Wrapping New Zealand

With big thanks to host extraordinaire Kevin Hester, I’m back in the United States. Thanks, too, to filmmaker Shaun Pettigrew and the awesome support provided by myriad hosts and helpers.

A few more clips will be posted in the near future based on presentations and interviews. In addition, Shaun Pettigrew’s film documenting my time in New Zealand will be available within a few months.

I was interviewed by Paul Shelley for Radioactive radio in Wellington about a week ago. The result is embedded below.

Prof. Guy McPherson Interview by Radioactive.Fm on Mixcloud

I was interviewed by Karl Pierce on 31 October 2014 for Access Manawatu. It’s the first show at this link.

I make a brief appearance in the documentary film embedded below. Specifically, I appear at the 1:10:50 mark for eight minutes.

Comments 73

  • Berkeley Lab scientists identify new driver behind Arctic warming

    “In the Arctic, the simulations found that open oceans hold more far-infrared energy than sea ice, resulting in warmer oceans, melting sea ice, and a 2-degree Celsius increase in the polar climate after only a 25-year run.

    This could help explain why polar warming is most pronounced during the three-month winter when there is no sun. It also complements a process in which darker oceans absorb more solar energy than sea ice.

    “The Earth continues to emit energy in the far infrared during the polar winter,” Feldman says. “And because ocean surfaces trap this energy, the system is warmer throughout the year as opposed to only when the sun is out.””

  • Guy: congratulations on your successful New Zealand speaking tour. From the communications provided throughout it appears that the message is finally breaking through to more countries and people. Dire as it is, the way you approach it and your advice to everyone to be more kind, create the moments you’ll remember in the little remaining time, “to be” here now (ala Ram Dass’s book), and to live a ‘life of excellence’ is all high quality.

    You’ve really transformed in the short time I’ve known you through your work, interviews, lectures and writing from a somewhat shocked, disappointed and angry scientist delivering the straight facts – the peer-reviewed scientific literature and measurements, then clearly connecting the dots – into a brave, warm and loving person who cares about the truth and life, sharing your time commiserating with any audience (hostile, open, confused, or interested) of human beings that it’s far worse than anyone can even imagine and that our time to appreciate life on Earth will be shorter than we all expect.

    Thank you for the inspiration in a depressing time.

    M^3: thanks for bringing that forward, as I think it may be yet another feed-back we didn’t want to see.

  • oh, and:


    New NSA Documents Shine More Light Into Black Box Of Executive Order 12333

    Surveillance conducted under EO 12333 is implemented almost entirely by the executive branch, without review by Congress or the courts.

    [please read if you live in the U.S.]

  • Very well said Tom!


  • Congrats To Guy!!! This is my comment on Climate Progress about the new IPCC report. Read it and weep folks.
    Climate Progress Article

    Asswipe’s Comment
    We have to reduce emissions 80% exactly when energy demand goes up 50%. Do you know how fucking impossible this is? It will be impossible to even boost green energy up to 40% of total usage by then because we would need 200% more copper, 150% more aluminum and 90% more iron. We will never get 200% more copper, no matter how much weed you smoke.

    But wait, there’s more! We destroyed 50% of vertebrates in the last 50 years and we are on track to destroy 50% of remaining vertebrates in the next 35 years. So, while diamonds are for heifers, mass extinction is forever and becomes unstoppable and irreversible by 2040.

  • LIFEBOAT HOUR – 11/02/14

    Carolyn interviews Alan Ereira, Director of the movie, “Aluna,” the story of the Kogi people in Columbia who have an urgent message for the non-indigenous world.

    Didn’t update to iTunes or PodBean

  • @ Robert Callaghan. Right on! There’s no way out. Soon Homo Sapiens will be added to the list of species meeting their end during the anthropocene. How ironic.

    Given the obviousness of our predicament, the fact someone as seemingly intelligent as Naomi Klein would choose to bring a child into this nightmare shows how biologically hardwired we are to consume and propagate. In the end we’re nothing more than over-glorified yeast.

  • Tom.

    Yes, Guy is to be congratulated on coming to NZ again and speaking unmentionable truths.

    However, ‘it appears that the message is finally breaking through to more countries and people.’

    I have to disagree. I cannot speak for other countries but here in NZ the level of ignorance, apathy, denial, deceit, fraud, manipulation, lies and plain stupidity -financial, energetic, environmental and social- has increased substantially in recent years. Indeed, NZ is headed off the cliff faster than ever, with criminals at the helm and a populace that does not want to know and doesn’t care.

    A few weeks ago John McLeod, one of the few NPDSC councillors I had any time for, resigned in utter disgust at what was being promoted by mayor Andrew Judd and his criminal accomplice, CEO Barbara McKerrow.

    I heard through the grapevine that councillor ‘x’, a reasonably honest man (though scientifically and financially illiterate) had given up trying to do anything at NPDC, and was now focused on a establishing a business, in recognition he was wasting his time at NPDC.

    Yesterday I was speaking with one of the two remaini9ng councillors I have much time for, and he told me that having completed on year in office he looks back and recognises he has accomplished nothing whatsoever, and is wasting his time even being there [on council]. He told me he is being driven to despair by the utter imbecility and lack of proper debate promoted by Andrew Judd and Barabara McKerrow, and that he feels inclined to resign.

    A friend of mine said: “That’s exactly what they want, ” -so the idiots proceed with their idiotic agenda with even less opposition.

    The election of John Key tells us what a deplorable state NZ is in -large numbers of people voting for their own enslavement and complete destruction of their children’s futures, perhaps their own.

    Oone bright spot on the horizon is the fact that oil prices are at a level which will annihilate most fracking, deepwater drilling and tar sands extraction.

  • I was interviewed by Paul Pierce on 31 October 2014 for Access Manawatu. It’s the first show at this link.

  • Yes! Again, congratulations and thanks to Guy!

    Believe It Or Not! This article showed up on the front page of my local newspaper yesterday. I happened to see the article at a neighbors house, I don’t pay for MSM if I can help it. Anyway, The Tampa Bay Times, the paper that has always given equal space to deniers finally grew a pair. That still doesn’t make up for helping the U.S.government kill millions of innocent people in wars by publishing every lie without question, but it’s a start.


  • It has been an amazing honour for me to tour with Guy raising the alarm. We spoke to hundreds of people directly and to thousands via the Paul Henry Show on National TV and many radio broadcasts. It was a great tour.


  • I forgot to mention that the NPDC councillor I spoke with yesterday who is not scientifically illiterate mentioned the reason he is particularly sick of what is going on (and angry about what is not happening) is that “people just don’t care.” I said: “You’re going through what I went through about 5 years ago.:

    Good on Guy for doing what he did (and continues to do) and thanks to those who sponsored his NZ trip this time round, but it’s not going to make a scrap of difference to the direction NZ is being driven in.

    It will be when unemployment rises to 25% and food becomes too expensive for the majority that we may see some sane responses to the predicament. Till then it’s rugby, motor racing, celebrity gossip, fast food, tattoos, and wandering round looking at portable screens and walking into lampposts.

  • This is what one sees on the Access Manawatu, 999AM site:

    It looks like you don’t have flash player 6 installed. Click here to go to Adobe download page.
    Hosted By: Karl Pearce
    Produced By: Access Manawatu”

    Anyone using mobile knows that IOS does not support Adobe Flash (never did), and that Adobe Flash dropped support for Android. That excludes the vast majority of today’s mobile devices; but HTML5 and Java obviate any need for Flash.

    Would appreciate if someone could copy and post the URL for the stream/mp3 mp4 to NBL. 

  • Very disappointed I couldn’t get you to Nelson again this time round Guy. But very glad you made it here again, and woke up a few more folks.

    Like Robin, I’d really like a downloadable mp3 of your radio interview. Whilst out gardening, being able to listen to you on mp3 downloads makes all the work a pleasure!

  • To Contagious

    i wish our comments were contagious i love the way you use Klein and yeast in the same comment because Klein and McKibben are funded by the Rockefellers, who use them to make sure that corporations and governments get control of all those lovely carbon tax dividend dollars, which for me, symbolizes our total inability to deal with this in any honestly, meaningful way. McKibben creams his jeans whenever he walks down the corridors of power.

  • kevin: I appreciate your reply, especially now that here the Rethuglicans have taken over the Senate (too) and will lead us down an increasingly bad road. All this because Obama turned into a Republican right after he stepped into the White House!


    NASA bombshell: Global groundwater crisis threatens our food supplies and our security


    The groundwater at some of the world’s largest aquifers — in the U.S. High Plains, California’s Central Valley, China, India, and elsewhere — is being pumped out “at far greater rates than it can be naturally replenished.” [read the rest]


    Wednesday, 5 November 2014


    Methane emissions

    For those of us living in NZ who see this series of graphs you will notice high levels of methane over both the North and South Island. Methane is the pirate that has taken control of our ship’s helm now.

