Climate Change Is Now Irreversible: The Latest from Reese Jones

by Reese Jones

On the climate front, Dr. McPherson shares a plethora of climate news updates including Florida’s new decree to prevent the use of the words “climate change” and “global warming” by government officials, the ominous California drought, the rapidly diminishing Arctic and Antarctic ice and what it may mean to all of us, difficulties in the extraction of methane (natural gas) releases, possible Arctic oil and gas extraction, the oil glut and future petroleum pricing with behind-the-scene US and OPEC machinations, rapid global rise of average temperature, John Michael Greer, Charles Hugh Smith, patriarchy, and much, much more, including the ever-accelerating carbon and temperature rises, seemingly ignored by ‘patriarchal’ administrators who appear to be driving us all over the climate cliff, at the behest of their corporate handlers.

Upcoming soon, interviews with climate scientist Paul Beckwith as well as additional material with Dr. McPherson. Thank you!

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If you’re interested in funding an assistant to travel with me to Europe, a crowd-funding campaign is under way. Check it out here.
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I was one of four panelists in this panel at the Earth at Risk conference in November 2014. Click the link to see a trailer and also to view the 90-minute result on the following dates and times (Mountain time zone in the United States):

Upcoming Airdates

Wednesday, April 8th 12:30 am
Sunday, April 12th 2:00 pm
Monday, April 13th 4:30 am
Thursday, April 16th 7:00 am
Saturday, April 18th 7:30 pm
Saturday, April 18th 10:30 pm
Wednesday, April 22nd 10:00 am

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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 was hosted by Pauline Schneider. She was joined by Carolyn Baker for a wide-ranging conversation. The archived episode is here.
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Please visit the DONATIONS tab. I’m open to non-monetary donations, subject only to your creativity. For example, I would appreciate your generosity with respect to frequent-flyer miles.
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6-30 April 2015, western Europe (additional details forthcoming, and follow the tour at guymcpherson.net and also on Facebook)

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McPherson’s latest book is co-authored by Carolyn Baker. Extinction Dialogs: How to Live with Death in Mind is available. Electronic copy is available here from Amazon.

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 45

  • “There’s no jobs on a dead planet.”
    “Time to face the music.”
    Amen.

  • Lawyerfish & multimillionaire Ricky-the-healthcare-tycoon-Scott was recently re-elected Governor of Florida.

    Two & one/half million naive Florida pilgrims voted for this complete moron & meatball.

    He even looks the part.

    His Demo lawyerfish opponent got almost as many votes.

    More than 5 million Florida citizens pissed away their precious bodily fluids voting for either lawyerfish 1 or lawyerfish 2.

    Either way you get a scumbag lawyerfish bleating like a goat, milking the public teats, & pocketing the spoils.

  • Excellent commentary Guy and Reese.

    Temperatures in March in Taranaki were above normal. .

    The forecast is for a warmer-than-normal winter ‘because of El Nino’.

    Right now no snow can be seen on the mountain from the city. Last year snow cover was very late in forming. This year could be ‘interesting’.

    The dairy sector is languishing because of depressed prices; the oil sector is contracting because of depressed prices; the engineering sector is contracting in response to the collapse of other sectors; tourism is struggling due to the ‘high’ NZ dollar.

    Walking, cycling and growing fruit and vegetables are the most sane responses to the predicament: most people are insane and want to keep doing what ultimately destroys them.

  • There is freedom in knowing that nothing really matters anymore. At the end I don’t want to be caught anywhere I do not love, doing anything I do not love. Because nothing matters, everything matters a great deal more. It really helps streamline the decision making process. Our liberation from oppression is finally at hand. Even in Florida.

  • kevin, I enjoyed, but I still think that those people at Weekly Wipe is all a bunch of Brit preverts.

    Goddam patriarcher preverts everwheres these days.

    I hate those prevertid patriarchie sumbitches, especially Larry Summers – whadda twisted prick.

    And memba, it’s love, love, love from here on out; I hope, maybe?

  • If this is true, Floridians should be able to adapt to the changing conditions, and might even evolve into a cetacean-like primate.

    Retrospectively, was the asteroid impact that extincted the dinosaurs (and made way for us) a random event or foreordained?

  • Guy,

    Obviously we’re do-do. Might as well try to enjoy simple pleasures like great music, wonderful reading (not science), and being with your families. Don’t pay taxes, or obey anyone lest u have to. Run for the woods! Fortunately, I am in the middle of trees in a (thank god) black neighborhood. Be nice and know the bullies will continue until the end.

  • Guy,

    It was really nice to hear u recognize the black mis-leadership class joining in with the white supremacists. What a truth! Nelson Mandela, was one who led the charge, sadly. MLK died before he could. His progeny bow down to white patriarchy. Complete assholes. But, that’s the way to survive in this country today.

    “Joe it is time to sell.” Ha! We did! On Panama City Beach! But it doesn’t matter! Money will be unimportant pretty darn soon. I cannot wait for Florida to submerge.

  • Beautiful actor Helena Kallianiotis tried to tell us in 1970.
    Today,she is taking care of not-so-well recluse Jack Nicholson.
    Before you die … must see.
    at Youtube; Palm Apodaca – Five Easy Pieces

  • I’ve heard recently that FRACKING is coming to Florida. Governor Scott will use his cunningly shrewd criminal mind to smooth the way for his fellow sociopaths to profit here. The last thing he needs is an aware public raising an outcry over clean water. Gaging all authoritative voices is the first step to suppressing public awareness.

  • Thanks for the great clip Guy and Reese. I can certainly hear the frustration and (near) despair in your voice, Guy. Good luck on your upcoming trip to Europe. Keep speaking the Truth and above all.. take care of yourself and stay hydrated (as long as water is coming out of the taps)!

