Presentation in Konstanz

Embedding is disabled for the presentation I delivered in Konstanz, Germany on 20 April 2015. It’s linked here.

Comments 62

  • The signs a major economic/financial jolt will occur in 2015 increase by the week.

    After a short cold snap that resulted from a blast of Antarctic air, temperatures are back up again: I cycled today in shorts and just two upper layers, and got hot (late autumn). Apparently a mussel processing factory in Christchurch has closed because waters have been too warm for the mussels. Just a few more redundancies to add the growing list.

    Most people around me are still completely clueless or in denial, even as it all starts to fall apart. it must be the ‘high’ NZ dollar that’s doing it.

    I am getting really stuck into Andrew Judd (Judas), since he attended your end-of-the-world-due-to-overpopulation-and-overconsumption talk in New Plymouth in 2012 and now, as mayor, is promoting even greater population overshoot, even greater overconsumption and support for global corporations, as methods for increasing the suffering to come and bringing forward NTE.

  • Dr McPherson suggests that while he is absent from his facilities and speaking in Germany, that he wishes we can continue our ignorant disparagement of facts as presented by well-informed people. Since I have come to know ‘Nature Bats Last’ a little in the last few months, there has been an itchy feeling in my loins that Guy has a point.

  • Unsilent Spring
    This Spring the bird calls will be a deafening roar as our servers hum heavily while we churn out millions of tweets about saving earth but, if wishes were fishes, then our hopes would be 90% gone. Most of you don’t understand that your tweeting is killing the earth. I am the anti-hero of the greenwash movement, I’m not a leprechaun who farts rainbows of hope and inspiration. I am a green troll who tries to show you how weak the bridge is that you are travelling on. Like the little boy who never takes out the garbage, I just keep piling fact upon fact until we stand ineffectually small before the sheer edifice of factual waste. Fact, after fact, after fact. If you are looking for hope, you came to the wrong place. Look upon me, for I am death, destroyer of worlds.

    Get your Collapse Data Cheat Sheet here:

  • In case you haven’t noticed:
    “The inmates run the asylum.”

    Even if,(it is), even if carbon and methane were of no importance, the people and most life on this planet are done. It may have lasted a little longer here, that is all, but perhaps not.

  • Guy, that is one heartbreaking trailer—–makes a beeline right down to the solar plexus, pulls out the grief again. While I appreciate this site it’s time for a bit of a break from the heartache. Although your gallows humor offers a nice grief offset.

    Thankfully I’m heading to a part of the world where there is no internet (not easily accessed anyway), no strip malls, few roads and on clear nights a sky that reveals celestial happenings. It will be interesting to see what affect this has on the angst, incessant grief and yes, at times despair.

    Milendia–wish you could get away from the city and see the night sky! The disconnect between humans and the celestial is yet another HUGE problem we are saddled with. We were meant to see the stars/moon/milky way and more. For those of us lucky enough to be away from the ubiquitous light pollution/haze/air pollution, the Lyrid meteor shower and auroras are predicted to grace the skies tonight. A great web site for those in the upper midwest is “astrobob” in Duluth.

    somewhat off topic:

    Not that I think it matters at this point but there has been much discussion of the root of the problem of the human condition and human’s destruction of life on this planet. Here is another example of part of that root. Anthropocentrism at it’s finest courtesy of Joe Romm who is tormenting us again with another one of his “Earth Day” commentaries:

    Wouldn’t it be nice if the word “environmentalist” did not even exist because it wasn’t necessary? Imagine if all humans cared about other life as much as they do humans and as such the word would be obsolete.

    People take to the streets for anthropocentric issues (immigration, gay marriage, occupy wall street, opposing the draft/Vietnam war). We will never mobilize to advocate for other species on the level of anthropocentric issues.
    As if people who had reverence for nonhuman life where some sort of deviant alien creatures. It feels like this is yet another reason we are doomed. The fact that humans need to note a subgroup (generally marginalized and scoffed at) of people that care about other life besides humans.

    “Lack of awareness of the basic unity of organism and environment is a serious and dangerous hallucination.” 
-  Alan Watts 

  • “an itchy feeling in my loins”

    Jean, I would get that checked out..

  • Thank you Caroline for your kind words. I wish you a great escape. I do not have the means to get out of the city, or to pursue what I love for that matter. I am prisoner of this city and I guess I will die here, with the trees. I went out yesterday (exceptionnally) and was thinking about the sweet smell of decomposing vegetation compared to the terrible smell of meat decomposition. But the earth will bury it all, leaves and flesh and cement, and who knows what will come out if it before the sun eats this planet.

    This week, everybody here is complaining because the “cold” weather, even snow, is back after a few days of ereely strange warm days. I count my blessings like food in the refrigerator before being taken out and cooked.

  • The word “environment” is a weaselly one. It’s evasive and abstract, best suited for description of our own hand built nightmares. As in: The city environment; or the factory farm environment; etc.

    In reference to the natural world I like to use “Creation.” Despite it’s religious affiliation that some might find bothersome, it feels right to me. It’s certainly more evocative of the mystery and web-of-life connection between ourselves and the rest of… well, Creation.

    Furthermore, in my mind it has a heft to it that brings to bear a sense of humility and respect, despite the very real probability that Creation doesn’t give a fuck about us!

    As Ed Abbey noted: “Existence has no given significance. This precisely is what makes our situation so interesting.”

    Ha! Meanwhile, homeland inc. citizens continue to behave like the main attraction at an auto de fe is critiquing the way the pitch is being spread over them just before the flames are lit.

