Honorable Pursuits?

I don’t care whether the world’s going to end tomorrow or it’s going to go on forever. What difference does it make to me? I’m still going to do the same thing I do every day which is to love, serve, remember, love, serve, remember, love, serve, remember … (Ram Dass)

I’ve written about pursuing a life of service, most notably nearly six years ago in this space. Back then, I had hope in and for humanity. I was deluded by the idealism I was pursuing and promoting within the academy.

Now I live in the world of actual people, most of whom spend much of their time acting like narcissistic, self-absorbed fools. Indulge me, please, as I present a few contrary behaviors. You’ll note that I promote these behaviors, while often falling well short of achieving them. They seem absurd to most people with whom I interact. They are absurd if one’s pursuits are motivated by money.

Exhibit 1: The pursuit of excellence. As regular visitors to this space know, I encourage the pursuit of excellence. I purposely don’t define the term. Surely the typical reader has access to a dictionary. Surely excellence means different things to different people. Surely one can find excellence beyond the echo chamber of the dominant culture. If not, then idealism and its pursuit are not relevant. Go back to your treadmill, bearing in mind the dominant culture’s motto: Must go faster!

Not different. Not better. Not with introspection, and certainly not with merit. The dominant culture is not a meritocracy. Rather, quantity is the only quality that matters. Must go faster!

Exhibit 2: The pursuit of love. As regular visitors to this space know, I encourage the pursuit of love. I purposely don’t define the word or its pursuit. Surely the typical reader has access to a dictionary. Surely love and its pursuit mean different things to different people. Surely one can find love beyond the echo chamber of the dominant culture. If not, then love and its pursuit are not relevant. Go back to your lifeless existence, pursuing green pieces of paper and digits on a computer screen. Go back to the sociopathy promoted by the dominant culture and its “winners.”

If greed is your only god, the sociopaths assume control. This culture has arrived into this least desirable of states, fully consumed with consumption. The dominant culture presumes more is always better, when more refers to consumable items. When, instead, the issues in question are more difficult to measure than green pieces of paper and digits on a computer screen, the dominant culture proclaims the issues irrelevant or harmful. Integrity, psychological health, emotional well-being, and personal conscious are beyond the realm of simple measurement. The maxim often incorrectly attributed to Einstein — not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts — reveals itself accurate within moments of simple introspection. It’s small wonder introspection is disparaged by the dominant culture.

Educator Howard Gardner wrote about the improper focus of the public education system more than 30 years ago. The situation has become much worse during the intervening three decades. The notion of intelligence beyond language and numeracy is anathema to a culture intent upon counting everything, most of which doesn’t count.

Exhibit 3: A life of service. As regular visitors to this space know, I encourage the pursuit of service. I purposely don’t define the word or its pursuit. Surely the typical reader has access to a dictionary. Surely service and its pursuit mean different things to different people. Surely one can find a life of service beyond the echo chamber of the dominant culture. If not, then service and its pursuit are not relevant. Go back to evaluating your own success as done by others in this culture: the acquisition of fiat currency.

Serving financially poor humans instead of the dominant culture is viewed as bizarre. Imagine, then, the idea of providing service to non-human species. Or to providing service to the structures and functions that allow other species to persist. Think soil. Think hydrology. Think, at all.

I’m routinely asked why I’m a fatalist. How, people ask, could I “give up” on our species? How could I promote inaction?

I’m not a fatalist, and I don’t promote inaction. But I don’t think the universe spent 13.8 billion years just to come up with Homo sapiens. I’m not fatalistic about non-human species. I do not believe we’re any more special than the myriad non-human species with which we share the planet.

Most people I meet happily support the dominant culture. They are pleased to support the status quo, content that their grandchildren or great-grandchildren will die horribly as a result of industrial civilization. They are ecstatic to kill the biosphere as long as they get to maintain their lives of privilege.

Exhibit 4: Practicing a gift economy. As regular visitors to this space know, I practice and promote a gift economy. This approach was used for the initial 2.8 million years of the genus Homo. For only about the last 5,000 years have some humans practiced a system of currency based on debt.

Note that a gift economy does not entail giving everything all the time. Nor does it require “keeping track” of the monetary worth of items and services; indeed, that approach seems contrary to the concept of gifting. Rather, we are embedded within a system that essentially requires monetary exchange, at least some of the time.

My attempts to practice a gift economy have largely failed. It’s been primarily a one-way street, with about a -95% return rate (and no, I’m not keeping track … at least, not closely). And yet when I seek a small monetary return on my large investment in time, the disparagement comes like an avalanche. It seems empathy is a little-used characteristic in this culture.

I could write more, but surely the point is clear. I’m certain there are many other contrary examples, and any number can play. How will you act in your short time on this most wondrous of planets? Who are you? Who will you be?

Comments 79

  • Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!! Sometimes it’s worth using one of your two posts just to say that. Just had a fun solo dance party in my living room to that one Guy. Thanks!!

  • Oh, and Ram Dass is the shit, too. Damn! There go my two posts… that’s cool. Tomorrow’s Monday anyway.

  • Truly a thoughtfully prepared and presented mantra; pursue our best, embrace of affection, selflessness and generosity. If “we’re all just walking each other home”, (also Ram Dass), we really should be holding hands.

  • Thanks for tending to the spirit Guy. Civilization has gone so far down the wrong track that there’s now no way back to when people cared about one another. To ‘modern’ people it’s in-groups and out-groups, ethnocentrism, nationalism, racism, sexism, old vs young, the politics of privilege and ‘one nation under God’ (whatever that was supposed to mean – ala your dictionary/meaning function) when it should probably have been one nation on a living planet. That ‘pursuit of happiness’ got shanghaied to mean ‘accumulation of wealth’ probably isn’t an accident. i noticed one thing (among many) while living on Earth: take an ordinary human, born into this western European/US culture, add money, and suddenly the person becomes “different.” [Generally]
    Their thinking changes, their attitude toward others changes, they become greedier and spend the rest of their lives protecting this “wealth” or involved its pursuit, and everything else of importance to the world gets ignored.

    This is one sick society, now in hospice.

    Massive California fire jumped 20,000 acres overnight

    A wildfire that has been raging in northern California since last Wednesday jumped 20,000 acres overnight, and has now charred 47,000 acres and is threatening 6,300 homes.

    Fire officials say the massive blaze, called the Rocky Fire, in the Lower Lake area north of San Francisco is only 5% contained. Already it has destroyed 24 homes and 26 outbuildings.

    Cal Fire says an evacuation advisory has been issued affecting 12,000 people and several roads have been closed.

    The fire is the biggest of the many burning in the forests and woodlands of Northern California. [more]

  • Dishonourable Pursuits:

    A Life Of Mediocrity:
    This is one I can do, some day. I bought a book on Procrastination 30 years ago, maybe I’ll soon read it.

    A Life Of Service: To me.
    Kowtowing, bootlicking are all accepted.

    Practice The Gift Economy:
    I like the gift economy best, please send your cheque or money order to,

    Robert Callaghan
    P.O. Box 474
    Apsley, Ontario
    K0L 1A0

    Jeremy Grantham makes a couple of excellent points in this video. Soil is depleting at 1% per year, mean virtually 100% gone in 70 years, but only if 1% remains constant, and believe me the only constant in the universe is stupidity, and don’t gimme no guff bout light.

