comment (on the previous thread) at the irregular times blog where one of the writers is challenging the panic surrounding ebola. It ‘says it all’ and I agree completely.

    Emma: thanks for your contribution. You, like my brother, don’t think we’re likely to go extinct and that the “big die-off” is like a century away (like we don’t have to worry about it and can just keep going in the direction we’re heading . . .). If there were to be a future what you outlined would work on a non-damaged planet, but our arable land is disappearing (from CO2 forced climate change conditions) while radiation, among many other particulates, ash, dust, acid rain and other toxins are regularly being sprinkled onto all surfaces from the rain washing it out of the atmosphere. I don’t see much room for a “message of hope” which wouldn’t actually be lying. Sorry.

  • crazy_inventor and Robin Datta,

    From the thread related to the previous essay:

    I know. Over the decades I have gone from thinking that all humans expressed insane, ecologically destructive behavior (for about 30 years), to a year or two thinking that only civilized humans have done that (as you now think), back to learning more and realizing that all humans have indeed expressed insane, ecologically destructive behavior, including pre-civilizational humans. Best evidence suggests that we evolved as an insane species from our start. I know: the romantic idea that prior to civilization about 10,000 years ago we took good care of each other, other species, and Earth’s environment feels good, warm, and fuzzy. This idea also conveniently gives us a number of great targets to focus our self-righteous anger on and to blame (the many power-elite over the millennia), but the weight of the anthropological evidence I have awareness of does not support this idea. The Neanderthals apparently DID live in much that way in Europe for about 100,000 years prior to the arrival of Homo sapiens. After we arrived, it appears that we probably brought the Neanderthals to extinction–followed my many, many other species ever since, everywhere we went, and long before agriculture-based civilization, with today’s climax in the sixth mass extinction turbo-charged most recently by fossil-fueled industrial capitalism. Regarding all of this, I highly recommend Gail Zawacki’s most recent essay, “The Endocene” at her Wit’s End blog, here: https://witsendnj.blogspot.ca/. Indeed, it seems like essential reading to me.

    We could argue about which anthropological claims most likely have the greatest validity, with each of us trusting various sources over others and ending up agreeing to disagree based on our different understandings of the evidence. Concerning this process, I understand that Gail has done a huge amount of research on this topic and, having done a little reading in some of her recommended sources, I presently think that things probably developed somewhat as I described above. Concerning this, see this George Monbiot link: http://www.monbiot.com/2014/03/24/destroyer-of-worlds/. Note this: as Dr. John Alroy says (http://www.australasianscience.com.au/article/issue-may-2012/australias-megafauna-extinctions-cause-and-effect.html): “The debate really should be over now. Hunting did it: end of story. Personally, though, I never understood what there was to debate because nothing else made sense.” Also see this link, toward the end of the article: https://witsendnj.blogspot.ca/2013/01/the-withering-of-all-woods-is-drawing.html. And yet another one: http://www.monbiot.com/2014/10/02/the-kink-in-the-human-brain/.

    Meanwhile, an entirely different line of reasoning strongly supports one of these hypotheses over the other. The view that all humans have behaved destructively has the strength that it remains consistent with the biological expression of non-equilibrium thermodynamics, the maximum power principle, and the parable of the tribes. If humans developed based on those fundamental principles, as I feel convinced that we did, then these principles would apply PRIOR to the influx of agriculture-based energy, as well as after. Why would they not? We would not expect any kind of discontinuity; we would expect Homo sapiens to make maximum use of the energy easily available in the form of megafauna and any other “low hanging energy fruit” prior to agriculture as well as after its introduction. So, non-equilibrium thermodynamics, the maximum power principle, and the parable of the tribes all support the idea that all humans expressed insane, ecologically destructive behavior throughout all of our history. These principles do not support the idea that humans prior to agriculture behaved, in general, more rationally than those after agriculture.

  • From the article…

    “… lead the way towards a more in-touch society which is based on sharing and accepting different perspectives.

    Are you, Ms. Crosby, saying that ‘we’ should accept the perspectives of those who claim AGW isn’t happening or that the seas can not and will not be rising because some deity said so? Or, perhaps, you mean the perspective that a raped woman won’t become pregnant if she just ‘wills’ it is as acceptable as the known biological mechanisms? Must we be accepting of any and all dogmatic perspectives that purport to contravene any and all repeatably demonstrable science?

    Just askin’!

  • @ Bud

    I’m familiar with Gail and Monbiot’s arguments, and the general thrust of the debate, and the development of the line of thinking.

    But I don’t accept the analysis as it stands. I’m not going to get into a long detailed discussion right now, it’s all much too big and fraught, and I’m busy elsewhere, but if the basic thesis held, then how do you explain Africa, because the megafauna survived to the present. The humans didn’t just keep on expanding until they’d eaten everything. Humans and human cultures are not all the same, there’s always been immense variation. People talk about ‘hunter-gatherers’ as if that was one lifestyle, which is absurd, there were thousands of completely different lifestyles bracketed under that heading.

  • “In this day and age, we need a message of hope…..”

    No. In this day and age, all “we” need–as well as the rest of life on earth–is a hell of a lot less of “us”…….decades ago.

  • There is no such thing as “sustainable business”, or sustainable communities…if it was as simple as getting rid of fossil fuels then Rome never would have fell and we would all be speaking Latin.

    The problem is civilization itself, and all aspects starting with farming.

    The good news is the problem is going away soon, the bad news is we go with it.

    What the world needs is for homosapiens to go away so it can cleanse and prepare for another go at life. We had our shot, AND BLEW IT.

    Hope is the worst…it is a lie based on subversion of natural law, and hope need to quit springing eternally.

    Eat all the organic food you want, stop driving, recycle everything, it will make no difference.

    The world HAD great leaders and teachers and men of peace…and it MURDERED THEM! The world chose this course when it let industrialists kill JFK…..and MLK, And RFK, Ghandi…. now the world gets to pay for the Freemasons and their sick New World Order as they work endlessly to bring evil ancient “gods” back.

  • Ulvfugl, people who don’t want to admit that humans were NEVER sustainable always eventually throw out Africa, like a Godwin’s Law of extinction. Explain THAT! they declare triumphantly. But there WERE massive extinctions of megafauna in Africa TOO! From Monbiot:

    “Before Homo erectus, perhaps our first recognisably-human ancestor, emerged in Africa, the continent abounded with monsters. There were several species of elephants. There were sabretooths and false sabretooths, giant hyaenas and creatures like those released in The Hunger Games: amphicyonids, or bear dogs, vast predators with an enormous bite.”

    “As the paleontologists Lars Werdelin and Margaret Lewis show, the disappearance of much of the African megafauna appears to have coincided with the switch towards meat eating by human ancestors(3).”

    And thanks so much, Bud. Your comment above explained it all with far more clarity than I ever mustered!

  • @ Gail

    Oh dear, here we go.

    I’m not exclaiming triumphally. I’m saying the argument doesn’t hold water.

    IF humans invariably hunted all available large meals to extinction, and thus expanded their populations to the maximum, overshooting the carrying capacity, then the people in Africa would just have carried on eating all those animals to extinction.

