Beyond Happiness

The birds are silent in the woods.
Just wait: Soon enough
You will be quiet too.

“After Goethe” by Robert Hass, American poet and professor of poetry

What does it mean to be happy? The simple definition, according to Merriam and Webster, is “feeling pleasure and enjoyment.”

What is required to feel pleasure and enjoyment? A line from gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson comes to mind: “I wouldn’t recommend sex, drugs or insanity for everyone, but they’ve always worked for me.”

It seems to me that happiness is a relatively superficial condition. I’m happy, or perhaps merely distracted from suffering, when I’m having sex or smoking a certain herb. Such activities, at least by themselves, do not bring me joy.

I speak and write about taking a radical approach. A radical gets to the root. Radicalism assumes going deep.

Joy is a deeper experience than happiness. It requires more than scratching the emotional surface. And, in return, it offers an experience more fulfilling than happiness.

What about joy, then, according to Merriam and Webster? The simple definition claims joy is “a feeling of great happiness.”

The difference between being happy and experiencing joy, according to Merriam and Webster, is minor. I’d argue the difference is minor and quite significant. Beyond the superficiality of happiness lies the much more meaningful emotion of joy.

No sex, drugs, or insanity are required for joy. I doubt they even help one make the transition from happiness to joy.

Upon reflection, I doubt I’m the right person for the job of commenting on happiness and joy. As I pointed out late last year, “I’ve been quite unimpressed with the fleeting happiness I’ve managed to corral.” Indeed, “it’s unclear to what extent I’m capable of that pursuit” (of happiness). Going even deeper, into the domain of joy, is generally well beyond my recent experience. As such, my voice on the matter is suspect.

Fortunately, it seems one’s lack of expertise on these matters does not preclude their consideration. In fact, it might prove helpful. Consider, for example, Arthur Schopenhauer’s definition of happiness: the alleviation of suffering. Adhering to this definition might have one wearing three-sizes-too-small shoes all day for the happiness that results when removing them at day’s end. And yet the German philosopher wrote splendidly about the human condition and the pursuit of meaning.

For me — and admittedly perhaps only for me — joy is possible even though happiness is elusive. I have experienced deeply meaningful periods of joy while pondering my place in the time-space continuum. Joy comes in the form of relationships, with or without sex, including my relationship to the natural world. Joy comes in the form of nature itself, including the flap of a wing and the song of a bird. I’m not particularly happy about my destructive role in this horrifying culture, nor with my current lot in life. But joy has not completely escaped my grasp.

I know that the birds have grown silent in the woods. I know that very soon I will be silent, too. Further, I understand the source of these predicaments, and my limited role in their creation. And yet, I’m not without joy.

According to numerous media sources, many climate scientists who are paying attention to the predicament in which we are embroiled are depressed. As knowledgeable as most of them, as powerless as each of them, I’m still not plagued by depression. Few climate scientists are willing to admit our near-term extinction, doubtless because they lack sufficient background in biology and ecology, and yet they are devastated that the murderous civilization they love is threatened by climate change. My conclusion is far more dire, yet my response is muted in comparison.

Perhaps the typical climate scientist finally has realized that we cannot rely upon corporate entities, such as governments, to address climate change. Perhaps this comes as a surprise, hence a source of depression. I’m not so naive. A long-time anarchist who gave up on large entities decades ago, I’m more amused than depressed at the absence of a serious effort rooted in civilization to deal with a predicament created by civilization. And I’m aware that abrupt climate change is not the only route to near-term human extinction.

Of course we’re going to die. Of course Homo sapiens will go extinct. Of course this will happen is happening faster than expected. Of course irrational people will assume otherwise, and promote belief over evidence in resisting reality.

But the birds have grown silent in the woods. Soon, we will be silent, too.

The topic of this brief essay was discussed by McPherson and Peter Melton for the latest episode of Extinction Radio. Details are provided directly below the embedded song.

McPherson was featured in this week’s episode of Extinction Radio. An interview by Peter Melton with McPherson about the topic of this essay occurs at 2:37:29 — 3:06:05 of the show. Extinction Radio is archived weekly here.

Comments 175

  • “The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.”

    Steve Wright

  • Many people, perhaps most, do not consider the processes used in natural science the most trustworthy, most reliable, most valuable source of knowledge that we presently have. (Not the only source; the most trustworthy, reliable, and valuable source.) Interestingly, despite their reliance on science related narrowly to global heating, abrupt climate change, and NTHE issues, this includes many who write in various ways here at NBL. Much more often than not, it seems, even most people who consider science the most reliable, most valuable source of knowledge more generally tend strongly to use it in convenient, self-justifying ways. They ignore, avoid, minimize, or deny scientific evidence and reasoning “as needed” when it fails to support their cherished beliefs about the universe, how the universe appears most likely to work, and their place in it. Like Descartes and Kant, they appear to want to have the ability to claim that they possess unchallengeable knowledge because that knowledge has not reached them through the deceitful gates of the senses. Subsequently, only rarely do people change their thinking based on gathering and reasoning about empirically confirmable evidence. As has surely occurred throughout all of human history, even today most people, most of the time, continue to deny the validity of, or need for, any empirical evidence for anything that they wish to believe.

    A large percentage of the comments and essays here at NBL confirm these points. Some writers even insist that no universe outside of themselves, outside of their personal perceptions and thinking, exists. In many venues today, perhaps most, Cartesian dualist rationalism still prevails, filling the front of the bus; empiricism for the most part sits impotently at the back of the bus, if, indeed, it does not wither and die or get kicked out altogether.

    When pressed, people usually insist on the idea that the world necessarily works as they believe it does, despite a lack of significant, confirmable evidence and good reasoning about it, simply because they believe it and they feel good, or at least a little bit better, believing it. (Note the narcissistic, human-supremacist nature of this kind of thinking.) Indeed, reasoning based on confirmable evidence in the world outside of our heads appeared only within the last tiny percentage of the approximate 200,000 year history of humans on Earth. Our reasoning abilities most likely appeared largely as a result of processes describe by Darwin’s theory of sexual selection, not natural selection. (Jean Turcott, I think that you got this somewhat correct with your January 30th, 2016 at 3:56 pm comment.) After he published his Origin of the Species, Darwin spent the next 30 years developing his really difficult theory in order to explain much more difficult things like the survival-costly ornamentation of the Peacock’s tail, gazelle and springbok stotting, and human behaviors such as poetry, many other aspects of language, dancing, art, kindness, music, the tendency—among some of us, some of the time—to get along respectfully and well socially with others, and so on, based on physical, biological evolution, not based on appeals to alleged spirits, gods, and/or a “universal consciousness”. He did biologically explain these things beautifully in his 1871 book The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex and, per Occam’s razor, it makes best sense to me, by far, that we embrace this empirical theory over the convenient, ever-so-popular, alleged rationalist spirits, gods, and “consciousness”, whether universal or otherwise. Most biologists and psychologists ignored this important, seminal work for over 100 years, but a number of researchers have now recognized its great value. Geoffrey Miller explains this in quite understandable, easy to read ways in his book The Mating Mind.

    And so, remaining for the most part far out of touch with reality—very far out of touch with the world of processes outside of our heads that produced us and that we live within—over many tens of thousands of years we have constructed our omnicidal self-annihilation trap. Quite naturally, we frequently form mutual admiration societies among various groups of ourselves who think in similar ways, supporting and praising each other as we express our untested, and often untestABLE, beliefs about how the world presumably “should” or “must” work as a result of this spirit, that god, or some consciousness while often agreeing that our “special” knowledge supposedly remains outside of the realm of natural science when its empirical evidence fails to support our favored beliefs. What a fascinating—and deadly!—species.
    Despite the many things that I agree with them about, I disagree with Guy’s and Derrick Jensen’s confident claim that “…the roots of our demise are embedded within civilization.” As Michael Shermer of The Skeptics Society and author of Why People Believe Weird Things said when he changed from denying human caused abrupt climate change to accepting it, “Data trumps politics and in the end you have to follow the data.” Significant and compelling biological, anthropological, ecological, and physics-related evidence refutes that limited, civilizational claim as well as the romantic idea that most early humans supposedly lived in ecological and social balance. Compared with their population and consumption levels, early humans had a very large petri dish within which population and consumption, always limited by local energy availability, could grow, repeating time-after-time over very long periods of time a strip-and-move cycle, often competing with other animals and other human groups in the process, and often bringing other species to extinction. Meanwhile, most people reason along the lines of “Hell NO! I’m not going to change one damned thing about my thinking based on ANY evidence! If I believe it, then, damn it, it’s right, Right, RIGHT!”

    Based on my background knowledge, including Daniel Kahneman’s larger frame concept (see Thinking, Fast and Slow: “Broader frames and inclusive accounts generally lead to more rational decisions.”), it seems clear to me that we find the roots of our demise embedded in biological and physical principles and processes that go back much further and deeper than just the recent few hundred or even ten thousand years of human civilization, much further back, indeed, than hominids. Various “runaway” life forms have radically and irreversibly altered Earth’s physical and biological environment many times over very long periods of time as life has evolved here. Contrary to popular belief here at NBL, no law of nature exists suggesting that humans cannot, must not, or has not occurred as one of those radically Earth- and life-changing species. As evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller wrote in his book The Mating Mind, How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature, “Animals evolve to allocate their energies efficiently.” This usually means making maximum use of any energy available per Howard Odum’s Maximum Power Principle, whether that energy comes in the form of mastodons, bison, salmon and berries, grains and cattle, fossil fuels, and/or nuclear energy. Furthermore, as he writes, “This analysis may sound heartlessly unromantic, but evolution is heartlessly unromantic.”

    Guy confidently wrote “Most humans now live apart from nature, a process that started a few thousand years ago.” Respectfully, no, I don’t think so. It works as a false dichotomy to consider humans separate from the rest of nature, separate from the rest of life on Earth. We have no credible evidence that humans in the past, or now, nor any other life form can or does “live apart from nature.” No humans have that power despite much extremely popular wishful, technologically utopian, grandiose thinking. As occurs with all life on Earth, all humans live as an expression of nature’s biological and otherwise physical energy flows. Some of us, with our human supremacist ideas of how life and death supposedly “should” or “must” unfold on Earth, may not like how nature has recently progressed. Some of us may reject these expressions of nature in humans as “unacceptable”. But nature simply does not work as some of us demand that it should or must work, no matter how loudly we may demand it, no matter how big a temper tantrum we may throw, and no matter how many books Derrick Jensen may write expressing his demands regarding how life supposedly should unfold on Earth. Yes, “This analysis may sound heartlessly unromantic,” “but evolution IS heartlessly unromantic” to the best of our knowledge, our Romantic, grandiose, human supremacist, wishful thinking notwithstanding.

