For Those Who Still Refuse to Accept the Impending Demise of Humans

I’m frequently disparaged by relatively wealthy, Caucasian men who cannot think for themselves. It turns out to be a stunningly large proportion of the demographic. The line they trot out, time after time, is that I do not explain how a rapid rise in global-average temperature will cause human extinction.

Allow me, yet again, to explain with small words and short sentences. I doubt it’ll help, but I’m giving it one more try.

The genus Homo has occupied the planet for about 2.8 million years. We’ve never had humans at 3.3 C or higher above baseline in the past (baseline = beginning of the industrial revolution, commonly accepted as 1750).

Even when the genus Homo was present at relatively high global-average temperatures, the rise in temperature paled in comparison to the contemporary rate of change. Even the Wall Street Journal realizes it’s too late to mitigate. Well, of course it is: The rate of evolution trails the rate of climate change by a factor of 10,000, according to a paper in the August 2013 issue of Ecology Letters.

And that’s based on the relatively slow rate of change so far. It fails to take into account abrupt climate change, which has begun only within the last few years.

Plants cannot keep up with the rate of change. So they die. For those without the slightest clue about biology, this seems to be a technical problem to which we’ll simply design a technical solution. Not so fast, engineers. The living planet is not merely a complex set of cogs to which we can apply wrenches and screwdrivers. Evolutionary change requires random mutations and subsequent heritability. Alas, there is no time for multi-generational adaptation to a rapidly changing physical environment.

Without plants, there is no habitat for the genus Homo. Without plants, our species has no food. Never mind the lack of water for Earth’s current human occupants. Never mind the early deaths of millions of people due to ongoing climate change. After all, the techno-fantasies of the engineers include the ability to create potable water with “free energy.”

Starvation lurks.

Even if we could manage to move plants from one area to another, don’t expect the plants to thrive unless we move the soil, too. And the rich array of organisms within the soil. And the relatively stable weather system with which the plants evolved.

Whoops, too late. The weather is too weird. The soils are too interactively alive.

We’re human animals. As with every other animal on the planet, we need habitat to survive. Once the habitat is gone, we won’t last long. But, immersed in abject misery, every moment will seem to last forever.

Forever is a long time. Especially toward the end.

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Catch McPherson on the radio in Chico, California Wednesday, 11 March 2015. It’ll air on the internet too. Details and the connection can be found here.

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I’m traveling, and will be less available than usual. Please display patience when waiting for comments to be posted. Also, please don’t leave comments that suggest you’re an unkind person. It only makes you seem like an ass.
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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.

Mike takes the helm this week. He’ll engage Ted Silk and Maggie Silk in an extensive conversation about their rural existence at Tournesol Farms.

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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, 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, Chico CARD Center, 545 Valambrosa Avenue, Chico, California
13 March: 8:30 – 10:00 p.m. workshop part I
14 March: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. workshop part II, Chico Peace and Justice Center, 526 Broadway

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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

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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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 132

  • Guy: excellent explanation.

    But one thing you should know. Your first sentence isn’t totally accurate. One of the biggest disparagers of your thinking in my area (Berkeley/Oakland/San Francisco) is a black militant who says forecasts of near-term extinction due to climate disaster or resources shortages such as peak oil are white academics who are panicked at the thought of the coming ascendancy of people of color and their demands for a short of the world’s material wealth which they deserve too, long enjoyed by white people.

  • MIT predicts global mean surface temperature increase ranges from 1.6–2.6°C by 2050 (relative to the 1901–1950 mean), and 3.3–5.6°C by 2100.

  • Jeff,

    How do you know that Guy is not “I’m frequently disparaged by relatively wealthy, Caucasian men who cannot think for themselves.”?

  • Please overlook the “I’m”.

  • The declining EROEI of fossil fuel extraction and the collapse of the actual quantity of liquid fuels available to complex societies, along with the meltdown of Ponzi economics, will ensure the rapid extinction of ‘relatively wealthy, Caucasian men who cannot think for themselves’.

  • Jeff S–
    Similar pot-stirring in NYC. As the Occupy movement limps along on life support, one corner is composed of angry people who accuse everyone not fully invested in the Eric Garner protests of being uncaring about racial issues. So if you show up to climate protests and organizing but you don’t get involved in the Black Lives Matter movement, you’re disparaged as a white dilettante (code word for racist). There’s a protest overload issue going on, and those of us who believe that NTHE is going on are a very lonely cutting edge. I’ve already been blown off by family and other activists–even some of my hyper-lefty friends are dismissing the climate issues as some super-secret plot by George Soros to control the world. With the discourse so toxic, it’s not surprising that denialists feel safe behind their heroes.

  • Guy, I will only once again say that I appreciate you hanging in there. However, I suspect that academia prepared you for the onslaught. The destruction of the dominant culture does not stop with the environment, since it begins in their minds. This culture is destructive everywhere, especially to those who don’t conform.

    And really especially to those who tell the truth. This is a very, very religious culture, even when it doesn’t believe in spirituality. Whatever the One True God is, be it science or innovation or entitlement, you can bet that people in this culture think they have the OTG.

    If most people really understood just a little of world history, they would learn that much that white European Western culture claims to have “discovered,” or “invented,” is not true. Native Americans were the first to observe genetic dominance in plants and to hybridize them purposely. But ask a white guy, and he’ll tell you Mendel did it. This is very common, especially with regard to “discoveries” in the “new world.” They didn’t just take the land for themselves, they assumed all human virtue and achievement, too.

    It is an entirely psychotic and destructive way of being in the world. How can humans believe they don’t need a vibrant, healthy environment, or that they can “fix” what they have destroyed?

    A friend of mine in Canada mentioned this recently, http://russgeorge.net/2015/02/27/seagulls-starving-at-sea-on-west-coast/

    windows person, I don’t have anything to debate about the methane. I don’t think the WP article is credible. Maybe that’s why people discuss other things, because we aren’t debating that issue.

    Queenie, I appreciate your posts and your outrage.

    Tyler, I have been paying attention to this issue for several years, and I’ve intuited that it was coming since I was young. I don’t think the MIT predictions, like all the other changes that are now happening 80 years soon than previously believed, are paying attention to the whole of all that is happening.

    Bless the poor animals everywhere.

  • Guy,

    Once again, explained so simply but again not easy for most members of the species homo – no matter what colour or culture, male or female – to “get” or grasp.

    You don’t really need a background in biology to understand this conundrum, just awareness, perspective and the willingness and imagination to connect with life – then insight should come.But that’s too tedious a path for most of our contemporaries, wherever they live on this still beautiful Earth.
    How could all these “busy” people make time to gather information, to connect and see for themselves? They’ve “got a life” in the human-made world, busy, busy, busy… For how long?….
    Sometimes I just want to scream!

    What else can you do but repeat yourself. For you,that’s part of your life of excellence. Please don’t stop.
    I hate the over-used word “hero”, now a pale and weak cliché. Nonetheless, you are one.

  • Great information as usual. But….why the attacks on the gender of a specific racial group (i.e White males)? Are you saying that African, Asian, Polynesian men are at the forefront of understanding the science of NTHE and enthusiastically greet you and engage in meaningful discussion of the science in way that a white man cannot? Humans of all races and both genders are not, by virtue of their belonging to a particular group, endowed with special powers of understanding. To imply such is pure racism.

  • Lindsay, the primary resistance to my message comes from the apex of patriarchy. There’s no implication. There is fact.

  • sabine says “You don’t really need a background in biology to understand this conundrum, just awareness, perspective and the willingness and imagination to connect with life – then insight should come.But that’s too tedious a path for most of our contemporaries”

    I know a lot of contemporaries who know, but they can’t understand it, and mostly, they cannot stay with it. They are too brainwashed, or too simple, or too uneducated, or too greedy, or… And yes, I don’t think but am sure it takes quite a background to think by yourself, go through the phases and understand what is going on on a global level, because it is extremely complex. maybe incomprehensible.

  • Good article but hardly a male gender thing. My like class and privilege which includes both genders.

  • As opposed to Guy´s statement, I think the wealthiest of the wealthy, caucasian white males all do know this and far to well.
    That´s why every effort is done to provoke a nuclear war between US and Russia.
    Less people = less greenhouse gases/ less unpredictable black swans / less resource wasted in the post- peak world.
    They are surely to be closely following Your work.
    And combining it with Dr Strangelove ideas (2058 nuclear tests in the past), there had to be “research” to combat global warming, too-
    even if totally insane to even comprehend the mere idea of it…
    The Atmoic Sientists´Bulletin just didn´t connect these dots, but I think everyone with a brain can match the whole picture.

  • Guy stating that the greatest resistance to his message comes from “successful” white men is not an attack. It’s an observation that he is qualified to make, since he is talking about his interactions.

    Saying that group is where he receives the greatest resistance is not at all equal to saying that people of other races understand better. It just means that when he’s out speaking, the people who attack him and disparage his message the most are white men entrenched in this culture.

    Alpha-omega. It’s his observation. It’s not arguable unless a person requires exact numbers to prove what “frequently” means. And it certainly is not “racist.”

    Guy is a hero, in my opinion. It doesn’t mean he is a better person, or even that I might like him personally, but I think I would. I think I could at least have a discussion without having to establish the obvious truth that every living thing needs a healthy environment, and humanity has failed entirely to preserve our home, and shows no signs of slowing down.

    I have watched Guy’s presentations and followed his work, and my admiration has done nothing but gone up. I even used to think he should moderate the comments more, but now I embrace the anarchy, and am willing to go places I never would have gone before in challenging some of the presuppositions and entitlement that comes from the mainstream culture as it is displayed here, like thinking we get to label people as “racist.” It takes a sense of entitlement to throw such judgments around so casually.

  • The end of industrial civilization and a rapid reduction in world population are not synonymous with near-term human extinction. There is ample reason to expect the former, but the case for the latter has not been made.

    “We’ve never had humans at 3.3 C or higher above baseline…”

    That does not mean that we cannot have humans at that temperature.

    “Even the Wall Street Journal realizes it’s too late to mitigate.”

    The referenced WSJ article therefore urges adaptation, not resignation to extinction.

    The reference to “abrupt climate change” does not attempt to define what that means, or to prove that it is happening.

    “Plants cannot keep up with the rate of change. So they die.”

    While the prospects for agriculture as we know it are dim, there is no reason to suppose that all plants, everywhere will die in the coming decades.

    “Never mind the lack of water for Earth’s current human occupants. Never mind the early deaths of millions of people due to ongoing climate change.”

    Current (or future) human suffering and early death do not imply extinction.

    “Once the habitat is gone, we won’t last long.”

    There is no reason to assume that all of “the habitat” will disappear.

    Notably absent is any reference to the previously favored instrument of impending extinction, i.e. methane from sub-Arctic clathrates: perhaps that scenario has been abandoned for lack of credible evidence. Also omitted is any explanation of why no published climate scientist, Caucasion male or otherwise, concurs with the view that we face “impending demise”.

    The article is unlikely to convince anyone not already persuaded of the reality of NTHE, irrespective of ethnicity or gender.

  • Landbeyond, I expected you to show up. You’re the target demographic, after all. I’ve no doubt you’re an excellent negotiator. Unfortunately for you, nature doesn’t negotiate.

  • the first time ever i take advantage of my 2 posts a day:

    I love it Guy when you ever so slightly poke the caucasian male (I know him, I made 2!)

    He has such a thin skin for a master or the empire/universe, it would be to die of laughter if it was not so sad.

  • Landbeyond, I don’t find you an excelent negotiator.
    Human’s existing over 3.3 °C may not prove anything but it certainly implies a comfort zone in which the we evolved and flourished.
    The WSJ article was quoted directly to debunk mitigation. If the WSJ thinks adaption is possible is irrelevant in this context.
    References to abrupt climate change are well known to all reading here as well as causes. We must agree to a set of terms if we are to have a discussion and thus avoid a congress type morass.
    The fact that some plants especially inedible ones will survive is not at all relevant.
    To imply extinction one must begin with the beginings of death and suffering lest we all leave at once.
    By habitat Guy was talking about the things that keep us alive not necessarily the place you are standing. I.e. The plants and water we don’t expect to have. This would most likely include your favorite deli.
    As you want proof of eveything everytime you speak. I’m sure you are also involed with many discussions involving, birth certificates, the healthy effects of tobaccos and vaccination. You are a true seeker of wisdom and truth.

