Owning Up

“The American Dream” was popularized by James Truslow Adams in his 1931 book, The Epic of America (Little, Brown, and Company, Boston). My 2004 book, Killing the Natives, begins with a comparison of Adams’ ideas to the version of the American Dream articulated by First Officer Spock from the television series Star Trek (“live long and prosper”).

Since the historian James Truslow Adams popularized the phrase in 1931 until shortly before Mr. Spock’s eloquent catch-phrase became his signature line, the American Dream meant “life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement.” Adams was clear to note that the American Dream was not about material possessions; rather, it was “a dream of a social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable … unhampered by the barriers which had slowly been erected in older civilizations, unrepressed by social orders which had developed for the benefit of classes rather than for the simple human being of any and every class.” This was a dream in which all Americans would “devote themselves to the ‘Great Society’ …. We cannot become a great democracy by giving ourselves up as individuals to selfishness, physical comfort, and cheap amusements. The very foundation of the American dream of a better and richer life for all is that all, in varying degrees, shall be capable of wanting to share in it. It can never be wrought into reality by cheap people or by ‘keeping up with the Joneses.'” After World War II, as personified by Spock a scant few decades after Adams popularized the term, the American Dream came to mean something quite different: Increasingly, we seem to be “giving ourselves up as individuals to selfishness, physical comfort, and cheap amusements.” We now spend our lives trying to keep up with the Joneses; in short, we have a burning desire to live long and prosper.

We want it all, and we want it for a very long time, and preferably forever, a concept that our deep-seated faith in technology, our fear of death, and our uniquely American vanity allow us to pursue. While seeking immortality, we want a big house with a well-trimmed lawn, new cars, plenty of grown-up toys, a prestigious job, frequent vacations to exotic (but safe, of course) locales, excellent restaurants along the way, and plenty of people at our disposal to care for the details, such as attending to the house and cars, planning the vacations, and serving the food at our favorite restaurants. Isn’t that what the pursuit of happiness, which is one of our unalienable rights, all about?

But we don’t want to pay for it, at least not all of it. When the bill comes due, we grudgingly pay a small portion of it. The remainder, which is often the largest share, includes the devastating loss of ecosystems, languages, cultures, and species. Our natural and cultural heritage, the product of millions of years of evolution, is threatened at a global scale by Americans pursuing the American Dream. The following chapters explain how we pass those costs to our children, their children, or, in the archetypal version of the American Dream, poverty-stricken people in other countries. Out of sight, out of mind is the perfect version of the Dream.

Adams’ book was published a couple years into the Great Depression. About seven decades later, a couple years into the Greatest Depression, U.S. President George W. Bush described his version of the American Dream. In a truly Orwellian turn, “the ownership society” was coined to rally support for tax-cut proposals. According to this view, ownership has become an American right, and the more one owns, the wealthier one is.

It’s no great stretch to suggest the new American Dream is indoctrinated in the uniquely American goal of getting something for nothing and calling it entitlement. Indeed, the apex of the new American Dream is to get everything for nothing and call it well-deserved.

I see it every day. People claim to be working hard, but they are working only at fleecing others. When one is successful, this culture heralds him as a genius and pities those he fleeces as “getting what they deserved.” It’s small wonder, as George Carlin pointed out, that idealism lies on the path to cynicism. I was an idealist for more than four decades before I was profoundly fleeced, a process that transformed me into a disappointed idealist (i.e., cynic).

At this point, the concept of ownership has been extended to every realm of industrial civilization. The financially wealthy own property, including land and water. They own homes and automobiles and yachts. They own oil and gold and ideas. They own corporations (i.e., people). The corporations, in turn, own everything seemingly not owned by other people.

The absurdity approaches that associated with denial of abrupt climate change. Or believing the tragedy of commons, which results from the concept of ownership, can be cured by ownership. Like fish in a river denying the water, normalcy bias is rampant.

Within the confines of this utterly bizarre culture, we have a word for this set of living arrangements: normal. But it’s not normal in any sense of the word. In early January 2015 my friend Keith Merritt posted the perfect descriptor of this arrangement on my Facebook timeline: “If you were on the train to Auschwitz, you’d consider a trainwreck … a Miracle.”

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Tech note, courtesy of mo flow: Random issues have been appearing with posting comments. Sometimes a “Submit Comment” click will return a 404 Page Not Found, for no apparent reason. To ensure you don’t lose a longer comment, you can right-click select all, and right-click copy, in the comment box before clicking “Submit.” sometimes, if that hasn’t been done, the comment text will still be in the comment box when clicking the back button on your browser.

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Last night’s show includes “Breaking Hopium” with Cory Morningstar on the topic of “green” energy, followed by a long interview with singer/songwriter/social critic Katie Goodman. You can find it in the archives here.

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

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Comments 59

  • GUY,

    Did not know about the brad pitt scene!

    Brilliant!

    My whole life has been full of PTSD occasions because of america being a business. Over and over and over: getting rooked! A plumber named Rocky once told me as I was complaining (late 1980’s): “Hey, everybody has a scam!”

  • Guy thanks your latest essays on ownership.

    Ditto with shep re the Brad Pitt scene and PTSD occasions.

    This—from Alan Watts—-came to mind after your last 2 pieces:

    “Advice? I don’t have advice. Stop aspiring and start writing. If you’re writing, you’re a writer. Write like you’re a goddamn death row inmate and the governor is out of the country and there’s no chance for a pardon. Write like you’re clinging to the edge of a cliff, white knuckles, on your last breath, and you’ve got just one last thing to say, like you’re a bird flying over us and you can see everything, and please, for God’s sake, tell us something that will save us from ourselves. Take a deep breath and tell us your deepest, darkest secret, so we can wipe our brow and know that we’re not alone.”

    Business of America by Ari Hest:

  • Guy,

    Another great essay. I especially like the Keith Merritt quote: “If you were on the train to Auschwitz, you’d consider a trainwreck … a Miracle.”

    mo flow,

    You wrote: “understood! and about the whole question of respect, and constructive dialog. sometimes I have detected a covert undercurrent of anger or emotional provocation in your comments, when the dialog, with whomever, is not going in the direction you may wish it to.”

    Four points:

    *I would feel interested in specific examples, if you wish to take the time to provide them. (But if you don’t care to, that seems perfectly okay with me.)

    *Even though people sometimes do not have much awareness of their thoughts and feelings, people can and do sometimes attempt to lie with their words and emotions, and others may sometimes have more awareness of what a person really thinks and feels in a given situation than the individual does, in general, but especially in writing, I think that the speaker or writer knows FAR better what they really think and feel than the listener (or reader) does. We best use GREAT caution in assuming that we know what another person “really” thinks and feels contrary to what they say or write. This holds ESPECIALLY true with writing, in which we have no visual cues of the subtle facial and other body responses from the other person related to their physiology.

    *I don’t know whether you meant this or not, but this comment suggests to me that you believe one cannot, or should not, have or express anger if/when communicating with another person in a respectful way.

    *I don’t know whether you meant this or not, but this suggests to me that you believe one cannot, or should not, “provoke emotions” if/when communicating with another person in a respectful way.

    If you meant either of the last two things, then I disagree with you. I think that people can, and often would best, express their anger to others in respectful ways. I think that people can, and often would best, provoke emotions in others in respectful ways. Your (apparent) suggestion to the contrary (if I have understood you correctly) reflects a common discomfort many of us have in this culture with emotions and emotional expression, indeed, in some cases amounting to inappropriate and harmful taboos related to people having and expressing their emotions.