    P.S. I am monitoring Arctic Sea Ice decline. Hard to say if we’ll reach a new minimum in September but we seem to be on track as we are FAR below the current (record) 2012 season. God help us… all living plants, creatures, and all….

    And P.S.S. to all those who are sending you Hate Mail, Guy… “fuck ’em all!” They ‘re spineless cowards who don’t show their faces. Be strong. We’re all behind you!

  • Thanks for the update, Guy. I imagine a new video like that (with the month and year as part of the title) every month would help get the news farther on YouTube. A lot of people will be looking for a story to help explain what they will begin observing in their lives.

    ========

    mike k, I really liked your last several comments. Thank you! Thanks also for the story about the New York World’s Fair. The world of the Jetsons indeed didn’t come to pass. Instead, we see a few people looking for ways to stay alive for ever. Or go to Mars.

    “Our fate is not a done deal. Hurrah! The understanding of uncertainty liberates us to enjoy our real agency and free will….”

    Love that!

    We can get up tomorrow morning and choose to do something slightly differently than we might have otherwise done. But then, we might choose not to change anything too. As long as we’re conscious of our choice, one way or another, choosing to change something vs. not choosing to change, we’re living that moment in awareness, aware of our choice. That’s what pursuing a life of excellence is for me, today. Tomorrow, it might be a bit different. Because I have agency!

    ========

    Lidia, thanks for your responses here and on my blog. I’m beginning to see the world through your eyes a bit better now. You used to believe in agency up until 10 years ago, and now you don’t. Would it be fair to say you have left the world where agency exists and entered a world where it doesn’t? Would it be fair to say you have given up your agency, such renunciation itself having been the last conscious activity you used your agency for?

    Another way to think about it is: there was never any agency to begin with and thinking there was agency was a folly. You’ve corrected your worldview. Your current observations of the world around you match your worldview.

    I now understand slightly better why you say the things you say. At least that’s the direction I want to go in… to step into your shoes for a bit.

    My responses to a few of your comments:

    “Are you implying that you chose to be a man of South Asian descent rather than a Polish woman or a salamander?”

    My ancestors did. Along with the environmental factors they interacted with. And I am very much related to my ancestors, and in a way, a part of them, so you could say that I kind of played a small part in choosing it. The part of them that is me did. You see, I’m not an individual. I’m part of my tribe and that’s how I see it. I’m not part of a Polish tribe or the salamander’s. And yet I see, if I zoom out a bit, we’re all children of my Mother, the Earth.

    “(although it’s generally true that structures requiring excessive energy to maintain become handicaps)”

    The energy gradient theory is a bit too mechanistic for me at this point. I don’t do things based solely on the amount of energy it takes to do them. I read the nature of the Universe by reading myself and when I don’t behave in a robot-like manner, I don’t expect other beings to behave that way either. I think the originators of the theory spent more energy on it than they needed to 🙂

    Thanks for the article… but this sort of thinking is what I rant about –

    ““You start with a random clump of atoms, and if you shine light on it for long enough, it should not be so surprising that you get a plant,” England said.”

    A seed is a random clump of atoms? When some of the smartest members of our society come up with things like this to say to their fellow members, and the fellow members don’t think anything wrong with it, I have to say, NWWAGE (No Wonder We Are Going Extinct ®)

    But seriously, I think this makes sense:

    “The formula, based on established physics, indicates that when a group of atoms is driven by an external source of energy (like the sun or chemical fuel) and surrounded by a heat bath (like the ocean or atmosphere), it will often gradually restructure itself in order to dissipate increasingly more energy.”

    But it makes sense because if you subject anything to more heat or energy than it is comfortable with, it will want to expend it, give it up. But I don’t see how this becomes the singular theory that governs the workings of the creation around us. Aren’t you saying that this theory governs the determinism you observe around you?

    You say, “What bothers me a bit, though, is that some people seem to be lumping everything I say with [things that scientists say] and [bad things have come from science] so [I’m going to reject Lidia’s propositions because they sound like science]. You’ve explicitly acknowledged this backlash, this turning-away.”

    and in the very next line you say, “So, yes, nothing is truly random, but is an expression of physical forces.”

    Why only physical forces, why not psychical forces, whatever they are? That sure does sound Scientistic to me. Science works well in certain areas but doesn’t work well in others. There’s more to the Universe than physical forces. Scientism forces us to consider the breadth of our experience in terms of “measurables” and physical forces are measurable. If it ain’t measurable, sorry, it’s not Science. But what if some aspect is not measurable? Why pigeonhole everything into a narrow understanding. As I said before, this process results in such absurdities as a formula for happiness. That’s not the world I see around me. With training, obviously, some people can get themselves to see the world around them in that way. No wonder such training takes a couple dozen years. It’s not normal or natural for us to see the world around us in such formulaic terms. It’s very contrived. And very costly.

    So I agree with you “That is not very satisfying from an emotional or romantic point of view, though, or a point of view that holds individual agency dear.”

    Perhaps it’s not very satisfying from a Science point of view either, because this whole satisfaction thing is a bit gooey, so we won’t go there. As long as it passes muster with the peer review. Perhaps Assistant professors at MIT have a different take on the Cartesian construction: “I publish, therefore I am” 😉

    “What’s important to understand is that non-randomness is not the same thing as intention or volition.”

    Yes, good point… I am not confused between the two… I was complaining about randomness being used as a cover in situations where it’s obvious that agency was involved. As in, how did capitalism arise? Uh, human societies organize themselves as a result of random interactions between its members and then we come up with feudalism, and after a while, we evolve into capitalism. Clearly, there’s agency involved here, don’t you think? Capitalism didn’t come about just like that. A former president of the Ford Foundation once said, “everything we do makes the world safer for Capitalism”. Debates around this lead to an admission of a certain randomness in “human systems” usually. Why did the Union organizer sign on the dotted line? Because an electron in his brain went this way and not that. Oh the damn electron… so capricious.