  • Landbeyond:

    what do You think will happen to our nuclear power plants and weapons-when industrial civilization fails? Or for example garbage detaining?
    Maybe the wrath of Nature could be survived by some handful of indigenous people- having lived their lives for generations outside industrial civilization, in harmony with nature.
    But a combined climate change and nuclear armageddon is highly unlikely to leave any survivors- well except for algae and cellulars…
    You leave out of the equasion the destructive force of industrial civilization and especially, collapsing industrial civilization.
    Please report back these findings to the Puppet Masters- who are desperately engaged in pulling every string to provoke a nuclear conflict between US and Russia

  • Dredd<

    Thank you for the RawStory sermon. I got this reply from a fellow in Germany.

    "…thank you for your link to "rawstory" which I did not know at all.
    The sermon included will be good material for me in a seminar on "monotheism and
    violence"; I shall give that seminar together with a colleague at Gießen University. Good stuff, this sermon."

  • Landbeyond. Maybe your not aware, but climate scientists do not study extinction. That’s why no “published climate scientist” has published anything on extinction; it is not their field. I have heard that same argument before by you people who have made Rock Stars out of a handful of climate scientists. These are some of the same “published climate scientist” who’s work has been proven to be a major underestimation by other “published climate scientist”. They seem to be having a difficult time keeping up with the speed of change. Here is an article from 2 years ago summing it up. Since then there have been many more published papers showing more underestimates.

    Climate Science Predictions Prove Too Conservative
    Checking 20 years worth of projections shows that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has consistently
    underestimated the pace and impacts of global warming

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/climate-science-predictions-prove-too-conservative/

    Everything you need to know about Mass Extinction, Sea Level Rise and Amplification

  • What a great day and place to be here at the bat last stand Thanks Doc
    hold your nose this poser poem is going to extinct sorry can’t help it
    Who loves life deep not no sheep
    What’s sowed you reap forever keep
    Where richman treat all dirt cheap
    When temps creep then flames leap
    How now we weep before deep sleep

  • It is boiling down to “my when” is better than “your when” … like with racing (first “when” across the line wins).

    I would rather talk about the first god to wear a miniskirt, kill the bull, and shoot the shit (Doing The Right Thing – Mithraism – 3).

    Only when it is appropriate of course, because it seems to be the ultimate servant.

    The nuclear war dance will most likely be done by the god of death’s ultimate servant.

    It could happen in an hour.

  • Shep Says:
    March 9th, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Dredd<

    Thank you for the RawStory sermon. I got this reply from a fellow in Germany.

    "…thank you for your link to "rawstory" which I did not know at all.
    The sermon included will be good material for me in a seminar on "monotheism and
    violence"; I shall give that seminar together with a colleague at Gießen University. Good stuff, this sermon."
    ===============================================
    I have been watching this fascinating dynamic for some time now.

    Latest update (Doing The Right Thing – Mithraism – 3).

    It has some more links you will also probably find interesting.

    We really do have to choose our trances very carefully (Choose Your Trances Carefully).

  • Apneman.

    It seems kind of quaint to hear people talking about CO2 at 390ppm. (It’s currently close to 402ppm, and on track for a seasonal peak of around 405ppm.)

  • Kevin M that is humorously funny. I like your choice of the word “quaint” in the face of the magnitude of the problems ahead due to the 402ppm carbon measurement and always the “800 pound gorilla in the room” for the whole of planet earth, Methane. It was almost as funny as Satish M alien sign.

    Dear Oldforestforest, THANK YOU SIR. I hope I did not scream in your ear.

    Some people, like one of America’s iconic actor once said (Jack Nicholas),”Can’t Handle The Truth.”

  • Jeff S,

    Despite your good intentions, your black militant story shows that you’ve not thought much about how race in our society works. For one thing, blacks go to schools that are so abysmal as to be unbelievable to anyone who hasn’t visited them. Blacks are also institutionally as segregated from mainstream society as ever, and to sources of environmental information that are more generally available there. Blacks do, however, tend go have a good handle on environmental (in)justice (if one cares to do some research on it). And institutional racism is so incredibly entrenched, that when you give your example, out of context, of what this “black militant” said, it does nothing to lessen the voracious appetite of the culture to think very, very negatively of blacks. This is the system we live under.

  • Guy, I think mentioning the race of a certain group who seems to be the resistance to your message, has the potential to alienate those of that race who are not your opponents, and in fact are in line with your own thinking.

    Perhaps it would be best to simply focus on the fundamental factors that contribute to a persons possible resistance to the idea of NTHE, which would be wealth and social/economic privilege.

    While true that those who are wealthy and socially/economically privileged do tend to be of European descent, at least in the US/CA and EU… is that fact actually relevant in regards to their resistance of the message? Does being white make someone more prone, on a fundamental level, of not being able to accept NTHE? Are whites fundamentally different from other races in this regards, and this is what is being pointed out, that race/genetics are a primary cause of the resistance?, and that being white is a sign that someone is at a disadvantage of receiving the message, just because they are white (and male)?

    I just dont see how mentioning “Caucasian” every time when speaking about your detractors actually helps to progress the message, especially, from what I can tell having watched most of your talks for the past 2 years, since almost everyone you talk to IS Caucasian themselves.

    Whether it is true or not, it is going to cause division. I remember you saying you do not speak to your beliefs about an afterlife or lack there of, because it inevitably divides people no matter what you say, and your message is not meant to divide.

    Perhaps it would be wise to add mentionings about race to that off-limits list as well, because it too, will inevitably only cause division where unity is needed most.

  • http://www.newsweek.com/oil-and-gas-wastewater-used-de-ice-roads-new-york-and-pennsylvania-little-310684

    Gas Industry’s Solution to Toxic Wastewater: Spray It on Roads

    In parts of Pennsylvania and New York, the answer to ice-slick wintry roads is simple: Put some gas production waste on it. Municipalities in the northern parts of both states use the salty wastewater from oil and gas production to melt ice in winter and suppress road dust in summer.

    The salty liquid does a great job: The brine can be as much as 10 times saltier than typical road salt. Plus it comes cheap; oil and gas companies, glad not to have to pay for disposal, will sell it to towns for cheap, or give it away free. Both states’ environmental protection departments consider brine spreading to be a “beneficial use” of the industrial waste, meaning, in legal terms, that recycling it in this way “does not harm or threaten public health, safety, welfare or the environment.”

    But according to new research, the brine is anything but benign. Worse, states barely track it; New York doesn’t know how much of the stuff is being used on its roads, and the Pennsylvania department charged with regulating it appeared to not fully understand its potential effects until Newsweek got in touch. [read the rest if interested]

    Guy: i fully expect the effects you speak of to manifest themselves in the next 5 years, if we don’t speed it along even more with our constant “doing.” Whatever the hope was for a transformation of our species to ‘the next level” (of consciousness) has been held back, sidetracked and trapped by the culture of modern civilization and its preoccupation with all things economic. Now that humanity has succeeded in ruining the entire biosphere it won’t be long before we get the prize we so richly deserve – extinction. Thanks for being a bearer of truth.

  • Dear Into Destiny, I have to respectfully disagree. The time to call a spade a spade is here. When I contemplate the history of whitey, all I’m left with is a deeply profound sense of shame. I am ashamed to be a white man and I am ashamed of my race. On the whole, I’m ashamed of white women too, 95% of them cheered as millions of mothers worldwide suffered the deaths of their children at the hands of white men.

    Personally, I revel at the white man’s conviction as the most murderous and corrupt of all people. This needs to be known and understood. Most non-whites already do. Whitey should be slapped across the face as often as necessary to wake his sorry ass up to the fact that he’s been nothing more than a degenerate thug to all people everywhere. Implying that he can’t think for himself is a good start. People like me will cheer Guy on. GO GUY!

  • Kirk Hamilton,

    Ahh, no. I don’t think so. Do you REALLY believe that if you could have exchanged the biogeographical advantages of “white” people for the “Indians” in the Americas 10,000 years ago you would not now find yourself writing exactly the same things about the Indian’s destructive nature in comparison with the “peaceful” European’s? I think you would. The BIOGEOGRAPHY—the biological characteristics of various geographical regions on Earth—almost certainly produced the “winners” (Europeans) compared with the “losers” (Indians in the Americas) on Earth over the past 10,000 years to a much, MUCH greater extent than anyone’s “race” did. Beyond some people using race as an excuse to enslave others, “race” (as well as nationality, religion, language, and so on), which points to NO significant biological differences among various groups of humans, and only to irrelevant secondary characteristics such as skin and hair color, eye shape, and so on, has had essentially nothing historically to do with humans producing the self-annihilation trap that we find ourselves caught in today. Into Destiny suggests this with his question “While true that those who are wealthy and socially/ economically privileged do tend to be of European descent, at least in the US/CA and EU… is that fact actually relevant in regards to their resistance of the message?” The answer to his question? An obvious no. The social and economic privilege that Into Destiny points to, an artifact of biogeography, mattered then, and matters now, not anyone’s “race”.

    Despite the emotionally uncomfortable, anxiety-provoking lack of control and lack of human supremacism implied, the events that unfolded over time related to “European decent” occurred as an artifact of historical, biogeographical, random luck. In my opinion, Into Destiny pretty much has it spot on with his March 9th, 2015 at 5:32 pm comment. To the extent that people wish to emphasize racial and related in-group/out-group issues (including nationality, such as German, to point to some recent, completely irrelevant and inappropriate references), to that extent, whether consciously intended or not, they encourage and support perhaps the single most important psychosocial process that has caused war and similar violence with their untold pain and misery among humans over the millennia all over the planet (according to anthropologist Raymond C. Kelley): exploiting those presumably “less than human” others not in our (supposedly) morally and otherwise, God-given, “right” in-group.

  • BUD,

    For god’s sake, I see u are back in some kind of fantasy mode. You had made some strides towards sanity but I see your scientific mind has apparently messed with your head again.

    What is it you white people don’t get? You get so offended. Kirk Hamilton is EXACTLY correct. I have been ashamed all my life to be white also. You have to be bereft of empathy not to understand this.

    QUEENIE,

    I LOVE YOU!

    TOM,

    I do not know where I just recently read it but in line with the absurdity of dumping toxic shit on roads to get rid of snow and ice, Dick the Dick Cheney it turns out got a law passed for his Halliburton made legal person by the mafia Scalia & dumb ass Thomas, Supreme Court that allowed the energy companies to dispose of radioactive waste in their secret proprietary fracking fluids so they could therefore inject poisonous crap into aquifiers all over this country.

    GUY,

    There is a large group of individuals on this blog that love the hell out of you too.

  • @Bud: To the extent that people wish to emphasize racial and related in-group/out-group issues (including nationality, such as German, to point to some recent, completely irrelevant and inappropriate references), to that extent, whether consciously intended or not, they encourage and support perhaps the single most important psychosocial process that has caused war and similar violence with their untold pain and misery among humans over the millennia all over the planet (according to anthropologist Raymond C. Kelley): exploiting those presumably “less than human” others not in our (supposedly) morally and otherwise, God-given, “right” in-group.

    @Albert Einstein: Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.

  • 405 ppm CO2!?!

    Do not omit the retreating northern hemisphere snow line, significant loss of albedo, warming of the boreal forest floor, trees falling in the soft soil, and sublimation of frozen peat into methane.

    Do not omit the retreating sea ice, decreased albedo, warming of the sea, and methane bubbling up from shallow Arctic seabeds.

    Do not omit the warming Siberian tundra with its massive methane-produced blow holes.

    Do not omit methane gas is greatly concentrated in hydrates where a unit volume of methane hydrate can produce ~160 unit volumes of gas at one atmosphere. Worldwide, the methane in gas hydrates is, at minimum, twice the amount of carbon held in all the earth’s fossil fuels

    Do not omit that there is currently ~5Gt of methane in the atmosphere and a minimum of 50Gt escaping from the Arctic.

    405ppm CO2? To be realistic, we have to view CO2 equivalent in the 1000 ppm range.

  • Shep,

    If I made an error in my reasoning or evidence, I and others reading here need something much more specific than a vague, essentially ad hominem “For god’s sake, I see u are back in some kind of fantasy mode” in order to correct my/our thinking regarding this stuff. Do you really not know and understand that the Europeans had many great advantages with plants, animals (such as horses), diseases and disease resistance, and the effects of climate in growing and spreading foods over wide geographic areas in comparison with the many related disadvantages of the Americans during the past 10,000 years? Do you really not agree that if the Americans and Europeans had found themselves in the opposite biogeographical regions, with their many extremely uneven advantages and disadvantages, the Indians would not have conquered the Europeans as a result of their many advantages? Do you really so strongly wish to continue to maintain and push your fundamentally violence- and war-causing, in-group/ out-group, nationalism and racism?

  • Haven’t read all the comments thus far but agree with Jeff S. and Dan K.

