Seeking Input on Video Clips

Dean Spillane-Walker shot a series of video clips, embedded below. I’d like to use them on a new-and-improved version of Nature Bats Last as soon as I am able to coerce a talented individual into creating a new-and-improved version of Nature Bats Last.

I would very much appreciate feedback about these video clips. If you’d rather not comment in this public space, send me an email message: Thanks much, in advance.


CC 101:

Climate science update:

Topics, talks, and workshops:

Good grief workshops:

Hosting Guy McPherson:

Being the messenger:

Only love remains:


Relationships in the Age of Ecological Apocalypse: How Do We Love and How Do We Leave? is a new online, interactive video course hosted by Carolyn Baker. I’ll be her guest on Thursday, 13 November 2014 at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. Learn more and sign up here.


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.

California Tour: Contact Peter Melton for event ideas and details via email to

15 November 2014, California Sustainable Student Convergence, Davis, California

16 November 2014, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Ashland Haven, 1970 Ashland Street (at Faith), “Climate Crisis”

16 November 2014, 3:30 – 8:30 p.m., Ashland Haven, 1970 Ashland Street (at Faith), Grief/Empowerment Workshop

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

18 November 2014, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., “State of the Species, Planet, and Future,” CARD Center, 545 Vallombrosa Avenue, Chico, 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

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

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

21 November 2014, 7:00 p.m., Sun Gallery, 1015 E Street, Hayward, California. Share via Facebook here.


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


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


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


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

Comments 110

  • Finally, a good audio so what is being said can be heard! The video is fine with a little underexposure in some places due to back lighting. Not a big problem. The conversational style is probably appropriate for most of your audiences. My preference would be to mix it up a little bit with other formats as well such as a “TED” style presentation in a theater with a stage, spotlights a good sound system, a large screen and a receptive important audience.

  • re the ‘most radical website’ hmmm
    After listening to all the adamant breeders at your wellington talk maybe NBL isn’t radical enough ??? Clearly from that debate most people in the room would think is the more radical site?
    Why are you not pushing the fact that every child borne today faces a shit of a life?

  • Harold Hensel Says:
    November 10th, 2014 at 12:10 pm,

    ” … a receptive important audience … ”

    Hey Harry.

    Speak for yourself dood. ;-)


    New and improved … hmmmmmm …


    Good points Harry … onward …

  • Saying that great, vids thanks Guy am converting them to DVD now to give to the other person who might watch them )

  • This website gets to the root of many issues (the definition of radicalism). If my opinion about breeders isn’t clear after reading a little of my writing, there’s little I can do about it. Judging people with good intentions seems ridiculous to me.

  • Robert Thankyoufornotbreeding Atack Says: …
    Dood … no way I am not breeding …

    I am not going to replicate … but not breeding ???

    Not until the women morph into Leiolepis Ngovantrii when the nuke sites fail (The Virgin MOMCOM – 2) …

  • Oh and the fact I am not welcome on the NBL facebook page because my middle name is to ‘radical’ ????

  • Guy McPherson Says:
    November 10th, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    This website gets to the root of many issues …
    Dr. McPherson,

    This site is fantastic, mature, and visionary.

  • There is no Facebook NBL page, Robert. You’re referring to a group unaffiliated with me or this website.

  • I really enjoyed all of these videos. I found the quality to be excellent, and the spectrum of discussion pertinent to NBL and our on-going dialogue. I also enjoyed the Native American music. That isn’t R Carlos Nikai, is it? And I remember that annoying guy in the video recorded at the Kentucky Bioneers. That’s the only video I won’t watch anymore as his laughter is too distracting, discredits your dialogue, Guy, and is just an overall turnoff. “Being the Messenger” is the video I enjoyed the most. I can relate to the loneliness you felt/feel as people in my own life don’t want to listen to what I have to say about NTHE.

    Peter is a gracious host and like you, has a sense of humor. I especially chuckled at him referring to you as the “Grim Reaper with your comedy climate hour.”

    I do have one question guy. We know that 37 to 40 years is the lag for CO2. What is the approximate time lag for CH4? Keep up the great work!

  • Thanks for your complimentary comment, (No longer a) Pilot. As nearly as I can distinguish, heating associated with atmospheric methane is nearly immediate.

  • Excellent videos and I am intrigued about a potential “new-and-inproved” NBL. I like that the videos are targeted to a specific subject, many other talks are long and broad in subject matter so it’s nice to see the topics broken down and more accessible in this format. Also the video and sound are much better than most of the other talks.

    I most like the message that it’s not just about the science but that the reality of our predicament is gleamed through the science and this allows us to find the truly important work of grief, acceptance and a liberation to become better human beings.

  • Thanks for the videos. Personally- it seems peter loves the sound of his own voice but ‘wolf’ only got 6 words in on the ‘good grief’ video- plus I thought the seating arrangement didn’t help either. Perhaps I am being overly sensitive…

    I for one rather enjoyed your remarks..

  • Some great things on the videos.
    Best one for me is the phrase Guy used:

    “Human Being” as distinct from “Human Doing”

    Very reminiscent of
    “To Be or Not To Be…”

    I don’t go along with the idea of any Creator. That said, IMHO the overall structure of the short clips has some kind of evangelical feel, which has a flavour of selling something.

    Perhaps it is just the evolution beyond the initial passion concerning the unfolding horror Guy felt in the early days, (which I am not assuming is not still there for him), and how over time that translates into a ‘message’ of digestible info-bits on video here.

    The medium effects how the message is presented…thing.

    It is a journey to accept one’s own mortality, (if that is actually the case) at least when we look at the Carbon-Unit-Body-Mind lifespan (120 years? or so). Guy seems to have settled on the ‘postmodern moment’ of understanding that Love is what truly matters.(am I right? even close?)

    Strip away all the business-of-living, and Love is what is at the core of a life’s fulfillment.

    Well, I can recommend the new film, ‘Interstellar’ for looking beyond the Sci-Fi jargon to what matters to people.

    Love is squarely in the frame at the heart of this story. I’ll leave it to others to find their great bits, but Ann Hatherway speaking about the possibilities of Love being an aspect of Reality is some music to my ears.

    I detect this as being one of the few times in cinematic history a framing in that genre(Sci-Fi) has successfully made a case for the meeting of ‘Objective’ world and ‘Subjective’ Self, through a reinterpretation of what Love may be, as she says:

    “…Love is the One thing that transcends time and space…”

    ‘Interstellar – Trailer 3’

    Can I have some more of that please?


    All the best Guy,
    (have you had a full medical check up lately?
    Please do it if you haven’t for a while. Use the IC system for what it can do while it is there.)

  • Daniel. (From the previous thread.)

    You continue to display how almost totally uninformed you are about me, what I have been saying and doing over the past 15 years, and what my thoughts on the present predicament are.

    So let’s get this sorted once and for all.

    Back in 1999/2000 I recognised humanity was on a path to catastrophe and wrote in the chapter of ‘Burn Baby Burn’ -The terrifying truth about global warming and the global consumer society- titled ‘Apocalypse soon?’ the following (published in 2001):

    ‘Carbon dioxide is not the only substance to generate the greenhouse effect; methane acts in a similar manner, but because carbon dioxide molecules are much more common, their effect is much greater…..

    Carbon dioxide, more than any other substance, is responsible for global warming, and global warming, more than any other factor, will almost certainly destroy the world as we know it……

    Those who wish to keep humanity on its present path to suicide will look for other causes for global warming and will try to blame gases vented from volcanoes or methane from cattle’s digestive systems, rather than accept their own responsibility…..

    …..Certainly, continuation of population growth, deforestation and energy consumption would indicate the carbon dioxide level exceeding 500ppm by 2050, but to suggest continuation of current trends, as many analysts like to do, is pure nonsense……

    ….we could be hit by any one of a number of unexpected calamities. for instance, there are massive deposits of methane ice on many of the continental shelves, which we cannot asses the exact stability of; however, we do know that they are not particularly stable and disturbance of one such deposit resulted in a massive eruption of methane gas which caught fire when it reached the surface. Worldwide major catastrophic eruption could occur just a few years from now, sending a huge surge of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and raising the Earth’s temperature by 1oC a year! …..

    ….Venus has a crust like the Earth’s, but has no oceans since the tea long way above boiling point of water. ….What applies to Venus also applies to the Earth…….

    ….I make no apology for suggesting to any young woman that if her idea of the ideal lifestyle is to drive a car and shop until she drops, and 300 million other young women around the planet do the same, she might as well not bother raising the baby and might as well, metaphorically speaking, toss it on the fire now (referring to the book cover), because there won’t be a world worth living in 50 years from now

    And when world leaders ask us to open up our lives to more globalisation and more consumption, they are asking us to gamble on the future of our planet, a gamble we will almost certainly lose.

    The ultimate price to be paid will be our children’s or grandchildren’s future’

    I believe it would be fair to say that all that (including discussion of the catastrophic effect of ocean acidification I have not bothered to type out) predates anything Guy said on the matter of planetary meltdown, and predates anything you have written or said on the matter. And all of that was written when the CO2 content was about 370ppm, the methane content was about 1500ppb and the human population was about 6 billion.

    From my perspective, having attempted on more occasions than I can remember over the past 17 years to generate public debate on the crucial matters of the times, and having witnessed the utter determination of a tiny sector of society to prevent debate, I do not hold back in attributing blame for the increasing suffering we are now witnessing (just a tiny fraction of what is to come) fairly and squarely on the shoulders of those who have lied and manipulated in order to shut down public debate for their own short term purposes.

    So you can see that I fully acknowledge we are headed into a catastrophic future (have done for many years) and say the debate is not about near term human extinction but about minimising the suffering to come and making the period between now and the point at which the Earth become largely or completely uninhabitable as pleasant as possible, perhaps even delaying the catastrophic meltdown a little, as opposed to what appears to be your stance of ‘it’s all a done deal and there is nothing to discuss and nothing to do because NTHE trumps everything’.

  • Guy

    Will get onto your request later. :)

  • Guy,

    Excellent videos, in my opinion. I do notice that you use the popular phrase regarding climate “spinning out of control”. This clearly invokes the unrealistic frame that humans, presumably, have had “control” of Earth’s biosphere and climate in the past, and it implies that we have control now, if we will just act quickly enough. I wonder: do you really want to use that phrase in any of your presentations, given that it suggests and perpetuates the myth of human supremacism on Earth?

  • I am very impressed with the videos. Peter did a fine job creating a framework for Guy’s material. He presented himself professionally. People will like that because it makes the whole package easier to follow. Guy did great in all the videos. There was not only good quality to the production but there was a richness to the sincerity and smoothness to his presentation that will help hold peoples attention. I think these videos are a great step forward to getting the message out.

    I’d like to make a suggestion for further media work. It would be cool if Guy made available on NBL, a podcast reading of the Climate Change Summary and Update. I think a majority of people have a hard time reading non fiction, science related stuff. If there were a podcast people could listen to, as they read the summary it could be a big help. You probably would need to name all your sources in full as you read.

    Anyway, GREAT JOB and hang in there. We’re with you!

  • Humans have control by relinquishing control and playing by the rules imposed upon them by the system – the ecosystem. Eco- as in Old Greek for Household. This is the game. There is no other game.

    Population growth, as Naomi Klein and Elieen Crist of VA Tech point out, is not really a problem of places like Middle Africa, where emissions are some of the lowest on the planet, but in developed countries like Europe, US and Australia where historical emissions are pathologically extreme. A new baby born in New York, Sydney or London might be catastrophic for the fate of the planet, while ones born in Kinshasa, Nairobi, Duala or upcountry Laos and Cambodia will have nearly negligible impacts. This kind of broad over-generalization of *all* humans as problematic without contingency is always worrying.

  • i am totally unfazed by the renting of hair and gnashing of teeth and all round general wailing, sorry folks, i can’t feel ya, what i really, really like about this site are the freaks who comment and the climate update page, although that native tom tom fella’s pretty cool.

  • Guy,

    All of the videos are interesting. I particularly liked “Being the messenger”. I was that area of your life I was looking to explore when we spoke last year at the ‘age of limits’ conference.

    In a much smaller way I too have been confronted with negative feedback when trying to talk with friends and family about the climate and where we are headed. It runs the gamut from incredulous to patronizing denial to outright hostility. So I mostly keep it to myself these days. There have been two recent births in my family and to say that I have conflicting emotions would be an understatement. Nonetheless, I do the avuncular thing and congratulate them. I figure they’ll adjust when the time comes. No reason to spoil the life they have now. No fault, no condemnation only Love.

