On Using “Useful” Research

by Alton C. Thompson

Some research has the purpose to uncover, and then understand that which has been uncovered—archeological research being a prototype of that type of research.  What prompted the research in the first place was the assumption that something would be uncovered where the uncovering process was occurring, but without any clear ideas as to what would be uncovered.

With some research the “uncovering” took place previously, and the task at hand is to gain an understanding of what has been uncovered—e.g., the Nag Hammadi “library”—and then make, and test, hypotheses regarding the implications of the knowledge gained .  Once one was gained the sought-after understanding, and has results from one’s hypothesis testing, one may very well convey (or try to) one’s understanding to others (via one’s web site, for example), thereby adding to our body of knowledge.

Some research, however, has a purpose that extends beyond the above, in that it seeks results that will be useful—results, that is, that can be acted upon.  One would like to think that because climate is a topic of great relevance for our lives, with climate change having particular relevance for our lives, that those engaged in climate (change) research would perceive their research from a “usefulness” perspective.  After all, insofar as climate change—or, as some prefer, “global warming”—has implication for the lives of us humans, the fact that climate change researchers are humans (!) would be expected to influence their perception of their work and its implications.  That in perceiving the results of their research as potentially useful, they would feel an obligation to not only undertake their research, but to offer suggestions as to how their research findings might be used—including by themselves!

It is understandable why a given climate scientist might counter such a suggestion by declaring that doing so would be beyond his or her realm of expertise—and s/he would certainly have a valid point.  However, given that climate change is known to have implications for our lives as humans, the fact that a climate scientist’s research findings will have implications for the life of the scientist in question (!), should motivate the scientist in question to:

  • At least make speculative judgments as to the relevance of his or her findings for the lives of his//her fellow human beings—including herself or himself!

 

  • In recognizing the possible implications of those research findings for oneself, make a determination as to whether those findings are such that one should oneself act on those findings; and in having determined that one should act, make a decision as to what, specifically, one should do.

For example, Guy McPherson, formerly with the University of Arizona, wrote in 2013:

A decade ago, as I was editing a book on climate change, I realized we had triggered events likely to cause human extinction by 2030.

His response to that conclusion was twofold. First,

I abandoned the luxury-filled, high-pay, low-work position I loved as a tenured full professor to go back to the land.  I led by example.  Vanishingly few followed.  I’m reminded of the prescient words attributed to American existential psychologist Rollo May:  “The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it is conformity.”  (He also wrote a book about his “departure.”)

Second, Dr. McPherson (a) initiated the “Nature Bats Last” (how true!—what a brilliant name for a web site!) web site, (b) has created a file that reports research regarding climate change, (c) has produced educational videos, (d) has written a book that expresses his views (and another one with Carolyn Baker), and (e) gives speeches here and there (including Europe) to inform the public, both as to the results of current climate change research, and his view as to what one should do in response to those research results—his short answer to that matter being “Only Love Remains.”  That is, Prof. McPherson is one of those rare scientists to have the “guts” to go beyond the realm of science per se, and make a recommendation as to how one should respond to those research findings.

In short, McPherson reached a point in his life when he decided that he needed to do something with his life that was useful.  He therefore (with his wife) (a) changed his way of life, (b) began to read extensively in the climate science literature, (c) undertook an effort to educate others as to what he had learned, and (d) also made known his opinion as to how one should respond to what is occurring with Earth’s atmosphere:  “We [he and his wife] are committed to working with other members of our human community as we muddle through a future characterized by collapse on all fronts, economic, environmental, and climatic included.”

What could be a more sensible way to respond to the likelihood of our imminent demise as a species?!  Yet how many climate scientists (of which McPherson is not, as he would admit) have responded in a way comparable to the way that Guy McPherson has?!  Frankly, I know of not a single one!  (Which may merely reveal my ignorance, of course!)

Of the many examples that could be given who have not (apparently, at least), let me here “pick on” Gifford H. Miller, a professor in Colorado University-Boulder’s department of geological sciences and associate director of its Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research.  I “pick on” specifically a recent article by him—but only because it is one that I encountered just a short time ago.

In his article Miller makes the interesting comment that:

We often think of glaciers as efficient erosive agents, carving great fiords and leaving sheer valley walls as evidence of their passing.  But ice is a passive-aggressive character.  While ice flowing in confined valleys does indeed erode efficiently, glaciers occupying relatively flat landscapes in cold terrain are exceptional preservation agents, capable of preserving even the most delicate features of the landscape for millennia.  The potential for this passive behavior to aid in understanding the nature of current warming has been recognized only recently.

He then proceeds to discuss how:  He and his students collected “clumps of moss coming out from under the ice margins” on which they were walking on Baffin Island, and then subjected the samples collected to radiocarbon dating.

Alton Thompson CO2

Earlier in his article Miller had stated:  “We need tools that allow us to evaluate the state of climate well before we had thermometers in place.”  My response to this claim:  WHY do we need them?!  As a climate scientist, how can you, for example, not be aware of the NASA graph?

How can you not know (as the above graph shows) that the 400 ppm level of CO2 has been passed, and that:

The last time [about 800,000 years ago!] “there was this much [i.e., a 400 ppm level] carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth’s atmosphere, modern humans didn’t exist.  Megatoothed sharks prowled the oceans, the world’s seas were up to 100 feet higher than they are today, and the global average surface temperature was up to 11°F [i.e., about 6° C] warmer than it is now.”

The fact that the 400 ppm point has been passed means, of course, that the atmosphere “should” be several degrees C warmer now than it now is—and is likely to become much warmer at some point in the future.  So warm, in fact, that our species is rendered extinct!

Given that strong possibility, Dr. Miller, where is your “survival extinct”?!  Why do you find it so difficult to realize that doing further research regarding global warming is POINTLESS?!  And that rather than doing so, you should follow the lead of Guy McPherson.

