A Man and His Work

Marc Haneburght shot the video embedded below on 27 April 2016. He edited and released the video the following day. It is germane to the following essay and it includes information about the changing format of NBL radio.


“In this age, the mere example of non-conformity, the mere refusal to bend the knee to custom, is itself a service. Precisely because the tyranny of opinion is such as to make eccentricity a reproach, it is desirable, in order to break through that tyranny, that people should be eccentric. Eccentricity has always abounded when and where strength of character has abounded; and the amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage which it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric, marks the chief danger of the time.”

~ John Stuart Mill


Separating a person from his or her work is difficult. We’re inclined to throw out the proverbial baby with the dirty water. When we learn a celebrity is flawed, we tend to dismiss her work, at least temporarily. The other approach, probably more common in this culture, is to deny the celebrity’s flaws.

Ignorance is bliss. Bliss is the state preferred by the masses.

Consider a few examples. Edward Abbey was widely regaled as a thinker, public speaker, and writer. He was among the early philosopher-poets to strongly link social justice and environmental protection. And, rumor has it, he was a slumlord with a sordid history of relations with young women. He married several times, each time to a woman in her twenties or younger. His actions, at least on some occasions, were beyond societal norms — oh, the horrors — and also beyond what many people would consider ethical.

Abbey’s writing is thoughtful, provocative, and timely 27 years after his death. He and Doug Peacock are the only writers who make me want to put down their books … and take a hike.

I love Abbey’s work. I doubt I would’ve loved the man, whose work hinted broadly at misogyny and patriarchy. Unfortunately — or perhaps not — we never met. I cannot know how I would have felt about Abbey the person.

In the wake of his death earlier this year, I read many horrible tales about singer/songwriter David Bowie (née David Robert Jones). Some of the stories are almost certainly accurate. And he was still a superb practitioner of his chosen craft.

Many people continue to vote, knowing they are voting for a successful, serial liar. When we vote, we balance the lies told — and the ones yet to come — with the presumed effectiveness of our candidate of choice. But I doubt anybody is naive enough to expect the full truth from any politician.

Ours is the only species known to lie, and we make up for all the non-human species that cannot utter untruth. James Halperin’s 1999 science fiction novel, Truth Machine, tackles the issue of the lies we all tell by creating a society in which every lie is detected immediately. As you can imagine, society is turned upside-down in a very brief period.

No more asking if this dress makes me look fat. No more false flattery. No more “little white lies” to make people feel better. No more denying the total costs of grid-tied electricity, food at the grocery stores, and water pouring out the municipal taps. Only the cold, naked truth remains.

For better and worse, and perhaps only via willful ignorance, we usually distinguish a man from his work (and a woman, too). If we knew the details of the personal lives of our heroes, I doubt we’d sincerely admire anybody for long.

An obvious exception is treatment of whistleblowers. If few appreciate the message, then even fewer want to believe it. The majority deny the message and castigate the messenger. If the message is too dire — in other words, if it threatens to interfere with monetary gain for the financially wealthy — the messenger is silenced.

As I’ve indicated previously in this space, silencing the messenger does not change the message. But it slows the rate of transmission while allowing positive emotions to the ignorant masses. Such an outcome provides a temporary victory for the majority, with truth as the only cost. The dominant culture and the masses who serve it are only rarely concerned with evidence. Ergo, silencing the messenger is victory, albeit in pyrrhic form.

And who among us doesn’t appreciate a warm campfire on a cold night? Tall tales, true or not, add to the feel-good memories. Internalized warmth thus nicely accompanies the campfire’s heat.

As with most issues, radicalization is a difficult path, discouraged and disparaged by contemporary society. Digging beneath the surface has its rewards. Comfort is rarely one of them.

On a few uncommon occasions, a person becomes indistinguishable from his or her work. Consider, as one example, nutritionist Dr. Gary Null. He’s in the uncomfortable position of being unable to die. He must live forever. The day he dies, no matter his age or general health in the preceding moments, is the day most people will conclude nutrition is irrelevant to health. In other words, Null’s death proves him wrong.

In contrast to Dr. Null, my own death, immediately attributable to abrupt climate change, proves me right. Sadly, I’ll be unable to say, “I told you so.”

I’m not proud of some of my personal actions. Yet I believe my scientific work has great integrity. The discriminating reader will differentiate with ease Guy McPherson the person from Guy McPherson’s analyses, public speaking, and written works.

Guy just referred to himself in the third person. It was weird.


I spoke with Kevin Hester and Robin Westenra of Seemorerocks on 29 April 2016. The conversation is described and archived here.

Thanks to Crawford’s Attractions for initiating a fund-raising campaign in support of speaking tours. It’s here. Please contribute if you can, and share widely.

We’re also seeking volunteers to support my speaking tours this year. Details are provided beneath the “Coming Events” tab atop the page. If you are able to help, please send a message to booking@crawfordsattractions.com

Catch Nature Bats Last on the radio with Mike Sliwa and Guy McPherson. To listen live, tune in every Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. Eastern time, or catch up in the archives here. If you prefer the iTunes version, including the option to subscribe, you can click here. We’re on Stitcher, too.

As always, the schedule of topics for forthcoming episodes of the radio show is posted beneath the tab at the top of the page titled, “Radio Archive and Recent Video.” Please help us out, especially with episodes that focus on criticism of climate scientists and activists by sending your contributions to Mike at mikeyjonsliwa@gmail.com. The next of these shows is scheduled for 3 May 2016. We will be joined by independent journalist Cory Morningstar.

McPherson’s latest book is available in audio, and can be purchased here. Ms. Ladybug and Mr. Honeybee: A Love Story at the End of Time is intended for ages 11 and up.

Comments 131

  • Everybody, who claims, that there is no free will, should not ignore SCIENCE 🙂 The claim that there is no free will is based on an outdatet experiment of Benjamin Libet. Science nowadays clearly shows, that the materialist conclusions refered to the Libet-experiment are flawed. But not just that. In fact, Libet was a strong defender of free will:

    ” Libet concludes:

    My conclusion about free will, one genuinely free in the non-determined sense, is then that its existence is at least as good, if not a better, scientific option than is its denial by determinist theory. Given the speculative nature of both determinist and non-determinist theories, why not adopt the view that we do have free will (until some real contradictory evidence may appear, if it ever does). Such a view would at least allow us to proceed in a way that accepts and accommodates our own deep feeling that we do have free will. We would not need to view ourselves as machines that act in a manner completely controlled by the known physical laws.”