    I hope that a competent techie can build you a great site (though this one is fine)…

    From the row,
    Your friend,

  • ‘most radical’ is subject to opinion. while encouraging voluntarily not breeding and thus eventual extinction is certainly radical, when it’s done in the naive (imo) hope that this message might just catch on enough to make a difference to the ‘big picture’ and lessen the severity of the current ongoing mass extinction, is delusional in the extreme. my vote for ‘most radical’ involves foregoing all such hopium while embracing the apparent surreality that overwhelmingly humans r too fucking dogmatically ignorant/stupid/crazy to voluntarily stop acting like mindless yeast or cancer cells, and that the only ‘solution’ shall be provided by nature.

    i’ve watched just the first 4 videos of the 8 posted by guy above. all good thus far, guy at his best, imo. i suspect my opinion of the last 4 will be essentially the same. if it doesn’t turn out that way, i’ll let someone know.

    re. the ongoing discussion/argument between daniel and kevin who i both greatly admire, i’m on kevin’s side, although i more easily relate to and identify with daniel’s despair.

  • Guy, you always give good talks because you’re a good talker. The conversational tone on the subject of planetary disaster really helps put the message across.

    As far as “good grief” goes, I change my mind on how I feel about it depending on the my mood or time of day. It’s a bit like asking me what’s my favorite music. Sometimes it’s David Bowie, sometimes it’s Frank Zappa, sometimes it’s Mozart. Unless I’m going through a blues phase at the time.

    In other words, I fully understand the value of finding a coping mechanism to deal with extinction in our lifetime, but at the same token figure dying in total agony may be the final price we pay. I dunno. I suppose it depends if I survive the Crash or not. A good deal of discussion on NBL touches upon the level of WHAT IF but never seems to touch upon the What if I’m murdered by the State years before the system goes belly up — a situation oddly more likely than having to live through nuclear power plant meltdowns.

    There’s also the take away message of Live for the Day. As such, worrying about tomorrow and defending myself from starving dogs and radioactive insurance salesmen doesn’t really fit into the picture.

    And so, embrace life. Death comes how and when death comes. In the meantime, find that website engineer, work on more videos, listen to more blues. Use Bowie’s “Fantastic Voyage” as a theme:

  • ‘most radical’ is subject to opinion. while encouraging voluntarily not breeding and thus eventual extinction is certainly radical, when it’s done in the naive (imo) hope that this message might just catch on enough to make a difference to the ‘big picture’ and lessen the severity of the current ongoing mass extinction, is delusional in the extreme

    Terry my shiftkeyless friend, I am not pushing vhemt to try and prevent anything other than the personal suffering of the individual human that like me didn’t ask to be born into this shit hole.
    And my disgust and confusion is that people who know we are deep in it think there is good reasons to have children, fucking idiots.

  • The video adds to the audio by the setting and the personas. It does not have to coninue through the entire show. Beyond an initial and final appearance, the video could be augmented by relevant PowerPoint slides or other short video clips; and an audio-only *.mp3 file might enhance wider distribution.

    Dr. McPherson should cosider interviewing Steven Jenkinson for the Tuesday evening podcast or as a separaie standalone show.

    From comments at the preceing NBL post:

    “And this was immediately marked as “Spam” on KPFA filters, so I reported a bad flag with this note:”

    Dumg is edible to dung beetles. Putting comments in the bucket does not help. It can be converted through compostig and use as mulch/fertiliser, but again, comments dropped in the bucket are not a part of the process. If one is to drop something in the bucket, drop in another turd.

    “Not until the women morph into…”
    And then there is Muller’s ratchet, although not the Muller of the Mulleran duct. ;-)

    If the reason for the delay in atmospheric warming from atmospheric CO2 is the thermal buffering effect of the ocean, that effect should also be operative for other greenhouse gases; regardless, the goose is cooked.

    “‘Objective’ world and ‘Subjective’ Self”

    The diference between the two in the dream world ceases with waking up. There is a cessation of the difference between the two in the waking world, perceived by the Awakened.

    “…Love is the One thing that transcends time and space…”

    Love depends on a duality, the one who loves and the one who is loved.

    Dualities are constrained to time and space. The Void beyond, which is inclusive of time and space as the waking world is of the dream, has no duality even though the Vedic, Judaic and Buddhist traditions all point out that the Void is also the Plenitude.

    “i more easily relate to and identify with daniel’s despair.”

    Despair, as all composites, is in the realm of transience – the first feature of existence.

  • robert, my longmiddlenamed friend, i didn’t mean to imply that u personally r deluded enuff to dream that the world can be saved by promoting not breeding. i wrote what i wrote after checking out a little of the voluntary extinction website u provided a link to earlier today, from which i got the impression that whoever’s responsible for that website does harbor such forlorn hope(ium). i have no quarrel at all with your reason for promoting not breeding, as i trust u already knew.

  • Great videos!

    I have a question I’ve been embarrassed to ask but will ask anyway. I don’t have an extensive science background so I’m confused about the plant issue; I hope I’m not the only one. Guy, you’ve said that a rise of 4 C means human extinction because there will be no plants, right? What I don’t understand is how a rise of 4 C can kill all earth’s plants.

    We recently visited Cuenca, Ecuador. It sits at about 8,000 ft and the average daily temp is about 58 F. The temperature range is about 50 F to 70 F. There seemed to be good rainfall and lots of fruits and vegetables available. If the temperature were to rise 4 C (say 8 F to err on the high side) wouldn’t that move the average to 58 F to 78 F, or am I missing something? What I don’t understand is, how would all land plants be dead at those temperatures? Even with higher and lower fluctuations, wouldn’t these temperatures still fall within the range that plants are currently grown successfully in other places?

    Thank you for your patience with my questions!

  • So far have watched the short intro, OK and Climate Change 101. Liked it, but one thing: i don’t think it’s useful to say to it’s “not global warming, but global weirding,” because the overall effect is indeed warming. Weirding is the immediate effect, in that extreme and unusual phenomena become much more common, that’s how people will perceive it. But it’s not true that “we can’t tell what it will do” in the sense that “well, maybe it will get warmer, maybe it will get colder.” The amount of confusion out there is already high.:-)

    Kelly: one thing to keep in mind is that it’s not just a change of 4 deg C, but the RATE at which this is happening. Plants need a long time to migrate if their comfort zones change locations. At present rates of change, they are not afforded such time

  • Jeff,

    Thank you for responding to my question. I just looked up plant migration. I’m sorry, I still don’t understand and I really want to. Why is plant migration an issue when people can plant seeds manually? Why can’t people bring in seeds and plant the kinds of things that grow well in warmer temperatures and grow them at higher altitude or at latitudes closer to the poles where it won’t be as warm?

  • Guy.

    It is dangerous to talk about ocean acidification under the heading of climate change or global warming.

    Ocean acidification is a completely differ3ent phenomenon from atmospheric greenhouse warming, and indeed the greater acidification of the oceans the less the atmospheric greenhouse warming. It is worth noting that the rapid warming of oceans saturated with CO2 could easily result in oceans becoming net sources of carbon dioxide, whereby the ocean acidification predicament is slightly mitigated but the atmospheric warming predicament is very much exacerbated.

    Also, it is not accurate to describe the effect of methane as instantaneous whilst describing the effect of carbon dioxide as delayed by 40 years. The greenhouse effect of both gases is instantaneous but the molecule-for-molecule effect of methane is far greater, arguably 100 times to 300 times greater than carbon dioxide on time scales that matter (1 day to 3 years).

    It may be a difficult concept for non-scientists and non-mathematicians to cope with but we should be talking about the time integral of the greenhouse activity, i.e. the area under the graph over time. It is, of course, the latent heat of phase change ice-to-water and the huge thermal mass of the oceans that creates the illusion of there being a time delay between CO2/CH4 being released into the atmosphere and a noticeable temperature rise. All warming is both instantaneous and cumulative -though the dynamics are complicated by diurnal and season cooling effects associated with the turning of the Earth on its axis, the angle of tilt, the various wobbles and variations in ellipticality of the Earth’s orbit etc.

  • Guy: these videos are a great platform to introduce and explore both your part (being the messenger) and the subject itself (don’t be afraid to add more of the details of the science to back up your statements). Peter is a fantastic “lead person” or “commenter/introducer” because he presents as sincere, honest and personable as you. Great team-work too! Wolf was a cool addition!

    Today’s seemorerocks site is packed with great articles, of which this is one (there’s a whole page on Tim Garrett and Guy is mentioned and cited numerous times throughout) and Climate Change 101 from above is linked at the bottom of page two:

    Tuesday, 11 November 2014

    Near-term human extinction and Wet-bulb temperature

    Reading the vicious ad hominem attacks you would think that Guy McPherson is the only one guilty of realism with his “death cult” (Nicole Foss)

    Will Climate Change Cause Human Extinction?

    [check it all out, if interested]

  • You might try making a Media Page, and if it works out good then making that the index page for the blog instead of the recent posts listing.

    The problem with doing this is that it takes more Upkeep Time to keep such a page Fresh with new material.

    Depends how much time you have to devote to it.

    I balance it out by dropping Media Widgets on the Diner and changing them periodically. It is still pretty time consuming though.



  • Kevin: That’s the clearest explanation of delayed warming I have ever heard. It’s really just common sense without the politics.

  • Guy, you say in the “Climate Science Update” (at 2:38) “Unlike carbon dioxide, which has a 40 year lag between carbon dioxide molecules going up in the atmosphere and the attendant temperature rise of the planet, it’s a very very quick turnaround with methane. Methane CH4 is an incredibly rapid warmer of the climate”.

    How would you explain the absence of lag for CH4? The lag between emissions and surface temperature rise is mainly due to the thermal inertia of the deep ocean. This inertia applies regardless of the origin of the extra heat, CO2 or CH4. As you know, more than 90% of the extra heat is going into the ocean. This would not be possible if somehow methane warmed only the atmosphere and not the deep ocean: the average air temperature would increase much more rapidly than we observe today. Do you have a reasonable mechanism by which the deep ocean could preferably absorb heat due to CO2 and not that due to CH4?

    Some of the heat due to CH4 indeed stays at the surface and has an immediate effect on climate. But the same is true of CO2. What matters is the total radiative effect CO2+CH4 in watts per square meter.

    Everything else in the video is accurate. Its message would be even stronger if you could correct the statement about the absence of lag for methane. [Edit: I just noticed that Kevin made a similar observation after I started writing this comment.]

    About me: NBL opened my eyes 2 years ago and I’m reading all of it since then. I sincerely thank you for what you are doing.

  • Wester,

    You wrote: “Population growth, as Naomi Klein and Elieen Crist of VA Tech point out, is not really a problem of places like Middle Africa, where emissions are some of the lowest on the planet, but in developed countries like Europe, US and Australia where historical emissions are pathologically extreme. A new baby born in New York, Sydney or London might be catastrophic for the fate of the planet, while ones born in Kinshasa, Nairobi, Duala or upcountry Laos and Cambodia will have nearly negligible impacts. This kind of broad over-generalization of *all* humans as problematic without contingency is always worrying.”

    You may, or may not, have an interest in what recent studies in anthropology, archaeology, primatology, and ethnology have to say about ancient human warfare and historical human impacts on their local, ecological living communities. For those who prefer the story told by these disciplines 30 to 60 years ago regarding allegedly peaceful humans supposedly living in balance with nature, I would remind you that our total knowledge doubles about every four to five years, an exponential growth rate that has continued for several decades. Meanwhile, as Ian Tattersall writes in Masters of the Planet, the Search For Our Human Origins, “But it should never be forgotten that everything we believe today is conditioned in some important way by what we thought yesterday; and some current controversies are caused, or at least stoked, by a reluctance to abandon received ideas that may well have outlived their usefulness.”

    Depending on their chosen, or non-chosen, non-conscious beliefs, many of those who prefer the “affect heuristic” regarding their knowledge will have no interest in what the more recent archaeological evidence strongly suggests. With this affect heuristic, as described by psychologist Paul Slovic, and which one might alternatively call “emotional reasoning”, people let their likes and dislikes determine their beliefs about how the world presumably works. On the other hand, those who have an interest in adjusting their maps to the territory may have an interest in more recent archaeological evidence and interpretations of that evidence, instead of insisting, in a human supremacist way and with emotional reasoning, that the world supposedly must work as they wish or demand that it “must” work.

    The warfare and ecological destruction we find today fit into patterns of human behavior that have gone on for millions of years. With only a few, short-term exceptions, humans have destroyed their environments for a very long time and continue to do so today for the same reasons they did in the far-distant past. Much of today’s warfare reads just like the warfare of tens of thousands of years ago, with the same causes, the same tactics, and the same attitudes. In my opinion, we find ourselves much better off understanding the past than ignoring it, or believing a mythical version of history that bears little resemblance to what best evidence strongly suggests actually took place. If we misunderstand the past, then we also misunderstand the present, and misunderstanding the past and the present can prove dangerous (not that that really matters much now, given the near certain self-annihilation trap that we have constructed for ourselves and most other life on Earth). In my opinion, we find ourselves much better off understanding the reality concerning warfare and human ecology, and getting this right has much relevance to our understanding how humans became humans and how we function as humans.

