Easy Living

The disparagement of my work, hence of me, reaches a fervent pitch during a speaking tour. Although I love interacting with new people, any road trip brings me to the attention of deniers who react harshly. And not merely to the message, but of course to the messenger. It’s as if I’m inventing the information I cite.

A line from Farley Mowat comes to mind: “We’re under some gross misconception that we’re a good species, going somewhere important, and that at the last minute we’ll correct our errors and God will smile on us. It’s delusion.”

Trying to balance misinformed criticism with reality, I consider how to spend the days ahead. As post-tour thoughts race through my mind, I try to slow them down to examine and ponder them:

  1. Every day I seriously consider retiring from public service. No more public speaking (I love public speaking but it has some drawbacks as noted below). No more radio show. No more writing. Back to reading philosophy and fiction. Back to spending time with friends. Back to hiking in the nearby wilderness. Back to spending time doing what I love, as I suggest to others.
  1. I’m tired of people telling me how the world should be. There’s no should. There is only reality, and even reality borders on illusion. Promoting solutions based on what people ought to do, according to some abstract moral imperative, will not help. Never mind that each solution produces myriad additional problems. Just as behavioral changes are too little, too late, I’m unlikely to change what people say to and about me.
  1. I am said to be the leader of a death cult, a notion so absurd it’s hilarious. I’ve promoted anarchism for two decades. I am the leader of absolutely nothing. I point out the urgency of living and encourage others to live well and pursue what they love. These tidbits belie evidence of a leader, much less a death cult.
  1. People tell me, and others, that I tour to earn money. These people obviously haven’t ever gone on the road with me. I don’t extract monetary gain for speaking or writing. Rather, these activities cost me a lot of time and money, neither of which I have in great supply. My partner and I live well below the U.S. official poverty line. This is yet another strike against my being a death cult leader, as I’m pretty sure the typical cult has a financial incentive.
  1. I don’t fully understand why every day I receive hate mail. I’m a nice guy! Seemingly every day I am subjected to personal attacks. About once a week somebody tells me to commit suicide. All too frequently, I receive death threats. Libel and slander occur way too often, including by self-proclaimed journalists who know their conduct is unethical. In the part of my mind that longs for retribution, I’d sue one of the “journalists” to make a point — if only I had the time and money. These personal attacks have nothing to do with science. They make no sense to me. They are unfounded and irrational. But they happen to other messengers merely for speaking about gradual anthropogenic climate change, so I suppose it’s all to be expected from a scientifically illiterate society.
  1. Nearly always, attempts to assassinate my character emanate from relatively wealthy white men who worship this death culture. Threatening the privileged class to which I formerly belonged has consequences. Fear is rampant. Empathy is rare.
  1. The civilization these white men love is going away. Good riddance, I say, to the heat engine of civilization. Good riddance, too, to driving 150-200 species to extinction every day. Using civilization as the basis for solutions to the myriad predicaments rooted in civilization clearly makes no sense. I would argue further: It is insane. In response, I’m deemed insane. The words of Krishnamurti come to mind: “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
  1. When I’m in the process of post-tour introspection, I no longer expect better from humans, even those I know well. I still love humanity. It’s the people I can hardly tolerate.
  1. It’s not just me under assault. As a minor public figure, I expect disparagement of me and my work. Unfortunately, the people with whom I associate — sometimes only briefly — who suffer the dual wraths of ignorance and stupidity. Although the attacks generally come from clueless trolls who do not reveal their identities, the abusers occasionally include people in positions of power. Consider this email message from an acquaintance I met briefly: “Hey, take a guess who was inquiring what was the nature of my consorting with a ‘Guy McPherson’ … ? Canadian borders agents. I think they zip drove extracted my laptop. At least that’s what it looked like from my window view inside there (sic) customs station.”

Why bother?

Why, indeed.  I continue to ponder.

As I’ve pointed out in this space, I don’t know why some people pursue lives of service while others cannot imagine such an approach. I doubt there is a rational explanation beyond vague notions regarding the absence of free will.

I certainly have no excuse to pursue and present evidence, beyond my inability to escape the teacher within me. There are plenty of reasons to forgo these activities (and the profession of teaching is dead). And yet, here I am, against my better judgment and against the wishes of my critics. Apparently I’ve not avoided the ignorance and stupidity rampant in this culture.

My Kiwi friend Kevin recently described how, in a small sailboat with an upper limit of a handful of people on board, the givers and takers emerge quickly. Myriad behaviors that accumulate to irritating levels within a decade or so during periodic contact and numerous distractions become apparent within a week or so onboard. On a boat, shaking out the takers and leavers doesn’t require three months. I’ve come to conclude that every newly budding partnership would benefit from three months at sea — most partnerships would dissolve before they are formalized, because most people are incompatible.

It took me many years to realize that most people are incompatible. Had I secured this knowledge earlier in life, I probably still would be teaching. Had I realized most people are takers, I would still be drawing a paycheck. But the costs would be great.

The greatest cost of early understanding, with respect to the dark side of humans, would have been mediocrity. I could have remained ensconced within the belly of the omnicidal beast had I become a teacher of knowledge, but not understanding. I could’ve been teacher of facts, but not relevant behavior. I could have relayed information, but not discussed how to pursue a life of excellence based on the information. As it turns out, colleges and universities have plenty of mediocre teachers and administrators, as I’m sure most readers have noticed. I’d rather die a pauper than descend into the type of mediocrity that characterizes the culture in which I’m embedded. Barring late-age, adult adoption, I’m certain I will.

I like to believe I could return to academic life at the right institution in the right situation. I love to teach, but it is not what I do. It is what I am. I can kid myself into thinking I could teach anywhere, but I know better … I can’t just teach facts and spread (mis)information, as is the norm in educational institutions. Teaching involves helping students find knowledge and understanding. Teaching guides students to question everything and think for themselves and we all know that institutions of higher learning don’t strive for those standards.

I’m not sure I’ve accomplished much with my meandering thoughts, but it brings me full circle back to retirement. The easy life. A life of leisure, again. Even after many years of thought crystallized in these thousand words, I’m undecided.

Some things I do know, although they are easily forgotten. I’m extremely fortunate to be alive. I’m extremely fortunate to have people who love me in this one, small life. I’m extremely fortunate to have people who support me and join me on this journey I have chosen. I’m extremely fortunate to be living my life, and to be in a position to encourage others to pursue theirs.

It gets better, too: My life includes the occasional serving of ice cream to go along with the likes of Farley Mowat.

****************************************************************

I’ll be interviewed Wednesday morning at 9:05 a.m. Pacific time on KVMR radio in Nevada City, California. Catch it on your internet dial here.

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Catch Nature Bats Last on the radio with Mike Sliwa and Guy McPherson. Tune in every Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, or catch up in the archives here. If you prefer the iTunes version, including the option to subscribe, you can click here.

This week’s show, to air 18 November 2014, features an interview with sociologist Mimi Riley. Dr. Riley teaches at Butte College in Chico, California. She has made radical life changes in light of near-term human extinction.

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California Tour: Contact Peter Melton for event ideas and details via email to Peter.Melton3@gmail.com.

18 November 2014, 12:30-2:00 p.m., Center for Excellence, Library Building, Butte College main campus, Oroville, California

19 November 2014, 6:00-8:30 p.m., Student Lounge (Chico Center 146), Butte College, Chico, California

20 November 2014, 12:30-2:00 p.m., Center for Excellence, Library Building, Butte College main campus, Oroville, California

20 November 2014, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., Public discussion in Grass Valley, Banner Grange, RSVP to Caroline Courtright, 530-272-5541 or ccdunrite@gmail.com

Final Poster

20 November 2014, 8:00 – 9:30 p.m., Grief Counseling Part 1 in Grass Valley, Banner Grange, RSVP to Caroline Courtright, 530-272-5541 or ccdunrite@gmail.com

21 November 2014, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Grief Counseling Part 2 in Grass Valley, RSVP for location to Caroline Courtright, 530-272-5541 or ccdunrite@gmail.com

21 November 2014, Evening event in San Francisco Bay Area, TBA

22-23 November 2014, panelist, Earth at Risk, Palace of Fine Arts, 3301 Lyons Street, San Francisco, California

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

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

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

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

Comments 228

  • November 19, 2014

    Overpopulation Fuels Climate Change
    Breeding Ourselves To Extinction
    by DADY CHERY & GILBERT MERCIER

    Excerpt:

    “The United Nations has held countless major meetings on climate change, at great consumption of fuel, that have amounted to nothing but reports and promises of more talk. After many of these alarming reports, the G20 leaders, in November 2014, decided to throw several billions of dollars at the problem. Despite climate-change denial becoming incorrect, as long as a discussion of overpopulation, in the context of climate-change mitigation, remains a taboo, we may be sure that nothing will be achieved. If we are serious about reducing our carbon footprint, we must rethink the flawed capitalist concept of unending economic growth and consider reducing the number of human feet in the world. Overpopulation must be discussed in the context of climate change. A major impediment to this discussion has been the assumption that Africa and Asia would be the main targets for depopulation, with eugenics intent towards “black and brown babies.” In reality, there are too many human babies of all kinds: especially in industrialized countries with high rates of consumption.”

    I = P x A x T

  • in about 25 years when globalization and our solar wind dreams break down and we can’t even clothe or feed ourselves, we’re gonna feel pretty pissed, but not until the internet goes down in most places. no one will remember us, but I’ll still feel foolish denying not trying. try to slow before you stop.

  • @ Wren Says:
    November 18th, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for bringing the absolutely brilliant work, in every way, of Nigel Stanford to our attention!! “Cymatics” and “Timescapes,” which is all I’ve seen/listened-to so far, are so profoundly captivating, aurally, technically and visually, that mere words can not do them justice. Again, my sincerest thanks! 🙂 Now I almost can’t wait to replace my aging and failing CRT!

  • .
    yes, we can dismantle the toxic infrastructure of industrial civilization, decommission all nuclear power plants, safely dispose of all nuclear weapons, and enforce world-wide birth control… Yes, we can.
    .
    …plant no crops, build no cities…
    .
    …kill nothing, live only on that which falls from the trees, sleep on the ground, drink from the river…

    …a breakdown of society could arise from rapid global population growth and unsustainable resource exploitation.
    .
    .
    Just ridin’ on this runaway train, staring out the window, with a cat on my lap.
    .

    .
    The Voluntary Extinction Movement
    Thou shalt not procreate.
    .
    The Church of Euthanasia
    Save the planet, kill yourself.
    ,

  • Robert Callaghan

    Do you really think ‘in about 25 years when globalization and our solar wind dreams break down and we can’t even clothe or feed ourselves’?

    Everything I am seeing and reading tells me the globalisation is on its last legs and is breaking down right now, with ever-increasing levels of propaganda and fraud being the only things that are holding present arrangements together. Japan sinks further into the mire of its own making (well actually Japanese governments’ and American colonists’ making) by the week, if not by the day, and the bubble economy of China is in the process of bursting, with devastating consequences for Australia, which has been almost a one trick circus focused on digging up the place and selling it to China. That’s apart from the environmental meltdown.

    I think it was in 2007 or 2008 that Guy said: “We’ll be back to the Stone Age by 2020.” Although still possible, that does not seem at all likely for the majority of people on Earth, looking at the state of things just over 5 years from 2020.

    However, I do not criticise Guy for making the projection: none of us anticipated the capacity of the system to practically loot every energy source available, whatever the cost. Thus, we did not anticipate Athabasca tar sands ever generating more than about 1 million barrels a day, and did not anticipate fracking holding things together for an extra 5 years. However, both of those plays seem to be on their last legs unless the ‘miracle workers’ in central banks can come up with some fancy new scam to create yet more money out of thin air outside of the present system and hand it over to their corrupt friends, just to keep the game going a little longer.

    We know it is ‘dangerous’ to make projections. But if we don’t put a time frame on our expectations those we talk to (or write to) may think we are projecting planetary meltdown 200 years from now or economic collapse a few decades from now.

    I think the recent G20 circus in Australia is indicative of the true state of affairs, with the western leaders churning out utter nonsense and blatantly absurd propaganda for consumption in their respective countries as it all falls apart.

    I’m still planning for an economic meltdown in or by 2016.

    The hopium offered in the following piece will be crushed if oil prices remain at current levels.

    ‘At least 240 jobs have been lost in the Taranaki engineering industry in the past year.

    And with fewer job opportunities, concern is growing that skilled workers could be lost to the region.

    This week Australian-owned engineering firm DownerTenix announced that it was closing its New Plymouth workshop with the loss of more than 40 jobs.

    Last month Technip Oceania also closed its branch. There had also been redundancies at Fitzroy Engineering and Fitzroy Yachts.’

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/63362942/Concern-for-future-as-firms-cut-staff

    And demand will be crushed if oil prices rise.

    A friend of mine (who must remain nameless for obvious reasons) told me the company he works for got a construction job simply because it undercut everybody else and contracted to meet an almost impossible deadline.

    There are several government-sponsored engineering-related boondoggles under construction at the moment (Len Lye art centre, two new bridges and some road widening) which will be completed in 2015.

    Then what? More government-sponsored boondoggles to be supported by a collapsing economy held together primarily by mass immigration to Orcland? (Milk export prices down from $8.30 to $5 or less, log prices down, coal prices down, oil prices down.)

    I’m still checking the US Drought Monitor once a week, and California is still in dire straits. I believe the next 5 months could well decide the fate of California.

  • Weak Attempt at Fable Making (to be improved upon):

    An army of evil monsters live in the depth below the cliff. Somehow, they got hold of the chain of life above, pulling one end of it over the edge and winding it down into a big machine run on the dirtiest oil. It is a place very much like how Christians once imagined hell.