    Our species constructed world “environment” is in the throes of dying. But Creation and life unknown to us will carry on, even here on earth despite the mess we’ve made.

    So until that day of reckoning truly arrives I’m heading outdoors into Creation for the rest of the day. The daffodils are in bloom and birds are still singing where I live. It’s still a good day to be alive. Another day on earth, particularly this 22nd day of April, is a day worth trying to enjoy and celebrate as best we can.

  • Milendia,
    The weather in these parts, the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, is also eerily warm for this time of year, but then I have been saying that the weather here has been strange for at least two years, when I was talking to myself of course. We are having summer temperatures right now, with very little precipitation, practically none. There is talk about water restrictions, a condition that has apparently never been necessary in these parts. Moreover, the city of Kelowna lost about 250 houses to forest fires in 2003, and so far this spring the forest is almost as dry as it was during the month of August in 2003…. Not a very comfortable feeling… Still no mention of climate change or global warming in the local newspapers however. What a surprise!

  • You know were getting close when even RobertScribbler is sounding dire.

    “If someone believes there is no harm in the pipe, or that we can respond fast enough to have zero harm, then they really are flying on faith. What we are looking at are degrees of harm and what may be, remotely, survivable. The carbon negative society, at this point, is no longer an option — it’s a necessity. If we can’t achieve that, then we are pretty much hosed.”

  • Apneaman, I drew the identical conclusion when I saw Scribbler’s words this AM.

    A few weeks ago Scribbler was still pushing as salvation.

    No rational scientific observer can draw any other conclusion from the voluminous & inescapable facts.

    We will know plenty of ugly but powerfully predictive factual “truth” by the end of summer.

    It’s coming in every day now.

    The Arctic methane extinction bomb is “going off” now.

    It will be uglier than anything we ever knew or imagined.

    All we can do is make the most of our time left.

  • Be the Catalyst your waiting for

  • Haydukes Monkey said:

    “The word “environment” is a weaselly one. It’s evasive and abstract, best suited for description of our own hand built nightmares. As in: The city environment; or the factory farm environment; etc.

    In reference to the natural world I like to use “Creation.” Despite it’s religious affiliation that some might find bothersome, it feels right to me. It’s certainly more evocative of the mystery and web-of-life connection between ourselves and the rest of… well, Creation.

    Furthermore, in my mind it has a heft to it that brings to bear a sense of humility and respect, despite the very real probability that Creation doesn’t give a fuck about us!”


    Couldn’t have said it better myself. I have been using the word “Creation” too for the same reasons, and for the awe it inspires. I mean, who would have come up with such an elaborate setup. Millions and billions of shapes, forms, sizes, colors, textures, flavors, behaviors, all with subtle differences everywhere, no two pea-pods alike. I contrast this often to the mono-culture of the modern mind that has invented the assembly line. Uniformity, standardization, utilitarianism, hierarchy, optimization, scale, centralization, these are the symptoms of sickness and imbalance. But it’s still creation, manifesting itself in multiple ways, in the final analysis. Certainly, today, the creation around me includes all the crap that man has put around me, all the black top roads, buildings, dams, cell phone towers, etc. The hummingbird outside my window is still able to adapt and live on. I like that part of creation much better. The natural hummingbird is Creation! This one, not so much – Robot Hummingbird

    Sickness is understandable and made sense of in the presence of the idea of health. Imbalance makes no sense to someone who doesn’t understand balance. Our current situation is incomprehensible to those who cannot imagine a more beautiful world, whether it existed in pre-history or comes to life in the pages of a novel. Sometimes history books do read like novels. And many of them are works of fiction, written to please the reigning rulers.


    There have been some very good comments on this site lately. Some of the best have been those that mentioned sociopathy and I continue to be impressed by the people who have given it some serious thought. It’s not easy to see that there are some of us who are very different from the rest of us, and that these few are capable of doing things to others and to themselves what most find highly implausible, much less do it themselves. But we do it anyway, in bits and pieces, in small cuts here and there, leading to bruises and wounds and worse monstrosities. It takes a good 20 years to shape someone into an engineer who will help build the largest earth-moving equipment on the planet. Or to make the business school grad who will go on to finance it. Educated professionals make good Servitors of Empire, inflicting small cuts here and there. It’s many of us here and many we know. If you’re not participating in the system, you suffer and die. There’s no two ways about it. Near-complete control is in place. It’s hard to see that control leads to suffering and death anyway.

    It’s no claim of superiority to come to the realization that one has “figured this out”, that one sees this distinction between people, that one is able to connect the course of our history to the rise of the sociopath. Such “superiority” is an artifact of the hierarchical society, hand-made by the sociopath and those he has fooled and failed.



    On Earth Day, here’s Geophilia again.

  • Regarding Haydukes Monkey comments,

    One of science’s many problems is its insistence for using terms, like environment, that separate us from ourselves and Creation. No one calls their village or town their “environment”, they give it a name and attach feelings and experience to it. No one thinks “Excellent. . . I’m gonna go wade in some trout environment and fish the evening hatch”.

    It seems our whole manner of thinking and talking, subsumed by science and math like it is, would need to go away. It seems there is no thinking our way out of this one.

  • Super Catalytic Expealidocious

  • You know how close we are to SHTF when the dogs of denial and the hyaenas of hopium are starting to eat their vomit.

