Edge of Extinction: War is the Answer

I’m quoted briefly in a long, excellent article published today in Esquire. Read it here.

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Also seeking vegan folks to brainstorm the creation of 100% vegan urban community in or near Portland, Oregon along the light rail line.
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McPherson’s latest book is co-authored by Carolyn Baker. Extinction Dialogs: How to Live with Death in Mind is available. Electronic copy is available here from Amazon.

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Comments 136

  • Marty,

    I totally agree with you about Monbiot. I just thought that this article was good and worth sharing.

    It’s nice to know that you’re still here.

    I miss ulvfugl’s voice too and read his blog regularly, even comment there – when he lets me….not many people dig as deeply as he does.

  • It is through imagination that we can reach the dark regions of the human psyche and face our mortality and the brevity of existence. It is through imagination that we can recover reverence and kinship. It is through imagination that we can see ourselves in our neighbors and the other living organisms of the earth. It is through imagination that we can envision other ways to form a society. The triumph of modern utilitarianism, implanted by violence, crushed the primacy of the human imagination. It enslaved us to the cult of the self. And with this enslavement came an inability to see, the central theme of “King Lear.” Imagination, as Goddard wrote, “is neither the language of nature nor the language of man, but both at once, the medium of communion between the two—as if the birds, unable to understand the speech of man, and man, unable to understand the songs of birds, yet longing to communicate, were to agree on a tongue made up of sounds they both could comprehend—the voice of running water perhaps or the wind in the trees. Imagination is the elemental speech in all senses, the first and the last, of primitive man and of the poets.”

    All of the great visionaries and leaders of the Indian tribes, from medicine men like Black Elk and Sitting Bull to warriors such as Crazy Horse, in the presence of the natural world heard it speak to them, in the same way it spoke to Shakespeare, Dickinson or Walt Whitman. All elements of life, especially those that lie beyond articulation, infuse the human imagination. The communion—accentuated by vision quests, the sanctity of dreams, odd occurrences, miracles and the wonder of nature, as well as rituals that take place within a communal society—blurs the lines between the self and the world. This ability to connect with the sacred is what Percy Shelley meant when he wrote that poetry “lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world and makes familiar things as if they were not familiar.” We are reminded at that moment of the wonder of life and our insignificance in the vastness of the cosmos, reminded that, as Prospero said, “we are such stuff as dreams are made on.”

    Too often this wisdom comes too late, as it does when Othello stands over the dead Desdemona or Lear over his executed daughter, Cordelia. This wisdom makes grace possible. Songs, poetry, music, theater, dance, sculpture, art, fiction and ritual move human beings toward the sacred. They clear the way for transformation. The prosaic world of facts, data, science, news, technology, business and the military is cut off from the mysteries of creation and existence. We will recover this imagination, this capacity for the sacred, or we will vanish as a species.

    Chris Hedges

  • Ray Jason, the Sea Gypsy Philosopher. This guy boasts of leaving industrial civilization, what is the boat made of, lashed reeds and cocoanuts?

  • Apparent Technical Glitch Halts Trading on New York Stock Exchange
    SHARE

    http://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/new-york-stock-exchange-halts-trading-all-symbols-n388711

    Trading in all symbols was temporarily halted on the New York Stock Exchange floor Wednesday due to an apparent technical issue.

    “NYSE/NYSE MKT has temporarily suspended trading in all symbols. Additional information will follow as soon as possible,” the NYSE said in a statement on its status page.

    A technical issue caused the trading halt, Reuters reported, citing a source. Trading stopped around 11:30 a.m. ET.

    The Nasdaq reported no technical issues and said it continues to trade NYSE-listed stocks.

  • .
    .
    .
    John Stark was a general from NH during the Revolutionary War. General Stark was a clever warrior. He was responsible for the bulk of the heavy casualties the British suffered at their victory at Bunker Hill. His orderly, fighting withdrawal allowed the other units on the hill to not only retreat but collect their wounded on the way out.

    General Stark would repeat this performance on three hill tops outside the village of Bennington, VT, one hot August day in 1777. At the end of the battle, the British lost over 900 men killed or captured. The Colonists suffered 30 dead. Two months later, the depleted British army would surrender at Saratoga. That victory at Saratoga would bring the French into the war. John Stark was the most competent general this country ever produced. For that reason alone his men loved him.

    But as brilliant as he was on the battlefield, General Stark would become even more famous for something he said. In 1809 the veterans of Bennington decided to have one last reunion. A delegation called on the General with his invitation. But the General was old and frail. He could not attend. But he did send a message, “You tell the boys I said live free or die. That death is not the worst of evil.” Since 1945 the State of New Hampshire has stamped “Live Free or Die” on every pen, coffee mug, license plate and highway sign that they have gotten their hands on.

    He would be troubled by the new enemy. Oh, he understood when a government betrays it people. He took up arms against the superpower of his day to get relief for the grievances of the Colonies. But the enemy we face now is the government we birthed at places like Bennington, Saratoga and Bunker Hill. Government is no different than the food in a refrigerator. Given enough time, both will go bad.

  • The Government is only as good or not so good, as the people that are awake and involved in paying attention to what is being done in the Government, in the name of the people.

  • Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!

    (From the Esq. article)

    “[Gavin] Schmidt, who is expecting his first child and tries to live a low-carbon existence…”


    Guy, nice mention!

  • .
    .
    .
    Along with neighbouring Jharkhand state, Orissa has the highest number of households in India without toilets.
    More than half a billion people in India still continue to defecate in the open, according to WHO.
    Among the rural and tribal women studied, almost 60% said they had no access to toilets when questioned during the first three months of their pregnancy, while of the 40% who did live in a household with one installed, more than half reported using it rarely or a few times a week.

  • I had a post disappear, dang it. If another post similar to this one pops up, please excuse the redundancy.

    Dear Mike K:

    Just FYI, I generally appreciate much that Hedges writes, but I’m not at all impressed with his understanding of “imagination,” nor his understanding of Native Americans. Sitting Bull was not considered a “medicine man,” but rather a prophet. And Crazy Horse was considered a great mystic, not only a warrior. I strongly disagree that “nature spoke” to them in the same way that it did to Shakespeare and Walt Whitman, however gifted those gentlemen may have been. The vast, and I mean VAST differences in worldviews, the VAST differences in the cultures don’t allow such an equivalence. It’s not true.

    Vision quests were/are not for the purpose of blurring the line between humans (“self”) and nature, because from a native perspective no such line exists. Vision quests were for blurring the boundaries between the material world and the spirit world. It is also a request for the spirit world to speak through nature.

    Nor is a vision quest to lift the “veil that hides the beauty of the world,” (good grief!). The beauty of the world was so omnipresent and foundational to their entire world view that it was a living principle within their cultures, displayed in their lack of destruction toward the natural world, and their fundamental respect for its mysteries and power. They didn’t say things like the hidden beauty because it wasn’t “hidden”. It was out there, right in front of their faces. Analyzing it was tantamount to saying “water is wet” over and over and over.

    As much as I love great writing and beautiful language, the older I get the more I appreciate wisdom of the elders in not living in my head so much. They rarely spoke, and they were supremely pragmatic, more likely to speak quite simply about practical needs. They knew how much words damage our ability to see reality. As valued as such wonderfully worded scribblings and ideas are in this culture, traditional people knew that they aren’t nearly as profound or insightful or helpful as we want to believe.

  • Lidia, while the Esquire piece had plenty of gossiping about scientists, I focused on the same paragraph; especially, Schmidt’s outright crackpot anti-science of his last two sentences.

    Schmidt, who is expecting his first child and tries to live a low-carbon existence, insists that the hacks and investigations and budget threats have not intimidated him. He also shrugs off the abrupt-climate-change scenarios. “The methane thing is actually something I work on a lot, and most of the headlines are crap. There’s no actual evidence that anything dramatically different is going on in the Arctic, other than the fact that it’s melting pretty much everywhere.”

  • “imagination” can only exist if one has images to create it from. And all those images come from ones past. A child being born has no imagination because he has no memories to build “imaginations” with. So all our “imagination” is only recombinations of images from our upbringing, education, conditioning, and the like. No memories = no imagination.

    So one has to consider where, from who and from what system their “images” come from and know that most “imaginations” are based on very flawed (for lack of a better word) images.

  • “War is the answer” is a damn good video.

    It tells it exactly like it is.

    The term “war privilege” is another way of saying “feudalism.”

    Not only because war is the mother of all feudalism, past and present, but because war privilege always applies to a class called “the few” (American Feudalism – 6).

    Until …

    Nature steps up to bat (Greenland & Antarctica Invade The United States).

    And hits the walk-off homer (Why The Military Can’t Defend Against The Invasion).

  • Wednesday, July 8, 2015
    Fracturing of the Jet Stream

    https://arctic-news.blogspot.ca/2015/07/fracturing-of-the-jet-stream.html

    [quotes]

    With ocean heat at very high levels, the danger is that, as temperatures keep rising, further methane hydrates will get destabilized and further amounts of methane will be released in the Arctic. High methane levels have already been showing up for years over the Arctic Ocean, indicating that methane releases from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean are already taking place.

    [and]

    Above image shows that, on July 6, 2015, high methane levels show up north of Greenland (yellow oval). This could be a result of the heavy melting that is taking place on Greenland, exposing methane hydrates contained in the ice there.

  • Love. Thanks for your comments oldgrowthforest, I always learn from you. Made me think of a book I read long ago – Patterns of Culture by Ruth Benedict.

    “In the beginning – Ramon said – God gave to every people a cup, a cup of clay, and from this cup they drank their life. They all dipped in the water, but their cups were different. Our cup is broken now. It has passed away.” (edited version)

    All the millions of impressions, ways, inner mental patterns of olden cultures passed away – who can tell of them today? The anthropologists differ in what they try to reconstruct. And even the last surviving elders vary in what they can convey in words. Without the living context of those cultures no one can really know what their lives were really like. We try to imagine their lives but that will inevitably be laced with our own thinking, dreams, and misunderstandings. In many ways those cups of their actual lived experience in those ancient cultures are lost to us like a cup not only broken, but one ground to dust…. Love.

  • “Imagination” is the answer?

    Chris Hedges is a decent & devout Yankee Protestant like his minister Dad.