Here I had been led to believe that ours is the most intelligent of all species!  How, then, does one explain (a) how we humans have gotten ourselves into our current predicament?  And how, also, (b) does one explain why individuals who do know the answer to that question (such as you, Dr. Miller), demonstrate so little intelligence in responding to that answer?!

Puck, in William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer-Night’s Dream,” evidently had it right:

Lord, what fools these mortals be!

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Catch Nature Bats Last on the radio with Mike Sliwa and Guy McPherson. Tune in every Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, or catch up in the archives here. If you prefer the iTunes version, including the option to subscribe, you can click here.

This week’s show featured a conversation between McPherson and two of his hosts on the current tour. It’s archived in the usual space.

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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

***

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

***

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 47

  • Mr. Thompson, your article raises two questions in my mind: What have you done in regard to your awakening to the climate change now threatening mass extinction? And what would you suggest to others as appropriate ways to act in light of this shattering realization?

  • I did the only thing anyone can do I went and had a vasectomy,(2000) and started spreading the http://www.vhemt.org message, it did sweet fuckall to help the situation. So we face this perfect storm with another 1-2 billion children. All I can do is thank my gods non of them are mine)

  • Thanks Alton C Thompson For the ‘Useful” Research! An unrelated Prose
    Are you ready to tango the inferno El Nino
    You’ll find me in limbo at the loco cassino
    Playing bingo with bongo drinking some Vino
    By tomorrow I’m jello somewhere over a Rainbow
    To much mumbo jumbo so lets all go Incognito
    Where we tiptoe into a iceless fiasco how Profecto
    What a weirdo yes that’s my motto now my new Credo

  • Climate scientists span a spectrum as wide as the breeds at a dog show. And even within their own breed, they often specialise in just one trick, knowing dog$#!¥ about the rest.

    And empirical observation is the very basis of science. If results from deduction and induction fail to tally with observations, it is the induuctions and deductions that must be thrown out, not the observations.

    Observations of one kind, as from satellites, DO NOT obviate the need for or utility of observations of another kind, as from moss from under the edge of a glacier.

    A lot of research is directed towards goals that are not at all pragmatic. Such as much of astronomy, theoretical physics, mathematics, etc. Just because we realise that the climate will make us keel over sooner than later, is not reason enough to abandon climate research. Now if we choose to conserve resources to be used towards minimising suffering on the way, then all research not relevant to this objective should be ended. But then a lot more should be higher on that list besides research.

    The Four Horses (sans men) of a poke at lips on autoplay.

  • SPEAKING OF USEFUL RESEARCH

    PAUL BECKWITH just posted an extremely detailed video concerning the state of the earth’s weather system.

    As he demonstrated with specific charts and graphs, everyone should be able to see and agree with his accurate scientific assessment that the earth’s weather system is “NOT HEALTHY RIGHT NOW.”

    The world is witnessing with their own eyes around the globe that the earth weather patterns are very anomalous. And the TRUTH IS that it will never change back to what anyone consider normal again.

    Dr. McPherson astutely and correctly continue to refer to Dr.Beckwith work. Dr. Beckwith has made it plainly and abundantly clear that the earth weather system is in a state of UNHEALTHY DISTRESS, especially in the “canary in the coal mine” Arctic ice melt (which by the way is heading for a record low extent again, as he demonstrates in his graphs).

    THUS

    Speaking of the CONSEQUENCES of an UNHEALTHY WEATHER SYSTEM WITH A DETERIORATING AND BROKEN JET STREAM(also graphically shown in his presentation) THE VANUATU ISLAND is about to get hit by two cyclone just as Australia did several days ago. Be it merciful fate, however, one cyclone is being categorized as a “baby cyclone,” UNFORTUNATELY the second cyclone is categorized as a “MONSTER CYCLONE APPROACHING,” approaching the island.

    HERE, THERE, AND EVERYWHERE the evidence of the earth’s dying is materializing all around the human race.

    THANK YOU DR.MCPHERSON FOR TELLING THE TRUTH.

    IT IS HEART-WRENCHING TO WATCH THE MASSES UPON MASSES UPON MASSES (THE BILLIONS) ALL AROUND US SLEEP-WALKING INTO THE END.

    ———————————————————————

    CHECK OUT DR. BECKWITH’S MOST RECENT VIDEO OF FACTS, TRUTH, AND APPARENT WARNING POSTED ON YOUTUBE OR AT SEEMOREROCKS.COM.

  • @Alton C Thompson: Given that strong possibility, Dr. Miller, where is your “survival extinct”?! Why do you find it so difficult to realize that doing further research regarding global warming is POINTLESS?! And that rather than doing so, you should follow the lead of Guy McPherson.

    >>>

    tl;dr: Let’s get real…or let’s not play.

    >>>

    OK…I’m gonna call SHENANIGANS on this one, Alton.

    First and foremost: The one thing we do not need is hagiography of Guy McPherson, or anyone else for that matter. All of these attempts, by you, by Pauline Schneider, by Reese Jones, and by others to “brand” him or make him into some mythic figure are just idiotic, and are looked at with justifiable suspicion and skepticism by plenty of folks who are a)concerned about the future of our planet and/or b)are already living their lives congruently with their beliefs and their values and/or c)are already doomers, and wouldn’t touch this place with a 10 foot pole.

    Second, it’s sheer hubris to declare that it’s “pointless” for researchers to do research. That’s their vocation. Artists paint, writers write, doctors heal – and researchers do research. Yes, we’re all going to die, and perhaps we are all going to die very soon – but that doesn’t mean that people should simply abandon their life work – much less arrogantly tell everyone else to do the same.