    I was listening to the Extraenvironmentalist podcast about a “De-Growth” conference that was held in Liepzig. One of the speakers, an Indian woman, seemed upset, warning that the first world should not deny the third world its supposedly-needed development. In particular she was concerned that the mass of Indians may not have MOBILITY! That’s what she was worried about: not food, but mobility. Odd.

    Anyone talking about reducing consumption risks being tossed in with the monsters authoring right-wing “austerity” measures. A doomer really can’t win.

  • Bud,

    First the post was NOT “essentially” ad hominen. Can’t you please stop using that word when someone simply disagrees. That’s all I’m doing.

    Besides that, I cannot understand your sentences.

  • The line they trot out, time after time, is that I do not explain how a rapid rise in global-average temperature will cause human extinction.

    No. What you haven’t done is show that the science you reference (though some disagree with this way you present some of it) leads inevitably to such a rise in temperature to remove habitat for all species (including humans) everywhere. That’s subtly different to the question you claim is often posed but doing so might make it easier for you to answer, so it’s understandable.

  • Unlike the statements I make, this one is unsupported by data: “Well, if you inform people extinction is certain by 2030 or so, they are likely not to do anything.”

    Where do such ludicrous ideas come from? Why would you write such things? Is this all about your fear of reality?

  • Derrick Jensen makes a clear distinction between white and White.

    Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Barack Obama, Clarence Thoma, and many others are White, but they are not white. One can be White without being white. 😎

  • Tony Weddle, your inability to think critically remains quite stunning. You cannot connect two dots. And when I connect the dots, you deny they exist.

  • Guy says: “I’m frequently disparaged by relatively wealthy, Caucasian men who cannot think for themselves. It turns out to be a stunningly large proportion of the demographic.”

    Id like to suggest an alternate term that encompasses an even larger portion of the demographic:

    Men Of Privilege.

    It has no racial overtones, its shorter and flows easier, and conjures in the mind the perfect image of those who just cannot and will not (if they can help it) let their social/economic privilege fade, even if it is only preserved in their minds.

    Also, they can collectively be called MOPs, which I find amusing.

  • Anthony Says:
    March 9th, 2015 at 9:55 am

    “Jeff,

    How do you know that Guy is not “frequently disparaged by relatively wealthy, Caucasian men who cannot think for themselves.”? “{remove the “i’m,” per your next post]

    I didn’t say he isn’t, simply meant that those kinds of people are not the ONLY ones disparaging him.

    Dan K Says:
    March 9th, 2015 at 10:39 am
    “Jeff S–
    Similar pot-stirring in NYC. As the Occupy movement limps along on life support, one corner is composed of angry people who accuse everyone not fully invested in the Eric Garner protests of being uncaring about racial issues. So if you show up to climate protests and organizing but you don’t get involved in the Black Lives Matter movement, you’re disparaged as a white dilettante (code word for racist). There’s a protest overload issue going on, and those of us who believe that NTHE is going on are a very lonely cutting edge. I’ve already been blown off by family and other activists–even some of my hyper-lefty friends are dismissing the climate issues as some super-secret plot by George Soros to control the world. With the discourse so toxic, it’s not surprising that denialists feel safe behind their heroes.”

    Someone i used to be in the same Bay Area “ultra-left” circles with 40 years ago is insisting that he can mathematically show that global warming is impossible, and a couple of other people who were there with us tend to believe him, or at least are “skeptical.” On the other hand, many of the others who were there with us are quite the opposite. My politics haven’t changed, but my understanding of climate sure has.

    Artleads Says:
    March 9th, 2015 at 5:28 pm
    “Jeff S,

    Despite your good intentions, your black militant story shows that you’ve not thought much about how race in our society works. For one thing, blacks go to schools that are so abysmal as to be unbelievable to anyone who hasn’t visited them. Blacks are also institutionally as segregated from mainstream society as ever, and to sources of environmental information that are more generally available there. Blacks do, however, tend go have a good handle on environmental (in)justice (if one cares to do some research on it). And institutional racism is so incredibly entrenched, that when you give your example, out of context, of what this “black militant” said, it does nothing to lessen the voracious appetite of the culture to think very, very negatively of blacks. This is the system we live under.”

    I would really like it if you didn’t make presumptive remarks about me and the person i referred to. He grew up in rather comfortable circumstances, has a college science degree, and lives in a predominately white area in North Oakland. As for what this culture thinks of blacks, i myself spent the vast majority of my work life at UC in two different workplaces there, both focused on helping people of minority ethnicities, women and folks short on monetary resources get through their math and and stat classes so they could graduate college. I have seen the effects of racism first hand, have done what i could, been thanked for it personally by lots of people. My remark wasn’t remotely intended to mean that most “black militants” think that the climate crisis is bunk, simply meant that not all those who cannot accept the fact we’re in a severe crisis which will likely result in mass extinction are white academics. OK?

    As for landbeyond, why do you all bother? Can’t you tell he’s just a troll?

  • “It has no racial overtones, its shorter and flows easier, and conjures in the mind the perfect image of those who just cannot and will not (if they can help it) let their social/economic privilege fade, even if it is only preserved in their minds.”

    Lidia, Bud and yourself might then take Jeff S to task for just that. When you have to dig up the term “Black Militant,” what picture comes to your mind? Truthfully now. You use that term and it’s code for angry black male, the ones…you know…that fill up our prisons. So what was Jeff S. trying to say? What, really, to these “angry black males” have to do with our predicament? Can you see any connection with why they crowd the prisons and get shot down in droves AND other things that have gone wrong in our world? To your point, they are obviously not the ones with privilege.

  • I know plenty of caucasoid women folk who are utterly, completely and fully invested in the patriarchy, with elan and gusto even greater and over & above anything a dumb white dude can come up with. I’d count these people as “white men” too.

    Same for others of various melanin concentrations: apples, oreos, coconuts, twinkies, etc. One color on the outside, but whiter than white on the inside. Like it says at the Football ticket window on Sunday at 1PM: SOLD OUT. I lost my Korean gf over this when she turned out to be considerably whiter and more American than my scots-irish colonialist-in-denial self.

    “The man” isn’t just a bunch of white dudes, but a collective of psychologically crippled individuals of all stripes and orientations. Am I being ableist? Well, since we are now past the point of no return, yeah, I might be a tad able-ist towards the clique that insisted on blowing craters through the hull of our one and only vessel, so’s they could get a hammer blow high freebasing a personal wank directly to the base of their lizard brains.

    Tragedy now informs and overwhelms every remaining moment and action. No redemption. No salvation. Last station. Last Call. Bottoms up.
    Hurry please. Thank you.

  • Into Destiny,

    I agree with your changed wording proposal, and I would propose a further broadening, gender-neutral “PEOPLE Of Privilege” instead of the narrower “Men Of Privilege”. Why? Because, certainly, a large percentage of women strongly support the reasoning, values, and behaviors related to privilege. Many women do this through many direct actions and, surely a much larger percentage, indirectly by supporting their men.

    Shep,

    If you did not have any ad homimen intentions with your comment, then I apologize for suggesting that you did. (Only you know your motivations, not me, and we all have our many weaknesses and failures in writing, certainly including me.) Your vague reference to only my alleged “fantasy”, without any supporting evidence and/or reasoning, seemed like a personal attack to me, not just disagreement. Again, if you did not mean it in that way, then I apologize and I appreciate your corrective feedback.

  • Guy writes: “immersed in abject misery, every moment will seem to last forever.”

    For those who are masochistically inclined, a rather peculiar film available on Netflix is “The Sound of Insects”, a fictionalized impression of a man who decided to commit suicide via starvation, camped in a tent in a slightly-out-of-the-way location. I “watched” this film and it induced a rather unpleasant state. Worth it if you can bear it.

    @Ouse M.D.:
    “ten vimmen for efry man!”

    Dr. Strangelove: I would not rule out the chance to preserve a nucleus of human specimens. It would be quite easy…heh, heh…at the bottom of ah…some of our deeper mineshafts. Radioactivity would never penetrate a mine some thousands of feet deep, and in a matter of weeks, sufficient improvements in dwelling space could easily be provided.

    Muffley: How long would you have to stay down there?

    Dr. Strangelove: Well let’s see now ah…cobalt thorium G….Radioactive halflife of uh,…I would think that uh… possibly uh… one hundred years.

    Muffley: You mean, people could actually stay down there for a hundred years?

    Dr. Strangelove: It would not be difficult, Mein Führer! Nuclear reactors could, heh…I’m sorry, Mr. President. Nuclear reactors could provide power almost indefinitely. Greenhouses could maintain plant life. Animals could be bred and slaughtered. A quick survey would have to be made of all the available mine sites in the country, but I would guess that dwelling space for several hundred thousands of our people could easily be provided.

    Muffley: Well, I, I would hate to have to decide…who stays up and…who goes down.

    Dr. Strangelove: Well, that would not be necessary, Mr. President. It could easily be accomplished with a computer. And a computer could be set and programmed to accept factors from youth, health, sexual fertility, intelligence, and a cross-section of necessary skills. Of course, it would be absolutely vital that our top government and military men be included to foster and impart the required principles of leadership and tradition. Naturally, they would breed prodigiously, eh? There would be much time, and little to do. Ha, ha. But ah, with the proper breeding techniques and a ratio of say, ten females to each male, I would guess that they could then work their way back to the present Gross National Product within say, twenty years.

    Muffley: But look here doctor, wouldn’t this nucleus of survivors be so grief-stricken and anguished that they’d, well, envy the dead and not want to go on living?

    Dr. Strangelove: No, sir…excuse me…When they go down into the mine, everyone would still be alive. There would be no shocking memories, and the prevailing emotion will be one of nostalgia for those left behind, combined with a spirit of bold curiosity for the adventure ahead! [involuntarily gives the Nazi salute and forces it down with his other hand]Ahhh!

    Turgidson: Doctor, you mentioned the ratio of ten women to each man. Now, wouldn’t that necessitate the abandonment of the so-called monogamous sexual relationship, I mean, as far as men were concerned?

    Dr. Strangelove: Regrettably, yes. But it is, you know, a sacrifice required for the future of the human race. I hasten to add that since each man will be required to do prodigious…service along these lines, the women will have to be selected for their sexual characteristics which will have to be of a highly stimulating nature.

    Russian Ambassador: I must confess, you have an astonishingly good idea there, Doctor.

    ——————————————————————
    @Landbeyond, it’s not so much that the plants “will die”.. as that THE PLANTS *ARE* DYING…. The insects are dying. The birds are dying. Anyone who is a few decades old, like me (5+), can see this.

    —————————-
    @Kirk.. I think being “ashamed” is just as ridiculous as being “proud” (some days ago I wrote a whole comment about being “proud” of one’s arbitrary belonging to this or that group, but it got eaten.) I don’t think there is any reason to be “proud” of a chance genetic assignment, whether it is racial, sexual, or some manufactured categorization (eg. hereditary nobility).

    “the white man’s conviction as the most murderous”.. perhaps so, but that remains to be seen. Certainly non-“white” civilizations have been extremely murderous, probably to a much higher degree per capita compared to where we stand today (future annihilation notwithstanding.. there’s some minor truth in the fatuous Pinker’s “Angels…”).

    Talking with a smug “green” lady, politically correct.. she did not want to hear about the way traditional peoples controlled their populations, to wit, exposure. Rather, some romantic notion of a stable population which never resorts to warfare or other such unconscionable measures had taken hold of her brain, in a baseless and unwarranted fashion.

    ——————————
    @Guy, I have no interest in getting into any of Tony’s arguments, BUT there is something you need to internalize, and that is that People Do Not Understand Biology. They barely understand *any* kind of Science, barring a dim comprehension of how car engines might work and what-not. So when you see XYZ and correctly interpret XYZ, remember that what you see is as meaningless to the average person as the hieroglyphics on the Rosetta Stone.

    As a bright but young and naive person, I in no way had the sophistication when I needed it, to parse out the vast difference between SCIENCE and TECHNOLOGY. I thought I was going to be studying Science, and that the people around me would be interested in Science. After four excruciating years of losing the plot I abandoned ship. “Science” was not for me (although now I look back with longing at the possibility of practicing real science, no matter Guy’s bad experiences even in that environment…). The words on the sign, “Institute of Technology”, should have clued me in.

