Motivated by Evidence

I’m often questioned about my motives for writing and speaking the unspeakable. More often, my motives are disparaged without question by people under the influence of the dominant paradigm.

I understand that the burden of my message is great. I understand that the process of unlearning the lies of civilization is a difficult enterprise. I understand that questioning one’s entire life might lead to actions that attract unwelcome attention from authorities or, worse yet, one’s friends and colleagues. As a result, I understand the desire to avoid the unthinkable. After all, thinking is difficult.

As with most of the dominant paradigm, a little thought would dismiss most of the disparagement of my work. But most people capitulate to the dominant paradigm without even the slightest bit of thinking. The unquestioned assumptions underlying the notions of infinite growth and imperialism are too heavily embedded in the typical, patriarchal mind to bear mention, much less action.

The evidence supporting the idea of near-term human extinction is overwhelming. But the patriarchs refuse to be overwhelmed by evidence. There is no convincing people who ignore, disparage, or deny the evidence. There is little point discussing important issues with people who choose belief over evidence. There are plenty of people in the latter category. If you’re among them, you can save time and effort by skipping the remainder of this essay.

 

What I Promote

Among the untrue insults most commonly launched my way are that I propose inaction, or worse. I have never proposed inaction, nor would I. And the notion that I encourage people to “roll over and die” is of course utter lunacy. As indicated by the subtitle of my latest book, I promote living.

According to the patriarchal perspective, I’m the leader of a death cult. But it’s the dominant culture, with only a little help from me, driving to extinction 150 to 200 species each day. It’s the dominant culture, with only a little help from me, destroying every aspect of the living planet. If there is a death cult to be found, it’s the dominant culture. As I’ve pointed out too many times to count, I’m a huge fan of terminating the death cult, even though it will kill me.

Unlike the typical, privileged patriarch, I’m not interested in actions that benefit only the continuation of human beings. Non-human species are worthy of human attention and action, and not in the directions typically promoted by self-absorbed humans within the dominant culture. To presume that the 13.8 billion years of this universe’s existence is simply a warm-up act for the 200,000-year run of our species seems a tad ridiculous to me. And yet, most people with whom I come into contact believe humans represent the crowning achievement of this universe, which is one among an infinite number within an unending multiverse. According to the narrow, patriarchal view, the species known as Homo sapiens is unimpeachably good, and the notions of mortality and extinction are unspeakable.

I agree with iconoclastic Tucson-based writer Edward Abbey: “Action is the antidote to despair.” It’s clearly too late to extend our run as a species. But it’s not too late for the myriad species we drive to extinction every day. Acting on their behalf by terminating the omnicide of the dominant paradigm, thus overcoming the arrogance of humanism as we dive into the existential abyss of extinction, is hardly the same as rolling over and dying.

I encourage additional actions, too. Promoting decency, compassion, excellence, and love in a culture avidly pursuing indecency, hate, mediocrity, and indifference is a tough sell. But acting with respect and bestowing dignity upon ourselves and others is hardly the same as doing nothing, much less rolling over and dying. If you believe I’m a nihilist, perhaps you ought to check your dictionary.

Contrary to the oft-mentioned myth, my message does not encourage suicide. No evidence indicates my message contributed to the death of my friend and colleague, Michael C. Ruppert, contrary to recent commentary in the blogosphere. Indeed, many people find my message quite liberating and the suggestion my message contributed to Ruppert’s death laughable. I encourage people to pursue love and excellence while imposing constraints, including semantic ones, on neither pursuit.

Birth is lethal. Civilization is a prison. Patriarchs would have you believe the opposite about both issues.

 

The Role of Education

I spread the message about abrupt climate change for many reasons. First and foremost, I’m a teacher. The word and the attendant act define me, and undoubtedly blind me to the other roles I play. Teaching is not what I do. A teacher is what I am. It’s not only personal. Rather, it’s pragmatic, too.

Who else is connecting the dots in the public realm? The world’s corporate media and corporate governments do not benefit from the knowledge I transmit. If you stop playing your designated role as consumer on the treadmill of civilization, the jig is up. When that happens — and it’s a question of when, not if — the house of cards comes tumbling down. The privileged among us, almost certainly including most people reading these words, lose their privilege.

If you’re on the verge of death, you deserve to know. If your medical doctor withholds relevant information from you regarding your imminent demise, it’s called malpractice. The world’s corporate media and corporate governments are guilty of malpractice. Those who protect them because they’re afraid of the truth are doing a great disservice to the rest of us.

Along with the media and governments are misinformed patriarchs who would have us believe atmospheric methane is a minor problem to be solved by future generations. Promotion of this incorrect perspective is analogous to telling a patient with an open wound there’s no need to practice good hygiene.

 

Sustainability and Conservation

I’ve come to realize, many years beyond the time it could have occurred had I been paying proper attention, that sustainability is a myth promoted by the dominant culture. It generally is assumed to mean sustaining the unsustainable set of living arrangements known as civilization for as long as possible, notwithstanding the costs and consequences. Non-human species do not matter unless they can be exploited for financial gain. From the perspective of the patriarchs pulling the levers of industry, the same goes for most humans.

For those of us who do not comprise the 0.01%, we are all indigenous now. We are all collateral damage on the vicious road to imperialist dreams. We’re needed as consumers and cannon fodder. Willfully ignorant of the evidence, we march to the drum of empire because we cannot imagine another way to live. We cannot imagine lives more important than our own. We cannot imagine a species more important than ours. We cannot imagine questioning the dominant paradigm, much less resisting it. So we pursue progress, even if it means progressing over a cliff or into the gas chambers.

There is no meaning to our individual lives beyond what we create. Instead of facing the horrors of finding our own way, most of us defer to empire. We throw ourselves into the machine on behalf the 0.01% because we imagine that throwing ourselves onto the machine comes at too high a cost.

The conclusion is probably correct. Living differently has its rewards but, in my limited experience, the few rewards are massively overwhelmed by the many penalties of pursing life beyond the mainstream.

 

Making it Personal

My own attempts to walk away from American Empire have failed for many reasons. Afflicted by my own expansive ego, I assumed others would follow my lead, hence slowing or, in my wildest dreams, stopping the machine. I can’t even seem to escape my place of birth and my duty station, the United States, although I no longer view it as my country.

Too little, too late, I’ve come to realize I’m not very influential after all. It’s quite the bitter pill.

With respect to my ongoing work, and the human children I’m said to kill with every step I take, I weakly begin with a few words from writer Barbara Kingsolver: “Living takes life, but it can be thoughtful.” By living, we all contribute to death.

Much, and probably most, of the criticism tossed my way comes from city-dwellers who believe their own lives are beyond reproach. But if you live in a city, you’re living at the apex of civilization. As long as the fuel, food, and water keep showing up on demand, you’re on the front lines of imperialism. Believing otherwise while disparaging those who participate in the dominant culture is yet another thoughtless act of patriarchy.

Feeling superior doesn’t make one superior. Hubris does not humble others.

 

The Details

A tiny bit of thoughtful research could lead one to conclude that conservation of fossil fuels is austerity for the masses, proposed and promoted by a few for their own benefit. Jevons’ Paradox, the Khazzoom-Brookes postulate, half-empty flights, and consumption of fossil energy by the United States military all provide further support for the notion that the imposition of austerity onto the majority of humans is beneficial to the financially wealthy and allows continuation of the horrors of civilization.

Far be it for me to mention the Rockefeller funding behind 350.org or the People’s (sic) Climate (sic) March. If you’re interested in targets for your wrath, you might try NASCAR, the Rockefellers, professional sports, celebrity culture, or the cities supporting your own patriarchy. A single, little-noticed target is easier. And the messenger is far easier to attack than the evidence-imbued message.

Most city-dwellers will not admit their own complicity in promoting the dominant culture. Ensconced within lives of privilege, sucking the teat of empire, they look out rather than in. They accuse me of encouraging hedonism while, paradoxically, pursuing hedonism.

I would be remiss if I failed to mention the role of global dimming requisite to maintaining civilization. Those embedded within civilization, those who depend completely upon its continued, smooth functioning for their very lives fail to see the bigger picture of which they are part. I suspect the blinders are self-imposed.

 

A Final Thought

I stop where I began this brief essay: motive. Contrary to what I read on the Internet, I’m not a profiteer of doom. If I received a paycheck each time I’m said to be paid for speaking the unspeakable, I wouldn’t rely on personal savings from a frugal life and donations from others to continue my work.

Had I not made an irreversible error by leaving active service at the university six years ago, I would have more than a million extra dollars in my bank account and I’d be able to further my work without assistance from donors (instead, the taxpayers would be on the proverbial hook). Mistakes have been made, and they’ve led me here. Us, too.

An old axiom indicates we learn from our mistakes. This, of course, is why I make mine repeatedly: I like to really hammer home the lessons learned from experience. I recommend you learn from mine, thereby preventing some of your own.

 

 

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Catch Nature Bats Last on the radio with Mike Sliwa and Guy McPherson. To catch us live, tune in every Tuesday at 3:00 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.

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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 90

  • Guy-

    You wrote, “I’m not very influential after all.”

    On the contrary, you have opened up a few eyes, even if people don’t agree with you completely. You (and a few others in the Peak Oil world) are shouting “This isn’t sustainable! this won’t work!” and some people *are* listening.

    Perhaps your most important message is that of compassion, which isn’t a bad thing at all. The world, as imperfect as it is, surely needs more of that.

  • Thanks for your deep and open sharing Guy. We need to get to know one another and the motives of our hearts. Part of where we have gone wrong was in our hiddenness from each other. If we can’t share our thoughts and feelings about the horror that is unfolding, then we are doubly damned – doomed to die in isolation from each other. Your blog creates a space where we can speak of the unspeakable. Thanks so much for creating it.

  • Guy,

    Of course, it’s hard to know what we should actually DO. I respect you and what you do to spread the truth and keep people informed as new data comes in. As you have said repeatedly, we should try anything, certainly anything different, while treating others and other species with respect and kindness.

    You wrote: “We cannot imagine a species more important than ours.”, yet I think its even worse — we cannot even imagine that any species is as important as ours.

    We can not know what time we have left, so here we are opting to grow food, graft fruit trees, raise chickens, inoculate mushroom logs, and build local community connections with like-minded people. What are we hoping for ? To enjoy what time we have, and live our lives thoughtfully and purposefully. To take notice of life and the amazing beauty that surrounds us. To place value on these things, and act to protect them.

    I’m not a hard-liner on the ‘hopium” issue; I think it is in human nature to hope for something, certainly the survival of our species. We can know, as either scientists, or as science teaches us, that WE are the problem, that WE are the cause of so much tragic loss and suffering, yet something inside us wants to keep living. I think there is some instinctual component to the perpetuation of our species, even when we know we are doing great harm.

