The Future: An Unfinished Timeline

by J. Z. Colby (A German translation is provided by Wolfgang Wer here)

I am a retired mental-health therapist who now writes young-adult science fiction novels, and I also do my best to interpret the climate crisis for the same audience since the crisis is so often presented in thick adult language.  I’m working on a new page for my web site ( that will list the important events since 2000, and the future events that seem likely.  I’m putting the future events in 5-year blocks based on my best guess of when they will occur.  My thinking on this is similar to Dr. McPherson’s.  I plan to move the items around as I learn more, or as they come to pass.

I’d appreciate any opinions on the events I’ve chosen, my wording, or the tricky issue of timing.  I am purposefully avoiding vague items like “the IPCC stated that there is a 75% chance that by 2050 …” as those are not digestible by young adults.   Also, I am not including “piggybacked” issues like economics and social justice, unless there appears to be a very close linkage with the climate crisis.

Thank you, all, in advance!



GREENHOUSE GASSES: Carbon dioxide passes 370 parts per million (normally 180-290 ppm) and Methane reaches 1790 parts per billion (normally 300-700 ppb).



END OF DEBATE: the vast majority of scientists are now convinced of the reality of anthropogenic climate change, and focus on collecting better data and building more accurate models.

WORLD TRADE CENTER: The destruction of 3 office buildings is used as an excuse for war in the Middle East, the use of torture, and the cancellation of many rights and freedoms.



LARSON B ICE SHELF: A 1250 square mile (3250 square kilometer) ice shelf in Antarctica collapses.

GLOBAL DIMMING: Scientists discover that some kinds of pollution, especially sulfur compounds, slightly counteract global heating, which would suddenly be much worse if the pollution ceased.



HEAT WAVE: More than 30,000 people die in Europe, and one third of the world is in drought, double the usual amount.



THE LIMITS TO GROWTH: The 30-Year Update is published of the book that warned the world, in 1972, about the unsustainable course of industrial civilization.



PEAK OIL: Cheap and abundant petroleum reaches its maximum rate of extraction, starts its slow decline, and can only be temporarily supplemented by expensive shale, tar sands, or deep-water sources.

HURRICANE KATRINA: An Atlantic hurricane does massive damage to the New Orleans area, most of which is not rebuilt.

KYOTO PROTOCOL: A treaty to reduce greenhouse gasses goes into effect, but the biggest polluters of the world choose not to ratify it, or withdraw after a short time.

AMAZON DROUGHT: We discovered that even the Amazon rain forest, instead of absorbing Carbon dioxide, can become a source under dry conditions.



AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH: The documentary film is released that lays out the situation of global heating for everyone to see.

STERN REVIEW: The business world realizes that climate change could do massive damage to global business and finances if allowed to continue unchecked.

THE SUN: Scientists find that global heating cannot be explained as variations in the energy received from the sun.



METHANE TIPPING POINT: Global heating from Carbon dioxide reaches the point where the Methane hydrates in the Arctic, Antarctic, and deep oceans start to return to gaseous form and bubble up.



PERMANENT RECESSION: With oil no longer cheap, the global economy enters an on-going state of insignificant growth, stagnation, or contraction, with our official response being money printing, increased debt, and accounting tricks.

350: Scientists determine that 350 parts per million of Carbon dioxide is the safe upper limit to avoid dangerous climate change, a level passed about a decade before.

WILKINS ICE SHELF: A 160 square mile (415 square kilometer) section breaks free from Antarctica.



COPENHAGEN ACCORD: The vague document that emerges from this U. N. Climate Change Conference fails to include any binding agreements to reduce greenhouse gasses.



DEEPWATER HORIZON: A major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico releases millions of gallons of crude oil into the ocean, the deadly effects of which are still being discovered years later.

CANCUN AGREEMENTS: This U. N. Climate Change Conference recognized that some people in the world are much more vulnerable than others, and that forests need special protection.



ARAB SPRING: A series of popular uprisings and government changes in the Middle East and North Africa are partly caused by water and food shortages.

FUKUSHIMA DAIICHI: Four nuclear power plants in Japan are destroyed by a major earthquake and tsunami, and show the world the extreme difficulty of cleaning up a nuclear disaster.



ARCTIC ICE CAP: The floating ice cap in the Arctic Ocean reaches the lowest extent ever recorded.

CALIFORNIA DROUGHT: An extreme multi-year dry period in southwestern North America begins, possibly connected to a temperature spike in the Pacific Ocean.

SUPERSTORM SANDY: An Atlantic hurricane does major damage to the New York area and is considered to be a sample of what we can expect with continued man-made climate change.



GREENHOUSE GASSES: Carbon dioxide reaches 400 parts per million, and Methane passes 1800 parts per billion.

OCEAN HEATING: Scientists discover that a recent slowing of global heating, as measured in the air, is because more than 90% of the heat is going into the oceans.



WEST ANTARCTICA: A huge region of glaciers and ice shelves are found to be melting at a rate that makes their complete disappearance inevitable.

EBOLA: An outbreak in West Africa of a very deadly virus shows that nature is ready and able to bring the human population back into balance if our public health systems become any weaker.

DEFLATION: Prices of crude oil, metals, and many other resources begin to drop as demand for them slows because of high unemployment and contracting economies.



CALIFORNIA DROUGHT: The drying of southwest North America enters a critical phase in which rivers no longer provide enough water for drinking, irrigation, and hydro-electric power.


2016 2017 2018 2019 2020

? PEAK HYDRO-CARBONS: We pass the all-time maximum extraction rate of all hydrocarbon fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas).

? ARCTIC SUMMERS ICE-FREE: The Arctic Ocean becomes ice-free in the summer, greatly increasing the amount of solar heat absorbed, marking the beginning of run-away global heating.

? FINANCIAL COLLAPSE: Stock markets and other financial venues become unstable or crash completely, causing credit to be unavailable to most people and businesses.

? DROUGHTS AND FLOODS: Most dry areas continue to get drier, shifting to desert or dust-bowl conditions, and most wet areas experience regular flooding.

? CIVIL UNREST: Water shortages, high food prices, unemployment, and government corruption cause people to start demonstrating and rioting for almost any reason, which causes normal business and travel to become dangerous.

? DE-REGULATION: In desperate attempts to keep economies going, all safety, public health, and environmental regulations are repealed or ignored.

? AGRICULTURE COLLAPSE: Commercial agriculture becomes unstable and unreliable because of droughts, storms, and fuel/fertilizer shortages, causing food prices to skyrocket.

? POPULATION PEAK: With water and food shortages, and a break-down of public health systems, infant mortality rapidly rises, diseases spread, and the human population peaks and starts to fall.


2021 2022 2023 2024 2025

? PERMAFROST THAW AND BOREAL BURN: The tundra around the Arctic thaws, and the boreal forests of Canada and Russia burn, creating massive new sources of soot, Carbon dioxide, and Methane.

? METHANE SPIKE: A sudden huge release of Methane from the oceans and tundra causes global heating to increase rapidly.

? CORAL COLLAPSE: With the oceans rapidly heating and acidifying, the death of the coral reefs causes many coastlines to suddenly become vulnerable to fierce storms and floods.

? GREENLAND AND WEST ANTARCTICA: Both begin to melt quickly, causing sea levels to rise and coastal cities to take serious damage from even normal wave action and routine storms.

? FISHERIES COLLAPSE: As the ocean food chains break down, all commercial fishing becomes impossible, with little left in the oceans but jellyfish.

? WAR: Several North American and European nations, in an attempt to improve their economies and pacify civil unrest, provoke a war with several Eurasian nations.

? COMMERCIAL COLLAPSE: With businesses unable to get credit, travel and shipping dangerous, and civil unrest everywhere, most products and services become unavailable.

? MARTIAL LAW AND FASCISM: To keep some order and protect those in power, governments suspend civil rights and due process, and hand most remaining functions to corporations.


2026 2027 2028 2029 2030

? POLITICAL COLLAPSE: Governments are unable to provide any services and hold onto power, and large political units break down into smaller kingdoms and tribes.

? PLAGUE: With public health systems no longer working and malnutrition rising, influenza, dysentery, dengue fever, and other diseases will easily get started and run their course unhindered.

? FOOD CHAIN DISRUPTIONS: The disappearance of key species such as honey bees, krill, and sardines not only contribute to the collapse of agriculture and fisheries, but eventually disrupt most food chains, dooming all large animals.

? MASS EXTINCTION: Since the beginning of the “Anthropocene” (the man-made era), the world has lost about 1/4 of all living plant and animal species, with the total rapidly moving toward 1/2.

? SOCIAL COLLAPSE: Social institutions, including churches, find they have absolutely no resources and become irrelevant to the remaining people.

? EAST ANTARCTICA: The last glaciated region rapidly melts, bringing sea level to about 260′ (80 m) above the current level.

? FINAL DIASPORA: The equatorial regions become completely uninhabitable, and humanity is forced to migrate as far north or south as they can go, with little or no interaction between the 7 or 8 regions.


2031 2032 2033 2034 2035

? CULTURAL COLLAPSE: The human values and traditions that have come down to us from the Egyptians, Greeks, Chinese, Amerinds, and other cultures are forgotten, save for those few that still aid survival on the tribal level.


2036 2037 2038 2039 2040

? PLANETARY HEALING: The Earth begins the long, slow healing process of bringing all systems back into balance, working with a greatly-reduced palette of small plants and animals.

Comments 111

  • The general trends are fairly obvious. Trying to predict specific future events and dates is pretty much a guessing game. Just look at how well we do or don’t in other areas. Our sponsor’s Mud Hut project got derailed for that reason.

    But that won’t stop us.

  • JZ,
    I assume you market your website in some form or another to your target audience to draw readers. So, while I’m all about open and honest communications with my children, of which I have three young ones, my initial reaction to your effort is why dump a hypothetical NTHE scenario on the heads of young people? It will become plainly obvious in due time. Why create additional anticipatory terror and sadness? I know that my 85 year old grandfather is going to die soon but I don’t create a website, specifically marketed to him, that contains a laundry list of all the horrible things that will happen to him as he declines.
    * Teeth will fall out and eating solid foods will be impossible
    * Lots of urinating and defecating in your pants
    * Sitting in those soiled pants for as long as it takes for outside help to arrive, notice, and change you

    Nature Bats Last is a group of (mostly old) adults who visit this site voluntarily and are in no way encouraged to come. Your site, being “multi-purpose” does not employee the same approach. Children may be drawn to your site for pleasant purposes only to be stabbed in the heart by the worst possible message that could be delivered.

    So I’m afraid my editorial contribution to your work is don’t do it.

  • Your motives are commendable, but I don’t understand why you are proceeding by writing science “fiction.”

    Much simple & basic factual science is considered fiction by many adult innocents, as we know full well.

    The simple truth & “real life” is more than adequate & powerfully instructive w/o qualification.
    Another “mistake” is assuming that you can reach young people most effectively through print – not imagery, photos, film, & video.