    Hedges suffered further serious brain damage at Harvard Divinity.

    Hedges is a classic literary intellectual, who sees everything as a morality play.

    Moralizing Hedges has completely neglected to consider the perverse “imaginations” from the pantheon of modern mass murderers; including LBJ, Robert McNamara, Westy Westmoreland, & Lt. Calley in the Vietnam non-morality play.

    Ditto for the bloodshed & total destruction of Iraq by the conniving & lying Zionist Neo-Cons from their prestigious think tanks of malicious “imagination.”

    Bombing civilians was easy “imaginative” stuff for General Curtis LeMay, & he had the destructive power to deliver on it.

    There goes 120,000 dead civilians in the fire bombing of Tokyo, & another 110,000 vaporized civilians in Hiroshima & Nagasaki.

    During the Korean War LeMay “imagined” & successfully bombed every urban area of any size in N. Korea into total rubble, & the N Koreans still live with this fearsome horror.

    The total carnage was in the millions, & few Mericans know anything about it.

    British Bomber Command & murdering monster Churchill along with the U.S. 8th AF had plenty of “imagination” when they viciously slaughtered millions of German civilians during the last years of WW2.

    Eisenhower & Zionist lawyerfish Morgenthau “imagined” how they could RE-DEFINE SURRENDERED German prisoners as disarmed combatants thereby eluding the Geneva Convention rules.

    Some slick linguistic lawyering by slick Zionist lawyer Morgenthau.

    Eisenhower & Morgenthau then proceeded with the “Morgenthau Plan,” & murdered millions of surrendered German soldiers by putting them in open air death camps & letting them starve & die from exposure – a “true” Holocaust.

    GERMAN HOLOCAUST GERMAN GENOCIDE:
    The untold story of “Eisenhower’s Rhine Meadows Death Camps – A Deliberate Policy of Extermination” of the Surrendered German forces by the Allies in post-war Germany.
    View on truedemocracyparty.net

  • After reading the article (a bit too long, but good nonetheless) I think that Gavin Schmidt is projecting his own unthinkable thoughts about us being fucked onto Jason Box. If Schmidt really was as sanguine about the situation as he claims, Box wouldn’t be such a bete noire for him, methinks. Schmidt looks like a minimizer who doesn’t want to lose his access.

    Great article, and nice to see Guy get a mention up top.

  • Interesting that others mentioned COP15 in Copenhagen in 2009. That was my tipping point as well – when I finally admitted to myself that we weren’t going to do anything at all about it, no matter how much evidence piled up.

  • @Gerald, yeah, what a pip! That methane, boy.. that’s something he “ACTUALLY works on a lot”!!! LOL

    The piece was really well-written. I thought it was hilarious, too, how the author kept wryly tickling the gay-marriage/”progress” meme on offer.

    And Box has a three-year old. Just goes to show that we are overwhelmingly subject to forces beyond our control.

  • Is war the answer? OR…is war the reason?

    Is a libertarian philosphy the answer or the justification for an economic system?

  • Well, when it comes to Native Americans, I just ask them. Many know about their traditions and well understand their cultures. Just because you don’t doesn’t mean they don’t. We have many elders in Alaska who know their “patterns” of culture, but they would never say it that way. One hundred and twenty-five years since the end of the “Indian Wars,” i.e., open genocide of native people by the military, isn’t that long ago. It ain’t like ancient Babylon, which really is an “olden culture.”

    This one quotation says a great deal about the ideas you bring up, actually, and if you can understand it, it shows why so much ascribed to them, like Hedges does in the article you quote, isn’t them at all.

    *****

    Tatanga Mani, a Stoney Indian, in a passage from his autobiography, comments on the white man’s education that he received:

    “Oh, yes, I went to the white man’s schools. I learned to read from school books, newspapers, and the Bible. But in time I found that these were not enough. Civilized people depend too much on man-made printed pages. I turn to the Great Spirit’s book which is the whole of his creation.* You can read a big part of that book if you study nature. You know, if you take all your books, lay them out under the sun, and let the snow and rain and insects work on them for a while, there will be nothing left. But the Great Spirit has provided you and me with an opportunity for study in nature’s university, the forests, the rivers, the mountains, and the animals which include us.*

    *emphasis mine.

    What I get from your response here and the flow of our comments is that you have presented opinions by non-indigenous people about Native American culture, including something as tangible as concrete and definable as a vision quest. While “visions” may be wholly abstract and consciousness based, there are certain measurable requirements, processes, understandings about vision quests and culture that are valid. I pointed out that your quotations are not valid understandings of the cultures being analyzed and defined. I have a lot of knowledge on this subject in a lot of ways, and Hedges writes well but his comments and those he furthers about Native Americans are bullshit. They really are. Once again, it is just overly cerebral white guys analyzing themselves, and thinking they’re talking about someone else.

    So, I point this out, and you politely tell me how much you learn from me, but then go on to effectively say “what can anyone really know?” Oh, because I’ve decimated your offering today as being baseless so far as Native Americans go, well, “no one can really know.” You really mean that I can’t know, I suspect, because of the difference it makes to how your well-intentioned but basically insipid Hedges offering looks to someone who does know. The progress of this conversation is why I rarely post. I’ll tell you this, us Injuns would never consider such a conversation to be “love” or “nice.”

    In case you are interested, today we would call Sitting Bull a great biologist. One of his many gifts was his understanding of the natural world, which he spoke of with tremendous love. He was a keen observer of weather, plants and animals, and he routinely directed his tribe to summer and winter long-term sites for setting up their nomadic villages. He predicted weather, food availability, animal populations, and many other things from his observations of the world around him, and he saw it all as one inter-dependent whole.

  • “And yet, like Schmidt, Mann tries very hard to look on the bright side. We can solve this problem in a way that doesn’t disrupt our lifestyle, he says.”

    http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a36228/ballad-of-the-sad-climatologists-0815/

    “The horror, to think that our lifestyles might be disrupted !

    See, those people are not part of the solution, they are part of the effing PROBLEM, and have been for the last twenty years, telling cheery lies to everyone, because they had no courage, they wanted their careers more than TRUTH, and they ‘didn’t want people to lose hope’, and NOW, the result is that they and we face this utterly awful terminal mess.

    What the hell is the good of being ‘scientifically objective’ when there won’t be ANY scientists or science anymore, because we all become extinct, because those fuckers didn’t believe in ‘doing advocacy’ ?

    The real reason, of course, was that it would threaten their promotion and their pension plans, and they like their status and their cool research projects and lifestyles that they worked so hard to achieve. That matters more than the future of their children and the rest of the human race and life on Earth.

    Gavin Schmidt is a damn shill who is very clever at being diplomatic and using sophistry to cover himself, like a cunning lawyer.”

    From guess who?
    You guessed it… Ulv
    The parallels today are synchronicity in action.

  • Dredd Love Your Blogg a lot! but hate the creepy cheney Toon Thanks Wow how faster things are happening now, really enjoying it, my heart was in my throat today, just watching the business news, Today the Market tomorrow the Net, drops or falls, straight ahead, or it might have been the weeds here.
    I watched Trump earlier and either I’ve lost it or he has. He said “very proud and there is no border how, and I will win the Latino vote and I’m about jobs and this and that” Like Frick & Frack

    Thanks Prof. Your shorts just get better and better ” Conquest is the answer” From war is the answer. So lets hope it all dies in peace, what a waste

  • Apologies to any one who is offended by my last post. It is just that I find Ulvfugl’s writing to be original and forthright. If you would prefer it not be here because of past differences, by all means, delete the post.

  • Just a point of grammar, Guy: I wonder whether war IS the answer or war HAS BEEN the answer.

    War certainly has been the prime tool for conquest and the maintenance of wealth transfer since ‘civilisation’ emerged around 20,000 years ago. And before that, intertribal war was clearly ta major means for establishing boundaries and access to resources.

    When we consider environmental aspects such as Global Dimming, it become unclear whether war is the answer or not: all the evidence indicates we need the unnatural concentration of pollutants in the atmosphere that industrialism has generated in order to ‘keep the lid on’ overheating. But at the same time we need the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels to cease to prevent further escalation of CO2 levels. Indeed, elimination of fossil fuel use has been the pressing issue for the past 6 decades…..as pointed out by Admiral Rickover in 1957

    http://www.resilience.org/stories/2006-11-26/admiral-rickover-future-fossil-fuels

    and completely ignored by so-called leaders, of course.

    Since the economy of the US is essentially a war economy, we are going to have war whether we want it or not……the endless Orwellian war that just keeps going till someone runs out of missiles or fuel to get them launched.

    Having said that, I believe the financial/fiat-currency war that is underway is going to result in a major ‘reset’ fairly soon.

    My thoughts come to you from Airstrip 8.

  • That Esquire article is excellent. I’m about a third of way through it. It’s encouraging to see a more honest assessment of our ecological predicament appearing in a main stream media source. And while Guy was noted as being the most pessimistic (or brutally honest) of the lot, at least he wasn’t
    portrayed as an egotistical kook running a ‘death cult’. Folks are starting to wake up.

  • Guy’s video regarding war is spot on. I’ve never been able to articulate why seeing the peace symbol rubs me the wrong way. But McPherson nails it — actions are what matter. Not a symbol that makes folks feel good about themselves when they’ve no right to.

  • uh-oh

    Video: Plankton eating plastic caught on camera for the first time

    http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2015/07/video-plankton-eating-plastic-caught-on.html

    It has been found inside the digestive tracts of turtles, sea birds and whales, but it appears plastic litter in our oceans is also clogging up the insides of the tiny plankton that many larger sea creatures feed on.

    For the first time copepods – tiny creatures that feed on algae in the ocean – have been filmed eating grains of plastic while they are feeding.

    The video shows microscopic polystyrene beads being drawn towards the creature by its legs and eaten. The beads can be seen accumulating in the creature’s body.

    Normally copepods feed on certain species of algae using chemical and touch receptors to discriminate what they can eat and discard what they will not.

    The video provides growing evidence that the volumes of plastic litter finding its way into the world’s oceans is having a profound impact on wildlife and ecosystems.

    [further down]

    Dr Matthew Cole, a researcher at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory who has been researching the impact of so called ‘microplastics’ on marine ecosystems, said the impact of microplastics on plankton has been largely overlooked until recently.