    I’ve got one adopted child, from my wife’s first marriage, and no other children. I decided back in my early 20’s that were too many humans already, so no need to make more. I do not mean to perpetuate our species by reproduction, but I certainly have a will to survive — at least for now. The focal point for me is the question of what level of misery & suffering will be enough to tip that equation — at what point should we end the game, and by what means? Sorry to touch on the third rail of suicide, but will we want to hold out until starvation, dehydration or radiation make life impossible? I have not been able to contemplate NTHE without considering these points, and I suspect every reader & writer here would have to admit the same.

    Will Elon Musk save us with solar panels and batteries ? Certainly not. I know enough of science to know we are well beyond that point, so I no longer hope for these things. 30 years ago the equation might have been different, but I suspect we’d just be extending ourselves ever further out on a longer and longer plank past the cliff over which we must now fall (since we ignored all the warning signs and missed the boat on an energy descent plan).

    For now, we live, but carry the burden of knowing what we can’t un-know, and do our best to live with those lessons always in mind to guide us.

  • Robert Scribbler, WHO HAS WRITTEN SOME OF THE BEST SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION ABOUT GLOBAL HEATING & CLIMATE CHANGE just wrote this phantasmagorical political claim a few minutes ago.

    Russia is the bad guy???

    “robertscribbler / May 4, 2015”

    “Russia, just like everyone else, needs to figure out how to manage without oil. They need to do this without provoking WW III.”

    Robert has stated that he plans a career as an “emerging threats analyst.”

    Robert spent several years in the military & worked as policeman.

    WHAT CONDITIONS OUR BEHAVIOR?

  • The garden soil has been tilled and the birds lap eagerly at the food I have unearthed for them, the last of winters wood has been stacked for the remaining cool nights here on the north shore, and as each day closes and I lay on bed, my trusted blue eyed cat Ocean snuggles in for the night purring as I pet and scratch his famous whiskers…I do this every night with tears in my eyes while softly saying to him…I’m sorry for what we have done….

  • Your courage is appreciated. Evidence too. I re-read Climate-Change Summary and Update often.

  • I posted this earlier under the preceding thread before Guy .

    Here is some of it again because it is even more appropriate under the theme “Motivated by evidence.”

    WHAT ELSE?

    degrees & credentials are now routine offered in gibberish, peeyar, & lawyering – distorting & lying with a purpose.

    The purpose is to get credentialed, & then get money, political power, & status.

    More than 50% of our national & local politicians are double-talking lawyers trained in gibberish & distortion.

    Our Senate is more than 60% lawyers on the take from the highest paying clients.

    Gambling tycoon Sheldon Adelson wants to buy the next lawyer/president, & he can afford it.

    Our Supremes say that money-bags-Sheldon has every “right” to buy whatever Sheldon wants.

    “It’s the law of the land,” & we are “a nation of laws,” right?

    Obama, Mrs. Obama, Biden, Bill, Hilarious, Reid, Warren, McConnell, Holder, Lindsey Graham, Romney, Santorum, Rube-io, Cruz, the Supremes, Dizzy Livni …

    Am I supposed to believe that none of these above named lawyer/politicians “understand” that the law game is a big extortion racket with the public as the raw material?

    The double talking lawyer/pols “know” it full well, but the innocent public doesn’t know it or they wouldn’t go near the courthouse as the raw material to get milked.

    Never mind voting for a smiling double talking lawyer.

    Science is the precise opposite of the law game – it is our attempt to avoid gibberish – to tell the truth as best we can.

    How many times, especially lately, have we heard; “I AM NOT A SCIENTIST.”

    What the smiling lawyer/pols don’t add is; “I am a lawyer working for the clients who pay the most.”

    Mitch McConnell is the epitome of a lawyer/politician.

    Mitch is owned by the Kentucky coal colossus.

    Many literary/lawyer types even go so far as to claim that “there isn’t any truth.”

    If “there isn’t any truth;” then then the professed statement must be devoid of any truth.

    A bullshitter/lawyer/politician is not interested in whether what they say is true or false – all is just verbal gamesmanship.

    Hilarious Clinton has proven that she is owned by the sinister Israeli/Zionist cabal.

    The “free market system” buys what it wants, & the system pays big money.

    In a culture where everything is for sale – the government is for sale.

    The simple & basic LAWS of thermodynamics are NOT gibberish.

    Imagine what a world we could have had, if politicians “knew” & respected the laws of thermo?

    Richard Feynman’s whole life was searching for “true” knowledge about how the world works, & he opined; “I know what it is to KNOW something.”

    We are now trying to grasp what is happening to both the planet & ourselves based on what we claim to know.

    Guy claims to “know” that we are going extinct.

    He is making the greatest claim ever made.

    All the “scientific” evidence supports his claim, gruesome though it is.

    Of course, science is fallible, but it is the least fallible than any other method/system of knowing.

    I am preparing for my death in the near future based on the inescapable ugly FACT that millions of TONS of Arctic methane are being released NOW.

    I claim to “know” that human extinction is in process NOW.

    Hell on earth is already here for many, & this fact is not in dispute.

  • Guy,

    Many of us are teachers of something, whether a parent trying to raise a child and not strip them of living with the same enthusiasm we had growing up, or it’s a nurse or doctor who may risk telling their patients the truth about personal responsibility (usually something they don’t want to hear), and then there is the man who grows food willing to share knowledge that has been deeply ignored and/or forgotten because the work is too physical, and some people would rather pay less at a store for what they feel is the same product. We normally do what we enjoy for a reason and sometimes we have to remind ourselves what that is.

    Love the Jackson Browne “running on empty”, just as he sings, “if I can get you to smile before you leave”, we find ourselves smiling throughout the day now enjoying what we do and though it’s so small a gesture it’s humbling to know there’s not much more we can do.

  • Your honesty is always deeply affecting, Guy. I empathize with the stamina it takes to not only do what you do but also to be who you are these days. My feeling is that this year will be a watershed and that many of us will feel less isolated in our grief by December. Moreover, if it is true that we are looking at the extinction of 200 species per day here on Gaia, that we are losing habitat, polluting our oceans and our water, facing a future of starvation and desolation here on this planet, how then can any educational institution, religious group, politician or government claim to have one iota of knowledge about truth, justice and compassion? We are no longer mankind – we are “manunkind”. We are liars wallowing in our own bankrupt philosophies.
    So, as Bono once sang (and as my son once reminded me): “don’t let the bastards grind you down.”
    Ha, my submit comment “formula” here below is …. x nine = 9 (there’s a synchronicity). All is one.

  • Guy,

    Once again, thanks for bringing the focus back to where it should be, the overwhelming evidence. The noise being pushed by the likes of Elon Musk, Fareed Zakaria of CNN, Faux News and even the “progressive” media which feel a need to retain the attention of their hope-seeking audiences matters little when one looks at the facts, something you keep returning to, for which you earn their scorn and approbates. Keep it up. Just wanted to say this before the usual suspect take over this discussion as well and turn it towards their own ego-trips and neuroses.

  • Thanks Guy,

    for this essay which, in Jeff S’s words “brings the focus back to where it should be”.

    You always talk about NTE not NTHE, and that’s an important difference overlooked by many. The “H” keeps us “human-centred which is missing the point completely.

    Your “Acting on THEIR behalf by terminating the omnicide of the dominant paradigm, thus overcoming the arrogance of HUMANISM as we dive into the abyss of extinction, is hardly the same as rolling over and dying”. (my capitals).

    For me that means:
    Love all life forms and your human loved ones, the ones you respect, wherever they may live. Show and give your love, compassion and kindness to each being you come across – every day of your life.
    I try and do this as consciously as possible and find that I rarely indulge in navel-gazing. You can’t help but see yourself in perspective.

    In my opinion, this is the epitome of the life of excellence that Guy talks about, and I can’t think of anything more life-affirming.

    Paul Demorest,

    you seem to be living this life of excellence. Thanks for sharing a little of it.

  • @Paul Demorest – Paul, your sharing touched me deeply. I love cats, and one or two share my bed most nights. Prayers before sleep are personal and deeply meaningful. My prayer for you is that sometime soon you might add to your prayerful comment to your companion Ocean, “At least today we tried to live our remaining days as well as we can, and tomorrow we will try to do that again…” Best wishes, mike k

  • I held a discussion at church on NTHE and got the same tired ignorance that you write about and find in the prevalent dominant culture. However, I was pleased to have the conversation, thanks to you and your work.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMCOKNCwHmQ …. and this was back when we were a lot nicer … no matter how much love ‘we’ preach now, when the shit goes down it will be every man for himself, and you can forget about the woman and children.
    Humans have no boundaries as far as the atrocities we commit, thinking of the latest with ISIS and Boko Haram, oh and the cops in Baltimore.
    Bring it on, the sooner this is over the sooner the suffering will end.
    God I love my dog.

  • Sabine you said, “Show and give your love, compassion and kindness to each being you come across – every day of your life.”

    You have stated a complete spiritual practice in a few words. It is what I am working on now. What is my main problem in developing this practice? Forgetfulness. My Sufi guide used to say, “Man is not sinful; man is forgetful.” Gurdjieff who studied with Sufi’s stressed “self remembering.” We intend to focus on a practice, but our mind wanders. Meditation constantly reminds us that we are forgetful. But over time we can increase our ability to stay with our intention, until a time comes when it begins to be part of us, and lapses are more infrequent. Our most basic need is love, and the lack of it is what is driving us insane. But we are not aware of this, and seek answers everywhere which however fail to satisfy this fundamental need.

  • ‘Who else is connecting the dots in the public realm?’

    I am. And a lot of other people are. Names that come immediately to mind are Derrick Jensen and Chris Hedges. Max Keiser connects most of the dots, though he is not into truth about civilisation having no future yet. There are thousands of individuals with lower profiles who are connecting the dots in the public domain. And the very high-profile Zero Hedge website is noted for telling truth that the mainstream media tries hard to conceal or obfuscate. Also, of course, there is the seemorerocks website, where the dominant culture is challenged on a more-or-less continuous basis,

    On Sunday I pointed out to Nick Maybury, the council official charge with misleading the public about the future at the beach market, that NPDC acts on behalf of corporations, money-lenders and opportunists, and NOT on behalf of the people of the district: he does did like it at all and asked me to leave, which I refused to do since it was a council ‘public engagement event’. After some heated discussion another council officer became interested in what I was saying and became engaged; Nick told her to stop talking with me. I accused him of bullying. Eventually I was able to present the facts to her (identity not revealed for the moment). She had no idea about anything, despite all the work put in by people like Colin Campbell, ASPO etc. over more than 15 years and my own efforts over a period of 8 years here. Nothing sinks in. Facts: ignore them, and proceed with ideologically-based nonsense.