    Most soil loss occurs during heavy downpours and with more moisture in the air, heavy downpours will increase four-fold over the next 40 years. Soil losses can be intensely dramatic over the course of a few days of heavy rain. More here:

  • In the above video at the 40:00 mark, Jerry’s daughter in law says that the worst downpour of the year can cause 25% of soil erosion. So, that’s like one-quarter of your soil gone in one day, which begs the question, what happens when you get more than 4 days of heavy. Not, being mathematically inclined, I wouldn’t know, but then again, you don’t really need precision to know when something is bad.

  • Hats off to You Mr. Guy!

    Sadly, it seems to me that 99% of people today hardly share Your views. But I’m sure there is that 1% which deserve to get a chance for survival. It seems unfair for them to vanish because of others sin.

    You have summed up beautifully what, mainly psychological traits, the members of a truly great civilization would have to achieve.

    In respect to Your point 1., I would say that in order to pursue such excellence, one would have to do it unwillingly – without really striving to achieve it. I’m afraid conscious pursuit of excellence could spark an completely unwanted notion of moral comparison between people – in a sense of “Have you pursuited excellence to greater extent than I did?” or “Whose idea of excellence is more worthy?”.
    It is in essence of human beins to seek their place in social structure.
    Therfore, such a pursuit has to be in my view – in its roots, a purely individualistic and spiritual quest. Even if its goals are highly social-oriented. Even then, the will to do so has to come out of you, and you only with the least possibe outside pressure/interference with personal emotions and reasoning.
    And outwards manifestations of a person being on that “quest” ought to be, in the first place – understanding and tolerance for others without he need to “measure their value”.

    The pursuit of love is an integral part of pursuit of excellence. I believe that being able do experience love in all its might and opposed aspects is a pursuit of excellence in becoming a “whole-person”. Feeling thrill, joy, gratitude, serenity, sadness, fear, anger – comprehension of love as a unity and love as a product of all those different states. And also being able to live through those emotions, expressing instead burying them deep inside where they torment you and become your personal mind-prison gatekeeper. Love for yourself, love for others, love for nature, beauty, knowledge, justice… it exerts itself on many objects.
    Grounding a spring in your “soul” out of which an all-encompassing love and appreciation will pour out for the rest of your life – is no other than achieving the greatest excellence.
    Arguably, not having such a state of mind will prevent you from becoming truly excellent in anything else.

    Also, when you feel such pure love, it’s only natural to get the need to live a life of service for all the “objects” of your affection and appereciation. Therefore, when you grow to become a whole-person, being at service to the other people, to the environment, to scienece and knowledge, to beauty and arts, to philosophy, justice… and of course, to yourself – is likely to become your way of life.

    If all (or at least majority) of people of a certain social group are the ones that live the life in pursuit of excellence, love and service: the establishment of a gift economy is almost given. Is seems as only natural way from such point of view.
    Everyone gives off to the others – intelectually, emotionally, or as a service or material goods – simply because they can. If you are able to give – then give. Not more than you can afford (because it will threaten you, and you feel the love for yourself). And to whoever is in need (because you feel the love for the others). And never took from the environment more than the sum of everyone’s needs is (because you, and everybody else feel the love for nature, beauty…).

    In such society, as by a miracle from an consumerist and purely materialist point of view – everyone will be giving off, and everyone will be given enough of everything (that matters).
    I guess no V8 gas-guzzlers or 200 feet long mega-yachts, no 10 thousand square feet marble palaces and private jets… maybe even no jets at all. But all in all, it would be a much happier and more emotionally and spiritually fulfilled world. Contrary to everything we have today.

    I’ve spent many of my days in the early childhood in a very rural part of Croatia in the nineties and I’ve had an opportunity to experience some form of bargain/partially gift economy – it was not a gift economy in a sense of some Oceaninan cultures, but they’ve shared certain traits. I doubt it had arised out of the people pursuing to become like described above, but out of pure need – but anyway, it generated some very high moral standards among the people – giving off the excess goods in a “good year”, helping each other often without the need to ask it back… you’ve just assumed that sooner or later that person will help you when in need. Living conditions were difficult so the cooperation among the villagers was a must. And there was a feeling that nature is the boss, not the man. There also prevailed the adherence to some old biblical principles such as “almighty god will smite you if you sin”, “give and you will be given”, “treat others only in such a way you would like to be treated by them” and there was a saying “do not laugh even at a crooked tree” meaning – do not ever think you are better than anyone, you are what you are, and they are what they are… just leave it at that. Pure acceptance and tolerance.

    Of course, there were always some people who acted selfishly, were unwilling to return the help, didn’t want to share, talked bad about the others and used their kindness to con them. But, those kind of people were eventually left on their own, and given the lack of modern infrastructure and technologies – often that was not enough to “battle” everything that nature threw at them. Back then, and especially in the remote mountainous areas, if you were a “prick” you could easily get yourself in a life-threatening condition.

    Now, all those immoral aspects of human nature are not considered so bad, but necessary to become succesful in life. Being a deceiving, enviuos, malicious, greedy thieve is a way of the future it seems. Today, most of the people despise such succesful criminals – but much less because of what those scumbags truly are but mostly because they themself are not as successful as those bastards. All that hate is mostly motivated by greed and envy of the majority of people, not by some long-forgotten moral codes. Nowadays, when referring to criminal way of becoming rich in the privatization processes – people tend not to say “he is a low-life punk”, but more oftenly – “well, he had just found a way”. Thus, becoming rich at the expense of thousands people being reduced to searching for food in a trashcans – has become an acceptable way of managing personal existence.

    Merely 20 years later, I can barely recognize my grandparents’ village. Consumer society has consumed almost everything of those positive human traits.
    And on a larger scale – all the social protests of today are not motivated by trying to change the “rotten system” but only by the personal, purely materialistic well-being of the certain group that organized it. It is not about “We want a better world” anymore, it’s only about “We want more for ourselves”. Sad times.

    But, as I said in the beginning, I’d like to think that the 1% of the people that are moral and righteous despite living in morally corrupt even decadent society – won’t be entirely denied the chance for survival because of others’ errors. I’d like to think that some groups will survive scattered all over the globe, and some day, when conditions allow – they will be brought together and start to rebuild the civilization based on entirely different ideas. It will be a much smaller community in terms of sheer numbers, maybe less than a couple of million people – but they will be greater in every other sense.

    Maybe I went awfully wrong with that last paragraph, but still I’d like to to think of an NTE as a “Mother Nature’s cleanup process” and some kind of a super-accelerated human consciousness evolution.

    I hope I won’t be misunderstood having that English is not my native language.

    Once again – thank You Mr. Guy for keeping this site alive for everybody who wants to broaden their perspective. Despite realizing that all of Your clever words most likely won’t change a damn thing in the big picture – I have to congratulate you for trying to make the world a “better” place…

    Best Regards!

  • If ulvfugl was a schizophrenic he’d have voices in his head telling him not to kill people.

  • Monday, August 3, 2015
    Arctic Sea Ice Collapse Threatens – Update 3


    The image below is based on a nullschool.net forecast for August 6, 2015, run on August 2, 2015. It shows temperatures as high as 26.4°C (or 79.4°F) in the north of Canada (green circle). The inset, based on a Climate Reanalyzer forecast for that date, shows that this is as much as 20°C (or 36°F) higher than temperatures that were common in the area only recently, i.e. from 1797-2000.

