The Keys

The Keys

by Michael George Daniel, an activist, writer/musician/artist based in Connecticut. Daniel has an engineering background in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainability studies. He is a former president of the Earth Charter Community of the Lower Valley, and currently continues to seek a satisfying response to the distinct possibility of near-term extinction.

I’m intrigued by the question, “Are you on vacation?”

Umm. From what? Upper most in my mind is the Bruce Cockburn song, Lovers in a Dangerous Time. To be a lover at this time seems to have its particular challenges.

The word that comes to mind is ‘poignant’. It is a time of great poignancy. Perhaps I am confusing a natural sense of poignancy, of the mixing of the sweet and the sad, that comes with aging. But, I do consider it a fact that this time of my life coincides with the end of the Holocene period. Different scales, yes. Perhaps.

Out of all the perspectives one might explore about lifestyle, vacating one’s everyday life, or its relationship with the existential self or any life on the planet, maybe I could just start with that idea of scale because it is pivotal. I am most certainly halfway through my life span (ok, that’s a bit underestimated, but there may be karmic issue here that I’d like to skirt).

I’m sitting at a picnic table in the Florida Keys looking at the Bahia Honda Channel bridge; looking to the west into a light, but steady, westerly breeze. It shifted from its prevalent easterly character right after I managed to finagle a campsite here, this one literally and, reputedly, fortunate to be right on the water.

But that wind, it roared all night and the noise of the traffic on the bridge is nearly unbearable. Nonetheless, people clammer to get in here and I leapt at a chance after having to involve myself with an early morning ‘waiting’ list, which actually went smoothly and was kind of fun. People are really nice here, anyway.

Being involved in research like this, such as finding the very best places to hide out during New England winters, has its risks. Sometimes you spend way more money on something that is entirely unsatisfying; compared to, say, the night before when I slept in a dirt pull-off next to the water at a cost of nothing but the slight anxiety of the possibility of being rousted in the middle of the night. There I met two comrades in RVs doing similar ‘research’, though for what appears to be different reasons – and which I would bet ultimately are very similar reasons. There I didn’t feel nearly as alone as I have for most of this trip, and had perhaps the most satisfying experience out of the forty-two or so nights I’ve spent on the road so far.

Note, the excitement/anxiety of staying in a ‘wild’ place for no money is a huge reason why that was more satisfying than this campground. Last night, here on my expensive waterfront plot, as darkness fell, the lights in the site next door, occupied by a huge RV, came on; a neon palm tree, string lights around the footprint of the vehicle, two overhead floodlights on the side of the RV and a bright, one-foot diameter geodesic dome-like ball hanging on a stand under the tree separating our campsites.

Meanwhile, I had just read a posting at the entrance to the bathroom that said, ‘the Florida Keys are one of the best places in the USA to stargaze!’ As you may already know, I have become oriented to, and a fan of irony. The above is an example of the things you see and experience when irony becomes one of your lenses.

As I sat in my folding chair in the gathering darkness, I spotted the owner of the neighboring RV, jumped up, and as gracefully as I could introduced myself and gently asked, “when you retire at night, do you turn the outdoor lights out?” I was assured that he did. They did go out, just a few minutes before I decided it was time for me to sleep as well. Still, the stargazing was pretty good, washed by the sound of the tractor-trailer trucks speeding by on Route 1, shielding the left side of my face with my hand to block out the infiltrating light from next door, being buffeted by the strengthening westerly and the slapping chop at my feet. The good news is that I didn’t have to try to sleep with all that light coming through the thin walls of the tent.

All night long the wind howled so that you couldn’t barely tell the difference between it, that water hitting the rocks and the last few straggler trucks going by. I woke with this idea to write about ‘my vacation’ from a life that I continue to deeply question. Every moment seems to echo with the poignancy and the irony of that exploration.

I am a lover in a dangerous time. I have looked at the signs, read the science, felt the truth, at least what is true for me, studied the patterns and characteristics of the systems and institutions, proposed psychological explanations for larger trends based on my own research and, perhaps more importantly, my own experience, and decided that there is only one response to dangerous times and it is to live more deeply.

What does that mean, to live deeply, to live more deeply? Is it even a real thing, or just some thought – a concept. And what if it is just a concept, does it guide in a way that I would choose? To be a lover is to fall in love. It is to be willing to enter an experience of vulnerability that softens the boundaries of my perceived self so that I might commune with that which I love so much. I believe it is this life, this opportunity to choose, that I am seeking to love more deeply. The process that is implied is to exercise that capacity to choose and experience its relationship with this life, which can not be separated from the expression of life anywhere, neither on Earth nor elsewhere.

No, I’m not on vacation. I am here. Now. In the wind, sleeping on the ground. Being lonely, seeking companionship, breathing deeply, being cold, being hot, getting dirty and being so very grateful for hot showers. I am here with Dolly the dog, an awfully good companion.

I am here trying to sort out this deep desire for relationship that so easily and frequently gets cast as a search for a soul-mate, but which is so much more than that. I am subjected to a constant impulse to compensate for the lack of inherent collaboration in our free market system, you know, the one that is based on our so-called self-interest, and the nature of the culture that has developed around it. This need to compensate for that which is missing seems to undergird the partner ideal that so is so real and powerful. And, ironically, it is this ideal that is thus so energized that can both lead us forward toward its completion and undermine the real opportunities to connect that arise from time to time.