  • Ah yes, the dilemma. Wasting away the energy of our lives in meaningless toil – no matter what it is we’re doing. Deciding the proper path to take for any particular worldview is another story, as it depends not only on ones own awakening but to those to whom one is tied in whatever familial or tribal form that may take, all influenced by a host of factors including culture, gender, experience, etc. We do what we can until we can’t. Changing from one mode of subsistence to another at this late stage is not changing anything as the train goes over the cliff and civilization spirals into oblivion. None of it makes sense, yet we continue on. All of existence so that we can watch it all fall apart – all the grand dreams and heady philosophy, the science and intellectual pursuits, the great books and wondrous music, all the states of mind – no one will ever know after we’re gone. The information dies with us, as does aerobic life, the way it’s going.

    With hardship, chaos and total insanity (compared to the contained insanity of civilization) to look forward to, we continue on as if it’s all going to work out. We’re not wired to do otherwise, it seems (especially in terms of general human behavior).

    Thanks for your insight Guy.

  • Totally enjoyed the post.

    My kind of Guy.

  • This is an excerpt of some writing by the Taoist sage Chuang Tzu. It was written about 2500 years ago, and interpreted into English in 1965 by the Trappist monk Thomas Merton. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

    Cracking the Safe

    For security against robbers who snatch purses, rifle luggage, and crack safes,
    One must fasten all property with ropes, lock it up with locks, bolt it with bolts.
    This (for property owners) is elementary good sense.
    But when a strong thief comes along he picks up the whole lot,
    Puts it on his back, and goes away with only one fear:
    That ropes, locks, and bolts may give way.
    Thus what the world calls good business is only a way
    To gather up the loot, pack it, make it secure
    In one convenient load for the more enterprising thieves.
    Who is there, among those called smart,
    Who does not spend his time amassing loot
    For a bigger robber than himself?

    In the land of Khi, from village to village,
    You could hear cocks crowing, dogs barking.
    Fishermen cast their nets,
    Ploughmen ploughed their wide fields,
    Everything was neatly marked out
    By boundary lines. For five hundred square miles
    There were temples for ancestors, altars
    For field-gods and corn-spirits.
    Every canton, county, and district
    Was run according to the laws and statutes—
    Until one morning the Attorney General, Tien Khang Tzu,
    Did away with the King and took over the whole state.
    Was he content to steal the land? No,
    He also took over the laws and statutes at the same time,
    And all the lawyers with them, not to mention the police.
    They all formed part of the same package.

    The invention
    Of weights and measures
    Makes robbery easier.
    Signing contracts, setting seals,
    Makes robbery more sure.
    Teaching love and duty
    Provides a fitting language
    With which to prove that robbery
    Is really for the general good.
    A poor man must swing
    For stealing a belt buckle
    But if a rich man steals a whole state
    He is acclaimed
    As statesman of the year.

  • @ Paul Chefurka Says:
    January 14th, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    This is an excerpt of some writing by the Taoist sage Chuang Tzu. It was written about 2500 years ago…

    Yes, with millennia of change like this to believe in, there’s little wonder in the machinations now before us. “Man”IS the most unnatural creature in the Universe. Whoever proclaimed “us” as wise was an utterly abject moron. Thank you, Paul.

  • Today on Uprising, a show broadcast simultaneously on Pacifica;s LA station KPFK and Berkeley station KPFA, 8AM
    http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/110311
    An interview with Dahr Jamail begins around the 23 minute mark, he discusses the prospect of methane releases and drastic sudden temp changes. Does not mention Guy, though he does mention Shakhova. About 15 minutes. The host tries to “accentuate the positive” by asking about Obama’s new plan to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas operations, but he calls this token reductions. She asked him how he maintains a positive attitude in the face of bad news and insisted “Don’t mourn, organize,” but at least this got past the usual crew which has a perspective that opposes “eco-catastrophism” at any turn. Credit Guy with the influence.

  • So true. Loved the inclusion of the Killing Them Softly scene. That one caught my attention too when I watched the movie.

    A fond quote of mine regarding our human predicament, one only longtime veteran of the NYT’s editorial section, Verlyn Klinkenberg, could get published in their pages, is the following:

    “There is no otherness to the insanity that threatens us now. The insanity is what we call normal, and it’s all our own.”

    Live well while it lasts, folks.

    gooz

  • More Than Half of Africa’s Arable Land ‘Too Damaged’ for Food Production

    Africa suffers from the triple (QUADRUPLE) threat of land degradation, poor yields, a growing population, (AND DESERTIFICATION/CLIMATE CHANGE).

    More Than Half of Africa’s Arable Land ‘Too Damaged’ for Food Production thumbnail
    A report published last month by the Montpellier Panel – an eminent group of agriculture, ecology and trade experts from Africa and Europe – says about 65 percent of Africa’s arable land is too damaged to sustain viable food production.

    The report, “No Ordinary Matter: conserving, restoring and enhancing Africa’s soil“, notes that Africa suffers from the triple threat of land degradation, poor yields and a growing population.

    “Political stability, environmental quality, hunger, and poverty all have the same root. In the long run, the solution to each is restoring the most basic of all resources, the soil.” — Rattan Lal
    The Montpellier Panel has recommended, among others, that African governments and donors invest in land and soil management, and create incentives particularly on secure land rights to encourage the care and adequate management of farm land. In addition, the report recommends increasing financial support for investment on sustainable land management.

    The publication of the report comes with the U.N. declaration of 2015 as the International Year of Soils, a declaration the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) director general, Jose Graziano da Silva, said was important for “paving the road towards a real sustainable development for all and by all.”

    According to the FAO, human pressure on the resource has left a third of all soils on which food production depends degraded worldwide.

    Without new approaches to better managing soil health, the amount of arable and productive land available per person in 2050 will be a fourth of the level it was in 1960 as the FAO says it can take up to 1,000 years to form a centimetre of soil.

    Soil expert and professor of agriculture at the Makerere University, Moses Tenywa tells IPS that African governments should do more to promote soil and water conservation, which is costly for farmers in terms of resources, labour, finances and inputs.

    “Smallholder farmers usually lack the resources to effectively do soil and water conservation yet it is very important. Therefore, for small holder farmers to do it they must be motivated or incentivized and this can come through linkages to markets that bring in income or credit that enables them access inputs,” Tenywa says.

    “Practicing climate smart agriculture in climate watersheds promotes soil health. This includes conservation agriculture, agro-forestry, diversification, mulching, and use of fertilizers in combination with rainwater harvesting.”

    Before farmers received training on soil management methods, they applied fertilisers, for instance, without having their soils tested. Tenywa said now many smallholder farmers have been trained to diagnose their soils using a soil test kit and also to take their soils to laboratories for testing.

    According to the Montpellier Panel report, an estimated 180 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa are affected by land degradation, which costs about 68 billion dollars in economic losses as a result of damaged soils that prevent crop yields.

    “The burdens caused by Africa’s damaged soils are disproportionately carried by the continent’s resource-poor farmers,” says the chair of the Montpellier Panel, Professor Sir Gordon Conway.

    “Problems such as fragile land security and limited access to financial resources prompt these farmers to forgo better land management practices that would lead to long-term gains for soil health on the continent, in favour of more affordable or less labour-intensive uses of resources which inevitably exacerbate the issue.”