    See also this scientific paper for instance (among countless scientific evidences):

    ” The Biology of Free Will

    Abstract: According to Bergson (1916), the traditional problem of free will is misconceived and arises from a mismatch between the quality of authentic, subjective experience and its description in language, in particular, the language of the mechanistic science of psychology. Contemporary western scientific concepts of the organism, on the other hand, are leading us beyond conventional thermodynamics as well as quantum theory and offering rigorous insights which reaffirm and extend our intuitive, poetic, and even romantic notions of spontaneity and free will. I shall describe some new views of the organism arising from new findings in biology, in order to show how, in freeing itself from the ‘laws’ of physics, from mechanical determinism and mechanistic control, the organism becomes a sentient, coherent being that is free, from moment to moment, to explore and create its possible futures.

    *Based on a lecture delievered at the 6th Mind & Brain Symposium, The Science of Consciousness – The Nature of Free Will, November 4, 1995, Institute of Psychiatry, London…”


    It’s always problematic to spread half-baked science with no real evidences whatsoever. I call that “pseudo science”, mostly intending some flawed materialist propaganda. The sheeples of Empire are always willing to pick up such materialist propaganda, they love half-baked science, they hate too much thinking. Yes, exactly as Doctor Guy McPherson says in his Orwell-quote 😎 :

    ” Ignorance is bliss.”

  • Copy paste and post this notice to the people. There is a new social activist movement, called “SHUT IT DOWN”. Wherein we the people, shut the system down by, staying home from work, not spending any money we can SHUT IT DOWN. The economy as is, is teetering on the brink, with zero to no growth and it would not take much to SHUT IT DOWN. We the people can do this with out any demonstrating or window breaking, we all just stay home and SHUT IT DOWN. The PTB cannot send out riot troops, they cannot teargas us, the PTB will be defenseless when we stay home spending no money and SHUT IT DOWN. Join now and SHUT IT DOWN!

  • You are 9,520 times more likely to die from human extinction caused by fossil fuel pollution than by a terrorist (The 1.14% 1% vs. The 100% – 3).

  • @Dave Thompson:


    I can hardly imagine people without any FREE WILL shutting down Empire, harr harr 3:-)

    Chickenass be watchful:

  • .
    …a man in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, set his mother on fire because she was incapable of finding him a girl to marry. Local police claimed that a taxi driver, identified as D Amarnath Prasad, from the coastal city of Chennai, tied his 60-year-old mother Sasikala to a chair before immolating her for not getting him a bride.
    Just sittin’ on this runaway train, staring out the window with a cat on my lap.

  • By the residuals on your hands it looks like you were white washing, ha!

    Does that river run near your mud hut property?

  • Jef, the Gila River exits the Gila Wilderness a couple miles from the mud hut. It flows within a few hundred meters of the homestead.

  • You’re only eccentric if you’re rich,

    if you’re poor you’re crazy.


  • Summer melt. Here comes the methane.Sooner than some expected.

  • ” Ours is the only species known to lie” – Doctor Guy McPherson

    @Nemesis, from the previous thread.. is that an accurate citation?

    Either way, this assertion is utterly false. There are no end of creatures who lie: via camouflage, playing dead, mimicking other species who are poisonous, developing fake “eyes” on their butts.. bluffing postures, trying to look bigger.. anything and everything is fair game in the animal kingdom. The major human difference is that we lie with our mouths and our abstract language, so arguably we can be better at lying.. and we can leverage the abstract concept of time to make our lies more potent and far-ranging.

  • .
    Thanks for that John Stuart Mill quote Guy, a lot.

    ‘Twas like a lawn chair,
    opened up in the classroom,
    so others could sit.

    (old forgotten haiku called “The Remarkable Teacher.”)

    Excellent essay today too, as usual.


  • OOps.. better to read the current post before responding to stuff in and older thread. Oh well.. the point remains that humans are not the only lying species. Probably even bacteria put out chemicals to throw predators off-track.

    I’ll read Guy’s post above once again for good measure, but I assume he is well-aware that truth-telling is a good way to destroy social bonds (dress=>fat), and social animals need those bonds for their systems to ‘work’.

    If we told ourselves the truth about the grocery stores and so forth, we’d stop breeding, and/or kill ourselves. But that’s not how Life is structured, so we (the majority of humans= “we”) don’t do that. It really couldn’t be simpler: lying (including lying to oneself) is an excellent survival strategy practiced by all, don’t you think? Again, what species has been more successful than humans? The tendency of Life is never to “not be successful” and so it must go along blindly, until it can’t.

  • @ Guy McPherson

    Thank you for the information on the Healer River ( spelling ? ).

    An alternative title to the essay might read, “A Person and Their Work”.

    Since you mention that Edward Abbey was patriarchal / misogynistic, your title still works well.

    Your title reminds me of Kate Bush’s, “This Woman’s Work” from, “The Sensual World” album.

    My opnion: Humans are very much built to survive at all costs; I think that’s how we ended up the apex predator on the planet. “Ignorance as bliss”, as a way to try and survive impossible odds?

    There are a fair amount of relatively new Psychology papers that show that even scientists will skew the data, depending on their pre-conceived ideas.

    I’m not saying that I have a problem with Guy’s data either; I found more major errors in Einstein’s early Chemistry papers ( I’d like to see the original papers or copies of them… ).

    The Human Race is being killed by orders of magnitude, to the point that fine details don’t even matter, similar to an atomic bomb blast…

    Paul Beckwith mentioned that if the budget used for US defense ( ~800 Billion USD per annum ) was used for Climate Change… we could turn things around. I think that’s a great idea; Bill Hicks mentioned a similar concept.

    I’d love to see a global, social revolution like The Venus Project / The Zeitgeist Movement. How do we bridge the gap between where we are now and where we would ideally like to be, I don’t know.

    Although we’ve run out of time, I’d still like to see triage efforts. I’d like to think that the Human Race was capable of a establishing a collective greater than World War 2, with a loftier goal than World War 2.


    – A “Hopeless Romantic” in Toronto, Canada.

  • “unconscious bias”

    I agree with that….

  • Scribbler has a new piece STATING/admitting that the Arctic sea ice may be GONE this summer.

    “Spends yo money while you libben caus you cain’t spend it when you daid.” Charlie Smith

  • this is hilarious – run u bastards!

    The Verge – ‎Monday‎, ‎May‎ ‎2‎, ‎2016


  • @ Lidia, May 2nd, 2016 at 11:43 am

    …the point remains that humans are not the only lying species.

    True, dat!

    …truth-telling is a good way to destroy social bonds (dress=>fat), and social animals need those bonds for their systems to ‘work’.

    I can testify to that first part, at the very least. That’s why, when my wife asks how a certain piece of clothing makes her look (to “other people,” presumably), I respond with “Why do you care? I think it looks fine and, if you’re comfortable in it, wear it. I’ll still love you regardless of what a preponderance of cretins ‘think.’