    On Sunday, I did manage to present the argument to her that all attempts to maintain business-as-usual are futile and counterproductive, and whatever NPDC does at this stage, collapse is imminent. With the Arctic Sea set to become ice-free in the summer, California set to become a death zone, and global oil extraction set go into steep decline, collapse is certain by 2020 and will very likely 2015 to 2016. Interestingly, we are seeing more and more long-established retail outlets close.

    Yesterday I asked of ‘Legal Solutions’ office what the solution was to the problem of the CEO of NPDC being incompetent, not complying with the Local Government Acts of 2002 and 2012, ‘losing’ hundreds of millions of ratepayer money, presenting false reports etc.

    Matters will come to a head in New Plymouth in June because I have written totally unacceptable truth in my ‘Information and comment’ to the Proposed Long Tern Plan -the PLTP being a sick joke if ever there was one since (as has been the case many years) it contains no mention of anything that will determine the future, as I have pointed out to Audit NZ and the Ombudsman’s Office.

    The most important question now relates to Andrew Judd, who has betrayed the vast majority of people who voted him into office, and is therefore a Judas -sold out for 30 pieces of silver: how far down the road of fascism is he prepared to go in order to promote rapid destruction of the community he lives in and the rapid destruction of his own children’s future? Block public comment? Sanction arbitrary arrest and detention? Sanction assassination?

    Interesting times

  • So interesting what you’re doing, Kevin. Wish we had a Kevin (science literate, who can make with the numbers) in these parts.

  • Oops! That wasn’t supposed to happen.

    “Between Lake Mead and Lake Powell, you have over 50 million acre feet in storage when they’re full,” explained Pat Mulroy, former general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority from 1991 until she retired in 2014. “To have them both go down to a quarter of their capacity is a pretty scary proposition,” she said.

    Video link at:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-04/leaking-las-vegas-forced-rationing-looms-lake-mead-faces-federal-water-emergency

  • Hello Gerald Spezion,

    Excellent analysis of the Sheldon.

    I got involved in Repub politics 4 years ago because of Ron Paul.
    Met some psychopaths… lol

    37 min vid explains how the evil worst of humanity rises to the top:

  • A very heartfelt essay, Dr. McPherson. Yes, being awake is a hard path, being conscious of other sentient beings & their suffering is a noble path, a spiritual path. Alas, most just move along, half asleep, unconscious of suffering & pain. I think you are a brave man who embraced a noble path, a man who is experiencing a life well lived, a compassionate, loving man who has integrity: telling yourself the truth & the truth to everybody else. Celebrate that integrity, that wholeness which evades most humans. Those who disparage your truth are very afraid of it. Your, DrDignity

  • !00% I endorse your words DrDignity.

  • A few days ago the helio people were concerned about the lack of solar activity.

    this is astounding

    NASA records enormous burst of plasma erupting from the sun

    http://www.sott.net/article/296036-NASA-records-enormous-burst-of-plasma-erupting-from-the-sun

    [quote]

    This particular filament is unusually large, spanning millions of kilometers. The phenomenon was observable for a span of about six hours (the video has been sped up, but you can see the time stamp at the bottom). It did not erupt in the Earth’s direction and poses no danger to the planet or spacecraft in its orbit.

    [um ..so, . . if, like, . . it WERE in our direction, we’d be barbeque?]

    Now we can quit dwelling on methane – anything can happen at any time.

  • DrDignity Says:
    May 4th, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    … most just move along, half asleep, unconscious of suffering & pain … that wholeness which evades most humans.

    Dignity posing as better than most people and trying to infect others with the same non-sense.

    Dr. McPherson is a scientist speaking evidence produced by science.

    Study up on self deceit (The “Genes” of Culture In Civilizations) and stop blowing blue smoke up the gazoo.

  • Well, Guy,
    You can’t state it any clearer than that. Perhaps a few more will “get it” now. PERHAPS!!!
    And as far as making mistakes go, I bet you and I could have a real contest in that arena. 🙂
    Time for me to go and make a few more.

  • I used to think that the sooner humans disappeared, the better off everyone else would be (i.e. the other species). But I wasn’t taking into consideration what Guy himself has said- what would happen to the nuclear reactors alone without humans around would surely destroy all of them, as well. And not in a fun way. Unfortunately, humans will be one of the last species to go. Something will survive- cockroaches, maybe? The meek truly shall inherit the earth!! As for me, I must admit that I’m not taking the noble route that Guy has. I am beyond cynical, although they say a cynic is merely a frustrated idealist. I once thought there was hope. I concluded a long time ago that having children was out of the question if we wanted to save ourselves, but now I know even that’s not possible. I’m glad I’m not adding another future suffering being to this equation. And while I’m waiting nervously for the “end” like some kind of rapture nut, I’m not technically preparing for it. Just going on with life as usual, contributing to the downfall, contributing to the collapse, contributing to the problem. And I’ve sort of stopped caring. My deepest apologies.

  • Kevin has a huge backbone just like Guy’s.

    Dredd is pouting because Dignity did not mention him.

    Koo is the first I know of to admit the Pauls are psychopaths, just like ALL politicos.

    I agree with Robert Atack except that, it’s ‘most’ cops in very locale, black and white, tragically enough.

  • “Every being in the universe knows right from wrong, Mark.” ~ prot, K-PAX

    as beings, we all know the the difference from right and wrong. some beings will knowingly choose “wrong actions” because they simply have no deeper need to feel like they should act based on this “knowing.” we know some of these beings as psychopaths, but they exist in various forms. they know what right action is, and they don’t care, on either an intellectual or a feeling level.

    many beings have this knowing working within their being-level as a feeling sense, more or less deeply. it is harder for these beings to choose wrong action. certainly not impossible, and we do it all the time. we know what wrong and right action is on both a feeling level and an intellectual/knowing level. our actions, right or wrong, are motivated by all kinds of complex things. the knowing and feeling sense of right or wrong is only part of it.

    Google, nihilistic

    rejecting all religious and moral principles in the belief that life is meaningless.

    Miriam-Webster, nihilism

    1
    a : a viewpoint that traditional values and beliefs are unfounded and that existence is senseless and useless
    b : a doctrine that denies any objective ground of truth and especially of moral truths

    2
    a : a doctrine or belief that conditions in the social organization are so bad as to make destruction desirable for its own sake independent of any constructive program or possibility

    I am a nihilist because I do not believe there is any objective ground of truth, separate from my own sense of feeling and knowing the difference between right and wrong.

    I am also a nihilist for the definition in 2(a). destruction of current conditions is a desirable goal, and current conditions are not redeemable. how this process is undertaken has to be a choice, made individually, and collectively agreed to, as it may be.

    I am also an existential nihilist because I believe the One itself is.

    the One recognizes no objective ground of truth, or existence, and especially no objective ground of moral truths, because it, itself, feels no such ground exists.

    the One ~ being what we all are ~ is also therefore free of being bound by any moral principles, whatsoever.

    whatever actions are chosen, by the One, on any level, either through Creation, Destruction or anything else, anywhere, are chosen solely for the ultimate, unique value of the experience.

    my experience of the One is that it currently values the experience, expression and sharing of Love above all else, so it chooses to operate from this basis, in a foundational sense.

    but it is a choice, one choice amongst many that the One is also simultaneously making.

    we are all granted the exact same freedom of choice. we are indeed the One exploring its own infinite nature, in a process of Creation, Destruction, and endless freedom of choice that is completely inconceivable in its scope.

    enjoy!

    I know I will.

  • Max Keiser letting us know there is a return to Feudalism going down, as cash is being diminished as a conveyor of work-to-wealth power.

    ‘[KR749] Keiser Report: Age of False Profits’

    http://www.maxkeiser.com/2015/04/kr749-keiser-report-age-of-false-profits/

    (Max looks like he needs some sleep in this episode;) )

    Also down here in Afraidia we are closing down free speech in the name of (Aldous HUxley) security.

    ‘Tony Abbott’s War On Journalism: Media Union Scathing In Annual Press Freedom Report’

    http://newmatilda.com/2015/05/04/tony-abbotts-war-journalism-media-union-scathing-annual-press-freedom-report

    “The Abbott government has been accused of waging a “war on journalism” by the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, which on Friday slammed its new ‘national security’ regime as “the greatest assault on press freedom in peacetime”.”

    The gate is already closed. Grow vegies, get to know your neighbours, and where vital resources are. Learn how to share. Hope to be in contact as long as these connections last.

    Its been an honour.

    Cheers 😉

  • More people are hearing the “Boom!” as their heads pop out of their asses. And that’s a good thing. The rest are living in their own shit, terrified of being there. They will say anything to avoid thinking about their predicament, attack anyone who threatens their illusions. Growing up and waking up are painful processes, many simply choose to avoid the pain.

    The first rule of criticism: consider the source.

  • Guy, referring to your mention of the Khazzoom-Brookes postulate, I noticed in the Wikipedia page for the postulate the following statement: “As of late 2008 this appears to not have been factored into the general discussion of sustainability and global warming mitigation strategies.” Do you know if it has been factored into discussions (e.g. IPCC, other papers on energy use, or policy) since 2008?

    Thanks.

  • kevin moore Says:
    May 4th, 2015 at 1:34 pm”
    ‘Who else is connecting the dots in the public realm?’

    I am. And a lot of other people are. Names that come immediately to mind are Derrick Jensen and Chris Hedges. Max Keiser connects most of the dots, though he is not into truth about civilisation having no future yet. There are thousands of individuals with lower profiles who are connecting the dots in the public domain. And the very high-profile Zero Hedge website is noted for telling truth that the mainstream media tries hard to conceal or obfuscate. Also, of course, there is the seemorerocks website, where the dominant culture is challenged on a more-or-less continuous basis,”

    I think Guy was being rhetorical re “who else…..” After all, he quotes people involved in climate science quite often. But Zero Hedge? Seriously? Have you seen the comments there to any item involving climate change on resource depletion, especially in regards to energy resources? Or the comments on that Lake Mead posting which you refer to in your subsequent post? People think you can pipe water from the Pacific to Lake Mead and desalinate it and problem solved, that there are infinite energy supplies, that oil is abiotic, that there is no climate crisis at all, just a New World Order plot to impose martial law,…. And Max Keiser hangs on to capitalism at any price.

    “On Sunday, I did manage to present the argument to her that all attempts to maintain business-as-usual are futile and counterproductive, and whatever NPDC does at this stage, collapse is imminent. With the Arctic Sea set to become ice-free in the summer, California set to become a death zone, and global oil extraction set go into steep decline, collapse is certain by 2020 and will very likely 2015 to 2016. Interestingly, we are seeing more and more long-established retail outlets close.”