    Some people above look at the chain slipping away and are alarmed. They prance about, agitate, and wonder what can be done to stop the catastrophe. Wrap it around a tree, some suggest. Others suggest all getting together and pulling back the chain as in tug-o-war (short of being pulled over the edge themselves). But some just stand by deriding all such effort as futile. Maybe they have a point. But such resignation as the chain moves inexorably by and over (and they actually can see it moving–it’s not abstract) does not seem human.

  • Wester, your posts are awesome. I am the new founder of the Wester Admiration Society. In fact, I am surprised at your understanding, not to mention your ability to articulate your understanding. Thank you so very much for taking the time to post here and infuse some humanity and reality into the discussion, because the “Uber Advanced White Guy” fantasy of WC seemingly will not die and this site has more than its fair share of that.

  • ‘Wester, your posts are awesome’ Second that.

    A nice piece by Charles Hugh-Smith:

    ‘If fudging the numbers triggered a loss of confidence, the solution is to fudge the numbers even more, so they no longer reflect reality at all.

    If gaming the system crashed the system, the solution is to game the system even harder.

    If the masses protest their powerlessness, the solution is to push them further from the centers of power.

    And so on.’

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-19/why-living-post-bubble-world-no-fun

  • re Overpopulation Fuels Climate Change

    This is just more BS really, like saying if we reduce emissions we are ‘saved’ or if we all buy mercury light bulbs etc etc.
    If every human left the planet tonight, it wouldn’t change a thing, we are still @ 400ppm CO2 + 600 PPM ???? CO2e?? The planet is still heading for Hanson’s Venus.

  • Wester Says:
    November 19th, 2014 at 4:13 am

    Kevin Moore fan club.
    Full Stop.
    =============================
    Me too!

  • Robert Thankyoufornotbreeding Atack

    I understand what you are saying and I agree.

    @Robin Datta

    What can I possibly say about John Prine? A music icon in this old man’s music collection. Small world.

    @Guy

    If I may suggest…Do what you like, take a break, get into your favorite activities.

    @Wester
    @Ram
    @oldgrowthforest
    @kevin moore
    @logspirit

    and oh so many others who post here.

    Awesome!

  • ‘prove i’m on the endangered species list’?! lol. i love doomer humor. so dark.

    guy, what struck me the most from your essay was the emphasis on promoting understanding, instead of just presenting facts and leaving it up to others to ‘connect the dots’. sadly, it seems, sheeple suck at ‘connecting the dots’, so somebody has to do it for them, or at least try, considering what’s at stake.

    u da man in doomerland, imo. not an easy role to play, as u so eloquently express. talent and gumption combined. pretty awesome. humble thanks, respect for what u do, teacher. reading this blog keeps me grounded in surreality, acutely aware of our dire circumstances/insane culture. feeling less alone/isolated. i’ve learned a lot along the way, and continue to do so. it will be missed when it is gone. as u will, no doubt, when u are gone. talent, fortitude, and good fortune (if there is such a thing under these circumstances). u da man, guy.

  • Floating above the rising tides debate: Keren Bolter at TEDxMiami

    Keren Bolter – Geosciences PhD Candidate at Florida Atlantic University
    http://www.linkedin.com/pub/keren-bolter/70/669/237

    A talk from a scientist-in-training about sea level rise in Miami.

    At present, high tide pushes through storm drains flooding neighborhood streets.

    With a 17cm (~7″) rise in average sea level south everglades will be covered as well as a few parts around Miami. But more significantly, encroaching sea water raises the limestone embedded fresh water from as little as 30cm (~1′) below the land surface to the surface causing septic tank seepage, tidal flooding alerts, storm surge damage, foundation-disrupted roadways, and building foundation shifts; it also enables mold and disease bearing mosquitoes.

    She continues on with higher and higher sea water levels only to have an emotional ending where she claims she is not leaving and will stick it out because she owes to her children…

    Like many others, her grief response is to temporalize and rationalize minimal effects through ‘mitigation efforts’. We have time she says, no sooner than 2030 and surely we can holdout through 2100.

    Ho Hum.

  • You’ve done more than your share, if you want to, go and enjoy your life now! You deserve it!

  • Three brief quotes from Kahneman’s book, Thinking, Fast and Slow:

    “Our comforting conviction that the world makes sense rests on a secure foundation: our almost unlimited ability to ignore our ignorance.”

    “The sense-making machinery of System 1 [the non-conscious, intuitive parts of our brain] makes us see the world as more tidy, simple, predictable, and coherent than it really is. The illusion that one has understood the past feeds the further illusion that one can predict and control the future. These illusions are comforting. They reduce the anxiety we would experience if we allowed ourselves to fully acknowledge the uncertainties of existence. We all have a need for the reassuring message that actions have appropriate consequences, and that success will reward wisdom and courage. Many business books are tailor-made to satisfy this need.”

    “Stories of how businesses rise and fall strike a chord with readers by offering what the human mind needs: a simple message of triumph and failure that identifies clear causes and ignores the determinative power of luck and the inevitability of regression. These stories induce and maintain an illusion of understanding, imparting lessons of little enduring value to readers who are all too eager to believe them.”

  • You efforts are much appreciated, Guy, by a Cassandra such as myself who has spent her entire adult life (I was born about the same year as you) knowing what you know. A difference though, is that I could see early on, too, that no amount of talking would make a difference, not because people are bad but because most are just not capable of caring for anyone but themselves. You are lucky, at least as far as I know, that you don’t have loved ones whose lives are put together so precariously that they could not bear this truth. I love my family but they just won’t allow such ‘negativity’ to ruin the atmosphere. A life spent biting your tongue can be very sad and lonely.

    You have given much, and your writings are out there for people to find, so whether you decide to walk away or not, your good work will go on inspiring others. There are others writing eloquently on the topic of the coming end of civilization too, now, perhaps inspired by you. Dave Cohen’s Adventures in Flatlands on his Decline of the Empire Blog painstakingly analyzed human nature in response to the end and why human’s won’t be able to stop it. I dread the upcoming denouement when the public at large finds out about this. It would be a good time to be divorced from public participation I think.

  • Bud Nye:

    Kahneman’s System I would seem to be the most primordial parts related to the reptilian brain. The Dunning-Kruger problem is that those affected are unaware that they are affected; and this itself is the central feature of the effect. It is a difficult problem with the scientifically sophisticated one-trick dogs as well as the hoi polloi.

    The recognition that actions may have unpredictable effects (as in the Butterfly Effect) led the ancients to formulate and invoke the law of karma, which falls short of scientific in that it is not falsifiable.

  • Hey Guy,

    I know how you feel, I’ve often felt the same way myself. Funny as it may sound, I’ve wondered, for most of my life actually, just why of all the species of life that exist on this planet, why I had to be born man. Our inclination to deal with each other and all of life with rage, selfishness and destruction is well known by most people and yet, no one really thinks it’s a problem. Yeah.

    I may not agree with everything you’ve said, but one thing does come through, you’re kindness. I hope you can hold out against the haters and just breathe. Spend sometime with the hills and remember that the hatred you’re attracting isn’t your problem. It’s theirs. You’re not the one wrapped up in suspicion, they are. A hundred years from now, if we haven’t killed ourselves off by then, none of us are going to be around and few will be remembered and all the new people will be hating each other. Let it go. Relax and enjoy your life. And thanks.

  • more evidence of societal breakdown:

    http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/318-66/27052-michigan-court-of-appeals-rules-state-has-no-responsibility-to-provide-quality-public-education

    Michigan Court of Appeals Rules State Has No Responsibility to Provide Quality Public Education

    n a blow to schoolchildren statewide, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled on Nov. 7 the State of Michigan has no legal obligation to provide a quality public education to students in the struggling Highland Park School District. A 2-1 decision reversed an earlier circuit court ruling that there is a “broad compelling state interest in the provision of an education to all children.” The appellate court said the state has no constitutional requirement to ensure schoolchildren actually learn fundamental skills such as reading — but rather is obligated only to establish and finance a public education system, regardless of quality. Waving off decades of historic judicial impact on educational reform, the majority opinion also contends that “judges are not equipped to decide educational policy.” [there’s more]

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/19/darwins-dilemma-solved_n_6178504.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592

    ‘Darwin’s Dilemma’ May Finally Have Been Solved

    Though the theory of evolution has long been accepted as scientific fact, scientists have always had trouble reconciling Darwin’s notion of gradual evolution by natural selection with a sudden explosion of new species around 530 million years ago.

    Now a University of Texas geologist believes he may finally have an explanation for what some refer to as “Darwin’s dilemma”: a major shift in the continents, which created ideal conditions for complex new life forms to evolve.

    “At the boundary between the Precambrian and Cambrian periods, something big happened tectonically that triggered the spreading of shallow ocean water across the continents, which is clearly tied in time and space to the sudden explosion of multicellular, hard-shelled life on the planet,” Dr. Ian Dalziel, a research professor at the university’s Institute for Geophysics and a professor in the department of geological sciences, said in a written statement.

    The tectonic shift likely opened up a gateway between the ancient continents of Laurentia (modern-day North America) and Gondwanaland (see image below), according to Dalziel. Water displaced by the shift flooded land areas, creating an ideal environment for new species to flourish. The shift also would have dredged up large quantities of nutrients from the ocean floor, accelerating the pace of evolution.
    [there’s more]

  • Guy, thanks for all you do.

    And continue to follow the LIGHT.

  • Guy
    Big hugs to you for what you are going through.

    You have been a great teacher to me and I hope you don’t stop but No 1 point does sound great!

    I’m with Cuntagious, they know you are right that is why they hate you. I know it doesn’t make it any easier though. It is all so insane.

    Keep telling the truth – you have a HUGE band of believers behind you and alongside you. I wish we could all be as brave as you are.

    O Captain, My Captain
    Fiona

    PS – that Krishnamurti quote is my favourite – he told the truth too.

  • Guy

    You’re the man. Much admired by those in the know. Thank you, Crazy Horse, for riding again.

  • Farther south, the 2014-15 Water Year has afforded little — if any — drought relief to California. Despite some light to moderate precipitation (0.2 to 1 inch, liquid equivalent) during the period across central and northern California, the totals still fell short of normal and did nothing to offset the impacts of the ongoing three-year drought. The current Water Year (which began October 1) has gotten off to an abysmal start; rainfall to-date (since October 1) has totaled 10 to 35 percent of normal in the Exceptional Drought (D4) areas around San Francisco, and locally less than 20 percent of normal in the D4 around Los Angeles. Likewise, the dry, mostly mild start to the winter has left snowpacks in the Sierra Nevada well short of normal. The dryness has been exacerbated by Santa Ana winds, which gusted over 40 m.p.h. in southern California.

    In the Great Basin and Four Corners, there were no changes to this week’s drought depiction despite the very poor start to the current Water Year, particularly in western portions of the region. The season’s poor initial prospects are reflected by season-to-date (since October 1) precipitation, which has totaled locally less than 10 percent of normal in the Great Basin and western portions of the central and southern Rockies, with most areas reporting less than 30 percent of normal. Changes to the drought depiction across much of the west are typically slow to occur during the early part of winter, as the development of the Water Year will be crucial to the region’s drought relief (or development) prospects.

    http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

  • New York state residents, still clearing up after the historic “lake-effect” snowstorm that has now claimed eight lives in three days, have been warned that things are only going to get worse.

    Another wave of stormy weather is forecast to sweep across the city of Buffalo on Thursday, bringing the total snowfall this week up to levels normally expected over an entire year.

    The new fall will undermine the efforts of many who started digging out of their homes on Wednesday, and another three feet (1 metre) of snow is forecast.

    On top of the 5.5 feet (1.68 metres) already there in some places, it could become the heaviest 24-hour snowfall on record in the mainland, beating the 75.8 inches (192 centimeters), which fell at Silver Lake, Colorado, in 1921.

    “This is an historic event,” Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters last night. “When all is said and done, this snowstorm will break all sorts of records.” He added: “It will get worse before it gets better.”

    Once the coming storm front has passed, things are forecast to warm up across the state. But that will only pile more misery on beleaguered residents, Cuomo said, with the vast snowmelt likely to cause significant flooding. Forecasters also said there could be heavy rain at the weekend.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/buffalo-snowstorm-new-york-state-officials-says-things-will-only-get-worse-as-more-snow-and-floods-forecast-to-historic-bad-weather-9871877.html

  • 2014-11-18 – Huge explosion lights up the sky in Sverdlovskaya Oblast (Russia)

    Quote: “At least three drivers captured the mysterious flash at night on Nov. 14. Their videos show a sudden yellowy-orange explosion that illuminates the night. Two of them show the flash seemingly originating from within the clouds.”

    Note: Sounds like this was an atmospheric gas explosion, probably mostly methane, but maybe some hydrogen sulfide too. Just had those huge methane explosion craters in Siberia recently too. And Moscow was just hit by a huge cloud of hydrogen sulfide, mentioned in the 2014-11-10 update. Responders just trained in coastal New York City in late October for a 10-kiloton explosion, which is about the maximum size of a very large atmospheric gas explosion, mentioned in the 2014-10-22 update…

    2014-11-18 – Three large mysterious explosions shake homes and rattle people in Montgomery and Warren Counties (Ohio)

    20140-11-18 – Mysterious explosion alarms people in coastal Bellingham (Washington)

    “Note: These mysterious town-shaking explosions, sometimes accompanied by a ‘flash of light’, really started ramping up right around the same time that methane began gushing from the ground and from the oceans around the world a coupla three years ago and the number of HazMat incidents involving strange odors also began sickening people in escalating numbers then as well. That’s not a coincidence…”

    2014-11-18 – College student, man, 22, found dead at home in Boone (North Carolina), second dead ASU student this week

    2014-11-18 – Coyotes snatching pets in neighborhood in Frisco (Texas)

    2014-11-18 – Seals seen raping penguins in multiple incidents in the Antarctic

    “Note: The penguins don’t look very happy about it either! This is fairly recent behavior. When hydrogen sulfide chemically fries PEOPLES’ brains, if it doesn’t kill them then it appears that our higher-level functions are the first things to go: right/wrong, morals, compassion, empathy, reason. So people are getting violent and doing crazy things, like the original face-eater on the coast in Florida, who had no drugs in his system. Other animals won’t be immune. These seals may be experiencing slow-onset chemically-induced brain damage and that’s causing this aberrant behavior.”

