Three Chinese Curses

I’m copying below an essay, verbatim, originally posted in this space on 28 May 2010. But first I include a (very) few words of introduction and an embedded song.

People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage.

~ John Kenneth Galbraith


I’m there. I found what I was looking for. Sure enough, it’s a curse.


May you live in interesting times.

Mission accomplished. I’m there, as we all are. As we always have been, during two million years of the human experience.

May you attract the attention of the government.

I’m there, as I have been for years. To remove all doubt, about five years ago I placed a call to then-Governor Napolitano’s lead advisers on two topics, Energy and Agriculture & Natural Resources. I begged and pleaded with them, but they kept coming back with their singular response: “There is nothing we can do about global peak oil.”

It took a couple years for me to figure out what they meant because, of course, there are many things the government can and should do to mitigate for declining energy supplies. Government officials could start by letting citizens in on the truth about energy.

So, what did members of the governor’s staff really mean? There are no politically viable solutions. In this case, telling the truth is political suicide. The impending death of millions of people — and perhaps billions — pales in comparison to political careerism.

May you find what you’re looking for.

I’m talking to a naturalist I barely know. His one-year-old son is resting on his shoulders and treating a cattail as his personal magic wand. The seeds of the cattail are falling into the hair and beard of the 40-year-old naturalist as the boy succumbs to his own personal energy crisis and, fighting all the way down, succumbs to slumber.

I’m writing a book about the dire nature of our predicaments and I mention the high likelihood of a global economic collapse within a decade or so. The naturalist doesn’t bat an eye before responding: “I hope I’m around to see it. I don’t want my son to have all the fun.”

Fast forward six years, and I’m sharing a property with the naturalist and his young son. Collapse of the industrial economy is well underway, and has entered the acceleration phase of its death spiral. Obviously, we will live to see the final stages of the ongoing collapse of the industrial economy. As a result, we might see the living planet take the first tentative steps to a comeback.

Or perhaps not. Maybe in the coming few years we will die, collateral damage of the demise of the industrial economy. Just like entire ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico and the millions of species organisms within them, consumed by the fire as Rome goes up in flames.

Maybe lifting the curse of industry will reveal a worse fate, at least at the level of individuals. But it’s difficult to imagine a situation in which termination of the industrial age will not improve the lots of every non-industrial culture and every non-human species on this planet.

May we find what we’re looking for, regardless of the personal cost.

Comments 174

  • Apologies for being heavy last comment folks…

    ‘Hair – Let the Sunshine In’

    …”Silence tells me silently, everything…everything” wow, so true!

    Max Keiser, and Stacy Herbert telling it like it is, as usual…

    ‘[KR893] Keiser Report: Despair Fatigue’

    ….this time with David Graeber who has an article out titled:

    ‘Despair Fatigue: How hopelessness grew boring’

    A quote:

    ” Most also understood that deficits weren’t really much of a problem to begin with. But even the opinion of mainstream economists was, suddenly, excluded from public debate. By 2012, even the IMF was issuing statements urging the Tories to lay off. But you’d never learn any of this from the Times, the Observer, or the BBC.
    How could such total, lock-step defiance of reality be maintained in a country with a formally free press and highly educated population? To some degree, you find the familiar bubble effect. Politicians, journalists, lobbyists, CEOs, and corporate bureaucrats rarely talk to anyone except each other. They constitute a distinct intellectual universe. Within this universe, economic policies are designed primarily for political marketability; economic science exists largely to provide impressive diagrams and equations to sell them with. Phrases designed in think tanks and focus groups (“free markets,” “wealth creators,” “personal responsibility,” “shared sacrifice”) are repeated like incantations until it all seems like such unthinking common sense that no one even asks what the resulting picture has to do with social reality. True, the bubble logic can be maintained only by a certain studied ignorance of how the economy really works. ”

    David Grabers first fewcomments on max Keisers link above says it all to me about the fall to neo-feudalism…

    At about 18:20…

    “Max Keiser: Anthropologically speaking why are British people predisposed to getting kicked in the face like this and seemingly enjoying it ?

    David Graeber:…well I think that part of it has to do with the sense of the lack of any sort institutions of community. There’s been generations of right wing engineering, where they take away any sense of common purpose…working class people [are]…community focused, nicer [to each other]….and there’s very little to focus that on [now]”

    my parenthesis and abridgment.

    Same seems to be happenng here in Afraidia…sadly ;(

  • After listening to yesterday’s podcast of NBL on PRN with Dr. Caldicott, I was taken aback by a few things (realizations). First, here’s an eminent scholar, nuclear expert and environmental activist who doesn’t understand that Fukushima radiation, that by her own admission CAN’T be turned off and lasts MILLIONS of years, ISN’T an extinction event. Really? Ah, ya wannna explain how that works, doc?

    Another was the show’s ending, whereby Mike states that “we’re running out of things to talk about” because nothing is changing (nor CAN it change in the current paradigm – again, by his own admission), yet he’s (and we’re) already gearing up for next week’s show.

    Things are starting to go quiet (according to Michele in Montreal, a frequent commenter on Gail’s Wit’s End blog, an observation to which I agree) around the doomer blogs, precisely (as Mike Sliwa noted) because it’s all been said already, but people keep doing the same habits of propping up civilization by their actions each day (or moment) – like going to “work” (for the system), driving around, using electricity and all the other unsustainable activity that’s causing the very problems we’ve been yelling about (and PROVING scientifically all along) that will kill the planet and all life.

