Integrating Attachment Theory with ESGs

Integrating Attachment Theory with ESGs

by Bud Nye

In my Proposed Model For Near Term Human Extinction Support Group (ESG) Functioning recently posted at NBL, among a number of other things I outlined the nature of Attachment Theory. Here, I describe how I see Attachment Theory relating directly to the emotional implications of Near Term Human Extinction (NTHE) thus making it relevant and appropriate as a foundation and focus for ESGs in helping people cope emotionally with collapse.

When researchers ask clients about the basis of happy, long-term relationships, people inevitably answer with one word: love. Similarly, Guy McPherson often ends his presentations with an emphasis on love. But what does this love look like in relationships and how do we best intervene? Attachment theory, applied to both childhood and adult relationships, provides a coherent, relevant, well-researched, clinically proven framework for understanding and intervening in love relationships.

The ten tenants of attachment theory and how they relate to NTHE and ESGs include:

  1. Attachment works as an innate motivating force. Seeking and maintaining contact with significant others, including other species and Earth’s biosphere, works as an innate, primary motivating principle in human beings across the life span. Innate means not established by conditioning or learning. It means present at birth, but not necessarily through heredity; it may occur during fetal development. In other words, dependency, often treated as a pathology in our culture, occurs as a biologically fundamental, innate part of human thinking, feeling, and behavior rather than as a childhood trait that we presumably outgrow. The innate nature of attachment may clash in some important ways with some people’s strongly held religious or philosophical beliefs that define attachment as a form of human weakness or pathology. Meanwhile, this biologically based theoretical perspective claims considerable cross-cultural validity, it links to the evolution of humans as social animals, and it offers a universal perspective. Attachment and the emotions associated with it serve as the defining core feature of close relationships—including our relationship with the planet that produced and supports us. As such, attachment lies “at the heart of the matter” for ESGs in that we find the fear of alienation, isolation, and loss in every human heart. When the winds of loss and isolation blow, they sting the eyes of all, and especially so with the prospect of NTHE.
  2. Secure dependence complements According to attachment theory, no such thing as complete independence from other people, other species, or the biosphere exists, nor does overdependence. Instead, we have only varying degrees of effective or ineffective dependency. Secure dependence on other people and the biological world fosters a healthy sense of autonomy and self-confidence. Secure dependence and autonomy then work as two sides of the same coin, rather than as dichotomies. The more securely connected we find ourselves to others and the biosphere, the more separate and different in healthy ways we can become. Health in this model means maintaining a sense of interdependency, rather than considering oneself as self-sufficient, disconnected, and separate from other people, other species, and/or Earth’s biosphere.
  3. Attachment offers an essential safe haven. Contact with other people, other species, and the biosphere works as an innate survival mechanism. The presence of attachment figures, which usually means parents, children, spouses, and lovers, but also includes friends, other species, and the biosphere, provides comfort and security. The perceived inaccessibility of such figures creates distress. Proximity to these others relaxes the nervous system and serves as a natural antidote to the inevitable anxieties and vulnerabilities of life and death. This proves especially important given the extremely high probability of NTHE. For people of all ages, positive attachments create a safe haven that offers a buffer against the effects of stress and uncertainty. Note that this safe haven effect occurs despite the fact that we will eventually lose those others through death.
  4. Attachment offers a secure base. Secure attachment also provides a secure base from which people can explore their universe and respond most adaptively to their environment. Importantly for the purposes of an ESG, the presence of such a base encourages exploration and a cognitive openness to new information. It promotes the confidence necessary to risk, learn, and continually update models of self, others, and the world, thus facilitating adjustment to new contexts, including NTHE. Secure attachment, perhaps including involvement with an ESG, strengthens the ability to stand back and reflect on oneself, one’s behavior, one’s mental and emotional states, and the meanings one might construct for their life. When relationships offer a sense of felt security, including relationships with other species and the biosphere as can occur in ESGs, people find themselves better able to reach out to and provide support for others, and better able to deal with conflict and stress in more positive ways. This seems especially important in the face of ecological collapse and the high probability of NTHE. ESGs can help provide a secure emotional connection with some others, a connection that offers a safe haven and a secure base, including other species and the biosphere. With this secure base people then tend to find relationships happier, more stable, and more satisfying.
  5. Emotional accessibility and responsiveness build bonds. In general, emotion activates and organizes attachment behaviors. More specifically, emotional accessibility and responsiveness compose the building blocks of secure bonds with other people, other species, and the biosphere. We can find attachment figures physically present but emotionally absent, and separation distress results from one’s concluding that an attachment figure will always remain inaccessible. Emotional engagement proves crucial, along with the trust that we will find that engagement available when needed. In attachment terms, any response from an attachment figure, even an angry one, works better than none. With no engagement, no emotional responsiveness, the attachment figure says “Your signals do not matter, and we have no connection between us.” Emotion remains central to attachment, and this theory provides a guide for understanding and normalizing many of the extreme emotions that accompany distressed relationships with other people, other species, and with our relationship to Earth’s biosphere. Our strongest emotions arise from and seem to have the most impact on our attachment relationships. Emotions tell us and communicate to others our motivations and needs; they serve as the music of the attachment dance.
  6. Fear and uncertainty activate attachment needs. When people find themselves threatened, either by traumatic events, the negative aspects of everyday life such as stress or illness, by any assault on the security of the attachment bond itself, or by the threat of NTHE, powerful emotions arise and attachment needs for comfort and connection become particularly important and compelling. Attachment behaviors, such as seeking closeness with other people, other species, and Earth’s biosphere become activated. A sense of connection with a loved one serves as a primary, inbuilt emotional regulation device. Attachment to key others, including other people, other species, and Earth itself, serves as our primary protection against feelings of helplessness and meaninglessness.
  7. We find the process of separation distress predictable. If attachment behaviors fail to evoke comforting responsiveness and contact from attachment figures, a process of angry protest, clinging, depression, and despair occurs, ending eventually in detachment. Depression works as a natural response to loss of connection to other people, other species, and the biosphere. In secure relationships, people recognize and accept protest in the face of inaccessibility of connection. Emotionally focused ESG group participants see the basic dramas of distress, such as demand-withdraw cycles, as variations on the theme of separation distress. Meanwhile, these dramas will surely become increasingly common as global heating with its associated abrupt climate change, ecological, and nuclear collapse continue at an ever-increasing rate.
  8. We can identify a finite number of insecure forms of engagement. Attachment responses seem to organize along two dimensions: anxiety and avoidance.