    I only invite you to consider that there’s some agency involved in the course of events, be it Capitalism or Climate Change. A non-zero and positive amount of it.

    “Implying that a peacock *wants* to have a splendid tail means you are implying that little Susie *wants* to have sickle cell anemia.. that’s just her glorious “expression” of herself?!? I find such a conceit alarming and I reject it. Does a slime mold want to be a slime mold, or would he rather evolve to be Donald Trump? Does Ebola want to be Ebola? Even if that were the case, then still… everything is as it is because it “wants” to be that way.. and that includes humans!”

    Little Susie doesn’t want to have sickle cell anemia any more than you or I want to have any disease. We want good things for ourselves and others. The peacock’s ancestors asked for a gorgeous plumage but they didn’t ask for their descendants to suffer horrible pain, pain that arises from those very feathers getting plucked off of their backs. What’s going on here? Why the seeming contradiction? Look at yourself… don’t you want beautiful things to happen to yourself? Don’t you want horrible things to not happen to yourself? This is what we want, unless we are masochistic. What must happen in the community of life for it to work this way? What must happen for all beings to live in relative health and peace? Well, perhaps, all beings should understand that other beings are very much like themselves and one must be respectful and not violate other beings, not be violent toward them. There wouldn’t have been any humans but for this basic law of the Land. If this law wasn’t generally followed for a few Billion years, we wouldn’t be here. But when the delicate balance gets upset, the needs and wants of one come into conflict with another’s. This is what seems to have happened with humans. For a long time, they, like their ancestors, remained in balance. Listening attentively to their fellow beings and not trespassing on their freedoms, letting the peacocks and slime molds evolve as they wish (mostly, because it’s a delicate balance and things do get upset easily from time to time) while themselves evolving as they liked, in relation to the Land and with reverence toward it. Much beauty arises from this. But the balance did get upset. I don’t pretend to know why, and this is where I have to pull in Earth’s own environment, and fly among the stars for possible clues. But back to Earth, once the balance was upset, one’s agency trampled another’s. The Native Americans didn’t ask for genocide. But they got it because one’s agency trampled another’s.

    Little Susie suffers from sickle cell anemia for the same reason the peacocks suffer today: our ancestors severed their connection with Land and the rest of creation and started going berserk. Our cultural ancestors, that is. Because there are still people from other cultures who respect creation, who don’t treat seeds as random clumps of atoms. Little Susie didn’t choose to have the disease, our ancestors and their environment as well as her environment today “conspired” to cause her the suffering, if unwittingly. Agency is not something that lets you dictate your way through life. It’s a request, a prayer, a little effort, a little meditation, a little offering, just a little something good for yourself and the least harm to others. When that model is broken, we and our descendants suffer immense pain, even extinction. It isn’t that the ancients never fell sick or suffered a disease or physical pain. Every being on Earth goes through some of that. But those who listen to their environs are readily provided with a variety of natural remedies to heal and return to balance. Sickness is an indication of imbalance. It’s a memo that says, “you’re not paying attention”. The ancients had a wide arsenal of herbal and other natural ways to alleviate physical pain and reduce suffering while returning to balance. In the second World War, allied forces soldiers fighting in Sri Lanka ran out of blood. The locals quickly brought down some fresh coconuts and asked the medics to use the coconut water in lieu of blood. It worked beautifully. We never needed modern Science to keep us healthy. We were doing well, we knew how to deal with disease. We’d known how to treat a thousand diseases by natural means until very recently, in fact, until the early 20th century, when Scientific Medicine arose. Check out “Rockefeller Medicine Men”.

    Little Susie, and a Billion others suffer today because our ancestors made certain decisions, consciously or unconsciously. She didn’t ask for it like the peacock asked for the feathers, but her ancestors (throwing out individualism now) together with the environment (since disease is imbalance with the environment) chose it for her, because they didn’t pay attention to what they were doing and where they were going. It shouldn’t be hard to understand this since we now know our ancestors chose extinction for us. And we continue to choose extinction for our children. “Since we don’t have agency.” Contrast this to the Seventh Generation principle of the Native Indians.

    BTW, I would imagine a slime mold would choose to remain a slime mold, if given the choice to become Donald Trump 🙂

    I’m not suggesting we do anything. I doubt we can do much because we’ve given up our agency to the stories of dominant culture, and the sociopaths who shaped it, etc. Our ancestors have been giving their agency away for generations.

    “Yet *you* want us to be different..?”

    This is not a call for action or anything, far from it! I’m only meditating on it. And trying to empathize with folks here. And tell them stories.

  • **We can get up tomorrow morning and choose to do something slightly differently than we might have otherwise done.**

    Except when I go to bed wanting to wake early, I awake wanting to sleep late.

    Which one gets to choose something different?

    Thousands of years ago, a wise guy named John said something like
    ** For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing.**

    Perhaps it is the illusion that we can choose to do things differently that keeps us living in our never ending quest to figure out what we already know.

    Perhaps we are insignificant and ignorant buoyed by our hubris, greed and gluttony into the great men we imagine ourselves to be?

  • @Satish – I like the trend of your thinking. It takes a bit of nerve to bring up dimensions of reality that are not sensory or quantifiable. A group I attend every two weeks spent a couple of years working our way through Sr. Aurobindo’s book The Synthesis of Yoga, which deals with accessing the depths and heights not available to the usual operations of the mind. To those having no direct experience of these layers of reality, talk of them seems only nonsense (it is beyond the senses) or delusion (to those captivated by the illusion that their present worldview is the only reality, anything outside of their understanding is considered to have no existence.)