    ME TOO! Don’t think I’m pointing this out from any position of moral high ground or anything, I’m just as guilty as the next moron who keeps it going, simply by commenting here. The trouble is, though some have decided to radically change their lives and livelihoods, we have to be realistic and admit that for most there isn’t any choice (since we’re conditioned from birth to be “upstanding contributors to society” and what D. Jensen says about defending what sustains us, to the death, because that’s how humanity rolls), and even if one does overcome the programming – THE END IS IN SIGHT, so what’s the POINT?

    Maybe it’s time to close up shop and leave NBL as a legacy to those who are new to the information (more every day, the way things are going). I’ll sorely miss this place (especially Guy and all you commentators) if it does shut down for whatever reason, but sooner or later it’s all going to end up in the dust bin of history.

  • Steve said:

    “I sure am glad everyone can worry about how they are distressed at observing the destruction of the earth. Yet no one shows empathy for the daily horror all non humans face, much less what concrete things one could to do to relieve their suffering not matter how long we all have left.”

    Hi Steve,
    It is true that when people write about how they feel, the reader has no idea what they do, only how they feel. But it doesn’t mean that the writer doesn’t also do things in response to their feelings.I think it would a good use of comment space to know what people are doing to relieve the suffering of non-humans. Anyone?

  • ” I’m just as guilty as the next moron who keeps it going, simply by commenting here”

    If this is true, then I should really shut the fuck up entirely ultimately and just enjoy wonderful silence and solitude. You can have it all, fuckin, dying Empire, have fun.

  • The more I let go, the more I am FREE- go figure, fuckin Empire, I put a spell on you.

  • Tom,

    What you’re describing is the false expectations that “this” could have been something other than what it “is”. Of course we’ve run out of things to say, it was a dead end from the beginning, which is why it’s rather strange that Guy imagines he’s “getting the word out” as to how we’re all trapped in insignificant lives, just trying to makes enough money until the lights go out.

    How long do you honestly think that conversation could be sustained, until the mediocrity of making a living passively reasserted its expectant demands?

    NBL has only been temporarily buoyed by the zeitgeist of the catastrophic awareness of abrupt climate change, and Guy for whatever reason, saw an opportunity to make a name for himself because of it.

    Whatever Guy thinks his message is, it’s ultimately pointless because “action is the only antidote for despair” is utterly meaningless if the very cause of despair is that we’re dealing with unactionable phenomena.

    What a great number of people here have overlooked, is that Guy was “radicalize” much later in life, which means he has limited experience in activism. And not unlike anyone with limited experience, he is prone to emotional naivety, which probably explains why he has recently recanted on the core principles which he originally made a name for himself not all that long ago.

    In other words, it’s easy to image you’re a radical, that is, until the money runs out. And it’s easy to think you can get the word out if it’s something you’ve never attempted.

  • Physicist Stephen Hawking says that smart computers may out-smart and out-manipulate humans, one day “potentially subduing us with weapons we cannot even understand.” That’s the solution we are looking for! NTHE and the smartcomputer takeover will be simultaneous, which will end human suffering within decades. Already H. sapiens is no longer the smartest species:

  • This Interview on NBL radio with Caldicott shows you how clueless people are outside their subjects she was just plain clueless about climate issues and when called on it was blabbering away about renewable s and sort . This is the problem she goes around and actually is spreading false hope just if we would fix nuclear it all would be well .. She is so useless it is ridiculous

  • Let me make sure I understand you, Daniel. It’s pointless for me to post in this space, even though my message is viewed by many as the most important they’ve ever read or heard. But it is critical for you to continue posting here, primarily to disagree with me (despite presenting no supporting evidence, of course).

    If I understand correctly, then yours is exactly the type of comment I’d expect from a patriarch. I’m sure you’ll clarify for all of us.

  • Guy, you’ve already provided all the evidence of your inability to make any accurate prediction whatsoever.

  • I’ve always had my own personal coda to the “interesting times” Chinese curse, which is:

    “…and be interested in everything that is going on in those times.”

    As a lifelong auto-didact, writer, news junkie since 14, expert in several areas of abstruse knowledge, amateur in multiple others — as I suspect our host has found himself to be, (is there ANY topic more comprehensive than studying the Earth and its habitats for Life?) — I am unable to just tune out the events and trends of our times lived in.

    Decades have confirmed my preference for this mode of living.

    To the sacrifice of my own career and financial well-being, I would rather know “What’s Goin’ On?” (Marvin Gaye) and be hopefully one step ahead of the Reaper as he comes randomly around to collect the Willfully Blind and the Stupid.

    No guarantees there, but I just want to be out in the forest chopping wood when Genghis Khan rides into town and slaughters the entire village.

    The Internet has been my candy store (Library of Alexandria, anyone?) and Guy’s site has been the provocation for my own acceleration of learning going on these past four years.

    And so I feel constantly overwhelmed, yet loving it every minute. Because, if it is Reality, I want to know about it.

    The “Tell me something I don’t already know” imperative has been met many times over by our host and inspired contributors here. Thanks you.

  • That’s cute, Daniel, which is nice because I no longer have a dog. Can you provide a recent example — say, within the last couple years — of a prediction about which I’ve erred?

  • @Tom,

    I heard the Podcast yesterday and had the same thoughts. AGREE with you.

