Radio Show with Cheri Roberts

This Wednesday, 9 September 2015, I’ll be interviewed by Cheri Roberts of Challenging the Rhetoric. The topic: How Bad is the Continued Environmental Impact of 9/11? The show airs live at 9:00 p.m. Eastern at this link. We’ll be taking calls at 646-787-1790. Archived show is here.\

Comments 66


    THE BIG QUESTION; Schmidt/Archer or Semiletov/Shakhova?

    Grazi to mrogness

    published 7 September 2015

    The last sentence from the intro (below)IS the most momentous prediction in history.


    Sustained release of methane (CH4) to the atmosphere from thawing Arctic permafrost may be a positive and significant feedback to climate warming. Atmospheric venting of CH4 from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) was recently reported to be on par with flux from the Arctic tundra; however, the future scale of these releases remains unclear.

    Here, based on results of our latest observations, we show that CH4 emissions from this shelf are likely to be determined by the state of subsea permafrost degradation.

    We observed CH4 emissions from two previously understudied areas of the ESAS: the outer shelf, where subsea permafrost is predicted to be discontinuous or mostly degraded due to long submergence by seawater, and the near shore area, where deep/open taliks presumably form due to combined heating effects of seawater, river run-off, geothermal flux and pre-existing thermokarst.

    CH4 emissions from these areas emerge from largely thawed sediments via strong flare-like ebullition, producing fluxes that are orders of magnitude greater than fluxes observed in background areas underlain by largely frozen sediments.

    We suggest that progression of subsea permafrost thawing and decrease in ice extent could result in a significant increase in CH4 emissions from the ESAS.

    1. Introduction

    The Arctic seabed is believed to contain a significant pool of organic carbon and methane (CH4) preserved within and beneath the subsea permafrost, including permafrost-related and continental slope CH4 hydrates [1–3].

    Sustained CH4 release to the atmosphere from thawing Arctic permafrost and dissociating hydrates were suggested to be positive and likely to be significant feedbacks to climate warming [4,5].

    Some authors believe that CH4 fluxes from subsea permafrost, more than 80% of which occur in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS), will depend on rates of CH4 production in gradually thawing sediments [6], while subsea permafrost will remain frozen for millennia [7].

    Others believe that permafrost failure caused by long-lasting warming by seawater due to sea-level rise and global-change-induced warming, which in the twenty-first century is very pronounced over the ESAS [8], will destabilize massive gas reservoirs, leading to large-scale CH4 releases, including release of pre-formed CH4 long preserved within and beneath subsea permafrost [9,10].

  • I volunteer in a community cafe and my friend who is 80 years old said

    “Martin, Whats happening with the world”

  • Tired of trying all sorts of practices to reduce a rocketting level of stress, I said to myself : fuck the 5 times breathing exercice while sitting still and all that shit.
    I found something that kind of works some of the time for me. When I wake up, I say to my self (or what is left of it, because I feel I am already disappearing) «this is my last day», and I jump out of bed to live my last hours. When I go to sleep, I think «maybe I will not wake, who knows?» and I fall into the darkness. Among other results: I eat a lot less which is good for me .
    I try and would like to but I cannot get rid of stuff because every body knows that stuff don’t vanish. That is a difficult part, assuming my stuff, I mean my filthy garbage . And I desperately try to do less internet (which creates invisible but lethal garbage). But it is the worst ever drug invented by humane evil. I think only the grid going down will severe my ties. I am totally possessed.
    If you did not, please watch the video I made with my son during his voyage here in August called TREES IN DANGER on you tube


    Best Magazine cover EVER: Snowden, Cornel West, & Manning!

  • Addendum to Best Mag Cover ever: “Pipers to the End”

  • Glad you’re keeping the blog running Guy, thanks.
    @ Dredd—appreciate your link on previous thread re: sea ice, looks like the roos stats were wrong?
    @ Milendia: again, thanks for your video (check it out all you NBL’ers) and your latest thoughts on how to cope during this human caused 6th great extinction above.

    I am with you on the use of the internet (“lethal garbage”) but I too am drawn to it—-not quite—- but almost addicted. Especially the music. And as simplistic, goofy, imposing of one’s taste on others it is, I can’t resist posting this latest music by The White Buffalo/Jake Smith.
    Watching this is an antidote to despair—check out his moves and lyrics, very apropos for many that visit NBL!

  • Dear milendia,

    I’ve just watched your video TREES IN DANGER, and yes, everything you’ve filmed and talked about is what I’ve noticed too for quite some time now, here in England too (and everywhere I go on the continent).
    Most people will not be able to “see” what you or Gail or others here “see”. Trees, like everything alive around them, are just scenery for their centre stage performance. Therefore bare branches, deformed and discoloured leaves, the terrible state of trunks, everything so obvious sickly are to most just part of the scenery. Maybe how trees should be is fading from memory. People have nothing to compare and wouldn’t anyway.

    Your lovely son seems insightful beyond his years, your influence, the way you brought him up maybe? How lucky children are when they have parents who are insightful, wise, not shallow.

    I hope that many people will watch your video. I’ll recommend it, also to the French friends I have who’ll have no excuse not to understand.

  • Mrogness,

    I don’t know what to make of your September 5th, 2015 at 2:48 pm comment. Do you mean to direct that comment to me or to Guy? Guy, and probably many people who continue to comment here, advocate anarchism, not me. Based on what I presently know of animal behavior, biology more generally, psychology including attachment and identity theory, human emotion, anthropology, and ecosystem thermodynamics, anarchism does not make much sense to me. I just asked him to consider clarifying some points that seem confusing and self-contradictory to me regarding the anarchism that he advocates. Perhaps he or someone else can help me to understand what I presently fail to understand as I work at understanding them.

    More generally, especially regarding the “Sociopaths Assume Control” essay thread:

    The following four paragraphs from pages 226 and 227 in Ian Morris’ 2015 book Foragers, Farmers, and Fossil Fuels, How Human Values Evolve nicely summarize many points that I made in my two NBL essays “What ‘Purpose’ Do I Have?” (7/23/14,, which developed a number of energy related issues, and “A Tragic View of Human Destiny”, which focused on the parable of the tribes (9/18/14, These paragraphs and the book more generally tell the tragic parable of the tribes in the most fundamental terms possible: energy capture. I do not see much if any of this supporting anarchist principles and values as I presently understand them. Perhaps someone will provide me with some corrective feedback regarding this?

    “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good,” says the fictional character Gordon Gekko in Oliver Stone’s 1987 film Wall Street. “Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all its forms—greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge—has marked the upward surge of mankind.” Gekko, of course, gets his comeuppance in the end, but what brings him down is not the fact that he was greedy: it is that he was too greedy. Greed is a fact of life for everything from single-celled organisms to ourselves, but each species has evolved toward an optimum balance between selfishness and cooperation. Animals that are either too greedy or not greedy enough are less likely to pass on their genes and see their offspring flourish than those who are just greedy enough. Humans, of course, differ from other animals in being capable of cultural evolution, and because of that, OUR OPTIMUM LEVEL OF GREED SHIFTS IN PARALLE WITH OUR ABILITY TO CAPTURE ENERGY [emphasis mine]. I suggested in chapter 4 that in ifossil-fuel societies, the right amount of greed produces a post-tax and -transfer Gini coefficient between 0.25 and 035. When foragers are being just greedy enough, Gini scores settle below 0.25; when farmers are being just greedy enough, the score is above (often well t above) 0.35. Gordon Gekko’s problem was that his heart, like the Grinch’s, was too small. He acted in ways that would have driven the coefficient up toward 1.0, and no society can tolerate that. No wonder he went to jail.”