    Besides these empirical issues, we have a serious philosophical problem. If people do not have free will, and quite a few of us agree that we do not, though perhaps not many here at NBL, then it makes no sense to get angry, scapegoat, and morally blame one or more sub-groups of humans for the self-annihilation trap that we find ourselves in.

    Of course, evidence or no evidence, people can, and will, believe whatever they “wish” to believe, though actually driven to “choose” those beliefs by their mostly unconscious feelings, emotions, and other physiological processes—especially when those beliefs help them quickly to feel better. This quickly feeling better based on our beliefs OFTEN happens, which accounts for the highly addictive nature of our many irrational beliefs. People also can, and will, often aggressively vilify or bully others who disagree with them, frequently using much verbal violence, if not physical violence, as we have so often seen here at anarchist NBL. (In my experience an anarchist environment rarely produces much lasting, mutually respectful, productive discourse among people.)

  • Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku #119

    Wandering river
    takes out old paths, following
    artificial rain.

  • Both elation and dejection are transient, and so is any recipe that includes either of them. Contentment (tushti) or satisfaction (samantha) of an evenness that is unalloyed with elation is a continuum unconstrained by space and time, and it cannot be secured by any efforts that are thus constrained. The descriptor used for it in the Vedic and derivative traditions is Ananda.

    It is said that it is the nature of the Self (of all selves) just as wetness is the nature of water. It becomes evident upon realisation – recognition – of the self as a mirage reflecting the Self. It has been described as “The Peace that paseth all understanding” to which witness has been borne by persons from widely differing traditions. It is specifically described as swarupananda, ananda intrinsic to one’s being, to be distinguished from visnayananda, apparent ananda dependent on objects and circumstances.

  • 1-30-2016

    http://venezuelatoday.net/u-s-senator-bernie-sanders-hugo-chavez-is-just-a-dead-communist-dictator/

    “Yesterday, one of Hillary Clinton’s most prominent Super PACs attacked our campaign pretty viciously…They suggested I’d be friendly with Middle East terrorist organizations, and even tried to link me to a dead communist dictator,” Sanders wrote in a fundraising email.

    Just another M. F***ing establishment bastard!

  • Buddhists say, “Pain is. Suffering is optional.” Bhutan measures Gross National Happiness, and has a Ministry of Happiness. Thomas Jefferson (a non-denominational Deist) is said to have injected the freedom of “pursuit of happiness” into the US Constitution, replacing the John Adams language, “pursuit of property.”

    Happiness has little to do with external conditions, and everything to do with one’s internal state. This is actually scientifically measured! Dan Gilbert convincingly demonstrates that happiness is negatively correlated with choice. (“The reversible condition is not conducive to the synthesis of happiness.”) A year after their life-changing events, an accident-induced quadriplegic is about as happy as a lottery winner.

    This appears to be deeply wired into our “reptilian brain” limbic system. In a stunningly clever double-blind experiment, people who lacked the ability to form long-term memories were happier owning photographs that they couldn’t exchange for other photographs — and they didn’t even remember they had chosen them!

    So in a future of declining choice, be prepared for an increase in happiness. I work every day to purposely limit my choices, and I believe I am happier as a result. When faced with a choice, don’t make the choice, rather, take the choice away from the situation!

  • Yee Haw! Our little cowgirl is back!

  • Wow, Robin, that was so cool. To me, that’s what life’s all about!

  • I always try not to be too wordy, but that our species has hardwired within it not only the deep seated reasons for our “Success”, but also our own demise, shouldn’t be a surprise. As “Gus” said in his last words in “Lonesome Dove”, “Its been quite a party”… It has, particularly in the last couple of hundred years or so. But now The Butcher’s Bill has come due.

    A poet I’m not, as I seem to be unable to find a rhyme to “Stick a fork in em’, they’re done”. The only remaining question is the timing…

  • Wester,

    I want to respond to your recent racist post of January 30th, 2016 at 6:19 am. Based on the number one definition of racism given by my dictionary: “The prejudice that members of one race are intrinsically superior to members of other races”. I will respond in brackets [ ] after quoting you. Among other things you wrote:

    “White people having their precious feelings hurt is not racism.” [If a white person has hurt feelings as a result of beliefs and resulting behaviors of a non-white person who considers him- or herself superior because of their race, then yes, the white person has experienced racism.]

    “White people being cut off and not allowed to merge into traffic is not racism.” [If others did not allow this white person to merge as a result of beliefs and resulting behaviors of a non-white people who consider themselves superior because of their race, then yes, the white person has experienced racism.]

    “White people being told to go to the back of the line is not racism.” [If a white person gets forced to the back of a line as a result of beliefs and resulting behaviors of non-white people who consider themselves superior because of their race, then yes, the white person has experienced racism.]

    “Discrimination is not racism.” [Discrimination refers to “Unfair treatment of a person or group on the basis of prejudice”. This unfair treatment certainly qualifies as one of the characteristics of racism.]
    “Bigotry is not racism.” [Bigotry most commonly refers to “The intolerance and prejudice of a bigot”. This intolerance and prejudice certainly qualifies as one of the characteristics of racism.]

    [Clearly, contrary to your insistence otherwise, racism serves as a specific form of or expression of bigotry and discrimination, a form of bigotry and discrimination based on the idea that one race has superiority over others. Re-jiggering the definitions of commonly accepted words in order to rationalize and justify your racism, if done because you consider yourself superior because of your race, then qualifies as writing in racist ways.]

    “Someone could only be a ‘racist’ if he removed all your rights, enslaved you based on skin color, systematically oppressed you, removed all considerations of your humanity based entirely on ethnicity, split up your family, instituted a legal system of corrupt double standards based entirely upon melanin content, enshrined social practices of blatant discrimination, lynching, miscegenation laws, sterilization, eugenics and racial terror, and outright slavery preserved in the 13th amendment. Then backed it all up with extreme armed force and arbitrary death penalty for non-compliance, and then had the utter temerity to come out and call ~you~ a racist for refusing to acknowledge that such a system was in fact racist and racism in point of fact.” [Ahh, no. We appropriately label someone racist when they behave in prejudicial ways against others based on their mistaken idea that they have intrinsic superiority over members of other races. Certainly the examples you mention here fall under the heading of racism, but ALSO, certainly, NOT ONLY these examples, which you have mistakenly insisted on. For example, much of what you have written in the past, and here, appears clearly to fall under the heading of “racist” because of the racial superiority that you express and your contempt of others apparently not of your race. Your use of “only” here frees you to avoid and deny your own racism because your limited examples presumably do not apply to you.]

    Wester, I confess that I find your frequent, loud, public rationalizations and justifications for your blatant anti-white racism, based on an apparent belief in an alleged superiority of non-white “races” of African, Indian, Oriental, and other geographic origins, thoroughly disgusting. For sure, many white people have racist beliefs and behave in racist ways today and have in the past—as does a similar significant percentage of people of all other “races”. As often occurs with disgust, I feel a moderate sense of needing to vomit as I write this response. Perhaps I have this response because as a young adolescent I so often had loud, shouting arguments at the dinner table with my strongly racist father. This kind of writing by you and others—OFTEN actively and passively encouraged and supported by many “anarchists” who comment here—has prompted me for the most part to stop commenting and reading here, just as I know that this basic lack of respect and other similarly hurtful social processes, encouraged and supported by many people here, has prompted many other people also to stop reading and commenting here. Many people do not wish to take part in or otherwise support the kind of exclusive, racist, nihilist mutual admiration society that often develops here.

  • Wadhams needs to retire.

    He is establishment old school empire … can’t see the ghost (Proxymetry3 – 4).

    He still loves and hates coal.

  • To Mister Bud Nye

    <>

    No, I came here basically kicking and screaming from the belief that the next 30 years was going to be was going to be a pinch and that my friends and relatives children and grandchildren were at deep risk. I came via physics with calc, quantum, Malcom Gordons Animal Physiology text, etc. If you want an example of self-justifying ways, observe nuclear weaponry over the last 70 years and the huge ongoing buildup via the Obama administration.

    <> Would CO2 values, ocean ph, Arctic Sea ice area, ice cores, palynogy, be empirical evidence.

    <> Can we apply Occams razor to the huge outlays in military expenditures – especially since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Porter Gas eruption, the Flint Michigan poisoning of children, (I worked professionally doing SDWA and RCRA analyis), the struggle to ban DDT in North America, the gutting of the Experimental Lakes Area (one very beautiful article in Science in 1984 about). If we do not want to stroll down the philosophy of why this occurs using Jaques Ellul or Walter Wink or other believers in a deity, that is well and good.

    But prithee thee, what labels and conclusions emerges from the application of empirical methods to these economic and ecological events? I am stumped, please enlighten me, oh bright shining one. I am wrapped in delusion and ensnared in a super-adhesive belief that for the above the empirical analysis the analysis must be empirical analysis of empire. I need a stone of flint to sharpen my dull razor of Occam, or a spark to kindle illumination.

    >>Most humans now live apart from nature>> Are there any studies you would like to cite about how often children in urban settings spend several days away from mechanically controlled temperatures? What per centage of people live inside cities now versus 100 years ago. Possibly more telling is how “many” (billions?) people live inside cities now versus 100 years ago. To be bluntly honest, if you could muster arguments against Aldo Leoplod or Ernest Thompson Seton or Edward Abbey I would have more respect. To hurl lobs against Derrick Jensen is like shooting fish in a barrel. I would call him a gadfly, in a positive way. He would probably say that his thoughts and philosophy is a work in progress. Can you not argue against individuals more highly trained in science and nature?

    Have you ever talked to Wendell Berry? He is a man worthy of listening to, ask him his opinion of the hypothesis “Most humans now live apart from nature.” Read his poetry please, or the translations of Olav H. Hauge. I see your verbal excursion against the idea that a divorce from nature is occurring to be a fine example of microscopically fine hair splitting. Just because one has a sharp razor able to ablate at the level of 100 angstroms does not mean that it is Occams razor. I will go out on a limb and state that my belief is that your writing and your thought process needs more poetry. Oppenheimer, Ferm and thousands of other scientists were fond of poetry.

    I just keep coming back to the phrase shooting fish in a barrel. To perform an analysis on the merits of NTHE and Guy and to utilize the cacophany of comments from the posters here is disingenuous. To be blunt, from a 12 step adage, “Why are we here, because we are not all there.” From the old Harlan Ellison story, it is the lame, the halt, that invent. The pearl is an iritation. We are a loose aggregate of individuals who have lost our mooring, in society or possibly even lost our mooring to sanity.

    <> Of course, it is easy to find examples of the highly addictive irrational beliefs here at NBL, but I would counter that the examples of oil; DDT, etc., etc., etc. organochloro and organophosphate usage; the automobile, the Iraq wars, cell phone and tablet technology are much better examples of highly addictive behaviours that warrant examining the beliefs and causes behind them. Analysis in an empirical manner of these global activities that are orders of magnitude greater in negative consequences to the environment and the economy than our chicken scratching at this tiny web site. I ash you to question your pondering the minutia here at NBL when a world of other examples exists.