  • You know that site i post stories from occasionally (JJFH) that documents the on-going methane/hydrogen sulfide atmospheric concentration? Well, a few days ago one of those man-hole cover explosions (from methane sinking into the sewers/underground electrical vaults) happened in a town i work in regularly – causing 14 businesses to go dark. These kinds of events (home explosions – even vacant ones, parked vehicles of all kinds bursting into flame, people of all ages dropping dead, weird accidents – like people being found in submerged vehicles, and many more) are slowly creeping in toward us all.

    One pattern i’ve noticed there is that people go fishing, hiking, jogging, or walking and suddenly they keel over dead – many times they’re found foaming at the mouth too. Where i’m going with this is that we won’t have to worry about suicide soon – death will find us in due time.

    If you WANT to commit suicide, though, it would be as easy as diving into a lake, fishing, or walking along a river or stream. Late in the evening or early in the morning is when most succumb to H2S overdose and just drop dead, but if you only get a partial “hit” you may be zombie-fied like the numerous people who go ‘ape-shit’ (attack people, run out into traffic, spout complete gibberish or can’t even talk – just growl, display super-human strength, like the 80 year old lady on a plane recently who it took 3 or 4 men to subdue, and often strip off their clothes because H2S makes one uncomfortably HOT). Many times they die shortly afterward, like so many people in jail cells recently. This past year has seen more college kids dying in their dorms – no foul play, no drugs or alcohol in their systems and some of these kids are athletes – than i’ve ever heard of before.

    Weird stuff is going up in flames – like porches, fences, piles of scrap metal, pallets, telephone poles, mulch, garbage, vacant homes that have been boarded up and have no working electric or gas connection. Some burn more than once.

    There are a number of aspects that are included in destroying our habitat: Guy explains the general umbrella of habitat destruction (implying near term food and water shortages and our demise as a species); Dredd’s currently working on sea level rise and what an impact that’s going to have; robertscribbler is documenting climate change and especially methane release and the el nino that’s just begun; jonny mnemonic (of JJFH) is documenting fires, explosions, accidents, sinkholes and death from it all; xraymike (CoIC) continues exposing societal collapse along with other issues; Tom Lewis (The Daily Impact) writes about many of these topics and about fracking/oil and gas drilling troubles, failing global economics and social decay; there’s The Economic Collapse site, volcano and earthquake sites (The Extinction Protocol) and others like Collapse Report that showcase many of these types of sites; you can find all kinds of sites documenting the various emerging diseases impacting humanity (and other species); also, Fukushima only seems to be getting worse all the time and isn’t possible to contain or repair the damage.

    All of them point to the fact that we’re rapidly running out of time and that we’re going to be overwhelmed when it all converges.

  • As usual, i forgot a favorite site: Gail’s Wit’s End blog documents the on-going destruction of trees and vegetation due to tropospheric ozone and nitrogen contamination (the other gases pervading the atmosphere).

  • Callaghan is right…twitter kills….Gerald…skip your meds so we can have some fun again…we’re listening milendia…we hear you…in corners of the earth you would not imagine. send us a postcard caroline…or better yet, forget us for a while…

  • tom my brains went up in flames day before yesterday…if you see me dial 911.

  • Tom. Methane – natural gas rises in the atmosphere and in the ground. Propane however will sink into the basement if there is a leak from you lp line.

    I occasionally remember some of the more memorable leaks I found or heard about. One, I traced to the water lines (exterior of the water lines as they entered 2 stores side by side) in a restaurant and also into the pharmacy next door. I flagged it as a grade 2. Big 36 incher of high pressure n.g. under the street with water lines straddling it. If the gas gets out, it can follow the small cavity surrounding the water line. That would be my not so educated guess in that case.

    I moved to Canada. I came back to US for a visit and stopped in again at the pharmacy, yes, his elderly customers were still smelling natural gas (actually the additive). Yes he had been calling up Mid-Am and complaining and said he would complain some more. I could smell it also, my nose got Pavlov trained to that smell.

    So I went up to the 6th floor to talk to the utility and pipeline guys at the state building I used to test water and hazardous wastes in the basement years ago. A year later I popped down and heard they ripped that street up to fix that leak. Ha Ha.

    There is a lot of deferred maintenance all over. Many utilities, including Mid-American Energy made the decision to spend more of repairs than putting in new lines. And most utilities contract out their natural gas leak testing (all lines are supposed to be run for leaks every 3 years) to sub-contractors and then they kvetch and moan when one finds a leak after 2 p.m. (especially on a Friday) Pipeline technology has improved from the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s when many of the big high pressure lines were put into place.

    When a there is a suspected natural gas explosion, I would suggest looking to see where the large high pressure lines run and how old they are. The methane can snake around until it finds a place to come up.

  • Satish,

    I think the assertion “Near-complete control is in place” is mis-stating the case before us.

    If anything, borrowing from Robert Callahan’s pithy remarks, “Fact, after fact, after fact… until we stand ineffectually small before the sheer edifice of factual waste” clearly exposes the fact that any semblance of human “control” in place — and especially as i think you mean — is misplaced.

    This is not to deny that *trying* to control things is not a problem for us. Indeed, it was one of David Ehrenfeld’s major points in his 1975 tour-de-force: “The Arrogance of Humanism,” in which he laid out the argument that our ideology of control, especially with respect to our technological genies, is a flat-out spurious and dangerous conceit.

    And despite any semblance of putting in place apparatus (I.e. the NSA, etc.) that suggests near complete control over anything is delusional and in for some nasty surprises. The facts that matter here argue near-complete out-of-control fuck up as what *is* in place.