    “Competing against people who are just greedy enough rarely goes well. Imagine, for instance, that all the foragers in a particular valley or hunting range unanimously sign up to a religion or cultural code that forbids them from eating a lot or feeding their children well. This will avail them little unless everyone in the neighboring valley or hunting range—and the one beyond that, and the one beyond that, and so on—feels the same way. But because people have free will, that has never been a very likely outcome. Self-denial can pay off, but only if it delivers benefits of other kinds that outweigh its costs (say by increasing group solidarity with positive effects in times of war, or by training people to survive on short rations with positive effects in times of famine). Consequently, the overall pattern has been that the greedy have largely, but not completely, inherited the earth, nudging humanity toward an optimal level of selfishness.”

    “Just like Gordon Gekko, foragers who took greed too far ultimately paid a price. The more energy they extracted from their environments and the more their numbers grew, the faster they ran into diminishing returns and the harder it became for them to continue extracting the energy they needed to fuel their lives. Sooner or later, greedy foragers ran up against Malthusian limits, although—for the reasons spelled out in chapters 3 and 5—a fortunate few in the Lucky Latitudes learned to squeeze more from the land by moving slowly toward farming, and as they became farmers, they learned to squeeze more from agriculture by moving toward hierarchy.”

    “Once again, people were perfectly free to reject farming and hierarchy, and because we are dealing with millions of separate decisions made across many centuries, we should probably assume that many people did just that. But we should probably also assume that the hunting, gathering, and freedom lobby then relearned the old lesson that it is hard to compete against greed. Farming populations grew faster than foraging ones, and hierarchical societies were better able to organize for war and other collective activities than egalitarian one. It took millennia, but Agrarians spread across every part of the planet where geography allowed them to work.”

    Given these age-old principles and the little time that we have left, how does it make sense to spend much time blaming and raging against the fundamental processes that produced our self-annihilation trap? To me this makes about as much sense as it would to blame and rage against gravity when someone dies after falling off of a cliff, or hundreds dieing in an airplane crash. But for those who wish to spend their remaining days in that way, I say “Great! Have at it! Rage on!” I do not. I prefer not getting stuck in such a secondary, reactive emotional trap. Doing this does not enhance my forming and maintaining intimate bonds with others, which I strongly prefer. I do not wish to stay in such a blaming, angry place.

    Dave Thompson,

    Regarding your September 7th, 2015 at 8:35 pm comment with its link to a Wikipedia article about Guy McPherson, given the disgustingly UNscientific nature of his obvious ad hominem attack club with its thin veneer of narrow-framed, linear, highly reductionist, Cartesian deterministic science (vs. complexity theory and modern physics), it seems bizarre indeed for the author to refer to Scott Johnson as a “knowledgeable science educator”. Why do I write this? Because the highly competent science educators that I have had the privilege of knowing and learning from—and I have gotten to know a number at all educational levels in my years teaching high school physics and chemistry with a heavy emphasis on learning and applying physics education research—do very little, if any ad homimen attacks, which Scott Johnson and crew specialize in. Meanwhile, that remains clearly the major motivation for Johnson’s site as it relates to Guy McPherson, again, the exact OPPOSITE of a natural scientific mode of discourse. I find this article as presently written embarrassingly crude, rude, and highly biased, badly in need of much editorial work. I find some of the recent comments I have read at Fractal Planet concerning Guy McPherson quite disturbing and thoroughly disgusting. (Which leads me to wonder about the possible mental and personality disorders of the various authors. But I suppose that from an anarchist perspective this all remains expected, normal, acceptable behavior among people. Yawn.)

  • I am genuinely stopped in my tracks by the latest bozo efforts on the part of Scott Johnson and his cult-following retinue, a link to which was posted by Dave Thompson yesterday.

    The wiki entry states that Johnson is a “knowledgeable science educator,” which sounds impressive but doesn’t say anything, as is usual from the Johnson gallery. Where are the interviews with Johnson on Thom Hartmann’s show? Where are the interviews on radio and elsewhere discussing bio-climate collapse with Scott Johnson? Where are people writing news articles about Scott Johnson, as Dahr Jamail and others write about Guy’s work?

    There aren’t any!!!! No one cares what Johnson says, except Johnson and his friends, who, apparently, have a real cult that only they care about, because no one else is talking about Johnson.

    I think the piece of human malice that calls itself Scott Johnson is trying to find his one claim to potential fame, and it is debunking something, and he’s picked Guy to debunk, even though he is unable to without resorting to purely ad hominem attacks and he-said/she-said petty bullshit.

    What a freakin’ personality disorder Johnson shows himself to be at every turn.

  • Guy, this is a genuine revelation & deserves prompt dissemination. The Royal Society listens & publishes the two premiere empirical scientists of Arctic methane, SEMILETOV & SHAKHOVA

    an excerpt;

    Some authors believe that CH4 fluxes from subsea permafrost, more than 80% of which occur in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS), will depend on rates of CH4 production in gradually thawing sediments [6], while subsea permafrost will remain frozen for millennia [7].

    Others believe that permafrost failure caused by long-lasting warming by seawater due to sea-level rise and global-change-induced warming, which in the twenty-first century is very pronounced over the ESAS [8], will destabilize massive gas reservoirs, leading to large-scale CH4 releases, including release of pre-formed CH4 long preserved within and beneath subsea permafrost [9,10].

  • Caroline, ” …sea ice, looks like the ROOS stats were wrong?”

    Your concern is well taken, but let’s not be too hasty.

    This critical issue is far from settled.

    ROOS scientists are doing their Norse best, & they are definitely quantifying sea ice extent differently from NSIDC.

    I hope that Guy will give us his clarification about this serious discrepancy between conscientious & honest scientists.

  • In regards to the recent EuroNOOS arctic sea ice data some have referenced here (showing a dramatic unprecedented rapid reduction in sea ice extent, Carana posted it to his blog yesterday) I am reposting a comment from viddaloo (our forum arctic sea ice extent tracker posting regular updates from Norway) on the NBL forum from this morning:

    “May be time to pick up the phone and actually call my fellow countrymen in the NERSC to confirm.

    Edit: The folks at NERSC in Bergen, Norway, tell me there’s been a tech glitch, and that they’re very sorry. There’ll be an announcement soon on their site.”

    So it does look as though it was a glitch after all, arctic sea ice has not yet collapsed.


    the above link firmly establishes that the end is near, very near. i can hear Nero, cant’ you? don’t you luv them capitalist bastards, and all other bastards on this planet?


    Surely u can weave some of this in your talks as sure evidence?

  • NSIDC shows ice cover comparable to that of 2007, and currently trending towards slightly more than the 2007 minimum.

    Clearly the region is not yet in ‘exponential meltdown’, though continued burning of massive quantities of fossil fuels -as is the global ‘plan’- will obviously trap sufficient energy to cause further warming in the region (and everywhere else) until a catastrophic critical point IS reached.

    We now know the ‘plan’ is to overheat the planet and render it largely (or totally) uninhabitable for humans and most other vertebrate species, and nobody in power is going to do a thing to stop it: the only unknowns are the rate of heating and how far from normal the Earth will still be able to provide habitat. Oh, and the instantaneous effect of large amounts of methane in the atmosphere.

