Love and Death

by oldgrowthforest,  a senior citizen living near Wasilla, Alaska. She lives with a tiny standard poodle named River, and a devastatingly handsome but troublesome mutt named Arlo.


I lost a great love recently. It was sudden. The eldest of my three aging dogs collapsed and died soon after. Her symptoms confused me for a number of hours. She took daily medication for her hips, which had given her increasing discomfort and weakness over the past year. She was having difficulty walking and I first assumed it was due to the usual reasons. She seemed to respond well to the medication, but her distress increased again later that night. I realized I needed help to take her in to see a doctor. I sat with her, rubbing her, giving her anything I had to ease her pain, whether it was her prescription or mine. She was able to sleep a little.

It was a day I had long feared, the day when she would be injured or ill or just too old, and I would not be able to move her to help her. Knowing it was coming wasn’t the same as being in it, however. Being in it was a lot worse.

When I saw a neighbor’s light come on early the next morning, I put on my boots and walked to his house to ask for help. Her love was so great that even as she lay dying and could barely move, she gave everything she had left to try to protect us, rising up and barking with more strength than I expected when he came to the door. I began crying early that morning, long before he arrived. Once I spoke with the emergency veterinary clinic and had to put to words what I knew, that whatever was going on was serious, that I feared she was dying, I could not stop crying. My neighbor and I carried her in a quilt and placed her in my car.

My Babe was a shepherd-Malamute-wolf mix. She was magnificent. Wolf love is the best love I’ve ever had. Only the most devoted and protective dogs, those who willingly die to defend their families, can compare to the loyalty of a wolf or wolf-dog. As is often said of many breeds, they’re not for everyone. In fact, most people say they’re not for anyone, and that may be true. It’s also true that Babe was right for me and I was right for her.

People have lived with and depended upon dogs for so long that the story of human adaptation and survival is also the story of humans and dogs. My favorite book of recent years is Jon Franklin’s The Wolf in the Parlor, an examination of archaeological evidence of ancient humans, wolves, dogs, and dog domestication. One of Franklin’s many revelations about dogs is that their presence is so ubiquitous, as is the widespread human assumption that we know everything about Fido we need to know, that dogs have remained nearly invisible in science. For decades archaeologists and anthropologists tossed dog bones aside while gleaning through sites, sites that continued to go farther and farther back in time, assuming the presence of dogs in antiquity was irrelevant to our understanding of people. Dogs were a consequence of human beings, a reflection of our control over nature for our own benefit. And dogs just weren’t the most interesting thing about us.

Franklin suggests several humbling revisions to the general wisdom concerning dogs, including the possibility that humans did not domesticate dogs at all, but instead, at least initially, they domesticated themselves.

Another of Franklin’s contentions is that without dogs there never would have been civilization. Of course, when he says “civilization” he thinks it’s a good thing. That aside, before there was agriculture there was herding of meat and fiber animals, an activity going back twelve or more thousand years that would have been impossible without livestock guardian dogs. And before humans had domesticated sheep or goats, there was organized hunting, something people and their dogs had done for perhaps 30,000 or more years, far longer than previously thought.

Everything humans have done has been assisted along the way by this inter-species relationship that is unique among animals. Some scholars believe that dogs are what allowed Cro-Magnon to survive the climactic changes, shifting food sources, and physical dangers that led to the disappearance of the Neanderthal in Europe; Neanderthals did not have dogs.

Babe came to us on the winter solstice eleven years ago, a fat, sweet fur-ball with dark eyes and telling charcoal tipped fur of fully blended colors of cream and brown and black. My son-in-law, Sean, was in his mid-thirties when he took a puppy from a cardboard box in front of the grocery store (there was only one) in Big Lake, Alaska. Sean had never had a dog. He had grown up in suburban Seattle in a home without pets. Sean didn’t know a Chihuahua from a Catahoula. He was also quite new to Alaska and he had no idea what the possibilities were, especially in a place like Big Lake.

When he returned home that dark night and my daughter saw the puppy in his arms, she immediately shrieked, “You brought home a hybrid?!! Take it back now!”

Sean said he liked the puppy and they should give her a chance. It was so decreed.

Babe and I had a bond from the beginning. I remember when I first saw her and how the first thing out of my mouth was, “That dog’s got wolf in it.” My grandson at the time was two years and eight months old. People have heard the heartbreaking stories about pet wolves and wolf-dogs and their dangers. My daughter and I had more than heard stories. We had encountered many pet wolves and wolf-mixes in Alaska, as well as observed wolves in the wild several times. One of those nightmare stories had occurred only two doors from us, resulting in the death of an infant.  There were pet wolves and high-content wolf-dogs aplenty in Alaska in those days. No doubt that’s why they were made illegal.

In my early years in Alaska I encountered one black and silver beauty while I was out looking at property. He was a year old, a pure wolf, and his owners kept him on a long chain when he was outside. He was sitting on their porch several feet away. I asked the man if the wolf was friendly before I approached too closely. I was listening to his answer when suddenly I felt the wolf’s tongue cover the entire length of my face from chin to forehead. I was stunned. I could not believe how fast he was. I never saw it coming.  He was friendly, the man was saying.

There was also Wolf Country, a controversial roadside attraction outside of Palmer on the highway to Tok. It was a collection of tame and semi-tame wolves available for viewing by tourists. Despite the controversy, my daughter and I went to Wolf Country twice over the years and we loved the wolves. Most tame wolves and wolf-dogs are aloof to strangers in the extreme, but not all. Some are very friendly and affectionate toward all people. Wolf Country had three such animals, all females, and people from all over the world fell in love with those wolves.

I sat on the floor next to Sean’s new puppy and pulled her onto my lap. She was the calmest puppy I ever saw, sitting quietly and casually observing everything as if she was a fully mature animal and not a baby. Sean said that was why he chose her, because she was calm compared to her litter mates. She settled along the length of my thighs and I rubbed her gently with my fingertips. She was eight weeks old, huge, and as cute as a puppy can be, which is about as cute as cute gets, but her coat was scary.

Wolf puppies have a distinct look to them that no breed of dog has, not even the Malamutes, a breed that can sometimes resemble a wolf. For the first several weeks of life, however, there are differences, the most obvious being that Malamutes are born with their masks and markings and wolves are not. Wolves are all born darker than they will be later in life unless they will grow into a black wolf. Even Arctic wolves are born with the telltale “blended” coat, varying shades of brown, black and silver with dark tips that is characteristic of all baby wolves. Sean’s puppy had the large stocky body, big bones, and rounded look of a Malamute. She also had the unmistakable coat of a wolf.

It wasn’t all tragedy and blood and national headlines with wolf-dogs. I had seen a number of successes in Alaska, as well. I knew people who felt that every bit of effort required to keep one and keep it safe was more than worth it. After several minutes of sitting with the puppy, I told my daughter, “I think she’ll be okay. I think she’s a good one.” And she was.

She was everything they say about wolves and wolf-dogs. She quickly grew into a tremendously destructive and predatory beast that weighed a hundred pounds by the time she was only a year old, and over a hundred and thirty at maturity. It was often surreal just walking beside her where I felt out of place and time, as though I needed a spear and a fur bikini to better fit the primal world around me.

By the time Babe was seven months old she was exploring her own wide territory and everything beyond. She brought home whole moose legs, stinky dead bunnies, and very recently deceased chickens. She stole expensive waders out of people’s yards, which she shredded and my daughter then buried to hide the evidence. She took pieces of lumber and heavy tools, curious and attracted to items that made no sense to us. Those items were returned if they were will still usable.

Eventually a crazy neighbor shot her with a .22, thankfully only grazing her skin. After that the children came up with some money and Babe was confined to her own acre with an electric fence. Her short weeks of youthful freedom were over, and she had to be content killing whatever came into the yard, which she did. She could still jump straight up and catch low-flying songbirds in mid-air. That was upsetting.

After she got shot she remained terrified of gunfire and fireworks for the rest of her life. The last night of the year was always the worst night of the year for us, full of noise, sleeplessness, and attempts to crawl as far under the bed as possible. It is a high-sitting captain’s bed, but it was still too low for her girth. One year she got stuck and I had to get up in the middle of the night and lift it off of her.

For the first two years of Babe’s life their yard was pitted with den-sized irregular craters and strewn with debris that she had chewed to tiny pieces, debris that had previously been small tree trunks, lumber, heavy work boots, and a three-foot-long whale vertebrae that came from a beach near Nome. Sean adored her anyway, lavished her with affection, and kept her with him all hours of the day and night.

After our first meeting I didn’t see the new puppy again for two months. When I returned to the house she had grown into a lanky child-dog with a coat of light buff and cream that still showed a black flame on her forehead, the tips of her ears, and in smoky patches along her back. Her eyes had turned to yellow.  I spent the day with my family, including the pup, who leaned against my leg much of the time in a floppy, big-puppy way.

I returned the following week for some reason, whether in my capacity as mother, grandmother or landlady, I don’t remember. As I got out of my car I could see Babe at the side of the house, cautiously peeking around the corner. She was about twenty-five feet away, half wild and untouchable by strangers. When she saw it was me she got down on her belly on the ground and crawled the entire way to me, stopping at my feet and rolling over to pointedly bare her throat. Chills ran up my spine and I had goose flesh all over. She was not nervous, she was not excited, there was no dribbling or crying. She was communicating.  “I know you,” she said, “and you are mine and I am yours.”

Babe was always meant for me, too, I think. Our bond only grew, and my daughter often remarked on Babe’s unusual devotion to me, second only to her devotion to Sean. Babe’s attachment could have been chalked up to the fact that I was family, something wolves are and dogs can be aware of, and my obvious parental status that was displayed in everything that passed between us, a hierarchy Babe instinctively understood. Except she didn’t respond the same to the other grandparents, not even if they visited for a long period of time and remained in her presence. She was no more fond of them on the seventh day than she had been on the first day, which is to say, not at all.

I, however, was the recipient of her very physical affection, the mouthing, the nips, the huge head plowing into me, rubbing her face against my stomach and lap as if she could take me and hold me in herself. She was always gentle, always loving and joyous with me.