    Been shuffling some “Alternative” researchers into this blog space and so far have not noted anyone saying boo, other than Lidia, about the very fascinating perspectives that are outside the strictly physical realm.

    Might I suggest that Mike and Guy being stumped by Dr. Helen Caldicott’s take on suggesting that “Bernie” was the answer along with solar panels, windmills and electric cars is the conditioned response when you are only viewing reality through the physical world programing we have been given.

    Then I clicked on the clip from Rusty and that was a mini Ah Ha (1981) only to have 1 of the 4 suggestions from my Google programing master throw in, Michael Tsarion, The Intelligence of the Universe.

    However, before that I was listening to a David Icke interview which hit some nails on the head. As this is only 50 minutes,.. Hey Guy, Mike and the main stay of NBLers, why not give this a listen, WHY NOT?

    You seem to be stumped that there is not much else to say or do, but this 50 minutes might give some insight to a channel of perception that is not being considered.

    Disclaimer: No I do not agree with everything these people have to say, but I do agree with Mark Passio when he urges people, truth seekers, to look at a broad and eclectic range of information.

  • Daniel: I’m sorry but I have to disagree with your first statements,
    personally speaking, of course.

    When I was a much younger man, I had an intuitive sense that “this” (reality, civilization, set of living arrangements) couldn’t possibly last very long, but I didn’t have any way to even verbalize it until graduating from college in the late 1960’s when environmental concerns (like Silent Spring) broke ground in my consciousness. After that, it was nuclear energy as a POLICY (despite all my and many others’ protests and facts). Then I found Guy’s blog when the economic arena was beginning to “have problems.” He tied up all the loose ends and EXPLAINED WHY from a biological (and more) view.

    From there it was dealing with the sadness, going through the grief, and ultimately reaching the stability point for my own life, so I could at least deal with all this. There are more people, young and old, now realizing what I attempted to explain here, and they will be going through the same process. This is a good place to find the information and hopefully the camaraderie of the commentators (like that essay YOU once wrote here) where one can express themselves and find common ground with some (and arguments with others).

    In that regard, I value this site. You apparently don’t any more and think Guy’s making a fabulous living doing what he’s doing. I think he’s surviving, but wish him (and you) all the best no matter what his (or your) financial status is.

    As far as being a radical is concerned, I don’t see very many others (maybe a dozen scientists and writers) speaking with such honesty and clarity. He admits he’s made mistakes, Daniel. You seem to have gone off the rails somewhere along the line and seem to be harboring a personal grudge. I’m sorry you feel that way, but Guy was the FIRST to actually come out and say what many of these other scientists CAN’T or WON’T, and for that he’s earned my respect.

    As to your point about “accurate predictions,” so what? NTE is HAPPENING now, whatever our personal timelines, and whenever the final big kick in the teeth happens for humanity (economic collapse, social chaos, and environmental dead end, combined with all the natural disasters that we won’t be recovering from) rest assured it’ll be “sooner than expected.”

  • 29th 14.376 millionkm2 down 37,000km2 from the revised previous day’s area.

  • I think “we” should all “give thanks” to whatever entities/forces one chooses for the invention of Multiple, Independently-targeted Re-entry Vehicles AND the utterly brilliant strategy to deploy them in a roughly circular array around the “periphery” of designated targets in order to create massive, all-encompassing firestorms that sweep inward, obliterating EVERYTHING! Amen.

  • I cannot understand any venom against Guy!

  • @Shep
    Denial Stage

  • FWIW

    I agree with shep, thank you Dr./Professor Guy …


  • Some explanation about this cartoon might be necessary. That isn’t Kermit,
    it’s Greg Hunt, Australia’s environment minister. The garbage bin he is sitting on is a top-hat. (The current prime minister is often depicted
    with a top-hat on). Hunt was environment minister when Tony Abbott,who
    is ,and supported Abbott’s climate disruption denialism. I find him an odious character whose primary concern in life is his personal career.
    (Like most politicians,I guess)
    Whew. I probably shouldn’t have bothered. Cartoons lose their impact when they have to be explained,don’t they?
    I am not sure how this link will appear. The cartoon I am referring to is number two, where Hunt is on some bleached coral.

  • I’ll just make a few comments about Helen Caldicott.

    I haven’t listened to the recent NBL podcast referred to above. However, 2 years ago I went to a local event organised by a regional co-op food store to hear Helen give a presentation, (much like Guy’s in format) about the problems associated with Fukushima.

    I was aware of 50% of what she said.

    The reality is already an extinction event and if Helen is not on that page yet, then give her a break. She is human, and has children and grandchildren.

    “Eat nothing from Japan, especially fish and seaweed products” She said, I think I paraphrase her right.

    She has been ridiculed for 3 decades by the patriarchal nuclear industry, and still going.

    As for climate change, and her limitations, I would say the pressure to speak on the program which is about climate change is probably going to induce responses which are defensive, (maybe denial) and that’s just where she is. She might change her views from the encounter, and hell, who wouldn’t?

    Cheers all

  • david higham

    Naaahh…its Kermit…and I think the subtle part is Hunt is a puppet !

    Beautiful image of ice on the second link.


    Forgot to mention on last comment that maybe the time for ‘talking’,(or writing our emerging views)about human and other life form’s extinction may have passed for some. So it might just be the living that is required now, again for some.

    I think Will said it with this one…

    “To be or not to be,
    That is the question…”

    AKA Guy’s life of excellence, and my two cents worth…bliss.
    Any way that keeps you sane, and functioning.