  • What if one of our planet’s resident billionaires hires some lab to develop a genetically engineered mild, common-cold-like ailment that has the side effect of rendering 19 out of 20 people sterile in about 6 months or a year? (An ailment with no antidote or vaccine.) Over population solved in one generation, but without the massive destruction of war.

    Or those billionaires could just let those 19 starve to death and watch the widespread destruction of a societal breakdown.

  • Peace looks to me Make love not war . What does that mean ? End of patri-archaic monogamist relating to the other also end of monotheism also monotony. with end of monotheism monogamy monotony also the end of “civilization and its discontents” A La Freud and with all its negative psychosomatic effects on body and soul….. should i go on ??

  • Tom,
    Seems like everything we humans have ever done outside nature’s boundaries eventually comes back to bite us in the ass.

  • Catman,

    Overpopulation has never been the problem, still isn’t.

  • I really enjoy the Edge of Extinction videos. This one knocked my socks off because it cut to the chase regarding something I hate with true passion, war. It makes me convulse and shrivel like a spider sprayed with Raid when I hear we are bombing some people or displacing them from their homes to “bring them democracy”! What a filthy lie! I guess I’m just lucky because when I see Evil, I know it for what it is. I feel assaulted, living in this cesspool of death, but I don’t where to go or how else to eat. I’m ashamed.

    I’ve been a Christian most of my life but I’m not sure what I am now. I love Buddhism, it teaches people how to be cool, and not to hurt. Other teachings are good to. As “Christian societies”, Western nations have presented their peoples with a terrible dilemma: if you’re really true to the teachings of Jesus, you will automatically be a traitor to the state, On the other hand, if you are loyal to the state you will automatically become a betrayer of the Christ. There is no way to balance this, and serve both, without losing your mind, the inner conflict will drive you mad. “It is impossible to serve God and mammon”, so Jesus said.

    Become as pure as you can. Never stop questioning your motives.

  • Insanity reigns supreme!

  • What an interesting article on the oddest bunch of climate change deniers around: the professional climatologists themselves. Says Gavin Schmidt: “There’s no actual evidence that anything dramatically different is going on in the Arctic, other than that it’s melting pretty much everywhere.” Wow. No drama there. Doesn’t that absurd statement tell you everything you need to know about these people?

  • I have to say I disagree with a small bit of what Guy says in the video: ‘War is the Answer’, which is pretty good in my view.

    The bit where Guy says what does Peace look like? and says in part, Trialism.

    I think there is an argument that some of the problems we have in this end phase is the consequence of extended Tribalism in its combative form.

    If by Tribalism we accept that tribes would stay within their designated geographic boundaries, (already a mess and historically too late in a way), and peacefully negotiate exchanges of energy and resources(food), wit the view to reducing populations and sharing, then I would agree with Guy.
    However, the chest beating tribal pattern of increasing the tribe because the others are massing on the border(and lets face it, sometimes this was true), then we are talking Tribalism without trust and without shared responsibility.

    Capitalism has ALWAYS needed something to take, or exploit, be it the natural world, (Mining, trees, water soils), or Labour,(Slaves, low wage slaves, poor new immigrants, women).

    Tribalism is not the answer, I submit. But intelligent cohabiting where trust is not marginalized or modified by ethnic, class and economic inequality.

    I’m not holding my breath on this one, however… 😉

    Just sayin
    😉

  • Among many climate scientists, gloom has set in. Things are worse than we think, but they can’t really talk about it.
    http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a36228/ballad-of-the-sad-climatologists-0815/
    The incident was small, but Jason Box doesn’t want to talk about it. He’s been skittish about the media since it happened. This was last summer, as he was reading the cheery blog posts transmitted by the chief scientist on the Swedish icebreaker Oden, which was exploring the Arctic for an international expedition led by Stockholm University. “Our first observations of elevated methane levels, about ten times higher than in background seawater, were documented . . . we discovered over 100 new methane seep sites…. The weather Gods are still on our side as we steam through a now ice-free Laptev Sea….”

    As a leading climatologist who spent many years studying the Arctic at the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center at Ohio State, Box knew that this breezy scientific detachment described one of the nightmare long-shot climate scenarios: a feedback loop where warming seas release methane that causes warming that releases more methane that causes more warming, on and on until the planet is incompatible with human life. And he knew there were similar methane releases occurring in the area. On impulse, he sent out a tweet.

  • What does peace really look like? No more humans who fuck everything up. So it looks like we’re on the right path! Let’s just hope there’s some other life left to enjoy the peace. Even if it’s just the cockroaches.

  • For me, this is the big news of the day. The psychopathic SOBs have known all along, and they have finally been ratted out.

    http://www.ucsusa.org/global-warming/fight-misinformation/climate-deception-dossiers-fossil-fuel-industry-memos

  • Although I bitterly railed a while back against using the term ‘we’ to describe humans….. ‘we’ are the early humans, and ‘we’ are just having trouble handling this adolescent phase of culture. Seems earlier groups kept the adolescent phase of growth under check, but now the dominant class, group, elites will not be constrained by elders understanding of limits to what can be played out here on this small rock-so they killed all the elders!

    I come the the point now of just being honorable to those around me, and share what’s needed. Not be too proud to accept others generosity, it is a demonstration of equality.

    I think Guy is right though in describing some people’s way is one of war, even as the vast multitude are not considering too deeply why that is so, and who is dying for our convenient snowy or country retreat vacation-nor the water on tap and food close to purchase with symbolic tokens.

    Killing is bad. Maybe to get all your retirement money you have to kill some family in a poor country with a drone strike, or destroy one river system with a toxic sludge spill, or take out the last breeding pair of an endangered species. If you chicken out, you only get half of that pension or retirement and the other half goes to saving them.

    This begs the question, would this actually slow down the destruction, or actually speed it up?

    Not holding my breath on that one either…. 😉

    I can here a reality TV show being scripted somewhere as I write.

  • I dont like Chris Hedges because he never came clean or apologized for his dehumanizing cancer in occupy article about how the anarchists are soooo not part of his revolution. OK. I saw black bloc fight with POC against an army of crazed killer cops in Cincinnati. Fought them back inside their pig station, barricaded themselves in, and those nasty black bloc people actually pulled rubbish bins up on the steps of the pig station and lit them on fire. Since the Cancer article, Hedges has obviously gone out of his way to read Emma Goldman, Bakunin, Proudhon and others…since now hes speaking their language directly…but he just cant…just cant…bring himself to acknowledge one. the humanity of those black bloc people and two. his inability to admit that he farked up.

    Sorry. My life is too short. Two strikes and youre out in my book. Graeber asked him for an apology, offered to debate him in public. Hedges refuses on both counts and is still holding onto his pronouncements even though occupy is long dead and his reading list now includes enough material to put him without reservation into the black blocers camp. But he wont go there under any humanly imaginable circumstances, so Chris Hedges can go ahead and run his own revolution, complete with demagoguery, hypocrisy, and holier than thou style of inclusivity and see how far he gets the ball down the field.

    Sorry. The black bloc Anarchos have, in my lifetime, been the only ones willing without reservation to put their body on the front lines. Your front line soldiers. And when you ideologically take those personnel off the field, youve given victory to your opponents. By way of nonviolent communication, i will express my needs: All I want is an apology, an acknowledgement of the humanity of my friends whose already rather tenuous lives youve put in potential danger with your bad jacketing. In other words, I am not going to get behind a so called revolution that has to snitch, sell out, if not mortally wound a rather significant portion of the people who agree with you so that you can placate the sympathies of the privileged boojwa.

    ====================

    Part two: Rain came yesterday to Thailand in torrential floods after someone blew up a doraemon balloon, stuck it in a cat cage, took it out in the field and threw water on it. Thats how you make it rain. Followed by one third of yearly rainfall in less than two days. That sounds super normal doesnt it? Tell them in Cali and OZ to start stocking up on blow up doraemons.

  • OzMan – Tribalism never was an answer, nor will it ever be adequate to deal with humankind’s problems. Those who cling to the fantasy that tribal life was some kind of Disney paradise, are smoking you know what. If it was so great, why are we where we are now? It was a necessary phase in human development, but it was far from the sustainable solution to our difficult problem of evolving intelligence, and learning to get along with each other as our increasing skills allowed our numbers to increase in an unrestrained manner. That these small groups of hunter/gatherers scattered around the globe had some kind of profound ecological wisdom is just a piece of the noble savage daydream that does not stand up to realistic enquiry. We simply lacked the tools to really mess with the environment that much, and our numbers were not yet overwhelming.

    In addition, modern anthropological research reveals the extent of warfare between tribes. So easy to use the weapons developed for hunting animals on each other. The very development of unique folkways and mythologies within a given tribe became also the excuse for despising and attacking other tribes with different paints and ceremonies. Feeling one’s tribe special and above others was unifying within the group, but fed the tendency to regard others as inferior and deserving to die. One recalls how skillfully Hitler and his minions used this remaining shadow of tribalism to set the German people on a destructive rampage unparalleled in history.

    On reflection we realize that the way forward is not the way back to some imagined prior paradise, but we must find the ways to use that very intelligence which spawned our increasing difficulties to find solutions to these ancient problems around peaceful cooperation. In short, how to create a culture of love rather than one of selfishness, hate, and violence?

    None of what I have said here denies the real positive values that existed in tribal cultures of the past. We need to rediscover and bring forward those positive aspects of our ancient heritage. It is only the undiscriminating worship of everything in tribal life that needs to be abandoned.

    Interestingly there have been wise persons throughout history who have understood what I have put forth here, and they have proposed various ways that we might mature as humans and learn the ways of happy cooperation and mutual aid and understanding. One can view history as a struggle between their wisdom and the sluggish masses who are manipulated by various elites to remain at a backward and violent level of development. Simply stated the contest between the peace loving and the warlike, or the conflict between love and hate. The choice between Machiavelli and Lao Tsu. Our fate depends on that choice….

    It should go without saying that I regard the project to accomplish peace through violence a no win policy, as it has proved to be throughout our history. Check with George Orwell on that one. We may not trust or understand the ways of love, but the alternatives are rapidly foreclosing our stay on Earth.