    You have perhaps seen this hilarious assessment:
    ….. you have to understand that in America there are two different types of science. There’s science that is profitable for corporations, which is good and righteous and rock solid. That’s the Smartphone, the water heater, the GPS, the 700 channels on the 62 inch flat screen, the boner pills, and so on and so on. And then there’s the science that costs corporations money, which is fraudulent, con-artist mumbo jumbo. Under that second definition are things like climatology, pollution measurements, oceanography, and other disciplines that might fuck up the profit margins of energy producers and manufacturers.

    http://ruminator.co.nz/american-political-batshit-climate-change/

    The first batch of things noted above fall under the umbrella of TECHNOLOGY, not SCIENCE.

    Many people LOVE TECHNOLOGY, but HATE (are actually taught to hate) SCIENCE.

    So you have preppers who can competently regale you with a bazillion stats about armaments and metals and alloys and trajectories, who can build a gun and munitions from scratch employing formidable technical capacity, but who will deny Global Warming as a Communist Plot… They love technology but hate science.

    The tiny minority of realists have an enormously hard row to hoe to convince people of their own fragility, when every everlovin’ motherfuckin’ message they are exposed to tells them otherwise: that we’re going to conquer aging, colonize Mars, vanquish this and that disease, feed 10+ billion, continue economic growth, eradicate “poverty”, run industrial civilization on solar power and/or nukes, etc. …just by force of (theoretical) will with no regard to actual material or energetic capacity to do such things, ecological collapse notwithstanding!

    These are the dreams of TECHNOLOGISTS, not (one hopes) SCIENTISTS.


    Artleads, I would appreciate it if you would not randomly and egregiously drag me into disputes. I think I was clear in the extent and manner in which I supported Jeff S.’s comment. I could lay the groundwork for further miscomprehension and attacks if I were to express my idea of what a “black militant” is. I don’t think anyone needs to know, nor do I think they care. Even I barely care: it’s not relevant.

    The point is that people who have less now are going to have still less in the future (as is the case for all of us), and that is not a politically palatable situation any way you slice it.

    Jeff S. said:
    One of the biggest disparagers of your thinking in my area (Berkeley/Oakland/San Francisco) is a black militant who says forecasts of near-term extinction due to climate disaster or resources shortages such as peak oil are white academics who are panicked at the thought of the coming ascendancy of people of color and their demands for a short of the world’s material wealth which they deserve too, long enjoyed by white people.

    Artleads, you have an historic tendency to derail discussions into areas where you then throw up your hands and say ‘I don’t know; don’t ask me!’. You provoke without any back-up plan or any actual line of thinking. You in fact pride yourself on the opposite of thinking, which approach compromises any sort of respect I might otherwise have for you.

    THE POINT IS: UNDER-PRIVILEGED (as they used to be called) communities of Whatever Complexion are going to be fucked, and they won’t like it. Middle-class communities are going to be fucked, and they won’t like it. Well-to-do communities are going to be fucked, and they won’t like it. Even the rich, at some point not that far off, will be fucked, and they won’t like it. There is nothing to like in our future, as I see it. It’s quite a remarkable scene, unique in human history. Larry Ellison is not going to be thrilled when his private island is under water.

  • Isn’t it disheartening to observe how humans have so completely separated themselves from an awareness of our interdependency with the web of life and the necessity for stable habitat to sustain it? Those people (that is, most people I observe) ignore the devastation and extinction of other species that are happening now, as long as they are able to maintain their comforts and pleasures. Technology, materialism, and human domination of nature temporarily have fostered this notion, but it will quickly be dispelled by the ferocious forces of nature that have been unleashed and are indomitable.

  • I recently got ordered to leave by a bunch of young women at a knitting meetup at a teahouse when I started talking trash like this.

    But, I laid it down anyway as I was leaving.
    A quote from the occasion:

    “So-called feminism got you the vote for your governpimps and out of the house to wage slave without your kids and to outsource the raising of them to institutions and strangers.”

    Anyway, my suspicion is that Mother Nature is only just beginning to crack her knuckles as she prepares for a smackdown of her unrulies. (That’s us)

  • Well said, Guy. My favorite sentences: Plants cannot keep up with the rate of change. So they die. For those without the slightest clue about biology, this seems to be a technical problem to which we’ll simply design a technical solution. Not so fast, engineers. The living planet is not merely a complex set of cogs to which we can apply wrenches and screwdrivers… …After all, the techno-fantasies of the engineers include the ability to create potable water with “free energy.”

    There’s no end to the day-dreams of the engineers and technocrats. They are among those that are most bought into the paradigm of control and the most separated from natural intelligence.

    **********

    Ouse M.D. Says:
    March 9th, 2015 at 12:34 pm
    As opposed to Guy´s statement, I think the wealthiest of the wealthy, caucasian white males all do know this and far to well.

    Ouse, I doubt *all* of them know this. The ones at the top of the pyramid do. And perhaps a few more close to the top. In the information age, information translates into power and control more directly than in any other prior age. The derivatives markets which dwarf the “real” market operate on the basis of an information advantage. Although the top is predominantly Caucasian males, there are others too. Anyone who understands the rules and is willing and able to play the game is admitted into the club, color of skin, nationality, gender, etc. not withstanding. Most of the rest are swimming in a sea of make-believe. I may be 100% convinced about something but it says nothing about whether the guy next door or in the next cubicle even cares. In the age of Google, the average citizen is conscious of precious little. When the money to be made is dependent on eyeballs and mindshare, we can rest assured that most of what we’re told by the mainstream is a big cock and bull story.

    **********

    Robin, that’s a good distinction between White and white. Not all white people are White and not all White people are white. While there are many that are both, there are some that are neither.

    **********

    Tom Says:
    March 9th, 2015 at 5:46 pm
    http://www.newsweek.com/oil-and-gas-wastewater-used-de-ice-roads-new-york-and-pennsylvania-little-310684

    Gas Industry’s Solution to Toxic Wastewater: Spray It on Roads

    Tom, good point. Apparently, it’s very much legal in the US to change the classification of “toxic effluent” to “industrial use” as long as someone is willing to buy it. My favorite story is how they get rid of the waste from large animal factory farms. The hog operations in the East are particularly innovative. They spray it into the air! So, shall we say… we don’t know if pigs can fly but pig shit sure does!

    **********

    Shep, injecting radioactive wastes into a living Earth through fracking fluids is sick. (They also disposed off some depleted Uranium all over Iraqi people)

  • shep Says:
    March 9th, 2015 at 9:38 pm
    Bud,

    First the post was NOT “essentially” ad hominen. Can’t you please stop using that word when someone simply disagrees. That’s all I’m doing.

    Besides that, I cannot understand your sentences.

    ******

    That cracked me up!!! Ta…daa… the a-word is back!

    ===============

    Lidia, I wonder if that Indian woman at the De-growth conference meant “social mobility” rather than a heartfelt desire to ride in an auto-rickshaw 🙂

    If anyone here is still not convinced what a cancer the human species has become, I recommend a trip to India or China. Westerners are not the only ones crazy about iPhones. Consumerism is rampant and growing in the “developing world”. Mega malls and mega ambitions are de rigueur!

  • Guy,

    Scott Johnson claims that you claim we should be reaching +20C (or more) by 2040.

    I don’t recall that being your position.

  • Guy McPherson Says:
    March 9th, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    Unlike the statements I make, this one is unsupported by data: “Well, if you inform people extinction is certain by 2030 or so, they are likely not to do anything.”

    Where do such ludicrous ideas come from? Why would you write such things? Is this all about your fear of reality?
    ==================================
    Indeed.

    The advertising industry has basic psychology for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

    One of their tried and true techniques is “immediacy.”

    “Buy one >right now and get one free” and similar declarations are a mainstay in advertising.

    If something seems too far off to the target of the ad, the sharpness of the spiel is dulled.

  • Guy
    didn’t you read the x-men as a kid?
    no way evolution is random complexity
    prove it – short simple sentences
    agree with everything else

  • Robin Datta,

    “Derrick Jensen makes a clear distinction between white and White.”

    Perfect! J. is correct. END OF STORY!

    These creeps are know as “the Black Mis-leadership Class” (coined by Black Agenda Report) or as I now call them the BM Class. (Bowel Movement). Shoot, look at John damn Lewis. WTF has he done since the bridge incident! NOTHING but preen in the glow of “greatness”. Mandela, another example!

    BTW. A factoid that is way off subject. Edmund Pettis was a Confederate General and a GRAND WIZARD (what a cartoon term) of the KKK. By the way, tell O to go home and shut-up.

    All the quotes I posted earlier came from Black Agenda Report. The sniff of money is a curse to anyone, if u let it be.

    Into Destiny,

    M.O.P.’s – u got a good point I know lots, well… a few, white people that are not part of the propagandized, dumbed down shopper class.

    Over at Mo Berman’s blog u are not allowed to use this argument. Period! No, all Americans are just stupid.

  • we have to grow 50 times more food in 50 than we did in the last 500 years.
    1 billion people walk 1 mile per day for water.
    in 10 years, 66% of humans will be short of water.
    2050 will have severe shortages in food, water, minerals, energy.
    we have to reduce emissions 80% by 2050.
    energy demand is projected to double.
    2050 is when all new all new solar-turbine life-cycles terminate.
    it takes 10X renewable electrical energy to displace 1 fossil-electric station.
    mineral based electronics have shorter life-cycles.
    that’s the upside, the downside is by 2050 we enter
    runaway, unstoppable, irreversible mass extinction.
    ecosystem service state shift will be less than accommodating.
    ocean plankton declines of 1% per year meaning 100% gone in 70 years.
    we then only have to wait 10 million years for recovery.

  • note
    meant to say more food in 50 years than the last 500.
    at current declines of 1% /year, ocean plankton is gone in 70 years.
    when ocean plankton is 50% gone, you can save your breath.

  • Shep says:

    “There is a large group of individuals on this blog that love the hell out of you too.”

    I’m one of those. I immensely appreciate your efforts, Guy. And I’m pretty sure you’re not doing all this to be loved. Me think you feel you have no choice — and unfortunately you receive quite a bit of disparaging because of your voluntary or involuntary daring attitude. And maybe you receive a bit of love because of it as well. Your emphasis on love is a bonus for us all. Because the first thing we look for are facts, critical thinking, and critical analysis of facts as presented by a machine driven by greed. In the face of NTE, it is to be expected that hate will pop up everywhere, even on this site, of course. Who’s to blame, etc. Not hating in this context is “abnormal.” So, people hate, and throw it around, figuring they are giving something precious, something needed. Being able to keep a focus both on informing people of something that they absolutely do not want to hear AND on love… requires… guts. So yes, I agree that some effort must be done to CREATE something else than hate in our last hours. And you are at the center of such an effort. For that I am grateful. And I know I’m not the only one, as Shep mentioned

    Still

  • Only skimmed comments, however,maybe I read Guy’s comment about privileged white men differently than some. I find the comment hard to refute as I read it as those that HE met. Unless you are attached to his hip, I don’t know how you deny this.
    “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power…_ -Lord Acton ( I think)
    Bud, I agree wholeheartedly. We all know that fat, old, white men mostly control all that matters. That is not to say, “some” POC or women are not also involved. No matter who it be, chances are, we get fucked. Human nature involves fucking.

  • Lidia,

    I liked everything about your last long comment. So astute. Thank you, you explained your excellent points very well, no nonsense and with much humour.

    I had to laugh out loud several times.

  • Bud, I take back my recent compliment. You wrote, “If I made an error in my reasoning or evidence, I and others reading here need something much more specific . . .”

    Okay. One, what “advantages” do you think Europeans had in terms of plants and land? If they had such advantages, why did they want to take over the entire western hemisphere? Why not stay where things were superior? The Native Americans always questioned that, from the beginning.

    If everyone was “equally” murderous, where are the Native Americans? They were essentially exterminated. Since it didn’t happen the other way, theories pale in comparison to history and fact. There was a one-way genocide going on that slaughtered likely well over 100 million people, and possibly many more.

    I will say this, Europeans were certainly more murderous to all the animals and the earth itself, the trees, the waters, the everything. Passenger pigeons that used to fill the sky were “pests” and the only parrot native to the US, the Carolina Parakeet was a pest, too, so they had to go. Wolves, grizzlies, mountain lions, eagles, everything was slaughtered. So, no I do not in the least believe indigenous people were just as murderous. If they were, they would have been living in the hell of the caste system that made Europeans flee that nightmare. There would have been formal armies at war all the time like there was in Europe. There were no such things.

    Do you understand why Europeans had greater disease immunity? Because they domesticated/enslaved animals. Europeans were amazed at the abundance and the cleanliness of the Aztec city that is now Mexico city when they first saw it. There was a series of canals devised that allowed them to keep the city clean, and the streets were swept daily. It was as large as any city in Europe at the time, and was beyond anything Europeans had devised or ever even considered.