    I suppose such matters are of little interest when people living in the western states of the USA are more concerned with the immediate future of the RRR, and whether torrents of rain, courtesy of El Nino, will return western states to a green and pleasant land and allow overshoot to be maintained little longer.

    As with the financial meltdown (Dow and other markets up a couple of per cent), there will be many bumps along the road to annihilation.

  • SHEP-
    Thanks for the Burning Man article. I went twice- in 2000 and in 2008. By my second attendance, I knew I never wanted to go back. The difference between those two events was stark, but it’s exactly what I’ve come to expect from human institutions that grow to be unmanageable. There seems to be a critical mass for these types of experiments, and this piece articulates what’s wrong with “the scene” quite well. Indeed, it deftly draws parallels with humanity in general. Thanks again!

  • A compendium of Arctic sea ice graphs;

  • Let’s pull our heads out of our assholes folks. The refugee crisis has started and is not gonna end til the fat chick sings.

    Christians, Jews, Muslims, Financial Experts are all causing a big near term collapse stink on the net. They believe somewhere between Sept 13 and Sept 24, that something super ultra maxi-bad is going to happen, changing the world history of humanity forever. Some say an asteroid, some say a tsunami or earthquake. Many think the beginning of the end of the currency wars. Others think WW III will explode into the open.

    Lord knows, I’ve warned people to get ready for imminent financial collapse, likely happening as a combination of self-fulfilling prophecy and a critical mass of like-minded people torn between fear and greed. Does the Pope poop in the woods? Find out in two weeks.

    I only hope September 24 goes safely by us and we can keep our shit together for another couple of years. Stock up, make caches, prepare. I am fearful and hope nothing happens. Good Luck.

    Okay, back to your pet peeves.

  • Re. Dr. McPherson’s Monster Climate-Change Essay

    Guy has recently said he will only infrequently post here, so this might not be the right place for me to make this comment. I am new to this blog and trying with limited time to catch up. After a hasty reading of the Monster Essay a few months ago, I took some time today to begin reading it in more detail.

    From the section subtitled “Extinction Overview” is this statement:

    “I cannot imagine a scenario involving a rapid rise in global-average temperature and also habitat for humans. Neither can Australian climate scientist Clive Hamilton, based on his 17 June 2014 response to Andrew Revkin’s fantasy-based hopium.”

    I am very appreciative of Clive Hamilton’s work (books, lectures, essays) and have never seen a reference to him as a climate scientist. The following background is from

    Clive Hamilton is an Australian author and public intellectual. Since 2008 he has been Professor of Public Ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, a joint centre of Charles Sturt University and the University of Melbourne. He is based at Charles Sturt University’s Canberra campus.

    For 14 years, until February 2008, he was the Executive Director of The Australia Institute, a progressive think tank he founded. He holds an arts degree from the Australian National University and an economics degree from the University of Sydney. He completed a doctorate in the economics of development at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex.

  • Caroline! Thanks for the music. I’ve played that 4 times already and feel better every time I hear it!

    Thanks for the wake up call, Mr. Callaghan. Before it’s too late, I want to square things with anyone here that I mouthed off to in an insulting way. Gerald, Curious, etc., you know who you are…Hey, I’m a nobody. The only real accomplishment I’ve ever made is to try to be nice to people. All I can say is sorry for peeving out. Post as much as you like, I don’t really care.

  • Caroline Says:
    September 8th, 2015 at 10:05 am

    @ Dredd—appreciate your link on previous thread re: sea ice, looks like the roos stats were wrong?
    Mechanical thingy failure, or far worse, dark hopium (corrupt hoping for the worst).

    A mechanical glitch happened to the main satellite not long ago.

    Yes, ROOS is a ruse in this case.

    Never leave your common sense at home.

    The ice up there is traversing into winter mode now.

    2015 is definitely in the top 10 or top 5, at most about third or fourth.

    The big story IMO is that next year will begin at a low position, as it did this year.

    I am wondering if the El Nino (now ongoing and taking so much heat out of the ocean and putting it in the atmosphere) will impact the Arctic sea ice cover extent for the next few years.

    The big story IMO is sea level change (SLC) which is composed of sea level rise (SLR) and sea level fall (SLF).

    That is why I am developing a software model to watch the ice sheets by watching the fingerprint of SLC (New Type of SLC Detection Model).

    This new model watches the oceans for indications of ice sheet change.

    It is a “no-shit Sherlock” type of approach.

  • ‘For 14 years, until February 2008, he was the Executive Director of The Australia Institute, a progressive think tank he founded. He holds an arts degree from the Australian National University and an economics degree from the University of Sydney.’

    Since modern ‘economics’ is a complete travesty of the original meaning and what is taught in universities is business-as-usual bullshit, predicated on totally ignoring all the factors that make economies possible, I tend to regard anyone with qualifications in ‘economics’ as a fantasist -it is, after all, so-called economics that got us into the present mess. Furthermore, I regard anyone who does not have a sound understanding of physical sciences as unfit to have any leading roles in society.

    ‘He completed a doctorate in the economics of development at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex.’

    The very mention of the word ‘development’ usually confirms our worst fears, since ‘development’ is at the heart of the problem.

  • kevin,
    Before you start attacking Clive Hamilton,please advise if you have
    read any of the following books by him:
    Growth Fetish
    Requiem for a species

    I would suggest that you are making baseless accusations. Hamilton is well aware of the absurdity of mainstream economics,as you would know if you had read either of the first two,or chapter two of the third.
    And you would also know that he has a sound knowledge of the physical
    I understand your anger at our civilisation and where it is leading us,
    but Hamilton does not deserve your attack.

  • david

    Thanks for pointing out Clive Hamilton’s contributions. I have not read them and my generalising comment was inappropriate on that occasion.

    Yes, much anger and frustration, knowing where ‘civilisation’ is taking us and being unable to make even the slightest dent in the armour-of-insanity which characterises so many people within ‘the system’ and those who defend ‘the system’, even as it destroys them.

  • If anyone is interested in reading a superb analysis of the absurdity of William Nordhaus’s economic analysis of climate disruption,try chapter two
    of Hamilton’s ‘Requiem for a species.’ The whole book is excellent,but chapter two is an exhilarating tour de force.
    Exhilarating, until you remember that Nordhaus is a high priest of mainstream economics,and remember the power and influence that he and his acolytes have.

  • Rita,

    It seems Guy has noted your comment and the essay now say “climate scholar Clive Hamilton”.

    Thanks for posting.

    North America’s homemade climate refugee crisis.
    How drought trumps Trump.


    Military impairs east coast airial surveillance shut down until Oct 1st!

  • @Shep:
    Yeah the same thing happened to the Glastonbury festival in the UK, more or less. It’s like colonisation in microcosm. Usually, any of us limeys with sufficient morbid fascination for what’s in store can watch what happens in the US, knowing that five or ten years down the line we’ll be getting pretty much the same thing, but we may be ahead of you on this one? There are no festivals left. Haven’t been any for decades. What we got instead was commodified, commercialised, sanitised and bureaucratised pseudo-festivals where people who can afford it pay to play make-believe counter-culture, devoid of content, for a weekend. A spectacle, in the situationist sense. Maybe it was unavoidable. Festivals got too big, too conspicuous. I bet Dunbar’s number could usefully be applied. But with festivals as with much else, ‘small, non-commercial’ and ‘illegal’ have more or less become synonyms. That long ago reached the point where five hippies with acoustic guitars spontaneously congregating around a campfire in the woods to play protest songs constitutes illegal activity, ’cause you know that none of those five hippies have bothered to inform the appropriate ‘authorities’ of their ‘intentions’, or provided themselves with public liability insurance, ’cause, lets face it, once you submit to that, you just waved goodbye to your spontenaiety and voluntarily gutted your protest songs of any conviction and authenticity they might’ve otherwise had…
    … and it’s like that with just about everything.