    Soil health is critical to enhancing the productivity of Africa’s agriculture, a major source of employment and a huge contributor to GDP, says development expert and acting divisional manager in charge of Visioning & Knowledge management at the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), Wole Fatunbi.

    “The use of simple and appropriate tools that suits the smallholders system and pocket should be explored while there is need for policy interventions including strict regulation on land use for agricultural purposes to reduce the spate of land degradation,” Fatunbi told IPS

    He explained that 15 years ago he developed a set of technologies using vegetative material as green manure to substitute for fertiliser use in the Savannah of West Africa. The technology did not last because of the laborious process of collecting the material and burying it to make compost.

    “If technologies do not immediately lead to more income or more food, farmers do not want them because no one will eat good soil,” said Fatunbi. “Soil fertility measures need to be wrapped in a user friendly packet. Compost can be packed as pellets with fortified mineral fertilisers for easy application.”

    Fatunbi cites the land terrace system to manage soil erosion in the highlands of Uganda and Rwanda as a success story that made an impact because the systems were backed legislation. Also, the use of organic manure in the Savannah region through an agriculture system integrating livestock and crops has become a model for farmers to protect and promote soil health.

    Meanwhile, a new report by U.S. researchers cites global warming as another impact on soil with devastating consequences.

    According to the report “Climate Change and Security in Africa”, the continent is expected to see a rise in average temperature that will be higher than the global average. Annual rainfall is projected to decrease throughout most of the region, with a possible exception of eastern Africa.

    “Less rain will have serious implications for sub-Saharan agriculture, 75 percent of which is rain-fed… Average predicated production losses by 2050 for African crops are: maize 22 percent, sorghum 17 percent, millet 17 percent, groundnut 18 percent, and cassava 8 percent.

    “Hence, in the absence of major interventions in capacity enhancements and adaption measures, warming by as little as 1.5C threatens food production in Africa significantly.”

    A truly disturbing picture of the problems of soil was painted by the National Geographic magazine in a recent edition.

    “By 1991, an area bigger than the United States and Canada combined was lost to soil erosion—and it shows no signs of stopping,” wrote agroecologist Jerry Glover in the article “Our Good Earth.” In fact, says Glover, “native forests and vegetation are being cleared and converted to agricultural land at a rate greater than any other period in history.

    “We still continue to harvest more nutrients than we replace in soil,” he says. If a country is extracting oil, people worry about what will happen if the oil runs out. But they don’t seem to worry about what will happen if we run out of soil.

    Adds Rattan Lal, soil scientist: “Political stability, environmental quality, hunger, and poverty all have the same root. In the long run, the solution to each is restoring the most basic of all resources, the soil.”

  • Paul –

    that is just incredible. what a great find.

    Bud –

    “I don’t know whether you meant this or not, but this comment suggests to me that you believe one cannot, or should not, have or express anger if/when communicating with another person in a respectful way.”

    no, that’s not what I meant.

    I would just point out that radically distorting somebody’s views, as I have seen you do with oldgrowthforest, Jeff S and others – while asserting you are not doing such a thing, and “honestly” attempting only to give an accurate summary of those views – is highly disrespectful. it indicates that you are not genuinely listening, and respectfully processing what you are hearing.

    when someone (like you) has to repeatedly state that they are just “honestly” trying to understand something, my red flag goes up. it is rarely the case that someone would ever need to state that, if they are in fact engaging in respectful dialog, while really listening and respecting the intended meaning of what one is hearing.

    “but this suggests to me that you believe one cannot, or should not, “provoke emotions” if/when communicating with another person in a respectful way.”

    again, no, this is not what I believe. I have no trouble with emotions of all kinds, in all kinds of contexts, respectful and otherwise.

  • Here’s my plan for the dreaded, unspeakable population control and reduction.

    Media global income is $2,920 per year. All that scratch comes off a world devouring econ system. The econ system is bunk, so anyone milking it for more than the global median needs to go jump in a lake of fire. Anyone living in the genocide capital of the planet making pronouncements about population control should probably go first.

    Thanks and goodbye.

  • To steal some of Kevin Moore’s thunder: NZ, enough cars sold recently to stretch from the tip of the north island to the bottom in a line end to end. Latest news lots of grinning happy motorists celebrating a sharp drop in petrol prices enabling more cruising around in their 4 wheel drives and motors further geoengineering the Planet. Climate Change? What’s that? Tune in and watch the latest All Blacks brawl with any visiting Rugby team. All’s Good Bro! 🙂 Then we’ve got our smirking PM John Key message? All’s well more tax cuts on the way while overseas borrowing spirals to never before seen levels. Good One Mate! 🙂

  • Keep fighting the good fight, Bud Nye the Science Guy.

    I am with you 100%.

  • Veterans Today magazine:

    Paul Heller has held high-level posts in the Canadian government. During the 1960s as Defence Minister, Hellyer oversaw the unification of Canada’s armed forces, and in 1968 he nearly became Prime Minister.

    Then in 1973 David Rockefeller created the Trilateral Commission to put an end to the “excess of democracy” that had allowed truth-telling independent-minded people like Hellyer to rise to power. As the New World Order tightened its stranglehold, Hellyer became one of Canada’s leading critics of globalization.

    By the late 1980s the Liberal Party was coming under bankster control. In response, Hellyer created the Canadian Action Party – one of the few genuinely alternative parties in Western political life.

    Then in 2005 Hellyer made headlines by stating: “UFOs are as real as the airplanes flying overhead.” It was the first time anyone of G-8 cabinet rank had ever publicly confirmed the alien presence on Earth.

    Hellyer’s 15th book, Money Mafia, takes on three interrelated existential issues: The New World Order bankster dictatorship; climate change and looming environmental disaster; and the alien presence on earth and resulting creation of ultra-secret national security states and even “breakaway civilizations”.

    Mainstream readers will have no problem with Hellyer’s suggestion that carbon-driven climate change is everything Al Gore thinks it is…maybe even everything James Lovelock used to think it is. But they may balk at accepting his claims about the NWO and UFOs.

    Most Veterans Today readers, on the other hand, will probably have the opposite reaction. As Hellyer says, when he appears on alternative radio shows, audiences agree with him about the NWO and ETs but have a hard time swallowing “global warming.” The problem, of course, is that the NWO-forged mainstream consensus is lying about everything else, so why should we believe its alarming claims about climate change?

    Hellyer’s response is that this is one scare story that is actually true. He surmises the NWO banksters are running the planet into the ground, perhaps with the assistance of a few relatively nefarious alien species, but that the broad consensus of intergalactic-law-respecting ETs are trying to warn humanity and help us wake up and save the planet. (The problem is that the law-abiding ETs are bound to a non-interference policy, while the criminal ETs have no such scruples – and have forged a devil’s pact with the NWO, which controls the UFO file and ruthlessly suppresses attempts at full disclosure.) Hellyer argues that alternative “free energy” technologies exist but have been suppressed by the NWO cartel, which apparently wants to wreck Earth’s environment by various means including needlessly pumping vast amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. The cartel, he argues, couldn’t make money off free energy – so they have decided to mine all the sequestered underground carbon and risk turning Earth into a wasteland.