Everyone is alive. It is not horseshoes. You can not be more alive or less alive. Yet my experience has demonstrated that you can be more or less active in what you choose. If there is to be a new consciousness, driven by natural evolution and perhaps in response to dangerous times, I think it is this: to integrate all of the rational understandings we have developed to thrive in this culture, in the world as it is now, with a deeply felt sense of our own aliveness, our deepest values, are most profound desires. It means opening oneself up to the poignancy of feeling the brilliant joy of the breath, with the painful realization of its temporal-ness. To feel the bend in the arc of one’s lifespan, slip-sliding down the back side just as industrial civ slip-slides down the peak oil curve; to recognize that the end of your life appears very much to coincide with the end of the holocene, a geological epoch that spans 11,000 years and is characterized by an explosion of diverse life, but which has come to an abrupt end through human activity, the so-called ‘Anthropocene’.

It is impossible to rationally understand the relationship of these two scales, the human life-span and geological time. Maybe that is one of the problems with science, with politics, with the culture; that we aren’t able to understand this because the difference in scale is so vast. But, in the most quiet times, sitting in the fresh breeze by the turquoise water, or wherever you may find yourself, an understanding emerges that comes from somewhere other than the rational mind. It bubbles up from our felt-self and speaks clearly to us: there is only one response and that is to trust yourself, trust your instincts, trust your aliveness, and choose. Choose that which moves out from who you really are, from what you really cherish. And when your are moved to do something, check its genesis. If the system and culture are taking us over the brink and that next thing that moves you is something you were taught by that same system, perhaps there is an opportunity for the briefest pause in which we ask, ‘is my heart leading?’

Bruce Cockburn wrote, in Lovers in a Dangerous Time, ‘some days you’re waiting for the sky to fall, the next you’re dazzled by the beauty of it all.’  I believe that spells out this capacity to hold multiple perspectives that is a characteristic of an evolved consciousness. To move toward a lived experience of unity, of oneness consciousness, by appreciating the duality of the experience of living, the incredible poignancy, holding it all fully and deeply, and using that experience to shape the possibilities for our own lives and maybe – finding hope in hopelessness, the destiny of the species and life on the planet.

The resonant characteristics of the dominant systems are not fully controlling, but do hold a powerful inertia. Each of us has the power to step into a felt understanding of those aspects that are working and those that are not, and to choose. This is what it means for God to experience itself. It is an unfolding, and the choosing gets more profound, and simpler, all at the same time – as consciousness evolves and as we integrate the complex, symbolic thinking of the rational mind with felt reality. Check-in with your instincts. Hone your instincts, or, rather, hone your capacity to connect with and allow your instincts to shape the expression of your life. There is no answer to dangerous times, but there is the opportunity to choose a response and to be a better lover.

To reduce the risk of my ever-present tendency to write abstractly and with great generality; what seems perhaps overly philosophically and perhaps even a little obvious in the way that we already know all this stuff, just, perhaps, aren’t able to or haven’t chosen to say it out loud – I will try to be more specific. For me, this process and this journey seems to be about:

  • Working for money less
  • Offering whatever time and talent I have as a gift, when I can
  • Learning to accept gifts and generosity gracefully
  • Crying when I need to and encouraging laughter and play
  • Accepting and living with fears and anxiety that are related to living the life I choose
  • Moving away from fears and anxieties related to things I am not actively choosing to have in my life
  • Learning to balance so-called survival needs inside of our money-economy; working for enough money without shifting the emphasis from being in-charge of how much is enough to it being in charge of me
  • Being compassionate in all things, even those I disagree with or that disagree with me
  • Cultivating courage and gentleness together to better feel more, spend more time being, and choosing my doing with greater awareness and love

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McPherson was interviewed by Derrick Jensen for Resistance Radio. The interview took place 22 January 2015, and it was broadcast last night on the Progressive Radio Network. You’ll soon be able to catch it here.

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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.

Last week’s show included a long conversation with Michael Dowd. It’s archived here. Tomorrow’s show is hosted by Pauline Schneider.

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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.

22 February 2015, 4:00 p.m., Lippitt Auditorium, Room 402, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island, “Panel Discussion, Near-Term Human Extinction”

24 February 2015, 7:00 – 9:30 p.m., Spoonbill Books, 218 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, telephone 718.387.7322. Reading and signing books, with plenty of time for Q&A, wine, and cheese. Details here.

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.

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 51

  • When navel gazing, be sure to clean out the belly button lint.
    ————————————————————–
    Chimps kill, when a bad leader takes over, they kill more.
    Bonobos are chimp cousins, who are way more peaceful.
    Neanderthals — if you can’t fight ‘em, fuck ‘em, they didn’t kill themselves off.
    We believe in Life After Dearth because, we are smart enough to know we will die.
    Since we can’t function day-to-day knowing we’ll die,
    we have become crazy with a high degree of functionality.
    Indigenous tribal harmony is directly related to their ecological-energy balance.
    You don’t need too much energy or work to survive in equatorial regions.
    Whitey is fucked up because of the harshness of their ecological-energy heritage.
    Most PhDs are so specialized they have little to do with practical life. Knowing why ants always twitch to the left when they fart doesn’t necessarily qualify you solve humanity’s problems.
    There is no life after death because it makes zero sense.
    There are no multiple parallel universes.
    We cannot travel through black holes.
    Our planet has many unique characteristics for life to evolve.
    Most of the universe is too high energy for life to exist.