    Furthermore, there is certainly NOT a consensus judgment about Guy’s own conclusions. Well respected and dedicated professionals – whose lives and commitments reflect their seriousness of purpose – are not all in agreement on what even Guy refers to as a PROBABILITY, not a CERTAINTY. I happen to think that Guy’s general conclusions are probably correct, but am I going to make fun or pick on someone like Dr Michael Mann, who continues to be a dedicated researcher and has paid a heavy price in terms of attacks on him by entrenched energy cartel interests? No, I am most certainly not – and I would say neither should you if you have any nobility of character.

    (BTW, there’s a new interview with Mann by Alex Smith on Radio EcoShock up now).

    Third: This is yet one more example of the kind of “us vs them” tribal thinking that Bud pointed out that is SO destructive – and that TIAA was alluding to as she left this group once and for all because she recognized that a lot of what is said here is motivated by (in her words) “fear and hate” rather than love.

    Only love remains? Hardly. A lot of shadow remains, and unless we eat the shadow it poisons us and leaks out of our pores, and betrays it’s presence in the words we speak.

    Fourth: I do not know the circumstances of Guy’s departure from his six figure tenured university professorship. But now that he’s left, he’s forced to beg for money in order to make his nut. So someone else has to work in order to support him. That doesn’t make much sense on ANY level. If he was still attached to his university, he’d have a bully pulpit, he could still make videos and speeches, and he’d have MORE opportunity to influence others, rather than less. So the BEST thing I can say about his choosing to leave (if he wasn’t being forced out) is that it was a case of poor judgment in service of his own ego ideals. It’s certainly not an example worth emulating.

    Fifth: What Guy chose to do as a lifestyle after he left isn’t particularly congruent with his own stated values and goals. There are plenty of people living on the cheap in old trailers, or in studio rental apartments, making a minimal carbon footprint. (I happen to be one). Guy, on the other hand, bought and moved into his “mud hut”, to which he made HALF A MILLION DOLLARS worth of survivalist type upgrades. This kind of lifestyle choice requires not just a fantastic amount of money on Guy’s part, but a robust industrial civilization driven industry in survivalist type supplies. How exactly does this show other people how then they should live?

    Sixth: Guy CHOOSES to fly around the world to make short speeches to tiny audiences that recap his available material. Even the largest, richest corporations try to conserve their finite resources by using the internet for teleconferencing unless it is absolutely critical for people to meet face to face. What’s the justification for Guy’s creating a gorilla sized carbon footprint here? How does this model what the rest of us should do?

  • what the rest of us should do?

    I hold that is doesn’t matter a fat rats butt what you do, nothing is going to change our inevitable demise, I don’t think we can speed it up or slow it down, this thing has got its own momentum
    The only thing we can do to reduce human suffering is to discourage new humans.If we all left the planet tonight, or morphed into Guy McPherson’s, or the Dalia Lame, or even if there were 20 billion of us, it is coming at its own speed (bloody fast)
    Nothing else matters except lowering the birthrate, that’s if you give a fuck, I’m over it )
    My air head niece and her obese husband are about to have their second kid ???
    age of idiocracy ?

  • I don’t know about Gifford H. Miller but if he’s anything like the average professional (and academic researchers are professionals), his writing and research are just par for the course.

    Two words: Assignable Curiosity

    Anyway, some gallows humor here

  • Thanks Alton.

    The phenomenon you describe is not successfully dealt with by politics, geology, ecology, war, denial, or religion.

    No, the proper agency or discipline to have dealt with it is a branch of psychology known as psychotherapy for groups.

    Sigmund Freud was on top of it, however, the epiphany came too late in his career to implement it:

    If the evolution of civilization has such a far reaching similarity with the development of an individual, and if the same methods are employed in both, would not the diagnosis be justified that many systems of civilization — or epochs of it — possibly even the whole of humanity — have become neurotic under the pressure of the civilizing trends?”

    I would not say that such an attempt to apply psychoanalysis to civilized society would be fanciful or doomed to fruitlessness.

    The diagnosis of collective neuroses, moreover, will be confronted by a special difficulty. In the neurosis of an individual we can use as a starting point the contrast presented to us between the patient and his environment which we assume to be normal. No such background as this would be available for any society similarly affected; it would have to be supplied in some other way. And with regard to any therapeutic application of our knowledge, what would be the use of the most acute analysis of social neuroses, since no one possesses power to compel the community to adopt the therapy? In spite of all these difficulties, we may expect that one day someone will venture upon this research into the pathology of civilized communities
    .”

    (Weekend Rebel Science Excursion – 29). That discipline was never developed and implemented by the “psychology department” of modern society.

    And so we look around and see a world where the psychologists on the Titanic are doing the proverbial rearranging of the deck chairs to save themselves (Choose Your Trances Carefully).

  • UNBROKEN CIRCLE
    NBL Commenter 1: This is good.
    NBL Commenter 2: This is bad.
    NBL Commenter 1: You are a liar.
    NBL Commenter 2: You are a liar.
    NBL Commenter 1: You are an asshole.
    NBL Commenter 2: You are an asshole.
    REPEAT AD NAUSEUM – CONTINUED NEXT POST

  • Dredd, I’ve heard it said, that the “psychology department” of modern society functions unconsciously or reactively just like its patients do and have as much difficulty dealing with reality. Thus, they can provide society with little more than assisting broken minds to re-fit with relative comfort into a sick society, leaving the most important fundamental aspects of their patients neurosis untreated.

    I think that understanding the problem with the way most people function mentally should be based on our culture’s insistence that everyone function as if they were disparate multiple personalities instead of an integrated whole. We are forced to strive to be totally good and totally evil at the same time. Therefore most have become carriers of dual personalities, or schizophrenic. While we attempt to cope, our culture continually reinforces ideas implying that most action based on the highest morality is wrong or bad and depicts evil actions based on the lowest morality possible as good and necessary. It is demanded of us that as we fail miserably as a society and as moral individuals, we also feel good about ourselves and consider our society as the best of all possible societies.