    The stark, unfortunate, archaeological evidence strongly suggests that since the beginning of time, humans have remained unable to live in ecological balance. No matter where we have lived on Earth, we eventually outstrip the environment. This has inevitably led to competition as a means of survival, and warfare has inevitably resulted as a consequence of our over-population/ ecological impact propensities. In other words, the demands imposed on the environment as a result of our population growth over the long term damages the local environment, and this has inevitably resulted in competition between groups of people for the necessities of life, most fundamentally, shelter, water, fuel, food, and building materials. Sure, some periods of relative stability occurred in various places for up to a few hundred years—while populations grew to the carrying capacity of the region, after which competition occurred. With this ecologically imposed competition as a result of population growth, much more often than not people have, and will, kill other people and other species in order to live. Nothing I have learned or experienced during my 70 years suggests otherwise. Regarding Africa, human population growth in Africa has in the past produced species extinctions and severe ecological problems there and, obviously, still does.

    If, for whatever reason(s), you and others do not wish to accept this science-based story, you have every right not to. On the other hand, as with NTHE some of us prefer to know what the most up-to-date science suggests about where we have come from, how and why we got here, and, based on past human behavior, where we most likely find ourselves heading.

  • You must accept my science-based story! All your base belong to me!

  • Kelly, there is a difference between what humans can do and generalized ECOSYSTEMS. See Have you read Guy’s Climate Summary and Update?

  • Did anyone notice when you click on a Video or youtube Video here in the discussion forums ON NBL It freezes the browser for a long time until it starts playing the clip ? And than the clip is also breaking up most of the time . I have no problem playing viseo direct of youtube just when it goes thru NBL Is this a general phenomena or just my computer .?
    Input appreciated Thanx

  • Now quite old, but still pretty good; something along these lines (but with different conclusions) might be incorporated into the videos.
    Climate Change is Simple by David Roberts

  • If one has the latest version of the IOS 8 update and the YouTube app installed, and one clicks on the YouTube headline, the video now opens in the YouTube app. (Prior to the latest IOS 8 update one had to copy from the YouTube headline and paste in the URL box of a new Safari page for it to open in the YouTube app).

    Playing the video in Safari has a greater latency than using the YouTube app.

  • Hey pat! Welcome back.

    You haven’t missed much: things are still falling apart and frying

    2014-11-09 – Internet network facility destroyed by fire at 1:40 AM near Colorado Springs (Colorado), internet bogs down

    Quote: “Peak Internet customers in southern Colorado may find that their internet service is down or very slow. The company says a fire overnight destroyed one of its primary network facilities. That facility serves customers in Woodland Park and Colorado Springs.”

    2014-11-09 – Deadly fire burns home at 4 AM in Willis (Texas), 1 killed

    Quote: “This is the third fatal fire in the area in three weeks, according to the Montgomery County Fire Marshal’s Office.”

    2014-11-09 – In separate incidents, three vacant homes go up in flames between 1:45 AM and 3 AM, in Wellston (Missouri)

    Quote: “Officials say the first call came out around 1:45 a.m. in the 1200 block of Stephen Jones. Less than two blocks away another vacant building caught fire around 2:30 a.m. in the 6200 block of Page. Fire crews then police responded to another fire in the 6300 block of Julian around 3:00 a.m.”

    2014-11-09 – Sinkhole swallows car on road in coastal Cape Town (South Africa)

    species keep dying:

    2014-11-09 – More than 180 sea lions found dead at beaches in coastal Sechura (Peru)

    Quote: “Less than a week after the appearance of one hundred seals killed in booking Illescas in the province of Sechura ( Piura ), again dead marine species were found in this jurisdiction. This time, a total of 187 sea lions were found dead between the beaches Saint Peter and Saint Paul, and the Turtle Cove.”

    2014-11-09 – Thousands of fish, eels, crabs and shrimp suddenly die in river in Pangkajene (Indonesia)

    2014-11-09 – Tons of fish die along several miles of the River Aumance (France)

    2014-11-09 – Several hundred trout mysteriously die in river in Schelpe (Germany)

    people dyin’:

    2014-11-09 – Man, boy and girl, 26, 13 and 9, found dead in the water at George Dam near coastal Cape Town (South Africa)

    and actin’ crazy:

    2014-11-09 – Naked man behaves irrationally, harms himself, kills his mother, in Greenville (South Carolina)

    2014-11-09 – Bloody man armed with a knife gets aggressive, threatens to harm himself, shot dead, in Van Nuys area in coastal Los Angeles (California)

    2014-11-09 – People falling off buildings and dying regularly in coastal Sharjah (UAE)

    Quote: “At least a dozen people, including children, construction workers and maids, have fallen to their deaths since August while more than 20 people have died in 10 months this year compared with 10 deaths last year. Residents meanwhile have been left shocked and bewildered at the spate of incidents.”

    2014-11-09 – Florida leads nation in car drownings

    “Note: Not surprising, seeing as Florida is downwind of North America’s sewer, the Gulf of Mexico. People are being knocked unconscious while driving, especially near bodies of water and other low-lying areas, so they’re ending up dead in submerged vehicles.”

    2014-11-09 – China mass-producing HazMat suits, production goes up to 6,000 suits per day

    2014-11-09 – Ebola cases spike in Sierra Leone

    and that’s just the reported stuff.

    [list selected from

    How you been?

  • Kevin,

    You state:

    “….and say the debate is not about near term human extinction but about minimizing the suffering to come and making the period between now and the point at which the Earth become largely or completely uninhabitable as pleasant as possible, perhaps even delaying the catastrophic meltdown a little, as opposed to what appears to be your stance of ‘it’s all a done deal and there is nothing to discuss and nothing to do because NTHE trumps everything’.”

    Kevin, I would first like to thank you for your passion and determination. If humanity had been more attuned to your values over the course of our history, the world would probably be a much better place, and we might not be having this conversation. At the end of the day, I consider you to be one of the good guys.

    However, who you are, or what you have said and done in the past, has little bearing on what you are saying now, except within your particular lived experience. The reason for ‘why’ it is that you don’t want to discuss NTE, is immaterial to me. The reasons for not wanting to discuss such an emotionally daunting topic are so numerous, they actually constitute our culture. You may not be living in denial, but you’re surely compartmentalizing.

    All I care about, is that you don’t want to discuss it, and you seem to be repeating this on the only blog that is actually attempting to do just that. So yes, you and I have a problem. In fact, you’re even contorting the issue to such a degree that you’re accusing me of not wanting to discuss anything, because I’m only interested in discussing that which you are not.

    Our time on earth is very limited, and frankly, I don’t give a shit who anyone here is, who they were, or what they did prior to this moment. All of us are just virtual words on a screen at this point, and I’m only interested in your current words. If I think they matter, I don’t care how you came by them. But if your words don’t matter, in all honestly, neither do you. You’re communicating with strangers around the world you will never meet, you could be a precocious pimply teenage girl for all I know.

    However, where it concerns climate science, your words definitely matter as I and many here I’m sure would attest. But that’s no longer the issue is it?

    You are spending a rather large amount of time and energy attempting to derail a subject you obviously perceive as some kind of threat to your previous agenda of “minimizing the suffering to come”.

    You state: “…..the debate is not about near term human extinction but about minimizing the suffering to come…”

    What I find curious, is that you seem to be looking at one of the most critical aspects of NTE as an either/or scenario, when it’s not.

    Now as to why you’re doing this, IMO, is what lies at the heart of the matter–or at least our different perspectives–for the “minimizing the suffering to come” I consider to be an euphemism for past vested interests, if not a hopeful platitude.

    First off, I see no difference between accepting NTE, and “minimizing the suffering to come”. In fact, I see the entire subject of NTE as honestly taking the greatest step towards minimizing suffering we could possibly take. Coming to terms with our imminent fate, could easily be regarded as the most important step “we” ever take.

    That is unless one has dependents in their care and/ or loved ones who do. NTE is a truth seekers dilemma, it’s simply not family friendly.

    NTE just resonates at a different frequency for those who have the freedom to be emotionally attuned to it. But those who are in anyway responsible for others emotional wellbeing, will most likely experience only dissonance. Intellectually perceiving a thing, has no bearing on one’s emotional ability to receive it.

    Just one of the many conundrums associated with NTE is that on one hand, the physics are just blunt, immovable, brutal and more or less universal, but on the other hand, our emotional reactions are the essence of subtle distinction. The hairs you and I seem to be splitting, just so happen to completely divide us.

    Which is why those with loved ones in their care, IMO, ‘should’ take no part in any discussion of NTE. There are many mutually exclusive concepts in this life, and exploring the existential dilemma of NTE, obviously isn’t an arena those with a moral responsibility for their children’s survival “should” be in. In fact, it’s incredibly self-defeating. (Badlands is clearly an exception).

    The lessons we learn from each other here, may very well be some of our last. The conversations and debates attempting to frame such an unprecedented event, may prove to be some of the last concepts/images we take with us to the grave. We are all here for some reason.

    So, while our entire reality/existence has just been turned upside down, all you’re saying is “I don’t want to talk about it”? Or rather, “I’ve accepted it, but I just don’t want to discuss it, because I want to discuss something else”.

    So let’s take a look at the common meme of what “minimizing the suffering to come” actually means.

    First off, is it even possible?

    It sure sounds like a great idea, I mean who would argue against that? The problem is, like most everything physical, it comes down to timing, scale and logistics. If you are referring to minimizing the suffering of your immediate family, then that’s one thing, but that doesn’t seem to be your MO, I presume you’re speaking about “minimizing the suffering to come” on either a local/regional/global scale, and IMO, that’s where hopium is slipping back into your worldview, and why you seem to be rather hostile to openly discussing NTE. You perceive it to be undermining your imperative.

    What does “suffering” mean in context to NTE, other than state/local predation or eventually starving to death?

    Come NTE, the only way you or anyone is going to be able to minimize the suffering, is if you’re going to be able to feed them over a long period of time. However, if this was even possible at the required scale, given the staggering degree of cooperation required for such a campaign, then NTE most likely wouldn’t even be a threat. In other words, NTE eventually equates to there being no way of minimizing the suffering to come, that’s the meaning of ‘no one gets out of here alive’. It’s a logical fallacy, just another story we are telling ourselves, not unlike the false theory of collapse preparedness many of us just wasted the last 15 years vainly pursuing.

    If you don’t want to accept NTE, or you just don’t want to discuss it, that’s obviously your prerogative. But framing the debate as being between NTE and minimizing suffering, is either an intentional or unintentional misdirection on many fronts, that has far less to do with objective reality, are far more to do with your subjective relative perspective.

    I have no interest in attempting to persuade anyone of NTE, someone either get’s it or they don’t. They either accept it, or they don’t. And the emotional trauma associated with why someone doesn’t, is a subjective morass I have no interest in delving into.

    You have openly stated you don’t want to discuss NTE. It’s that simple. That statement is both the beginning and the end of my interest in what you have to offer.

    The past is only prologue up until the present meets an unprecedence event. And it is the unprecedence of the recent evidence of NTE I am interested in discussing, not past paradigmatic behavior of who knew what when, which seems to be a preoccupation you are very much inclined towards.

    Yes, your 15 years of climate activism is impression compared to most, but I see no reason as to why I should somehow be informed as to who you were/are, nor did I see you among my comrades in the streets protesting against global warming over 25 years ago.

    Don’t make misguided assumptions about others you do not know, the world is full of people, especially here, who have seen this day approaching for a very long time, and are now interested is discussing what it means to attempt to live with what has come to pass, and not continuing to distract ourselves with hopium.

    Learning how to live without hope, is a way of minimizing suffering.

  • @Daniel
    I was just reading your comment and while reading I was thinking ‘yes-but our personal NTE has been on the cards at any moment since we were born-there has never been a guarantee of any length or quality of life whatsoever.. and then out of the corner of my eye the insight occurred again- the faintest touching on the feeling of ‘me’ prior to everything- prior to all sensation, thought, body. The only way to describe is that it felt as if everything was within ‘me’ and total fearlessness-and I laughed -at all the fingers pointing to the moon). It is becoming ever more clear that this simple act extinguishes all existential fear and suffering and leaves such a tremendous gratitude for each moment (whatever its content). This would minimise the suffering in the years to come..