    “Love the one you’re with”


  • Please forgive the third post.

    @ Guy

    The burden of proof isn’t on me to prove your ‘inability’ to make accurate predictions, but on you to prove you have such ‘ability’. And given your/our miserable track record, I think it’s relevant to very much question that ability.

    @ Tom

    Thanks for the considerate response. Allow me to clarify a few things if you will. I by no means think Guy is currently “making a fabulous living”, in fact, I’m sure just the opposite is true, which is why he most likely wishes he had never walked away from empire in the first place, and that’s just one of the problems I have with Guy, which I believe I’ve reiterated several times now.

    I’m particularly keen on the role money plays in our lives, and while you may not think it makes much of a difference as to what someone says while they’re high on the hog, compared to what they say when they’re no longer, I however very much do. If someone’s ethical stance is married to how much money they have in the bank, how much integrity do they actually have? In fact, Guy no longer even advocates living simply.

    Now as to “mistakes being made”, who here hasn’t made endless mistakes? That’s not the issue; it’s our ability to admit and learn for our mistakes and Guy seems to be someone who is not only incapable of admitting his mistakes, but seems painfully removed from being able to learn from them. And Guy doesn’t seem to have learned a thing from his past failed predictions, especially given thousands of people committed the same error. Wouldn’t you think that should at least merit an essay that explores humanity’s nature in making false assumptions and how that might be affecting our current understanding of NTE? But all we get from Guy is “mistakes were made”. Ever heard what George Carlin has to say about those who use that very term; it has something to do with BS.

    Remember Tom, Guy is the only person who has toured the world telling people they’re all going to be dead in fourteen years with virtually zero evidence to back that date up, other than the use of Light’s shabby unscientific paper. And in spite of all the things Guy has gotten right, you honestly don’t see a problem with that?

    Now as to who is or isn’t “going off the rails”, or maybe something closer to the point: who believes they’re in a position to know the difference? Am I “harboring a personal grudge” as you claim, or am I pointing out something so obvious, it hurts us all to look at it, because we’re all too invested in believing “we” somehow know more than we do, especially Guy?

    We are all adults here, or at least most of us. This is an open forum, and if people think we can’t openly question someone who claims to know when life on earth ends, then I suspect those very people have let their emotions get the better of their critical thinking.

    No scientist worth his/her merit would have used Light’s date of 2031.4 to advocated NTE, yet Guy very much does and it’s been the crux of his presentations from the start, therefore, isn’t it valid to question Guy’s merits? Because while Guy claims the evidence backs him up, where’s the evidence we’ll all be dead in fourteen years? There isn’t any, and that’s why it’s not about the evidence and it very much about vanity and Guy’s claims to the contrary.

    And one more thing, almost all of Guy’s credibility results from his Ph.D—we are meritocratic society after all—even though that same doctorate has allowed him to repeatedly make massive mistakes, yet, here we are, still giving him the benefit of doubt, because………………well, he must know more than us because he is an “expert”.

    Tom, Guy hasn’t a clue to as what’s going to happen or when, any more than anyone else, we just want to believe he does and ultimately that’s the problem here. If we question ourselves long enough, eventually it becomes clear that none of this has anything to with whether or not Guy is accurate, and has everything to do with “us” believing anyone has the ability to be accurate in regards to such a highly complex system.

    Thanks for the comment, always enjoy your posts.

  • I’ve just got back from a busy morning polishing off some invasive cowboys.
    I’ll have to read Steve’s comments more carefully in future. I’ve just
    reread it . It was supposed be invasive COWS I was after.

  • Daniel, you’re making absurd statements without evidence. Again. As usual. I’ve not used information from Malcolm Light in a presentation for years. You’re the one stuck on his old analysis (which of course you’ve failed to address, much less refute).

    Never mind your obsession with my predictions. As I pointed out on 19 March 2016 in this space, peering into the future is one of the goals of science. But you can’t be bothered with a view different from yours, even though you’ve been repeatedly proven incorrect.

    Have you not been paying the slightest attention to my work during the last three years? Are you so attached to your insults you cannot see beyond them?

  • I do not know much about gods; but I think that the river
    Is a strong brown god—sullen, untamed and intractable,
    Patient to some degree, at first recognised as a frontier;
    Useful, untrustworthy, as a conveyor of commerce;
    Then only a problem confronting the builder of bridges.
    The problem once solved, the brown god is almost forgotten
    By the dwellers in cities—ever, however, implacable.
    Keeping his seasons and rages, destroyer, reminder
    Of what men choose to forget. Unhonoured, unpropitiated
    By worshippers of the machine, but waiting, watching and waiting.
    His rhythm was present in the nursery bedroom,
    In the rank ailanthus of the April dooryard,
    In the smell of grapes on the autumn table,
    And the evening circle in the winter gaslight.

    The river is within us, the sea is all about us;

    – T.S. Eliot – Four Quartets (The Dry Salvages)

    The website is called NATURE bats last – Guy chose the name for a reason: all creeds, diatribes, discussions, debates, lectures, surely are moot as we edge closer to the Misanthropocene.

    This song is for Dr. Guy, “our host”, and i think he will know why.

    Peace brosis’s.