    We may actually get an El Nino of unprecedented magnitude next Fall, which could mean drought in California will be replaced by relentless flooding. Which can of course kill you just like drought can. 2015-16? I just don’t know. Anything can happen, but sure doesn’t feel like it. If the Arctic melts and no one notices because they don’t get texts telling them so, does it matter if it melted? (Semi L-)).

  • Guy,

    Well stated! Thank you.

    What your critics fail to comprehend is: It’s not Doomerism to have a vivid imagination! And by that I mean the ability to discern the writing on the wall, aka the evidence, as regards our species dominant cultural flaying of earth’s biosphere, and what this only results in.

    Obviously, this sort of information is not easy to impart, but is one you do well to the best of your ability; and as others before me have said, I am grateful for your effort. For underlying the dire information is your more meaningful, to me, *message*.

    As BV in VT wrote:

    “We can not know what time we have left…” But what’s left is best attempted: “To enjoy what time we have, and live our lives thoughtfully and purposefully. To take notice of life and the amazing beauty that surrounds us. To place value on these things, and to act to protect them… For now, we live, but carry the burden of knowing what we can’t un-know, and do our best to live with those lessons always in mind to guide us.”

    As far as I’m concerned, this encapsulates Guy’s underlying *live a life of excellence* message perfectly.

    Perhaps, as Caroline noted on May 1st, some of us have felt this coming for a long time:

    “For those who are connected with a reverence for nonhuman life we’ve known/felt this (major extinction) for some time, yes? Feels like forever — feels like I left the womb grieving for all the dying… I don’t even remember feeling safe amidst humans as a collective, as a dominant species.”

    And feeling this way allows us more acceptance of the doom and gloom aspect of Guy’s information as something — in our remaining time — we can *try* and rise above/move beyond.

    As it is, the floor here is awash in daily reports as to how bad it is, which is to be expected. They are our daily medical reports. It ain’t pretty. Squawking about how awful it is, is also to be expected. I think most of us understand that. But piling on with well imagined forecasts of how much *worse* it’s likely to be doesn’t help Guy’s profile when it comes to the death cult accusations. Besides, I already get that picture, as do many others, so it is not something i care to focus on here.

    Moving on…

    Mike K,

    The woodcock encounter you described made me smile and laugh! *Hallucinating!* Indeed, that is how they can make one feel! And calling to mind Hieronymous Bosch’s painting The Garden of Earthly Delights Well said. I appreciate and enjoy your company here!

    ——

    Lidia,

    I liked much of what you wrote about *materialism,* and “The great failing of humanity is to have favored the imaginary, the fantastical, and immaterial over the material.”

    And yet this is not to say *the imaginary, the fantastical, and immaterial* are not also pure material elemental facets within creation. For even if they are just something in our heads sparked via our body’s own material processes, this clearly makes them part and parcel of earth’s materialism too! But, yes, to the degree that humanity (and its now dominant civilization) favored these irrational features without much regard for the results upon the material world and ourselves in it, is a great failing of ours.

    ——

    Alas, at this point in time, I’m motivated by exhaustion to go to sleep. Goodnight all.

  • Hi Guy,

    Thanks for your thoughtful post. I’m glad to see how you connect the dots. It must be similar to the way I see things or I wouldn’t be saying this 🙂 I have noticed a whole variety of ways in which people weave the observations they make in life into a narrative. Some of those have a lot in common with the narrative I currently subscribe to and some are quite far off. But the way you presented the issues and weaved in such seemingly unrelated topics as indigenous peoples and city-dwellers into the narrative show a deeper understanding of issues than most public speakers, authors and teachers I come across. Often, they are very knowledgeable about their areas of expertise and a few adjacent areas but their understanding of other seemingly unrelated issues is wanting.

    Below is a selection of a few key phrases/words from your essay that taken together tell a rather interesting story:

    civilization
    infinite growth
    dominant paradigm
    empire
    imperialism
    patriarchs
    indigenous
    city-dwellers

    They are all connected to each other in space and time. Every one of those issues can be connected to every other. The role of the city-dweller is often overlooked presumably because it’s the city-dweller that has played a key role in the rise of civilization, empire and contributes to, perpetuates, and defends the dominant paradigm. Like a fish that doesn’t perceive the water all around it, the city-dweller, cut off from the circumstances that humans have evolved in lives in an artificial setting, his feet rarely touching the earth, and his scalp rarely feeling the warmth of the sun. It’s hard to say if it is the city-dweller’s mind or the body that is more polluted. The city is a magical place in some ways, and yet in the context of our current predicament, happens to be cancer headquarters. It’s the City from which imperial designs and ambitions extend outward, it’s the City that destroys its surroundings in search for resources (despite pretensions that city-living is more efficient) and it’s the seat of the patriarch, the sociopathic elite. I’ve recommended it before and I will mention it again: “Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin” by Gray Brechin explores the role of the city, the wealthy families that run it, its effects on its “resource-shed”, it’s role in imperial conquest, and the spread of limitless growth and progress-oriented civilization.

    On the other extreme is the indigenous way of life, connected to Land, slow-paced, egalitarian, sustainable and just more joyful all around. The dominant paradigm ignores and maligns indigenous people. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized that tribal people matter and begun to see them in perspective. We were all tribal before we became cancerous. Patriarchs don’t see it this way, of course. And they have no patience to slow down and hear what the tribal people have to tell us in these dire times. Because we are better than them, having proven ourselves to be more advanced than them beyond doubt! How? Because we’re able to fly in an airplane like the birds do?

    That’s like jumping off a cliff and flying for a few seconds before crashing. When we consider the time frame that industrial civilization has been around and place it in the context of 200,000 years of living in balance, our ride turns out to be just a flight of fancy lasting but a few generations. We’ve been falling but we have been led to believe we are flying. For a while, it did seem like we’re flying. It was exhilarating. The rush of air that man has never before felt. From up there, it was hard to tell… the earth below looks the same moment to moment. But as we get closer, some realize they are not flying but falling. They try to tell others and while some realize it, some don’t. Some close their eyes because they can’t integrate their observation of the approaching ground into their dominant paradigm worldview. Some believe they can invent a hi tech rocket ship that will take them away in the nick of time. Some believe a big stork will come and carry them off to the heavens on its back. Some say we’ve always been falling, that there was no time in history when we were standing on the edge of the cliff, merely looking down. Some say all this doesn’t matter anyway because it’s all just an illusion. The ground doesn’t actually exist, nor the wind in our face. Meanwhile, we learn about other species we pushed off the cliff edge before we jumped. They are hitting the ground fast. Little red spots appear on the landscape. But all this is too much to bear. A few more people close their eyes, unable to bear the suffering they see all around. Some kill themselves on their way down. Some judge them harshly even as they fall to their own deaths. Blame flies around. How did this happen? What does it mean? Are we there yet? Brace for impact!

    There will always be detractors no matter what you do or say, Guy. And that calls for the occasional clarification, one would imagine. Thanks for that.

    P.S. You mentioned the Rockefeller funded 350.org… here’s a link for those unfamiliar with the NPIC, Non-Profit Industrial Complex – Wall Street’s divestment tour

  • Elisabeth, I do not know

  • Jeff S

    I usually read most of the comments on NBL but rarely read comments on other sites. Uninformed fools make up the bulk of the population in the blogosphere, in most industrialised nations and in most ‘developing’ nations.

    I was not suggesting that Zero Hedge is the font of all wisdom but merely tried to point out that its tone is generally anti-establishment and generally based on evidence rather than ideology….’motivated by evidence’. That said, ZH does occasionally run with diatribes written from an ideological perspective. I’m sure most NBLers can tell the difference.

    By the way, although the young people of NZ are being thoroughly screwed by the Key government, there is no rioting in the streets in NZ yet. I think Kiwis have ‘forgotten how to riot’. Too much cheap food, cheap alcohol, cheap cars and cheap petrol. The last time there was much action in NZ was in 1981, when a racist rugby tour was interrupted by anti-apartheid protesters.

    Waiting for the sleeping masses to finally wake up to what has been happening and what is about to happen. Maybe the great awakening will begin around September.

    A valid point was made about the possibility of torrential rain filling the reservoirs and ‘rectifying’ the drought. All we know for sure is that the California rains normally arrive over November to April, and that over the past year there have been numerous false alarms with respect to El Nino. I think of it this way: we are in uncharted territory with respect to a lot of factors, and most of the people ‘in charge’ are making it up as they go along. That seems to be particularly true of the US Federal Reserve.

  • Satish’s flying metaphor encapsulates our predicament beautifully – connecting all the dots.

    And with regard to “connecting the dots” – I do too, as do most posters here – ultimately it doesn’t make a difference, as Kevin’s ongoing tale illustrates so well.

    Why not concentrate on the your local habitat where you can make a difference, like Caroline for instance, rather than your personal grief (whatever stage it’s at)? There are so many beings still hanging on, falling with you. Widen your awareness, don’t get too focused on the man-made world, the cancer, as Satish aptly calls it

  • Guy,

    One of the reasons I still hang out near the edge of the Beach of Doom is for the chance of finding treasures in the sand, like this essay. It’s a brilliant, clear, honest sharing, brimming with humility and self-awareness. Your beacon shines with far more than the cold glare of uncompromising science – it also radiates with an equally uncompromising humanity. You really are modeling what it means to be awake in these times.

    Namaste, or whatever 😉

  • ^^ I missed one part of a sentence above:

    Your beacon shines with far more than the cold glare of uncompromising science – it also radiates the warm glow of an equally uncompromising humanity.

    This essay just knocked me over.

  • Satish wrote:

    “We’ve been falling but we have been led to believe we are flying. For a while, it did seem like we’re flying. It was exhilarating. The rush of air that man has never before felt. From up there, it was hard to tell…”

    Beautifully put — thank you.

  • “Birth is lethal. Civilization is a prison. “—Guy McPherson

    I have felt this way from my earliest memories. And also that the stars are my home and that we are but visitors on this planet. How incredibly disingenuous, self-aggrandizing and wholly ignorant a visiting species we are.

    Thanks for your essay, Guy.

    In witness,
    Mimi

  • Guy,

    What a heartfelt, poignant and powerful piece. There is not much I can add to those who commented above—–such enriching comments—-thank you to everyone and great to hear from newcomers as well!

    Look at the amazing dialogue you have generated Guy. Kudos to you.