When Babe was five my daughter and Sean made plans to move to Portland, Oregon. It was possible to take her with them, but we didn’t think Babe would like Oregon and we didn’t think Oregon would like her. She was a mature, extremely powerful, and still predatory animal that was not friendly to people and was dangerous to other dogs. It broke Sean’s heart to do it as much as it broke mine to see them leave, but Babe stayed on the property and I moved back in, leaving Anchorage behind after seven years of living in the city.

On two wooded acres in rural Alaska, an area where my neighbors couldn’t hear me scream if I had a live microphone, I depended on my wolf-dog. She was my partner, my family, and my protector. She stayed near me at all times when I was outside, keeping watch over me. We hauled and split wood together, and walked the electric fence to make repairs. We shoveled snow, burned downed branches, listened to the ravens, examined giant piles of bear and moose poop in the yard, and generally took care of each other, the other dogs, and our trees.

She never stopped being scary. She was beyond intimidating to humans and animals alike. She was not aggressive toward people, she never had to be, but she was fully capable of it, something I saw on a couple of occasions. I frequently hired men to work on the property and whenever I did I locked my two friendly dogs in the house and kept Babe with me.   When strangers were present she stayed beside me touching me, a defensive position I have seen mother grizzlies take with their cubs, a position she took with my grandson when the two of them were much younger and they explored their world together. It was her job.

Babe watched all visitors with the piercing, cold stare of a big predator. She paid attention to everything about them, including where they looked, their expressions no matter how fleeting, their hands and any objects they held, the smallest shift of their bodies in any direction, and the intensity and tone of voice they used. I saw her watch and listen and smell it all, relentlessly, without breaking her gaze for hours at a time. My hired help was always more respectful after Babe and I moved in together.

She never forgot an insult, and she never forgot or forgave an injury. She certainly never forgave the woman who shot her.   Like wolves, who have an innate sense of fairness and will kill an abusive pack leader and replace her, Babe’s loyalty demanded respect and loyalty in return, even from me. I hurt her feelings once when I gave her medicine that made her sick. After she finished throwing up several times, she turned her back and looked over her shoulder at me with a sad, hurt expression that clearly said, “How could you?!!!”

I had to apologize at length, assuring her that I loved her and would never hurt her on purpose, and I was so very sorry. I wrapped my arms around her big body and rubbed her chest and fat belly. Had I not apologized it would have broken her heart and she would have continued to turn her face away from me. I was forgiven, but I had to ask.

Babe was with me for half her life.   They were great years for me, and she seemed to think they were for her, too.    We had it all on our little acres in Alaska.   We had exciting and abundant wildlife everywhere.   We had glorious winter nights full of stars and auroras.  We had summer days that were heaven on Earth, and they lasted all day long.   We had each other.

Fortunately, we also had a Dyson, but even that was not enough to curb dog hair that was on the level of a Biblical plague.  When you really love someone, though, things like that don’t matter as much.

Babe died on a dark day just before the winter solstice, the same time of year she first appeared in our lives. I laid her to rest under a stone and log and moss cairn at the edge of the property that I will add to in the spring. I returned her to the Earth in keeping with the old ways, holding on to nothing of her and placing her possessions in her grave.   And like the ancestors said of their loved ones, I love her very bones and want them near me.

When I heal, when the grief isn’t so raw, when I qualify for social insecurity in just a few months if it’s still there, I will have another puppy. She will be a protective breed of large size, maybe a livestock guardian dog, maybe someone else who comes along on her own as Babe did, someone I believe will be “a good one.”

Puppies have always brought me more happiness than almost anything else. They are my favorite people and I smile and laugh all the time whenever they are around. If my new baby is not another wolf-dog, which is not nearly as likely these days and I’m certainly not looking for one, maybe I can get a couple of chickens, too.


Lord George Gordon Byron’s Epitaph to a Dog

Near this Spot
are deposited the Remains of one
who possessed Beauty without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferocity,
and all the virtues of Man without his Vices.

This praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery
if inscribed over human Ashes,
is but a just tribute to the Memory of
Boatswain, a Dog
who was born in Newfoundland May 1803
and died at Newstead Nov. 18th, 1808

When some proud Son of Man returns to Earth,
Unknown to Glory, but upheld by Birth,
The sculptor’s art exhausts the pomp of woe,
And storied urns record who rests below.
When all is done, upon the Tomb is seen,
Not what he was, but what he should have been.
But the poor Dog, in life the firmest friend,
The first to welcome, foremost to defend,
Whose honest heart is still his Master’s own,
Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone,
Unhonoured falls, unnoticed all his worth,
Denied in heaven the Soul he held on earth –
While man, vain insect! hopes to be forgiven,
And claims himself a sole exclusive heaven.

Oh man! thou feeble tenant of an hour,
Debased by slavery, or corrupt by power –
Who knows thee well, must quit thee with disgust,
Degraded mass of animated dust!
Thy love is lust, thy friendship all a cheat,
Thy tongue hypocrisy, thy heart deceit!
By nature vile, ennobled but by name,
Each kindred brute might bid thee blush for shame.
Ye, who behold perchance this simple urn,
Pass on – it honours none you wish to mourn.
To mark a friend’s remains these stones arise;
I never knew but one — and here he lies.


Lord Byron’s Landseer Newfoundland, Boatswain, died of rabies.   Byron himself nursed Boatswain during the illness until the dog died, disregarding all concerns that he might contract the disease.


The clip embedded below was extracted from an interview with Michael Welch at Global Research and created by Ivey Cone. It dates to 12 December 2014.

Comments 68

  • Love is all you need. What a beautiful read.

    “I know you,” she said, “and you are mine and I am yours.” ahhh that made me tear up. Thank you for such an uplifting read. A very rich and worthwhile essay. Someone who has not forgotten we are all animals.

  • I grew up in post-war Britain, and there was still rationing when I was born. Working class people generally did not have have dogs until ‘affluence arrived’ in the 1960s.

    An interesting ‘situation’ could be developing here (top right graph):

    We’ll know in about a month.

  • More detailed AMEG Lima COP 20 press conference by Stuart Scott

    Rethinking Economics in the Age of Climate Change

    Total atmospheric methane ~5 gigatons; estimated Siberian store is 500-2000 gigatons; 50 gigaton release will bump CO2e to 1000ppm. Methane is currently escaping from *all* *over* the Arctic.

    BUT Stuart still thinks there is a chance…

  • It’s always hard for me to read these wonderful dog stories – bittersweet because i fully recall the unconditional love they provide and how tragic their deaths are (from the loss, i’m sure, of all that love and companionship), yet uplifting too, for me. Beside that, your essay was super and connected nicely to Reece’s. Thank you.

  • oldgrowthforest –

    wow, what a wonderful read. thank you! what a great blessing you had, to have had Babe to share life with!

    I would have truly loved to have met Babe. she sounds like exactly my kind of dog. I had the great good fortune of having a husky-malamute-wolf companion for about five years. we were frequently inseparable. one of the three great dog companions I have had in my life – they have deeply shaped so much of my experience in this lifetime.

    btw – let me (I think again!) apologize for recently mixing up your gender. I think I had made that mistake quite a while ago, and been corrected…

  • oldgrowthforest: Thanks a LOT for this. I have faced similar situations, with both dogs and cats. Never had a wolf dog but really close friends of mine did, he and i were good friends. This is heart-breaking to read. You were blessed to have Babe, beams to her, she is in dog heaven. And beams to you, mohn!!!! Best wishes.

  • @oldgrowthforest & @reese

    Thankyou for sharing. Soulfood is in much need these days :)



    Whoopse :|



    Thankyou, generally and particularly for keeping the beach open :)


    Back to the fiddling :)

  • If you and Reese represent a new trend at NBL, I’m hugely happy.
    Despite the tears.
    What a glorious sharing!
    Thank you oldgrowthforest, and thank you Babe.
    You grace the Earth.

  • Bud Nye the science guy.

  • <3 Thank you for this… beautiful… so DEEPLY touched. What a wondrous girl… they all are, aren't they? I beg that we do all in our power to prevent the trapping and poisoning of wolves in the Americas. Tears one's soul apart to know of such things…

  • Modern Money Mechanics,
    Thanks for sharing the video.

    I just noticed that AMEG used Sam Carana’s data as a source for its “Methane Veil” slide at the 15:48 mark. It’s great to see that other well known scientists are taking his data seriously. Maybe Guy should mention this when he brings up Sam Carana’s data in the future (if he has not done so already).

    Thanks to all who contribute to this website. I often imagine that this might be the type of debating that happened in the homes of ancient Greek philosophers, with so many wonderful minds in one place.

  • oldgrowthforest-
    What a lovely essay, so eloquent and full of heart. Thank you for giving us a glimpse into your world.

    “We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate for having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein do we err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with the extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.”
    ― Henry Beston

  • Great essay oldgrowthforest!


    January 8th, 2015 at 3:14 pm you wrote “If there is some hidden determinant behind this choice, I’m not aware of it. I’m working on the premise that everybody can make such choices. I’m sure I’m missing something, and I am genuinely curious about that.”

    I would say that a large part of what you miss involves what you acknowledged two sentences before commenting on missing something: your point that “If there is some hidden determinant behind this choice, I’m not aware of it.” I expect that most people find the idea of “free choice” or “free will” so attractive largely for that reason: because they have no awareness of the hidden determinants behind their alleged “free choices”. (We do choose among alternatives, but we do not choose with “freedom”.) Meanwhile, as Daniel Kahneman stresses in Thinking, Fast and Slow, for the most part most often our brains work based on the fundamental assumption that Only What We See (or experience) Exists (OWWSE). We strongly tend naturally and AUTOMATICALLY to assume that what we see or experience exists, and only that. This seems overpoweringly and emotionally “obvious” to most of us, most of the time. But what we see and experience does NOT necessarily point to any reality outside of our own inner subjective experience.