    You are surely behind the times on this simple point, & your manipulative masters know it full well.

    Much of what we are up against is outright institutionalized lying by “sophisticated” liars – lying & deceiving us on a massive scale.

    We are in “The Century of the Self” – no doubt about it

    The painful truth is that a tiny few slick & twisted but powerful propagandists are rather easily manipulating the innocent masses with “fictions” that pass as “truth.”

    Many prestigious & credentialed teaching literary academics routinely teach flabby relativism in universities – “there isn’t any truth,” & one person’s version of the truth is as good as any other version.

    Indeed, the most important question; “Is it true?” has been so denigrated that young people as well as adults don’t dare ask it.
    James Blalock’s “CHASING ICE” is faultlessly true.

    Any youngster or interested adult can SEE & understand its simple message, IF their brains have not been distorted by institutionalized conscious lying, deception, & deceit by paid propagandists in the service of the rich & powerful.

    The Koch bros know full well what they are doing.

    World famous producer/director, Steven Spielberg, is the shining epitome of the “fiction as truth game” played out as “entertainment” for mass consumption.

    Innocent people pay their hard earned money to see Spielberg’s fraudulent films & be fooled, bamboozled, & brain washed.

    Steven Spielberg’s completely fraudulent “fictional” films are now considered “true history.”

    Spielberg’s recent award winning film, Schindler’s List, is complete fiction & maliciously false – a veritable “Spiel” – a pure propaganda piece.

    Billionaire Spielberg is marketed as a creative film genius, but he is a clearly a consummate lying propagandist, but only IF people are trained to seek the truth behind his regularly orchestrated & disseminated fraud.

    Super Spielberg IS successfully distorting the brains of billions of innocent people, including defenseless innocent children.

    Opposing such institutionalized lying & bamboozling borders on imposible.

    Questioning the veracity of Spielberg’s fraudulent history is the CRIMINAL offense of “Holocaust Denial” in Germany, Austria, France, Belgium, Poland, Canada, etc.

    Laws against Holocaust denial – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Spielman’s most farcical fraudulent fiction presented as a truthful “documentary” is here; Spielberg’s Hoax – The Last Days of The Big Lie.

    Although a blatant big lie itself, The Last Days won “BEST documentary.”

    Pathological liar & smilingly moronic “survivor,” Irene Zisblatt, is presented by Spielberg as a suffering truth teller.

    And Irene’s preposterous lying becomes “real history.”

    The lying bastards know how to bamboozle, & they are succeeding with a vengeance.

    Orwell told us, & now we are living it.

    Lying to ourselves & each other is part of why we will soon be dying very gruesome deaths.

    Why are so many good people so afraid to tell the truth?

  • I sort of second Joe D on this. Young ones deserve our love in this situation, more than ever. But hard facts and truths are for adults that actively seek them, or so is my opinion more and more.

    A few days ago, Kirk Hamilton, first to comment on an essay by Carolyn Baker, wrote :

    “As for me, one way I enhance my time in the present is by never mentioning NTE unless the person I’m with brings the subject up. If they are ready to hear it, they’ll let you know. If they’re not ready, bringing the subject up will only be depressing.

    Especially with my family. I concentrate on being positive, happy and in the moment. Thereby facilitating a happy outlook in those I love for the little time we have left.

    There will be plenty of time for wailing and gnashing of teeth later.”

    This comment stuck with me, because I’m in the same bind as everyone else, I could imagine, i.e. having loved ones whom I might want to help somehow by telling them a bit — because I’m being helped by Guy’s spreading the facts and evidence. Watching Guy again, in Hamburg I think (in a video of great (German?!) quality), saying that he would want to know about the comet about to hit us. And repeatedly I heard him say that what is doing is because he feels people should know.

    So this stuck to me. But young ones? Young adults? The burden is on us, to learn to love more, better, to support better. And to still retain an ability to celebrate. If we lose that ability to celebrate, we certainly don’t have anything to teach/preach. But this is just me, and these are important questions.

    In any case, there’s another problem, not only you bring NTHE doom to kids that are not ready for that (what support can we give them, when it takes us years to make peace with this, even with all the support we draw from our experience, our meditation, and — as mentioned by Joe D — from our old(er) age.) The other problem is that you would have to counterbalance the doom you bring to young adults by bringing some “hopium” as well, by extending your hypothetical calendar in a way that makes me wonder. What is certain at this stage is what is behind. And reading your calendar I agreed with the first part. When we hit Fukushima, which is a continuing thing, things start falling apart. Fukushima is not a date on a calendar, it is every subsequent date as well. But still, let’s leave that aside. But later on, things just get too blurry right from the present. I guess, as someone said, “If you want to write the history of humanity, you should do it now, because there will be no one to read it if you wait.”

    I read science fiction. I’m actually reading a young-adult novel by Nancy Kress, titles Flash Point. She is excellent, and I enjoy it. There’s collapse in her plot. Nancy Kress also published excellent short story collections lately, one of which it titled “Fountain of Age and other stories” or something like that. Those are great science fiction stories for adult. Just thought I could mention it.

    Best of luck. Whoever is in contact with young ones has a responsibility, in my opinion, which is different now.

    Best of luck.

  • I should have said, about Guy:

    he is doing what he is doing because he feels that people have a right to know.

    This is more accurate. This is what I think he says. Not that people should know.

  • Joe D, your assumption about the audience here is unmatched by the data. You assume the audience is old. Actually, it’s dominated by those between the ages of 17 and 35 years.

  • Some very alarming well presented info just posted at Scribbler.

    When the Pollyanna of political salvation, Robert Scribbler, admits;

    “This risk is particularly relevant when we consider that sea ice extent measures were at record low values throughout about half of March and for brief periods during early April.

    Currently, sea ice extent is at its second lowest level on record.
    A value that is now rapidly plunging toward the record low line set in 2006.

    Any continuation of the current rate of decline would bring the extent measure into new record low territory over the next few days.”

    Scribbler’s last sentence is in bold face, but it didn’t copy bold face is Scribbler’s

    You know that we are in big trouble & SOON.

    Methane release is sure to follow.

    at Robert Scribbler; rapidly melting Arctic Sea Ice

  • That’s surprising, Guy. I know the regulars over at Doomstead Diner are self-admittedly north of the half way mark. Maybe it’s just your pithy repartee and disarming good looks that bring in the “yutes” (as pronounced by Joe Pesci in My Cousin Vinny).

    All kidding aside though, if my naturally disturbed teenager were sent farther off the edge by an ill-considered presentation of the most grim and dire future, I would seek to deliver a few choice unkind words to the adult who unilaterally decided to share “honestly” with my child. (If that sounds like a veiled threat then I have not communicated clearly; it wasn’t meant to be veiled.)

    We’re all entitled to share whatever message we please with any adults who care to know, but have some sense when it comes to young people.

  • Simply addressing the timeline you’ve outlined, where would you put world wide nuclear reactor meltdowns and the resultant planetary radioactivity? They should be included, and would profoundly affect everything that follows on your list, re the ‘planetary healing’ that will begin in 2036. How I wish that was true.

    Or am I missing something?

  • J.Z. (and everyone else interested):

    What if we only had three DAYS?

    Near miss with gigantic asteroid coming this Thursday

    The Express reports that a colossal one mile wide asteroid will brush past the Earth this Thursday, with a closest approach of 3 million kilometres – far too close for comfort, with a rock that big.

    According to The Express:

    The gigantic missile thought to measure almost a mile across will brush closer than previous monsters which have sparked a global panic.

    Worried astronomers warned 1999 FN53, which is an eighth of the size of Mount Everest, will skim the Earth in THREE DAYS.

    A collision would be nothing short of catastrophic triggering mass destruction, earthquakes and global extinction.

    The monster is more than TEN TIMES bigger than other meteorites currently visible on NASA’s Near Earth Object radar.

    It is also double the size of the gargantuan 2014-YB35 which had astronomers around the world watching the skies in March.

    For Guy, i thank you every day for being and having this site (and for everyone who visits, checks in, comments and links) the name of the song is a nice fit to our Beach of Doom:
    [please listen to]
    A Sanctuary of Sorts

  • J.Z.,

    A timeline is “1, a linear representation of important events in the order in which they occurred, 2. a schedule; timetable.” (Dictionary).

    There are different types of timelines to express characteristics of radically different sequences of events.

    I think a murder mystery is a better framework than a science fiction.

    It is called “the biggest story in the world” by a large, worldwide circulation newspaper.

    It is a murder-suicde on a scale never before done (Oil-Qaeda & MOMCOM Conspire To Commit Depraved-Heart Murder).

    It needs a murder-suicide (by poisoning) timeline IMO.

    Anyway, hope that helps.

  • Our problem is how to transform bad, ugly, painful stuff into good, happy, radiant stuff. Alchemy. Remember, the lead into gold version is only a metaphor for the really difficult task of transforming the tremendously resistant stuff of our own minds. A special form of fire is needed to melt the hardness of our hearts…

  • mike k Says:
    May 12th, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    Our problem is how to transform bad, ugly, painful stuff into good, happy, radiant stuff. Alchemy.
    Sounds like a honey pot blog eh?

    Any subject can be the core of a “honey pot blog” (Is Your Blog A Honey Pot Blog?).

    Also see (Revealed: Air Force ordered software to manage army of fake virtual people).

    If we don’t call a spade a spade, a heart a heart, a club a club, and a diamond a diamond there is a reason.

  • I believe young people need to be told the following, which will be far more useful to them than attempts to predict the future for them:

    Propaganda and lies predominate in western-style consumer societies.

    Almost all politicians are serial liars: therefore do not believe a word any of them says. In fact, if a politicians says something the very opposite is likely to be true.

    The ‘history’ taught in schools is not the true history nations or of the world, and is mostly a narrative geared to mind control.

    The mainstream media should be avoided, since the mainstream media are propagandists and play an important role in keeping vital matters out of sight and out of mind whilst filling the readers/viewers/listeners minds with time-wasting distractions. And they profit out of doing so.

    The love of money is the root of much evil, and attempting to acquire a large amount of money quickly leads to spiritual death.

    Present arrangements are a gross aberration in the scheme of things and nothing most people take for granted will be around for much longer.

    Preparing for a completely different way of living -much closer to hunter-gatherer than anything else- will be the best survival strategy and will result in greater happiness, better social interactions and better health.

    Lots of other stuff along the same lines.

  • totally agree with Tom:
    For Guy, i thank you every day for being and having this site (and for everyone who visits, checks in, comments and links).

  • Humanity instead of space- time travel embarked on light- speed time travel in the climate- time continuum.
    Adding all industrial pollution (radioactive fissile fuels and spent fuels, plastic, chemical pollution etc) and biosphere degradataion, this is an era the Earth has never ever seen before. And unfolding at a never ever seen fast- pace.
    We may end up as our sister planet, Venus.
    Who knows if the same hadn’t happened there some 10 million years ago…

  • @ mike k Says:
    May 12th, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    … A special form of fire is needed to melt the hardness of our hearts…

    Perhaps the kind of “fire” generated by the detonations of hundreds (thousands?) of thermo-nuclear warheads?