  • @mo flow: I would just point out that radically distorting somebody’s views, as I have seen you do with oldgrowthforest, Jeff S and others – while asserting you are not doing such a thing, and “honestly” attempting only to give an accurate summary of those views – is highly disrespectful. it indicates that you are not genuinely listening, and respectfully processing what you are hearing.

    when someone (like you) has to repeatedly state that they are just “honestly” trying to understand something, my red flag goes up. it is rarely the case that someone would ever need to state that, if they are in fact engaging in respectful dialog, while really listening and respecting the intended meaning of what one is hearing.

    >>>

    Passive-aggression is its own reward.

  • thanx for this, i actually forgot what the american dream is.

    today’s oil divestment comment at truth-out.
    http://www.truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/harvard-betrays-planet-s-future-by-increasing-investment-in-fossil-fuel-stocks
    ———————————————————
    Harvard people go to Wall Street. Yale people go to the CIA and FBI.
    Larry Summers is a Harvard guy. Summers set up the 08 financial crash through deregulation.
    Divestment is a scam to distract you from how urgent the climate crisis is.
    It makes you feel like something is getting done, when in fact it is almost meaningless.

    Divestment and electric cars and green energy are all scams so you don’t have to think about how much energy you use. A green car is an oxymoron, there is no such thing. Roads are not made of hemp, they are made of oil sludge. Solar and wind power do not depend on the sun and the wind like you are repeatedly told, instead they depend on exotic minerals, conflict minerals, heavy metals and nano-particles, all of which are just parts of massive, worldwide, dirty, corrupt, extractive mining operations. Thousands of miners die every year in China and the Congo for your hi-tech, green energy fantasy world.

    Green energy only makes up a total of 3% of total world energy use.
    A 100% green energy world would use 500% more copper, but peak copper hits by 2035.
    Wind turbines use 10X the nickel fossil fuels use, but peak nickel hits by 2025.
    The list of green energy’s future mineral requirements versus their future availability goes on and on. The mineral and energy intensity of green energy use and its perishability will actually exacerbate our post-peak mineral problems. Recycling green energy’s component level mineral alloys is not as easy and cheap as you assume. Solar panel manufacturing is not as clean as you think it is and produces 3 gases 10,000X stronger than CO2. Solar panel efficiency degrades 1% per year until they become toxic waste in less than 30 years. Wind turbines only provide 25% of their rated power 90% of the time for less than 30 years because only politicians blow hard all the time.

    In 20 years we will enter a post-peak world of massive shortages in everything including food, water, minerals, energy, climate, prosperity and peace. It is by then, we will have to replace all of today’s new solar-wind systems in 30 years because they will have reached the end of their life-cycle. Solar and wind are the bic lighters of the energy world because they give use lots of exotic, toxic minerals to only provide part-time, disposable energy that is thrown away after it stops working. If you want to know more about peak minerals and green energy, click the following link.
    http://www.reddit.com/r/RenewableEnergy/comments/2qg5s9/mass_extinction_vs_green_energy/

  • Callaghan; “In 20 years we will enter a post-peak world …”

    May I suggest that in 20 months you may be completely focused on physical survival & something for breakfast.

  • 2015-01-13 – Underground construction site erupts in flame at 2:20 AM at Penn Station in coastal New York City (New York)

    2015-01-13 – Underground electrical explosion and fire breaks out on Clarkson Avenue in coastal New York City (New York)

    “Note: Here’s a Google Maps link of the area. This underground fire was about 3 miles south of the Penn Station underground construction fire. Responders recently trained to deal with the aftermath of a 10-kiloton explosion in New York City, in October, mentioned in the 2014-10-22 update. That’s about the maximum size of a big gas plume exploding. And right off the East Coast, a methane hydrate deposit is melting and releasing its stored methane. That deposit contains enough methane to cause a quarter of a MILLION 10-kiloton explosions, which is roughly the size of the explosion that destroyed Hiroshima…”

    2015-01-13 – Underground fire breaks out in subway tunnel in Chicago (Illinois), near Lake Michigan

    2015-01-13 – Underground electrical fire erupts near St. Aldate’s in Oxford (Britain), near the River Thames

    2015-01-13 – Underground oil shale fire burns in Berea (Kentucky), blankets area with sulfurous smoke

    Quote: “Berea residents say not enough is being done to combat an underground oil shale fire which has blanketed the area with the thick smell of sulfur. The fire has been burning for two months, and no one seems to know how to stop it or how bad the problem could become.”

    Quote: “However, a mile away, the impact of the smell alone is contributing to some residents packing up and leaving. ‘At the end of the month, I’m actually moving south of town,’ said Jennifer Marciniak. Others are concerned about what contaminants they might be breathing in, and the lack of notification about the fire from city and railroad officials. ‘For weeks now, residents have been breathing in this stuff,’ Strange said.”

    “Note: And here’s more underground stuff burning and/or exploding. The day prior, a subway filled with smoke, killing 1 person, sending a man into a seizure and injuring dozens in a mass-casualty incident, in coastal Washington DC, mentioned in the 2015-01-12 update…”

    2015-01-13 – Mysterious explosions shaking homes and rattling people in Oklahoma

    Quote: “Holland’s best guess: It must have been something just above the surface of the earth or in the atmosphere.”

    “Note: Like a large gas plume finding an ignition source and exploding…”

    and more including people dropping dead

    2015-01-13 – Naked woman, 27, and baby found dead five miles from their wrecked car in Fort Worth (Texas), near Benbrook Lake

    Quote: “There were no injuries that looked like they would cause a person’s death…”

    2015-01-13 – Two people found dead under overpass near Lake Merritt in coastal Oakland (California)

    2015-01-13 – College student, man, 19, slumps over dead in car at 2 AM at the University of Georgia in Athens (Georgia)

    Quote: “”It was clear to the investigators that there is no obvious sign of foul play. There was no sign of physical injuries of any sort.”

    2015-01-13 – Man, 54, found dead in minivan in Little Rock (Arkansas)

    Quote: “Police said Tuesday that the body of a homeless man was found Monday, his fists clenched near his chest. Foul play isn’t suspected, though police said an investigation continues. The dead man was identified as 54-year-old Leslie Dean Drake.”

    2015-01-13 – Soldier, man, 24, found dead on front lawn at apartments in Killeen (Texas)

    2015-01-13 – Man, early 40s, found dead in driveway at home in Akron (Ohio)

    2015-01-13 – Woman, 55, found dead in driveway in Niles (Illinois)

    Quote: “Authorities say there were no visible signs of injury on the body. They added the woman was properly dressed for weather conditions.”

    a much more http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/

  • “(The problem is that the law-abiding ETs are bound to a non-interference policy, while the criminal ETs have no such scruples – and have forged a devil’s pact with the NWO, which controls the UFO file and ruthlessly suppresses attempts at full disclosure.)”

    Yes. That would be a problem wouldn’t it?

  • My fellow NBL’ers:

    I feel especially good today because of some headlines that hit today explaining the decay of Industrial Civilization. Here they are in one place. We are gurgling with hypocrisy and always have.

    1-15-2015

    “body cameras will ultimately be used to create a mountain of new evidence” against citizens, leading to even higher rates of mass incarceration. “These cameras monitor people without any individualized basis for suspicion” of committing a crime, said Buttar. “The best thing to do is prohibit those police from arresting residents who capture police activities on their phone cameras.”

    “the burgeoning movement against police immunity and impunity really is a threat to so-called national security, a menace to the privileges of banksters and employers, of privatizers and gentrifiers, and of the prerogatives of the 1%.”