    Meanwhile, also, we have conscious awareness of, perhaps, one millionth of what goes on in our brains. It seems to me that this one fact, alone, makes the ever so popular idea of “free choice” utterly untenable. Also, a person’s sincere BELIEF in the existence of some thing or process—or millions of people sincerely believing in the existence of some thing or process for thousands of years—does NOT mean that the world actually works as those people sincerely believe. The fact that it FEELS as though we make our choices “freely”, and we LIKE and WANT TO BELIEVE THAT WE DO, simply DOES NOT necessarily MAKE IT TRUE.

    Because, as Kahneman also stresses, most people think based on an “affect heuristic” (emotional reasoning), and most people strongly WANT to believe in “free will” because it reduces anxiety by giving them a sense of power and control in the world, in their lives, I would feel surprised if anyone reading the things I have written about this over the past few days changes their thinking in any significant way about it. Why surprised? Because cognitive-based dialog usually has little or no influence on emotion-based reasoning. This final point serves to emphasize the importance of John Gottman and Susan Johnson’s emotion-focused work related to relationships.

  • ogf,

    Thanks for your essay…I was a dog-boy back in the day and switched to cats much later in life. The “Hey, what was up with that medicine ?” look reminded me of the feline version I had to answer to whenever I had to do the pill-down-the-throat kata with one of my cats.

    This is probably in the ‘preaching to the choir’ category for most NBLers, but in case anyone needs a tool to convince someone who is an animal-intelligence denier or agnostic, there is an excerpt from Gary Paulsen’s “Windsong” that should do the job on any but the most ostrich-emu-lating human supremacists out there.

    I used to be a teacher of home-bound middle & high school students, some recovering from major surgeries & others with psych issues so profound that they were not tolerated on campus. I found Paulsen’s personal story in a middle-school literature-sampler textbook and found it to be one of the items that kids responded to in a serious way. It’s not just for kids.

    Feel free to stop when you get to the line:”And I could not kill or trap any longer.”

    It’s worth finishing, but that’s the necessary/sufficient borderline.

    And, no…I haven’t learned yet how to post YT clips without having the picture hog y’all’s bandwidth…so enjoy the visual quiet associated with this link. If anyone wants to post (or re-post, Dr. Datta) instructions on how to do that (or just a link would be fine), I’ll resolve to master the tech and implement it…only New Year’s resolution I’m making.


    Here’s another non-BW-hogging clip with a picture that may inspire you to continue writing what you’ve been writing.

    Math joke alert…now don’t go carrying around four pieces of the same pencil just so you can say it’s an exponential phenomenon and be technically correct.

    “Hey, is that an exponential function in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?” Was that from Ada Lovelace, Linda Lovelace, or Mae West ?
    No fair peeking or googling it…here’s a time-frame hint for you youngsters.

  • Wren –

    that quote says it all.

    Bud, artleads –

    – we have “perceived choice”
    – we have “choice among alternatives”
    – we have Absolute Free Will and Infinite Choice
    – we have Absolute Determinacy and No Choice

    all are true. paradox reigns.

    why does anyone believe it can only be one way? that is the mystery, to me. it’s not like your head is going to literally explode, or you will fall into a heap of helplessness if you accept that multiple truths are possible. the universe will carry on, and you can still get Netflix.

    you may find it liberating to actually LIVE from an experience of multiple simultaneous realities – it may allow for more exploration, as Paul mentioned… and more experience, and more kinship. what is the harm?

    Also, a person’s sincere BELIEF in the existence of some thing or process—or millions of people sincerely believing in the existence of some thing or process for thousands of years—does NOT mean that the world actually works as those people sincerely believe.

    indeed, it does not.

  • I hugged my dog after reading that.

  • Dear Old Growth Forest, beautiful story! My family came across a giant wolf hybrid one day at the Oregon coast. My sisters two dogs charged at this massive wolf/dog yipping and silly (like domestic dogs can be), this wolf hybrid was clearly a God amongst dogs and simply and calmly greeted them and us with a balanced spirit and the gentlest and most commanding of natures. Both my sister and I felt like we had warped to a primal beach and couldn’t stop observing this Godly wolf dog as he joined us all on our foray. He was with us, as if he’d chosen us, joined our pack for almost more than hour as we romped and played. We kinda thought we were dreaming, as he would periodically come to our sides for a greeting and exchange of joyous and gentle communion. Finally, out of the blue, a man emerges from the coastal grasses and calls this beauty to him. My sister and I shout a hello and moving toward this man ( eager to find out about this amazing creature) ask, amongst other things, if this is a wolf mix? He is hesitant to say yes but after chatting and clearly deciding we wouldn’t ‘report’ him, he explains that yes indeed we are in the presence of a wolf hybrid, confirming what we were sure of. Then he says if he bothers you just tell him to go home and walks off to rejoin his party off by the roadside. My sister and I look at each other both thinking, what the hey? So the wolf dog continues with us to the end of our walk and we are wondering what to do now cause the owner is nowhere in sight when the man drives up, calls his wolf dog to him and the giant creature lopes away to jump in the van this man and his family are in. It was perhaps one of the strangest and most magical moments I’ve ever had. What else can you say but Blessed be the wolf dogs who share love and those who love them. :-)

    An ode to love, Dog as God and God as Dog ;-)

  • Thank you, everyone, for taking the time to read and to comment. I appreciate it. I also appreciate that Guy was willing to post it here.

    Wendy, the love transcends everything. You are so right, and we are all animals, and we share many emotions and feelings with a number of intelligent animals.

    Tom, I thought so, too, that the essay complemented Reese’s. I do miss the love a lot, but as my bio above says, I have two other dogs, one only six months younger than Babe. We all miss *her*.

    Jeff, I’m so glad you liked it. I like so much of what you write. Thanks for the “beams.”

    mo flow, don’t worry about the gender thing. Glad you could relate! I wish you could have met her, too.

    KK, I think so, too. Heart and soul is much needed.

    Paul, I agree, and I liked Reese’s essay and its more heartfelt tone.

    Hi, Reese. Thank you. I agree, and I hate to hear of wolf hunting. They are so intelligent, and so loving within their families. Even though I did not directly mention NTE at all, I thought the essay fit with the NTE discussion for a number of reasons. I was hoping that people would respond as you and others have with their own experiences and sense of relating rather than me leading the conversation in any direction other than focusing on love and nature.

    Wren, I love this! ” . . . they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.” We are animals, and we are not unique in our ability to love, to learn, to know ourselves.

    Bud, thank you.

    Infanttyrone, cats are great, too! Especially tabbies.

    mass, awwwwww!

    TIAA, thanks for your story! We don’t forget them, do we? I remember every wolf I’ve seen, I think. They mature in ways that dogs do not, and they have a complexity to their relationships that dogs don’t have. They are primal, and mystical. I love the song.

    Documentaries I’ve seen lately about people and animals that I have enjoyed have been “Hercules the Human Bear,” National Geographic’s documentary on Kevin Richardson and his lion sanctuary, and “The Snow Wolf Family and Me.”

    Another very long documentary that I think is wonderful is “Stranger Among Bears,” about Charlie Vandergaw. It’s not that I think feeding bears or raising wolf-dogs or wolverines or anything else is something people need to do. But all of these documentaries show the animals in a very different light, in, as Richardson says, “a relationship.” It’s not “training,” he says, it’s a relationship. The love between the animals and the humans in most of these documentaries is beautiful, and it shows how intelligent they are emotionally.

  • oldgrowthforest

    certainly a strong bond with dogs for some people.

    Some believe dogs are learning karmic-ly to be like humans…?

    The most difficult practical aspect of separating from family last year was what to do with the dog, since rental accommodation was prejudicial for the other 5 to get a place, I took him, (Rusty), but had to get neighbors to keep him for a few months as I was homeless.
    Eventually found a young guy on a nearby farm who got around in his car a lot. He’s very happy now, and gets to see a lot of places, and has Roo meat every night for dinner. I even run into him occasionally- the young guy stops, says he has someone who would like to say hello, and out jumps Rusty, and we have a hug-fest for a few moments. It all comes back to both of us. So the issue was well resolved, but Rusty also went on a journey, and now brings companionship to others. I feel like he had a good home life, as a beginning, now he is out in the big wide world, and doing fine. Like the old cleche- one of the family.

  • Bud/mo flow

    I seem to have lost a longish response to the above. Bud has said, the universe is not only weirder than we think; it’s weirder than we CAN think. That seems to comport with what mo flow wrote above, as well as what I too believe about paradox. So I’d best leave it at that.

  • That’s two excellent posts in a row to NBL from the left coast. Thanks for this one to OGF!

    Dogs are very possibly wolves that adopted humans, lending us the use of their superior senses in exchange for the offal from the hunt, enhanced by our stone age technology. Over some thirty millennia or so, they have well earned the title of “man’s best friend”.

    Dogs do not fit the standard criteria of a separate species. They can freely interbreed with wolves, and can produce fully fertile offspring in any proportion of wolf and dog. Dog-wolf mixtures are not really hybrids. They have been separate for much less time than we have been out of Africa. They are less separate than Africans are from Europeans. And dogs that run wild where there are wolves have a chance to merge back into wolves, and so are not completely separate.

    Wolves are among the few social mammals that limit reproduction to alpha males and alpha females: the rest of the pack put their efforts to feeding and caring for those pups. The Last Man standing could well have the Last Dog Standing at his side.

    They pay a hell of a price for their association with humans by their numbers that are put down at “shelters” and pounds everywhere every day, unwated and uncared for. In the wild, the pups don’t survive, a process of nature common to all animals. But something similar happens to humans as well. Particularly in old folks’ homes. However they are not put down: they have fester along to their end. I have heard them call out aloud and repeatedly in prayer to God to let them die.

    But then roses come with thorns.

  • Lovely essay Oldgrowth. If after a spell you find yourself looking for another long legged companion, I know of a wolf breeder just outside of Portland, Or…..might be a great excuse to come see the kids.