    Aurobindo’s quest was not unrelated to the ongoing disaster afflicting the human community. Indeed a major motivation was to find means for helping us to get on a better course. The founders of Esalen, the growth center at Big Sur in California, were students of Sri A. Their search also was to find help for a world much in need of it. Einstein and others remind us to look beyond our present knowledge, even if it means devising new means of discovery, and exploring realms long considered nonexistent.

  • Fer yer info, I had a common ancestor with the salamander, who looked very much like today’s salamanders. The template for my anatomy is straight from that ancestor’s branchial (gill) arches and the gill (branchial) slits between them. My mandible is derived from the bony part of the second branchial arch, my eardrums separate the external part of the third branchial slit (the external auditory canal) from the internal part (the tympanic cavity and the Eustachian tube).

    My main arteries are derived from the large arterial arches that once carried blood to the gills for oxygenation.

    One of the characteristics of the realised person is that the person has no sense of agency:

    “One who is a knower of the truth, although he is engaged in seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, moving, sleeping, breathing, talking, evacuating, accepting objects and blinking the eyes, realizes that all his sense-functions are interacting with the respective sense-objects. Therefore, he thinks, “I am not doing anything.””

    – Bhagavad Gita 5:8-9

    The person sees the person’s own body-mind complex to be yet another meat-robot. It is the absence of any sense of doership, akartritva, or akarta bhava.

  • Satish,

    Your reply to Lidia is a beautiful essay in itself. I read it twice, as a break from my host duties. What more could I or indeed anybody add? Nothing.

    You simply covered everything.

    mike k

    Interesting points in your reply to Satish.
    Einstein was a visionary and by the way, he had hated his school days. Maybe the two are related somehow?
    He obviously kept some of his wild nature which naturally wanted to look beyond “….exploring realms long considered non-existent.”

  • Please Robin,

    not another meat robot comment. They get a bit tedious.

  • All that one needs to knows about Reality beyond the universe is already present as one’s Being, as what is known as Direct Knowledge or aparokshagnyana. What comes through the senses is indirect knowledge, parokshagnyana. Wandering further afield in the quest is an endless journey which retains the “I” as the seeker, and therefore not quite the Journey without goal.

  • Paul Russell made a simple nine word profound statement/synopsis above.

    “Because nothing matters, everything matters a great deal more.”

    Simple but not too simple.

  • @Paul Russel said:
    “There is freedom in knowing that nothing really matters anymore. At the end I don’t want to be caught anywhere I do not love, doing anything I do not love. Because nothing matters, everything matters a great deal more. It really helps streamline the decision making process. Our liberation from oppression is finally at hand. Even in Florida.”

    Like I’ve said, if I get stuck in a bottleneck with patriarchs, I’m slitting my throat.
    Working hard to make that NOT a reality. I’d rather slit my throat in my own good time. Like when the food and water all run out.

    On a “happy” note, “Mad Max: Fury Road” opens this summer, to see what kind of bottlenecks are coming.

  • **if I get stuck in a bottleneck with patriarchs**

    ?????????? Do you mean families with 2 parents? Or tribal leaders?

    Or, is it like the shingles – ’cause I had them once – a real drag.

  • From WESTPHALIA to Montfort Brothers St. Gabriel France to India, Alaska, New Mexico & Southern UK. Is it a random chain of places? connections? A code evolving. Silicon Valley De-bug. Native Americans around Mt. Shasta stopped Calpine Energy from constructing. Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. Is the devil in the details…not my fault.

    TOXOPLASMA GONDIL = chemical fear inhibitor. Applications from our dark ops labs = fearless warriors. DARPA direct focus high energy weapons. Please take a Google look at what we have been developing. DARPA has a youtube channel nothing to hide. Nothing to fear. Making quantum leaps in technology. No need to pay attention except for the fire sale shopping carnival near the very end.

    Underwater Palm Beach mansions are nothing but playgrounds for the superpowers to leave behind. The radioactive message: We were here. Read our longest lasting fingerprint. We know we are going so we are going to make the biggest human EGO impression we can. OUR 6th mass Extinction is going to include all of future natural evolution…with biogen, nano, nucleotides. Pop all the vials. Fear not. This Extinction will leave a human impact on ages of evolution. Dare not return to this planet. Superpowers with super destruction forces in every scientific field. Have they frightened you…programed you to dare not take a stand?

  • Would it be fair to say you have left the world where agency exists and entered a world where it doesn’t? Would it be fair to say you have given up your agency, such renunciation itself having been the last conscious activity you used your agency for?

    No, it would not be fair to say that. Merely, an accumulation of experience contrary to the condition of having agency caused me to view the situation in a new light. It was not a choice, but an imperative.

    “Choosing” a story, like “choosing” a religion, assumes you know this to be a choice, and that it thus is unlikely to be “the” truth. The truth is not a matter of choice—it is a matter of what *is*. You can choose what you think is a truth, from a variety of truths, but as long as you make it a conscious choice it obviously cannot be “the” truth.. rather just another story you *choose* to tell yourself.

    I admit to still having the sensation of having agency in relatively trivial things, but whenever I examine those choices, I find they are ones which lead inexorably in a direction opposite that in which I thought I was going. You yourself said (I can’t find the quote) that you know how you should be living, but you are not living it. Well, that is the zone that intrigues me: the slip betwixt the cup and the lip.

    Why does this happen? Why do people who “know better” continue to procreate (Suzuki, Klein, Hedges, Eisenstein, Orlov..)? They cannot help it, obviously! Unconscious mechanisms are at work.