    I know there were massive extinctions. I just don’t accept that it’s anything more than correlation. There’s very powerful evidence that the mammoths went extinct because of climate change, nothing to do with hunting.

    But I’ve argued with you repeatedly, it’ll make no difference what I say.

  • ‘It can be as simple as setting up farmers’ markets and arts festivals, or developing a new tool for off the grid living.’

    Sorry to say so Emma but this is crap.

    There is a farmers’ market in New Plymouth. Every week people drive vehicles (depleting finite fossil fuel reserves and generating CO2, on roads coated with asphalt and maintained using massive inputs of fossil fuel energy) to sell produce to customers who drive to the market. Farmers’ markets exacerbate to predicament.

    As for arts festivals, well New Plymouth District Council is really into those and heavily promotes every kind of festival one can imagine -art, music, stone carving, food, sports- all of it predicated on massive consumption of fossil fuels to move people to and from venues (with the unstated motive of filling hotels, motels and restaurants, and promoting rampant consumption). The current festival involves encouraging people to drive around the province to look at gardens, and especially unsustainable flower gardens.

    Even if you had in mind people pushing handcarts of produce to some central location and everybody walking there, the net effect is increased consumption. And where do the pigments and resins needed for arts come from, and what gets them to the user?

    Anything humans do that involves more than sticks and stones is almost certainly unsustainable and is usually very destructive. And as Bud pointed out, a lot of what humans did with just sticks and stones was destructive.

    A 25-year-old rings me for comment when he comes across ‘hopeful information’, such as something he has seen on television or seen in the ‘newspaper’, the most recent being a wave energy generator capable of generating up to 20kW. I always say to him: “Remember, Tom, it’s all bollocks.”

    The seasonal minimum for CO2 has passed and we are headed for 405+ppm next northern spring.

  • Emma,

    Thanks for your essay.

    “We do no(t) inherit from our ancestors, but borrow from our children.”

    This is a new formulation to me. If you did not come up with this on your own, please advise the source.

  • Dear Emma,

    I’m sorry but there is no hope. Like many who frequent this blog, I came to terms with that quite some time ago. It’s difficult but possible for some to live on without hope. If you’re really honest with yourself and have read NBL for a while, you might come to the same conclusion. We’ve discussed the whys (scientific, emotional and psychological) ad infinitum.

    As Daniel says, there are far to many of us now anyway. Who is going to volunteer to die? How many of our species could live “sustainably” if 6.5 billion died tomorrow? Because that’s what would have to happen. Who wants to think about something so shocking? But there it is. Do you think land degradation and ocean acidification could be halted, etc. etc. Your essay is nicely written but sorry, it’s pie in the sky.

  • “We do no(t) inherit from our ancestors, but borrow from our children.”

    This is a new formulation to me. If you did not come up with this on your own, please advise the source.

    infanttyron – google makes good research assistant :) — quicker to cut & paste to google than to type out questions on a blog. At least that*s my experience.


  • Dear Emma, excellent and concise expression of the emergent quality of choosing construction over destruction or apathy. The hopelessium crowd here seems to think that apathy is the correct response to our situation. Even though Guy does not advocate for that response.

    Dear Ulvfugl, thank you again for calling it like it is here with the misanthropists. And that is really what I perceive we are dealing with. It is one of the final bastions of the egoic reasoning that went awry ten thousand years ago when we know for sure men turned against women and the mother goddesses. ;-)

  • “We do no(t) inherit from our ancestors, but borrow from our children.”

    In defense of Emma, this is such a cliché it needs no more attribution than “The sky is blue”.

  • @ Reese Jones, thanks, and you’re right! Here is a revised version:

    How Animals Work

    Creatures, by methods arcane,
    Evolved different ways to maintain;
    But all their perspectives
    Have just two objectives:
    Pursue pleasure, and avoid pain.



    If you ask what my role’s going to be
    On this ship when there’s no escapee:
    As far as I’ve planned,
    I’m just in the band,
    Playing “Nearer, My God, to Thee.”

    But back to today’s subject:

    You Can’t Always Get What You Want

    To the Chelsea drugstore I tripped
    To fill your hopium script;
    “Mr. Jimmy,” I said,
    “Will this stop what we dread?”
    “Dead” was the one word he quipped.

  • What the world needs now is not trite past paradigmatic hopium, but learning how to peacefully leave this life in light of the greatest unprecedented catastrophic era in human history.

    And continuing to sustainably remodel our homes on fantasy island isn’t the way of going about it.

    Neither is pretending the human race is collectively capable of changing its biological imperative. Or, pretending there is such a thing as “we”. Or pretending we’re capable of not killing each other. Or, pretending equality will ever supersede subjugation. Or, that racism isn’t just a subset of classism. Or, that patriarchy isn’t just a subset of hierarchy. Or, pretending that all is required for the world to change is more education. Or, pretending a more benign economic system will somehow not require resource extraction. Or, that there is such a thing as a benign economic system. Or, pretending that the vast majority of humanity isn’t incurious and hardwired to believe in absurd superstition. Or, that there isn’t a 40 year time lag. Or, that dozens of intractable feedback loops haven’t been triggered. Or, that any ‘exception’ is magically capable of superseding the norm. Or, that thermodynamics doesn’t rue the day. Or, that entrenched vested interests isn’t the bedrock of denial. Or, that cultural indoctrination isn’t the bedrock of entrenched vested interests. Or that there has ever been such a thing as human agency capable of superseding game theory. Or, that conservatism is surmountable. Or, that TPTB can’t be more or less, found in every local chamber of commerce. Or, that the names and addresses of those who are killing the world, aren’t basically yours and mine.

    After more than two years of Guy having written ‘We’re done’, I could probably still count on two hands those here, I would say truly grok NTE. The number of those who continually post here, who are far more interested in continuing to think along the lines they pretty much always have, irrespective of the staggering unprecedence now before us, I suppose shouldn’t be surprising.

    Everyone who writes here does so for some reason. We all have a yearning to express ourselves, and/or prove ourselves. And we can only collectively discuss the grim reality of NTE for so long, until it starts to seriously whittle away at our past identity, ultimately curtailing our ability to set ourselves apart in whatever special way we like to imagine.

    So, I guess it couldn’t be prevented that over the course of time, many would resort back to who they were before the transcendent empirical evidence of NTE existed. All that amassed past knowledge and opinion, is no more going to quietly wither, as a general is going to sit on his sword. En garde!

    We are communicative animals and we aren’t going to let something like being in the throes of an extinction event spoil our sense of hope, or mission, or even stop us from endlessly repeating ourselves while the powers on, now are we?

    That’s the problem with NTE, it’s so damn universal, it just ruins our sense of self.


    FYI, the difference between ‘doing nothing’ and ‘there is nothing to be done’, isn’t just some hopeless sleight of hand trick, it has something to do with this thing called ‘the consequences of having never done anything in preventing NTE from emerging’. You know, that little thing that Guy does advocate, as well as the concept of hopium. But hey, don’t let reality prevent you from just making stuff up to suit your fantasy.

