by the virgin terry

it seems the topic of police abuse just won’t go away. how can it when it happens so often? most of it is routine psychological intimidation and humiliation of supposed ‘bad guys’. much of it occurs quite openly and shamelessly, with tacit approval of much of the so-called ‘middle class’. that’s the surreally tragic and scary thing. lots of ‘authoritarian followers’ living in our midst, some rabidly supportive and protective of their precious ‘authorities’, secular or sectarian.

how tragically dumbed down has the amerikan middle class become? one answer is found here.

we live in a police state. ‘our’ corporate owned, cia controlled lamestream media serves as the public relations and propaganda arm of ‘our’ (mis)leaders. ‘public’ schooling is indoctrination, and dogmatic religion is just plain insane. all designed to keep us stupid, crazy, pacified, and more or less obedient to ‘authority’. ‘give me liberty or give me death?!’ in amerika, u better be careful what u ask for. murderous ‘authority’ trumps liberty, living under a dystopian dictatorship.

start watching youtube videos of police abusing, intimidating, and bullying those they’re paid to ‘serve and protect’, and it seems the supply of them is endless. click on one, a dozen more new ones pop up to the side. there must be hundreds, if not thousands of them. of course, the cops know better than to pick on anyone who isn’t relatively powerless. racism is usually blamed, and although it’s certainly relevant, i think it’s more a matter of class and singling out those who appear to be non-conformist, or not sufficiently inclined to cower when confronted.

i don’t know what other ‘middle class’ amerikans see when they watch videos of police brutality and murder. i see what would be heinous crimes if perpetrated by just about anyone who isn’t an ‘authority’ with a badge. i don’t see any excuse for them, other than a sick and evil social establishment that supports and protects aggressive and abusive enforcement of it’s ‘laws and orders’. they’re on a par with war crimes in my mind. both involve murderous abuses of ‘authority’.

like many sheeple no doubt, i’m puzzled sometimes that grand juries always seem to let abusive ‘authorities’ off the hook, even when they’re caught on video. how can that be? well, it’s by design. grand juries are run by prosecutors, not judges. they have complete freedom to choose who is brought before the grand jury, who gets to testify, and what evidence is presented. someone famously once wrote that a prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. on the flipside, it’s obvious they can also persuade grand juries to let perps walk, which they obviously are inclined to do when those perps are their partners in oppression. anyone who thinks the (in)’justice’ system is on the up and up doesn’t know anything about it. fact is, the abuse of ‘authority’ and immunity from prosecution starts at the top, with the prosecutors themselves. check it out for yourself if u don’t believe me (here, too).

as the famous comic george carlin lamented regarding our fucked up state of affairs, ‘no one seems to notice, no one seems to care’. no one with the power to do anything about it, that is, assuming that any one individual might have the power to right such powerfully entrenched wrongs. considering what happened to jfk, that shouldn’t be assumed (pdf here).

misinformed and propagandized by the lamestream media, most middle class amerikans fear criminals more than cops. i suppose i’m one of the sad few who sees it the other way around. i’d feel a lot more secure with a lot fewer cops to ‘serve and protect’ me, and a major attitude adjustment for the ones remaining. in fact, what we need is a radical attitude adjustment for all of amerikan society, so that inequality and injustice are minimized, thus minimizing the need for police in the first place. fat chance of that!

listen to slick elite corporate politicians like new york gov. (1%) cuomo and the white house resident, former cannabis enthusiast and current hypocrite in chief obama when they address this issue. they make it sound as if the problem isn’t that ‘authority’ is in fact being routinely and frequently abused. oh, no, that’s not it at all! it’s just a matter of perception that many ‘minorities’ have, that needs to be worked on. of course, being ‘authorities’ themselves, they know what’s going on, and fully approve of it, but they have to say something about it in public, so as usual choose the path of least resistance, expressing mealy mouthed ‘concern’ and promises of ‘reform’. yeah, right! same shit, different day.

i am not looking forward to the future when inevitable economic collapse due to resource depletion, environmental degradation, anthropogenic climate change, yada yada combined, exacerbates all social woes, leading to ever more extreme, pervasive, and systematic authoritarian abuse. definitely not looking forward to it.


The latest insane accusations about McPherson’s work don’t come from heterosexual, Caucasian, male podcasters or heterosexual, Caucasian, male hydrologists. Instead, they emanate from the Dayton City Paper, and they include this juicy line: “Guy McPherson, professor emeritus from the University of Arizona, recently publicly recommended societal suicide.” Read the entire story, from 9 December 2014, here. Perhaps you can let us know the meaning of “societal suicide.”

Lawrence DiStasi provides a more favorable assessment. It’s here. His piece was penned 4 December 2014.


McPherson’s presentation in Grass Valley, California on 20 November 2014 is embedded below. Big thanks to Ivey Cone.


Vincent Emanuele reviewed the Earth at Risk conference yesterday. Catch it here.

Nature Bats Last has its own YouTube channel, separate from McPherson’s channel. It’s here.