    Europe was already severely polluted by the Middle Ages, full of miserable, bacteria-laden, suffering masses needing to escape the already cruel and destructive culture. They didn’t know enough not to dump their waste in their drinking water. What an advantage, huh?

    As for equally murderous, no matter how murderous they might have been, there were lots of them here, many, many millions. Where are they?

    Natives had the advantage initially, and could have killed every white guy who landed, starting with the Tainos, but instead they were welcomed. The Europeans in North America were told there was enough land to share.

    You want to say had things been different, which they were NOT, everything done by Europeans would have been done by Native Americans. Well that didn’t happen, did it. Because all the choices people had been making for well over a thousand years were different on both side. Europeans developed machines and things that gave them power over the world, enslaving animals and people en masse, giving power to a few. Native Americans developed crops, agriculture, their hunting grounds, and their people, all their people, not just the few.

    Theorizing about things that didn’t happen may do something for you in this discussion, Bud, but it sure doesn’t me. I’ve lived in both cultures, and the one that gave me most of my “race” cannot compare to the wisdom and strength of my indigenous culture that sustained the earth purposely and with love for their children and the life of the world.

  • ogf – seconded. times a zillion? nope, not far enough. a.w.e.s.o.m.e.

  • “I would really like it if you didn’t make presumptive remarks about me and the person i referred to. He grew up in rather comfortable circumstances, has a college science degree, and lives in a predominately white area in North Oakland.”

    Would the average American reading the term “black militant” make that assumption? Or are there other images, put there by our social conditioning, that would more readily come to mind?”

    “I could lay the groundwork for further miscomprehension and attacks if I were to express my idea of what a ‘black militant’ is.

    Jeff S. threw out a term that in our “turbo charged” racial culture presses buttons of fear and distrust within the culture-as-a-whole. If he had given the example of “white woman” instead (not saying that he should have) it would have had an entirely different connotation while also making his point. Why did he use the example he did? If you know you’re going to set off automatic alarms of fear and distrust, why would you do it absent any further explanation of what you mean? I assume he didn’t think this through. Maybe he did, but he hasn’t so far spoken to the issue. If, as someone suggested, the term “people of privilege” would be a better term than the term Guy used, then pointing to the example of “black militant” does not suggest to the “public mind” someone of privilege.

    “The point is that people who have less now are going to have still less in the future (as is the case for all of us), and that is not a politically palatable situation any way you slice it.”

    The people who have less now also have less power to do anything about it. They have it bad already and what’s coming is nothing all that new. And (IMO) they had less to do with causing the predicament in the first place.

    “Even I barely care: it’s not relevant.”

    I get the idea, and I don’t find it appealing.

  • Guy McPherson, I would like to thank you for your considered response to my comment, but as you provided only your usual non-response that is not possible.

    Glen Davis, “I don’t find you an excelent (sic) negotiator”
    I haven’t claimed to be.

    “Human’s existing over 3.3 °C may not prove anything but it certainly implies a comfort zone in which the we evolved and flourished. (sic)”
    If that means what I think you intended to say, then I agree, it proves nothing, especially regarding NTHE.

    “If the WSJ thinks adaption is possible is irrelevant in this context.”
    The WSJ is generally irrelevant in this kind of context, but it was not my reference.

    “References to abrupt climate change are well known to all reading here as well as causes.”
    References to, yes, agreed definition of and evidence for, not so much.

    “The fact that some plants especially inedible ones will survive is not at all relevant.”
    So you disagree with McPherson too.

    “To imply extinction one must begin with the beginings (sic) of death and suffering lest we all leave at once.”
    True, but extinction does not automatically follow early death and suffering.

    “By habitat Guy was talking about the things that keep us alive not necessarily the place you are standing. I.e. The plants and water we don’t expect to have.”
    I understand what he means, and predicting that all habitat capable of supporting human life will be gone in decades is silly.

    “As you want proof of eveything (sic) everytime (sic) you speak. I’m sure you are also involed (sic) with many discussions involving, birth certificates, the healthy effects of tobaccos and vaccination.

    This would be the “if you question McPherson’s predictions you must be a rabid anti-science right-winger” assumption, yes? I identify as a liberal/progressive doomer who would like McPherson to prove his NTHE prediction with real science before continuing to spread it among the uninformed populace. Sorry to demolish your mental image of me. Still, at least you made an effort to respond with actual arguments, something of which McPherson seems incapable.

    Ouse M.D., should there be a rapid collapse of industrial civilization (not guaranteed), nukes would indeed be one of the subsequent serious problems. I don’t think it’s been shown that they would cause rapid human extinction.

    Apneaman, a future of disastrous climate change is not the same as NTHE. I don’t know why this is so difficult to grasp.

  • Exhausted after reading all that… How can you stand it Guy.. Maybe I have a suggestion :

    When you do a post like this…schedule a webinar to interact live with those people..

    Just a suggestion. Everything you do is great

    Thanks

    Fred

  • ogf, UNPOPULAR ESSAYS by Bertrand Russell.

    Chapter 5 (pages 69-75), “The Superior Virtue of the Oppressed”

    There’s no rational reason to believe that one segment of mankind is morally superior to another. But many moralists like to think better of groups to which they do not belong, and especially oppressed groups such as “subject nations, the poor, women and children [p. 69]” – or noble savages.

    Since the French Revolution, the issue of “the superior virtue of the poor [p. 70]” has been politicized; one form has been socialism’s enthronement of the urban proletariat. Patriots of oppressed peoples and the peoples themselves are thought well of, but once they achieve their independence they are found to be like everyone else. We still hear about the ‘wisdom of the east,’ though.

    Views towards women are particularly irrational. Religion had two models, woman as temptress and woman as spiritual being. The Victorians pushed the spiritual theme, with the addendum that woman would be sullied with too much contact with the harsh world of business or politics. The supposed spiritual superiority of women was the flip side of their economic and political oppression.

    “Children, like women, were theologically wicked…[p. 72],” and they had to be saved. In the 19th century views toward children again paralleled those towards women — that they were innocent but spiritual — and the pleasures that adults took from physical chastisement of children had to be curtailed. Freud has provided a new set of reasons (or rationales) for thinking that children are wicked, however.

    The preceding examples show that “the stage in which superior virtue is attributed to the oppressed is transient and unstable [p. 74].” The stage arises when the oppressors “have a bad conscience,” which itself comes about only when their power to oppress becomes insecure. There’s a curious logic that supports their mistreatment of others – suffering makes one virtuous, so it is kindness to oppress. “It was a fine self-sacrifice on the part of men to relieve women of the dirty work of politics [p. 74].” The logic can then be used by the oppressed: because we are more virtuous, we should rule. Eventually, once the oppression ends, everyone can see that the superior virtue was fictional, and that the claim to equality does not need it as basis.

    Many of the previous supposedly virtuous groups, having achieved equality, are no longer considered especially deserving. In modern times, however, there remains a tendency to attribute high morality to the proletariat (along with a tendency to admire productive works like dams and power plants). But if we really think that the poor living and working conditions of the proletariat inspire virtue, we would not support economic development. Socialists want it both ways: to proclaim the virtues of the proletariat, while working to change the conditions that engender those supposed virtues.

  • Mo,

    OGF – thirded!

  • Oldgrowthforest,

    I’d like to join mo flow in seconding you.

    “If everyone was equally murderous, where are the Native Americans?”

    Yes indeed, where are they?

    Awesome, yes mo!

  • here is what 7 days of NO water will do to you.

    “His saliva thickened, and a permanent lump formed in his throat. His tongue swelled so large that it squeezed out past his jaws, and his swollen throat made it difficult to breath, creating a sense of drowning. Because of shrinking skin, his face felt full. His eyelids cracked. His eyeballs wept blood.

    When he was found, Pablo’s skin was a purplish/grey leather, scratched but with no traces of blood. His lips were gone, as if amputated. His nose withered away. His eyes trapped in a haunting wink-less stare. No water for 7 days.

    Fom an article by Robert Hunziker of CounterPunch, the best of the best.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/03/10/water-brings-life-shortages-bring-trouble/

  • https://robertscribbler.com/2015/03/09/cause-for-appropriate-concern-over-arctic-methane-overburden-plumes-eruptions-and-large-ocean-craters/

    Concern Over Catastrophic Methane Release — Overburden, Plumes, Eruptions, and Large Ocean Craters

    Robert’s latest begins with this:

    Depending on who you listen to, it’s the end of the world, or it isn’t. A loud and lively debate that springs up in the media every time a new sign of potential methane instability or apparent increasing emission from methane stores is reported by Arctic observational science.

    On one side of this debate are those declaring the apocalypse is nigh due to, what they think, is an inevitable catastrophic methane release driven by an unprecedentedly rapid human warming of the Arctic. A release large enough to wipe out global human civilization. These doomsayers are fueled by a number of scientists (usually Arctic observational specialists) who continue to express concern — due to an increasing number of troubling, if not yet catastrophic, rumblings coming from the Arctic carbon store. The Arctic is warming faster than it ever has, they accurately note. And this very rapid rate of warming is putting unprecedented and dangerous stresses on carbon stores, including methane, that have lain dormant for many millions of years. The risk of catastrophic release, therefore, is high enough to sound the alarm.

    On the other side are a number of mainstream news outlets backed up by a group of established scientists. This group claims that there’s generally no reason to worry about a methane apocalypse. The methane releases so far are relatively small (on the global scale) and there are all sorts of reasons why future releases will be moderate, slow in coming, and non-catastrophic. The methane store most pointed toward by methane catastrophists — a frozen water methane known as hydrate — tends to self-regulate release, in most cases, acting as a kind of pressure valve that would tend to moderate emission rates and prevent instances of catastrophic eruption (Please see The Long Thaw).

    A third group appears to have somewhat sidestepped an otherwise polarized discourse. Outlets like ThinkProgress and others have continued to quietly report observations without drawing conclusions, one way or the other, on the issue of near term methane apocalypse. They point, instead, to what are, admittedly, some rather odd and scary methane rumblings going on near the pole. Among this ‘middle ground’ group are a survey of about 100 researchers who’ve identified a likely carbon release (including both methane and CO2) from the Arctic equaling between 10 and 35 percent of the human emission by the end of this Century (Please see High Risk of Permafrost Thaw). It is a ‘middle ground’ that is troubling enough. For 10-35 percent of the human carbon emission coming from the Arctic is a massive release in the range of 1 to 3.5 gigatons of carbon (with a fraction as volatile methane). If such an emission does materialize, it will equal (on the low end) or exceed the annual rate of environmental carbon release last seen during the PETM — a hothouse extinction 55 million years ago that turned the oceans into killers and forced life on land to shrink in size and burrow to avoid the awful heat and stifling atmosphere of that age.

    Regardless of where you stand in this discourse, the Arctic itself continues to provide cause for both debate and appropriate concern.

    [it’s a good read, and here’s a quote from near the end]

    Giant Craters on the Seabed

    In 2013, marine geophysicist Dr Bryan Davy from GNS Science found what may be the world’s largest gas eruption craters on the seafloor about 310 miles east of Christchurch, New Zealand.

    The craters, which the researchers called ‘pockmarks,’ formed in an active gas zone along the ocean bottom. They measured from 250 meters to 7 miles in diameter and about 300 feet deep. With the largest crater able to encompass all of lower Manhattan.

    [and]

    The craters are thought to have formed during ice ages when sea levels lowered off New Zealand causing the sea bed to warm and gas hydrate to thaw. Eventually, the gas is thought to have erupted into the surrounding water with a portion bubbling up into the atmosphere.

    GEOMAR seismic records indicated active gas pockets beneath the crater zones. Dr Joerg Bialas, a GEOMAR scientist noted:

    Gas release from the larger pockmarks may have been sudden and possibly even violent, with a massive volume being expelled into the ocean and atmosphere within hours or days.

    The 300 foot depth of the craters touched the hydrate stability zone even as their large size indicated that massive pockets of the gas lifted away large sections of sea bed suddenly and violently. It’s the kind of rapid destabilized gas release that may well represent a worst-case Arctic warming scenario.

    [read the rest]

    Now remember the huge methane release is just ONE of the myriad problems taking down aerobic life – we’ve already dumped enough CO2 into the atmosphere to trigger this and many other problems. Mass extinctions have happened before in the distant past and anyone NOT thinking that we are at the beginning of another such event is deluding themselves. There’s nothing to prove or argue about – just sit back and watch as our ecological situation continues to worsen over the years (as it has all my life). For the likes of landbeyond and his denialist buddies, who cares what they think? Why waste your time with them? In fact, why are they even bothering coming here if this is all just made up and there is no problem? i’d suggest they stick to their head-in-the-sand sites and enjoy the few years that remain. When it all starts to go south quickly, what are they going to say and what difference will it make? They’re just wrong and refuse to see things as they are for whatever self-centered reasons, so they’ll be ‘upset.’ It would be GREAT if all these feedbacks amount to nothing, but the overwhelming evidence is that it is deadly serious and imminent.