    What I appreciate most of what you convey is your love and advocacy for the nonhuman world.
    You say, “It’s clearly too late to extend our run as a species. But it’s not too late for the myriad species we drive to extinction every day. Acting on their behalf by terminating the omnicide of the dominant paradigm, thus overcoming the arrogance of humanism as we dive into the existential abyss of extinction, is hardly the same as rolling over and dying.”


    I agree with Wendell Berry when he stated, “To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival.”

    We are surviving still . . . none of us sure how long we have but while we are doing so, cherishing the nonhuman world and still trying to foster renewal (we still can!) is essential for the compassion/joy side of being human. In my experience the nonhuman world . . . the ecosystems here on earth are the source of a wellspring of joy that is infinite and infinitely mysterious. Yet there is the grief we carry . . . . .

    As mike k said: “If we can’t share our thoughts and feelings about the horror that is unfolding, then we are doubly damned – doomed to die in isolation from each other. Your blog creates a space where we can speak of the unspeakable. Thanks so much for creating it.”

    So true.

    Where I live there is no other place to go to get the facts and share feelings related to NTE. No other place where there is science, evidence AND an exploration of what to do with this knowledge . . . how to integrate this heartbreaking reality into our lives. What you present is a wholeness of experience that is unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed. The grace, wisdom (and humor!) with which it is presented is so very honorable . . . your cognizance of your ego humbles you in a way that keeps it in check which is refreshing and commendable as well.
    In appreciation of you, others here and in witness (thanks Mimi!),

    Caroline

  • Any of you ever see the quiz: How well do you know the place where you live?

    http://ehoah.weebly.com/bioregional-quiz.html

    Hi Haydukes! I must correct my quote from the excerpt you pulled and placed above (silly as it seems): “even” should be—- ever—- as in I don’t ever remember. And I stand by that! Still don’t remember.

    Hope you are savoring the woodcock sounds—– and all the luscious month of May sounds—— before they fade away.
    Orioles are singing and feasting on oranges as I type. Trilliums blooming that were NOT here until I started caring for the woodland. Then they came up, like the orchids (long story)

    ps we need a foot update!

  • from; ON BULLSHIT by Harry Frankfort

    It is impossible for someone to lie unless he thinks he knows the
    truth. Producing bullshit requires no such conviction. A person who
    lies is thereby responding to the truth, and he is to that extent
    respectful of it. When an honest man speaks, he says only what he
    believes to be true; and for the liar, it is correspondingly
    indispensable that he considers his statements to be false.

    For the bullshitter, however, all these bets are off: he is neither on the
    side of the true nor on the side of the false. His eye is not on the
    facts at all, as the eyes of the honest man and of the liar are,
    except insofar as they may be pertinent to his interest in getting
    away with what he says. He does not care whether the things he says
    describe reality correctly. He just picks them out, or makes them up, to suit his purpose.

  • shep Says:
    May 4th, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    Dredd is pouting because Dignity did not mention him.
    ====================================================
    shep is pouting because she p is clueless to the point of not being able to tell that Dr. McPherson is a scientist, not a Wookie Priest.

    Dredd is not pouting, Dredd is celebrating the reality of evidence.

    What is the teddy bear you sleep with named … Priest DrDignity?

  • I must admit I am rather fascinated by the Artic Sea ice cover graph at the moment (and have been for several years).

    A while ago I commented: Don’t panic, it’s only 2 standard deviations from the historic norm. Panic when it’s 3 standard deviations from the norm.

    Some late season ice formation in March and again in April briefly took the graph back towards the norm. But in recent days the graph has taken a ‘sinister’ turn, diverging markedly from the record of the 2012 meltdown and pointing at a steep angle towards the x axis (time), reinforcing the probability that 2015 will have the lowest ice cover since records began, and raising the possibility that the Arctic Sea will become ice free in late August or early September this year.

    We already know that jet stream disruption, due to weakening of the equatorial-polar gradient, brings horrific swings in temperature to large northern land masses. And there is the much-discussed matter of methane clathrates and the extraordinarily high absorbance-reradiation factor for methane.

    We know governments around the world have no intention of doing anything about carbon dioxide emissions (or anything else that matters). Money-printing to maintain markets highs and expand bubbles is the order of the day, every day.

    Watching the Keiser Report this morning I picked up on the comment that ‘the elites’ (the scumbags) are looking for bolt-holes and the stampede to New Zealand is underway. Also, that the plan seems to be to pay a portion of the population to keep the rest of the population under control, as seen in Baltimore recently and other places around the world on a continuous basis, to ensure that ‘the elites’ (scumbags) can briefly enjoy the proceeds of their thieving whilst rapid planetary meltdown occurs.

    https://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/charctic-interactive-sea-ice-graph/

  • @mo flo – Great movie K-PAX. Made people THINK beyond their comfortable beliefs. What if??? Was he really an alien? How do I know?

    When Maharishi Mahesh Yogi founded transcendental meditation -TM, his students kept asking him to give them some ethical or moral guidelines. He consistently refused to do so. But finally he relented, and told them, “Don’t do anything you know to be wrong.” prot was right. All of us have an intuitive feel for right and wrong. Of course we can cover it up, or invite alibis to justify wrongdoing, but if we do consult our deeper knowing we will almost always get the right answer. If we turn crucial decisions over to someone else to make, then of course we have not consulted our inner self, which would never accept someone else’s ideas for it’s own deep knowing. Erich Fromm’s Escape From Freedom explored how the majority of the German people in WWII turned so far from their own consciences to follow Hitler’s madness.

    Mo I find your thoughts about nihilism and the One to be fascinating. Not only that but deeply relevant to the mess we are in and any possibility of a better solution to it all. Some people find deep philosophical/spiritual explorations such as you have shared to be useless and somehow irrelevant to our “real” concerns. I beg to differ. The ideas however vaguely formed in our minds about ultimate matters of value and meaning are crucially involved in shaping our behavior and it’s consequences.

    Let me share some of my thoughts about the “One”. In no way do I mean to correct or trump your own thinking – almost everything you have put forth I am in sympathy with from my own perspective. First of all I have to say that I always qualify my ideas about that One by realizing that they are tentative and open to deepening understandings that may indeed entirely supplant my initial hypothetical forays. Much of my thinking in this profound area is merely to put forth ideas to spark criticism and further questions as part of an ongoing process of enquiry.

    Something I try to constantly be aware of is the many ideas from others that have entered my mind, and may be coloring my thoughts however fresh and unencumbered I would like them to be. It pays to be an iconoclast when breaking new ground. One of the basic ideas I have had to consciously jetison is all thinking that the One is “perfect” or “absolute”. A basic reason for doing this is a proper humility regarding our qualifications for having and asserting those kind of permanent set in stone and eternal propositions. I do not believe we are truly in a position to assert ANYTHING with certainty. My answer to Descartes’ search for such a thing is, “No,
    neither you nor anyone at this early stage of our development is in a position to say anything with unqualified certainty.” In fact the very foundation of our reality is deeply entwined with and strangely dependent on uncertainty. One of the greatest discoveries of the 20th century was that uncertainty seems to be a bedrock reality underlying all that is. I feel that the consequences of this have yet to be fully explored, and may be the key to even more profound understandings.

    Well, it is always a problem talking about deep things, because you have to say a lot just to say a little that comes across clearly. And I am running out of gas on this foray, so I will knock off with saying, to be continued. And thanks for stimulating my thinking.

  • kevin moore Says:
    May 5th, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    I must admit I am rather fascinated by the Artic Sea ice cover graph at the moment (and have been for several years).

    ===========================================
    It is important in several ways.

    Methane as you mentioned, but also the impact on the Greenland Ice Sheet and what that will do to the N.E. U.S. sea level rise ().

    You will also be fascinated (I was) that about the same time the U.S. was colder than Antarctica … yes … Antarctica:

    Air temperatures reached record high levels at two Antarctic stations last week, setting a new mark for the warmest conditions ever measured anywhere on the continent. On March 23, at Argentina’s base Marambio, a temperature of 17.4° Celsius (63.3° Fahrenheit) was reached, surpassing a previous record set in 1961 at a nearby base, Esperanza. The old record was 17.1° Celsius (62.8° Fahrenheit). However, Esperanza quickly reclaimed the record a few hours later on March 24, reaching a temperature of 17.5° Celsius (63.5° Fahrenheit).” (Record warmth in Antarctica)

  • Mike K,

    “One of the greatest discoveries of the 20th century was that uncertainty seems to be a bedrock reality underlying all that is. I feel that the consequences of this have yet to be fully explored, and may be the key to even more profound understandings.”

    I’m very interested in uncertainty. I could look up writing on the subject, but in case you have a link readily at hand, do share it here. 🙂

  • Kiwi Kevin, at least a 40 % probability now & an increasing probability as data comes in that by mid September the Arctic Sea ice will be completely gone.

    This summer could usher in the beginning of the end.

    If it doesn’t happen this summer, the Arctic will almost surely be ice free by the end of next summer.

    I have been following scientific harbingers of abrupt Arctic methane release, Semiletov & Shakhova, since 2006.

    “Stampede to New Zealand.”

    Geez.

  • “No,
    neither you nor anyone at this early stage of our development is in a position to say anything with unqualified certainty.”

    Nothing can be said-but the certainty that ‘you’ exist- prior to form, thought, sensation..- can be known/touched/tasted directly. This contact eradicates all fear. Nothing else is required.

  • mike k –

    you are wise, to hold off from embracing anything with certainty. everything you are saying there resonates at the deepest level within me.

    I greatly appreciate what you share here, mike, and I’m very glad you came back after your long hiatus.

    yes, uncertainty is bedrock for me, as well, just as you are talking about. anything I say, and I mean anything, comes with that qualifier.

    “I do not believe we are truly in a position to assert ANYTHING with certainty.”

    will we ever be in a position to assert anything with certainty, anywhere?

    there are some things, for me, that are simply knowledge or wisdom born of experience. these things I talk about with certainty only as much as something like my experience of the color red. I am certain I experience red. I know what red is, on the deepest level that I can feel is possible.

    this is just the same way I assert my experience and wisdom about these other things: my immortality, my true nature as a spiritual being, the true nature of each of us as spiritual beings, and the existence of a totality of Creative Being that I refer to as the One.

    none of these things I know with any more or less certainty than I know the color red.

    I also know the material Universe has as much actual substance as a shared dream, with the same kind of certainty. this material Universe can be as total an experience of certainty as conceivably possible.

    yet it is totally Unreal. what is to stop anything else from having just this same quality of Total Reality and simultaneous Total Unreality?

    pretty much nothing. that’s what the One is left with, so it bothers with all of this, and will continue to do so as long as it wishes.