Catch McPherson here for an interview Friday, 19 December 2014 at 9:00 p.m. Pacific (midnight on the east coast). It’ll be archived, too.

Comments 138

  • Re monsanto seizing all property that their pollen lands on…
    An analogy would be that if your neighbor’s dog poops in your yard, he would then be able, by law, to claim ownership not just of the 6 square inches the poop landed on, but of all of your land.

    Where are the right wing personal property Rand zealots on this?
    Where is Clive Bundy when you need him?
    You would think they would be up in arms about this violation of personal property rights.
    But think again … they would have to go up, not against their buddies in the national guard, but against monsanto, who recently ‘aquired’ Blackwater, that elusive and ruthless private military force that keeps changing its name. I guess they needed them to guard their fields of poison:
    Note that the vast majority of activism is not in the youSofA:

    Same song, second verse …

    There was a group in oregon who tried to legislate change to prevent helicopters spraying herbicides and pesticides on clearcut forest land to promote monoculture crops free of the pesky concept of biodiversity, because the spray was drifting onto their homesteads in the valleys below.
    The group was fairly benign, asking only that wind velocity and direction be considered. In retaliation, their homesteads, crops and animals were sprayed Directly “by accident”. Oops. Animals dead and dying, gardens ruined, organic certifications voided, one person dead so far. Press coverage minimal.

    … could get better but it’s gonna get worse.

  • Shep,

    I apologize for any confusion. I sincerely thought that I had answered your question, “Would u take the time to carefully read a book by Donald Trump, or George W. Bush, or Ronald Reagan, a KKK Grand Dragon, Bill O’Reilly or one of the ‘free-market’ darlings?” completely and fully. Since you did not understand my response, obviously I did not write very well, so, again I apologize, and I will respond again more simply and directly, in addition to what I wrote before: Yes! Of COURSE I would “take the time to carefully read a book by Donald Trump, or George W. Bush, or Ronald Reagan, a KKK Grand Dragon, Bill O’Reilly or one of the ‘free-market’ darlings?” if I had an interest in writing a review or comment about one of these books! Please help me and others to understand how I, or anyone else, could possibly write a review or comment that accurately represented their ideas, and my reactions to them, without having first read them.

  • It’s pretty ironic if You think about it.
    We needed all these satellite data, all these climate scientists and climate science, to tell us the obvious thing:
    We- literally- cannot live in imbalance with nature.

    And I mean, no bright climate scientist had a clue about methane hydrates and permafrost carbon stores in the ’80 or ’90s?
    It was pretty obvious to me after 11th class in geography, that there’s a lot of organic material there in the deep freeze…
    Or this heat sink of the Oceans.. Haven’t they known that water has a very high heat capacity for its very small molecular weight, and not only that, but it’s liquid, too?
    You have to be a MSc or a Professor to know all that?
    Pretty shitty education You have there in the States.
    Or the feedback loops- at least sea ice albedo must have been known in the ’90s…
    The only thing I’m not buying, these haven’t been known in the ’90s already.

  • Sabine. I love you dearly, but it behooves us all to sort out the message from the messenger. Folks say that in some tribes the women decided when to go to war. When doesn’t mean never…

    The complex modern societies that free many women and men from working the land, the fossil fuel that has freed us from making war as often as otherwise would’ve happened given our “stocking rates”.. these are going away in the best of scenarios.

    Knowing what you do about most human beings, do you really bet on a peaceful future? If not, then why bet on a peaceful past? Human nature is what it is, including outliers, of course. Romanticizing serves to make us feel better, but perhaps at the cost of truth.

    Paul’s reply #14 on the forum to artleads helps explain this.

    @artleads on the forum, from a cursory look, Monsanto has not “bought” Blackwater/Xe/Academi, but they have bought their services.

    Either way, ffuuuuuckkkkk….!!!

  • People have strange ideas. People who comment on NBL have strange ideas.

    For much of humanity’s existence women suckled their young, and in doing so inhibited pregnancy. There is nothing like removing a baby from a woman and sticking a bottle in its mouth to stimulate faster reproduction, even if the resulting offspring are less fit to survive than it could otherwise have been if allowed to feed normally.

    ‘the fossil fuel that has freed us from making war as often as otherwise would’ve happened given our “stocking rates”..’

    It’s a curious thing that the US has been at war with someone nation or group of people more or less continuously for well over 100 years in order to feed fossil fuel addiction, and that has been particularly so since the Carter doctrine, which declared the oil under Middle East sand was American and that America had the right to take it by force, was adopted.

  • Artleads,

    Oh, i see ur point. Apparently Monsanto has increased the property right notion to conclude that all property is theirs. This extension is not at all surprising. I apologize and I withdraw. Sorry.

    Bud Nye,

    I’m not sure how stuff can become so backwards on this site. The questions is not at all about reviewing books that one has not read. Obviously, the focus of my question was to say that if you already know about someone and their proclivities, u can almost always assume that the person will follow their ideology to the grave.