    [there’s more]

  • copper is currently mined at ore concentrations of 0.4%, which means to get 100 tons of copper, we have to move 1,000,000 tons of rock. This situation is worsening rapidly. we will never run out of copper, nor will we ever be able to afford to mine the rest because there are two peaks, the larger peak for low concentrations and a much smaller peak for higher concentrations. In other words, we can’t afford the energy to move 1,000,000 tons of rock for just 10 tons of copper. geologists know this, but the media continue their laser focus on Klein-McKibben’s yeasty suppositions.

  • Canadians woke up this morning with sore crotches after rubbing them so much thinking about what a Republican win means for KeystoneXL, but as i always say, you can’t let a junkie blame the needle for his addiction to junk.

  • like Barbie says, “Math is hard!”
    sorry about my math, i’ll fix that later today

  • @ Tom,

    I always like to read your posts because of the links esp.

    Obama and all the rest of elites have always been Rethuglicans.

  • @Robin & Ted

    Found this oldie but goodie in Google search the other day. I believe it has better content than Access Manawatu and much better production quality.

    Guy McPherson – Earth Extinction 2030

  • Tom Says:
    November 5th, 2014 at 4:26 am

    kevin: I appreciate your reply, especially now that here the Rethuglicans have taken over the Senate (too) and will lead us down an increasingly bad road.
    Yes toward the Keystone Pipeline and more wars.

    But there are some strange mysteries about the results (Oil-Qaeda Wins Big).

  • @oldgrowthforest
    OK, re-reading brings clarity.
    Would that it worked that way every time…
    I see the difference you are talking about.
    Daniel’s construction had the word “would”.
    Yours had phrasing that basically means “could”.
    His is speculating…yours is assessing.
    Because of the way I (try to remember to) distinguish between a theory and a hypothesis, his speculation gets to the level of theorizing if he has some underlying (or overt) basis for believing that the “If…Then” part of his statement is logically valid. From what I have read of Daniel’s postings here, I think his basis for that belief is his idea that humans are, in most respects, generally the same worldwide. So, it’s part of a theory.

    Feel encouraged to respond to any of the questions in my original post.
    What do you mean by proving or disproving technology?
    And are you saying that if native tribes had used arrows, spears, tomahawks, etc. against their native neighbors then they could have accomplished a great deal? If so, what do you think they might have accomplished?
    Or are you saying that you think they could have saved upwards of 4 million lives if they had confronted Columbus’ group with those weapons? I’m usually an open-minded skeptic, so perhaps they would have saved millions. But, if that’s what you’re saying, why do you think they decided not to do it?
    So…if not by facts, how do you or I know what we think we know ?

    Yes, I’m aware of Pavlov & MKULTRA/LSD.
    Didn’t know that Descartes dissected dogs w/o anesthesia, thanks.

    Re the link. I don’t think I need a psychologist and a survey to tell me that stupid people can be stupid, do I ? I think smart people noticed that thousands of years ago.

    But what the research in that paper supposedly shows is that it is not just that stupid people can be stupid, but that under certain conditions, some smart people can be more stupid than their stupid neighbors are.

    The bleakest finding was that the more advanced that people’s math skills were, the more likely it was that their political views, whether liberal or conservative, made them less able to solve the math problem.

    I have read that the triune brain idea is these days considered to be an oversimplification, but the paper’s findings sure seem to match up with the idea of the reptile brain’s ability to over-ride the neocortex’s processing.
    This seems similar to some research that Guy mentioned in a conversation that showed that we often make a decision unconsciously (at say, time = T minus some small number of milliseconds) and then (at time = T) our brain starts backfilling rationalizations (‘reasons’) to support the decision.
    This also matches up with some things I have seen about our brains’ ability to backfill false data to support incorrect/false memories.

    Best of luck (?) with the art.

    @robert callaghan

    In other words, we can’t afford the energy to move 1,000,000 tons of rock for just 10 tons of copper.
    Check your arithmetic or tell me where mine is off.
    A million tons of rock should provide 4,000 tons of copper if the concentration is at 0.4%
    To get your 100 tons of copper, seems like 25,000 tons of rock would do.
    As to affordability, since that is a money measurement, my take is that we will afford whatever the banksters tell us we can afford.
    I’m aware that the USA’s Homeland Security folks have bought up an awful lot of ammunition in the past year or two.
    If I start seeing news about them buying tens of thousands of picks and shovels and building FEMA camps near copper ore deposits, then…I’ll be glad I’m not an athletic college student with unpaid loans who will be forced to ‘donate’ two years of my time processing ore by hand…even at 25,000 tons, fifty million pounds of rock is a whole lot of rock.

    I know…I know…but I don’t know any copper mining songs…

  • The podcast from last night’s radio show has been archived. Featuring an interview with professor and homesteader Karl Klein, it’s linked here.

  • Tom

    ‘Obama turned into a Republican right after he stepped into the White House!’

    I thought Obama was a lawyer from Chicago, and therefore a professional liar as bent as a paperclip before he even got into politics. I thought he had been sponsored by corporations into power to fool the ignorant masses into believing in hope and change.

    Which bit did I get wrong?

    ( remember having an argument with James Howard Kunstler on the matter around the time the name Obama emerged out of nowhere; JHK insisted that Obama was the man who was going to fix everything and anyone who said otherwise was a moron and a conspiracy freak.

    As for Keystone and Canadian glug made pumpable by mixing with imported refined petroleum, spirit, I se that WTI has now risen in oprice to the spectacular level of $78.50 a barrel. I read a while ago that a French company had given up trying to get oil out of the bitumen-coated sands, and that Sumitomo were trying to exit the game, having not made any money (a figure of $2,27 billion lost was mentioned). And all that when oil prices were well over $100 a barrel.

    I suppose the next phase of the game will be for the US and Canadian governments to work out a deal whereby they will subsidise the extraction of glug from tar sands to the tune of several hundred billion a year. And cut public library hours to pay for it all.

  • this was like what 40+ years ago ?!
    the message didn`t get thru that also mens ” no break on thru to the other side “

  • kevin: you’re a very astute fellow, since i too fell for the same hype as Kunstler! Indeed, Obama “morphed” into a Republican in his first week of office when, with respect to prosecuting the entire Bush/Cheney cabal for lying to get us into the war in Iraq (not to mention 9-11), Wall Street banking fraud and misfeasance, and torture of not only prisoners but innocents too, Obama then decided to ‘look forward, not back.’ i was livid and swore off politics from then on (though i do still participate in local elections for some daft reason). i’ve denounced not only Obama (worse than George Bush BY FAR) and agreed with the assessment by others that he’s THE WORST president the U.S. has ever had. Now, i fear any president following him will continue to be worse than the predecessor. We’re clearly on the slide down to the abyss now with this new regime being the precursor to the (probably last) election in 2016 or, if we last that long, 2020. By then i expect the U.S. to collapse along with the rest of the world and human civilization via an increasingly hostile environment.

  • @ Tom, Kevin,

    I can’t remember if Obama made the obligatory pilgrimage to the Bilderberg Group meeting during his journey to the candidacy or not. So, I can’t say that he was fully anointed like the previous office holders.

    Another thing that I wonder about is that until a president is actually elected they are not briefed on the secret stuff. Things like the long-term strategic plans of the clandestine services, and the equally long-term and un-voted-upon military strategies. Once elected the former uninformed candidate (even if that person sat on the senate intelligence committee they would still have a very limited view into the secret bureaucracies activities) is privy to these issues there must be quite a surprise to just how strongly their hands are tied to a rudder on the ship of state that has been following a course for decades. And how limited any freedom to change course may really be available to them. And perhaps it becomes clear that their life would be forfeit.

    My suspicion is that even if a change oriented individual could be elected (again low odds) the possibility of them implementing significant change in the corridors of corporate capture is likely to be slight. Regardless, of what they may have said in order to get elected.

    The inertia of the manufactured consensual reality of the powerful and secret segments the industrial world appears to be unassailable and therefore unalterable. Their relative isolation from physical/biological reality amplifies the shared distortions that underlie their collective dissociative disorders, and psychopathologies.

    Mac’s third Beatitude
    Blessed are the smiling politicians,
    For they shall lie through their teeth.

  • Fool me once: shame on you.

    Fool me twice: shame on me.

    I recognised the NZ Green Party was worse than useless around 2002, after I had raised all the crucial issues of the times and discovered they didn’t want to talk about any of them. The NZ Greens have gone rapidly downhill since then, with co-leader Russell Norman recently demanding an inquiry into the loss of manufacturing jobs and suggesting NZ needed to do more money-printing in order to stimulate the economy. Meteria Turei, or whatever her name is, the other co-leader, is an ex-lawyer. Says it all. Professional liar.

    I spotted John Key as a self-serving liar when he first emerged around 2005 (out of nowhere). And Jonathan Young, when he was slotted in by National as candidate for New Plymouth.

    The NZ Labour Party stands for betrayal. Pro-globalisation, pro-money-lender, pro-trash-the-planet bullshit from the mid-1980s on, with Helen Clark one of the most hated leaders NZ has ever generated -hence her reward in the form of a position at the United Nations, with special responsibility for looting Africa, for a ‘job well done’.