  • sorry for the extra post:

    it’s a little more information on that long-wave radiation issue that became another feedback

    In a newly published study, MIT researchers show that a canonical view of global warming tells only half the story and reveal the missing piece of the climate puzzle.

    In classrooms and everyday conversation, explanations of global warming hinge on the greenhouse gas effect. In short, climate depends on the balance between two different kinds of radiation: The Earth absorbs incoming visible light from the sun, called “shortwave radiation,” and emits infrared light, or “longwave radiation,” into space.

    Upsetting that energy balance are rising levels of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), that increasingly absorb some of the outgoing longwave radiation and trap it in the atmosphere. Energy accumulates in the climate system, and warming occurs. But in a paper out this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, MIT researchers show that this canonical view of global warming is only half the story.

    In computer modeling of Earth’s climate under elevating CO2 concentrations, the greenhouse gas effect does indeed lead to global warming. Yet something puzzling happens: While one would expect the longwave radiation that escapes into space to decline with increasing CO2, the amount actually begins to rise. At the same time, the atmosphere absorbs more and more incoming solar radiation; it’s this enhanced shortwave absorption that ultimately sustains global warming.

    “The finding was a curiosity, conflicting with the basic understanding of global warming,” says lead author Aaron Donohoe, a former MIT postdoc who is now a research associate at the University of Washington’s Applied Physics Laboratory. “It made us think that there must be something really weird going in the models in the years after CO2 was added. We wanted to resolve the paradox that climate models show warming via enhanced shortwave radiation, not decreased longwave radiation.”

    Donohoe, along with MIT postdoc Kyle Armour and others at Washington, spent many a late night throwing out guesses as to why climate models generate this illogical finding before realizing that it makes perfect sense — but for reasons no one had clarified and laid down in the literature.

    They found the answer by drawing on both computer simulations and a simple energy-balance model. As longwave radiation gets trapped by CO2, the Earth starts to warm, impacting various parts of the climate system. Sea ice and snow cover melt, turning brilliant white reflectors of sunlight into darker spots. The atmosphere grows moister because warmer air can hold more water vapor, which absorbs more shortwave radiation. Both of these feedbacks lessen the amount of shortwave radiation that bounces back into space, and the planet warms rapidly at the surface.

    Meanwhile, like any physical body experiencing warming, Earth sheds longwave radiation more effectively, canceling out the longwave-trapping effects of CO2. However, a darker Earth now absorbs more sunlight, tipping the scales to net warming from shortwave radiation.

    “So there are two types of radiation important to climate, and one of them gets affected by CO2, but it’s the other one that’s directly driving global warming — that’s the surprising thing,” says Armour, who is a postdoc in MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences.

    [read the rest]

  • Quoting david higham from 10.31.3014

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

    Please , please, please…I know the lyrics are “don’t go”, but please, take david higham’s suggestion to heart, and do. You’ll have at least one guaranteed reader…for a while.
    Just one of your paragraphs that I puzzled over the meaning of was this:

    Which is why those with loved ones in their care, IMO, ‘should’ take no part in any discussion of NTE. There are many mutually exclusive concepts in this life, and exploring the existential dilemma of NTE, obviously isn’t an arena those with a moral responsibility for their children’s survival “should” be in. In fact, it’s incredibly self-defeating. (Badlands is clearly an exception).

    I think I know what the word “which” refers to, i.e. the conclusion reached in your last sentence from the preceding paragraph, “The hairs you and I seem to be splitting, just so happen to completely divide us.” (If “which” there referred to anything else, please specify.) But, what does the fact that (some) people arguing over subtle differences tend to be unable to find common ground have to do with being a parent/caretaker/caregiver ? What do you think parents today should do, if not take part in discussions of NTE and explore the existential dilemma thereof ? Are you in favor of parents being consigned to some sort of studious ignorance ? Do they get absolved of the responsibility of doing their best to see the future coming and imparting warnings and information to their wards ?

    Do you have any experiential basis for saying that doing so is incredibly self-defeating ? (I’ve read plenty of posts here about people not being able to get their grown relatives to even imagine the possibility of NTE, much less discuss it in a serious way, but if you’ve seen posts where people have tried to introduce the subject to their children, feel free to identify them by poster’s name and approximate date. I’ve only been here a little less than two years, but I’m having trouble recollecting any such posts.)

    A-a-and if Badlands is an exception to your proposed rule, why not identify what it is that she’s doing right and well, write about it for others to read here, and propose that other parents on this blog study her techniques and try to emulate/replicate her success ? Do you think what she does is so complicated and arcane that none of the other, surely exceptional parents here could come close ?

    All for now…

  • love your posts, daniel.

    ‘What do you think parents today should do, if not take part in discussions of NTE and explore the existential dilemma thereof ? Are you in favor of parents being consigned to some sort of studious ignorance ?’

    yes, sort of. it’s one thing to discuss suicide or things which have potential to greatly depress mood without kids involved, another, when they r involved in some way directly. imo. shielding caregivers or not, either way, it completely sucks trying to confront this monster.

  • Daniel.

    Once again you have got it wrong. I continually discuss NTE, as you will realise if you watch the Vinney Eastwood interview, in which I pointed out that humanity is headed for NTE some time between 2030 and 2080, or if you were aware of the material I provide to NPDC and discuss there.

    For instance:

    ‘Carbon dioxide: A poisonous gas generated in living cells when foods are broken down at the molecular level to release chemical energy. (Anyone who thinks carbon dioxide is not a poisonous gas should bear in mind that submariners trapped underwater do not die from oxygen, deficit but from carbon dioxide poisoning. Humans cannot hold their breath for more than a few minutes because the build-up of carbon dioxide triggers the molecular breathing ‘alarm’ mechanism.) Prior to the Industrial Revolution the atmospheric carbon dioxide level hardly changed, and for thousands of millennia was in the range 280ppm to 320ppm. This is because, on an annual basis, carbon dioxide was utilised by photosynthesis at the same rate it was released by respiration; this was a perfectly balanced cycle. Since around the year 1800 industrial activity based on the burning of fossil fuels has increasingly thrown the carbon cycle out of balance, with catastrophic consequences. The carbon dioxide level is now close to 400ppm, already 80ppm above the acknowledged safe level, and is rising at well over 2ppm per annum. The excess carbon dioxide above the normal level has already resulted in an increase the Earth’s average temperature of approximately 0.8oC, and that apparently small increase is already causing climate chaos. The present average temperature of the Earth is greater than humans have experienced since the dawn of humanity, and is rising rapidly. It should also be noted that there is a considerable time lag between elevated carbon dioxide levels and their visible effects because it takes a long time to heat deep oceans and melt ice sheets. The current level of carbon dioxide [of 400ppm] corresponds to sea level 23 metres above the current level. The only reason sea levels have not yet risen substantially is thermal lag. Continued burning of fossil fuels at anything like current rates will render the Earth largely (or totally) uninhabitable for humans and most other mammals between 2030 and 2080 because, in addition to the temperature effect of the carbon dioxide, positive feedbacks connected with the release of hundreds of billions of tonnes of sequestered carbon have already been triggered, and these overwhelm the capacity of the Earth’s natural systems to process carbon dioxide. (April 2013)

    ‘Methane clathrates: Huge quantities of methane (estimated to be times the total of all fossil fuels sequestered underground in the form of oil and coal) exist as ‘ice crystals’ on the sea floor. Methane clathrates are known to be meta-stable, and are already erupting in increasing volumes as the Arctic region warms. Further destabilisation of methane clathrates is expected to result in monstrous methane ‘burps’ which will send the average temperature of the Earth souring in a matter of a few years. It is essential that methane clathrates are kept cool. Industrial activity that generates global warming is creating the exact opposite of the conditions required to preserve life as we know it on Earth.’ (April 2013)

    ‘NTE. Near Term Extinction: This refers to the extinction of the human race some time between 2030 and 2080 as a consequence of industrial activity and the rapid rise in temperature that accompanies out-of-control carbon dioxide emissions.

    Every day that Industrial Civilisation continues to pour carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and into the oceans brings forward the timeframe for NTE.’ (April 2013)


    T.J. Garret’s peer-reviewed paper of 2009, ‘Are there basic physical constraints on future anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide?’ ‘Climatic Change 104’, which was ‘buried’ until March 2014: ‘Only collapse of industrial civilisation can prevent runaway greenhouse rendering the Earth largely uninhabitable for humans by mid-century’.

    NASA-sponsored report of March 2014: ‘Industrial civilisation is unsustainable and must inevitably collapse’.

    IPCC AR5 released March 2014: ‘The Earth is on track to become uninhabitable for humans by mid-century unless a combination of drastic reductions in fossil fuel emissions and untested geo-engineering are implemented immediately’.

    Professor Helen Berry, University of Canberra: ‘Climate change could make humans extinct’, March 2014. (April 2014)

    ‘Continued adherence to failing policies will not only be utterly catastrophic for the district in the short term because of failure to plan for energy shortages but will lead to extinction of all vertebrate species in the medium term.

    Voting in favour of any form of business-as-usual is tantamount to voting in favour of poisoning the geochemical systems that make life possible and rapid overheating, coupled with extermination of practically all vertebrate life on Earth by mid-century (bacteria and invertebrates will inherit the Earth). Even the Pope is starting to understand. (May 2014).

    I am very happy to discuss NTHE if there is actually anything new discuss, especially with those who deny it is a possibility/probability, and is a direct consequence of gross overpopulation, gross overconsumption and the insane policies foisted on us by our so-called leaders.

    What I find tiresome is the suggestion that NTHE is the only thing that should be discussed on NBL. If that were the case we might as well just comment on the blog once every year or two and check how far down the time line to extinction we have moved.

  • T.R. McKenzie at Pitzer College
    Why The Mainstream Environmental Movement Must Die

    I guess that posties to KPFA are just as ridiculous and utterly meaningless as posties on this website. So let me add my meaningless dreck to the dreck of absurdity herein.

    “You are spending a rather large amount of time and energy attempting to derail a subject” – har – Projection?

    Like I said before, my nihilism is not in the flavor of the all encompassing trillion solar mass black hole speeding at your head that so many are inclined to shove everyone and the whole mess into. Sorry. Depressive Nihilism can be contagious, and I’m not buying. Nobody has a monopoly on the definitions, and nobody can dictate what is and what are not correct and acceptable interpretations and responses. Like I said before, my Nihil is Russian: Bakuninist, Nachayevian and Sergian. And if I am an absurdist I’ll go with Camus Between Hell and Reason. Look them up if you have interest, which I know most of snarkaleck do not.


    Posted links to the Climate Chaos page and Robin Westenra’s data collation on TR’s FB, only to get this response:

    “Guy McPherson is a f*cking wingnut. end of story.”

    Reply: If McPherson is a wingnut, then IPCC, Hadley, NASA, University of Ottowa, Paul Beckwith, Tim Garret, University of Alaska, University of Stockholm, Jim Hansen, Peter Ward, David Battisiti and Mark Linus among a hell of a lot of others are wingnuts too. But never mind. Maybe ad hominems will actually save us all.

    Cheers and good day.

  • Climate Science Update: GOOD one, really important to hammer home the point that the change we’re now seeing is not linear but exponential. One thing: there is a “wrinkle” at about the 4:30 mark, which seems momentarily confusing. I know it’s just the editing. but thought it worthwhile to point out.

  • Wester

    Thanks for the video. It crystalizes the issues like nothing else I’ve seen. OGF’s recent clip showed what this way of understanding looks like on the ground.

  • “I see the entire subject of NTE as honestly taking the greatest step towards minimizing suffering we could possibly take.”


    “Coming to terms with our imminent fate, could easily be regarded as the most important step “we” ever take.”

    “But those who are in anyway responsible for others emotional wellbeing, will most likely experience only dissonance.”

    No one is responsible for the well-being, either of oneself or of others. All one is responsible for is to perform Right Action (including Right Speech, both of which depend on Right Views, etc.), all in concordance with rational anticipations. By doing so, one affects how one does or does not create new karmas for oneself.

    If one is born into a good or bad family, that’s the karma of the person who is born. If a good or bad person is born into one’s family, that is the karma of the person into whose family that person is born.

    The experiences of others, both pleasant and unpleasant, are determined by their karmas: one’s efforts to promote others pleasant and mitigate others unpleasant experiences affects one’s own store of karmas. If one happens to be the agency for others’ pleasure or suffering, the agency contributes to one’s own karmas, while the pleasure and suffering is a consequence of the other person’s karmas.

    “The lessons we learn from each other here, may very well be some of our last.”

    The most important lessons are already incorporated, but in almost all cases just not at tne level of awareness. The fish is and needs to be wet, whether it knows it or not.

    “We are all here for some reason.”