    In my experience, sea ice thickness hasn’t looked this bad for this time of the year since records began, especially when taking the loss of multi-year ice into account. Until now, the thicker multi-year sea ice used to survive the melting season, giving the sea ice strength for the next year, by acting as a buffer to absorb heat that would otherwise melt away the thinner ice. Without multi-year sea ice, the Arctic will be in a bad shape in coming years. Absence of thick sea ice makes it more prone to collapse, and this raises the question whether a collapse could occur not merely some years from now, but even this year.

    [further down the article]

    In conclusion, Arctic sea ice looks set to take a further battering over the next few weeks and could end up at a record low around half September 2015. If things get really bad, sea ice collapse could occur and the remaining pieces of sea ice could be driven out of the Arctic Ocean altogether by storms, resulting in a blue ocean event as early as September this year.

    The situation is dire, according to Sam Carana, who indicates we need “comprehensive and effective action.” Aside from Obama giving the green light allowing Shell to begin drilling for oil in the Arctic, i don’t see any plans at all being suggested anywhere but on his site to, you know, maybe STOP what we’re doing wrt fossil fuels.

  • It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.” – Mark Twain

  • Snowstormguy Says:
    August 3rd, 2015 at 3:55 am

    Sadly, it seems to me that 99% of people today hardly share Your views. But I’m sure there is that 1% which deserve to get a chance for survival. It seems unfair for them to vanish because of others sin.

    Actually it is the 1% who are responsible for civilization’s addiction to the poison, fossil fuels, not the 99%.

    I do not think that Dr. McPherson tends to define sin as disagreeing with his point of view.

    He is, rather, a scientist who requires that they provide evidence for their position.

    That is how he learns.

    And if they cannot provide sufficient evidence, he elaborates on their mistaken analysis of the evidence.

    That is how they learn.
    Tom Says:
    August 3rd, 2015 at 4:29 am

    Monday, August 3, 2015
    Arctic Sea Ice Collapse Threatens …

    The 2015 ice extent was the lowest on record until early June.

    It has not retaken first place, but since July 10 has been moving closer.

    We are nearing the time (~Aug 5) when in 2012 the ice extent took a big loss to gain the record.

    2015 ice loss will have to go through some surprise developments to regain the lead now (Arctic Ice Extent: 2015 Struggles For First Place – 2).

    Something on the order of a Three Hundred Year type of event that Guy mentioned a while back.

  • why didn’t I think of that dept…brilliant Robert…checks in the mail.

  • ‘‘one nation under God’ (whatever that was supposed to mean…

    i think it’s meant as an exhortation to conformity based upon universal submission to ‘authority’ (‘god’ being the ultimate ‘authority’ figure, totally unaccountable and supposedly unassailable).

    r.c., my check’s in the mail (lol). a correction to your math: a 1% rate of decline doesn’t translate to 100% depletion in 70 years. rather, it’s the mirror image of a 1%/year increase, which would be a 100% increase in 70 years (a doubling). the 1% decrease would come to a halfing in 70 years, or a 50% decline. just as a perpetual rate of increase never reaches infinity, a perpetual rate of decline never reaches absolute 0.

    ‘I’d like to think that the 1% of the people that are moral and righteous despite living in morally corrupt even decadent society – won’t be entirely denied the chance for survival because of others’ errors’

    i also wish life was fair, but experience overwhelmingly refutes such idealism, i’m afraid.

  • There are not many people who feel and articulate this:

    “Serving financially poor humans instead of the dominant culture is viewed as bizarre. Imagine, then, the idea of providing service to non-human species. Or to providing service to the structures and functions that allow other species to persist. Think soil. Think hydrology. Think, at all.”

    . . . Guy, you are one of the few . . . thank you.

  • Guy,

    I cannot understand why anyone would criticize any portion of your current article?

  • Me neither, shep. But then I contemplate Scott Johnson and his fanboys.

  • Pursuing a life of excellence…

    “Imagine, then, the idea of providing service to non-human species. Or to providing service to the structures and functions that allow other species to persist. Think soil. Think hydrology. Think, at all.”

    For me, pursuing exactly that keeps me content from day to day. There’s very little else to say. As far as I’m concerned, the rest is just spending time on the “beach” occupying ourselves with different discursive mumblings and displaying our favourite idio[t)syncrasies.
    I’ll be the first to admit to being guilty there. But that’s how it should be.

    Thanks Guy, for taking the time to explain this once again. New commenters, please take note.

  • “Will the last person to leave the room please turn out the lights?”

    The internet and media are making people harder, not softer, or smarter.
    “Rough around the edges” doesn’t begin to describe the callousness and disregard for other humans that I see on a daily basis. Nothing short of a spiritual revolution will change this condition.

    It would be nice if anonymity was eliminated from all internet communication. If we had to use our real names, say where we live, perhaps some nastiness would be eliminated from our daily thought life and dialogue with others.

    I live in Jax, FL. And that’s my real name above. To any that don’t want to understand, “fuck all you bitches.”

  • Paul Russell, I was just about to post, & Shazam.

    Where have you been?

    I still quote you as an oracle; “When nothing matters, everything matters that much more.”

    I am a life-long Gator, who spent much of his young life in Gainesburg & always speaks/writes unhesitatingly under his real name.

    Hey, if you are confident that you are doing your very best; why not?

    Who says what, & why.

    A long time ago some kindly UF profs took a working class kid with a good brain, & showed him to always seek the truth no-matter-what, as in Prof. McPherson & global heating to extinction.

    Paul, your last statement with “bitches” doesn’t fit with your second statement, although you may mean bitchers – & there sure are plenty.

    There is plenty to bitch about, too.

    When an academic idealist takes his “idealistic” theory into the experimental laboratory of practical life & actually eats the pudding, he had better be prepared for very unsettling dis-confirmation.

    I’ve had similar disquieting & dis-confirming experiences, especially now because we are all under the ominous clathrate gun, although many don’t know it.

    The sincere scientific messenger gets rejected by the “conditioned” narcissistic culture, & extinction is the ugly result.

    In order to be dis-illusioned, we must first be illusioned.

    My best “rationalization” & semi cop-out is that we have all been conditioned – some of us very much more than others.

    Millikan designed his experiment to disprove the quantum hypothesis, but ended up twistingly proving it.

    Using Feynman as support both human frailty & “quantification” as an invaluable scientific tool.

    In a commencement address given at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 1974 (and reprinted in Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! in 1985 as well as in The Pleasure of Finding Things Out in 1999), physicist Richard Feynman noted:

    We have learned a lot from experience about how to handle some of the ways we fool ourselves. One example: Millikan measured the charge on an electron by an experiment with falling oil drops, and got an answer which we now know not to be quite right. It’s a little bit off because he had the incorrect value for the viscosity of air. It’s interesting to look at the history of measurements of the charge of an electron, after Millikan. If you plot them as a function of time, you find that one is a little bit bigger than Millikan’s, and the next one’s a little bit bigger than that, and the next one’s a little bit bigger than that, until finally they settle down to a number which is higher.