    Still, as bad as these prospects are, quoting Ehrenfeld: “To understand we are not steering this planet in its orbit does not mean paralysis — it means new freedom and a great relief.”

    At least to any of us who get it that this ideology and edifice of “control” — the whole kit and caboodle of our command and control system of arrogant humanism — is in fact coming apart before our very eyes. Consider it a silver lining in our cloudy daze ahead.

    “It was your skill and your science
    That led you astray.
    And you thought to yourself,
    I am, and there is none but me.”
    Isaiah 47:10

  • “Still, as bad as these prospects are, quoting Ehrenfeld: “To understand we are not steering this planet in its orbit does not mean paralysis — it means new freedom and a great relief.”

    This brings to mind something that Robin Datta keeps saying. I forget the words. Doing without doing? Total freedom. No expectations. Acting according to rational assumptions. Nothing more.

  • Jean Turcot Says:
    April 22nd, 2015 at 11:24 am

    The weather in these parts, the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, is also eerily warm for this time of year, but then I have been saying that the weather here has been strange for at least two years.

    Just around the corner from you I have been studying Shuswap Lake for over 30 years. In 1993 in February I walked out in the middle of the lake and cut down through 2 feet of ice to reach water. Since then the lake has not frozen over since. Hardly any ice has even formed around the edges.
    At this time of year the lake usually is rising as a result of the spring freshet. Not now, its actually been going down over the last 2 weeks! Never seen that before. I suspect it will peak at 50 to 70% of normal.
    Friends in Ministry of Forests have never seen soil moisture content this low for April. They are expecting all hell to brake loose this summer.

  • “thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me.
    – Isaiah 47:10”

    The problem with the saying; saying does not imply the realisation of Being: the realisation of the One without a second, the absence of distinction between the subtlest (and foundational) aspects of the individual (Yechida, Atman) and the Universal (Ain Sof, Brahman), and the absence of any individual self.

  • Haydukes Monkey,

    I was referring to the control framework that the sociopath has built to control the rest of us and the rest of creation on planet Earth. When it comes to the story of humanity’s control over its circumstances, of course, I agree with you, it’s been a dismal failure. A colossal bait and switch. It showed promise to some in the beginning but control was doomed to fail from the outset.

    I actually happen to think the invention of language was about control too, not to give ourselves a way to express our ideas more richly but to control and bully the fellow tribesman. The English language has much more to do with colonialism and imperialism than anything else.

    Paul Chefurka brought up the early use of fire as an example of a universal human(oid) drive to improve our condition.

    “Given that early hominids learned to use fire perhaps 2 million years ago – well before Homo sapiens evolved – and judging from all of recorded and inferred human behaviour, I suspect the desire to improve our conditions has been with us forever. I think it’s part of the genetic survival imperative of all life. Our problem-solving brains have simply allowed us to elaborate and extend that primal urge far beyond the ability of the biosphere to provide for it.”

    Of course, fire has existed long before it began to be used by hominids. I doubt those early hominids were suffering that much more before they started using it compared to after “mastering” it, if they were suffering at all. I doubt there was much need for fire 2 Million years ago in Africa. There were plenty of nuts, berries, fruits and other types of foods that didn’t need cooking. The “discovery” of fire was more about control, not about survival, but controlling what’s around. The story continues today, when they say genetic engineering is about survival, that the poor and the undernourished of the world must be fed, when in fact, it’s more about control of food, using food as a weapon. One half of the world wastes enough food to feed the other half. I’m making a fine distinction here between “improving our lot” and “controlling our condition”. The former is about patience, collaboration, long time periods and risk-averse co-evolution. This is how I believe gave rise to the immense amount of diversity in nature. It’s about expansion. Control, on the other hand, is about force, competition, urgency, risk-taking and domination. Control is about contraction. The reverse of variety. One Civilization instead of 10,000 cultures. So my view is the seed of control has been present forever but started to sprout more recently. The primal urge is about collaboration and co-evolution. Not control.

    I’ve written much about how and why control is destined to fail. The techno-utopian dream is about control over the environment and it’s failing miserably. More here and here.

    When I say near-complete control is in place, I was referring to the control exerted by the few over the many. In the context of sociopathy.

  • In any case, the lines blur between humanity’s control over its circumstances and the sociopath’s control over his fellow man. It’s a continuum. There is little distinction between the various indigenous cultures across the world when it comes to their relationship with Land. They don’t need to explain it to each other how they relate to their environments, the way they try hard (and fail) to explain it to modern man. Indigenous people are much closer to nature, the same nature modern man seeks to control. A banker from New York is not that dissimilar to a banker from Hong Kong or Mumbai, and both are very different from those who live close to the land.

    On the continuum, there are the elites on one end, with the support structure they have built right next to them (consisting of well-educated professionals who are mostly urban dwellers who are quick to adopt the latest technologies and seek to spread Civilization far and wide), the para professionals next (those who look up to the professionals and yearn to be one of them but also those who are not able to bring themselves down to the levels that the professionals have stooped to in their enthusiasm to serve the status quo), moving on to the blue collar workers, craftsmen, etc. some of whom are rural residents, on to the farmers who are mostly rural and are close to the land yet part of Civilization and the System, if only forced to be so, then on to the people who live more or less outside Civilization (the indigenous peoples), on to the other species, animals, plants, rivers, rocks at the other end, all of which are NOT inanimate, but as much a part of Creation as anything else is, but the fact of which is lost upon Civilized man.