    Very simple reason: to play our many roles in the Cosmic Play, or if one prefers, in the Divine Dream. The Divine Dream differs from our dreams in that the Divine Dreamer identifies separately with every character in the Divine Dream. So while in ordinary dreams there is only one dreamer, in the Divine Dream every character is a dreamer.

    “So, while our entire reality/existence has just been turned upside down”

    One of the three features of Reality in the Vedic tradition is that it cannot be negated in the three realms of time (past, present and future). Anything that has been turned upside down is at most appearance, not Reality. And Existence is an aspect of Reality.

    “Learning how to live without hope, is a way of minimizing suffering.”

    The invincibility of hopelessness.

    ” The only way to describe is …”

    ‘From it speech returns having failed to reach it, and the intellect also’.

    “It is becoming ever more clear that this simple act extinguishes all existential fear and suffering and leaves such a tremendous gratitude for each moment (whatever its content).”

    It cannot be acquired through good deeds, charity, study, prayer, chanting, meditation, fasting and other austerities, pilgrimages, etc. All of these are like setting one’s sails. The wind will blow of its own accord. And rarely one will be taken along even without sails by gale-force winds. Salutations to the lhght that shines through the window called “you”.

  • @Robin
    It’s too simple really ..
    It may be philosophically and spiritually absurd – but to me it does feel like an ‘act’ -an inner movement of the beam of attention back towards its source -(though it feels more like it is ‘being done’ rather than my attempts–except perhaps in the beginning and even then it may be that an earnest intent is all that is required). So as incorrect and absurd as it may sound I say something can be ‘done’ :) -and that something is to try (and try hard even :)- sounds even more absurd) to get a taste of the feeling of ‘me’ here. I guarantee to anyone that tries that-it will take you there -and some of the beautiful vedic descriptions you have kindly shared become self evident.

  • Kevin and Diarmiud

    NTE means the extinction of ALL life on Earth. Personal existential fears,so anthropocentric, have nothing to do with that. This is the point to get! Trying to get beyond one’s ego and immerse one’s Self in life while there’s still time. There are ways and means.

    If I may speak for Daniel and Guy here, this is what they are talking about. You either “get” this or you don’t.

    The way you, Diarmuid, talk about NTE and existential fear in the same sentence makes me think that you don’t “get” it. You’re talking about NTHE.The difference is not just semantic but very important.

    The way I understand Guy is that he started NBL because of his having come to realize NTE. NTHE is but a part of this. Here, as far as I’m concerned, is a place where the terrifying “Whole” of NTE may be talked about, with all its scientific and emotional effects and implications.

    And Kevin, it really doesn’t matter what you personally do or have done at this stage. I have been aware of our predicament at least as long as you and been active (not quite on the scale as you have, I admit),and I still “do” what I can, simply, because I’m here. But I have no elusions that I can minimize anything at this stage of no return, except to tread as lightly as possible and make life for my fellow beings (plants, animals, humans) as good as possible. Dividing the human population into good and evil is pointless, just filling time which could be filled with “better” things like learning about life while there’s still time. Unless your explaining yourself all the time fulfils a vital emotional need, maybe it does… Then it’s OK but can become tedious for others.

    There are still some good things left to love and wonder at. All you need is some real awareness, and for that you need to be still and look and feel.

  • Turning awareness on itself: for so many tne first problem is recognising that awareness is distinct from tne objects in its purview. Once the fish becomes aware of water, recognising water is entirely effortless.

    All phenomena associated with the universe of time and space are non-sentient, including NTE. Sunlight would continue to stream through the place where the earth might have been if the earth were to suddenly disappear, without having an earth to illuminate. That light would have no form, but could take on the form of any object it illuminated. Likewise the disruption of the configurations (brain+mind) that reflect sentience will not affect the source of sentience, which would have no form but could take on the persona of any configuration it reflected: extinction only is for the meat-robots, which are transient anyway.


    Why climate scientists get death threats – The way climate scientists are now treated is without parallel in the history of science

    LONDON (Climate News Network) − If you don’t like the message on climate change, it seems that the answer is to shoot the messenger.

    According to a new book by veteran environmentalist George Marshall, thousands of abusive emails − including demands that he commit suicide or be “shot, quartered and fed to the pigs, along with your family” – were received by climate scientist Michael Mann, director of Pennsylvania State University’s Earth System Science Centre, who drew and published the “hockey stick graph” that charts a steep rise in global average temperatures.

    Glenn Beck, a commentator on Fox TV, called on climate scientists to commit suicide. A climate denial blogger called Marc Morano claimed that one group of climate scientists deserved “to be publicly flogged”. And the late Stephen Schneider found his name and that of other Jewish climate scientists on a “death list” maintained by an American neo-Nazi website.

    As Marshall points out in his absorbing, all-embracing, immensely readable book, Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains are Wired to Ignore Climate Change, something very strange is going on.

    Louis Pasteur’s revolutionary microbiology work on disease prevention never resulted in him having to think about how to use a gun. Jonas Salk never needed to fortify his house as result of working on the development of a polio vaccine.

    Other scientists are trusted and respected. But the way climate scientists are now treated, Marshall argues, is without parallel in the history of science: “They have been set up to play that role in a climate storyline that, it would seem, cannot refute climate change without demonising the people who warn us about it.”

    Forget, if you can, the people who seem to be whipping up these furious responses. Climate change can only be met or mitigated by action − and there are plenty of reasons why a very large number of people nod in agreement about what must be done and then fail to insist that it is done.

    Dan Gilbert, a psychologist who won the Royal Society’s science book prize in 2007 with an examination of the puzzles of happiness, says that climate change is something unlikely to strike fear in the human heart anyway. It is impersonal, it is gradual, it is amoral, and it isn’t – or doesn’t seem to be – happening now.

    Other researchers have pointed out the alarming tendency, shared by all humans, to believe what they want to believe. Furthermore, climate change is not (death threats and public flogging fantasies aside) an immediate or an emotional issue. “A distant, abstract, and disputed threat just doesn’t have the necessary characteristics for seriously mobilising public opinion,” says the Nobel laureate, Daniel Kahneman. [more] [“not an immediate or an emotional issue” – even this writer doesn’t “get it.”]

    Government muzzling of Canada scientists widespread, survey suggests – ‘We live in a climate of fear’

    The union representing scientists and other professionals in the federal public service is abandoning its tradition of neutrality in elections to actively campaign against Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

    The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) says delegates to its annual general meeting have agreed the union should be more politically active heading into next year’s federal election.

    In particular, delegates have agreed that the union should energetically expose the damage they believe the Harper government has done to federal public services.

    Members of the union have complained bitterly about what they claim is the muzzling of federal scientists and political interference with their work.

    The union, which represents some 55,000 professionals in the public service, has traditionally chosen to stay at arm’s length from elections.

    But union president Debi Daviau says the government’s war on labour unions and its cuts to public service jobs have forced a change in strategy.

    “Extraordinary times call for extraordinary actions,” Daviau said in a written statement Friday.

    “This government has forced non-partisan organizations such as ours to make a very difficult choice: to remain silent or to speak out. We have chosen to speak out.” [more]

  • meanwhile, more and more people are dropping dead all over the place (but you rarely hear it on the news)

    2014-11-10 – Three children die in one pond, two more die in another pond, in Bangladesh

    2014-11-10 – Young couple, 20 and 19, found dead in well in Jaamkota (India)

    2014-11-10 – College student found dead in dorm in Wilkes-Barre (Pennsylvania)

    2014-11-10 – Man, 63, found dead in watery ditch near Twin Lakes Park in coastal Juneau (Alaska)

    2014-11-10 – Man, 50, drops dead at home in Springfield (Illinois)

    2014-11-10 – Man, 47, goes hunting, next seen dead hanging from tree stand, in Greensville County (Virginia)

    2014-11-10 – Man, 65, goes hunting and drops dead, in Oxford Township (New Jersey)

    2014-11-10 – Man goes out for a jog, has ‘medical emergency’ and drops dead, in coastal Redwood City (California)

    2014-11-10 – Woman, 38, found dead at Surf City near Stevenson (Washington), near the Columbia River

    2014-11-10 – Man, 46, found dead near Burnt Bridge Creek Trail in Vancouver (Washington), woman found dead in the Columbia River too

    2014-11-10 – Man, 30, found dead in a wooded area next to a farm field on River Bend Road in South Wayne (Wisconsin)

    2014-11-10 – Man, 45, found dead in canal in Jaisalmer (India)

    014-11-10 – Naked man, 44, found dead next to dead cow in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

    not to mention weird stuff happening

    2014-11-10 – Home explodes and burns, girl ignites, in Georgetown (Ohio), 1 injured

    Quote: “Crews said a teen girl suffered serious burns. Neighbors said the victim was on fire when she ran from the house for help. The force of the blast shook their homes, neighbors said.”

    Quote: “She told us that she arrived home, went into the house and smelled a strange odor and lit a candle to combat the odor and the house exploded…”

    2014-11-10 – Home explodes at 4:30 AM in Peoria (Illinois), near Upper Peoria Lake, 1 injured

    2014-11-10 – Garage explodes and burns at 2:37 AM at home, fire spreads to home, in Fullerton (California)

    2014-11-10 – Lobster boat bursts into flame near coastal Cushing Island (Maine)

    2014-11-10 – Boat bursts into flame in coastal Barnegat Bay (New Jersey)

    2014-11-10 – Running parked unoccupied pickup takes off, hits gas pump, bursts into flame, in Sioux Falls (South Dakota)

    Note: The day prior, an unoccupied fire truck rolled away, hit a pole and parked car, and the pole fell on the car, in Phoenix (Arizona), mentioned in the 2014-11-09 update

    2014-11-10 – Children sickening at elementary school in coastal Port Charlotte (Florida)

    2014-11-10 – Man, 52, has chest pains on tanker ship off the coast near San Francisco (California), medevac’d off

    2014-11-10 – Dead zones spreading and worsening around the planet

    Note: ‘Dead zone’ is actually not an accurate name. Life exists in these areas, just not oxygen-using life. The ancient anaerobic bacteria and archaea that produce hydrogen sulfide LIKE warm waters that are devoid of oxygen. As the oceans warm and lose oxygen and the dead zones spread, those ancient microbes move in and take over.

    [just another daily update from JJFH blog]

  • Sabine Says:
    November 12th, 2014 at 4:44 am

    Kevin and Diarmiud

    NTE means the extinction of ALL life on Earth.
    That (“ALL”) has never happened, even with the five major previous mass extinctions, and won’t happen in the current ongoing 6th mass extinction either (The Real Dangers With Microbes & Viruses). That “ALL” won’t happen until the Sun removes the inner planets in the final mass extinction (Life According To Science).

  • Kevin Moore (or anybody else), I’d love to see a graph illustrating the heating associated with methane (and carbon dioxide, for that matter). Do you know about a figure that integrates heating over time?

  • More good news on the climate mitigation front . Highest level leaders working hard to solve it

  • Guy uses an average global 0.8°C temperature since the 1750s, but I cannot confirm it.

    The best estimate I find is a Berkeley study from 2012 showing global land temperatures increased by 1.5°C over the past 250 years and over half of that (0.9°C) in the past 50 years.

    Can someone provide a better reference?

  • @Dredd,

    Yes, you’re right of course. I meant to say life as we (humans) know it since conditions were right for us to evolve. Yes, I know that the final mass extinction will be caused by the sun.

    Women are often not as precise as men would like them to be, I do apologise. So, typically, I said it for emotional impact because us causing this extinction (of most life as we know it) is so horrific that, at least for me, the details of what might survive and evolve again, eventually, into more complex organisms – or create the conditions for more complex organisms once more – is of no interest. I hope I’ve got it all into this sentence. Otherwise, please correct me again.

    Anyway, thanks for pointing it out.

  • Dear Sabine .. Some ideas for you to contemplate on or consider of

  • US president Obama and China’s president Ji have agreed to reduce greenhouse emissions by 25% by 2025, reductions relative to …. 2005, i.e. not even relative to 1990 levels, usually used as benchmarks. Even the head of the IPCC called this WAY short of what’s necessary to prevent the worst outcome. By that, he means a 2 deg C rise. And we now know how such a rise itself in fact means a mega disaster, as discussed in the following.
    Capping warming at 2 C not enough to avert disaster, climate experts warn, Renee Lewis, 11/8/14
    This is but another meaningless gesture. Which won’t prevent “progressive” media from celebrating. And even this useless token step is unlikely to really be adopted.

  • Guy.

    The closest I have seen to a graph that depicts the real (instantaneous) warming potential of methane is the graph the UNIPCC used to come up with the ’23 times CO2 over 100 years’ notion (which they later revamped to 34 times CO2). That graph commences at a very high value and ‘decays’ in a manner similar to a radioactive decay curve but does not commence at y axis.

