Why We Should Welcome Our Demise—and Soon!

by Alton C. Thompson

I take it as a given that our species is “on the way out.”  If for no other reason than global warming—or, as some prefer, “climate change.”  After all:

 

  • It’s the gases that we were pouring into the atmosphere roughly 40 years ago that are affecting weather conditions now.

 

  • There’s good reason to believe that we’ve entered the “runaway” phase of global warming, so that our species will be extinct by 2040, if not by even 2030.

Given our imminent demise, a question that arises is:  Why should we welcome—rather than bemoan—or imminent demise as a species?  By “we” I am referring specifically to those of us who are inmates imprisoned in the United States—i.e., all of us living in this country!  Believing in the virtue of brevity, I will try to be extremely brief in this essay.

The answer to this question has two parts, the first of which is that the United States has become a cesspool.  Not so much because of the average inhabitant of this country, however, but as a result of the “qualities” of our “leaders”—who have become “enemies of the people.”

Our political “leaders,” for example, have become Big Brother.  On the one hand, since the events of 9/11 (an inside job?), the United States has become a surveillance state.  As Glenn GreenwaldEdward Snowden’s primary contact—has stated (p. 94):  “Taken in its entirety, the Snowden archive led to an ultimately simple conclusion:  the US government had built a system that has as its goal the complete elimination of electronic privacy worldwide”—with the actions taken by Pres. O’Bomber being far worse than all previous presidents combined.   Greenwald devotes his Chapter 4—“The Harm of Surveillance”—to a consideration of why this loss of privacy is such an evil, such an unfortunate development in this society.

Externally, as the world’s primary “superpower,” the United States has become the world’s bully—fixing elections elsewhere, assassinating foreign leaders, initiating wars, etc.—in short, the most evil country in the world, and a supporter of other evil countries (such as Israel).  (The Dissident Voice web site has carried numerous essays in support of the latter claim.)

Second, it would not be a “stretch” to claim that the principal occupation in the United States at present is intellectual prostitute (which is not to say, however, that the prostitutes in question are intellectuals!)  This would include those who work in advertising, of course, but also those who work for the National Security Agency (NSA), and many of those who claim to be “journalists”—such as Meet the Press’s former moderator, David Gregory.   (Glenn Greenwald devotes Chapter 5, “The Fourth Estate,” of his book—link provided above—to the dismal state of the press in the United States—how so many major players in the journalism profession simply act as mouthpieces for the Executive branch of government, and utterly lack in independence.)

Third, too many members of Congress are “bought and paid for” by rich individuals and large corporations—so that to call them “representatives” is an utter farce.  Many members of Congress have the same obscene enthusiasm for military adventurism as the occupant of the White House.

Fourth, the economy has become dominated by a few large firms—making the label “free enterprise economy” ludicrous for our economy.  Given that size gives power, it is the leaders of large firms who have become our society’s actual rulers, with government—at the national level in particular—becoming a mere lapdog of Big Business.

Fifth, “The USA ranks 38th in life expectancy which is shocking considering that it has the best medical science in the world.  And this generation is the first one that will live less than the previous generation.  The average American is expected to live two years less than, say, the average Spaniard.  This is partly because the USA has a medical system that leaves 50 million people uninsured and many others under-insured or worried about losing their insurance . . . .”

Sixth, the fact that the U. S. has the highest divorce rate in the world indicates how weak the family is as an institution in this country—something that does not bode well for the proper raising of children.

Seventh, our country is currently highly inegalitarian, and is becoming ever more so.

Eighth, higher education in this country has become a “Ponzi cheme.”

Ninth, for too many in this society, personal appearance has become the obsession, at the expense of such qualities as character and integrity—especially in our political leaders.

Other discussions of problems in and with this country are given in, e.g., this, this, this, and this.  But as I am writing an essay rather than a treatise, I will say no more about problems in this society.

To return to the question that prompted this essay:  “Why should we welcome—rather than bemoan—or imminent demise as a species?  As I stated earlier, one answer to this question is that this country has become a cesspool.  The second part of my answer, however, is a response to something that Pres. William J. (“Bill”) Clinton said in his first (1993) Inaugural Address:

There is nothing wrong in America that can’t be fixed with what is right in America.

To Clinton I would say, rather:

  • Even if we humans were not now faced with the threat of global warming, the dynamics of our society are such that there is no reason whatsoever to anticipate that “things would ever get better.”

 

  • We humans are, however, currently faced with the threat of global warming, and given the ignorance and incompetence of our “leaders,” the fact that they did not take action against this problem several decades ago means that it’s virtually certain now that we humans will be a part of the Sixth Extinction.

Optimism is a good trait; but our current situation today, as humans, gives one no reason whatsoever for even an ounce of optimism!

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As indicated below, McPherson will be traveling for the next couple weeks and will have limited access to the Internet. Please try to behave.

New Zealand poster October 2014

New Zealand poster number 2

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Catch Nature Bats Last on the radio with Mike Sliwa and Guy McPherson. Tune in every Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, or catch up in the archives here. If you prefer the iTunes version, including the option to subscribe, you can click here.
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McPherson’s latest book is co-authored by Carolyn Baker. Extinction Dialogs: How to Live with Death in Mind is available.

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

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

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Comments 79

  • My feeling is that our era, that is the people living *right now*, should be the ones to experience first hand the horror of going extinct – not those born 50 year from now. It’s only appropriate since we are the ones responsible for this mess. Some people compare humans to yeast in that we’re just as likely to go into overshoot. But we’re worse then yeast because we continue along this path even though we *know* what our actions are destroying the biosphere, and our thoughtless actions will take just about every other life from with it.

  • Nice essay Alton. Thanks!

    Tony,

    You wrote: “Bud, I feel sure that Scott doesn’t believe those points you labelled him with but he does hope that humans can figure out a way to deal with the problems (I also feel sure he sees them as problems not predicaments, as I do), as he mentioned in a recent comment. I also believe that he asked you to explain how the fields that you kept mentioning do a better job of informing our situation but you pulled out, claiming that you don’t know much about the fields that you claim are needed to understand our predicament (or needed to help us understand that we can never understand our predicament).”

    I see. You appear to have no awareness of the self-contradiction in your statement that “…Scott doesn’t believe those points you labelled him with but he does hope that humans can figure out a way to deal with the problems (I also feel sure he sees them as problems not predicaments, as I do)”. On one hand, you write that Scott Johnson presumably does not believe the central humanist ideas that all problems are soluble and humans can solve all problems. Then you write that he sees our predicament as a solvable problem and hopes that humans can solve them. On one hand he has arrogantly humanist values, but that classification supposedly does not really fit for him. Perhaps this works as a meaningful distinction for you, but it does not make any sense to me. Meanwhile, he has made it emphatically, crystal clear many times that all of this, as well as the extent to which culture impacts scientific reasoning and research, remain absolutely out of bounds for any serious discussion at Fractal Planet.

    He justifies this position with the frame that he wishes to remain “pure” and “factual” concerning “the science” on his blog, supposedly focusing exclusively on “the science”, as though the powerful social, cultural, and economic issues do NOT play a deep, foundational role in “the science”. Really? Seriously? Again, this nicely demonstrates how he defines many critical issues out of existence by framing HIS positivist, deterministic, Baconian-Cartesian scientific views as, presumably, THE ONLY valid ones. Thus he radically limits what appears within the frame of the view-finder of the scientific “camera” that he uses and insists that others must use as well (at least at Fractal Planet). Unfortunately, most people, especially those who have little awareness of the history and breadth of natural science—and little or no knowledge of modern physics, non-equilibrium thermodynamics, and complexity theory—remain completely unaware of how this kind of narrow scientific framing directs and controls their attention and subsequent thinking (as Scott Johnson, himself, may remain largely unaware of).

    I DID explain how modern physics, non-equilibrium thermodynamics, and complexity theory do a better job of informing our situation, demonstrating the unpredictability and irreversibility of the global heating and ecological traps. I did this in my two essays recently posted here at NBL, which I referred to. Meanwhile, Baconian-Cartesian-Newtonian science exists as a special case SUB-SET of modern physics, non-equilibrium thermodynamics and complexity theory, serving as a viable model for a limited number of simple and complicated cases—while NOT appropriate for understanding high speed or complex systems. Scott made it emphatically clear that he does not consider this acknowledgement of unpredictability and complexity relevant science. THIS science presumably does not apply to Earth’s biosphere in any way of use at Fractal Planet. THIS science does not fit within his preferred definition of “the science”.

    I did not “pull out”. I did consistently refuse to accept the completely inappropriate positivist, deterministic frame of “the science” that Scott insists on allowing, exclusively, at Fractal Planet, he warned me several times to stop pointing to the (many) weaknesses in his and other’s similar reasoning, and then he banned me from posting, just as he said he would if I persisted. Modern physics, non-equilibrium thermodynamics, and complexity theory muddy the scientific water way too much for him; he appears emotionally to need the crystal clear water, the controllability, predictability, and reversibility, which Baconian-Cartesian-Newtonian physics and thinking provide. These confirm his map of how the world presumably works, of how he and many, many others(!) strongly WISH and/or demand that it must work.

    But perhaps by “pull out” you mean that I openly acknowledged that I do not have a Ph.D. in modern physics, nor non-equilibrium thermodynamics, nor complexity theory, nor how they relate in specific ways, versus only generally as I developed the ideas in my essays, to global heating and ecological collapse. And perhaps, by this, you meant that I therefore do not have the “credentials” needed to point to these weaknesses in Scott Johnson’s and other’s reasoning about the evidence, or for others to consider these points worth paying any attention to. If you mean these things, then I ask: why does this Ph.D. credential and active research requirement apply to me and NOT to Scott Johnson, himself, as well as to most of the other people who comment at Fractal Planet, most of the time?