    2014-11-18 – Transformer bursts into flame in Franklin Township and utility pole bursts into flame in Lehighton (Pennsylvania)

    Quote: “Just after 11 a.m., a utility pole fire was reported along Bridge Street in Lehighton; and just before 11 a.m., a transformer fire was reported in Franklin Township along Long Run and Maury roads. It has not been confirmed whether or not the two are connected.”

    2014-11-18 – In separate incidents, three parked cars burst into flame in the wee hours in the Midlands (Australia)

    Quote: “Dale, a Midland woman whose car was set alight, said she was woken up just before 1am by a ‘horrible noise of crackling and popping.'”

    “Note: There’s that popping sound again. Proclaiming things as arson doesn’t make it so. They haven’t ruled out accidental causes, and they don’t mention actually having any evidence that these fires were arson, so this just looks like more inept detective work. Competent investigators elimate accidental causes first. But hey, if they want people to think there are invisible arsonists running around and they’re helpless to do anything about it, okie dokie. That won’t make the cars stop burning though…”

  • I’ve seen a standup guy at his best — Guy doing standup — and when the room is right, meaning people who are thoughtful and mature enough to accept our situation with some wisdom and humor, then the performer comes alive. And we’ve seen Guy try to work some pretty tough rooms. (some people are unintentional trolls — they can’t help themselves. Maybe each of us is someone else’s troll in life?)

    I wonder if Guy did watch the video of Louis CK and the other comics describing what they each went through to arrive at their unique ability to communicate. To be honest, within two months of encountering Guy and his presentations, I thought that I and others could go on the road to do similar “science classes”. I think I realized quickly that I did not have the communication skills for the patients to do that.

    But, in effect, Guy has created an “Academy”, just as Plato did, for the study of something vitally important.

    This reminds me of some of the discussions in the peace movement by the early eighties about “burnout”. Every magazine and newsletter had articles about it, and it was a topic at most meetings where we noticed the attendance declining, as militarism kept growing. Very few people with kids could do more than that and once or twice a month.

    Yes, Guy loves teaching, IS a teacher. But with rest and relaxation, he will open up new ways to “Be Excellent” and keep on the accelerated learning course we see he has entered upon. And that’s what really matters.

  • That would be “patience” not “patients”. Damn tablet fills in its own words, and changes mine after I’ve edited.

    But I wanted to add, on the subject of comedy, or “telling it like it is”, just imagine how each would handle this topic of NTE: Gilda Radner. Richard Pryor. George Carlin. 100% nailing it. And still most wouldn’t get it.

    To seek wisdom in the world of the humor-challenged is a precarious dance indeed.

    Isn’t there something like that in the Bodhisattva Vow? “Bottomless, oh bhikshu, is the well of human ignorance. I vow to overcome it.” Watch out what you take on, or at least how you go about facing it.

    Me, looks like need more math practice down below.

  • Alexi Murdoch ~ Breathe

    ~

    ~

    In the quiet of the shadow
    In the corner of a room
    Darkness moves upon you
    Like a cloud across the moon

    You’re a-wearing all the silence
    Of a constant that will turn
    Like the windmill left deserted
    Or the sun forever burn

    So don’t forget to breathe
    Don’t forget to breathe
    Your whole life is here
    No eleventh hour reprieve
    So don’t forget to breathe

    Keep your head above water
    But don’t forget to breathe

    And all the suffering that you’ve witnessed
    And the hand prints on the wall
    They remind you how it’s endless
    How endlessly you fall

    And the answer that you’re seeking
    For the question that you found
    Drives you further to confusion
    As you lose your sense of ground

    So don’t forget to breathe
    Don’t forget to breathe
    Your whole life is here
    No eleventh hour reprieve
    So don’t forget to breathe

    Keep your head above water
    But don’t forget to breathe

    Breathe

    Don’t forget to breathe
    Don’t forget to breathe
    You know you are here
    But you find you want to leave
    So don’t forget to breathe

    Just breathe
    Just breathe
    Just breathe
    Just breathe
    Just breathe

    ~

    Somebody passed this to mi a couple of years ago, when I was hurting really badly. Hope this helps 🙂

    ~

    Back to the fiddling 🙂

  • Hope the video embeds this time…

    ~

    ~

    To the fiddling 🙂

  • Relating to comments at prior posts:

    Loneliness is an intolerance for one’s own company. Such persons suffer others to tolerate the very person that they themselves cannot tolerate.

    Any darkness is external to oneself. in that sense all awareness is light, even if it be ever so tiny as the awareness of a fruit fly or a mosquito. The very fact that one perceives darkness is evidence of tnat boundless light of sentience that shines through the window that is each sentient being.

    Quoting heavily from a book detracts from the quoter’s appearance of mastery of the subject.

    With reference to more current comments:

    The facility with which the learner assimilates the teaching depends on the readiness of the recipient, analogous to the preliminary requirements for college courses. Ignorance of material facts pertaining to the universe of space-time-causation is a necessary consequence of an apparently infinite universe and a finIte brain.

    There is, however, a difference between the knower and the known. Most folks cannot grok the fact that the knower cannot be known as an object external to oneself. And that the knower is boundless and non-dual (there is nothing else besides it). The Bodhisattva vow pertains to this awareess, wnich cannot be gleaned from academics or (most) religious teachers. The exceptions would be the ones who exhort you to become not “like” the Heavenly Father, but THE Heavenly Father. Among Muslims, the Sufi Mansoor al-Hallaj was killed for such an assertion.

  • ‘I could see early on, too, that no amount of talking would make a difference, not because people are bad but because most are just not capable of caring for anyone but themselves’ -lucy

    i don’t agree, but, it’s certainly true that we’re inclined to love for selfish reasons, i.e., form attachments that benefit ourselves, seek attachments with those we find desirable. caring (another word for loving imo), forming attachments that are mutually beneficial, is something we’ve evolved to do as a species because it’s good for survival to be a part of a (preferably substantial) group that cooperates well.

    i think it’s hard for any fringe type sherson to have good solid relationships and a satisfying social life because our differences make us incompatible with a vast majority of others. maybe i think so to rationalize my own baffling isolation for most of my life, or maybe it’s true. point is, for any cooperative relationship to be satisfying and enduring, a good deal of compatibility and common interests must serve as glue. as we all know, doomers are few and far between.

    ‘I love my family but they just won’t allow such ‘negativity’ to ruin the atmosphere. A life spent biting your tongue can be very sad and lonely.’ – more l.

    i’ve lived alone most of my 56 years, and often felt alone when living or being with family, especially as i’ve gotten older, wiser. i wouldn’t trade solitude for any intimate relationship in which i wouldn’t feel free to express myself, but solitude sucks too. i totally relate to the sad and lonely bit, not having anyone to talk to about the things that matter the most (or for that matter, anything at all) is indeed sad and lonely. too bad doomers aren’t numerous enough in most places to form our own groups for companionship and ‘romance’/intimacy. it’s hard to be lonely and pursue a life of ‘excellence’, or at least one that’s fulfilling, rather than miserable. recall the old saying, ‘life sucks, and then u die’?!.

    the lyrics of this song could be my subconscious mind, if it could speak to me. could it be your’s speaking to u?

  • Dear Guy:

    It might be possible that 1) you are actually just now getting to the more interesting and pertinent questions and observations, and 2) your current dismay is based in a greater understanding of reality over your previous WC perspectives on “man,” perspectives that appear so deep, and yet appear eternally ineffective.

    There are truths that science cannot capture. The great fault with people is not that they lack ‘scientific understanding,’ even if they do. The great fault with people is their lack of respect for truth/reality, and their insane preference for their intellectual and abstract creations, in particular their judgments and evaluations, their definitions and theories, over obvious reality, like how they claim to kill for God and all that, or build nuclear bombs and power plants and all the destruction they call “progress” and “civilization” and “normal,” none of which they are.

    Ah, the great power of labels! The White Guy’s secret weapon for everything, backed up by armies and clubs/swords/bombs, you death cult leader, you. (Just kidding.)

    I made zero taxable income this year. Is that below the poverty level, or what? I haven’t worked in two years and I have less than a hundred dollars to my name. But there’s a sweet fire in the wood stove, the dogs are lounging around to keep me the best company I’ve ever had, and I’m really glad I have contributed taxes to the murder of people who have “resources” someone in IC wants.

    It’s an unnaturally warm evening at the end of an unnaturally warm year in south-central Alaska. Temperatures are in the high 30s, and despite several quite cold days in October, there is grass that remains green outside. I cried the other day over the polar bears, who are starving to death with increasing severity. I haven’t cried in a long time.

  • That is, I’m really glad I have NOT contributed taxes to war. It’s an accomplishment, I say.

  • I just heard your presentation at Butte College this afternoon. I was also in the audience on Tuesday. I was grateful that Mimi Riley brought you to speak and that Peter Melton has
    also helped you speak in our area. Your message while dire, is ultimately liberating. And the knowledge that at this point the best we can do is to embrace the present moment and reach out and make the world a better place in the midst of climate chaos is powerful. I wish I had been less shy and I could have told you right then how much I appreciate the work you are doing by sharing this paradoxical message- a mix of doomsday and a call to seize the day. I was sitting with Cecile, the brave woman who asked people in the room to look deeply into her eyes, and into each others eyes. The way forward through this challenge is to make deep connections with one another, and collectively put our energy into the most fulfilling pursuits- loving one another, growing food, and serving our community in whatever way we can. Yes, time is short, but that only makes each moment we have that much more precious, and each opportunity to connect with one another- a great gift. Thank you ,Guy, for helping transform despair into the freedom of focusing on what matters most. Namaste and a hug from someone who wishes she had been brave enough to give you one in person! 😉 Your message is crucial and I appreciate all the sacrifices that you make to being it out into the world! Blessings to you and yours
    Elena from Oroville

  • The practical solution for me is to pursue parallel tracks with one foot in the commercial world and the other on the outskirts. Some might say it’s like having one foot on the accelerator and the other on the brake. I see it as surviving with a modicum of comfort and helping others here and there, while causing far less negative impact than most other people. We all have to make compromises and that’s the best I can do for now. Thanks to Guy’s generous contributions to public knowledge, I know that when things start falling apart big time, I’ll be resigned to the terms of my demise.

  • Others have written far more eloquently than I have, but I want to say you are one of the finest teachers I have had the privilege of learning from, and respect you greatly as someone who lives according to your principles.
    I also want to quote another poster, logspirit: “May you obtain balance between your absolute personal needs and your great educational mission.” Consider this my personal blessing to you from a grateful student.

  • I remember deeply the article of Thich Nhat Hanh’s in the NY Cath Worker back in (about) 1983 about not eating meat as being part of saving the world. Had I been more “aware”, his usage of the phrase “bloody minded” about eating meat would have stood out for it’s double entendre (or possibly even triple). But,if large segments of the denizens of the US wouldn’t listen to Francis Moore Lappe in the late 70’s and early 80’s, even fewer would listen to him.

    Sr. Megan Rice has a new letter out from prison.

    http://www.nukeresister.org/2014/11/03/from-mdc-brooklyn-by-sr-megan-rice-3/

  • i just realized that by ignoring the 2 post limit, i’ve perfectly illustrated why we are in overshoot. Thanks Kevin Moore for your input. Thanks to The-Not-So-Virginal-Terry for tireless reminders. Thanks to the ever-provocative Crazy Inventor for the laughs. Thanks to everybody for all your input. What amazes me is the emotional outpouring of camaraderie and admiration you all have for one another — well, mostly. I also always get a good chuckle from some of the antagonism some of you feel towards each other. If Guy calls it quits, I hope one of you folks start a similar doomer site for us old cranky guys to confusedly wallow in like pigs in a trough. Don’t forget to make it appealing for naive idealistic youth. oh yea, and thanks to you Guy, for bringing together this merry band of misfits.

  • A bit dated, but still hot

    The first ten months of 2014 were the warmest such period on record.

    The global oceans were the warmest on record for October

    This marks the sixth month in a row (beginning in May 2014) that the global ocean temperature broke its monthly temperature record.

    The first ten months of 2014 (January–October) were the warmest such period since record keeping began in 1880

    The most recent 12-month period, November 2013–October 2014, broke the record (set just last month) for the all-time warmest 12-month period in the 135-year period of record

    Are we at the crook of the hockey stick?

  • ~Easy Living~

    A road to walk in the morning mist,
    A grassy ditch and a wide field on the other side,
    And the old log fence between.

    The Sunday road, compact and rutted,
    Smooth enough for my purpose.
    The dog runs ahead and crosses
    Over into the field. A minute later he eases
    Himself back under the fence.

    We head up the road together,
    More in tune with each other.
    An easy word passes back from him
    To me.

    The morning mist is lifting,
    And we know the warm sun of afternoon
    Is not far.

    We walk home, content.

  • ~Easy Living~

    A road to walk in the morning mist,
    A grassy ditch and a wide field on the other side,
    And the old log fence between.

    The Sunday road, compact and rutted,
    Smooth enough for my purpose.
    The dog runs ahead and crosses
    Over into the field. A minute later he eases
    Himself back under the fence.

    We head up the road together,
    More in tune with each other.
    An easy word passes back from him
    To me.

    The morning mist is lifting,
    And we know the warm sun of afternoon
    Is not far.