  • 9-9-2015

    caroline – what is up with the white buffalo? The BEST i’ve ever heard. Where have these cats been?

    Sons of anarchy – what’s that all about?

    kirk – let’s go – the white buffalo is in downtown atlanta on 10-22-15. I’ll pay.

  • Listen to this guy, he’s right, its all pesh

  • Outrageous ain’t the word for it: “The Times buried the real story”, as usual……..sigh.

    SEPTEMBER 9, 2015
    The GMO Puppetmasters of Academia: What the NYT Left Out

    “Reading the emails make(s) me want to throw up” tweeted the Food Babe after reading a lengthy series of them posted online by the NY Times on Sept 5th. The emails in question result from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and are posted in the side bars of a front-page article by Times reporter Eric Lipton (“Food Industry Enlisted Academics in G.M.O. Lobbying War, Emails Show”).

    The article is highly disturbing, but, as the Food Babe implied, THE TIMES BURIED THE REAL STORY. The real scoop was not the perfidy and deceit of a handful of individual professors. Buried in the emails is proof positive of active collusion between the agribusiness and chemical industries, numerous and often prominent academics, PR companies, and key administrators of land grant universities for the purpose of promoting GMOs and pesticides. In particular, nowhere does the Times note that one of the chief colluders was none other than the President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

  • Clive Hamilton deserves our respect, & to prove it I offer this following recent on point piece.

    Scientist, scholar, honest academic, & gentleman; Hamilton, is much too kind to doubletalking establishment hack, Revkin.

    Hamilton’s vernacular phrasing is genuine honest Aussie speak.

    Good Gawd, what a man!

    “The Delusion of the “Good Anthropocene”: Reply to Andrew Revkin

    17 June 2014

    Andrew Revkin
    Dot Earth blog
    New York Times

    Dear Andy

    Thanks for sending the link to your talk on “Charting Paths to a ‘Good’ Anthropocene”. Since you ask for responses let me express my view bluntly. In short, I think those who argue for the “good Anthropocene” are unscientific and live in a fantasy world of their own construction.

    If we listen to what Earth system scientists, including climate scientists, are telling us, the warming of the Earth due to human causes is a slowly unfolding catastrophe. We already have 2.4°C of warming locked in and, even under the most optimistic mitigation scenarios, it will be very hard to avoid 4°C by the end of this century.

    According to those best placed to make projections, a world 4°C warmer would be a very different kind of planet, one unsympathetic to most forms of life, including human life. Apart from climatic change, other manifestations of human impact in the Anthropocene, from interference in the nitrogen cycle to plastics in the oceans, only add to the grim outlook.

    The advocates of the “good Anthropocene” do not attempt to repudiate the mass of scientific evidence; instead they choose to reframe it. As you declare so disarmingly in your talk: “You can look at it and go ‘Oh my God’, or you can look at it and go ‘Wow, what an amazing time to be alive!’ I kind of choose the latter overall.” You are, of course, entitled to put on any kind of glasses you choose, including rose-coloured ones; but that does not change what you are looking at.

    So it would make no difference if I took the time to document again what you and your fellow “eco-pragmatists” are looking at (the World Bank report is a pretty good overview). Unlike deniers who feel compelled to attack the science, advocates of the good Anthropocene just seem to glide over it.

    You believe that “with work … we can have a successful journey this century. … We are going to do OK.” Personally, when I think about those toiling, vulnerable masses who are going to suffer the worst consequences of a warming world, I find it offensive to hear a comfortable, white American say “We are going to do OK”. I’m sorry if this seems harsh, but unless the IPCC has it completely wrong, much of the world’s population is not included in your “we”.

    The eco-pragmatists who embrace the new geological epoch – Michael Schellenberger, Ted Nordhaus, Peter Kareiva, Erle Ellis, Emma Marris, Stewart Brand, Mark Lynas – express an unbounded faith in technology and human ingenuity, and view the natural world as ultimately conformable to human manipulation and resilient enough to bounce back from whatever humans throw at it.

    For them the Anthropocene is not proof of humankind’s short-sightedness or rapacity, let alone the product of a power structure defended vigorously by fossil energy interests. There are no planetary boundaries that limit continued growth in human population and economic advance. Humans can adapt and prosper in a hotter world because history proves our flexibility.

    In this view, as we enter the Anthropocene the only barrier to a grand new era for humanity is self-doubt and the “pessimism” of gloomy scientists. Like you, Ellis, Kareiva and the Breakthrough crowd see the new epoch as “an amazing opportunity”, humanity’s transition to a higher level of planetary significance.

    It is not surprising that the eco-pragmatists attract support from conservatives who have doggedly resisted all measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions, defended the interests of fossil fuel corporations, and in some cases worked hard to trash climate science.

    These are the same people now drawn to geoengineering, especially solar radiation management, as a substitute for reducing emissions. For them, resorting to geoengineering justifies and entrenches the prevailing system, which is their over-riding goal.

    So the “good Anthropocene” is a story about the world that could have been written by the powerful interests that have got us into this mess and who are fighting so effectively to prevent us from getting out of it. In the long term this kind of thinking will prove more insidious than climate science denial.

    If, against all the evidence, the eco-pragmatists choose to say “What an amazing time to be alive” we can understand the choice as a kind of coping strategy. Those who cope this way acknowledge and accept the facts about global warming up to a point, but they blunt the emotional meaning of the facts. But it is a maladaptive coping strategy, one that provides a balm for feelings of anxiety, fear and helplessness, yet impedes the appropriate action.

    Many among the general public cope with global warming by “de-problematising” the threat using inner narratives such as “Humans have solved these sorts of problems before” and “Technology will always provide a solution”. The eco-pragmatists provide an intellectual justification for this kind of wishful thinking. Tacking “good” onto “Anthropocene” may be an effective emotional reframing, but it is without scientific foundation.

    It has been shown that humans can benefit from what psychologist Shelley Taylor calls “benign fictions”, unrealistic stories about ourselves and the world that lead us to predict what we would prefer to see, rather than what is objectively most likely to happen. Yet these healthy illusions that can spur us on against the odds can become dangerous delusions when they continue to be held despite evidence from the outside world telling us we must change course.

    In the end, grasping at delusions like “the good Anthropocene” is a failure of courage, courage to face the facts. The power of positive thinking can’t turn malignant tumours into benign growths, and it can’t turn planetary overreach into endless lifestyle improvements. Declaring oneself to be an optimist is often used as a means of gaining the moral upper hand: “Things may look bad but, O ye of little faith, be bold and cheerful like me.”

    Things are bad, and if we carry on as we are things will be very bad. It is the possibility of preventing bad turning into very bad that motivates many of us to work harder than ever. But pretending that bad can be turned into good with a large dose of positive thinking is, even more so than denying things are bad, a sure-fire way of ending up in a situation that is very bad indeed.