    Quoting Lidia, again…

    …lying (including lying to oneself) is an excellent survival strategy practiced by all, don’t you think? Again, what species has been more successful than humans?

    Not to be argumentative or derogatory, but how/why exactly, is “lying… an excellent survival strategy” when the current trajectory of the biosphere indicates that “survival” may be rather “iffy” in the [near] future? Furthermore, how/why have humans been “more successful” than [which] other species? I mean, “more” is a comparative word and definitions for “successful” are a dime-a-dozen. I think you make excellent points but isn’t all of that part and parcel of the “grand pack of lies” humans have been committing for a “long” time? Moreover, don’t your statements indicate that the incessant “command” for us to be “truthful,” to our employers, the government (IRS, law-enforcement, etc.), each other, etc., then just another one of the lies, itself? What about the inculcated lies of our youth regarding Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, etc.? Has “lying” (to others & ourselves) always been the “go-to” methodology of “survival” and “success?” What is the prevalence of lying in aboriginal or indigenous tribes compared to “developed” societies? Should “we” rely on the conclusions of “researchers,” since they might be lying, too, for a plethora of reasons? Damn, wish I had some “answers,” but I do not. Gonna’ be some interesting [months/] years ahead.

  • Lidia,
    I read the statement about our species being the only one being known to lie,and thought,that is not true,I will mention that.
    When I scrolled down, you had already mentioned it. Deception is quite widespread throughout the natural world. Not normally vocalised,though.

  • @ Dave Thompson, I like your suggestion very much ‘SHUT IT DOWN’. The only thing I would like to ad is a certain starting date. For example: As from september 1st we are going to shut it down. When (tens of) thousands of people just stop participating, the government will be in deep trouble. Are they going to arrest or jail those (tens of) thousands? Probably not. They might strip them/us of all our properties, so the tens of thousands stay without property, shelter,… homeless. As a father of two I don’t know if I can pull my children in such an adventure… Still, a very inspiring thougt!
    addendum I: I miss the ‘like’ buttons in this section, so I can show my approval or disapproval on the opinions.
    addendum II: Thank you Guy for another inspiring blog-post!!

  • Planets 40 light years away, even if habitable, ain’t gonna cut the mustard with current propulsion systems.

    “Free will” (iccha shakti) is dependent on the sense of doership (kartritva) which in turn is based on the illusion of “I” (ahankara), a separate self. On the illusion of “I” also is based the idea of a “soul” and the fear of dissolution of the identity of an individual self (abhinivesha). With extinguishment (nirvana) of the illusion of the “I”, the separate self, all of these are recognised as unreal, as illusions, but only by the realised ones. Continuing to wallow in the pit of the delusions with vigorous defense of the wallowing is the lot of the rest.

    For action not to bind by the creation of new karmas, the ultimate criterion is the absence of the sense of doership:

    One who is a knower of the truth, although he is engaged in seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, moving, sleeping, breathing, talking, evacuating, accepting objects and blinking the eyes, realizes that all his sense-functions are interacting with the respective sense-objects. Therefore, he thinks, “I am not doing anything.” BG 5:8-9

    Short of this, one can practice the way of action (karma yoga) which includes non-attachment to the action itself (not enthralled by the righteousness of the action), neither attraction nor aversion for the object of the action, and non-attachment to the anticipated results of the action.

    “Shut it down” is jolly good until water stops flowing flom the tapl, no food in the supermarket, the grid goes down, and the Fukes go up…

  • Despite broad agreement with your conclusions, I find the devil is yet in the details. I cannot argue with scientific evidence (whether extrapolation or conjecture), but other loose assertions stick in my craw a bit. To wit: “Ours is the only species known to lie …” I guess camouflage and deceptive calls don’t strictly count as lying, and certainly humans have raised lying to a high art by now, but this assertion is awfully similar to other forms of exceptionalism. Don’t get me wrong: I’m a misanthrope of the highest order. But I also recognize that we’re part of the animal kingdom (and all of nature, in fact) and efforts to separate ourselves ideologically are just silly. Our differences are irrelevant at some point.

    Further, having watched the embedded video, I can’t quite square myself with the tone, which is by turns casual (lotta yuks) and scolding. (Smug admissions of smugness don’t dispel anything.) Probably no one can sustain the shell-shocked recognition of NTE for too long. I certainly can’t. Time and familiarity have inevitably softened my response, especially as several “time’s up” deadlines have come and gone by now. Further, scolding others for not being radical enough, for continuing to vote, for still having children, etc. strikes me as unnecessarily doctrinaire. We are surrounded by our own failures and frailties, many of which will continue to haunt us until our last breaths. Those also don’t go away with blithe admission.

    I dunno what the proper tone might be; I don’t have a radio show to test market an approach. Having watched more than a few of the classroom and lecture hall presentations, I observe that gallows human mostly falls flat. The audience just isn’t ready yet. Similarly, despite some remarkable research being done, some scientists are not yet ready to throw in the towel. Politicians certainly continue to offer salves, schemes, and technofixes that better thinkers now recognize as insubstantial rhetoric when not actually worsening our problems.

    With all that in mind, having spent the last ten years learning about the collapse of industrial civilization, a proper response still eludes me. I don’t think scolding others, patting myself on the back for possessing some special knowledge that should be universally obvious yet manages to remain fringe and conspiratorial, and fretting any too much anymore about the inevitable (now that the news is old and established) are good candidates. YMMV.

  • It says a lot about human nature that John Stuart Mill’s observation was about 19th century society. People don’t really change much, do they?

  • A female chimpanzee was let out into a yard containing two upside-down baskets. Under one was food, under the other, a rubber snake. When the other chimps were let into the yard, the female led them to the basket containing the rubber snake and showed it to them. They ran away screaming, leaving her to eat the food in peace. Lying?

    Best Wishes

  • .

    In the Wind of the mind arises the turbulence called I.
    It breaks; down shower the barren thoughts.
    All life is choked.
    This desert is the Abyss wherein is the Universe.
    The Stars are but thistles in that waste.
    Yet this desert is but one spot accurséd in a world of bliss.

    Now and again Travellers cross the desert;
    they come from the Great Sea, and to the Great Sea they go.
    And as they go they spill water;
    one day they will irrigate the desert, till it flower.
    See! Five footprints of a Camel! V.V.V.V.V.