  • Here is the correct location of Robert Scribbler’s alarming recent article about dramatically thinning Arctic Sea ice & extreme high Arctic temps.

  • Exploding methane fire balls in the Arctic would surely melt hard hearts, cold-cold-hearts, hard hats, drilling rigs, both advanced & retarded spiritual pilgrims, soft hineys, commie preverts, capitalist pigs, Sergeant Preston, & the last pomegranate popsicle – probably.

  • Dredd – You are definitely on the side of the majority if you feel we can’t change for the better. The odds are certainly heavily against a collective change of minds and hearts to such an extent as to prolong our planetary residence. But you never know – some individuals do change a lot. Most of the folks who share here have woken up to the disaster we are creating. Besides, thinking in this direction is a way to not get too bumbed out while waiting for the big one. Spending the rest of my time trying to convince people that there is no hope just doesn’t appeal to me as a program for living. Even if a life that includes hope does not avert NTE, it might make the days go better till the end…

    Colin – We got where we are now by playing with fire a long time ago. Dangerous stuff. Nuclear fire is especially deadly. The special form of fire I had in mind was the warm, gentle power of real love.
    Something with only positive side effects.

  • A huge quake just hit Fukishima. Honshu Japan. Minutes ago. Live monitor on my desk. Call happening now between State Dept & Prime Minister Abe. has a public version where you can see some of the data without full clearance. Also see USGS

  • In 10 years, fighting for food and water will be all that matters in arid and once tropical countries. Equatorial sacrifice zones will initiate a massive northern migration causing racial wars. Isolated elites will take drastic action. Radiation sickness will increase and spread from nuclear power outages and likely planetary magnetic pole flip. Radiation dangers and oxygen depletion will lead to sub-surface construction as elites abandon the poisoned, harsh surface of earth. The internet as we now know it and 20 years worth of electronic social media will all be gone as exotic mineral shortages kick in. People will burn books to keep warm. We will forget who we think we are as hunter-gathering takes on grotesque new meaning. Little pink faeries will dance in the dreams of fewer and fewer elite little girls.

  • If you are completely sick, and well outside the boundaries of help, you can always peruse this little gem:

  • 2015 – Pope says to 1,025,585,000 Catholics:

    We must do what we can so that everyone has something to eat, but we must also remind the powerful of the Earth that God will call them to judgment one day and there it will be revealed if they really tried to provide food for Him in every person and if they did what they could to preserve the environment so that it could produce this food.”:

    (Pope says environmental sinners will face God’s judgment for world hunger).

    “Thou shalt not murder” is the religious version of criminal law against depraved-heart murder.

    Clean that up!

  • Here is an essay that every teeny-boper should read. Preferably right after being forced to chant the pledge of allegiance.

    America as Dangerous Flailing Beast

    “Despite pretty talk about “democracy” and “human rights,” U.S. leaders have become the world’s chief purveyors of chaos and death – from Vietnam through Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine and many other unfortunate nations, a dangerous dilemma addressed by John Chuckman.”

  • Thanks, Wren. I missed that one. I’m going to tentatively put it right after POLITICAL COLLAPSE in the 2026-2030 time frame:

    ? NUCLEAR WASTE: With governments collapsing, stockpiles of nuclear materials, especially spent reactor cores, become uncontained and begin to spread their radioactive poison by wind and water.

  • “That’s surprising, Guy. I know the regulars over at Doomstead Diner are self-admittedly north of the half way mark. Maybe it’s just your pithy repartee and disarming good looks that bring in the “yutes” (as pronounced by Joe Pesci in My Cousin Vinny).”-JD

    Interesting question JD.

    I’m putting together an Extinction Survey. I’ll add some Optional Demographic Information to see if we can get a little better idea of Demographics on the Doomers.


  • For all you old rockers out there:

    Quick Silver Messenger – “Gypsy Lights”

    Where in the world is the corium at Fukushima?
    News blackout reckon.

    And this one goes out to Dmitri with his Nixonian reference.

    Van Morrison – Wavelength

  • I don’t necessarily want to include climate as the cause or even marginally a cause of civil unrest. This can lead to shaky conceptualization once “civil unrest” caused by drought or catastrophic weather gets conflated with civil insurgencies like the Maoists internal to India or the civic uprisings in Baltimore or Ferguson. Those “un-rests” have very tangible political, social and economic systemic problematic causes. Once “unrest” becomes generalized, the specific meaning may be lost along with realistic possible solutions. I’m just saying there is a big difference between mother nature withholding your access to bread and water, and Mr. Charlie actively conniving to swindle you out of it.

    And I don’t think financial collapse will happen. I think it has happened and is happening before your eyes. Subtract money supply growth% from published GDP growth% and you can see that the US economy has been in recession (shriking) for years. Sometimes 1%, sometimes 2.5%, but year after year this takes a toll. Problem is that money supply growth (25% total US increase since 2008) masks the phenomenon with inflated numbers that keep up a pretense of the old with little match to the new reality.

    As for MARTIAL LAW AND FASCISM, I live under it now in a third world country that is a laboratory for what is usually to come in the {ahem} {cough} real world of the imperial center. Such authoritarian regimes will be imposed (or begged for) to assist people in starving to death with equanimity, and reducing effective resistance to a minimum.

    For me too, the political collapse is happening now, in real time. And started for me 2 years ago when I heard the Bioneers speech in Louisville. Effectively all political institutions have lost legitimacy. OK. Keep your constitutional republic, or monarchy, or fascist diktatorship, along with their murderous judiciary, and murderous cops, and murderous soldiers to enforce it, but right now those kinds of social models looks like flailing corpses.

    Dangerous times indeed I expect when once integral institutions now appear essential only to maintaining and fostering a species suicide cult.
    I never fully signed off on the many-world theory of quantum physics – in that every possible thing that could happen, happens in multiple branching universes which spontaneously create. My problem is with the energy. Where to generate and apply so much energy to so much matter and material constantly. It’s difficult for me to imagine how this is pulled off, but then, I am woefully stuck down here in the 3rd dimension of experience, and darn if 80% of the universe is “dark” energy and “dark” matter, and yah we don’t have yet a snowball’s clue in hell what that rather fundamental schtick is all about. So who am I to theorize and speculate?

  • And this from the Atlanta Journal this week:

    “Now we have direct evidence of NFL teams being paid with public money to “honor” veterans, which takes an already cynical practice a step further. Not only do the teams want the PR benefits that go along with “honoring” veterans, they accept direct payments from taxpayers in exchange for doing so.

    This is, of course, obscene. The Falcons and other NFL teams are exploiting jingoistic sentiments to get their piece of the action from the military-industrial complex that enriches the few at a steep cost to others. That the Falcons did this in concert with the Department of Defense takes it beyond cynicism into fascism.

    NFL = Pimps = profits = fascism Same old, same old.

  • Let me tell you, I have access to young persons. My objective is not to mince words with them. And the chips will fall where they will fall, since they are going to fall anyway despite anyone’s hurt feelings or pathologies getting triggered by it.

    Honestly, I see the current situation as little more than total betrayal and absolute treason of the young. It’s like these kids are tied down out back and a pack of demented super-alienated lunatic villagers, in complete perversion of healthy, sane social relationships, are turning them all into a bloody mess. And the best, easiest “rational” choice for most members of such a functionally dysfunctional family is to just shut up and pretend it’s not happening.

    Further, once the young generation get the full picture, AND THEY WILL, I am sure that the fallout to those who’d rather delay this generational landing of the reality zeppelin will not be compa compa sympatico. I am not parsing hairs in anyone’s interest of peaceful social relations. Those terms were jettisoned long ago when capitalism and it’s constituents declared open, vicious total war on the future for any and all coming generations.

  • J.Z. – an interesting venture. How to talk (write-show pictures, et al) about “the issue” is a foggy issue itself. Guy is a teacher. I am a teacher (and was an Assistant Prof. the year Guy was born – also from Idaho). We typically spend our time trying to convey “important information” to people younger than ourselves as well as to our contemporaries and elders. I sat in on a presentation by Guy to middle/high school students and a few of their regular teachers and maybe a parent or two. The kids (students) handled it all very well and asked a cogent question or two for clarification. Nobody freaked out–although a faculty sponsor of the event afterward had a rather intense talk with Guy; content of same unknown to me. As an activist for many years I’ve tried the writing/showing route, even posting one essay on NBL.
    What future, starting tomorrow morning, we have, it is said (J.Hansen – Storms of My Grand Children) to be our moral/ethical concern for the young. I have both grandchildren and great grand children… To launch a blog for that younger cohort, just where does one draw the line about what to lay out (much, some, all or none of what we find on the Climate Summary and Update?) ; what is the age line to be drawn? Old enough to smoke? High School graduation?
    I do think few have tried to frame the “whole story”, the dots connected and the resulting picture and probabilities. Your skeletal list of timeline events is intended to do that? A bit more muscle and flesh to go with the skeleton –maybe? I’ve been working on an “essay” I call ‘The Layman’s Dilemma’. Glad to share it with you for reciprocal discussion; let me know.
    – and Greetings, Guy. – Mel

  • BTW Batters, I am taking Suggestions for Questions to drop on the Extinction Survey, as well as Choices for Multiple Choice responses.

    The 3 Main Questions currently on the Survey are:

    Homo Saps will go Extinct in:
    [choice of timelines]
    [text area for explanation of choice]

    The Proximal Cause of Human Extinction will be:
    [choice of possible causation]
    [text area for explanation of causation]

    Near Term Human Extinction can still be avoided if:
    [choice of possible ways to avoid NTHE]
    [text area to explain the choice]

    In the last one, one of the Choices is already that NTHE cannot be avoided, so you don’t need to suggest that.

    I added some Demographics to the Survey now also, based on JDs post here. These Fields are Optional to fill in. Age, Location by Continent and Religion (which includes Atheism as a choice)

    I’m intending on publishing the Survey on Sunday, so if you have anything you think would be good to add to it, you need to get it to me before then.

    You can use the Contact Form on the Diner Blog for this purpose if you don’t know my email addy.


  • Wester.

    ‘Honestly, I see the current situation as little more than total betrayal and absolute treason of the young…..just shut up and pretend it’s not happening.

    Further, once the young generation get the full picture, AND THEY WILL, I am sure that the fallout to those who’d rather delay this generational landing of the reality zeppelin will not be compa compa sympatico. I am not parsing hairs in anyone’s interest of peaceful social relations. Those terms were jettisoned long ago when capitalism and it’s constituents declared open, vicious total war on the future for any and all coming generations.’

    Well said. Glad you used the word betrayal. I totally agree.