    17 June 2014

  • ROOS update:

    Editorial note: The dramatic drop in sea ice extent shown on the image below turns out to be an error. The website at is being updated and will show the correct extent soon.

  • Shep, you cut me deep because I spent some of the best years of my life at UF, but it appears all too true & tragic.

    Big bucks puppet masters … in “a culture where everything is for sale.”

    Masterful literary prevert. Terry Southern, takes capitalist humanity to the literary woodshed in his unsurpassed 1959 classic, “The Magic Christian.”

    Southern’s preverted protagonist, Guy Grand, proves his theory that “everyone has their price—it just depends on the amount one is prepared to pay them.”

    Too bad we couldn’t get a copy to real life prevert & guffawing academic whore-to-culturist, Kevin Folta, at U of Florida.

    As Folta himself put it: “I’m glad to sign on to whatever you like, or write whatever you like.”

    “You can lead a petty academic whore-to-culturist to ethics, but you can’t make him drink.”

    The Magic Christian (novel) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  • I gave up commenting long ago — too much work to do to grow food and live a real life outside, while there is still an “outside” that is habitable. I recommend the rest of you do the same.

    Bravo to whom ever made the comment in this NBL episode about teaching F451. I made the same comment to my 13 year old son, as he recently started reading F451, classic that it is. We are witnessing Bradbury’s world in real life — a world of the entertainment complex as a tool of fascist social control.

    Montag finds himself floating down the river and joining other outcasts as “another war” casually plays itself out in a symphony of distraction and manipulation. I deeply identify with Montag’s crisis of conscience as he realizes the role that he plays and realizes the absurdity of the system in which he plays it.

    Bravo, NBL, for citing such a classic work. Children and adults need to study the classics, as they embody human kind’s most lucid and sublime wisdom — wisdom that we dutifully ignore and marginalize as we send our children to schools of vocational training and indoctrination parading as institutions of higher learning.

    We parade a façade of diversity while subversively forcing conformity. Sure, if you’re gay, you can now get married — but if you are not a connoisseur of social media or pro football or gadgetry or the latest sub-par music or reality TV or the rest of what Chris Hedges calls our “electronic hallucinations”, then you are an outcast.

    From this, may I always be an outcast.

  • Sorry Clive Hopium, but things are worse then bad, they’re peak exponential, Got to love it !

  • @twimc

    Simple test:

    Why do you weight more at the North Pole than at the Equator?

  • Another excellent item has appeared on Orlov’s site, this time dealing with the rise of the fraudulent banking system and how it facilitated ruination of the Earth. ‘Until you change the way money works, nothing else will change’ (other than be made worse). Of course those who benefit from the fraudulent system have no intention of changing anything. So the only question that matters is, when will the present money system collapse?

    Tuesday, September 08, 2015

    The Financial-Industrial Revolution’s Origin and Destiny

    The industrial revolution made the modern world. Before it took off in the late eighteenth century, most people in Europe and elsewhere lived sustainably on renewable resources in traditional societies. Such limited energy as was available came from wind (sailboats, windmills), hydropower (waterwheels), wood (heating and cooking fireplaces and stoves), and muscle power (human and animal labor). There was no electricity, little or no heavy machinery, no modern medicine, virtually no appliances or other labor saving devices, and no telecommunication. Travel was laborious and slow. Almost everything had to be made by hand with simple technology. Death and birth rates were high, mostly because of infant mortality.

    Imagine a world without fossil fuels or electricity and you begin to come close to what it was like. Life was simpler, to be sure, more natural, anchored in traditional wisdom and reliant on herbal remedies—since widely disparaged—and certainly without the stresses associated with modern life. Ritual and community were strong; most people were embedded in an intense network of social relations.

    The gap between then and now is enormous. Our world today would be a total and unimaginable fantasy—or nightmare—to anyone living 250 years ago.

    The question is: How did we get from there to here?

    Most explanations of the industrial revolution, and indeed the rise of the whole modern world, miss the mark. They invoke purported causes such as the development of science, technological innovation, political stability, and the use of fossil fuels, beginning with coal.

    None of these factors, alone or even in combination, provides a plausible explanation. All of them were present at other points in the past, and did not lead to an industrial revolution.

    The ancient world, especially the Greeks, arguably had a scientific revolution, as well as considerable technological innovation, and, under Hellenistic monarchs and later the Romans, political stability, and yet no industrial revolution occurred. The potential for fossil fuels was there as well. China, at various times in its long history, also had the same ingredients, but, again, no industrial revolution occurred. Perhaps also India and the Arab world.

    These conditions again obtained in Britain in the eighteenth century, but this time an industrial revolution did occur.

    What was the difference?

    The vital factor, I argue—present in late seventeenth and early eighteenth century England, and absent in earlier situations—was an institutionalized system of broad, debt-based finance. For the first time in world history large-scale credit became available to fund public and private enterprises.

    This “financial revolution” is seldom noted, and even more rarely, pardon the pun, credited. The classic work on the subject—The Financial Revolution in England: A Study in the Development of Public Credit, 1688-1756, by P. G. M. Dickson (1967)—remains out of print.

    Credit, to be clear, long preceded the financial revolution. A recent popular book by David Graeber—Debt: The First 5000 Years—traces credit all the way back to the temple economies of Sumerian city states.

    But the traditional sort of credit Graeber describes was severely limited. Commercial loans were generally made to finance a relatively narrow, reliable range of projects, such as the planting of a cash crop, or goods expected from a trading expedition, and usually had to be paid off in hard-to-get precious metals.

    More importantly, traditional loans of this sort depended on finding the relatively few potential creditors who had already accumulated savings they could lend. Today, it is still widely believed that money lent out by banks comes from the savings deposited in those banks, just as money borrowed from a friend or relative is presumed to come from savings or wealth they already possess. But it doesn’t.

    The financial revolution in England over 300 years ago overcame these limitations by vastly expanding the scope and function of credit. It established a credit system independent of savings and current resources, and it did so by institutionalizing the process of creating money “out of thin air.”

    It takes a little history to understand this financial revolution—history that is not taught in our schools.

    It was the goldsmiths in seventeenth century London that took the first step. Clients deposited gold with them for safekeeping, receiving in turn certificates of redemption. The goldsmiths discovered that only a few clients were likely to redeem their deposits at any given time. This allowed them to issue more certificates (as loans) than they actually had gold on hand to redeem them.

    This new expansion, or leveraging, of the money supply (more certificates circulating than the actual gold backing them) has come to be known as fractional reserve banking.

    Note that nothing is backing this new additional money, apart from confidence in the supposed ability of the borrowers to repay it in due course. It is created merely on the say-so of the lenders. The borrower suddenly has new money to spend—money that was not there before and that was not minted, earned or saved up by anyone. It is a slip of paper, with a corresponding accounting entry in the lender’s book—no more and no less.

    Important as this step was, the goldsmiths remained private proto-bankers, limited by the deposits they could attract. They were vulnerable to “runs on the bank”—sudden, excessive withdrawals by depositors which left them unable to pay out gold as promised, leaving them insolvent. Money created out of thin air, essentially as a confidence trick, could just as easily vanish into thin air as soon as confidence wavered.

    This problem was exacerbated by Charles II’s insistence on ever-greater loans to conduct his military campaigns, which he could not repay. A major default by the monarchy occurred in 1671, putting many goldsmiths and other money-lenders out of business. This pattern was typical of early modern finance, where monarchs borrowed largely to fund their wars of conquest without sufficient income from taxes and royal estates to repay them.