    It is easy to influence most people to settle for a ‘sick’ existence simply because it feels good to belong. But, the inner conflict within individuals has ripped them and their world apart. The symptoms are all around us. This place is a madhouse!

  • Kirk Hamilton Says:
    March 8th, 2015 at 8:05 am

    Dredd, I’ve heard it said, that …
    ==============================
    Well said.

  • Thank you sir!

    In America, telling the truth has always made you a BAD PERSON.
    In other words, it’s bad to be good! LOLOL!

    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/state/florida/article12983720.html

  • Satish,

    I’ve found the Iron Dome – email me.

    *****

    RE: Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper”:

    “…the Iraqi people…In the movie they are depicted as a dehumanizing mass of savages-occupying the same role as Indians in John Wayne Western movies of old-responsible for their own suffering and the devastation of their own country, which the WHITE (Germanic Tribes) man is in the process of civilizing.”

    Chris Kyle(The STAR of the movie) WRITES, “I hate the damn savages. I couldn’t give a flying fuck about the Iraqis.” Real nice.

    “They say that patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel”

    Sounds veeeeery familiar to some beauty queens on this blog. The patriotic ones I mean.

    “Man was born into barbarism,” Martin Luther King said, “when killing his fellow man was a normal condition of existence.”

    ********

    “The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) was founded in 1971 and was known as the “conscience of the Congress.” That designation ended when big money interests realized that CBC members could be bought as easily as their white counterparts.”

    Sadly. (See paragraph immediately before.) “The movement fighting police killing with impunity has had few sincere allies among the black political class.”

    “Apparently Barbara, Jeb, & George W. are more appalled by police brutality than Obama is.” (she gives examples & how George The First handled the Rodney King case)

    “Thousands of black people SUFFERED and still SUFFER under the horrific Clinton era politics.”

    *******
    A quote from “IN the Shadow of the Sabertooth” by Doug Peacock.

    “These (scientists) propose that the First Americans drifted or paddled over from South Asia, Australia or-postulated by well-established archaeologists-the Iberian Peninsula of Spain and France. The lithic technology of the Solutrean tradition (people who lived in southwestern Europe about 22,000 to 18,000 years ago), they argue, is the true progenitor of the Clovis Point and this very terrestrial-adapted European culture, with no evidence of maritime technology, overcame a very cold ocean over a time span of 5,000 years by iceberg-hopping in skin boats, presumably living off sea mammals in order to deliver the distinctive Clovis weapon system to the Southeastern United States. A bothersome insinuation of the primacy accorded to European lithic diffusion (technology passed on from one people to another) of the “Solutrean” theory is that NATIVE AMERICANS COULDN’T HAVE SOMEHOW INVENTED THE CLOVIS POINT ON THEIR OWN.

  • Mister Hamilton: Hilarious! The damn state is going to submerge itself pretty damn soon but they are taking action by banning words. Worse (almost)than Southern politics. Hard to believe.

  • Rhetoric Vs. Reality
    The only thing we ever agreed on is money.
    We deny our own mortality before we deny money.
    Words are wind. Money talks.

    Money Changes Everything
    http://www.reddit.com/r/RenewableEnergy/comments/2tz0s7/how_to_fix_everything/

  • The line has been decisively crossed.

    Not only is there now less sea ice than at any time in modern history but also the trend line is quite steeply downward. (And we won’t even mention ice thickness or ice density.)

    All large-land-mass dwellers in the Northern Hemisphere had better be prepared for scorching/freezing/dehydration/inundation. Pity the plants.

    (Somewhat better on particular relatively-small landmasses in the Southern Hemisphere which are surrounded by cool water for a while. However, most ‘lifeboats’ are already overfull.)

    https://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

  • On the other hand…

    Blue light rain, whoa, unbroken chain
    Looking for familiar faces in an empty window pane
    Listening for the secret, searching for the sound
    But I could only hear the preacher and the baying of his hounds

    Willow sky, whoa, I walk and wonder why
    They say love your brother but you will catch it when you try
    Roll you down the line boy, drop you for a loss
    Ride out on a cold railroad and nail you to a cross

    November and more as I wait for the score
    They’re telling me forgiveness is the key to every door
    A slow winter day, a night like forever
    Sink like a stone, float like a feather

    Lilac rain, unbroken chain
    Song of the Saw-Whet owl
    Out on the mountain it’ll drive you insane
    Listening to the winds howl

    Unbroken chain of sorrow and pearls
    Unbroken chain of sky and sea
    Unbroken chain of the western wind
    Unbroken chain of you and me

    Sorry about the muddy sound on vocals…Phil doesn’t get a lot of practice.

  • Kirk Hamilton,

    “It’s easy to influence people to settle for a ‘sick’ existence simply because it feels good to belong…”

    Self-sabotage that is condemning all complex life-forms to extinction. Our perennial subject, I think.

    Thanks for summing it up so well, again!

    Robert Callaghan,

    Please indulge people and show that you have a sense of humour.

    1. 2. 3. etc is a bit tedious IMO.

    shep,

    I’ve replied to your “proud to be German?” under the last post. Just in case you’re still interested.

  • Sabine, i love think i’m humorous as well as “funny”, but, these are just the silly thought experiments of a stoner who everybody censors and ignores. I never wiped my ass with silk, but these thought experiments are really the same sort of thing. I crap out solutions and ideas and watch as they’re wiped away.

    Example Given:
    James Hansen, remember him?, world famous climate scientist, begged green NGOs to join with him, and world renowned conservation biologists, to allow nuclear technology to get power from nuclear fuel waste. But, since this interfered with their funding polls, he was declined. The NGO wrote an answer saying, while he was pretty smart about climate, he didn’t know dick about nuclear power. Now, who to believe?, world-renowned scientist, or money-grubbing climate jet setters?