    I have said this before and will probably say it again: our so-called leaders are worse than the Nazis who ran the death camps because, whereas the Nazis who ran the death camps generally loved their own children and did their utmost to protect them, the maniacs in control of most western societies have no love for their own children and are destroying their children’s futures at the fastest rate they can manage.

  • Wester Says:
    May 12th, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    “And I don’t think financial collapse will happen. I think it has happened and is happening before your eyes. Subtract money supply growth% from published GDP growth% and you can see that the US economy has been in recession (shriking) for years. Sometimes 1%, sometimes 2.5%, but year after year this takes a toll. Problem is that money supply growth (25% total US increase since 2008) masks the phenomenon with inflated numbers that keep up a pretense of the old with little match to the new reality.”

    True that, but does it matter if no one in the head-buried-in-smart-phone-or-kaptop majority gets a text that this is going on?:-) Kidding aside, if people don’t live in the real world, they will care little about real world events.

  • THANK YOU SABINE – Most people who meet me for the first time would think of me as having a positive nature. Here, on this blog, we all voice things that we might not talk about in our “real” lives where people’s feelings are easily bruised. And I would not want to do that. There’s enough hurt in the world without me consciously contributing to it.

    My father wants me to register to run for his seat in congress 2016. I have corporate backing connected to huge contracts here at the Dept of Energy. The political action super pac behind John McCain is making an offer I should refuse. Oddly even Sir Evelyn Rothschild agrees it is time for the Elite to move forward.

    I will adhere to the 10 rules carved in granite on the Georgia Guide stones.

    I will make the United Nations AGENDA 21 top priority for a nuclear free New World Order. Thank you for your consideration.

    AGENDA 21 & Georgia Guide Stones (Thanks Ted Turner for those 10 rules carved in several languages at the large granite monument) for the near future with limited population. If I run on that platform it will be the most controversial campaign in US history. I will most likely get assassinated but it will bring a circus of media attention attention to others being groomed to run for the exact same agenda.

    I will refer to Dr. McPherson & Paul Beckwith often in my speeches. Polls reveal that young voter do want the controlled De-comissioning of Industrial Empire. Even the most Elite are perfectly aware that a world with less than a billion people living in excellent “green” conditions must happen rather than allow the chaos of destruction. Return the lands to nature & small organic agriculture zones. All my best for the ultimate rapid change starting in 2017. AGENDA 21

  • Young adults are old enough to handle this stuff. They’re not 10-yr olds. They are beginning careers, starting families, and if they are not absorbed by the system, increasingly moving in with their parents! Whatever they are doing, they could use some advice and it’s always up to them to take what they want and leave the rest, they are adults after all, and smart in ways people just 10 years older than them aren’t. What if a young adult is being indecisive about having children and learning about abrupt climate change, etc. could help with their decision to not have kids? What if a young adult is considering volunteering at a dead-end non-profit that’s part of the non-profit industrial complex and a warning from someone could keep them from going down the wrong road and ending up disillusioned?

    Why would we want to shield them from information that we come across and believe to be true. But that’s the more difficult issue – what do we believe in? Are we going to continue spreading misinformation and propaganda, unwittingly and unintentionally, or are we going to talk about general fact-finding principles that might help them find out what they need to find out by themselves? Teach them how to fish, rather than spoon-feed them? There’s an awful lot of crap out there, tomes and tomes filling up libraries, and some of the most well-read men are the biggest fools. The young adult faces hurdle after hurdle as they wade through all the crap our misinformed generation and a few more that came before us produced. Perhaps we did that with all good intentions, but we were so off the mark. I don’t envy today’s young adult. They have a tough road ahead. After all, by some accounts, they are either the last or last but one generation to be born. Born into the late stage cancer that their species has become. What do they have to look forward to? What do the last living members of a species gone amok have to look forward to? More precisely, a culture gone amok?

    It’s probably a good idea to begin by saying things don’t look very good. Their ancestors have let them down. And if they are not careful, they will let their children down as well. Isn’t it our responsibility to tell them about all the ways we let them down? How we participated in the destruction and continue to? We don’t have to plead guilty for all the inter-generational crimes we’ve committed against them. But then again, we might want to.

    My “letter to the young adult” would be along the lines of what kevin moore and Wester said above. Warn them of the system they’d be dealing with, a murderous rapacious set of institutions that devour the planet, the very foundation of life that their ancient ancestors have long understood at a whole different level and preserved for us to thrive in. But we haven’t kept up our end of the bargain. Instead of leaving the planet better than we found it, we went ahead and destroyed it some more. The young adult needs to know this. They need to know about the precautionary principle that the last several generations have tossed by the wayside. They have a lot to unlearn first though.

    Not yet a young adult, this 11-yr old kid knows what most adults don’t –

  • kids can handle bad news way-y-y better than oldies but,
    kids can do denial better than oldies.
    that’s why nothing will get done in time.

  • During the Katrina crisis, the only aide neighboring states had to send were SWAT teams.

  • news satire from The Borowitz Report

    Scientists: Earth Endangered by New Strain of Fact-Resistant Humans

    Scientists have discovered a powerful new strain of fact-resistant humans who are threatening the ability of Earth to sustain life, a sobering new study reports.

    The research, conducted by the University of Minnesota, identifies a virulent strain of humans who are virtually immune to any form of verifiable knowledge, leaving scientists at a loss as to how to combat them.

    “These humans appear to have all the faculties necessary to receive and process information,” Davis Logsdon, one of the scientists who contributed to the study, said. “And yet, somehow, they have developed defenses that, for all intents and purposes, have rendered those faculties totally inactive.”

    More worryingly, Logsdon said, “As facts have multiplied, their defenses against those facts have only grown more powerful.”

    While scientists have no clear understanding of the mechanisms that prevent the fact-resistant humans from absorbing data, they theorize that the strain may have developed the ability to intercept and discard information en route from the auditory nerve to the brain. “The normal functions of human consciousness have been completely nullified,” Logsdon said.

    While reaffirming the gloomy assessments of the study, Logsdon held out hope that the threat of fact-resistant humans could be mitigated in the future. “Our research is very preliminary, but it’s possible that they will become more receptive to facts once they are in an environment without food, water, or oxygen,” he said.

  • Anyone on a pedestal, or shall I say an imagined celebrity pedestal, CHEATS at some point and denies themselves any semblance of intestinal fortitude. Truth is poison to these people. Frank DeFord, a sports writer does a fine job with this 3.00 minute commentary.

    BTW, NPR in this area (The South of all places) is somehow getting it, from time to time??????

  • ooops. I just realized that good old NPR did some sneaky editing of the original.

    This is what they left out of the written presentation of DeFord’s comment.

    “Even that venerable gentleman, Don Shula, has called him “Beli-cheat.”


    “At least the guys who took steroids were man enough to stick the needles in themselves.”

  • Yahoo news is outright brain damage.

    In a nutshell; Yuppie golfers reduce their water “footprint” & “seriously” adapt to CA drought with brilliance & unbridled style.–finance.html


    As tight & deep an observation ever written.

    George Ade – 1899


    One Day a Caddy sat in the Long Grass near the Ninth Hole and wondered if he had a Soul. His Number was 27, and he almost had forgotten his Real Name.

    As he sat and Meditated, two Players passed him. They were going the Long Round, and the Frenzy was upon them.

    They followed the Gutta Percha Balls with the intent swiftness of trained Bird Dogs, and each talked feverishly of Brassy Lies, and getting past the Bunker, and Lofting to the Green, and Slicing into the Bramble—each telling his own Game to the Ambient Air, and ignoring what the other Fellow had to say.

    As they did the St. Andrews Full Swing for eighty Yards apiece and then Followed Through with the usual Explanations of how it Happened, the Caddy looked at them and Reflected that they were much inferior to his Father.

    His Father was too Serious a Man to get out in Mardi Gras Clothes and hammer a Ball from one Red Flag to another.

    His Father worked in a Lumber Yard.

    He was an Earnest Citizen, who seldom Smiled, and he knew all about the Silver Question and how J. Pierpont Morgan done up a Free People on the Bond Issue.

    The Caddy wondered why it was that his Father, a really Great Man, had to shove Lumber all day and could seldom get one Dollar to rub against another, while these superficial Johnnies who played Golf all the Time had Money to Throw at the Birds. The more he Thought the more his Head ached.

    Moral: Don’t try to Account for Anything.

  • Why would anyone in their right minds be having kids at all?

  • Satish, if you take a look at JZ’s website, you will notice that he is NOT targeting people “beginning careers and starting families” as you claim above but rather CHILDREN between 8 and 18; (I have copied text directly from the site and pasted it below). So your reply, while reasonable in theory, is totally irrelevant to this particular case. I continue to argue that telling 8, 9 and 10 year old children that everything they know and love is about to die a tragic and painful death is not only immoral but it should be illegal.

    “The NEBADOR books are used by school and home-school teachers all over the USA, especially with gifted kids 8-12 and reluctant readers 12-18.”

  • J.Z. Colby: I think the young people are becoming more and more aware of what is going on; however, I also think that their lives, especially those too young yet to work, are constrained, and will be constrained by the socio-economic milieu in which they find themselves – often their immediate community and family. Their experience will perhaps not yet have the same global perspective that many of us here on this site maintain. The following may point toward what their realizations and, hopefully perhaps, their aspirations may lead them to (“for things fall apart”):

    HUBRIS (a series of questions)

    How many civilizations will rise n fall, their leaders crying “This is the way, I am the truth!” while their soldiers butcher the innocents and their priests chain the dreamers – break them on the wheel or the rack, roast them, excommunicate them, grind them down?

    How many stones will hard labour and sweat raise up as temples of hubris only to fall in tangled heaps in earthquake, flood, famine & pestilence? Statues of lying gods falling in flames.

    How many monoliths, obelisks, cyclopean portraits of kings and gods will stare mutely back at us from the leafy jungle, we who no longer perceive them as king emperors of their chosen civilizations?
    And the sweat-drenched, whip-lashed limbs that raised them now lie in the dust as mute witnesses to the tyranny of lies.

    In desert and jungle, giant stones, the punctuation marks of slavery, the stone phrases of domination, leer through the centuries repeating the same old question: When, humanity, will you awaken? When will you cast off the yoke of these usurpers and tyrants who hunt your children for sport, rape your women for pleasure and steal your food, your wealth, your dreams, while shoving down your throat a counterfeit reality of their devising sustained by your acquiescence?

    How many ruined palaces must the dust and creepers be cleared from? How many lost ruined cities must be discovered beneath the waves, before we recognize how many times they have given us a receipt for deceit, corralling us into cities and tightening the collars around our necks?

    Their warriors do their bidding–illusory justifications of race and religion. They cut out our hearts on the temple steps and would have us believe in their divinity and sacrament. They torture us in dank cells and tell us our security depends on it. They feed us poison and call it manna, tell us lies and call it truth, send us to war and call it valour, steal our riches and call it fiscal austerity. And chuckle endlessly all the way to the banks.