  • 4 Droughts Happening Right Now That Are Worse Than California’s

    Puerto Rico
    India
    Sao Paolo
    North Korea

    http://gizmodo.com/4-droughts-happening-right-now-that-are-worse-than-cali-1715448947

  • I just finished reading Steven A. LeBlanc’s, Constant Battles: Why We Fight (2004), which theme fits perfectly with the headline. LeBlanc is an archaeologist at Harvard’s Peabody Museum. He dispells the myth of a peaceful past for all humans, including hunter-gatherers. His argument is that humans have, as far back as archaeological evidence has been found, overpopulated their resources, denuded the land, extirminated other species, and moved on to do the same elsewhere. He shows that ecological imbalance has always been the primary cause of fighting and war. Here are a few lines from the book:

    “Humans have been destroying their environments for a long time and continue to do so for the same reasons they did in the past. Much of today’s warfare reads just like the warfare of tens of thousands of years ago.”

    “The one common thread I found with all this warfare . . . was that it correlated with people exceeding their area’s carrying capacity. Ecological imbalance, I believe, is the fundamental cause of warfare.”

    “The idea that poverty breeds war is far from original. However, the reason poverty exists has remained the same since the beginning of time. Humans invariably overexploit their resources and overreproduce, and a segment of the population always winds up on the very margins of existence.”

    “The places where humans have had the greatest amount of time to “foul their nest” will almost always have many more people and a degraded resource base.”

    However, after a whole book of evidence to the contrary, LeBlanc believes that humans are not necessarily destined to repeat the past. In a wild stroke of what I call Naomi Klein Misguided Utopianism, LeBlanc says this on last page of the book:

    “For the first time in history, we have a real ability to provide adequate resources for everyone living on the planet. If we have reached a point at which we can live within Earth’s carrying capacity, we can eliminate warfare in the same way we can eliminate infectious disease, not perfectly, not immediately, but slowly and surely.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_A._LeBlanc

  • .
    .
    Overpopulation
    Overconsumption
    .
    unsustainable.
    .
    .
    Looking forward to war, famine, and pestilence.
    .

    Just sitting on this runaway train, staring out the window, with a cat on my lap.
    .
    Sadly, this is what we’ve come to:
    .
    The Voluntary Extinction Movement says:
    “…thou shalt not procreate.”

    The Church of Euthanasia says:
    “Save the planet, kill yourself.”

  • Global Wheat Shipments Seen at Risk as Canada Drought Bites

    The drought parching fields across parts of Canada risks triggering a shortfall in global wheat exports, according to Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., …

    http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/global-wheat-shipments-seen-at-risk-as-canada-drought-bites/

  • “The black bloc Anarchos have, in my lifetime, been the only ones willing without reservation to put their body on the front lines. Your front line soldiers.”

    More soldiers? More wars? Another failed revolution, whether it “succeeds” or not? IMO this has even less chance of delivering anything but more pain than the retro-romantic back to nature dreams I critiqued above. I am tempted to use the ‘H’ word, except it has been so abused that Marx would probably wish he had never fathered it with his famous opium of the people remark.

  • Bob S. – thanks for the link; here come the food shortages.

    pat: you won’t have much longer to wait.

    Rita and mike k: Many here will agree with you (including me).

    Screaming Hot Pacific A Sea of Storms as 2015 El Nino Breaks Records For Spring Intensity

    https://robertscribbler.com/2015/07/08/screaming-hot-pacific-a-sea-of-storms-as-2015-el-nino-breaks-records-for-spring-intensity/

    [ends with]

    And with El Nino forecast to be strong to absolutely monstrous, it is highly advised that US West Coasters keep a weather watch out for the coming Fall.

  • Guy has often spoken of the “denial industry” that feeds misinformation to the corporate owned mainstream media. Here’s the proof:

    The Climate Deception Dossiers

    http://www.ucsusa.org/global-warming/fight-misinformation/climate-deception-dossiers-fossil-fuel-industry-memos#.VZ5bPfk2ncs

    Internal fossil fuel industry memos reveal decades of disinformation—a deliberate campaign to deceive the public that continues even today.

  • Practice what you preach pat and you will be more credible.4

  • .
    .
    In “Past the Point of No Return”, I promised that the solution would involve things that no one would particularly like. I repeat that warning now. Please try to bear in mind that what I present here is not something that I particularly advocate per se. The question before us is what could we do to mitigate the problem of overpopulation. It is that question that I seek to provide an answer for. This is an exercise in feasible solution finding. Not in politics.
    .
    .

  • Jean Turcot: “Overpopulation has never been the problem, still isn’t.”

    It has for many centuries been a root problem. Absent human overpopulation we would not have human caused extinctions, deforestation, desertification, industrialization, capitalism, climate change, and so on down a dark and gloomy list.

    I haven’t read a more succinct, yet comprehensive, treatment of the subject than the Afterword written by Eileen Crist for Tom Butler’s book, Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot (2015).

    You can read her full essay here:
    http://eileencrist.com/images/pdf/Crist_Planet_of_Life_reprint.pdf

  • Insofar as reducing population size is desired (IF it is desired) then championing abortion rights (and women’s rights) seems like the thing to start with. There are other ideas too, but not many will like them.

  • “Tribalism never was an answer, nor will it ever be adequate to deal with humankind’s problems. Those who cling to the fantasy that tribal life was some kind of Disney paradise, are smoking you know what. If it was so great, why are we where we are now? It was a necessary phase in human development, but it was far from the sustainable solution to our difficult problem of evolving intelligence, and learning to get along with each other as our increasing skills allowed our numbers to increase in an unrestrained manner. That these small groups of hunter/gatherers scattered around the globe had some kind of profound ecological wisdom is just a piece of the noble savage daydream that does not stand up to realistic enquiry. We simply lacked the tools to really mess with the environment that much, and our numbers were not yet overwhelming.”

    Bullshit. Total bullshit. You comments, AGAIN, indicate little to no understanding of Native Americans. They didn’t do more damage because they didn’t have the tools. Right. That’s a piece of self-serving delusion that contradicts everything they ever said about the earth and nature.

    “If it was so great, why are we where we are now?” you ask. Nothing like dismissing a genocide of a few hundred million people in the western hemisphere, the “new world.”

    Why are we where we are now? Because western civilization is a psychotic, psychopathic death march that doesn’t tolerate people who don’t exploit their environment to extinction.

    But somehow that’s the fault of the Native Americans, I guess, because what they had wasn’t “good enough.”

    God, are you ever a piece of work.

  • Mike, you trot out the fantasy logic that if indigenous, tribal weren’t perfect (according to your values), and they had conflict, it wasn’t sufficient, because we’re “evolving.”

    In short, if they weren’t your own Disney-fantasy level of getting along with everyone, or eating like monkeys from trees, then it wasn’t “good enough.” No, that is mainstream, Euro-centric, delusional bullshit again.

    You aren’t competent to judge what is good enough for all people in the world, or what we are “evolving” into. And you don’t know enough about tribal people to dismiss them, either, as is evident by your groundless statements, and the fact that you even use the old (very old, as in over 200 years old), supremely racist “noble savage” term, and spew its racist nonsense.

    You have no idea what you are talking about, and you have no idea how truly ugly your comments are.

  • pat Says:
    July 9th, 2015 at 8:36 am

    … what I present here is not something that I particularly advocate per se …
    =================================
    It is just bullshit that you as a psycho-bully want to try out to see if any libruls will kill themselves to save stuff.

    Lunacy.

    Like other Oil-Qaeda operatives whose day job is bringing death and destruction to the world, you should change direction post haste.

    Start preaching your wares on Oil-Qaeda blogs.

    The Criminally Insane Epoch Arises – 4

    After all, you and they are on the edge of extinction.

  • Rita,

    Thanks for the Eileen Crist link.

    Overpopulation (human overshoot) is the problem, you are dead right.

    It’s just another taboo which must not be discussed and confronted.
    And, of course, it’s very difficult to confront if you have children which most people do, I understand that.
    Humans just take it for granted that they are the “exception” where life is concerned but when it’s convenient, the life process of procreation is conveniently co-opted to defend all sorts of things, even having children, the next generation to pay people’s pensions! That’s a popular reason cited here in Europe by our politicians.
    It’s surreal.
    “It’s only [the]nature after all, we share with all other animals just like the other life processes(breathing, eating, defecating etc)” people say. But of course, they say, in all other fields humans are really the exception. Everything is here for humans to consume or just beautiful scenery for their delight.
    I’m talking about the majority, not the many insightful ones here.
    It’s an insight that Jean might like to acquire all the same.

    This way of “reasoning” is cultural conditioning, and it must never be questioned! If you do, you’re a misanthrope or worse.
    There really is no hope.

  • Rita,

    It goes without saying of course that a population of 100 million people would be less imposing on environments than 100 billion people. It is also sensible to deduce that some environments cannot accommodate as many people as others. There is also no argument with the fact that as we learned to better manage the environments in which we lived, we would as a result increase our ability to live within such environments. The Aztecs and Mayans as far as I am aware developed considerable techniques of water management by building canals and waterways which allowed them to expand their range.

    In time, the more our species discovered better growing techniques, fossil fuels usage and better and better tools for agricultural development, as well as better food preservation techniques, our ability to increase our numbers was that much more enhanced. There may have been as you point out some moments during which the local population would exceed the ability of the land to sustain it, but those were probably more isolated instances than not. But when the planet became a global village, and bananas for instance became available to residents anywhere on earth, the potential to increase the human population became even greater.

    You stated in your post that you had just finished a book by Steven A. LeBlanc from Harvard who maintains and I quote, from your quote: ““For the first time in history, we have a real ability to provide adequate resources for everyone living on the planet.”

    But the most important point LeBlanc makes is that this possibility will only become possible “if we eliminate warfare.” The last comment from the book to which you referred is that this could be done:”Not perfectly, not immediately, but slowly and surely.”

    Some people have even gone so far as to suggest that the carrying capacity of the planet for humanity is much greater than has so far been estimated. A concept to which I am in complete agreement, but with obvious limitations AND reservations. As LeBlanc suggests (bless his Harvard soul) it could be done, slowly but surely.