  • Wonderful. If “oldgrowthforest” has a similar love story with a human or humans, she may be able to tell us another great story to cheer us as we descend.
    I was thinking of hugging & loving some other laughing & kindly humans.

  • The Guardian / By Susie Steiner

    5 Top Regrets People Have At the End of Their Lives
    A palliative nurse has recorded the top five regrets of the dying.
    February 15, 2013 |

    Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives. She recorded their dying epiphanies in a blog called Inspiration and Chai, which gathered so much attention that she put her observations into a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying
    Ware writes of the phenomenal clarity of vision that people gain at the end of their lives, and how we might learn from their wisdom. “When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently,” she says, “common themes surfaced again and again.”
    Here are the top five regrets of the dying, as witnessed by Ware:

    1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
    “This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.”

    2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
    “This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.”

    3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
    “Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.”

    4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
    “Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.”

    5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
    “This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.”

  • I was never a huge meat-eater. Now, I refuse to buy any meat and I pay only for one egg per day (certified humane, free-range, organic) and half a slice of cheese to go with it. Billions of chickens, cows, pigs and fish are being farmed in horrifying, cruel conditions. For that alone civilization MUST GO. For a few months I had to get my daily lunch and dinner at soup kitchens. I ate the donated meat they served. I was not contributing to the profits of the cruel and inhumane meat industry or any other food product industry. It was a great discovery, being able to feed myself while not being part of or contributing to genocidal and destructive industrial civilization. I still ached for the creatures whose tortured and murdered body part I consumed each meal. Currently (as during most of my life), I buy very little. My diet is vegetarian. As I turn 62, I have only driven (at most) 50,000 miles in my life time, as a teenager. The suffering of the millions of innocent living creatures, with whom humans should be sharing this world, is made just slightly bearable by my minimal participation in human society. Only ‘the end’ will put an end to the senseless cruelty, injustice and suffering. Yes, if I were starving I would eat of an already dead body, even of that of a human, but I would not kill so that I can live. How can that be ever justified?

  • Great post oldgrowthforest.

    I lived in several places in Alaska for many years, and have the same affection for the canine species.

    OT: the new propaganda being put out by Oil-Qaeda is that green energy is a waste of time, so stick with fossil fuels (Agnotology: The Surge – 14).

  • Thanks, oldgrowthforest! It’s amazing to me that dogs have such kind and loving hearts that, for many of us, the most meaningful relationship we’ve ever had was with a dog. Being loved unconditionally and always being greeted with joy isn’t so common in the human’s world.

    I enjoy any show about nature. Here’s a nature show I think you’ll like. I’s a unique way to document baby wild turkeys growing up. It also presents a beautiful view of rapidly vanishing “Old Florida”, where I’ve lived much of my life.

    H/T to mo flow for saying (above, 5:57), “why does anyone believe it can only be one way? that is the mystery, to me. it’s not like your head is going to literally explode, or you will fall into a heap of helplessness if you accept that multiple truths are possible.” YES!

  • When I was younger, I could watch movies smeared with blood and gore and loved it, but if an animal got hurt in a movie, I lost my shit. I used to have a dog who was half wolf and German Shepherd.

    Sixty-six heavyweight scientists active in the field of biodiversity conservation have pleaded with the world’s greens to get over their objections to nuclear power, pointing out that renewable energy means terrible losses of endangered animals and plants. Their plea was ignored.

    Here is an updated fact sheet with supporting links:

    research project:
    ► 99% of Rhinos gone since 1914.
    ► 97% of Tigers gone since 1914.
    ► 90% of Lions gone since 1993.
    ► 90% of Sea Turtles gone since 1980.
    ► 90% of Monarch Butterflies gone since 1995.
    ► 90% of Big Ocean Fish gone since 1950.
    ► 80% of Western Gorillas gone since 1955.
    ► 75% of River & Riverbank Species gone since 1970.
    .. ► 75,000 dams block U.S. rivers built over 75 years.
    ► 60% of Forest Elephants gone since 1970.
    ► 50% of Great Barrier Reef gone since 1985.
    ► 50% of Human Sperm Counts gone since 1950.
    ► 50% of Fresh Water Fish gone since 1987.
    ► 40% of Giraffes gone since 2000.
    ► 30% of Marine Birds gone since 1995.
    ► 28% of Land Animals gone since 1970.
    ► 28% of All Marine Animals gone since 1970.
    ► 93 Elephants killed every single day.
    ► 2-3 Rhinos killed every single day.
    ► Bees die from malnutrition lacking bio-diverse pollen sources.
    ► Malnutrition weakens bee colonies for disease and poisoning.

    ► In just 13 years, we will “lock in” an inevitable near term 6°C earth temp rise because we continually exceed the worse-case emissions scenario set out back in 2007 says climate scientist, Dr. Michael Jennings.
    ► Energy demands to increase 100% by 2060 says the IEA.
    ► Emissions have to decrease 80% by 2030 says climate scientist, Kevin Anderson.
    ► To power England with 100% solar & wind, requires 25% of its land says physicist, David MacKay in 2012. Even if he is wrong, he makes a valid point.

    ► 40% Green Energy requires 200% more copper says John Timmer of Ars Technica. Even performance improvements won’t be enough in time.
    ► Peak copper hits 2030 – 2040 says Ugo Bardi.

    ► Post peak copper production cannot accelerate at any price says Dave Lowell.
    ► This is true of any post peak mineral production.
    ► There is no real substitute for copper says Mat McDermott of Motherboard.
    ► We mined 50% of all the copper in human history in just the last 30 years.
    ► 100% green energy requires 500% more copper.
    ► Peak minerals includes more than just copper.
    ► By 2050, expect to be past peaks for tin, silver, nickel, cadmium and more.
    ► We move some 3 billion tons of earth per year to get 15 millions tons of copper.
    ► We can’t afford to mine 500% more copper at ever lower concentrations.
    ► We cannot recycle it into existence.
    ► We cannot conserve it into existence.
    ► Substituting aluminum for copper takes 5X the energy and is less safe.
    ► Google’s own Stanford Phd, green energy experts, Ross Koningstein and David Fork, tell IEEE Spectrum why green energy “simply won’t work” and is a “false dream” without major lifestyle changes.
    ► Ozzie Zehner explains his book, Green Illusions, at Google Talks in 2012.

    Here is Gail Tverberg on Green Energy.

    Here is a link to give you an idea of just some of the deadly poisons used to make solar panels.

    Battery Performance Deficit Disorder:

    ► Green Energy is our solution to Climate Change.
    ► But, Climate Change is only 1 of 6 Direct Drivers for Mass Extinction.
    ► The 6 Direct Drivers of Mass Extinction are:
    … 1) Invasive Species
    … 2) Over-Population
    … 3) Over-Exploitation
    … 4) Habitat Loss
    ….5) Climate Change
    ….6) Pollution

    MASS EXTINCTION VIDEO IS HERE:–Facing-the-Mass-Extinction

    ► 10,000 years ago, humans and livestock occupied 0.01% of earth’s vertebrate biomass.
    ► Humans and livestock now occupy 97% of earth’s vertebrate biomass.
    ► 1,000,000 humans, net, are added to earth every 4½ days.
    ► 50% of vertebrate species died off in the last 50 years.
    ► 50% of remaining vertebrate species will die off in the next 40 years.
    ► +50% = Unstoppable Irreversible Catastrophic Cascading Extinctions Collapse.
    ► 75% Species Loss = Mass Extinction.
    ► Ocean acidification doubles by 2050, triples by 2100.
    ► World Bank says we have 5-10 years before we all fight for food and water.

    Our “green” energy hi-tech future requires:
    ► conflict minerals,
    ► rare earth elements,
    ► heavy metals,
    ► nano metals and graphite.
    Search for “rare earth mining in China” on YouTube and see what special hell your solar panels and wind turbines produce in Mongolia. China can do this because they have undercut all the world’s production of Rare Earth Elements (REEs) with low wages, low currency and no environmental enforcement. They can do this because they ignore the radioactive thorium that comes with mining high-value, heavy rare earth elements.

    Rare earth elements can’t profitably be mined outside of China unless we can get power from radioactive thorium, the mining by-product found with heavy rare earth elements. We can’t afford to mine REEs while treating thorium as radioactive waste instead of as a profitable energy source. Burning thorium will pay for heavy REEs and provide the low-carbon base power “green” energy requires. We can use thorium reactors to clean up uranium waste, making it safer.

    Solar cell manufacturing produces 3 green house gases that are over 10,000 times worse than C02. They require all kinds of deadly liquid acids to manufacture. Solar panels lose efficiency at the rate of 1% per year lasting 20-25 years. The expensive inverters and batteries they require have to be continually replaced. The new thin cell panels use nano materials and are even more toxic with shorter lifespans. It doesn’t matter how “clean” the latest experimental solar panels are because existing manufacturing plants will stay open to recoup major investments. Prof. Jian Shuisheng of the Jiatong-University estimates the production of just 6 solar panels requires one ton of coal.

    Manufacturing just five, 1-megawatt, wind turbines produces 1 ton of radioactive residue and 75 tons of toxic, acidic water used to leach out the required neodymium. Wind turbines only work at 25% of their rated capacity 90% of the time. Over 2 million children died in the Congo for the conflict minerals green energy needs. Thousands of people die in Chinese mines every year for the minerals green energy needs. Wind power requires 10X as much nickel as fossil power. Peak nickel may hit by 2025.

    The Smithsonian Institute calculates wind turbine bird deaths.
    Any other reason for bird deaths doesn’t exonerate wind turbines.

    New study on bat deaths due to wind turbines.

    One company in the U.S. cut down 5 acres of trees to build a solar farm to power a plant for the production of plastic bags. Green plastic bags — fucking mind blowing. Green power will not be enough. Part-time energy and billions of tons of toxic lead, liquid metal or molten salt batteries adds up to death to all life on earth just from sheer destructive ecological inertia due to mineral extraction. Americans love solar and wind power because it makes them feel independent, it’s like your own personal power plant for each and every home. We can’t afford it ecologically. We need central power to save on minerals, especially since all the infrastructure is already there. All we have to do is figure out how to clean it up.