    James Hansen says we should give 100% of your carbon taxes back to you, with no share for government and corporations. No-no-no-o-o say NGOs. Enter the Rockefellers, who fund 350.org and Naomi Klein, they recently divested from oil, and desperately want government and corporate control of any future carbon tax dividends. End Comment.

    p.s. – i would do anything for a laugh or a cry, but i’m not exactly sure what you ask.

  • Kirk, my friend… wow. you summed up something so well there I bow to you, deeply. I was just yesterday trying to find a way of talking about what I would call “shadow reversal” – something that has been on my mind for a very long time.

    we have actually succeeded in walling out – and disowning into shadowland – what is very wonderfully and deeply a positive force, and owning, with sick desperation, in our collective human ego, so much of what is actually an extremely negative force.

    you nailed it. it is pure madness.

    (btw – this reversal process can be completely undone on an individual basis. if there is any shred of hope for even a sliver of us long term, in some fashion, this has to be undone collectively. :0)

  • Catching up at Desdemona Despair. It’s pretty unbearable. It’s always the ones about the animals that tear my heart out. http://www.desdemonadespair.net/

  • and to be carefully clear about my use of “we” in “we have actually succeeded…”

    this only applies to the psychological process that is behind empire. this is the collective, generational process of domination and submission within this culture, and all that it assimilates and all that are assimilated by it – that creates shadow reversal. that process relies fundamentally on shadow reversal for its very existence.

    if the true power of the positive force that is now trapped in our collective shadow was unleashed, empire would be destroyed in a heartbeat. it would be completely vaporized.

  • It seems to me the Puppet Masters- possibli all hiding in New Zealand, Patagonia, South Africa- are pulling every string to provoke a nuclear war between US and Russia.
    The idea is that a small nuclear winter could bring down Earth’s fever….
    Maybe for a year or two. And with all obvious “side- effects”

  • Sabine:

    I apologized on the previous post.

  • Ed posted: “The one thing we do not need is hagiography of Guy McPherson, or anyone else for that matter. All of these attempts, by you, by Pauline Schneider, by Reese Jones, and by others to “brand” him or make him into some mythic figure are just idiotic, and are looked at with justifiable suspicion and skepticism by plenty of folks who are a)concerned about the future of our planet and/or b)are already living their lives congruently with their beliefs and their values and/or c)are already doomers, and wouldn’t touch this place with a 10 foot pole.”

    You do realize you are speaking ONLY for yourself, right? I think his using creative methods and enlisting the help of others to get the message out and being willing to take chances and explore different methods for doing so, some of which I will admit myself are more successful than others, are nothing short of courageous. And here I am speaking only for myself, but at least I am saying it in that manner. Different approaches and avenues of imparting information may not suit your personal tastes, but as they say, different strokes for different folks.

    As to the rest of your post, I will have to come back and address it later, and wait a period of time before doing so, and give the matter some thought first and some careful consideration.

    and for the record, Sabine, when I quoted the post shep made myself earlier, it was not specifically addressed to you when I did it, but solely to Friedrich Kling, and I should have stated that You never had to justify or explain yourself in my book. However I am still very interested in what his response will be. I know I’m far from perfect myself, and mess up quite frequently, but I also know it can be a real sign of maturity and wisdom to own up to it..just sayin.

  • Amy, I agree with you. I think Guy is very courageous, real courage like few people display. I have admired Guy since I first discovered his blog and his message. I wonder who among all the illustrious experts that ed mentions would allow him to make comments about them on their blogs, as he does about Guy here. I’d lay odds that the number is zero, but I could be wrong.

    Personally, as a congenital nature lover, I think Guy is all over this situation. People who have understood the need for a healthy environment have always known that the damage absolutely would reach a point of no return. Some of us hoped that humanity would not be stupid enough to let it happen, but we might as well have wished for world peace and brotherhood among all people. It just wasn’t one of the realistic options.

  • Dear Satish M……

    THAT SIGN WAS SUPER FUNNY!!!!!!!

    Gallow humor indeed. Also, so very fitting. Too bad, unwittingly, the aliens are “we the people.”

    A little levity lightens the mind even with such a tragic truth as “we the people” now face.

    I have read some of your writings and I see you have a measure of seriousness in you also.

    THE SIGN WAS HILARIOUS THOUGH!!!!

  • mirrorreflectingmirror Says:
    March 8th, 2015 at 12:09 pm
    I previously posted this link. Since the premise for Near Term Extinction (2035 or so) *MUST* include mass methane release, you’d think people would want to debate the science of it here? No? It doesn’t mean humans won’t go extinct from climate change, but it certainly sets the date back.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/03/02/why-you-shouldnt-freak-out-about-those-mysterious-siberian-craters/

    No one wants to discuss SCIENCE, however (and I note Guy has no response to the article himself). It’s just people sniping about irrelevant matters and expressing admiration for hitler (!). What a wasted opportunity this is. I must conclude people here are simply not serious about the topic as science, and just operate on belief/faith of whatever stripe.