    Back to my original observation: Wester made a statement that a book was pure “bullocks”. He, apparently, knows what he is talking about unless he has lied. Keely is prejudiced and Wester knows it. I said, intuition is enough for me. It has served me well for years and years. You continue to support Keely which tells me you have views similar to Keely. In other words, you know the man and take his side. I said, I will take Wester’s word for it. That’s all. For u to indicate that u don’t agree with Keely is fraudulent.

    By the way, my dementia is getting the best of me and going back to reconstruct conversations is way too taxing and down right impossible for me at this stage.

    Sorry we got all tangled up. The internet is good because you can say pretty much what u feel to a bully (not saying you are), without getting punched, but it is no way to judge a person, unless you know the individual up close and personal and then I wd have nothing to do with them if they were racist, white, capitalist supremacist.

  • Dear Guy,

    I know this off topic but I have been catching up on missed video presentations. I just watched your Grass Valley, California presentation on Nov. 20. I thought it was brilliant, masterful and very we’ll presented. I especially like the astroid due to hit the earth analogy and your next logically question: Would you want to know? I think that is a very significant question to pose to the listening audience because many in the audience may still find it hard to believe or accept that the human species CANNOT SOLVE every problem or predicament and in the case of unstoppable, abrupt, climate pattern disruption and destruction human man WILL NOT SOLVE IT’S APPROACH OR EXPONENTIAL GROWTH.

    Also your emphasis on the growth of Methane plumes going from meters to kilometers, I think is wonderful, but it struck me that your presentation has such applicable pictures that it maybe an attention grabbing, eye-opening and a picture equalling a thousand words approach to incorporate some actual pictures showing the waters bubbling for miles due to the catastrophic growth of the methane hydrate being released.

    We live in such a visual oriented culture, I thought this might be highly effective for the audience to more easily grasp and possibly come to a mental, internal and personal grip with the irreversibility of the earth’s warming and the demise of the planet. This may fit well with the truth that the planet and it’s systems, especially the weather system is a living organism and because it is such it is as you say running a temperture and can and will expire as living organisms do.


    I have two children in college and two in elementary school and I want them to know the truth above all things. The two in college are slowly coming to grip with the truth. I try to share the truth with them out of a mother’s love and I love them all.

  • Five thousand human generations ago (= 100,000 years ago) when we were still traipsing around what is today called Africa, with the bottleneck was still ahead of us, we didn’t consider ourselves savages. If taken back in a time machine from today, we might. Even if told that they were our direct ancestors.

    Until the modern state claimed a monopoly on violence, stigmatised all other violence, and put down all “unauthorised” acts of violence with its own violence, violence was recognised to be as natural as seen in predator – prey interactions. The aversion to labelling one’s predecessors as violent stems from this insidious domestication.

  • @ Tom, thank you—always nice (and helpful!) to hear!

    @Robin Datta: Thanks for this story, which I am passing on:

    But now it’s time to accept our impending demise. Those are profoundly difficult words to write, but they are necessary: Our times demand a new rhetorical honesty. It is deceitful and irrelevant to sustain the charade that things may improve. Instead, it’s time to start talking about how we will die.”
    – Randy Malamud Regents’ Professor Of English, Georgia State University


    Time to Go

    Once we no longer deny
    That it’s over, why should we lie?
    Things will only get worse,
    So it isn’t perverse
    To talk about how we will die.

  • goavs and Sabine, thank you. Shep, you, too; thanks.

    I cannot figure out who these proponents of the “noble savage myth” are. Who, exactly, promotes this terrible myth? I’ve never thought it to be so popular among anyone who mattered. It was always on a level with people who believed in UFOs, in my lifetime.

    I don’t think there is any real debate about this terrible, and terribly important problem that requires continued addressing century after century by learned individuals who possess the great Cosmic Truth on the subject. Any books seriously promoting that nasty “noble savage myth” around? Scholars? Educational curricula? Talks on tv, radio, news? Oprah?

    Who are all these people who need such straightening out about this horrible problem of believing in this enduring “noble savage myth” that sprang from somewhere in the mid-17th century, and has been dissed since soon after? Who are they and where are they?

    What I think is interesting in all this is the obsession with the need to prove the destructiveness, most especially murder and torture and warfare, of pre-Columbian Native Americans, a group of people for whom, as Sabine points out, there is a general lack of evidence to the theories. Recent evidence is putting that megafauna extinction hallucination to rest, at least for intelligent people.

    Please offer a single example of one of these misguided promoters of this awful myth. But it must be someone who matters. the kind of matters that would inspire so-called “scholars” to denounce this threatening myth so vigorously so often, and for so long in history.

    The other thing I would want to talk about is the genocide that occurred after Columbus. What have you studied about that? What do you know about Native American cultures other than how destructive, out of harmony, primitive and their questionably low-population levels? We don’t even know the population numbers of the peoples those advanced Europeans encountered, much less the ones they didn’t. No idea. No one considered it important to know that, since the killing and the land theft began right away. Let’s talk about that. Let’s talk about slaughtering almost every single living Native American in the lower 48 states, a genocide that has endured for centuries. We can know a lot more about those instances of slaughter, because we have some records.