    An ingenious and fateful response to this financial instability came with the foundation of the Bank of England in 1694. A group of about 1500 investors agreed to assume the royal debt—since renamed the “national debt”—in return for a monopoly on the right to issue their own notes (loans, that is) to the public guaranteed by the reliable repayment of the government’s debt through taxation. These notes—which subsequently became known as British pounds—soon started circulating as the currency of the land.

    This currency-as-debt was still ultimately denominated in precious metals, but the presence of the royal imprimatur, backed by the power of the state to meet its obligations by forceable taxation, made its indebtedness “as good as gold” for the creditors.

    As this new arrangement sprung into being, nobody seemed to ask the very obvious and important question:

    Why is it that a group of private investors was granted the unprecedented license to automatic public taxpayer backing and, if need be, outright bail-outs for their own privately-issued notes (loans), which were allowed to function as the currency of the land, displacing precious metals?

    Since the power of the state to tax its citizens rests on a perpetual right, it follows that any private loans backed by tax receipts can also be issued, and reissued, in perpetuity. The result was a perpetual national debt used to back up perpetual private lending.

    But the private bankers immediately took a further step, making full use of the fractional reserve principle of the goldsmiths: they proceeded to lend far beyond the actual amount of government debt on their books. Thus, only a fraction of the notional “money” they generated out of thin air was formally backed by the taxpayer.

    Which leads to another very important question that also wasn’t much discussed, then or now:

    What if confidence lapses, there are bank runs, and it turns out that the government guarantees are insufficient?

    The modern answer to this question is… bail-outs; it turns out that the taxpayer is on the hook not just for the government debt, but for all the private debt issuance as well.

    But that’s not all. Not only were these private loans backed by the taxing power of the state, but the bankers issuing them took full advantage of the relaxation of traditional prohibitions on usury. This allowed them to charge as much interest on these loans as the market would bear. In other words, they were able to skim off a generous profit for themselves simply by virtue of issuing money which they alone were allowed to freely create!

    Sounds outlandish? You bet! ? Yet this is the essence of the financial revolution, which Alexander Hamilton, one of its admirers, accurately called “the English system,” and it remains the basis of our financial system today.

    How does all this explain the industrial revolution? Think of it this way: for the first time in history a widespread source of reasonably secure credit became available, backed by the state, and free of the worst risks previously borne by individual lenders like the goldsmiths, or earlier family bankers like the Medici or the Fuggers. This made a huge difference: borrowers who could tap into this new credit found themselves with the wherewithal to invest in modernized production methods, becoming more profitable and outstripping their competitors.

    This happened initially in agriculture, with the improvement of landed estates, and then spread to manufacturing. And even though these new loans had to be repaid with interest, which was commonly at usurious rates, the benefits of the improvements gained made the loans profitable for the borrowers as well as for the lenders.

    For the first time in history, it became possible to systematically and reliably borrow against the future, betting that the future will always be bigger, better and richer, making it perpetually possible to issue ever more debt with which to roll over previously issued debt. This is what made steady economic growth through investment in innovative production methods—in short, industrial revolution—possible.

    Which leads to yet another very important question that wasn’t much asked:

    What happens when it turns out that the future is not going to be bigger, better and richer, because the essential resources have been exhausted?

    The modern answer to this question, which we are staring at now, is this: financial, economic and political collapse.

    But we are getting ahead of ourselves. Remember that the price to be paid for industrialization was the interest charged on the borrowed money. This means that an enterprise, if funded by borrowed money, had to grow to compensate the lender as well as to repay the principal. Gradually, previously steady-state traditional enterprises where either destroyed by their more productive industrial competitors, or they too financialized, putting themselves on an ever-accelerating treadmill of debt.

    Albert Bartlett and Chris Martenson, among others, have elaborated in Malthusian fashion the idea that the modern economy functions on the self-defeating principle of exponential growth.

    But yet another questions remains: Why did exponential economic growth catch on and continue for the last 250 years? It turns out that exponential growth has a very specific driver: the usurious rates of interest charged by the new financial system created by the financial revolution.

    In short, the use of borrowed money at interest provided something that did not exist earlier: a compelling motive to grow economically. Once the reciprocal exchanges of traditional, more or less steady-state economies were replaced by the use of credit borrowed at interest, it became necessary to come out ahead: one had to gain more from any exchange than the other party in order to make a profit and to pay interest to the lender.

    For the first time in history a fateful imperative to growth—and exploitation—was built right into the economy. Usurious credit is what kicked economies into overdrive, forcing borrowers to exploit both people and natural resources far beyond what was allowed in traditional economies that were based on reciprocity among participants.

    So yet another question–never adequately addressed–arises:

    Why is it that personal vices and mortal sins have been assigned the role of foundational economic principles?

    Ambition and avarice, previously private vices, were institutionalized in the financial system by usurious credit, allowing them to be legally and culturally objectified and thereby enormously magnified. No longer merely personal qualities, they assumed the power of social imperatives.

    For a long time, as long as new resources and pools of labor could be exploited, all went well for the exploiters (and badly for the exploited). New frontiers were opened up and “developed,” in the New World and elsewhere, usually at the point of a gun, and slaves and indentured servants were bought in to do the labor.

    Simultaneously, peasants in the old world, forcibly displaced by enclosures and the modernization of agriculture, were herded into factories as workers. Deprived of their traditional, largely independent and sustainable ways of life, they became wage-laborer consumers who had to buy goods and services at market prices.

    It turned out—for a considerable time–that the globe had enough land, minerals, arable soil, fisheries, and forests to support an unprecedented explosion of production. It also turned out—for a considerable time—that the globe had enormous untapped sources of energy—particularly fossil fuels—which magnified productive potential many-fold.

    The exploitation of these resources is what we call the industrial revolution.

    And now it has run its course. The resource limits of a finite planet have finally been reached. There are no new frontiers left. Population has exploded, arable land has been used up, forests have been cut down, fisheries have been depleted, minerals have become scarce, the environment has been degraded and polluted. Investments in the production of fossil fuel energy, which has underpinned economic growth, have finally reached the point of diminishing returns, even as they continue to drive costly and destructive climate change.

    In the meantime, the banking system has continued to lend out far more money than there are real assets in the world to back it. Hundreds of trillions of dollars of debt now dwarf the potential of the global economy to ever produce enough to repay it. We are facing another cyclical boom-bust financial crisis, to be sure, but this time it really is different: the potential for recovery and further growth can no longer be presumed to exist. The system has plateaued, for the moment, but having been designed for endless exponential growth, not for a steady state, it is destined to unravel.

    It is important to understand, in sum, that “the English system,” now established worldwide, is a privatized, usurious financial system established as a monopoly by the state to benefit private investors, and is involuntarily backed by its taxpayers (as evidenced in the recent bailouts of banks deemed “too big to fail”).

    This system is the root cause of the industrial economy.

    What are the lessons in all this?

    1. Exponential growth, powered by the financial system, is unsustainable, and doomed to collapse. This is the nature of any exponential process.

    2. The true villain of the piece, and the cause of exponential economic growth, is our current, outrageous financial system, defined by the lending of money at usurious and therefore exponential interest rates by a private monopoly backed by the state.

    3. The vast power unleashed by this financial-industrial revolution has completely corrupted those who have been able to manipulate and benefit from it, resulting in an inhumane, narcissistic culture of arrogance, contemptuous of traditional, sustainable ways of being.