    Many of us got sucked in by the Maori Party in the early 2000s because they started talking -with a bit of prompting from Robert and me- about Peak Oil, Severe Climate Change, Genuine Progress Index etc. Then they went down the betrayal path, got into bed with National, and promoted all the bollocks we were opposing.

    I was fooled by Andrew Judd until the week after he took office, because he came to community ‘protest’ meetings, came to Guy McPherson’s presentation in NP, watched ‘There’s no tomorrow’ (the corrupt, Ponzi banking system, peak oil and degradation of the environment) and said there was nothing he disagreed with, said he had read ‘The Easy Way’, discussed the real state of the energy supply, the real state of the global environment, and said ‘NPDC is corrupt and irredeemable’ etc. etc. I had least 20 HOURS discussion with him prior to the local elections!

    And then, when he got elected (partially because Harry Duyhoven was so hated) he turned around and betrayed practically everyone who had voted for him, and as mayor is now fully committed to breaching NZ government statutes (Local Government Acts 2002 and 2012) -which makes him a criminal- in order to make everything worse as fast a possible, thereby destroying his adolescent children’s futures.

    But he is a ‘Christian’. So I suppose that makes it all alright.

    The reality is, NZ is now in the hands of a criminal gang which is in the process of trashing everything as fast as possible in order to acquire more for themselves and their friends, and less for everybody else.

    George Carlin was so right all those years ago about America. And what applies in America, to a large extent, applies in NZ.

    The Carlin quote I presented to NPDC in 2013 (or go to YouTube).

    “But there’s a reason, there’s a reason for this. There’s a reason education sucks, and it’s the same reason it will never, ever, ever be fixed. It’s never going to get any better. Don’t look for it. Be happy with what you’ve got, because the owners of this country don’t want that. I’m talking about the real owners now, the big, wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions.

    Forget the politicians; they’re irrelevant. The politicians are put there to give you the idea you have freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long-since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the State Houses, the city halls. They’ve got the judges in their back pockets. And they own all the big media companies, so they control just about all the news and information you get to hear.

    They’ve got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying, lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else.

    But I’ll tell you what they don’t want. They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them! That’s against their interest. That’s right. You know something. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they’re getting f***ed by a system that threw them overboard thirty f***ing years ago. They don’t want that.

    You know what they want? They want obedient workers! Obedient workers. People who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork, and just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the poor pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime, and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it.

    And now they’re coming for your social security money. They want your f**king retirement money. They want it back, so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street.

    And you know something? They’ll get it. They’ll get it all from you, sooner or later, because they own this f**king place. It’s a Big Club. And you ain’t in it. You and I are not in the Big Club.

    By the way, it’s the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe; all day long beating you over the head in their media, telling you what to believe, what to think, and what to buy.

    The table is tilted, folks. The game is rigged. And nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. Good, honest, hard-working people -white-collar, blue-collar, it doesn’t matter what colour shirt you have on- good, honest, hardworking people continue –these are people of modest means- continue to elect these rich c**k-suckers who don’t give a f**k about them. They don’t give a f**k about you. They don’t give a f**k about you. They don’t care about you at all. At all. At all!

    And nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. That’s what the owners count on. The fact that Americans will remain wilfully ignorant of the big red-white-and-blue d**k that’s being jammed up their a****s every day. Because the owners of this country know the truth; it’s called the American Dream ‘cause you have to be asleep to believe it.”

    By the way, it has been suggested that at any given moment 50% of politicians are intoxicated not just with power but also physically intoxicated with alcohol, and have no idea what they are voting for when asked to vote. “Which way am I supposed to vote/”

    The same seems to apply at NPDC. The majority of councillors do not read reports, (or if they do, do not understand them) and look for cues from the CEO or mayor as to which way they are supposed to vote.

    Anyone who thinks there is hope when the fascists who are in control of western nations are consolidating their positions of power is absolutely bonkers.

    This all going to end very badly for everyone, far sooner than most people imagine possible.

  • Kevin,,
    The Greens party in Australia seems to be dominated by ecological illiterates as well.
    Christine Milne defended their policy of encouraging further immigration by stating that we had
    ‘boundless plains’ to fill.

  • Nothing we probably didn’t already know, but I thought I would post the article. Welcome back to the States, Guy! Keep getting the Word out!


  • Meteria Turei, or whatever her name is, the other co-leader, is an ex-lawyer. Says it all. Professional liar.

    During the time of Hillary Clinton’s testimony before a grand jury, when she ‘couldn’t recall’ various things, Mark Russell quipped something to the effect of, “What do you expect, she’s a congenital lawyer.”

    You can probably use that line without fear of his lawyers contacting you.


    On the other hand, sometimes you *do* need one…

  • @Robert Callaghan: regarding McKibben and Klein: Dave Cohen over at Decline of the Empire had a great blog entry illustrating how full of shit both McKibben and Klein are.

    Here’s URL address to the blog entry in question: http://www.declineoftheempire.com/2014/10/more-adventures-teaser.html

    But then again both McKibben and Klein have reproduced and are thus more susceptible to the allure of hopium.

  • “This all going to end very badly for everyone, far sooner than most people imagine possible.”

    You don’t say………Kevin!?!?

    And to think all this time, I thought NTE was an acronym for “Never Trust an Elf”.

  • Good movie that squeezes the next 30 years into a 10 hour story of the apocalypse (metaphorically of course). The meteor going into the north Atlantic and setting of all the methane was a nice touch.

  • 911 – America’s Reichstag Fire

    Arnold (the pig) for prez in 2016!

    and when those corn pone Nazis come marchin’ in.


    ?Joe Cocker – Inner City Blues (LIVE in Montreux) HD

  • What now podcast:

    Stephen Jenkinson
    November 4, 2014

    Stephen Jenkinson has for a quarter century been guiding individuals, couples, families and communities through all the human sufferings, sorrows and confusions in life. He is also the subject of Griefwalker (2008), a National Film Board of Canada feature documentary film , a lyrical, poetic portrait of Stephen’s work with dying people.

  • Daniel

    “This all going to end very badly for everyone, far sooner than most people imagine possible.”

    Since you are relatively new to NBL etc. and have missed a lot of the previous discussion, I’d better point out that is a quote from way back (which was ignored, of course).

  • Infanttyrone,

    “Because of the way I (try to remember to) distinguish between a theory and a hypothesis, his speculation gets to the level of theorizing if he has some underlying (or overt) basis for believing that the “If…Then” part of his statement is logically valid.”

    True. That is the definition of theory, if it is based in evidence. However, I don’t think these “theories” really qualify.

    What do you mean by proving or disproving technology?

    Common “knowledge” re Native Americans, posted right here by Bud: Warfare and cannibalism prove Native Americans did not live in ecological balance.

    Is “warfare” or even “cannibalism” how we measure ecological balance? I thought how people lived with and managed their natural environment was the measure of “ecological balance.” This culture has both warfare and science. What is the relationship between the two? How does one prove or disprove the other, people seem to think they can do concerning Native Americans and warfare and ecology? I don’t think that works. But I’ve heard this a hundred times in my life, at least.

    And are you saying that if native tribes had used arrows, spears, tomahawks, etc. against their native neighbors then they could have accomplished a great deal? If so, what do you think they might have accomplished?

    Belief #2, expressed here:
    Native Americans would have killed far more people, been as aggressive and dominating of their neighbors if they’d had more advanced technology, like their European counterparts.

    The conquest of the Western hemisphere occurred between 1492-1890, just over 400 years. The level of technology on the part of European peoples varied widely during those four centuries. The common belief re the great technological advantage, however, is a blanket statement about technological differences fails to distinguish in the levels of technological advancement that took place over centuries. Muskets and swords were not hugely “advanced” over the weapons of the North American Indians at the time of contact. They had some deadly weapons including arrows, spears, knives, war clubs, tomahawks, stone axes, and some other things.

    So there are two claims being made here ~ Native Americans had “brutal internecine warfare,” and that they would have been more destructive if they’d had better “technology.”

    If they were so “brutal” and capable of all that awful, awful warfare, how come they were so incompetent at it compared to the Europeans of the time – and through the better part of three centuries – when the “technology” difference was not that great? As I wrote before, Columbus and his men managed to slaughter about 4 million people in just a few years. Was the technology of the North American Indians and the rate of warfare actually on track with the same among the Europeans, both in Europe and the new world?

    If, in warfare, a Native American was capable of killing x people within x amount of time using arrows, tomahawks, etc, and a European with a musket and a sword was capable of killing x amount of people in x amount of time, would the per capita rate of warfare and killing be close IF those factors could be determined?

    Do you understand what I am saying? These assessments, these laden words, these associations are heavily dependent on value judgments, not evidence. The evidence is assumed very frequently, and not even really know, of if it is known it is superficial in the extreme and limited.

    Claims of “brutal internecine warfare” are insufficient to prove that technology alone makes everyone equally murderous or destructive.