    Tim Garrett explains why
    ► one dollar equals 10 milliwatts
    ► why we can’t decouple growth from emissions.
    ► why efficiency & conservation leads to more energy growth.

    In the video, “Years Of Living Dangerously” we learned the Indonesian lumber mafia killed all the elephants in a nature preservation park just to get rid of the need for a park so they can clear-cut the trees. 80% of those park trees are gone. These guys clear cut forests, replace the forests with palm-oil trees, and sell the palm-oil to burn as gasoline in Europe. They make money selling lumber, collecting tax carbon credits and selling the palm-oil to burn in cars, mostly in wunder-green Germany. Win-win-win. Unless you’re an elephant.

    In the video, “Virunga” on Netflix, we learned the Congolese mineral mafia is killing off the last Mountain Gorillas so that the need for a national park will cease to exist. Cell phones don’t run on love, you can ask the 2 million children murdered there since 1998, or the 1 million Iraqi children our oil embargo killed in the 1990s. People may think me misanthropic, but that’s not true, some of my best friends are people.

    When air-conditioner makers in China and India got paid carbon credits to destroy a gaseous waste by-product 15,000 times stronger than CO2, they quickly realized that if they made 10 times more than they needed, they got paid 10 times more carbon credits to destroy it. They soon made as much profit destroying a gas they didn’t need as they did selling air-conditioners. When found out, they said pay up, or the planet gets it. We stopped paying and now they release a gas that is so dangerous it is the carbon equivalent of all the cars in the whole world.

    Life is simple: James Hansen wants you to get 100% of your carbon taxes back, Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein do not. Don’t believe me? Then ask them, if you are able, that’s why the Rockefellers fund When governments and corporations get control of carbon taxes, we’re finished. The Rockefellers divested from oil, but they still want your carbon taX dollars. This is why they fund It is my dream that carbon dividends are paid world wide in a new world currency 100% to private citizens and not governments and corporations. A new currency would circumvent any national differences and unite the world as never before. Money is funny that way. So are dreams.

    Elizabeth Kolbert hurt Naomi Klein’s feelings when she exposed the fact that Klein wants the world to divest from oil, while at the same time, oil-invested Ford Foundation funds her husband’s video about Klein’s life.

    ► Green Energy provides 3% of total world energy use.
    ► World energy demand up 100% in 50 years.
    ► World emissions have to drop 80% in 15 years for 50/50 chance of 2°C.
    ► It takes one ton of coal to make 6 solar panels.
    ► It takes 4 times the rated green energy to displace 1 equally rated unit of fossil energy.

    So far, we have to replace fossil fuels with 4X its rated power, while emissions have to drop 80% while total energy demand doubles in the midst of energy, mineral, food and water shortages. Please don’t be offended if I tell you this is fuckn impossible. You can’t use solar panels to make 4X as much green energy without accelerating peak minerals, ecological destruction, water mismanagement etc.

    We have to get nuclear power from thorium whether we like it or not. We can’t have a hi-tech green energy world without digging up radioactive thorium, which is the radioactive waste we leave behind when we leach out the heavy Rare Earth Elements such a world requires. Thorium is plentiful, and in a post-peak mineral world, plentiful is important. We are being lied to about green energy so that we don’t have to think about lowering energy use. China is going to build 400 nuclear plants in 35 years. China and India are on a crash course to be the first to produce commercial power from thorium. India has just announced the world’s first thorium reactor to be operational by 2020, which probably means 2022 at the earliest.

    ► China has made 6 gigatons of cement in the last 3 years.
    ► U.S. has made 4 gigatons of cement in the last 100 years.
    ► China’s banks have lent $15 trillion in the last 5 years.
    ► U.S. commercial banks have lent $15 trillion in the last 100 years.
    ► China will build 400 nuclear power plants in 35 years.
    ► India will have the first thorium commercial reactor by 2022.
    ► U.S. will have to replace all its surviving solar-wind power systems in 30 years, likely after economic collapse in times of shortages and energy poverty.
    ► U.S. has enough nuclear waste to power themselves for 300 years without emissions while solving proliferation, emissions and storage problems.
    ► Many people will die from Fukushima, we can’t turn our backs on them. Many Iraqis are born deformed from depleted uranium ordinance, we can’t just ignore that. We need to clean up our nuclear waste while we still have the expertise to do so. We can’t just walk away from nuclear power hoping it will all just go away.


    Why do I think we should try even when I “know” we will fail?
    In no particular order, here are the 5 top traded “commodities”.
    1) food
    2) sex
    3) oil
    4) drugs
    5) guns


    Civilization is slowly collapsing while the earth is quickly dying. My credentials? I cut grass in a trailer park in Canada. I never made it past high school, but I learned all this stuff when i woke up hungover the other day with my dog licking my face using E.S.P. to let space aliens tell me to warn you.
    p.s. — I can’t believe I get to post all this stuff.

  • What is amazing to me is how quickly we all are, even many here, to condemn all of mankind for their bad behavior but dogs are universally given nothing but love.

    I guarantee that I could create an environment where your cute cuddly pooch will become a snarling, biting, wild thing. In other words an environment that optimizes for bringing out the worst in a dog. Would we condemn all canines for this bad behavior? No we simply make every effort possible to be certain that their environment is optimal for eliciting the best possible behavior.

    We humans, who supposably have the power of reason, have allowed ourselves to be organized in an environment that does just that. Then we condemn all mankind for their bad behavior. Even highly intelligent people are guilty of this.

  • Jeff,

    our own actions condemn (or reward) us.

    One is what one does.

    What one does is one’s life.
    — Each one experiences life as the one who does/acts as the one does/acts.

    A just life is it own reward.

    Evil (causing suffering, injustice) is its own punishment, because by doing evil, one makes one’s own life and oneself evil (devoid of ‘goodness’ and short of experiencing the highest potential for one’s existence and for one’s being).

    No god or judge necessary. No god or judge there to let you off the hook.

  • OGF,

    So nice to see ur a woman up there in Palin terrortory.

    I am curious. Do you have Indian blood?

    Dogs are smart, smart, smart as are all animals.

    Just like everything else they are part and parcel of their environment.

    Our animals are ALL, equally wonderful.

    It is interesting to me that they have the ‘small’ brain but they know, everything. As we know, Descartes was a fool and a Josef Mengele of sorts for daring to declare that animals have no emotion/feelings. And when they determine you are in love with them they are ALL IN. Doesn’t matter what you look like or what sex you appear to be.

    Thank you, especially, and Guy, for offering this prayer. It means a lot to me.

    And thank you greatly for the wonderful epithet.

    “To mark a friend’s remains these stones arise;
    I never knew but one — and here he/she lies.”


  • @treenoise

    In contrast, my diet is primarily carnivore. I eat mostly meat even though I am fully aware, both emotionally and intellectually, of what we do to those fellow creatures who become my sustenance. Severe metabolic syndrome makes me unable to get my daily calories from carbohydrates without damaging my body, mind and spirit in the process. To top it all off, I don’t even have the economic means to adopt a suitably dogmatic approach to the source of my food (free-range, organic, killed by kindness, etc.)

    The gods, well known for having an evil sense of humour, have seen fit to conspire with my metabolism and circumstances to present me with an unresolvable spiritual conundrum. It’s a lesson in “The Acceptance of What Is” that any Taoist would recognize in a flash.

    We must all play the life-hand we’re dealt, and the lessons it holds are quite unpredictable. One lesson I’m learning these days is about setting aside dogma, and allowing life to unfold on its own terms. It’s a great opportunity to practice compassion…

  • Artleads,

    January 8th, 2015 at 10:24 pm you wrote “Bud has said, the universe is not only weirder than we think; it’s weirder than we CAN think.”

    Clarification: Several times I have quoted American professor of biology at Rutgers University David Ehrenfeld (, among many other things, author of The Arrogance of Humanism (1978): “The world is not only more complex than we think, it is more complex than we are capable of thinking.” Similarly, I have also quoted Nobel Prize winning psychologist, Daniel Kahneman (prize won in economics): “Our comforting conviction that the world makes sense rests on a secure foundation: our almost unlimited ability to ignore our ignorance.” I enthusiastically agree with both quotes, both of which point to the insanity of so many people’s arrogant human supremacism. It seems to me that both quotes also make fun of the ever-so-popular ideas that any human had any control in the past, or that any do today, as well as making fun of the idea that we supposedly have “free will”.

    One can see here Kahneman on experience vs. memory, 20 min.:

    Kahneman on rational decision making, 29 min.:

  • Bud,

    Thanks for cleaning that up. I know what you believe. Your interpretation of “our almost unlimited ability to ignore our ignorance” is to know for sure that we have no control over anything. Very well then. I’m all through arguing.

  • Jeff

    ‘What is amazing to me is how quickly we all are, even many here, to condemn all of mankind for their bad behavior but dogs are universally given nothing but love.’

    I’m afraid this is not true at all.

    About 15 years ago I spent several month is Taiwan. One of the many things I noticed was the large number of dogs that were just about surviving, in and around the streets -dogs that had been hit by cars and had broken legs that had healed deformed, dogs with sores and festers, dogs with fur missing, emaciated dogs, mongrels of every type that were picking a living off rubbish dumps and whatever fell to the ground around food markets. On one occasion I visited a thermal area and was astonished to see the place riddled with wild dogs. not your true wild dog but obviously domesticated dogs that had been abandoned or escaped. None of the locals even seems to notice the dogs that were everywhere except in the manicured parks.

    On one occasion I took a walk into what would be described as an overgrown cemetery in the western world, and was nearly subject to dog attack: as I walked long a path a pack of wild dogs came charging towards me, led by a large black dog, which was obviously the pack leader; I halted and stood my ground, not taking my eyes off the pack leader, and then walked very, very slowly backwards for many metres, the pack leader slowly advancing, snarling as I did so. After I had walked backwards maybe 50 metres (I wasn’t counting) the pack leader turned and headed back to what I assume was a den.