    In the spirit of vigorous debate, am I welcome to dispute at your site? Nay, I decline to do that. However, I think a discussion of some of the threads of nature, ecology and climate between you and, oh say Peter Wadhams is definitely in order. Hey, PBS and BBC get together for joint events.

    Seriously, I have been reading the Bulleting of the AmericaAtomicScientis since 1976 and was friends with one of the earliest editors. It’s three minutes to midnight and you wish to examine the foibles of NBL.

  • crap xml Where is found insert which were meant to be quotes

    1. most valuable source of knowledge more generally tend strongly to use it in convenient, self-justifying ways

    2. continue to deny the validity of, or need for, any empirical evidence for anything that they wish to believe.

    3. Occam’s razor,

    4. Most humans now live apart from nature

    5. highly addictive nature of our many irrational beliefs.

    Maybe I should have been more prolific here and learned of the foibles when posting here.

  • Third time is charm. Where is found “left carat right carat – insert the items quoted from Bud Nye.


  • As someone who has seen heaven and hell, I experienced that the greatest part of joy has to come from within. You can put two different persons into exactly the same situation and one might be happy and the other one not. If there is no hunger, no thirst, no physical suffering, then there is the base for joy within already, IMO. A cup of tea, listening to the rain, just sitting there and letting the actual moment happen, without any goal, without adding something or taking away something- and “Bling”, there is joy, unspeakable joy, joy for no reason, as a natural state.

    Wherever you are, you are one with the clouds and one with the sun and the stars you see. You are one with everything. That is more true than I can say, and more true than you can hear.

    ― Shunryu Suzuki

  • It may sound perverse but I think we come to this website for joy.

    And we find it.

    We read about the impending multi-faceted armageddons on the way. We wrangle and scratch and spit at each other as we attempt to communicate. And hug and wink and nudge, tell jokes, share tunes. Like anemones we open up and reach out and then close down and retreat within – cycle of human converse.

    And we love it.

    Because during all of the time we spent awakening to this NTE realization that plagues our waking lives we felt so completely and existentially alone.
    For some of us the mornings are the worst – waking up to paralyzing fears and anxieties; for others it is the night – the long and lonely poet-haunted night.
    Then we stumbled upon this site or a site like it which led us to this one directly or indirectly – and we started to breathe again:
    “Thank f’k someone else is awake – I’m not the only one!”

    And every now and then someone says something kind or profound or touching.
    And our faith is rekindled.
    Joy tempered by outrage is a strange fractal to be in. C’est la vie.

    In the depths of meditation – beyond the flurries of thought, of twitch, of itch, or appetites – there is joy.
    In the essence of ourselves, at the center, there is joy. Unalloyed, imperishable – it makes one conclude that this must be the natural state of the universe, the joyous silent cacophony of dancing electrons winking in and out of reality on scales minute and galactic, vapours and nebulae.

    In Lex Hixon’s superb translation/explication/adornment of the Prajnaparamita Sutra (Mother of the Buddhas 1993), one of the chapters is entitled Incomparable and Measureless Joy.

    “At this summit, filled with the most sublime sense of jubilation and limitless gratitude, the bodhisattva gathers and fuses into a single diamond all the goodness, meritorious energy and bliss which has been visualized, contemplated and directly experienced – not leaving out even the smallest good intention from past, present or future. Delicately, the bodhisattva holds this inconceivable diamond in the center of awareness, rejoicing over it in the purest ecstacy of joy – a joy unapproached by any other joy, a rejoicing which is actually the incomparablility of Reality.” (94)

    I think this is what Dr. Guy is pointing towards, and toward which many of us stumble.

    We are ancient, as ancient as the sun
    We came from the ocean
    Once our ancestral home
    So that one day
    We could all return
    To our birthright
    The great celestial dome. (Dead Can Dance)

    Samsara

  • There we go again!

    “Methane …. while it’s there is at least 20 times as powerful as carbon dioxide.’

    Try 34 (UNIPCC 100-year) Or 86 (UNIPCC 20-year). Or 250. Or 300. Or 1000 (Malcolm Light).

  • Loved this essay. Going jogging this morn in my tight runners…

  • @ kevin moore
    Yes Methane is more powerful except there is one order of magnitude LESS of it in the atmosphere as of right now .. Of course that could change with methan hydrates coming online but we are not there yet so stick with the current values and situations not with what might happens or NOT

  • The first person to use the phrase ‘survival of the fittest’ in relation to
    Darwin’s theory was Herbert Spencer,not Wallace.

  • When the author says “Joy comes in the form of nature itself, including the flap of a wing and the song of a bird. I’m not particularly happy about my destructive role in this horrifying culture, nor with my current lot in life. But joy has not completely escaped my grasp.” – he speaks for many of us.

    Only, isn’t this the problem? A relationship with nature for many is just too boring; there are too many of us humans who simply need more stimulation than the flap of a bird’s wing. By and large, that’s me too, for all my ability to spend hours at a time digging and tending my veg. garden.

    The other side of the problem is that those who demand more than the gentleness of a bird’s call – is that it costs large amounts of money and creates no small amount of pollution. Living off the land may have been ‘nasty, brutal and short’ as the saying has it, but it would have been more joyful than a life spent in a factory and evenings watching the telly.

  • @ Guy

    With all due respect, this essay is nowhere close to even scratching the surface of the meanings of happiness, joy or depression, especially in light of NTE.

    I have long found it odd that you claim to not suffer from depression, but somehow admit to being saddened, grief stricken, unhappy, dissatisfied, and discouraged along with any number of associated emotional traumas.

    Having dealt with depression for most of my life, but still having found a way to dysfunction in society, I discovered a long time ago that “depression” so thoroughly scares the crap out of people, it’s practically a taboo; something barely identified, rarely discussed at depth and hastily “remedied” through therapy or pharmaceuticals, which I personally have never taken.

    But “depression” is just a word that describes a variety of historically despondent symptoms; we once called it “melancholy” and before that possibly “an imbalance of humors”. I wouldn’t be surprised if either Diogenes or Socrates were alive today, that they would at least be diagnosed with clinical depression, not unlike the laundry list of all our past heroes and heroines.

    Could you imagine the state of mind of Swift, Voltaire, Nietzsche, Goldman, Camus, Carson and Abby if they were suddenly reincarnated in todays world, only to discover that everything they had once believed in and fought for, had not only been for naught, but that their concepts of human agency was just an illusion against the backdrop of the tyranny of our immediate needs?

    No matter who throughout the entire history of civilization, has ever been “depressed” for any reason, not one of them, has ever had to live with the knowledge that most if not all of life on earth will soon be extinct as a result of our very existence.

    Oh, we’re way beyond “depression” at this point in time.

    The longer one delves into the meaning of this inculcated existence, the harder it becomes to avoid semiotics, because language is our primary form of communication, and once we become aware of the near infinite cultural biases inherent in any language, the whole fabric of meaning starts to unravel to a point that no context can ever honestly be established as we were once naively led to believe.

    So, you can continue to use words like happiness, joy and depression as if we’re somehow still living in the cultural context of the meaning of those words, but if we’re honest with ourselves, NTE has simply rendered all past meaning moot.

    But if we take an even wider lens, and given that deception is prevalent in other primates, I suspect there never was a time that the human race wasn’t inculcated liars. Every belief system is nothing but a lie, going back to the very first myth makers who sought to name phenomena we could not understand, not unlike today.

    Let’s take your mantra “live a life of excellence” as an example.

    That sure does sound good, but what does it mean beyond just being a palliative?

    First of all, it presumes that such a life is even possible, though, no matter who we are, for us to even continue to be alive, we must make enough money to afford a temperate shelter and have access to food and water.

    However, isn’t one of the primary causes of ecological overshoot/extinction the logistical dilemma of billions of people acquiring these basic necessities?

    Isn’t participating in a suicidal economic system at any level, the ONLY means of providing these necessities, which virtually everyone who has ever read or commented in this space is currently engaged in?

    So, we’re somehow suppose to “live a life of excellence” while we’re participating in the very system that is directly driving most of life to extinction?

    That’s kind of like paying our taxes full well knowing that onwards of half of it goes to the military industrial complex, and then bewailing the slaughter of the innocence we just funded.

    Is continuing to pay our taxes a way of living a life of excellence? Or is that somehow just a matter of perspective?

    Are we to pretend that because we have permaculturally designed our own chicken tractors, we’re a magical alternative to the very death culture we’re still wholly dependent upon?

    Context is everything, there can be no meaning without it, yet you hypocritically avoid the very cultural context in which you still base the meaning of words such as “excellence”, “joy”, “depression”, “action” and “service” just to name a few.

    In light of ecological overshoot, wouldn’t it be closer to the truth that it’s physically impossible to actually live a life of excellence, and that “altruist suicide” is probably the closest we’ll ever come to achieving such a grand imperative if that is indeed our intent?

    The wickedness of semiotics is that it ultimately reveals the depth of our hypocrisy. In this monetized culture, it’s best to hold onto all the past meaning that formed our sense of identity, that way we can continue to leverage the lies in making a buck, so that we can afford the belief that we’re living excellent lives.

  • Daniel, I’ve been pointing out for years that living a life of excellence is impossible. You’re finally catching up. Words matter, which is why I recommend pursuing a life of excellence. Such a pursuit is possible, even when possessing knowledge of civilization’s impacts and NTHE.

  • Thankyou for the Peter Wadham’s link. This avuncular Polar Ice scientist has a style which embraces his audience with humour at some points. The dry University manner removes a lot of dread people understandably feel round this subject.Though in truth as you rightly say, Guy, it is a dreadful upsetting realisation, we are finished as an advanced civilisation at the very least.

  • Divorcing one’s self from this culture is the only plausible path towards a life of excellence. One cannot participate in the metaphorical machine that is Auschwitz (Industrial capitalism) and ever hope to even know joy even on a superficial level!!!

  • Bud Nye,

    Wester is white. Non-white people don’t feel superior to white people. If you think otherwise, please give your reasons.

  • ‘Altruistic suicide’ doesn’t provide a solution to our predicament.
    With over 200.000 extra humans each day, it would take a spectacularly well
    organised and ongoing suicide effort to make any difference.
    We will have the population solutions provided for us before mid-century.
    War,famine and disease.
    Fuck the catholic church and all those who fought against those who have
    tried to tell us for decades that this would happen.

    Gemma,
    Hobbes described the life of those in the first societies as ‘nasty,brutal and short’. Worth remembering that many anthropologists who actually studied them for decades have a different view. Marshall Sahlins,for example,described them as ‘The original affluent society’.