    2. The conviction re technology and warfare, etc., ignores very significant cultural differences that not only could have skewed such a future, but likely these cultural “facts” were present in the lack of technological development in the first place, such as lack of poverty, egalitarian societies, environmental awareness, anarchy, and dozens of other cultural attributes like their love of nature and the animals, their contentment with their simplicity, and much, much more. Much more. Compared to Europe where crushing poverty, crime, widespread warfare, environmental degradation and pollution, diseases and plagues from primitive habits, prisons, religious fanaticism based on organized religion, abuse of everyone, including the animals, etc., etc.

    We love these kinds of simplistic ideas, however: They would have been as bad if they’d had the technology. It must be true, because as that moon destroyer wannabe Carl Sagan said, all people have been equally destructive and extractive (apparently even the ones who haven’t).

    if not by facts, how do you or I know what we think we know ?

    I speak of facts. In fact, when you believed that Daniel and I were doing the exact same thing, I was the only one speaking to “facts,” like considering the weapons that did exist and their capabilities, instead of what might have happened if that other thing had happened.

    Thank you for asking.

  • South Australia is heating up folks….

    ‘Western SA regions face potential catastrophic fire danger as temperatures rise’


    A snippet:
    “…The weather bureau says catastrophic fire danger warnings may be issued for South Australia’s west tomorrow.

    Temperatures are forecast to be well above average in the North-West Pastoral District and the West Coast.

    Forecast maximums include 42 degrees at Wudinna and 44 at Ceduna….”

    44 C = 111.2 F

    The planet has absorbed out collective shadow, and radiates it back to us.


  • http://a4rglobalmethanetracking.blogspot.com/2014/11/arctic-circle-assembly-2014-wadhams-no.html

    Wednesday, November 5, 2014

    Arctic Circle Assembly 2014: Wadhams – No September Arctic Sea Ice in 2020 and More


    The Arctic Circle Assembly met October 31 to November 2, 2014 in Reykjavik, Iceland. The event enabled three days of meetings and presentations on all things “Arctic.” See: http://arcticcircle.org/

    The Alaskan Dispatch reporter summarized 10 key points he felt important – two are shared here:

    1. “The Big Thaw Has Only Just Begun. Everywhere scientists gathered here there was talk of feedback loops of one sort or another. Melting permafrost is releasing methane gas, a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, to fuel more Arctic warming. Melting sea ice is exposing more ocean to the sun to capture more solar radiation to fuel more Arctic warming. Warming Arctic water is evaporating to form more water vapor, yet another greenhouse gas, to fuel Arctic warming. All of this is now underway.”

    2. The Arctic Ocean will likely have a sea ice free month by 2020: British physicist Peter Wadhams observed, there seems no natural mechanism for turning the thawing processes off. There seemed a broad consensus that even if there are efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions – the Arctic will continue warming for the foreseeable future. “Wadhams is predicting the end of the polar ice cap by the summer of 2020.”

    Wadhams’ comments about his prediction are recorded in a prior Alaskan Dispatch article:

    “No models here,” Peter Wadhams, professor of applied mathematics and theoretical physics at the University of Cambridge in England, told the Arctic Circle Assembly on Sunday. “This is data.”

    Wadhams has access to data not only on the extent of ice covering the Arctic, but on the thickness of that ice. The latter comes from submarines that have been beneath the ice collecting measurements every year since 1979.

    This data shows ice volume “is accelerating downward,” Wadhams said. “There doesn’t seem to be anything to stop it from going down to zero.

    “By 2020, one would expect the summer sea ice to disappear. By summer, we mean September. … (but) not many years after, the neighboring months would also become ice-free.”

    [read the rest]

  • Don’t get me wrong….but as my first post on this forum, some of these comments may not sit well with the status quo of Nature Bats Last. I must admit a deep admiration for Guy McPherson, especially as it pertains to a runaway scenario with respect to climate changes, possibly much sooner than anyone ever anticipated.
    In actuality, a runaway condition may or may not ensue but the essence of my comments veers away from the effects of these changes to the more complex issues of what to do about it. Here Guy is too mainstream to have much of an effect to possibly curb this oncoming
    planetary train wreck for our species, and millions of others. Somehow we have forgotten that Nature does indeed bat last in that nature does not operate as prescribed events but that it reacts to the life which exists on its surface so that , at least so far, it has allowed life to flourish. As su7ch, we need to do what Darwin did and examine the reasons why species have indeed been successful in lasting as long as they did. We need to closely analyse just what it is in Nature that makes things ok… If we want to dig ourselves out of this mess, we need to study the nature of things and live according to its timetables and its ability to adjust to the insults we have made, and continue to make, on its surface. We also need to observe, as a follow-up to Darwin’s takes on the history of life just what we have to change in the way we think so that we can be better accommodated to the conditions that life necessitates in order to be
    successful as a species.
    A small example if that of Economics.. Naively of course, no other species on the planet lives with an economic agenda, and yet it seems that thy boundaries of the human condition involves economics as the essence of human existence….
    Anyway.. thanks for your wonderful forum…
    Jean Turcot

  • @ oldgrowthforest

    I cannot remember if Ward Churchill has been discussed on this site but here is what he had to say in his book “Acts of Rebellion.” Other sites trash him badly but these words ring true to me.

    “The postinvasion history of Native America thus provides the lens through which all of
    American history must be examined if it is to be in any sense genuinely understood. To put it more personally, it is essential, if one is to truly appreciate the implications of one’s own place in American society, that one “read” them in terms of U.S./Indian relations.71

    It follows that correction of the socioeconomic, political, and other repugnancies marking modern American life is, in the final analysis, entirely contingent upon rectification of non-indian America’s abecedarian (A Person Who Is Just Learning; A Novice. This Is Placed Here For Emphasis!) relationship to American Indians.

    Here, history provides the agenda concerning what must be done. So long as Native North America remains internally colonized, subject to racial codes, unindemnified for the genocide and massive expropriations we’ve suffered—and continue to suffer—geno-cide, colonialism, racism, and wholesale theft will remain the signal attributes of American mentality and behavior. Insofar as this is so, the U.S. will undoubtedly continue to comport itself in the world as it has in the past. And this, in turn, will inevitably result in responses far more substantial than that made on 9–1–1.

  • Shep,
    From the comment on your post: “Massive expropriations WE’ve suffered”, I would assume that you may be a native American? No matter, those of us who are aboard the latest Titanic and the fate we may be about to suffer will be the same for all of us. We are in this together, and past atrocities, invasions or injustices will not stop our runaway ship. It’s high time we see each other as Earthlings, and not particular sets of Earthlings. The possible nuclear melt-downs of unsupervised nuclear plants or the advent of a nuclear war will be the result of our differences, and not of our similarities. Melting glaciers will melt in spite of our ethnicity, religious beliefs or political affiliations. Although there is nothing more poignant that losing one’s land, territory, or home for that matter to invaders, be they marching armies or economic weapons, (banks and governments evict people all the time) what truly matters is that the only home we can ever live on, the Earth, is getting its environments altered and destroyed and so we must look after our collective HOME with the care and attention that we would take in taking care of own particular house, shelter or other safety structure. It’s not a matter of retribution as much as it is a matter of consensus on how to survive beyond our own innate stupidities as a species.

  • Wrapping NZ.

    I was in the NPDC building yesterday on another matter when I discovered it was hours before the last moment to make comment on the Draft Significance and Engagement Policy (the councils Orwellian attempt to pretend it can assess significance and engage with the community). I hurriedly wrote the following and inputted it into the system (typing it later).

    At the moment the level of fascism of the NZ government of John Key has not reached the point of arbitrary arrest and disappearances associated with many South American regimes sponsored by Washington in the past, though it is clear John Key is going down that track, with the first ever joint NZ-US military exercises on NZ soil since WW2 occurring recently.

    ‘Feedback to NPDC Draft Significance and Engagement Policy 6th Nov 2014

    Andrew Judd has, over the past 12 months, demonstrated to the people of the district that he is a liar, that he has zero credibility amongst the portion of the population capable of thinking for themselves, and that he is more than willing to act as an agent in the destruction of the community he lives in. More than that, Andrew Judd has repeatedly demonstrated that he is more than willing to sacrifice his own children’s futures in the pursuit of dysfunctional ideology which suits the very short term interests of international money-lenders and corporations, and the very short interests of local opportunists.

    The public consultation process has been repeatedly demonstrated to be an utter sham, with the prime objective of elected members and staff to prevent public debate of anything of significance via heavy-handed control of meetings, totally unrealistic time frames for public consultation and other means to shut down discussion. In the meantime NPDC churns out a constant stream of propaganda geared to bringing forward energetic and environmental catastrophe.

    We liken NPDC to a person who promotes chain-smoking. Although the victim may initially cough and choke, the real damage takes a considerable time to materialise, i.e. cancer develops and kills the victim some time after the habit is adopted.

    Thus, it will be in the period 2016-2020 that idiotic policies promoted by Andrew Judd and Barbara McKerrow will be seriously felt the community –by which time it will be far too late, of course.