    Why didn’t they discover the new number was higher right away? It’s a thing that scientists are ashamed of—this history—because it’s apparent that people did things like this: When they got a number that was too high above Millikan’s, they thought something must be wrong—and they would look for and find a reason why something might be wrong. When they got a number close to Millikan’s value they didn’t look so hard. And so they eliminated the numbers that were too far off, and did other things like that…[9][10]

    Larry Summers, who also claims that quantification is an invaluable tool, ends up dealing with HIS world completely differently, & he has “real” power.

    At least you mention debt slavery & fiat money as a primary variable in our upcoming destruction.

    Mother Nature slaps our species silly as she mocks & summarily disproves our continually expanding economy’s ad hoc rationalizations.

    of thousands of sincere well trained economists/academics are still selling “the continually expanding economy.”

    System falsified, & some wise predecessors like Fredrick Soddy, Nicholas Georgescu-Rogen, & Hermann Daly told us.

    Your totally overarching scientific hypothesis & there isn’t a more overarching or more important hypothesis, is being perversely confirmed by the minute.

    The next 45 days, & X number of giga-tons of methane will tell us much time we have left, if we are privy to the “real” data.

    Yes, not gruesome suicide looks more & more like a “way out or through.”

    I’ve already had more than I deserve, but a “good” death would be acceptable.

  • .
    Davila said her monthly $600 Social Security payment isn’t enough to cover expenses. She and other relatives are pooling their money to buy back-to-school supplies for her 12 grandchildren. She cares for them while her own children work and study, but she yearns to move back to New York.
    …12 grandchildren?
    Please, do not have children!

  • No longer a pilot/Patrick? re dying trees; here is an excerpt from recent Dahr Jamail article: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/32131-the-new-climate-normal-abrupt-sea-level-rise-and-predictions-of-civilization-collapse:

    “The forests are dying, and they will not return,” Jason Box told Esquire about his home state of Colorado. “The trees won’t return to a warming climate.”

    Last night, in the midwest, the skies were GREEN with lightning. One of the strangest, eeriest things I’ve ever seen. Hail, 60 mph+ wind, flooding . . it was terrifying. My stomach seems to be in perpetual knots. It’s getting more and more difficult to keep on keeping on in a somewhat upbeat manner. Especially as native vegetation on shoreline of the lake where 2 4 D was used is dying and it is now just about devoid of life (except for the hybrid milfoil they tried to kill which is still going strong).

    I can’t find anyone on the lake who thinks the use of 2 4 D in a lake is a bad idea. I approached a man who “owns” about 50 acres of wetland, creek, forest adjacent to the lake. A “riparian landowner” . . a “stakeholder” (HATE that word) so to speak. He has birdfeeders, birdhouses and has planted numerous native trees . . I thought he would care. His response to my telling him 2 4 D was used was “it sounds like a good idea, too many damn weeds in this lake”.

    I grew up with a mother who said repeatedly; “humans don’t deserve this beautiful earth”. It used to irritate the hell out of me as I always hoped we would evolve to be a species who cared. I wanted to believe she was wrong. But alas, methinks she was right.

  • I like your point Paul Russell, I too use my real name and I live in Bolingbrook Il. I find the idea of hiding behind a fake name for whatever reason to be suspect. Do people think they cannot be found out in our dystopian world of uber surveillance?

  • Got a hankerin’ for wild places that no longer exist? You can at least visit one in your rich B-minor imagination. Thank “God” for imagination! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOn4bKo1jUY

  • Social protests. Fasting. Yeah, some protests are based in ego. However WAT (Witness Against Torture) is an exception. And if you wish to learn how to combine fasting with protest, they are one of the best in North America. And, if you are handcuffed in the elevator with the troopers, Carmen Trotta is a great guy to be with. My glob, he is on wikipedia even.

    Love in action. Another form of peace type engagement is the CPT (Christian PeaceMaker Team) visits to the West Bank. Basically you sleep with a Palestinean family, maybe Muslim, maybe Christian, (maybe agnostic – it does not really matter) and you walk with little children to school and then walk back with them. The rub is that along the way or near the school teenaged “settlers” carrying up to automatic weapons will be throwing stones at the 6-13 year olds. Your presence as an outsider diminishes the size, frequency and velocity of the stone projectiles. And then you fly back and talk to people who really do not want to hear it. One who went is is an ex-dairy farmer who became an ordained Lutheran minister in Iowa – a lot of people really do not want to hear what he says, but he is a level headed truthful man, they haven’t run him out yet.

    And no, you don’t have to be Christian to do things with CPT. They do things in Ontario, Iraq, etc. with people facing violence and terror from the state.

    Counterpunch. I’ve done things with K. Kelly, J. LaForge, T. Hastings, B. Terrell and CP is often my first stop so that I can see if they have an article there. I take what I like and leave the rest.

    Me, mildly depressed, too much time on computer, been out of front lines of societal nov-violent change for decades, but I do spend 40 plus hours a week “being” with the mentally challenged and get by on beans and tofu and grits for my protein. Be here now. I keep repeating to myself a cognitive behavioural message, “That really isn’t going to make any difference in 8 years, 16 at the most.” An alternate message is, “Do you really want that person to live rent free in your head?” peace out y’all

  • gosh paul, that’s cool …but how do you feel about climate change?

  • Standing with Guy .

    June 2015

    Only the sounds of drone bombia …

    savoring my woodroses in early morning.

    And his silky pile …touching my left cheek …

    as he flys to the hive…laden with nectar… —

    like my arms full …of fresh linens …

    on the brick …walkway.

    July 2015

    As they depart…,

    the few ensouled …

    are draping their mantle …

    over those yet trembling here

    in embodiment.


    I carefully lift…

    Queen Bumble Bee…

    from my adobe walkway… ,

    where she just perished ..,

    and carry her inside…

    to rest among…

    a lifetime of talismans.

    Suddenly an alpha drone flys in the door…,

    circling the Queen and I for a moment..

    before continuing on his rounds.

  • The recording contained within this article is of birdsong captured in the same place, by the same equipment at the same time of year for the years 2004 – 2014.

    When I came to Alaska in ’90, in the spring I could walk out of my house and the birdsong at the peak of the mating season was literally deafening, like standing next next to a loud engine that you had to shout to be able to hear over. It actually hurt a little, it was so loud, and the beauty of it was shattering. It was an amazing experience. I never hear it now.


  • Saw a quote today that relates to Pretend Christians.

    “He who betrays the poor betrays Christ”

  • Planetary meltdown. Droughts, floods, mega-storms, mercury poisoning, mountain top removal. NTHE.

    Who cares! Just keep burning coal.


  • Massive upheaval is on the horizon.

    WTI $45.36 (down $1.76)

    Brent $49.66 (down $2.55)

    Such prices do not support the high-cost extraction methods used in most ‘developed’ nations. Locally job losses in the oil sector continue.

    I have heard little about the Canadian tar sands lately. Will the Canadian government pour hundreds of billions of taxpayer money into saving one of the dirtiest industries on the planet? Or is it all over now?

    Needless to say, the uninformed masses see falling fuel prices as indicative that everything is rosy as we ‘march straight off the cliff’.

  • Another great essay on the important things in life from the good professor with equally good contributions in the comments section.
    My contribution is my Facebook notes on the exponential function and Michael E Mann’s recent admission that our climate change catastrophe has now gone exponential and my note on our dying, incinerating forests.. If you know anything about the exponential function you’ll know we are in very big trouble.