  • In response to Daniel’s comments re Guy; here’s how they sound to me (and perhaps others, judging from Tom, Shep and tom’s responses) , “Captain! You said the Titanic would sink in approximately 40 minutes! Well sir! We are still afloat at 43 minutes! Admit your arrogance and vanity post haste and cease and desist from scaring the first class passengers any further with your nonsense!”

    Sigh. EtyerPetyer is right, denial stage is the hardest one to move on from.

  • Rusty & Henry – thanks.

  • @Woodwose. Perfect choice of song. :)

  • OzMan — Thanks for the clip from “Hair” — Let the Sun Shine In. I started my first successful business (window-washing) with that as my advertising slogan.

    The Warrior Madness which gripped the nation at the time was an insurmountable wall for a bunch of 18-22-year-olds who saw that their parents were still stuck in WWII, thinking somehow that the Vietnamese were another version of their Japanese enemies, who many of them would have like to drop some more bombs on.

    The slander, the propaganda, from “sex, drugs, and rock & roll” to Time Magazine’s “Yuppie generation of materialistic hypocrisy” still roils around today, few deflect it any more, and the younger generations believe it. Their elders now cravenly apologize, and await the goodbye potions which will be administered to them when they cannot be kept anymore.

    Those of us who resisted the war, invited prison, surrounded the White House, were, now we can see, a last gasp of hope for humanity, a small lifeboat on stormy seas, and soon swallowed up.

    A friend of mine is just out of the photo of the dead girl in the parking lot at Kent State. He was running for medical help. He knew the others who died as well. And yet the “heroism” of these guys in uniform is shouted about, and no one dares contradict. Propaganda. Goebbels.

    Propaganda works, and now as a consequence, we are on our way to a 90% die-off very soon, Arctic ice records in place for the year ahead. So it goes.


    I stood on Boston Common with Helen Caldicott’s husband, listening to her address the crowd, and confessed to him my enamored state for her. He told me, “Welcome to the club.”

    The dedicated Peace community was all around us then, and though we have had to learn a few new things as we matured, the other side has learned nothing, except to put a “billionaire” (really?) in the White House, and torture innocent goatherds for 15 years at Guantanamo. Exceptional nation, indeed. How could the biggest empire in all of history not also be the most corrupt?

    It is a marathon footrace between Tragedy and Farce, and examples abound in all of history, such as when Christian residents of the “holy” cities were slaughtered by the Crusaders along with everyone else. I think that’s a likely template for times ahead.

    A high proportion of the final century’s Roman emperors were murdered by their bodyguards, and I always flash back to a scene from Dr. Zhivago. A Czarist officer climbs up on a water barrel to exhort his retreating troops to turn around and face the enemy. The lid of the barrel breaks, and he slides ignominiously down into the icy water.

    The men laugh at him, and a sergeant laughs, too, as he puts a bullet into the officer. Many of our own expirations are likely to be as capricious and absurd, silly mistakes, like building your survival fire under a snow-covered branch, as in Jack London’s “To Build a Fire.”

  • @ Woodrose
    Hit the spot..beautiful.. Nat King Cole brings in some clarity (hows the look on the guitarists face, after the tag line and they are just vamping?he looks overwhelmed with joy and deep emotion)
    @ Ozman
    No offence intended at all,just miscommunication.Thanks and understood

  • Yes, I remember the eyes of Tom Harkins maybe 4-5 y.o daughter while we were both watching Helen Caldicott dropping the ball bearings for the “b.b. demonstration of the US and USSR nuclear capabilities in October 1984. My life was very different a year later living with the anarchist-pacifists and I can not disparge Dr. Caldicott. I can still remember that child’s eyes opened up to extinction of the planet.

    Who else besides Fr. Carl Kabat has kept it up so much for all these decades against nuclear weapons. I am a bit more dark on humanities prognosis than her, but this thing called life does not have to always be a competition about who is the most right. “Take what you like and leave the rest.”

    Dr. Francis is part of a new article, in preprint presently, and all available for perusal.

    Jiping Liu1, Zhiqiang Chen2, Jennifer Francis3, Mirong Song2, Thomas Mote4, and Yongyun Hu5

    Has Arctic sea-ice loss contributed to increased surface melting of the Greenland ice sheet? (and for my limited reading of it so far, also applicable for a more aggressive model of ice melt and a feed back loop for the future)

    Well, time to get back on the bike and bus less. No flood this year in Winterpeg.

  • Guy, who are you kidding?

    How insanely disingenuous of you. Very few people would know your name at this time, if at all, had you not advocated Light’s date of 2031.4, where do you think the phrase Near Term Extinction comes from for crying out loud. You spent years preaching that date. A date which is so specific it’s utterly absurd, but now, oh now, you’ve changed your mind…..yet again, and now you want to reframe it as “my obsession with predictions”?

    You’re even going so far as to say you haven’t mentioned his work in three years? Seriously, not once, you’re sure about that?

    Within the incredibly few data sets Light used to make his projection, what quantity did he give to unknown variables, because only a fool would assume they were fully aware of all the variables which factor into the earth’s climate?

    Oh yeah, you can’t quantify unknown variables, which is why no climatologist in their right mind, would ever think to conclude April of 2031 as being the end of life on earth, but you sure did.

    You need to take a serious look at your ever growing fraudulence.

  • Chinese curse number 5: “may you be in the hands of Oil-Qaeda” (Oil-Qaeda & MOMCOM Conspire To Commit Depraved-Heart Murder – 4).

  • @ WoodWose,

    Perfect for all of us and especially Guy.