  • Artleads Says:
    March 9th, 2015 at 10:28 pm
    ““It has no racial overtones, its shorter and flows easier, and conjures in the mind the perfect image of those who just cannot and will not (if they can help it) let their social/economic privilege fade, even if it is only preserved in their minds.”

    Lidia, Bud and yourself might then take Jeff S to task for just that. When you have to dig up the term “Black Militant,” what picture comes to your mind? Truthfully now. You use that term and it’s code for angry black male, the ones…you know…that fill up our prisons. So what was Jeff S. trying to say? What, really, to these “angry black males” have to do with our predicament? Can you see any connection with why they crowd the prisons and get shot down in droves AND other things that have gone wrong in our world? To your point, they are obviously not the ones with privilege.”

    Wester Says:
    March 10th, 2015 at 12:04 am
    “I know plenty of caucasoid women folk who are utterly, completely and fully invested in the patriarchy, with elan and gusto even greater and over & above anything a dumb white dude can come up with. I’d count these people as “white men” too.

    Same for others of various melanin concentrations: apples, oreos, coconuts, twinkies, etc. One color on the outside, but whiter than white on the inside. Like it says at the Football ticket window on Sunday at 1PM: SOLD OUT. I lost my Korean gf over this when she turned out to be considerably whiter and more American than my scots-irish colonialist-in-denial self.

    “The man” isn’t just a bunch of white dudes, but a collective of psychologically crippled individuals of all stripes and orientations. Am I being ableist? Well, since we are now past the point of no return, yeah, I might be a tad able-ist towards the clique that insisted on blowing craters through the hull of our one and only vessel, so’s they could get a hammer blow high freebasing a personal wank directly to the base of their lizard brains.

    Tragedy now informs and overwhelms every remaining moment and action. No redemption. No salvation. Last station. Last Call. Bottoms up.
    Hurry please. Thank you.”

    Thank you both for inadvertently illustrating my point. The key division isn’t about skin color, but CLASS. As the late Malcolm X said (more or less), “the coming conflict will not be about the color of skin, but between the oppressed and those who do the oppressing.” And nice try, artleads, to try to persist in making me appear to be antagonistic to all black people, especially aware ones, just because i referred to one individual as a militant, when in fact in his appearance, manners,…. he is thoroughly boozhie. People such as him would rather that the division was about color rather than class and politics. And you appear to be likewise, as do you, though to a lesser extent, Wester. Too bad, you both have good things to say, but appear swallowed up by white guilt, the perfect instrument by which to manipulate people and keep the ones striving for awareness divided.

  • oldgrowthforest,

    I will respond to each of your sentences or paragraphs in brackets [ ] following each sentence or paragraph.

    You wrote: Okay. One, what “advantages” do you think Europeans had in terms of plants and land?

    [(You will find this first response fairly long; the rest pretty short.) To the best of our knowledge, humans moved out of Africa about one million years ago into Europe and Asia, into Siberia about 20,000 years ago, into Alaska about 12,000 years ago, and into North and South America about 11,000 years ago. Others moved to Australia about 50,000 years ago, to the Solomon Islands about 30,000 years ago, to Fiji about 3,600 years ago, to Hawaii about 1,500 years ago, and to New Zealand about 1,000 years ago. Importantly for this conversation, all of these people consisted then, and consist now, of HUMANS, Homo sapiens, all with essentially the same fundamental, biological characteristics of our species, as occurs with all species.

    Why did the Europeans come to replace most of the native population of North America and Australia, instead of Indians or native Australians coming to replace most of the original population of Europe? We can rephrase this question with Why did the ancient rate of technological and political development occur fastest in Europe, slower in the Americas (and in Africa south of the Sahara), and slowest in Australia? The humans who settled and remained in the Eurasia biogeographical region had many advantages over those who moved further to the Americas. In 1492 much of the population of Eurasia used iron tools, had writing and agriculture, had large centralized states with ocean-going ships, and found itself on the verge of industrialization. The Americas had agriculture, only a few large centralized states, writing in only one area, no ocean-going ships or iron tools, and technologically and politically a few thousand years behind Eurasia. Australia lacked agriculture, writing, states, and ships, remained in a pre-first-contact condition, and used stone tools comparable to ones made over ten thousand years earlier in Eurasia. Those technological and political differences—not biological differences among humans—determined the outcome of the competition among these human animal populations permitting Europeans to expand to other continents (at the fundamental energy level, expressing systems ecologist Howard Odum’s Maximum Power Principle).

    Like you, oldgrowthforest, most nineteenth-century Europeans had simple, racist and/or nationalist answers to such differences. They concluded that they acquired their cultural head start through an alleged inherently greater intelligence, and that they therefore had a manifest destiny to conquer, displace, or kill “inferior” peoples. Because of this legacy of racist explanations, the whole subject of human differences in level of civilization still reeks of racism. The trouble with this answer involves the fact not only that most people find it loathsome and arrogant, but that it also remains almost certainly wrong. Obviously people differ enormously in the knowledge they acquire, depending on their circumstances of their environment as they grow up. Meanwhile, we have found no convincing evidence of genetic differences in mental ability among people, despite much effort.

    Continental differences in level of civilization arose from geography’s effects on the development of our cultural hallmarks, not from human genetics. Continents differed in the resources on which civilization depended—especially the wild animal and plant species useful for domestication. Continents also differed in the ease with which domesticated species could spread from one area to another. Even today, Americans and Europeans feel painfully aware how distant geographical features, like the Persian Gulf or the Isthmus of Panama, affect our lives. But geography and biogeography have molded human lives even more profoundly, for hundreds of thousands of years. These factors determined who colonized and conquered whom. Europeans’ conquest of the Americas and Australia occurred not due to their better genes, or their “race”, or their “evil” nature, but to their worse germs (especially smallpox), more advanced technology (including weapons and ships), information storage through writing, and political organization—all stemming ultimately from continental differences in geography.

    What differences? you ask. By around 4000 BC western Eurasia already had its ‘Big Five’ domestic livestock that continue to dominate today: sheep, goats, pigs, cows, and horses. Eastern Asians domesticated four other cattle species that locally replace cows: yaks, water buffalo, gaur, and banteng. These animals provided food, power, and clothing, while the horse had incalculable military value. (It served as both the tank, the truck, and the jeep of warfare until the Nineteenth Century.) Why did American Indians not reap similar benefits by domesticating the corresponding native American mammal species, such as mountain sheep, mountain goats, peccaries, bison, and tapirs? Why did Indians mounted on tapirs, and native Australians mounted on kangaroos, not invade and terrorize Eurasia? (NOT because they did not want to domesticate and enslave animals. They enslaved and domesticated, and USED enslaved and domesticated animals, to the greatest extent they could. Or perhaps you did not hear that the Plains Indians used horses?) The answer: Even today, it has proved possible to domesticate only a tiny fraction of the world’s wild mammal species—and only a tiny fraction of them occurred in the Americas. As a result, domestic mammals made no contribution to the protein needs of native Australians and Americans except in the Andes, where their contribution still occurred much less than in the Old World. No native American or Australian mammal ever pulled a plough, cart, or war chariot, gave milk, or bore a rider—because these animals did not exist here. The civilizations of the New World thus limped forward on human muscle power alone, while those of the Old World ran on the power of animal muscle, plus wind- and water-based technologies.

    Similar differences occurred with plants, which put the Americans at a still further disadvantage. As just one important aspect of this, consider the East-West orientation of Eurasia. This orientation puts plants into similar climactic zones, which FACILITATES THE SPREAD OF DOMESTICATED PLANT SPECIES. The Americas have a North-South orientation, which strongly works AGAINST such spreading.]

    You wrote: If they had such advantages, why did they want to take over the entire western hemisphere? Why not stay where things were superior?

    [The shortest possible, fundamental answer: competition and crowding as a result of population growth, just as occurs with most if not all animal species (making maximum use of the energy available: Odum’s Maximum Power Principle).]

    If everyone was “equally” murderous, where are the Native Americans? They were essentially exterminated.

    [Essentially all humans have equally murderous—AND peaceful—CAPABILITIES (with a pretty clear biological predisposition toward peace, not war and killing other humans). The environmental conditions, very importantly including the biogeography of a region, sets the ground rules for the cultural development and evolution that occurs and thus whether peace or violence, including warfare, will occur.]

    You wrote: Since it didn’t happen the other way, theories pale in comparison to history and fact. There was a one-way genocide going on that slaughtered likely well over 100 million people, and possibly many more.

    [Yes, based on the biogeographic principles described above, the European humans slaughtered the American humans. And, had the biogeography occurred favoring the opposite groups of humans, the populations and technology, supported by the domesticated plants and animals, would have exploded in the Americas with the Americans subsequently expanding, moving, and slaughtering the Europeans with their many relative disadvantages. It happened because of geographical luck, not because Europeans supposedly have a warlike nature while Americans presumably do not.]

    You wrote: I will say this, Europeans were certainly more murderous to all the animals and the earth itself, the trees, the waters, the everything. Passenger pigeons that used to fill the sky were “pests” and the only parrot native to the US, the Carolina Parakeet was a pest, too, so they had to go. Wolves, grizzlies, mountain lions, eagles, everything was slaughtered. So, no I do not in the least believe indigenous people were just as murderous. If they were, they would have been living in the hell of the caste system that made Europeans flee that nightmare. There would have been formal armies at war all the time like there was in Europe. There were no such things.

    [Correct. Such conditions probably would have occurred and they probably would have formed such European-like armies IF they COULD have, but the biogeography prevented it, setting them far behind the Europeans. As it turned out, they formed much smaller-scale armies—as murderous as the Europeans, but smaller scale.]

    You wrote: Do you understand why Europeans had greater disease immunity? Because they domesticated/enslaved animals. Europeans were amazed at the abundance and the cleanliness of the Aztec city that is now Mexico city when they first saw it. There was a series of canals devised that allowed them to keep the city clean, and the streets were swept daily. It was as large as any city in Europe at the time, and was beyond anything Europeans had devised or ever even considered.

    [If you wish to believe that the Americans did not domesticate many animals because they preferred to remain clean and not domesticate and enslave other animals (other than human animals, which they did plenty of enslavement of)—by all means continue to believe that.]

    You wrote: Europe was already severely polluted by the Middle Ages, full of miserable, bacteria-laden, suffering masses needing to escape the already cruel and destructive culture. They didn’t know enough not to dump their waste in their drinking water. What an advantage, huh?

    [Yep; ignorance. I see few advantages to ignorance, yet, obviously, many people strongly prefer the bliss of ignorance and the comfort of their preexisting beliefs over the anxiety that often comes with knowledge and awareness, and the cognitive dissonance that knowledge often elicits.]

    You wrote: As for equally murderous, no matter how murderous they might have been, there were lots of them here, many, many millions. Where are they? Natives had the advantage initially, and could have killed every white guy who landed, starting with the Tainos, but instead they were welcomed. The Europeans in North America were told there was enough land to share.

    [Yep. People with power and in-group/ out-group thinking often behave this way.]

    You wrote: You want to say had things been different, which they were NOT, everything done by Europeans would have been done by Native Americans. Well that didn’t happen, did it. Because all the choices people had been making for well over a thousand years were different on both side. Europeans developed machines and things that gave them power over the world, enslaving animals and people en masse, giving power to a few. Native Americans developed crops, agriculture, their hunting grounds, and their people, all their people, not just the few.

    [I don’t say the Americans would have done the same as the Europeans, but that they probably would have for exactly the same biopsychosocial reasons. Why? Because, whether you like it or not we remain ONE SPECIES with the same fundamental biological, psychological, emotional, and social characteristics, not a bunch of fundamentally different species with importantly different characteristics who mistakenly have only one taxanomic label.]

    You wrote: Theorizing about things that didn’t happen may do something for you in this discussion, Bud, but it sure doesn’t me. I’ve lived in both cultures, and the one that gave me most of my “race” cannot compare to the wisdom and strength of my indigenous culture that sustained the earth purposely and with love for their children and the life of the world.