    Anxiety: When we find the connection with an irreplaceable other threatened but not yet severed, for example as most of us presently experience related to ecological collapse, our attachment system may become hyperactivated or go into overdrive. Between humans, attachment behaviors become heightened and intense as anxious clinging, pursuit, and even aggressive attempts to control and obtain a response from the loved one escalate. From this perspective, most criticism, blaming, and emotionally loaded demands in distressed relationships occur as attempts to deal with and resolve attachment hurts and fears. Similarly, when one acknowledges the coming loss of support from Earth’s biosphere, they may cling, pursue, and make aggressive attempts to control and obtain a desired response from the loved environment. Thus some people wish for geoengineering to reverse the ecological collapse processes, or proactive destruction of the present global industrial civilization in hopes of controlling the beloved attachment figure.

    Avoidance: When hope for responsiveness becomes tenuous, the second strategy for dealing with the lack of safe emotional engagement involves attempting to deactivate the attachment system and suppress attachment needs. The most commonly observed ways of doing this involve focusing obsessively on tasks and limiting and avoiding attempts at emotional engagement with attachment figures that might have distressing consequences. We often see this strategy in some well-known religious and philosophical responses as well as among people generally.

    These two basic strategies, anxious preoccupied clinging and detached avoidance, can develop into habitual styles of intimate engagement with others, including other people, other species, and Earth’s biosphere. Angry criticism, viewed through this attachment lens, most often occurs as an attempt to change the other partner’s inaccessibility, and as a protest response to isolation and perceived abandonment. We may see avoidant withdrawal as an attempt to contain the interaction and regulate fears of rejection and to confirm fears about the unlovable nature of oneself.

    A third identified insecure attachment strategy involves a combination of seeking closeness and then fearful avoidance of closeness following its offer. This strategy occurs with chaotic and traumatic attachments where others at the same time serve as both the source of and solution to abandonment fear. Called “disorganized” or “fearful avoidant” in the childhood and adult literature, we see this disorganization reflected by industrial society as a whole toward Earth’s biosphere where many people wish to protect it while others destroy it.

    Experimental separations and reunions with mothers and infants first allowed identification of the anxious and avoidant strategies. Researchers subsequently identified infants as securely attached, anxiously attached, or avoidantly attached. Later research has shown that anxiously attached adults seem to experience separation from their attachment figure as a catastrophe that parallels death, while more secure adults remain more open to new information and can reverse beliefs in relationships as well as seek reassurance more effectively. Anxious partners remain more prone to expressing strong anger, whereas avoidant people seem to experience and express intense hostility and to attribute this hostility to others. Avoidant partners also tend to feel hostile when others express distress or seek support. Research suggests that avoidant partners can have good social skills in general but avoid seeking or giving support when attachment needs arise in them or their partners. In general, anxiety and avoidance foster a rigid, hypervigilant attitude to novelty and uncertainty, and equating letting one’s guard down with helplessness. New relationships can modify these insecure habitual forms of engagement, but they can also mold current relationships and thus can easily become self-perpetuating. Consider the probable implications of these strategies for participants in ESGs as they acknowledge and face ecological collapse and probable NTHE.