  • Yes it’s true we are all the same and if given the same set of circumstances we would all act accordingly….said every person viewing the world through the lens of civilization. It’s the psychosis of the dominant culture and it helps explain our living arrangement so we can sleep better at night.

  • Bob S.

    Thanks for doing the simple research that I should have done myself.
    I was involved with 2 other online tasks and forgot the obvious resource.

    Emma doesn’t need defending from me.
    I just wanted to know whether to credit her or her source if I use that line in the future.
    Based on Bob S’s research it appears that it goes back at least as far as to Wendell Berry in 1971.



    Did you have in mind a time-frame or pull-date of 5-50 years for your essay?
    As in, here’s some good stuff we could do…for a while.
    My sense is that most folks here expect NTHE to be in that range.
    Some wouldn’t be surprised if it hits sooner.
    Some think that if it happens it will take longer.

  • Swallowing the pill of acceptance of NTHE, can be a challenging task for many, however once it has dissolved into your system ( times may very according to user) it has the effect of getting rid of all the hopium, and as an added bonus, it makes the journey forward much simpler, as it also helps to cut out all of the things in life that up to that point, might have seemed so important.

  • Dear Daniel,

    Where do you come up with this? Guy himself says there is lots to be done, because we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t and doing is most likely the only thing left no matter what angle you look at this from. You are the man standing dumbly by while the Titanic sinks. It will be extinction for you for sure if you keep just standing there hopeless and frozen and your life will be one lacking any measure of excellence, any honor, any value. Would you give us all poison coolaide if you could? Is that what you think best? I feel sorry for you but if you think you have a snow balls chance in hell of convincing me to do nothing you are out of your mind. Every day I work at doing all I can and it is not that I think I can stop humanity from going under and all the web of life we are tied to, it is just that I am learning to honor all of life and once you get back to your intuitive natural self, there is no other way to be to avoid the kind of misery not doing that brings. Is there something wrong with not choosing misery?

  • Dear Gail,

    Are you really still that drowned in the mire of patriarchal misery?

  • “O can’t we just all get along?”
    (Yes, I’m singing the Rodney King song).
    “Well, if you’d just admit
    Your opinions are shit,
    Then we would – but you won’t – so you’re wrong”.

  • If your well-being is dependent on hoping and doing something to make the future a better place, you should find another website that’s more sympathetic to your view point. This place is about confronting a hopeless situation. If someone confronts a hopeless situation and can still maintain a sense of well-being, then that person would be rare indeed in this day and age.

  • Ebola is another one of those “Nature Bats Last” items, like climate change. It will do what it will do and no amount of bull shit will help to stop it. It isn’t politics or economics or any other game we play. It could be the domino that starts everything falling. I suspect “they” know it. Orlov plays with the idea of 50% population reduction. And then what? The Arctic ice hasn’t even melted yet.

    Today was a perfect day here in New York state. The growing season was excellent this past summer. Sarah P. was right; CO2 must help crops grow better. Best crops I have ever seen.

  • This one’s in response to a query in the comments to last week’s post:
    Bookfinder dot com:

    Searching for books where
    Author is Philip K. Dick
    Title is Valis
    Book is written in English

    “we begin to reconnect with our true selves”

    There ain’t any “true” self and there ain’t a false self. There is only The Self, the Self of all selves, the Void, the Boundless Void (the Sunyata, the Ain Sof. No disconnection, and therefore no possibility of connection.

  • Human beings have the unfortunate capacity to pass on knowledge from one generation to the next. Now this probably started out harmlessly enough, chimps getting ants out of logs with sticks and showing it to their young and all that, but in some areas, it was less necessary to be inventive. We evolved, in Africa, out of the environmental conditions. Which meant we were designed to live in that ecosystem; there was no great need to come up with solutions for survival and pass them on. As we expanded our realm, that became more necessary and we became more dependent on collective solutions passed down through generations. At some time we reached a tipping point where we could pass knowledge not only through deed, but in complex speech and song, and eventually written word that didn’t require the presence of the owner of the knowledge, and then all hell broke loose. I think the “flaw of man’s nature” to exploit and dominate has been with us all along. Many other animals live in automatic balance but will take advantage of a situation if it’s presented to them – squirrels of the grand canyon are rarely seen politely giving up extra peanuts. However, the more humans needed to tinker with the world in order to survive, the more we came to develop and depend on a complex transfer of information; it snowballed, the more you know the more you can do and the more you learn and the more you know and the more you can do and so on. The more we learned, the more we could “overcome” the limits nature put upon us, to the point where there is basically no more nature to overcome; our enormous but incomplete knowledge base has killed us.

  • Re this article –

    I think there’s a difference between accepting NTE, and giving up the most enjoyable parts of being human, which include participating, creating, learning, trying and – oh, how terrible in the face of crisis – having fun. I’m confused as to why NTE would be different from being diagnosed with terminal cancer. Many patients eventually determine to live each day as if it were gravy, as if it were their last. Bucket lists, peace and acceptance, gratitude for what they had and what they have. The fact that they might have given themselves cancer with a bad action like smoking doesn’t seem to play into acceptance and valuing the life that’s left. Why is it that this is the pinnacle of human beauty in the face of personal termination, but totally unacceptable to everyone in the face of group extinction?

  • Daniel – my – how presumptuous of you.


    Looking at the evidence and pondering it*s implications leads many reasonable folks to the conclusion of NTHE. Just looking at the albedo loss and methane releases in the Arctic might lead one to believe Guy*s suggested time frame may be optimistic!!

    To suggest as some do, that those who accept NTHE are

    *standing dumbly by* or
    *standing there hopeless and frozen*
    or doomed to a life *lacking any measure of excellence, any honor, any value*
    or *choosing misery*

    is ludicrous. Scraggly, tired strawmen. Some say keeping one*s death in focus is a great motivator. Hopium is a great deceiver and keeps us in the future – robbing us of the present.

  • One evening several years ago this month, my older brother (may he rest in peace) said something that stunned me. Some coyotes were yapping back in the timber evoking a howl from my nephew’s wolf-shepard mix (may he rest in peace). Harry said he had not heard that sound since he was a young boy. I had no idea that there had been wolves roaming our township that recently.

    Our elders did not exterminate them for food. It was to prevent them eating our livestock and household pets. I am unaware of any reason to believe homo callidus acquired this habit recently. His Cleverness is not well disposed toward competitors and mega fauna, whether herbi, carni or omni vorous tend to be either consumers of or destroyers of stuff we tend to value. To this day, farmers can get permits to kill deer that are damaging crops. We certainly try to get rid of many smaller critters, but that’s not so easy. Faster reproduction and larger litters.

    Mega fauna may still populate places like the Serengeti, but the Romans made sure you won’t find them running wild in the Maghreb. The Circus part of Bread and Circuses required a constant stream of large dangerous animals to be killed. Could it be the empire fell because it was just too damn far to haul big animals from Central Africa?

    It’s who we are, it’s what we do.