    Or perhaps you mean that despite my lack of a relevant Ph.D. and active research credentials, I should do as Scott does, who also lacks those credentials, set myself up as an authority on global heating, and take up the hobby of second-guessing the researchers, all based exclusively on positivist, reductionist, deterministic scientific reasoning. If you meant this, then correct: I did, and continue, to avoid that agenda. Why? Because, for one thing, as David Ehrenfeld says, “…arbitrarily restricting the context of a problem in order to make it easier to solve renders the ‘solution’ worthless or even destructive.” This seems intuitively obvious to me; it completely escapes most people who comment at Fractal Planet and similar blogs.

    Your request to “…explain how the fields that you kept mentioning do a better job of informing our situation” grows directly out of the humanist religious faith that all problems have solutions and that humans can solve them. Here, you demand that I should have the ability to do what all good humanists presumably have the ability to do. (Thanks, again, for an example that illustrates one of my important points.) Meanwhile, modern physics, non-equilibrium thermodynamics, complexity theory, and the parable of the tribes all point directly to the unpredictable, irreversible, and unsolvable nature of our self-annihilation trap. You, Scott Johnson, and many others deny these issues from an arrogantly human supremacist view saying “No! We CAN ‘solve’ this merely complicated—not complex—‘problem’!” I make no such claim. Indeed, I claim the opposite: that we almost certainly cannot, and will not. Just as a fish surely has no awareness of the water it swims in, so also it seems clear that you, Scott, and most others in this society have little or no awareness of the humanist religion that you continuously swim in, drink, and breathe because it pervades all aspects of our lives from birth.

    Regarding Scott, it seems to me that one of two conditions probably apply. Either he actually, sincerely believes that his naïve positivist, deterministic views of science accurately describe Earth’s infinitely complex, living biosphere, thus massively confusing symbols with reality, his map with the territory, or he really does know better and blogs quite cynically as a paid denier. Unfortunately, largely because of our irrational, social terror of death and its taboo nature in our insane society, no matter which motivation or combination of these and/or other motivations Scott may have, many people, probably most, will naturally and strongly find his hopeful message much more appealing than they will Guy’s message of the extremely high probability of soon-coming, horrific, mass human death related to global heating, ecological, and nuclear collapse.

    But all of this remains, I think, largely beside, and distracting from, by far the most important point. The evidence Guy presents and the opinions he expresses directly challenge two different but related critical, highly emotional issues: (1) humanity’s, and especially this society’s, grandiose, human supremacist, techno-science fantasies and delusions, AS WELL AS (2) their dramatic, out-of-touch with biological reality terror and taboo regarding death. This double-whammy challenging of these commonly and deeply held human beliefs drills, instantly, into our most powerful emotions. So OF COURSE many people wish to discredit and attack the evidence he reports, his opinions, and him personally. Seriously considering the prospect of NTHE severely challenges the very bedrock of most people’s most cherished values and beliefs related to life and death, their personal place in the universe, their sense of control in life, and, more generally, the place of humans in the universe. Naturally, most people prefer to steer widely clear of this conceptual and emotional nuclear bomb and the anxiety that it tends so strongly to produce. Fractal Planet and similar blogs provide a social “service” by helping people rationalize their avoidance. Some of us prefer more honestly to face and accept reality and work through our anxieties, rather than avoiding and denying them.

  • Optimism is a good trait for individual survival and passing on genes. For survival of the species, it is a terrible trait. Like hope, it enables us to carry on without acknowledging the full horror we are inflicting on future generations, ultimately to end in oblivion.

  • I’m pretty optimistic we are screwed Gail.
    I can’t remember where I saw this.
    http://www.declineoftheempire.com/2014/09/adventures-in-flatland-part-ii.html

  • Welcoming our demise and soon, doesn’t that entail suicide? I agree as to the almost countless faults of the USA (and I am a from birth a citizen), but welcoming its and my demise is not genuinely possible while failing to commit suicide, IMO.

  • @ Gail

    Want to Be a Happier, More Successful Person? Try the Power of Negative Thinking.

    New book suggests we rethink that whole positive thinking thing.

    October 16, 2014 |

    “In 2011, the New York University psychologist Gabriele Oettingenpublished the results of an elegant study, conducted with her colleague Heather Kappes, in which participants were deprived of water. Some of these parched volunteers were then taken through a guided visualisation exercise, in which they were asked to picture an icy glass of water, the very thing they presumably craved. Afterwards, by measuring everyone’s blood pressure, Oettingen discovered that the exercise had drained people’s energy levels, and made them relax. The implication is startling: picturing an imaginary glass of water might make people less motivated to get up and head to the watercooler or the tap in order to quench their real, non-imaginary thirst.

    Fist-pumping motivational gurus have long claimed that your brain “can’t distinguish between reality and imagination”. Ironically, Oettingen’s experiments show they’re right about that – but also that the conclusion they draw is spectacularly wrong.

    Thankfully, not all kinds of thinking about the future are quite so self-sabotaging. In Oettingen’s new book, Rethinking Positive Thinking, published in the USon Thursday and elsewhere next month, she makes the case for “mental contrasting”, a technique that involves methodically combining positive and negative thoughts about your own future, in a way that seems to work strikingly well if you’re trying to replace bad habits or mindsets with good ones.

    Over the last decade, in studies conducted by Oettingen and other researchers, mental contrasting has been shown to double the amount of exercise people engage in; to increase their fruit and vegetable intake by 30%; and to help people suffering from chronic pain become more physically active. When low-income schoolchildren in Germany and the US were trained briefly in the method, it led to increased school attendance and better academic performance.”

    http://www.alternet.org/personal-health/want-be-happier-more-successful-person-try-power-negative-thinking?paging=off&current_page=1

  • Welcome our own demise. Hmm. To be frank, reading this essay got me no closer to that answer whatsoever. We should be glad to die because we haven’t succeeded in creating a sensible society or a sensible response and we show no sign of going in that direction? So what, we’re still here. I’m not willing to go gently into that good night, I much prefer “fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.” How much more interesting, to be observing and participating to the end we know is coming.

  • I wholly agree with many points of this essay. Well written, too. As far as our government representatives; yes most are bought and paid for. But I honestly believe we have a couple of good ones in the ranks… Bernie Sanders of VT and Elizabeth Warren of MA. But that’s about it, unfortunately. We’re not going to turn things around with just these two Senators. Sigh…..

  • From a comment at the preceding post:

    “Now, imagine these trees gain sentient by developing their communication networks to higher levels.”

    As is known, plants have receptors for and responses to all the sensory modalities that humans have. If viewed as a collective on a sufficiently large temporospatial scale, plant species and ecosystems demonstrate behaviour uncannily like awareness.

    The subterranean fungal filament networks (mycelia) likewise are responsive to sensory stimuli and are in communication over distances extending in many cases for tens of kilometres, although their conduction of information across the networks are multiple orders of magnitude slower than in animals. A second to them may be a week to us: they may have a longer-term perspective. And any “world-view” they may have would be radically different from our own.

    “Given our imminent demise, a question that arises is: Why should we welcome—rather than bemoan—or imminent demise as a species? By “we” I am referring specifically to those of us who are inmates imprisoned in the United States—i.e., all of us living in this country!”

    Okay, the “we” is the denizens of ‘mericuh. Jolly good. Now what does “species” refer to? The human livestock within the borders of ‘mericuh? So are the rest of Homo sapiens a subordinate species, the Untermenschen? Heil, mein Führer! Except that the present ‘mericun Führer would be categorised as an Untermensch.

    The gent from South East Asia flying through New York’s JFK exchanged his local currency there for US$. A couple of weeks later flying through there again, he exchanged it again but got a more unfavourable rate of exchange. When he asked why, he was told “fluctuations”. His response: “fluctuamericans”.

    “Try the Power of Negative Thinking.”

    Better still, acquaint oneself with one’s Self, the awareness that precedes all thinking: full awareness without any “of”: “awareness” without “awareness of”.

    “case for “mental contrasting”, a technique that involves methodically combining positive and negative thoughts about your own future, in a way that seems to work strikingly well if you’re trying to replace bad habits or mindsets with good ones.”

    Better yet, dump all expectations about one’s future: continue rational anticipation, and act accordingly, without expecting anything of it to come to pass.

    “fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.”

    Or as the typhoon said to the coconut tree: “Hang on to your nuts; this is gonna be one helluva blow job”.

  • We’re so glad we’ve given up hope
    And aren’t like those hopium dopes.
    Let them all die tomorrow!
    We’ll feel no sorrow!
    Signed, The Church of the Great Misanthrope.

  • Bud Nye,

    Your long response to Tony appears to be in response to his post HERE:

    Recent and Forthcoming Travels

    What the hell has that got to do with THIS essay by Alton C. Thompson ?

    Drives me nuts when people continue their rants, diatribes, & debates over multiple days by allowing their comments to spill over onto unrelated topics. Can’t you post relevant responses in a way that keeps a threaded list intact? Call me old fashioned, but I like to read comments that have something — anything — to do with the topic at hand. Too much to ask?

    BV in VT

  • Tony

    ‘I’m open to further evidence but I now realise that sitting through 3 and half hours of this stuff is not a particularly productive use of my time.’

    The perfect excuse for not becoming informed: ‘I haven’t got time.’ I hear it constantly.

    Can’t become informed about the basic science; can’t become informed about the political machinations; can’t become informed about the Ponzi nature of the money system or the corrupt nature of the people many call leaders; can’t make preparations for the impending collapse of the money system[ can’t do anything to protect the next generation from mayhem and fascism; can’t get out of the way of the ‘train’ that is about to collide with the picnic party I’m having on the railway line -‘I haven’t got time’.

    ‘I do have time to watch television, take sightseeing vacations, play with my pet(s), make stupid comments on Internet blogs…..’

  • Alton.