    Of course there is the nagging possibility that this century may be our last, and that even that much time may be wishful thinking. If we do have a chance to keep nature from coming to bat however, we will have to change the way we think and how we live together, and therefore act without causing the destruction that we have so far inflicted on the planet. As an example, there are at this very moment about one million humans sitting in airplanes flying all over the planet, all of which is completely unnecessary, and that is only one example.

    The mere mention on this blog that there aren’t too many people living on Earth sends a shiver of disbelief through the ranks. So if you want to feel safe from an onslaught of naysayers better learn how to swim in rough waters. We could of course write a book about the subject, but then that is what LeBlanc. So for those who quote Paul Ehrlich ad infinitum, give this guy a chance. I.e.,”Constant Battles: Why We Fight”. Published in 2004.

  • Rita,

    You quoted Steven LeBlanc: “The one common thread I found with all this warfare … was that it correlated with people exceeding their area’s carrying capacity. Ecological imbalance, I believe, is the fundamental cause of warfare.”

    This makes eminent sense to me. It occurs me that one major influence behind the general decline of warfare in the 20th century (aside from a couple of unfortunate lapses) might be that we finally had enough social organization, technology and energy to boost the human-centric carrying capacity of the planet by stealing carrying capacity previously used by other life. This reduced the ecological pressure on human beings enough that we didn’t need to go to war and try to steal each other’s carrying capacity.

    This is, of course, about to change. The ability of the planet to supply carrying capacity is being reduced through climate change and pollution. The amount of energy we have at our disposal to facilitate the ongoing theft of CC from other species may be about to decline. Our social organization is beginning to fray. And all the while our numbers are climbing by 80 million a year. The carrying capacity we have available may soon not be sufficient for us, and we will be forced back into the time-tested tradition of stealing it from other people.

    During our major growth phase over the last century or two, the carrying capacity we could draw on was apparently increasing, so warfare died down. The obvious implication is that as we begin our descent, the reverse will happen. We will become very eager to steal CC from any place we can. This will result in the further and more complete extinction of wildlife as well as a dramatic and long-term rise in the level of warfare.

    I wrote the next two paragraphs a few days ago as a comment on a similar topic on FB:

    Our big brains have given us some extraordinary gifts. One is the problem-solving ability that lets us keep growing when perhaps we should take a break. the other is our incredible social adaptability. We can be competitive or cooperative, selfish or altruistic as the situation seems to call for, and we can switch from one to the other at the drop of a hat. This seems connected to our perceptions of surplus or shortage. In a situation of perceived surplus, both individuals and nations tend to be cooperative, altruistic and peaceful. When the perception of shortage rears its head, people and pull in their horns, becoming more competitive, selfish and combative.

    For me this explains the relative low level of warfare since the end of WWII, as humanity entered the period of greatest perceived surplus in history. However, more people are now becoming subliminally aware that we are near the limits, and that results in more people exhibiting attitudes of selfishness, insularity and xenophobia. Such personal attitudes also colour the cultural tone when they are exhibited by public opinion leaders.

  • The Most Common Ways To Die
    In ‘mericuh. Fer now.

  • São Paulo: Worries grow as serious drought grips Brazil’s largest city – ‘Even if you reduce the water consumption for the city, you don’t have the water’

    http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2015/07/sao-paulo-worries-grow-as-serious.html

    One of the world’s most populous cities is running out of water.

    São Paulo, Brazil, is in the grips of the city’s worst drought in the last half-century. The city’s main water supply—called the Cantareira system—is running on emergency reserves. Normally this time of year, the city’s main supply would hold more than 155 billion gallons of water. But that water is all gone, and the government has been forced to tap into emergency reserves.

    “São Paulo’s current drought emergency is both unprecedented and unpredicted,” said Juliana Garrido, senior water and sanitation specialist for the World Bank.

    Before the 2014 drought, the system was supplying about 8,700 gallons of water a second, according to the World Bank. Today, it’s operating at 3,563 gallons per second, according to data from Brazil’s National Water Agency.

    Martha Lu, a 43-year-old resident of São Paulo and water activist, said that she has seen neighbors fight over water access during temporary water shut-offs. She said she had spoken to a woman who was disposing of human waste in plastic bags so she could avoid buying expensive mineral water to fill her toilet.

    The problem is even more acute in the suburbs of the city, which tend to be poorer than the city itself.

    “They have two hours of water on tap—the women don’t sleep because the water comes in the early hours of the morning, at around 4 a.m.,” Lu said of suburban areas. “They don’t have water storage, so they have to stay awake because they don’t know when the water is coming again. They stay up to collect it in buckets and try to do laundry, it’s terrible.”
    [more]

  • Regarding the overpopulation issue, We’ve wildly overshot Earth’s carrying capacity. We’ve only been able to survive up to this point through the profligate use of fossil fuels which has allowed us to deplete Earth’s resources. As a result, we’ve destroyed the biosphere and will soon go extinct. The only question remaining is what, if any life, survives the approaching climate Armageddon. The future of life on Earth likely belongs to bacteria, and not much else.

  • Exxon Knew of Climate Change in 1981, Email Says — But It Funded Deniers for 27 More Years

    Newly unearthed memo from renowned scientist paints a damning picture.

    By Suzanne Goldenberg / The Guardian

    July 9, 2015

    ExxonMobil, the world’s biggest oil company, knew as early as 1981 of climate change – seven years before it became a public issue, according to a newly discovered email from one of the firm’s own scientists. Despite this the firm spent millions over the next 27 years to promote climate denial.

    The email from Exxon’s in-house climate expert provides evidence the company was aware of the connection between fossil fuels and climate change, and the potential for carbon-cutting regulations that could hurt its bottom line, over a generation ago – factoring that knowledge into its decision about an enormous gas field in south-east Asia. The field, off the coast of Indonesia, would have been the single largest source of global warming pollution at the time.

    “Exxon first got interested in climate change in 1981 because it was seeking to develop the Natuna gas field off Indonesia,” Lenny Bernstein, a 30-year industry veteran and Exxon’s former in-house climate expert, wrote in the email. “This is an immense reserve of natural gas, but it is 70% CO2,” or carbon dioxide, the main driver of climate change.

    However, Exxon’s public position was marked by continued refusal to acknowledge the dangers of climate change, even in response to appeals from the Rockefellers, its founding family, and its continued financial support for climate denial. Over the years, Exxon spent more than $30m on thinktanks and researchers that promoted climate denial, according to Greenpeace.
    Exxon said on Wednesday that it now acknowledges the risk of climate change and does not fund climate change denial groups.

    Some climate campaigners have likened the industry to the conduct of the tobacco industry which for decades resisted the evidence that smoking causes cancer.
    In the email Bernstein, a chemical engineer and climate expert who spent 30 years at Exxon and Mobil and was a lead author on two of the United Nations’ blockbuster IPCC climate science reports, said climate change first emerged on the company’s radar in 1981, when the company was considering the development of south-east Asia’s biggest gas field, off Indonesia.
    That was seven years ahead of other oil companies and the public, according to Bernstein’s account.

    Climate change was largely confined to the realm of science until 1988, when the climate scientist James Hansen told Congress that global warming was caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, due to the burning of fossil fuels.

    By that time, it was clear that developing the Natuna site would set off a huge amount of climate change pollution – effectively a “carbon bomb”, according to Bernstein.

    “When I first learned about the project in 1989, the projections were that if Natuna were developed and its CO2 vented to the atmosphere, it would be the largest point source of CO2 in the world and account for about 1% of projected global CO2 emissions. I’m sure that it would still be the largest point source of CO2, but since CO2 emissions have grown faster than projected in 1989, it would probably account for a smaller fraction of global CO2 emissions,” Bernstein wrote.

    The email was written in response to an inquiry on business ethics from the Institute for Applied and Professional Ethics at Ohio University.

    “What it shows is that Exxon knew years earlier than James Hansen’s testimony to Congress that climate change was a reality; that it accepted the reality, instead of denying the reality as they have done publicly, and to such an extent that it took it into account in their decision making, in making their economic calculation,” the director of the institute, Alyssa Bernstein (no relation), told the Guardian.

    “One thing that occurs to me is the behavior of the tobacco companies denying the connection between smoking and lung cancer for the sake of profits, but this is an order of magnitude greater moral offence, in my opinion, because what is at stake is the fate of the planet, humanity, and the future of civilisation, not to be melodramatic.”

    Bernstein’s response, first posted on the institute’s website last October, was released by the Union of Concerned Scientists on Wednesday as part of a report on climate disinformation promoted by companies such as ExxonMobil, BP, Shell and Peabody Energy, called the Climate Deception Dossiers.

    Asked about Bernstein’s comments, Exxon said climate science in the early 1980s was at a preliminary stage, but the company now saw climate change as a risk.

    “The science in 1981 on this subject was in the very, very early days and there was considerable division of opinion,” Richard Keil, an Exxon spokesman, said. “There was nobody you could have gone to in 1981 or 1984 who would have said whether it was real or not. Nobody could provide a definitive answer.”

    He rejected the idea that Exxon had funded groups promoting climate denial. “I am here to talk to you about the present,” he said. “We have been factoring the likelihood of some kind of carbon tax into our business planning since 2007. We do not fund or support those who deny the reality of climate change.”

    Exxon, unlike other companies and the public at large in the early 1980s, was already aware of climate change – and the prospect of regulations to limit the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, according to Bernstein’s account.

    “In the 1980s, Exxon needed to understand the potential for concerns about climate change to lead to regulation that would affect Natuna and other potential projects. They were well ahead of the rest of industry in this awareness. Other companies, such as Mobil, only became aware of the issue in 1988, when it first became a political issue,” he wrote.

    “Natural resource companies – oil, coal, minerals – have to make investments that have lifetimes of 50-100 years. Whatever their public stance, internally they make very careful assessments of the potential for regulation, including the scientific basis for those regulations,” Bernstein wrote in the email.

    Naomi Oreskes, a Harvard University professor who researches the history of climate science, said it was unsurprising Exxon would have factored climate change in its plans in the early 1980s – but she disputed Bernstein’s suggestion that other companies were not. She also took issue with Exxon’s assertion of uncertainty about the science in the 1980s, noting the National Academy of Science describing a consensus on climate change from the 1970s.