    Lynne Stewart: “Abolish Grand Juries”

    “Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch Plotted to Destabilize Eritrea”

    “Stop Kidding Yourself: The Police Were Created to Control Working Class and Poor People”

    “Mario Cuomo, mourned as a quintessential liberal, was first and foremost a champion builder of prisons. Mass incarceration “was not simply an agenda of the evil Republicans, but also the imperative of bleeding heart liberals like Mario Cuomo, Bill Clinton, and Joe Biden.”

    Thanks to President Obama’s failures to defend Black rights and dignity, “black folks have taken to the streets because, for the first time since the modern civil rights era, we truly understand that ‘we are the ones we have been waiting for’ to bring about permanent structural change.” We also understand “the importance of forging domestic and global alliances” – especially with the similarly oppressed Palestinian people.”

    “Lots of “leftists,” “progressives” and even folks that call themselves socialists refuse to undertake a direct assault on the capitalist system, limiting themselves to a narrower critique of “crony,” or “unfettered” capitalism – or, simply, “greedy rich people.” Which just goes to show that “the ruling-class has imposed its economic and political ideologies onto the consciousness of the oppressed as natural, self-evident ways of seeing reality.”

    “The Charlie Hebdo White Power Rally in Paris: A Celebration of Western Hypocrisy”

    “In the Obama administration’s hierarchy of worthy victims, unarmed Blacks slain by U.S. police rank far below French cartoonists. “When will politicians like President Obama or Attorney General Eric Holder condemn the murders of unarmed black boys, men and women with the same level of intensity and clamor that we have seen in Paris – followed by indictments of killer cops?”

    “The rich Black capitalists of South Africa’s ruling party and their counterfeit communist partners will soon have to confront real socialists. The nation’s biggest union “is pressing ahead with a conference on creating a united front and, possibly, a political party to build socialism in South Africa.”

    “Millions of citizens of one of the bloodiest empires known to man – the French colonial state – this weekend pretended to be the most enlightened, yet maligned, people on earth. “The convenient selective amnesia of the French people is as stunning as their sense of feeling more aggrieved than anyone else in the world.” Tell that to the Haitians, Libyans, Algerians, Vietnamese and the peoples still dominated by France in sub-Saharan African.”

    Go Here:

    http://www.blackagendareport.com

  • mo flo,

    You wrote: “I would just point out that radically distorting somebody’s views, as I have seen you do with oldgrowthforest, Jeff S and others – while asserting you are not doing such a thing, and ‘honestly’ attempting only to give an accurate summary of those views – is highly disrespectful. it indicates that you are not genuinely listening, and respectfully processing what you are hearing. when someone (like you) has to repeatedly state that they are just ‘honestly’ trying to understand something, my red flag goes up. it is rarely the case that someone would ever need to state that, if they are in fact engaging in respectful dialog, while really listening and respecting the intended meaning of what one is hearing.”

    Here, as Jeff S. and others have occasionally done over the past few months, you have demonstrated exactly what I suggested all of us not do, and you appear to have done it in a conscious, premeditated way: Here you presume to know better than I do my motives, and you actually tell me what I presumably have “really” intended. (I suggested: “We best use GREAT caution in assuming that we know what another person ‘really’ thinks and feels contrary to what they say or write. This holds ESPECIALLY true with writing, in which we have no visual cues of the subtle facial and other body responses from the other person related to their physiology.”) Doing this strikes me as blatantly arrogant, contemptuous, and disrespectful. Even so, as I indicated in my recent comment, I will, of course, respond to your disrespect, contempt, and arrogance in a respectful way.

    In distinct contrast with your arrogant and disrespectful claim, I assure you and others that I do not recall ever intending any disrespect of anyone while commenting here at NBL, and I consistently HAVE attempted, in all honesty, to understand other’s views. Based on very weak “evidence” and reasoning, you have jumped to completely unwarranted and inaccurate conclusions about my motives. Whether you and others like it, or not, quite obviously I know my motives vastly better than you or anyone else on Earth. Given this fairly obvious principle, please consider how close to insanity it borders for one person to presume to know better than another person the other person’s motives, and then, in an arrogant and contemptuous way, to TELL them their supposedly “real” motives. Please also consider the highly destructive, emotionally abusive, and psychologically crazy-making nature of this kind of behavior, whether done in writing or face-to-face.

    If/when others refuse to respond to our questions requesting clarification, we all find ourselves left with our preexisting understandings and/or misunderstandings. These understandings may differ significantly from other’s views largely, and perhaps entirely, BECAUSE THE OTHER PERSON DID NOT PROVIDE THE REQUESTED CORRECTIVE FEEDBACK. The whole POINT in people asking clarifying questions of each other involves helping the people involved construct more accurate understandings of each other’s views. For example, do you or Jeff S. seriously think that I, or anyone else, could possibly construct a more accurate understanding of Jeff S.’s meanings after, in response to asking for clarifying questions, receiving a response such as “What a joke, Bud Nye. You don’t want explanations and clarifications whatsoever, i learned that the hard way trying to have a dialog with you about private property and natural law. You are clearly a social darwinist (an ideology rejected by Darwin) who would rather believe that there is some evil seed within humans than examine the entire web of social relations of which the present state of overpopulation is but a symptom”? Here, Jeff S. did exactly what you have done, which I now find myself responding to: among other things telling me what I supposedly “really” think and feel, but he did it regarding TWO different issues: my motives for asking clarifying questions and whether I hold social Darwinist views. I most certainly do NOT hold social Darwinist views, never have, nor does anyone who has concerns about human population necessarily hold social Darwinist views as Jeff S. appears so strongly and mistakenly to believe. (But wait. I notice that Wester just made a comment regarding his plan for population control. Per Jeff S.’s reasoning, Wester must fall into his alleged social Darwinist camp as well.) Jeff S. had it blatantly wrong on both accounts, just as you presently do.

    People do this kind of thing to Guy frequently. I wonder: do you consider that okay? If you do not consider it okay for people to treat Guy in this disrespectful way, why do you consider it okay to treat me this way? Do you enjoy attempting to produce “horizontal hostility”? Do we find, here, a form of anti-intellectual anger and hostility? Does it fall under the heading of racist anger and hostility toward white people? Some combination of these? I certainly do not presume to know. I only wonder what motivates this kind of hurtful, destructive contempt.

    As a highly fallible human being, I can only do my best with what others give me in my attempts to construct my understating of their views, which views I sometimes find extremely confusing, which sometimes seem to contain significant self-contradictions, and which sometimes display apparently significant ignorance contradicting what best evidence suggests concerning the world. Or perhaps you and some others do not like my asking questions that you and they find difficult to answer, or you prefer not to answer, and you consider my doing that somehow “disrespectful”? We presumably should just take anything you write as infallible Truth? Obviously, I find this kind of behavior extremely confusing.

    Now, given your blatant arrogance, contempt, and disrespect of me, please apologize. Making that kind of repair attempt would suggest to me, and to everyone else reading this, that you do have some respect for me, after all, even if in no other way than as a fellow human being.

  • To my beautiful 29 yr old daughter, her husband, & two ebullient smiling children, 3 & 5.

    Here is a thorough & sobering analysis of the looming methane monster by Dahr Jamal, an impeccably honest man.

    I have studying global heating since 2005, & there is nothing in Jamal’s piece that is not on point & thoroughly evidenced by sound scientific research.

    The science is all TOO clear & very basic.

    The only question is how soon will the game be played out IN FRONT OF US ALL.