  • can someone explain how evolution did this?

  • I can relate to what is being sought by Michael George Daniel and his conclusions. As an avid journal writer, I know how difficult it is to capture what he is after with words, but also applaud his effort. Enjoyed the description of the trip very much! Agree without exception with the itemized list as to what the process and journey is about. Thank you for your effort, Michael George Daniel. I suspect we will both keep trying to improve our descriptions of these indescribable, perhaps, processes and journey as we continue along! I find the effort most helpful!

  • cells can’t see or feel, they float through life reacting chemically with their environment. how can neurons evolve randomly to resolve highly complex answers to external stimuli? no, i am not religious.

  • Robin Datta,

    February 15th, 2015 at 1:30 pm you wrote “Anarchy is the abjuration of initiating violence against non-violent non-compliers to coerce their compliance. It is the absence of ruleRs, not the absence of rules.”

    From the Wikipedia article, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchism : “Anarchism is a political philosophy that advocates stateless societies often defined as self-governed voluntary institutions, but that several authors have defined as more specific institutions based on non-hierarchical free associations. Anarchism holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, or harmful. While anti-statism is central, anarchism entails opposing authority or hierarchical organisation in the conduct of human relations, including, but not limited to, the state system.”

    You also wrote “Attachment – even the slightest trace of it – has to be eliminated if mortality is to be dealt with. That’s attachment theory from several millennia ago, and it is still valid today. And it does not In any way imply a wooden or stony demeanour.”

    It presently seems to me that most of our social and ecologically destructive behaviors do not come so much from the presence of rules, rulers, or hierarchy, all strongly inherent within our biology as nicely described in the Backer quote, but from THE NATURE OF those rules, rulers, and hierarchy within a given ecological context—especially how the rules and/or rulers manage their group’s population and their interactions with other groups of humans and other species in ecologically relevant ways. So, given their biological basis, it seems a bit naïve to me for people to suggest that because rules, rulers, and hierarchy often cause great social and ecological trouble we supposedly can, and should, do away with the rules, rulers, and/or hierarchy, which many anarchists suggest.

    It seems to me that far more likely than not cultural experiments that clash with our fundamental biological nature have failed, and will fail, because we find social hierarchy with related behavioral rules built deeply into our biology. It seems to me that flouting biological principles inherent within and between ourselves, whether these principles involve our strong tendencies toward hierarchy or for attachment to other humans, courts disaster just as surely as flouting the principles of physics. The work of Gottman, Johnson, and colleagues, appeals to me largely for this reason: it BUILDS ON our biology, including hierarchy, attachment, and emotion, versus avoiding our biology and/or denying its relevance.

  • Mr. Daniel: that was a great read and i’m glad you feel this way.

  • Inside my appartment, it is still warm. The medium strenght North West wind is infiltrating all the cracks of my precisely north west oriented third floor apt, on the corner of a street, in a 3 stories building. minus 35C outside, just outside the walls and windows of this old brick house. how derisory.

    the wind is not blowing as hard as predicted, but it is minus 35, just outside the wall. my sense of security, with my life and the lives of millions of neighbourgs minutes or hours away from death if we loose electricity, is very thin, very.

    With this scary wind and this bone chilling cold, i think about the trees who are about to start to break and fall big time, all around here. they are virtually already dead. within a few years, that’s for sure, they are gone. and they will fall on everything, from wires to people. and then, there will be no trees, anywhere on earth. I can’t figure out how we can survive the trees.

    and the storm does not let go in Nantucket
    while I tell myself my anthropocentric stories

  • “But, in the most quiet times, sitting in the fresh breeze by the turquoise water, or wherever you may find yourself, an understanding emerges that comes from somewhere other than the rational mind. It bubbles up from our felt-self and speaks clearly to us: there is only one response and that is to trust yourself, trust your instincts, trust your aliveness, and choose. Choose that which moves out from who you really are, from what you really cherish. And when your are moved to do something, check its genesis. If the system and culture are taking us over the brink and that next thing that moves you is something you were taught by that same system, perhaps there is an opportunity for the briefest pause in which we ask, ‘is my heart leading?’”

    Sounds good to me.

    Nice writing.

  • http://phys.org/news/2015-02-satellite-images-reveal-ocean-acidification.html

    Satellite images reveal ocean acidification from space

    [the conclusion leaves me speechless]

    “The development of the technology and the importance of monitoring ocean acidification are likely to support the development of further satellite sensors in the coming years.” [wtf?]

  • You sure nailed it with the reference to Bruce Cockburn’s amazingly apt & gorgeous ‘ Lovers…Dangerous Time ‘.

  • One of our new ESG members just sent this Chris Hedges speech to our group, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAo7ky1kq-Q&feature=player_embedded , titled “The Myth of Human Progress and the Collapse of Complex Societies”, a powerful, thought provoking, 53-minute speech indeed. We passed this around January of 2014—and it seems to me well worth another careful listen now. (At about the four minute mark, Hedges refers to the common response to cognitive dissonance, though he does not use that term. See the wonderful book, Mistakes Were Made, (but not by ME) by Tavris and Aronson for much more on this critical topic.)