    Moloch, Satan, gods of a thousand faces and names, lying in a thousand languages, pouring salt upon our wounds while they gnaw the flesh from our bones, strip the gems from our earth, slaughter the innocents, butcher the trees and myriad creatures, all the while telling us it is all for our own good, for a better life, a better wife, a sexier body, a secure retirement.

    And our creativity and dignity choke in the dust or turn to cancer in the places where our untapped potential gnaws at our soul.
    We were born in infinity to dance with creativity, in the freedom of a higher way. Why do we snuffle for fungi in the darkness of the earth when we could soar with the eagles amongst the clouds of peace?

    Race of slaves bred to mediocrity, lied to from the beginning of time by a thousand demi-gods for whom power is the drug, lucre the blood of life, and sex the wedge that drives the slave-warriors into the blood-drenched sty.

    Stop listening to the lie.

    Stop sending your sons to die. Stop wallowing in the fiscal sty.

    Ancient stones cry out for justice, ancient bloodstains cry out from the ground. Every ruined fortress and crumbling city betrays the hubris of the whip-wielding fist, the ruler on the throne, the liar who calls the shots.

    Oh, my people, awaken!
    Cast off the chains that choke your children. Mothers, sons, wives, daughters, fathers, husbands, husband this earth of ours. Do not go down the dark staircase they are driving you toward. Reclaim your truth, your freedom to choose.

    Band of brothers, circle of sisters, return to the place where the stars shine upon the healing waters. Return their receipt of lies and charge the new vision with your power.

    The hour is upon us.
    Their lies lie exposed–a thousand civilizations have risen and fallen and the oppressors still try to shepherd us on to worship at altars of their devising.
    Their wings are broken; they cannot fly.

    Their truth is war, rape and poison…

    …ours is an orchard with a river running through. (2013)

  • I published this letter at Scribbler, but not here because I was banned at the time.

    Jan. 14, 2015; To my beautiful 29 yr old daughter, her husband, & their two ebullient smiling children, aged 3 & 5.

    Here is a recent definitive article about climate change going bonkers by prestigious environment writer, Dahr Jamail.

    Dahr Jamail is both an impeccably honest man & a clear communicator.

    I have studying global heating since 2005, & there is nothing in Jamail’s piece that is not on point & thoroughly evidenced by sound scientific research.

    I have read all of the scientific studies backing up Jamail’s piece.

    The science is all too clear & very rudimentary.

    The only question is how soon will the game be played out right IN FRONT OF US ALL.


    It can only accelerate more & more.

    The last 4 years have astonished all scientific observers.

    This year will tell us what will happen to us, but you can’t depend on main stream media.

    I informed many of my friends about this ghastly phenomenon as early as 2008 after full grasping Shakhova’s early predictions.

    Her gruesome predictions have been significantly confirmed.

    Science is prediction, experimental test, & possible confirmation of the predictions.

    If you look at the comments under Natalia Shakhova’s prescient Youtube video from 2012, “methane hydrates”; you will see several of my comments for the last 2 years.

    Again, our only defense is to make the most of every day; & live it fully.

    Geo-engineering will not save us from heat death.

    It is hardest for you & Elijah because of tiny Brandon & Jaydn.

    Be thankful that you got to the truth sooner than later.

    It will get crazier & crazier.

    Love is all that is left … really.

    Dahr Jamail; The Methane Monster Roars

  • Satish Musunuru Says:
    May 13th, 2015 at 2:21 am

    “Young adults are old enough to handle this stuff. They’re not 10-yr olds. They are beginning careers, starting families, and if they are not absorbed by the system, increasingly moving in with their parents! Whatever they are doing, they could use some advice and it’s always up to them to take what they want and leave the rest, they are adults after all, and smart in ways people just 10 years older than them aren’t. What if a young adult is being indecisive about having children and learning about abrupt climate change, etc. could help with their decision to not have kids? What if a young adult is considering volunteering at a dead-end non-profit that’s part of the non-profit industrial complex and a warning from someone could keep them from going down the wrong road and ending up disillusioned?

    Why would we want to shield them from information that we come across and believe to be true. But that’s the more difficult issue – what do we believe in? Are we going to continue spreading misinformation and propaganda, unwittingly and unintentionally, or are we going to talk about general fact-finding principles that might help them find out what they need to find out by themselves? Teach them how to fish, rather than spoon-feed them? There’s an awful lot of crap out there, tomes and tomes filling up libraries, and some of the most well-read men are the biggest fools. The young adult faces hurdle after hurdle as they wade through all the crap our misinformed generation and a few more that came before us produced. Perhaps we did that with all good intentions, but we were so off the mark. I don’t envy today’s young adult. They have a tough road ahead. After all, by some accounts, they are either the last or last but one generation to be born. Born into the late stage cancer that their species has become. What do they have to look forward to? What do the last living members of a species gone amok have to look forward to? More precisely, a culture gone amok?”

    BRAVO!! What’s the point off us learning anything if we’re only gonna share it with people over, what, 30? 40? 65? You hit the nail on the head. Should we LIE to young adults? What would we expect as an outcome except an even faster gallop towards extinction? And this is supposedly for their own good? F&%#!!

  • I think any time any one tries to prognosticate on timelines and gets it wrong just opens up the ideas (and the people behind them) to ridicule. We see this all the time in the media; right-wingers describing how “scientists got it wrong” because one guy makes a prediction that something will happen by such and such date and it doesn’t happen by that date.

    I think it’s great to create a timeline of what’s happened in the past – that is a good way to understand things that happened in history. But to try to mark a timeline for the future is just asking for trouble. We have NO IDEA when a lot of this stuff will happen (some of it, we have a better idea like CO2ppm and temp rises based on that).

    As an example: regarding peak fossil fuels, there is *potentially* a tremendous amount of tar sands oil to be recovered. Whether or not it will be recovered remains to be seen, but the potential is there. Methane hydrates are now being mined by the Japanese. And OPEC has announced that oil prices will remain low for up to another decade. Obviously all of this is bad news for our climate but in terms of peak energy, predicting this has always been somewhat of a crapshoot.

    I also think that young people have to be approached in more subtle ways; for many, they simply won’t understand or resonate with a timeline like this or it will be too depressing for them as others have noted. I would suggest that video and short young adult novels are a far better way to reach young people, along with programs to educate them about science, and programs to get them out in nature and appreciating it, which can lead to a general interest in earth sciences, which can lead to an understanding of what’s happening, on their own terms. Yes, that method is a lot slower and less direct, but I think in the long run, is more effective.

  • ogardener

    Where’s the corium?

    My totally unqualified guess is that at least three several hundred ton(?) chunks have burned down so they are in the direct stream of the apparently large flow of groundwater at that site. The frozen nitrogen ice dam idea kind of a joke ( bunch of clowns )compared to the amount of heat being generated I would guess. Helen Caldicott’s and everybody else’s worst nightmare, not to mention everything else that we know about.

  • Satish –
    Spot on and eloquently stated!
    To avoid the truth, to “shield” the young from what we’ve done is the easy way out for us. We can occupy the headspace of ‘protecting’ them, but in reality it allows us the luxury of hiding behind that one last comforting shred of denial.
    In telling them the truth, we must confront the truth ourselves on an even deeper level than before. Some would say that this step (which includes several of the 12) is necessary for healing and forgiveness to begin. But that assumes a future in which the healing and forgiveness could unfold.

  • I often come here, read the essay, sometimes the comments, with an intent to add a few words. You guys almost always have written what I am planning to write.
    others=—THANKS for saving my aching fingers
    Joe D: Not sure where you are coming from
    RE: Still ticking and kicking, huh?

  • Does anyone here who’s preaching to tell 8 year olds “the truth” actually have an 8 year old? Do you also despoil them of the fantasy of Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny? Do you let them surf the internet to find the truth about rape? About the victims of war?
    Are you so far removed from the fleeting joy that childhood can bring that you’re willing, in fact encouraging, to trample on that innocence as quickly and thoroughly as possible?
    Wren, you believe that shielding your young child from harm, emotional or physical, is being in denial? Seriously?
    MT, you are proud to find yourself in regular agreement with holocaust deniers and racists?
    Some of you have lost your way.

  • Mel, I’d be happy to exchange ideas with you. You can find my email address on the Contact page of my web site. By not putting it here in text, I cut way down on the spam.

    Satish, although I agree with you completely, I have to add from a lifetime spent working with them that young-adulthood can easily start at 10 or 11, sometimes even younger. People grow up at all different rates. Those who are not ready to absorb “real-life” information, naturally won’t. So when asked what a young adult is, I usually answer that it’s roughly the second decade of life, but there are always exception, in both directions, on both the lower and upper ends.

    Joe, since you believes it should be illegal to let young people see unpleasant information, you just might get what you want in the future if you and the other censorship people get their way. Of course, that will probably mean that something YOU want to know will be censored, or that something YOU express will be illegal.

  • Young adults is used here with different frames of reference. Mine is 17 going down, i.e. loosely 12-17. I’m in Canada, where an adult is 18. Past that point, although still young, you’re an adult. Not a young adult – certainly not in my mind. When discussing young adult literature, or YA novels, again in my mind, we mean literature targeted at adolescents. So… not children literature, rather a transition.

    I personally new a young adult, 17, who committed suicide last year. There are plenty of attempted suicides nowadays in young age groups.

    I am fully for informing whoever, at whatever age, of what is coming if the person seems to be seeking info. But I would not proactively use a website target at 12-17 year old readers to inform on stuff that I have a hard time to stomach myself. But if any young person, or old person, comes to me with questions, thinking my opinion my have any value, then I would call a spade a spade. But I would ask questions as well. An exchange. How far do you want me to go would be the implied message. The kind of what if you had a fatal disease. Would you want to know or not. What I appreciate from Guy is his using facts — his famous climate-change survey and update –, so it’s up to everyone to go there and connect the dots. I would probably go that way in a conversation with a young adult (12-17 years old), but first I would consult with the parents and other people responsible for that person. I would not push stuff in a way that would not help the person. I value everyone’s right to know. Not any right of mine of pushing stuff on people. People are not things for me to use for my own purposes or anger. Nor is nature and living beings. It’s the very fact that we’ve treated everything alive as things, including humans, that we are where we are. Religions and ideologies have always wanted to use people in such a way, conditioning them in order to use them. So… however justified I feel to be angry at (fill the blank), this doesn’t give me a right to use anyone as an object. Kids have never be left alone. I’m more with Khalil Gibran’s Prophet that, not literal quote, children are not yours, they come through you. I have no right to think I can fill a child’s mind with my “knowledge.” What do I know? What have I learned of life? What else than pure conditioning from the past, received from people who thought they had every right to condition me with their ideas of a god, or of atheism. Beliefs! Experiment, find for yourselves, and then you might, just might, have something to teach. For now, an outpouring of anger, however justified we may think it is, is just that. The challenge is to do better than that. Everyone knows that once this knowledge becomes global, a f*&* lot of anger, all of it justified, presumably, will come up. But then what. More killing, making our exit as ugly as possible. I believe in beauty, if I have a belief, because I have seen, touched, experimented it, not because such a belief has been passed down to me. A young adult, for me, is a legal child, a 17 year-old max. I’d rather listen to such a person, their concerns, questionings than pushing my “great knowledge and experience” on them.