    We walk home, content.

    we all walk our roads. we are all messengers, artists of life, shot and reborn, strangled and singing.

    your song is one of the best out there, Guy. I hope to hear it for a long time, yet.

  • @Guy- Something to balance the hate mail, a favorite poem.

    “Ask Me”

    Some time when the river is ice ask me
    mistakes I have made. Ask me whether
    what I have done is my life. Others
    have come in their slow way into
    my thought, and some have tried to help
    or to hurt: ask me what difference
    their strongest love or hate has made.

    I will listen to what you say.
    You and I can turn and look
    at the silent river and wait. We know
    the current is there, hidden; and there
    are comings and goings from miles away
    that hold the stillness exactly before us.
    What the river says, that is what I say.

    ~William Stafford

  • Time traveling the Möflowbius strip,
    A comment did untowards slip.
    Walk backwards I say!
    To rewind the play,
    Roads travelled can then be untripped.

  • @ tvt:
    Hey
    I’m your life
    And I no longer care
    ==

    Extinction and Gender

    Which sex caused the end of our run?
    There’s no need to blame either one:
    Whoever’s the jerk,
    We’ll divide up the work,
    And between us we’ll get the job done.

  • Hi Guy,
    I take my hat off to you for your bravery in speaking the truth and bring the awareness to those that have the ears to hear and the eyes to see…

    I just have to share with you that there are a lot of disinformationist’s or SHIILS as I like to call them Internet Trolls, attempting to shut you up since they don’t want the REAL TRUTH OUT about our disastrous ecological time frame we are living in!!!

    I am very awake an very aware since I was a very small child I know not to have children because I knew there would literally be no future for them here on this Earth!

    So for me you are a breath of fresh air, an authentic individual that wants to let humanity know what were about to face is another human cataclysm, that ½% of these humans Illuminati, New World Disorder, Shadow Government, and Technocracy controlling this planet found here on this web blog http://omnibusintelligence.blogspot.com is directly responsible for this ecological disaster. This minority I just mentioned hate THE MOTHER GAIA NATURE, HATE CREATION ITSELF, and due to their disdain for life itself, they alone have brought upon all of us this inhalation of the human race here on this earth due to two things their greed and control issues!

    They themselves are Solely Responsible for the destruction of LIFE HERE ON EARTH and have brought the end the extinction of humans and so many other species its absolutely criminal what they have gotten away with in my humble opinion!
    I pray every day that these MONSTERS live eternity in the bowels of HELL and pay for the crimes they have perpetrated upon all of us and this EARTH.

    So when I read the studies that were conducted by you and your peers 10 or more years ago I am truly not surprised nor am I disturbed by this accurate science info your relating to all of us at this juncture NOW!

    This Planet was not going to sustain this unsustainable ecological misconduct executed by selfish self absorbed psychopathic/sociopaths called humans to continue violating the “LAWS OF NATURE” they believe they are immune of… NOT, NOT, NOT, (I personally am embarrassed to be in a human form this lifetime)…

    Sadly for all of us that are awake and fully aware it’s a lonely place on this planet… sadly there are billions of immature and diluted humans here now that avoid at all costs facing our upcoming extinction which in my perspective its inevitable at this stage of this game!

    This may sound completely weird to you but I welcome this annihilation of humans with open arms, in my very humble opinion the majority of humans presently here don’t deserve to be on Earth they have completely disrespected NATURE itself and now it’s payback time I ALWAYS SAY KARMA IS A BITCH when it comes back around and we need to PAY IT BACK!

    This is Mother GAIA Nature playing out her part in liberating itself from ALL HUMANS this noxious destructive life-form on her body, it’s time to kill the HUMAN CANCER CELLS… She is not to blame for these destructive humans bringing this TOTAL DESTRUCTION on to this planet THEY ARE!

    Anyhow I wanted to reach out to you and let you know your not alone in this wilderness of selfish self-diluted humans!

    Take care now!

  • Hi Guy
    Why do you get these reactions? Because your message says the human race will be plunged into life ending grief within a short time 2030 or thereabouts. Even though I’m 66 I find this distressing ( You are telling the truth ) But very many can’t cope with this reality and they lash out. Being told you are going to die shortly is grim. It’s the gravity of your message which gets some to overreact. Most are not reconciled to the truth you tell but want to reject it. Not your fault. Basically what you are saying is devastating and many cannot cope with it. The truth, they don’t have your scientific philosophical detachment.

  • Dady and Mercier would do well to contemplate the Cold War consequences of Western victory over progressive forces in Asia and Africa. Forces that had populist support for programmes covering issues such as family and population. Advisable in the circumstances rather than these simplistic and stupid remarks as regards fickle Western liberal sentiment, much of which waxes and wanes between the next cheese and wine party and Save the Children junket. Liberals who incidentally actively participated in the repression of these genuine revolutionary forces and today, in their dotage have miraculously had a Pauline conversion away from excess consumerism on their way to their pegged pensions. Funny that!

  • This is what we have to look forward to come January 2015

    http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2014/11/republicans-in-us-house-just-passed.html

    Republicans in the U.S. House just passed a bill forbidding scientists from advising the EPA on their own research – The ‘reform’ measure makes room for industry-funded experts

    [quote]

    H.R. 1422, which passed 229-191, would shake up the EPA’s Scientific Advisory Board, placing restrictions on those pesky scientists and creating room for experts with overt financial ties to the industries affected by EPA regulations.

    The bill is being framed as a play for transparency: Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, argued that the board’s current structure is problematic because it “excludes industry experts, but not officials for environmental advocacy groups.” The inclusion of industry experts, he said, would right this injustice.

    Guy: take a look at this

    [hat tip Apneaman’s comment at Robert Scribbler’s last post]

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22329820.200-understand-faulty-thinking-to-tackle-climate-change.html

    Understand faulty thinking to tackle climate change

    The amorphous nature of climate change creates the ideal conditions for human denial and cognitive bias to come to the fore

    DANIEL KAHNEMAN is not hopeful. “I am very sorry,” he told me, “but I am deeply pessimistic. I really see no path to success on climate change.”

    Kahneman won the 2002 Nobel prize in economics for his research on the psychological biases that distort rational decision- making. One of these is “loss aversion”, which means that people are far more sensitive to losses than gains. He regards climate change as a perfect trigger: a distant problem that requires sacrifices now to avoid uncertain losses far in the future. This combination is exceptionally hard for us to accept, he told me.

    Kahneman’s views are widely shared by cognitive psychologists. As Daniel Gilbert of Harvard University says: “A psychologist could barely dream up a better scenario for paralysis.”

    [further down]

    Our response to climate change is uncannily similar to an even more universal disavowal: unwillingness to face our own mortality, says neuroscientist Janis Dickinson of Cornell University in New York. She argues that overt images of death and decay along with the deeper implications of societal decline and collapse are powerful triggers for denial of mortality.

    There is a great deal of research showing that people respond to reminders of death with aggressive assertion of their own group identity. Dickinson argues that political polarisation and angry denial found around climate change is consistent with this “terror management theory”. Again, there is a complex relationship between our psychology and the narratives that we construct to make sense of climate change.

  • @ Tom

    A set of social relations (capitalism) which revolves around near term gain is hardly likely to inculcate values founded on long term perspectives…that is pretty basic stuff I would imagine. Many of the earlier labour struggles founded on scientific socialism (not the mumbo jumbo Keynesian variety) were driven by an understanding of this tendency in capitalism. Castro for example wrote extensively on this and the conditioning that drives these cultural dynamics, the resulting denial (often couched in petite bourgeoisie to reactionary developments etc etc).

    The problem remains….this dysfunctionalism is now global thanks to the half baked thinking behind the Cold War. You in America need to face up to this realisation rather then point the finger at those whom you forced, cajoled and otherwise bribed into adopting infinite growth.

  • Karl: Da!

    deterioration of the global infrastructure of civilization continues apace

    2014-11-20 – Underground electrical fire breaks out, spreads to utility pole, in Lavington (Australia), 1800 homes go dark

    2014-11-20 – Underground electrical fire erupts at 6 AM at power plant, fire spreads, gets huge, in Baramulla District, Kashmir (India)

    2014-11-20 – Electrical substation explodes and burns at 12:30 AM outside Louisa (Kentucky)

    2014-11-20 – Transformer bursts into flame on pole just before midnight in the coastal Barrio Logan area of San Diego (California)

    2014-11-20 – Sinkhole opens, starts spewing smoke, in Jharia (India)

    “Note: More underground fires and more electrical infrastructure exploding and burning. The atmospheric contamination problem will be plenty enough to eradicate electricity from the surface of the Earth. It will certainly take longer than an EMP to do it, but then an EMP would only affect one geographic area whereas the atmospheric contamination problem is affecting the entire planet. And an EMP or solar flare would happen and then it would be over, whereas the atmospheric contamination problem will likely last thousands of years and maybe much longer than that…”

    2014-11-20 – Oil and gas platform rocked by explosion in the Gulf of Mexico near Louisiana, 1 killed, 3 injured

    Quote: “The explosion occurred about two months after a contractor was killed and two others hurt during maintenance work in September on a Chevron natural gas pipeline, also off the Louisiana coast. The cause remains under investigation.”

    2014-11-20 – Gas compression station explodes and burns, two men ignite, near Guymon (Oklahoma), 2 injured

    2014-11-20 – Propane business hit by huge explosion and fire in Jackson (Wyoming)

    Quote: “According to The Jackson Hole News and Guide, the AmeriGas building exploded at around 12:45 p.m. and one of the businesses next to it, Bell Fitness, was on fire as well as several cars in the parking lot.”

    2014-11-20 – Two specialty ambulances and 20+ cars destroyed by fire while parked in parking garage in coastal Manhattan (New York)

    2014-11-20 – Bridge under construction heavily damaged by fire in coastal Papamoa (New Zealand)

    “Note: They’ve launched an arson investigation. They might want to eliminate accidental causes first. Any rusty iron/steel near there? Of course, it’s a construction site. This happened in daylight. I’m starting to lose track of how many bridges have burned in the last year or two, but it’s a decent number. The largest covered bridge in Asia, the Feng Yu Covered Bridge, was destroyed by a massive inferno not quite a year ago, mentioned in the 2013-11-30 update. A couple more covered bridges have burned in the last month, a bridge under construction was destroyed in California, two train trestle bridges have been destroyed by fire, and more…”

    2014-11-20 – Recycling plant hit by major fire in Columbus (Ohio)

    2014-11-20 – Tires burst into flame in parking lot in Vernon (Canada)

    Quote: “‘It’s a suspicious fire because tires don’t spontaneously combust,’ says Vernon deputy fire chief, Lawrie Skolrood.”

    “Note: Correction, tires didn’t USED to spontaneously combust. I bet there was some rusty iron/steel near one of them. In fact, tires have steel cord INSIDE of them, so an old tire might have some exposed rusting steel, and since the rubber is flammable you then have an ignition source right next to something flammable. That’s probably why so many tire fires have been breaking out over the last year or two, some of them simply humongous. Obviously this guy has no clue as to what’s going on, so he’s not too good at doing his job…”

    2014-11-20 – 40 homes destroyed by fire near landfill in Santiago (Chile)

    2014-11-20 – Vacant home burns before 4 AM, second fire here, in Harris County (Texas)

    2014-11-20 – Vacant home destroyed by fire at 1:30 AM, second fire here, in Richmond County (Georgia)

    2014-11-20 – Two adjacent vacant homes destroyed by massive blaze at 2 AM in Cleveland (Ohio)

    and, of course, life is on it’s way out in the expanding gas chamber we’ve begun

    2014-11-20 – Young male moose drops dead in yard at home in Sleepy Eye (Minnesota)

    Quote: “Cornicelli said there was ‘no obvious trauma’ to suggest how the moose died.”

    “Note: Just like all the people dropping dead with no signs of trauma, especially outdoors…”

    2014-11-20 – Man foams at the mouth and drops dead near car in coastal Lagos (Nigeria), warning, gruesome image

    2014-11-20 – Man, 30, found dead in burning porta-potty at baseball field next to Longview Lake in Kansas City (Missouri)

    “Note: Also see the porta-potty that burst into flame on this day at a construction site under a bridge in Jersey City (New Jersey)…”

    2014-11-20 – Woman, 20, drops dead in the area of Adams Street and Newman Avenue in Huntsville (Alabama)

    2014-11-20 – Man, 20, drops dead outside home in coastal Cape Coral (Florida)

    2014-11-20 – Man refuses to get out of the Sacramento River, next seen dead in the river, in Sacramento (California)

    and on and on – every day, more and more of the same http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/

  • Please keep doing your thing, guy, and everyone else on our side. You obviously annoy the absolute crap out of these right wing morons. If you didn’t they wouldn’t hate you so much. Surely thats reason enough for doing it. Great people always get a lot of criticism. goes with the territory. hopefully you will learn to enjoy the hate, if only as the sign you are getting to them.

  • Hi Karl Marx,

    Although I like what you say, we are awash in such a degree of exponential “growth” (exponentiality?) that I doubt whether those earlier, now squashed revolutionary events would have dealt with the “essential crisis.”

  • An eerie hiatus around here at the moment, with the masses increasingly engaged in pre-Christmas mania.

    artleads

    We were swimming in a sea of lies. We are now drowning in an ocean of lies.

    The ability of the liars to keep lying and getting away with lying diminishes by the day.

    There will be no soft landing (they didn’t want that) but an extremely hard landing, quite soon

    ‘•From my hotel window in the northeastern Chinese city of Yingkou, for example, I could see empty apartment buildings stretching for miles, with just a handful of cars driving by. It made me think of the aftermath of a neutron-bomb detonation—the structures left standing but no people in sight.’