    *******

    mirrorreflectingmirror,

    Washington Post is an establishment publication. Their interest is in maintaining the status quo for as long as the masters feel is appropriate. We shouldn’t be surprised when they run articles that are titled, “why you shouldn’t freak out about…{insert threat to status quo here}”. Alex Smith, by the way, also sings the same song sometimes. I don’t understand it when he says things like, (paraphrasing) “well, we still have some time left to do something about climate change, not much time, but some time”. WTF! People are already dying and wars are already being fought over the impacts of climate change. Island countries are already submerging and extreme weather events are a reality. What do people mean by “don’t freak out just yet” and “we still have some time left”. It’s not like there’s a strict threshold in time when we declare or decide we need to act. It’s a continuum, a time scale. The longer we wait, the worse things get. No matter where we are on this time scale, there is always something we could have done but didn’t and there’s always something we can still do but won’t. The question is who calls the shots and when. And it’s not you or me, my friend. Try and let me know how it goes. Sometimes I wonder if what’s going on is a lesson… one that makes us realize the futility of individual struggle or any struggle for that matter at all, one that forces us to look elsewhere for a deeper understanding of our condition, one that encourages us to relinquish the ideology of control, one that points us to the path of surrender. This especially applies to those of us who are steeped in the dominant paradigm. For the rest who have stepped out of it or, as was said in the comments above, leading a schizophrenic life, with one foot here and one foot there, it’s a bit easier to see our current predicament in more than one way, all of which are valid in their context.

    One thing about “SCIENCE” – the more you learn about how it works, the more you will see through it. That Science is better than belief is just a belief. Science can’t prove its own superiority over other ways of knowing. No circular logic allowed in the rectilinear world of Science 🙂 What’s worse is that what we practice today in academia is not even Science. If there’s an excess amount of faith in anything in the modern world, it’s our faith in the workings of Science in a world run by the academic-industrial complex. Listen to Jeff Schmidt on Academic Freedom or check out Academic Repression

    It’s like the debate about capitalism and free markets when the reality on the ground is crony capitalism and controlled markets. Why debate the merits of Science when what’s being practiced is not even Science, at least in the context of Climate Science?

    And regarding people sniping at each other on this blog, it’s a reflection of what’s going on out there: a war is being waged by some on others. It’s been this way since the dawn of civilization, at least, but has been intensifying in the last few hundred years. As far as I can tell, there’s very little that’s not allowed on this blog. And rightly so, because to understand our predicament, we do need to look into every corner and under every rock. And that includes the “othering” process that lies at the root of both genocide and ecocide.

    ******

    Kirk Hamilton and Ouse M.D.,

    Well said!

  • OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH BY THE WAY

    FOR ALL THOSE WHO CONTINUE TO DEBATE. THIS IS DR.MCPHERSON MAIN POINT!!!

    RIGHT NOW
    —————–
    METHANE LEVELS: CODE RED

    “The color code has changed.

    There should be no red or pink on this map if we are planning on surviving. Temperature follows the powerful greenhouse gas methane.

    Oceanographer John Church says with an allegory that the oceans are absorbing heat equivalent to 17 Hiroshima bombs a second. The oceans cannot take this indefinitely. The oceans are switching from absorbing heat to producing it . The atmospheric temperatures can be expected to increase.

    This isn’t in the next thousand years.

    This is now and especially in the next four or five years.

    For the new people to the methane issue, Dr. James Hansen considers 1250 ppb as the maximum sustainable level of methane in the atmosphere.

    As you can see, 1250 ppb on the color scale is coded as yellow and light green.”

    CHECK OUT THE GRAPH. IT’S ON SEEMOREROCKS.COM
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-lD6E9v6weLs/VPzWb84MZ6I/AAAAAAABbYE/cHOzF5X3mI8/s1600/11059254_10155350504380089_4829628328407318427_n.jpg
    ————————————————————————

    BUT “WE THE PEOPLE ARE TOLD TO WORRY ABOUT OUR FUTURE PROSPECTS, OUR MONEY IN OUR WALLETS,401k, OUR BANK ACCOUNTS, TO BE PREPARED FOR OUR FINANCIAL FUTURES,

    OHHHHHHHHHHHHH, especially the college bound and in every school house.

    It is an egrecious morbid parade of normalcy being played out in front of our very eyes with “THE PEOPLE” only given the truth if they look for it.

    THE BEASTLY SYSTEM, O WHAT AN ABSOLUTE FITTING NAME FOR THE GLOBAL CAPITAL SYSTEM THAT REGULATES ITSELF BY AN INVISIBLE HAND ACCORDING TO ADAM SMITH. A HUGE WALL STREET ADVOCATE. WHAT A BOGUS LIE.

    WHY CAN’T A COUNTRY FULL OF “MANIFEST DESTINY” ACKNOWLEDGE TRUTH?
    THE ROBBER BARONS STARTED IT ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    “THE BUSINESS OF AMERICA IS BUSINESS.” THEY ARE STILL HERE TODAY AND THEY SAY, “WHAT CARBON? WHAT METHANE? WHAT ABOUT OUR FOURTH QUARTER PROFITS AND OUR ANGRY SHAREHOLDERS?”

    CORRECT ME IF I AM WRONG BUT THE FIRST EUROPEANS HAD TO ANSWER TO THEIR SHAREHOLDERS LOOKING FOR FOUNTAINS OF GOLD.

    OH, WITH A NOD TO “THE GLORIOUSLY GREAT FOUNDERS OF THIS EXCEPTIONAL COUNTRY” A COUNTY WHICH HAS ALWAYS BEEN HEAPED AND PILED HIGH WITH TOO MANY TO COUNT, SCREAMING INJUSTICES.

    LET US NOT FORGET PRESIDENT WASHINGTON WHO WANTED HIS SLAVES BACK AFTER THE WAR.

    DO YOU HEAR THE SCREAMS OF THE SLAUGHTERED NATIVE PEOPLE WITH ALL THEIR CHILDREN?

    DO YOU HEAR THE SCREAMS OF THE SLAVES TORN FROM THEIR LAND AND TORN APART AS MOTHERS, FATHERS AND THEIR CHILDREN?

    DO YOU HEAR THE SCREAMS OF THE CHILDREN LABORING ON THE FACTORY FLOORS AS THEY LOST LIMBS AND LEGS OR THE RAPE OF THE UNSUSPECTING WOMAN BEING RAPED BY THE FACTORY MANAGER JUST BECAUSE HE COULD AND…………..