  • Daniel, I just finished writing “context is everything” back at the end of the last thread. OOOeeeeoOOOO quantum!

  • WoodWose ~

    wow. thank you for that.

    In the essence of ourselves, at the center, there is joy. Unalloyed, imperishable – it makes one conclude that this must be the natural state of the universe, the joyous silent cacophony of dancing electrons winking in and out of reality on scales minute and galactic, vapours and nebulae.

    Gemma ~

    “A relationship with nature for many is just too boring”

    for many maybe. not for all. for many years after the months I spent with the owls, deep in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, I longed to go back. permanently. and I never wanted to leave that world in the first place, every time I got to spend any length of time there, from when I was very young and onwards.

    that world to me is infinitely more rich, in so many ways, than anything civilized and socialized humans have ever cooked up. it just hums with endless depth. endless nuance and variety. both peace and life force in harmony and balance, everywhere.

    and then just feeling the reality of “I belong, we belong, we are all here, together” ~ that unspoken but more loud than loud vibration of consciousness, in every molecule and whisper of existence in that world. more real and more stimulating to me, by far, than anything, anywhere to do with civilization.

    but I love civilization in its own way, for other reasons. it’s just that there is no mistaking which of the two experiences is actually real, in the sense of being most connected to greater reality.

    david ~

    “The original affluent society”

    I think anyone who has spent real time with these peoples, anywhere they still exist on Earth, has learned this.

  • EtyerePetyere

    ‘@ kevin moore
    Yes Methane is more powerful except there is one order of magnitude LESS of it in the atmosphere as of right now .. Of course that could change with methan hydrates coming online but we are not there yet so stick with the current values and situations not with what might happens or NOT’

    Your comment makes no sense.

    Current average methane concentration is approximately 2ppm, and using the very conservative UNIPCC factor of 86xCO2 we get an equivalent of 172. That is very significant and is approximately equivalent to the displacement of carbon dioxide from normal. These figures are cumulative, of course.

    However, as pointed out on numerous occasions, the atmospheric methane concentration is not declining (as suggested by oxidation models) but is increasing, so a much higher multiplier is required.

    This the current situation.

    When it comes to what might happen, the situation is considerably more dire: overheating of the Artic Sea and associated land masses is already causing destabilisation of methane hydrates and other weakly sequestered methane, and further overheating will cause faster destabilisation -the so-called methane burp scenario. Since oxidation is primarily facilitated by OH ions and OH radicals in the atmosphere, there is a distinct probability the oxidation mechanism will be overwhelmed by a significant methane burp, increasing residence time and leading to a longer period during which the INSTANTANEOUS multiplier should be applied.

    The question arises: do you make comments just for something to do, or do you not understand the chemistry and physics?

  • LIDIA – Donald Rumsfeld has been proposing, funding and building Bio-Weapons Level 3 and Level 4 labs at many places around the U.S. even on university campuses and in densely populated urban locations. In a Bio-Weapons Level 4 facility, a single bacteria or virus is lethal. Bio-Weapons Level 4 is the highest level legally allowed in the continental U.S.

    For what purpose are these labs being developed, and who will make the decisions on where bio-weapons created in these facilities will be used and on whom? More than 20 world-class microbiologists have been murdered since 2002, mostly in the U.S. and the UK. Nearly all were working on development of ethnic-specific bio-weapons. Do some research and you will find extensive info is avail to the public. Look at current court cases where Citizens around the U.S. are filing lawsuits to stop these labs on campuses and in communities where they live. Despite the opposition of residents living near UC Davis, where a Bio-Weapons Level 4 lab was planned, it had the support of the towns mayor.

    She suddenly reversed her position after a monkey escaped from a high security primate facility on the campus where the bio-weapons lab was.
    Not that it really matters, but posting warnings is also a part of the Biodefense system. Just like before Nagasaki, Dresden, etc. There is so much info…but obviously the proof will only be in the future aftermath of specific viral applications from the global military-industrial complex. Many factors are going to likely be involved in the first stages of mass genocide. Once upon a time it was surprisingly easy to get groups to calmly proceed to “showers” in gas chambers. Now with cheap gas guzzling distracting from increased invisible emissions,(People can deny anything they can’t see) I will continue to take responsibility in my very last USA position,to remind everyone that major BIOwar events are in the works.

    A possible part of “selective evolution” is simply informing young people who might survive by doing their own homework. Extensive evidence points out why De-pop & subsequent nuclear decommissioning might be the only way the 6th Mass Extinction can eventually turn into a future biosphere recovery period.

    For now, Blue Beam might be a fun special effects space show before the grid goes down. Then again an actual asteroid or accidental pandemic might make a mess of the best planned extinction events. Order out of Chaos, many potential ways to launch WW3 but the chances get disrupted if “they” wait and keep profiting from the large population for too long. YOU & I and everyone is a part of this in various degrees. Don’t pay any attention to silly elections. Lot’s of proof why on the Presidential level the same computers that make nano-sec extra profits for Wall Street (Proximity to the servers is worth billions in transactions) The supercomputers also have a form of “vote” in almost everything that involves money. Vote local, and get ready to vote with your feet to get out of the major target zones before things get really “HOT”. Hopefully where ever the concept and feelings of LOVE that flowed from somewhere…will remain on this future pale purple dot.

  • “So much of what we blame on “human nature” is white pathology, full stop. Egoism, selfishness, individualism are not “human traits” that have always existed. Stop falling for that. Humans are a cooperative species; what we see playing out is a deviance of our true nature, not the standard.’ – Brenda Nasr (as forwarded by Ras Munyiga Nosakhere)

    If there’s no free will, then it pertains that the justice system is a complete farce and full of crap, and if there is any moral core to be found anywhere, people would be down at the police station and court house, burning those buildings to the ground. But i guess you have no choice to be a right wing fascist utterly unconcerned with the fine logical play outs and results of this idea, which logic and rationality supposedly got you to in the first place. So we come round again and it looks like another excuse to sit on your bum and watch Teevee.

    Thanks again for more white peoples calling me racist. This i wear as a badge of honor. And per Utah Phillips, I do not take my definitions from white folks about whether or not I am racist. Their predictable views hold no truck. I take it from people on the receiving end. The people who are catching hell are the ones who are much better placed to identify my racism in all it’s permutations. And I don’t pretend to be void of racism after 35+ years of living smack in the middle of it and being socialized to thinking that it’s somehow normal. It’s not. It’s completely pathological and so alienated and soul sick that it will likely take complete obliteration of humanity to be rid of it. So I am working how I can to get through it.

    Now back to the subject, here’s an otherwise great radio program out of Univ. Of Connecticut by old lefty Kenneth Dowst, New World Notes, with a talk by Australian Tim Flannery, talking about carbon nuetral concrete and ipad phone covers made from atmospheric carbon, among other things will save us. Dowst is a grandpa, like ecoshock alex, so I think he’s not going -there-.
    [audio src="http://ia801503.us.archive.org/32/items/NewWorldNotes413-ClimateChangeHope/NWN-413_ClimateChangeHope_64k.mp3" /]

    ANd three cheers to the boys at Tired of Climate Change Deniers who are ON about Elon Musk’s new 200MPG solar car.

    Nice to see you Uncle Bud. Come here and pull my finger.

    Cheers.

  • Happy happy joy joy isn’t a chant you use to feel happy. Being happy or joyful just is i guess.Maybe it’s a total understanding of everything around you from it’s point of view.The ability to go to any emotion and still remain happy at the core.I point at things that make people unhappy but few listen and still chase that unhappiness.I’m guessing because selling out leads to pot of cash at end of rainbow.By the way Peter Wathams is a very nice fella but he refuses to imagine the future(in reality the Now) unshackled from scientific masters. He is old and will not have to suffer it.The French fella studying ice is going to have to live it.He is a we tad more urgent.I’m guessing peter farts freely and the french fella probably tries to hold some farts back.
    @Guy I think you need to unleash the truth on the stupidity of some denier,stop holding back then go have ice cream.Your to nice.
    ice cream = laugh
    I’m not really buying this Love thing cause you can be in love but unhappy.
    some will argue true love but that is happiness + love.

  • Loved your comments, WoodWose and mo flow.

  • I actually come here mostly to remind myself that human extinction is going to be a very good thing for the rest of life on this planet.

  • p.s. Another Arctic sea ice record low was recorded today (Sunday, Jan 31). Woohoo.

  • Wester says, ““So much of what we blame on “human nature” is white pathology, full stop. Egoism, selfishness, individualism are not “human traits” that have always existed.”

    How do you know what “human traits” have always existed and which ones are “whites only”?

    Thanks fer defining which “human traits” are correct and which ones are deviations. I just love your manichaean based “human nature” story as well.

    Discovery of prehistoric massacre may point to origins of human warfare

    “The 10,000-year-old bones bear the blunt marks of a violent death.

    The skeleton of one man lay with half his skull and torso sunk into the ground. He had been hit in the front of the head and stabbed in the neck with a pointed weapon. Another, the skeleton of a woman in the late stages of pregnancy, was found face up with her knees bent toward her. Like a few others, her hands were clumped together as if they had been bound.

    There are 12 complete skeletons in all, along with the partial remains of 15 other people, unearthed near what was once a lagoon by Lake Turkana, in northern Kenya.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/01/21/discovery-of-prehistoric-massacre-may-point-to-origins-of-human-warfare/

    It was probably some pre historic whites on safari whodunit.

  • Humanity is a cancerous abomination upon the rest of the living world. All of it the world over. At some moment in our evolution a cognitive shift happened and thats the moment the beginning of the end started.

    Histories Etched

    “Yet another nail has been pounded in the coffin of those who deny human agency in megafauna extinction, back in the halcyon (not!) days of purportedly sustainable tribal spiritual aboriginal hunting and gathering. A new study documents 200 sites across Australia where ancient peoples harvested and roasted the eggs of Genyornis, a 500-lb bird that was nearly 7 feet tall…driving it to oblivion some 50,000 years ago. It has been particularly difficult to make the physical (as opposed to the obvious circumstantial) link between human predation and megafauna in Australia, because little remains to be recovered in the archeological record to document causation – unlike other continents and islands, where fossils are readily found with weapons at kill sites. Now, the scientists find this evidence is absolute proof (as if any more were needed) that humans alone were responsible for the extinction of dozens upon dozens of animals as we migrated around the world:”

    http://witsendnj.blogspot.ca/2016/01/histories-etched.html


  • @Jan Steinman

    Thanks a lot for mentioning Bhutan as another evidence that sustainable civilisation is possible. Bhutan even got negative CO2 emissions:

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/03/bhutan-has-most-ambitious-pledge-at-paris-climate-summit

    It’s a pitty that your comment about Bhutan has been ignored here at NBL so far. I can’t help it, but to me it appears to be that most of the western people just don’t want to be happy 😀 They search for “proofs” and pile up “evidences” every single day, every single minute, that all human beings MUST be like themselves, that there is no way to live in sustainable peace and happiness within Nature, that the destructive western culture is inevitable and all attempts to live in harmony with Nature are just stupid attempts by some unworldly dreamers. This way western culture is destined to doom for shure. Doom is inherent in western culture, because it is a death culture, a death cult. Uhm, it will shurely get what it is looking for 😎


  • If doom were the only Karma, the only fate of ALL human civilisations, OK- but WHY all that blabla around it?! Hahaha, is it just because there is STILL time to live, still LIFE that demands to be lived?! Doom still isn’t here, otherwise there wouldn’t be any blabla anymore. So, go on with preaching “Doom will be here soon, it is just around the corner, 10 years, one year, one day, one minute, just a second away !”. Well, but until then you gotta LIVE, like it or not 😀


  • As mother nature used to say to the kids at bedtime, “Now, I don’t want to hear one more peep!”