    [Yes, for sure: considering how things would have differed for the different humans involved had the biogeography occurred in a reversed way definitely does much for me. If you wish to continue to push your violence- and war-promoting in-group/ out-group values related to race and nationality, I expect that you will continue to do exactly that. I confess that I do not understand why, after so persistently doing this, you then complain about the natural, predictable consequences of that kind of thinking and valuing when others implement those in-group/ out-group values, and the violence and warfare that usually result from that then occurs. Perhaps you will explain why you complain so much about those negative consequences after you have so strongly and so persistently encouraged people to hold those destructive, in-group/ out-group psychosocial beliefs? The racist, nationalist, in-group/ out-group thinking that you advocate has driven much violence and warfare over many millennia as humans who consider themselves the “right”, “Godly” in-group subjugate and/or destroy the “wrong”, “evil” out-group(s).]

  • Bud, I know for a fact why Native Americans did not domesticate animals, or have standing armies, or trash the planet. It is a completely different world view. And it was not an exploitive world view about wealth.

    And you are correct, they did not have writing. That is your cultural bias that all of those things, iron, plants, etc. were an “advantage.” They saw a healthy world doing what it was “created” to do as the biggest advantage.

    Finally, Bud, I did not make a single insulting comment to you personaly, but merely addressed the subject of “advantages.” But you decide what I am doing is not debating advantages, but ” If you wish to continue to push your violence- and war-promoting in-group/ out-group values related to race and nationality . . .”

    This is your moral failing, Bud, that you even go there, that you think you can sum up my words and meaning to be “pushing my violence- and war-promoting in-group” blah, blah, blah.

    You make it personal, Bud, characterizing people in ugly ways, an ugly way that I never characterized your comments. You are on permanent ignore for that. Bye, Bud. You no longer exist as far as I’m concerned.

  • Love to Guy. I’m the Forest Gump in the back of his class decades ago in Tucson. Rather than using data here is a simple fact. OVERCONSUMPTION. All most anyone with common sense can look at the rows of Shampoo bottles at any store. Chemicals, plastic, factories, distribution, marketing a huge network of “Energy” goes into all those shampoo brands.

    Same for everything – but it’s somehow easier to see the big picture by thinking about any one product. Then travel the world and see products in mass. Tokyo, Madrid, Vancouver, Rio, Capetown. Somewhere a factory is always pumping out product. From oil extraction to landfill…the consumption is growing. On going. And it does not matter exactly how many ounces or fumes are measured, adjusted, debated….

    It’s simply a lot more – than ever before. Teach by common sense alone…Then even the data dumb student can see there is a whole lot more of a resource/collapse problem in store.

  • It would be much appreciated if the TLDR haranguing screeds are dumped in the forum instead of using the comment section of the blog as a landfill.

  • Bud –

    really, what you can’t allow into your consciousness is the blatant reality of different culture. it doesn’t occur to you, as it does to ogf and Satish so easily, just how the cancer cell humans can have one kind of culture, and the healthy cell humans can have another.

    that reality is truly blatant, so the cancer cell people have to fight extra hard against that difference coming to light.

    and this is a cancer cell speaking, btw, who has done what little bit I can do (low-impact lifestyle with no kids) to be less virulent than my more malignant brothers (sorry brothers, nothing personal). I’ve known all along what culture I was born into, and I made it a minor mission of mine since 40 years ago to know what the healthy cultures were all about. to know it, even if I wasn’t living it.

    and yeah, I’m sorry to see you lapse into passive aggressive BS nonsense yet again. knowing and distinguishing what “healthy” vs. “malignant” is, both now and across geography and history, has nothing to do with in-group/out-group thinking.

  • @ Tom Says:
    March 10th, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    Thanks for that, Tom, despite quoting the utterly techno-utopian source. It still amuses me that he, and more than a few others, have their sphincters so tightly clenched around their necks that extraction of their craniums from their rectums is nigh on impossible. Just one quibble, you state…

    “Mass extinctions have happened before in the distant past and anyone NOT thinking that we are at the beginning of another such event is deluding themselves.”

    Perhaps a more accurate wording would be…

    “Mass extinctions have happened before in the distant past and anyone NOT thinking that we are well beyond the beginning of another such event is deluding themselves.”

    Just trying to be “helpful” for the sake of “clarification.” I realize you were probably typing “in haste.” 🙂 Beware the “monsters from the id.” Sorry, just watched, for the umpteenth time, “Forbidden Planet” on Blu-ray, no less. It was like a whole “new” movie and Anne looks fantastic!!

  • Bud Nye Says:
    March 10th, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    “Why did the Europeans come to replace most of the native population of North America and Australia, instead of Indians or native Australians coming to replace most of the original population of Europe? We can rephrase this question with Why did the ancient rate of technological and political development occur fastest in Europe, slower in the Americas (and in Africa south of the Sahara), and slowest in Australia? The humans who settled and remained in the Eurasia biogeographical region had many advantages over those who moved further to the Americas. In 1492 much of the population of Eurasia used iron tools, had writing and agriculture, had large centralized states with ocean-going ships, and found itself on the verge of industrialization. The Americas had agriculture, only a few large centralized states, writing in only one area, no ocean-going ships or iron tools, and technologically and politically a few thousand years behind Eurasia. Australia lacked agriculture, writing, states, and ships, remained in a pre-first-contact condition, and used stone tools comparable to ones made over ten thousand years earlier in Eurasia. Those technological and political differences—not biological differences among humans—determined the outcome of the competition among these human animal populations permitting Europeans to expand to other continents (at the fundamental energy level, expressing systems ecologist Howard Odum’s Maximum Power Principle).”

    Right, the conquest of the Americas (and then, Africa and Asia) was all about Europeans as a group utilizing their technological advantage and simply expanding as humans naturally do. It had nothing to do with a social/economic system arising in Europe. after centuries of relatively steady state conditions, a system which required ever continuous growth for its very survival, a system which arose because of the coercive actions on the part of a very small segment of the populace towards the rest of the people, which hence cast its sights upon the rest of the world to feed its growth imperative. Dumb me, i used to think this history mattered, but thanks to Bud, i now realize it was all just genetic determinism. LOL:!
    Thanks for demonstrating just how ignorant privileged Americans are.

  • White guilt? ! If the formula proceeds the same as I’ve experienced in the past, next you’ll be calling me “Politically Correct.” OK. At least you didn’t try to insult Rousseau and I thank you for that. Cheers.

  • “As the late Malcolm X said (more or less), “the coming conflict will not be about the color of skin, but between the oppressed and those who do the oppressing.” And nice try, artleads, to try to persist in making me appear to be antagonistic to all black people, especially aware ones, just because i referred to one individual as a militant, when in fact in his appearance, manners,…. he is thoroughly boozhie. People such as him would rather that the division was about color rather than class and politics.”

    OK, Jeff. I wasn’t trying to make you out as antagonistic to all blacks. Your posts–and I do skim rapidly through most longer posts–have seemed more simpatico than not to me. What I brought to attention looked like an anomaly. I’m sorry if I’ve cast aspersions on your character unwittingly.

  • Be careful Robin Datta. I was thoroughly admonished for suggesting exactly the same thing; albeit with slightly more colorful language.

  • I thought Bud’s last comment was a tour de force and quite generous considering he was either too diplomatic to mention (or doesn’t know) that one reason the Americas had no domesticated large animals is that the first arrivals pretty much ate all the potential ancestors into extinction. Originally, they DID have horse predecessors, but like dozens of other species of megafauna that might have eventually proven useful, those were extirpated presumably because they were delicious. Once the Europeans re-introduced the horse, the Plains Indians took to them with great skill and alacrity because they greatly increased their ability to hunt and eat buffalo, and were a great advantage in waging war with neighboring tribes.

  • Europeans were amazed at the abundance and the cleanliness of the Aztec city that is now Mexico city when they first saw it. There was a series of canals devised that allowed them to keep the city clean, and the streets were swept daily. It was as large as any city in Europe at the time, and was beyond anything Europeans had devised or ever even considered.

    Highly recommend reading this: http://www.anthro.illinois.edu/faculty/lucero/documents/6and7-LuceroUncorrected.pdf

  • On the ‘less developed’ political conceptions and practices in pre-genocide North America:

    “Among the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, Senecas, and Tuscaroras, certain female lineages controlled the choice of
    male representatives for their clans in their governing councils. Men were the representatives, but the women who chose them had the
    right to speak in the council, and when the chosen representative was too young or inexperienced to be effective, one of the women
    might participate in council on his behalf. Haudenosaunee clan mothers held the power to recall unsatisfactory representatives.
    Charles C. Mann, author of 1491: New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus, calls it “a feminist dream.”

    “The Hopi Nation resisted allotment with partial success. In 1894, they petitioned the federal government with a letter signed by every
    leader and chief of the Hopi villages:
    To the Washington Chiefs:
    ‘During the last two years strangers have looked over our land with spy-glasses and made marks upon it, and we know but little of what
    it means. As we believe that you have no wish to disturb our Possessions we want to tell you something about this Hopi land.
    None of us were asked that it should be measured into separate lots, and given to individuals for they would cause confusion.

    The family, the dwelling house and the field are inseparable, because the woman is the heart of these, and they rest with her. Among
    us the family traces its kin from the mother, hence all its possessions are hers. The man builds the house but the woman is the owner,because she repairs and preserves it; the man cultivates the field, but he renders its harvest into the woman’s keeping, because
    upon her it rests to prepare the food, and the surplus of stores for barter depends upon her thrift.

    A man plants the fields of his wife, and the fields assigned to the children she bears, and informally he calls them his, although in fact
    they are not. Even of the field which he inherits from his mother, its harvests he may dispose of at will, but the field itself he may not.’

    The petition continues, explaining the matriarchal communal society and why dividing it up for private ownership would be unthinkable.
    Washington authorities never replied and the government continued to carve up the lands, finally giving up because of Hopi
    resistance.”

    “Between 1852 and 1867, US citizens kidnapped 4,000 Indian children from these groups (Wintu, Maidu, Miwak, Omo, Wappo, and Yokuts Nations) in California. Disruption of Indigenous social structures
    under these conditions and dire economic necessity forced many of the women into prostitution in goldfield camps, further wrecking
    what vestiges of family life remained in these matriarchal societies.”

    Indigenous People’s History of United States, Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz

  • Looks like more cat 3-4 cyclone activity Downunder.

    ‘Tropical Cyclone Nathan moves closer to far north Queensland coast’

    http://www.weatherzone.com.au/news/tropical-cyclone-nathan-moves-closer-to-far-north-queensland-coast/256152

    “Far north Queensland coastal communities are making final preparations for the second cyclone of the season, which could strengthen to a category three system.

    Tropical Cyclone Nathan formed in the Coral Sea about midnight and is currently a category one system, moving south-west at 14 kilometres per hour….

    The system has dumped more than 211 millimetres of rain in Tully, south of Cairns, since 9:00am Tuesday.”

    Cool Bananas….err…warmer ones in Northern Queensland actually.
    😉

  • Gail Zawacki Says:
    March 10th, 2015 at 6:17 pm
    I thought Bud’s last comment was a tour de force and quite generous considering he was either too diplomatic to mention (or doesn’t know) that one reason the Americas had no domesticated large animals is that the first arrivals pretty much ate all the potential ancestors into extinction. Originally, they DID have horse predecessors, but like dozens of other species of megafauna that might have eventually proven useful, those were extirpated presumably because they were delicious. Once the Europeans re-introduced the horse, the Plains Indians took to them with great skill and alacrity because they greatly increased their ability to hunt and eat buffalo, and were a great advantage in waging war with neighboring tribes.

    *******

    The Pleistocene Megafaunal extinction theories are just that – theories.

    From http://www.pnas.org/content/99/23/14624.full

    Conclusions
    Inferring robustly the cause of the extinction of the Pleistocene megafauna is a remarkably complicated problem that is very sensitive to assumptions concerning the analysis and interpretation of existing data. Although great progress has been made, it is premature to suggest (12, 16) that the problem has been cracked….

    Quantitative modeling can investigate various scenarios by integrating existing knowledge in a logical, structured, and transparent way, but it must be accepted that the output of these models is a product of explicit and implicit assumptions. Further, some explanations for extinction such as habitat modification, cultural motives for hunting large game other than for subsistence, climate change, and their interactions with hunting pressure are probably too complex to falsify with simulation modeling. These caveats should be borne in mind when making claims about the causes of past extinctions, particularly given the way such debates can influence current environmental management policy (see refs. 4 and 46).

    From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleistocene_megafauna

    Four theories have been advanced as likely causes of these extinctions: hunting by the spreading humans,[1] climatic change, spreading disease, and an impact from an asteroid or comet.[2] These factors are not necessarily exclusive: two or more may have combined to cause the extinctions.