  • The only thing not funny about a wry sense of humour is what becomes of it.

  • Hadda’ nasty nightmare that I was serving 20 in a prison cell with Fetzer & Caldicott. Couldn’t get a word in to save my life.

    Woke up to a nervous breakdown.

  • In reply to Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Tips on How to Write a Great Story email: (see below)

    Once upon a time, about three years ago, Stanley, a skeptic and a mathematician, was convinced that it would take the oceans “at least” 100 years to rise three meters. He was quite arrogant about it with his friends most of whom put up with his wife just to hear his rational arguments about the universe they all happen to be born into. Well, one fine sunny day Stanley was standing on a corner with his calculator when he realized with horror that he had made a mistake. He was very upset, being unaccustomed to making mistakes, that is, ever since his mother sent him off to military academy to fix him. What was the mistake which made him so upset? That would take quite some time and at least a MS in Climatology to understand. What mattered was the “new” data appeared to suggest an inevitability that the beach house he had always wanted would be under water in his life time, if not sooner, like 10 years or so . He immediately began to negotiate with the universe (he happened to be born into). Perhaps we could build windmills instead of chasing them? Surely rearranging the chairs on the Titanic saved some lives (can’t proved it didn’t). What about putting some solar panels on the roof and recycling a little more? and on and on he thought of ways to negotiate with the data that seemed to imply if not directly point out that extinction was on the way. Of course, we all knew that it was inevitable but in 10-30 years? What about my dentist appointment! he thought.

    And, with that, our cheery little story, fueled by planet killing coffee, comes to it’s enlightened conclusion but first, a message from our sponsor, an honorable and legitimate gasoline manufacturing conglomerate. Please stay tuned.

    Apologies to Mr.’s Hitchcock and Beckett not to mention Mr. Benjamin, my high school english teacher.

    On Mar 31, 2016, at 2:20 AM, ________s wrote:

    *Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
    *Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
    *Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
    *Every sentence must do one of two things — reveal character or advance the action.
    *Start as close to the end as possible.
    *Be a Sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them-in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
    *Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
    *Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To hell with suspense.
    Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

  • Thanks for these Vonnegut’s Tips. What if God exists and is the author of what we experience. He’s a sadist, so awful things happen to us in order that God may see what we are made of, for His personal sadistic pleasure.

    No matter how sweet and innocent you are, awful things happen. As Vonnegut pointed out, Laurel and Hardy were sweet and innocent and something awful always happened to them and there was always another nice mess. Climate change seems very much scripted, of course humans one day find fossil fuels, etc. Deterministic.

  • Daniel, you’ve provided more heat and no light. Again. Despite my ongoing requests, you are unwilling to provide a shred of evidence to support your ludicrous claims. In contrast, please note the specificity of my comments and the evidentiary basis of my essays and comments.

    Do you have a point, beyond personal disparagement? If so, perhaps you could state your point and then provide supporting evidence. But probably not. And I certainly don’t expect you to address Malcolm Light’s analysis. Or mine.

    I reached my conclusion about near-term human extinction due to abrupt climate change in 2002. I’ve written about the topic since initiating this blog in 2007. You act as if I discovered the idea via Light’s analysis, and also as if the concept depends upon his work. These are two more points about which you have erred.

    Bluster and bully are the pillars of patriarchy. Apparently these are the tools you prefer.

  • There is one great pleasure I gain from ongoing NTE:

    The sick bullies and wankers on top of the pyramid and their fuckin servants/agents will go down with the rest. I LIKE THAT.

    I don’t care, if it will be finished in x or y years, NTE isn’t a date, not a moment in time, but a painful, ongoing process, NOW. Death/dying is a process. Greatings from my beloved teacher, who is always just smiling, waiting, welcoming…

  • 30th March: 14.320 millionkm2, down 55,000km2.

    I believe this is the lowest Arctic ice cover ever recorded for the day of the year and the fastest melt rate recorded at this time of year.

  • i ignore bullies

  • Lake Mead Water level on 3/31,

    2016 1,080
    2015 1,085
    2014 1,105
    2013 1,118
    2012 1,130

    Gonna be an interesting summer

  • Some funny comments over at Nature Bats Last Radio Podbean site regarding the rough ride farm boys Guy and Mike gave to world treasure Dr. Helen Caldicott. Congratulations on having her on the show.

    She was instrumental years ago in getting New Zealand to declare itself a nuclear free zone, which was a pretty gutsy call for them or any country. Of course the US immediately stopped buying their lamb-chops. Which was good for the lambs possibly.

    So did the mayor of Vancouver around that time declare the city a nuclear free zone. When the US Navy decided to visit with one of its carriers they “declined to say” whether they had nukes on board. Now we have a nuclear submarine “training area” right across the water on Vancouver Island. Yes, Canada is an occupied country. In this case the occupiers are themselves occupied, as the First Nations survivors know very well.

    I think Dr. Caldicott is right that the most immediate threat to life is nuclear war, although it’s not the same very high probability ( 0.99? ) of extinction as CO2 powered abrupt climate change and methane release. The neocons are clearly insane, if we can believe their rhetoric, and judging by their actions in Eastern Europe and ME. Either the Bern or the Donald would help to mitigate the situation, so her stumping for Bernie makes a lot of sense from that perspective.

    I agree she played down the seriousness of Fukushima, even while she described the situation very accurately. Don’t quite know her rationale, maybe something to do with having access to mainstream media.