    I think…

  • Way to go Professor, you get right to the crux of the matter, but it’s time for the last batter and she is gonna get us sooner then later. Historians have recorded 6,000 to 8,000 years or riches and poverty, wars and famine, side-by-side with spurts of technical progress. Now we have arrived at a point where technical progress destroyed us. The social order will be unable to control it long. So the question each of us must answer is quite simple. In what place do we await our extinction? Your latest piece here is the bomb, as usual. Thank You
    So much,rereading and all the most excellence comments to boot. You get to the root.

  • certain uncertainty is a positive feedback loop, and that’s a good thing.

    Awesome post Guy, couldn’t finish it all in one bite

    glad our ego-manical death cult over-lord doesn’t have a torn rotator cup for the fight.

  • Callaghan, why don’t you put together a paperback collection of your most popular Canadian Blue Collar Doomer sentiments, like B the D? That way both privileged nations will be represented.

    USA – Benjamin The Donkey

    Canada — Robert The Ass…? 😉

  • Ol’ McDonald Has No Farm
    right now, 1 billion people walk 1 mile every day to fetch water.
    10 years from now, 2 billion people will be severely water short.
    10 years from now, 4 billion people will be normally water short.
    adding a million new people to earth every 4 days means we have to grow more food over the next 50 years than we grew in the last 500 years. We will need 6 million hectares of new farmland every year to accomplish such growth. Food and water shortages are coming 100% for sure because we actually lose 12 million hectares of farmland every year thanks to soil degradation and outright loss. Scientific American says humanity only has 60 years of agriculture left. Food, water, mineral and energy shortages will hit criticality in 30 years just when our our green energy systems end their lifecycles and become expensive garbage. Of course, just when you need everything the most, there won’t be anything, and that’s when runaway mass extinction becomes unstoppable and irreversible leading to no oxygen to breathe on land and sea. This will coincide with civilizational collapse aggravated by probable magnetic pole shift, which leads to increased radiation as will happen to the people on the coasts of the South Atlantic, all because of how and why we grow food and make babies. latter fools!

  • kevin moore said:

    “Watching the Keiser Report this morning I picked up on the comment that ‘the elites’ (the scumbags) are looking for bolt-holes and the stampede to New Zealand is underway. … that ‘the elites’ (scumbags) can briefly enjoy the proceeds of their thieving whilst rapid planetary meltdown occurs.”

    —-

    Post-apocalyptic hide-out places sometimes come with a great view – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2931325/Super-rich-buying-property-New-Zealand-bolthole-case-west-goes-meltdown.html

    ========

    mike k,

    “All of us have an intuitive feel for right and wrong. Of course we can cover it up, or invite alibis to justify wrongdoing, but if we do consult our deeper knowing we will almost always get the right answer. If we turn crucial decisions over to someone else to make, then of course we have not consulted our inner self, which would never accept someone else’s ideas for it’s own deep knowing. Erich Fromm’s Escape From Freedom explored how the majority of the German people in WWII turned so far from their own consciences to follow Hitler’s madness.”

    I believe one of the reasons why we do what we do in our “individual” lives is because what others around us are doing. A little disclaimer: people on this blog may not relate to the examples below but then people on this blog see, think and perhaps act differently from most others so it’s expected. A crude example is how people throw trash on the floor if there’s already trash on the floor and it looks dirty, but a clean floor doesn’t invite the same trashy behavior. A clean floor is an indication of how other people behave around there and it invites a different behavior from us too. Again, we here may not want to litter the floor because others are doing the same. But this is how the majority of people behave: they look at others and do what they do. Another example is how when the housing market collapsed a few years ago in the US, it was found that several loan and mortgage officers had been falsifying applications and appraisals for a while. It wasn’t just a few bad apples although it must have started out that way but it was a bit more systemic. I believe it becomes “normal”, or at least less “abnormal” for a loan officer to do what he sees other loan officers doing all around him. Sooner or later, we have a corrupt practice that’s a nationwide phenomenon. We go back to that existential question: “where are my people” which begs related questions such as “what are my people doing?”, “how are they living?”, “what do they do for fun?”, etc. And for the elites, it includes questions such as, “how big is his yacht?”

    You say it so well: “Something I try to constantly be aware of is the many ideas from others that have entered my mind, and may be coloring my thoughts however fresh and unencumbered I would like them to be.”

    One consequence of the mixing of the people and the rise of communications-at-a-distance (telephone Internet, etc.) is it’s become easier to find people who already do what we “want” to do. Sometimes, the people who already do something encourage, coax, or threaten others to follow suit. A general who orders a whole village razed is in good company as he settles down for a drink the evening of the bombing with his friends and colleagues at the officers’ club. They are perhaps all returning from giving similar orders to their troops all day. But at other times, we are able to seek what we imagine we would feel comfortable with and bury any doubts and misgivings that arise in our conscience. With the Internet, I can more easily find someone somewhere who’s into what I am contemplating, making it less abnormal.

    Only a small fraction of people seem to question if what the people around them are doing is in fact sensible, sustainable, right/wrong, helpful/harmful, etc. If I’m born into a logger’s family, I might not approach trees with the same sense of reverence as some others, especially, when all the incentives point toward continuing in the family’s line of livelihood. And then there’s propaganda that tells us what other people are doing, whether they are actually doing it or not, to get us to do the same thing. Those oft-repeated lines, “first come first served” and “offer valid as long as supplies last” indicate other people might go get that thing, in fact they are on their way out right now, so we better go before the goods run out. We put so much stock in what others are doing and it colors our interpretation of what’s right and wrong. If we aren’t mindful and conscious of our roles, ultimately our sense of intuition and that deep sense of gut feeling does begin to be affected by what’s going on outside us, what other people are saying and doing. To the point that our intuition simply becomes a mirror reflecting back to us what we think other people are doing. This is not a mindful way to live. I struggle daily to understand how I have been and continue to be affected by others around me. It’s not about freeing myself and becoming independent of others for such a thing is hardly possible in our hper-connected times (if it ever was possible) but to be simply aware of how they are affecting me. And it tells me so much about why I have done the things I have and why I continue to. I can then ponder over what my inner self is about, if it truly is independent from the creation around me, etc.

    I’m not disagreeing with anything you say, and hopefully that is obvious, but simply adding a slightly tangential angle to it, since like you, I consider myself a truth seeker, and like exchanging notes. What you say makes me pause and think. Thank you.

    I love this line of thinking: “One of the basic ideas I have had to consciously jetison is all thinking that the One is “perfect” or “absolute”. A basic reason for doing this is a proper humility regarding our qualifications for having and asserting those kind of permanent set in stone and eternal propositions. I do not believe we are truly in a position to assert ANYTHING with certainty.”

    Science does give us a sense of certainty in the physical realm. At least that formula that determines final velocity based on initial velocity, acceleration and time, works consistently, every time, time after time, in experiments conducted by different people at different times, so there’s something certain about certainty 🙂 The problem arises when we expect the same kind of certainty from other areas of life some of which happen to be off-limits to the Scientific method. Even the notion of separation between the physical and non-physical realms is a bit shaky, and not very certain. Ultimately, one realizes that uncertainty and not certainty is the norm in this Universe, at least from an Earth-based human standpoint, at the very least, from my standpoint, because I can’t even say with any certainty how certain or uncertain life is for you 🙂 I believe a certain level of safety and certainty is built in into the Universe or we wouldn’t put one foot in front of another without worrying if the ground will stand firm and not cave in. But strange things have happened. And there’s no guarantee. And this brings us to living in the moment, moment by moment, being alert and aware of our surroundings, not being wary and cautious necessarily but observational and attempting to connect with other beings, water, rocks, everything. To do this consistently every day is difficult. I believe there are people who don’t meditate in the usual sense of the term, but their waking moments are meditative, their life being a long meditation. They feel one with the creation around them and are able to perceive all the myriad connections everywhere, their own consciousness not limited to what’s going on in their mind, but empathizing with other beings they encounter, even rocks which tell a story of their own to the attentive listener. And like your Sufi teacher said, it can be a fun game. No game is fun without some uncertainty. It’s the nature of our Universe, it would seem. At least, it’s the nature of my Universe 🙂

    An uncertain Universe has room for certainty. It’s possible for an uncertain Universe to encompass parts that are certain within it and still be uncertain at large. But the reverse is not possible. A certain Universe doesn’t have any room for any sort of uncertainty within it or the whole thing becomes uncertain and its integrity is threatened. So when I say the Universe is uncertain, it comes from that part of it that is certain! That part of it that’s certain sees the rest as uncertain. And both coexist in harmony. If we only let them be. There are lots of things that remain uncertain. In fact, some of those things are more important, valuable, joyful and otherwise immeasurably key to existence than those things that we are certain about. It’s just our cultural obsession with the notions of perfection, absoluteness, omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, and all such things that we find alien in our experience. All these attributes, we lump them into this entity that we call God and put that God on a pedestal. I’m certain this is just a cultural artifact of Civilization. Tribal people have no such strange and bizarre notions of perfection. Our ancestors didn’t either. It all fits: It’s not a problem with our species, it’s a problem with our culture, with civilization. There’s nothing inherently faulty about us, it’s the stories we believe in. We’re nothing but stories. I’m certain about that, more or less 🙂

  • You think therefor the ONE is deeply thinking of you. In touch with your every word as if your closest K-pax friend with the ONE already knew each letter ahead. You wrote how U saw the universe disappear like a breath upon a candle. A speck of infinity inside of an electron sure works wonders if you are ever crunched down to the ultimate NO thing. Out of the singularity with a highly uncertain ouctome…big bang & a trillion MO.

  • “An army of scholars & researchers invented euphemistic language to disguise imperialism. For example, leading social scientists spoke & wrote of ‘world leadership’, a concept implying consensual acceptance based on persuasion, instead of describing the reality of ‘imperial dominance’, which more accurately defines the universal use of force, violence & exploitation of national wealth. The term, ‘free markets’, served to mask the historical tendency toward the concentration & monopolization of financial power. The ‘free world’ obfuscated the aggressive & oppressive authoritarian regimes allied with Euro-US powers. Numerous other euphemistic concepts, designed to justify imperial expansion, were elevated to scientific status & considered ‘value free’.

    “The transformation of social science into an ideological weapon of the ruling class reflected the institutional basis & political commitments of the researchers. The ‘benign behavior’ of post-World War 2 US empire-building, became the operating assumption guiding scientific research. Moreover, leading academics became gatekeepers & watchdogs enforcing the new political orthodoxy by claiming that critical research, which spoke for non-elite constituencies, was non-scientific, ideological & politicized. However, academics, who consulted with the Pentagon or were involved in revolving-door relationships with multi-national corporations, were exempted from any similar scholarly opprobrium: they were simply viewed as ‘consultants’ whose ‘normal’ extracurricular activities were divorced from their scientific academic work.

