Edge of Extinction: Sucking on the Straw

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I’m traveling, and will be less available than usual. Please display patience when waiting for comments to be posted.
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Please visit the DONATIONS tab. I’m open to non-monetary donations, subject only to your creativity. For example, I would appreciate your generosity with respect to frequent-flyer miles.
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Catch Nature Bats Last on the radio with Mike Sliwa and Guy McPherson. Tune in every Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, or catch up in the archives here. If you prefer the iTunes version, including the option to subscribe, you can click here.

This week’s show features a conversation between McPherson and his two hosts on the current tour. David Petraitis lives in New York City, and Pauline Schneider lives in Westchester County, New York. It’s archived here.

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19 February – 4 March 2015, In and around New York City, New York (details below). Please RSVP for each of these events by sending a message to naturebatslast2007@gmail.com.

27 February 2015, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m., Project Reach, 39 Eldridge Street, Suite 4, New York, New York, Abrupt Climate Change: How Will You Show Up During Humanity’s Final Chapter?

1 March 2015, 6:00 p.m. Woodbine Collective, 18-84 Woodbine Street, New York, New York. Reading and signing books, with plenty of time for Q&A.

Woodbine poster March 1 2015

GuyPosterNY copy

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Abrupt Climate Change: How Will You Show Up During Humanity’s Final Chapter?

4-16 March, Northern California Tour organized by Peter Melton: 530-680-5550,
Peter.Melton3@gmail.com. Additional venues may be added.

11-12 March 2015, Veterans Hall, 415 North Pine Street, Nevada City, California, presentation and workshop titled, “Abrupt Climate Change: How Will You Show Up During Humanity’s Final Chapter?” Follow on Facebook here.

11 March: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. presentation and public discussion
11 March: 8:30 – 10:00 p.m. workshop part I
12 March: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. workshop part II

13-14 March 2015, Chico Peace and Justice Center, 526 Broadway, Chico, California, presentation and workshop titled, “Abrupt Climate Change: How Will You Show Up During Humanity’s Final Chapter?” Follow on Facebook here.

13 March 13: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. presentation and public discussion
13 March: 8:30 – 10:00 p.m. workshop part I
14 March: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. workshop part II

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22 March – 3 April Boston, Massachusetts. Details to follow.

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6-30 April 2015, western Europe (additional details forthcoming, and follow the tour at guymcpherson.net and also on Facebook)

25 April 2015, 6:00 p.m., Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London, “Climate Awareness Seminar”

European tour spring 2015

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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. Electronic copy is available here from Amazon.

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

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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, or another error, 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.” If that hasn’t been done, the comment text will likely still be in the comment box when clicking the back button, or the forward button — depending on the error — on your browser.

Comments 33

  • There two topics in particular that interest me that remain taboo: 1. Cuba and 2. giving individuals the right to decide when and how to end their lives.

    Here is a must watch about Cuba (the medical system there and how it puts the US to absolute shame ). It also deals with the issue of transgender, in which, yet again the Cuban Government leads the way as told by Castro’s daughter Mariela. Notice that Cuba used to persecute homosexuals and she explains that is was a carry over from the old Spanish Culture. Interesting. To ne, at least.

    *********************

    On what I call “Right to End Life”.

    There is a book called “the Peaceful Pill Handbook” published by Exit International.

  • RE: the video

    Interesting point about the 95 degree temperature impact.

    And sucking the drinking water out of the aquifers way too fast.

    Guy says it is industrial civilization what did it and is doing it.

    Could Industrial civilization have developed without fossil fuels?

    Seems like it was a gang of criminals that got us to this point, not just one criminal enterprise.

    Isn’t Oil-Qaeda the god-father of that gang?