    I came up with the figure of 300 times CO2 by extrapolating backwards to time zero.

    Then I came across the graph the UNIPCC used to come up with ’72 times CO2 over 20 years’, which the subsequently revamped to ’86 times CO2 over 20 years’. Again, extrapolating backwards to time zero gives a figure around 300 times CO2. However, as you will appreciate, extrapolating an ‘exponential function’ backwards leads to a wide margin of error as compared to extrapolating a linear function.

    I rang Paul Beckwith in Ottawa (and emailed him with details of the quandary and the apparent answer)) over six months ago to discuss the matter, thinking that he was the person most likely to know the answer, or if he did not know the answer, hoped that he was the best person to find the answer, since he is supposedly studying the forcing potential of methane, amongst other things. At the time he said he had seen a figure of 250 times CO2 but could not remember exactly where.

    Since then I have heard nothing: no reply to my email. However, I do get Twitter stuff replayed to me from Paul relating to the state of refugees in Palestine and potential storms hitting Florida etc.

    Far be it for me to criticise (I’m just a nobody and do not even exist in many people’s minds), but it does seem m to me that Paul is not doing much of what he what he is supposed to be doing -research into the forcing effect of methane -but is spending a lot of time on peripheral stuff like videos of storms on his mobile phone. As is his right, of course. It just seems to me there are more important things to do be done.

    Robert Atack contacted me a while ago with the suggestion of another person I could contact to try to find the answer to the methane question. I said to Robert that I could no longer be bothered going through all the time and expense of international phone calls etc. to try to push someone overseas to do something they are not interested in doing or think is unimportant. It is a phenomenon I have repeatedly experienced: the moment I stop pushing everything grinds to a halt. Sadly, there is a pathetic apathy aspect that seems to characterise much of humanity -the ‘I’d rather do nothing than do something’ mentality. (By the way, I did alert many people in Taranaki -including the Hive environment centre, the Green Party candidate and other supposedly interested people- to the fact that you were coming to NZ on a speaking tour in the hope that someone might do something. Nobody did anything: Too hard. So well done Kevin and Robin etc.)

    My last discussion with Robert on the matter of methane and Paul Beckwith recently saying methane had an effect of 150 times CO2 ended like this:

    ‘Yep, he keeps changing his kind. When I asked him on the phone he said 250x.

    I hoped he might do some proper research.

    Damn, that stupid hope thing. I won’t be using that ever again.’

    It will probably be the Russians who will come up with the answer, if anyone does. Science is more-or-less dead in the Anglo-American academic world.

    I am now battling with Daniel, who appears to be saying that all action is futile in the face of NTE. I get the distinct felling a lot of comments are more to do with points scoring than rational debate.

    ‘So let’s take a look at the common meme of what “minimizing the suffering to come” actually means.

    First off, is it even possible?’

    Of course it is possible to minimise the suffering to come. As Robert Atack has repeatedly pointed out, overpopulation and particularly ‘breeding like rabbits’ increases to level of suffering immensely, both in the present and in the future: more people = more suffering, not just for the humans but for a multitude of species caught up in the industrial food production system, which amounts to prolonged animal abuse in most cases. Also, more people = worse living conditions (more suffering) during the conjectured time period between now and the postulated extinction of the human species.

    Everything other than natural phenomena) that happens around here happens because someone (or a group of people) choose to make it happen. I do not go along with the ‘no agency’ approach to living. I recently made a xylophone for my grandson because I chose to do it and got off my arse and did it.

    I note that Sabine has got on board the plain silly bus with: ‘NTE means the extinction of ALL life on Earth.’

    Really? Extinction of ants? Extinction of bacteria in the soil in Siberia? Extinction of anaerobic bacteria and bacteria that live in the sulphurous vents which discharge in the deep ocean? Extinction of fish and other forms of life that have evolved to live in slightly cooled waters that discharge from regions of volcanic activity?

    As I have said many times, humanity (well of course it is essentially the highly industrialised sector of humanity rather than humanity in general) is disrupting the geochemistry that makes life as we know it possible. But we do not KNOW how this is going to end. Who was it that said it is dangerous to make predictions, especially about the future?

    Contrary to many expectation, the sea ice in the Arctic is a lot more extensive now than in November 2012, only one standard deviation from the 1981-2010 average.

    On with the garden projects and the latest ‘keel-hauling’ of NPDC.

  • Kevin, the instantaneous global warming potential of methane is 102 according to Trancik and Edwards (see fig 1 in the pdf). With your estimate of 300, we would be around 1000 ppm CO2 equivalent (1.9 ppm CH4 * 300 + 400 ppm CO2) and today’s climate would be way more chaotic.

    Guy, if your question refers to a graph of heat accumulating over time, you can follow the first link in my previous message, which leads in particular to this paper. This is total heat content, it does not distinguish by heat origin. Fig 8.6(a) in this IPPC report gives the relative contributions over time of all anthropogenic gases, in particular CO2 and CH4. However it underestimates the CH4 contribution by a factor of 3 because it uses the global warming potential integrated over 100 years (34) instead of the instantaneous potential (102). Trancik and Edwards confirm what Kevin has repeatedly pointed out on NBL: using the value integrated over 100 years results in a serious underestimate of the actual warming effect of methane. Methane is indeed oxidized completely in less than 100 years, but it is constantly replenished by new emissions, so it doesn’t make sense to assume that methane gets less dangerous over time.

  • Elzeard.

    Go back to the kindergarten. This website is the highest level university, and the article you quoted makes the same error highlighted over a year ago.

    Although individual molecules of methane are oxidised, and therefore the atmosphere warming potential of a given quantity -call it a methane burp for want of a better name- will decline over time, that is not the real situation in the atmosphere, where every molecule of methane that is oxidised is replaced by another. Indeed, the rate of release of methane into the atmosphere currently exceeds the oxidation rate, so the total quantity of methane in increasing. The Earth is enveloped in an ever-denser ‘jacket’ of methane. So how can a warming potential that declines to a value of 1 relative to carbin dioxide apply?

    Under such circumstances, it is the instantaneous warming factor of methane -how much of it there is multiplied by the absorbance-re-radiation factor that governs warming.

    As Guy suggested recently, it may well be that warming is no longer primarily being driven by carbon dioxide but is primarily being driven by methane.

    2ppm @ 300 times CO2 = 600ppmCO2e. If we take Paul’s off the cuff figure, 2ppm @ 250 times CO2 = 500ppmCO2e. CO2 is ‘only 397ppm (405ppm next year.)

    By the way, isn’t MIT to corrupt institution that is so determined to
    silence whistle-blowers it drove Aaron Swartz to suicide?

    ‘On January 6, 2011, Swartz was arrested by MIT police….Federal prosecutors later charged him with two counts of wire fraud and 11 violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act,[13] carrying a cumulative maximum penalty of $1 million in fines, 35 years in prison, asset forfeiture, restitution and supervised release.[14].’

    As I said previously. Paul Beckwith suggested a figure of around 250 times CO2 but has not come up with any ‘conclusive’ answer.

    And, as previously discussed, what we do not know is whether the methane oxidation system, primarily featuring OH ions and OH radicals, will be rapidly overwhelmed or whether nature has a ‘trick up her sleeve’ we do not yet know about to maintain the habitability of the Earth.

    (Sorry I jumped down your throat: you are probably new to all this and do not understand that there have been years of discussion and analysis that have preceded current discussion.)

  • .
    Thanks, Tom.

    Been away for a while, got back in Denver just in time for the snow and cold…
    The Voluntary Extinction Movement
    Thou shalt not procreate.
    The Church of Euthanasia
    Save the planet, kill yourself.

  • @ infanttyrone

    Most excellent and thoughtful questions, and in my opinion, those are some the best questions that have been asked here, seriously.

    If you don’t mind, instead of addressing them separately, I’ll try and broad-brush them because they have enough of a central theme.

    First, I have to admit, I feel a little schizo when it comes to the subject of NTE and the question of children. Basically, I have shared Roberts( thankyoufornotbreeding) perspective my whole life, but I feel great compassion for those who do have children and are able to stare into the abyss along with those who haven’t such responsibilities. It’s strangely hypocritical of me to on one hand think young parents fools for having children, but close to saints if they are seriously able to contemplate NTE.

    So let me be very clear, I have a lot of respect and admiration for anyone who have children and who are able to seriously internalize NTE right along with the those who don’t. No joke. All things being equal, I know these individuals possess a courage that dwarfs my own.

    But that also doesn’t change my opinion that “they” were/are fools to have had children in the first place. It’s a strange and terribly uncomfortable dilemma. Where the theory of NTE meets parenthood has been a subject few if any have wanted to seriously discuss here. There just haven’t been all that many young parents here at NBL, and I believe the reason for this is fairly obvious. Jennifer Heartly, Badlands and possibly Ed/Eddie/Edward (?) are the only names who come to mind that have young children, though I’ll assume there have been others, I just can’t recall who they are.

    I am making broad general assumptions here, but NTE is an incredibly radical concept, it is also almost solely ecologically based. It has been my experience, that ‘antinatalist’ tend to dominate both these areas. In other words, the further one moves towards the radical fringe, the closer they come to those who share a common anti-population ideology. Radical environmentalism has long been a bedlam of such ideology.

    I am by no means disparaging any parents here not named Badlands, I was just being less than thorough. But there was a reason why I singled out Badlands, it’s because she was one of the first people here who had come to accept NTE and who had young children, three very young children in fact. I personally hold her in very high esteem, though if she didn’t express such a depth of understanding of the dilemma we all face, my opinion of her would be far lower. Again, NTE makes for some strange bedfellows.

    The last three years have been very intense, and I have a very special place in my heart for many here because of it. There are few people who have come through this space over the last couple of years, who have impressed me more through their writing as Badlands.

    Compared to her–or anyone who is required to provide for dependents–I have it incredibly easy. I speak of taboo subjects simply because I have the emotional freedom to do so.

    My opinion about parents discussing NTE, has absolutely nothing to do with their capacity to engage in the discussion, but far more that I feel I have a moral responsibility to be as forthright as I possibly can be. I have invested a serious amount of my life contemplating very depressing phenomena. If ever there was a person who has been psychologically primed to accept NTE–god knows what that means–it could easily be me. However, not a day goes by, that I don’t question “what the fuck I’m I doing continuing to think about this shit……what the hell is wrong with me??!?!?!?”

    I full well know that my life would be far more rewarding if I made every attempt to not think about NTE ever again. Or just come to some kind of peace and just let it all go. A great number of things in my life are seriously suffering because of the time in which I spend contemplating it. There are a number of things I should be doing right now, instead of writing to you about this. It’s just that I feel compelled to explore a subject I know has never truly been discussed, and like many others here, I just can’t seem to walk away for better or worse, though a part of me knows I must eventually if I am to truly enjoy the time that remains. I think for many of us truth seekers, NTE has shown us for maybe the first time in our lives, that a little denial may not be such a bad thing.

    I know that had I had children, and knowing what I know now, I would deliberately choose to live in denial, and probably be far happier doing so. So my attitude towards young parents where it concerns NTE, is less of a judgment and more of a warning.

    Yet again, my hypocrisy continues, because I also believe that if there was a large contingency of young parents here at NBL, that between them, they would probably have the most intense, profound and pertinent conversations ever had in this space. I for one would very much welcome it, I just don’t see it happening.

    A part of me thinks that the best a young parent can do in regards to their children, is probably what Jennifer Heartly and Badlands have done, and that is to not shy away from the disquieting truth of our near term fate , but make the conscious decision to put such despair behind them, and solely focus on being present with their children, possibly in a way they may not have been before.

    It’s just when we get around to the question of young teenagers, I think “we” adults find ourselves in front of the starkest mirror possible, where the risks of our sub-cultural perspectives become the most apparent. Do “we” feel confident enough about NTE to sacrifice our children’s future, by not supporting the hoops they must jump through in needing to survive in this absurd culture? That is such an intensely personal dilemma, I’m not sure it can be openly or collectively commiserated. Honestly, I don’t know.

    I am thinking and writing about NTE from a very privileged objective perspective, simply because I have the luxury to do so. I know that if I had a child, this would not be the case. It is hard enough trying to make sense of opposing imperatives we have been bound to in this life, as is. Over the last 15 years, I have been very outspoken about collapse to literally everyone I know, many of them with children. There is a palpable difference in the reactions between those who have children and those who don’t. Almost two entirely different narratives.

    Living with brutal truth was an incredible burden, long before the threat of NTE even existed. If there is nothing to be done, which is something I consider to be self-evident, then there truly is little need to even be aware of what is coming at this point…….in all honesty. The unprecedence of NTE has greatly redefined how I now approach life.