    Chernobyl was only one reactor melting down and exploding, which the Russians very heroically did all they possibly could to contain, at great loss of life. They did eventually contain it within a few weeks, with their sarcophagus. They also immediately informed the world of the extent of the disaster when it happened.

    Fukushima is a three reactor melt down situation, and still uncontained, five years later, with nearly all of the contamination going into the Pacific. The Tepco board has been left in charge of the situation, because corporations are so much more efficient, responsible and capable than governments, don’t you know. ( My opinion is that this is the main driver for leaving Tepco in charge, it’s just to show the Freidmanite ideology is sacrosanct, similar to Deep Horizon scenario. ) All they do is lie about the situation, ever since the tsunami, when they said the explosions were only minor hydrogen leaks, and that there had been no meltdowns.

    What should happen there is to build a massive coffer dam to divert all the groundwater and another to prevent intrusion from seawater.

  • When the last reasonable voice gave up and went silent, then Empire will know:


  • @ Daniel “You need to take a serious look at your ever growing fraudulence.” The good Doctor is way to cool to say this, so I will say it instead…………….FUCK OFF!

  • @Guy:
    “I reached my conclusion about near-term human extinction due to abrupt climate change in 2002. I’ve written about the topic since initiating this blog in 2007.”

    From my memory, in the early days this blog was primarily about mud hut building and permaculture.

    Perhaps not for you, but for many of your commenters, I think this is generally recognised as the extinction watershed?

  • [in your best raspy cowboy voice ala Eastwood, or maybe Tuco (Eli Wallach, pick your favorite)]

    The noose tightens slowly, my friend. At first you don’t feel it, and for a while you think, it’s okay. . . But then ..

    Starving is painful and takes a while; thirst is brutal but quicker, and many go mad in the process.

    [The following are from Desdemona Despair]

    Vietnam’s southern Mekong Delta faces worst drought in history – ‘Those who have rice in hands will make fat profits’

    Is India facing its worst-ever water crisis? ‘The unthinkable is happening’

  • Kevin, not just interesting, but catastrophically … interesting …

    Are we witnessing the last civilized summer on planet earth?

  • GERALD! Welcome back! Good to hear from you. Could be the last
    civilized summer, or maybe that was last year. Who
    knows? I encourage everyone to enjoy the time they have.
    Whatever the case, these are the ‘GOOD OL’ DAYS.’

    kevin: Which will come first, environmental collapse of the
    biosphere (let’s define it as the inability to grow enough
    food and/or extreme water scarcity and/or widespread social
    upheaval due to any combination of climate factors including
    sea level change, etc) or economic destruction (and the
    social upheaval that results from money being worthless
    and/or stock market collapse and/or bank failures and/or any
    other restrictions or factors you want to name)?

  • Anyone know what the Avg Temp anomaly for March will be vs. the 1.35 in Feb?

    I read on another site that it was tracking at 1.32 as of yesterday

    Thank you in advance

  • Sorry 1.28

  • I think we are done as a species, Guy. They should have named us Homo Stupidus Greedius.

  • I think the reason for downplaying Fukushima is because GE built and designed the reactors . The liability appears to be very staggering to say the least.

  • I remember before Peak Oil actually happened, people couldn’t comprehend it. Then, at some point, I don’t know when, it seemed that everybody knew about it. Extinction may work the same way. In fact, I’ve heard that some young people already know about it and have no problem with it.

  • It is sad to me to see people who have concluded similarly squabbling with one another. Not long ago, Guy McPherson was featuring Daniel’s writings as exemplary, I believe, and rightfully, too. I’m not clear as to how or why this once seeming mutual respect was lost, but it is unfortunate. I like to think that those of us who comprehend what is happening and seek to stay informed about it, should not devolve into the sort of bickering we expect from those who refuse to engage with the subject. I felt something similar today when I returned to a hair stylist who is on top of things, having just learned that the last time I got my haircut. I felt she was happy to hurry me along, not so much interested as she had seemed the last time in sharing our mutual awareness and concern. It’s as if we feel some shame for our awareness and don’t really appreciate seeing it in each other.

  • This is my real name. Avoid any more confusion with the other Henry who generously posts here.
    Thank you Shallel for the Ken Okeefe video..Inspiring
    Thank you Kevin Moore for the Jeremy Jackson video..overwhelming. And thanks for all who regularly post here.
    I have so much respect for people like Guy and these guys who are committed to be out there like this,putting there lives on the line each day for what they believe, and to get the message of truth out.. to this lie that is industrial civilization and where we are headed.
    They are inspiring and empowering people for me.Each days grows closer where this is all i want to be doing in my life.This is the medicine.Get up in the morning with the aim to tell someone the truth each day regardless of the consequences.
    Since i have been promoting Guy McPherson Australia Oct 2016 and seeking contributors and the interested parties,colleagues,friends and family and other networks with emails and phone calls i have had mixed responses, but most people are glad to hear of the facts about climate change, most people have some belief in the lie of industrial civilization,most people have nowhere to voice there option,there will be a groundswell of the like minded as business as usual fact i would not call it that, i would call it “Business as Double”.
    The mainstream around here is living in the linear,delusional,As concrete is poured all around me,the oceans are decimated ,more and more water is poisoned and dries up,all life is suffering in the process of extinction as we chop it down,as we just bulldoze with bigger and bigger machines and poisons and sprays and emissions
    It is obscene
    Whats left..well for me “today” it is get out there.Helps me to deal with the grief, and gets me out of my head when it is full of anger, resentment and fear.When it gets really bad..I play the Blues.This was always my medicine.I spent years when i was really mixed up and angry,wailing the blues around the tall buildings and on the street corners,i was screaming the music at people each day.”What the fuck are we doing?”
    I am older now and need a new voice to the lies of industrial civilization, I need something that people just cant throw coins at,but will inspire provocation and commitment with something they have to engage with.