    The methane is ALREADY ACCELERATING HEATING & THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT.

    It can only accelerate more.

    The last 4 years have astonished all scientific observers.

    This year will tell us what will happen to us, but you can’t depend on main stream media.

    I have read most all of the scientific studies backing up Jamal’s piece.

    I informed many of my friends about this phenomenon as early as 2008 after full grasping Shakhova’s early predictions.

    Her predictions have been confirmed.

    Science is prediction, experimental test, & possible confirmation of the predictions.

    If you look at the comments under Shakhova’s prescient video on Youtube (that I sent before), you will see several of my comments for the last 2 years.

    Again, our only defense is to make the most of every day; & live it fully.

    Geo-engineering will not save us from heat death.

    It is hardest for you because of Jaydn & Brandon.

    Be thankful that you got to the truth sooner than later.

    It will get crazier & crazier …

    Love, love, love … really.

    Just search Dahr Jamal’s latest scientific piece.

  • Bud Nye:

    “In distinct contrast with your arrogant and disrespectful claim, I assure you and others that I do not recall ever intending any disrespect of anyone while commenting here at NBL, and I consistently HAVE attempted, in all honesty, to understand other’s views.”

    That’s a load of crap large enough to fill a major landfill. You completely mischaracterized what i and Wester said in terms of overpopulation, casting our statements as saying we didn’t think overpopulation was not a problem, in the face of the fact that we said otherwise. And you wonder why i and others don’t engage with you? Mirror, mirror on the wall….

    Gerald Spezio Says:
    January 15th, 2015 at 5:58 am
    “Callaghan; “In 20 years we will enter a post-peak world …”

    May I suggest that in 20 months you may be completely focused on physical survival & something for breakfast.”

    If there’s one thing i’ve learned, it’s to not make long-range forecasts, i.e. for more than a week in advance. I can’t say you’re 100% wrong, but i highly doubt that in 20 months things in the US will be essentially different from January 15, 2015.

  • ““The Charlie Hebdo White Power Rally in Paris: A Celebration of Western Hypocrisy”

    “In the Obama administration’s hierarchy of worthy victims, unarmed Blacks slain by U.S. police rank far below French cartoonists. “When will politicians like President Obama or Attorney General Eric Holder condemn the murders of unarmed black boys, men and women with the same level of intensity and clamor that we have seen in Paris – followed by indictments of killer cops?”

    Very true. And a similar size Paris march against climate murder instead would have at least been uplifting.

  • Gerald Spezio Says:
    January 15th, 2015 at 5:58 am

    Callaghan; “In 20 years we will enter a post-peak world …”

    May I suggest that in 20 months you may be completely focused on physical survival & something for breakfast.

    Gerald, is this just a throw away line to dramatize the immediate nature of our problems or do you have something more specific in mind when you point to 20 months?

    IMO, the first few weeks of 2015 have been dramatically down on all fronts:
    * CO2 above 400ppm globally to start the year (unprecedented)
    * Massive CH4 leakage from shelves OTHER than ESAS
    * At or below 2 standard deviations for Arctic ice extent
    * Sea levels found to be rising faster than previous understood
    * Occurrences of mass die off increasing
    * Crude oil, commodities, and financial markets plunging
    * Currency volatility way up with announcements by Russia selling USD reserves and Swiss breaking peg to the Euro

    I’ve expected for some time now that human IC would not “wait around” for 20 or 30 years while climate change decimated our food, water, and population. Rather, human IC would flail about wildly, creating more chaos, damage, and destruction than would have otherwise occurred. As more people wake up to their being a fire inside the theater, the stampede for the exits is going to get very, very ugly. And this will happen well before southern California turns to sand and Miami beach is fully underwater (neither of which is that far away anyhow!)

  • Yabut, I could at least spell such a wonderful man’s name correctly.

    Dahr Jamail | The Methane Monster Roars

    The release of previously trapped methane stores into the atmosphere will magnify the effects of feedback loops and climate disruption.

  • Bud –

    you are clearly furious with me. I can totally understand why.

    I actually respect you a great deal, and I greatly appreciate both your presence here, and your writings here. I have made that all clear in numerous ways.

    however, from my POV, in my head alone, it appeared there were times when I thought your behavior here, displayed by what you were writing, possibly shaded by deeper emotions you were not even aware of, was deeply passive-aggressive. sometimes I felt it was eye poppingly so.

    so what? that is just my perception. what we are sharing here with each other is all about our perceptions of things. it’s all we have, really.

    what I am striving for is the possibility of sharing perceptions like mine in a manner that includes both honesty, directness, and loving kindness. of course, if my perception about something, and the way I express it, doesn’t come across that way, anyone here is free to call me a hurtful, conceited, arrogant bastard – or worse.

    I am sure they are right, as this is exactly what I am. I am arrogant enough to believe that you are actually something very akin to God, or a God-like being, and that is what we all are here, underneath these human masks.

    I believe we all have this amazingly strange combination of internal fortitude and strength, and blind willfulness and stubbornness, as that kind of divine-human-Being, to both make the most colossally arrogant, stupid, destructive and hurtful mistakes, and also to turn around and be the most divinely thoughtful, caring and infinitely loving beings imaginable.

    that is my every day way of looking at the world. it is absurdly arrogant, really, but also I think the most accurate, from my own deepest experience and appreciation of “the truth.”

    so, yes, as one being like this to another, you better believe I respect you. and as I have presented my perceptions to you in a way that you find offensive and inaccurate, you have my sincerest apology, and I humbly beg your forgiveness.

  • THANK YOU GERALD SPEZIO EXCELLENT COMMENT !

  • Callaghan, I’ll take whatever I can get starting yesterday.

    I’m in hospice & every day is ice cream.

    While captive Gaza Palestinian children in their rubble heap of a concentration camp are cold & hungry.

    “The caddy who hurt his head while thinking,” always plagues me.

    Charlie Smith advised; “Spends yo money while you libben cause you caint spend it when you dayid.”

  • my sincere apologies to you again, Bud, as I want to make this even stronger:

    as I have presented my perception to you, and about you, in a way that *is* offensive and inaccurate, I apologize, and I humbly beg your forgiveness.

    I don’t want there to be any doubt in your mind about what my real meaning and intention is with my apology.

  • mo flow, you are wise. Non-resistance, being fully honest with one’s self regarding one’s own behavior and choices, and choosing non-violence brings good things. If you’re not honest, non-resistant, and non-violent, it’s all Miranda from there; everything you say and do can and will be used against you.

    I did my senior research project for my degree on consciousness, dream states and studies, and dream interpretation. Because it took me so long to drag myself through college, I had actually been studying these topics for decades outside of formal education.

    Everything is about consciousness. It’s not about cellular, biologically-based machines. I’m convinced of this from a lot of personal experience. Life is not only material, and only the material dies.

    ogf

  • Great radio interview with Katie Goodman. I had not previously seen her work, it is amazing! I have spent the last hour watching her TED Talk (on youtube) and the rest of her music videos.
    http://www.katiegoodman.com/videos

  • About the two post rule:

    Some here get around it by posting very long, scientific, philosophical, dizzy, circuitous, indecipherable, mumbo-jumbo.

    NEW RULE: Only two posts unless someone else posts a post longer than one, four sentence paragraph or all bets are off.