    Imagine a scenario where a hundred years after the Holocaust in Germany, erudite German scholars published tome after tome of how criminal the Jews really were and how their cultural and social flaws can be determined through ancient archeology and findings of weaponry and graves, and how destructive their societies were, and how if they’d had a chance the Jews would have done the same thing to the Germans, but they were just too inept/primitive, probably because of their religious stupidity.

    And imagine if many, many more Jews had perished, as many as 99% of them, and few remained to tell their side of the story. Any positive assessments of historical Jewish people was dismissed by these scholars as a fantasy, a myth, a romantic story.

    It really is that ugly, and much, much uglier.

    And notice how there is no simple disagreement from the “noble savage myth” group. A person does not simply see things differently for them, but they must be insulted personally. Those who disagree are emotionally biased or display some other obviously inadequate characteristic. No wonder they see war everywhere and in every shard of evidence.

    When I first found this site, the “noble savage myth” was pretty much the only perspective that was tolerated by the posters here. It was the doctrine of the group at the time. It was awful. It was hateful and disturbing.

    So, I really mean it when I write that I really, really appreciate the perspectives on this board from Wester, Shep, artleads and others, and those of you who take the time to mention your own appreciation.

    I cannot wait to find out who the people are that believe in this pernicious noble savage myth, can you?

  • oldgrowthforest, don’t you know that before Columbus, it doesn’t matter really how many millions, give or take, died, it’s just an unimportant statistic because after all, it was “pre-history”. We’ll just take the cruelty of recorded Empire, and round up all human existence and cultures from that paradigm and lens instead, shall we?

    And when I find someone who believes in the “noble savage myth” in any of my interactions, either online or in person, I will let you know, but it has yet to happen, and I hate to be too repetitious, but will in all likelihood sniff a unicorn fart before I meet a living person who does. But it does make for a wonderful straw man argument at least. ;)

  • Artleads

    A few articles on toxins found in Tasmanian waterways, found to be causing cancers and endocrine disruption to humans, (and most likely other animals- Facial Tumor Disease in Tasmanian devil??, high numbers of oyster deaths), largely because of by a local, persistent doctor.

    ‘Something In The Water Part 2 – Transcript’


    “CAROLINE JONES, PRESENTER: Hello, I’m Caroline Jones. Tonight, the compelling conclusion to the story of Georges Bay in the beautiful Bay of Fires region of north-east Tasmania. Last week’s episode centered on the alliance forged between local oyster farmers, a GP and a Sydney scientist. They joined forces because of what they saw as government indifference in the face of serious concerns about water quality and human and animal health. They poured tens of thousands of dollars of their own money into their investigations. What they eventually found turned out to be the very opposite of what they expected.”

    ‘Toxic water linked to forestry trees.’


    Also, the David Suzuki video is reason to have a few beers on the porch and a few thousand deep breaths.

    Cheers thanks, ;)

  • It is looking like it will be all over within the next 10 years, currently the environment is the closes to a massive temperature rise of no less than 9C, it has EVER been, never before has CO2 gone up so fast, never before has there been so much CH4 trapped by the rapid thawing ice,never before (to the best of our knowledge) has CH4 gone from an 800,000 year average of .7 ppm to 1.85 ppm in as little as 100 years. NEVER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Everything is pointing to us currently at about 1,000ppm CO2/CO2e
    400 ppm CO2
    400 – 600ppm CO2e as CH4
    100 ppm N20 (or some such? I isn’t that smart)
    and someone calculated the negative feed back of the particulates (smog) acting like a curtain = about 60 ppm CO2e
    Its the methane, and ‘they’ don’t want you to know, or it is so fucking bad they haven’t a clue of how to tell you.

  • ‘NTHE should be inducing universal compassion, and might be, if only everyone knew. Thanks Guy, and the chorus, for your continued efforts. May our howls be heard before they are forever silenced.

    It’s terribly rude to spill wine on the guest book of life.
    Most of the known universe does not foster the living.
    We see no other Earth offering support, comfort and love.
    We’ve destroyed a rarity.’ -logspirit

    excuse me if i’ve asked b4 and forgotten the answer, logspirit, but how did u come up with that name? anyway, that was very eloquent. some of it may rub off on me, for which i’m grateful. i hope u can hang in a while longer with us, to be able to keep sharing such eloquence.

    dairymandave, that WAS a fantastic video on the end permian extinction. i watched it on youtube, and read some of the comments posted below it there. not sure why i keep doing so, as they only re-confirm what has long been obvious: good scientific evidence and reasoning are largely wasted on the ignorant, ill informed public. anyway, thanks for sharing.