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-22/hard-landing-imminent-china-reminds-residents-it-illegal-jump-tops-buildings

  • @ Artleads

    Whether they would have or not is debateable. The exercise was an engagement in educating the masses away from their instinctive attachment to self towards the objective contemplation of the collective, and included work, consumption and play. It is somewhat disingenuous for people from the very source of the current set of destructive social relation now sweeping the world to be pointing the finger at the region of the world their locale essentially bullied into adopting these destructive relations. What infuriates me even further is that you can see from the posts and the various links to the rock culture that these people were living the good life whilst this vicious war of conquest was raging, very visibly, across the world. Obviously they were too stoned to remember. Theres ample evidence of this if they cared to do their research. Chile and Allende, Nicaragua and the Sandanistas, Vietnam, Angola, Ethiopia, the Soviet project, Najibullahs
    socialist Afghanistan, to name a few. Why even today, the Russians continue to be bullied and hounded.

  • @Tom

    And I can see from your response, that you are a petite bourgeoisie reactionary. You will never learn so steeped are you in the objective dynamics of capitalism (brainwashed cynicism). Thus even whilst its burns around you, you will resolutely reject anything that offers the slim chance of a hope. And you are symbolic of the widespread and skewed thinking capitalism inculcates, as it spreads.

  • Tom,

    To continue with Kahneman, see here three selected paragraphs from his chapter titled “The Illusion of Validity” related to some of their research on stock brokerage firms:

    “Our message to the executives was that, at least when it came to building portfolios, the firm was rewarding LUCK [of their traders] as if it were SKILL. This should have been shocking news to them, but it was not. There was no sign that they disbelieved us. How could they? After all, we had analyzed their own results, and they were sophisticated enough to see the implications, which we politely refrained from spelling out. We all went on calmly with our dinner, and I have no doubt that both our findings and their implications were quickly swept under the rug and that life in the fir4m went on just as before. The illusion of skill is not only an individual aberration; it is deeply ingrained in the culture of the industry. Facts that challenge such basic assumptions—and thereby threaten people’s livelihood and self-esteem—are simply not absorbed. The mind does not digest them. This is particularly true of statistical studies of performance, which provide base-rate information that people generally ignore when it clashes with their personal impressions from experience.”

    “COGNITIVE illusions can be more stubborn than visual illusions. What you learned about the Müller-Lyer illusion did not change the way you see the lines, but it changed your behavior. You now know that you cannot trust your impression of the length of lines that have fins appended to them, and you also know that in the standard Müller-Lyer display you cannot trust what you see. When asked about the length of the lines, you will report your informed belief, not the illusion that you continue to see. In contrast, when my colleagues and I in the army learned that our leadership assessment tests had low validity, we accepted that fact intellectually, but it had no impact on either our feelings or our subsequent actions. The response we encountered in the financial firm was even more extreme. I am convinced that the message that Thaler and I delivered to both the executives and the portfolio managers was instantly put away in a dark corner of memory where it would cause no damage.”

    “Finally, the illusions of validity and skill are supported by a powerful professional culture. We know that people can maintain an unshakable faith in any proposition, however absurd, when they are sustained by a community of like-minded believers. Given the professional culture of the financial community, it is not surprising that large numbers of individuals in that world believe themselves to be among the chosen few who can do what they believe others cannot.”

    And again, his previous quote: “Our comforting conviction that the world makes sense rests on a secure foundation: our almost unlimited ability to ignore our ignorance.”

    What I find especially fascinating—and confirming so much of what Kahneman writes—involves the extent to which, much like the stock brokerage executives, so many of us, often with great intelligence and awareness, can and do learn about these things, intellectually, and STILL demand and BELIEVE STRONGLY variations on the theme that “Humans and the world cannot and should not work this way!” thus upsetting ourselves greatly based on this arrogantly humanist and quite nutty belief. We often deeply believe that people “should” hear the evidence related to global heating, ecological, and nuclear collapse, change their thinking, values, and life’s goals accordingly, and treat us messengers well in the process!

  • @Bud

    Marxists term that socioeconomic function; material dialecticism. You see this dynamic at play in societies with values as disparate as cannibalism to, of course, the skills versus luck blindspot in capitalism. You even see this in Tom’s response to my post where it is evident from its derisory nature that he is still deeply wedded to the subjective illusions that are a necessary function of accumlation (just as certain illusions are a necessary function of relations that corrall us around eating our neighbours.)

    It is debateable at this juncture whether we can reverse the habitat destruction of our planet by the current phase of widespread relational imbalance but itpays to understand how we got here, if only to make sense of what lies ahead>

  • Karl Marx,

    You wrote, “It is debatable at this juncture whether we can reverse the habitat destruction of our planet by the current phase of widespread relational imbalance but it pays to understand how we got here, if only to make sense of what lies ahead.” While many do wish to debate the issue, “…whether we can reverse the habitat destruction…” does not seem “debatable” at all, to me. Why not? (1) Earth’s biosphere exists as many reciprocally interactive, IRREVERSIBLE, COMPLEX processes. (Most humans seem incapable of comprehending the implications of this even at a light, cognitive, intellectual level, much less at deeper levels of understanding as well as emotionally.)(2) I gave up my human supremacist thinking a few years ago (at least most of it, I hope), so I no longer harbor the arrogant fantasy that “WE can” do any such thing.

    What humans have done since we evolved as a species, how, why, and what will most likely happen over the coming decades and centuries now makes perfectly good sense to me and I feel a deep sense of peace and acceptance regarding it. I found the long-term process of reaching that cognitive understanding, and processing it emotionally, well worth the time and effort required, I still greatly enjoy continuing those learning processes, and I feel extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to do it.

  • Karl Marx, the analysis of Marx seems to be on the mark, and while the answer may well be communitarianism and cooperativity, it is not in the form of a dictatorship. A top down command structure never works to organise complex systems. In all my simulations and in all my observations, I’ve never observed a top down organisational system continue for arbitrary periods: they always collapse or stagnate (i.e., i.e., maximal entropy is achieved, which is the same situation when you have total chaos also). In biological systems (other than human social relations) it’s a balance between energetic frustration (conformations around the accessible global minima) and what allows for selection. What I’ve observed works (complex equilibria for an arbitrary number of steps) is hierarchical autonomy (from quanta to atoms to molecules to macromolecules to pathways to cells to tissues to organs to organisms to organisms to populations—selection operates at every level). So while the individual unit does need to do its part within the greater system with evolutionary constraints, anything less than total autonomy of the unit always results in systems stagnation. The other approach, bottom up organisation, works sometimes but only rarely (when individual units are unrestricted in ability, anything can happen: cf. neoplastic indications). It just seems difficult to maintain these complex equilibria and this is achieved via massively parallel computations on long timescales by evolution, that naturally weeds out unsuccessful trajectories (as humanity’s current trajectory appears to be).

    I think the term “chaos” for the behaviour of nonlinear dynamical systems is very apt. Even if they follow classical Newtonian dynamics, they become rapidly unpredictable . Throw in quantum mechanics and quantum chaos and you see why evolutionary processes work the way they do.

  • Kevin/Karl Marx

    I’m reading the Bob Davis quotes about China. Very interesting. When did building construction become such a central part of the economic system?

    Bob Davis:

    “Most of the Chinese cities I visited are ringed by vast, empty apartment complexes whose outlines are visible at night only by the blinking lights on their top floors. I was particularly aware of this on trips to the so-called third- and fourth-tier cities—the 200 or so cities with populations ranging from 500,000 to several million, which Westerners rarely visit but which account for 70% of China’s residential property sales.

    From my hotel window in the northeastern Chinese city of Yingkou, for example, I could see empty apartment buildings stretching for miles, with just a handful of cars driving by. It made me think of the aftermath of a neutron-bomb detonation—the structures left standing but no people in sight.”

    Historic cities established when global population was small are not like cities today. Their construction depended on human labor instead of machines. I doubt that there was a developer class whose interests depended on interminable construction for profit. A small population could be located within a much smaller footprint than today. Most humans still lived on the land. Ideas of what constituted adequate shelter for the many were more modest than now.

    Kevin, I would think that the lies are partly governed by the nature of those governing structures Karl Marx talks about. (Since I speak of “governing structure” with the knowledge base of the average person, I welcome rudimentary information, KM, on how it works. For instance, how debt works is beyond Greek to me.)

    Kark Marx, I’m sure that you have been endlessly confronted by those who say it is the advent of cheap FF slaves, and not mainly ideology, that got us to this place. And that the “industrial, materialist” (more terms that lie outside my league) mindset of the left or the right gets us to extinction. (Not to say that the right might not be far worse than the left, in that it looks at everything in terms of commodification and profit).

  • “Facts that challenge such basic assumptions—and thereby threaten people’s livelihood and self-esteem—are simply not absorbed. The mind does not digest them.”

    Facts are verbal – handled by the primate brain – and rational – handled by the mammalian brain. Basic assumptions are frequently couched in terms of values and emotions: non-rational and non-verbal, associated with the reptilian brain.

    “We often deeply believe that people “should” hear the evidence related to global heating, ecological, and nuclear collapse, change their thinking, values, and life’s goals accordingly, and treat us messengers well in the process!”

    Hearing the evidence involves the rationally verbal mammalian-primate brain, the chauffeur. Values and life’s goals are managed by the reptilian brain boss, who is best addressed by appeals to emotion and values, whether couched in prose, poetry, music, dance, painting, sculpture, political or religious slogans or whatever. Politicians, priests, advertisers, lawyers and all successful people in general know this.

  • “…petite bourgeoisie…” ?!?!? You’ve got to be kidding me, it’s 2014 and you’re still using a vernacular to describe what has otherwise been known as the middle class probably before you were born. While it might make perfect sense to YOU to find relevance in the socioeconomic theory of someone who was born around the turn of the 19th century. I’m sorry to spoil your anachronistic fantasy, but a few things have changed since then. If your modality needs to be hopelessly stuck in an outmoded worldview so that you can still find that “sliver of hope”, why not go all in and dress up in pantaloons and change your moniker to Danton. By all means, don’t let an additional 6 billion people and the entire advent and demise of ecological consciousness stop you from conflating the past with the present. I’m sure you’ll find plenty here who will support your efforts.

  • That’s the thing with hopium, no matter what one cuts it with to achieve the desired effect, it always smells the same.

  • karl marx Says:
    November 22nd, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    “What infuriates me even further is that you can see from the posts and the various links to the rock culture that these people were living the good life whilst this vicious war of conquest was raging, very visibly, across the world. Obviously they were too stoned to remember. Theres ample evidence of this if they cared to do their research. Chile and Allende, Nicaragua and the Sandanistas, Vietnam, Angola, Ethiopia, the Soviet project, Najibullahs
    socialist Afghanistan, to name a few. Why even today, the Russians continue to be bullied and hounded.”

    What infuriates me is that people who call themselves “Marxist” (indeed, “Karl Marx”) pass off these social systems as something other than capitalism. The Soviet Union? State capitalist from the word go, in fact Lenin said so explicitly. Stalin claimed otherwise, and had anyone who disagreed exiled to labor camps or killed. All the basic social relations of capitalism continued in the Soviet Union, such as wage labor, commodity production for market exchange facilitated via money…. The Allende regime was social democratic, in fact promoted Pinochet to be head of the armed forces, and used the armed forces to repress a movement of workplace occupations. Several of the top Sandinistas were business people, the current Sandinista regime works well with capital. Any genuine Vietnamese revolutionaries were killed by the Stalinist “Communist Party” in the early years. Angola featured Cuban troops guarding the Chevron refinery in Cabinda, the nation’s top hard currency earner. The government there was praised by David Rockefeller in 1980, when he said that it doesn’t matter what political label a government calls itself, as long as there is a government to ensure that debts are paid back. Ethiopia’s military regime was fighting with US aid against the Soviet backed Somali regime in ’75-7, and then the two states switched bloc allegiances and the Soviet media suddenly made Ethiopia a “progressive state.” And yes, i was stoned well enough to remember all this while it was happening.:-)

    See http://www.marxists.org/subject/marxmyths/index.htm for debunking of all sorts of thins that “Marxists” pass off as they try to sell a completely fake Marx to the world.

  • I am going to reply to the many rather illogical responses in this one post.

    Firstly, faults notwithstanding, the failure of various attempts at the socialisation of resource usage (bar the Maoists who were opportunists from the outset) is nothing to be celebrated at this juncture in human history where we we are in the midst of a planetary meltdown with a complete absence of even the most rudimentary of socialist thought in circulation (bar that of the liberal bourgeoise factions. This it utter folly. The collapse of the former incomplete socialisations was an absolute tragedy for humankind and removed even the bare vestiges of an alternative to the infinite growth madness.

    Secondly, critiques of capitalism based on sound objective reasoning are never out of date. Silly ideas such as the resumption of older hierarchical modes such as tribalism are and speak eloquently of an the utter lack of political awareness or even worse, rank reactionary tendencies even while Rome burns.

    It goes without saying that all this endless navel gazing and points scoring by reactionary forces claiming to be the sole fount of wisdom on Marxist theory whilst our few meagre mechanisms for resistance crumble is the height of opportunism by the worst elements of the bourgeoisie wing; people who have as much to answer for as the capitalist.

  • artleads

    ‘When did building construction become such a central part of the economic system?’

    Leaving out the ‘such’ in your question, I would say that building construction became a central part of the economic system around 6,000 years ago, though on an individual/group basis we could push that back to around 20,000 years ago.

    In England building construction really got into ‘hyper-drive’ in the early nineteenth century, when the explosion in manufacturing annihilated cottage industries and forced people into factories and coal mines (the Enclosure Acts and population increase playing important roles). Millions of houses were built adjacent to factories and coal mines to house ‘the slaves’.

    Many Other nations quickly followed England’s industrialism lead.

    Many people would ague that it really all took off in the US after the Second World War, when returning servicemen were expecting some kind of payoff for ‘service’, and the rapidly expanding economy based on increased energy consumption) provided illusory wealth that facilitated a lot of demolition and rebuilding.