  • @ karenishere Says:
    October 12th, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    However, the more humans needed to tinker with the world in order to survive, the more we came to develop and depend on a complex transfer of information; it snowballed, the more you know the more you can do and the more you learn and the more you know and the more you can do and so on. The more we learned, the more we could “overcome” the limits nature put upon us, to the point where there is basically no more nature to overcome; our enormous but incomplete knowledge base has killed us.

    First, “needed to tinker” would, perhaps, be more accurate as “wanted to tinker” but, either way, still boils down to this more succinct version…

    Dr. Ian Malcolm: Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.

    @ Bob S. Says:
    October 12th, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Nicely and concisely stated! :)

  • Could vs should and wanted vs needed misses about a million years of humanid evolution, which I saw as the question about mankind’s original nature. We evolved to solve problems, and we evolved to communicate solutions. The probable tipping point was when we no longer needed an actual human presence in order to communicate information, at which point culpability began to break down.

  • I read most of the essays here but rarely comment but this essay really got under my skin in an unpleasant way. It was a beautiful fall day here and all different species of the migrating birds were passing through the fields, flitting from seed head to seed head to fuel their long journey. I watch them with appreciation and awe and an intense sadness knowing that we are wiping them out and most humans could care less.

    So when Emma writes “cultural creatives are said to make up as much as one fourth of the adult population in the States alone” I would ask her what she imagines the other 3/4 of the adult population will be up to while the creatives are” sharing values of community, diversity, inclusion, and innovation”

    When reading “as simple as setting up farmers’ markets and arts festivals -It can simply be creating or campaigning” I say, if there were a way out of this predicament it would not be simple.It would be very,very hard.

    When I see this quote( and I see it way to often)”We do no inherit from our ancestors, but borrow from our children” I think to myself that it still supposes that somehow the unborn human children of the future own the land/Earth. Contrary to common belief,Humanity does not own the Planet .You cannot borrow from your children something that they will not own.

    This particular line has always given me pause – ”The fact is that there are people out there who can make a difference in the world, and once we all connect, we can truly make a difference.”

    The fact is there ARE people out there that can make a difference and they HAVE connected and all 7+ billion of them HAVE truly made a difference. That is why were are in the mess we’re in.

    “Making a difference” goes both ways. Differences that are made are often very unpleasant.

    It is like when people say “Change is possible”. Of course it is. Just look at the Climate.

    Daniel said:
    In this day and age, all “we” need–as well as the rest of life on earth–is a hell of a lot less of “us”…….decades ago.

    Yes indeed! The only thing we need more of is less.

  • Q: “Where Are They? The Creatives of Our Generation?”

    In debt.


  • To get from day to day it takes, for some at least, if not faith in the religious sense, an inertia toward living that one more day. That is a kind of commitment to some sort of action, some use of one’s energy and awareness of a potential act(s), of a quality of being. That is “where” the “creatives” live. That is what we (they) do; it is part of what can be done, that ought to be done – in Guy’s thought and writings. It starts in each ‘maker’ and is a realization of some little bit of creative potential. Poem, painting, devising a new game for playing (delight is possible and positive, sometimes), using one’s imagination to expand horizons. Yes, consumption and waste products are involved– and that is true of nearly everything except terminal meditation. Frugality might be mitigating consideration. No one matrix fits us all. Just be. Just do.

  • There’s a whole lotta WE in these replies. WE are the dominant culture. WE believe our nature is human nature. WE continue to lump all of humanity under our umbrella because WE believe WE know how it all works. After all WE defined the terms and WE know best. They are not WE and WE will never be them again. They still exist but WE don’t acknowledge their existence or importance so they will eventually be swallowed like the rest. They certainly don’t recognize US because WE are no long being human.

  • thanks Bud it’s nice to see where you get your point of view and reference from

    Gail has been repeatedly cited and refuted for cherry picking, while she simply repeatedly ignores the bulk of the data which she finds inconvenient – that the most accurate research by anthropologists consulting historical records, combined with fossil records, researched by archaeologists neither starting from an euro-centric background and perspective tells a completely different tale.

    And then there are the cultural relationships of Native Americans, along with parables, stories, legends and other teachings directly passed down by word-of-mouth within the few remaining members of our various tribes.

    When all this evidence is looked at, rather than selectively filtering it through the lens of victorious colonial apologists with colonial values and colonial goals, I’m afraid such selective and biased ‘research’ is exposed for what it really is –


    “We were the first victims of corporate greed, lies and violence.
    You are the next.”
    – the Ghost of Chief Crazy Horse

    I dare say victorious colonisers and their prodigy simply aren’t qualified to delve into or have access to the almost extinct teachings passed around campfires by tribal Elders to their own few remaining people.

    Thousands of generations of hundreds of millions of people (the Americas, Africa, Arctic) living as one with the world, for tens of thousands of years, can’t be whitewashed away by ‘victorious’ colonisers by just pretending it didn’t happen.

    And as I said before, our dreams foretold this.

    – that the old ways would be lost, respect for the land vanish, our history and ways of life erased and forgotten, and the spirit world would then re-balance itself over the same span of time we lived in balance with nature.

    We see what’s happening now as a result of our failure to defeat the colonists, and as a result the spirits have intervened to make the colonists vanish, while some of our people will still be left in scattered far corners of the world to carry on as we’ve always done.

    (this is the most popular vision – another vision says all people will retreat into the spirit world, and when the spirits invite people back into the world (at some unspecified time scale), the ways of the colonists will no longer exist, and so they will no longer be able to upset the balance as they’ve done presently.

    – I’ll stack these teachings and this history against your ‘thermodynamic colonist principles’ any day.

    ..after all, look where such thinking has led us so far – to the maw of global extinction.

  • Spirits are found in bottles. Other than that, there are no spirits.

    The manifest follows all the rules of the domain/universe of its present manifestation, until it becomes unmanifest again. The currently fashionable description for it is from The Big Bang to The Heat Death of the Universe. None of it has any awareness. The awareness, although sometime ascribed to the Self of all selves, is also The One without a second: hence there are no selves, no “we”, no “I”. It has no handles, and is ungraspable by the intellect: the Void, the Boundless Void. At yet, it cannot be denied: though one may try to deny everything, the one thing that one cannot deny is the denier.

  • @Robin Datta

    “Protect your spirit, because you’re in the place where spirits get eaten.”-John Trudell

    Clearly you’ve been devoured.

  • https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/10/the-amish-farmer-replacing-pesticides-with-nutrition/380825/?single_page=true

    The Amish Farmers Reinventing Organic Agriculture

    By studying the immune systems of plants, they’ve developed a technique that eliminates the need for chemicals. [read it]


    Serious Financial Trouble Is Erupting In Germany And Japan

    [check it out if interested]

  • Ebola and the Three Bs

    Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall.
    Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
    Warren couldn’t Buy it,
    Obama couldn’t Bomb it,
    CDC couldn’t Bullshit it.
    The end of this poem doesn’t rhyme.
    Why did you think it would?

  • Those who limerick on blog post walls
    roll their sh|t into little balls.
    Those who read those lines of sophomoric, non-wit
    eat those little balls of sh|t.