  9. Attachment involves working models of self and other. We define ourselves in the context of our most intimate relationships, including our relationships with other people, other species, and with Earth’s biosphere. As stated above, attachment strategies reflect ways of processing and dealing with emotion. Unfortunately, for most industrially civilized people today attachment does not include other species and Earth’s biosphere. We find secure attachment characterized by a working model of self as lovable and cared for, confident, and competent. Research has found secure attachment associated with a stronger sense of self-efficacy. Securely attached people who believe others will respond when needed also tend to have working models of others as dependable and meriting trust. These models of self and other grow out of thousands of interactions over one’s lifetime and become expectations and biases that carry forward into new relationships. They do not work as one-dimensional cognitive outlines, but as process scripts for how to create relatedness as well as ways of processing attachment information. These models we construct through experience all involve goals, beliefs, and attachment strategies, and all heavily infused with emotion. We form, elaborate, maintain, and most important for ESG participants, change these models through emotional communication with other people and other life forms on Earth. Once ESG participants step beyond their denial and angry protests, for example, they often begin to disclose fears about their own lovableness, their “worth”, and meaning within the drama of life and death on Earth of themselves, of all humans, and possibly of all life on Earth.
  10. Isolation and loss have inherently traumatizing effects. It proves important to recognize that attachment theory remains essentially a theory of trauma. Attachment theory describes and explains the trauma of deprivation, loss, rejection, and abandonment by those we need the most and the enormous impact it has on us. These traumatic stressors have tremendous impact on personality formation and on a person’s ability to deal with other stresses in life. When someone has confidence in the availability of a loved one, including other species and Earth’s biosphere when needed, in general they will have much less intense and shorter lasting fear than will a person who has no such confidence. An ESG can help provide participants develop such needed relationships. As a theory of trauma, attachment theory specifically helps us to understand the weight behind emotional hurts such as rejection, perceived abandonment by, or loss of a loved one, or, certainly, the prospect of NTHE. With the annihilation trap we have created through global heating and its abrupt climate change, ecological and nuclear collapse, we will soon find ourselves overwhelmed by loss of loved ones including Earth’s biosphere. Indeed, a large percentage of people feel overwhelmed just by the thought of what we can easily see, with near certainty, coming soon. Distressed ESG participants dealing with a sense of traumatic helplessness made much worse by isolation and loss related to insecure attachment with other people, other species, and/or Earth’s biosphere tend to adopt stances of fight, flight, or freeze that characterize responses to traumatic stress.

For much well written supporting detail concerning how ESG participants can use this attachment theory in helping each other in their meetings I strongly recommend reading Susan Johnson’s book, The Practice of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy, 2nd Ed, 2004. If anyone has any questions or wants information concerning the Tacoma ESG, you can email me at

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 39

  • We form, elaborate, maintain, and most important for ESG participants, change these models through emotional communication with other people and other life forms on Earth. Once ESG participants step beyond their denial and angry protests, for example, they often begin to disclose fears about their own lovableness, their “worth”, and meaning within the drama of life and death on Earth of themselves, of all humans, and possibly of all life on Earth.” – Bud Nye

    Thanks Bud.

    The book “Being Mortal” points out that we Americans are statistically most likely to have an operation, a surgery, in the last week of our lives.

    Yet officials do not have that same view of our civilization (Civilization Is Now On Suicide Watch – 6).

    Maybe that is because Toynbee said civilization does not die of natural causes, so, unless it commits suicide it tends to live in perpetuity.

    Toynbee then points out that, of the many civilizations he studied, the overwhelming majority committed suicide.

    The other few were murdered.

  • infanttyrone;

    Titus and I’m Whitey is the best summary of US that I have ever seen.

    I do not know where u get this stuff but please NEVER stop. Do Not forsake NBL.

  • one shu fits all
    great stuff

    Pinky And The Brain
    Paying half a trillion per year to protect Israeli-Saudi Arabia even when the biggest financial housing bubble in human history pops in China, and Greece squeals like a pig in Europe while U.S. mercs kill Russian-Ukrainians, is hardly indicative of power sharing and divestment to save the future. It may come, but — the whole financial system is set to collapse… again. The seven good years are up.
    Here we go!

    Just picture me as Mr. Burns rubbing my palms together, but in reverse, because this time it will affect the rich for a change and then I can take over the whole earth with my new world carbon currency to plant charcoal and food. Most important peak foods already occurred just before 2010. Remember the Depression? We ain’t seen nuthin yet.

    All this is just part of my plan to control the world. Food-water shortages and financial collapse are just the beginning. Lay down your cards.
    You can call me Lucifer.

  • shep,

    Glad you appreciated it. If I had had to bet a mobster’s pile of cash (with gruesome consequences for losing), I would have bet on you to like it.

    I just hope some of the others here weren’t so put off by parts of it that they couldn’t lighten/loosen up and hear the parts that were true (at least the two of us seem to think so…we’ll see if anyone reacts differently…but at least with the current glitches in the website I don’t have to worry about a tsunami of negative reviews coming in the next couple of minutes).

    Oh, and if you thought Titus was funny, just wait until you click on the link at the bottom of this post. Not politically insightful in any way, but if you don’t laugh a lot & cry at least a little, ya might need one or two prosthetic arms, because one or both of yer humerus bones are MIA.
    Bud Nye,

    I hope your ESG works well. You are obviously a sincere person, and I wish you the best in educating and then comforting the congregants there.
    It takes a strong person to face the end of life as we know it in Tacoma.
    I was in Seattle 1977-1987, and I won’t mention the two-word Tacoma rhyme.

    But, seriously – for me at least, your prose has a slow, plodding quality that made it difficult to get through without taking a number of 1-minute breaks.
    I recognized one problem in your composition (meaning I realized upon reading it that *I* was having a negative reaction to it). After finishing the entire piece, top to bottom & no scrolling past or scanning a single word, I went back and scanned for the problem and will document it here for you.

    In Section Two, you used the phrase “other people, other species, or the biosphere” and you used it again, nearly exactly the same, at the end of that section. In Section Five, you used the same phrase another two times. And it shows up once more in each of Sections 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. At various other points in your essay you use “other people and the biosphere” and “other species and the biosphere”. There are a few more variants on this phrase that occur, but I did not tally them, as the preceding instances were enough.

    Maybe there is something about writing according to the strictures of e-prime that makes you sort of immune to the effects of this much pure repetition.
    I am only familiar with it after reading a tiny bit about it based on a recommendation by Robert Anton Wilson, all of whose writings I enjoyed.
    But maybe having a mental filter always “on” to detect “to be” and all of its variations has an impact on one’s writing style. I have no doubt that Wilson practiced writing without using that verb. But I don’t recall encountering e-prime in any of his published works.