    But I understand anger. I don’t live in a third-world country, but I have traveled, I’ve been asked my passport by another kind of young adults wielding rifles. Countries where I know that if I lived there, all my non-violent principles would mean nothing, unless I have a gun to back them. I understand that.

  • JZ,it’s simplistic and reductionist to say that preventing a young child from being exposed to the most horrific messages is somehow equivalent to generic censorship. I’ve already stated that I believe any adult can share any information with any other adult who cares to know. The critical element is ADULTHOOD – which under NO CIRCUMSTANCES starts at 10 years old.

  • Joe D Says:
    May 13th, 2015 at 8:40 am

    “So your reply, while reasonable in theory, is totally irrelevant to this particular case.”


  • Joe D,

    It’s nice to have you here again. And you are right.

    It would be absolutely cruel to “trample on children’s innocence”. You’ve chosen your words well there.

    I don’t think we should even discuss this with regard to young children. Yes, they are usually tougher than most parents think but exposing them to knowledge like NTE on purpose is madness, I totally agree. Young adults, that’s a different story.
    An insightful, loving parent will know when and what to tell their children, and you are one of those, I know.

    As you know, I have no children, and I wouldn’t dream of telling a parent what they should tell their children and when.

    I think of young children as I do of all fresh new life: full of the joys of spring (as the English say) curious and utterly enthusiastic. Why would a functional loving parent, or indeed any functional adult, want to spoil that?

    All animal parents protect their young ones from harmful experiences. They do this instinctively and maybe even consciously, just like humans. We know so little about other species.
    Human parents are no different to other animals. Therefore Joe, of course you’re right.

  • We’ve had (now usual) unpredictable weather here. The monsoon season looks to be a month or so early. It’s often colder, wetter and windier than usual for this period. But I noticed how little this deterred the birds. They are hardier than people. It struck me that their exploitation of every usable window of time to forage presents a model for human behavior. Where we might previously have been blaze about the weather, we have to make it lead us now (to work outdoors). This actually seems to be (from a POV of living in the now) BETTER than normal times. Now we must wake up and take notice. How many things in a “collapsing” world are like the weather?

  • @ Joe D
    Firstly: Never said “proud”
    Secondly: Because I agree with some of what someone says, it does not mean I agree with everything they might say.
    Thirdly: I don’t come here and read all of the comments very often—I miss shit.

  • Been checking the new items (marked **)on Guy’s Climate-change summary and update, and been (can find the word… punched) by the a piece of news about Antarctica. A satellite that weighs the mass of ice loss per year. And if only the scientists reporting had slightly changed the verb tenses of what they say — from conditional to present –, you’d have exactly what Guy has been saying for years. The whole article is mind-blowing, and it is easy to read. Straight language.

    “It really has potential to be a runaway problem. It has come to the point that if we continue losing mass in those areas, the loss can generate a self-reinforcing feedback whereby we will be losing more and more ice, ultimately raising sea levels by tens of feet.”

    I like the parts: “has the potential” and “IF WE continue losing mass in those areas, the loss CAN generate a self-reinforcing feedback whereby…” All that “qualifying” of the statements made. As if we could, by a magic trick, reverse that ice loss, of a magnitude that they describe as follows : “If stacked on the island of Manhattan, that amount of ice would be more than a mile high.”

    Now, that is quite a bit of “healing” needed, to refer back to the timeline mentioned in the essay.

    That kind of information is invaluable. And there’s “tons” of it right here. Thank you. I would not have the energy nor the time nor the knowledge to look for it, sort it, understand it (plus bypass the denier sites).

    We know what we are facing.

  • Yearly. An ice loss equivalent to a mile-high of ice on Manhattan. And this is an average from 2003 to 2014. But quite a bit higher in the later part of that period.

    Sorry for the extra post.


  • 1912 – Churchill, believing in Armaggedon, switches greatest navy on Earth
    to petroleum, begins west’s dependence on mid-east oil (The Universal Smedley – 2).

    2025-2029 – ports around the world closing due to SLR (Why Sea Level Rise May Be The Greatest Threat To Civilization).

  • The preceding conversation about “young children” and “young adults” is one that has happened, in a thousand different contexts, many, many times. Where the dividing line is between those we completely protect, and those we “push out of the nest” is probably as touchy a subject as religion and politics. I have probably listened to a hundred parents pour out their fears about their children learning about the “evils” of the world, only to hear them revise those attitudes a week later, sometimes swinging to the opposite extreme. It is certainly a subject for which, in my opinion, we must respect the choices of each person, and in the case of minors, each family. There are families who want their 5-year-olds to hear about everything. There are families who make their 17-year-olds wait until their next birthday. So the issue for me is respect. The implication, in some of the preceding posts, that I would ever “force” or “push” my views on “young children” is someone making stuff up for their own purposes that I can only guess at, and its so baseless that I’m not even going to bother to contradict it.

    As a therapist, what I can attest to is that any young person, with rare exceptions (usually mentally-fragile psychiatric cases), will simply ignore anything they are not ready to hear/read, their eyes will glaze over, they will squirm and look for a toy. In other words, parents don’t have to fret over the issue, it naturally solves itself. When young people are ready and interested in an “adult” topic, they will start to pay attention and ask questions.

    A workshop I gave last year contained a good example. Most of the attendees were young adults, the youngest a very mature 9, the oldest 16. But there was also a 6-year-old boy who had been left in the care of one of the older girls, who had the parent’s permission to drag him along. One of our exercises was practice at cougar defense, as one had been seen near the retreat center. The 9-16s absorbed the needed information, and applied it well in practice (with each other, not a cougar). But the 6-y-o went into “play-mode” and couldn’t do anything but laugh. His unreadiness for that information cause a natural psychic self-defense to kick in.

    Thanks, Dredd, I will add that.

  • What a great project you have going there , J.Zee !!

    Nobody is more routinely harassed by both haphazard and organized deception than ‘newer'( younger) people. The main unease you could run into would probably be temporary bewilderment at the sheer honesty of your exposition.

    People habitually braced for the usual condescending bulls*** from adult persons might need a split-second or two to trust their gut reaction when , all of a sudden, somebody ( out of the blue… ) respects them.

  • We really are floundering in the dark swirling waters of a world using its new found powers to destroy itself, aren’t we? Trying to make sense of the situations facing us is almost impossible under these circumstances. To inform or not to inform? To work for change or disengage? How do you reason with people who cannot see what is staring them in the face? Who or what can you rely on in a world gone mad?

  • Pretty impressive J.Z. One could write an apocalyptic novel with those untimely but predictable events. Perhaps the advent of a nuclear war could trump all of these, as well as the possibility of the abandonment of 500 unattended nuclear reactors, each spewing a radioactive cocktail of deadly particles onto Earthly life. If a full scale nuclear war occurs, all of the other undesirable climatic and social events on your schedule involving human civilizations would become irrelevant.

    As I personally argued many times with most of my brethren, it has never been our number that is our problem as much as what our number must do to stay alive within our individual human enclaves. In the final analysis, our survival obligations may prove to be our ultimate undoing. Wooden clubs which once settled land ownership have morphed into nuclear missiles. One sick general who just lost an argument with his wife/husband, and ticked off by a traffic cop who handed him a ticket for road raging, and having access to the wherewithal of a nuclear arsenal, is all it would take to bring an end to all arguments regarding the human future. If the likes of a Putin and McCain for instance ever have free reign to launch their little toys, we will never have to wait for the untimely events to which you have alluded to do us in.

    Adios amigos….

  • I was a ‘young adult’ in the late 60’s.
    We all hated adults and did not need or want to be told anything by them.
    We did our own research both inner (entheogens) and outer.
    Our conclusions were that no one over 30 could be trusted.
    We were right.
    Unfortunately our coup failed, and here we are today on a dying planet having this discussion.

  • “A WORLD GONE MAD” – You ot that right Mike K.

  • Plus anyway, this knowledge is a meme, and once it reaches critical mass, which will be in the very near future, who does or does not possess this knowledge will not be your decision.

  • “When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.” Jimi Hendrix

    A complete diagnosis and an effective cure, but nobody will take the medicine. Yes Wren, I was an acid dropping, naked in nature, loving, commune living soul on Maui in the 60’s. A light that failed. The Uglies had the power to destroy anyone in their way. They still do. They will exult in their power to destroy in the days to come. Again, only love remains….

  • no, we are not in our happy place
    i tell adults not to have kids
    i would tell kids not to have kids
    it’s wrong
    you don’t need to be smart to know this

    An Aussie Scientist warning about imminent starvation was hired by Rio Tinto mining and has since closed up shop, having been bought out. She was the one I often quote from saying that we have to grow more food over 50 than the last 500.

    these csiro links do not work:

    Monsanto’s first statement is still working

  • J.Z.
    I’ve followed the discussions regarding when and what to tell children, and at what age? As a therapist, how did you ever manage to get around the concept that it seems to be an oxymoron to try and help patients to become healthy in a society which is itself mostly unhealthy.

    How do you shield children from the lies that we are told as soon as we can understand language? How do you teach them to become well in a sick environment? or do we tell them the truth? Isn’t the psychological milieu very unhealthy for psychiatric dispensation? It seems to me that therapists must constantly lie to patients about his /her condition so that they can be manipulated into accepting the society in which they live.

    How do you help someone realize that to be healthy, one must recognize conditions in which they will not be taken to the cleaners on a regular basis? Religious indoctrination for instance plants seeds that are hard to dislodge as the years go by. We teach them about a loving God, but then somewhere in the bible for instance that loving God Himself/Herself, decides to kill all the first-born children of Egyptians? What happens to children’s minds when they are faced with a religion, Islam for instance, which teaches them that they will die if they renounce their faith? How do you treat patients in becoming well adjusted in a society which promotes guns, the stock exchange, foreclosures, or where a mother is trying to survive in the middle of a New York winter after the electric utility has cut off her power, with three children to feed?

    I suppose your job was no better than mine. I was a teacher who had to teach religious nonsense as part of my JOB. You were a therapist who had to use deceit and lie to help your patients adjust to a sick society. When does the concept of fake come in, or does it?

    What do you tell a child, or an adult , when she/he asks why it is that the U.S. for instance insists that nations which do not have nuclear weapons be forbidden to develop them when you yourself have 15,000 of them waiting to destroy humanity? Or do patients ever get that far? Is it sane to ignore those facts, or convenient.