  • One commenter here in particular, among a number of others, loves to insist that He righteously works against ad hominem attacks and bullying—both typical behaviors in anarchist groups that supposedly have no rulers enforcing any commonly accepted rules other than the narcissistic “My Way is the Right Way!”. (People commonly define anarchism essentially as “no ruler”. Meanwhile, a group can presumably have rules but no ruler(s) to construct, implement, and enforce those rules? I confess that I have great trouble following the reasoning that this could supposedly produce a practical, workable, effective social system over any significant length of time, or that it has in the past.) In a dramatic self-contradiction, He immediately and liberally practices both ad hominem attacks and bullying when anyone makes a comment that seriously challenges some of His beliefs which, of course, serve as The Ultimate Truth simply because He has stated them—not because any weight of compelling, confirmable evidence and sound reasoning about it supports those beliefs. In addition, He actually, seriously believes, and clearly states, that someone’s using an ad hominem attack on Him, or bullying Him, rationalizes and justifies His using ad hominem attacks and bullying in return with them in order presumably to teach them proper social behavior. In His social rule book, and clearly out-of-touch with any basic knowledge of behavioral psychology, two “wrongs” definitely do make a “right” and supposedly work well to encourage productive, loving social interactions. (All of this, again, common anarchist thinking and behaviors.) Especially given the dramatic lack of supporting sociological, psychological, and archeological evidence, what fascinating reasoning. What a fascinating value system and way to behave; but upon reflection not really much different from most age-old, fervent, authority-based religious/philosophical thinking and behaving.

  • One word:

    K O Y AA N I S Q A T S I

  • @ Chris; The idea to SHUT IT DOWN is based on the concept of participatory non compliance. We start now, it goes in waves, and does not mean losing ones job necessarily. The economy as it stands is on a knife edge held together with bubble gum, balling wire and the invisible hand of BS. The idea is that we the people have the power to SHUT IT DOWN sending the system reeling. Forget street demonstrations and getting arrested. Just stay home and do what you feel like without spending money for a week. All it would take is people across the country and world doing nothing but NOT participating in the system for short periods of time. It would cause disruptions that would make the PTB listen, maybe. If they do not want to listen we just keep doing it, SHUT IT DOWN!

  • A couple of other examples of deception in nature :
    Some ground nesting birds feign injury,generally a broken wing,in order to distract predators and lure them away from their nest ,trying to protect the eggs or chicks.
    There are many moth species which have’eye spots’ on their inner wings.
    The outer wings generally have a colouring pattern which has evolved to be inconspicuous in the habitat where that species lives. If a predator does
    detect the moth and investigates more closely, the moth opens the outer wings to reveal the colouring pattern of the inner wings,which resembles the face of an owl or or hawk. The sudden change startles and often scares way the predator. The close resemblance of the patterns of the
    inner wings of some species to the face of an owl is remarkably accurate,and is a wonder in itself.
    One great book to check out regarding this is ‘Giant Silk Moths. Colour,mimicry and camouflage’

  • Is there anyone in this community who:

    1) has read the section of Gary Paulsen’s “Woodsong” that describes the dogs Columbia and Olaf, and

    2) believes that dogs (and presumably, by extension, humans) do not ever exhibit behavior that is consistent with the idea that they, on occasion, exercise free will ?
    Serious question followed by a not-so-serious song by proto-Steely Dan.

  • The Australian “Liar?” (Lyre) Bird can mimic 20 species of birds; can imitate cameras, car alarms, and chainsaws I have seen them in the wild they are AMazing!

    Speaking of birds, “Bird” (Charlie Parker)” is to me, like Edward Abbey is to Guy.Bird was a radical, a sound innovator, an eccentric, a true artist genius. no compromise in his music, in no way commercial. He has influenced all music with is improvisations. He was also very human, He lived fast and hard, a chronic junkie and an alcoholic and kept bad debts, an intellectual who understood literature the arts and the classics, a family man, like most eccentrics he wore many hats. It is his music that is the force and influences today, his humanity and story is told by others.
    Charlie Parker’s music was wonderful, like the lyre birds, rooted in the blues, the medicine and the truth, the antidote and Bird mimicked and furthered his mentors before him, now has passed the mantle to Rollins and Coltrane and beyond…to me… thank-you Bird

    Thanks again Guy for your literary wise words, your quotes, and for your humility, inspiring us all in troubled times

    Thank you, to all the eccentric radicals who contribute here
    Be kind to each other,find,and pursue your medicine. it is surely the antidote to our fear and lies.

  • Ok. NTE NTE NTE NTE NTE NTE NTE NTE NTE NTE NTE. I learned that now from NBL, fine. What else can be learned at NBL? Lying is good for survival?! Ok. Got ya. What else can be learned at NBL? Ah, well, no free will (despite contrary scientific results). But everybody is responsible. Anything else to learn at NBL during hundreds (thousands?) of blog posts so far? You know, I just can’t get rid of the impression, that here at NBL everything is just like anywhere else, the same biased Empire bullshit brainwash.

  • The Gila River being clean enough to drink (video by Marc Haneburgh) was good news.

  • ” Paroxysms of Caesars

    This man, pale, walks the flowering lawns,
    Dressed in black, cigar between his teeth.
    The pale man thinks about the Tuileries
    In flower…and at times his dead eye flames.

    His twenty years of orgy have made him drink!
    He told himself: ‘I will extinguish
    Liberty As I put out a candle– softly, politely…’
    Liberty lives again! He feels worn out.

    They’ve caught him. Now what name trembles
    On his silent lips? What quick regret?
    No one will know: the Emperor’s eye is dead.

    He sees again, perhaps, the man in the pince-nez…
    And watches drifting from his lighted cigar,
    Like evenings at St. Cloud, a thin blue haze.”

    – Arthur Rimbaud

  • Re lying:
    One of the more bizarre experiences I’ve had in recent years was catching the first ten minutes of a film I later learned was called ‘The Invention of Lying’ (2009), having missed the opening credits and blissfully unaware of the central premise. Once the central character ‘invents’ lying in a world previously devoid of it, the film devolves into yet another eminently missable formulaic romantic comedy, but the ‘first reel’ is curiously refreshing, caught unawares.

    And, having written that, I’m toying with the idea that “having missed the opening credits and blissfully unaware of the central premise” might be the key to getting the most out of some other situations too.

  • To be blunt, what we need is for someone to shut this motherfucker down and to let the chips fall where they may no matter what that might mean, as long as it opens up some small possibility of a future in which the Earth can heal and the survivors, human and non, can establish themselves anew. This is the dark, adult truth as best as I can surmise it, and it is no less terrifying for me than for anyone else.http://collapseofindustrialcivilization.com/2016/05/02/checkmate/

  • “You know, I just can’t get rid of the impression, that here at NBL everything is just like anywhere else, the same biased Empire bullshit brainwash.”

    Well, at least there’s a certain consistency in that viewpoint. Until you notice your own constant, unflagging participation. It’s an age of contradictions.