  • See I told u all! South American property is VALUABLE, so, there is a reason to cheat people out of their land like one of the NBLers

  • FriedrichKling,

    Thanks for your supporting comment. I wrote my response to mo flo hours before reading it. Even so, I definitely value your comment. It helps to know that I don’t find myself completely alone after all.

    mo flow,

    No. Please know that I did not, and do not, feel “furious” with you. I feel extremely confident that had someone measured my physiological responses, and objective observers coded my behavioral responses over about the past day, neither of those measures would have shown either great anger or “fury”. Similarly, my subjective “rating dial” experience, as I have written, does not indicate strong anger, and it certainly does not indicate fury. Did I at times feel a moderate level of frustration? Yes. Some passion and excitement? Yes.

    Of course, I accept your apology (with no “humble begging” asked for, hoped for, or expected!), and I appreciate your kind remarks.

    Have I sometimes written in either consciously or non-consciously passive-aggressive ways? I may have. Have I written in ways intended to challenge others to consider more fully the implications of what they have written? Certainly. In ways that I knew in advance had a high probability of eliciting some strong emotional responses? Yes, definitely. We could parse the meaning of “passive-aggressive” in trying to decide whether that term fits well as a summary label. It may.

    Yes, I agree with you that we find ourselves sharing our different perceptions, AND, importantly I think, our CONCEPTIONS. The stories we tell ourselves and each other about our perceptions play critical roles in our relations with ourselves and with each other. While, as physiological responses, we have little “control” over our perceptions, without going off onto a complex and distracting tangent regarding “free will”, we presumably do have much more “control” over the stories we tell ourselves and others. Yes, I agree: beyond our basic physiology, which produces and supports them, pretty much all we have involves our perceptions and conceptions.

    I also wish to share perceptions and conceptions in honest, direct, and loving ways. Related directly and importantly to this, I find myself much more deeply understanding and appreciating that: cognitive, rational discussion of importance differences only rarely “works”, and then usually not very well. (I learned that, in spades, teaching high school chemistry and physics!) I find myself presently working hard to deeply learn, and implement, the more emotion-based principles that John Gottman and Susan Johnson’s work describe. Meanwhile, learning and implementing these things, especially after a lifetime of having a strongly cognitive focus, works as a gradual PROCESS that occurs over time, not as an instantaneous event. I continuously remind myself of how we eat and elephant. One bite at a time!

    You wrote, “I am sure they are right, as this is exactly what I am. I am arrogant enough to believe that you are actually something very akin to God, or a God-like being, and that is what we all are here, underneath these human masks…” plus some similar supporting comments. In a number of important ways I agree with this view of us. Related to this, I will try to clarify my present views:

    I consider myself a scientific pantheist. That means that I think that everything that exists, all living and non-living things, all matter and energy—yes, including all dark matter and dark energy—exist as part of God. To me, the Universe literally equals God, probably most fundamentally as the energy we study in chemistry and physics. I think that we can, at least potentially, most reliably construct our knowledge of God, of the Universe, through the processes of natural science. (That does NOT mean or suggest that natural science presumably must or should serve as our ONLY source of knowledge of the universe!) Unlike for you, it does not seem to me like an arrogant view, at all, for me to consider myself an infinitely small part of an infinitely large God—just like everything else. I keep myself painfully aware that as only an infinitely small part of God I cannot possibly comprehend the whole, I will always remain massively ignorant, and I have essentially no “control” (or “free will”) over anything. To me, these ideas occur as a lot of self-centered, arrogant, humanist, wishful thinking fantasies in my (and other’s) head. Or so it seems to me. I surely have this wrong in many important ways, but this model has served me well for almost six decades as our knowledge has expanded at an exponential rate, and I find it working well as we come ever closer to NTHE.

    Thanks for your patience with me. Please remember: I am an old guy. “I may be slow, but I’m sure not fast.”

  • Our anger, if any, should be directed at the guilty rather than at we victims.

    Does anyone still think that the movie 2012 was all wrong?

  • The guilty should “own up.”

  • http://www.sott.net/category/4-Earth-Changes

    554 dead seabirds and 4 sea lions found on beaches in Baja California, Mexico

    Otters across the world are threatened with extinction says new report
    [other species listed]

    Coyote conflicts with pets, police and people increase in Westchester, NY
    [long list of recent coyote attacks provided]

    Storm Rachel: 100mph gales leave 2,000 homes without power and cause travel chaos across UK

  • Shep-

    You enjoy making outrageous statements and I now call your bluff. Since you are so certain what you know, put your money where your mouth is. I am willing to wager any amount of money you wish, but it must be a minimum amount of $1,000 to make it worth my time. Terms: we will each deposit equal sums into a custodial account. An independent third party will interview Don Alfonso. A notarized transcript will be provided, and you are welcome to have the language translated by someone of your choosing. If I were in your position, I would notify my family and friends that I have a slum dunk and their funds will be doubled in only a few weeks time.

    Now, are you a gentleman or a gutless scoundrel full of BULLSHIT?

  • Guy has abandoned this forum as playpen for the kids! We all need a place to play! Don’t we? JMHO (Just my humble opinion) guys! Enjoy!

  • Let’s see someone PROVE to me that that person is not a meat robot, not an automaton, albeit a highly sophisticated automaton, entirely bereft of awareness, including the awareness of thoughts and feelings. I cannot prove to others that I am not such a meat robot: I cannot share my awareness (as distinct from objects “of” awaneness) with anyone. Even a “mind-meld” à la Mr. Spock of Star Trek ain’t gonna do: the “mind” is just a higher-order grouping of insentient brain functions.

    All we are aware of is our constructs from inputs and memory; from these constructs we project a reality of our making. Hence the belief that there is something “out there”, predicated upon a belief in an “out” and a belief in a “there”, both of which are also projections from the same constructs.

    As Carlos Castaneda described, there is a separate reality. A glimpse of it, the awareness witnout any “of”, once experienced, cannot be de-experienced. And until experienced, one will remain in thrall to a “reality” “out there”.

  • shep may be referring to :-

    http://wrongkindofgreen.org/2011/08/29/the-great-rainforest-heist-greenpeace-wwf-ran-fsc-and-redd-conspiracy-to-log-earths-last-primary-forests-for-their-protection/

    “THE GREAT RAINFOREST HEIST: GREENPEACE, WWF, RAN, FSC AND REDD+ CONSPIRACY TO LOG EARTH’S LAST PRIMARY FORESTS FOR THEIR PROTECTION”

    “What would you say to me if I told you the world’s pre-eminent environmental organizations, widely perceived as the leading advocates for rainforests and old growth, have for decades been actively, indeed intimately, involved in logging the world’s last old forests.”
    =============================================

    I might add the mentioned groups received 3 and 4 star ratings from Charity Navigator.

  • uh-oh, more bad news:

    http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2015/01/plan-save-monarch-butterflies-backfires

    Plan to save monarch butterflies backfires

    It started with the best of intentions. When evidence emerged that monarch butterflies were losing the milkweed they depend on due to the spread of herbicide-resistant crops in the United States, people across the country took action, planting milkweed in their own gardens. But a new paper shows that well-meaning gardeners might actually be endangering the butterflies’ iconic migration to Mexico. That’s because people have been planting the wrong species of milkweed, thereby increasing the odds of monarchs becoming infected with a crippling parasite.