    Since all NPDC policy is predicated on ignoring all the scientific evidence and consists of mindless parroting of ideology, and riding rough-shod over all opposition, there really is no basis for engagement, and comment merely become documentation of the criminal behaviour of the CEO, mayor and senior councillors.

    Let there be no question about this. NPDC has been, and continues to be in breach of the Local Government Acts 2002 and 2012, and is therefore a criminal organisation which promotes criminality.

    It came as no surprise that John McLeod (an honourable man) resigned in utter disgust at the behaviour of NPDC. I would not be at all surprised to see further resignations as the all the issues NPDC has chosen not to deal with impact over the coming years, particularly:

    Peak Oil (2005-2008) The fracking ‘revolution’ now proven to be an utter disaster and global economic collapse underway.

    Abrupt Climate Change due to ever-greater CO2 emissions and the triggering of methane, predicted to make the earth uninhabitable by mid-century, but in the meantime destroying the global food system.

    Unravelling of Ponzi finance and Ponzi economics: Japan expected to be completely down the drain within 2 years.’

    My feedback will undoubtedly disappear into ‘the system’ without trace after being read by a few individuals, and drivers of NPDC policy will continue to act outside the law and continue to wreck practically everything they touch until they can’t, and lie to the general populace in the process. That’s the system. And as far as I can tell, all other local government is just as bad or worse.

    The really interesting thing is, we are getting ever closer to the ‘until they can’t’ point, with yet another demand from the ‘thieves’ at NPDC for yet another 8% increase in rates, which the CEO deems ‘necessary’, right at the time when the NZ economy shows numerous indications of being not far off the point of implosion, government money-printing, mass immigration and government boondoggles being the only factors holding things together in the short term.

  • Jean, I think the discussions we’ve been having that have spilled over to this thread from an earlier one (More from New Zealand), about whether it was inevitable for the human species to end up in scenario (no matter the outcome) and what lessons can be learnt from evolution and the behaviour of “successful” complex systems that have thrived for hundreds of millions or billions of years, touches upon the points you raise. I also feel you have answered your own question.

    Not everyone views the climate system and biological systems in general through the same lens, but some have, and I think Guy’s points about the various feedbacks have connected some of the relevant dots. Living systems exist far from thermodynamic, and even chemical, equilibrium, but yet an organism is generally comprised of an intricate set of feedback loops that all exist in “balance” with each other, like a finely tuned instrument with a capacity to self tune if the tuning goes out. If you change one aspect of these systems (or some change in the environment causes such a shift), then all other relevant systems will start to compensate. As you note, climate change is just one instance of the earth system responding to various insults heaped upon it.

    Historically, it is simple: as the environment changes, the organism changes or it dies. Organisms have influenced the environment triggering fundamental shifts in the global earth system, but this carries enormous risk (cf. the Great Oxygenation Event or GOE). But in general, Nature has used evolution to shape these processes over billions of years and over zillions of parallel computations (within cells), i.e., building these self-tuning instruments has taken a LOT of trial of error, time, and has sometimes been “ruthless”, mostly gradual. Say it took about a billion years to get to a single cell. From that cell, for the entire system to generate organisms like humans, it took another few billion years, with an event like the GOE happening early on . And again, lots of parallel computations with a fairly fixed mutation rate to produce organisms that “worked”. We are perturbing the system in much shorter time scales in more destructive ways to ourselves. The GOE is expected to have occurred over a couple of hundred million years for example but it did occur a long time ago and since then many lineages of organisms have persisted for billions of years, and plants have been around for about 250 million years.

    So I think what we can learn is that homeostasis, or the means to achieve it, is a key feature of these systems in their stable states. “Climate change” is really the earth system achieving a state with homeostasis. If we want to keep the system in the same state, then we need to build means to achieve it, just like nature has done with our internal systems (i.e., for every molecule of excess CO2 we put in, we do something to take it out without doing anything else to destabilise the system). I fear we lack the wisdom to do so since these are complex systems but that’s what I think is instructive from nature.

  • Jean,

    “Although there is nothing more poignant that losing one’s land, territory, or home for that matter to invaders, be they marching armies or economic weapons, (banks and governments evict people all the time) what truly matters is that the only home we can ever live on, the Earth, is getting its environments altered and destroyed and so we must look after our collective HOME with the care and attention that we would take in taking care of own particular house, shelter or other safety structure.”

    If people are losing their land and being invaded, what means will they have to “look after our collective home”?

  • oldgrowthforest,

    Thanks for your reply.
    I’m still a bit confused by terminology on the idea of using war to prove/disprove technology.

    Here is the start of it from your original post addressed to Daniel:

    Ulvfugl is correct and ecological sophistication cannot be disproved by slavery or warfare or any other moral judgment. If that were true, technology could be proved or disproved by warfare. More below.

    In this paragraph, are you using the terms ‘ecological sophistication’ and ‘technology’ interchangeably ?

    Or are you saying that IF ulvfugl were incorrect and ecological sophistication COULD be demonstrated/proved on the basis of warfare, slavery, etc., THEN the level of technology available to some group could be demonstrated (or reasonably inferred) by examining the type, severity, frequency, etc. of the warfare that they engaged in ??


    I thought from the second paragraph of your post addressed to Daniel that you were saying that in some deep philosophical sense facts are an insufficient basis for knowledge, but now I get the sense that you were just saying that some of his ‘facts’ are untrue or incomplete and that based on that, some of what he knows is incorrect or at best incomplete.
    Is that a fairly accurate reading of what you had in mind ?


    One new area…
    If Columbus’ crews around 1500 slaughtered on the order of 4,000,000 people with swords, then by the time of the English colonists’ arrival on the Eastern coast of the continent starting in 1620 or so, why weren’t the English slaughtered by the time they got off the beach ?

    I can imagine that with the benefit of armor + swords + the tactic of encirclement the Spanish could have killed a dozen or two people at a time, but I don’t think they had the number of soldiers to kill hundreds at a time. Getting to 4,000,000 means a lot of encirclements. A couple of hundred thousand encirclements if it was only 20 killed per event. The 17-ship expedition you refer to was Columbus’ second one and it only lasted about a year or so including travel time to and from Spain. A couple hundred thousand encirclements in a year or so comes to around 500 encirclements per day times 20 people killed for a daily death toll of about 10,000. Are you aware of encounters where a larger number of people were killed ?

    I’m familiar with depictions and descriptions of the Spanish conquistadores and their armor, but as far as I know the Puritans and most (if not all) of the later English people arriving on the East coast were not equipped with armor.

    With all the trading and communication among native people at the time, it seems to me like there would have been a ‘memo’ advising anyone living close to a shoreline that pale-skinned people arriving in ships were ‘very bad news’ and recommending that they be killed immediately. Do you have any ideas as to why the Puritans & others were allowed to survive ?

  • Is this how the present economic system ends?

    Governments squander resources and impoverish the general populace to the point they cut back on consumption; the lack of demand causes oil prices to fall to below the level necessary for most extraction to be economic; extraction declines rapidly when investment in extraction declines; climate chaos reduces food production; governments repress starving populations using militarised police forces until civil war breaks out throughout most of the world.


  • Most indigenous deaths in the New World were from disease, I had understood (perhaps incorrectly). Now, that led to the interesting *technology* of using natives’ lack of immunity against them intentionally (aided by the growing Western comprehension of germs).

  • The leadership of the Industrial Extraction Empire have a pretty good idea of where things are heading, and seek to insulate and protect themselves and the others of the aristocracy class while feeding the sheeple the foolishness necessary to keep them domesticated. In 2012 they were taking steps to try and protect themselves while lying to the country.

    ENENEWS: Emergency radiation testing used at Democrat and Republican conventions after Fukushima; Also for Obama Inauguration — Seafood, meat, vegetables, milk, water checked for nuclear waste, while top officials agree to publicly downplay crisis — 80% of milk samples by Orlando, FL had ‘significant’ Cs-137

    Mac in MN

    http://enenews.com/ select the thread which ought to be at the top.

  • Ram Samudrala Says:
    November 6th, 2014 at 10:43 am

    “… whether it was inevitable for the human species to end up in scenario (no matter the outcome) and what lessons can be learnt from evolution and the behaviour of “successful” complex systems that have thrived for hundreds of millions or billions of years …”

    Not on this planet. “Successful” is a term of teleology, not abiotic->biotic evolution (The Uncertain Gene – 2).

    “Living systems exist far from thermodynamic, and even chemical, equilibrium, but yet an organism is generally comprised of an intricate set of feedback loops that all exist in “balance” with each other …”

    Again, not on this planet. “Living” is another teleological word which is a result of looking the other way from the fact that what we call “living” refers to events of recent import.

    On this planet all systems described by the teleological word “living” are abiotic based.

    The biotic piggy-backed carbon based systems, all of which have an abiotic foundation, were doomed as premature from the get-go on this planet (On the Origin of the Genes of Viruses – 8).

    When the word “intelligent” is associated with “successful” and “living” in that context, it is teleological to the extent that it applies to the recent (post carbon) developments on this planet.