    I’ll presume to channel Bob here and recommend that you: loosen up yourself, lively up your text, and for goodness’ sake, score a thesaurus. “Other species” could have been replaced by “plants & animals” or “other life forms” or “flora and fauna” or even “other biological organisms” at any of the nine places where you used “other people, other species, and the biosphere”. I will be the first to admit that substitutes for “other people” and “the biosphere” are not as readily available in large numbers. But saying “fellow humans” or “Earth” in a couple places instead of “other people” and “biosphere” would have made reading it a lot easier.

    I’m going to post a clip that hopefully will make you and others laugh.
    The basis of the comedy is repetition. Please don’t think I am making fun of your repetition. The idea I want to get across is that *sometimes* repetition can work for you or me or anyone. Good luck up there in Tacoma.

    NOTE: Please do not listen to this clip (there’s no video per se) while you are in the process of ingesting food. I wouldn’t even have food anywhere near me when I listen to it, for fear of the exuberant exhalation accompanying the laughter contaminating the food on a nearby plate with micro-droplets of saliva. Y’all dun been warned…don’t send any dunning posts asking for compensation for your ruined grilled-cheese sandwiches.

    What’s new, Pussycat?

    Be careful about using any of those scientists mentioned in this sketch as sources in your updates. They’re probably just an artistic device, but in these days of academia as a big business, they might be real.

  • Thank you Bud Nye for your interesting, thought provoking essay.
    It made me wonder whether attachment issues could also be related to physical detachment from our own biosphere.
    Almost 1/3 of births in america are cesarean. These infants are start life in the outside world without the benefit of the microbiome package, delivered to the baby in the birth canal, unique to each woman, and handed down the maternal line since ‘the beginning’. These infants also miss the actual Journey down the birth canal, the physical and psychological implications of which have not even been studied. This article by Michael Pollan addresses the first issue:
    Lack of breast feeding offers yet another layer of separation from the living net of life we occupy.

    For a bit of clarity on what’s actually happening in Greece and the Ukraine, I will try to post a video link (rather than the big box) by Paul Craig Roberts:


  • Robert Callaghan,

    When you do take over the world will some of us be required to adopt your set of sexual proclivities ?
    Or will making extra bio-char buy us some sort of indulgence ?
    Not knocking your kink…just trying to get a sense of what might be in store.

    Come now, you gotta know what this is gonna be…doncha?

  • infanttyrone,

    Thanks for your thought-full comments and suggestions! I consider your points valid, right on target, and I will edit the essay related to those points before sending it to anyone else. No, nothing about writing in E-Prime produced the repetition; just my failure to notice the problem and failure to have someone else read it before I sent it to Guy. Another reader would have probably noticed it and pointed it our as you did.

  • Infanttyrone,

    Now, how the hell did you get the impression that I am a one trick pony.

    BTW, u ought to post the *I’m Whitey* to the big Mo’ WAF.

    Also, BTW, I heard this yesterday: “If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t trying to get ahead!

    See. My second trick pony.

  • Satish Musunuru (+ Sabine and Ram Samudrala),

    Thanks for your long February 8th, 2015 at 6:07 pm comment under the prior essay! I do think that in an important way you have misunderstood my motives for expressing my concerns about the verbally abusive writing that has so often occurred here as well as some of the things I have written. My concerns do not involve my personal responses to ad homimen attacks made on me, but rather the poisoning effects of them on all of us generally, including the quality of the dialog. It seems to me that much more often than not, ad homimen and other verbally abusive attacks serve mainly as a crude way for a writer to distract readers from an argument or to change the subject, usually by attempting to “hook” the receiver emotionally, which, far more often than not, works extremely well. Besides that, of course, the attacks do also sometimes cause great trouble emotionally for the recipient. (Perhaps Guy has become totally immune to such attacks over the years, but I doubt it.)

    You wrote, “I’d ask you to consider if your predicament has anything to do with your oft-stated position on emotional humans being inferior to rational humans. You make a rather stark distinction there. You even associate emotion with insanity. Rational, reasoning, logical humans seem to be of a superior kind in your view. And you bemoan the fact that we humans are instead emotional and insane animals.”

    Here you have very badly misunderstood me in a number of ways: (1) I have never thought, nor intended to imply that emotional humans have inferiority in comparison with more rational humans. In fact, I know quite well that various lines of research demonstrate the opposite: that humans without emotions due to brain trauma or disease have very poor judgment, and those born that way display the classic signs of psychopathy and live as extremely destructive people.

    (2) I have never meant for anyone to infer that I “associate emotion with insanity”, nor that “Rational, reasoning, logical humans seem to be of a superior kind….” (For one thing, insanity can have little or nothing to do with emotion.) On the other hand, in agreement with the famous clinical psychologist, Albert Ellis, I have stated a number of different times that humans exist as highly emotional, fundamentally irrational animals. In retrospect I can see how you and/or others might misunderstand my views on this. Perhaps this will help: The point involves both a matter of misunderstanding in popular thinking and balance. Most people, most of the time today think of humans as highly rational, then they find it difficult to understand our extremely common, highly emotional, irrational thinking and behaving that often proves highly self- and other-destructive. But we actually function with the other emphasis: we exist first and foremost—naturally and easily—as highly emotional animals that think and behave rationally only with great effort in comparison with how easily we respond with strong emotions (just as ad hominem attacks usually intend). In distinct contrast with thinking rationally, we very easily become self- and other-destructively overly-emotional. And, yes, we can, through trauma, genetic predisposition, or strong learning, also become over-rational and under-emotional. Meanwhile, we function most happily and productively with an appropriate balance between the two. But as a general summary statement using the words that Albert Ellis so often used, “Humans are fucking nuts!” As an empirical “test” of this psychologically sophisticated claim, I suggest that one look honestly at oneself and at the people around them. Look honestly at the patterns you see and experience. I hope this clarifies these points.