    China was rather late to the party; just in time to participate in the annihilation of any prospect for future that does not involve scratching a living from a depleted planet undergoing abrupt climate change and headed into unknown territory (outside of anything that has ever occurred in the history of the planet).

    “Until you change the w3ay money works, you change nothing” -Mike Ruppert (and others)

    Of course financial debt take no account of energy debt, CO2 debt, ocean acidification debt, ecological debt etc.

    After I have pointed out (sometimes with a lot gory detail about what is actually happening in the world) that the present economic system must collapse by 2020, and very likely by the end of 2016, people ask me what new system will replace it. I usually reply: “I have no idea. I just won’t be what we have now. And most people’s biggest concern will be obtaining food and water.”

    In the meantime governments around the world continue to push people in to ever more unsustainable living arrangements.

    Yesterday I looked in astonishment at a house being constructed a kilometre from here. Approximately twice the size of my home, it almost completely covered the building site. I expect the parts of the site not covered by the house will be concreted over, with perhaps a token ornamental garden installed.

    ‘Everyone’ still assumes supermarkets will be stocked with food (forever) and that they will be able to pay for it (forever) with digital money.

    (As previously discussed, the Auckland economy is now primarily based on constriction (with a little bit of demolition followed by construction0, and eating and drinking and gambling.

  • Guy I keep seeing your name pop up in a variety of sites on the internet. Your message is like a dandelion that’s gone to seed in a wind storm. No matter what you decide to do now, the truth is out and they can’t stop it. Who cares if they call you a cult leader. According to the myth that’s what the Empire called Jesus, so try not to get worried – Everything’s Alright

  • “Karl Marx”

    You’ve been told that you should not exceed two responses a day. The fact that you ignore this speaks volumes. Rules are apparently for suckers.

    As for “various attempts at the socialisation of resource usage,” that is totally NOT what the real Karl Marx was about. Socialism for him (and for the socialist movement he was a part of, way before it got taken over by power-hungry operatives) was not about who owns these resources, but about no longer treating stem as if they were sums of value (and it equivalent, money) to be used so as to accumulate more value. They were to be used directly, for human need, without the mediation of money.

    This is not “endless navel gazing and points scoring by reactionary forces claiming to be the sole fount of wisdom on Marxist theory.” What in fact happened in Russia after the revolution was the usurpation of the upsurge by a party which repressed the actual movement towards socialism and the elimination of capitalist social relations, and the creation of a repressive state mechanism which was to govern a state capitalist structure, same systems as before, just new bosses. This is real history, the fake “Marxists” against the real revolution.

    http://www.struggle.ws/anarchism/writers/anarcho/anticapPAM/antiorstate.html

    And the same story has been repeated in lots of places, including Cuba, where the “socialist” government under Raul Castro is bringing in foreign capital en masse, firing lots of state workers, tossing them upon the heap of unemployed workers.

    Kevin Moore:
    ““Until you change the w3ay money works, you change nothing” -Mike Ruppert (and others)”

    I’d say: unless you eliminate money, period, you change nothing. Go to http://www.dailbattle.pair.com and scroll down to the article about Occupy and the Money Fetish.

  • May I say, as one of those ‘small human lives’ that you have deeply touched, your meanderings make perfect sense.
    It is not selfishness for you to want to have happiness in your life, and to be not subject to abuse by morons.
    My personal self-interest compels me to hope you do continue. 🙂
    so I continue to learn…
    Whatever you decide, know that you are one of the good guys. and that you have made, and do make, a difference.

  • Kevin,

    Thanks for the historical run down. It helped put me back on course, I hope. Meanwhile, here is my attempt to state it in my own way:

    I’ve heard of the Enclosures Act, but looked it up for clearer understanding.

    Wendy McElroy

    “The Enclosure Acts were one factor. These were a series of Parliamentary Acts, the majority of which were passed between 1750 and 1860; through the Acts, open fields and “wastes” were closed to use by the peasantry. Open Fields were large agricultural areas to which a village population had certain rights of access and which they tended to divide into narrow strips for cultivation. The wastes were unproductive areas — for example, fens, marshes, rocky land, or moors — to which the peasantry had traditional and collective rights of access in order to pasture animals, harvest meadow grass, fish, collect firewood, or otherwise benefit. Rural laborers who lived on the margin depended on open fields and the wastes to fend off starvation.”

    And we’ve repeatedly discussed here the general slide since the dawn of agriculture toward the top down centralization and control. So, most of us here see the end of hunter gathering as the beginning of a slide toward unsustainability. The Industrial Revolution (including the Enclosure Act) feels like the biggest and most decisive step in this unstable trend. It is also explained here that the Enlightenment movement (epitomized by Descartes) provided something like the philosophical basis for secular materialism which effectively eliminated the sacred. I’m particularly interested in how or whether there was a sense of the sacred regarding land that shifted toward seeing land as “wastes.” When/how did it become normal to see land as commodity and “real estate.”

    Robin Datta says: “Values and life’s goals are managed by the reptilian brain boss, who is best addressed by appeals to emotion and values, whether couched in prose, poetry, music, dance, painting, sculpture, political or religious slogans or whatever.” Assuming this to be correct, when and how did the global reptilian brain switch its value system away from sacred land such as for land-as-commodity to become the global norm? Gradually, I suppose. And no one was looking.

    I wonder about this in relation to globalizing influences like the Industrial Revolution. And, of course, the colonial global European expansion. I make a distinction in degrees as to what trends had most global impacts. Is this reasonable, or is it not accounting for other determinative influences that were not directly geographic in scope? I struggle with this global aspect of change in that climate change, which is global in scope, forces me to think globally about the geopolitical changes that affect the whole planet and its climate.

    Climate change is global. It wasn’t caused by isolated bad societies. It was caused by trends that expanded climate and environmental breakdown planet wide. That involved values combined with technologic and social changes.

  • artleads,

    It seems to me that the paradox you point to in your November 23rd, 2014 at 11:56 am comment derives from unwarranted assumptions about pre-civilization humans. The paradox evaporates when one realizes that few, if any, humans have ever lived in any long-term, general way in ecological balance with their environment. Instead, humans have followed a cycle of population growth, ecological degradation, and expansion to new environments to exploit (including killing other humans and other species in the process). The additional energy (temporarily) provided by agriculture, and more recently by fossil fuels, naturally increased the frequency and scale of that population growth/ exploit/ expand cycle. Those of us here at NBL who integrate the more recent anthropology and archaeology within our thinking do not “see the end of hunter gathering as the beginning of a slide toward unsustainability”. Instead, we see the end of hunter gathering as a perfectly natural continuation of processes that have occurred repeatedly from the beginnings of our species, turbocharged by the energy provided first by agriculturally produced food, and more recently by fossil fuel energy.

    You wrote “Assuming this to be correct, when and how did the global reptilian brain switch its value system away from sacred land such as for land-as-commodity to become the global norm? Gradually, I suppose. And no one was looking.” Again, it seems to me that your question comes from at least two popular but unwarranted assumptions. First, you assume that during the approximate two million years prior to agriculture a significant percentage of humans HAD “sacred land values”. Second, and more importantly, having had those alleged sacred land values, you assume that humans would not, and did not, exploit their land bases because of them. Regarding this second assumption, does evidence you see every day around you support it? In my 70 years living in many places I have never known anyone who has sacred land values and yet does not live their lives based on exploiting the land, seas, and atmosphere, including: using electricity, driving, flying, using manufactured clothing, eating agriculturally produced foods, using steel and other metals, using rifles, snow machines, chain saws, using fossil fuels, etc., etc. This includes all of the best practitioners I know of permaculture and primitive skills (some world-class practitioners). If people today who have sacred land values do this—and many of them most certainly DO have sacred land values—why would we expect people in the past to have behaved differently and presumably NOT make use of energy technologies (including agriculture, whale and other animal oils, and fossil fuels) when they became available such that it made life easier for them (in the short term)?

    You wrote “Climate change is global. It wasn’t caused by isolated bad societies. [Why not? Based on the laws of conservation of mass and energy, don’t all of these effects ADD?] It was caused by trends that expanded climate and environmental breakdown planet wide. [Yes, involving the SUMMATION OF the effects of MANY “bad” societies over a very long period of time, it seems to me.] That involved values combined with technologic and social changes. [Yes. And here you left out probably the single, most important factor by far: human population growth, which drove the ever-expanding exploitation and energy use cycle that continues today.]

  • @Jeff

    You have a tendency to fly off the handle like a petulant child. However, my point stands. The are many reasons why attempts at socialisation have failed but to ignore the bullying tactics of capitalists in critiquing these failures does a massive disservice to humankind as we try to seek out solutions. The further point stands….much of the blame for why we are here lies at the door of yoyr region, the finer details of Marxists interpretation notwithstanding. You need to get your house in order….and evidently your emotions. Guys message should be alarming enough to prompt some swift reappraisal of history rather then the old tired line that no one understand Marxism and thus we should sit on our thumbs or better still, bring back an era of arbitrary chiefdoms. As for my posting, I apologise profusely to Guy.

  • @ Jeff

    I welcome positive contributions to my posts incidentally. Clarification on the Marxist notion of dialectics in explaining the unfolding of social relations, the place of lessons from past forms of primitive socialism as well as a critique of their faults and above all, why Guy is correct vis a vis the real risks posed by infinite growth (not modernity per se).

    I do not claim to be all knowing in Marxism. Nor do I like the sight of many railing on about over population without the context of Cold War machinations in the non Western world, especially the oil rich Arabian region.

  • “KM”: those were NOT “attempts at socialisation” at all, they were efforts at changing the form of capitalist social realigns without in the least changing the content. This remains true however much you plug up your ideological ears. Everything you say smacks of the phony 20th century leftism which passed itself off as “Marxism,” the kind of ideology whose early incarnation led the real Karl Marx to proclaim “i am not a Marxist.” Few people in 2014, especially in the US, where genuine socialist currents were mostly wiped out by the repression of the WWI and post war period, and supplanted by the phony leftists. But i am here, able and willing to call you on it.

    artleads: The Enclosures were critical to the very emergence of capitalism, and its survival and growth since.
    http://monthlyreview.org/1998/07/01/the-agrarian-origins-of-capitalism/
    They by no means stopped a couple of hundred years ago. They are still taking place, in more places than ever before, affecting more people than ever before, places such as India, China, Indonesia, New Guinea, Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa,…… The separation of people from the means of producing their subsistence needs is crucial for the existence of the huge population which has no way to survive aside from selling its labor power for a wage, and that unequal exchange is what lies at the core of capitalism.

  • @Jeff

    We will have to disagree for a few reasons:

    1 Your region is notorious for obfuscating and bullying in a bid to preserve the existing social relations and by and large has bred a bogus overly critical bourgeoisie liberalism. The non Western regions whom you criticise profusely for over breeding on the other hand sought with assistance from their Soviet comrades to develop alternatives to the toxic social relations your region has aggressively pushed. In the meantime, you fellows sit back and waffle on at large about the academic credentials of these rank and file. Get your house in order.

    2. Reverting to the semi hierarchical primitive social model is evidently now the flavour with you fellows and the world is once again expected to follow your version of history. YOU GOT IT WRONG THE FIRST TIME. Enough talk…action starting with yourselves. The way forward is to inform your region as to why the issue fundamentally relates to the infinite growth model; not the breeding propensities of the occupied brown, yellow and black peoples.

    It is evident that you are resisting this call vigorously but that only confirms your actions to date….all talk and no walk. The Soviets whom you so vigourously criticise got off their rear ends and paid a high price.

  • I’m bored…
    The Cold War Heats Up

    Less Ice +
    More Storms +
    Warmer Waters =
    ———————
    Methane Tipping Point

    Note: love what she’s done to her hair.

  • It may be just me, but it appears that Dr. McPherson has left the building…at least temporally.

    It has been twice as long (6 vs 3 days) since he usually starts a new thread.

    =====

    Meanwhile:
    Latest Supercomputers Enable High-Resolution Climate Models, Truer Simulation of Extreme Weather
    http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2014/11/12/latest-supercomputers-enable-high-resolution-climate-models-truer-simulation-of-extreme-weather/

    Funny, there is no discussion of positive feedback loops in the models. Then again we know exactly what would happen if they did insert such an algorithm…Ka Boom!

    =====

    U.N. Panel Issues Its Starkest Warning Yet on Global Warming
    http://ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/syr/SYR_AR5_LONGERREPORT.pdf

    And yup, again no feedback loops described or the possibility of discussed…

    Ho Hum.

  • Bud Nye (& Jeff)

    It may or may not be of interest to check out this article, for which I sincerely thank Jeff. It certainly suggests that countries as near together as England and France had almost opposite environmental affects. And how the countries were organized, not basic human nature, had everything to do with that.

    The Agrarian Origins of Capitalism
    by Ellen Meiksins Wood

    http://monthlyreview.org/1998/07/01/the-agrarian-origins-of-capitalism/

    Jeff,

    The article addresses major aspects of my questions, although it didn’t get into the area of the sacred. But it’s more to the point than anything I can recall. I’d like to stick with it for some time. Thanks a lot!

    “The ethic of ‘improvement,’ of productivity for profit, is also, of course, the ethic of irresponsible land use, mad cow disease, and environmental destruction. Capitalism was born at the very core of human life, in the interaction with nature on which life itself depends. The transformation of that interaction by agrarian capitalism revealed the inherently destructive impulses of a system in which the very fundamentals of existence are subjected to the requirements of profit. In other words, it revealed the essential secret of capitalism.”