    These notions emerge from half-baked cognition that does not include the larger picture of Abiology (the molecular-machine predecessor epoch to all biological Earth systems) when non-living molecular machines like RNA and DNA evolved (What Kind of Intelligence Is A Lethal Mutation?, Putting A Face On Machine Mutation – 4).

  • infant,

    Do not think it was a situation of allowing them to survive. The righteous ones through, DECEPTION, rampant sodomy (just threw this in because it is in the article below), small pox, 30% incidence to alcoholism, technology, Calvinism etc. always had the advantage no matter what the odds, unless u happened to be out in the woods by yourself.

    Check this out.


  • The latest post includes more media based on my trip to New Zealand. Catch it here.

  • Hi, Infant.

    If one wants to measure the level of ecological balance in a culture, one would need to address ecological cultural practices. Warfare and even cannibalism cannot be used to measure the cultural sophistication of ecological practices or technological achievement. They are different things. There is no equivalence between “ecological balance” and “warfare.” One does not make the other.

    So, get over believing that you can prove that Native Americans were not ecologically sophisticated and sustainable based on “warfare.”

    “I thought from the second paragraph of your post addressed to Daniel that you were saying that in some deep philosophical sense facts are an insufficient basis for knowledge, but now I get the sense that you were just saying that some of his ‘facts’ are untrue or incomplete and that based on that, some of what he knows is incorrect or at best incomplete. Is that a fairly accurate reading of what you had in mind ?”

    Yes. I am not arguing that he believes he has “facts,” but I have pointed out repeatedly that what is promoted as irrefutable are obvious illogic, theories, conjectures, moral and societal value judgments that are presumed “objective” (this is the new version of the “One True God” that walked off the Mayflower), and associations that have never been questioned, such as the association between warfare and ecology, a completely learned association, rather like Pavlov’s dogs.

    This point that you make and that I agree with is part of the disconnect. I’m not doing what you think I am doing, nor am I often writing what you think I am writing about How They Were, which is more of your perception lens based in your own need for omniscient understanding of How Things Are. I’m only poking holes in the logic, the assumptions, the false associations, etc., etc.

    One new area… What is the fundamental question? It is the assumed equivalence between violence and technology: “all people are equally destructive and the only reason Native Americans were not as destructive is lack of technology.” Columbus was in a different part of the world, which works for my point.

    This is universally accepted. So, let’s look at what Europeans of Columbus’ time were doing compared to the Iroquoian and Muscogee peoples of the East Cost. What was the level of warfare? How much war was occurring at the same time in Europe, and what were the comparative mortality rate and war practices?

    De las Casas said that the number was four million. Infant, don’t bother trying to understand this in that way. Read the historical accounts. Columbus and his men worked until they were exhausted murdering people. They waded in blood. De las Casas: [The Spaniards] “thought nothing of knifing Indians by tens and twenties and of cutting slices off them to test the sharpness of their blades.”

    “Las Casas’
    Brev’sima relaci—n, among other contemporaneous sources, is also
    replete with accounts of Spanish colonists (hidalgos) hanging Tainos
    en masse, roasting them on spits or burning them at the stake (often a
    dozen or more at a time), hacking their children into pieces to be
    used as dog feed and so forth, all of it to instill in the natives a
    “proper attitude of respect” toward their Spanish “superiors.”
    “[The Spaniards] made bets as to who would slit a man in two, or cut
    off his head at one blow; or they opened up his bowels. They tore the
    babes from their mother’s breast by their feet and dashed their heads
    against the rocks…They spitted the bodies of other babes, together
    with their mothers and all who were before them, on their swords.”

    Ward Churchill

    Many of the deaths occurred from murderous conditions in the mines they were forced to work. Others came from starvation from having their homes destroyed and running away to the forests.

    These were the gentle, not armed Tainos. However, in North America, the people were not Tainos. They did have “warrior societies,” and I agree with Wester that they were not the same as the militarism of Europe. They did have weapons, and they did have conflicts. So . . . how did their real destruction and killing compare to the Europeans? Is technology the ONLY difference, as we are told ad nauseam for over 160 years now? I cannot see that anyone has ever proved that, but I know hundreds, if not thousands of people who believe it. Because they’ve been told that, and they don’t question it.

    ” the Spanish conquistadores and their armor, but as far as I know the Puritans and most (if not all) of the later English people arriving on the East coast were not equipped with armor.” Good point.

    With all the trading and communication among native people at the time, it seems to me like there would have been a ‘memo’ advising anyone living close to a shoreline that pale-skinned people arriving in ships were ‘very bad news’ and recommending that they be killed immediately. There was, especially in the Southeast among Native Americans who had heard of De Soto. There were also warnings against the slave ships that trolled the east coast prior to colonization. At Plymouth a Native American walked up to the Puritans at some point in the spring and said, “Welcome.” He had learned English from a former slave who had made his way back home, Squanto.

    Do you have any ideas as to why the Puritans & others were allowed to survive ?

    I can only quote what the Indians said themselves, “Welcome; there is enough for everyone.” They shared. They placed supreme importance on sharing, something unknown in Europe for at that point, if ever. At one point Powhatans under Opechancanough did almost destroy the colonists in Jamestown, but they stopped. My understanding is that no one really knows why. I can only say that I believe they did not use Murder to meet their needs anywhere near as often as the Europeans. The Puritans were also lucky enough to encounter Massasoit for the first 40 years, who promoted peace during his life. He was a generous and ethical man. Forty years was a lot, however. By 1661 there were more than Puritans arriving. It was a moving-in, plundering free-for-all wherever possible.

    Also, the Indians were anarchists. They had few “rules,” and it was impossible to get them to organize the way Europeans organized and followed each other en masse. That was not possible in their cultures. Nothing like that was going on anywhere in pre-Columbian North America. Some Indians, notably Tecumseh, upon seeing the writing on the wall tried to unite them later, but failed.

    I don’t have all the answers to these questions. Since Native cultures were destroyed so rapidly once contact occurred, I question how much anyone can know these things.

    I do, however, know that a great many cherished Sacred Cows in the WC/IC perspective that are displayed here routinely are entirely imaginary fabrications, presumed associations that aren’t, meaning that doesn’t mean, and other intellectual mediocrity and obfuscations.

    These will be the people who the most confused and the first to ask, “How did we get here?”

  • Robin Data:

    The spelling is Colombia, not Columbia.

  • Dredd: Quite true, but according to the NBLites there is not a hill of beans difference between the RepubliCONS and Dems?

    ogardner: What explains the Nazi fixation?

  • Hey, Shep…

    ogf says Columbus’ crew from his 17 ships killed about 4 million.

    Estimated number of Spaniards in that expedition (his 2nd one) is 1,200.
    It lasted about a year minus travel time to & from Spain, so call it about 300 days or so of butchery.

    I haven’t done a detailed study of how much sailing time they had versus land time in and around the Caribbean, so 300 days is probably still a bit high, but we can use it just to get an approximation.

    If every one of them, including cooks & cabin boys, were involved with the slaughter, that means they each had to kill about 11 people every day with swords…for 300 days or so.

    I don’t dispute the 4 million. ogf might be right on the money with that number. I don’t have any info/data that would make me wager that s/he’s wrong. I’m just wondering how a bunch of pale-skinned thugs got away with that level of butchery without word being passed that their kind should be avoided at all costs, or better yet, killed on sight.

    I live in Costa Rica. We’re under 5,000,000 folks here. I’m sure if someone came here and wiped out 80%+ of the population within a year using only 1,200 people (with swords yet), neither Panama nor Nicaragua would have second thoughts about killing any or all of them that tried to cross into their territories. I’m just curious as to how the tribes on the East coast would not have known about such a rampage or, if they did know about it, why they would let English colonists enter their territories. Maybe over the 120+ year interval between Columbus and Plymouth Rock the nature and severity of the threat diminished in their minds? Again, I’m not contesting the 4 million, but trying to get a handle on how it got started the second time (after 1620).

    P.S. Be sure to lurk over to DAA in a few weeks and catch the YT clips of morons climbing over each other to get the $5 toaster ovens or whatever they’re gonna be killing each other for this year. :=)

  • Dredd, I’d be the first to drop the distinction between living and non-living, successful and non-successful, and talk purely in terms of dynamics of the systems involved, but that’s not an easy conversation to have in English. Nonetheless, it is completely irrelevant what labels are used or whether you characterise something as teleological or not to the point I was making about homeostasis, which still stands (plus I tried to use quotes as much as I could for certain words). All systems described using the teleological word “living” are far from thermodynamic, or even chemical equilibrium. And you disagree with that statement? Because of the use of the word “living” or about the statement about equilibrium? If the former, I’d say it doesn’t matter to the point I was making, and if the latter, I’d say slice open a cell (or a body) and take a look inside with your instrument of choice. As I read somewhere, “equilibrium is death.” (And yes, death is also teleological.)