    Of COURSE I exist as an emotional person, and “there is nothing wrong with being emotional”! Of course, also, people read much “between the lines”, sometimes accurately, and sometimes inaccurately. Reading involves exactly that: a person constructing their knowledge, a “story”, based on the perceived symbols. I do not see that as any kind of liability, but instead as a necessity inherent in the reading (or listening) process. For sure, body language, tone of voice, phrasing, and so on account for far more of the meaning of a communication than the words alone do: somewhere around 70%. Do people sometimes “gang up” against me? In some cases it seems pretty clear that they do—and I bother myself about that only rarely, mildly, and for short periods of time. Do others sometimes empathize with me? Yes, which I, like most people, greatly appreciate. I may have this wrong, but I think I usually notice that when it happens. Meanwhile, I expect that I probably cry quite a bit more often than most American men, perhaps especially more than old former Marines. I also expect that I probably smile and laugh a good bit more often that average as well. What prompts these last two points? Largely observing many people while doing an awful lot of social dancing over about 20 years, but also from comments friends have made in response to suggestions they hear from others that I supposedly feel little emotion: “What! They sure don’t know you!”

    In what for me seems an important way I disagree with your statement that “If you really feel some people here are being unfair and others won’t do anything about it, explore that feeling. That’s an emotion to probe into.” I disagree because I consider it important to discriminate clearly between thinking and feeling, which few people do today. Far more often than not when people write or say “I feel…” they actually mean “I think…” and not grasping the fundamental and important difference between the two processes: thinking vs. feeling. Because, clearly, you referred to thinking, and not feelings or emotions, I would agree with you if you had written: “If you really think that some people here are being unfair and others won’t do anything about it, explore those thoughts. Those are thoughts well worth probing.” How can we quickly and easily distinguish between thinking and feeling? Thoughts usually require many words to describe while emotions usually need only one or two words as in “I feel:” “happy”, or “very angry”, or “surprised”, and so on. But to respond to your point, again, my concerns lie with the negative general effects of the abusive verbal behavior, not with any “unfairness” toward me. I simply prefer a “safe”, respectful commenting environment over one full of narcissistic, adolescent (or childish) name calling and personal attacks. But, no, I have not, and will not, upset myself over not getting my way about this. And, yes, I may well continue to rub people’s faces in their shit when they do that here, when I want to (unless Guy tells me to stop doing that).

    No apologies at all needed. You do not seem presumptuous at all, and I appreciate the opportunity to clarify some things that seem important to me at least, if not also to some others. Thanks to all three of you for your thought provoking comments.

  • shep,
    Not sure if yer joshin’ me on the pony thing.
    I didn’t have no such thought in mind at any time.

    But in case it was a subtle request for some equine tunes…here’s one well known and one sleeper I discovered years ago on YT (amazed it’s still up).

    Pretty well-known pony song

    This should be about a filly from Philly, but it’s a Motown-area group.
    Maybe she’s wild because she eats MoPar Power Pellets from Purina

    Let’s see if Dr. Datta’s tech will tolerate that hard carriage return.
    If it starts WW3 instead, well, sorry if it immanentizes the eschaton. (RAW)

  • One arrives all alone, without even a name. One leaves all alone, and leaves even one’s name behind. For the realised one, all attachments dissipate before their severance one’s perforce at departure: at its root effected by dissipation of the sense of “I”, and its distinction from the “not-I”. Neither attraction nor aversion modulate rational anticipation in motivating one’s actions.

    All great ideals and ideologies arise from values (long-term) and emotions (short-term). Intellection plays a secondary role.

    Any program that retains even a wisp of an attachment does not prepare one for one’s exit.

  • Bud Nye says: “Attachment Theory”


    For dealing with doomer dismay,
    There’s options from Freud to AA,
    Which sure sounds very nice,
    But despite all advice,
    You still have to find your own way.

  • Bud, Deconstructed

    Bud’s musings can get kind of thick
    With psych theories and that sort of schtick.
    The “too long, don’t read”
    Is a quite simple creed:
    Just don’t behave like a dick.

  • infanttyrone,

    Thank you for the “I’m Whitey” clip.

    When I saw it, my first reaction was “oh, they are having fun with the apology. Gimme some Carlin”. Then it occurred to me that there’s a place for a comedic apology in the scheme of things. There are many who can muster this but can’t stomach Carlin. It’s a matter of degree. Of intensity.

    I need to apologize too… my ancestors indulged in Civilization for 5,000 years and separated themselves from Mother Nature and built cities and empires.

    From the back cover of “Native Wisdom for White Minds” by Anne Wilson Schaef:

    “You don’t have to be white to have a white mind.

    What is a white mind? As Anne Wilson Schaef learned during her travels throughout the world among Native Peoples, anyone raised in modern Western society or by Western culture can have a white mind. White minds are trapped in a closed system of thinking that sees life in black and white, either/or terms; they are hierarchical and mechanistic; they see nature as a force to be tamed and people as objects to be controlled with no regard for the future.”