    Acceptance of NTE, in my opinion fundamentally undermines everything! I can’t think of anything it doesn’t profoundly impact, other than the love we share with each other and the natural world, but even here NTE takes a serious toll.

    While NTE is headliner, hopium is the subtext. And what aspect of child rearing isn’t based on hope? Our entire culture is future oriented, and no more so, than where it concerns children. What culture isn’t profoundly engaged in rearing children? Children are the result of the very biological imperative that drives all of life. For parents, children become the essence of life itself, so I’m at best duplicit on the subject.

    A part of me thinks parents should have nothing to do with contemplating NTE and that they are being self-defeating by dwelling on such an emotionally ruinous subject they have no power over, and another part, completely understands why certain parents can’t help themselves in wanting/needing to know how much time we have left.

    Thanks again for the great questions infanttyrone ( your child’s name?). We both know, no one has any answers, but just being able to talk about it, helps is some way………..These comment threads I think help us talk to ourselves as much as each other. Having to arrange our thoughts in a coherent manner around such a daunting subject, is the essence of NBL in my opinion.

    If you are parent, I’m very impressed with your courage and honesty, your presence here is what makes this space important to us all. Take care my friend.

  • Has anyone from Mexico or any Central American country heard reports of La Llorona (the weeping woman) appearances? A sighting might not make the published news, but several friends say that she has been showing up lately. Her most famous appearance was in the weeks proceding Cortes arrival in Mexico. According to folklore, she shows up before disasters. She is said to be weeping for her lost children.

  • Dear Daniel & infanttyrone,

    Imagine my surprise when I dropped by to read the commentary, only to discover that I am an NTE parenting success! What is my strategy, my parenting ‘style’ in the face of such dire news? Well, to be honest, there isn’t one. The level of awareness I was at made acceptance of our predicament quite simple, just a small step, not forward, but sideways.

    I’ll have to kindly disagree that people with others in their care should avoid these discussions. If it is within a person’s capacity to understand what is going on, if they are able to live with contradiction, they must not look away. If it is meant as a means of protection for the sake of the innocent under the person’s care, I think it’s too late for that. The kids are young, but they see. I cannot lie to them. When they notice the “dead nature” all around them, or see us struggling to grow things and deal with unpredictable, often vicious swings in the weather, it would do them a great disservice to underestimate their ability to connect and commune with THEIR natural world. Who am I to try to hide the world from them, and if I wanted to, how does one do that?

    The only negative side-effect of this knowledge is the sometimes pathological need to know EVERYTHING that is going on, to keep an eye on things, to want to know what’s coming. The other stuff, like being shunned, well that was already my reality, not because of failed attempts to educate deniers, but because I was an artist, I made art and talked about my feelings, made attempts to come to terms with my past and heal wounds. All that kind of behavior does is hold a mirror up to the person looking, and if they don’t want to, or aren’t ready to see, they take it out on you by judging and ostracizing. Yes, that hurts. We are dealing with it full scale now. Yes, it still hurts.

    The biggest positive side-effect is the growing ability to see through the Lie due to the perspective achieved by that step ‘sideways’ upon acceptance of NTE. Now I recognize the conditioning, I see it in my own thoughts, words, actions, but instead of feeling guilty or pointing the finger in blame, I can stop in my tracks and undo some of it. Sort of like stepping out of the race to untie a massive contortion of knots in my shoelaces so I can keep going without tripping and stumbling all over the place. I can teach the kids to question everything, just as I do, even as I question myself.

    At the moment, they are simply questioning why we are stuck indoors and the weather update says ‘feels like -22’, when just a few days ago we had spring flowers and plants waking up in our 60 degree weather, strawberries growing out of the compost, we were wearing shorts doing yard work. When my son pointed out on one of our walks all of the roses growing in a neighbors yard, and that roses aren’t supposed to be blooming in the fall, I don’t have an answer beyond the seasons being out of whack. I’m basically following their lead on these matters, because in the meantime I am busy dealing with and helping them deal with every IC illness that is being thrown our way, and they are numerous. (I almost said ‘battle’, but that’s IC talking. Why are we made to take up the language of war in the face of illness or death?)

    Anyway, all is not good. All is pretty terrible, in fact. But those moments of grace arrive more naturally when I stop thinking things need, should, or are supposed to be a certain way. I have no idea what’s going on or what happens next, I have nothing figured out. That’s ok. I certainly don’t feel like I’m juggling all this successfully, but thank you for the compliment! If you could see how we’re barely hanging on, you might send help…

    p.s. infanttyrone My son started the immunotherapy a couple months ago and it is going well. He doesn’t even flinch at the allergy shots. Of course we are all sick with worsening asthma and some unnamed virus, and he currently has walking pneumonia so will miss some of the shots, but still, we took some action. I appreciate the concern and advice you gave last year (?), so thought you should know.

  • Badlands, I have a native Florida orchid that has always bloomed in June. It’s in full bloom now and setting seed pods! So I can understand what your son was thinking when he asked about the roses.

    My kids are in their thirties, happily striding through La La Land with only thoughts of being cool and making lots money. I figure that if we’re doomed, maybe I should leave them alone and not pop their bubble. My grandson is another story. I can see him asking me about climate and NTE before he’s 16. I’ll be as honest with him as I can, most likely directing him to read Guy’s Summary. Right now my greatest fear in life is to see him cry, He’s a happy kid, 13, and probably the best natured person I’ll ever know.

    I wish you and yours all the luck in the world!

  • Daniel, I adopted two kids because I felt the world had enough children and never wanted children of my own. However, against all odds (we’re talking about using multiple forms of birth control and really the worst time of the month) we conceived a biological one. While I’d say I made more than an A effort to not have kids (and my perfectionist standard is that an A- is good enough for others, and I’d give myself A+ but I don’t only because I didn’t take a vow of celibacy) the cosmos handed us one and once the decision was made to go forward with the birth and once it was done, it was done. I don’t think adding a child makes a difference to NTHE any more than anything else we do in IC including using computers, driving cars, taking aeroplanes, etc. And it was the best thing I’ve ever done both on an emotional and intellectual level. The cliche that life finds a way applies to my case.

    When I was five (and by seven) I figured out the equilibrium imbalance of human existence by observing how humans treat other humans and other animals (I never could understand why we taught dogs but dogs never taught us for example). Now my daughter (aptly named Maya) is six years old and is exposed to a lot of the ideas of NBL through me and she gets biological evolution in a way I don’t see many grown ups not get. Of course her understanding is very simple on one level but probably far more internalised than any intellectual understanding since she’s already extensively travelled, lived in five different states for more than a few months (including two international ones outside the US in Thailand and Peru) and has observed how humans treat other humans and other animals in different places. My main goal is to teach her to understand complex systems and internalise their behaviour.

    Some videos on this thread even though mainly quote heavy (the ones by Jason?) are interesting to her as much as it is to myself: I’m an academic, futurist, transhumanist, and a psychonaut among many other things. I also research biological evolution, particularly that of protein structure, and she’s learning that along with her first grade stuff. We print out 3D models of protein structure together, construct toy models of proteins and other molecules from chemistry building sets, etc.

    And none of my kids so far want to have any kids – they are totally against it and so it looks like some of our teachings have taken hold.

  • I am with Badlands on this: if a child is capable of understanding they are capable of understanding. Who really can understand the behaviour of complex systems anyway? Even to get at things like weather, etc. we need to resort to computers. We only understand NTHE on a vague abstract level intellectually and emotionally we can try to internalise what the flow of things/life around us is taking us. Just like you can internalise a form of death during fall/winter and a form of birth during spring/summer, you can also internalise the longer term cycles and their disruption from pollution, etc. at multiple levels. Kids can get this as much as adults in their own way.

    I say to my six year old, that the earth is being broken, just like one the toys we step on and she gets it. She watches the new Cosmos with me which I don’t always agree with (the depiction of plants as industrial machines really bothered me) but it conveys complex ideas in terms that a six year old can understand. And she’s a happy kid and we can both laugh at the “stupid humans.”

  • Every now and then something MSM environment related gets traction on the social media (not that they count necessarily as the ‘say’). This is one of those stories – I would subtract at least 15 years based on what I am understanding.

    Salt-Water Fish Extinction Seen By 2048

  • Daniel,

    I was in a hurry and hit “Submit Comment” without first saving a copy, so this is a close re-writing of what I meant to post…


    Thanks for your polite response.

    I am not a parent, only a step-parent based on marrying into a family on my wife’s youngest’s 18th birthday. So, as I have a little experience at the post-graduate level, but none in the more important time between infancy and adulthood, I claim no special status or knowledge.

    My handle here is a long-used nom de clavier motivated by my fan-boy admiration of “Gravity’s Rainbow”. I thought I was the only Pynchon fan clever enough to dream it up, but one day I googled ‘infanttyrone’ for fun and found out that there were scads (well, a lot more than a couple) of people using it. In the interest of transparency/honesty, I later found out that I had misremembered the characters early-years designation as “Infant Tyrone”, when it was actually “Baby Tyrone”. Oh well, reckon I should have started with that gingko biloba a decade or two earlier.

    …because I also believe that if there was a large contingency of young parents here at NBL, that between them, they would probably have the most intense, profound and pertinent conversations ever had in this space. I for one would very much welcome it, I just don’t see it happening.

    I don’t want to get all Field-of-Dreams-y on you, but if you built such a thing over in the forum area, maybe they would come. I can imagine that any young parents or parents of youngsters who read these main threads must have an interesting time reading comments made by antinatalists or by people arguing whether we have 8.75 years or 23.4 years remaining before it’s over.
    Maybe if they could read Guy’s latest Climate Change Update and then repair over to “Parents’ Corner” to discuss areas of mutual interest they could teach us all something. But if you do start something called “Parents’ Corner”, please use the subtitle or tag line “Bring Your Own Paint”.

    I know that had I had children, and knowing what I know now, I would deliberately choose to live in denial, and probably be far happier doing so.

    Please don’t take this as hostile, but I think you’re seriously overestimating your or anyone’s capability for denial. When I first got the information here it was like a flashback to the first time I realized in a profound way that I was really going to die someday…only this time it was multiplied/magnified by a factor of about 7 billion. (After 7 billion humans, adding on all the other life forms that will go with us or shortly before and after us, some sort of extinction-fatigue sets in for me…anthropocentric, but whaddya gonna do?) Like the almost always ineffectual instruction from a judge telling the jury to “disregard the defendant’s outburst where he admitted his guilt”, there’s not much sense in trying to unring the NTHE/NTE bell. You can compartmentalize it, but I think trying to really deny it will unhinge you in a bad way. Sure, you might die tomorrow and miss the EOTWAWKI, or you might be the Last One Standing on the final day, but you still need to stop at the store (or your permaculture garden) and pick up something for breakfast, because as near as the end might be, tonight’s forecast says that tomorrow morning’s still a safe bet.

    Gotta run in a bit. If there is anything else in your recent post that you would like me to address, feel encouraged to mention it.

    But first a couple of clips based on what I recall hearing is a Zen concept (ulvfugl or Dr. Datta are invited to correct me if I’m mistaken) about mountains or seeing or conceptualizing. Sorry for the low-fi quality and scratches on the first one, but it’s my favorite version of the “original”.
    And I just found this version of the second one tonight and a Deadhead can’t resist a clip with Duane quoting the Dead’s “Dark Star”. Peace.


  • Badlands,

    Glad to hear that the immunotherapy is in process. I remember when I first started it close to 35 years ago, the allergy MD told me that only about 50% of patients get any benefit and that only half of that number get excellent results. I was lucky enough to be in that top 25%, which meant waaaay less discomfort, so that’s why I suggested that it might be worth a try. May your son be in the top 25% in the near future!

    Sorry to hear about the strawberries. Were they ripe enough to pick some of them before the “feels like -22” weather rolled in ? I spent 2 years in Goose Bay, Labrador as a teenager and worked in a cold storage warehouse in Seattle for a few years long ago, and there is no cold-temperature version of how people often describe the “dry heat” of Las Vegas. Of course, you don’t want to be wet at -22, but even if you’re dry as the desert, that’s damned cold. Be as well as you can where you are.

    Sorry, no Bruce tonight…come by more often and I’ll pull up some goodies.
    But, at least we have dessert and some old-fashioned detective work. :-)

  • After seeing the levels of wild irrational hostility, ad hominems and psychological projection acted out yesterday against Mr. McPherson on some threads at TR McKenzie’s FB, all I have to say is that I have profound sympathy and respect for Mr. McPherson with what he has to endure on a daily basis that would probably drive most people up and over a wall. I Wish only the best.