  • ‘After I have pointed out (sometimes with a lot gory detail about what is actually happening in the world) that the present economic system must collapse by 2020, and very likely by the end of 2016, people ask me what new system will replace it. I usually reply: “I have no idea. I just won’t be what we have now. And most people’s biggest concern will be obtaining food and water.” ‘ -kevin moore

    kevin, u keep making these precise claims with dates (2020, 2016). maybe i missed it, but i don’t recall a time u’ve substantiated them with facts and sound conservative (i.e. humble, acknowledging our human propensity for error) reasoning. i don’t recall anyone who has substantiated them thusly. to me, it’s like citing what’s his name (it isn’t worth remembering) who wrote a non peer reviewed paper that negatively impressed me, claiming humans in the northern hemisphere will be toast by such and such month in the year 2031, likely.

    perhaps i’m biased in favor of uncertainty and human humility, but i think trying to predict things like financial collapse and extinction dates is akin to predicting earthquakes. we can know a big one is long overdue, but that certainly can’t support a claim that it must therefore be imminent.

    i think the whole thing’s dependent on it’s having to adjust to surreality, i.e. natural limits, mainly resource depletion. that’s not going to happen overnight. what is going to happen is that a system trying to operate in defiance of facts is going to have many failures/collapses on it’s journey to oblivion, most likely, imo, over a few decades perhaps. it’s going to be very rough going on the way. and very very unpredictable. prepare for the worst, hope for the best?!

    now i must prove once again that i belong to an endangered species, and click submit.

  • Homo sapiens stepped out of Africa barefoot 50,000 years ago and the population was driven to spread and expand all the way to Australia in less than 10,000 years. 17,000 years ago some of us crossed the Bering Land Bridge and in 800 years the Americas were populated all the way to Tierra del Fuego. In all the places where we need clothing and shelter, we are not biologically adapted to the place and are a technologcially assisted (clothig + shelter) invasive species. That includes the Americas, as we could not have crossed the Bering Land Bridge without warm clothing. The same applies to Australia, that required some kind of watercraft, however primitive, to negotiate the archipelago that today is Indonesia.

    Statists jousting over how and why states should function are pots and kettles calling each other black. Anarchists do not give their sanction to the coercive violence or threat thereof wielded by the state against nonviolent non-compliers.

  • artleads: “And how the countries were organized, not basic human nature, had everything to do with that.”

    And that’s in general how everything has to do with everything, how things are organised. I found one of my old posts on simulations I was doing with Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemmma (a chaotic game theory system once you have more than few thousand individuals) which I will post if there’s interest, but it is about find the balance between cooperation and competition, between self-interest and group-interest, without any top down enforcement for any particular behaviour. The values of justice, fairness, etc. are all irrelevant to achieving an outcome that is not stagnation, collapse, or explosion.

    Limits to Growth I think started the trend with World Models which have gotten more and more sophisticated, but they are still far from human society. They also outline the parametres where a particular quality of life can be achieved with a particular set of parametres. People have reviewed these predictions from 40 years ago and even though they were simple models they were instructive and I think fairly prophetic.

    But models aren’t reality. If you turn to observations of complex biological systems that have a good track record (tens to hundreds of millions of years), from bacteria to plants to even Dinosaurs (they weren’t wiped out by resource abuse but rather an external factor, which just goes to show that everything must end), the same thing happens. Look at complex organisms like humans where there’s a germ line whose DNA gets passed on and all the other cells are supporting roles. Why should a brain cell or a heart cell support the organism until it reproduces? They don’t do it because they all are from a single zygote and therefore have a common ancestor and think they’re part of a family (this is a value judgement which I hope you agree cells are incapable of making) but because there’s programming or signalling mechanisms in place to prevent them from doing so (organisation). Cells can break down in many ways, and indeed do so, but given how many cells there are and how often they divide this is rare. Why does homosexuality even exist in other organisms besides humans? Evolution works on multiple levels: There’s a complex dynamic equilibrium between self-interest and non-self-interest that needs to be maintained for any group of individuals to go on arbitrarily. This dynamic isn’t achieved by values or our sense of right and wrong, but is a matter of self-organisation.

    After humans, evolution will have another go starting again from microbes if necessary. And then another go. And then another. In another galaxy. In another iteration of the universe. And then one the balance will be achieved: a sentient race capable of sustainable living. If that means it will happen on another planet, another galaxy, and another iteration of the universe, then that’s what it will be.

  • piper to the end,

    nice to see u made it

  • karl marx Says:
    November 23rd, 2014 at 3:44 pm
    “@Jeff

    We will have to disagree for a few reasons:

    1 Your region is notorious for obfuscating and bullying in a bid to preserve the existing social relations and by and large has bred a bogus overly critical bourgeoisie liberalism. The non Western regions whom you criticise profusely for over breeding on the other hand sought with assistance from their Soviet comrades to develop alternatives to the toxic social relations your region has aggressively pushed. In the meantime, you fellows sit back and waffle on at large about the academic credentials of these rank and file. Get your house in order.

    2. Reverting to the semi hierarchical primitive social model is evidently now the flavour with you fellows and the world is once again expected to follow your version of history. YOU GOT IT WRONG THE FIRST TIME. Enough talk…action starting with yourselves. The way forward is to inform your region as to why the issue fundamentally relates to the infinite growth model; not the breeding propensities of the occupied brown, yellow and black peoples.

    It is evident that you are resisting this call vigorously but that only confirms your actions to date….all talk and no walk. The Soviets whom you so vigourously criticise got off their rear ends and paid a high price.”

    This post is the epitome of ignorance 20th-century-left-style masquerading as a “radical critique.” Last think i wanna do is preserve the status quo in any remote way. The Soviet Union never tried to develop an alternative to the toxic social relations, as noted for one thing in the extremely sorry state of the environment in the Soviet bloc by the late 1980s, as noted here.
    http://www.dailybattle.pair.com/2014/ecocide_eastside.shtml

    This has nothing to do with academic credentials, and everything to do with the ACTUAL PRACTICE of the Soviet state and its would-be imitators. No one mentioned any breeding practices of anyone, so take that attempted polemic of yours and kindly shove it where the sun don’t shine.

    And maybe, try to count how many times you are posting per day, today’s count was certainly not two.

    artleads: glad you liked the article!

  • Guy,
    Keep being what you are and doing what you love.
    Your teaching allowed me to own my feelings of foreboding, to walk through them to the other side, to a life of fulfillment. Before finding your site that put all the jumble in one place, I felt nuts. Now I realize it’s the world that’s nuts. Thank you so much.
    M.
    PS. Your wry humor makes me smile.

  • tvt

    to the casual observer it may seem that I have pulled 2020 and 2016 out of hat. And I have made no recent attempts to substantiate the time frames I have indicated.

    However, the years 2020 and 2016 are not pulled out of a hat, and are in fact based on several critical factors.

    1. Declining global liquid fuel supply. Hubbert indicated the world would be in deep trouble with respect rate of oil extraction around the year 2000. In practice, the peaking of global oil extraction was delayed by the reduced consumption that occurred in the developed world in the 1970s, and occurred 2005-2008. Unconventional oil -tar sands, deepwater, fracking etc. -have propped up the system for around 8 years but the analysis carried out by ASPO, Murphy, Tverberg etc. indicates the downside slope gets might steep between 2015 and 2018. Interestingly, the fracking ‘boom’ that was supposed to have made the US ‘energy independent’ appears to be collapsing right now. 70% annual depletion rates are difficult to work with.

    2. The banksters Ponzi scheme is unravelling, especially in Japan, but also in a number of very significant nations such as Italy and Spain. The Chinese bubble economy is starting to burst. The banksters only have two tricks: print more money or less money; raise interest rates or lower them; they have now effectively run out of bullets.

    3. California is in its third year od drought, with no relief ion sight. Other part of the world are experiencing unprecedented weather and climate-related calamities.

    4. Most official statistics -especially GDP, inflation, unemployment numbers- bear little if any relationship to reality. Indeed, GDP is a fraudulent measure of economic activity.

    So, with fraud and deceit everywhere, and with net energy declining and liquid fuels about to fall of the cliff, with social collapse and environmental collapse (and some would add trees dying) all accelerating, I cannot see how the system can be kept running for more than another few years.

  • Being 56 years of age, I’m convinced that trying to convince people my age of climate change, is utterly fruitless. However, I have had better luck with the younger generation.

    I usually start off with an apology, and how my baby boomer generation has almost exclusively, screwed this entire planet, in more ways than one.

    With extinction guaranteed, it’s importantly to me anyway, to leave behind a legacy of truth and compassion, as stated in Guy’s website here.

    Being an ex-drug addict of better than 30 years now, it’s easy to see, how our government and media act as one. It’s the “lies and denies,” the “attacking the messenger,” that sometimes make me wonder, why I quit using to begin with…

    …just kidding!!

    Much praise is given to an addict, who has convinced themselves that, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.” What gets them to that stage almost every time, is someone who is not afraid to “throw a wrench,” into their addictive pattern. For it’s this wrench, that brings on the personal guilt, aimed towards the addict themselves. It’s like war, if you don’t speak out against it initially, then you will be criticized later for not doing so.

    …and thank you Dixie Chicks!!

    I use the drug addict analogy, along with the 12 steps of recovery and spiritual healing, (not religious) because society is fucked up. I hear the discontent from Guy, in relation to the “global warming bomb throwers.” I understand how the morally weak, will put Guy and others, on their “pariah list.” This is to be expected.

    However, one should not be victimized, by people who carry the same negative attributes, as the drug addict themselves. Guy makes a good point about the trolls, who will not reveal who they are. Why should they? As with an addict, they don’t advertise that they are an addict!! They can only advertise their ignorance, negative attributes of drug addiction, and fear of the truth.

    …and this is simply a fact

    When does an addict quit?

    …sometimes or never at all

    However, that is not our responsibility. It is our responsibility to spread the truth about climate change, as well as drug addiction if necessary.

    I have no fear about drug addiction, because I was immersed in it for several years. Although painful while in it’s grasp, it was a learning experience, once on the other side. From there, you simply take that experience, and enlighten others with it.

    I’m not posting here, to draw attention to drug addiction. I’m posting, because the negative attributes coming from our filthy corporate media and government, falls right in line, with the negative attributes of the addict. It’s a great analogy to use, and I take it with me, everywhere I go too!!

    Good news and bad news imho…

    The good news, is that the “wrench thrower,” has created enough guilt for the addict, that they MAY quit. The guilt simply drives them to their knees, like it did with me, 30 years ago.

    The bad news, is that the “bomb throwers to climate change” have won. It is simply too late to save this planet, based on the valuable information here and elsewhere. They are the addicts who, after ample warnings from friends and family, have elected to drive their vehicle, right into a bus full of school children.

    Again, we can only leave behind a legacy of love, truth and compassion towards our fellow human beings. I think many may need us eventually, when our planet starts to make a change towards the (very noticeable) worse.

    …and just like with many support groups

    We had the courage to make a change where we could, the serenity to accept the things we couldn’t change and the wisdom to know the difference.

    …the wisdom I’m afraid, will be the acceptance of human extinction as we know it, based on what we did, and could not do

    And I’m o.k. with that!!

  • @ Jeff

    The more you reply, the more I appreciate just how worthless bourgeoisie liberals of the Western hue are. We have had decades of you fellows pontificating and waiting for that day when someone would apply objective socialism according to your interpretation and in that time the last resistance to capitalism has tanked and we are on the road to oblivion as a planet. Useless!!!

  • Kevin, I thought you may be interested in this:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/22/upshot/is-the-economic-outlook-great-or-lousy-making-sense-of-markets-mixed-messages.html

    artleads or Jeff S., I enjoyed that article about the rise of agricultural capitalism. I think analyses like that of key tipping points are fascinating. When we think of eukaryotic evolution, we think of a singular event, that of one cell being subsumed by another and one goes off to do the hard work (of management of energy produced, among other things), and the other goes off to do the hard work (of energy production management, among other things). We call it a symbiotic relationship and I believe it is, but whatever you consider it, it was a tipping point that led to what we call complex life. I believe other alternatives were explored but this is the only one that has stood the test of time. I bring this up because there was a reference to how agricultural capitalism affected the human metabolism of nature in the article. But unlike the acquisition of the mitochondrion which resulted in a long term trajectory that has lasted more than a billion years, the rise of capitalism appears to be short lived.

    There may be planets out there with prokaryotic-like life but without this type of singular event, no complex life. There may be planets out there where this has indeed already happened (perhaps with multiple trajectories) and complex life has arisen and already been wiped out. These are happenstances with astronomical odds, but so is our existence. My point simply is that these things happen as a matter of chance.

    Nothing humanity has done, and will do (almost certainly), has come close to what has happened over evolution over billions of years (“best of”). There are amazing things I’ve seen and still yet amazing things to be discovered. Even seeming failures have become successes and in fact, mistakes and the ability to make them are built into systems. The acquired information from observing the results of billions of years of evolution has not been incorporated into humanity’s current social trajectory (and it is not clear it would’ve made any difference in the outcome had it been, but it’s just my observation that this is not the case).

  • Theres nothing particularly exceptional in the Enclosures. It merely served as a mechanism by which labour was made available for the emerging factory economy and is still ongoing today in countries such as India and China. What of course is exceptional is the notion that there is a free luncg and everything can suddenly be made right by fuither taxing those who have not participated in this splurge of Western consumerism by blaming them for breeding excessively and threatening them with eugenics. What utter balderdash. Just another excuse for cadging a free lunch on top of the vast uiches and labour value being carted out of these regions. This world is headed for disaster because of the gluttony in one region of the world. The rest of humanity have largely been fairly low key in their looting of this planet although, now that Western capitalists have tapped out the West; they no doubt will be looking to sell their junk elsewhere.