    So when you say “On this planet all systems described by the teleological word “living” are abiotic based”, you are saying that humans, which are “biotic
    piggy-backed carbon based systems” are “abiotic based”? Again, why would this matter so far as homeostasis is concerned? What matters in the explanation I was offering to Jean is that natural biological systems are generally far from equilibrium systems that have mechanisms to attain a complex equilbrium between the various feedback loops that regulate their dynamical systems. An introductory textbook on complexity should cover this.

    And you use the word “non-living” – what does that mean, telelogically, or according to your definition of what “living” and “non-living” is? “Abiotic” and “biotic” are also telelogical. You’ve just shifted the definitions to match your idea of what living and non-living is. Try to define abiotic and biotic without using the word “living” and “non-living”.

    And DNA is not a molecular machine. Some RNA is, but not most and I’d stick with all. Proteins are “true” molecular machines. But “machine” is also a teleological construct, as is the word “true”.

    I think it’s interesting to come up with a grand theory of living (or non-living) systems that transcends what we call “living” on this planet (I have a couple myself), but I fail to see the relevance to the points I was making about homeostasis, which is a feature of the system being described and would be true whether it was described using teleological constructs or mathematical equations.

    More on the forum…

  • ogf,

    Sorry, I was multitasking during the time that I was writing my message to Shep and didn’t see your reply to me.

    So, get over believing that you can prove that Native Americans were not ecologically sophisticated and sustainable based on “warfare.”

    Just to be clear, if you have in your mind that I am conflating warfare and ecological sophistication or saying that any type of warfare detracts from a group’s ecological sophistication….I’m not saying anything of the sort…or at least I don’t intend to project/support that idea. Obviously one has little to do with the other.

    I also don’t subscribe to the idea that every human or group of humans has the same predisposition to violence and thereby is equally dangerous if/when they acquire powerful, harmful technology. Most organized militaries can’t resist new using technology. I take your point that Indians were anarchic so that they never (seldom?) had such a military. Europe had States that were called Nations and Indians had tribes that were called Nations, but the nature of the nations wasn’t the same…is that too simplistic a comparison ?

    I have read a little about the Tainos and the quota system for gold and cotton whereby people who didn’t ‘deliver the goods’ had their hands cut off and were left to bleed to death. Your quote from De las Casas makes a lot of sense to me…the numbers it mentions even matches up with my idea of one or two dozen people being killed at a time (my guess might not be correct, but at least it is similar in number to the number of De las Casas in that quote).

    Interesting to know that the verbal memo was operative in the Southeast where people had heard of DeSoto, and especially interesting to know about the Puritans having had the good luck (for them anyway) to settle in territory where the leader was a pacifistic (or peace-promoting, if pacifistic means something different to you) individual.

    I do, however, know that a great many cherished Sacred Cows in the WC/IC perspective that are displayed here routinely are entirely imaginary fabrications, presumed associations that aren’t, meaning that doesn’t mean, and other intellectual mediocrity and obfuscations.

    I got my own early info on all this about 50 years ago from a combination of Catholic schools (about the last place I’d expect to hear the true story about colonists’ butchery of native people) and USA public schools (the 2nd to last place I’d expect to hear about it).

    There seem to be a lot of “things that we know that aren’t so”, huh?

    Not sure how much you have read of Guy’s Climate Change Summary & Update (click on “Climate Chaos” on the home page). My sense of the readership here is that most think we have somewhere between 15 and 50 years before irreversible climatic trends make a survivable habitat impossible anywhere on the planet for humans and most animals & plants. Probably most agree that the 15 years could be shortened if the international monetary system falls apart or if we experience a severe pandemic. Any optimists who think that we might have longer will probably respond to this post, so the large or small number of responses should give you a handle on the overall Coefficient of Doom that is present here these days.

    This is a 3rd post, so I’ll forego any YT clips until next time.

  • infanttyrone,
    Posters on this blog seem quite knowledgeable about issues, especially as they address global warming perspectives. I have been impressed and fascinated with Guy McPherson’s points of view ever since I first became aware of his positions regarding feedback loops and which, to my knowledge, were not well-known phenomena by most people. I do have some reservations however as to our inevitable slide into oblivion with as much certainty as that expressed by Mr. McPherson’s rendition of global warming. In general, I do assume that his studies and research have convinced him that our fate was sealed some time ago. I don’t yet quite ascribe to that totality just yet. I think the Fat Lady (excusing the lack of sensitivity) has not yet sung her last song, and that although we may be in for a rough ride, I don’t quite think and somewhat reject the notion that the end is a foregone conclusion. There are a few ideas floating around regarding our social structures that may mitigate our descent into extinction and we may yet emerge from these depths in fairly good shape if we know what we are doing. But thanks for the suggestion. I listen to Guy’s interviews with great interest, and with much approval of his stance on our present condition.

  • Ram Samudrala Says:
    November 6th, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    Dredd … So when you say “On this planet all systems described by the teleological word “living” are abiotic based”, you are saying that humans, which are “biotic piggy-backed carbon based systems” are “abiotic based”?

    Abiotic in the links I gave means pre-carbon, and therefore, “pre-carbon based life forms.” (“Abiotic definition: of or characterized by the absence of life or living organisms” – dictionary).

    The new paradigm is: The Physical Universe Is Mostly Machine – 2.

    And DNA is not a molecular machine …”

    Evidently that fallacy is difficult to unlearn for a lot of people: “We are involved in a project to incorporate innovative assessments within a reform-based large-lecture biochemistry course for nonmajors. We not only assessed misconceptions but purposefully changed instruction throughout the semester to confront student ideas. Our research questions targeted student conceptions of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) along with understanding in what ways classroom discussions/activities influence student conceptions. Data sources included pre-/post-assessments, semi-structured interviews, and student work on exams/assessments. We found that students held misconceptions about the chemical nature of DNA, with 63 % of students claiming that DNA is alive prior to instruction. The chemical nature of DNA is an important fundamental concept in science fields. We confronted this misconception throughout the semester collecting data from several instructional interventions. Case studies of individual students revealed how various instructional strategies/assessments allowed students to construct and demonstrate the scientifically accepted understanding of the chemical nature of DNA. However, the post-assessment exposed that 40 % of students still held misconceptions about DNA, indicating the persistent nature of this misconception. Implications for teaching and learning are discussed.” (Putting A Face On Machine Mutation – 4, quoting “Research in Science Education”, Volume 43, Issue 4, Aug. 2013, pp.1361-1375).

    With that difference of opinion between us, mine being the established consensus that DNA is not alive, yours being that of the 40% students who did not change their concept that DNA is alive, it would seem that we are in no position to discuss the issue further.

  • FriedrichKling Says:
    November 6th, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Dredd: Quite true, but according to the NBLites there is not a hill of beans difference between the RepubliCONS and Dems?
    In terms of NTHE or collapse of industrial civilization, that is correct, no difference.

    They are all in the cultural trance (Comparing a Group-Mind Trance to a Cultural Amygdala).

    The differences between them do not address, understand, or overcome the catastrophies we face.

    Nevertheless, one party is more humane than the other.

    Have you read any Dr. G. Lakoff?

  • Dredd: The quote you give only supports my position. DNA is not alive, and it is not a molecular machine (you wrote that it was). I don’t see how you think my saying DNA is not a molecular machine indicates that my saying DNA is alive? Let me make it clear: DNA is not a machine AND DNA is not alive. It only exists to be transcribed by proteins (mostly, but there are structural functions it performs as well and it serves as the raw material for other genes to be created, etc.) into messenger RNA. The messenger RNA is translated into proteins which fold into 3D structures that perform their functions via conformational changes, catalysis, binding, etc.—it is proteins that are molecular machines. The protein folding problem is what I’ve cut my teeth on and we were among the first to get a partial solution right, and my mentor who I did the work with won the Nobel in Chemistry in 2013 for being among the first to do it in the 60s.

    I’ll take my own research on genetics, genomics and proteomics over any consensus view but what I stated is the consensus view and your view that DNA is a molecular machine is not the consensus view (and I’m a professor of computational biology and bioinformatics who routinely publishes in the top scientific journals; my CV is here http://compbio.org/cv.html). We ourselves have done some work on DNA nanotechnology making DNA into machines (desgining DNA tweezers, etc.), but that’s the point we had to make the DNA into machines. DNA as it exists in nature is not a machine and is not alive.

    You are incorrect about DNA being a molecular machine, and you’re incorrect about thinking that I think DNA is alive. It’s illogical to link my statement about DNA not being a molecular machine to some claim about students thinking DNA is alive. What do the two things have to do with each other?

    Back to your claims: what is pre-carbon on this planet? How can you tell? And what does pre-carbon even mean, before carbon every existed in this universe, or before carbon became a composition of this planet? I think this time-based division you have of what is living and non-living is not helpful (and objecting to words in the English language as teleologic or not) when discussing issues about NTHE on a forum like this.

    You should go back and read my first (and only) flame war that got started with ulvfulgl on this forum when I said everything is a machine. But I don’t think our views are as far off as you may think: I don’t have time to read all your linked pages but I did read some and I understand more or less where you are coming from. You on the other hand aren’t understanding me clearly. I could also point you to a number of papers I’ve published and tell you to read them but I don’t find that to be a useful means of discussion on a forum like this. If one can’t make their point via back and forth dialectic there’s no point. Good luck with your ideas.