  • shep says: “Just wondering…what does one do in these last days…there aren’t many left…do we torture ourselves by siting helplessly in terror…do we sit Buddha like…do we kill our favorite bully…do we pray to ___…do we quietly take our own lives..do we play like nothing is happening…?”
    yes, really, this is a big question? if you have no money and no means to move, and travel, and do things, and distract yourself, and has the old folks used to say “pass time”, and you know a lot of what is going on on the destruction front, what do you do every day and every minute of the day?

    for me, it is all of the above depending on the day (although sitting buddhalike is pretty difficult on many leverls). Yesterday was sit helplessly in terror contemplating money problems, among others, then take sleeping pills and fall into a deep slumber (not long enough). Then wake up to another day alone and scared. I would say that I am by myself more than 90% of the time.

    as for billions of mothers, the thought of shortening my life always hurt the wall of doing this to my sons (who are so wondeful and already have such a hard time. Luckily they do not have children and I hope they never will. I tell them regularly DO NOT make children).

    I can imagine Guy (and so many others), always on the move, meeting tons of people, busy, busy, busy, doing this and that. Like the busy people around me, I can see how it is much easier for them to get by. But when you are poor (not poor enough not to have internet, but poor enough not to be able to go places and do things + hardly motivated after so many years of no hope) and quite old (67), and confined to an apartment in the city with not much you want to do or CAN do, life at the end of the world is mostly pretty bleak and nauseating, day after day.

    wish taking one’s life would not be so difficult. I am wondering if it would be easier in nature (or what is left of it), but I never get out of the city.

    thermodynamics or not, science or not, aliens or not, life sure is tough… and scary and anxiogenic.
    (rereading my message/rambling, I wonder if it is even worth submitting it. I don’t know but I will close my eyes and hit the button after confirming that 3×4=12. with all my excuses for taking your time)

  • Stop blaming the 1%.
    The fault lies with the 99%.
    Kevin Anderson says everyone who makes $30k/year will have to cut their emissions 40% in 3 years and 90% in 15 years just for a 50/50 chance of a +2°C temperature rise. In North America, $30k/year is peanuts, but in Kenya, it is a fortune. I guess you didn’t know you were so rich and so much to blame. Some people just take all the fun out of mass extinction.

  • It was another dry week for much of the West, with parts of the Pacific Northwest, Northern California, Arizona, New Mexico, and the Intermountain Basin receiving no precipitation. Scattered areas of the Pacific Northwest and Northern Rockies received half an inch to an inch of precipitation. A slow-moving upper-level weather system brought half an inch to 2 inches of precipitation to parts of Southern California and the Southwest, with 2-4 inches being reported over southwest Colorado. In California, D4 was pulled back in eastern Kern County and adjacent southeast Tulare County, but otherwise The Golden State remained locked in a years-long drought. At the University of California-Berkeley’s Central Sierra Snow Laboratory site near Donner Summit, there was only about a foot of snow on the ground, which is lower for late February than all of the dry winters in the last 70 years. Snow depth at this site never got above 3 feet this winter, when their usual maximum depth would be around 12 feet.

    Mountain snowpack remained well below normal, not just in California but all across the Cascades, Sierra Nevada, and Intermountain Basin. The SNOTEL network snow water content ranked among the driest 5 percentile in the historical record for much of this area, with many SNOTEL sites unusually snow free this early in the season. The low mountain snowpack will significantly affect spring and summer water supplies, as melting of the mountain snowpack provides an important water source during the warm season. Mountain snow water content was above normal in only a few parts of the Northern and Central Rockies. D1 expanded along the southern Cascades of Washington, and was added to the Olympic Mountains, to reflect the low snowpack. D1-D3 expanded in southwest Idaho (Owyhee and Canyon Counties) to reflect basin impacts. D0 expanded in southeast Idaho and into southwest Montana and northwest Wyoming (in the vicinity of Yellowstone National Park) where streamflow levels, snow water content, and water-year-to-date precipitation were low. Mountain snow water content and water-year-to-date precipitation were well below normal in northwest Utah to southwest Wyoming. Even though up to an inch of precipitation was observed this week in southwest Utah, NASA satellite-based measurements of groundwater indicated very dry conditions from southwest Utah to southwest Wyoming. As a result, D1 expanded across southwest Utah, D0-D1 expanded in northeast Utah into southwest Wyoming, D2 expanded in northwest Utah, and a spot of D3 was added to northwest Utah.

    http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

  • I also believe that nothing matters anyway – in the end, none of this will be remembered. We are just renting our subatomic particles for a brief moment of time. Eventually, our subatomic particles will be widely scattered across the cold, dark, expanse of space. So, who cares?