    You write about driving and using your cell phone.. why do you do those things? You excuse them to yourself in some fashion. Oh, you’re going to think about the little kid in the rare-earth mine while you talk to.. whom? why? See, where I am interested in delving is the disconnect between ‘knowing’ and ‘doing’. You can yack and yack about the wonder of this or that.. this all stays in your head. What are you doing *materially*??

    What is happening to us is happening on a material plane; it’s not just happening inside our heads. So to confront the issues we would have to confront them (assuming it wasn’t too late) on a material plane. But we do not choose to do that. We do not, do you understand me? You do not, and I do not, and Guy does not. For all our meaning well, it just doesn’t happen. Please note that I am not singling you out for opprobrium.. just using your own example as representing a universal condition.

    As I started to retreat from the world of BAU (I thought) many choices ultimately took me to a place of requisitioning more: home canning equipment, gardening equipment, grain mill, land, etc. … while not detracting much from the energy consumption of the larger culture, which was still chugging away on my behalf. So now I’m paying for redundant systems, really.. rather than have renounced anything. I pay for water and sewer AND have a composting toilet. Guy might understand what I mean with the $500k mud hut.

    Another way to think about it is: there was never any agency to begin with and thinking there was agency was a folly. You’ve corrected your worldview. Your current observations of the world around you match your worldview.

    That would be a better way of putting it.

    My ancestors [chose].

    I’m confused. Your ancestors had a choice, but you didn’t, or don’t? Where is it that *you* chose this incarnation?

    The energy gradient theory is a bit too mechanistic for me at this point. I don’t do things based solely on the amount of energy it takes to do them.

    And yet this is what people in the aggregate do. Any college campus will have worn trails across the grass that trace the shortest distance between two points. The reason my desk is full of clutter is because it takes energy to put things away and energy to bring them back out again. We are always making energy decisions, second-by-second.. every day, unconsciously.

    ..I don’t behave in a robot-like manner, I don’t expect other beings to behave that way either.

    Our ideas of what “robots” are are limited by our own crude capacities. There’s no need for an automatic behavior to be inelegant or forced. The way “beings behave” (as an example) is that they can be automatically false and charming in order to get along in social situations. I believe this to be ‘robotic’, to use your terminology. John Michael Greer talks about this using the phrase “phatic” conversations. They serve as unconscious forms of communication, as does body language. We’re not aware of these millions of micro-signals and so cannot “choose” to exhibit them in a planned fashion.

    A seed is a random clump of atoms?

    He wasn’t talking about seeds. He was talking about ur-compounds, the origins of seeds: speculating about the foundational event that became the basis for a larger and more-complex aggregate of materials and functions.

    I agree that it does sound flippant, but your frustration comes from taking that at face value. There really is more beneath that surface, even though it may be poorly communicated. The comments to the article may be more indicative.

    ..it makes sense because if you subject anything to more heat or energy than it is comfortable with, it will want to expend it, give it up. … Aren’t you saying that this theory governs the determinism you observe around you?

    Yes I am.

    Why only physical forces, why not psychical forces, whatever they are?

    This question is non-sensical. Since you don’t even know what it is to which you’re referring, it’s impossible for me to comment upon. I only perceive physical forces, although I do perceive illusions created by my own mind which I sometimes can steer, sometimes not. They are internal to my brain and don’t exist outside of that organ. I don’t exclude all manner of micro-perceptions but I believe them to be physical, not meta-physical, in nature.

    That sure does sound Scientistic to me…. what if some aspect is not measurable? It’s very contrived…

    I think you impose some of these constraints yourself, on your own thinking. Of course there are things which aren’t measurable. That doesn’t mean they don’t have real physical natures or origins. There’s no reason why things we can’t measure *must* not have a physical dimension: it’s not like bats communicate in a non-physical dimension just because we can’t hear them or measure their sounds. I’m content to think of science-y things without having to measure them. Theories usually do come before measurement is used to confirm them.

    I don’t ascribe to “Scientism”, which I take to be the belief that Science will “solve our problems” or “save the day”… that the more we know the more improved our society will be… all that jazz. That’s why I walked away from school: too much Scientism, not enough Science.

    I was complaining about randomness being used as a cover in situations where it’s obvious that agency was involved. As in, how did capitalism arise? Uh, human societies organize themselves as a result of random interactions between its members and then we come up with feudalism, and after a while, we evolve into capitalism. Clearly, there’s agency involved here, don’t you think? Capitalism didn’t come about just like that.

    This is where your assumptions overtake the evidence. What I submit is the notion that Capitalism is a technology which allowed for increased energy processing and—as such—was inevitable (that, or some different form we might imagine that would allow for the same thing). State communism was a better user (waster) of energy than feudalism, too, but Capitalism topped State Communism. The more energy throughput the “better”.. this is the direction of the arrow. Do you see?

    We conserve when forced to by circumstances. You get it when you mentioned applying energy. When I was a kid, I hardly left my town, much less the (tiny) state. Now tons of people fly around like it’s nothing. All the eco-kids I met at a local permaculture course had made the rounds of India, Thailand, Ecuador, Nepal, while I was feeling guilty about the 40-minute drive. See what I mean about having an idea of what you are doing (“I’m green! I love permaculture”) but actually doing something else (“my molecules are going to travel around the world more times than 99% of other people’s molecules”). They can’t see it. I probably mentioned this, but an Indian woman speaking at the “De-Growth” conference said that cutbacks in emissions must not threaten her countrymen’s MOBILITY.

    Right now the pot is boiling, but soon the flame of fossil-fuel energy will go out, and (to the extent climate change permits) it will be back to staying in your home town, or walking, or finding a rare horse that hasn’t been et. Right now, these young people are responding subconsciously to the excess of energy around them. Another young woman I know decided to go on a cross-country trip (fuelled by bio-fuel, so it was “green”!) to interview people on the topic of “Convenient Resilience” (not a joke!). Others feel compelled to put up websites, or tweet, or make films.. oh god they all want to make films!! Never is the choice to stay at home and do nothing, which would be the least energy-consuming of all.