    The Philanthropy Of The Zika Virus, Are The 1% Immune?

    The Philanthropy Of The Zika Virus, Are The 1% Immune? from conspiracy

  • Bored with Nature ¿ Surely you jest.

  • Wester,

    If one doesn’t think that racism is real and potent, then, that person is racist.

    Please enjoy:

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/02/01/oscarssowhat/

  • “The US bet big on American oil and now the whole global economy is paying the price” (Quartz)

  • @kevin moore
    Posting a reply after i had made already 2 cooment on thhatt particular day is a low blow .. In your first line you have made already the mistake Methane is not measured by the million PPm But in the Billion PPm thats the elementary mistake you think provides the basis for the rest of your theory … It Does NOT !!… i rest my case

  • Dear Denise,

    I’m so glad you’re still here. I’ve missed your beautiful poems.

  • @EtyerePetyere

    You often post interesting links and make interesting comments, thanks for sharing them.

    Kevin Moore, chemist ( among other things, radical shit-disturber of local govenments etc.), has frequently posted on the very relevant topic of atmospheric methane. In fact, it was a very important point he was trying to make for a year or two here about the instantaneous radiative forcing value ( how effectively it traps heat ) of CH4, but it didn’t seem to capture the interest of the main group posting here.

    Regarding his latest comment to you, I think it is highly likely that he is correct. You might have noticed his previous comment which was a reference to Dr. Wadhams’ using the value of 20 for the methane CO2 equivalent, which is probably far too conservative. I think he was trying to inform you in his comment to you. Maybe reread it.

    @Mark Austin

    This appears to be evidence of the germ warfare meme ( of course we can’t believe anything the Russians say ). Too bad they couldn’t redirect all that research effort into something productive, such as maybe CO2, CH4 eating bugs that can live in the upper atmosphere ( extremophiles? ).

    http://www.fort-russ.com/2016/01/flu-epidemic-emerged-from-us.html

  • Steve says :
    “Divorcing one’s self from this culture is the only plausible path towards a life of excellence. One cannot participate in the metaphorical machine that is Auschwitz (Industrial capitalism) and ever hope to even know joy even on a superficial level!!!”

    It is my experience that the joy of being (which arises naturally once the unseen context of existential fearfulness is eradicated) is independent of circumstance and conditions.

  • EtyerePetyere

    ‘@kevin moore
    Posting a reply after i had made already 2 cooment on thhatt particular day is a low blow .. In your first line you have made already the mistake Methane is not measured by the million PPm But in the Billion PPm thats the elementary mistake you think provides the basis for the rest of your theory … It Does NOT !!… i rest my case’

    Being human, I do make mistakes, often as a consequence of overlooking sentence construction when reformulating a set of ideas, and often just as a consequence of hitting a wrong key on my computer keyboard. I notice that your error rate in that respect is substantially exceeds mine.

    Having freely admitted I make minor errors in typing English I will now declare that, unlike you, I do not make repeated fundamental errors in chemistry or physics.

    If you wish to waste your posting opportunities posting nonsense, that is your problem, not mine. So don’t complain when I use my posting opportunities to point out that you post nonsense.

    In my recent reply to your nonsense I wrote:

    ‘The question arises: do you make comments just for something to do, or do you not understand the chemistry and physics?’

    Perhaps both apply.

    You latest piece of idiocy demonstrates that you certainly do not understand simple mathematics. Nor do you understand standard abbreviations, since you wrote: ‘In your first line you have made already the mistake Methane is not measured by the million PPm But in the Billion PPm thats the elementary mistake you think provides the basis for the rest of your theory … It Does NOT !!… i rest my case’

    The current level of atmospheric methane is approximately 2000ppb, which is 2ppm, exactly as I wrote.

    From now on I will regard you as the fuckwit troll you have demonstrated yourself to be, and will not respond to any more of your nonsense.

    So if you want to spend you time posting crap on this website, go ahead. I will just skip over anything your write and look for sensible comments by people who are not fuckwit trolls.

  • Neither name calling ( i know we all despise civilization but until there is complete anarchy this would be the rather preferable level of communication namely the civilized one ) Nor This is not helping your case Here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKuInLN_hQs @ Minute 6 seconds 30 NoV-DEC 2015 Atmospheric GHG`s accumulative value 485 . period

  • You continue to make no sense, EtyerePetyere. Methane is at least 100 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in the short term. Current level of atmospheric methane is >2,000 ppb (i.e., >2 ppm). Thus, it produces heating equivalent to >200 ppm of carbon dioxide. Thus, we’re well in excess of 600 ppm CO2 equivalent already.

  • On that 100x forcing value the Jury is still out deliberating .. We just don’t know maybe just 40x or so maybe 30x or even less … We just don`t know .. do we ?! This whole thing started some individual posting that something like 7-800 will be catastrophic that`s Ok i said we are just not there yet .. I didn`t say we won`t be . I didn`t say That in that case it won`t be catastrophic just that we are not there yet and we won`t be for a while . Now everyone is jumping at me throat because of this .. Chill folks i repeat We are not there yet .. Concentrate on living life of excellence or sort of . That was my message . Now i have stated something clearly obvious and now i am what should i say ? yes the earth is flat .. even if i say so the fact will stay that the earth is round and revolves around the sun not the other way

  • EtyerePetyere, so now you’re claiming dangerous climate change is in the distant future? Tell that to the families of the five million who die every years as a result of climate change. As James Hansen pointed out decades ago, 350 ppm CO2 is dangerous.

    Your statements are foolish. Dangerous climate change is here, and you’re in denial about it.

  • EtyerePetyere ~

    just a friendly reminder: the basement thread ~ currently the Berns thread ~ is wide open to as many additional comments as you may want to post, on any day. there are no daily limits there.

  • @ Guy

    Let me first state that I think/believe that you are right in your view and analysis about NTE. Still I have a remark or question.

    At the introduction of your Monster Climate change Essay you write: “Note that this essay has grown from a few thousand words in January 2013 to the current massive missive. Happy reading.”

    How can an essay on decline and extinction give a ‘happy reading’?

    You must know that the last years of ‘civilization’ wil be horrendous. The ones who have not prepared themselves will come after and steal from the ones who did. There will be murder, massive abuse and bloodshed.

    So, please, could you elaborate on the ‘happy reading’. For the time being I would humbly request you to remove those two words.

    sincerely,
    Chris, Belgium

    ps: link to the ‘death scene’ in the movie Soylent Green: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edQNjJZFdLU

  • Chris, I realize that the end of this set of living arrangements will be horrible for privileged people, most notably Caucasian men in the global north. But it will be quite liberating for oppressed people and myriad non-human species.

    I guess my sarcasm was lost on you with the “happy reading” comment. I’d suggest abundant gallows humor in your future.

  • Guy,

    I do not want to start a polemic in your ‘comments section’. Therefore this brief and last reply.

    One of your strategies to handle NTE may be sarcasm and humor.

    Maybe I experience grief and melancholy, and can cope it too (since I haven’t killed myself yet).

    Can we not judge each other on the way we cope with loss? That is all I’m requesting for.

    respectully, C.

  • I am wondering how many Jan 27th $199 webinar corporate sponsored videos you have sold. What were they thinking? All that info is right here on your web site for free.

  • I’m not judging you, Chris. But I’m pointing out that the horror you anticipate will be great news for many others.

    Dave, I don’t know how many were sold. But I agree with your conclusion that it wasn’t a good deal for the buyers.

  • In the Peter Wadhams Conference piece he makes the point that the models are not conforming to the data with respect to the rate of melting. Later he refers to methane as 20 times CO2E. Could this be one of the large errors or oversights in the model?

    Dr. Wadhams also showed a horizontal bar chart depicting heating and cooling effects of various gases and components of the atmosphere. An apparently large net cooling component that he pointed out was clouds.

    In this scientific article they make the statement that clouds are a net heating effect.

    http://climatenewsnetwork.net/cloud-blanket-warms-up-melting-icecap/?utm_content=bufferfc059&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    I wonder what the models use?

  • btw, the answers to my quote quiz from two weeks ago ~

    the scientist was Albert Einstein and the writer was Rabindranath Tagore.

    “I greatly admire your passion to ascertain the truth — a passion that has come to dominate all else in your thinking. You have shown with irresistible lucidity how inseparably the aggressive and destructive instincts are bound up in the human psyche with those of love and the lust for life.”
    ~ Einstein, in correspondence with Sigmund Freud [1]

    “Beauty is in the ideal of perfect harmony which is in the Universal Being; Truth the perfect comprehension of the Universal Mind.”
    ~ Tagore, in conversation with Einstein [2]

    “if there is a reality independent of man, there is also a Truth relative to this reality; and in the same way the negation of the first engenders a negation of the existence of the latter.”
    ~ Einstein, in conversation with Tagore

    “In science we go through the discipline of eliminating the personal limitations of our individual minds and thus reach that comprehension of Truth which is in the mind of the Universal Man.”
    ~ Tagore, in conversation with Einstein

    “There is the reality of paper, infinitely different from the reality of literature. For the kind of mind possessed by the moth which eats that paper literature is absolutely non-existent, yet for Man’s mind literature has a greater value of Truth than the paper itself.”
    ~ Tagore, in conversation with Einstein

    “The problem begins whether Truth is independent of our consciousness.”
    ~ Einstein, in conversation with Tagore

    “As long as I have any choice in the matter, I shall live only in a country where civil liberty, tolerance and equality of all citizens before the law prevail.”
    ~ Einstein, 1933, to the media [3]

    “It seems to be a universal fact that minorities, especially when their Individuals are recognizable because of physical differences, are treated by majorities among whom they live as an inferior class. The tragic part of such a fate, however, lies not only in the automatically realized disadvantage suffered by these minorities in economic and social relations, but also in the fact that those who meet such treatment themselves for the most part acquiesce in the prejudiced estimate because of the suggestive influence of the majority, and come to regard people like themselves as inferior. This second and more important aspect of the evil can be met through closer union and conscious educational enlightenment among the minority, and so emancipation of the soul of the minority can be attained.”
    ~ Einstein, in correspondence with W.E.B Du Bois [4]

    and another quote with direct relevance to the subject of this essay:

    “But the Jewish tradition also contains something else, something which finds splendid expression in many of the Psalms – namely, a sort of intoxicated joy and amazement at the beauty and grandeur of this world, of which, man can just form a faint notion. It is the feeling from which true scientific research draws its spiritual sustenance, but which also seems to find expression in the song of birds.”
    ~ from The World As I See It by Albert Einstein

    sources:
    [1] http://www.brainpickings.org/2013/05/06/why-war-einstein-freud/
    [2] http://www.brainpickings.org/2012/04/27/when-einstein-met-tagore/
    [3] http://www.mpg.de/947161/person7
    [4] http://www.brainpickings.org/2015/01/06/albert-einstein-w-e-b-du-bois-racism/

  • Horrible for privileged people, most notably Caucasian men in the global north. But it will be quite liberating for oppressed people and myriad non-human species.” – Guy McPherson

    I guess that’s the upside to NTE — it’s the great equalizer. A prick like Donald Trump will get taken out just like the rest of us. His money and fame won’t be worth shit. NTE is *almost* worthwhile for this alone.