  • Ram Samudrala Says:
    November 7th, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Dredd: The quote you give only supports my position. DNA is not alive, and it is not a molecular machine (you wrote that it was). I don’t see how you think my saying DNA is not a molecular machine indicates that my saying DNA is alive? Let me make it clear: DNA is not a machine AND DNA is not alive.
    Repeating what you said is not repeating what I said.

    I said DNA is a “molecular machine” and is not alive.

    This is the new science paradigm, not the old science your misunderstanding of abiotic evolution comes from. It is irrelevant to your competent understanding of recent biological evolution, which you were debating with others.

    I will offer one quote from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and leave it at that: “A new paradigm exists for understanding how cells function. Scientists are recognizing that the cell is a highly integrated biological factory with a modular architecture. Each modular unit acts as a molecular machine. These machines have highly specialized functions and are large assemblies of proteins and nucleic acids. They range in size from about 10 – 150 nanometers (10-9 m) and provide environments in which chemical species can interact in a highly specific fashion. Molecular machines also function as mechano-chemical energy transducers, converting chemical free energy into mechanical energy for cellular processes. They operate cyclically, and can reset themselves.

    With the genetic information gained from the U.S. Human Genome Project and DOE’s Microbial Genome Program, scientists now have the raw information with which to observe, manipulate, characterize and, ultimately, replicate these large protein assemblies. Using conventional and newly developed microscopy techniques, PBD researchers, through an initiative called Microscopies of Molecular Machines (M3), are creating a toolkit for probing the inner workings of these molecular machines.” (The New Paradigm: The Physical Universe Is Mostly Machine).

    That post has many other links to posts on the subject in various contexts.

    Cheers my friend.

  • I just listened to Guy’s discussion (uncertain of its date) about the mootness of recycling.

    He mentions Socrates’ 6 questions asked incessently:

    What is Courage ?
    What is Good ?
    What is Justice ?
    What is Moderation ?
    What is Piety ?
    What is Virtue ?

    But not only that, Guy said he enjoys doing that too … i.e. … travelling around asking those questions.

  • Dredd, you said DNA is a molecular machine. I am saying it is not. You then quote scientists (some of this science is something I do and publish as I said) who are talking about CELLS AND PROTEINS! Which are DIFFERENT from DNA. If you don’t recognise the DNA and proteins, then I’m afraid your lack of understanding of basic biology is lacking.

    DNA by itself is just a blueprint. Like I said, it mainly exists to be transcribed and translated into proteins (by other proteins). Some RNA can work as machines (ribozymes).

    What I do is cutting edge research in multiscale modelling of complex atomic, molecular, cellular, and physiological systems. What are you talking about are indeed half-baked ideas about molecular biology some of which are interesting, and some of which are just wordsmithing, and some of which are simply incorrect (DNA is not a machine).

  • Dredd, And modelling the structure, functions, and interactions of these proteins and proteomes is what I do on a daily basis. Check out the papers we’ve published in this regard instead of repeating stock quotes which are actually enabled by work I, and researchers like myself, do. We’re the first to link the modelling of proteome structure to drug discovery (and my mentor was the first to do multiscale modelling of proteins). This was published in Drug Discovery Today this year.

  • And as I said, it is proteins that are the machines. The whole idea of being able to say “machine” to a biological system is because of proteins, which includes cells as machines and tissues as machines and organisms as machines (I’ve already said everything is machine earlier). It is all because of proteins. And protein structure is what I do basic research on. And all your “new paradigms” are just pop science perspectives – the real science is in the original research.

    DNA is not a machine.


    Sorry for the third post. More on the forum.

  • Ram,

    Another subject. Something for the mathematically curious. Not me. If you or anyone you know can use it, please let me know.

  • That is a great video artleads. I loved it. This man has a clue and can distinguish substance from form. Fundamentalists insist upon form, then meaning, in that order. This man can see the identical mathematical full understanding in both cultures, despite the application of the understanding being vastly different.

    This is a great example of The Big Lie at work and the resistance to giving any credence whatsoever to the First Nations people. Observe how the conversation on the part of the pipeline people is kept on a very complex level, how the lies never stop, and it is a way of being that is supported by millions and millions of other people who still believe (somehow) in a psychopathic and psychotic Pangloss. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiVxyLb1hJA

    The video above is events occurring over 500 after the arrival of Columbus. Yes, they use metal tools. They sure do. They drive pickups. They use chainsaws.

    But look how they have actually held on, in spite of everything. Notice how their values have not changed in centuries, indeed, for thousands of years. They are not daily hearing from experts that things are different now, they have new knowledge, they have the one true God, there is no God, they were wrong and the previous theories have been discounted, the sciences and politics and human nature and human greatness and human arts and human, human, human, me, me, me, me . . .

    Their worldview has stood the test of time, then and now, because it is Life centered, not human centered. Humans are animals, something they told Europeans a very long time ago, and compared to the Universe, humans atr not capable of fully understanding it. Because we’re animals. Their worldview is what gives them the strength to hold to it. It’s what they do. They still dance and sing, everyone does; it’s not hierarchical. They still respect the Earth, it’s integral to their “primitive” understanding of Reality. They have a right to sustain their own lives through harvesting the earth. They have that right. They do not have to live like monkeys in trees to have “balance” and “sustainability.” Those are their values. Knowledge is more than useless without wisdom, it has destroyed the world, all of it, human knowledge as defined by WC is beyond a failure.

    Watts is right, and people don’t know how to “stop” because they believe that “stopping” is inferior.

    This Watts link is also great. This one speaks to a number of topics I address, including the Western academic and cultural view since the 19th century that supports Western empire to this day.

  • ogf

    Glad you liked the clip.

    The pipeline people were exemplary. No suits and ties. No double. talk. Building elegantly with what they have. Far more self sufficient than the IC slave. Using machines without being colonized by them. I perceive a kind of “style.” Naturalness, efficiency, resourcefulness. Can others (imprisoned in a variety of ways by IC) who are not so well endowed resist land grabs using different kinds of style? Everybody has some tools, I believe. However sparse. Just wondering.

    The Watts clip was educational. Thanks.

  • Shared cultural worldviews that are so different as are Native American cultures and Western Civilization are impossible to bridge. Watts mentions this same mistake in connection with “Oriental” cultures, the mistake Westerners make in thinking they understand. They have no idea how little they understand. There are layers and layers and layers of assumptions, associations, beliefs of How Things Are that go back very far in the language itself, in the ideas it addresses, in the associations it makes, and other things that are behavioral and preverbal that are assumed to be universal and they are not.

    Priorities, you know. And, of course, Watts makes it clear that plenty of people in 1970 understood how serious things were at that time. Global warming wasn’t even on the radar for most people, but the obvious damage from pollution that was occurring was clearly not sustainable, hence the environmental laws of the 1970s.

    Watts: “Even in my own fascination with forms of Oriental philosophy, I’ve never been tempted to forget that I am a Westerner. . . I find so often the difficulty in Jung’s ideas lies in his theory of history, which is, I feel, a hangover from 19th century theories of history encouraged by Darwinism. Namely, that there is a sort of orderly progression from the ape through the primitive to the civilized man. And of course, naturally, at that time that was all hitched in with the theory of progress. And it was highly convenient for the cultures of Western Europe, which were then one up on everybody else, to consider themselves in the van of progress and when they visited the natives of Borneo and Australia and so on, to be able to feel that they were perfectly justified in appropriating their lands and dominating them because they were giving them the benefits that the last word in evolution.”

    This statement of Watts’ made in 1970 juxtaposed against the pipeline company in the video of Unist’ot’en makes an interesting pairing. The 19th century sense of entitlement remains, and in fact the steps are identical to those used in past centuries. Government and business divvy up Native land far away while sitting in their office suites, issue all their paperwork, and people just start moving in. It happened to the people who were put on the trail of tears, every step west thereafter, into Alabama and then to Oklahoma, and on and on. One day Native people go out and there are miners and loggers and engineers and people plundering their land. Next people start moving in, to support the miners, blah, blah, blah. When Native people resist, they are crushed. The current land theft illustrated in the video is no longer justified by “progress,” as it was 160 years ago, just entitlement.

    “I have not the least belief in the Noble Savage. I consider him a prodigious nuisance and an enormous superstition. … His virtues are a fable; his happiness is a delusion; his nobility, nonsense. . . but he passes away before an immeasurably better and higher power [i.e., that of Christianity] than ever ran wild in any earthly woods, and the world will be all the better when this place knows him no more.” Charles Dickens

    Now this is the real meaning of “noble savage”! Yes. This is what people mean when they accuse others of believing in the “noble savage myth.” Not far from today’s meaning is it? Dickens stated that in 1854, 160 years ago. It has not changed that much, that I can see. The racism has been blunted to today’s more antiseptic standards, but it’s still there. All of that noble savage’s virtues are a complete myth; that’s all anyone needs to know.