    The peacock’s ancestors asked for a gorgeous plumage but they didn’t ask for their descendants to suffer horrible pain, pain that arises from those very feathers getting plucked off of their backs. What’s going on here?

    What’s going on here is that any sort of intelligent “agency” would have foreseen this condition and worked to avoid it. Since it did not, then there is no such agency. The peacock’s feathers signal a surplus of energy and health, thus good mating prospects. The person pulling off the feathers wants ALSO to signal that he has access to surplus energy and would be a good mating prospect, and the ladies who took the feathers and put them on their hats ALSO wanted to signal their status. I’m glad now you picked (ouch) the peacock because you can see the thread running through the whole sordid state of affairs. I don’t see it as any sort of contradiction, rather a confirmation that rare and beautiful things are a result of an amount of natural and/or artificial work being done and thus often communicate the intrinsic energy value that was put into them. A diamond is “worth” a lot because we’re dimly aware of the work that went into getting it, while a similar-looking cubic zirconia is regarded as a second-class offering.

    You say the earth is out of balance because “one’s agency trampled another’s”. I would say it is because populations outstripped their local resource base and went out in search of new ground. This didn’t happen only in North America but world-wide, and not only under capitalism, but over thousands and thousands of years. When fish were so plentiful you need only reach in and grab one, of course it was simpler to live peacefully, don’t forget that.

    Little Susie suffers from sickle cell anemia for the same reason the peacocks suffer today: our ancestors severed their connection with Land and the rest of creation and started going berserk.

    Are you saying there were no diseases, no predatory or parasitic organisms, back in the mystical golden time of which you speak? I’m pretty sure the fossil record shows humanoids suffering from all sorts of diseases. The “respect of creation” you impute to them hardly made them immune. Wow.. what an audacious claim to make!

    Cancer:

    http://discovermagazine.com/2013/julyaug/16-history-cancer-afflicted-people-since-prehistoric-times-fossils-show

    Prion disease:

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/04/030411071024.htm

    Tuberculosis:

    http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/cellular-microscopic/10-oldest-known-diseases.htm#page=8

    Arthritis, infections, rickets:

    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/info/medicine/prehistoric-medicine.php

    Parasites:

    http://io9.com/what-a-prehistoric-parasite-reveals-about-humans-and-di-1593704794

    Malaria:

    “The malaria parasite has been responsible for half of all human deaths since the Stone Age, and one in 14 of us alive today still carry genes that first arose to help protect us from its ravages.”

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704111704575354911834340450

    And again, you discount the “wants” of other critters. Mosquitos and malaria and parasites and pneumonia bugs “want” to express themselves, too. They are energetic beings as well. 🙂

    It’s a request, a prayer, a little effort, a little meditation, a little offering, just a little something good for yourself and the least harm to others.” This is what you do in your head. In real life, you drive around and talk on your cell phone. So tell me, where is your *agency* in that?

    I think you believe that people can be different from how they are. You need to believe that story. I don’t need to believe that, nor do I need to believe the opposite. I am starting from what is observable: what is it that people do, what is it that they have always done (perhaps barring some exceptions). What is the real trend? What are the drivers?

    I would love to believe in your story: it’s a much nicer story. It makes people feel happy. But it just flies in the face of everything I actually see. I just don’t have the capacity, perhaps, to “fly into the stars” and pluck out an answer to my liking that is contrary to the evidence.

  • Hi Pauline 🙂

    Found your exit method very interesting. The ancient Roman World used blood letting methods to end things. If Quo Vadis is correct Petronius opened his wrists in a warm bath. The Jewish Zealots besieged by the Romans on Masada rather than their women and children be taken alive and sold into slavery killed themselves by cutting an artery in their necks. One of the butchers did it and then himself.It’s important not to get it wrong. The American way out seems to be to eat your gun and pull the trigger. Failed Roman generals rather than be humiliated fell on their swords aiming for the heart.

  • @Satish
    I was going to mention the Black Death, but Lidia’s list seems sufficient.

    @Pauline
    Before you “go”, please consider sending a couple/few dead patriarchs ahead of you.
    If their followers won’t miss them, at least they’ll get a meal out of it.
    If their followers do miss them, they’ll either realize the folly of their ways and manage to survive a while without them…or else they won’t and won’t.
    All 3 scenarios seem like positive outcomes…except for the patriarchs.
    They probably won’t even appreciate your letting them precede you, but at least you’ll know you did the right thing.

    Yeah, a repeat performance…got a better anthem in your pocket?

  • robin, if it pleases, obtain my email address from guy and email me so i may have your address. u seem compelled to teach. i don’t know if i wish to try to tame my own mind, but it might do me some good. i also have some personal matters to share for feedback.

    ‘Have they frightened you…programed you to dare not take a stand?’ -marc austin

    i think persuaded should replace the word ‘programed’ (sic) above. yes, i’m persuaded that resistance is largely futile, at least for me. i’ve found that even arguably the mildest resistance, in the form of endeavoring to school or enlighten others, is usually impossible. and public truth telling seems pretty much out of the question (except for exceptional ones, of which i am not one).