    There have been many stories of dogs being eaten, particularly in Korea, and there is some evidence that dogs have been kept caged and fattened for human consumption, though I believe the South Korean government has made vigorous attempts to stamp out the practice. It is said that the Chinese will eat anything -the legacy of many periods of mass starvation, the most recent being in the late 1950s, when up to 60 million Chinese starved, many of them to death, under the Mao regime which encouraged local party officials to overstate grain production, resulting in entire grain harvests being confiscated by the government for export in payment for Russian-made goods.

    There have been numerous instances of dog-fighting pits being run in the western world, whereby dogs are trained to attack and maul any dog it sees. Although illegal, of course, I have no doubt such ‘sports’ continue in most western nations.

    One of the most distressing incidents of dog abuse I have had personal experience of in NZ occurred around 35 years ago: the owner of a dog set up a kennel on a section of bare land near a housing area and kept a dog on a short lead there. The dog barked and whined for many days, as one would expect an animal that had been semi-abandoned to do.

    Let us not overlook the role dogs have played in abuse of humans. Dogs have been used to great effect in hunting down people who have escaped captivity, and one of the most dramatic examples of use of dogs against humans was depicted in the film ’12 Years a Slave’, in which a human was torn to pieces by dogs as a demonstration of power.

    A similar demonstration of power occurred after American invaded Iraq and set up detention centres for anyone who disagreed or happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The scenes of naked Iraqis being intimidated by dogs and Americans smiling and laughing is indelibly impressed on the minds of many throughout the world.

    I’m afraid there is plenty of death, but not necessarily much love.

  • Hi, Oz. You did right by Rusty. He appears to appreciate it, don’t you think?

    Robin, I also like the inclusion of Reese’s essay, as I’ve written. Franklin says it is far more likely that wolves began following people not so much during a hunt, but by following the refuse from general living. In other words ~ trash hounds. The elderly, the orphaned that survived, the injured, or just the very submissive, began to survive by living within the edges of human activity.

    However, this goes so very far back, that it is impossible to know. There are caves that have been found with wolf skulls lining the entrances and facing outwards that are 100,000 years old.

    This relationship is so very old. Franklin also says that wolves and humans both lost substantial brain mass when dogs became domesticated. Domestication, living together, changed both species irrevocably, as we began to meet functions and needs for each other.

    Daniel, thank you for the suggestion. I plan on waiting a while. I have two other elderly dogs that need my attention for a while. But I will reach that point, I know. Country people often need dogs. They aren’t just pets.

    Kirk, thanks for the video. I will watch it. Nature is IT. All of nature in all its complexity and mystery and sentience. It’s all interesting. It’s why I came to Alaska, just to watch it and the quality of life that provides.

    Gerald, love is all that’s going to get anyone through. I think.

    Dredd, Alaska may be the real love of my life.

    Robert, you are a marshmallow inside, and we all know it. I’m glad you get to post all that, because it seems to make you happy.

    ogardener, I read the article. Good one. It’s insane, isn’t it? They don’t even make sense. The entire worldview is insane.

    Shep, I guess there’s a reason Byron’s name is synonymous with some of the greatest poetry in the English language. I love that epitaph, too. ” . . .all the virtues of Man without his Vices.”

    I am American Indian. I have written about it a few times. Perhaps you are remembering from earlier posts.

    I’ve never once encountered Sarah Palin anywhere in Wasilla, or anywhere else in Alaska, not in 25 years. I would be creeped out for days if that happened.

    Paul, my friend and elder here in Alaska, Rita, tells us, “accept it.” Acceptance, surrender, non-resistance to reality. Anyone who has ever experienced it knows we do not live on only one level of consciousness, there are two of us in here all the time.

    I love Nature. I love it with a passion. I always have. I have always related to the old Indians who withered and died away from their way of life. I like many animals, too. I don’t consider myself a dog person or anything else, however, I enjoy studying nature and that includes dogs. I also have been an avian wildlife rehabber, an avid wilderness camper and hiker and have taken a dozen or more week-long vacations to Denali to observe wildlife and learn more. It never ends, there is so much here. The bears are very intelligent, and very interesting, the marine mammals that are so, so intelligent.

    It has happened, however, that I have lived alone for over twelve years, and during that time I have had dogs. Only one was acquired on purpose, the poodle. Three was excessive, but it taught me a lot. With three dogs the dynamic changes. And given that one was part wolf and had intense behaviors that were more easily seen from my human perspective, over these years I’ve read more and paid more attention to dogs and I see them differently than I ever have.

    Their communications are fast. They communicate with us all the time, and their communications are often only a split-second in length. They are primarily visually and physical/space-oriented. I often lose my poodle on the property. She likes to go behind trees and sheds and things. I can ask my other dog, and I could Babe especially, where the poodle is, and they will either turn their heads or just their eyes, and they will look in the direction of the poodle, telling me.

    I was talking with someone about pets one day, and the woman unoriginally said, “They’re like your children.”

    I told her, “It’s actually more like I’m their dog.” They outnumber me. There is a lot more dog being spoken than human, and I can’t help but see it.

    I never could have learned all this from the poodle. She is black, and has black-brown eyes, and a fuzzy face. She is a complete blank visually from the neck up.

  • If you are not familiar with the scientific method and data presentation, then attempting to discuss climate change is essentially meaningless.

    Listen to a real scientist struggle with his intuition as the scientific method and data analysis slowly, irrevocably, dragged him kicking and screaming to agree with us.

    Richard Muller: I Was Wrong on Global Warming

    Published on Jan 7, 2015

    Richard Muller became the darling of the climate denial community a few years ago when he made a number of statements questioning the integrity of climate scientists and science. Since then, his own studies have (re)confirmed the rise in global temperature, and the cause, – human generated carbon dioxide.

    Interviewed in December 2014, by Collin Maessen, in San Francisco.

  • I don’t see how anyone could look at pictures of puppies for more than ten seconds and not smile. Especially these guys.

  • M^3: nice find. At this point i’m wondering, and i’d really enjoy hearing everyone’s take on this, what’s likely to be the reaction to society and then all of civilization, once this now provable theory is correct? Hoarding? Economic collapse? Chaos? How fast? [etc, feel free to expound]

    It’s really nice when living with a pet you love and who loves you. Errant behavior can be lethal:

    Man mauled to death by his own dog in Frederick, Maryland

    Eugene Smith, 87, was taking down his Christmas Tree today in his Frederick County, Maryland, home when his pet pit bull attacked him, according to officials. The Frederick County Bureau of Investigations is still investigating the attack, which ended in death. Smith was pronounced dead at the hospital. [i’ll leave the gritty details]

    That said, i think the risk is worth it since, though animal attacks in general are on the rise, it’s a relatively rare occurrence in my experience. Let’s take my last best dog Mr B who had the same shape as the pit pictured in the above article, white with a little brindling, who i enjoyed from roughly 5 months old through 11 years, was 80 lbs of love. We slept side by side every night. He only had one incident where he frightened [the crap out of] one of my grandchildren when he was younger [nothing happened because i didn’t let him out of my sight when people were around, and in this instance, i yelled ‘no’ and he immediately sat and stayed. After correcting him with tone of voice and ‘no’ once more, it never happened again. Neither one of us could figure out what it was that made the incident occur.]

    kevin: i’m sorry you had those experiences [in the same sense as i’m sorry i exist].

  • Using one of my “roll-over” posts for the third one today…


    “…once this now provable theory is correct?”

    A theory based upon weather data can easily lead to predictions, but it cannot be tested with further experiments because climate science consists of naturalistic observations and correlations among non-manipulated variables, which by definition, does not prove causality. To work around the testing problem models are used, but a model must meet the following criteria to be of value:

    1. Are model assumptions based on established physics, chemistry, etc. processes?
    2. Are model data robust (i.e., complete and within acceptable statistical variance)?
    3. Does the model predict data that has not been included?
    4. Do assumptions make the model too simplistic so that it fails to predict overall system behavior?

    Climate models generally fail the last criterion. Modelers know what a positive feedback loop is and if they were to include such things in climate models, their results would go, well… exponential. Regardless, there is not much theory required here; just extrapolation of exponential functions.

    Tom also says:
    “…what’s likely to be the reaction to society and then all of civilization [expects abrupt climate change]? Hoarding? Economic collapse? Chaos? How fast? [etc, feel free to expound]”

    I agree our ‘social fabric’ will torn apart. My thinking has changed over the years from barricading in a hidey-hole to being in the community. I cannot point to references at the moment, but generally people come together in disasters such as the Haitian earthquake. Which also agrees with Jay Hanson’s power principle; that it will be to everyone’s overall advantage to self-organize.

    Moreover, the Fourth Turning generational line-up will have us baby boomers leading the millennials, all uniting for a common goal (whatever it turns out to be). So yes, I see ‘difficult’ times ahead replete with bad actors, but overall a united population that will find strength and purpose in dealing with the problem (regardless how futile). In other words, much like what happened in the US during WWII with rationing, etc. In an odd way, it will be a great time!

  • Modern Money Mechanics,

    January 9th, 2015 at 2:13 pm you wrote: “Moreover, the Fourth Turning generational line-up will have us baby boomers leading the millennials, all uniting for a common goal (whatever it turns out to be). So yes, I see ‘difficult’ times ahead replete with bad actors, but overall a united population that will find strength and purpose in dealing with the problem (regardless how futile). In other words, much like what happened in the US during WWII with rationing, etc. In an odd way, it will be a great time!”

    I agree with you. George Bonanno’s (and other’s) research (see his book, The Other Side of Sadness) demonstrates that MOST people (not all; about 10-15% do not) naturally exhibit great resilience in the face of loss of loved ones and in response to a host of traumatic and potentially traumatic life events such as war, assault, natural disasters, and related mass catastrophes. This holds true for both children and adults, and people consistently fare better when they have other people to turn to. (Thus the potential value of extinction support groups.) By and large, the people who deal best with these different situations can do what it takes to get through the events: they have significant FLEXIBILITY, including a broad repertoire of behaviors.