  • https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22429960.200-violence-ahead-as-tragedies-of-the-commons-spread.html?cmpid=RSS|NSNS|2012-GLOBAL|environment#.VHM0J2e9a-w

    Violence ahead as tragedies of the commons spread

    [begins]

    The world risks heading the way of Easter Island – a spiral into conflict as depleted natural resources are plundered

    THERE is a growing feeling that resources vital to sustain human life, such as fresh water, land and fossil fuels, are being used too fast to ensure our long-term presence on the planet. It seems obvious that nations should cooperate on this problem, and yet successful cross-border solutions and agreements are hard to find. Why don’t we act for the common good more often?

    Look around the world and you can see instances of water-related inter-state tension and conflicts in many regions, including the Middle East (Jordan river basin, Tigris-Euphrates basin), Asia (Indus river), and Africa (the Nile).

    “Fish wars” have erupted sporadically, such as Europe’s cod wars, and while these have been more contained, they could resurge amid decreasing stocks. In the same way, the shared resource of global climate continues to be threatened by the relentless burning of fossil fuels.

    Our degradation of the environment is ominous and much evidence points to a clear link between the scarcity of vital resources and conflict. One wonders, then, why world leaders failed to reach a substantive agreement on climate change at the Copenhagen summit in 2009; or why fishing and hunting quotas for endangered species are so hard to implement; or why the use and pollution of river basins is not better regulated.

    Explanations such as poor forecasting of resources, the short-term mindset of politicians, or simply the refusal to recognise the problem are usually given.

    [concludes]

    Inevitable conflict and accelerated use of depleted resources may be more likely to become a reality within weak states and in the international arena, where weak institutions are more likely. For example, signing a carbon emissions treaty today does not commit a country beyond mild sanctions that the global community may or may not impose. In addition, a change in government in a powerful country is sufficient for a treaty to be revised, curbing the incentives of others to join.

    All this reinforces the need for stronger institutions and international bodies if we are to avert a tragedy of the commons in a violent world. Sadly, this will require overcoming the very problem we are trying to solve: a lack of international cooperation.

  • @artleads,

    It might help to think about the expansion of societies and their shift in values over time in terms of energy availability. From Australopithecus to Exxon, the increase in social structure and size has mirrored the growth of total energy availability, based on the technologies of the time. to a first approximation, all technology is devoted to the increased capture, transformation and consumption of energy, whether it is in the form of food, firewood or nuclear power.

    As to why the values changed over time, I’m still a fan of Marvin Harris’ explanation as given in his “Principle of Infrastructural Determinism”. A culture’s values tend to flow from and reflect the requirements of that culture’s infrastructure. And there is nothing that is so deeply ingrained in all aspects of any culture’s infrastructure as its energy supply.

    For me, the most productive answers to any question that starts with “why do they…?” involve energy in one way or another.

  • Just in time for “Thanksgiving”

    http://www.sott.net/article/289382-More-aggressive-wild-turkey-attacks-reported-in-Brookline-Massachusetts

    More aggressive wild turkey attacks reported in Brookline, Massachusetts

    The animals have reportedly attacked a group of students, a crossing guard, and residents across town in recent weeks.

    Thanksgiving? Not according to wild turkeys roaming Brookline.

    There have been more reports of turkeys attacking people in town in recent weeks – continuing what has become a semiannual tradition.

    In other news (from the same site)

    150 kg (>300lb!) wild boar attacks sanitation workers and rams into police car in China

    A 150kg wild boar attacked four sanitation workers in a row while they were crossing a traffic junction in Hefei city of Anhui province yesterday afternoon.

    Among the four workers, two were wounded and had been taken to hospital for treatment, 21CN reported.

    Soon after its arrival, the wild animal began ramming into the police car. It subsequently fled away to a factory and got stuck in a wire fence. After an hour of “hide and seek”, the police eventually shot the boar to death. [there’s more]

    Night attacks by pack of hyenas results in 2 dead and 13 injured, Sudan

    Hyenas attacked 4 villages in Rumbek Central County on Thursday night, killing two people and leading to a further 13 people being admitted to Rumbek Hospital in a serious condition, suffering from bite wounds. [read more]

    500 sea lions found dead on Peruvian coast line

    Corpses of the mammals were along the coastal strip of beach

    [quote from the end of the article]

    A few weeks ago, Lieutenant Governor of Samanco reported that the sea lions were poisoned by sea farmers in the area.

    Hyena attack kills two children in Tanzania

    In the wake of increasing attacks by wild animals especially hyenas in the Lake Zone, the Wildlife Department in Mwanza is calling on parents and guardians to be extra vigilant to the whereabouts of their children at all times. [more]

    Floods in Morocco kill 17 with dozens missing after heavy rain destroys houses, cars and roads

    At least 17 people have been killed and dozens more are missing after severe flooding in Morocco.

    Heavy rain on Saturday and Sunday destroyed houses, vehicles and roads, with dramatic pictures showing cars swept off highways and people stranded amid torrents of fast-flowing water.

    The army has sent helicopters to evacuate dozens of people, and the country’s King Mohamed has ordered authorities to take “all necessary emergency measures to help and support victims of the floods”. [read the rest]

    Damage worse than thought in Japanese earthquake

    This aerial photo shows collapsed houses after a strong earthquake hit Hakuba, Nagano prefecture, central Japan, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014. The magnitude-6.7 earthquake shook on Saturday night the mountainous area that hosted the 1998 Winter Olympics destroying more than half a dozen homes in the ski resort town.

    The damage from an overnight earthquake in a mountainous area of central Japan that hosted the 1998 winter Olympics proved more extensive than initially thought. [see full article]

    Volcanic activity is up as well, worldwide.

  • Paul Chefurka,

    Yep. Very well written. I don’t know how anyone could have summarized so much so well in any fewer words.

  • It goes from bad to worse around here (of course).

    Andrew Little, who was resoundingly rejected by that portion of the population that still thinks party politics is relevant and only just managed to scape back into parliament as a list MP because there are still sufficient deluded people living in Auckland and voted Labour for the party vote, is now leader of the [NZ] Labour Party.

    Presumably he will be working on strategies to win the next election and form a government based on ignoring all the fundamental issues of the times we are living in -declining net energy, Ponzi finance, Ponzi economics, environmental degradation leading to collapse- that I discussed with him at considerable length 3 years ago.

    What a sick joke NZ has become.

    And we’re still waiting for the untold wealth that would result from ‘NZ becoming the Saudi Arabia of the South Pacific’ (the story line a few years ago)to arrive.

    ‘EPMU Taranaki organiser Ross Henderson said drilling wasn’t going to improve the job situation; oil companies had to find something.

    The next 12 months were going to be tough and whether people would still have their jobs at the end of the year remained to be seen, he said.

    “The exploration programme is hit or miss.”

    “In Taranaki there is no reason to be optimistic. Locally we haven’t seen anything to give our members hope that things can improve. If you’re relying on oil and gas exploration – good luck.”

    Jonathan Young said there had been a couple of summers of exploration that had not been as successful as people hoped.

    If they had been successful we would have potentially seen work come through already. Finding something would be a real confidence boost.

    Next year would be challenging, but there should be work for two or three years after that, he said.

    There were some energy companies who had permits, but hadn’t been active and they would no doubt pick up a work programme, he said.

    “That will be helpful. It creates logistical support work.”

    Young said the price of oil was “quite low” compared to three or four years ago.

    That makes the oil companies’ bottom line value more marginal, because the barrel price is so low.

    “So they have to factor that into their modelling and that can slow down projects.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/63469280/Rivals-at-odds-over-oil-gas-potential

    I think it would be fair to say that the wheels are falling off.

  • karl marx Says:
    November 24th, 2014 at 4:06 am

    “Theres nothing particularly exceptional in the Enclosures. It merely served as a mechanism by which labour was made available for the emerging factory economy and is still ongoing today in countries such as India and China. ”

    Someone please till this wannabe state capitalist bureaucrat that the Enclosures stated centuries BEFORE the industrial revolution, which in fact was a result of the Enclosures and the changes they brought to agriculture in England, as the article by Ellen Meiksins Wood which i linked to (and artleads liked) demonstrated well. And it was also my point that they are indeed continuing, as they are vital to the capitalist mode. As for the earlier comment,
    “The more you reply, the more I appreciate just how worthless bourgeoisie liberals of the Western hue are. We have had decades of you fellows pontificating and waiting for that day when someone would apply objective socialism according to your interpretation and in that time the last resistance to capitalism has tanked and we are on the road to oblivion as a planet. Useless!!!”
    Again, the Soviet Union was not in any way an act of resistance to capitalism, but another form of capitalism, whose rulers did in fact reprises anti-capitalist movements. The same re the imitators of the USSR.

    kevin moore Says:
    November 23rd, 2014 at 10:47 pm
    “tvt

    to the casual observer it may seem that I have pulled 2020 and 2016 out of hat. And I have made no recent attempts to substantiate the time frames I have indicated.

    However, the years 2020 and 2016 are not pulled out of a hat, and are in fact based on several critical factors.

    1. Declining global liquid fuel supply. Hubbert indicated the world would be in deep trouble with respect rate of oil extraction around the year 2000. In practice, the peaking of global oil extraction was delayed by the reduced consumption that occurred in the developed world in the 1970s, and occurred 2005-2008. Unconventional oil -tar sands, deepwater, fracking etc. -have propped up the system for around 8 years but the analysis carried out by ASPO, Murphy, Tverberg etc. indicates the downside slope gets might steep between 2015 and 2018. Interestingly, the fracking ‘boom’ that was supposed to have made the US ‘energy independent’ appears to be collapsing right now. 70% annual depletion rates are difficult to work with.

    2. The banksters Ponzi scheme is unravelling, especially in Japan, but also in a number of very significant nations such as Italy and Spain. The Chinese bubble economy is starting to burst. The banksters only have two tricks: print more money or less money; raise interest rates or lower them; they have now effectively run out of bullets.

    3. California is in its third year od drought, with no relief ion sight. Other part of the world are experiencing unprecedented weather and climate-related calamities.

    4. Most official statistics -especially GDP, inflation, unemployment numbers- bear little if any relationship to reality. Indeed, GDP is a fraudulent measure of economic activity.

    So, with fraud and deceit everywhere, and with net energy declining and liquid fuels about to fall of the cliff, with social collapse and environmental collapse (and some would add trees dying) all accelerating, I cannot see how the system can be kept running for more than another few years.”

    I used to think this as well. And you may be right. But i have to say, the ability of the powers-that-be to continue Business As Usual (BAU) in the face of everything has surprised the doomer community. One needs to remember that the vast majority of the populace, especially in the industrial world, and most especially in the US, is absolutely determined to extend BAU no mater what, and many would kill anyone who suggests otherwise. They will go over the edge still screaming that their lifestyles are not negotiable. And the worst effects will be pushed onto other parts of the world and other species for as long as possible. I also don’t think that the powers have run out of bullets. There will be downright debt cancellations and helicopter money drops in the near future, as Deutsch Bank discussed a couple of days ago on Zero Hedge.

    I thought 40 years ago that collapse was around the corner, and yet here we are. So i’m wary of making any hard predictions, as much as Nature is making it very clear that time is indeed running out.

  • Jeff S.: “I thought 40 years ago that collapse was around the corner, and yet here we are. So i’m wary of making any hard predictions, as much as Nature is making it very clear that time is indeed running out.”

    It’s random oscillations around a downward slope, which is fairly typical of collapsing systems with nonlinear dynamics. Look at the Arctic ice melt for example. The question is whether the slope is following a linear, subexponential, exponential, or superexponential trend up to any given point and, more importantly, going forward. Hard to predict with chaotic systems but that doesn’t stop Sam Carana from trying and I think he does it somewhat right by showing what some of the possibilities could be. Limits to Growth also did a decent job again showing what happens under different parametre choices (conditions). Human evolution (thusfar) isn’t unique: it will go the same way as any failed evolutionary trajectory and result in NTHE.

    Evolution acts on thing only: relative reproductive fitness in the context of any given environment. The environment has to get bad enough for humans to be unable to adapt in order for collapse (NTHE) to occur. And even as it does, you will see oscillations before final collapse of the population. As this occurs, there are two possibilities that will be tried: change the environment (mostly discussed here, and assumed to fail) and change humanity biologically.

    As I mentioned before, there are possibilities I’m sure being thought of that I don’t see much discussed here: germ line genetic engineering. I don’t think it’ll work but I think it will be tried, since it already sort of is when it comes to in vitro fertilisation and screening of barely differentiated zygotes for genetic disease in order to decide whether to induce an abortion or not. I’m blown away by what is being done not only here in the US but especially in other countries. As people get more desperate, more drastic measures will be taken since parents are very possessive of their children. Remember Waterworld? Gills are nothing. I know people trying to genetically engineer various plant pathways into animals (still not entirely successful last I heard but getting through their problems).

  • @Jeff

    You really are an unpleasant character with a tendency to act the tediously over inflated liberal you clearly are. Reading is not your greatest strength nor is comprehension.

    As for this other absurd notion of state capitalism, that is another load of bunkum hoohah dreamt up by mischief makers such as yourself and look at where it got us. Do we have the time to let the forces of globalisation play out as Marx contemplated should ideally have. If so, why the heck are you on Guys site? H

    The facts remain. The Soviets for all their supposed inaccuracies, were a resource in the offsetting of capitalism. They were actively engaged all across the world whilst your region was actively propping up such unpleasant states as apartheid South Africa as well as clients elsewhere. And where were you founts of knowledge. No doubt partying it up at a Pink Floyd concert or some other such useless pastime.

    Suffice to say, I have encountered numerous characters such as yourself…same old half baked notions of history/

  • There is ample labour value to milk globally so this other little nugget that they just print fiat is a load of nonsense. Every dollar that is printed represents the premium value from underpaid labour in Asia and the former socialised states. This demon is on track to tilt us over the edge. Of course, we sat on our backsides arguing over who understood Marx best when we had a chance to do something so yeah, Ram me ol mate, its game up before this century is out. Globalisaion will ensure that the gluttony goes global with all due speed.