  • Here is Bolivian indigenous elder Marcelo Saavedra’s analysis of private property, that it is an illusion:

    As well Proudhoun’s rather cogent analysis “What Is Property?” http://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/economics/proudhon/property/ That property is theft, violence and at root impossible.
    It is a delusion that is at the heart of the current crisis, and my motivation is not to work with the boundaries of social pathology and madness(as Fromm would call it in ‘The Sane Society’) but my motivation is to render that ideological pathology utterly void.

    Anyone who props a book with serious citational shortcomings, admitted openly that it’s writing is financed by a genocidal colonial project, and one with a highly questionable ideological bias; anyone who props that book as being the final word on “human nature” and “THE TRUTH”, I would argue is making a theological argument and not one based on rationality or logic. Again, the Scottish presbyterian reformation theology (1) there is no free-will (2) all is predetermined (3) there is no salvation available through works or actions and (4) salvation is only available through accepting these beliefs (5) the purveyors of the knowledge, cats like me, will be the one to lead you to this salvation, that is, unless we actually lead you over a cliff.

    Human Nature does not include Psychological Projection? Har.
    LaPlace, DesCartes Newton and Martin Luther are many centuries dead.
    May they forever rest in peace.

    To whit, that Keely book is still rancid fluff, and by not “reading it”, purportedly what one is trying to convey is that one has not “accepted the conclusions” – I can read Mein Kampf or some bilge from the Larouchies 100 or 1000 times word by word, point by point, and it’s still fluff and unsubstantiated bile.

    Here is the way it works: Claims are made, claims are supported by evidence. A warrant allows one to draw conclusions from evidence. The Claims can be attacked at the point of evidence or along the warrant. I have made 5 observations regarding Keeley’s claims – most notably that they are backed by flimsy evidence and based on wild generalities. This is not science, not valid rhetoric and logically and rationally fallacious. And again, I will not buy it and I reject it outright.

  • Marcelo Saavedra – On Ownership of Land and Concept of Property

  • The conventional wisdom is that the Noble Savage was born in the 1970s when a native Indian cried on a teevee commercial about all the pollution he saw near the highways. More recent research points to a rift between clan leader, Broun and his son Brun. Broun was a man’s man who hunted well and fathered many children. Brun wanted to finger paint, dance and join in the theatre around the campfires at night. When Broun confronted his son, Brun said, “I don’t want to go out hunting, I want to dance.” Broun slowly realized he loved his son, even if he was a poof. That’s when the Noble Savage was born. You can see modern day evidence of the Noble Savage in trailer parks as poor people struggle with the strange notions morality and ethics. The six savage strokes in the sexual forays of my youth were pretty noble too.

  • Paul Chefurka,

    “emotional-based” resistance it is not because I’m not resisting.

    I came to terms with NTE a long time ago, most likely longer ago than many people here.
    I’ve been observant and curious all my life, and well enough educated (albeit in the arts not the sciences) to “get it”. And since I became aware that things were going a certain way, when I was in my 20s (in the early 70s) I’ve been interested and eventually evolved a feeling of not being surprised, thus excepting our short-term demise. Probably like you, human survival is not important to me, just the survival of complex life forms. But, of course, understanding the science enough, I have no hope. One of the reasons why I’m here.

    However, I cultivate my feeling, experience side because unless you grasp our predicament “emotionally” too, you’re unlikely to get it. At least that’s what it is like for most people, and I would call that a balanced response.

    And IMO, that includes the topic of our early ancestors. It’s simply a way of experiencing life, emotionally and rationally (balanced).

    Purely my subjective opinion: being a “subject” like all beings, it’s almost impossible to be objective. I think that if you do experience yourself as being objective you’re deluding yourself. But maybe these things are entirely personal. However, if I’m absolutely and totally honest with myself, I’m never objective. That’s something I’ve learned from experience too.

  • Another pet peeve of mine is this: Charity is a lottery and a tragic joke. Set-up that way so elite can keep their god damned money.

    I also love the mottos of Foundations. Some are pathetic and drip with conceit and godliness. The Bill Gates Foundation: “ALL LIVES HAVE EQUAL VALUE.” Bullshit! Fuck you all.