    Good times ahead for bacteria!

  • @Guy, I don’t agree in the least with Etyere Petyere, however, I doubt it will be the case that anyone in their right minds will be rubbing their hands with glee in the near future, for any reason whatsoever.

    Global supply-chain disruption is going to hurt people across the board: the poor in India and Africa relying on grain exports from Russia and the US, as one example. Totally self-reliant populations are virtually non-existent these days. The Inuit/Yupik up in Alaska survive on food air-lifted in, to a great degree.

    Just taking away the 40% of human nitrogen currently supplied by the H-B process will easily wipe out 60-80% of world population, because when there is only enough nutrient to provide 60% of requirements (or 70%, or 80%.. ANYTHING UNDER 100%), it’s entirely possible for 100% of the population to die. In fact, 100% mortality would be guaranteed under a regime of equal distribution. The more homogeneous the resource distribution, the less resilient the whole cohort to dislocations when there isn’t a deep resource margin to draw from, however un-PC the modern social ramifications of that may seem. But the universe doesn’t care how PC you are. This is just math and science; the rest is politics, and to my mind Guy confounds politics and science in ways that are not necessarily helpful.

    Putting the challenge of food aside, let’s turn to ionizing radiation. It would appear that that’s going to be an equal-opportunity catastrophe. There aren’t going to be, for example, any dolphins or songbirds clapping their wings/flippers in glee that there’s no one keeping the nukes running any longer because it’s not economically feasible. I doubt these creatures will find the situation “liberating”, unless by “liberating” you mean that certain cells in their bodies break free of the prior hegemony imposed by actually having to belong to a dolphin or songbird, ’cause certainly that will happen.

  • Artleads,

    Regarding your January 31st, 2016 at 5:36 pm comment that “Non-white people don’t feel superior to white people. If you think otherwise, please give your reasons.”, sub-groups of various “races”, certainly including “white” people, can and do often feel superior to other sub-groups of their race, often killing them in the process. Indeed, we exist as such complex animals that one part of A PERSON can feel superior to one or more other parts of that same person such that they may even hate themselves. (In some cases this occurs as entirely different personalities displayed at different times in different circumstances.) A person who can hate him or herself can certainly hate and/or have prejudices against other people of their own “race”. Wester’s racist diatribe just illustrates one example of how one group of white people can feel superior to other groups of white people.

    Wester,

    Regarding your claim that “If there’s no free will, then it pertains that the justice system is a complete farce and full of crap, and if there is any moral core to be found anywhere, people would be down at the police station and court house, burning those buildings to the ground.” Ahhh, no. Not at all. No species of animal, whether human or otherwise requires any “free will” in order for them to create and enforce ordered, hierarchal social systems among themselves. Or do your argue here that all social animals supposedly have “free will” just as you obviously like to believe that humans presumably do? Honeybees, wolves, monkeys, and chimpanzees presumably require free will in order for them to maintain their social systems dealing with deviant individuals within their populations? We do not need any “free will” in order to create and maintain orderly social systems among ourselves. On the other hand, we do need rules and contingencies (which many anarchists naively like to believe we do not need).

    Shep,

    Regarding your February 1st, 2016 at 8:58 am comment, OF COURSE “racism is real and potent” (including Wester’s, which he loudly proclaims to feel proud of in his January 31st, 2016 at 8:41 pm comment)! Nothing I have written suggests otherwise. The whole point of my responding to Wester involved pointing out the reality and potency of racism in general as well as his more subtle expression of it in particular.

  • INTERNALIZED RACISM

    “It seems to be a universal fact that minorities, especially when their Individuals are recognizable because of physical differences, are treated by majorities among whom they live as an inferior class. The tragic part of such a fate, however, lies not only in the automatically realized disadvantage suffered by these minorities in economic and social relations, but also in the fact that those who meet such treatment themselves for the most part acquiesce in the prejudiced estimate because of the suggestive influence of the majority, and come to regard people like themselves as inferior. This second and more important aspect of the evil can be met through closer union and conscious educational enlightenment among the minority, and so emancipation of the soul of the minority can be attained.”

  • Bud Nye, I know no anarchist who believes rules are unnecessary, as you naively claim. I know many anarchists who believe rulers are unnecessary, as I’ve often pointed out in this space.

  • Dear Chris from Belgium, here’s a great example of gallows humor:

    Knock, knock.

    Who’s there?

    Extinction.

    Extinction who?

    NEAR TERM EXTINCTION! NAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  • Cuntagious says, ” A prick like Donald Trump will get taken out just like the rest of us. His money and fame won’t be worth shit. NTE is *almost* worthwhile for this alone.

    Good times ahead for bacteria!”

    FLIES, man. Don’t forget the FLIES!

  • what’s an r between fiends?

    I think we have a clear issue of reading compression at work here.

  • By the way, the N2O concentration is about 325ppb, and its multiplier is officially 265, so its official contribution to CO2e is around 0.325 x 265 = 86.

    Adding that to the CO2 and CH4 contributions takes the total CO2e to at least 700ppm, as I pointed out fairly recently.

    The fact that people who really should know better persist in using and repeating redundant numbers does not help when we are attempting to highlight the burgeoning planetary emergency, which clearly has a rather short time frame.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming_potential

    ‘Importance of time horizon[edit]

    Note that a substance’s GWP depends on the timespan over which the potential is calculated. A gas which is quickly removed from the atmosphere may initially have a large effect but for longer time periods as it has been removed becomes less important. Thus methane has a potential of 34 over 100 years but 86 over 20 years; conversely sulfur hexafluoride has a GWP of 22,800 over 100 years but 16,300 over 20 years (IPCC TAR). The GWP value depends on how the gas concentration decays over time in the atmosphere. This is often not precisely known and hence the values should not be considered exact. For this reason when quoting a GWP it is important to give a reference to the calculation.’

    And for the nth time on NBL, methane is accumulating in the atmosphere, so models based on oxidative decay are not entirely appropriate, if at all appropriate in a methane burp scenario.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_methane

  • Apneaman,
    Humans have had a sorry history on Earth. Does that mean that
    no human societies learnt lessons and did learn to live without destroying the ecosystems they inhabited? No. There are many examples of first societies which had an awareness of the ways of the natural world which
    you,me and probably everyone reading this will never really understand.
    There is ample literature relating to this. Those societies lived for tens of thousands of years and at the end of that time the ecosystems they inhabited were still in excellent condition. Why do you think the Australian Aborigines adopted ‘Patchwurk burning’? Because many animals
    thrived on that system. They thrived, and the aborigines thrived along with them. Were there unavoidable systemic flaws under the system they
    lived with that guaranteed it would collapse? No.
    Does industrial civilisation have those flaws? Yes.
    Has industrial civilisation tapped an energy source, combined with a disconnection from nature,and a rapacious attitude towards it,that has
    exterminated most human societies that would probably have lived within
    natural ecosystems for who knows how long? Certainly many orders of magnitude longer than our civilisation. Yes.
    The differences are not genetic, but cultural.
    Would it have been better if humans had never evolved? Looking at the evidence all around us,I would say yes. The dominant cultural group that
    learnt to develop the technologies that raided the energy bonanza of fossil sunlight,has rampaged over the face of the planet,exterminating
    those other societies and destroyed the natural wonderland we once had.
    Never mind ,it will all be over soon. Will we leave a wasteland and a devastated ocean behind ? No question about it.

    I have walked through some of the magical Tasmanian forests ,now burnt,never to recover. Tragic beyond words.

  • Guy,

    You state:

    “Daniel, I’ve been pointing out for years that living a life of excellence is impossible. You’re finally catching up. Words matter, which is why I recommend pursuing a life of excellence. Such a pursuit is possible, even when possessing knowledge of civilization’s impacts and NTHE.”

    I don’t know Guy, it might be time for you to change your script, having nearly the same glib response regardless of who you’re addressing is getting a little thread bear. The fact that you think I need to “catch up” to the idea that it’s impossible to live a life of excellence is downright comical…..good lord!

    But let’s get back to this “pursuing a life of excellence” compared to “living a life of excellence” in light of it being impossible to achieve either way, because you are very correct, words very much matter.

    Though I suspect we’re standing at the edge of some semantic rabbit hole is discerning the difference between “living” and “pursuing”; how it is that you believe the “pursuit” of something you don’t believe exists is somehow “possible” without the pursuer completely lying to themselves?

    What’s the difference between telling them that, compared to saying “just go fill your life with fruitless distractions”? Which would actually be closer to the truth.

    I get your looking at the concept of “excellence” as a metaphor for some unattainable ideal, but that’s the very issue I have with these mantras of yours, they’re just more lies. If an ideal is unattainable, then the pursuit of it is equally false.

  • Guy,

    Regarding your short February 1st, 2016 at 6:47 pm comment, from what I have seen, read, and heard over the years I find it difficult, indeed, to believe that “no anarchist believes that no rules are necessary”. So, based on my limited knowledge about and experience with this, naïve or not, it remains my opinion that a significant percentage of avowed anarchists do believe in a utopian way that they can live in a rule-free social system.