    ALL FOR THE BUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I BELIEVE THE UNIVERSE DID HEAR ALL OF THEM AND FROM SUCH AN “EXCEPTIONAL COUNTRY”

    REAPING AND SOWING.

  • Hey peoples:

    No wonder the job market numbers are up. Check this new idea brought to you by desperate rulers. Now you can get paid to shop.

    http://www.findnsave.com/apps/?ac=AFFCOXapps

  • mirrorreflectingmirror – re: “why you shouldn’t freak out…”

    so tell me: when, exactly, do you think a publication like the WP (or NYTimes, or CNN, or a source like the White House…) would say “now. you should freak out right now.”

    ?

    how about… never?

    how about acknowledging the obvious, and seeing that even when massive methane fireballs are exploding all over the place, coastal floods are permanently inundating large populations, and the summer ice in the Arctic is gone for good – all of these same sources will be trotting out something like “well, now the Arctic ice is gone, and we’re still here to write about it! so by all means, you should not freak out.”

    if there is anything that makes me personally want to push the “end humanity now” button, it is when someone comes out, like with this WP article, and writes “well well! we won’t all be toast until maybe 2135, instead of 2035. so you can relax!”

    oh, goody. we won’t have destroyed ourselves and annihilated a large portion of the rest of Earth’s biosphere for AN EXTRA 100 YEARS. yipee. let’s celebrate.

    man oh man, this kind of thing illustrates the utter depravity to which this culture has sunk.

    also – just out of curiosity… who, exactly, was predicting exploding methane holes in Siberia ten years ago? five years ago? how about… no one? how about… this was completely unpredicted, and nobody had any idea it would look like this?

    how about… we’ve only *just* started on the beginning of the upward twist in the exponential curve, and we’re already seeing some seriously freaky and unpredicted stuff, and once things really start rolling, this kind of thing – little holes popping up in Siberia – will probably be utterly dwarfed in comparison to what other completely unpredicted, totally unprecedented, things start happening?

    ya think?

    no no no peeps. please don’t freak out… it scares the children, and might be bad for the stock market.

  • On CNN’s GPS today, host Fareed Zakaria, editor of Time and a high ranking member of the Council on Foreign Relations, presented his on “useful research,”: Peter Diamandis and Steven Koller, authors of the new book “Bold,” which asserts basically that the future is so bright you’ll need sunglasses to deal with it. Zakaria has also featured many people to support his contention that the shale revolution in the US means that the US is in control of its energy future. And you wonder why the populace is idiotized?

  • “On CNN’s GPS today, host Fareed Zakaria…presented …Peter Diamandis and Steven Koller, authors of the new book ‘Bold,’ which asserts basically that the future is so bright you’ll need sunglasses to deal with it.”

    🙂

  • Dear Shep,
    no need to apologise,

    I didn’t find anything offensive in your post, I just thought I’d reply and tell you where I stand. Obviously quite unnecessary, I realize.
    If we could all meet face to face, sitting around a fire or so, we’d “get” each other so much better.
    Shep,I think of you as one of the nice guys. No worries!
    I imagine you with your Southern accent which I really like to listen to.
    I watched a programme on TV recently (BBC) made by a black American stand-up comic who lives here in England now. He’s very funny – Reginald D. Hunter. The programme was about Southern music which he thought was American music per se. I agree. I loved listening to all the voices singing and talking. However, the attitudes of the whites and T-shirt slogans like “Keep calm and carry guns” were disturbing for my European mind. The music really touches me.

    The same goes for you Amy.
    I always like your comments.
    I keep thinking, there are so few of us here on our precious Earth that feel the way we do, that have come so far, that really I appreciate almost everybody here.

    And Robert Callaghan,
    don’t worry either. I’m OK with you too. I’m sure you have a sense of humour. I was just being facetious, flippant – a bad habit of mine – so my husband tells me. He ignores it.

  • shep Says:
    March 8th, 2015 at 8:53 am

    RE: Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper”:

    “…the Iraqi people…In the movie they are depicted as a dehumanizing mass of savages-occupying the same role as Indians in John Wayne Western movies of old-responsible for their own suffering and the devastation of their own country, which the WHITE (Germanic Tribes) man is in the process of civilizing.”

    Chris Kyle(The STAR of the movie) WRITES, “I hate the damn savages. I couldn’t give a flying fuck about the Iraqis.” Real nice.
    ====================================
    That is useful in an analysis of why the dogma of Mithraism (the religion of the Roman Army and its Caesar) is being confused with Christianity in the Protestant imperial U.S. today (Christian chaplain fired for preaching compassion and love over violence of American Sniper),

  • Typing in all caps reminds me of somebody yelling to make a point. Thus, it is much better to light a candle than to shout in the darkness.

    Thought for today:

    A human being is part of a whole, called by us the “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.—Albert Einstein

  • My My Ogardener your Einstein Ouote ROCKS ! and lights the candle as well

  • The beauty of blog post is to be able to speak and think to yourself and for yourself.

    I love compassion and I love justice more.

    Justice from the leaders of an “exceptional nation” for a Native people who are still having treaties disregarded and land grabs made as politicians are being bought and paid for to close their eyes, do not see the corporate land grabs and even vote that it is not what it seems. John McCain comes to mind.

    Justice for the descendents of slaves who suffer to this day from mass systemic, too many to count, social and economic injustices.

    Justice for the girls being raped on college campuses and so many young getting away with it.

    Justice for the level of child poverty that exist in AMERICA, the wealthiest nation on the planet.

    Ongoing and social injustices should spark some OUTRAGE.

    Outrage at man’s inhumanity to man written down on paper should not offend but please do not scream in my ear in the dark or in the light. My mind can handle the reading of some screaming because I can always tune it out.