    Just sittin’ on this runaway train, staring out the window, with a cat on my lap.

    The Voluntary Extinction Movement
    Thou shalt not procreate.

    The Church of Euthanasia
    Save the planet, kill yourself.

  • anxiogenic
    producing anxiety

  • producing anxiety … giving up smoking is quite rapidly followed by a reduction in anxiety that may reflect removal of an anxiogenic agent, nicotine. — Robert West and Peter Hajek, American Journal of Psychiatry, November 1997

  • Thanks Milendia what you type is so true and to the point ! What this site is all about right ? I’m glad you did submit it ! And thanks to all to many to mentions, farewell. ” don’t cry because it’s over, Smile because it happened “

  • Guy,

    Finally got around to watching your Brooklyn book signing Q&A video. (FYI, the middle video won’t load/run today for me.)

    This won’t help you in terms of the ” How many million years ago did the coal start to form and how long did it take” question, but it might give you a new entry point for discussions of coal. Your comedic timing and delivery are improving, but it’s often worth watching a maestro at work for technical tips, let alone for the therapeutic benefit of howling your ass off with laughter.

    I’ll post it in a big pic-box this time, and will revert to the link-only format next time.

  • Might vs. Right

    The concept that right makes might
    Isn’t quite logically tight,
    Because fantasied “rights”
    Are won via fights,
    And in real life, might makes right.

  • Hi,

    you might want to know, that since Mr.Kling’s donation contributions are mentioned at the top of every posting on https://guymcpherson.com/ as in the RSS feed, there’s nearly no space left for Text on what the new blog entry is actually about.

    Have to say these seemingly same news (albeit with different titles) stifles my interest in clicking through to read or view the content.

    Regards, yours truly.

  • Sittirg forever in a manner putatively like a Buddha is missing the point. When Siddharta Gautama sat for that fateful episode under the Ficus religiosa tree, he had taken an vow prior to sitting that he would not get up until he reached realisation. When he did reach realisation, at the next dawn’s twilight, he got up and went about his business – for the next forty-five years.

    That state is referred to (“described” would not be correct, since it can only be experienced not described) in the Vedic, Buddhist, Jain and other traditions. Just as something seen cannot be dis-seen, there is no reversion from that state.

    And there are a whole bunch of descriptors based on the observable characteristics of one who has reached that state, such as “established in awareness”, “done all that has to be done”, “undeluded”, “awake” (= “Buddha”), etc.

  • HERE, THERE, AND EVERYWHERE.

    SAO PUALO, BRAZIL is drying up. In a secret meeting, someone in the water department says there is high degree of probability that the people (20 million) might have TO FLEE.
    A very historical migration indeed.

    Australia is drying and burning as well as hit by a “cyclone sandwich,”

    California is drying.

    Bolivia people experiencing unprecedented rain/flooding.

    Afghanistan experiencing unprecedented snow fall, few hundred die.

    There are more GIANT Methane Holes in the Arctic, could be a hundred for all anyone knows.

    and THE LARSEN C ICE SELF is rapidly cracking, small island nations are sinking (but Florida and Louisiana, hey they aren’t afraid) and…………. On and On it goes.

    AND THAT IS JUST TO NAME A FEW.

    BUT THE MASSES ARE TROWING SNOWBALLS, BUILDING SNOWMEN, WEARING CROSS-COUNTRY SKIES GOING TO WORK IN THE CITY AND WISHING SPRING WOULD HURRY AND ARRIVE ALREADY.

    DREAMING IS BLISSFUL.