    Yes, naïve does appropriately label me regarding this. Most of my familiarity with anarchism comes from having read Derrick Jensen’s book Why I Am Not An Anarco-Primitivist as he wrote it. As you probably know, he paints a pretty horrific, well documented picture of anarchism. Unfortunately, it appears to remain unpublished, but if you want to read it I expect that he would make a PDF file of it available to you. (Of course, we could argue over what might amount to “a significant percentage”, but while I refer to a significant percentage, you have claimed NONE, a bold statement indeed, and surely one easy to refute as I would need to find only one “official” anarchist, out of thousands. But I will assume that you really meant “significant percentage”, not none.)

    I will, of course, change my opinion about this based on some reliable evidence. Can you point to some social science research that answers this question beyond just your personal opinion versus mine? This strikes me as a pretty simple and straightforward question to answer, and someone may very well have done that research. Does anyone else reading here know about any such research?

    Beyond this, and with some definitional clarification, based on my dictionary a leader: “A person who rules, guides or inspires others”, and a ruler: “an acknowledged leader”, I think it would help greatly to know four important things: (1) what specific rules anarchist groups adopt, presumably with no “leaders” or “rulers”, (2) what processes they use to adopt these rules, supposedly with no leaders or rulers, (3) how they enforce these rules, again presumably with no leaders or rulers, and, (4) how such an alleged social structure supposedly differs from democratic structures that adopt and enforce their rules through democratic, not anarchist, processes with leaders-rulers, if they differ in any significant way at all.

  • “what’s an r between fiends?”

    What’s an arse between friends?”

    “There are many examples of first societies which had an awareness of the ways of the natural world which you,me and probably everyone reading this will never really understand.”

    Often scientific models fall short because they do not incorporate enough of the myriad influences affecting the final result. In spite of absence of scientific rigor, indigenous communities developed mythical narratives that served as adequate models, even forecasting major disruptions. Even though scientifically “untrue”, the myths were pragmatically adequate for millennia.

    “If an ideal is unattainable, then the pursuit of it is equally false.”

    A different concept expressed in “Journey Without Goal” by Chogyam Trungpa and “Journey to Ixtlan” by Carlos Castenada, and the more recent “The Unlikely Peace at Cuchumaqiuc” by Martin Prechtel. The destination gives direction, not termination; the purpose of the journey is the Journey ItSelf. Cessation of the journey within the bounds of time and space is tantamount within this realm to oblivion.

    Selling snake oil is not compatible in the long term with anarchy. Anarchy cannot continue wint unprincipled behaviour. There are two free modern books on the subjoct, Everyday Anarchy and Practical Anarchy.

    Statism in contrast to anarchy, imposes rulers as well as rules. The rulers may be in various sizes, from a mugger in an alley to an empire. They all do not hesitate to INITIATE the imposition of coercive violence on non-violent non-compliers. Oligarchies can be as small as one individual; they are often mistaken for anarchies. The distinguishing criterion of anarchies is the abjuration of the INITIATION of coercive violence on others.

    Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding on what to have for dinner.

  • Daniel, the pursuit of the unattainable is idealism. Love, excellence, and perfection are not lies, and neither is their pursuit.

  • [i’m being censored at Scribbler’s; my comments don’t get posted at all]

    Tuesday, 2 February 2016

    The loss of phytoplankton

    Phytoplankton rapidly disappearing from the Indian Ocean

    Loss of mini marine plants at base of food web threatens sea’s ecology

    http://robinwestenra.blogspot.co.nz/2016/02/the-loss-of-phytoplankton.html

    [begins]

    A rapid loss of phytoplankton threatens to turn the western Indian Ocean into an “ecological desert,” a new study warns. The research reveals that phytoplankton populations in the region fell an alarming 30 percent over the last 16 years.

    A decline in ocean mixing due to warming surface waters is to blame for that phytoplankton plummet, researchers propose online January 19 in Geophysical Research Letters. The mixing of the ocean’s layers ferries phytoplankton nutrients from the ocean’s dark depths up into the sunlit layers that the mini plants inhabit.

    The loss of these microbes, which form the foundation of the ocean food web, may undermine the region’s ecosystem, warns study coauthor Raghu Murtugudde, an oceanographer at the University of Maryland in College Park.

    “If you reduce the bottom of the food chain, it’s going to cascade,” Murtugudde says. The phytoplankton decline may be partially responsible for a 50 to 90 percent decline in tuna catch rates over the last half-century in the Indian Ocean, he says. “This is a wake-up call to look if similar things are happening elsewhere.” [more]


  • @mo flow

    Thank you so much for reminding the deep friendship of one of the greatest scientists, Albert Einstein and one of the greatest spiritual poets, Rabindranath Tagore. Another proof that real science and real spirituality go together very well. In fact, they complement eachother perfectly.

    @Doctor Guy McPherson

    Love, excellence, and perfection are not lies, and neither is their pursuit.

    Yeah, this is the message of a real doctor. A doctor who’d just yell “Doom! Doom! Doom!” upon a suffering planet, upon a suffering humankind would be worth NOTHING at all, such a doctor would be nothing more than a gravedigger, hahaha. A REAL doctor does not only diagnose desease, but he has some decent MEDICINE at hand as well. Yes, we should listen to the prescription of Doctor Guy McPherson, dear folks at NBL, and the fruit of Real Joy will be ours for shure^^

    Basundhara

    Take me back to your lap O Earth

    Bless me within your shadow
    I exist within your beauty and radiate
    Myself all around life the joy of spring.

    Quivering, gurgling, radiating myself

    With the rays of light I flow in joy
    To the far corners of the earth
    In joyous play I extend
    Language to every wave and direction
    I spread myself on the pinnacles
    Of the snowy cliffs in silence
    O Earth my heart has sung aloud
    In joy, aspired to clasp you close tome
    To kiss every single bud, to embrace
    Every blade of grass
    The joy of the whole world
    I wish to feel with all of mankind
    Clasp me close to your heart
    Where joy evolves in every beat
    In Every nook and corner
    Do not keep me away.

    Rabindranath Tagore, Basundhara (Mother Earth)


  • The big bushfires in Tasmania of last week…?

    I was down there walking with some relatives, (two armed bipeds) and we witnessed the very large lightning strikes some 30 km away in Cradle Mountain area. These strikes were like nothing I had seen before. Massive 10 meter diameter direct tubing to the ground bolts, (an estimate but may be way out).

    I’m not suggesting this type of arcing is new, I just wonder about the particulate, or ionized air that’s maybe contributing to it.

    I also noted that unlike 25 years ago when I last went walking there, the sun burnt much more now. I was told the ozone layer is much reduced, and therefore the UV penetration is much stronger.

    Man…some kinda mess the planet is in.

    “‘Like losing the thylacine’: Fire burns Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/like-losing-the-thylacine-fire-burns-tasmanian-wilderness-world-heritage-area-20160131-gmi2re.html

    I am going to take issue with a few comment made in this article, just to be grumpy OzMan.

    David Bowman, a fire ecologist is quoted in the article and I am not challenging most of what he says, he seems to care and is sounding the be kind to nature all around message. But this quote is something worth debating…

    “We’re talking about the landscapes you see on the Overland Track that take you back in deep time.”

    I think to be fair he is echoing many green wilderness advocates in posing that having a view of deep time in this way is something that out distant ancestors experienced before large scale human populations changed the surface and geography. Not the obvious recent pre industrial and industrial civ changes.

    I think ‘wilderness’ is a concept that ameliorates the urban domestication of control orders, (laws, as distinct from customs which I thank Rupert Sheldrake for pointing out) and relative loss of control one born now in materially developed nations, (as distinct from non-materially developed nations, which may or may not have much spiritual development, it all depends…?) may experience.

    The view of ‘deep time’ signaled by Bowman looks ok enough at first, but it seems to ask one to accept humans, or early biped hominids (whatever of the many forms that came and went) looked out onto landscapes, (which to them probably was not only ‘material’ in essence), that they never traversed and ‘knew’.

    As many contributors here, and old time greenies are well aware perhaps, the idea of wilderness, or as I like to pronounce it for clarity, wild-ness, is simply a factor of how twisted a shape the two-armers have got their culture in, or likewise, how far from the spirit the said two-armers have diverged.

    I use the term ‘spiritual’ to denote how in touch with wild-ness a person or culture ‘really’ is. In the modern context, the term ‘really’ is used here to differentiate from the advertising and bullshit factor that now deludes a great many two-armers, (especially the new ones that seem to have a small screen biologically sutured to one of the two arms).

    Clothes, or their absence, tattoos, or their absence, incense, or its absence, youth or its absence, saying ‘man’ as a rider in sentences with relative strangers to connote easygoing coolness,( which I do quite a bit man, you dig me baby? just being honest here, man) or its absence, hair, wealth, piercings, recycling, book-wizdom, waste reuse, or their absences, none of these attributes denote spiritual-ness, or as I have used it here, wild-ness. Wild-ness, so easily commodified as neo-tribalism now in the west since the ‘success’ of tv shows like Survivor, in essence is the free spirit inherent in life. This is ecstatic, even joyous being, and not merely an antidote ‘to’ suffering. It is the prior condition of being, before modification, moment to moment.

    The view of a relatively untrammeled, unfuckedup-by-civilisation-ness-landscape is nevertheless presumed to be pleasing to two-armers who are mostly inhabiting highly regulated fucked up places, getting more organised, controlled, fucked-up-sociality-habituated and more fucked up every year.( Newish as yet unelected prime minister here in Australia-fraidia, Malcolm Turnbull on his maiden speech declaired, ‘We are going to run Australia like a business”. You can’t make this shit up, it actually happens. Two years ago I was saying to two-armers I knew Australia is just a bank…not far off really 🙂 )

    I am not attempting to devalue those ‘wilderness’ places like which Bowman extols- just a little too highly for my taste. I am merely pointing out that materially developed nations, (and their poorly termed ‘cultures’) have a deeply unconscious, (to the majority) tendency to overvalue the see-able, quantifiable and modifiable aspects of the biosphere. This is often at the detrimental expense of what I would characterize as the living and rather subtle dimensions.
    An example from the annals of art will expand my point best.

    ‘Joseph Beuys – English Subtitles – How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare 1/2’

    Quote:

    “I always saw (the portrayal of) the connection between the human being and his higher nature as the most important task of art. And to speak of the human being as the much higher being than what he fancies himself to be in the age of materialism was important to me right from the beginning.” Joseph Beuys. 27th Jan 1983.(part two is good too)

    The dead Hare was something I didn’t get for the longest time. I think Yoda said it more succinctly than Beuys, but no less worthily in my view….’Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter’…not bad for a 700 year old rubber glove puppet.
    The dead hare works on many levels and that’s something it took time for me to appreciate. Absurd to explain pictures or anything to a dead animal, a hare is simply perhaps a portable dead animal. But also in the extreme it is actually mad to try. But also what came to me last year while studying Beuys was the fact that it was dead. Was it a hare anymore, being dead. The life had somehow ‘gone’ from the body, but was that life actually hare like, or just life. All life is actually the same I think, just the form allows differences. Beuys was actually describing the hare as an animate being even though it was technically dead…I think.