  • .
    @Henry Jazzman

    Yes, Bird was the king. As a keyboard player though, I actually quite like Coltrane myself. Going through the entire Real Book (the Fake Book) and studying his chord progressions, and the way he phrased over them with his composed melodies, was super dreamy for sure. Yes, Coltrane was my fave, from a purely compositional perspective. Keep blowin’ that sax brother. It certainly is your medicine, and a good medicine too IMO.


    Good one.


    “So then I took my turn,
    Oh what a thing to have done,
    And it was all yellow.”

    😀 😀 😀


  • .
    Don’t forget the love peeps.

    Remember though:

    “there are love and love. There is the dove, and there is the serpent”.


  • For those who may be interested, Scribbler’s newest piece on the accelerating Arctic sea ice melt is still up/current.

    The Arctic sea ice is melting at a rate of about 46,000 square miles per day – a melt rate equal to the total area of New Mexico in just 4 days.

    Even Scribbler labels the off-the-chart melt rate; “like falling off a cliff.”

    Shut IT (the human monster) down???

    Doan you worry, Shirley – it will shut you, your hopes & dreams, & all your grandchildren down, out, & dead.

    Every single one …

  • @ Dredd, May 3rd, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    Thanks for that video, really! Whodathunk?!? Damn surprising that Kimmel, of ALL people, would “outdo” ALL the other late-night lame-brains. Good on him and you, too! 🙂 Of course, THAT message still falls way short of “what IS.” Interesting times, indeed.

  • Hey guy, I have heard all my life that ed abbey was a misogynist, racist, etcetera. Anyone who was truly familiar with all his work would no better. People do not like the truth. He was the ultimate gadfly and was way harder on himself than anyone else. He described all of humanity as foolish and wantonly anthropocentric. Read black sun and fool’s progress.

  • I have read each of Abbey’s books, steve

  • Oh yeah, bring this fucking sick world of industrial civilization to its fucking knees. It is really easy if you would do something more than sit with a cat in your lap. I cannot believe someone so consistently proclaims that without embarrassment. These living arrangements are so fucking fragile. Do a little research and find out!!!!!

  • Last time I promise, “The only great americans were dullknife,red cloud crazy horse, etcetera” Edward abbey

  • This rare earth minerals video from last thread on lokisrevenge site is pretty interesting, but a bit USA-centric (60 Mins).

    I see the value in putting Helen Caldicott in the spotlight and criticising her for some forms of tunnel vision. However, I think people of her generation picked their causes, and when you look at the industry she took in her sights, she may have had to keep within the mainstream to be heard.
    Not sayin the criticisms are not valid, but making it sound like she is a fool because she is not on the same page is not so useful IMHO. She is reading from the same book, I would put out there.

    Otherwise pretty good embedded vid at top of this thread.

  • 60 minuets reminds me of the total bullshit that the media is. Fear mongering about rare earth metals not being available for the military is one small example. The talk of technology and how it is serving humanity makes me realize just how dumbed down people are. Today I did my part to SHUT IT DOWN. I stayed home from work, spent no money, meditated and continued to spread the word. SHUT IT DOWN! Stop participating in any and all ways possible. Do not spend money in any corporation wherever possible. Together we can grind this thing to a halt are you with me? Stay home spend no money and SHUT IT DOWN!

  • Mother nature really has a wonderful sense of irony don’t cha think? Last week Houston, this week Ft McMurray.

    Fort McMurray evacuated as wildfire destroys homes, threatens downtown
    60,000 flee as wildfire leaps highway and into city

    “The entire city of 60,000 has been ordered evacuated. Residents fleeing the fire have caused gridlock on Highway 63 leading north and south out of the city.”
    “Fort McMurray’s only hospital, the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre, is being evacuated as flames approach from the Waterways neighbourhood. ”


    Run puny humans run!

  • I think that Paul and Anne Ehrlich are being too optimistic about the Paris conference,but still well worth reading.https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s41247-016-0003-y/fulltext.html

  • Language is so subtle sometimes. Certainly all lies are deception, but I do not believe that all deceptions are lies. Purposeful lies, conscious intent to deceive, is substantively different from adaptive camouflage, both from the consideration of willful intention and from simple definition. Deception can be either intentional or unintentional, but lies are always intentional. It’s one of those logic thingies that is often illustrated with overlapping circles.

    I personally am convinced that some other animals do lie in the very same manner that people do, but without the complexity and level of abstraction. I have seen dogs lie, and my favorite cat of my life and the smartest cat I’ve ever known, once lied to me so hilariously that I count it as one of the best experiences I’ve ever had with an animal.

    I believe that recent studies, mostly since the 1990s, regarding animal intelligence, capacity for applying abstract concepts and numerous other complex behaviors, indicate that animals are far more aware, more purposeful, and more intelligent than western psychosis has ever been able to acknowledge. Koko the gorilla, who famously asked for a pet kitten which she cared for with great affection and tenderness, once ripped a sink off the wall of her enclosure. When it was later discovered, Koko signed to the humans that her kitten had torn the sink off the wall. She had the right idea.

  • This bitch is a worse liar and killer than Hillary.

  • oldgrowthforest Says:
    May 3rd, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    … I personally am convinced that some other animals do lie in the very same manner that people do, but without the complexity and level of abstraction. …

    On The Origin of Propaganda

  • @steve

    ” People do not like the truth.”

    Ya, you mean, like many here on NBL, well, Hahaha, like those, who say that lying is good for survival, right?^^ Don’t mind, because they don’t have any free will at all, but they are RESPONSIBLE nevertheless. I like that. Go on, sweet doomerz 🙂

  • Yet another example of “it’s happening sooner than we thought.” God help us all….


  • Oh-oh

  • No need to worry we are saved

  • (Near-) Instant Karma gonna get you…


    “After forcing the evacuation of more than 50,000 people, destroying most of one neighborhood and ravaging two others, a wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alberta, remained out of control on Wednesday morning.

    “The entire city, which is the main center for the oil sands region, was ordered evacuated on Tuesday evening after strong, shifting winds directed the fire toward it. ”

    The individuals who, per capita, have possibly done the most to destroy our environment. Ain’t karma a bitch?

  • .
    Tony Levin hitting people with a stick.
    While Adrian Belew talks to us about talking.
    Fripp just grins, like the free will lacking machine he is.
    And Bruford remains an unidentified arm flying flying object.


    Hi oldgrowth. 🙂


  • Damn! LWA, ya beat me to it (but I’ll post her anyway, with my own additions.) I had already copied the link to post this. Birds of a feather. We are tuned in to something together today.

    Thank U, Hopelessness.