    The zombies were on fire last night on the tee-vee series ‘The Walking Dead’. Funny that.

  • Dear opposition,

    Do not be afraid.

    It is not I that is in denial of extinction, it is you. I suggest the longer you deny it, the more bitter and broken and afraid you may become.

    The door is there for you, and only you, walk through.

    We are waiting to receive you in love.

  • Privileged Says:
    “Protect your spirit…”

    That is the fifth of the five defilements, any one of which prevents realisation:

    “fear of death (which is derived from clinging ignorantly to life) <a href=" http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kleshas_(Hinduism)#/search(abhiniveśāḥ)”.

  • Privileged Says:
    “Protect your spirit…”

    That is the fifth of the five defilements, any one of which prevents realisation.

    “fear of death (which is derived from clinging ignorantly to life) (abhiniveśāḥ)

  • Not just fear of death, but fear of the loss of individuality and individual existence, or clinging to the idea of a “soul” or “spirit”.

  • @commander

    Spoken like a true army meat robot. Methinks you’ve been drinking the fifth.

  • Greeting all on the Beach.

    Announcing the resumption of the Adult Children of Civilization step program.

    Telephone meetings will take place on the 2nd and 4th Monday evenings (local centric time here in Minnesota) of the Month

    Starting this evening.

    This is a safe space for distressed people to talk about what seems to be Unthinkable.
    Our intention is to create a safe environment for sharing our thoughts, fears, emotions, and uncertainties that don’t seem welcome anywhere else.
    This is an 8 Step program (because there may not be time for 12) drawn from the Adult Children tradition that helps folks demystify the trance that can result from living in dysfunctional families. In this case the family stories are writ very large – civilization and culture.

    1. Admitted to ourselves, and those willing to listen compassionately, that we have been fatally entranced by the belief systems and mythologies of civilization.

    2. Came to accept that the prevailing stories we have inhabited of limitless possibilities, unending growth, and entitlement for us and our species, has brought about the Sixth Great (as in huge, not admirable) Extinction Event on planet Earth. And that civilization’s stories and their resulting future are insane.

    3. We are choosing to let go of our attachments and addictions to the illusionary outcomes these stories have conditioned us to expect are our due:
    civilization’s dream of security, comfort, and progress;
    the entitlement to objectify and convert any part of the natural
    world – including less worthy humans – to a means for our increasing
    comfort and self aggrandizement;
    and beliefs that these goals are the natural order of a divinely, or chaotically, ordained universe that places some members of the human species above others, and perhaps more importantly – separate and above creation itself.

    4. We made a fearless examination of the expectations we have lived our lives striving to fulfill by following the imperatives of civilization’s mythology and narratives.

    5. Having listed the aspirations and expectations we have held for our lives and those of our loved ones, we shared this list with trusted others in ACC.

    6. We acknowledge the bankruptcy (no escaping our currency economy conditioning) of these expectations in the face of the coming disruptions of all the natural, ecological, and social systems of the planet.

    7. We submit to the tensions presented by the power of life to fight tooth and nail to continue to eat and reproduce, and express its power in any and all life forms (including the human) – contrasted against
    all the human stories of
    moral rules and systems,
    and independent rational processing and agency
    – that the human species have created to impose some sense and order on the perplexing mystery of life.

    8. Having experienced a deep awakening to the tensions, contradictions, and paradoxes that seem to be the bulk of our species civilized experience, we actively support each other (keeping entropy in mind) in living out the time remaining to each of us; in as full an appreciation of these issues as we can bear. And keep the mysterious nature of this experience and the complex perplexities, as our psychic sustenance for the journey to de-growth and personally meaningful narratives and relationships.

    If this idea appeals to you, contact Mac in Minn for further details and how to join the call. macinminn (at) gmail (dot) com

  • sheit man, the comments are way more fun than the articles, which i am sorry to say are mind numbingly boring. People enslaved others of a different race, so just imagine what people would do to people of a different species. It is our biological imperative to dominate the ecosystem, with success comes failure. Our ability to deny mortality while remaining aware of it makes us all highly functional yet bat shit crazy. SNAFU. The reason I do like this place, not because I like to watch people wallow in misery, but because I can’t stand when people wallow in hope.

  • ah Callaghan just the man I’ve been waiting for:

    ‘the Goldwater Institute insists “there is no such thing as clean energy.”


    “has ties to the Koch brothers and the Koch-linked DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund

    Like ALEC, Goldwater has opposed efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. One of its senior fellows, Robert Balling, authored a 2010 article, “Some Like It Hot,” in which he suggested that ecosystems could adapt to global warming.

    Koch Industries, Inc. is the largest privately owned energy company in the United States.

    spent $15,130,000 to lobby for the oil and gas industry.

    Koch Industries was sued by the government in 1995 and 1997 as a result of a reported 300 oil spills from pipelines that they owned and operated. It is estimated that during this time, three million gallons of oil were dumped into lakes and streams in six different states.

    provides major financial support to the Heritage Foundation, the Reason Foundation, the Hudson Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and the Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment (FREE).

    [and] Each of these organizations has also received funds from ExxonMobil.

    Koch is also connected to Big Tobacco.


    http://stinktanks.org/arizona/ Who is Behind the Goldwater Institute?

  • @Robin Datta
    It’s not about fear but rather about loss of connection. Human Being without being is nothing more than what this culture has become…a shell.

  • “It’s not about fear but rather about loss of connection.”

    There is no connection and no disconnection. Water and wetness. Fire and heat. Even in the Judaic tradition, when the Divine breathed life into the clay figure called Adam, there was no separation of any part of the Divine: the subtlest aspect of the human, the Yechidah, is indistinguishable from the subtlest aspect of the Divine, the Ain Sof. It is a delusion to perceive a disconnection. And that arises from the first of the five defilements
    Ignorance (in the form of a misapprehension about reality) (ávidyā)

  • There IS no such thing as “clean energy.” And i get nothing from the Koch Brothers.:-) Just a simple matter of physical facts. http://energyskeptic.com has the info, she gets nothing from Koch either. Her political articles make her antagonism to everything that the Koch complex stands for quite clear. But hopium merchants never tire. One wonders who finances THEM.

  • Dear Mac in MN

    Loved your idea except for number 7, that belief is yet the deepest conditioning we have received compliments our being ‘broken’ in to the killer mind set of the aberrant short growth of egoism imbalance we have been in for a few thousand years. The corrective realignment with nature as it is, is what will bring us the best skills and tools to cope now.

  • http://www.examiner.com/article/end-of-the-world-siberia-holes-linked-to-the-bermuda-triangle-scientists

    ‘End of the World’ Siberia holes linked to the Bermuda Triangle: Scientists

    Scientists believe they now have figured out exactly how those massive craters discovered in Siberia earlier this year were created. And as The Siberian Times reported Oct. 10, the holes may very well be linked to one of the world’s most intriguing mystery locations — the Bermuda Triangle.

    The three craters were discovered this past summer in the Yamal, which translates to the exotic-sounding “End of the world,” and Tamyr peninsulas, with two being found in the former. The findings prompted a firestorm of speculation in the scientific community and on the internet. Theories of the Siberia craters’ origin ranged from underground gas explosions to meteor impacts to UFOs.