    I agree with most of what you have written, but in practice the situation is far worse than you have [presented.

    Fir instance you say: ‘The answer to this question has two parts, the first of which is that the United States has become a cesspool.’

    ‘has become’ suggests a recent change of state. The reality is, the United States made the transition to becoming the lair of liars and psychopaths decades, if not centuries ago. The US was morally a cesspool from the inception and adoption of the Constitution, which declared that all men were equal unless they were of African origin, native, Chinese etc., and from the continued land thefts and continued use of slave labour.

    The US became a literal cesspool in the latter part of the nineteenth century when it began to seriously pollute waters, along with the atmosphere and soil. The situation got so bad in the 1960s that there was a distinct possibility of wiping out all natural life in many locations, including the Great Lakes, as industry discharged pollutants into the nearest drain.

    The US became a legal cesspool when savvy lawyers argued that legislation intended to provide rights to freed slaves should be applied to corporations from about 1880 on. And became a financial cesspool when the issuing of government money was handed over to a cartel of private banks.

    By the 1950s the worst ‘sewage of humanity’ were in positions of power in the US, and the US government became a haven for crooks and liars, the vicious McCarthy era being chara

  • There’s nothing I love more than going off half-cocked on a tangent that doesn’t even marginally relate to the article at hand, but let’s not confuse mass extinction with our own personal extinction. No one in their right mind welcomes mass extinction. Not to worry, this won’t be the last stupid thing I say. But, enough about me, here’s an excellent video from xraymike about ebola’s politicl origins and reverse causality, enjoy.
    [video src="http://videos.videopress.com/5LNkPNgj/14_10_13_robert_wallace_merge_std.mp4" /]
    http://monthlyreview.org/2009/11/01/the-paradox-of-wealth-capitalism-and-ecological-destruction/

  • with apologies
    [video src="http://videos.videopress.com/5LNkPNgj/14_10_13_robert_wallace_merge_std.mp4" /]

  • characterised by political assassination of many honest and worthy citizens. It got so bad many Americans left the country permanently.

    The destabilisation of democratic governments throughout the world went into ‘hyper-drive’, with the vicious Shah Palavi being installed in Iran by American saboteurs, keen to ensure that the theft of Iranian oil would continue.

    As discussed many times before, we can trace the corrupt, money-driven, anti-democratic, anti-humanitarian, genicidal, ecocidal nature of American society right back to the establishment of Jamestown in the early 1600s.

    In reply to Daniel (from the previous discussion), I believe it is important to expose all the lies the ‘Empire of Lies’ has told, and the faked Moon landings competes with the official narrative of 9/11 as the biggest lie in all of history.

    The relevance of both 9/11 and the faked Moon landings as we progress towards human extinction, near-term or otherwise, is that before regions of the Earth become seriously uninhabitable we are going to pass through a phase in which the psychotic sociopaths who are in control (or their protégés) will cheat, lie and steal, and expand and augment their fascistic control systems unless the truth about their nature is fully exposed while there is still the opportunity.

  • To further substantiate Mr. Moore’s brutal characterization of Die Homeland from it’s inception, and the extreme pathology of those still resident withing, let me quote again from Indigenous People’s History of the US:

    “Knox…ordered the commanders to recruit five hundred weathered Kentucky mounted rangers to burn and loot Miami towns and fields along the Wabash River. They were to capture women and children as hostages to use as terms of surrender.
    In carrying out these orders, the marauding rangers demonstrated what they could accomplish with unmitigated violence and a total lack of scruples and respect for noncombatants. They destroyed the Miamis’ two largest towns and took forty-one women and children captive, then sent warnings to the other towns that the same would be their lot unless they surrendered unconditionally: “Your warriors will be slaughtered, your towns and villages ransacked and destroyed, your wives and children carried into captivity, and you may be assured that those who escape the fury of our mighty chiefs shall find no resting place…The sale of confiscated land was the primary revenue source for the new government…an ultimatum to the Shawnees: “In pity to your innocent women and
    children, come and prevent the further effusion of your blood.” The Shawnee leader Blue Jacket refused submission, and the US forces began destroying Shawnee villages and fields and murdering women, children, and old men. On August 20, 1794, at Fallen Timbers, the main Shawnee fighting force was overpowered. Even after this US victory, the rangers continued for three days laying waste to Shawnee houses and cornfields.”

    And that, it just for starters. Until reading this book, I had no earthly idea about the savagery and unearthly genocidal brutality integral to the creation of the US. I might suggest that the horror lives on even today in the endless, facile rationalization that instantly spring up as soon as anyone dares to question the holy birth of the ultimate world killing state.

    The logic carries and pertains to Australia, NZ, South Africa, if not the entire rest of the world, which, in case you forgot, belongs in whole, to Caucasian Real Estate Inc.

    Hope? There is no hope unless all this – all of it- goes to the flames permanently. That’s why, I might suggest, that so many continue to say that there is no hope. Be-cause, Jack, that auspicious possibility is equal to absolute and total annihilation. Or, if you will, Non Being.

    Burroughs again: “This is a penal colony that is now a Death Camp. Place of the Second and Final Death. Desperation is the raw material of drastic #change. Only those who leave behind everything they have ever believed in can hope to escape.”

  • If human civilization was only suicidal, I would have no problem with extinction. But we’re taking down several other species with us, perhaps most mammals over a 16 ounces, as well as many birds, reptiles, fish, and plants.

    I’m a fan of apocalypse movies and books, but there’s very little cheering to be had when we’re shoving all Arctic wildlife into the grave before us.

    I keep wanting to see “wizards of Wall Street” and “Captains of Industry” in lifeless heaps, but instead get to see a polar bear that starved to death and 35,000 walruses with nowhere to go.

    As far as Ebola goes, sounds fine. Let’s get some smallpox out of a Siberian bog and back into the population where it belongs. Let’s unearth some horrible mutation of the flu that kills people within days. Let the last of us die out long before the rhino, the lion and the elephant. Let’s all be dead before the last whale chokes her last breath on acidic hot seas filled with jellies and rays.

  • BV in VT,

    Okay: old-fashioned. 😉

  • Edward Abbey: Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.

    I hope planet earth survives its cancerous species.

  • I linked the following shortly before the new essay was posted, and am relinking it because it is very pertinent to the discussion about whether we should welcome the demise of industrial civilisation, and particularly demise of the American version of industrial civilisation, as indicated by Alton.

    I know many people will claim to have no time to view the material, so I will summarise its content.

    Eisenhower was a junior officer in 1941 and was promoted ahead of more senior (perhaps more worthy) officers because he had been selected by Roosevelt’s banking advisor as ‘the man’. In a very short time he became supreme commander of all Allied forces in Europe.

    Towards the end of WW2 the Germans were scraping the barrel to muster combat units and were sending boys, old men and semi-invalids into combat.

    As the Allies advanced large numbers of Germans surrendered, expecting to be treated as prisoners of war, since Britain and the US were signatories to various conventions, which required all prisoners of war to be provided with clothing, shelter, food and sanitation equivalent to that provided to the conquering nation’s own military personnel

    What actually happened was the Americans treated the German prisoners of war worse than the Germans had treated Jews!

    Prisoners were herded into open-top trucks, usually a many as could be forced in, so the prisoners could not even bend over; some prisoners skulls were smashed as the trucks passed under low bridges and trees.

    The camps the prisoners delivered to consisted of open fields, enclosed by barbed wire: No huts, no water, no food, no sanitation. Most of the prisoners possessions were stolen by the American guards, who even took jackets and coats from the prisoners, not for their own use but to ensure the prisoners suffered as much as possible.

    Here the men stood, day after day, suffering freezing conditions at night and exposure during the day, drinking their own urine because there was no water provided. When some meagre rations were provided, prisoners began digging shallow holes with spoons and empty cans to get protection from the wind. The Americans forbade the digging of holes and sent in bulldozers to fill them in, including those containing half-alive men.

    People of the district were told that anyone attempting to assist the prisoners in any way would be shot on site, and many civilian women were.

    Just for ‘fun’. some American guards would fire into the concentration camps, wounding or killing anyone who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Prisoners improvised their own latrines, but anyone who was ill or unsteady stood a high chance of slipping and drowning in mud and excrement.

    When rations were eventually provided they amounted to 1/4 or 1/3 of the daily minimum necessary to maintain body weight.

    It is estimated that 1 million German prisoners of war died at the hands of the Americans over a period of around 3 months.

    Under whose instructions were these war crimes committed? Eisenhower, of course, who later became president. Perhaps what is even more shocking is that it was all premeditated and was planned as early as 1943.

  • “Place of the Second and Final Death.”

    There are two final deaths, according to the Vedic & Buddhist traditions. One is a little death, the last in an infinite series of little deaths. With it is the end to the last sojourn of the package of karma labelled “the soul”, which has to be forwarded again at the end of each sojourn.

    The other is the Great Death, the realisation that the “I” is an apparition, a mirage, a phantasm, whatever. When that happens, the karmic package has no claimant, and is undeliverable, unforwardable: the former owner realises that there never was a soul.

    Should the Great Death occur while embodied, there is only one more little death for that packet of karma. And in the meantime (until the end of the sojourn) one continues as a fully realised person. Whether or not that realised person chooses to reveal oneself to the world is up to that person. If not, one can appear to be a perfectly ordinary person for the rest of that embodiment. In that case, the person can only be recognised by another realised person.

  • It’s the gases that we were pouring into the atmosphere roughly 40 years ago that are affecting weather conditions now.

    Well, yes, but that’s a bit misleading. The CO2 (or some of it) that was put into the atmosphere 250 years ago is affecting the climate now. The CO2 that was put into the atmosphere yesterday is affecting the climate now. “Lag” isn’t a good word for it. Though the link you gave does explain it, one has to read the comments to get a full picture. 40 years (roughly) is the length of time it takes to get more than 50% of the effect, but the effect start immediately (since C02 starts to trap heat immediately).