    Depending on where one is on the continuum, one is usually both the controller and the controlled. This is the hierarchy that modern man has built, with himself at the apex, with the elites running the show and the rest buying in and all together controlling the rest of Creation, down to the DNA of strawberries and the code of life itself. It’s the height of arrogance. It’s bound to fail.

    Even if we didn’t have all the news coming in that Tom mentioned above, even if there was no Climate Change going on, even if there was no imminent nuclear threat, this paradigm of control leaves us no choice but the ultimate implosion and collapse. Following the course of historical events is enough to convince me that the path we have been on is not sustainable. But today, Climate Change, the nuclear threat and other grave dangers facing us are just how the control paradigm manifests its ugly effects. No one, not even the elites are ultimately spared, even if they turn out to be the last ones to go extinct.

    So, really, is there much distinction between the elites controlling fellow man and humanity controlling the rest of Creation? Control is a one-way street on the continuum. It may look different at various points on the continuum but it’s the same in essence.

  • excellent comments satish…you and I should form a posse and go get those forked tongued bastards. cheers!

  • Wlliam burroughs…”language is a virus from outer space” jack Kerouac…..”when do I get off this god damned meat wheel” the ancients knew the score. yes indeed…batter up!

  • @ Tom

    A word of advice about gases.

    To determine whether a gas will rise or sink in air compare its molecular mass to the average of air.

    Air is predominantly nitrogen 14+14 =28

    with about 20%oxygen 16+16 = 32

    so the comparative molecular mass is approximately 29.

    Now add the numbers for the gas you want to determine.

    hydrogen 1+1=2 much lighter than air

    methane, CH4 12+1+1+1+1=16 lighter than air

    ethane C2H6 24+6=30 about the same as air

    propane C3H8 36+8=44 heavier than air

    carbon dioxide CO2 12+32=44 heavier than air

    hydrogen sulphide H2S 32+2=34 slightly heavier than air

    sulphur dioxide SO2 32+32=64 much heavier than air

    People entering steel tanks that have contained hydrocarbons may become unconscious and even die because the heavy vapours sit in the tanks.

    H2S is particularly deadly because it deadens the sense of smell and is quite toxic.

    CO2 is deadly at high concentration, and is often the cause of death of trapped miners and submariners.

  • yes kevin, but none of them are as heavy as lead…just please point the gun in the right direction. I’m done moe.

  • In “Presentation in Konstanz,” if I heard it correctly, @ ~25:30 in the video, Dr. McPherson says that the “Fifth Mass Extinction” was caused by volcanoes 55 million years ago.

    That is a departure from settled science which, upon years of study, concluded that the Fifth Mass Extinction was caused by an asteroid ~65-66 mya (State Crimes Against Democracy).

    A panel of 41 international experts, including UK researchers from Imperial College London, the University of Cambridge, University College London and the Open University, reviewed 20 years’ worth of research to determine the cause of the Cretaceous-Tertiary (KT) extinction, which happened around 65 million years ago. The extinction wiped out more than half of all species on the planet, including the dinosaurs, bird-like pterosaurs and large marine reptiles, clearing the way for mammals to become the dominant species on Earth” – Science Daily).

    The crater it made is called (Chicxulub Crater).

  • The extinction event 65 mya was triggered by cooling induced by an asteroid. The one 55 mya was caused by warming from methane.

  • Satish,

    Thanks for the reply. Your elaboration, “When I say near-complete control is in place, I was referring to the control exerted by the few over the many,” I don’t disagree with, and I think I showed I understood.

    What I found lacking was its categorical expression, and what I wanted to remind others of, is what you elsewhere have “written much about and why [this near-complete and in place] control is destined to fail.”

    The utter futility and pretense surrounding this “near-complete control” by the few over the many of us and over earthly Creation, is precisely the more relevant point that was missing as originally stated.

    The truth is, it is an *out-of-control* paradigm. Even so, despite it being a near complete and in place FUBARed matrix, I still seek out the opportunity to try and live, even if only for temporary moments, beyond its reach and care.

    This is the more important feature to remind ourselves of, because once one stops worrying about and trying to counter control this *out-of-control shit* it opens up the possibility of relinquishing oneself from the lunacy of it all. And this is no small thing.

    Artleads’ reply comment touches on this notion. For what it is worth, I like to remind ourselves: Candles are needed here, especially to counter incomplete and ambiguous assertions of the darkness assailing us!

    Gallows humor and wit is always appreciated too!

  • kevin – thanks, yeah I should have stated it MAY have been methane leaking underground, but it’s more likely to have been hydrogen sulfide which is highly reactive (explosive) with electrified copper (as well as rust) and which is prevalent in sewers and underground.

    Graph of the Day: Trend in global average surface temperature, 1970-2014


    Both NASA and NOAA report 2014 as the hottest year on record. Despite the new #1, neither the news itself nor the response to it has surprised me.

    The news that last year was so hot is certainly no surprise. The simple reason is that for the last 15 or 20 years, let’s say since the turn of the millennium just to be specific — you know, since back when we expected global warming to continue without slowing down — global warming has continued and shows no sign of slowing down.

    As a matter of fact, according to the NASA data this year is dead on the projection we would have made back then by using the “global warming continues without slowing down” hypothesis. By the time 1999 came to a close, a warming trend was abundantly clear. [there’s more]

    Despite this, and lots more data and experience in reality there’s this response from those in charge:

    Gallup poll: Conservative Republicans alone on timing of global warming – 40 percent say global warming will never happen


    While notable majorities of all other political party/ideology groups say the effects of global warming will happen within their lifetime, fewer than four in 10 conservative Republicans (37%) agree, a sign of that political identity’s strident skepticism on this issue.