  • Guy, now you know why opioids are so popular in America. Truth be told, dealing with most people, most of the time, is a tedious, draining and thoroughly unedifying experience.

    Say no to hopium and yes to opium.

  • kevin, i don’t understand your ongoing focus on present economic factors like the price of oil. u know as well as i that it’s extremely volatile. current low prices can’t last long. soon there will be another great spike, like happened about 7 years ago, triggering the great banking crisis bailout. this time it’s likely to balloon to over $200/ barrel, which will provide abundant profits once again to low eroei processes like the environmentally catastrophic tar sands. it’s a crazy rollercoaster, all part of the process of depletion, collapse, and environmental ruin.

  • Really good essay. I sent it to my email lists. Comments on a couple of passages.
    ‘Rather, we are embedded within a system that essentially requires monetary exchange, at least some of the time.”

    The last sentence is ambivalent. Does it mean that we’re right now living in a society in which money or its equivalent is required in order to materially survive? That’s for sure. Or, does it mean that monetary exchange is a necessary part of human existence, part of our species-being? That i would intensely disagree with, given that money was not necessary for the obtaining of survival goods till the emergence of capitalism in late medieval England, and this did not become the norm everywhere till the last couple of hundred years or so. See this by “my twin brother Jack Straw” from May 2012, http://www.dailybattle.pair.com/2012/occupy_target_destroy_ruling_money_fetish.shtml

    “My attempts to practice a gift economy have largely failed. It’s been primarily a one-way street, with about a -95% return rate (and no, I’m not keeping track … at least, not closely). And yet when I seek a small monetary return on my large investment in time, the disparagement comes like an avalanche. It seems empathy is a little-used characteristic in this culture.”

    [Well, living within this society pretty much requires us to earn money somehow. Why should anyone be disparaged for doing that?]

  • Jeff S. says, “The last sentence is ambivalent.”

    Sorry, but I think it’s quite clear: “Rather, we are embedded within a system that essentially requires monetary exchange, at least some of the time.” We’re not embedded within a system more than two centuries old. We’re embedded in this unbelievably absurd, contemporary system.

    Indeed, why should I be disparaged for seeking to earn money? And yet, check Scott Johnson’s fanboys for exactly that level of stupidity. They’re not the only ones, of course. I get this type of bullshit from many quarters.

  • might i offer a reflection?

    when i read your posts and your social media comments, my inner ears (and my external ones too, when i listen to your comments on your videos), hear a very angry, dismissive, arrogant man routinely insulting his fellow humans…

    i’m not sure that behaviour falls within the definitions of living a life of excellence and living a life of love…. unless you mean living a life of excellent raging and mean-ness….

    Ram Dass has a lot to say about loving and not judging yourself and people who are not awake and aware yet… He said: “when you go out into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You appreciate it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree. The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying “You’re too this, or I’m too this.” That judging mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are. …”

    and if you are espousing and practising a gift economy, surely you understand that in a gift economy, there is no direct reciprocity and you have to trust in the energy to bring you what you need, when you need it? it seems to me you still have one (emotional) foot stuck in the direct exchange paradigm (you offer goods/services/information and you expect some sort of payment in direct return)…. you’re setting yourself up for disappointment, and you have been disappointed and you’re angry and bitter about it, which makes you be mean towards others….

    i wish you peace within and without….


  • Terry.

    I continue to focus on current economic indicators because:

    1. the solar dimming which provides some protection from a surge in temperature from excess CO2 and CH4 is dependent on present economic arrangements continuing; a sudden collapse of global economic activity is likely to exacerbate the environmental meltdown in the short term.

    2. the entrapment of the masses by the scumbags at the top of the pyramid is very much dependent on the system delivering trinkets, entertainment and other short-term rewards to the masses; whereas most people are happy to turn a blind eye to species extinction or environmental collapse they are not prepared to turn a blind eye to financial collapse or economic collapse. That hits hard and fast.

    3. the sooner the present system does collapse the more likely additional overshoot (200,000 extra mouths to feed each day that passes) will cease and begin to reverse.

    4. continuation on the present economic path increases the degradation of the environment, both locally and globally.

    The financial-economic-political system is the prime cause of the on-going environmental-social catastrophe.

  • sahila, your narrow-minded, nonsensical comment doesn’t merit a response. So I won’t offer one.

  • Robert Scribbler had a ominous post about the heat dome settling in the Persian gulf. The temperature hit 115 degrees F. With humidity factored in, it feels like 165 degrees F. Scribller pointed out that this is “a wet bulb temperature of 34.7 C”, which is close to the human threshold. https://robertscribbler.com/2015/07/31/killing-heat-it-felt-like-165-degrees-in-iran-today/

  • I agree – living in this society requires medication, preferably drugs. As Louis CK so insightfully stated, drugs are only the perfect answer to every problem you have (Honey). Furthermore, if you are not hungry, not exposed to the elements, not ill or in pain or in need of medical attention, if you are clothed and able to be clean, then the biggest problem you will have is that Hell is other people, precisely for the reasons Guy outlines above.

    In thinking about how people create meaning out of others’ comments, especially when those comments are about substantive, measurable issues and the meaning created isn’t very meaningful, for some reason I was reminded of Emmett Till, who was horrifically tortured and murdered at the age of 14 for whistling at a white woman in 1955.

    People here, I am assuming, aren’t murdering children over insignificant things like an adolescent’s sexually-charged whistle, but the news is full of stories that other people out there are doing precisely that, and most of them are in law enforcement.

    The public circles in which Guy currently travels and the academic circles of his teaching career aren’t as openly violent or murderous as the streets of Mississippi were for Emmett Till, but the malice is intense, nonetheless. Educated, “civilized” individuals, like Scott Johnson, tear into Guy and work hard as possible to defame and slander him because created issues as substantive as a whistle, like how Guy keeps changing his essay, the one designed to be updated “frequently”

    Some of it would be funny if not for the hostility behind it all. Instead, it’s ugly and disturbing. It’s disturbing that people who are seen as the best of our society, educated, employed in all the right fields, “scientists,” and other claims to credibility they may possess, nonetheless can derive a message of “do nothing, be a hedonist, death cult,” etc. from the words “live a life of excellence.”

    It’s kind of like getting murder out of a whistle.

    I love my dogs. I even love my chickens. I have the nicest little hen who just wants to sit on my lap and be petted, and she’s so adorable.

  • “The heaviest baggage, for a traveler, is an empty purse.” (Old Proverb)

    Appropriate for a visionary whom, all things considered, probably tenders far less than minimum wage. This, in exchange for exhaustive effort and genuine empathy for others, while the bosses and blind minions reap tainted profits.

    Every day it seems more and more scholarly souls say the same thing: “It’s bad, but it’s not that bad.” Yet, they’re the ones who have no real answers as to how bad it is. Every really bad thing I’ve seen or experienced, started with that same phrase.

    These Emperors have no clothes.

  • sahila…I’m the one who rages around here…guy only gets peeved now and then and with good reason…that ram must have hit you hard.

  • Gnome Chimsky,
    Anthropogenic Climate Disruption scares the crap out of me. Thank you for asking.