  • I have not had an internet connection for ten days,so I’m catching up with things.
    In previous threads,I’ve mentioned that we have unanimous evidence from the
    early European explorers that the Australian environment was in robust good health after 50,000 or more years of human presence here.
    There is also abundant evidence of intertribal cooperation,around seasonally abundant food sources,etc.
    It’s all water off a duck’s back for some here.Nope.We’ll ignore that evidence.because it contradicts a book I’ve read.Keeley and Le Blanc sate that we have been in sate of war forever.so that’s the end of the matter.I’ve read that humans inevitably degrade the environment,so I’ll ignore any evidence of an environment of great health and abundance after50.000 years of human occupation.
    Let’s see if there is another view of Keeley’s analysis.Here is Spencer Wells in ‘Pandora’s Seed’.
    “Keeley’s analysis often groups all preindustrial societies together.regardless of their mode of subsistence.When we examine the data on warfare among hunter-gatherers alone,though,his argument becomes a bit more tenuous.As detailed by Keeley in his book,anthropologist Keith Otterbein compiled data on 50 societies around the world and made comparisons on the basis of their way of life.Those engaging in agriculture and animal husbandry had the highest frequencies of warfare,with more than 90% engaged in warfare continuously or frequently.Of those that ‘rarely or never’ engaged in warfare,most were hunter-gatherers-30% of the hunter-gatherer groups studied fell into this category.While the small number of groups surveyed makes the significance of this difference debatable,it is suggestive.Societies typically engage in warfare when resources are limited and there is a high degree of competition.For hunter-gatherers this is not typically the case,unless they are living in an unusual situation,such as the inhabitants of Jebel Sahaba,in Nubia,who relied on fishing in an increasingly arid environment.During most of human history,resources were not limited,and the human population expanded throughout the world.When we developed agriculture,of course,the increase in population density meant that the days of easy excess were gone;if you wanted or needed more food,a great deal of investment was required to grow it.
    Tending fields,maintaining irrigation systems,building permanent settlements-all of it meant that there was too much at stake for anyone to wander off and find another place to live and,therefore,that one’s investment was worth fighting for.”
    Let’s see what Robert Kelly has to say about Keeley.From ” The lifeways of Hunter-Gatherers “(P.205)
    “Where others(Ember,Keeley) have glossed foragers as ‘violent’,it is instructive to point out that nomadic,egalitarian foragers do not go to war as much as sedentary,nonegalitarian foragers;these two social forms should not be combined.War,as defined here,is relatively uncommon among egalitarian foragers.”
    Richard Lee,as well as being an anthropologist of great distinction,was co-convenor of the ‘Man the Hunter’ conference in 1968,and editor of the book of the proceedings of that conference with the same title.He is also co-editor of ‘The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Hunter-Gatherers’
    The following quote,from the introduction to that book,may be of interest.
    “Among the public at large,images of hunters and gatherers have swung between two poles.For centuries,they were regarded as ‘savages’,variously ignorant or cunning beyond the pale of’civilisation.’This distorted image was usually associated with settler societies who coveted the foragers’ land;the negative stereotypes justified dispossession.
    In recent years a different view has dominated,with hunter-less gatherers as the repository of virtues seemingly lacking in the materialism and marked inequalities of contemporary urban life.How to balance these two views?For many current observers the contrast between savage inequities of modernity and the relative egalitarianism of the so-called ‘primitives’ gives the latter more weight on the scales of natural justice.Jack Weatherford’s eloquently argued book,’Savages and civilisation:Who will Survive?’,draws on a long intellectual tradition dating from Rousseau which,contemplating the horrors of the modern world,raises the question of who are the truly civilised:the ‘savage’,with his occasional blood-feud,or the ‘civilised’,who gave the world the Inquisition,the Atlantic slave trade,the Gattling gun,napalm,Hiroshima,and the Holocaust?”

  • “Even with a deal to stop the current rate of greenhouse gas emissions, scientists warn, the world will become increasingly unpleasant. Without a deal, they say, the world could eventually become uninhabitable for humans.”

    (NY Times, 11/30/14).

  • Thank you Mr HIgham:

    You have nailed the white supremacist folks to the Christian cross with your comments. I hope they thoughtfully read, take to heart with great care, & consider your comments to MAYBE change their Struthio camelus behavior. We know this to be impossible but it needs to be said.

  • Monday morning humor:


    Citigroup to Move Headquarters to U.S. Capitol Building


    WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—The banking giant Citigroup announced on Friday that it would move its headquarters from New York to the U.S. Capitol Building, in Washington, D.C., in early 2015.

    Tracy Klugian, a spokesperson for Citi, said that the company had leased thirty thousand square feet of prime real estate on the floor of the House of Representatives and would be interviewing “world-class architects” to redesign the space to suit its needs.


    According to sources, Citi successfully outbid other firms, including JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, for the right to move its headquarters to the House floor.

    The Citi spokesperson acknowledged that the extensive makeover of the House is expected to cost “in the millions,” but added, “It’s always expensive to open a new branch.”

    Explaining the rationale behind the move, Klugian told reporters, “Instead of constantly flying out from New York to give members of Congress their marching orders, Citigroup executives can be right on the floor with them, handing them legislation and telling them how to vote. This is going to result in tremendous cost savings going forward.”

    [there’s more]

  • “Purely my subjective opinion: being a “subject” like all beings, it’s almost impossible to be objective.”

    That’s where there is the screw-up. Absolutely no “other” beings are subjective. Anything perceived by “me” is not me, and is therefore an object. There is one and only one subject in all the universes. As long as its masquerade as “I” is seen as real, the charade continues for that “I”.

    “I think that if you do experience yourself as being objective you’re deluding yourself.”

    Quite correct. You are more perceptive than most. Hence the teaching of discernment between the Seer and the Seen.