    Conservative Republicans not only decisively reject the notion that the effects of global warming will happen in this lifetime — a position in sharp contrast to all other political identities — but another 40% say global warming will never happen. This is significantly higher than the percentages of moderate/liberal Republicans (16%), non-leaning independents (14%), conservative/moderate Democrats (5%) and liberal Democrats (3%) who say the same. [read the rest if you haven’t started drinking yet]

  • how did I miss this one? Thought I caught most things of Guy.

  • @Tom

    Re: Conservative Repugnicons

    GOP = Generally Opposes Progress

    The Siberian Express persists.

  • Tom – your report is excellent. SATISH has a comprehensive Web site with 44 articles in 2014 that cover a range from Gallows Humor to very serious insightful essays that are not published elsewhere.

  • As one of my favourite Western Theravada Buddhist monks and teachers humorously likes to say, while highlighting a great truth from Buddhist teaching at the same time, “Don’t worry, everything is out of control!”

  • Guy McPherson Says:
    April 23rd, 2015 at 7:35 am

    The extinction event 65 mya was triggered by cooling induced by an asteroid. The one 55 mya was caused by warming from methane.
    The hot-cold one caused by the asteroid was the “Fifth Mass Extinction” (you called it “fifth great extinction”), we are currently in the “Sixth Mass Extinction” (you called it “the sixth great extinction”).

    Thus, the one ~55 mya was neither a “mass” or “great” extinction in that sense, rather, it was one of many lesser, not great, extinctions.

    Jet lag. ;)

    Good luck on the upcoming appearances.

    Keep us posted.

  • Dredd

    Cooling following the impact of an asteroid. Or more precisely, blocking sunlight via a humungous amount of material being thrown into the atmosphere.

    Yes, I too spotted that minor error in Guys presentation and agree that the 55mya thermal maximum die-off is not normally classified as a Mass Extinction Event.

    Guy gets it right most of the time, which is why I still support his efforts.

  • New mass extinction event identified by geologists

    “Over the past 450 million years, life on Earth has been devastated by five mass extinction events that are widely recognised by geologists.

    Now, an international team of researchers proposes adding a sixth mass extinction to the list.

    The team believes it has accumulated sufficient evidence to promote the Capitanian event to the rank of mass extinction.

    The extinction occurred approximately 262 million years ago.”

  • So what did-in the dinosaurs? A murder mystery…

    Scientists have assembled a slew of new forensic evidence – from high-resolution dates to microscopic fossils – to prosecute the dino-killer. Their indictment has worrying implications for us.


    Thursday, April 23, 2015
    It’s time to ‘Do the math’ again


    Have we gone mad? A new report [] released today explains why contemporary climate change policy-making should be characterised as increasingly delusional.

    As the deadline approaches for submissions to the Australian government’s climate targets process, there is a flurry of submissions and reports from advocacy groups and the Climate Change Authority.

    Most of these reports are based on the twin propositions that two degrees Celsius (2°C) of global warming is an appropriate policy target, and that there is a significant carbon budget and an amount of “burnable carbon” for this target, and hence a scientifically-based escalating ladder of emission-reduction targets stretching to mid-century and beyond.

    A survey of the relevant scientific literature by David Spratt, “Recount: It’s time to ‘Do the math’ again”, published today by Breakthrough concludes that the evidence does not support either of these propositions.


    In reality, 2°C is the boundary between dangerous and very dangerous climate change and 1°C warmer than human civilisation has ever experienced.

    In the lead up to the forthcoming Paris talks, policy makers through their willful neglect of the evidence are in effect normalising a 2.5–3°C global warming target.

    This evidence in “Recount: It’s time to ‘Do the math’ again” demonstrates that action is necessary at a faster pace than most policy makers conceive is possible. [read it all]

  • @Santish – I tried to post on your kuku site, but got a message that: URL must contain a host name. I gave my url and screen name mike k. Don’t know how to satisfy the demand given. Anyway I’ll just post here some comments about the role and nature of evil…

    “If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
    ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    Gyges’ ring:

    The short comment at the bottom of the webpage linking this myth to the ring of power in Tolkien’s tale, and the discovery of atomic power is worth considering in depth.

    I trace the origin of evil much further back in time than most thinkers – in fact I place it at the instant of the Big Bang (or the Great Flowering, as I prefer to call it). In that Cosmic Seed smaller than an atom was contained the basic destiny of the Universe. Not in detail, but in the broad outlines of this grand drama we are all involved in. Freedom and Uncertainty were also there in that Fiat Lux instant, saving all that was to come from a dead and rigid determinism, giving hope the space to work some unpredictable magic beyond the confining laws also operative.

    The fundamental dance of the evolving Universe is between life and death. Out of this root dynamic grows the struggle of Good and Evil. The same creative struggle of Life with the forces threatening to destroy it in a Universe of colossal collisions of huge and deadly energies was reflected in the life and death internal struggles within the kingdoms of life themselves. The surprising judo of life using the very nature of death to sustain it’s fragile moments in the sun necessarily involved basic problems for its continuance. All life depends on consuming and killing other life. How is it that we have not killed and eaten each other down to the last doomed survivor long ago? The prolific expansionism and increasing diversification of living beings is part of the answer, but of course merely running faster and increasing our numbers faster has it’s essential limits on a finite planet. Another answer to life’s seemingly improbable continuance is that we are eating the Sun’s energy, sustaining ourselves on its very long process of dying.