    O AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL,THERE IS SOMETHING BIBLICAL GOING ON HERE!!!

    MAY WE ALL LOVE AND PRAY. GOD HELP US ALL.

  • Infanttyrone…laughed and laughed and laughed. Took off my glasses to wipe away tears, and then laughed some more. Thank you.

    milendia…have a look at the moon the next time you have a chance and know that someone else is out there wishing you well and keeping you in mind. If you would be so kind as to do the same for me, you may find it’s a nice way to spend an hour.

    robin datta…have you personally experienced no mind? Can you live and operate in no mind? I’ve read and heard and seen so many “academic” impressions of no mind but so rarely observed it in action in someone else. At this point in my practice i can move between states purposefully but cannot reside in no mind endlessly.

  • “do we kill our favorite bully”? – Perhaps do not kill, but leave them with a long lasting memory that you stopped by. Or maybe just Yes – on principal alone. If anyone is counseled to stand down or “accept” bullying – that it all just doesn’t matter and has no meaning – even under NTE – you will probably be receiving an extended housecall from someone who looks, acts or thinks like me.

    Cannot lie. The methane fireball story over Florida spooked me. Nearly triggered my PTSD, developed from having to live through a fasci military coup last year. Now the weird holes in Russia. Seems we’re not just suffocating under a police state, but also now watching the methane blanket spread out across the sky in real time. Eric Garner is a metaphor for humanity.

  • Hermann Hesse the great writer and poet Said “Some of us think holding on makes us strong but sometimes it is letting go” Hesse’s books and poems [Siddharta, Steppenwolf{a classic about more then suicide} ] are just plain fun to read and not expect to be enlightened. One more Hermann Hesse quote “Eternity is a mere moment, just long enough for a joke” thanks Dr. Guy Mcpherson you envoke Hesse!

  • oldgrowthforest,

    Would u comment on the perspective of Native people on suicide, especially faced with inevitable damnation in this world?

  • Guy, I dont think the example of standing in a cold shower works with wet bulb temperatures. A wet bulb temp of 95 is deadly because the body cannot cool itself through [em]evaporative cooling[/em] alone, and begins to absorb rather than shed heat. Standing in a cold shower is going to be drawing off tons of heat through conduction, and will artificially cool the body, even into hypothermia if the water is cold enough and stood in long enough.

    Standing next to a fan would not cool the body though. Maybe that would be a better example.

  • So for all of the priviledged readers
    who have the time, and contemplation neurons intact, the majority of us homeless and struggling-to-survive folk out on the east coast during the coldest winter ever experienced are finding creative ways to cook survival center fare: canned gmo-laden foods sealed in BPA cans, government mystery meat, and yesterdays unlabeled leftovers from area restaurants. We live in 40 degree basements of the rich, treated like the new feudal property that we are, waiting for the Lord of our castle to allow us a shower once in a while. We bike to town on jalopies with windchill to -24 as our steeds disintegrate from the high salt and sand on the roads. We do backbreaking labor. We are your laborers, your one-day temp workers, your black market schleppers. We are Americans. We are Agnostics, we are Christians , we are Buddhists. We dig our own latrines through the snow, hacking up the twelve inches of frozen dirt before we hit soft earth. A good day of scavenging brings home warm clothes or a peice of furniture to add to our comfort. We live together, cry together, scream at and call each other on stuff.
    some of us go mad from poverty injustice. But we just ARE. No need to look elsewhere for answers. We fall beneath the radar for benefits or health insurance. It costs $110 to pull a tooth. We use pliers.We are educated and still happy, but dying earlier because of ECONOMIC GENOCIDE. There are not always answers and there may not be questions on this side of reality. Live with where you are. Don’t overanalyze and most of all treat all kindly as with all that exists: you are us and we are you.

  • @bluerollinbeaver

    Thanks for saying that. I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought it looked odd. I guess most of the regulars rarely visit the home page and simply go from one blog post to the next on an ever-present NBL tab that gets plenty of F5/Reload love!