    4. Our financial system is a relatively recent invention, devised by clever, selfish men for their personal gain. It is not the product of any natural or inevitable process, nor of democratic deliberation. It is a scam. We need not be stuck with it, and the sooner we rid ourselves of it the better.

    5. A sustainable, post-collapse economy on a finite planet will require a return to reciprocal, cooperative arrangements for the exchange of goods and services. Loans will have to be based on current collateral, not on leverage or on speculative exploitation of (increasingly non-existent) resources.

    6. Usury will have to be prohibited in future lending. The monetary system, by which money is created through lending, cannot be a for-profit monopoly, whether it be private or public.

    7. Any future financial system will have to be designed to avoid concentrations of financial power, making it possible for it to be held accountable by the public. If money creation is to serve the public, it must be done locally by institutions that are locally controlled.

    Adrian Kuzminski is the author of The Ecology of Money: Debt, Growth, and Sustainability (2013), Fixing the System: A History of Populism, Ancient & Modern (2008), and Pyrrhonism: How the Ancient Greeks Reinvented Buddhism (2008), among other works.

  • Thanks oldgrowthforest, I looked at the wiki stuff and wondered too.

  • WTI $44.12

    Brent $47.52

    Continuing on the theme of finance, how much longer can Canada continue digging up tar sands and carrying out expensive extraction processes when WTI is well below $50 a barrel?

    How much longer can frackers continue to drill holes to extract the last remnants of recoverable hydrocarbons from shale and other low EROEI substrata?

    How much longer can ‘the oil majors’ continue to operate high-cost facilities when the return is so much lower ($60 a barrel) than over the period 2010 to 2014?

  • NTHE ( Near term human evolution)

  • Sea level has dropped about 2 and a half feet in Alaska, near Glacier Bay, since circa 1940.

    As the glaciers melt they loose mass, and hence gravitational force.

    Thus, the sea level near the coast drops.

    The water goes somewhere else to cause sea level rise.

    (Proof of Concept).

  • Tony Weddle-
    Thank you. Climate scholar is the perfect fit for Clive Hamilton, his work, his approach.

  • Dave, I hesitate to give the issue any more attention, but the link to Scott Johnson’s essay and the description of him as a “knowledgeable educator” are clues that the wiki entry is most certainly from Johnson himself, or someone he knows well and it’s likely orchestrated. He likes to post very defamatory comments and bald-faced lies about Guy whenever he has an opportunity, like in comments sections of news articles, etc., where Guy is mentioned, as in Dahr Jamail’s articles that cover Guy’s work extensively.

    It’s bizarre, actually, the effort Johnson goes to in order to vilify Guy for the broad sin of doing what Guy does. His writing is full of ad hominem attacks and he-said/she-said dismissals of everything Guy McPherson, and it is also full of broad characterizations that are fluff, like the description of him as a “knowledgeable science educator” without ever actually defining Johnson’s credentials. His education is in geology, and he’s not a climate scientist or a biologist, and in his essay maligning Dr. McPherson, he was actually so incompetent as to state that Guy was misguided on everything based on the 2007 IPCC report, which I quote here: “Numéro trois. So what are the impacts of 4C warming? Here’s a handy summary of the many impacts described in the 2007 IPCC report (this section of the newest report isn’t out yet).”

    Johnson wrote the essay in February of 2014, supporting his position with a report that was seven years out of date by publication, and much longer out of date by data. And he plainly presents himself as a superior scientist, because one of his terrible allegations about Guy doing what he does is that Guy “misuses science.”

    He is some kind of psycho-stalker, I think, and he has picked Guy to stalk, and it’s very bizarre.

  • Thankyou Kevin! :-) The best and clearest explanation of how it works and our current predicament I’ve ever read.

  • Apneaman,

    I suspect if we could know her money outgo as well as we can find out her income, we would see a lot of money going out, especially to LGBT groups.

    Jimmy Carter is worth $7 million. Willie Nelson’s up to $25 million.
    Phish’s guitarist/composer is up to $75 million. Sandra Bullock got $20 million up front plus part of the gross revenue for “Gravity”.
    You think if they and other rich folks got together and gave their money to some/any organization (you pick it) it would make more than a dime’s worth of difference wrt our planetary trajectory on the downhill slope of doom?

    I doubt it, but you could pass the collection plate their way and see.

    On the other hand, I doubt it would make any detectable (or measurable, for us science-y types) difference to our trajectory if they somehow paid millions of people to go back to a possibly sustainable pre-money lifestyle.
    But a lifestyle such that they wouldn’t need money?
    Then what would they do with all that money?
    I suppose before they went off into the wild they could give it to family members and friends who weren’t able to make the same commitment to sustainability or simplicity.

    The path that might have saved us was a fork in the road that we chose not to take well before Cyndi Lauper cut her first album. We chose the highway that is paved with star tears. We only looked at part of the map…the part that didn’t show the upcoming cliff. Now we’re Thelma & Louise on a double date with Butch & Sundance.

    Happy Trails, chem- or con-
    Numero trois ?
    So, is that Frespanol or what ?
    Never read that Scott Johnson site…thanks for the road sign.

    Coupla mash-ups for your amusement…
    No baked potatoes here.
    No potato cabooses here.

    Is there really no word for ‘hope’ in Desparanto?

  • ARTLEADS – final nuclear safety project. “Homeopathic” landscaping around nuclear plants. According to Ekaterina Dadachova at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the fungi Cryptococcus & two other species use melanin, to transform radiation into energy to use as food for growth. Researchers believe that melanin is present to protect fungi from stress,such as radiation, and that certain species use this molecule for metabolic reactions. They discovered that exposure to radiation caused the melanin in these species to change shape, (Public Library of Science). Dadachova tells me in an e-mail that the most amazing aspect of the finding is that this process is an alternative to photosynthesis, “with melanin playing the role of chlorophyll and ionizing radiation; the role of visible light.” Melanin converts the energy from the radiation into chemical energy used by the fungi, she says. “The mechanism of this process needs to be established. It took at least two decades and the work of several research groups to determine the mechanism of photosynthesis.”

    This suggests that nature itself has produced yet another “alternative energy” scenario that is completely unexpected. The uses of this discovery could include a disposal method for nuclear waste.

    Dr. Raskin of Rutgers University’s Biotechnology was a member of the original task force sent to examine the Chernobyl site) found hemp reduces soil toxicity. Phytoremediation is the process whereby green plants remove toxins from the soil. Plants can extract specific elements within their ecosystem and still thrive. They accumulate the toxins in their tissues and root systems but remain undamaged. Sunflowers have been known to do something similar for centuries, eliminating heavy metals and pesticides from damaged soil. Two members of the mustard family are also useful for this process but it seems hemp is quite amazing at sucking up radiation.

    The Farm Bill allows ‘research’ growth at certain sites. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp. Let’s join our countries’ founders to grow it to help clean the soil near reactor sites. Some plants are more resistant than others to ultraviolet radiation. The best are wheat, soybeans, rye, barley, alfalfa, and corn (all of which are excellent sources of nutrients). Though high levels of ultraviolet light may stunt these plants’ growth somewhat, they’d still produce food.