    The White House and the National Academy of Sciences came out with reports on climate change in the 1970s, and government scientific agencies were studying climate change in the 1960s, she said. There were also a number of major scientific meetings on climate change in the 1970s.

    “I find it difficult to believe that an industry whose business model depends on fossil fuels could have been completely ignoring major environmental reports, major environmental meetings taken place in which carbon dioxide and climate change were talked about,” she said in an interview with the Guardian.

    The East Natuna gas field, about 140 miles north-east of the Natuna islands in the South China Sea and 700 miles north of Jakarta, is the biggest in south-east Asia, with about 46tn cubic ft (1.3tn cubic metres) of recoverable reserves.

    However, Exxon did not go into production on the field.

    Bernstein writes in his email to Ohio University: “Corporations are interested in environmental impacts only to the extent that they affect profits, either current or future. They may take what appears to be altruistic positions to improve their public image, but the assumption underlying those actions is that they will increase future profits. ExxonMobil is an interesting case in point.”

    Bernstein, who is now in his mid-70s, spent 20 years as a scientist at Exxon and 10 years at Mobil. During the 1990s he headed the science and technology advisory committee of the Global Climate Coalition, an industry group that lobbied aggressively against the scientific consensus around the causes of climate change.

    However, GCC climate experts accepted the impact of human activity on climate change in their internal communications as early as 1995, according to a document filed in a 2009 lawsuit and included in the UCS dossier.
    The document, a 17-page primer on climate science produced by Bernstein’s advisory committee, discounts the alternate theories about the causes of climate change promoted by climate contrarian researchers such as Willie Soon, who was partly funded by Exxon.
    “The contrarian theories raise interesting questions about our total understanding of climate processes, but they do not offer convincing arguments against the conventional model of greenhouse gas emission-induced climate change,” the advisory committee said.

    The 1995 primer was never released for publication. A subsequent version, which was publicly distributed in 1998, removed the reference to “contrarian theories”, and continued to dispute the science underlying climate change.

    Kenneth Kimmel, the president of the Union of Concerned Scientists, said ExxonMobil and the other companies profiled in its report had failed to take responsibility about the danger to the public of producing fossil fuels.
    “Instead of taking responsibility, they have either directly – or indirectly through trade and industry groups – sown doubt about the science of climate change and fought efforts to cut emissions,” he wrote in a blogpost. “I believe that the conduct outlined in the UCS report puts the fossil fuel companies’ social license at risk. And once that social license is gone, it is very hard to get it back. Just look at what happened to tobacco companies after litigation finally pried open the documents that exposed decades of misinformation and deception.”
    Keil, the ExxonMobil spokesman, confirmed that the company had decided not to develop Natuna, but would not comment on the reasons. “There could be a huge range of reasons why we don’t develop projects,” he said.
    Full text of scientist’s email
    Below is the text of an email from Lenny Bernstein to the director of the Institute for Applied and Professional Ethics at Ohio University, Alyssa Bernstein (no relation), who had asked for ideas to stimulate students for an ethics day announced by the Carnegie Council.

    Alyssa’s right. Feel free to share this e-mail with her. Corporations are interested in environmental impacts only to the extent that they affect profits, either current or future. They may take what appears to be altruistic positions to improve their public image, but the assumption underlying those actions is that they will increase future profits. ExxonMobil is an interesting case in point.

    Exxon first got interested in climate change in 1981 because it was seeking to develop the Natuna gas field off Indonesia. This is an immense reserve of natural gas, but it is 70% CO2. That CO2 would have to be separated to make the natural gas usable. Natural gas often contains CO2 and the technology for removing CO2 is well known. In 1981 (and now) the usual practice was to vent the CO2 to the atmosphere. When I first learned about the project in 1989, the projections were that if Natuna were developed and its CO2 vented to the atmosphere, it would be the largest point source of CO2 in the world and account for about 1% of projected global CO2 emissions. I’m sure that it would still be the largest point source of CO2, but since CO2 emissions have grown faster than projected in 1989, it would probably account for a smaller fraction of global CO2 emissions.

    The alternative to venting CO2 to the atmosphere is to inject it into ground. This technology was also well known, since the oil industry had been injecting limited quantities of CO2 to enhance oil recovery. There were many questions about whether the CO2 would remain in the ground, some of which have been answered by Statoil’s now almost 20 years of experience injecting CO2 in the North Sea. Statoil did this because the Norwegian government placed a tax on vented CO2. It was cheaper for Statoil to inject CO2 than pay the tax. Of course, Statoil has touted how much CO2 it has prevented from being emitted.

    In the 1980s, Exxon needed to understand the potential for concerns about climate change to lead to regulation that would affect Natuna and other potential projects. They were well ahead of the rest of industry in this awareness. Other companies, such as Mobil, only became aware of the issue in 1988, when it first became a political issue. Natural resource companies – oil, coal, minerals – have to make investments that have lifetimes of 50-100 years. Whatever their public stance, internally they make very careful assessments of the potential for regulation, including the scientific basis for those regulations. Exxon NEVER denied the potential for humans to impact the climate system. It did question – legitimately, in my opinion – the validity of some of the science.

    Political battles need to personify the enemy. This is why liberals spend so much time vilifying the Koch brothers – who are hardly the only big money supporters of conservative ideas. In climate change, the first villain was a man named Donald Pearlman, who was a lobbyist for Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. (In another life, he was instrumental in getting the US Holocaust Museum funded and built.) Pearlman’s usefulness as a villain ended when he died of lung cancer – he was a heavy smoker to the end.

    Then the villain was the Global Climate Coalition (GCC), a trade organization of energy producers and large energy users. I was involved in GCC for a while, unsuccessfully trying to get them to recognize scientific reality. (That effort got me on to the front page of the New York Times, but that’s another story.) Environmental group pressure was successful in putting GCC out of business, but they also lost their villain. They needed one which wouldn’t die and wouldn’t go out of business. Exxon, and after its merger with Mobil ExxonMobil, fit the bill, especially under its former CEO, Lee Raymond, who was vocally opposed to climate change regulation. ExxonMobil’s current CEO, Rex Tillerson, has taken a much softer line, but ExxonMobil has not lost its position as the personification of corporate, and especially climate change, evil. It is the only company mentioned in Alyssa’s e-mail, even though, in my opinion, it is far more ethical that many other large corporations.

    Having spent twenty years working for Exxon and ten working for Mobil, I know that much of that ethical behavior comes from a business calculation that it is cheaper in the long run to be ethical than unethical. Safety is the clearest example of this. ExxonMobil knows all too well the cost of poor safety practices. The Exxon Valdez is the most public, but far from the only, example of the high cost of unsafe operations. The value of good environmental practices are more subtle, but a facility that does a good job of controlling emission and waste is a well run facility, that is probably maximizing profit. All major companies will tell you that they are trying to minimize their internal CO2 emissions. Mostly, they are doing this by improving energy efficiency and reducing cost. The same is true for internal recycling, again a practice most companies follow. Its [sic] just good engineering.

  • P.S.

    One book I think us fellow NTE’s should read is CONSUMED by
    author Benjamin R. Barber, it just reinforces my belief that
    humanity is totality screwed up, the brainwashing is so
    deep there is no way out !

  • Thumbs up Mike K for posting the point Chris Hedges was making, Thumb’s up your ass Gerald Spezio for your ignorance once again !

  • Whoever thought a Keanu Reeves movie villain would be the voice of reason?

    Agent Smith: “I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you’re not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You’re a plague and we are the cure.”

  • Guy is correct when he states that tribalism (I assume he means hunter-gatherer tribes ) is a much superior system than industrial civilisation.
    I am short of time at the moment,but if anyone is interested I have just posted a comment on the Collapse of Industrial Civilisation site giving greater detail on this point.
    Rita,read ‘War ,Peace and Human Nature’ for a more complete analysis than
    Le Blanc’s book.

  • i concur with everyone who liked the esquire article. one of it’s aspects that affected me the most was the example of jason box (and i think another climate scientist mentioned) saying something like ‘what a relief it is to have moved from the u.s. to someplace far less ignorant and insane’. makes me wish i had more social moxie and confidence to try such a big move, preferably to some place like jason’s ‘free town’, copenhagen, or perhaps rural thailand, wester’s reported current abode, some place i’d feel more at home and able to enjoy more what life is left to be lived. (sigh) i make the best of it here, in my native land. i figure no place is perfect, no place a complete refuge from the alienation/isolation that comes with being a stranger in a strange land… something i suspect we all can relate to.

  • One thing is for sure. I am at war with my computer. If there was ever an idiot with irreparable traits its the callousness and uncaring attitude, it is my worst enemy, Hal the Roid. If it wasn’t so costly, I would add its magnificent skeleton to the tons of garbage that are lying at the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

  • I’ve been waking up to the idea of how mesmerized the entire planet is by the European story. Everybody wants to be white and have the credentials of European Empire behind them. Look at Chinese development: the Western model of development on steroids. Africans straighten their hair and sometimes even bleach their skin to look more European. Cubans think they are Europeans. For most of my life, I took it for granted that the destiny of everyone on earth was to become a secular, educated Westerner. And then it struck me (with the help of Guy) how utterly pointless was this Western idealization.

    How can the system of Western culture be ideal when it has brought about the 6th great extinction? What kind of culture is that to model? I don’t attribute the worship of the West to individual perverseness, but rather to the perverse power of a story that has us all in its grips. So powerful is the story that very smart Western people cannot own up to the calamity their system of privilege has wrought. Suddenly, it’s not Western culture that has brought about extinction; instead it is innate human nature. Native Americans were less brutal than the occupiers simply because they lacked guns. Although it was plain to see that native people coexisted with a very thriving diversity of plants and animals, there is no effort spared to dig up theories as to how destructive they REALLY were. Don’t ask us to change anything, the Westerner says. Every other set of people was exactly as destructive as we, just on a different time scale. So, the argument goes, it’s not that native people couldn’t conceive of the mindless destruction of the colonists, it’s just that they were less technologically adept for the task. People get away with this because no one seems able to conceive of an alternative story of culture other than the Western one. Everything must be seen in terms of Western norms.