    So, yes, we can expect a lot more heating from all of the CO2 humans have emitted and has stayed in the atmosphere (and other detrimental effects from CO2 that has dissolved in the oceans), but the effects start immediately.

  • Tony, please read relevant information before employing your ridiculous semantics. With respect to the 40-year lag — what Skeptical Science calls delay — start here.

  • Guy, I read that article, and the comments, which was why I referenced it. It includes the following: “A paper by James Hansen and others [iii] estimates the time required for 60% of global warming to take place in response to increased emissions to be in the range of 25 to 50 years. The mid-point of this is 37.5 which I have rounded to 40 years.”

    It’s not semantics to point out that it’s not correct to characterise the so-called lag as meaning that we won’t see any effect from the CO2 we’re emitting today for 40 years, or that we haven’t seen any effect yet from the CO2 emitted over the last 39 years. Do you disagree with that, or with the article you linked to again?

  • http://robinwestenra.blogspot.co.nz/2014/10/the-global-food-crisis.html

    Monday, 20 October 2014

    The global food crisis

    Peak soil: industrial civilisation is on the verge of eating itself

    New research on land, oil, bees and climate change points to imminent global food crisis without urgent action

    A new report says that the world will need to more than double food production over the next 40 years to feed an expanding global population. But as the world’s food needs are rapidly increasing, the planet’s capacity to produce food confronts increasing constraints from overlapping crises that, if left unchecked, could lead to billions facing hunger.

    The UN projects that global population will grow from today’s 7 billion to 9.3 billion by mid-century. According to the report released last week by the World Resources Institute (WRI), “available worldwide food calories will need to increase by about 60 percent from 2006 levels” to ensure an adequate diet for this larger population. At current rates of food loss and waste, by 2050 the gap between average daily dietary requirements and available food would approximate “more than 900 calories (kcal) per person per day.”

    The report identifies a complex, interconnected web of environmental factors at the root of this challenge – many of them generated by industrial agriculture itself. About 24% of greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture, encompassing methane from livestock, nitrous oxide from fertilisers, carbon dioxide from onsite machinery and fertiliser production, and land use change.

    Industrial agriculture, the report finds, is a major contributor to climate change which, in turn is triggering more intense “heat waves, flooding and shifting precipitation patterns”, with “adverse consequences for global crop yields.”

    Indeed, global agriculture is heavily water intensive, accounting for 70 per cent of all freshwater use. The nutrient run off from farm fields can create “dead zones” and “degrade coastal waters around the world”, and as climate change contributes to increased water stress in crop-growing regions, food production will suffer further.

    Other related factors will also kick in, warns the report: deforestation from regional drying and warming, the effect of rising sea levels on cropland productivity in coastal regions, and growing water demand from larger populations.

    Yet the report points out that a fundamental problem is the impact of human activities on the land itself, estimating that:

    “… land degradation affects approximately 20% of the world’s cultivated areas”.

    Over the past 40 years, about 2 billion hectares of soil – equivalent to 15% of the Earth’s land area (an area larger than the United States and Mexico combined) – have been degraded through human activities, and about 30% of the world’s cropland have become unproductive. But it takes on average a whole century just to generate a single millimetre of topsoil lost to erosion.

    Soil is therefore, effectively, a non-renewable but rapidly depleting resource. [there’s more]

    Alton – good job and thanks for keeping it terse.

  • http://robinwestenra.blogspot.co.nz/2014/10/greenhouse-gasses-why-were-in-shit.html

    Monday, 20 October 2014

    Greenhouse gasses – why we’re in the shit

    Thank you Kirk Norring!! This is the article I’ve been looking for.

    It illustrates why we’re in such deep doo-dah.

    Climate Change: The 40 Year Delay Between Cause and Effect

    [quote]

    If we accept that greenhouse gases are warming the planet, the next concept that needs to be grasped is that it takes time, and we have not yet seen the full rise in temperature that will occur as a result of the CO2 we have already emitted. The Earth’s average surface temperature has already risen by 0.8 degrees C since 1900. The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is increasing at the rate of 2 ppm per year. Scientists tell us that even if CO2 was stabilized at its current level of 390 ppm, there is at least another 0.6 degrees “in the pipeline”. If findings from a recent study of Antarctic ice cores is confirmed, the last figure will prove to be conservative [ii]. The delayed response is known as climate lag.

  • The chance to fix it now way past
    Climate changing ever more fast
    Four decades is the lag
    But the reason spirits sag
    Is the fact that Nature Bats Last

  • Kevin,

    Just a comment on your “Rheinwiesen” post.

    Yes, this was awful, and it’s quite well documented. I too know quite a bit about it but I don’t believe that more than one million German prisoners died even though the conditions were appalling.

    The Americans treated their prisoners less well than the British but much better than the Russians or the French.This is something that Germans still insist on. But there were many exceptions. Not so much among the American military in charge of the Rheinwiesen camps but among the ordinary occupiers.Troops that entered the towns and villages in Germany first.
    An example from my own family: My aunt, one of my father’s sisters was a war widow in her early 30s with four small children in May 1945. When the Americans first arrived, they behaved very considerately. Something nobody expected, as she told me. For instance, soldiers parking all along the streets with tanks and other vehicles positioned them carefully so the Germans could cross the roads in comfort. Fraternisation was strictly forbidden, especially gifts of food. But this rule was frequently broken because often people are compassionate in spite of things. My aunt had gifts of food left under her garden hedge by an American lieutenant who left notes in German (maybe someone of German decent?) telling her that he had a wife and four children of a similar age at home. She only saw him but never spoke to him but he really helped her. He could have been court-martialled for that. There were many other kindnesses like that which I’ve heard from other people who lived through this time.

    My father was captured and held by the British. They treated their German prisoners quite well and let them go when they couldn’t feed them anymore (they got rations). In my father’s case, this was after six weeks.

    War and power brings out the worst in many people (of all ethnicities and in all ages). That has never changed but it doesn’t apply in every case. There are always people with a conscience. Nothing is so black and white.

    So please Americans,you too Alton, don’t beat yourselves up too much. The whole human race is implicated in and responsible for the demise of the biosphere but, I agree, it’s driven by American neo-liberal ideology for all the reason we’ve discussed ad infinitum on this blog.

  • Thanks Alton, this is why I wrote Sacred Demise: Walking The Spiritual Path of Industrial Civilization’s Collapse.” Nothing could be more sacred than this demise.

  • Sabine.

    Yes, there were many cases of American troops being kind. If you watch the video, that aspect is mentioned. One particular fellow consistently broke the rules and kept throwing food over the fence to the prisoners. I’m sure there were others.

    The main point I was making was that it was official American policy to contravene the international convention America had signed up to, and it was official American policy to abuse prisoners. And, ironically, as you mentioned, the British treated their prisoners a lot better than the Americans did, despite having been under direct attack by the Germans throughout most of the war and suffered much direct damage as a consequence.

    I grew up in Southampton, and in the 1950s there were numerous derelict buildings and bomb craters around the town, the port, aircraft factory and airfield being high-priority targets for the Germans. Nevertheless, most British people seemed to understand that ordinary Germans were very much like them and were just doing what they were instructed to do, i.e. fly the plane and drop the bombs.

    Interestingly, the British bomber flight crews who bombed Dresden were told it was a military target of high importance because armament factories and Gestapo headquarters had been relocated there, and that large umbers of German troops were accumulating there, none of which was true. When senior RAF officers objected to the raid they were told the instruction came from Churchill, and that they had better do what was instructed or lose their jobs.

    With respect to the US breaking international treaties and conventions, that seems to have become established as the norm for behaviour -again dating back to the breaking of treaties with native American people (a rather ridiculous term, since they were not American until Europeans arrived). Land mines, chemical weapons, depleted uranium, cluster bombs…… all regarded as fair play by the psychopaths who have exercised ever greater control since the 1930s.

    We now know the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not carried so much to ‘save American lives’ but more as premeditated experiments, to discover the effect of atomic bombs on infrastructure and humans, and to demonstrate to the Russians what would happen to them if Russia failed to play the game the American way. In practice, the Japanese were struggling to get aircraft into the air, had no navy to speak of, and were beginning to suffer starvation by August 1945.

    Sadly, as a consequence of industrialisation on the back of enormous coal deposits, easy extraction of oil, having no damage to infrastructure at the end of WW2, and control of much of the international money system, the US was able to commercially colonise much if the rest of the world and foist its highly dysfunctional culture on other nations.

  • Tony, I’m pointing out the correct use of language. You’re playing games rooted in ignorance and stupidity. Carry on with your lunacy, ignoring the reality of abrupt climate change.

    Meanwhile, Dhar Jamail points out the facts: As Casualties Mount, Scientists Say Global Warming Has Been “Hugely Underestimated.”

  • I do hate it when outdated information gets posted.

    ‘The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is increasing at the rate of 2 ppm per year. Scientists tell us that even if CO2 was stabilized at its current level of 390 ppm’

    The CO2 content of the atmosphere has not been 390ppm for several years, and currently stands at around 396ppm, having peaked for the year at around 402ppm and bottomed out at around 395ppm. We look forward to 405ppm next northern spring, so are justified in using the figure of 400ppm for the moment.

    Perhaps we need to start talking about 410ppm, so that figure gets established in people’s minds by the time we get there, which almost certainly be around 2018.

    As for rising at 2ppm per annum, I wish we could be that lucky. The rate of increase is increasing, and currently stands at about 2.3ppm per annum, up from just over 1ppm per annum when Keeling commenced measurement of atmospheric CO2.

    In view of the fact that industrial civilisation is dependent on utilisation of fossil fuel sources with ever-lower EROEI and ever-higher CO2 emissions per unit of energy extracted, we can look forward to the annual increase in CO2 exceeding 2.5ppm per annum (unless the system collapses in the near future).