    Our most dangerous enemies are those within our own house. Our very attempts to prolong our lives and expand our powers now threaten to destroy us. The essence of evil is unconsciousness. The secret of attaining long and happy life to the degree possible for all living beings is the development of greater consciousness by those life forms with the greatest power and possibilities for wisdom. Failure to accomplish this will usher in the triumph of evil on this planet. May enough of us awaken the powers of love and understanding to save ourselves from the unconscious suicide that is in progress all around us, and unfortunately also within each of us. Become properly conscious or witness the failure and self-destruction of your species. The project to develop higher consciousness has been around in various forms from the beginnings of humankind. Our challenge now if we are to pass through this great initiation is to come together in small groups dedicated to accomplishing this aim of higher consciousness for the benefit of all life forms….

    Those who gather on this and other kindred websites do so because they are becoming aware of the great danger we are entering of the near term extinction of our species – and many others. If we should use our awakening to give up all hope and cease searching for solutions, then our role will only be to aid the forces that would destroy us.

  • *Recount: It’s time to ‘Do the math’ again* is a bombshell of a report.

    I hope it gains traction.

  • @mike_k: “Our very attempts to prolong our lives and expand our powers now threaten to destroy us. The essence of evil is unconsciousness. The secret of attaining long and happy life to the degree possible for all living beings is the development of greater consciousness by those life forms with the greatest power and possibilities for wisdom. Failure to accomplish this will usher in the triumph of evil on this planet.”

    My affairs recently evolved such that I had indirect business dealings with an 83-year-old woman. Admitted to the hospital for some kind of heart failure, she was subjected to a 6-hour open-heart surgery. I don’t regard these attempts at life-extension as “evil”.. merely “human”. What am I to express to those who actually know her? That they did ill to prolong her life? That is what I think, but that is also unspeakable in modern society.

    Your idea that humans might even border on having “wisdom” is laughable. We are purely reactive, even the great “gurus”, as far as I can see…

    Today I walked the land of a young guy who was showing me his attempts to plant out a crazy-wet hillside. Ancient apple trees, which (some say) hate having wet feet, were splayed out over the landscape. Some, having been knocked down or having lost their footing, were growing up from a horizontal trunk as if they were tomatoes.

    Distribution of resources to prolong any creature’s life are a matter of luck, talent/capacity/fitness, and (in the human realm if not all of the animal realm) politics.

    I don’t think that a lack of achieving “long and happy life to the degree possible for all living beings” is evil. I think, instead, that it is functionally impossible and is a goal that lies only inside our mis-directed brains.

    Thought experiment: take human beings out of the picture. Do most bacteria, wild birds, caterpillars, mice, etc. live “long and happy lives”? They do not. Nature doesn’t guarantee any creature a long and happy life… in fact, she condemns the majority to shorter less-happy ones, without artificial anaestethics.

    This is the reality which impels me to part company with sentimental purveyors of a never-to-be-achieved notion of earthly harmony.

  • @mike.. To precise: you seem to think that we should not “aid the forces that would destroy us”.. as though those forces came from somewhere Outside of our own lives and Outside of our own universe. But that is not the case, I feel. The forces allowing us to thrive and bringing us to our demise are indivisible.

  • (edit: the achievement is functionally impossible, not the lack thereof…)

  • Vertebrate body size requires a transport mechanism to get oxygen to remote tissues. This is accomplished by hemoglobin which carries oxygen, red blood cells which allow for much higher hemoglobin concentrations without a corresponding increase in viscosity, a circulation that allows for an effecient transport of blood, and an effective gas exchange system, lungs or gills.

    The only invertebrates which come close in size are molluscs, which have the magnesium-based oxygen carrier hemogyanin, but without some of the other essential features found in vertebrates.

    Another major issue is genomic size and gene diversity. Polyploidy (multiple copies of the whole genome) is common in plants, and is also found in fungi, but has apparently occurred but once in metazoa (multicellular animals), very early in the vertebrate lineage around the time of the split between the Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fishes) and the Osteichthyes (bony fishes).

    At that time there were two rounds of whole genome duplication (2R WGD), so that there were 3 complete extra copies of the DNA. This allowed for any three copies to carry random mutations without being lethal. This allowed for mutations that added new functions to the biochemical machinery while original functions were preserved. It also permitted stepwise serial mutations to new functions, while original functions remained intact. And many duplicates were also deleted. The resulting chahges to the genome have masked the original reduplication.

    It aslo accounts for a rich diversity and redundancy of protein and protein functions seen in vertebrates. It has been suggested that the diversity has contributed to the success of vertebrates.

    From the Chordate genomics article in Wikipedia:

    “Multiple lines of experimental evidence strongly suggest that twice in the lineage leading to the teleost fish the ancestral Chordate genome was duplicated. A comparison of the genomes of the Lancelet Branchiostoma floridae, the Tunicates Ciona intestinalis and Oikopleura dioica, the lamprey Petromyzon marinus, the fish Fugu rubripes and Gasterosteus aculeatus, the chicken Gallus gallus, and human Homo sapiens confirmed that two whole-genome duplications occurred in the early history of the Vertebrata clade.”

    Two Rounds of Whole Genome Duplication in the Ancestral Vertebrate

    If vertebrates go extinct, the odds are slim fof reconstituting similar diversity from extant invertebrate lineages. Not to worry, though: either way, we won’t be around. Let’s make the best of here and now.

  • (Sorry but I must overpost) @Robin, as a medical doctor attending to humans, what is “the best”?

  • “as though those forces came from somewhere Outside of our own lives and Outside of our own universe.”