    So when two-armers are encouraged to appreciate and conceive of ‘wilderness’ as being somehow back in time, I just get the goat out when I hear that.

    My supervisor at uni said that after Beys died in 1986, just 3 years after this video interview, the knives came out and they carved him up. They decried him as a crazy loonytunes who was conceited, a fake sharman woodooer. He certainly made shit up. But the quote above shows his challenge to the people and the elites. Do the people really believe they are wild, and consciously free?

    There is the rub.

    Just sayin. 😉

  • “I know no anarchist who believes rules are unnecessary… I know many anarchists who believe rulers are unnecessary, as I’ve often pointed out in this space.”

    At the risk of venturing into a sticky quagmire, it would seem that if rules are necessary but rulers are not, then the “ruler” must be at all times internalized, or poor behavior will surely follow, and we’ll be right back in the mess that currently exists, with some external agency deciding – of apparent necessity – to enforce the rules, whatever they may be. So far, the situation at that level has simply failed to resolve itself, cherished beliefs aside.

  • @Tim

    Einstein wrote, “Why Jews Are Superior” article for Time Magazine.

    Brilliant mathematician, David Hilbert, first postulated, lectured, and published paper about General Theory of Relativity. Einstein had the benefits of Hilbert’s work prior to his own claims on General Relativity.
    A clear case of plagiarism.

    “Einstein was a Zionist with membership in at least 16 Communist front organizations such as Friends of the Soviet. Einstein was head of the Jewish Black Book Committee, which was listed as a Communist front in the 1947 House Un-American Activities Committee Report.”

    “Einstein was a hoax and fraud saddled on the scientific community to prevent them from learning to much and to promote Jews as being superior, sort of Nazism in reverse.”

    http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/einstein.htm

  • Tasmania is pretty close to the south pole and it is not getting spared:

    http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2016/02/fires-in-tasmanias-ancient-forests-are.html

    Maybe New Zealand won’t be the best billionaire’s bug-out location, on the other hand maybe no place is.

  • Happiness is watching global trade data collapse:

    ‘Baltic Dry Index is compiled by the London-based Baltic Exchange and covers prices for transported cargo such as coal, grain and iron ore. The index is based on a daily survey of agents all over the world. Baltic Dry hit a temporary peak on May 20, 2008, when the index hit 11,793. The lowest level ever reached was on Friday, January 29 2016, when the index dropped to 317 points.’

    Happiness is watching the scumbags who are orchestrating the latest rounds of looting and polluting and corporate control meet a wall of opposition.

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2016/02/03/tdb-waatea-live-coverage-of-tppa-protests/

    (Tomorrow is supposedly the big day.)

    Happiness is watching the local economy slowly implode and witnessing the consequential easing back in the destruction of the local environment as the money dries up.

    Happiness is still having plenty of food and a variety of beverages.

    Happiness is music, art, exercise, and conversation, both live and via Internet. And for me and about 300 others around here, playing bridge.

    Beyond happiness there seems to be only terminal decline, followed by death.

    ‘for me — joy is possible even though happiness is elusive.’

    For me, happiness is possible though joy is elusive.

    We’re all different, sometimes as a consequence of our genes but more often, I believe, as a consequence of our circumstances.

  • kevin moore, your tidbit about the Baltic Dry Index is old news. The latest close, from yesterday, set another record at 314. That’s no change or a decline every day for the last couple weeks.


  • @Phil Morrison

    Ha ha ha ha, now it’s time for my second comment today^^

    It’s always the same stupid Amateur Nazi- tactic:

    If you can’t plant Nazi shit, then just blame the jews, any jew to be a the real Nazi, bwahaha 😀 …

    http://www.biblebelievers.org.au

    I see^^ When I read your linked historical “source”, my eyes get SICK, hahaha 😀 Please don’t forget to mention that biblebelievers.org denies the Holocaust, dear Phil Morrison^^ :

    http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/wasthere.htm

    Let’s see what else we can find about biblebelievers.org.au^^ :

    Bible Believers is the website of the Bible Believers’ Church of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

    Because the website reprints antisemitic material such as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Henry Ford’s The International Jew, and Holocaust denial material from authors such as Bradley Smith and Mark Weber, a complaint was lodged under Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act. In 2007, Justice Richard Conti of the Federal Court of Australia ordered Anthony Grigor-Scott to remove from the website antisemitic claims that Jews deliberately exaggerated the number of Jews killed during World War II. However, the order was overturned on appeal due to a legal technicality: “Bible Believers Church” could not be sued, since it lacked legal personality, and the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986 (Cth) (HREOC Act) would not permit (in the same proceeding) its substitution with another defendant who could be.

    Bible Believers were described as “[o]ne of the most visible of the plethora of eccentric pseudo-Christian groups in Australia” and “extremist” by the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) in their 2008 report on antisemitism in Australia.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible_Believers

    Now go on “defending” the Jews against jewish “Nazi- Einstein”, dear Philip Morrison, bwaaahahaha 3:-)

    Do you know what amuses me the most about Nazi-shit? It’s their neverending AMATEUR-propaganda and AMATEUR– politics, wich is always so easily to be seen through, hahaha. One thing for shure:

    This sick NAZI PROPAGANDA will very, very soon find it’s deserved final END- and I like it 😎

  • And yet it all continues to grind on and on and on…

    A quote that I like reflective of the anarchy discussion above:

    Anarchism is not a romantic fable but the hardheaded realization, based on five thousand years of experience, that we cannot entrust the management of our lives to kings, priests, politicians, generals, and county commissioners.
    – Edward Abbey, A Voice Crying in the Wilderness (1989)

    Joy: Go outside. Don’t do anything. Just sit there.

  • mojo, have a look at an atlas. I’m sure you will find that Tasmania is not ‘pretty close to the south pole’. In fact, it is closer to the equator than to the South Pole.

    The North Island of NZ is closer to the equator than Tasmania but the absence of the large adjacent landmass and large amount of cool water around it tend to keep temperatures moderate.

    The South Island of NZ is on a par with Tasmania in latitude but is considerably more mountainous. If or when the sopping wet forests of Westland go up in flames we will know the end is very near.

    If there is a slow retreat of humanity from the equator, NZ offers plenty of opportunities. However, Chile, Argentina, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Greenland and Canada may offer better slightly longer-term prospects. It would be the very seasonal light level that would be the killer more than 60o south or more than 60o north.

    ‘Maybe New Zealand won’t be the best billionaire’s bug-out location, on the other hand maybe no place is’ I agree with your last sentiment.

    By the way, it has been unusually hot here recently. And the forecasted cloudy days with light rain have not eventuated. In fact, it will be another hot (for this location) day today, since there is not a cloud in the sky at 9:00 am: good for solar drying of fruit, so I’m happy.


  • @mo flow

    OK, I shortened my second comment^^

    @Phil Morrison

    Einstein wrote, “Why Jews Are Superior” article for Time Magazine.
    Brilliant mathematician, David Hilbert, first postulated, lectured, and published paper about General Theory of Relativity. Einstein had the benefits of Hilbert’s work prior to his own claims on General Relativity.
    A clear case of plagiarism.

    Are you shure that your linked “historical source” at http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/einstein.htm about Albert Einstein is reputable?^^

    Bible Believers is the website of the Bible Believers’ Church of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

    Because the website reprints antisemitic material such as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and Henry Ford’s The International Jew,[1][2] and Holocaust denial material from authors such as Bradley Smith and Mark Weber, a complaint was lodged under Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible_Believers

  • Considering all the ongoing squabbles even here at NBL Guy, AND being now above 60 years, AND being a long time Sci-Fi Fan, AND remembering a Sci-Fi Film that scared the bejesus out of me when seeing it at the Theatre; was “5 Million Years to Earth”. There is a quote there from Professor Quartermass which precedes all this by a good 47 years or so on our favorite subject…

    “Professor Bernard Quatermass: The will to survive is an odd phenomenon. Roney, if we found out our own world was doomed, say by climatic changes, what would we do about it?
    Dr. Mathew Roney: Nothing, just go on squabbling like usual.”

    …”and that’s all I’ve got to say about that”. From someone a bit more recently.

  • ‘Luminous beings we are,not this crude matter’
    What is it about the brains of humans that drives them to deny the material
    basis of our existence? I guess it is the same source that drives religious
    belief,a desire to avoid the fact that we die,just like every other animal.
    It reminds me of a couple I met once who were determined to become breatharians,and who assured me that there was ample evidence that humans
    could indeed survive without ingesting food. And why would one want to not eat food? Well,just like abstaining from other matters connected with our material existence, it enabled one to become spiritually ‘Pure’,of course.

  • Contrary to the essay topic, here’s a movie which deals with the psychological aspects of NTE, surprisingly.

    Maybe it’s just too hard to be really happy given what we realize. Nevertheless, we can still enjoy the moments.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melancholia_%282011_film%29

  • Phil Morrison ~

    not really sure what your wacko post above was about. are you declaring yourself to be an anti-semite, and/or white supremacist? or do you have some personal grudge against Einstein? really unclear on that.

    the only place the lies (everything you stated above re Einstein) you mention actually exist is on various anti-semetic and white supremacist websites.

    if Einstein ever personally insulted you or your ancestors, or even your dog’s great-grandmother, that’s a bummer. maybe you can let it go.

    oh, and some say the nonexistent article was titled Why The Jew is Superior and that it was published in Colliers, not Time. you might want to get your lies consistent if you’re gonna try that route.

    Time of course did name Einstein “Person of the Century.” I suppose that could irk if you happened to be anti-semitic, or your chihuahua’s family is holding a generational grudge.

    david ~

    “What is it about the brains of humans that drives them to deny the material basis of our existence?”

    the moment I understood with complete certainty that my existence did not depend on my brain or anything else “material,” I let that illusion go, forever. I was very fortunate to have clear proof, on multiple occasions. that proof allows me to deny the material basis of my existence quite easily. others have more of an intuition for this particular reality. this intuition could be more or less built in, for many, in various ways. others work strictly with faith in various ways. I didn’t have any training or conditioning on the faith route, only the materialist science route, so I personally had to rely on solid experiential proof.

    getting worked up about it is probably going to be frustrating, essentially as long as other humans who have this certainty or intuition or faith exist, which is going to be as long as humans exist, because the reality of the situation is more sure than the sunrise.

    existence, she’s a funny bugger. I’ll probably fight for my “material” existence to the very end, but only because I enjoy both the existence and the fight. certainly not because I am afraid, or in denial, about death. I’ve had the pleasure, and pain, of experiencing my death many times already.

    luminous beings we are, and a great deal more besides.

  • mo,
    Are bonobos luminous beings,or just crude matter?
    How about cockroaches?