  • @Guy, this has been bugging me for years, absolutely years: the tags on your site which direct folks to “next” and “previous” entries are swapped: the “next” button leads to older posts, and the “previous” button leads to newer posts.

    Something newer cannot be previous to something older. If this is not some sort of perverse organized psychological research, could you change them around to how they should be? I know it is trivial, but I can’t believe no-one else has noticed this. I hope it is easy to change in your blog platform; it should be.

    Signed, Tired of Feeling Jerked Around by Computers.

    Thank You.

  • P.S., I apologize if this may not seem sufficiently deep in light of the current post, but I assure you there is a spiritual dimension which is ground down to the nub with every uncaring and incorrect use of language. At least that’s how I see it at the moment. Thanks again.

  • “when i read your posts and your social media comments, my inner ears (and my external ones too, when i listen to your comments on your videos), hear a very angry, dismissive, arrogant man routinely insulting his fellow humans…”

    Is it because I see the world in much the way he does? Is it because I get very, very angry? Or am arrogant to the max and even sharply insulting (like what I might say at a meeting to someone asking for more water use)? Maybe it’s because I excel in all these things why Guy seems to me like a very droll, kind and gentle spirit by comparison.

  • Kevin.

    Your last post made one heck of a lot of sense to me. I hope you won’t mind if I copy it to ourfiniteworld.com. Many thanks!

  • Lidia: I think the “previous” and “next” buttons refer to WHERE the posts are in the LIST of posts. So if you click “previous” you go up the list (more recent), and if you click “next” you go down the list (less recent). Sort of like how clicking “page down” on your cable TV remote (if you have one) actually brings you HIGHER in the chronological list of stations.

    Make sense?

    Sorry for the 3 posts.

  • Guy McPherson Says:
    August 3rd, 2015 at 5:38 pm
    “Jeff S. says, “The last sentence is ambivalent.”

    Sorry, but I think it’s quite clear: “Rather, we are embedded within a system that essentially requires monetary exchange, at least some of the time.” We’re not embedded within a system more than two centuries old. We’re embedded in this unbelievably absurd, contemporary system.”

    That’s what i was trying to clarify. So as i thought, you were talking about the contemporary system, vs saying that human society by nature requires monetary exchange. I TOTALLY agree.

    “Indeed, why should I be disparaged for seeking to earn money? And yet, check Scott Johnson’s fanboys for exactly that level of stupidity. They’re not the only ones, of course. I get this type of bullshit from many quarters.”

    How does Scott Johnson make HIS money? One can wonder about all the “alternative” energy hucksterism he is pushing.

    Seeing the name Ram Dass reminded me of an incident at a seminar i went to almost exactly 22 years ago today, conducted by Terence McKenna, on human evolution and plant psychedelics. After the presentation, there was a discussion, and a guy, with a couple of friends, brought up a statement by Ram Dass to the effect that “once you answer the phone and get the message, it’s time to hang up.” McKenna exploded (in a controlled, yet visibly agitated way), saying “what’s this about there being only one message to get? Do the ayahuasca-using tribes in South America hang up after a couple of times and getting the message?”

    I have no problem with the statement at the top of the article, or that Ram Dass’s name appears, but just saying that there was always this air of condescension amongst some of his associates. One story they like to tell is how after his experience in India of meeting this jury who took his acid tab and had no visible reaction made him realize it was time to give up psychedelics, as that man was already in such bliss hat he didm;t need any. Well, at a seminar years later, broadcast on KPFA in February ’89 during an day long KSD special, he said he visited the man again, and after exchanging pleasantries, he said “Do you remember giving me something last time?” Ram Dass answered “Of course.” And the guru said “Well, do you have any more?” His group was apparently supposed to avoid such substances for a given time period for “cleansing,” i.e. not forever and ever. I have seen speculation that this is related to ancient times, when psychoactive mushrooms were common in the region, and then a major drying, occurred some 5000 years ago, making them much less common, and hence the disciplines were instructed to adjust to a period of scarcity. This parallels developments in the Mediterranean basin around the same time, including the turn against the “fruit of knowledge” related to in Genesis, a “fruit” which is easily indented as a mushroom in myths of other cultures in the Mideast, as discussed in Greaves and Patai’s book Hebrew Myths.

  • The President mentioned that “there is such a thing as too late” of a response to climate change.


    The only question is “have we passed it already?

    Some revolutionary developments in the understanding of sea level rise and sea level fall might surprise you.

    It surprised me.

    Sea Level Fall: The Forgotten Aspect of Sea Level Rise?

  • Gina McCarthy [EPA] tells Obama we’re fuk’t. Obama makes a speech.

  • “The President mentioned that “there is such a thing as too late” of a response to climate change.


    The only question is “have we passed it already?””

    Ask the Oracle of ESAS, whose replies will be through the Methane Monster.

  • If it is not “too late”, does it matter in a world populated by people?


    The above story is the lead/headline story today on cnn’s main website.

    Methinks late or not, we are headed to the same place. Ignorance inertia, indeed.

  • “The living world is dying in our time.

    I look out over the unquiet waters of the bay, south to the convergence of sea and sky beyond which the North Atlantic heaves against the eastern seaboard of the continent. And in my mind’s eye, I see it as it was.

    Pod after spouting pod of whales, the great ones together with the lesser kinds, surge through waters everywhere aripple with living tides of fishes. Wheeling multitudes of gannets, kittiwakes, and other such becloud the sky. The stony finger marking the end of the long beach below me is clustered with resting seals. The beach itself flickers with a restless drift of shorebirds. In the bight of the bay, whose bottom is a metropolis of clams, mussels, and lobsters, a concourse of massive heads emerges amongst floating islands of eider ducks. Scimitar tusks gleam like a lambent flame. . . . The vision fails.

    And I behold the world as it is now.

    In all that vast expanse of sky and sea and fringing land, one gull soars in lonely flight — one drifting mote of life upon an enormous, almost empty stage.

    When our forebears commenced their exploitation of this continent they believed the animate resources of the New World were infinite and inexhaustible. The vulnerability of that living fabric—the intricacy and fragility of its all too finite parts — was beyond their comprehension. It can at least be said in their defence that they were mostly ignorant of the inevitable consequences of their dreadful depredations.

    We who are alive today can claim no such exculpation for our biocidal actions and their dire consequences. Modern man has increasing opportunity to be aware of the complexity and inter-relationship of the living world. If ignorance is to serve now as an excuse, then it can only be willful, murderous ignorance.”

    – Farley Mowat “Sea of Slaughter” 1984

  • Sorry, the Mowat book was written in 1984, this particular comment was from a Afterword written in 2003

  • In 2007, a B-52 flew from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, carrying 12 cruise missiles on its wings. Unbeknownst to the crew, six of the cruise missiles were armed with nuclear warheads.

    The missiles traveled across the nation and spent the night sitting on the tarmac guarded by just a few security officers and a barbed wire fence before their true nature was discovered. The really bad news? No one at Minot ever noticed that they had gone missing.

    One has to be a true optimist to believe that we can leave 16,000 nuclear bombs in fallible human hands indefinitely and nothing will go wrong.

    It could get worse. The world’s nuclear weapons are aging. Bombs, like cars, wear out and eventually have to be replaced. We are now in a generational transition, when the weapons built during the terrifying Cold War rivalry of the 1980’s are ready for retirement. This could be a good time for Russia, the United States and other nations to close down these obsolete arsenals and save billions of dollars.