    Why has environmentalism been so ineffective? Why have all the remedies for our ills not worked? Many reasons, I suppose, but we must not underestimate the futility and harmfulness of the Western story. Permaculture is an example. I’ve been bothered by permaculture, but only recently have come to some idea as to why. Despite its brilliance, it is an uncritically “progressivist” (word) European program. It leaves out the cultural stories of the place. Its supposed neutrality to story is itself a story. In that sense, it shares some of the sins of European colonialist ideology that has taken over and spread havoc throughout the world.

    A permaculture apologist said to me: “Bill Mollison, who founded Permaculture along with his student David Holmgren, had spent an awful lot of time studying how aborigines and other ‘primitie’ people did things. He also studied how Nature worked.”

    How nature works? As though that had nothing to do with a story. Anyway, since the time of their study, the planet has become exponentially more damaged. They are part of the European hegemonic system. They do not take a respectful place at the foot of the table of the native peoples they learned from. They bewail the ecological ignorance of a subsection of their own hegemonic system, while not (to any significant degree that I can see) delving into the social, political and psychological underpinnings of the system. To do that, they would have to be revolutionaries, and that would bring them into sharp opposition with BAU.

    What I see instead as “how nature works” is the massive decline in the environment since (and despite the founders’ efforts) my becoming aware of permaculture 30 years ago. Maybe society doesn’t work the way they see it. You can’t just teach people to be “better stewards of the land,” apparently. You have to integrate said stewardship within a system that honors the psychological trauma of the global south that has, for instance, turned China and India into leading monsters of environmental destruction within those identical 30 years. Maybe that takes social and political science too. And even softer sciences like cultural anthropology. The West has done a hatchet job on the minds and lands of the global south. I don’t see permaculture doing anything to counter that.

    ————————–

    IMO, the third world is the new global standard. Western science and technology must fill in the gaps, not lead the way. This is apparently a very difficult concept for Westerners to grasp.

  • The site following, specializing in dying trees, is worth a read.

    http://www.witsendnj.blogspot.com/

  • Also seeking vegan folks to brainstorm the creation of 100% vegan urban community in or near Portland, Oregon along the light rail line.

    I hope that includes a vegan maternity ward, the world needs more vegans

    More BS wishful thinking ?

  • The constant vicious infighting in the comments of this website sadly perfectly demonstrates the warlike and aggressive nature of humans…

  • Alton C. Thompson’s latest essay in this space tops the page. It’s here.

  • Jade Helm 15, heavily scrutinized military exercise, to open without media access

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2015/07/08/jade-helm-15-heavily-scrutinized-military-exercise-to-open-without-media-access/

    [quotes]

    The exercise is scheduled for July 15 through September 15 and is expected to include more than 1,200 troops. Army Special Operations Command announced the exercise in March, saying its size and scope would set it apart from most training exercises.

    [and]

    The Washington Post has several times requested access to observe the exercise, making the case to the military that first-hand media coverage would help explain the mission. Lastoria said it is not possible to allow a journalist to travel with Special Operations forces in the field, citing the isolated nature of the mission and the need to protect the identity of the forces involved.

    Dredd, you might be interested in this one.

    Study: Global sea levels have risen six meters or more with just slight global warming

    http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/archives/2015/jul/study-global-sea-levels-have-risen-six-meters-or-more-just-slight-global-warming

    [begins]

    A new review analyzing three decades of research on the historic effects of melting polar ice sheets found that global sea levels have risen at least six meters, or about 20 feet, above present levels on multiple occasions over the past three million years.

    What is most concerning, scientists say, is that amount of melting was caused by an increase of only 1-2 degrees (Celsius) in global mean temperatures.

    Results of the study are being published this week in the journal Science.

    “Studies have shown that both the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets contributed significantly to this sea level rise above modern levels,” said Anders Carlson, an Oregon State University glacial geologist and paleoclimatologist, and co-author on the study. “Modern atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are today equivalent to those about three million years ago, when sea level was at least six meters higher because the ice sheets were greatly reduced.

    “It takes time for the warming to whittle down the ice sheets,” added Carlson, who is in OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, “but it doesn’t take forever. There is evidence that we are likely seeing that transformation begin to take place now.” [more]

  • Your comments resonate with reality. Yes, people, no matter their origins or ethnicity, or color or whatever, are pretty much the same. The most important reason why any of us destroy the environment in which we live is completely and directly proportional to our technology. The bigger the gun, the bigger the clout. Unfortunately, it all has to do with the nature of survival. Plain and simple. Give a lioness some meat, and she is more likely to let you live.

  • Sorry… I was addressing Artleads….

  • NASA Just Picked the First Astronauts for Commercial Space Flights

    Sending commercial flights to space is “all part of our ambitious plan to return space launches to U.S. soil, create good-paying American jobs and advance our goal of sending humans farther into the solar system than ever before,”

    http://time.com/3951355/nasa-astronauts-commercial-space-flight/

  • Tom, Sabine, Jean Turcot, Paul, david higham- Thank you for your thoughtful and welcoming replies to my first post on this blog.

    Sabine- I was born in Colorado, came of age while Gov. Richard Lamm was in office. Even as an adolescent I considered Colorado overpopulated and overdeveloped, and decided at the age of 20 that I would add no children to the problem. I’ve never regretted that decision. I watched in sadness and dismay, year after year, as a sea of subdivisions, shopping malls, and offices took over the landscape from east to west and north to south. The record now shows that all of that development was due to population increase, canceling out the progress made by environmentalists, etc., etc. I have since left Colorado, I could not endure the crowding, the traffic, or watch “progress” unfold there any longer. I am used to the label of “misanthrope or worse” after a lifetime of thinking about and (trying) to discuss overpopulation and its cousin mass immigration. As a childless, shy, introverted atheist living in a state dominated by right-wing climate deniers, life can be a bit rocky. It doesn’t improve my popularity (and probably not my safety) when I say outloud that humans are not special, that they should take a place alongside, not above, not by outnumbering, and not by eradicating all other forms of life they find inconvenient, scary, or as obstacles to their anthropocentric agenda.

    Jean- In spite of the last paragraph of LeBlanc’s book, I consider it an excellent analysis of the problem and full of insight. It is an important work that I wish would be more widely read. It was a revelation to me that his three-decades of research revealed almost no examples of humans managing to live sustainably. Among those settlements he found with evidence of conservation, none persisted sustainably over a long period of time. His work took away my last frayed thread of optimism that anything can be done about population growth. Nature will do it for us. Yet again.

    Paul- Aside from Guy’s presentations, which I discovered only a few months ago, it was your writing on this blog that drew me in. In your post above, you said, . . . “one major influence behind the general decline of warfare . . . is social organization, technology, and energy. . . ” Yes, just what LeBlanc proposes. He adds that because governments have almost completely taken over the role of fighting, the overall percentage of deaths attributable to resource-related war and fighting dropped significantly from around a 25% average through deep time. Much the same as Steven Pinker’s claim that we live in less violent times in our highly complex industrial societies, except LeBlanc doesn’t provide the improbable reason that an improvement in human nature accounts for it. As you said, “This is, of course, about to change.

    david higham – Thank you, I wasn’t aware of this new book.

  • Jean,

    Sorry if I wasn’t clear. When I wrote the following it was with a degree of sarcasm. I was specifically inferring (suggesting) that behavior had more to do with culture (not innate human nature) and less to do with technology.

    “So powerful is the story that very smart Western people cannot own up to the calamity their system of privilege has wrought. Suddenly, it’s not Western culture that has brought about extinction; instead it is innate human nature. Native Americans were less brutal than the occupiers simply because they lacked guns. Although it was plain to see that native people coexisted with a very thriving diversity of plants and animals, there is no effort spared to dig up theories as to how destructive they REALLY were. Don’t ask us to change anything, the Westerner says. Every other set of people was exactly as destructive as we, just on a different time scale. So, the argument goes, it’s not that native people couldn’t conceive of the mindless destruction of the colonists, it’s just that they were less technologically adept for the task. People get away with this because no one seems able to conceive of an alternative story of culture other than the Western one. Everything must be seen in terms of Western norms.”

  • The MSM always trots out inflammatory topics like sports scandals, gay rights, and the kaboke theatre of politics to divert attention from topics that people Should be discussing, like climate change, the end of life as we know it, and the reasons behind all of it.
    Why do they do this? Because it Works, unfortunately.

    So now, Here on this site which has a set of basic premise ideas, we get the same thing, just another fucking distraction. Human primate numbers not a problem for you Jean Turncoat? Fine, just go away.

    Please Rita, don’t feed the trolls. They say that if ignored for long enough, they might go away. That was my hope… but if they’re on salary, that’s not going to happen, is it?
    http://21stcenturywire.com/2014/03/01/paid-govt-and-corporate-internet-trolls-are-real/

  • .
    .
    .
    scroll, scroll, scroll,,
    .
    blah, blah, blah,
    .
    GOL’S MISSION STATEMENT: To restore Constitutional governance at the local level in Oregon.

    “In the next century, nations as we know it will be obsolete; all states will recognize a single, global authority. National sovereignty wasn’t such a great idea after all.”

    Strobe Talbot, President Clinton’s Deputy Secretary of State, l992

    Strobe Talbot was referring to Agenda 21. Read factual background and disturbing, substantiated efforts to impose Agenda 21.. a plan funded by George Soros and similar “Globalist” interests.

    .
    .

  • Thank you, Artleads. From the bottom of my indigenous heart. People with no real living knowledge of indigenous people cannot understand them. Period. Reading what white guys say about them from “research” and anthropology doesn’t convey the reality of their cultures. I’ve seen it over and over and over.

    Yes, people are people. Some are fat, some are skinny, and most are in between. Some people are smart, some are stupid, and most are in between. Some people are kind, some are cruel, and most are in between, capable of both tragic errors and heroic action at some point in their lives, depending on circumstances and state of mind. Some people are scientists, some are healers, some are politicians, craftsmen, poets, dancers, musicians, gardeners/agriculturalists, and a host of other talents that are found in all people everywhere. Some people are funny, some are serious and focused, some are outgoing and others are introverts. In this way, all people are the same.

    However, the material conditions that these people who are “just like everyone else” create are vastly, vastly different. The concepts they express and their foundational world views are vastly different. They way they live/lived on the earth is different. It’s really a big difference when a society has no hierarchical system, no poverty, no starving and abused children, no enslaving the animals. In this way and many others, all people are not and have not been “the same.”