    Related to this, and a caution for people doing grief work and organizing ESGs, MISUSE OF THERAPY has, unfortunately become a common practice in the aftermath of collective traumatic events (and, by implication, it may in anticipation of those events). In this regard, most commonly we have critical incident stress debriefing (CISD), which I received training in years ago. Research has clearly demonstrated that just one hour of simple CISD significantly INTERFERED WITH survivor’s natural recovery processes over following years. Indeed, the World Health Organization has issued a clear warning on its Web site: “Single-session Psychological Debriefing: Not recommended”, and it STOPPED well-intentioned but misguided volunteer therapists and paraprofessionals from going to Southeast Asia with the intention of providing debriefing to large swathes of the population following the 2004 tsunami disaster. (See PDF of one page document here: .)

    Further related to all of this, at least some here will probably have an interest in anthropologist Ernest Becker’s 1973 Pulitzer Prize-winning work of nonfiction titled The Denial of Death and the subsequent work of others called Terror Management Theory (TMT): .


    Huge circle in Antarctic ice hints at meteorite impact


    During a routine flight over the Antarctic ice shelf on 20 December last year, geophysicist Christian Müller spotted something strange: a huge, 2-kilometre-wide circle on the ice.

    Müller, a contractor with research consultants Fielax from Bremerhaven, Germany, was in Antarctica as part of a polar survey conducted by the German Alfred Wegener Institute. Six days after spotting the weird ice-ring, he and his colleagues returned and flew over the site at two different altitudes, to photograph and scan it. Their working theory is that the ring marks an ice crater left by a large meteorite that slammed into Antarctica in 2004.

    M^3: thanks for the great explanation.

  • Kevin Moore relates, “One of the most distressing incidents of dog abuse I have had personal experience of in NZ occurred around 35 years ago: the owner of a dog set up a kennel on a section of bare land near a housing area and kept a dog on a short lead there. The dog barked and whined for many days, as one would expect an animal that had been semi-abandoned to do.”

    Kevin, you did not feel compelled to rescue this innocent and abused dog? Whenever my family encountered such circumstances, we always directly intervened, rescued the animal then made the dog, cat, donkey, goose, chicken, horse, mule, bird a permanent part of the family or in the case of a wildlife, made sure the wild animal was released in a large wildlife area. For example, if a turtle was attempting to cross a road, including busy highways, my grandfather would stop all traffic to make the rescue. When my mother saw a group of men stomping a cat, despite her desperate pleas they persisted so she drove straight at the men to separate them from the cat whom we named, Stinky.

  • Tom, it is interesting to ponder what life will be like for us after everyone catches on to NTE. Of course, there’s no way to know for sure, but I would speculate that we in the US and Western Europe will be able to maintain some essential services and a minimal food supply, post collapse, even after most people in the rest of the world are dead. Is this wishful thinking? Maybe. But even if we are lucky enough to hold out for awhile, when we hit 4C above base, the food stops and so do we. Staying alive after that will be a horror most people won’t be able to face.

    How will the rank and file react when they’re finally exposed, through mass media and sources that they trust, that the end is near? To my mind, it’s Dr. Ross’ five steps of the dying process that may paint the clearest picture of what to expect in the way of a social reaction. It will be very interesting to watch! Millions of sophisticated members of modern society will suddenly have the rug pulled out from under them and denial will run wild, howling in the streets! A lot of people may try to ignore the whole thing. I think many could arrive at stage 4, depression, fairly soon and even though they arrive at acceptance, the depression will linger. I’m sure you saw the movie Children of Men. Remember how dark and depressing everything seemed. Trash won’t be picked up, people will stop caring so much how they look, manners will fall by the wayside and lack of respect and even violence will become much more common. I don’t look forward to it at all! :(

  • Now more than ever, we should follow our hearts when dealing with our fellow creatures. If an animal needs rescue from an abusive situation, then act.
    Don’t wait for ‘permission’, and forget going through the ‘proper channels’.
    Just do it!
    Sometimes you have to plan it out. In my case, I lived way too close to the so called ‘owner’, and the dog would’ve been taken back if found, so I had to fall back on an underground railway of foster mothers while we found her a good home. (This dear soul had never been off a chain, and her teeth were terribly chipped from trying to free herself.)

    So in the midst of our mourning for the biosphere, don’t think that there’s nothing you can do at this point. There is. Just look around. You can also volunteer at your local shelter, be it for animals or homeless humans.

    A side story – when we had chickens, a question came up –
    Just how happy is it possible for a chicken to be?
    We decided to find out.
    They had a great house, a sunny yard, and a shady wooded area with a long run leading to it. I dumpster dived at a local bakery, so they also had frequent treats of day old cheese danish and brioche. They also had all the blueberries and chickweed they wanted from the garden. Conclusion – it is possible for a chicken to be pretty darn happy!

  • All the BS in the World won’t save us. As we deceive ourselves that we are good. Total Rubbish we’ll get our just deserts along with all the innumerable innocent species. So Human race BS yourself to death because really it’s death now you stupid arrogant shits. Keep on killing Whales and Elephants and Rhinos and sharkfinning and destroying the life of the oceans. Keep on killing Dolphins until you wretcheds wake up one day to nothingness and despair and die you rubbish.

  • kevin moore Says:
    January 8th, 2015 at 10:33 am

    An interesting ‘situation’ could be developing here (top right graph):

    We’ll know in about a month.

    Yep, JAXA has it here:

    Thanks so much for writing that essay OFG (waving at you from the YKD!)

  • Exactly correct, Wren. Desperate circumstances demand aggressive action.

    In my previous description about the rescue of our cat, Stinky, my mother was fully prepared to commit vehicular manslaughter. When she finally succeeded in rescuing Stinky from the monsters, he was taken to the vet for emergency surgery. His injuries were frightful including a broken jaw. Thankfully, he fully recovered and despite his treatment he was amazingly sweet.

    A pig we rescued was awarded Pet Hero of the Year by The Humane Society in the early 1990s for saving my parents lives. Peaky lived in the kitchen of our old farm house and he used the dog door to do his business outside. My parents bedroom was on the second floor. One cold night around 2:00AM my parents were awakened to a pounding sound on their bedroom door. Upon opening the door they discovered Peaky. The house was consumed by flames and smoke. Just in time my parents and Peaky made it outside with just their clothes. We now know what happened. When Peaky discovered the house was on fire, rather than leave the house to safety through the dog door, he managed to open the kitchen door, then he braved the flames and smoke to navigate a steep flight of stairs to alert my parents!!! You would be hard pressed to find a fully protected firefighter do what was accomplished by this incredibly brave and loyal pig. Peaky lived a long life and he was rewarded with a large order of french fries for lunch every day.

    Please take a few minutes to watch this amazing video about the bravery of a cockatoo:

  • Guy, you said in the last comment on your Edge of Extinction #2 post, that methane has gone exponential. Does the right hand graph of this image look exponential to you? If not, what do you mean by “gone exponential” and why does the figure showing concentrations in the modern era look the way it does, if methane has gone exponential? Yes, the 2014 data isn’t in the graph but none of the ESRL sites that I’ve looked at show much of a change in the curve for last year.

  • **Whenever my family encountered such circumstances, we always directly intervened**

    Directly intervening in the lives of strangers whos behavior falls short of your standards can be risky business.

    **my mother was fully prepared to commit vehicular manslaughter.**

    Murdering strangers whos behavior is not up to your standards seems a self-defeating strategy.

    It’s not easy being holier than thou.

  • Sorry, Guy, forgot the link to the image. Here it is.

  • FriedrichKling

    ‘Kevin, you did not feel compelled to rescue this innocent and abused dog?’

    Well actually I did. I rang the dog ranger, and when the dog ranger did nothing about the situation I took direct action and cut the wire the animal was attached to.

  • No, Mr. Snarky Bob S., it’s not about being holier than thou. It’s about doing everything within your power to protect the most innocent and defenseless. If you choose to be an onlooker in the face of brutal attacks, than you are a coward. My mother was prepared to do whatever was necessary from preventing a gang of thugs from stomping to death an innocent cat.

    I find your attitude repulsive and a sick reminder for why the Earth stands at the precipice of ecological collapse. Unfortunately you remind me of my enlistment in the army when equivocating types like yourself caused our fellow troops to get killed.

    Job well done, Kevin.

  • Dear oldgrowthforest,

    I’ve only read your lovely essay now. Thanks for sharing the story of your, to me almost unbelievable life with Babe. You are very lucky because not everybody can connect as deeply to an animal like this – as your story proves.

    Living on an island off North Western Europe communing with something that has remained so wild is unimaginable. To somebody like me it’s a favourite fantasy – and you’ve lived it!

    Maybe another puppy like your Babe will come your way, or a needy older one as you are the one it might need. I hope so.

    Once again, thanks for sharing your amazing story.

  • **Unfortunately you remind me of my enlistment in the army when equivocating types like yourself caused our fellow troops to get killed.**

    I was in the USMC – 3rd Battalion – 6th Marines Camp Lejune, 1968 – and we used to throw a blanket over nosey nanny fucks and give their pompous ass a good beatin’.

    How ’bout you Friedrich – where were you when equivocating types like me caused our fellow troops to get killed. And please elaborate – I served honorably and resent your implication otherwise.

  • Nice little bit of cherry picking by Tony. But I prefer reputable data, as shown in the figures below.

    Also, I’ve posted a new essay. There’s a bunch of recent media at the bottom of the page, too. It’s all here.