    Scientists from the Trofimuk Institute of Petroleum-Gas Geology and Geophysics in Novosibirsk believe they may have the actual answer. Their findings were published in Science in Siberia journal, and what they discovered was the holes came about by a process of contributing factors. They explained that by studying the largest of the ‘End of the world’ craters they found that it was caused by heating from above the surface due to unusually warm climatic conditions and also from below, due to geological fault lines. All of this led to a release of gas hydrates.

    “The main element – and this is our working theory to explain the Yamal crater – was a release of gas hydrates,” scientist Vladimir Potapov observed. “It turned out that there are gas hydrates both in the deep layer which on peninsula is several hundred meters down, and on the layer close to the surface.”

    Gas, such as methane, is trapped inside the gas hydrates. And it is these gas hydrates which have been postulated to be the source behind the strange occurrences in the Bermuda Triangle.

    According to Igor Yeltsov, the Trofimuk Institute’s deputy head: “There is a theory that the Bermuda Triangle is caused by gas hydrates. They start to actively decompose with methane ice turning into gas. It happens in an avalanche-like way, like a nuclear reaction, producing huge amounts of gas. That makes the ocean heat up, and ships sink in waters which are infused with huge amounts of gas. This leads to the air becoming supersaturated with methane, creating an extremely turbulent atmosphere, leading to aircraft crashes.”

    In the Science in Siberia article, the Yamal and Tamyr peninsula craters were referred to as “a distant relative of the Bermuda triangle.” Potapov likened their formation to “a bouquet of flowers, where each of them added something and together they led to the explosion – but at this stage we are unable to say how each of these ‘flowers’, or factors, that came together, actually worked.”

    When news of the first Siberia hole broke, it was feared that they might pose a danger to the gas fields in the area. The large hole, which is located less than 20 miles from the natural gas processing center at Bovanenkovo, was discovered in July. The other two were discovered mere days later, the last by a group of reindeer herders.

  • sorry about the 3’rd post but Datta’s posted 5 times here today

    @ Jeff

    I didn’t post that expose’ in the context of the talking point being true or false, but to show this exact talking point is what fossil fool interests are using to maintain their monopoly in dirty energy.

    Claiming there’s no clean energy (not even wood or fermentation or passive solar) implies there’s no dirty energy, since if ‘clean’ isn’t really clean, then dirty isn’t really dirty either.

    – the perfect foil to keep people using fossil fuels, which is why fossil fool billionaires fund it.. and when you repeat their paid talking points you act as their spokesman, their message force multiplier and when you ignore wood, fermentation and passive solar, you commit an intellectual slight-of-hand. Usually accompanied by the claim that renewables can’t “save everyone”. Well fossil fuels aren’t “saving everyone” either – a small minority of the world’s population consumes most of the fossil fuels, while billions get by on burning dung or gathering firewood.

    Saying ‘there’s no clean energy’ ignores examples of actual clean energy (passive solar especially) and attempts to re-frame energy as only concentrated energy, and further re-frames it as applying to ‘everyone’.

    So this fossil fool funded talking point is in reality propaganda. Not that it can’t be true in some context on some level, but that it’s used as a rhetorical device to manipulate your perception.


    My accusation stands – Callaghan is a propaganda artist. And the citations I just posted, back that accusation up.

    I suggest you post here, her exact reasoning on how passive solar is dirty/NOT clean (passive solar is merely being warmed by the sun – it implies no specific materials or construction. Trees or hedges planted to allow low angle winter sun to enter dwelling spaces, while blocking high angle summer sun, to provide cooling shade, is passive solar.

    please be so kind as to explain how that’s not ‘clean energy’ or better yet, cite the passage from the link you keep pasting here, that refutes it.

    I look forward to seeing THIS

  • @ TIAA

    Thanks for the response. For some time now, I have been working on the idea of this format being a suitable method of bringing folks together to actually give voice to their concerns and the resulting emotional and cognitive impacts of NTE. The intention is to form a space together that lets folks speak honestly, perhaps for the first time, about their journey toward greater acceptance of the predicament without solution that has been manufactured by human innovation and ingenuity. A species that has innovated itself into a corner that likely has no escape route.

    I invite you to join us in offering to, and sharing with each other the benefit of commiseration and mutual acceptance of our rather marginalized world views.

    The words of this, only slightly tongue-in-cheek adaptation of a program that has assisted millions of folks in finding a more balanced footing in their lives, script is still being developed. So, come and help!

    The wording of Step 7 reflects my perspectives regarding complex lifeforms that I see as arising from the Second Thermodynamic Principle of ever seeking food (available energy – free as in not bound up in an unavailable form). My wording may be a too subtle sarcastic use of the misuse of Darwin’s work. You know, the “…bloody in tooth and nail.” bullshit. And yet, it seems that lifeforms do everything they can to persist and procreate, often at the expense of their peers.

    Everything is food for something else. Reportedly an old Zen master gave himself over to a starving tiger and her cubs that they could live. That degree of biophilia seems to be in short supply. But, it could experience a renaissance (small r), who knows?

    So, please join us and speak the distresses.

    Mac in Minn
    macinminn (at) gmail (dot) com

  • Herd altruism. An example comes at the end.


  • crazy_inventor:
    “– the perfect foil to keep people using fossil fuels, which is why fossil fool billionaires fund it.. and when you repeat their paid talking points you act as their spokesman, their message force multiplier and when you ignore wood, fermentation and passive solar, you commit an intellectual slight-of-hand. Usually accompanied by the claim that renewables can’t “save everyone”. Well fossil fuels aren’t “saving everyone” either – a small minority of the world’s population consumes most of the fossil fuels, while billions get by on burning dung or gathering firewood.”

    Right, there is infinite firewood. And passive solar just “happens,” right?

    “Saying ‘there’s no clean energy’ ignores examples of actual clean energy (passive solar especially) and attempts to re-frame energy as only concentrated energy, and further re-frames it as applying to ‘everyone’.”

    Where do materials for “passive solar” come from?

    “So this fossil fool funded talking point is in reality propaganda. Not that it can’t be true in some context on some level, but that it’s used as a rhetorical device to manipulate your perception.


    CRAP, it’s hardly like i or Callaghan propose that the world should just keep burning fossil fuels. The problem is a global system which has a growth IMPERATIVE which in the process has caused population overshoot. You wish to sustain the present order by hook or crook.

    “My accusation stands – Callaghan is a propaganda artist. And the citations I just posted, back that accusation up.

    I suggest you post here, her exact reasoning on how passive solar is dirty/NOT clean (passive solar is merely being warmed by the sun – it implies no specific materials or construction. Trees or hedges planted to allow low angle winter sun to enter dwelling spaces, while blocking high angle summer sun, to provide cooling shade, is passive solar.”

    More crap. Passive solar means nothing to humans without some material contraption which takes advantage of solar energy. You have nervier calling anything else “propaganda.”