  • Ox Man,

    Thanks for the links. It’s all about what is allowed onto the land.


    It’s not a case of ordinary folks “owning” more land; it’s a case o Monsanto owning ALL the land. They even control the goon squads that can enforce that ownership, and it suits them to chip away at the fabric of “traditional ownership,” while biding their time till things deteriorate still further to clamp down for real. (Probably not entirely, since they need some semblance of normality for people to buy their crap.) Exalted notions on the concept of property ownership are irrelevant at this time.

    David H,

    Many thanks for your scholarship and big heart.

  • [face-palm] “We’re SAVED!”

    [6.5 minute video mostly about “solar hibernation”]

    Mini Ice Age 2015-2035 | 30 Top Scientists Predict Global Cooling 2015-2050 (27)

    30 leading scientists predict global cooling

    The Earth is about to begin a steep drop in global temperatures off its present global temperature plateau. This plateau has been caused by the absence of growth in global temperatures for 18 years, the start of global cooling in the atmosphere and the oceans, and the end of a short period of moderate solar heating from an unusually active secondary peak in solar cycle #24.

    Average global atmospheric and oceanic temperatures will drop significantly beginning between 2015 and 2016 and will continue with only temporary reversals until they stabilize during a long cold temperature base lasting most of the 2030’s and 2040’s. The bottom of the next global cold climate caused by a “solar hibernation” (a pronounced reduction in warming energy coming from the Sun) is expected to be reached by the year 2031.

    The predicted temperature decline will continue for the next fifteen years and will likely be the steepest ever recorded in human history, discounting past short-duration volcanic events.

    Global average temperatures during the 2030’s will reach a level of at least 1.5° C lower.

    [“i’m sitting here beside myself”]

  • Wester –

    Here is the way it works: Claims are made, claims are supported by evidence. A warrant allows one to draw conclusions from evidence. The Claims can be attacked at the point of evidence or along the warrant. I have made 5 observations regarding Keeley’s claims – most notably that they are backed by flimsy evidence and based on wild generalities. This is not science, not valid rhetoric and logically and rationally fallacious. And again, I will not buy it and I reject it outright.

    Bing. 600% in agreement here. how I wish I had the time to truly shred Keeley. it would be a joy. in the brief time I spent reviewing the excerpts, the blunders were jumping off the pages so fast I could hardly keep up. I was actually being rather charitable in my previous take on his book. fortunately, Google has now blocked some of the juiciest blunders, and I can’t access them any more, and I will be able to get some work done today after all.

    david higham –

    very good stuff. thanks from me, too.

    shep –

    I totally understand the frustration you feel. I could go into a lot about that, too, but I will just say I hear you.

    all –

    just wanted to add a bit to what ogf has tried to make clear from his communications here already (previous threads) about the level of sophistication of pre-Columbian cultures in the Americas. (this applies elsewhere of course, but this is what I am most familiar with myself)

    from what little is known about the oral traditions of native cultures (the vast majority has been lost forever, unfortunately – who knows, maybe 99.99% of what ever existed will never be known) makes it screamingly obvious, to anyone who take the time to look, read and deeply understand, that these cultures were as self aware, and intellectually, psychologically, and emotionally mature as anything we know of today in the West. they simply had a different way of expressing and acting on this knowledge than we did, and used these insights successfully over tens of thousands of years.

    I could say that their sophistication exceeded ours, but I would leave it as just, in many cases, “very different.”

    one thing – they were intensely aware of the real meaning of “stability” and the dynamics necessary to maintain that stability, both within the tribe, and within the greater system. much of their oral traditions that were transcribed had to do with self and group dynamic analysis, and the analysis of the dynamic between humans and nature – very deep stuff that worked on the surface levels, worked on levels that were not apparent unless one took the time “decode” and understand the deeper meanings, and, interestingly, over and over again, worked on the level of humor.

    there was a great awareness of the many flaws in the human psyche, an immense importance given to understanding these flaws, and working on transcending them, laughing at them, and working through them so individual and group happiness could be sustained.

    an enormous amount of time was generally taken for playing with these ideas in all kinds of ways, sharing insights, and generally helping each other, and the tribe, maintain stability and peace.

    these activities also made it radically clear just how certain behavioral norms, and a slew of cultural practices (everyday things related to long term survival) had to be maintained, if there was going to be any continuity for what mattered to the tribe – this was a very long term view indeed.

    to put it bluntly – it is not remotely an accident that there were examples of sustained cultures (though very diverse even within a region) that could last 50,000 years.

    these things were intentional, on the deepest levels that can be conceived – psychologically, in active every day practice, and spiritually – although that is not the right word, but that is another subject.

    unfortunately, some here cannot conceive of just how deep this actually went, and where it went, simply because of lack of internal awareness and certain experience – the kind of awareness and experience that directly connects “a being” to “the universe around a being,” and one’s “tribe” on an intimate, ongoing and everyday level – to the greater “tribal activity” of the world – nature, and much much more.

    again, if you know what to look for, you will see this, everywhere behind the scenes, in the stories of the oral traditions that have survived.

    but of course, we know so much of “that stuff” is just superstition and woo. don’t we?