    I think Hedges makes a misleading statement at 11-minutes with his reference to the 500-year-long human plundering. Though certainly turbocharged during the past 500 years, the processes did not begin then. They go back to our very beginnings as a species, fundamentally with our inability to control our populations within the ecological carrying capacities of the various land bases that we have occupied over at least 50 millennia. But many people have as much trouble integrating this idea as they do those of global heating with its abrupt climate change and the near certainty of near term human extinction. Why such difficulty integrating this idea? Probably mainly because of the utter lack of control it implies. The idea clashes severely with the naive, grandiose, arrogant, human supremacist idea that we presumably HAVE, or had, control over ourselves and our destiny. The idea that we did not, and do not, adds more layers of anxiety, and terror, to our sad and unfortunate predicament.

    At 12 minutes Hedges refers to “the hottest year”, 2010, now eclipsed by 2014. We will surely continue to have “hottest years on record” for many years to come, most likely until no more humans exist to notice and discuss such things. Here, he also refers to complex civilizations destroying themselves. True indeed, but he seems unaware that many earlier, simpler human societies did as well through warfare, genocide, and species extinctions as a result of their failures to manage their populations within the carrying capacities of their land bases and resulting conflict with other human populations. (In fairness, he does allude briefly to this evolutionary history at 14 min, 28 sec.) We were the most efficient killers on the planet long before industrial civilization, and long before we invented agriculture (reference made at 17 minutes). Again, many people strongly wish to avoid integrating this idea, and so they will easily avoid it with great success, because we can and will believe whatever we wish to believe irrespective of any evidence and reasoning to the contrary.

    At 29 min, 30 sec, Hedges refers to locking up people of color for years. Powerfully related to this, a few days ago I saw the movie, Black August, regarding the true story of Black Panther George Jackson, the founder of the Black Guerilla Family: an emotionally gut-wrenching must see movie in my opinion. Hedges: “The urban poor are in chains, and these chains are being readied for the rest of us.” “We only need one to five percent of the population actively working for the overthrow of this system to bring down the most ruthless totalitarian structures.” Note at 40 min, 30 sec that “before it’s too late” refers to before we have died, not to getting ourselves out of our self-annihilation trap, as so many wish to believe we can do.

    “Humanity must prey on itself, like monsters of the deep.” “I do not fight fascists because we will win. I fight fascists because they are fascists.”

  • “The resonant characteristics of the dominant systems are not fully controlling, but do hold a powerful inertia.”

    You got that right!

    http://www.sott.net/article/273517-Study-US-regime-has-killed-20-30-million-people-since-World-War-Two

  • I really wanted to say what a fine article you wrote, Michael. Enjoy those lonely times, the world will catch up with you soon enough!

    This is something I believe you’ll enjoy.

  • Michael, thanks for sharing a slice of your life’s experiences. You did a splendid job of writing here. Solitude must be good for you!

  • Kirk – cleaned up the extra link, hope you don’t mind!

  • Well spoken.

    I’m reminded of Samuel Johnson’s thought – not always true – but apt here:

    “Nothing concentrates a man’s mind like knowing he’s going to be hanged in the morning”.

  • More free space opened here once again for the exploiters, the dominators, the patriarchy. Why? Because it is biological, dude. We HAVE to be odious bores and behave exactly like stinking, brain dead, sadistic vampires and petty tyrants because it is BIOLOGICAL. Can’t you understand? Can’t you see? Why do you have to be such a delusional, inappropriately emotional, arrogant anthropocentric narcissist? Don’t you SEE?! I have no further sympathy for you or your unreasonable human supremacist ways. Be gone with ye misguided souls.

    And no, I still have not forgiven Saint Hedges for his ludicrous and destructive “Cancer in Occupy” BS. And no, he never apologized or acknowledged the misguided self-serving stupidity of that move so until he does, I won’t be forgiving him.

    Cheers

  • That bloody Hedges releases a video differing in a couple of points from the one,true,Bud-approved view of the world .Luckily,for us poor simpletons we have Bud here to set us back on the correct path.Thanks,Bud.
    There is just one thing I’m concerned about.Do we have to sit a test on which minute mark each particular point is made?

  • The problem with looking at the end effects of evolution (i.e., the products) and then seeing patterns and thinking of them as “rules” is a fallacy confusing cause and effect. The patterns are bottom up and need based—they arose and exist to satisfy some fitness criterion in the context of a particular environment and they’re consistent only in an average sense (there are always outliers). Change the conditions and the “rules” will change, in biology, and evolution takes the outliers as raw materials to graft the set of patterns. Not so much with human society these days. Anarchism is the right approach to human societal organisation that mimics what happens in biology. In all my simulations of complex systems that could be perpetuated arbitrarily, the systems that did well were the completely autonomous/anarchistic ones. But we haven’t learnt to govern ourselves in an autonomous or anarchistic manner, and it’s a limitation of the material world (i.e., we can cause physical violence to each other). The Internet actually is an innovation that allows for us to make decisions collectively and in an anarchistic manner, provided it is used for that purpose and not to further the top down patriarchal, colonial, imperial, etc. set ups that yield money, fame, and power to an elite.