    Western society and Western culture might as well be replaced by Civilization in general.

    The trouble with apologies is they are sometimes expected to be followed up by action. “If you’re so apologetic, why don’t you quit your way of life?” There’s a place for an apologetic state of mind in the scheme of things. And there’s a place for action when the time’s right. It need not be either/or.

  • Robin Datta,

    “Never been to Australia, but as Spencer Wells has shown, about 50,000 years ago the first humans out of Africa, following the coastline that led them to Australia, left their identifying genes in South India in a Negroid race that are now called the Dravidians, to which belonged my mother and half of my genome. So the Australian aborigines are my umpteenth cousins – but for that matter, so are all Homo “whatever you label them” and even all living beings.”

    Fellow Dravidian here. The Australian Aborigines and South Indians do look alike.

    Just watched The Men of the Fifth World I doubt they ate sea turtles and stingrays 500 years ago. They didn’t have motorboats either back then :)

  • Yes Benjamin!

    Well said, you Do have to find your own way.

    It’s one of the most important things you can learn and experience in life.

    That said, I couldn’t live without the love and affection of other beings, and for me, that includes the familiar land around me, my living environment to which I’m “naturally” attached, even without knowing about any theory. That’s what I call living and feeling, when you “experience” without the need to explain. Explanation has its place, of course but must always dissect and reduce. It cannot do anything else. To me, this doesn’t work well when dealing with social subjects which are by their very nature totally unpredictable. As soon as you establish a theory against which to test, you take individuality away, reduce your explained subject to a mean and end up with statistics, not life. In a way, you’ve killed it, at the very least made it static.
    To me, the concept of social sciences are a misnomer and should still be social studies. Remember that’s what we used to call them? The word study just implies learning about something, not necessarily coming up with theories against which to measure life. That’s fine in physics, it works well, as we all know. So physics IS a science.

    I never get that “social sciences” concept, my mind can’t grasp it because my experience tells me otherwise.

    But, of course, we’re all individuals, and I’m nor a scientist. So, if social “theories” actually help people, that’s good. I have no argument with that. I just experience our world differently.

  • We are by and large ‘attached’ to the this rock, and those here.
    Letting go is always going to be All’ of it.
    Just sayin’,

  • Arrogance of Humanism alert:

    The National Academy of Sciences, in a just published 2-volume report, says it is time to study and do small scale tests of atmospheric solar radiation management to combat global warming.

    As reported in the AP article, the NAS “said the concept should not be acted upon immediately because it is too risky, but it should be studied and perhaps tested outdoors in small projects.”

    Of course, like all science genies, it will be tested by various do-gooder someones (institutional and/or governmental) and, as our predicament (abrupt climate chaos extinction) becomes more obvious, it will be more than just “tested” as a last ditch effort to save — I can hear it now — the PLANET!

    All dissenting voices will be drowned out in the ensuing clamor to DO SOMETHING to — of course — SAVE OURSELVES!

    Stay tuned for more lunacy to follow in the daze ahead.

  • Thanks, Sabine!

    ed, I admire Bud’s extensive detailed proposal based on attachment theory. If I had the energy and thought it would help, I could write a book comparing theories of psychology and the pros and cons of adopting each of them to deal with doom. (Or if somebody is interested in writing such a book, I think I could provide helpful input.) Personally, I prefer something simpler, like AA, as a model (there are several 12 step formulations for accepting doom around the innertubes), but it’s all good.

    I have been to one of Guy’s presentations (in Hayward, CA), and I don’t know how it could be done any better.

  • @BtD: ed, I admire Bud’s extensive detailed proposal based on attachment theory. If I had the energy and thought it would help, I could write a book comparing theories of psychology and the pros and cons of adopting each of them to deal with doom. (Or if somebody is interested in writing such a book, I think I could provide helpful input.) Personally, I prefer something simpler, like AA, as a model (there are several 12 step formulations for accepting doom around the innertubes), but it’s all good.


    Yeah, the TL;DR for AA is also “Just don’t behave like a dick”.

    Keep it simple.
    One day at a time.
    Live and let live.
    Easy does it.
    Let go and let Dog…and so on.

  • I this sums up the political situation right now pretty well

  • “it is time to study and do small scale tests of atmospheric solar radiation management”

    Large-scale, world-wide “testing” has been going on for decades. It can readily be observed directly overhead on many days, and the results so far are no more encouraging than is the clandestine nature of the program. is a good place to start if the subject is of interest.

  • Some here will probably have an interest in this 18 min TED talk by Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting, on lying, truth, and trust: sent to me by one of our Tacoma ESG group members, April. For much more on many of the principles Meyer bases her talk on, see Paul Ekman’s book, Emotions Revealed, Recognizing Faces and Feelings To Improve Communication and Emotional Life (2003). Ekman’s work revolutionized our understanding of emotions, especially the universal nature of seven fundamental emotions across all cultures. Also see Dacher Keltner’s book Born To Be Good, The Science of a Meaningful Life (2009). Keltner worked closely with Paul Ekman.

  • **we find the fear of alienation, isolation, and loss in every human heart.**

    Yup – and folks who make their living combating **child abuse** find it in every home. And folks who make their living **counseling** about *bullies* -find *bullies* everywhere. Pharmaceutical companies find *mental illness** is epidemic – grief counselors find **grief** overwhelming the masses.