    ‘to confront the issues we would have to confront them (assuming it wasn’t too late)’ -lidia

    personally, confronting surreality i think would mean planning my own suicide, publicizing it in advance while explaining the reasoning behind it (noble self sacrifice, setting an example, dramatizing the extreme dire circumstances we now face, spreading the message of ‘doom’). others, like guy as an example, perhaps can better serve by using a gift/passion for staying alive and communicating. either path is difficult, easy to shirk. (speaking of ‘kill yourself, save the planet’, i wonder what happened to pat? anyone know? i’ve not read this blog as much recently as i used to, so i may have missed something.)

    anyway, seriously trying to address our now monumental runaway problems, besides being enormously difficult and costly, seems a fool’s quixotic quest (or so i always convince myself), so why bother? just put suicide in the back of your mind to retrieve hopefully before it becomes too late to escape a worse fate. while saving the world seems out of the question, saving one’s self from suffering a hellish fate remains a valid reason to end one’s life.

    btw lidia, i very much appreciate the contributions u make here.

    addressing again the idea of free will, our genes and our environment determine not only all our actions, but all our thoughts and desires as well. we have no power whatsoever over genes or environment; if we did, we’d all be flawless and in nirvana or heaven. this is obviously not the case. free will’s an illusion. hate the term as u must (if u had free will, u could avoid all unpleasantness, but u don’t/can’t, so u must hate some things), but i think the term ‘meat robot’ aptly applies, regardless of our ability to think and ‘choose’.

    going a step further, i think the idea of ‘free will’ has brought much harm with it, for out of it grows the ideas of ‘morality’ and artificial punishments for ‘criminals’. of course a community has a right to regulate harmful behavior, but when we fail to recognize that such things as mental illness come into play here (as now is so often the case within the amerikan criminal (in)justice system), we can then rationalize cruel punishments by claiming (s)he knew right from wrong, but still freely chose to do wrong!

    ‘I don’t ascribe to “Scientism”’

    i think a better term would be ‘technophilia’, or the love of technology. i think that enlightened rational philosophers, while remaining ‘scientific’, now understand not only the limits, but the pitfalls as well, of technophilia. someone wrote a book on this very subject a few years ago that was often referenced on this blog for a while, written by dilworth, TOO SMART FOR OUR OWN GOOD, if i recall correctly. anyway, surreal scientists aren’t purely technophiles!

    ‘Little Susie suffers from sickle cell anemia for the same reason the peacocks suffer today: our ancestors severed their connection with Land and the rest of creation and started going berserk.’

    while lidia, responded quite well to satish’s words above, i’ll add my 2 cents: this quote is horribly similar to the christian concept of ‘original sin’, in my view. find fault with humans, condemn, and then assume that subsequent suffering is the result of divine retribution. another example of the idea of ‘free will’ being abused to blame and shame. another way to say that suffering is deserved.

    ‘I would love to believe in your story: it’s a much nicer story. It makes people feel happy. But it just flies in the face of everything I actually see.’ -more lidia

    one can no more choose what to believe than one can choose to change one’s genes/being. can u choose to believe that u can fly like a bird without technology? can u choose to believe u have 12 fingers if u only have 10? if u can, u’re delusional, as are all dogma abusers or faith indulgers. u’re fooling yourself. but hey, if u’re exceptionally good at it, u might just be able to fool many others as well, and then u can be the founder of a new religion!

  • For all you doomers who are looking for some worthy project that will MAKE A DIFFERENCE, check out this one from today’s NY Times.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/05/realestate/an-idea-hits-the-beach.html

    I’m feeling happier already!

    Let’s all move to Belize and save the world!

  • @Bob S: Thousands of years ago, a wise guy named John said something like
    ** For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing.**

    >>>

    No, bruddah…that was Paul (Ro. 7:15), and I think your good friend Bud said it, too.

    And then, continuing on our Christian theme for the moment, bruddah James said this:

    >>>

    And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life,[a] and set on fire by hell.[b] 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers,[c] these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

    >>>

    Mebbe take out the word TONGUE and substitute in its place KEYBOARD, praise Gud!

    Amen?

  • Lidia,
    Thanks so much for saying this in your reply to Satish:

    “Why does this happen? Why do people who “know better” continue to procreate (Suzuki, Klein, Hedges, Eisenstein, Orlov..)? They cannot help it, obviously! Unconscious mechanisms are at work.

    You write about driving and using your cell phone.. why do you do those things? You excuse them to yourself in some fashion. Oh, you’re going to think about the little kid in the rare-earth mine while you talk to.. whom? why? See, where I am interested in delving is the disconnect between ‘knowing’ and ‘doing’. You can yack and yack about the wonder of this or that.. this all stays in your head. What are you doing *materially*??

    What is happening to us is happening on a material plane; it’s not just happening inside our heads. So to confront the issues we would have to confront them (assuming it wasn’t too late) on a material plane. But we do not choose to do that. We do not, do you understand me? You do not, and I do not, and Guy does not. For all our meaning well, it just doesn’t happen. Please note that I am not singling you out for opprobrium.. just using your own example as representing a universal condition.”

    This is the very problem that I had with the likes of Derrick Jensen and his constant boring self analysis as to whether he should blow up a dam today. Of course he was never going to do that, there is another book to write. DGR are exactly the same-too much to lose if you have things/comfort to lose. This is why I tend to respect the indigenous resistance because they actually DO stuff when their Land and ultimately their lives are at stake. My perspective is usually completely at odds with yours if I’m honest but there comes a point when actions do actually speak louder than words. I have also detached as much as possible from BAU but am under no illusions that I am still enmeshed in the “system”. I’m typing away here, have a cell phone, drive to earn £ even though I would be considered “in poverty” in this country (Britain) because my income is very low and I live in a trailer. I still however have access to water,food and electric.

    It is quite simple in my opinion. People wont do anything to detrimentally affect their comforts unless they are forced to or they find the stresses of living with the “negative” knowledge of how things are, too much and thus voluntarily renounce. This is very rare although not unheard of of course.