    Thank U, Forest Fire.

    Thank U, Extinction.

  • @colinc, my definition of “success” = conversion of energy+materials into human biomass. There are other related measurements: http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/oceanography-book/anthropocene.htm

    Genes cannot know what is coming, and have some way of planning for it: evolution is not something which is driven by information—it is a sorting mechanism after the fact.

    the incessant “command” for us to be “truthful,” to our employers, the government (IRS, law-enforcement, etc.), each other, etc., then just another one of the lies, itself?

    Of course. Have you ever had to apply for a visa from the US? They ask things like “have you ever committed a crime for which you have not been prosecuted?” There is no way to answer that except with a lie, and they know it.

    I think strategic lying may have to do with game theory and other gnarly stuff I don’t fully understand. Like other forms of “morality”, though, it will depend on context. I do not believe it is consciously done, in many cases, and in most cases there is still far more to be gained from trust than from lying.

    What about the inculcated lies of our youth regarding Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, etc.?

    Oh, I think that’s excellent conditioning of the young into the art of the social lie. What’s interesting is that—after finding out those are lies—most children then go on to believe (or pretend to believe) in more elaborate modern or traditional versions of the same silliness.

    Has “lying” (to others & ourselves) always been the “go-to” methodology of “survival” and “success?”

    I would say, yes. I think all creatures are armed with mechanisms to shut down or deflect existential pain, whether physical or psychological. (They don’t always work 100%, of course.) A child’s (or Koko’s) lying about mischief is a way to preserve self-esteem as a “good” creature, and presenting themselves as such to their society. @ogf, I liked your keen observations on animals.

    Colinc, you could look at it another way, related to Robin Datta’s “suchness” & “thusness”: if lying *were not* a valuable part of human social interaction, then it would be unlikely to be universal.

    What is the prevalence of lying in aboriginal or indigenous tribes compared to “developed” societies?

    Just as a practical matter, it’s harder to lie effectively amidst a small group, and (outside of white lies) lying wouldn’t be remunerative in that context (although there are always those religious “stories”). It’s pretty easy to imagine folks lying about “the one that got away”, lies about sexual prowess and adultery. The biography of the !Kung woman, Nisa, had her lying about eating more than her share of mongongo nuts. I came across this, which might be interesting: http://www.openquaternary.com/articles/10.5334/oq.ai/

    Many earlier peoples had trickster gods, so obviously they understood deception. Here’s a casually-found theory on that: “Some scholars have suggested that the trickster is one of the most ancient figures in mythology. A chaotic and disorderly character, he acts out many human urges and desires that people living in communities learn to control to maintain social order. Trickster myths, especially those in which the trickster’s deeds backfire against him in some way, may have developed to teach a moral lesson about the penalties of misbehavior. Tales in which the trickster is a small but clever animal that emerges victorious teach a different lesson. They show how a seemingly powerless creature can triumph over a mighty one.”

    All of that suggests a complex level of psychological control, which has existed probably as long as language* itself, and which also works on an entertainment level. Plenty of TV shows and movies these days communicate many of the same messages. The “seemingly-powerless creature triumphing over a mighty one” is one of the most ancient and wide-spread pieces of propaganda, along with that of an afterlife, because such lies keeps people positively focused on the hope that they might prevail as individuals despite the odds against them.

    My husband used to watch NCIS. The most vivid thing I remember about that show was the agents lying to suspects, threatening to send them Guantanamo and throw away the key. Lying by “good” guys is “good”, while lying by bad guys is clearly bad. The entire program (which is a very successful one in terms of audience) is a wildly-strained and concocted morality play, over-the-top propaganda, and a Lie. It’s a Lie the way all religions are Lies: to exert social control and/or gain material advantages. To tell you that “Someone” is Watching, and you might get thrown into Celestial Guantanamo if you make a wrong move, is the Biggest Lie of All.

    It’s easy to see how the larger and more complex a society becomes, and the more interaction it has with outsiders, the more lying can be convenient, and even necessary, at the same time the costs of lying diminish. Some tribes adopt a positive stance on such lies, eg., http://stakepresident.blogspot.com/2012/04/important-distinction-between-lying.html (Bonus: this link has, in places, eerie parallels to Guy’s essay above.)

    To work in a modern corporation (or as a more traditional prostitute), one is forced to lie on a daily basis. It becomes a means of procuring a living. Imagine being one of those salespeople on the line when you try to sort out something to do with your phone service.. :-/

    And as Guy referenced above, if people all told the truth suddenly, society would be “turned upside-down”. I’d go further and say that anything that could be called a society would cease to exist. We have it worse than other critters because of language (lies by definition, since no word can be completely “true”) and because of the size and complexity of our current social structures. Lies would appear to me to be the glue that keeps the wheels on the bus. Few are willing to risk saying the Emperor has no clothes: there’s a reason for that parable.

    Whether you approve of the situation or not isn’t relevant… it has made humans successful at acquiring surplus energy and materials, and at propagating themselves.

    Should “we” rely on the conclusions of “researchers,” since they might be lying, too, for a plethora of reasons?

    Rely on them for what?

    I remember Sissela Bok had a book come out in the 1980s, called “Lying”. Given that she was the wife of a lawyer who was the president of Harvard, one should be confident in her expertise (at lying to others and herself, as it turns out). I am sorry to say that I actually purchased read the book (remaindered, I believe) and it was the same sort of self-serving nothingburger along the lines of Steven Pinker and his Angels of our supposed Better Nature. Lying confers advantages, but becomes a social problem when carried out by those with power and authority, a problem that will be relieved by changing “the system”, and forcing leaders to tell the truth. LOL! Oh, and we need more courses on ethics!

    Damn, wish I had some “answers,” but I do not. Gonna’ be some interesting [months/] years ahead.


  • @henry

    ” Thank U, Hopelessness.

    Thank U, Forest Fire.

    Thank U, Extinction.”

    Wait, until it berns your very own ass- will you still say “thank you” then ? Bwahahaha, man, get yourself together, maybe consult a Doctor or something 😎

  • .
    King Crimson is too much for the filter maybe.
    They are indeed that awesome.


  • One of ed abbey’s female students enthusiastically labeled ed a bhodisatva at the u of a. Doug peacock lives in livingston montana still worrying over lovely grizzlies. he would probably speak frankly to you about edward abbey. He would recognize quickly you were a committed human being. Mike Meachum at the buffalo field campaign knows doug and could facillitate that for you. Mike is also a good friend of Derrick’s. I am sure they all think as Highly of you as the rest of us do.