    Instead, the nuclear nations are raiding their treasuries to build an entire new generation of the deadliest weapons ever invented. As Hans Kristensen and Robert Norris point out, “nuclear nations have undertaken ambitious nuclear weapon modernization programs that threaten to prolong the nuclear era indefinitely… New or improved nuclear weapon programs underway worldwide include at least 27 ballistic missiles, nine cruise missiles, eight naval vessels, five bombers, eight warheads, and eight weapons factories.”

    The world doesn’t need more nuclear weapons. Russia currently has the largest nuclear arsenal, with a total of approximately 7,500 warheads. The United States is second, with roughly 7,100 warheads. Other nuclear weapons states have far fewer. France possesses 300, China 260, and Great Britain, 225. Pakistan has about 120 weapons and India 110.

    Glad to see Satish M has returned. Artleads & Old Growth Forest I sat up last night reading both of you where the conversation is more safe and sane on KuKu. Love to Sabine & BabaJingo

    “We are the only Cancer that could have chosen to be something other”

    On the cusp of LEO…oh deer Jeff S. has a gun. Filled with hate and hunting for everyone. Shoot the garbage man since you can’t lift a finger to do any clean up work yourself. Many thanks to those who contribute climate data & other insights about a world of dangers.

  • .
    The possibility of increased food shortages looms in a nearer future than we’d care to believe.

    Citing the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the latest Grantham Mayo van Otterloo (GMO) quarterly report noted, “humanity is risking ‘a breakdown of food systems linked to warming, drought, flooding, and precipitation variability and extremes.’”

    Those changes to the climate threaten the way food gets produced around the world, which can drive up the price of foods and lead to a host of other problems.

    “The results show that based on plausible climate trends, and a total failure to change course, the global food supply system would face catastrophic losses, and an unprecedented epidemic of food riots,” the institute’s director, Aled Jones, told investigative journalism project Insurge Intelligence. “In this scenario, global society essentially collapses as food production falls permanently short of consumption.”

  • @Mark Austin

    Your flair, and adept attention to detail, is commanding. Let’s not forget the other 2,000 projectiles on 3-minute fail-safe (military oxymoron).

    Thanks for all your work and contributions.

  • Aug 1st MONTPELIER, Vt. —The state of Vermont and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission don’t always see eye to eye. The state and the feds disagreed over the future of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant when the Vernon reactor was operating. And now that the plant is shut down, the state has challenged the federal agency over emergency planning and decommissioning.

    Now Vermont is pushing for a greater role for states as the nuclear industry begins to close aging reactors around the country.

    As head of the non-profit Nuclear Information and Research Service, Tim Judson has closely observed the industry as it wrangles with regulators around the country. He’s also watched Vermont’s efforts to push the federal NRC bureaucracy. And he says Vermont is taking the lead that other states may follow.

    “We see Vermont as really being on the cutting edge of ensuring the best possible outcome under the circumstances because the state took a proactive approach toward negotiating with Entergy about what decommissioning is going to be like,” he says.

    But being out front doesn’t always feel like progress for Chris Recchia, commissioner of the Department of Public Service. As head of the state agency that represents ratepayers, Recchia says he’s frustrated that the NRC has allowed Entergy Vermont Yankee to use some of its decommissioning funds to store spent fuel.

    “What we’re discovering as the first kind of the first merchant plant to go through this process is that (the NRC) are making it up as they go along. And frankly, my frustration is that they’re making decisions that are narrowing our ability to participate instead of expanding them,” Recchia says.

    Merchant plants like Entergy-Vermont Yankee operated outside of traditional state utility regulation. Judson and Recchia point out the company has layers of limited liability corporations that they say could fail to pay for decommissioning and clean-up. Recchia says that’s part of the brave new world Vermont and other states are trying to deal with.

    “I think the reality is the NRC has not really thought about this and when I say this, I mean several things: One, decommissioning plants in general, Two, the idea of merchants plants is really new to them,” he says.

    “And that’s all we’re really trying to do is to give states a role, a meaningful role, in how these plants shut down and wind down.”

    Recchia says his beef is not with Entergy — which sought and obtained the NRC’s permission to use $225 million of its roughly $660 million fund to handle the spent fuel. Rather, he says the NRC was wrong to grant that permission.

    “This is another example where they just grant exemptions or ignore their rules,” he says. “The NRC says you can only use decommissioning trust fund for things that reduce radiological exposure, period.”

    “That means not taxes and not spent fuel. So we’re just reading the rules and going, hello? What’s going on here? And we’re not getting a hearing,” Recchia says.

    The state wants Yankee to begin decommissioning in 30 or 40 years. And Recchia’s concerned that the decommissioning schedule could be slowed if funds are used for other purposes.

    “It does affect the potential timetable, and that’s what we’re most concerned about,” he says.

    But NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan says it reviewed Entergy’s plans under federal rules that allow nuclear operators to wait 60 years before decommissioning.

    “I think the expectation on the part of the state is that it’s going to happen much sooner than that. But when we look at it based on the 60-year timeframe, we don’t see any reason why they cannot use money for spent fuel storage management costs as this fund continues to build up,” Sheehan says.

    Vermont Yankee says it’s committed to starting decommissioning before the full 60 years that the NRC allows.

    Company spokesman Martin Cohn says, “This will have no effect on the decommissioning timetable. In fact, this was always part of our decommissioning timetable that we put forth in our post-decommissioning report.”

    Entergy and the NRC say the company’s license requires Energy to show every year whether the fund is growing fast enough to do the job.

    There is more financial corruption than the article above can expose. Looking forward to possibly meeting with Lidia when I am in her state later this month. Much more is involved with D.O.T & Concord New Hampshire officials who must also be involved with alternate routes and emergency procedures dealing with the security measures. Trying to forcast decades of Nuclear waste transport problems with an eye on Dr. McPherson & Beckwith spelling the truth about abrupt/dire climate change conditions on the road directly ahead !!!!!!!!!

  • .
    Politicians lie, reporters lie, scientists lie. I recently heard about geoengineering and aerosol engineering. I had my soil tested and found over 1000 ppm of aluminum. It should be under 200 ppm. I want to know where it’s coming from and are other people finding the same thing.

    The average surface temperature around the world has increased by roughly 1.08 degrees Fahrenheit over the last 40 years, but that number would be a lot larger if it weren’t for the oceans.

    “To date, the oceans have essentially been the planet’s refrigerator and carbon dioxide storage locker,” Hans-Otto Pörtner, who is a researcher at the Alref Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centra for Polar and Marine Research, told ScienceDaily. “For instance, since the 1970s they’ve absorbed roughly 93% of the additional heat produced by the greenhouse effect, greatly helping to slow the warming of our planet.”

  • Anyone want to see an amazing dance move by a boogie woogiecouple?

    Check this out at 13:25.


  • The greatest engineering nightmare of all time, whether done honorably or not (Why Sea Level Rise May Be The Greatest Threat To Civilization – 5).

  • @Dredd – I don’t know if I’m violating post limits but had to comment.

    Ok, well, talk about a couple of “wow” moments. I’ve followed you, for awhile, here and on your own domain. Your persistence is as indomitable as that of Woodward/Bernstein.