    And then there’s the methane.

  • exactly, kevin! It’s OLD NEWS and doesn’t even take into consideration that the methane currently being released ADDS TO the CO2 (equivalent) value SIGNIFICANTLY!

    Now it’s weird that all of a sudden gas prices are dropping like a rock at the same time that all the wells are drying up (including the fracking variety) and while the EROEI is becoming problematic. There’s a short article about this here:

    http://www.dailyimpact.net/2014/10/20/epidemic-countries-falling-ill-from-oil-anemia/

    [where the BRIC nations are taking it on the chin]

    This will end badly. Humans are so short-sighted.

  • Don’t ya just love meat robot exceptionalism?

    Kudo’s to Moore. At least he’s doing something.

    Ramble On – Led Zeppelin

  • if i have to listen to one Naomi Klein green energy will save us thingy then,
    yes, i do welcome mass extinction for one and all

  • It is so easy, isn’t it, to just say “Our chickens have come home to roost” that all our evil deeds of the past are catching up to us & we desrve to die. Our nation, which we were once so proud of is worse than any dictator ship & should be vanished from the earth.

    Not everyone has an understanding of world history. No group of poeple, no Mandarin emporers, no Caliphs, no ancient Greeks or Persians, no Pharoahs or potentates, even the reigns of Roman emporers and Barbarian chieftons are as eveil as the American Republic in its almost 200 year reign.

    Why do we beat ourselves up so much? Haven’t we behaved in the exact same pattern of cruelity and oppression that man has commited through the ages? And in declaring ourselves “special” & “different from the rest” are we not echoing the war cries of our ancesters?”

    Do we deserve to die? Does our civilization deserve to disappear? No more or less than any that have come before. We are the same – Hopo Sapiens who will take advantaage of any situation that will give a benefit tp us over “them” and not look too closely at the consequences.

    We can point to all sorts of instances where our ancestors, or the early settlers of this land acted with eveil intentions. And we can find an equal number of instances where where we were the innocent victims. Does that mean the we, Western men and women are the sole purveyers of evil so terrible that the breaking of the very earth we have built our civilization on is now crumbling beneath our feet?

    Our religions, legends, stories tell ad different story. the story of Cain and Abel is a fairly well-known example. It illustrantes mans’ primal desire – to get what he wants & never mind the consequences.
    This is what is in the Bible. Those who do evil & believe they are getting away with it will eventually come to a reckoning. Religion also offers salvation, but it still arrives with a price.

    All we can do now is look back and mourn our losses. Our terrible losses – forests, meadowlamds, mountain peaks streching towads the sky.Perhaps most of us have done things which later proved a bad idea, few us us would fit the description of “pure evil” (everyone is free to form their own definations and descriptions of “Good” & “Evil”. To pause at least a moment before acting, to reflect on how taking dubious actions might affect others in the neighborhood.

    Through the ages, few have contemplated the results of actions, they. their family, kingdom or nation might expect when the immediate gain is so strong.
    “Spray the soybeans before those damn earwig’s eat them up!’ “Oops! there go the Monarch butterflies.” “Yeah, too bad.”

    Too bad and too late.

  • Guy,

    I’m afraid you’ll have to be more precise, for me. I merely pointed out that the so-called “lag” is not actually a lag. You claim I’m ignorant of the facts so perhaps you could enlighten me as to why I’m wrong in the way I described the so-called lag. I happen to think it’s important to get describe the science correctly. If I have done that I’d love to know exactly what I got wrong instead of being called ignorant and, effectively, a lunatic. I’m not sure why you think insults are more appropriate than explaining yourself.

    I don’t deny the possibility of abrupt climate change, by the way. and what has that to do with the “lag”?

  • If you’ll check your thesaurus, Tony — contrary to your ability to check any other facts — you’ll see that delay and lag are synonyms. So when Skeptical Science, a source you claim to read, references delay and I use the term lag, one might conclude we’re talking about the same thing.

    In this space, you claim you don’t deny the possibility of abrupt climate change. That’s impressive since it’s clearly under way. But when you’re fawning to Scott Johnson on his website under another name, you deny abrupt climate change.

  • “Religion also offers salvation”

    Au contraire, it clearly asserts that there ain’t anything to salve/save. Does a dog have Buddha-nature?

  • @ Datta

    Au contraire, it clearly asserts that there ain’t anything to salve/save.

    I do object when you, Robin Datta, co-opt the authority of the Buddha (and other ancient wisdom traditions, for that matter) to try and give some veracity to the nonsense and tripe that you dispense here every day.

    You have no direct experiential knowledge or authority of your own, all you are doing is playing the role of ‘the very wise guru’ sitting on your plinth, uttering opaque riddles in the hope that you can fool everyone into seeing you as representing some ‘ultimate truth’.

    It’s all bullshit. You can’t answer questions, you can’t clarify what you say, you can’t explain what you mean. You don’t speak from your heart, because you have some deep well, some fountain of insight and understanding, you just repeat ridiculous dogma, and what you think are clever phrases, like ‘spirits come in bottles’ and a pile of obfuscatory mumbo jumbo and mystification, and hope you can get away with it.

    Well, you can, with twits like Ozman, who thinks Adi BlahBlah was effing God incarnate, the guy who screwed every naive girl he could, and infected them with herpes, and told them it was for their own good.

    But you CANNOT with people like me, who actually know something about Buddhism.

    You’re worse than some crackpot nut claiming to be Jesus returned to save us all.

    If you want to represent Buddha, then do the job properly, and with some integrity.

  • An important answer has emerged embedded in some text:

    ‘Over very short time periods of a few days to a few months the atmospheric methane has a global warming potential from 1000 to 100 times that of carbon dioxide.’

    Damn! I was only postulating methane instantaneously having 300 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide.

    http://robinwestenra.blogspot.co.nz/2014/10/the-methane-emergency_21.html

    Although the ‘lifeboat’ is already overfull, the Key government is very keen to increase the level of population overshoot in NZ and will be well pleased with the announcement that net migration to NZ has reached a new record high.

    It had to come.

    Meanwhile the maniacs at New Plymouth District Council have decided support yet more squandering of energy and resources in order to bring forward NTHE by supporting a fireworks display. Gotta keep the dumbed-down masses entertained and deluded, I suppose.

  • @ Kevin

    “will…..expand and augment their fascistic control systems unless the truth about their nature is fully exposed while there is still the opportunity”.

    “……unless the truth about their nature is fully exposed……”

    Is this where after thousands of years, “the truth” finally comes riding in on a white horse to save the day?

    I’m going to assume this is just hyperbole on your part, because the question of “exposed” is terribly vague. And you’re a smart enough fellow to know you would never want to have to debate how that is ever going to happen, especially within the time frame we are now working with.

    Because it’s far less as to ‘who’ is being exposed, than to ‘whom’ they are being expose. And even if they were exposed, then what? Everything suddenly changes? The vast majority of the world’s populous suddenly becomes informed, engaged and self-sacrificing? You mean, that by exposing the empires nakedness, it suddenly makes everyone care more than they ever have?

    I could go on, and on and on, asking rhetorical questions I know you haven’t any answers, nor does anyone. Yet, the basis of your perspective seems to be founded on a set of presumptions I don’t even think you believe. I think we have a word for that here.

  • Could someone point me in the direction of reliable data for air travel on a per mile per person co2 emission? I would also be interested to hear how some of you (if any) justify/rationalise to yourself the continued use of this mode of transport in light of our predicament? This is not an attempt to be critical but a curiosity.

  • Daniel.

    No, it’s not where truth comes in on a white horse to save the day. It’s far too late for that as well you know, and know I have stated on many occasions.

    I am suggesting that when the economy collapses, as it surely must fairly soon (2016 to 2020), and when food becomes very restricted in availability and people in cities are starting to starve I would like them to recognise that they have been lied to by politicians for decades, and that has been politicians who have sabotaged their futures, and particularly that politicians of recent times have made everything that matters much worse much faster, whilst ensuring that no preparations for the collapse of the economy and the collapse of the food supply have been made. In other words, the present crop of politicians promote suffering.

    For instance, NPDC mayor, Andrew Judd, knows full well that the money system is a Ponzi scheme which will collapse, that the global environment is collapsing, and that we are past peak oil, yet continues to promote the squandering of fossil fuel resources on boondoggles and trivial entertainments, and continues to promote the destruction of nature and the destabilisation of the climate (promotes global overheating). He promotes INCREASED SUFFERING in the future, including for his own children, knowing full well it is the wrong thing to do. Indeed, the policies he promotes are direct contravention of NZ law. To my mind that makes him a sick, evil bastard and a criminal, along with the CEO, Barbara McKerrow, who also promotes non-compliance with NZ Government Statutes, all for the short term benefit of a tiny group of opportunists who have a stranglehold on this district (much the same as occurs almost everywhere else).

    At this point of time most people in NZ are comfortable with present arrangements because they are constantly lied to and have no idea what the consequences of policies promoted by the psychotic sociopaths at the top of the pyramid will be in a few short years.

    I see this as a moral issue, rather than as a heat-engine/energy gradient/thermodynamic/geo-chemical issue.

    As previously noted, NZ is being pushed down the path to overt fascism by John Key and his associates, and it will soon not be safe to stand up to the criminality of those ‘at the top of the heap’ who are looting and polluting and lying to the general populace.

  • Oh, come on, Guy. I don’t fawn to Scott Johnson, or anyone else.