  • Guy, just heard you on KPFA radio, which simulcasts KPFK’s Rising Up With Sonali at 8AM (the two stations are both Pacifica outlets, the first is in Berkeley, the second in LA). I’m quite surprised she had you on, and for 28 minutes no less. She after all started the show with a woman who insisted that all energy/climate problems could be solved if only governments could tax the money being hidden in tax shelters and use it to finance a transition to renewable energy. You did well. It’s too bad, but i really don’t think Sonali Kolhatkar (the host) will stop presenting all sorts of people advocating renewables and the like as if these would actually solve the problem, as she and the entire Pacifica Network thrive on selling the illusion of incremental progress via activism which they will be the voice for. But maybe this reached some people, who might actually seek this website. You hit all cylinders with great precision, good going!!

  • One suggestion, though: The Climate Change Summary and Update needs to be highlighted better on the home page. I know how to find it, but a neophyte would have a hard time finding such a summary.

  • @Nemesis — I don’t answer personal attacks. But because I know you are only kidding, I grant myself some small additional say in the matter.

    This site is about everything, that is, was, and soon will not be. It is about adopting a philosophy that deals with that impending loss.

    It’s a very Zen thing, doncha think? Accepting what is, and letting go of what cannot be?

    Art is one of the few approaches we have to gaining our stance on this impending finality, and “channeling” or “updating” a brilliant piece of art is the kind of contribution that you and many others make here every day.

    As for my personal safety, well, I’ll have to take my chances on earthquakes (small house) and volcanoes (upwind?), but if I’ve got 20 or so years to go, I’ll still hold with Malcolm Light’s 16 year advantage to the South.

    Oh, and stay out of that freezing glacier water… (The vid below is my tribute to Doug Tompkins, wise in so many ways.)

    Canada? Frying pan. Fire.

    I’ll leave the Bern, or more likely, the Trillary, to you.

  • Re: Current NBL video.

    Cold beer and hot sex. Now yer talkin’!


  • Henry,

    Excellent point about Karma…. I wouldn’t call it the hell-fire a ‘just’ irony, but ‘significant’ irony seems just about right since it is mostly poor workers who were hoping for a break from slave wages who are seeing their overpriced homes go up in flames.

  • Please excuse additional dialogue…


    More “little Eichmanns”?

    At some point, where do we stop excusing culpability? We to the south of Fort McMurray drive the cars that come from the oil market, “oh, but I only drive a few thousand miles a year” is how I excuse myself.

    Some years back, the book by Daniel Goldhagen (and not without controversy) stated that a significant percentage of Germans participated in the Holocaust, even when they themselves were not “under the gun” of watchful officers or police.

    They’re still turning up 90-something year-old death camp guards, aren’t they? Kindly old gentlemen, all.


    Irony, yes, but citing economics starts you down the “30 pieces of silver” path. Are all working class people poor? Must they do a cost-benefit analysis between becoming a prostitute or a hitman?

    Citing social justice is the tradition that most climate change-getters come from, and so we linger in that haze of still trying to rescue some deserving folks, somewhere. Syrian refugees, Pacific islanders, auto manufacturing employees.

    If our rescue resources are limited, I suggest we focus first on the vics, not the perps.

    But then, from a video I just watched — it was either Tompkins or Ehrlich — “There’s no social justice on a dead planet.”

  • “Ain’t karma a bitch?”

    Karma is perfectly neutral. For those acquainted only with the Abrahamictraditions:

    In the Vedic tradition, everything and everyone is Divine. NO EXCEPTIONS. Where it appears to be otherwise, it is because of layers of ignorance (avidya). For the individual person, the source of ignorance starts with ahankara (aham-kara, the “I”-maker): the “I” sense. The “I” identifies itself first with the body-mind complex and from there with many other descriptors (young/old, race/ethnicity, rich/poor, etc.); also with the “I” comes the not-“I”, everything else, which is divided into “mine” and “not mine”.

    The realised person sees that the “I” is a mirage, the division between the “I” and the not-“i” is also a mirage. Neither the body nor the mind is the real Self: the real Self is shudda chaitanya, pure awareness. Not awareness “of” this and awareness “of” that, but awareness without any “of”s.

    If one brings “karma” into this, tradition has it that the mirage that some call the “soul”, manifests in embodiments as the delusory “I”-sense; it is uncreated, and therefore has no beginning.

    With each act there is the generation of two consequences: a mandatory voucher for the experience of pleasure or pain (each to be experienced separately; they do not cancel each other out), and a tendency to repeat the act. The tendencies remain associated with the delusion.

    In the course of an infinite number of cosmic cycles, the universe cycles from unmanifest to manifest and back to unmanifest, in both gross and subtle forms. An infinitude of vouchers, both pleasurable and painful, accumulates in one’s account (sanchit karma). For each embodiment a minuscule, finite quantity of these vouchers commence encashment (prarabda karma = started karma). During the embodiment, new vouchers are generated with each act (agami karma, kriyaman karma): some may proceed to encashment within that embodiment, while the rest accrue to big (sanchit karma) account. The embodiment ends when there are no vouchers in the encashment queue.

    So what one is experiencing now may be from vouchers generated millions of cosmic cycles ago, in any of an infinitude parallel universes. According to the tradition, one fully deserves every iota of pleasure or pain that one experiences. But it may have been “earned” in a world outside the bounds of this time and this space (kala – desha) as we know it.

    There is no one keeping score. It is the law of consequences run wild, or on steroids (take your pick). In some traditions it is so inviolate that the need for a “God” is altogether dispensed with: in those traditions, the universe functions just fine without a “God”, akin to how the “law” of gravity does not need a “God”. These non-theistic systems include three of the six Vedic (“Hindu”) philosophical schools (Sankhya, Yoga, and Advaita Vedanta) and two non-Vedic schools (Jainism and Buddhism – all of Buddhism). Some may think the many gods in various Buddhist and Hindu traditions inconsistent with non-theism. But these are highly advanced or fully realised beings, and not intrinsically different from an ordinary human – or an insect.

    The important issue of how to end the account is another matter. Soppose a multibillionare is trying to give away his/her wealth by writing a $1,000 cheque every day. It won’t work. On the day of their death, the entire account stops being their wealth. When the “I” sense is clearly seen to be a mirage, the entire sanchit karma has no claimant, and no agami karma can be generated, because there is no sense of agency (“I am doing this” – kartritva bhava). Whatever is left of the prarabda karma is used up in due course of time and the embodiment comes to an end. But since there is no claimant for the sanchit karma, there is no further embodiments.