  • There have been a number of posts on the forum that could/should be here on the main blog comment thread, I think, to do with whether earlier groups of humans had, or could have had, a decreased propensity for squandering the planet.

    I have two main thoughts about that:

    1.) IF that were true, what does that have to do with modern humans, exactly? We see that breeding in dogs selects for wildly different traits and temperaments. Although this smacks of Nazi eugenicism, why would we imagine humans to be immune to similar selection pressures?

    Slow-growing co-operative tribes would be overtaken, eventually, by faster-growing tribes more aggressive in their energy use and acquisition. See “Khan, Genghis” with his 16+ million descendents. I see many people adding a moral dimension to this that just does not belong in a fact-based scientific analysis.

    2.) The way evolution works is this: by default, the “winning” behavior wins, until it doesn’t. If you don’t make use of whatever your niche is, you don’t stick around. We’re at a singular moment in that the human “niche” has expanded to include the entire planet (and a bit of the moon if you think we went there). ;-)

    The “prize” for being the winning-est is then being the losing-est.

    Here and elsewhere, I see people wringing their hands about us humans being “maladaptive”, but that’s what we are supposed to be. Every species is (eventually) maladapted. The proboscis grows too long, the plumage too elaborate to maintain… We just happen to personally be here to witness that point in time for ourselves, and to be aware of it as other species are unlikely to’ve been.

    I understand on an emotional level that people want to be able to relate to a human condition different from the actual one, and make that a touchstone in their lives. But, real or fantasy, what use is that to us now? Whether it is proved one way or the other that earlier humans were less warlike or acquisitive, or more in tune with the natural world… how the fuck does that matter today? Modern people do not interact with the natural world, and even if they wanted to, it does not exist in any great degree for them to do so. So this is all like the argument about the number of angels on the head of a pin.

    I’m not clear on what good moral outrage does, either, because I do not see it as a process that can be defined by moral parameters. “Morality” is a human invention, and is situationally-based.

    Just as an example, imagine the outcry if one were to call for eliminating all the plastics and environmental toxins that keep most people alive. You would be a pariah. I AM a pariah, even as I keep 90% of my thoughts to myself In Real Life. I got the stink-eye for opining that a local organic farm should not have been putting out rat poison.

  • @ Tom Says:
    December 15th, 2014 at 7:38 am &
    December 15th, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Damn, you’re just finding all kinds of hilarity today!! :) Keep the funny stuff comin’ as long as you can. It beats the hell out of all the other belief-based drivel polluting this site.

  • Lidia –

    I see many people adding a moral dimension to this that just does not belong in a fact-based scientific analysis.

    if by of “moral dimension” you mean a moral code given by an “objective outside authority” I seriously hope you are not including me in that “many people” group. I have made it repeatedly clear here that I am an existential nihilist, in what I consider the most accurate way of interpreting that concept.

    there is no “outside authority” because there is no “outside.” we are it. we get to decide what our core itself is, what our core approach to the universe is – our own code – and live solely by that code. there is nothing from here to the highest heaven that can override that.

    how that code unfolds in the greater system is ultimately just another part of ourselves – remember, no “outside.” if the whole thing lasts for 50,000 years, or burns to a crisp in 50 minutes, it is just “us” unfolding in the cosmos – all of “us” from the dust and microbes, to the puffins and the stars. One thing, in countless forms.

    we can experience this One thing in a zillion ways, a zillion perspectives – science is one, intuition another, meditation, art, and on and on. the rules of the game for the these different experiences change, but it is only just One thing experiencing itself. again, no “outside,” no “other,” anywhere. no superior or inferior.

    what I am talking about above has everything to do with groups of humans working to figure out what “their code” is going to be, and how they are going to live it, both individually, and as a group.

    what we have today is another kind of code. I am not making any judgement about one being better than another. it is all just experience.

    how the fuck does that matter today? it only matters in the sense of how many “degrees of freedom” one wishes to experience. the more one is aware of the possibility for choosing different codes, jumping from one set of game rules to another, the more types of experience are open – the more ways of living in excellence, perhaps.

    I thoroughly agree that “morality” is an invention. the way we use that invention, and the source of creativity behind it, are, again, part of the picture.

  • degrees of freedom, or degrees of addiction. I am a hopeless addict to freedom.

  • mmm. no. not the blue one. the red one.

    very sorry for the overposting. hopeless addict here.

    it really is premium stuff though. oopa oops so totally worth it! yessssss……

  • super double triple sorry here – but I need to correct a bad mistake. I said:

    “how I wish I had the time to truly shred Keeley.”

    should be:

    “how I wish I had the time to truly shred Keeley’s argument.”

    stepping right into my own blunder. mea culpa.

  • With thanks to the virgin terry for his contribution, I’ve posted anew. It’s here.