    Concerning the so-called delay or lag, as I’ve explained, and you haven’t refuted, there is no delay or lag in CO2 in the atmosphere having an effect. If has an effect immediately. Yes, the full effects are delayed, by centuries. The so-called 40 year lag is the time it takes for the majority of the warming effects to be realised. Yes, the SkepticalScience article uses the term but it’s misleading and not in the actual science, as referenced in the article. Let me quote the article again for you: “A paper by James Hansen and others [iii] estimates the time required for 60% of global warming to take place in response to increased emissions to be in the range of 25 to 50 years. The mid-point of this is 37.5 which I have rounded to 40 years.”

    Do you disagree with that quote? If not, what on earth are you arguing about? If you do disagree with it, can you explain why?

    By the way, welcome to New Zealand.

  • “Could someone point me in the direction of reliable data for air travel on a per mile per person co2 emission?”

    And the Lord said “Let there be Larry Page and Sergei Brin” and there was Larry Page and Sergei Brin. And the Lord saw that it was Google.

    Carbon Dioxide Emissions Coefficients

    Fuel economy in aircraft

  • Gallons vs. litres, pounds vs. kilograms?

    For those using a valid copy of Windoze, (Microsoft will check for validity before the download):

    Microsoft Calculator Plus
    includes a converter. Works with everything from XP to Windoze 7 and is free. Don’t know about later versions.

    For those using IOS, There is Converter+, a free app.

  • Didn’t Buddah ask, “What is the sound of one hand wanking?”
    Welcoming mass extinction is just crazy, but then again…
    Here is why we could welcome mass extinction:
    http://vidmax.com/video/89970-Note-to-self-don-t-EVER-pass-out-around-these-dudes

  • kevin: toward your last comment above regarding government. A new book illustrates the nonsense of voting here in the U.S. (and it probably applies to most other countries nowadays).

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2014/10/18/vote-all-you-want-the-secret-government-won-change/jVSkXrENQlu8vNcBfMn9sL/story.html?p1

    Vote all you want. The secret government won’t change.

    The people we elect aren’t the ones calling the shots, says Tufts University’s Michael Glennon

    [selected quotes from the article]

    Though it’s a bedrock American principle that citizens can steer their own government by electing new officials, Glennon suggests that in practice, much of our government no longer works that way. In a new book, “National Security and Double Government,” he catalogs the ways that the defense and national security apparatus is effectively self-governing, with virtually no accountability, transparency, or checks and balances of any kind. He uses the term “double government”: There’s the one we elect, and then there’s the one behind it, steering huge swaths of policy almost unchecked. Elected officials end up serving as mere cover for the real decisions made by the bureaucracy.

    [concludes]

    IDEAS: This isn’t how we’re taught to think of the American political system.

    GLENNON: I think the American people are deluded, as Bagehot explained about the British population, that the institutions that provide the public face actually set American national security policy. They believe that when they vote for a president or member of Congress or succeed in bringing a case before the courts, that policy is going to change. Now, there are many counter-examples in which these branches do affect policy, as Bagehot predicted there would be. But the larger picture is still true—policy by and large in the national security realm is made by the concealed institutions.

    IDEAS: Do we have any hope of fixing the problem?

    GLENNON: The ultimate problem is the pervasive political ignorance on the part of the American people. And indifference to the threat that is emerging from these concealed institutions. That is where the energy for reform has to come from: the American people. Not from government. Government is very much the problem here. The people have to take the bull by the horns. And that’s a very difficult thing to do, because the ignorance is in many ways rational. There is very little profit to be had in learning about, and being active about, problems that you can’t affect, policies that you can’t change.

  • on the coming food shortages and industrial ag:

    http://www.sott.net/article/287677-British-scientists-warn-only-100-harvests-left-in-farm-soil

    British scientists warn only 100 harvests left in farm soil

    Intense over-farming means there are only 100 harvests left in the soil of the UK’s countryside, a study has found.

    With a growing population and the declining standard of British farmland, scientists warned that we are on course for an “agricultural crisis” unless dramatic action is taken.

    Despite the traditional perception that there is a green and pleasant land outside the grey, barren landscape of our cities, researchers from the University of Sheffield found that on average urban plots of soil were richer in nutrients than many farms.

    Sampling local parks, allotments and gardens in urban areas, Dr Jill Edmondson showed that the ground was significantly healthier than that of arable fields. Allotment soil had 32% more organic carbon, 36% higher carbon to nitrogen ratios, 25% higher nitrogen and was significantly less compacted.

    Professor Nigel Dunnett, also of the University of Sheffield, said that in order to ensure we can produce food for future generations we must start to see towns and cities as the future of farming.
    [read the rest]

  • Excellent article.
    I do embrace the ending of our simply awful species. We have been virus since we discovered civilization but did not discover empathy for each other and other beings or the natural world. Well most of us did not.

    The small handful of us that express such empathy are not enough to turn this sinking ship around.
    It’s a tragedy of unimaginable proportions that leaves me crying often, but also urges me on to eek out some small little future for my vagabond family as we crawl back into the abyss.
    The “knowing” that we are stepping out of this cycle of life makes me terrified for the myriad of ways it will play out (Ebola? Drought? Famine? WWIII? etc) and so I embrace each day, each moment, each opportunity to celebrate with my loved ones NOW.
    The “knowing” has given me this gift.

    And I don’t worry about appearances anymore. I don’t suffer fools anymore.
    And I face future with eyes wide open. No more superstitions.

    An example:
    A friend and I are taking our teenage daughters to Harry Potter world in Florida (aargh) because the girls really want to go. As a mom I make many sacrifices. Going to Florida being one of them.
    I said to my friend that we should be careful about contagions while there, bring hand sanitizer, etc. so many people, so many germs and there is the Ebola threat. My friend said, “Oh don’t think about it. If you think about it will happen.”
    I reminded her that’s not how science works. Because let me tell you, I’ve thought long and hard about the world being a better place!!!! And it’s still getting worse!

    The irony is that she was a Chemistry major, a person of science telling me to be superstitious.
    This is why we are going extinct. We are a flat out stupid species.

  • A few years ago I had a couple of young men working for me here on the farm. I said something about “a stitch in time saves nine” and “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. They had never heard of these sayings. I emphasized that these are the main principles that I have followed over the years to be successful. It is true for industrial civilization or not. Prevent trouble before it happens because if it does happen, you are going to pay big time. It’s true for crops, cows, money, equipment and machinery. I work 16 hours a day seven days a week now…watching and preventing as much as possible. Very much trouble would wipe me out.

    Regarding Ebola, we know that mobility is the way it is spread. We are much more mobile than west Africa is. I haven’t heard the theme of prevention expressed very much if at all. Put simply, we could stop this, prevent this spread, by grounding all air travel. No one will discuss prevention simply because the next question down that road is “why don’t we ground the planes?” We are so arrogant. We are going to fix this. Bring it on. More beds, more isolation units, more suits, more training etc. all aiming at fixing this after it gets going. We aren’t going to stop the planes; they are big dicks piercing the skies spewing out CO2. Fuck you, Nature. We bat last.

    We may think we need fuel and electricity but we don’t need to fly. Ebola is another act of nature to control population. It moves fast, 15 weeks, not 15 years.

    As has been pointed out, not enough white people have died yet.

  • Diarmuid Galvin; I hope I answered your question.

  • a single transcontinental flight represents more fossil carbon emissions for a single person (though it depends on how full the jetliner is – less seats occupied is proportionally worse)than many people emit in their entire lifetime.

    however the fossil fuel CEO’s, masters of the universe, captains of industry, war contractors, and rocket scientists are responsible for far more still (in equivalent through emission of ozone layer depleting chemicals)

    the footprint is roughly proportional to wealth

    re: exposing the truth

    that’s one of my activities, and let me tell you – no one gives a DAMN

    they bask comfortably in the faux reality ‘kindly’ provided for them, for it serves the most important purpose:

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

    the problem isn’t exposure – the information is there for anyone who wants it.

    the problem is that 999 out of 1,000 people are moral cowards

    they fail to do anything in their lives which entails any personal risk ‘specially not day to day

    the manufacturing of conformity via PR was been wildly successful – this is why they spend billions per year on it

    and everyone individually thinks they’re the exception, the conformity pounded into their head everyday, all around them, doesn’t affect them..

    the proof is in the pudding

    “if voting changed anything they’d make it illegal”

    “if broadcasting the truth on the air changed anything they’d make it illegal”

  • How long ago were we infected to the point where
    Mr. Burroughs likened us to “cows with the aftosa.
    Maybe it wuz crops.
    Maybe it wuz fire.

    Maybe longer ago.


    ———————–
    .
    .
    .
    On a slightly more melodic note…45 years ago there was this…

  • Pauline,

    Well said—–thank you for your contribution here at NBL.    I too have a teenage daughter and wish I could find a support group for parenting children in the face of NTE.

    When I gave birth to my daughter, 17 years ago, I was in the throes of conservation work (prairie, wetland, woodland preservation/restoration) and still believed (wanted to believe?)  there was a chance humans could move in the direction of moving out of power/control/dominance toward a genuine reverence for life and as such coexist in a way that meant something other than letters on a bumper sticker.      I know, I know——how dense was I?

    I realize now I was in denial because there was a nagging doubt in the back of my mind as I encountered SO many people who would NEVER get it———-would never feel that ecosystems on earth and all the creatures that inhabit them were as important as humans.    Short sighted, egocentric, anthropocentric, greed—– clearly ruled as it still does. Yes, Pauline it seems we are a stupid species—–and at times, knowingly/intentionally cruel.

    In an interview about the work I did back in 2006 I said that it felt as if prairie/wetland restoration felt more like hospice work ——–you can imagine how that was received by the journalist who was interviewing me!   At the time I was caring for my dying father.  After being with him and returning back to work monitoring orchids or butterflies or tackling invasive species—– it felt exactly like being with my Dad with IV’s in his withering arms.