  • .
    Shit, we can’t even spay or neuter our pets – much less ourselves. About 2.7 million healthy, adoptable cats and dogs — about one every 11 seconds — are put down in U.S. shelters each year. Often these animals are the offspring of cherished family pets. Spay/neuter is a proven way to reduce pet overpopulation.
    …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.

  • Very interesting conversation about NTHE and parenthood. I have a child as well. I came across Guy’s work about 6 months ago and I am still digesting it and trying to make sense of it. There are some very, very intelligent people on this forum, more so than just about any other forum I’ve read.

    Can someone (anyone) please help me understand the science of plant migration and human extinction at 4C? Why is it not possible to move crops to areas where it is currently too cold to grow them but where at 4C higher it could be a good temperature for crops, like Canada, high altitudes or the southern part of South America? While 4C would eliminate many places to grow crops, wouldn’t it open up others? Please help me understand…

  • .
    @ Kelly:
    please click on the “Climate-change summary and update” link above.
    or, watch the video clips…
    Because I could not stop for Death—
    He kindly stopped for me—
    The Carriage held but just Ourselves—
    And Immortality….
    ~Emily Dickinson, c.1863
    If man were immortal he could be perfectly sure of seeing the day when everything in which he had trusted should betray his trust, and, in short, of coming eventually to hopeless misery. He would break down, at last, as every good fortune, as every dynasty, as every civilization does. In place of this we have death. ~Charles Sanders Peirce

  • Kelly: As a farmer, I question these ideas too. We see temp. ranges from -30 to almost 100 F and life just keeps going on. Not even a blip in food prices. Why get all upset over 2 or 4 degrees C?

    My answer is this. If I point a gun at you and pull the trigger, the hammer goes click and no one gets hurt by that. The problem arises when the hammer sets off a chain of events that propels a bullet in your direction: extreme weather events.

    Or, think of the ecosystem as a balancing act on a tight wire. Things have been in balance for 10,000 years. We take it for granted. All the conditions for O2 based life are just right. Yet, if we look out there into space, we don’t find anything like this. The slightest imbalance and there is a great fall…in this case without a net.

    Or, try this. Put 2 extra blankets on your bed…all night, every night.

  • Daniel

    Don’t know if just me, but I discerned a more personal and introspective tone from you on this page. I liked it, and hope that I’m not angering anyone in bringing it up.

    I agree that NTE is the proper subject for this blog but disagree about “acceptance.” That strongly reminds me of the many in the past asking me (among others) to accept Jesus as my lord and savior. I’m all for the teachings of Jesus, but resent being told what I must do.

    For one thing, extinction is already happening. At a rapid rate for all species other than humans and our domesticated animals. What “we” (the forces and structures that propel us) are doing as a species is entirely gross and unacceptable. I have an entirely different take on that from you.


    Nice to see you here again. I concur about the artist. Right or wrong (and I think I’m only repeating something I heard long ago) the artist turns herself inside out, and that is a horrifying thing for others to see.

  • Kelly,

    Plant hormones that are responsible for growth, reproduction and other biological processes will be denatured by the increased average temperature of +4C. Plant hormones are essentially proteins, complex molecules that are easily damaged. The best example of the denaturing of protein is to cook an egg. The heat changes the structure of the protein molecules into something unable to perform the vital tasks needed for the egg to thrive.

    I hope that helps. My source of information is right here on NBL.

    Now, as far as other areas opening up for cultivation as the planet heats up, that seems logical. How much food they can produce and for how long is another matter. I’m sure humans will do everything they can to prolong their misery. Will you get some of that food? Will I? It seems to me that when the great breadbasket areas of the world stop producing, we’ll see starvation for most and meager gruel for the rest, for awhile.

  • hi Kelly: You may not have noticed the trees getting “thinner” with respect to leaves over the past few spring-summer seasons, but ozone is killing them all. It’s most noticeable in the pines currently, but if you examine most trees (and knew what to look for you’d see that) they’re having problems. Unseen is the root damage.

    Tropospheric ozone, a result of the chemicals we’ve been dumping into the atmosphere breaking down via sunlight reactivity (and other processes), is becoming a real problem for crop production, plants and vegetation of all kinds worldwide. If you would like more information about this, try here:

    where there are many links to in-depth science and (easier to read) commentary by Gail Z. who’s made a blog about it.

    The sound of a dying ecosystem

    [which, of course, is silence – in this case, loss of birds]


    When sound engineer Bernie Krause first visited the Lincoln Meadow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in 1988, the lush land vibrated with natural soundscapes — a sign of a healthy, thriving ecosystem.

    “When I began recording over four decades ago, I could record for ten hours and capture one hour of usable material good enough for an album, a film soundtrack or museum installation,” said Krause, on the TEDGlobal stage. “Now, because of global warming, resource extraction and human noise, among other factors, it can take up to 1,000 hours or more to capture the same thing.”

    Krause has returned to Lincoln Meadow 15 times in the past 25 years.

    “The density and diversity of that biophony has not yet returned to anything like it was before [selective logging began],” he told the TED Talks audience.

    He then proceeded to show a photograph of the meadow, pointing out that it looks like there is no obvious change.

    “Hardly a stick or tree is out of place, which would confirm the logging company’s contention that there was no environmental impact. However, our ears tell us a very different story.”

  • Artleads,

    I am an atheist. However, if people would act like jesus’ new testament we would not be in this predicament today.

  • Sabine Says:
    November 12th, 2014 at 9:40 am


    Yes, you’re right of course. I meant to say life as we (humans) know it since conditions were right for us to evolve. Yes, I know that the final mass extinction will be caused by the sun.

    Women are often not as precise as men would like them to be, I do apologise. So, typically, I said it for emotional impact because us causing this extinction (of most life as we know it) is so horrific that, at least for me, the details of what might survive and evolve again, eventually, into more complex organisms – or create the conditions for more complex organisms once more – is of no interest. I hope I’ve got it all into this sentence. Otherwise, please correct me again.

    Anyway, thanks for pointing it out.
    The good part of the story is that the greatest and oldest biomass (viruses and single celled microbes) are ~99% favorable toward us and other life forms. Their 1% bad guys were probably generated by past mass extinction horrors, and being increased by the current, ongoing mass extinction.

    The bad part is that industrial civilization is at war with them via shotgun-fired-into-a-crowd type antibiotics and anti-virals (“kill anything that moves”).

    If we could become at peace with life we could likely become at peace with ourselves too.

    Then we might a pathway to the stars perhaps (The Tenets of Ecocosmology).

    I don’t see that happening with our current human characteristics even though I am an optimist at heart.

  • Will Falk pens his first essay for this space. There’s more, too. Catch it all here.

  • Strange source for info on the China-US climate deal, but sometimes you get shown the light in the strangest of places.

    “Most prominently promoted by the White House and the US media were new pledges on greenhouse gas emissions. Obama declared a “historic agreement” that will supposedly see the US reduce its net carbon emissions by 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2025. China pledged to peak its net emissions by “around 2030” and eventually source 20 percent of the country’s energy from emission-free sources.

    Claims that these new targets will mitigate the climate change crisis are an outright fraud. The United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has previously concluded that advanced economies’ emissions must be 25-40 percent lower than their 1990 levels by 2020, and 80-95 percent by 2050. These figures, moreover, have been challenged by numerous climate scientists as significant underestimates of what may be required to prevent dangerous and potentially irreversible levels of global warming.

    The Chinese leadership matched the paucity of Obama’s grossly inadequate promise of 26-28 percent reduced emissions below their 2005 levels by 2025. Several reports indicated that China’s carbon emissions were already projected to peak around 2030, with Xi’s commitment involving little or no additional action to reduce greenhouse gas pollution.”

    The “progressive” media, as i predicted, have on the other hand celebrated the agreement. Democracy Now yesterday featured Jake Schmidt of the Natural Resources Defense Council, a corporate “environmentalist” front group, who gushed over the deal.

    Glad to see that finally other people are responding to Kelly’s question.

  • To those who took time to address my question, I am very grateful. I really want to wrap my head around all this. I have read the Climate Summary Update and watched almost all the videos. But I am still unclear about why 4C means 100% human extinction. People want to survive so I would assume that when temperatures rise they would move their crops to cooler places. I would think (though I don’t know for sure) that even at 4C there would be some places cool enough to grow food on the planet. People would do so and eat those crops so that would not mean 100% extinction.

    But I don’t have a science background and this information is new to me. The people on this board are extremely intelligent and seem to accept that 4C means 100% human extinction. What am I overlooking?

  • I’ll try to keep this simple, Kelly. A rapid rise to 4 C above baseline removes all habitat for plants, including those in the ocean. They cannot migrate rapidly enough to keep up. Without plants, we die. All of us. Every single one. Because there is no food for humans.

  • Kelly

    The problem basically revolves around the nature of our society and the magnitude of its toxicity. Capitalism revolves around infinite wants satisfaction with the attendant infinite toxicity. The planets climate however has states of equilibrium for its various ranges with hellish extremities one would imagine for the infinite. In other words, we have embarked on a journey which will take this planets climate well beyond anything the historic records show other than the inferno of its inception. The 4 threshold for us thus becomes the touchstone for our exit from what will be a dying planet. Hope that makes sense?

  • Kelly,
    A useful book that gives details about the effects of each degree rise is ‘Six Degrees’by Mark Lynas.

  • Hi Guy,

    Thank you for responding. My lack of a science background is obvious so I thank you for your patience. I am still confused, wouldn’t people trying to survive simply move the seeds and plant their crops manually in cooler places? Why would they wait for plant migration to happen naturally if they are starving?

  • Kelly, plants simply won’t be able to grow in soils to which they are not adapted. There’s a reason grains are grown in the middle of the North American continent: soils there are fertile and capable of supporting grains (they are classified as Mollisols). Soils near the poles are stunningly unproductive from a plant’s perspective. And then there’s the issue of temperature variation. And proteins that denature at high temperatures. And water availability.

  • Thank you all for the friendly greetings, they are much appreciated!

    In my own words: A 4C increase doesn’t necessarily mean a gradual, even rise of temperatures around the globe. Think non-linear rates of change, climate chaos, weather whiplash, or see-saw weather events, sort of like I described in my previous post. Already there are no gentle turning of the seasons, it’s possible there may be no recognizable seasons at all in the future. The warming could happen all at once. Things are so connected and intertwined within any ecosystem, how do we know how they will react when something is added, taken away, or changed? Check out the bark beetle situation in the Rockies, or even here in the Black Hills. A native species gone invasive. You also have to factor in the immense scale of pollution and destruction we are responsible for. When you step back and look at the bigger picture, it is terrifying. I am terrified. I hope this helps you, and if it is fundamentally wrong, I hope someone will correct me! Welcome to NBL, and don’t be afraid to comment and ask questions.

    “if there was a large contingency of young parents here at NBL, that between them, they would probably have the most intense, profound and pertinent conversations ever had in this space. I for one would very much welcome it, I just don’t see it happening.”Stepping into the NBL waters as a parent of youngsters is a bit like diving head first into a viper pit, but maybe that’s just the sensation I had when I first commented here, lol! Also, it will never happen because we are too busy. Unless you can send reinforcements, aka babysitters, pronto!

    @Ram, COSMOS was perfect for the kids and they loved it, so even though it wasn’t to NBL reader caliber, I liked it. I even learned a few things myself. Anyway, I should clarify that we don’t sit around talking about NTE, though they do ask about the dinosaur extinctions at least once a week, it’s more that I am continually surprised by the depth of the questions they ask, and how much they notice about their world. There’s no way I could hide what’s happening to the world, because they are by my side watching it with me.

  • Badlands

    There is no reversing the current trend towards planet wide habitat destruction given the objective forces that compel compliance. Our subjective understanding of these issues is overshadowed in ways even those of us in the progressive wing of politics do not fully understand. So whilst you are correct in as much as the will to survive will see all sorts of creative ways to facilitate survival, the near term prognosis is that planet wide extinction is a certainty.

  • Kelly,

    I understand and am empathetic to your ‘frustration.’ I’ve been a commentator(infrequently)/lurker(mostly) here for more than 5 years, to which Dr. McPherson can attest, and am well aware of the conditions on which you seem to require elaboration. I’ve read his responses to you in this and the previous thread as well as those from other commentators. While those comments have been accurate, I’m guessing your curiosity may still be unsatisfied. If you wish, an inquiring post to “golfwalker” via the hotmail [dot] com venue will grant you as much exhaustive elaboration to any queries you wish to pose. I suggest this as a courtesy since a ‘private’ dialog can be more specific, comprehensive and relevant to your questions than the diverse range of commentary on this, or many other, threads. The choice is yours and the offer remains open until the lights go out.