    A while ago, I wrote that I never tend to ascribe to malice what can be ascribed to stupidity. I’d like to think that the top down structures we’ve set up are managed by people who don’t know what they’re doing, and thus we have all these mistakes. But when I see certain elites taken down or killed off by other elites, I wonder why it happens to them. Is it just bad luck, or is it more directed because they opposed the dominant agenda?

    I still tend to think it is due to ignorance and the nature of the capitalist economy. People working in Big Pharma companies I think would like to see a cure for cancer (say), but a true cure that could potentially cause the loss of their customers is not good for profit, and so there’s less collective incentive to go down that path. As a result, a cure is never found. I’ve witnessed these sorts of rationalisations all the time, by people who are “good”, when the motivation is money. VCs have explicitly stated this to me, ignorant of the bigger picture.

    I’m having some trouble with posting and seeing my comments…

  • @David Higham: Luckily,for us poor simpletons we have Bud here to set us back on the correct path.Thanks,Bud.

    >>>

    Yes indeed! Thanks, Bud – and thanks to Guy, too!

  • give this a quick listen:

    News In Two Minutes – Mystery Illness – Ceasefire Collapse – Agrichemicals – MERS

    http://cannonfire.blogspot.com/

    [beginning quote]

    The Russian anti-malware firm Kaspersky has verified what many have suspected: The NSA has found a way to hide spy programs in the firmware of your hard drives.

    The bad code is not on the platter — not even in the boot sector. It’s in the guts of the electronics built into the metal box encasing the platter. Even if you completely wipe the drive, the spy code is still there. No matter what you do, the malware says “Hello, Fort Meade!” every single time you turn on your system.

  • A development seems to be looming in the race between the tortoise and the hare … whether civilization will be taken out by nuke war or by climate change catastrophe.

    War propaganda is heating up so nuke war may be pulling ahead (The War Whores Ride The War Horse – 2).

    There is talk of the necessity for hundreds of thousands of troops on the ground along the coasts of Oilandia.

    It is neck and neck now.

  • !!! BREAKING NEWS !!!

    Leslie Gore Is Dead!

    Beloved songstress mourned, celebrated, by Doomer community.

    “It’s my party, and I’ll die if I want to”, says someone sagely, to no one else in particular.

  • another day, another feedback (going in the wrong direction)

    http://phys.org/news/2015-02-scientists-deep-ocean-evidence-atlantic-overturning.html

    Scientists find deep-ocean evidence for Atlantic overturning decline

    [couple quotes]

    A new study has found evidence from the deep ocean that the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation – a system of currents that brings warm water from the tropics to the North Atlantic region and keeps its climate more moderate – declined at the end of the last ice age.

    Results of the study have just been published in the open access journal Climate of the Past. It was supported by the National Science Foundation.

    “The current affects the biological pump and if you turn the current off, you reduce the pump and you have less productivity,” Schmittner said. “The system then pulls carbon dioxide from the deep ocean and it winds up in the atmosphere.”

    The researchers note that future global warming may again slow down the circulation because as surface waters warm, they become more buoyant and are less likely to sink – a key process to maintaining the system of currents in the Atlantic. The addition of fresh water from melting ice sheets may compound the slowdown. [read it all to connect the dots]

    meanwhile, elsewhere: [source JJFH blog]

    2015-02-15 – Bridge goes up in flames over the Vistula River in Warsaw (Poland):

    http://www.thenews.pl/1/9/Artykul/197254,Fire-damage-to-Lazienkowski-bridge-%E2%80%98greater-than-expected%E2%80%99

    2015-02-15 – Pickup truck and trailer burst into flame on I-65 in Maury County (Tennessee), barn burns almost simultaneously:

    Quote: “Around 2 p.m., a one-ton pickup truck pulling a construction trailer along I-65 North caught fire at mile marker 40. The high winds consumed the truck and trailer in flames, along with a 200 foot stretch of grass on the eastern side of I-65.”

    Quote: “Almost simultaneously, units were dispatched to the 3000 block Jim Warren Rd. in Spring Hill in response to a barn fire.”

    2015-02-15 – In separate incidents, two barns go up in flames within 14 minutes, at 2:57 AM and 3:11 AM, in Clovis (New Mexico)

    enjoy your day

  • Tom

    The population of Saudi Arabia has risen from around 4 million to around 32 million in my lifetime. Talk about rampant population overshoot!

    Methinks ‘they’ had better get working on propagating a virulent form of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and distribute it quickly. But ‘they’ would never do that, would ‘they’? ‘They’ far prefer mass starvation and war as a means of population reduction.

  • Dredd,

    I was just thinking about something similar. What if some really smart(but not quite smart enough) and powerful people can “see” that it’s game over, and they are motivated to save us some time and pitiful suffering by nuking the entire planet? Intuitively, I’d consider that scenario to be the most likely.

    Ram,

    Good to see you here again. I truly love much of what you discuss–randomness, wriggle room, trial and error, anarchism, bottom-up, and ignorance over evil-intent, etc.