    From http://web.stanford.edu/group/journal/cgi-bin/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Gibbons_NatSci_2004.pdf

    Whereas a resolution to the debate between the climate and overkill hypotheses may not be possible to reach, a compromise might serve as a better conclusion. The opposing arguments agree on the fact that the late-Pleistocene climate changes occurred at approximately the same time as the arrival of Homo sapiens in the New World. There is simply no separating the two events. Since there is no differentiating between the time frames of these two events, it follows that the effects of climate and Homo sapiens on the megafaunal populations should not be differentiated either. Both hypotheses seem to have holes that are most logically filled with data from the opposing argument. Therefore, a multifaceted model, incorporating arguments and data from both sides of the debate, makes the most sense in explaining the late-Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions.

    ======

    Gail,

    Correlation does not imply causation, as the data nerds are quick to point out. But when it comes to megafauna extinctions, it’s fashionable to say humans migrated to North America and a couple thousands years later the megafauna went extinct, so it must be the humans who caused that. That’s plenty of projection from the rapacious modern culture backward in time. Those two events, the human migration and the extinctions are correlated but one didn’t necessarily cause the other. More likely, it was Climate Change that was responsible for both the migration and extinctions. For all we know, those humans tried all their best to prevent those extinctions.

    Can we say that about our culture? Are we trying to prevent any of the 200 extinctions happening every day?

    It’s unlikely that humans had lived in balance with nature for hundreds of thousands of years, migrated to the Americas and killed off the megafauna (but not other animals) over the next couple thousand years and then again magically remained in balance for the next 10,000 years. Just read some of the accounts of early European explorers when they set foot in the Americas describing the pristine state of nature, the abundance of food, etc. Oh, but that’s anecdotal. Not real Science! But then Science won’t tell us what happened, does it? There are only theories. And they change as Science “advances”. Out of luck!

    On the Wikipedia page on “Quaternary extinction event”, the word “humans” appears 51 times. But the word “hypothesis” appears 55 times. How about that for data?

    Also note that there’s a background extinction rate of about 4 per year in the natural world. Megafauna are especially vulnerable to changes in their habitats and it’s not unlikely that they went extinct without any human intervention.

    What’s fair to say is this: let’s not make sweeping statements about cultures we don’t fully understand. It’s fair to say “we don’t know” and look closer back in time to see how different cultures expressed themselves as they stayed in balance with their habitats for eons. There are still some cultures that do that, if we only care to listen.

    —-

    Sorry, Robin, for the long post!

  • Lidia, you said:

    “Artleads, you have an historic tendency to derail discussions into areas where you then throw up your hands and say ‘I don’t know; don’t ask me!’. You provoke without any back-up plan or any actual line of thinking. You in fact pride yourself on the opposite of thinking, which approach compromises any sort of respect I might otherwise have for you.”

    Good observation (he’s done that with me too), but I’m not sure of your interpretation. I think it’s actually a very healthy thing that Artleads does. It’s a way of politely telling us to consider the possibility that perhaps we don’t know any better either. Why do we have to be so sure of things all the time? In fact, can we be so sure of anything? Perhaps he’s not “derailing” the discussion as much as guiding it to a place where it becomes clearer that we can’t be certain about one thing or another. Maybe it’s an invitation to stop and say, “hmmm…. that’s interesting!”

    The fact that we have massive libraries full of books with all sorts of “knowledge” in them often leads us to believe that we have advanced quite far in our quest to understand the human condition. I think it’s quite the opposite. The larger our “database” grows, the less we actually comprehend. It says something about modern culture’s faith in gee-whiz Science/Technology and the copious amounts of “knowledge” it produces when we find out about craters in Siberia not through satellite imagery or from aerial views, not any sensor networks or Seismic stations but through local indigenous Reindoor-herders 🙂 By the time we go extinct, there might very well be a trillion sensors of all sorts that will be recording every minute aspect of how exactly the numerous extinction processes are unfolding. There will be data centers that will store the petabytes and there will be scientists who will want to model the data. What for?

    *****

    Bud, I’m losing you… can’t read your long comments anymore. I will continue to read your shorter ones even though I don’t agree with many of your positions, inferences and interpretations. There must be a way to say what you want to say a bit more succinctly. Summarize stuff a bit for us.

    *****

    +1 to what OGF said. I hope you will continue to say the things you say. For the sake of others (if not Bud) who will listen.

  • Reindeer, not reindoor 🙂

  • Colin: thanks man. You’re so perceptive – i ‘was typing in haste’ and your rewrite is more to my original intent.

    couple things to start the day:

    http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2015/03/first-major-protest-against-water.html

    First major protest against the water crisis in São Paulo – ‘Police will guard the water for those who can pay for it, while we die of thirst’

    and, lest we forget

    http://robinwestenra.blogspot.co.nz/2015/03/the-fourth-anniversary-of-catastrophe.html

    The fourth anniversary of the catastrophe at Fukushima Daiichi

    Dedicated to the heroes who have strived to tell the world the truth – Helen Caldicott, Mimi German, Hatrick Penry, Kevin Blanch – and many others who will remain nameless

    Recently I listened to the very first edition of the Lifeboat Hour (from September, 2010) with Mike Ruppert. That was several months before Fukushima. It all sound so mild and relaxed compared with what came later.

    So much of my knowledge of what happened there came from my friend, Mike Ruppert and his journey to reveal the truth

    Fukushima changed everything and it changed Mike.

    What follows is a miscellany of material on the disaster as we mark the 4th anniversary.

    Kevin Hester remarked to me today that Fukushima would mark an extinction event for humanity were it not for our facing our demise sooner, through rapid climate change.

    [read and listen to it all if interested]

  • I will maintain my position that whites are the most morally inferior of all peoples. This, not for any genetic reasons but for reasons that can simply be called a culturally induced lack of qualities that make a race worthy of existence. Love and good will come to mind, also compassion and empathy.

    I don’t think, as some claim, that it is wrong to feel shame for the things my race has done. Shame is often the first step to turning from evil ways. There is nothing more brave hearted than to recognize one’s wrongs. Such observations can cause severe feelings of distress such as shame, regret, inferiority, confusion, etc. But, to walk through that fire is to be cleansed. Clearly, repentance is a worthy goal. But how can it be attained without first feeling the impact of your or the culture’s wrongdoings on the experiential or ‘gut’ level.

    (Now, I’m late for work! HAHAHAHAHA!)

  • Satish,

    “The larger our “database” grows, the less we actually comprehend.” You bet your bipi!
    A brilliant, SHORT sentence!

    Tom,

    Don’t know if George Monbiot has admitted his horrible mistake of backing nuclear power by now but he was one of the ‘liberal’ GIANTS advocating for nuclear power a year after FUKISHIMA!

    http://www.monbiot.com/2012/03/15/press-release-why-we-have-written-to-cameron/

    In my mind this folds into what Satish just said! Ergo, less is best.

    Humanity’s Id is so obviously, tortured and hopelessly monstrous!

  • The Unbearable Lightness Of Mooing
    https://grist.org/food/wheres-the-beef-everywhere/

    Even Cowboys Get The Blues

  • oldgrowthforest,

    Regarding your March 10th, 2015 at 2:39 pm comment, no, I disagree with you. I have not attacked you personally in any way, and I have not made anything “personal”. I HAVE responded to THE THINGS YOU HAVE WRITTEN, to your ARGUMENTS—not to you as a person. In suggesting that I have attacked you personally, you confuse our symbols, our words, our arguments, with yourself.

    In this process, if I have misunderstood or in any way misrepresented anything you have written, you need only provide me with corrective feedback and I will change my understanding of what you have written accordingly. But please don’t try to change the subject by suggesting that I have supposedly purposely “characterized you in an ugly way” when I have only pointed to some of the implications of some of the things you have written.

    Regarding your suggestion that my response supposedly demonstrates some kind of “moral failing” on my part (note that I have NOT suggested any such alleged moral failing in you), I beg to differ with you. Even though as a fallible human being I surely do have many moral failings, I do not agree with you that my possibly misunderstanding some of the things you have written qualifies as an example of a “moral failing” on my part. It only demonstrates that we find communication difficult, with much room for many misunderstandings. We all have our many weaknesses and failures, perhaps especially when writing, and that certainly includes me. That just remains the unfortunate nature of the beast. If you did not realize the implications of some of the things you have written, the meanings others might take from them—the meanings I might take from them—then just make any needed corrections. (Do you really, seriously believe that one person misunderstanding another equates with a “moral failing”? If so, then, surely, everyone, without exception, must fall into the category of “a moral failure”, because we have all, without exception, often misunderstood others.) On the other hand, if you prefer not to provide any corrective feedback and to leave me with my present understandings (or misunderstandings) of the things you have written, as you appear to wish to do, that remains fine.

    Regarding your comment that you “know for a fact why Native Americans did not domesticate animals, or have standing armies, or trash the planet” you don’t think it just a little grandiose to suggest that you know more about how humans lived in North and South America over the past 12,000 years than the world’s anthropologists who have devoted their lives to studying these things do? I guess the Peruvians did not domesticate the Llamas, Alpacas, and Guinea Pigs after all. And what about those pesky horses that the Plains Indians used as slaves as soon as they got access to them, not to mention the many human slaves that many pre-contact Americans made liberal us of? Why don’t they count? Those humans and other animals might not care for your glib dismissal of their pain, suffering and frequent deaths. (I would not appreciate it had I served as one of those slaves.) Why would they use horses, but presumably not other animals, if they had had access to them? But you insist that you “know for a fact” that these things never happened. This makes about as much sense to me as denying the Jewish Holocaust under the German Nazi regime.

    mo flow,

    Of COURSE I understand “the blatant reality of different cultures”. Of COURSE it occurs to me, as it does to ogf and Satish so easily, just how with cancer cells humans can have healthy and unhealthy cultures! And of COURSE I understand that, similarly, we have relatively healthy and unhealthy individual humans. Of COURSE we live in probably of the sickest and most destructive human society Earth has produced. Please help me to understand what I have written that suggests anything otherwise to you. Your writing these things makes it clear that you have very badly misunderstood at least some of what I have written, and I would like very much to know where I failed in what I wrote. (On the other hand, perhaps some of these communication failures lie more with the readers than with my writing, but I tend strongly to assume responsibility for the failures with my writing.)

    No, I don’t agree: One’s pointing to serious weaknesses and contradictions another person’s reasoning and argumentation does not equate with “passive-aggressive behavior”. But, as with making claims about alleged moral failings, making that claim often does work well as a way to introduce a distraction, to personalize an argument, to “hook” another person emotionally, and to change the subject.

    Gail Zawacki,

    Thanks for pointing out my oversight: that the Americans had no large animals for possible domestication, including horses, because earlier arrivals had driven them to extinction. (Domestication works with only a small percentage of animals.) I simply did not think to mention this.

    Jeff S.,

    You quote my writing “Those technological and political differences—not biological differences among humans—determined the outcome of the competition among these human animal populations permitting Europeans to expand to other continents (at the fundamental energy level, expressing systems ecologist Howard Odum’s Maximum Power Principle)”. (Notice that in my response to oldgrowthforest I never suggested anything about any alleged “genetic determinism”.) Then you write “It had nothing to do with a social/economic system arising in Europe. after centuries of relatively steady state conditions, a system which required ever continuous growth for its very survival, a system which arose because of the coercive actions on the part of a very small segment of the populace towards the rest of the people, which hence cast its sights upon the rest of the world to feed its growth imperative. Dumb me, i used to think this history mattered, but thanks to Bud, i now realize it was all just genetic determinism.” Please carefully compare what I wrote with what you wrote. Do you not see any fairly obvious problem(s) with either your reading, your reasoning, or your writing?

  • Enough of this BS about Plains Indians and setting up yet another strawman:

    “The Plains Indians are a particularly ironic choice, given the evidence Peter Farb gathers in Man’s Rise to Civilization, As Shown by the Indians of North America from Primeval Times to the Coming of the Industrial State. There, Farb shows that the Plains Indians we know did not exist prior to European contact. They descended from refugees from other Native groups destroyed by the various European epidemics that wiped out 90% or more of North America’s population in the years after 1492, with a new culture assembled around two important European introductions: the re-introduction of the horse as wild herds profligated and filled up the Americas, and guns traded from French fur trappers. The Plains Indians had a post-apocalyptic culture.”-Jason Godesky.

  • MR NYE (to OGF) said this:” I have not attacked you personally in any way, and I have not made anything “personal”.”

    BS-you need to read the first part of your essay in response to OGF where you have labelled her a racist. In my book, accusing someone of violence and war promoting is pretty personal also.

    Neat little trick of randomly associating one of Her comments with holocaust denial. I wouldnt want to be in your shoes when that’s read.