    “In contrast, scholars whose research was directed at documenting the structure of power & to guiding political action by social movements were condemned as ‘biased’, ‘political’ and unsuitable for any academic career.

    “In other words, academic authorities replicated the social repression of the ruling class in society, within the walls of academia”

    James Petras, The Myth of ‘Value-Free’ Social Science
    http://petras.lahaine.org/?p=2031

  • Following up on Kiwi Kevin’s post above concerning the ominous developments in Arctic Sea ice coverage.

    The curve for 2015 is just about to go beyond/below 2 standard deviations – a very ominous development.

    Kevin emphasized the downward angle of the 2015 line as a portent.

    Square kilometers of sea ice at the tip of the developing line for May 4, 2015 reads 13.185 10^6 km2.

    The low point for 2012 was way off two standard deviations at 3.387 10^6 km2.

    A terrific display of simple but critical data.

    It is not an exaggeration to claim that our survival, be it longer or shorter, is contained in this observable unfolding basic data.

    https://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/charctic-interactive-sea-ice-graph/

  • @Satish – If I say that there is no certainty, it does not mean there is no probability. However even with well established recurring phenomena reliably performing in accordance with the “laws of physics” there is no certainty that these phenomena will behave in the predicted fashion in the present instance or some future instance. As in investment disclaimers, “past performance does not
    (absolutely or certainly) guarantee future results.” Nevertheless a good bet made at our present gross level of perspective is always worth making. If we go to more subtle levels this confidence may no longer be appropriate. Quantum uncertainty takes many forms, for example. And to presume that what we now recognize as the quantum dimensions represents the limit of unpredictability is not warranted by any of our present knowledge.

    So what might be a subtler level than the quantum? Perhaps the experiences and perceptions sometimes called “spiritual” are glimpses of that trans-quantum world. Of course as we go further and further from the supposedly clear light of reason and sensory observations things get more and more iffy. Imagination and self-delusion may increase, as well as intentional fraud and hoaxes. Alas one daring to go deeper must find ways to deal with these obstacles to clear discernment, which can be quite subtle in their own presentations and very hard to detect in oneself. The deeper levels can become like the phenomena known as “ecstasy of the depths” to ocean divers. Having a team, a sangha of fellow explorers can be really helpful and at times necessary due to these problems the individual seeker will face. Some of those known as “masts” in India, seriously lost there inner stability as a result of encountering levels of reality they were not properly prepared for. Meher Baba devoted considerable time trying to help these unfortunates. On the other hand many of the practices my wife and I undertook under the guidance of our Sufi guide seemed intentionally designed to take us far from the familiar secure worldview we were ordinarily ensconced in. But we had the teacher and the group to steady us if we became too unbalanced.

    Enough for now Satish. Thanks for your insightful comments. I enjoy learning from you.

  • ” A certain Universe doesn’t have any room for any sort of uncertainty within it or the whole thing becomes uncertain and its integrity is threatened. So when I say the Universe is uncertain, it comes from that part of it that is certain! That part of it that’s certain sees the rest as uncertain. And both coexist in harmony.”

    Sounds good to me. 🙂

  • Certainty can be rejected with certitude only when one is certain of a rejector. Overlooking the rejector results in floundering around. But conscious awareness is not an object, nor is it subject to ownership – it does not belong to anyone; it is being, inclusive of, but not limited to, all existence, an awareness without any “of”s.

  • Guy, one thing I’ve learnt that is that whenever you stick to the evidence and speak truth to power, as it were, you are going to be walking a lonely path (in the context of your subject matter). You yourself have said that academia is conservative but no matter where you are in life, people are afraid to rock the boat and risk putting their own comfort zone on the line. Some people make it seem effortless but I know for me it is always difficult and I have to fight against that tendency. Initially, when I read what you wrote, I wondered why you would care what people thought but I think that just shows the compassionate side of you. Both my mentors and mentees have helped me learn this lesson, and that in the end what matters is to continue to stick to the evidence with all the integrity you can muster, notwithstanding all the human mistakes one makes along the way.

    There’s an article in the NY Times about the Chicago school of thought as it pertains to economics, and how people who followed that school were mistaken when it came to the assumption that humans are rational agents. I think that explains some of the AGW debates we’ve had about causality and/or having one answer to a complex situation, as it does the fear and insecurity that give rise to some of the objections to what you are doing from all sides.

  • Alright, since you asked, here’s the latest on my feet.

    As you’ll recall, Sabine, our most highly skilled cosmetologist here at Guy’s Beauty Salon, recommended I slather toothpaste on them next time I go grubbing around in the dirt. Said it would help heal my cracked feet that I am a tad embarrased about soon traipsing in Heaven with so disfigured. (Of course, some of you may rightly believe, I’m sooner to end up in hell then even ever finding myself, mangled feet and all, standing before the pearly gates; and I will admit this seems like a strange preference, for as Mark Twain is reputed to have noted, “Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.” And I do like good company, so, I suppose I should reconsider this afterlife thingy.) Anyway, I did as instructed (i mean, who am I to dispute Sabine in these matters), although I’ll admit, it seemed strange, but, what the heck…

    So after grubbing about in the dirt with my split, damaged, defective, flawed, and imperfect, yet now attractively attired dogs in super-whitening toothpaste, I noticed a funny phenomenon. No, I’m not talking about the neighbors incredulous reactions to me rooting about in my yard thusly, or my wife calling me an idiot, and then locking me out of the house (both of which, by the way, happens to me a lot).

    What happened was that I no longer felt human. What with all the dirt, twigs, and leaf litter now adhered to me feet, I felt myself metamorphosing into — I know this hard to believe, but — an ent. And not just any ol’ ent, but the great Treebeard himself.

    And like Treebeard I felt an ancient connection to the earth, and old growth forests, and the mycelium, trillium, woodcocks, and all the other magnificent creatures therein. And at first this feeling was sublime as I burrowed my feet ever deeper into the earth. But then it faded and another took its place. A feeling of sorrow, and grief, as I sensed the ravages occurring in all the woods and fields, tickets, brooks, streams and oceans. A great plundering rape and pillaging occurring at the hands of orcs masquerading as homo-sapiens. And like Treebeard I grew agitated and angry about this desecration. I wanted to go stomp on all the nasty orcs responsible for this great travesty. I was just about to do so when — BAM! — I was awakened from my lovely reverie of vengeance by a vicious jolt administered to my head by my lovely wife wielding a thick wooden rolling pin.

    “WTF are you doing?” she hollered at me.

    “Um, thinking like an ent,” i meekly replied while rubbing my ringing head.

    “Look at you!” she shrieked. “Your not a fucking ent! You’re an idiot rooting about in my garden with toothpaste on your bare feet!”

    “Yah, i know that’s how it seems, but… you should try it.”

    “I should clobber you again is what I should do!”

    “Please don’t. But could you bring me my toothbrush?”

    “Your toothbrush?! What, you think that’s going to help clean up this mess that is you?”

    “I dunno. I thought I’d give it a try. It’s toothpaste after all.”

    “Oh my God! I am married to an Idiot!” And with that she turned her back and disappeared inside.

    Hoping she might return with my toothbrush, I tried to momentarily recapture my vision of vengeance while shuffling my FUBARed feet in my wife’s garden. Alas, no such luck on either account was forthcoming. Instead, one me boys snuck out of the house and asked if he could join in the fun I was having!

    I suggested that probably wasn’t a good idea; not if he didn’t want to get clobbered too.

    “But, you could bring me my toothbrush.”

    Thankfully, he did so, and I proceeded to brush — using the pulsating massage setting on my electric toothbrush — the leaf debris, the twigs, the dirt and unfortunate bugs I squished, off me two ent-like feet. It took awhile, and I’m not sure about using this brush head in my mouth again, but the result was nothing less than a revelation!

    Mind you, I’m not talking about my feet. They are cleaner that’s for sure, and my toenails have a sparkly white sheen to them and all. Instead, the revelation is that in my next life I’d rather be an ent than an orc.

    So, thank you, Sabine! I’m not sure this is what you had in mind as a cosmetic makeover but it’ll have to do.

  • The NY Times article I’m referring to is here:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/06/business/dealbook/book-review-misbehaving-by-richard-thaler.html

    and I think it is apropos to a lot of what is being discussed in this thread and in this board, with regards to certainty and uncertainty, and the sloppiness that seems inherent in biology, not just with human actions. We have a long way to go before we can untangle what makes complex systems complex and in part that does involve dealing with exponential magnification of small deviations in imperfect systems.

  • Acccording to Lawrence Krause, in his book “A Universe From Nothing”, he describes “nothing”, ie, no space, no time, no form, no substance, no existent of anything in completely empty space is potentially the most creative condition in the universe, as particles and forms will just spontaneously generate (self-generate?) and pop into being. An entire multigalactic universe could pop into being next to your head, but 1/1 exo-trillionth of a second later it will vanish. Such is the condition of reality. Albeit “quantum” reality, but where does one really draw the line?

    According to Brian Greene’s “Fabric of the Cosmos”, it is just as logical for our reality on earth to be a projection of a 5th, 8th or 11th dimensional computer program. And since we live in the 3rd plane of the higher dimensions, the actual reality of what’s going on is absolutely hidden from experience. See Abott’s classic “Flatland” for a good description of a 2 dimensinal world invaded by 3 dimensional creatures. Anyway, is the 11th dimensional computer “God”? or the being or thing that programmed the computer? If you are living in 11th dimensional binary code, how much free will do you really have?

    Edward Witten projected 11 dimensions for the mathematical proof of his M Theory applied to quantum mechanics. Remember also that molecules and atoms where once only theoretical constructs before means were discovered to locate, isolate and identify them. So how do you place your wagers on something like M Theory in relation to the big questions?

    Also, really recommend to anyone interested, the field of Behavioral Economics, which demonstrates wild, unimaginable levels of irrationality and massive psychological bias in everyday human experiences and interactions.

  • And then there’s the Everett multiverse interpretation of QM where every possible future that can happen happens and follows a trajectory until it dies out. In one of my visions due to sleep deprivation and other potent, er, stuff, I had this go through my head where I “saw” what seemed like an arbitrary number of trajectories that our planet had taken and and MOST of them culminated in extreme “failures” (i.e., the earth blew itself up, or some variant). On a shorter timescale, most local trajectories also died out as most choices ended up being nonfruitful, not resulting in more and more choices.

    So under this interpretation, the universe is more like a complex system constantly evolving, forking out as more choices are created and dying out when those choices end up in some form of utter collapse. Our planet behaving as an Earth system as we know it is ONE such continuing trajectory.