    Fallout from a nuclear weapon is different from that of commercial radioactive waste. While the waste from a nuclear reactor may last for thousands or even tens of thousands of years, radiation from a nuclear weapon decays very quickly to a safe level. (The flip side of this is that fallout is initially more dangerous than radioactive waste since the levels of radiation it gives off are higher.) Even in the shadow of a very dirty ground blast, the half-life levels of radiation will sink to lower levels after a year.

    This Sept 21-29 Pentagon tracking 70% of the N. Korea sub fleet which launched a threat to fire on Hawaii. China military showed on TV how their missiles could reach Yellowstone. 37 Chinese warships moving into positions from Alaska to San Diego. NATO forces are moving all European nuclear launch pads in position. Operation JADE HELM is expanding. 13 countries participating in this simulated Nuclear war drill. All the facts on Google or Youtube. The Military-industrial complex is the largest funded machine on Earth. This Sept 28 plan was announced on TV by French leaders & John Kerry exactly 500 days in advance of the Arctic ultra sonic wave tests. No secret the DOD spent the past 2 years working on strategy for next Sept 2016. The scope of these drills involve corporate conglomerates and the bio-war industry which thrives on contracts supported by all major governments. Due to impending climate shifts, the Pentagon has been posting warnings. They are now actively in stage 2 of global positioning. In preparation for the aftermath many of us have a goal to reduce radiation after the pending cyberwar events. #1 E.M.P. #2 Pathogen release #3 Induced Geo-engineering. Climate factors are very much a part of the reason the military industrial complex wants to experiment. They will test every power it in “gradients” toward an eventual full force bio alteration. Sadly nobody has time to start a serious mass protest against warfare. The best I can do is help Tardigrades evolve after destructive forces & 404 nuclear plants have had their big blast.

    Maybe the truly meek “waterbears” will inherit the Earth. Dr. Steven Benner was on the cover of TIME magazine. Applied molecular evolution can’t save this beautiful blue planet from war. Billions involved in technologies working around the clock. Tick. Tock.

  • The unsustainable institutions of our bubble civilisation are firmly embedded,and there is no hope of changing them now.The trajectory of collapse remains.
    A glimpse of madness from Australia: There was a recent decline in the rate
    of economic growth,and there were wall to wall politicians and economists wringing their hands. What else could they do,given the training in delusion that they have received? If it is ever pointed out to them that
    economic growth cannot continue indefinitely,all they can do is shuffle their feet. Our population policy can be summed up as; ‘Keep packing them in,she’ll be right.’ The former leader of the Greens party ,when questioned about the population issue,replied that we had ‘boundless plains to fill’. Ecological illiteracy reigns supreme. Any discussion
    of potential food shortages in the future as climate disruption takes hold and severe widespread droughts ensue are dismissed because we export grain,and anyway,if there was a problem,we can import food. Right.
    My basic approach to the world now is as a spectator to a Festival of Fools.

  • Hi Mark,

    I copied your post on the forum, and responded to it elsewhere. I’ve been wondering if the most godawful, slimy, anaerobic sludge could work the same way…

  • I loved the NBL radio show this week with Cory and Forrest, I’m so grateful for them as well as Guy and Mike. Thank you for all they do…………thank you NBL radio.

  • @Mark, plant ‘remediation’ of radioactive soil pollution is not a complete, or even near-complete solution. The plants must then be harvested and removed from the site, treated as radioactive waste and disposed of as such. Likely this would have to go on for many growing seasons unless the contamination were mild.

  • Re the Orlov article.
    Of course the potential to use fossil fuel has always been there.
    The point is that the ballooning of human population and the massive increase in energy use happened only when ways to exploit that energy treasure trove developed,and the financial system developed along with it.
    The critical factor in our bubble civilisation is the energy that allows it to function. That energy has allowed an unsustainable financial system to develop. When the fossil fuels go,the system grinds to a halt.( Of course,
    the effects of climate disruption will overwhelm us before fossil fuels are exhausted)
    Read ‘Energy and the Wealth of nations’.Charles Hall was a student of Odum,and has developed his understanding further.

  • Robert writes: “somewhere between Sept 13 and Sept 24, that something super ultra maxi-bad is going to happen, changing the world history of humanity forever.”

    There’s a whole meme of “Bad Things Happen in September” that seems almost as well thought out as reading goat intestines.

    Nonetheless, I have to wonder what ultra maxi-bad thing could happen beyond and above the planet dying anyway. I’ve finally decide that there is no reason to prepare for anything because when things fall apart, no one will be prepared correctly.

    I am, however, enjoying myself greatly. Currently reading Storm Kings, an account of early storm chasers by Lee Sandlin. It seems almost astonishing that by the mid-1800s no one really knew what caused weather at all, let alone tornadoes. A grand period of exploration, petty jealous, great insight and boneheaded belief. Some things never change.

  • DARPA’s Assured Arctic Awareness (AAA) program plans to develop new technologies for an advanced distributed sensor system to monitor the Arctic both above and below the ice, providing year-round situational awareness without the need for forward-basing or human presence. The program seeks advances in sensor systems and related technologies.

    The Ultra high frequency sonic signals damage & kill the natural sonar of Whales and Doplhins.!!!!!!!!!

    LIDIA – many thanks for the link. I will read it carefully. I just came back here to provide an excerpt from the DARPA update to better show what I’m trying to refer to above about this Sept Arctic sub tests going into rapid deployment (without breaking any security rules) The more classified details involve chemical compound electrolysis. Yuck!!! Oh and yes I already know the Bejing TV targets on Yellowstone were previously broadcast. Their repeat broadcast tonight was due to their military parade and national pride connected to massive new aircraft carrier. Scientists have also found an ancient virus in the permafrost that is being reanimated for potential bio-weapon use. Happy nightmares to all…..

    My final safety project for Nuclear reactor radius zones is dedicated to LAND USE. ARTLEADS you inspired me all year to do the best I can on the NRC contract, especially with landscaping that has never been done around any danger zone.

  • With all the talk about the debt economy earlier, I thought some of you might enjoy (for lack of a better word) this video, “Consumed – Is Our Consumer Culture Leading to Disaster?” (Spoiler alert- it is).

  • “Scientists have also found an ancient virus in the permafrost that is being reanimated for potential bio-weapon use. Happy nightmares to all…..”

    The occasional aliquot of manure from a superb poseur is a welcome reassurance.

  • The latest post includes thoughts from the virgin terry. Catch it, and last night’s interview, here.

  • Hi Mark,

    Thanks for the kind words. They prompted me to reaffirm my gratitude to Guy for this blog, to the regulars who patiently correct our course and educate us, to Reverse Engineer (and associates) and Mo for making the forum work with magical smoothness. I sometimes talk about magic without considering how magical all the above has been.


    I’m trying to say this very quickly in order to move on to other tasks, so it will be rough and cursory:

    I hope that land use thinking can override other seemingly useless considerations. Land, after all, provides all the means for living–trees that create moisture that make clouds that make rain. Insofar as land can be said to think, it does not think as we do. It does not divide up the earth, and claims no ownership of anything. It is incapable of vicious schemes like nuclear technology. But here we are, in the jaws of industrial civilization. How all this came about from the very land I just described is a mystery to me. But while we still may, why not enjoy the adventure of putting the land first, and thinking of it in its planetary unity?

    Toward that end would be attempting work through all the human behavioral and science-based technologies that are now rigidly in the way of the earth…

    Then if you want to sober up quickly and temper such fantasies, take a look at the major blog for land use planners and see how their involvement and passion compares to that on NBL. Sobering indeed.