    I find that my posts come up eventually

  • artleads Says:
    February 17th, 2015 at 11:49 am

    “Dredd,

    I was just thinking about something similar. What if some really smart(but not quite smart enough) and powerful people can “see” that it’s game over, and they are motivated to save us some time and pitiful suffering by nuking the entire planet? Intuitively, I’d consider that scenario to be the most likely.”
    ==========================================
    I would not be too surprised by that eventuality.

    The nuke ’em military doctrine is shifting to the Wolfowitz “we can win a first nuclear strike” doctrine.

    The culture’s leaders are psychopaths.

  • I wonder when it will be illegal to love?….or,”you are either with us or against us”, now it seems the slope has increased here in Canada!

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/anti-petroleum-movement-a-growing-security-threat-to-canada-rcmp-say/article23019252/

  • Well here’s the pot calling the kettle black.

    I always imagined ‘the clever ape’, twisted creature that it is, would turn to ‘geo-engineering’ a la Fantasia Micky Mouse style, to ‘remedy’ the global climate it fucked up in the first place with industrial civilization.

    The guilty always accuse everyone of doing what they in fact started, the US empire is that sad post child of multi-level manipiulation of finance, media, politics, culture and now the weather itself.

    From the linked article:

    “…Professor Robock told the callers that any attempts to meddle with the [global] weather on a large scale would be detectable…..

    …He added that the tension created by any large-scale meddling in the climate could escalate to such an extent that it would end in all-out war.”

    The Dr Strangelovian ‘elite leadership’ (cough-gag-cough) of US war criminals has decided to use weather as a weapon, fucked it up, and now knee-jerkingly accuses Russia of doing it. What a shock. The ‘Pathocracy’ is running out of ideas fast.

    Not only is nothing done to curb greenhouse emissions by the US, they now make it vastly worse with ham handed chimp like efforts to manipulate the weather.

    Forget Hacking – CIA Accuses Russia Of “Manipulating The World’s Weather”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-02-17/forget-hacking-cia-accuses-russia-manipulating-worlds-weather

  • Thanks, mo! You’re a classy guy, and I need all the help I can get!

  • Tom, I do respect the hypothesis that increased levels of methane will make fires more likely, but that doesn’t mean that every fire is the result of increased methane.

    Pick-up owners will pull too-heavy loads, and barns have gone up in flames since the beginning of barns. Hay decomposition generates heat, then you’ve got sketchy wiring (modern) and alternative heat/light sources (Mrs. O’Grady’s cow kicking over the lantern…). Just sayin’…

    Here’s a helpful list of things that can cause car fires. Valuable because (according to them) car fires are 20% of reported fires.
    http://auto.howstuffworks.com/car-driving-safety/accidents-hazardous-conditions/10-causes-of-car-fires.htm#page=8

    I would be really interested in data, which I’m sure someone has, on the rate of car fires per vehicle mile travelled (although that could be influenced by the age of the car fleet) or the incidence of house/barn fires (although that could be influenced by things like the price of oil.. people using more space heaters).. You know what I mean, though.. if you could demonstrate that -say- 10 year old cars are catching fire at a constantly greater rate year over year.. that would be pretty interesting.

  • @Dredd, when “leaders” express religious imperatives on top of it… all bets are off.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/oct/07/iraq.usa

    http://gawker.com/ex-u-s-general-jesus-is-returning-to-earth-with-an-ar-1526260312

    An individual like GWB? I’d say it’s a cynical ploy.. but does it really matter? Religion has always been an excuse for doing what you wanted to do anyway, from a power perspective.. (I indicated earlier I view it as a technology). Want to clear out some annoying females? Accuse them of witchery.. that’s part of Orlov’s “communities that abide” formula….

    It’s clear that it behooves some people to inflame religious tensions, Christian/Muslim in particular atm.. but you know.. Bosnians/Serbs works. Tutsi/Hutu works.

    Anything can work when a population is stressed enough and needs to hive off but there’s no where to hive off TO. That is a major structural difference between the hunter-gatherer past and the Full Earth present and future: there’s no place left to go to escape conflict.

  • Alfie Kohn on Human Nature. Found while working on an Ed project. Applies, but will definitely not be approved©. Even mentions Rousseau. wow

    “Human Nature arguments are profoundly conservative arguments masquerading as realism. It is a way of silencing dissent. That is the way Human Nature arguments historically have been used – and not by accident.”

    “The reporters said: ‘Call us back when you find a gene for war.'”

    Leon Eisenberg 1972: “Pessimism about man serves to maintain the status quo. It is a luxury for the affluent. A sop to the guilt of the politically inactive. A comfort for those who continue to enjoy the amenities of privilege.”

    Just to advise, on my mobile “device”, I am not picking up any Captcha function, so I can’t post-it using mobile. And post-its are also being delayed a minute or two before appearing on the server. Cheers

  • thank you for the tech note input, Wester. this kind of report is always *very* appreciated!

    confirmed – mobile view captcha (and posting) is not working. the workaround right now is to switch to desktop view on mobile. this posting will work (as well as any of the posting is working right now…)

    Tech Note: as observed, there may be delays with comments appearing on the blog. all posts are getting through, but many are wrongly spam flagged. they *will* be seen and approved as soon as I or Guy is logged in and sees them.