    “please be so kind as to explain how that’s not ‘clean energy’ or better yet, cite the passage from the link you keep pasting here, that refutes it.

    I look forward to seeing THIS”

    There is NO clean energy in regards to human use, unless you’re talking about standing in the sun and soaking rays. Which is probably what you do best, down in Santa Cruz. Anyone who comes here and admits that he doesn’t even bother reading any of the posted articles is by definition a TROLL. This is my last engagement with you. I can’t stop others, especially the other trolls, all i can do is point out a sewage spill when it happens.

  • Jeff.S

    c_i claims to have high-level qualifications in chemistry and physics, yet cannot work out that making anything other than miniscule quantities of concrete or glass requires the use of fossil fuels, and contributes to the CO2 predicament, something an average 13-year-old can understand.

    I have just finished making another drying cabinet for the preservation of fruit. The aluminium-framed windows came from an imported Japanese commercial vehicle; my guess is 1 tonne of embedded CO2. The timber is pinus radiata, which has been treated to prevent rot; probably another tonne of embedded CO2 when we allow for the felling, transport, milling, treatment, transport, retail sale, cutting with power tools etc. I purchased a sheet of scrap stainless steel to act as a reflector; another tonne or two embedded CO2 there. Not too much embedded fossil fuel and embedded CO2 for the nails and screws. But another lot of embedded fossil fuel and embedded CO2 for the paint.

    Even recycling scrap materials requires the use of fossil fuels and causes CO2 emissions. However, there are mad bastards who drive around in circles for hours on race tracks or in speedboats for ‘fun’, so I don’t feel guilty about my small contribution to planetary meltdown/overheating.

  • sorry about the 3’rd post but Datta’s posted 5 times here today

    To tweak a Doug Stanhope bit just slightly…

    How does his suck
    Make your suck
    Not suck ?

    Folks here seem to do 3 posts (sometimes more) on occasion and not have others get in their faces about it, much less get a C&D warrant from the top floor.
    Sure, I and probably anyone else here noticed Mr. Datta’s Posts >> Qty 2.
    Maybe just me, but tabulating them and mentioning it seemed less like a neighborhood statistician and more like a classroom tattle-tale.

  • @ infanttyrone

    …like a classroom tattle-tale.

    Indeed. And C_I uses MY posts to justify HIS excesses, when I obey the rules, and he is too dumb to understand that different continents have different time zones, despite being able to build digi clocks from scratch. Must be hard to keep count though, with Shep holding onto his jock strap.

    One for the juke box.

  • Tom

    So… we now have a scientific theory that explains the strange happenings in the Bermuda Triangle…. ships,, planes, people disappearing without much of a trace.

    Methane hydrate rapid catastrophic thawing…?

    But humans have a very high probability of going extinct in the next 30.

    Life just gets better and better.


  • @ ulvfugl Says:
    October 13th, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    You are a ‘queer duck,’ aren’t you?! Note, I mean that in the most jovially respectful way. Thank you for that awesome music link!!! Its eclectically intertwined melody lines and “fancy-tickling” syncopation harkens back to an imaginary merger between King Crimson and Gentle Giant with a goodly share of kibitzing from Jeff Lorber and Dave Brubeck! :) Thoroughly enjoyable and, again, thank you!

  • kevin: (i know, i know – “over the limit!”) i think humanity is completely loony in that everything we do is harmful but we continue to multiply our numbers and do even more! Why does it have to be this way?

    That’s all for today.

  • This virus may upstage NTHE in the nearer future…


    Ebola appears to be as transmissible as influenza, but its exact vectors are not well understood. The problem, of course, compared to the pandemic of 1918 (10-20% mortality) is that Ebola mortality seems to be as high as 76% in Africa. The key questions are: does the virus transmit as an ‘aerosol’ and how long can the virus remain viable on an open air surface. (See below.)

    Here is the Wikipedia entry on influenza vectors. These seem to be reasonable vectors for Ebola as well. Also, like any virus, the longer Ebola remains in human hosts, the higher the probability it will evolve into a more transmissible, but less virulent, form.

    Wikipedia: Influenza can be spread in three main ways: by direct transmission (when an infected person sneezes mucus directly into the eyes, nose or mouth of another person); the airborne route (when someone inhales the aerosols produced by an infected person coughing, sneezing or spitting) and through hand-to-eye, hand-to-nose, or hand-to-mouth transmission, either from contaminated surfaces or from direct personal contact such as a hand-shake. … In the airborne route, the droplets that are small enough for people to inhale are 0.5 to 5 µm in diameter and inhaling just one droplet might be enough to cause an infection. Although a single sneeze releases up to 40,000 droplets, most droplets are large and quickly settle out of the air.

    As the influenza virus can persist outside of the body, it can also be transmitted by contaminated surfaces such as banknotes, doorknobs, light switches and other household items. The length of time the virus will persist on a surface varies, with the virus surviving for one to two days on hard, non-porous surfaces such as plastic or metal, for about fifteen minutes from dry paper tissues, and only five minutes on skin. However, if the virus is present in mucus, this can protect it for longer periods (up to 17 days on banknotes). Avian influenza viruses can survive indefinitely when frozen. They are inactivated by heating to 56 °C (133 °F) for a minimum of 60 minutes, as well as by acids (at pH <2).


    The survival of filoviruses in liquids, on solid substrates and in a dynamic aerosol

    Published online: 22 MAY 2010

    This study has demonstrated that filoviruses are able to survive and remain infectious for cell culture, for extended periods when suspended within liquid media and dried onto surfaces. In addition, decay rates of a range of filoviruses, within small-particle aerosols, have been calculated, and these rates suggest that filoviruses are able to survive and remain infectious for cell culture for at least 90 min.

    Our study has shown that Lake Victoria marburgvirus (MARV) and Zaire ebolavirus (ZEBOV) can survive for long periods in different liquid media and can also be recovered from plastic and glass surfaces at low temperatures for over 3 weeks. The decay rates of ZEBOV and Reston ebolavirus (REBOV) plus MARV within a dynamic aerosol were calculated. ZEBOV and MARV had similar decay rates, whilst REBOV showed significantly better survival within an aerosol.

    Survival of EBOV and MARV dried onto solid substrates over 14 days.
    Survival of EBOV and MARV dried on to solid substrates over 50 days
    Inactivation rates of MARV, ZEBOV and REBOV within an aerosol

  • @ Tom Says:
    October 13th, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    Why does it have to be this way?

    Are you implying that the myriad “answers” to that question, posed and “discussed” on this site for many a year, have been insufficient or unsatisfactory?! Do you think there are alternative explanations that have yet to be asserted? Suppose, at least for a moment, that the answer is in the centuries upon centuries of lies that have been foisted upon and too readily accepted by the ill-informed and introspective-averse masses. Things that make one go “Hmmm.”

  • This interviewee may be far behind the times, but in getting at how governments really act, as opposed to (as NBL posters have long been saying) some unrealistic expectation of international action to not exceed 2 degrees C, he’s refreshing:


  • Daniel Says A Mouthful—Again

    Daniel says: “What the world needs now is not trite past paradigmatic hopium, but learning how to peacefully leave this life in light of the greatest unprecedented catastrophic era in human history.”