    The final annihilation of the lifeform known as man. Let the attack begin.

  • “The essence of evil is unconsciousness.”

    “Become properly conscious or witness the failure and self-destruction of your species.”

    “The project to develop higher consciousness has been around in various forms from the beginnings of humankind.”

    In the bucket metaphor from the Taitteriya Upanishad, each of many water-filled buckets is a body-mind complex. In a modern interpretation, the bucket is the body, the water is the brain, and the surface of the water is the mind.

    The reflection of the sun in the bucket is the “conscious being”. Without the water, there is no reflection, and so that manifestation of consciousness ceases. But the sun continues to shine undiminished. What is called unconsciousness is unmanifest consciousness. The manifestations vary, but the light is universal and immutable: the Or Ain Sof of the Kabbalah, unaffected even by the Big Bang.

    It is the Reality behind all reflections.

    “If we should use our awakening to give up all hope and cease searching for solutions, then our role will only be to aid the forces that would destroy us.”

    One of the characteristics of the realised person is hopelessness (Nirasha), and its corollary, fearlessness. It has nothing to do with despair. It seems that those raised in the theistic religious traditions find it impossible to understand, much less grok this.

    I retired from medical practice in 2009. Beauty, they say, lies in the eye of the beerholder. The “best” lies in the eye of the beholder. What treatment is best? There are orthopedic surgeons trained in different institutions who will do quite diffefent procedures for the same condition with the same results.

    What is best for someone with a progressive condition? If all one has is a hammer, every problem is a nail. The best is arrived at by a primary care practitioner who coordinates all the specialty care after explaining to the patient (and family) and taking their views into consideration.

  • mt, Vloggerdome was unknown to me, as are most things.. Kinda sobering to say the least, but nothing much new in the arguments. But isn`t that where arguments and discussions keep bringing us towards, an end game… Inmendham is as despondent for the human future as any. Isn`t that what is wrong here…. i.e., finding doom but not really trying to find ways to avoid it?

    There is one comment in the clip that could be interpreted a little differently. It has to do with greed, an act by which people hoard things over and above what is perceived as normal. For most, to hoard money is probably the most common issue that brings greed to mind. But in squirrels that gather a lot of nuts, with their mouths stuffed to bursting, we don’t perceive squirrels as greedy. In short, they are just doing their thing, saving many nuts for a rainy day.

    Humans do the same thing. We are not greedy, no one is. We are just able survivors in the jungles that we have created. Greed is really just another term for survival. When the effects of extreme poverty are as evident as they are, instincts of self-preservation kick in. If the consequences of having no money would not imply homelessness and/or starvation, then the concept of greed could be meaningful, but unless those human conditions change, greed is a non-issue.

  • @Robin – You say, “One of the characteristics of the realized person is hopelessness (Nirasha), and its corollary, fearlessness. It has nothing to do with despair. It seems that those raised in the theistic religious traditions find it impossible to understand, much less grok this.”

    Robin, you seem to put a lot of stock in the notions of some Indic teachers about “the realized person” and other concepts that are matters of widespread dispute in the vast literature of Indian philosophy. Your condescension towards “those raised in the theistic traditions” is not shared by many in India who have had their own experiences that include knowledge of Divine Beings. In my opinion, a little humility towards the mysteries of Cosmic Reality is closer to the truth of what we can reliably hold ourselves to know. The knowledge of realms of truth and being beyond our present experience is so sketchy and controversial as to only confirm the depth of our ignorance.

    Anything I share in my comments is only meant to represent my partial glimpses of aspects of reality, and is in no way set in stone. There is nothing in my experience that is not open to refutation and being superseded by deeper understandings. One reason I share is to be corrected and sometimes refuted. This is how I gradually learn more. It is awkward and repetitious to put out a disclaimer against having any absolute knowledge every time one shares. Periodic reminders such as I have just attempted will have to do. Be it understood by all that I am not an authority on anything, and do not remotely seek such a status. My life has been based on questioning everything, and I recommend that stance to everyone, especially with regard to anything I might say.

    I also believe that precious spiritual beliefs like hope are unlikely to lose their usefulness to many of us ordinary folks trying to navigate this difficult world, because some supposed elite philosophic gurus look down on it the from their imagined heights. Those that seek to take away people’s hope should consider what they can give them to replace it. They might also ask themselves if their belief in “realized persons” is not actually just their own form of belief.

  • Good points Mike k. Yea… projecting characteristics on someone is probably most often a characteristic found in the person who is projecting. Self-actualization is a perception which implies that the self-actualized person has got it all together. But then the very nature of evolution suggests that we are all imperfect, so why bother trying to achieve a state that is not attainable. It’s an illusion of grandeur implied by gurus who claim to know better. To me anyone who claims that they ‘know’ stuff hasn’t lived long enough to know that they don’t. Bu it’s fun trying… long as one doesn’t take things too seriously, with at least a few exceptions… global sizzling or nuclear war.

  • @Robin, I wasn’t asking with any particular individual or time frame in mind. The question “what is best?” relates generally to prolonging human life and successful human reproduction, the goal of virtually all medical practice. “The best” for a human patient spells death and destruction proportionate to the degree of intervention and to that human’s impact while healthy.

  • Mike K,

    On kuku, you click at the bottom of any article, where it says (number) comments. That brings you to the bottom of the comments. There it says, “Comment as;” and to the right of that is a drop down menu. The bottom two choices work well. If you insert Mike K in the name/url window, only your name matters. URL is only if you have one. :-)