    I am working on cleaning all this up, and getting things back in proper working order. there are a few knots to untangle first…

    many thanks for your ongoing patience!

    ~mo

  • The “Request Desktop Site” in Safari IOS 8.02x does not work with NBL.

    The latest modification to the URL needed to bring up the desktop is

    /?/&fdx_switcher=desktop

    https://guymcpherson.com/2015/02/title-of-blog-post/?/&fdx_switcher=desktop

    or in the case of a comment,

    https://guymcpherson.com/2015/02/tItle-of-blog-post/?/&fdx_switcher=desktop#comment-123456

    This URL has to be pasted into the address bar with the browser displaying the correspoding mobile page on the iPhone 5.

    A pox upon the person who put the mobile-desktop icon at the bottom of the page, making it inaccessible sans an almost interminable scroll. And at the top of the mobile version is a line of icons for a load of male bovine faecal material.

    Is there a way for the mobile version to be disabled at the server? Or for the individual user to permanently opt out of mobile on a mobile device?

  • ClubOrlov
    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

    Dmitry Orlov
    Extinct—Extincter—Extinctest

  • Dahr Jamail:

    “Are We Off the Climate Precipice?”

    from Fairhaven College, WWUon Vimeo.

  • Hi Lidia, and thanks for your thoughtful response. i went down that road too, but the evidence is just overwhelming that atmospheric methane and hydrogen sulfide are blowing around and setting off home explosions, fires of all kinds (including piles of scrap metal, porches, vehicles, and killing people and animals). It’s been documented too (every one of these is a news story) – there was a huge cloud of H2S that blew into both Moscow and Kuwait City; there was another toxic cloud that sent thousands of people screaming and puking in coastal Rayong; 22 students smelled something weird and then dropped unconscious at an outdoor stadium; an entire heard of Saiga antelope were found dead; too many deep-water species are found floating on the surface these days; too many simultaneous vehicle and boat fires while they’re parked and unattended; cars and trucks bursting into flame while being driven – even brand new ones; multiple people dropping dead and foaming at the mouth; erratic human and animal behavior that isn’t otherwise explainable, and on and on. These are the stories that the authorities say they have no explanations for – and nobody is checking on H2S levels so one can only surmise and eliminate other causes.

    Vacant homes and other buildings are regularly exploding all over the place – with no gas or electric service, some burn two or three times even after they’ve been gutted. Planes are regularly having problems with landing gears and fires that they didn’t seem to have a few years back – and the incidents are increasing. People go for walks and go fishing only to turn up dead – an ex Navy seal, a linebacker for a pro football team, too many college students to name – how are they dropping dead when they’ve been checked for drugs and none are found, no signs of trauma, just ordinary people that suddenly keel over, many of them in the prime of their lives. Many drivers of cars, buses and trucks are having “medical episodes” now and crashing, not to mention all the ones with brake failures and tires bursting into flame, or the many people that just decide to drive into a lake and are found dead.

    i’m not here to argue or convince anyone of anything – ignore it all! i’m just reporting things that are happening for which we don’t get explanations. It’s hard to provide proof when the people in charge aren’t even checking on volatile atmospheric gases. i find it interesting, you and Dredd remain skeptical. That’s fine, but these events happen every day, all over the world and the authorities don’t have easy explanations. This hypothesis explains a lot, but it’s only a conjecture. At least think about it.

    i only post the more interesting ones from time to time, but there’s a whole list every day at that site. Check it out, converse with Jonny about it, read the hypothesis. Or not. i enjoy your and Dredd’s comments and thoughts regardless of how you feel about this or UFO’s.

    kevin: Yes, the death machine isn’t keeping up just yet, but it’s only getting worse by the day. Sooner or later we’ll experience a pandemic, mass starvation, toxic clouds of smog and other poisons, war, habitat collapse and the rest (including economic collapse and social chaos).

    This is bad enough, but there are others (some related) affecting our environment:

    http://enenews.com/magazine-fukushima-catastrophe-changed-world-worst-nuclear-accident-history-like-having-chernobyls-poisoned-entire-landscapes-centuries-study-fukushima-overwhelms-peak-radioactivity-atmospheric-bom

    Magazine: ‘Fukushima catastrophe changed the world’; Worst nuclear accident in history, like two Chernobyls; ‘Poisoned entire landscapes for centuries’ — Study: Fukushima ‘overwhelms’ the peak radioactivity from nuclear bomb testing in ice core samples; ‘Affected the global environment’

    http://phys.org/news/2015-02-scientists-deep-ocean-evidence-atlantic-overturning.html

    Scientists find deep-ocean evidence for Atlantic overturning decline

    [quote]

    “The current affects the biological pump and if you turn the current off, you reduce the pump and you have less productivity,” Schmittner said. “The system then pulls carbon dioxide from the deep ocean and it winds up in the atmosphere.”

  • Mr Nye,
    Here we go again…you said:

    “Though certainly turbocharged during the past 500 years, the processes did not begin then. They go back to our very beginnings as a species, fundamentally with our inability to control our populations within the ecological carrying capacities of the various land bases that we have occupied over at least 50 millennia. But many people have as much trouble integrating this idea as they do those of global heating with its abrupt climate change and the near certainty of near term human extinction.”