    When I was teaching religious curriculum in my classes, it was always my intention to let the kids know that it was their duty, and their right, to question what I was saying, and they did. I would guess that your parameters must have been similar, or does a therapist allow a patient to question what is being said? or to ponder which part of therapy is false, and which is not?

    The above of course leaves out much more than it addresses, but I’m just a little curious nevertheless….

  • One of the interesting aspects of the collapse of western societies is the inability of many people to read or write, or even understand English.

    One recent NPDC document prepared by a council officer referred to ‘positive benefits’ (as opposed to negative benefits).

    franticly/fervently/frenetically/furiously…all the same really?

    In Orwell’s NewSpeak we only need one word: fast, with prefixes for emphasis and magnitude, giving plus-fast, double-plus-fast ect.

    A slight problem down south at the moment: the capital city is cut off:

    ‘Contractors are working to clear slips cutting Wellington off from the Kapiti Coast, and an emergency centre is being set up as further rain is forecast for drenched beach communities.

    State Highway 1 and the Paekakariki Hill Road are closed as is the rail line north of Plimmerton after a morning deluge.

    “This means there is no easy route into Wellington city from the Kapiti Coast. The best option is to stay home and wait for updates,” Kapiti District Council says.

    NZTA’s Mike Seabourne says contractors are working furiously to get SH1 reopened.

  • Jean, thanks for the question. It is HUGE, as I’m sure you know. There are many therapists who just work on the level of helping clients “adjust” to society, and I suppose I was one of them when much younger. But fortunately it is not too great a leap from there to the idea of self-actualization, becoming what you ARE (with “meant to be” usually added, but I try not to do that as then you have to talk about “meant to be by whom”). And becoming what you ARE implies happiness and contentment and well-being, of course, but it can also be something that is in conflict with society, like many of the prophets of old. As I’m sure you noticed, I am in conflict with those who advocate keeping young people in the dark, and often enough they want to enforce it with a gun (make it illegal). If they succeed, I’ll have to go underground, as I can’t support young people from jail or the grave. I already self-censor my web site on political issues, some of which you touched upon, as plenty of other people are exposing those ills, and they know more about it than me.

    From Dredd, I added:

    ? PORT CITIES ABANDONED: Sea-level rise causes the loss of not only vast amounts of habitat and farmland, but also most cities and our most important transporation infrastructure.

  • Just tell them that its like the final game of musical chairs only for keeps.

  • /The world has now officially given up any pretensions that Japan’s elephantine QE program isn’t underwriting the rally in Japanese stocks. Not only is the Bank of Japan buying ETFs, they’re targeting their purchases to (literally) ensure that stocks can’t fall by stepping in when things look weak at the open. Unfortunately, Kuroda looks set to run up against the extremely inconvenient fact that while, in his lunacy, he can print a theoretically unlimited amount of money, the universe of purchasable ETFs is limited and so eventually, the BoJ will own the entire market.’

    A nice short video at the link.

  • How to search for cached pages
    Google in Chrome:

    Replace “haitchteeteepee://example.seeohem/” with the URL.

    Alternatively, in Google Chrome’s address bar
    cache:haitchteeteepee://the rest of the URL

    Or try this one

  • ‘How do you shield children from the lies that we are told as soon as we can understand language? How do you teach them to become well in a sick environment? or do we tell them the truth? Isn’t the psychological milieu very unhealthy for psychiatric dispensation?’

    besides the fact of facing rather imminent doom, i’ve thought for a long time that society is far too fucked up, sheeple in general too full of shit, too clueless, crazy, and cruel, for this to be a world fit for bringing children into. as for those who are here, they, like us, are in a pickle, only much more so. i also suspect that they, like our generation, are also predominantly prone to dogma abuse and delusion, so trying to educate them in the face of overwhelming cultural delusion is, unfortunately, a very uphill battle. (sigh)

    anyway, i have 2 cents for j.z. colby: re. peak population, until i see a decline in the rate at which population is increasing (it’s been holding steady at around a million every 4 1/2 days now for the past 55 years!), i’m inclined to think that peak population isn’t so imminent. a few years ago i guesstimated it would occur around 2025. now i think it might be later, perhaps 2035. (wishful selfish thinking perhaps?!) at any rate, i suspect once peak is achieved, the collapse to either zero or rather near zero will be dramatic, traumatic, and swift. as to actual dates, a lot depends on shit like the role war shall play. something like a nuclear war would place a very abrupt end to ‘growth’.

    lastly, re. recovering from the legacy of anthropogenic mass extinction, according to the science i’ve read, ecological recovery from past mass extinctions has taken millions of years. it’s not something that occurs overnight by any stretch of the imagination. if so, your speculation that ‘recovery’ may begin soon after industrial civ. is kaput is, at best, meaningless.

    thanks for sharing your timeline. it provided good food for thought/discussion.

  • The New Doomsteaf Diner Library is beginning to take shape. :)

    I am working together with JS from OFW, a Librarian with his own large collections of material to develop the DB.  We will hopefully have our catelog up soon, then gradually update with links to material.

    The Form for Submission works, I have tested it.  However, if you have a large number of submissions to make, it’s better to create an Excel or Open Office file in the same format as the User Submission Table, and I can simply append them to the table en masse.  You can send me the table as a File Attachment in Email.  If you do not have my email addy, use the Contact Form on the Diner to contact me.

    Be careful with submissions of video links in the Form.  A full link will screw up the Formatting.  Just drop in the ID Code for the vid.

    Your submissions will NOT go up immediately.  I will update the Table once a week or so as more submissions come in.


  • While Mr. Colby’s bare boned historical and climate event timeline to date may be worth sharing as a form of educational knowledge — especially among the rare “young adults” who enjoy reading and thus might be considered more mature for their age — I feel his future timeline prediction scenarios are mostly useless; and at worst they may be potentially harmful for some young adults whose lives are already stressed with despair. Why not just cut to the chase and tell them to read Cormac McCarthy’s The Road for a prediction of what lies in store!

    I suggest a better way to teach youngsters about the utter lunacy of their predicament in being alive now and expecting anything from the “adults” of the world to help them, is to spend your time reading to them The Complete Wreck (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Books 1 -13) by Lemony Snicket.

    As a way of inoculating them to the above forces of darkness assailing us not only would this effort suffice, but more importantly the time spent together reading this series is priceless; especially if one believes as Guy does, that only Love remains.

    In my mind, and as a parent of two young adults (soon to be 17 and 20 later this year) who has shared my own sense of what this climate predicament is likely to mean in the next 5 to 10 plus years — i.e., more chaos and disruption of our “normal” lives — what was more crucial to impart was how we would weather the coming storm with love for one another in the time now and tomorrow we still have to do so.

    Any other advice and example I can attempt to provide about what is and isn’t likely to be of value to them in the daze ahead is the best I have. But providing so-called *predictions* as is done here makes little sense to me. Especially for young adults (and even for the so-called adults who are unaware), I think it is more than enough to report what factual information we know to be true about our present predicament without piling on all manner of other dire imagined outcomes and at what time they may occur. They will be what they will be in due time, and anyone with an imagination can figure that out on their own before then.

    Frankly, I think this is a misguided attempt of Mr. Colby’s that somehow appeals to his identity as a former mental health therapist now wanting to write serious science fiction!

  • Apologies for a third post today. Update on the chaos around the capital city:

    ‘A man has been rescued from floods at Otaihanga, 18 homes have been evacuated on the Kapiti Coast and both state highways into Wellington are affected by flooding.

    Waikanae River has exceeded its 10-year level and there’s concern the river will rise higher with heavy rain forecast this evening, which coincides with high tide at 6.40pm, Kapiti District Council says.

    State Highway 2 is closed in both directions between the Horokiwi turnoff to Petone Railway station.

    One lane of SHI is open intermittently with stop-go traffic control in place where a slip earlier blocked the highway near Pukerua Bay.

    The alternative route on Paekakariki Hill Road is also affected by slips.

    All train services in and out of Wellington have been suspended.

    “This is the worst I’ve seen in 15 years,” Raumati resident Mike Griffin told NZ Newswire.

    He said several houses on his road were surrounded by water.

    Raumati village looked alright but Wharemauku Stream was running high, he said.

    Kapiti Airport is closed because water from the stream is running across the runway but is expected to open later on Thursday.

    An evacuation centre has been set up at Te Newhanga Kapiti Community Centre. Raumati South School is also on standby to take people.

    A man has been rescued at Otaihanga, a police spokeswoman said but was unable to provide further details. The settlement is adjacent to Waikanae River.

    Further south, Normandale School in the Hutt Valley has been evacuated, Wellington Girls’ College sent its more than 1200 pupils home after a lightning strike and Porirua schools have closed.’

  • @J.Z. in terms of young kids blanking out on “adult” themes.. I got derailed into a recent story about a tourist couple who decided to engage in sex on a beach in Florida. The (Hispanic) man is facing a 15-year jail sentence because OMGTHECHILDREN. (Not clear what children actually witnessed, but apparently a three-year-old was called to testify.)

    Perspective has been lost regarding the times when families lived in a single room and sometimes slept in a single bed. (Magically, new little ones still came along despite this arrangement.) Such parents would be branded as sex criminals now.

    Based on 2nd-hand reports from my sister who is raising 2 kids in suburban CT, most parents don’t think it’s a big deal today to subject pre-teen kids to R-rated movies and video-game content.. but that’s “fantasy”, so.. supposedly ok?

    I know my niece and nephew, starting at ages 8 to 10, have been taken to see the Hunger Games and the Divergent, etc. dystopian film series with young protagonists. I know their peers play Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty and other “adult” first-person-shooter games. And this is not in the trailer parks, folks, but in “genteel” Adam-Lanza territory: the “Land of Steady Habits”.

    I wonder what the kids make of the films, but I haven’t seen them (the films) and it’s hard to talk to the kids because they are really too young to follow measured or complex reasoning. They are bright, but very ADD-like. (It would be impossible, for example, to play any sort of board game with them, but they have memorized thousands of Pokemon attributes in a whirling and frenzied array of what seems to me to be a studied and expanding capricious incoherence imposed upon them by that game company.) At 10 and 12 now, they aren’t actually capable of real conversation, but I’m not sure if that is normal or not.

    At the same time violent and “adult” themes are proposed in kid’s literature, I see parents and schools freaking out at any expression of non-baby-hood by those under 18. My nephew, at age 11, was “reported” to the principal of his school by a neighbor for being “unsupervised” (at another neighbor’s house) at 7:00 am when school started at 8:00. The next year he would be expected to walk over a mile by himself to the middle school at that hour, so WTF?

    Kids are no longer visible, no longer out in the streets… There’s a weird schizophrenia of regarding children as simultaneously more and less competent than they actually are, and their nominal custodians (parents and schools) verge on apoplexy in attempting to discharge their respective responsibilities onto the other party.