    Since then things have deteriorated drastically to the point where it’s difficult to immerse myself in the nonhuman world as I feel the pain of all that is dying around us.    There is little solace there and much pain——–as I type this and look out the window there are hundred year old oak trees dying all around (Gail Z. speaks to this), there are invasive species spreading and smothering the woodland floor (even though I try to eradicate them). No monarchs, no bees, birds disappearing, bats on the brink——you all know the reality.

    Where there used to be a plethora of diverse, beautiful life there is fragmented habitat everywhere compounded with climate change impacts and air pollution. You can’t just “think globally and act locally” when it comes to AGW.   But I still try—- yet feel defeated and as such turn to music as many seem to do on this site.  When it hurts too much to be cognizant in the midst of dying wetlands/woodlands/rivers/lakes/oceans music helps.

    @Daniel——-glad you are back and share your thoughts/feelings here.   It helps to hear others speak to the pain of the dying nonhuman life around us.    Much of the time it feels unbearable to me.  But I have a teenage daughter and have to buck up—–counterintuitively reading about other’s reaction to the damage humans have inflicted on life on this beautiful earth helps assuage some of the seemingly bottomless grief.

    Thanks all (except those that lash out at others rather viciously—–that is so disappointing and nonproductive)

    Last Tango in Paradise:

  • “the problem is that 999 out of 1,000 people are moral cowards”

    But this implies that people are actually aware of what is going on and that clearly is not the case. People so focused upon themselves, the rest of the world could be in flames for all they care. This is not cowardice, it is selfishness.

    Selfishness allows people to text while driving because their texting is more important than road safety. Selfishness allows people to ignore everything, to blot out anything that might be troubling or worrisome. As the loathsome Barbra Bush observed “Why should I waste my beautiful mind thinking about ugliness?” And thus all human suffering drops from her view. She cannot even see it, let alone be morally afraid of it.

    It also has to be noted just how dim average intelligence really is.
    This is repeated constantly in any discussion of global warming. 2014 set to be hottest year on record. “But it’s been chilly in Chicago…” Is this willful blindness, intellectual laziness, or just plain stupidity?

    We have an entire generation of people who apparently need constant distractions or they are forced to be alone with their thoughts. To avoid that, a whole industry of hand-held devices keeps them focused on the one thing that really matters — themselves. Thus we have pictures of food they are about to eat. Soon enough they will post pictures of the food they have just excreted. There isn’t enough intelligence present to show any moral cowardice. It’s all a sad puppet show of air breathers filling up their time.

  • Grant,

    Excellent, young man. Selfishness, IS…, THE… problem. Pounded in our skulls by stuff.

  • @ Grant

    selfishness is an emotion, and propaganda exploits emotion while it discourages us from thinking

    optimism,

    (I was about to scan the page for emotion but then I saw this:)

    “Glenn Greenwald—Edward Snowden’s ”

    greedwad works for a multibillionaire who’s responsible for tens of thousands of farmers in India primarily, for killing themselves by extending them loans along with monsatan’s GMO’s ensuring their failure with collection agents even hounding the surviving family.

    along with dozens of other dirty deeds.

    I pointed this all out (with citations) to fugly, but he ignored it all – said he ‘didn’t have time’ to look into it

    Snowjob hasn’t released anything the NSA didn’t want released.

    the people that should have been sources instead are Jeremy Hammond and Assange.

    a couple more examples of the very wilful ignorance you just mentioned

    then scan this page for words of emotion, discussion of emotion, the elevation of feelings over reason and fact gathering

    it’s everywhere – we’re surrounded by it, we’re drowning in it..

    the hallmark of propaganda

    exiledonline.com/glenn-greenwald-of-the-libertarian-cato-institute-posts-his-defense-of-joshua-foust-the-exiled-responds-to-greenwald/

    ohtarzie.wordpress.com Glenn Greenwald

    http://ohtarzie.wordpress.com/2014/04/14/rancid-discussion-thread-obsessed-with-greenwaldomidyarfirst-look/

    – I’ve already posted these links on here TWICE

    THERE’S your wilful ignorance

    @ Shep

    yes, it’s pounded into our skulls but everyone think’s they’re immune, and so it’s ubiquitous

  • @ C_I

    pointed this all out (with citations) to fugly, but he ignored it all – said he ‘didn’t have time’ to look into it

    Stop trying to bait me with stupid duplicitous bullshit. I’m well aware of Omidyar/Greenwald and all that stuff.

  • what’s the matter ulvfugl, do you resemble that remark 😉

    well there it is above, in the body of this essay, and while attacking Datta (over his response to me, again) you had the opportunity to point it out

    – doesn’t look ‘well aware’ to me, I ended up pointing it out, for the 3’rd time.

    maybe if you spent less time..

  • @ C_I

    Datta tries to lay claim to the wisdom traditions of India, to give himself some status that he would not otherwise have.

    There are stories regarding the Buddha, that he was resented by the Brahmins, the priesthood class, the upper class elite, because he spoke to the common people in their own language, in simple terms, and went to great trouble to make sure the individuals he was talking to understood what he was saying, by answering their questions and clarifying as much as he could.

    Datta does the exact opposite. He hides behind a smokescreen of absurd verbiage, because he does not really understand or know anything HIMSELF, he’s just repeating what was written in the Vedas, and what he’s been told in the podcasts about Vedanta and so forth. He thinks it’s coherent, I dare say, he’s not the only nut who believes his own spiel. But to claim he’s speaking for Buddha and Buddhism is going too far, and I have every right to object to this, because it is misleading people, is quite preposterous.

    As for you, you claim to be ‘a scientist’. You’re not. You are a fucking technician. You are forever boasting about how smart and superior you are, and talking down to the rest of us, whom you refer to as ‘you people’, as if we are a different inferior race, and you think you can justify this nasty arrogance because of blahblahblah. It’s just your own personal vanity and egotism.

    Why the hell would I want to waste my precious time following up stuff that YOU have told me about, when I already KNOW all that from fucking months and months ago, and I have my own concerns and priorities ?

  • What I’m glad about is the Guy is here with us. Were he not, we here would be in very sorry shape.

  • The real problem is invasive species, and when it comes right down to it, Homo Sapiens is the worst invasive species of them all. The whole planet would have better off if we had stayed in Olduvai Gorge.

  • The fear loathing and utter superficiality of care in ‘sacred demise’ that is our burden to cast off yet instead the positive feedback spikes and lags as consequence unfolds.

    Dear Artleads, you are a sacred strand in the cord. Seriously 😉

    Dear Ulvfugl, I agree with you about Robin Datta, though it took me a long time in suspended determination to decide.

    Dear Guy, why the inordinate amount of time on Tony? Seriously.

  • The Endocene

    Now is the Sacred Demise
    But let us not look to the skies.
    There’s nobody there
    To assist us or care.
    And now I shall claw out your eyes.

  • The latest post includes several gifts, notably a large one from Pauline Schneider. Catch it here.

  • @ TIAA

    Dear Ulvfugl, I agree with you about Robin Datta, though it took me a long time in suspended determination to decide.

    There is a theory (may be correct or not) that the reason that buddhism lost out in India, after being the dominant religion under the Empire of Asoka, was that the Brahmins wanted the power and control their caste system gave them, where they had the sole access to esoteric religious knowledge, and could bamboozle the masses of ordinary folk with whatever interpretation they chose to make.

    So Hinduism prevailed and the more egalitarian teachings of Buddha, accessible to everyone, where pushed out. Quite recently there was a move by the Untouchables, the Dalits, to convert to buddhism, to try to improve their situation.

    Q : Has a dog a buddha nature ?

    A : R Datta is no Joshu.

  • Further to Kevin’s correct historical accounting of American POW camps in Germany (98% of the American soldiers in German captivity returned while many thousands were beheaded and starved to death during Japanese captivity)…….History does not fit into neat little black and white cubicles. There is never any such thing as “good guys” and “bad guys” in the real world. Only in the world of propaganda and fantasy to such divisions exist.

    150,000 self-identified Jews served in the German Wehrmacht including 2 Jewish Field Marshals; 2 Jewish Full Generals; 8 Jewish Lt. Generals; 5 Jewish Major Generals.

    From 1939 to 1945, Adolph Hitler personally awarded Germany’s highest military award, the Knights Cross to the Iron Cross First Class, to 23 Jewish soldiers for exceptional military conduct during the course of battle.

    A man named Werner Goldberg was identified to the public as the model german soldier.

    If you are interested in reading more about the 150,000 Jews who served in the Wehrmacht read, “Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers” by Bryan Mark Rigg and published by Yale University Press. The movie, “Europa Europa”, is based on the life of Solomon Perel who served with distinction in the Waffen SS and became a nationally recognized German war hero for his role in the capture of Stalin’s son. After the war he subsequently retired to Israel.

    Late April 1945: Heinz Janssen, a survivor of the Rheinberg camp, described conditions as they were at the time. “Amputees slithered like amphibians through the mud , soaking and freezing. Naked to the skies day after day and night after flight, they lay desperate in the sand of Rheinberg or sleep exhaustedly into eternity in their collapsing holes.” In 1944: Eisenhower told the British ambassador to Washington that the 3,500 officers of the German General staff should be ”exterminated.” He also favored the liquidation of perhaps 100,000 prominent Germans.

  • @ Kevin

    You state:

    “I am suggesting that when the economy collapses, as it surely must fairly soon (2016 to 2020), and when food becomes very restricted in availability and people in cities are starting to starve I would like them to recognise that they have been lied to by politicians for decades, and that has been politicians who have sabotaged their futures, and particularly that politicians of recent times have made everything that matters much worse much faster, whilst ensuring that no preparations for the collapse of the economy and the collapse of the food supply have been made. In other words, the present crop of politicians promote suffering.”

    You and I fundamentally disagree on the very critical question of “who” is to blame. It’s but one of many ongoing themes here at NBL.