  • Jeff S.:

    Maybe he was referring to this brightness:

    and forgot to mention a 80- ton lead protective suit that comes with those sunglasses

  • I’ve posted a new essay, penned by me. It’s here.

  • Yo! Mo, may you always flo! I bow to that part of you that makes us one! Peace

  • It’s not a matter of ‘trusting’ the Washington Post. It is a fact that people who study the methane issue have very different views. NO ONE CAN PROVE WHOSE VIEW IS CORRECT.

    I was not endorsing a worry-free attitude, a worrying attitude, or any other attitude. I want to ascertain the facts and the limits of our knowledge.

    I simply take issue with the declaration that human extinction is a given for 2030. Without the methane monster erupting, the temperature rise that Guy says will stop plant growth will not meet that date. Period. Do the math.

    Forget the Washington Post, go to Robert Scribbler’s post:

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

    He indicates it could very well be perilous, but also points out that most people in this very field of research do not think the methane monster will be released in the next 15 years.

    ” won’t have destroyed ourselves and annihilated a large portion of the rest of Earth’s biosphere for AN EXTRA 100 YEARS. yipee. let’s celebrate.

    man oh man, this kind of thing illustrates the utter depravity to which this culture has sunk. ”

    Well, if you inform people extinction is certain by 2030 or so, they are likely not to do anything. If you tell them extinction is likely in 100 years, there is a chance , however infinitesimal, something might be done. Alright, nothing will likely be done in either case. In any event, I prefer to operate from reality as best I can.

    I wonder if anyone has given up their possessions, thinking extinction was a sure thing for 2030?

  • mirrorreflectingmirror –

    ascertaining the facts would be wonderful. I am fairly confident that we have no idea what is coming, and how soon, even if we can grasp a lot more of the facts than we are, right now. and right now, we are missing a hell of a lot of the data that is out there.

    a couple of things:

    – again, no one predicted even this simple, small scale reality that we would start seeing methane holes explosively erupting in the Siberian permafrost. not a single person, as far as I know, had any idea this was even possible.

    – no one mainstream talks about the reality of exponential change – when this whole process of methane release can take off lightning fast. given the chaotic nature of what the triggers might be, it is impossible to predict, and impossible to model. that does *not* mean it won’t happen, that it is not imminent, and that a hair trigger isn’t waiting, right now.

    – given the repeated underestimation of the rate of change that is already underway, the lack of appreciation for exponential change, and the complete unpredictability of anticipating stuff we can’t even *imagine* right now, like explosive methane holes – my feeling (that is all it is) is we are just as likely to see a monster methane event by 2030 or 2040, as we are to see it by 2130 or 2230.

    what should have been shouted from the rooftops, by many, long ago, was that the incredibly rapid influx of CO2 into the atmosphere humans were creating was radically dangerous. that wasn’t done.

    now, even when we have been given mountains of real evidence that what we have done, and are still doing, is radically, colossally, dangerous and stupid, and we start seeing something really freaky happening, the WP has the balls to say “you shouldn’t freak out.” that particular reality of human behavior, from the people that are supposed to be some kind of “voice of useful information” in the world – that reality, in my eyes, is criminally insane.

    that behavior doesn’t *just* piss me off. and I’ll just leave it at that.

  • mirror, what exactly do you think Guy needs to be more effective at? Convincing people? Making his work more palatable and appeasing?

    Why? Do you think the fate of the earth depends on Guy convincing people of something? If he just tries hard enough?

    You are correct, and no one knows exactly when a methane burst might occur. So what? Guy presents his take on the science. Other people present their take on the science or other things. Everyone who listens gets to decide for themselves what they want to do with the information and what they think it means.

    No one is trying to start a movement in Guy’s corner, that I can see.

    Take issue with anything all you want. Come up with something like Guy’s monster summary that to you indicates something different.

    Guy’s work is Guy’s work. Anyone who thinks they can do it better really might consider getting out there and doing what he does.

    Who cares anymore what apologists for the planetary murder that has occurred? Who cares about smoothing their entitled feelings? That’s just more of the cultural insanity, things we’ve been taught that are nonsense, like, if you say it differently . . .

    Everyone needs to hear differently, and see differently, because the earth has been screaming since the 60s, the blood of the animals, the filth in the rivers, the oceans, and mass dying that is taking place. Personally, I’m done with that manipulative game that I was promised would get me what I wanted. The truth is everyone’s job to examine for themselves. Guy gives people all the information to make their own choices. Expecting more is just more cultural psychosis.

  • SATISH, OGF, MO FLOW…I’m cheering every word. Collectively you just saved me typing all the same. I read the articles. I’m your fan. go go go!

    I’m reading with one arm giving blood to the NIH antibody cure & the other finger stuck in the very bad geo-altering dam. A lot of money and big corporate plans to cash in on changing the atmosphere.

    Seriously – EVERYONE. It’s no secret. Don’t be sheep. US gvt workers in D.C. & Wall-street are begging you to help ring our phones & complain where it counts about stopping huge climate engineer projects.

    Haliburton, Exxon & Shell are already churning out reflective chemicals waiting approval. Your going to get really rapid corporate manufactured change…much faster than methane bursts…if you all don’t get active. Once this particle matter goes into electro-wave dispersment after 2017 you will wish you still had the internet & time to breath. NESTLE is already building an aircanister plant in Switzerland. Clean, mass depopulation. The elite are going to inherit the earth along with their chosen staff. You’ve been warned. All the documents are true. A plan exists but only a few are for actually using that option. YES, your all going to die at some point….but choosing to do nothing about the fast track atmospheric injections is stupid. Sort of like forgetting to protest nuclear war. It’s still your call – you have some group power to choose your rate of demise — The big powers are watching closely and considering the options that have so little resistance. Not even EXTINCTION is for sure until the second after we hit the wrong button.