    Folks don*t even know when they*re victims – and never would guess — until a new age professional explains their **victimhood** to them.

    EST – Oprah*s secret – TM – Tony Robbins – Scientology – I’m OK you’re OK – Men are from Mars, Women from Venus — Any crock of shit someone can dream up so more fools can rush in. And all this bullshit and a buck gets me a bus ride downtown.

    And our hubris drags us deeper into the abyss.

  • Infanttyrone,

    That was my pathetic attempt at self-deprecating humor!
    I’ve got to remember that I cannot keep up with you.

    I’m known all over the internet one who always brings up the racist viewpoint because I have seen it lived everyday all day & night long in the Confederate South.

    And I enjoyed the clip more than I can tell you because it is sooooooo true and most people will not admit to oppressing races.

    For Whites, with few exception, it’s always someone else and they ALWAYS say NO to reparations because THEY didn’t have anything to do with it, although, they are participating in real time.

    See, I can’t stop talking about it.

  • Bob S.,

    Among other related things in your February 11th, 2015 at 11:53 am comment you wrote, “EST – Oprah*s secret – TM – Tony Robbins – Scientology – I’m OK you’re OK – Men are from Mars, Women from Venus — Any crock of shit someone can dream up so more fools can rush in. And all this bullshit and a buck gets me a bus ride downtown.”

    Here you strongly suggest that all knowledge remains equally unreliable and little more than “Any crock of shit…” No differences in quality or reliability of knowledge exist? Everything Guy presents, and everything you say also amounts to little more than “Any crock of shit…”? No appreciable difference or differences exist between pseudoscience, popular psychology, peer reviewed natural science, and various people’s opinions no matter what their education or life experience? To me, at least, you SEEM strongly to imply exactly this with your comment here. Of course I strongly disagree with this blatantly anti-intellectual idea. Meanwhile, I wonder how much of John Gottman, Susan Johnson, and other colleague’s research, or just plain basic psychology, you have actually read. Let me guess: You have not read any of that and you feel certain that you do not need to because YOU have “special knowledge” of The Truth about how the universe, and people within it, Really Work, and we find people like Gottman and Johnson just hacks producing little more of value than so much shit, in comparison with your God-like omniscience. But please correct me where I may have misunderstood you yet again.

  • Civilization is the root of all evil.
    We should return to the wild. Kill nothing. Eat only that which falls from the trees. Sleep on the ground. Drink from the river. Plant no crops, build no cities.

    I will give a brief statement describing what a civilization actually is:

    A band of people with the seven characteristics:
    1.centralized government, 2. Agricultural intensification, 3. Specialization in occupation, 4. Class structure, 5. Merchants and trade, 6. Development of science and writing, 7. And State of religion.

    Centralized government – enforces rules, laws and regulations on your life. Destroys all hope for freedom. Laws are only needed in a civilization where panicy, stupid, and fearful masses of people thrive.

    Specialization occupation – creates the need for money… Enough said.. Money is evil in its ultimate form. Money is greed, corruption, evil, war, caution, death and destruction all in one word.

    Class structure – This separates everyone in a class, putting certain people on a higher level than others. This separation of people creates distress among the masses, and ultimately creates racism. It abandons any sense of equality.

    In a civilization, a sense of purity and unacceptance occurs. Usually there is one ultimate group of people that control everything. This leads to genocide, and conflicting war with people around them. The people of the civilization think they are the chosen ones and think nothing of the people around them.

    A civilization also holds a greater number of people. This leads to a great rate of consumption and destruction of everything they need to sustain their mass.

    Therefore, helping people become responsible, acceptable and productive members of civilization is only fueling the flames that will eventually destroy us all. The best we can do is limit our consumption – do not aspire to own things – live simply. Do not have children.

  • Tom Says:
    February 10th, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Smiley Face in Deep Space Captured by Hubble Telescope
    “The five stages of denial: first, second, third, fourth, and last.” – Dredd


    Climate scientist: Climate hacking is ‘barking mad’


    Some years ago, in the question-and-answer session after a lecture at the American Geophysical Union, I described certain geoengineering proposals as “barking mad.” The remark went rather viral in the geoengineering community. The climate-hacking proposals I was referring to were schemes that attempt to cancel out some of the effects of human-caused global warming by squirting various substances into the atmosphere that would reflect more sunlight back to space. Schemes that were lovingly called “solar radiation management” by geoengineering boosters. Earlier I had referred to the perilous state such schemes would put our Earth into as being analogous to the fate of poor Damocles, cowering under a sword precariously suspended by a single thread.

    This week, the National Research Council (NRC) is releasing a report on climate engineering that deals with exactly those proposals I found most terrifying. The report even recommends the creation of a research program addressing these proposals. I am a co-author of this report. Does this mean I’ve had a change of heart?


    The nearly two years’ worth of reading and animated discussions that went into this study have convinced me more than ever that the idea of “fixing” the climate by hacking the Earth’s reflection of sunlight is wildly, utterly, howlingly barking mad. In fact, though the report is couched in language more nuanced than what I myself would prefer, there is really nothing in it that is inconsistent with my earlier appraisals.

  • La vida es una lucha y nada buena venir facil.