    @milendia, glad you submitted your comment. And glad you’re telling your children not to have any of their own. You’re going against the current. In the past couple of years, more young people have moved into my neighborhood in the SF Bay Area and I see so many more strollers in the park. I wonder what the future will bring these little ones. There’s enough suffering to go around today already.

  • Paul,

    My best friend and wife are going to go out and eat all the lobster tails we can stuff down the old gullet – much better than your piddling sex.

  • .
    It is relevant to all of us, because it forces us to think differently about ourselves. Human beings are bonding animals. We need to connect and love. The wisest sentence of the twentieth century was E.M. Forster’s — “only connect.” But we have created an environment and a culture that cut us off from connection, or offer only the parody of it offered by the Internet. This is a symptom of a deeper sickness in the way we live — constantly directing our gaze towards the next shiny object we should buy, rather than the human beings all around us.

    The writer George Monbiot has called this “the age of loneliness.” We have created human societies where it is easier for people to become cut off from all human connections than ever before. We need now to talk about social recovery — how we all recover, together, from the sickness of isolation that is sinking on us like a thick fog.

    But this new evidence isn’t just a challenge to us politically. It doesn’t just force us to change our minds. It forces us to change our hearts.
    .
    .,
    .
    Just sittin’ on this runaway train, staring out the window, with a cat on my lap.

    The Voluntary Extinction Movement
    Thou shalt not procreate.

    The Church of Euthanasia
    Save the planet, kill yourself.

  • My latest post includes a link to the livestream for tonight’s event. Catch it here.

  • Satish Musunuru Says:
    February 27th, 2015 at 2:28 am

    “@milendia, glad you submitted your comment. And glad you’re telling your children not to have any of their own. You’re going against the current. In the past couple of years, more young people have moved into my neighborhood in the SF Bay Area and I see so many more strollers in the park. I wonder what the future will bring these little ones. There’s enough suffering to go around today already.”

    I’d bet many of these young people work in hi tech, they think everything’s great, that the future is so bright you’ll need sunshades, shale revolution, alternative energy, blah, blah, blah,… Last Sunday CNN’s GPS host Fareed Zakaria (editor of Time, high ranking member of the Council on Foreign Relations) had on the chair of Cisco, who basically said the future is all about digitalizing everything, and then the author of “The Accidental Superpower,” who saw la future of limitless energy. There appears to be some sort of a consensus trance, a collective hallucination, in that world.

  • “The writer George Monbiot has called this “the age of loneliness.” We have created human societies where it is easier for people to become cut off from all human connections than ever before. We need now to talk about social recovery — how we all recover, together, from the sickness of isolation that is sinking on us like a thick fog.

    But this new evidence isn’t just a challenge to us politically. It doesn’t just force us to change our minds. It forces us to change our hearts.”

    Sounds nice, Pat. Especially about the hearts. And all the people fighting this, that or the other earth-killing monstrosity also need to connect between their issues. Isolation and separation are indeed deadly.

  • Shep, since the reservation period, suicide is epidemic among Native American, in particular the young people. Indigenous people have the highest rate of suicide in the nation.

    I have no knowledge of attitudes toward suicide among traditional peoples, with one exception, the Lakota. It is information I received in a very unusual way, and it concerns Leonard Peltier, who once wanted to do a fast to protest prison conditions, to the death if necessary.

    The traditional Medicine Men who related their view of such a fast was generally alone the following lines.

    Prior to the reservations, there was no precedent within the culture for suicide through fasting, or in general. Traditionally, if a person truly wished to die, there were many ways to die for one’s people or one’s honor, especially for a warrior.

    However, now is different. No person can tell another what to do; if it is one’s “sacred conviction” that suicide is the right path, then they respect that.

    On the other hand, they said, if the prisoners were upset because they were not allowed to have the trappings of their culture or religion, what are these things but accroutrements? The bars across the windows are the sacred willows . . . the tears on your brother’s cheeks are your medicine.

    They continued to ask, who suffers more for the people, the one who dies or the one who lives? They add that they were in prison, and these are the things they did to survive.