    Depending on where one comes down one just this question alone, automatically determines a whole sequence of subsequent opinions on just about everything where it concerns ‘the acceptance of NTE’.

    You, along with many here, clearly want to put the blame of our current ecological predicament on the backs of the latest round of corrupt, vile and ignorant politicians and do-nothings. You want to imagine that if by some chance, this crop of politicians where somehow exposed, or just not who they are, or should have been, our predicament would somehow be different than it is, otherwise, what’s the point of blaming them.

    That is whole lot of unsubstantiated presumption on your part, especially given the historical record of wealth’s power to corrupt, which if I’m not mistaken, constitutes our entire history.

    And this IMO, is how hopium finds its way into your conjecture, because virtually all of human civil history doesn’t support your myopia. And this can be easily illustrated by asking this one question: What is the history of socio-economic, political subterfuge and ecological destruction?

    If history repeats, it does so for a reason.

    I on the other hand, put the blame of our current predicament on most of humanity’s inculcation, in which politics plays only a part. Basically, industrialized civilization got the exact politicians it deserved. Not because “they” are corrupt, vile and ignorant–and not that they’re not–but rather a significant percentage of our species is apathetic, ignorant, unempathetic and incurious.

    We are a species that wants to be lied to, and we have long lived in a system, where we need to be lied to. You need look no further than the percentage of humanity that subscribes to some form of blind religious belief to know this is true.

    But there is a far greater underlining point of departure between you and I, which IMO, explains why it is difficult for you to accept NTE. And that is the question of the origins of blame itself, or rather, hope’s darker twin.

    As long as you are projecting your anger, blame and outrage onto others–again it’s not that power’s sycophants are undeserving of our derision–you are passively holding onto a concept of ‘hope’ that it could/should have “somehow” been different only if…….

    As where I, now assume that it could have never been any other way than the way it is. Which is more or less, the way it has always been, given the corruptive influence of wealth and power has only ever mutated across time and technology for thousands of years of civilization, but it has never dissolved. “The Parable Of The Tribes” writ large.

    Therefore, I no longer need to blame, or rather, I no longer rationally can, because I no longer have any hope that we could have prevented this day from arriving, because “we” obviously didn’t.

    And I say this having spent most of my life blaming “the system”.

    However, the unprecedented evidence of NTE has thoroughly dispelled that scapegoat, because continuing to attach blame is now logically irrelevant. If we’re all going to be dead in twenty years, we’re all going to be dead in twenty years. The End.

    The purpose of placing blame is only relevant in context to either prevention or retribution, and we are well past preventing what is now occurring, and NTE is its own form of retribution.

    There’s a reason why the word ‘hopium’ has such currency here at NBL. As well as why so many contrarians take issue with it, for how could they not? It basically undermines their entire worldview, and where their objection is mostly a moral reaction to what they can’t accept.

    As pattern identifying animals, one pattern regarding the acceptance of NTE has now clearly become self-evident. Those who haven’t found acceptance, are still primarily being driven by either anger/blame and/or hope as well as the vested interests/identity of their past behavior.

    Walk up to someone who has dedicated their life to social justice, and tell them NTE means there is no such thing as social justice, and you might as well walk up to a Holy Roller and tell them god is a figment of their imagination.

    So when you say. ” In other words, the present crop of politicians promote suffering.”

    I say, well of course they do. How could they not given the absurdity of capitalism, religion, mass incuriousness, an unsustainable biological imperative to procreate in defiance of natural limits, culture, tradition, conservatism, classism and a list of engrained societal dilemmas as long as my arm, written in very small print.

    If industrial civ were somehow different than it is, then we would have obviously developed a system of governance that reflected who we were/are. But that IS exactly what we did, which is why we have the system of governance that we do. Again, the vast majority of humanity wants to be lied to, and it doesn’t seem to matter what the lie is, as long as it provides us with being able to meet our immediate needs, which is far more the root of our ecological dilemma than the latest crop of corrupt politicians.

    Kevin, you might as well be standing in your garden wondering why all these weeds keep growing back after only pulling out the stem. Expose this crop, and with a little time, you’ll have yet another. Corruption is perennial like that.

    And so when you say: “……when..people..are starting to starve…..I would like them to recognize that they have been lied to by politicians for decades……”

    My response is well of course they have been lied to, but what the hell difference is that going to make to someone who is starving to death? That at least they can hold onto the bitter resentment of being hoodwinked until they take their last breath ? Blame shift to the bitter end?

    You say, “….politicians…sabotaged their future..?”

    You mean to tell me that politicians are somehow responsible for our consumption of the natural world? Politician are responsible for the world’s population more than doubling since I’ve been alive? That this latest crop of politicians are somehow responsible for millennial deforestation? That this latest crop of politicians are responsible for an utterly unsustainable set of living arrangements long before any of us, or them were even born, etc, etc………?

    My friend, you are seriously grasping at straws. It might behoove you to see your computer more as the mirror it’s always been, than the sword it never was. There are no champions at this point, only losers. You’re only fighting against a future you’ve yet to accept.

  • Every belief system, throughout the history of human existence, whether deemed a religion or not, was created and/or still exists for the sole purpose of programming the minds and motives of the masses to be subservient to, and for the exclusive benefit of, a self-proclaimed elite! Regardless, far too few will be willing or able to believe that and fewer still will endeavor to find out for themselves. The Box = womb = the warm and fuzzy world that exists solely between their own ears.

  • Daniel, as I’ve said a few times here already (funny how all these conversations seem to go back to the same things), there is also something in between – that there are trajectories our complex system could’ve taken that led to a sustainable dynamic equilibrium. The evidence for this is in very general terms. If you look at the simulations done by the people who published Limits to Growth (and you can do it yourself, and I have – and I’ve seen this in all the biological systems I’ve worked with and then some and all of it has been corroborated by observational evidence), in general complex systems follow this “robust yet fragile” framework and small changes initially can lead to exponential deviations in trajectories. By the same token, most trajectories end up either stagnating or collapsing unless the right set of initial conditions are met. In the Limits to Growth case, they showed how as you vary some of the parametres, the other parametres responded by settling into new equilibria.

    If I understand your logic right, there was NEVER room for hope according to you, and perhaps you’re right, that it’s like the Matrix, that hope is the quintessential human delusion and it’s all a matter of programming. But even in that movie, Neo makes a choice that goes against the programming and it appears to have created a different equilibrium for a while. And the thing about these trajectories is that while you can take bets, you don’t know until certain tipping points are reached whether things are reversible or not. Obviously Guy thinks we’ve gone too far already whereas I have given myself the loss of the Arctic ice in the summer in its entirety (and the time it takes for this to happen—some people predicted it would’ve happened by now) as the indicator of how these feedbacks are behaving.

  • Ram, there was never any hope for a sustainable path. In principle, there may have been paths that humans could have taken but, in practice, Homo sapiens is a species and, as such, has characteristic behaviours. Those characteristic behaviours ensure that some unsustainable path would always have been followed and will always be followed in future. If you want hope, the best hope is that humans could follow a pseudo sustainable path, if their numbers become small and the rest of the natural world recovers. In that way, a nomadic existence, may give the impression of sustainability over the longer term.

  • Dear Guy, why the inordinate amount of time on Tony? Seriously.

    Excuse me TIAA, does that comment imply that you don’t agree with the way I described the so-called lag (which is essentially the way it was described in the description of James Hansen’s work in the Skeptical Science piece that Guy linked to)? If not, would you like to attempt to explain why it’s wrong? Guy hasn’t actually said he disagrees with that description from the Skeptical Science piece, so I’m assuming that he agrees with it (especially as he linked to it as an explanation of the “lag”). I got the feeling that many people here actually think (or thought) that the “lag” meant CO2 released today had no impact at all for 40 years, so I was just trying to correct that understanding (or be corrected myself).

  • Dear Daniel,

    Re: Your answer to Kevin from 21st:

    Everything you said is so apt and expresses exactly how I feel. I’ve long stopped blaming too, for the same reasons as you do.

    It’s another step on the way to freeing yourself, having the freedom to care for living beings while you still can.

    It really is so important to come to terms with what you have described so well here.

    Kevin, if you can develop this state of mind, you will feel better. All you can do now is save give your utmost attention to life while it still exists. At this point, blaming is just another distraction.

    Thanks for saying it again Daniel.

  • This is without a doubt my favorite essay well done and thank you for writing it I agree completely with everything you said. I hope the extinction happens very soon this world is a shit hole thanks to industrial civilization

  • good essay, alton. thanks.

    ‘Or as the typhoon said to the coconut tree: “Hang on to your nuts; this is gonna be one helluva blow job”.’

    that’s a good one, r.d.(r.r.)

    ‘can’t get out of the way of the ‘train’ that is about to collide with the picnic party I’m having on the railway line -‘I haven’t got time’.’

    this is one hell of a big train coming down these humongous tracks. u may run and buy a little time, but chances are before long the train’s gonna get u too!, kevin.

    ‘I do have time to watch television, take sightseeing vacations, play with my pet(s), make stupid comments on Internet blogs…..’

    me too! (lol)

    ‘To further substantiate Mr. Moore’s brutal characterization of Die Homeland from it’s inception, and the extreme pathology of those still resident within…’

    wester, don’t paint with so broad a brush. remaining within the confines of amerika should by no means be equated with sharing the same affliction as it’s misleaders and their legions of clueless followers. it’s not like one can flee to some mythical utopia of intelligence, virtue, sanity; there’s no safe haven from the extreme madness amerika has come to embody/perpetrate. it’s a madness that permeates all of civilization, more or less.

    daniel, your response to kevin a couple days ago was a our de force of hardcore irrefutable unsentimental logic, imho (the ‘h’ stands for harsh, not humble). i find it cold comfort (cold comfort’s better than none!) that the likes of u exist in this sad society of dogmatic ignorance/delusion. thanks as always for sharing.