    I see kids coming to understand that school isn’t at all like the proposition we baby-boomers faced. I think they have an underlying comprehension that schools are increasingly illegitimate and the teachers ineffectual and ultimately powerless. Schools, in the meantime, respond with SWAT approaches, zero-tolerances, etc. The whole construct has been entirely superseded by circumstances, yet none of the involved parties is entirely cognizant of that fact or, if they are, none knows what to do.

    Since I encountered the work of Ivan Illich, it’s been hard to think about our design for society without considering his contributions regarding disempowerment. Children—along with the elderly, very often women, and other “minorities”—are natural subjects of disempowerment, but what’s unique to our time is how youth disempowerment has grown and grown with the expanse of civilization and ‘wealth’.

  • “I think it is more than enough to report what factual information we know to be true about our present predicament…”

    Well…factual information that has been clearly identified as being true, and hard to argue with, I’d think.

  • Pitt the Younger was PM at 24 and by all accounts did a pretty good job…

    @Robert Callaghan, I found your second link but not the first.

    @Jean Turcot, those are some great challenges and questions..!

    @Jef: What did parents tell their kids during the Black Plague? What have parents in lands stricken by Ebola told their kids?

    @TVT: great comment but “recovery” is always happening around us just as is destruction. It’s an ongoing balance between processes which are executing in parallel.. it’s not only one and then only the other.

  • Elisabeth Says:
    May 13th, 2015 at 9:32 am

    “As an example: regarding peak fossil fuels, there is *potentially* a tremendous amount of tar sands oil to be recovered. Whether or not it will be recovered remains to be seen, but the potential is there. Methane hydrates are now being mined by the Japanese. And OPEC has announced that oil prices will remain low for up to another decade. Obviously all of this is bad news for our climate but in terms of peak energy, predicting this has always been somewhat of a crapshoot.”

    I strongly recommend that you visit Our Finite World and read Gail Tverberg, who explains very well why low oil prices are in fact a result of peak oil, that the notion peak oil necessarily means high oil prices is wrong. Likewise see a bunch of articles at httpL// which in fact regularly posts Gail Tar sands require huge amounts of energy to extract a certain amount of oil, much more so than conventional oil, Energy Return on Energy Invested ratio is down in the low singles, vs 10-20 for connectional oil. Methane hydrates are not being really mined by Japanese firms, no one has figured out how to do mass extraction in a way that doesn’t blow up the extraction tools and everything around them. I see a lot of energy industry Kool Aid in your information.

  • http// Sorry for third post, having some hand pain problems.

  • I am really sorry, i wish i had a “scribble” option for the past two (or three) posts.

  • If kids aged 8-18 are called young adults, how about we older grumps call ourselves mature teenagers or something? ;) At first I thought young adults are just that: adults who are young, which is to say “younger than other adults”. Then, reading some of the comments made me wonder if there’s a more precise definition for the terminology. According to almighty Wikipedia, there’s not one but two. Talk about precision. This is the definition in psychology – “A young adult, according to Erik Erikson’s stages of human development, is generally a person in the age range of 20 to 40, whereas an adolescent is a person aging from 13 to 19, although definitions and opinions vary. The young adult stage in human development precedes middle adulthood. A person in the middle adulthood stage ages from 41 to 64. In old age, a person is 65 years old or older.”

    But when talking about young-adult fiction, those young adults include kids aged 14-21, in addition to 20-somethings. Those marketing people are sneaky.

    So when a retired mental health therapist writes fiction for adolescents, it can be a bit confusing :) J.Z., I hadn’t looked at your web site prior to commenting but it looks like you’re writing for adolescents. They say when you’re presenting something new, follow the 80/20 rule: 80% of what you say should be familiar to your audience. Too much more than that and they get bored because they already know it all. Too little and it’s going to go over their head. Find your sweet spot.


    the virgin terry Says:

    “besides the fact of facing rather imminent doom, i’ve thought for a long time that society is far too fucked up, sheeple in general too full of shit, too clueless, crazy, and cruel, for this to be a world fit for bringing children into. as for those who are here, they, like us, are in a pickle, only much more so. i also suspect that they, like our generation, are also predominantly prone to dogma abuse and delusion, so trying to educate them in the face of overwhelming cultural delusion is, unfortunately, a very uphill battle. (sigh)”


    Well said.

    “Professor Gerald Crabtree, who heads a genetics laboratory at Stanford University in California, has put forward the iconoclastic idea that rather than getting cleverer, human intelligence peaked several thousand years ago and from then on there has been a slow decline in our intellectual and emotional abilities.

    Although we are now surrounded by the technological and medical benefits of a scientific revolution, these have masked an underlying decline in brain power which is set to continue into the future leading to the ultimate dumbing-down of the human species, Professor Crabtree said.

    His argument is based on the fact that for more than 99 per cent of human evolutionary history, we have lived as hunter-gatherer communities surviving on our wits, leading to big-brained humans. Since the invention of agriculture and cities, however, natural selection on our intellect has effective stopped and mutations have accumulated in the critical “intelligence” genes.

    “I would wager that if an average citizen from Athens of 1000BC were to appear suddenly among us, he or she would be among the brightest and most intellectually alive of our colleagues and companions, with a good memory, a broad range of ideas and a clear-sighted view of important issues,” Professor Crabtree says in a provocative paper published in the journal Trends in Genetics.”

    Excerpted from: Human intelligence ‘peaked thousands of years ago and we’ve been on an intellectual and emotional decline ever since’

    Another excerpt:


    Hunter-gatherer man

    The human brain and its immense capacity for knowledge evolved during this long period of prehistory when we battled against the elements

    (my comment: Partly true but there is some projection going on here when we talk about battling the elements. That’s what modern man does, while the hunter-gatherer existed in balance. He had to, or we wouldn’t be here thousands of years later) We know what out-of-balance looks like and we know we’re not going to be around a thousand years from now. So our ancestors’ relationship with nature must have been different.

    Turns out “predicting” our past is as difficult as predicting our future! There are many half-truths and non-truths floating around when it comes to the issues of how our ancestors lived.

    Athenian man

    The invention of agriculture less than 10,000 years ago and the subsequent rise of cities such as Athens relaxed the intensive natural selection of our “intelligence genes”.

    Couch-potato man

    As genetic mutations increase over future generations, are we doomed to watching soap-opera repeats without knowing how to use the TV remote control?

    iPad man

    The fruits of science and technology enabled humans to rise above the constraints of nature and cushioned our fragile intellect from genetic mutations.

  • Lidia said:

    “@TVT: great comment but “recovery” is always happening around us just as is destruction. It’s an ongoing balance between processes which are executing in parallel.. it’s not only one and then only the other.”


    I am beginning to believe that this is essentially the nature of the Universe: there are multiple ways to look at everything. There are multiple things happening simultaneously, even seemingly contradictory things. Hence we see such inquiries as “why do bad things happen to good people?”. These days, I’m beginning to wonder why people say the things they say, instead of turning off, tuning out, or arguing with them. Actually I still argue quite a bit but it’s not as personal as it used to be. If I try hard enough, I can even get myself to see the way they see it, even if I don’t agree with them on the whole.

    I could shrug off what they are saying and move on but not doing that and instead attempting to empathize with them, I find, is a practice in tearing down the walls of individualism. It’s an acknowledgement that there’s a part of me in them and a part of them in me. That our past, present and future are entangled and intertwined. After all, we share the same physical realm and what they think and do affects me. Typically, when people say you’re entitled to your views, we’re all entitled to our individual opinions, we can agree to disagree, etc., what they are not saying is it doesn’t matter what you or I think, because there’s something else pulling the strings, making us think what we think and making us do what we do. I have seen many debates between co-workers that never get resolved and after a certain point, someone leaves and the debate ends. Why did they leave? Because they had a conference call or staff meeting or design meeting or something like that. In other words, they returned to what truly mattered in their life at that point – the organizational hierarchy they are a part of, in their role working for the corporation. The corporation is in turn tied into the hierarchy of finance, banking, etc. These are the things that decide which way much of our lives go on a daily basis. Our individual opinions on climate change, life after death and what not matter little, even to ourselves, much less to others. So when someone says something that sounds a bit off, I start looking into how the stories and infrastructure of civilization might have affected their views. I have nothing against them. I know what they believe and I know why they believe what they believe. It’s very freeing. Nothing personal. Just stories.

  • Idolising and maintaining the putative ‘innocence’ of youngsters is pretty transparently a self-serving tactic. The kids don’t get much out of it. The ‘adults’ get the fix of maudlin sentimentality which helps them believe that this world ain’t so bad after all- maybe even good enough to bring some kids into?

    If it is necessary to quarantine kids from ‘hard realities’, then, the world being what it is, one can only suppose that the parents must themselves have maintained a frankly astonishing level of ‘innocence’ to entertain the idea of breeding in the first place…. unless we concede that the decision to breed is characterised mainly by vindictiveness?

  • Satish,
    Your latest comment is very wise and I agree with you 100%. In fact, part of this blog thread on exposing young people to harsh reality is a good opportunity for us to practice your realization. I have my own very well defined position and I will always defend my children against any perceived threats. With that said, I am perfectly cognizant of the myriad influences on “my position” and therefore make every effort to consider others opinions carefully. I also make every effort to appreciate where, why, and how those opinions were formed. This attempt to appreciate the fact that we are all inseparable elements of a much larger dynamic helps me personally with moving past strife and stress in my daily affairs.

    With that said, there is a level of life at which the subjective interpretation of good and bad, good and evil, right and wrong, are perfectly valid judgments – from the unique perspective of a given individual or group of entities. It is at this level that I instinctively react to offer protection of my children – regardless of whether my reactions are good or bad, right or wrong, from the perspective of someone else. That doesn’t matter.

    I suppose the thing that matters most, to me at least, is to be conscious and aware of the existence and differences between objective, non-judgmental reality and subjective, personal experience.

  • The latest post in this space includes video from my recent presentation in York, England. You can view it here.

  • @Satish, yeah, but I should not have used the word “balance”, because things are always hewing in a certain direction (towards instability). Nonetheless, the dance of self-organization and destruction has many steps, rhythms, and variations in its music.

  • Satish,

    Doesn’t unpredictable weather and a thousand attributes of collapse not make for resurgence of what you term, “genetic mutation” of human intelligence? (Although I suppose many will say there isn’t time for that to happen.)

  • Virgin Terry, I completely agree that the healing process will be VERY long. The place I put it in the timeline is only meant to be the barest beginning.

    Satish, I see you have stumbled into the thorny problem of defining a “young adult.” To complicate the issue, the average age of puberty has been dropping, from 16 about 150 years ago (when data started to be collected) to 12 today. Theories of why abound. With that change comes many mental/interests/values changes.

  • I would have added something about the collapse of bee colonies to the time line, but otherwise well done! And quite an indictment against our species.

    The message of NTHE needs to be spread far and wide. Everyone (especially children) deserve to be given the facts. Being honest about our predicament is the only thing that makes any sense at this point.