    Where Are They? The Creatives of Our Generation

    The Yeast Cells—Again

    The yeast cells all had to concede
    Their extinction was now a done deed;
    To not be divided,
    Know what they decided?
    Jack Shit, that’s on what they agreed.

    Killing became more widespread,
    While some killed themselves instead;
    And, being concise,
    It wasn’t too nice,
    Until the last yeast cell was dead.

  • BtD FTW

    A limerick, now and again,
    Comes forth from our donkey friend Ben.

    They’re trite, and absurd
    Like all that I’ve heard
    Since hearing we’re nearing the end.


    Playing the Dozens

    “I’m posting too much, it is true.
    But still, I post much less than you.”

    “I use less fossil fuel”.

    “You’re a far greater fool
    And yo momma wears army boots, too!”

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

  • fee-fi-fo-FUD

    @ Kevin

    solar baked mud bricks, and glass was being made thousands of years before the use of fossil fuels.

    You’re falling right back into the trap of framing the question around pre-conceived absolutes based on ignorance and bias.

    Any heating, any energy produced by solar or wind (or water) is energy that fossil fuels didn’t supply which is exactly the exception you just carved out for yourself, but then proceeded to deny anyone else.

    “we didn’t go to the moon”
    “I didn’t say we didn’t go to the moon”
    “we didn’t go to the moon”

    – not really in a position to be setting the boundaries on what constitutes “high-level qualifications” now are we.

    besides which I never said that – I simply said that as a student I had the run of the chemistry labs, (didn’t even specify what I did in them) plus 3 labs of my own, (and didn’t specify what I did in them either) one of which was formally a doctor’s office lab. (which means this lab ‘dropped in my lap’ – I didn’t build it)

    I merely studied particle physics since Fukushima in order to understand radiation’s interaction with matter, concentrating on candidates for detection materials, starting with doped Zinc Sulphide, (removed from busted open CRT’s) then Silicon (de-capped metal can transistors), Noble gasses (Neon bulbs, florescent tubes) and organic dyes (coal tar extract), looking for any way to detect both particles and rays using common easy-to-get materials and chemicals, largely following other inventors & experimenters DIY efforts, and crediting them when appropriate, while applying my real “high-level qualification” – electronics, to improve these designs, especially micro-power with an aim to be solar powered/portable. Again using common recycled/salvaged parts, since I BUY NOTHING – not even used, Mr. “I purchased a sheet of scrap stainless steel”.

    My activities, which are wholly aimed at protecting people and animals from radiation exposure, involve the purchase of NOTHING, but instead re-using toxic e-waste that otherwise ends up in the landfill or burnt.

    My parts & supplies consist wholly of diverted waste streams. Even my check sources are extracted from smoke detectors bound for the trash. I’ve been unable to obtain any other source of radiation for testing (I tried to purchase antique Radium watch hands but none are available. There ARE antique watch’s and clocks, but I was unwilling to purchase any just to disassemble for the Radium) Besides, the radiation given off by Radium isn’t much different than the Americium 241 sources saved from the trash I already have.

    There are natural deposits of Uranium, Thorium and Radium ores in the area, but they’re too far away to ride by bicycle to get to, and I’m unwilling to take a motor vehicle to make a special trip to collect some.

    So my efforts have been greatly hampered by the lack of decent check sources, particularly a good Beta source. In fact my efforts are stalled due to the lack of a Beta source. (I’m able to detect Alpha and Gamma) I purchased some Potassium Chloride (which has a trace of K-40) but I am unable to detect the weak Beta emissions from it, since I don’t have a known verified Beta detector made from salvaged parts. I need a stronger Beta source to proceed, and I’m unwilling to purchase one.

    When the > 400 reactors meltdown, THEN there will be plenty of Beta around. If I lived in Japan I could collect some roadside dirt, and it would serve as a Beta source, (Cs-137) but there’s no Beta emissions here that the sensors I’ve come up with can read. Beta particles are only single electrons, and almost no electronic gain devices available as common parts are sensitive enough to respond to a single electron.

    Tritium’s Beta emission is too weak to register, and Tritium is the only Beta source with high activity that I can get ahold of.

    Instead of second-guessing and assuming, perhaps you could attack the problem as well, with your hands tied by a self-imposed low carbon footprint lifestyle as I am, then maybe you would appreciate the difficulty of the problem.

    @ Jeff

    thank you Jeff, for addressing passive solar using exactly the example I presented – the planting of trees to allow winter sun for warmth, yet shade summer sun for cooling.

    I knew you’d come through

    And I want to thank you again for quoting the passage at the website you’ve pasted here several times, that clearly and unequivocally refutes this example of passive solar.

    But most of all I’d like to thank you for not employing strawmen, by altering the context of the example I provided, of passive solar, by implying materials or construction methods to dilute or poison this specific example, I so kindly provided.

    After all, it’s not as if I specifically mentioned that passive solar doesn’t imply particular methods or materials, or anything.

    “soaking up the sun” will do quite nicely for your admission of defeat :)

    Passive solar homes exist which are fully heated & cooled by “soaking up the sun” and have no furnace or A/C, using such green shading and natural convection along with heat storage consisting of rock walls, using bails of straw for insulation.

    However I would like to point out one small tiny detail where your reply was less than accurate and forthright:

    I don’t live in Santa Cruz, I live in the mid-west in Indian reservation country. The west coast isn’t a sustainable area what with the drought and all..

    If you check la.indymedia.org/comment_latest.php

    You’ll see me reminding people there of that fact, mentioning that where I live we have plenty of water. In fact it’s raining (again) right now. We’re actually getting too much rain, the yard is soggy from what is now the 4’th straight day of rain.

    And my zero material, zero construction, zero investment passive solar which consists of merely leaving the door open, to allow sun-soaked attic air to enter my living space, then shutting the door at night to retain heat, isn’t working out too well lately, because of all of this rain.

    shhh! don’t tell anyone ;)

    Now as to what I read or don’t read, say or don’t say, relating to posted materials on this blog, about other subjects and issues.

    I’m afraid that playing people’s sentiments is most unbecoming of you, particularly when your good buddy Callaghan just stated “the articles.. ..are mind numbingly boring”, which even I, “THE TROLL” didn’t say, I simply said when I’m not interested I don’t read them. I cast no dispersions on them themselves, but was simply being honest.

    .. you should try it sometime

  • Ebola prevention alerts have been making their rounds. The easiest ways to avoid ebola are:

    1) Don’t be poor in West Africa
    2) Don’t have any contact with a poor West African
    3) Avoid all poor people just to be safe
    4) Stay out of Dallas

    Rest easy, America! Avoiding poor people is already
    a standard practice.

  • I’ve posted a guest essay and more. Catch it here.

  • thank u Grant!

    “avoiding poor people is already
    a standard practice.”

    might add: especially dark toned humanity. See above article.

  • “http://www.blackagendareport.com/node/14450”


    I don’t know why the German connection is mentioned in one case and not in the other.