    First of all, they do not go back to our very beginnings as a species. My opinion differs to yours. Please stop stating opinion as fact. Prior to approximately 10,000-12,000 years ago population was quite stable according to the evidence (;)-prolonged breast feeding, menstrual taboo and infanticide perhaps (note the use of “perhaps”).

    A neat sleight of hand in trying to link your opinion with the fact of climate change and possible NTE. Your opinion is not integrated by a number of people because they disagree with it not because it is a fact that needs to be integrated.

    You seem to have extreme difficulty in integrating the possibility, even probability, that other opinions besides your own might be worth considering hence the constant repetition of your standpoint. Here is something that may interest you. It is a short essay regarding Keeley and the later work by Raymond C Kelly, “Warless societies and the origin of war”, which i’m sure you have read?

    A short excerpt:

    “In 2000, Raymond Kelly published a re-examination of the evidence and argued that war had originated very late in the evolution of the species and the human world had been warless for countless milennia before that. In other words, the pre-civilised past was, indeed, warless. Though it seemingly represented a challenge to his own argument, Keeley greeted the book as “important,interesting,plausible” and “fascinating reading”. He did not dismiss its claims, even though they might be seen as antithetical to his own”.

    http://www.unl.edu/rhames/monk-review-kelly-keeley.pdf

  • @Michael George Daniel

    Thanks for your sharing your observations. You picked a great moment in time to be vacationing in The Keys. It’s winter wonderland and then some up here in New England. Ayuh.

  • I’ve posted the latest episode of Edge of Extinction. Catch it here.

  • Ed,

    Isn’t it lucky that “die” rhymes with “cry”!

    Otherwise your puerile statement about “It’s my Party” wouldn’t work so well.

    Well done, you’re a poet and you didn’t know it!

    What are you going to do, cry or die? Don’t tell me.

  • @red fox: You [Bud]seem to have extreme difficulty in integrating the possibility, even probability, that other opinions besides your own might be worth considering hence the constant repetition of your standpoint.

    >>>

    From my own reading and interpretation, this is exactly why Scott Johnson kicked Bud to the curb over on Fractal Planet. Not that I agree with Scott’s position, but I would do the same thing to someone behaving like Bud in a long standing and well functioning group I support.

    But this isn’t just Bud’s issue, I’d say. It’s descriptive of a lot of the conversation and rhetoric here on NBL, starting with the site owner’s.

    Somewhere deep in the NBL archive is a discussion of whether there’s some Asperger’s Syndrome in play here, in the way many people talk AT others rather than WITH others.

    And the fascinating thing about it, is that when others call the person out who is acting this way, they just can’t see it. They’re in deep and typically self-righteous denial.

    I’m not sure about the clinical diagnosis, but it is all an interesting micro example of the problems we have communicating in the macro environment we’re currently destroying.

    Pimpin’ ain’t easy!

  • Robin –

    “The “Request Desktop Site” in Safari IOS 8.02x does not work with NBL.”

    I just tested this last night, and again now – works fine, going both directions.

    (using the icon you mention on the bottom left of mobile view, seen when all the way scrolled down, below comment box – with the double arrows between desktop screen icon and mobile screen).

    using iPhone 6 and latest iOS version. any other reports are appreciated.

    “A pox upon the person who put the mobile-desktop icon at the bottom of the page”

    yes this is kind of weird. I will look at changing this ASAP.

    “And at the top of the mobile version is a line of icons for a load of male bovine faecal material.”

    not sure we should be dragging the bovines into all of this… but what is the problem with the icons here? one for Home, one for links to the rest of the site, then categories (actually this icon is pointless), search and contact form? I honestly don’t see the problem, except for the categories icon, but feel free to elaborate.

    “Or for the individual user to permanently opt out of mobile on a mobile device?”

    will check into this. thanks, Robin!

  • Dmitry Orlov
    Extinct—Extincter—Extinctest

    I guess the above is the direct link to what’s quoted within the following talk:

    “Human Nature arguments are profoundly conservative arguments masquerading as realism. It is a way of silencing dissent. That is the way Human Nature arguments historically have been used – and not by accident.”

    “The reporters said: ‘Call us back when you find a gene for war.’”

    Leon Eisenberg 1972: “Pessimism about man serves to maintain the status quo. It is a luxury for the affluent. A sop to the guilt of the politically inactive. A comfort for those who continue to enjoy the amenities of privilege.”

  • “Prior to approximately 10,000-12,000 years ago population was quite stable according to the evidence (;)-prolonged breast feeding, menstrual taboo and infanticide perhaps (note the use of “perhaps”).”

    also over 50% infant mortality
    perhaps??

  • “But, in the most quiet times, sitting in the fresh breeze by the turquoise water, or wherever you may find yourself, an understanding emerges that comes from somewhere other than the rational mind. It bubbles up from our felt-self and speaks clearly to us: there is only one response and that is to trust yourself, trust your instincts, trust your aliveness, and choose. Choose that which moves out from who you really are, from what you really cherish. And when your are moved to do something, check its genesis. If the system and culture are taking us over the brink and that next thing that moves you is something you were taught by that same system, perhaps there is an opportunity for the briefest pause in which we ask, ‘is my heart leading?’”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAOOF48Duy8