    Habitat loss in both the United States and Mexico has long been the main threat to the North American monarch population. After decades of effort, Mexico curbed deforestation in the butterflies’ winter habitat in the oyamel fir and pine forests of Michoacán and Mexico states. But the loss of milkweed in the United States continues to be a major issue, scientists say. The plant, on which monarchs lay their eggs, used to spring up in between rows of corn, soybeans, and other commercial crops. But today, many farmers plant herbicide-resistant versions of these crops, which allows them to spray their fields with powerful chemicals such as Roundup—killing milkweed in the process. Last year, the number of monarchs that migrated to Mexico was the lowest ever recorded, covering a mere 0.67 hectares of forest, down from a high of 21 hectares in the 1996 to 1997 season. (Scientists in Mexico are planning to announce this season’s count by the end of the month.)

    That’s why many monarch buffs swung into action. However, the only species of milkweed widely available in the United States is Asclepias curassavica, which is native to the tropics. Tropical milkweed is pretty, easy to grow, and monarchs love it. “If I were a gardener, I would have done the same thing,” says Dara Satterfield, a doctoral student in ecology at the University of Georgia, Athens.

    The problem is that tropical milkweed—at least when planted in warm environments like southern Texas and the U.S. Gulf Coast—doesn’t die back in the winter like native milkweed does. When presented with a place to lay their eggs year-round, many monarchs don’t bother making the trip to Mexico at all. Tropical milkweed is “trapping the butterflies” in these new winter breeding sites, says Lincoln Brower, a monarch biologist at Sweet Briar College in Virginia.

    But it turns out that year-round tropical milkweed presents an even more direct threat to the butterflies. Milkweed hosts a protozoan parasite called Ophryocystis elektroscirrha (OE). As caterpillars, monarchs ingest the parasite along with their normal milkweed meals, and when they hatch from their chrysalises they are covered in spores. “It’s a debilitating parasite,” Satterfield says. Infected monarchs are much weaker than their healthy counterparts and don’t live nearly as long. In fact, if an OE-infected monarch tries to migrate, it will probably die long before it arrives in central Mexico, Satterfield says.

    [further down]

    There is some good news. Nearly all tropical milkweed in the southern United States is in gardens, Oberhauser says. So if everyone who planted it to help the butterflies can be convinced to replace it with a native milkweed species—or at least cut the plant back every few weeks during the winter—they could quickly put a stop to the destructive winter-breeding trend. (Native milkweed isn’t always as easy to get as tropical milkweed, but it’s starting to become more available online, Satterfield reports.) According to Oberhauser, tropical milkweed is “a problem we can solve.”

    “Well meaning humans” – perhaps a planetary oxymoron.

  • http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2015/01/scientists-human-activity-has-pushed.html

    Scientists: Human activity has pushed Earth beyond four of nine ‘planetary boundaries’ – The planet ‘is likely to be much less hospitable to the development of human societies’

    [begins]

    At the rate things are going, the Earth in the coming decades could cease to be a “safe operating space” for human beings. That is the conclusion of a new paper published Thursday in the journal Science by 18 researchers trying to gauge the breaking points in the natural world.

    The paper contends that we have already crossed four “planetary boundaries.” They include the extinction rate; deforestation; the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere; and the flow of nitrogen and phosphorous (used on land as fertilizer) into the ocean.

    “What the science has shown is that human activities — economic growth, technology, consumption – are destabilizing the global environment,” said Will Steffen, who holds appointments at the Australian National University and the Stockholm Resilience Center and is the lead author of the paper.

    These are not future problems, but rather urgent matters, according to Steffen, who said that the economic boom since 1950 and the globalized economy have accelerated the transgression of the boundaries. No one knows exactly when push will come to shove, but he said the possible destabilization of the “Earth System” as a whole could occur in a time frame of “decades out to a century.” [lots more]

  • Heads up display of planetary dashboard.
    http://www.igbp.net/news/pressreleases/pressreleases/planetarydashboardshowsgreataccelerationinhumanactivitysince1950.5.950c2fa1495db7081eb42.html

    The misanthropocene and meat-beating robot dreams of electric sheep, or,
    why I don’t hate people, some of my best friends are people.
    http://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=33456

  • The Cliff is Dead Ahead!
    The Dreaded Methane Veil

    Excerpt:

    “One of the observers, Dr. Natalia Shakhova, who leads the Russia-U.S. Methane Study at the International Arctic Research Center, at the University Alaska Fairbanks and the Pacific Oceanological Institute, Far Eastern Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, claims that only a tiny percentage of the vast amounts of methane buried in Arctic ice is necessary to double current atmospheric CH4. Worse yet, she suspects an outburst of 50 gigatons could happen at any time. In an interview, Shakova says, “We do not like what we see… absolutely do not like it.”

    Hence, the question: Could civilization withstand a 50-gigaton release? Professor Wadhams’ response is discomforting: “No, I don’t think it can.””

    Y’all have a nice day.

  • The latest edition of Edge of Extinction is posted at the top of the page. Direct link is here.

  • http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/01/scientists-issue-stark-warning-as-earth-passes-into-danger-zone/

    These diagrams are as clear and coherent (and persuasive) as anything I’ve seen. It’s one thing to feel and sense, piecing together chaotically through commonsense, and another thing to see these measures of decline since 1950 so systematically (and scientifically) laid out. This is a good one.

  • Bud –

    thank you! I am so glad to hear you weren’t greatly angry with me. and you will have no problem with me being patient with you, as I am infinitely patient and forgiving with both myself and everyone else. I have no reason not to be. I know I have the time, and we all have the time.

    I really like your scientific pantheistic approach. I do actually think there is far more overlap for discussion between us than you might realize!

    right now, two lovely bald eagles just soaring by, casual as can be… effortlessly, almost within my touch, right over our yard.

  • ogf –

    thank you very much!

    “I did my senior research project for my degree on consciousness, dream states and studies, and dream interpretation.”

    you had mentioned this to me on NBL quite a while ago. I am still very curious. if you are at all inclined, please feel free to get in touch with me – moflow at outlook dot com – and I would very much enjoy discussing this with you further.

    one thing I find endlessly fascinating is the absolutely amazing diversity that consciousness is capable of – everywhere – but especially in the makeup of our own beings. partly this fascination comes from my own evolution of being, just in this lifetime. from mystic (very earliest years), to hard core materialist, to “alienated from everything,” and now, eventually, full circle back to mystic, where I have integrated everything from the previous steps, and am, every day learning so much more.

    one thing that is process has made clear – we really are so radically diverse, and it is simultaneously all part of One package deal.

    “Everything is about consciousness.”

    without a single doubt. and what we know of, on all fronts – mystical, scientific, psychological, shamanistic, artistic – is only the tiniest sliver of what is actually there!

    this is truly harrowing to appreciate, but it is the rock solid truth. fortunately we have far more than our familiar human ways of approaching this vast unknown. we can actually move further out into that great wide open, while remaining perfectly (and truly) sane, and come right back here to revel again in all this wonderfully familiar Earth stuff.

    “It’s not about cellular, biologically-based machines.”

    no, it most definitely is not.

    “I’m convinced of this from a lot of personal experience.”

    likewise.

    “Life is not only material, and only the material dies.”

    totally accurate.

  • Civilization is not a community (i.e., everyone sharing the same space and resources in mutual respect and cooperation). It is a battlefield (i.e., everyone in the same space, fighting over the limited resources in mutual disrespect and competition).

    Denial is about avoidance–trying to avoid reality and “owning up.”

    Denial is delusional and requires a lot of effort (turning one’s life into a living hell).

    And denial it is futile. Reality bats last.