    Mis amigos, yo estoy euforico para relatar resultados excellentes en el proyecto de amplificacion de la reserva de flora y funa en Andes, Antioquia, Colombia (se llama La Reserva Natural El Loro Amarillo Oido). Yo estoy muy agradecido a ustedes por su continuando palabras de apoyar. De aqui, movemos a Rio Claro a solucinar algos asuntos en La Reserva Natural TiTi. Finalmente, debemos viajar al departamento Guaviare para continuar nuestro trabajar en la expansion de la reserva aca.

    Cunado me llego a los estados, me proporcionare ustedes con un informe completo incluyendo fotos.


    Edwin Esneider Vargas Alvarado, Director Ejecutivo de
    F. Friedrich Kling, Director de
    Conservacion Colombia

  • Sabine,

    “Explanation has its place, of course but must always dissect and reduce. It cannot do anything else. To me, this doesn’t work well when dealing with social subjects which are by their very nature totally unpredictable. As soon as you establish a theory against which to test, you take individuality away, reduce your explained subject to a mean and end up with statistics, not life. In a way, you’ve killed it, at the very least made it static.”

    Well said… statistics is the language of the rulers. Living entities are reduced to resources in the eyes of the control-seeking ruling classes. This is the only way they can “manage” large numbers of entities, be it people or animals or trees or rocks. When I hear folks here in the tech world cite stats to back up their theses, I say to myself, “you’re talking the language of the rulers”. And it makes sense, educated people are schooled to think like and think for the elites.

    The Nazis used IBM machines to tabulate and store details of their victims. They paid extreme attention to details too. Statistics and data help in the “othering” process.

    “To me, the concept of social sciences are a misnomer and should still be social studies. Remember that’s what we used to call them? The word study just implies learning about something, not necessarily coming up with theories against which to measure life. That’s fine in physics, it works well, as we all know. So physics IS a science.

    I never get that “social sciences” concept, my mind can’t grasp it because my experience tells me otherwise.”

    This is something I rant about all the time… F.A. Hayek warned us about this decades ago. I wrote about it here

    Unfortunately, here in America, the emphasis is on preparing the next generation with a strong dose of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). They’re teaching computer programming to first graders. I know people who look at the human body as a machine. I can only imagine what the next generation of doctors might say. “Err… Did you say pain? I don’t see it on my screen. Stop imagining it. Your body doesn’t lie to my pain sensors.”

    Bud Nye,

    Thanks for the essay. I can relate to what you say about anxiety and avoidance as responses to insecure forms of attachment.

    Also, thanks for clarifying in response to my earlier post. With your essay and your response, I see you differently than I did before. I don’t see such a distinction between thinking and feeling as you describe though. But I’m going to think it over. And feel my way through it as well :)

  • I must admit, the older I become, the more confused I seem to be.

    Recently I was bombarded with the idea that **I am charlie** a reference to Charles Hebdo. Every front page headline proclaimed *world leaders rush to paris* to link arms with the outraged masses in a worldwide show of support for **free speech**. Millions celebrated in support of the violent, demeaning, degrading, hurtful, hateful images and text published by Charles Hebdo. Hero’s we were told. Died standing for the highest values civilization offers **free speech**. Hip, hip, hurrah.

    Then here I am on the internet with folks who say if you hurt someone’s feelings, you are a violent abusive bully. Noooo. I am charlie. Hero of the unspoken. Beacon of light to the world.

    But it’s more complicated than that – we need to combine just the right words with just the right meaning in just the right order and everything will make sense. Honest. They did a study. Now they know. Just what is and isn’t so.

  • more lunacy to follow in the daze ahead
    – i’m so pissed i didn’t say that, but will shamelessly steal it.

  • thought turd
    James Hansen wants you to get 100% of your carbon taxes back, the Rockefellers want some.
    General Electric and Westinghouse own nuclear/renewable energy.
    They will tear earth apart along with Monsanto to sell you perishable, part-time mineral energy commodities.
    Food is the renting of minerals and energy, we are just water, minerals and energy.
    It is literally impossible to continually replace for 9 billion people limited mineral commodities as perishable, intermittent, energy. Recycling their alloys is dirtier and uses more energy than mining for them does. All humanity is already post-peak food in several major categories. Post peak water is here now. Post peak energy and minerals is soon. Financial collapse is first. You were told house prices will go up forever and now you are told solar-wind energy is forever. We have to pay for it. Nuclear waste won’t clean up itself. We are in an emissions-depletion-extinction free-fall. Splitting into renewable vs. nuclear opposition prevents action to save our life on earth.

  • Tom, I get your position, and pretty much agree. But in the end, when all is said and done sand the inevitable becomes reality, what do we have to lose? Just curious????

  • I have a wonderful conversation with Paul Ehrlich a couple days ago. The edited result is posted here.

  • Hello Jean. Guy has made it clear through presentations and cited peer-reviewed papers that geo-engineering is what got us into this mess (everything from industrial civilization polluting every aspect of the biosphere to man-made radiation) and that it would probably not help or actually make matters worse (in that whatever is attempted could likely shorten, perhaps severely, any remaining time we may have). Add to that at least one survey revealing that most people don’t want anyone “hacking” the climate.

    There was a flap a while back concerning the “lack of evidence” of what came to be known as chem-trails. The evidence is clearly all the crap spewing out of airplanes, cars, trucks, boats, and the like, but specifically some cited evidence that at least our air force has been trying to ‘weaponize’ the weather for quite a while now.

    We certainly don’t need any more of that and should just stop all our attempts to be ‘masters of the universe’ when we clearly aren’t in control of our own fate at this point.