    And they signed it, “respectfully . . .”

    It is actually quite beautiful, especially when the elders tell the men to meet their spiritual needs spiritually(!).

    This is quite in keeping with my experience. I heard a lot of that growing up, about how “no one can tell another person what to do.” They were anarchists before anyone knew what anarchy was.

    They focus a lot on responsibility, and in one way or another say, “you poor thing,” a lot, or “tough,” whenever people complain about not having things. They don’t think people *need* much in life.

    And that is the short version of what I know.

    Thank you for asking.

  • My typing is a mess.

    Traditional Medicine Men answered Peltier’s questions about a death-fast along the following lines . . .

  • Jay Sama,

    I whole-heartedly agree with your assessment, “you are us and we are you.” We are all humans and it is a bond that should have the rich give more to the poor. It is the human bond that highlights our equality to any other human being. Our human equality based solely that the rich man is a human. the poor person is a human. And although we live in a totally messed up culture and world that defines and separates human from human, people from people by the mark of personal income levels, we will die. We are all just human blood, bones and bodies, no matter how much money you have.

    The problem of evil is hugely and almost exclusively underlined by man’s inhumanity to man. That problem of evil is seen in the ECONOMIC GENOCIDE to which you accurately refer.

    It is a social truth that those who do not speak up about evil and particularly social evil are guilty of complicity of that evil. The true ECONOMIC GENOCIDE you speak of and so vividly describe for the homeless and the poor among us is a social injustice that must be dealt with, if not by the humans then, I believe, by Heaven itself.

    That means there is a COSMIC JUSTICE which is trying to tell human man,
    “LOOK YOU ARE ALL BROTHERS. YOU ARE ALL EQUALLY HUMANS AND YOU ALL NEED TO CARE ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS TO THE WEAK AND THE UNABLE AMONG YOU.”

    Unfortunately THE MASSES OF AMERICA HAVE NOT LISTEN NOR HAVE THEY’VE BEEN MOVED AS A NATION WHO CLAIM TO BE DIVINELY LEAD UNDER A BANNER OF MANIFEST DESTINY. AND SINCE THIS HAS BEEN THE CASE FOR OUR SUPPOSEDLY EXCEPTIONAL COUNTRY AMERICA FROM ITS VERY FOUNDATION. A FOUNDATION OF MASS SLAUGHTER, MASS SLAVERY AND AGAIN AND AGAIN MASS INCARCERATION. HOW CAN COSMIC JUSTICE ESCAPE………….

    EXCEPTIONAL AMERICA.

    Dear Sam,
    The dire situation and living conditions you describe in your post take place nation-wide in our wealthy nation. I pray for some relief for them and before it is all over, maybe some economic justice.

  • Interesting Listen

  • @ Canoe Monster,

    Thanks, that was an “interesting listen.” However, it was poignantly amusing when, near the end, Ms. Thaller comments, “I have faith in people.” She and her colleagues must not “get out” much or are utterly oblivious to the preponderance of abject behaviors being perpetrated across the planet.

  • @ Canoe Monster,

    Thanks again with clarification following. Given the “text” in the links you provided gave me great pause before deciding to take a glance. Just scanning a few random sentences in the first 2 links made it clear that I didn’t “need/want” to read anymore such nonsense. However, just because I’m the curious type, I clicked on the “About…” icon and read…

    Dr. Mark Sircus, Ac., OMD, DM (P) (acupuncturist, doctor of oriental and pastoral medicine) is a prolific writer and author of some astounding medical and health-related books.

    Of course, this elicited enjoyably raucous laughter on my part so, again, thank you! 🙂

    Lastly, I concur completely that “we don’t have a chance” given what I just read in articles, essays and associated commentary everywhere!!! Moreover, the behaviors I witness outside my window and in my infrequent sojourns for necessities, as well as those exhibited in my view-screens, only serve to reinforce my conclusion of impending catastrophe. Life, no one gets out alive.