    [caption id="attachment_8163" align="alignright" width="300"]A 550ppm CO 2 level correlates to +9° C temperature rise, which was previously enough to trigger self-reinforcing climate change feedback loops leading to the Permian Extinction Event with 95% planetary die-off. Even more worrying is that current levels of atmospheric methane (>1820ppb) indicate near-term human extinction. A 550ppm CO
    2 level correlates to +9° C temperature rise, which was previously enough to trigger self-reinforcing climate change feedback loops leading to the Permian Extinction Event with 95% planetary die-off. Even more worrying is that current levels of atmospheric methane (>1820ppb) indicate near-term human extinction.[/caption]

    global methane in atmosphere

    methane in atmosphere

  • Guy,

    I’m confused as to why you think that is cherry picking or that the organisation is desreputable. Indeed, it shows pretty much the same chart as your first image, but we’re not talking about thousands of years ago, we’re talking about now. In the recent record (50 years or so), there is no noticeable step change in methane concentration increases and it certainly doesn’t look exponential at this point, with a rate of increase slightly lower than before the early 2000s plateau. You then post a Carana graph that I’ve already commented on as mixing data sets, but you didn’t even attempt to defend it.

    Of course all graphs over an extended period of time will look scary (as indeed they should) but you are trying to portray that something different is happening in the last decade or so. Apart from the questionable Carana graphs, I haven’t seen any evidence of a step change. Perhaps you could post something on this that isn’t from Carana?

    You constantly portray others as trying to demean your character or as “shooting the messenger” yet you constantly try to do just that to your critics. I haven’t insulted you and simply try to get answers to issue that I see with your views and your analysis. But you consistently fail to address my points directly.

  • Tony, you insult me, and other reasonably intelligent people, with your every comment. You prefer old data from the U.S. EPA because it supports the incorrect notion that methane release has flat-lined. I prefer reality, which you routinely disparage. You don’t like Carana’s graph, but it includes data from sources considerably more reliable than anything produced by the Obama administration.

    Why are you so willing to believe the ludicrous narrative of Johnson and so unwilling to believe the reality offered by legitimate scientists such as Paul Beckwith? Johnson admits he is ignorant about biology, ecology, and climate science. His writing certainly provides support, especially lately.

  • Wren, I love your chicken story. I can’t find it now, but this morning I saw a local ad on craigslist for an “indoor rooster,” with a photo of the young rooster on carpet in a living room attached. It made me smile.

    I think Tony acts like a psychopath and a stalker. His own graph does not support his interpretation. He’s all about value judgments, like what “exponential” really means. (A great example of “exponential” is Tony’s attached graph of methane increase.)

    That’s how predators are, it’s all in the interpretation. I had a neighbor once who was such a person. Soon after meeting him I told him that I had no interest in a friendship and he needed to not contact me. Of course, I might as well have been talking to the moon. He had no respect for anything, and certainly not the truth. Unfortunately, this was in Anchorage, and I had to keep my windows curtained at all times to prevent him looking right in my house.

    One night, over a year after I cut off all contact with him, which was not easy because he and people like him, people like Tony, don’t stop coming at you as long as you pay any attention to them at all, I got a call late at night from an unknown caller. It was my psychopath-stalker neighbor. He was certain I would want to know that there was a fox in my trash at the curb.

    It’s amazing how they go into their minds and make it all up, like he did and Tony does, and how it’s always so judgment laden and slippery and slimy and twisted.

    It is real evil. I admit to a bit of surprise. I didn’t realize that scientists attracted psycho-stalkers as so many other people do.

  • Bob S- BFD you served stateside at Camp Lejune. And your blanket party stories are typical of the types of actions conducted by cowards like yourself. If Bobby does not like someone, when the person is sleeping while using the cover of darkness, cover the person with a blanket then use towels containing bards of soap to beat the shit out of the person. if you had any honor or guts, you would confront the person in a fair brawl, but not you. You are a coward and a vigilante thug who hides his identity like the KKK.

    Yeah, I encountered your types just as describes before and you got a lot of our guys killed in the process.

  • Guy, I’ve barely mentioned Johnson in this thread (if at all) but you divert as usual. I looked at that Carana global methane graph that you often post. His earlier data come from the IPCC report, though I couldn’t find specific data points that he plots, in AR5 WG1 Chapter 2. However, in that chapter, I found a graph (here), which looks a lot less alarming (though still alarming), and also shows that the rate of increase is trending down. The data point for 2011 is from NOAA. It looks about right from this graph, which doesn’t seem to have the shape that Carana shows (though it will be from the same data series, unlike Carana’s graph). For a later data point, he used WMO data. I couldn’t find that data point but their latest bulletin had this interesting tidbit: “As shown in WMO Greenhouse Gas Bulletin No. 9, increased emissions from the Arctic did not contribute to the continued increase in atmospheric CH4 since 2007.“. Carana’s last data point is very odd. It’s a single measurement from a single morning of a single day at a particular height. Metop readings are shown for different pressure levels. From this spreadsheetit looks like 425 mb is the right pressure for about 22,000 feet. The latest Metop reading that I could find for that sort of pressure, shows a mean methane reading of 1799 ppb, on the morning of 9th January 2015. The next pressure level had the same mean reading of 1799. That data point would make a bit of a mess of Carana’s graph. Now, if you say that the MetOp data and those other data sets are not reliable, then you must also concede that Carana’s graph is not reliable, since he uses those data sets, mixed up.

  • oldgrowthforest,

    I think Tony acts like a psychopath and a stalker. His own graph does not support his interpretation.

    If you mean this graph:

    Then the first figure looks pretty much like the first image that Guy posted. The second doesn’t appear to show an exponential growth. Guy think it’s old data but it’s only missing one year’s data. So what do you find in error about my interpretation?

    Guy’s second graph, put together by Sam Carana has some issues, in my opinion. Perhaps you’d like to comment on one of the problems? Carana has added the last data point from Metop-1 data. Whilst the previous data points look like yearly averages, this last one is for a single day and isn’t part of the data series from which the any of the other data points are taken. This last one is for a specific atmospheric height and taken in the morning of the day concerned (i.e. it’s a data point for a specific 12 hour period on one day at one height). If you look at the latest Metop-1 data for 10th January 2015 a.m.:

    You’ll notice that the mean reading is 1794 ppb. If Carana plugged that data point into his graph, it would take a very different shape. Of course, the range shown has a high end much larger than the mean, but it also has a low end much lower than the mean.

    Do you think Carana is justified in using that single data point and using it as though it was representative of 2014 as a whole? To his credit, he does show where that data point came from, so that we can check on the validity (of at least that data point) for ourselves.

  • Even when Tony tries to pick cherries, he fails. He selects a data point from January, when atmospheric methane readings are low (Arctic ice cover is high), and still fails to provide the correct reading (which is 1808 ppb, not 1794 ppb).

  • Guy,

    Please try to do a little research. Why on earth would I report 1799 and provide a link which shows that the reading was 1808? The link now points to the January 11th data, which was published on the 12th (it’s shown in the archive for 12th) but my comment is dated 11th (though I think I posted it on the 10th – it took a while for it to appear). If you can find the image for data that was collected on the 11th, you’ll notice it says 1799 ppm and the one for the 10th says 1794 ppm. However, 1808 is still way below the point added by Carana. In any case the point is that Carana’s last data point is not valid to add to the graph. But you don’t comment on that.

    Let me repeat. Carana’s graph combines four different data series, but not in parallel, rather, he picks latter points from different data series than given in the IPCC report which provides the most of the graph points. That alone is not valid without explanation as to why that was done and why it would show a valid graph. But the worst error is adding a data point that truly represents only one day at one atmospheric level, with no explanation as to why it is equal to the 2014 average at the height of the other data points.

    Please explain why the graph is valid and why you use it. Look at any ESRL measuring station and you will not find Carana’s graph repeated. This is all I’m asking, here. Given a consistent data series, there is no sign that methane has gone exponential in the way depicted by Carana. Unless you can point to such a graph?

  • Doing a bit more digging on Metop data, this was an interesting post about the merits of satellite and ground based data, which seems to confirm that mixing these data sets isn’t a good idea to get a trend. In the post, averages for each month, from the Metop-2 data is given. The yearly average up to October was 1807.8. Now this isn’t Metop-1, which generally gives slightly higher readings but Carana’s added data point is 1839 ppb. If Metop-1 data shows about 10 ppb more (1818 for an average, maybe) it would still be some way short, with only November and December data to come. That wouldn’t fit Carana’s polynomial trend line at all (even if it was valid to add it to ground based data).

  • Many years ago, early in my career as a professor, a foreign student was enrolled in my course. It was required for his major in wildlife science. After he failed the course, he tried to negotiate. After he failed the second time, the entire faculty in wildlife science tried to negotiate. After he failed the third time, the faculty determined my course was not critical. To this day, graduates in wildlife science need not complete a course in vegetation management.

    He tried, too. He attended every session of the class. He just wasn’t bright enough to pass any of the exams. Some children must be left behind, or the entire enterprise loses credibility.

    I don’t know why you’d make such an obvious error, Tony. Perhaps because you’re an idiot prone to mistakes.. You see only what you want to see. But it’s obvious that the link you provided demonstrates a mean value of 1808. It’s right there, near the top of graph (second line, in the middle).

    The larger point remains the same: You’re selecting a single data point that supports your incorrect perspective. The data point is selected at the time of year when atmospheric methane reaches its annual nadir because Arctic ice cover is high, as I’ve pointed out before. You continue to ignore the facts, choosing to create your own fantasy world. With your latest comment, you’re continuing to try to fit data into your flawed narrative (which is really the flawed narrative of others, and you’re the promoter).

    I’m growing weary of you and your condescending comments. You provide nothing of merit here. You’re clearly a troll and denier. You deny the conclusions of legitimate climate scientists, including Paul Beckwith, to promote your idiocy. Every other graph demonstrates exponential release of atmospheric methane, including the one displayed by Carana.

    Contrary to your ridiculous perspective, I’ve commented on Carana’s graph. He doesn’t select the time of year with lowest atmospheric methane, as you do. As a consequence, his graph actually makes sense.

    Instead of continuing to forward the incorrect views of Tobis and Johnson, why don’t you follow the information put out by actual climate scientists? You can start by eliminating the use of the ad hom comments you picked up from the self-congratulatory, fear-filled, Caucasian men at Fractal Planet.

    As Aldous Huxley pointed out, “facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” As long as you see only what you want to see, hear only what you want to hear, and believe what you want to believe, there is no way you’ll come to grips with reality.