    This was when I had those visions of the cosmic fractals of consciousness as well and came up with the Big Evolution theory, that the meta-Universe is one big giant string of information undergoing evolutionary operations that resulted in the universe we have today so we can comment about it, and universes are nested within universes and so on. So I’m partial to this theory compared to M theory which I think is a subset of this sort of a meta theory and is too specific to our universe and our trajectory.

    To me, the evidence that these ideas are correct will come when physicists create something (either matter or energy/information) from nothing (a requirement for the bitstring idea) which they’re working on, and/or if we can simulate conscious entities ourselves with the abilities we have, including the ability to create computing devices and program. If we can do the latter, then we’re just talking about the level of nesting: the systems we create will eventually create their own simulations and so on, and there’s no reason we’re the first. Likewise if we accomplish the start of something similar (before becoming extinct) by genetic engineering, or through some hybrid of the two. Again, people are working on that: one of the more recent efforts is the creation of a new bacterial species by altering its DNA that was entirely synthesised. Suppose instead of just the DNA, we had also synthesised the cell wall, RNA, other small molecules – the entire cell, and suppose that behaved the same way and reproduced and evolved – this would lend a lot of credence to the idea that biotic evolution isn’t different from abiotic evolution/life. Furthermore if that lead to a sentient creature then the same thing would hold for simulated sentience (but this I suspect will be much slower).

    In my view that is the evolutionary advantage of the sentience trait, it is capable of directed self evolution. In our trajectory that lets me write this comment, we’ve collectively ignored the lessons of evolution mostly and seem hell bent on following a model that is its polar opposite (bottom up vs. top down modes of organisation).

    Sorry for the overpost.

  • Guy,
    I am bemused that you find it ‘the bitter pill’ to find yourself unable to persuade people that slowing or stopping industrial civilisation is the course to follow. Most people do not understand the seriousness of the climate situation,let alone the fundamental flaws of industrial civilisation. Even on this blog we have a few so ignorant of ecological fundamentals that they think an increase of human population is a good course to follow. The problems are too large,the forces aligned against your message are infinitely greater,the juggernaut is unstoppable.Don’t think that things could be different at this stage.Not your fault.

  • Haydukes Monkey,

    gentle king of ents. I wish more men were like you. What a lovely fable! And I do like my new title.

    Luckily, I’ve got a man that makes me laugh a lot in real life,and now you do the same for me here on this blog. You’re a rare person.

    Treebeard, yes, I’ll try and imagine you like him but better and more handsome than the film version.

  • saw this, thought some of you might be interested:

    Ice cores show 200-year climate lag
    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-32599228

    Scientists have found a 200-year lag time between past climate events at the poles.

    The most detailed Antarctic ice core provides the first clear comparison with Greenland records, revealing a link between northern and southern hemisphere climate change.

    Scientists found that abrupt and large temperature changes first occurred in Greenland, with the effect delayed about 200 years in the Antarctic.

    The study appears in Nature journal.

    The paper is the work of almost 80 authors and it is the first time that researchers have been able to pin down the timing of these events during the last Ice Age.

    In the 1990s, scientists took ice cores from Greenland that revealed very abrupt and large swings in temperature approximately 20,000 to 60,000 years ago. But it wasn’t clear how this influenced global climate change.

    The 3,405 metre-long ice core, taken from the centre of West Antarctica, is the longest high resolution ice core. Researchers documented 18 abrupt climate events.

    “This record has annual resolution, meaning we can see information about every year going back 30,000 years, and close to that resolution all the way back to 68,000 years ago,” explains Eric Steig, professor of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington, who co-wrote the paper.

    “Our new results show unambiguously that the Antarctic changes happen after the rapid temperature changes in Greenland. It is a major advance to know that the Earth behaves in this particular way.”
    The new core also supports the “bipolar seesaw” effect between poles, meaning that when it’s warm in Greenland, Antarctica is cooling, and vice versa.

    “The fact that temperature changes are opposite at the two poles suggests that there is a redistribution of heat going on between the hemispheres,” said Christo Buizert, lead author on the study and a post-doctoral researcher at Oregon State University.

    “We still don’t know what caused these past shifts, but understanding their timing gives us important clues about the underlying mechanisms.”

    During large changes in climate in the northern hemisphere, the atmosphere and ocean transfer the heat around the globe.

    The 200-year difference in the timing directly points to the ocean, explained Prof Steig. The atmospheric circulation of heat would have shown up in the Antarctic record in a matter of years or decades.
    [there’s a little more]

    This doesn’t seem to be the case now, since all three are melting, and the melting is accelerating, as Dredd has shown in his well-written and researched model.

  • The latest guest essay in this space comes off the keyboard of Alton C. Thompson. You can catch it here.

  • Oh I just had to comment. I am tired of the constant bitching and moaning about the evil “patriarchy”.

    “Birth is lethal. Civilization is a prison. Patriarchs would have you believe the opposite about both issues.”

    yeah and all women readily accept NTHE without question. I would guess its mothers with kids that are the most resistant to your gospel of doom, not men. Stop being brainwashed by all these feminists, they want to blame all men for everything that is going wrong with society and I am sick of that trash. I am done coming to this site, it is no longer relevant and just recycles the same information. You are dying as a man and these feminists are making short work of you

  • Jonathan Walliser, you might want to read this essay. But probably not, as my writing contradicts all your beliefs about me.

  • Guy, this is one of your best. For whatever it’s worth, your adventure and the price you have paid for it garners my admiration and gratitude.

    DG

  • Hi Guy,

    It’s interesting to watch your progression. For some reason, perhaps the accumulation of the flak that climate deniers and civilization apologists hurl at you, you seem more inclined to view yourself and your work as some sort of failure. Au contraire, you’re a font of the best scientific research on the most critical issue in the history of mankind. You have made the phenomenon of abrupt climate change and NTE accessible and understandable. Coming to face this reality with your assistance, has made me a much more forgiving member of our species. I mean, I used to get huffy with climate deniers. No longer. I knew, as Jim Morrison sang, that “nobody gets out of here alive.” The added knowledge that civilization is barreling down the road to its collective demise, and that I’m still here (so far) to witness how we all deal with that reality, not only helps to “connect the dots” on so many levels, but provides incredible perspective of our species’ history that is at once humbling and uplifting (to still be around to experience it). I agree it is extremely difficult to set forth the facts of NTE to anyone who has offspring for humans naturally passionately wish the best for their loved ones. And because there really is nothing I or they can do about turning back the clock (for forty years or so, when ironically, there was a burst of scientific concern of the possibility of a near-term new Ice Age, when we could have taken drastic steps to avoid the situation we now found ourselves in), I always preface my climate remarks with an offer not to burden them with them the facts and conclusions, such as on climate warming feedback loops. I guess most folks can’t handle this information, but for many of us who can, it instills an incredible zest for living life responsibly and compassionately, with eyes wide open, taking each day, each moment as a blessing. I regard your work as such.

  • One thing I learned when union organizing, if you are doing good work, winning metaphorical battles, making progress, etc…You will never, ever be notified by the authorities or conservatives that you are gaining ground or even winning. “Lunatic Climatologists Dire Threat To National Security, Plagued By Motivated Reasoning, Failing Miserably.” will be all the headlines when you are succeeding fantastically beyond your wildest dreams. You just have to get used to the dynamic and create your own standards, and evaluate yourself by them. When my union organizing campaign was succeeding, they put my picture in the paper – front page of the business section. Not as bully bully for the community against big box colonization of the city, but in absolute hysteria and terror for the impact such might have on advertiser and chamber of commerce profits, and their “free” trade ideology, etc.

    As Tito Gerasi said in his book Unrepentant Radical Educator, “Their objectivity is for them, not for you. Mine is against them. You want their answers? Read their newspapers; or view their so called television news. I will never give you their opinions…The only way to sleep well, to be genuinely happy, is to keep fighting. Keep fighting those bastards.”

  • Guy, if you didn’t exist we’d have to invent you! Keep going as you are, many thousands appreciate it.

  • Guy, thank you so much for that essay and all the incredible work you do.

    love
    Fiona

  • “Their objectivity is for them, not for you. Mine is against them. You want their answers? Read their newspapers; or view their so called television news. I will never give you their opinions…The only way to sleep well, to be genuinely happy, is to keep fighting. Keep fighting those bastards.”

    For some reason, this makes me think of Marcus Garvey. All the foreign buzzards pulling at her defenseless flesh. Then I remember the words of Marcus Garvey: “Africa for the African, at home and abroad.” Impossible to realize, they tell me. But I wouldn’t be too sure.

  • Guy,
    What % chance do you give that you are completely wrong?

  • Thanks for asking, Tim. I’d put my odds at being wrong at 50% or so. On the other hand, the odds of the literature I cite of being completely wrong is in the neighborhood of 0%.

  • Thanks for reply, however, it doesn’t make sense. Aren’t you and the literature you cite one and same? Confused? If the literature you have given in your climate essay is correct, then we are doomed for sure.

  • Tim, I certainly hope I’m much more than the evidence I cite. I think I’m citing it correctly. We’re doomed.

    Still, I make mistakes on a regular basis. I suspect they have little to do with the information I cite, however.

  • Hi
    Thanks for reply. I feel a huge urge to do what I really want to do the rest of my life. Getting out of the corporate rat race that benefits only the top is one thing I plan on doing. This whole thing puts so much in perspective. It appears things are getting way worse than even you originally forecast. My biggest fear is what happens when we all realize we are on the Titanic? It appears our military is preparing for this scenario. Look at Jade Helm. They used to set up any terrain they wanted on their vast military bases but now need to do it in public? It is really fishy.

    Peace. Bottom line is greed destroyed us.

  • If the 50%+ of the global human population (roughly 3.5 billion + folks) that live in cities were to move en masse towards a ‘Guy-esque’ living situation, then surely the remaining non-human environments on the planet would be devastated in short order. Not saying that it wouldn’t have been ideal to live this kind of way before the industrialization-producing population explosion, but seems extremely unfeasible now. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, damned if you do damned if you don’t, trapped in a predicament, etc etc.
    Not to mention the inability to grow crops in more than a few places, which seems likely in a few decades, will provide survival ‘issues’ to all of us without years of canned goods. Oy vey.

  • jdd, I think you’re failing to recognize the source of the myriad predicaments in which we are embedded: cities (i.e., civilization). Cities export the ruin to the country while importing water and food. In response, city-dwellers incorrectly believe they’re not responsible for the ongoing devastation.

    The city-dwellers already occupy rural areas. But they don’t admit to it.

  • Saw a lecture today on how transhumanism is going to save the human race because a machine based human will not need to eat. It was spooky. This guy claimed we are within 2 decades of moving A.I. into machines and that the so-called lucky few will be able to live forever.