    Clearly, when I pointed out the misrepresentations of Hedges’ commentary, the next thing we get to read is how people have Disney fantasies of the noble savage. Mike doesn’t want to address the false understanding Hedges offers regarding American Indians, but rather goes straight to a barely veiled hostile response.

    That’s funny. I let the “noble savage” speak for himself, but somehow that must mean I’m smoking something and have Disney fantasies.

    You are so correct, Artleads. Few people born into this culture have even the tiniest clue. They don’t even know what their own true worldview is, there are so many assumptions and presumptions and lack of real knowledge of any other way of life.

    As I wrote before, Hedges and the entire racist noble savage imitation thinking are both white men talking about themselves and believing they’re talking about someone else. Hedges should know a LOT more about indigenous, tribal cultures before he uses those people (oh, that is so different) and their cultures to fortify his own very European-centric view, because he doesn’t know what he is talking about, either.

  • .
    .
    .
    Munchma Quchi 1 hour ago

    We have a government we cannot trust and we have a population too dumb to do anything about it. We have #$%$ republicans that only think to kick #$%$ and take names is the way to handle problems, they couldn’t think their way out of a paper sack. Then there’s the opposite end of the spectrum the ultraliberal democrats who would talk you to death but still not accomplish anything because they’re afraid of harming anything. We’ve divided our nation to the point we won’t work together. At one time we had the potential to defeat the criminals in Washington D.C., now I’m not so sure, there are professional politicians who have been in office for 30 years and are proud of that fact. They have connections throughout the world, it’s tough to beat. The public, they sit at home, vote the same people in office, and watch wrestling on TV, football, baseball, and basketball. They couldn’t tell you the presidents of this country. The IQ is quickly dropping of todays youth but everyone has a “smart” phone.

  • Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras sought his left-wing party’s backing on Friday for a new budget austerity package that is harsher than what he urged Greeks to reject in a vote just last week, but would provide the country will longer-term financial support.

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/07/10/greece-prime-minister-to-sell-austerity-deal-to-reluctant-party/

    ——————————–

    Looks like Victoria Nuland’s warning that Greece fly right or there would be *consequences* has done the trick. [get back in line or we’ll fuckin kill you and your whole fuckin family] 🙂

  • Oldgrowthforest – Love. Great Spirit hear my prayer. I pray that every good thing comes to the man who calls himself Oldgrowthforest. May he live a long and happy life and enjoy every blessing that Your Love can bestow. Amen.

    Wren – Love. Divine Reality hear my prayer. I pray that every good thing comes to the man who calls himself Wren. May he live a long and happy life and enjoy every blessing that Your Love can bestow. Amen.

  • Perhaps you could pray to learn to be more respectful when people disagree with you. That would be much more satisfying to me, Mike. And please pray that you will understand why even mentioning “noble savage fantasies” is racist bs.

    That would, no doubt, bless many, many more people than oldgrowthforest. And by the way, I’m a woman.

  • Mike k,

    Amen to your prayers.

  • Rita, welcome to the Beach of Doom! LeBlanc’s book sounds like it is on the right track. This statement of yours caught my eye:

    “LeBlanc … adds that because governments have almost completely taken over the role of fighting, the overall percentage of deaths attributable to resource-related war and fighting dropped significantly from around a 25% average through deep time.”

    This is the sort of evidence that leads me to call governments “technologies”. Technologies like corporations and nation-states have allowed for a greater energy processing and greater population growth than if they had not been developed.

  • @pat: “..IQ is quickly dropping..”

    Heinberg did write about “Peak Everything”.

  • ogf – Only love remains.

  • Lidia,

    Governments are technologies…

    What a brilliant insight! It made instant sense to me. Thank you!

  • Just to clarify. One does not have to like someone or something to extend to them unconditional love. Dislike is a conditional feeling – it does not preclude love. Love for All means just that with no qualifications. Everything that exists is here because of that One’s will. If you love that One, then you will love that One’s manifestations – even though some of them will challenge you to do so. This is my understanding, anyone is obviously free to disagree. I love freedom too. I may disagree with some folk’s ideas or beliefs, but I do not exclude them from my universal love. I am not here to fight with anybody or try to force my ideas on them. I am here to grow in love and understanding and share openly with others. And I am learning many valuable lessons here, for which I thank all of you without exception. If you want to be friends, that’s great by me. If not, that is your choice and I respect that.

  • One more thing. I have been a loner and a misfit all my life. I am a lot like my friend Curious. I am not a stranger to people disliking and even hating me. It’s something one who steps out of the familiar circle has to expect and learn to deal with. With the right help and teachers such a one can learn to meet other’s negativity with love. This is a basic alchemy that all sacred teachings recommend. May all beings respond to these wise teachers. If more of us would follow their example, we might not be in the mess we are in now. Fortunately in the long view of things it is never too late to embrace their teachings. Love is always an option. Love will always remain.

  • Guess I’m not done yet! A beautiful practice from Tibet is Tonglen. If you are not familiar with it – look it up on the web. Briefly, it is called giving and taking. You sit to meditate. When you breathe in you visualize everything dark and ugly in the world and take it deep into yourself like a cloud of black smoke. Then when you exhale you breathe out love and light to everyone and everything. That’s it – try it, you might like it!

  • OGF,

    I hope it will dawn on more people that you’re only talking about kindness, honesty, respect. Thanks for all you teach.

  • Some powerful “clues/predictions” for both frogs & humans about how hot our arses will get.

    Click on the figures to absorb these deadly “clues/predictions” in more detail.

    EL NIÑO/SOUTHERN OSCILLATION (ENSO)

    DIAGNOSTIC DISCUSSION issued by
    CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER/NCEP/NWSand the International Research Institute for Climate and Society 9 July 2015

    ENSO Alert System Status: El Niño Advisory

    Synopsis: There is a greater than 90% chance that El Niño will continue through Northern Hemisphere winter 2015-16, and around an 80% chance it will last into early spring 2016.

    During June, sea surface temperatures (SST) anomalies exceeded +1.0oC across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean (Fig. 1). The largest SST anomaly increases occurred in the Niño-3 and Niño-3.4 regions, while the Niño-4 and Niño-1+2 indices remained more constant through the month (Fig. 2).

    Positive subsurface temperature anomalies weakened (Fig. 3) due to the eastward shift of an upwelling oceanic Kelvin wave, which reduced above-average temperatures at depth in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific (Fig. 4).

    In many respects, the atmospheric anomalies remained firmly coupled to the oceanic warming. Significant westerly winds were apparent in the western equatorial Pacific and anomalous upper-level easterly winds continued. The traditional and equatorial Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) were both negative, which are consistent with enhanced convection over the central and eastern equatorial Pacific and suppressed convection over Indonesia (Fig. 5). Collectively, these atmospheric and oceanic features reflect an ongoing and strengthening El Niño.

    Nearly all models predict El Niño to continue into the Northern Hemisphere winter 2015-16, with many multi-model averages predicting a strong event at its peak strength (3-month values of the Niño-3.4 index of +1.5oC or greater; Fig. 6).

    At this time, the forecaster consensus is in favor of a significant El Niño in excess of +1.5oC in the Niño-3.4 region. Overall, there is a greater than 90% chance that El Niño will continue through Northern Hemisphere winter 2015-16, and around an 80% chance it will last into early spring 2016 (click CPC/IRI consensus forecast for the chance of each outcome for each 3-month period).

    Across the contiguous United States, temperature and precipitation impacts associated with El Niño are expected to remain minimal during the Northern Hemisphere summer and increase into the late fall and winter (the 3-month seasonal outlook will be updated on Thursday July 16th).

  • @Paul, no problem… I’m sure I’ve written that here before. I also classify Religions as Technologies, for the same reasons.

  • I am talking about honesty and respect, Artleads. Very much so. Thank you for seeing it.

    Mike, I find your comments dismissive in the face of disagreement, which is disrespectful from my perspective. Very disrespectful. I would never treat anyone the way you have responded to me, dismissing me, and then making profoundly racist comments about Native Americans with your “noble savage” wholesale cultural dismissal, and with your presumption in telling me how you will pray for me to have all of the Creator’s blessings.

    Your prayers are between you and God, who knows the truth of all things. What the Creator gives me is between me and the Creator. In fact, nothing about me is any of your business. It’s none of Jean’s, either.

    I would not be so presumptuous as to assume that you needed me to pray for you for anything, nor would I ever suggest that you “try” anything, not Buddhism, or Judaism, or atheism, or anything else, because that is just one more insult under the guise of a neutral suggestion. If you think something is valuable, then that is what you should do. I am fully capable of making my own choices in these matters. I don’t like to take that kind of attitude toward anyone, because it is presumptuous and disrespectful.

    Truly spiritual people know how to be respectful, and how to have integrity. They do not roll over someone with their opinions, and then completely ignore that person’s response. They don’t adopt a position of superiority where they tell other people what those other people need, or should do, or what they might try.

    Your dismissive attitude, your constant shifting of the point in the conversation, is disrespectful under any circumstances. But in this land, where a horrific genocide of many millions of people occurred, and where the miniscule number of survivors were enclosed in reservations where hunger and poverty were expected to exterminate the remaining few, a land where non-Indian people have taken everything they ever had, your comments are beyond just disrespectful. They are profane.

    I have no wishes for you other than that you treat people better in your communications. But let’s be honest: that’s really a wish for myself.

    full disclosure, you will see Sitting Bull referred to as a “medicine man” in any number of accurate information about him. However, he was not a “medicine man” as non-Indians normally understand that word. Here in Alaska, a shaman or medicine woman is called a “traditional healer.”

    A traditional healer can be a mystic, a prophet, an interpreter of dreams, a wise counselor, a physician, a person with supernatural gifts like hands-on healing, a prophet who can see the future, a psychic who can discern information through spiritual gifts, and a few more things. It is an umbrella term, and so is “medicine wo/man.” Sitting Bull was not the physician-shaman type of “medicine man” we normally associate with that term.

    Sitting Bull considered himself a sundancer, according to his great-grandson, Ernie LaPoint.

  • one more thing, respect is love. If respect is lacking, then so is love.

  • ogf
    I’m sure I had some giraffe ears around here somewhere.. 😉