    Against better judgement, I’ve spent the better part of today, trying to work, on a supply chain problem for a client. Since I had only 44 cents in my bank account, I really needed the infusion.

    Thank you, very much, for empowering me to say what should have been my initial response, “uh, never mind, thanks but not thanks”.

    Keep up the great work.

  • Dredd, recently you sent some of us to your earlier writings on Ayn Rand; & then on to Paul Ryan, Goerge Monbiot, Robert McNamara, Hiroshima, & cigar chomping Curtis Lemay.

    Grazi, for a brief but great lesson.

    I am still learning & wanting to learn as we watch our upcoming deaths unfold.
    I think that I will know when to go … when I no longer want to learn anymore – 50 Gt methane would probably suffice.

  • JC and Gerald,

    I am not as informed of Arctic methane as Guy and you folk here tend to be.

    But one thing caught my eye about Greenland Ice Sheet melt and the resultant lowering of sea level up there.

    That is, when the ocean levels drop there it will cause an exposure of the clathrate / methane hydrate layers now under colder waters to be exposed to warming.

    BTW JC, I think that once a new post is put up, which has been done, you can comment at will.

    I do not have to tell you guys what that could mean.

    I asked Guy about it in a previous comment, so hopefully he is checking out Professor Mitrovica’s papers on the issue.

  • @twimc

    Louis Farrakhan Urges Black Community to “Rise Up And Kill Those Who Kill Us”

  • Been following Ram Das’s career since he first went public 45 or so years ago. For what it’s worth, I’ll point out that his transformation was initially kicked off by psychedelics, which, of course, brings us back around to the domain of woo and things of a spiritual nature, for lack of a better phrase. I purposely don’t define the term(s), and surely it means different things to different people. But it has, like the Gift Economy, been around since the beginning of the human adventure. Some overwhelming agent needs to shock members of the dominate culture out of this mindless and soulless trance.

  • Great show today on PRN. Lots of good info. Thanks.

  • @izzy

    That was profound.

    The Rolling Stones- Miss You

  • Personally I can’t think of anything more ‘honorable’ than convincing a couple NOT to have a child.
    Everything else is just selfish bullshit.

  • izzy Says:
    August 4th, 2015 at 3:45 pm
    “Been following Ram Das’s career since he first went public 45 or so years ago. For what it’s worth, I’ll point out that his transformation was initially kicked off by psychedelics, which, of course, brings us back around to the domain of woo and things of a spiritual nature, for lack of a better phrase. I purposely don’t define the term(s), and surely it means different things to different people. But it has, like the Gift Economy, been around since the beginning of the human adventure. Some overwhelming agent needs to shock members of the dominate culture out of this mindless and soulless trance.”

    A bunch of people have pointed out how interesting it is that at the time humanity developed nuclear weapons, it also created LSD, and soon afterwards scientists also began exploring plant psychedelics. Talk about an overwhelming agent. Traditional societies have used these plants as a tuning fork, helping them tune up their awareness of the totality around them which consists of far more than the 3D physical space we do exist in and have to survive in.

  • @Wester what a perfect Quote, so very true and sad. I find myself wondering what Otago harbour New Zealand where I live would have looked like before humans arrived here especially the white ones.
    I heard a Captain Cook quote that it was a cacophony of bird song. Now hardly a native tree left standing along the whole harbour. I so wish I could have seen it then. Also half a kilometre up from my house is an old whaling station, we haven’t gone far really have we, from whale blubber to oil climate hell.

  • When I was young,
    I admired clever people.
    Now that I am old,
    I admire kind people.
    ~Abraham Joshua Heschel

  • I’ve posted three video clips. You can catch them here.

  • .
    For the millions of homeless people living on the streets in our ‘civilised’ cities, civilization is over. For them there is little hope of a return to prosperity, with a good job, a warm home and security.
    History shows that a radically destabilized environment results in war, famine, disease and death. Any one of those four can and will exacerbate the other three.
    Our civilization is becoming increasingly unstable, and right now the four horsemen are getting restless.
    In one hundred years’ time, would you prefer to be living in the United States, China, Saudi Arabia…..or Greece? Please don’t have children, they won’t have anywhere safe to live.

  • Dear ladies and gentlemen
    Do you want to contribute something to solve the biggest problem of humankind? Then sign our petition under the world’s largest platform change.org:
    The German physicist, aerospace physician, writer and television presenter Heinz Haber wrote in 1973 that a planet the size of our Earth should not be populated with more than 500 million human beings in order to maintain a harmonious balance between human beings and nature. Today (June 2013 ) we have, with (officially listed ) 7.2 billion human beings, reached more than 14 times this guideline value, and an end of this population growth is not in sight! A huge mass of unemployment and the collapse of our prosperity will be further consequences. A worldwide, mandatory birth control for all countries of Earth is urgent, if we want the impending climate catastrophe to weaken somewhat.
    Even the UN IPCC has recognised the danger in its fifth World Climate Report, but played it down by only predicting a higher sea level rise than previously prognosticated. The world however is in store for an unprecedented climate catastrophe which will bring us human beings – even in Europe! – primeval conditions. According to a current campaign at the world’s largest petition platform “change.org”, the reasons for this are obvious, but are ignored and tabooed as a result of ignorance, cowardice and lust for might.
    Quote from a proponent of the petition:
    “The overpopulation of Earth is a huge disaster and shows the picture of an egoistical thinking human being who doesn’t care the slightest bit about his/her environment and who has raised the fulfilment of his/her desires to be the supreme principle of his/her life. The quality of the future life of all human beings is inseparably connected with the state of nature. The unrestrained plundering, exploitation and the therewith accompanying destruction, devastation and poisoning of the soil, air and water, caused by the huge demand for foodstuffs and goods of all kind of a still explosively growing population, presents the human beings with unsolvable problems. Overpopulation is not a taboo word, rather the exact term for an excessive number of human beings brought about by an irrational and irresponsible procreation of children, and which nature can no longer cope with. There should only be as many human beings living in a country as it can also sustain from its own resources. In addition the fauna and flora must also have enough space to expand in order to fulfil their vital functions in a good functioning ecosystem. This shows that all countries of Earth are overpopulated and need to do something about it. The control of the overpopulation does not mean that human beings have to leave, and it also has nothing to do with racism, but rather it demands of the human being, regardless of his/her colour, that a reasonable birth regulation must be strongly striven for and carried out for the benefit of all human beings and all life on our planet.”

  • Robert says, “A worldwide, mandatory birth control for all countries of Earth is urgent, if we want the impending climate catastrophe to weaken somewhat.”

    I say, if the humans can’t work out something this basic for themselves, mandatory worldwide blah, blah (which is a total non-starter right there) is just more wasted effort. Maybe it’s PAST time to just let Nature takes its course.

  • Oh and another thing :-) Is there anyone on this planet who believes that when humans REALLY want to do something that’s not good for them (in the LONG term), they can be forced to control themselves by passing a law?

    I personally would vote against such a law, if I was ever given the chance…..

  • Sorry Ken, that just ended up in my ‘in box’ so I just handed it on.
    Just showing others are at least thinking, of coarse they are about 6 billion people to late.
    The only reason I push the vhemt.org idea, now is to show someone was thinking,and even that is pointless.