    As Nat King Cole wrote

    “The greatest thing you ever learn, is to be loved, and to love in return”.
    Brilliant! i am sticking with that

  • Sorry “is to love and be loved in return”

  • Tom.

    I suspect economic collapse will come before ‘the inability to grow enough food and/or extreme water scarcity and/or widespread social upheaval due to any combination of climate factors including sea level change’. After all, it is easy to arrange matters so that ‘invisible’ people bear the brunt of food shortages or water scarcity.

    In case anyone has missed it, there is analysis indicating that extraction via fracking that ‘saved America’ has been in decline for about a year.

    Couple a declining energy supply with incessant demands for economic growth to prop up the Ponzi monetary system and you get mathematical nonsense.

    I’m not a great fan of Michael Snyder but there is undoubtedly fire at the base of the smoke column.

    Sea level rise and other factors we talk about seem unlikely to impact seriously for many years, though their eventual impacts will obviously be far greater than anything as mundane as collapse of the money system.

    That said, a complete meltdown of Arctic sea ice this northern summer would be enough to send shockwaves through the insurance sector, which bases insurability on there being no meltdown for many decades.

    I’ll probably wake I the early hours tomorrow, and the first place I will look will be

  • Today is the 5 year anniversary of Seemorerocks. When you get a chance, check out his revue in today’s post (below his lede story).

    His climate round-up (heh, sorry, poor choice of words there)
    is very comprehensive at the bottom of his first page. Especially check out the [food-shortage] video by Lester Brown, under Peak Food, in which he makes this statement (among many good ones):

    Failure takes a long time, but collapse happens quickly.

    [That says it all for me; unfortunately, he too thinks the world can (or should) change the current system quickly by swapping out current infrastructure to renewables. He has a new book out.]

    Congratulations to Robin Westenra and keep up the super journalism!

  • @Dave Thompson:
    How can you shout such a thing? Many who’ve been reading here for a few years know that Daniel penned the seminal extinction essay. Ask Guy.

    If Daniel has a beef with Guy, we’d like to know about it, prurient creatures that we are…

    @Daniel etc. :
    I will give you my take on this fwiw:

    The way I see it, Guy’s 2030 date was a sort of brinksmanship. Most of all he wanted something to be done, and that was not going to happen by adopting the scientist’s customary honestly vague prognostication which goes something like: “Within a hundred years we are going to have problems..”, because nobody gives a stuff about a hundred years. Guy has a ‘problem’ which maybe for some of us is an endearing feature- namely that he is publicly more well-rounded, widely read, and hence politicised, than the common run of scientists, or at least, scientific advisors to governments.

    So, already having made a few short-term (i.e. next year) predictions of societal collapse which failed to manifest, wary of crying ‘wolf!’, Guy, consciously or not, set the extinction date in a temporal area that suggested urgency, without bringing it so far forward as to invoke impotent paralysis of the will to act, (or of having to eat his words). But as I said, it was brinksmanship, because ‘2030’ was close enough to attract our inner-fatalists, nihilists, no-hopers(!) and gnostics like moths to a candle, just as readily as it was going to inspire action from our inner-action men.

    No purely rational being is going to be persuaded for one moment that the termination ‘point’ of a 3.8 billion year-old system is capable of being predicted, from a far from ideal vantage point within that system, to within even a hundred years. To assume such capability would be a prime example of the human arrogance which Guy has been so ready to castigate.

    But then, we are not purely rational beings, are we? Even scientists can have sub-conscious motivations.

  • I’ve posted a new essay here. Happy April.

  • Tell me:

    Is decadence and collective suicide the final conclusion of rationalism, science, materialism and shit? While at the same time laughing at the Spirit? Hahaha :-D Is THAT what it’s all about, finally, rationally, scientifically?! Decadent, collective suicide ?!

    Man, come on, what a FUNNY SHAME 8-)

  • I feel your ‘pain’, Nemesis. Many who post here do,too. There is a definite faction of the ‘aware’ that are staunchly opposed to any sort of ‘spiritual’ reference, be it ‘life after death’, ‘off planet life’, discussions of humans as connected beyond the material world, pretty much whatever isn’t quantifiable in a demonstratively scientific manner. As if it is ‘ipso facto’ some form of ‘hopium’, foregoing the fact that such concepts include allusions to hell, the threat of force, manipulation, damnation and demonic possession. It makes no sense to dismiss it as ‘hopium’, strictly speaking, and smacks of adversion, in general, to the ‘inner life’ of humans, which I see as a large part of the ‘problem’, personally.

  • @Ugotstahwonder

    Yes, it’s all about stealing the Spirit from the people. Stealing brain, stealing common sense, stealing real communication/communion, stealing dignity, stealing, raping, exploiting, cheating- and finally:


  • Nemesis – sounds right to me. The good news is it gets me of a mind to break out the marshmallows and enjoy the burn!

  • @Ugotstahwonder

    Yoh, enjoy :-)