    I am following with much interest your conversation with Satish both here and elsewhere 🙂

  • Satish,
    Your basic position that industrial civilisation does not have long-term sustainability is correct.The changes coming will almost certainly mean that the few remaining hunter-gatherer bands will not survive,either.
    I hope I am wrong about that.
    If you are interested,last week I listed seven fundamental systemic flaws of industrial agriculture that guarantee industrial civilisation would collapse this century,even if CO2 was an atmospherically benign substance.
    I listed them in a comment on the Collapse of Industrial Civilisation site.
    (on the ‘Bloodwatch ‘ thread.)I mentioned some here a month or so ago,but the comment there is a more complete listing.
    I also list how we can escape our current predicament in six easy steps.
    (joking about the last bit)

  • Phytoplankton declined 40% since 1950.
    Ocean acidification doubles by 2050, triples by 2100.
    When something declines 1% per year, it is all gone in 70 years.

    Scientific American says we have only 60 years of agriculture left.
    4 billion people will be shor of water in 10 years.

    Wet bulb temperature is the point at which you can’t survive the heat, laying naked on the beach by a fan in the shade with a drink in your hand. Now we know, you’ll be lucky to have the drink, you’ll be hungry, and very likely unable to breathe.

    So while you’re gasping for breath in the shade, you’ll notice there are no animals around because they all went extinct. You can record it all on your new iPhone.

  • A little gnostic sermon for Easter Monday:
    (Mindful of the charge that I have projected my post-domestication angst onto the pre-domestication world)

    Isn’t love/respect for the biosphere perhaps the prototypical case of Stockholm syndrome?

    If something had devised a system for harvesting energy from torment, it would look just like this, from the inside. No combination of human senses and sciences will ever discover anything meaningful about what it looks like from the outside, or how it works, any more than a slug can be expected to discover anything meaningful about a symphony orchestra. One might just as well expect the cow to benefit from knowing the design of the abattoir, or the tree to benefit from a course in chainsaw maintenance.

    And notice that an ethical stance and good intentions do nothing to mitigate the torment- quite the opposite.

    As a component of this system, we are naturally disposed to perpetuate it, lamenting the evidence of it’s crumbling infrastructure, even though reports of it’s decay and death are perhaps the only genuine good news we are ever likely to get. Let us just hope that there is not a new, improved version in the pipeline..

  • Suicide. Camus. The Myth of Sisyphus. Been there. Tried that. Consciously and unconsciously. Didn’t do it.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Myth_of_Sisyphus

    Camus (and myself) remind me of the self-devouring snake, the Ouroboros. The “absurd” interpretation of the world, reality – is simply our own misunderstanding. That there are no other real interpretations is a self-created fundamentalist dead-end dogma. The leap of faith (Kierkegaard) or Zen satori are iconoclastic acts of liberation that break the hold of self-limiting ideas taken for immutable realities.

    A zen student has been working a long time on this koan: “There is a goose in a glass bottle whose neck is too narrow for it to escape. You must get the goose out without damaging the bottle.” Every solution she brings to the roshi is firmly rejected. Finally she comes in one day and loudly and confidently announces “THE GOOSE IS OUT! This answer is immediately accepted….

  • I’ve posted anew, just in time to launch the European speaking tour. Catch it here.

  • Hi Mike K,

    Good to see you again. Loved your 8:23 post re Camus and Zen. I just now posted my own grappling with “the subject” over on Satish’s blog.

  • Hello Artleads. My google search does not come up with “Satish’s Blog”? Thanks for your kind words.

  • mike k, when a poster here has a name in blue letters i think it’s an indication that that sherson/person has a blog or website that one can visit simply by clicking on their blue lettered name (although for a long time my name ‘the virgin terry’ on this blog was posted with blue letters, even though i have no blog or website)… at any rate, just find one of satish’s posts here, click on his name at the top of the post, it will take u to his blog.

  • Mike K,

    Here it is (I think):

    goingkuku.com/

  • Thanks virgin terry and Artleads. Your suggestions worked for me.

    I am tempted to say a little more about koans, something I would probably be whacked for by Zen masters. These bizarre questions are impossible to answer from the level of ordinary consciousness. They are provocations to catalyze or provoke breakthroughs into levels of consciousness for which we all have the capacity for experiencing, but seldom do as a result of our being conditioned and addicted (clinging) to our more familiar ways of seeing and processing our world. So when the master evaluates a student’s response it has nothing to do with whether it makes sense or is clever. The only thing the master is looking for is signs he is trained to intuitively discern that the student has reached an inner level of consciousness beyond her/his usual experience.

    That a student has touched usually for a brief time a higher level of discernment doe not mean that he/she is now somehow permanently “enlightened”. This first initiatory experience is really just the beginning of what is really and endless path into further practice and deeper realizations, which may again involve long seemingly arid period of endeavor. The path of zen practice is only one among a vast repertory of methods to break us out of the repetitive monotony of our usual limited worldviews. Working with a Sufi teacher and his group periodically for several years proved to be more effective in my case than the time I put in with zen. This is not to say that I did not progress and learn much from the zen meditation methods. Often even wise teachers cannot predict what methods will work or when for any particular student.
    Thus the biblical injunction to “pray without ceasing” or simply to hang in there is relevant for anyone seeking things beyond the ordinary. If one teacher or practice does not work for you after a reasonable trial, go and seek elsewhere….

  • Mike K,

    Glad you found kuku. When there are more than 200 comments to a feature (as there are now) one must scroll to the bottom and click “load more,” then click it again till it doesn’t return. That way, you will have the latest comments.

  • Guy,
    I don’t believe that you don’t see the geoengineering taking place. I am so depressed over our collective doom but this mad panic by our powers to create a reflective shield appears to be making things worse, not better. I have watched the sky my whole life and never ever saw massive grid patterns and cobweb clouds due to plane activity. Good luck on your trip.

  • Thanks,red fox.