    Rising up with Sonali
    Sonnali Kolhatkar interviews Dr. GRM on 2016.05.04 starting at 21.45 on KPFK 90.7 FM in LA

  • I watched the video. Sadly you are right Guy. What is left to be said. There is an important choice to make here at the end. Just go to deep green resistance news or earthfirst newswire and watch all the indigenous people still fighting against the greatest of odds with love in their heart for the only thing left worth fighting for “earth”. I have made my choice and I am certain it is the only viable path forward for any human, “loving the earth”. Or you can sit with a cat in your lap till the train runs off the tracks. “wilderness is the only thing worth defending” edward abbey

  • Awaiting moderator consent on Truth Out,

    link: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/35894-can-the-climate-movement-break-free-from-the-jobs-vs-environment-debate

    this I s what I wrote,

    can’t remember if I said this already here:

    Total World Energy Demand = TWED

    Robert Scribbler tells us Tesla’s rechargeable cars are on the up and up.

    But, cars are only 10% of TWED.

    Electric grid power is only 20% of TWED.

    100% electric cars + 100% renewable grid = 30% TWED.

    This doesn’t include new infrastructure and resource costs.

    Child slaves in the Congo dig cobalt for lithium batteries.

    Ref: http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2016/04/17/lithium-batteries-the-cobalt-cliff-is-upon-us/

    But really, who gives a fuck?

    100 years ago, millions died in the Congo for rubber for car tires.

    10 years ago, millions died in the Congo for smart phone minerals.

    In 2007, the IPCC said emissions must peak by 2015. They’re up.

    In 2011, the Middle East dried up.

    In 2013, Asia makes 75% of all the world’s solar panels.

    In 2014, the IPCC said emissions must peak by 2030. They lie.

    In 2015, we burn woman and children alive in hospitals for our way of life.

    In 2016, our children look at video screens 8 hours per day.

    They are not allowed to play outside alone.

    They have less attention spans than goldfish.

    In 2015, people actually invest in unicorns.

    In 2016, people actually believe in Hillary Kissinger.

    Before collapse, we go mad, the end.

    3 Reasons Why.




  • Adapted from an old Indian tale (the Parable of the Burning House which appears in Chapter 3 (the Hiyu Chapter ) of the Lotus Sutra).

    One day, a fire broke out in the house of a wealthy man who had many children. The wealthy man shouted at his children inside the burning house to escape. But the children did not heed his warning – they were too busy watching a burning house on a live video feed on the screens of their phones, pads, tablets & laptops.

  • Henry

    The Doug Thompson clip above is not bad, a little too hopefull for me but still cool.
    However, where he quotes a polly who says:

    “…we must assume we are surrounded by rapacious developers, callous industrialists, inept government agencies and insensitive politicians…”

    who needs to imagine it, its happening as we type.

    Just sayin.


  • Just found this, seems nice and homolistic, (that really a word ?) but about those who pull the strings but behind the curtains,

    “We do not believe any group of men adequate enough or wise enough to operate without scrutiny or without criticism. We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it, that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. We know that in secrecy error undetected will flourish and subvert”. – J Robert Oppenheimer.

    And as we are going head first into the abss, why not get on top of the latest technology symposium that just keeps on building…?


    That’s all folks.

    ‘Drowning in Technology By Laynie Barrentine’

    Poetry too !


  • What does Cory Morningstar do to cause all that static on consonants? Ordinary callers into any talk show, using ordinary phones, hardly ever have that problem.

  • Apologies for the 3rd post but here are some of the effects NBL has been predicting for some years….now arriving in droves it seems..

    ‘Wave of dead sea creatures hits Chile’s beaches, experts blame El Nino’


    Here we go …

  • Up to 90,000 evacuated from Fort McMurray; state of emergency declared


    ‘Twas Bound to happen

    Oh the prairie lights are burnin’ bright…….

  • Jeff S. said:

    “…the entire Pacifica Network thrive on selling the illusion of incremental progress via activism which they will be the voice for.”


    That’s an excellent description of what KPFA is, Jeff. An activist media organization based in Berkeley… what else could we expect? Their target audience is the liberal progressive, the techno-optimist crowd that you’d find swiping smart screens at Philz Coffee (but it’s OK… they got there on their bikes today).

    I used to listen to KPFA a few years ago. But it looks like all those internal power struggles and change in control betrayed their role in Berkeley’s non-profit industrial complex. Their programming has become more of that old statist propaganda. While NPR has become more corporate-funded and hardly indistinguishable from mainstream media, KPFA and the Pacifica Network have become the new NPR.

  • @Satish, that’s an excellent post.

  • Colin Says:
    May 3rd, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    @ Dredd, May 3rd, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    Thanks for that video, really! Whodathunk?!? Damn surprising that Kimmel, of ALL people, would “outdo” ALL the other late-night lame-brains. Good on him and you, too! ? Of course, THAT message still falls way short of “what IS.” Interesting times, indeed.
    Yes, “what IS.” seems to be classified.

    And even a “The Donald Dump Doomers” supporter writing posts here “in this space” (Is Nemesis the only one noticing?).

    (The Peak of Sanity – 11)

  • @Henry

    ” I don’t answer personal attacks.”

    No, no, my comment wasn’t a “personal attack” in no way. It was just an advice to maybe consult a doctor. I just thought, that people, who are happy to see others burn are maybe just not quite sane^^ You call it “Zen”? You call it “art”? Ok, I didn’t know, that art or Zen is happy to see others burn.

    @Jean Turcot

    ” Henry,

    Excellent point about Karma…. I wouldn’t call it the hell-fire a ‘just’ irony, but ‘significant’ irony seems just about right since it is mostly poor workers who were hoping for a break from slave wages who are seeing their overpriced homes go up in flames.”

    Yoh, while the rich folks were hoping, that they will get away with their funny bags full of worthlessness, harr harr. Btw:

    Do workers in the US own HOUSES? Wow. I am a worker too (music worker), but I can’t afford any house. So, when the house/appartement I live in for rent will burn down, it will surely not be my loss. I can just move whenever I want 😉


    Why is Empire falling? Because it is a stupid LIAR and CHEATER without any free will, hahahaha, I like that 🙂 Welcome to the fully responsible lying Machine without any free will 😎

  • .
    It’s interesting that Peter Gabriel put this message out 44 years ago, back in 1972. Many, many people heard this, fanatics of Genesis even. Millions have probably heard it by now.

    Maybe he didn’t include enough citations from the official authorities.


    Watcher of the skies watcher of all
    His is a world alone no world is his own,
    He whom life can no longer surprise,
    Raising his eyes beholds a planet unknown.

    Creatures shaped this planet’s soil,
    Now their reign has come to an end,
    Has life again destroyed life,
    Do they play elsewhere, do they know
    more than their childhood games?
    Maybe the lizard’s shed its tail,
    This is the end of man’s long union with Earth.

    Judge not this race by empty remains
    Do you judge God by his creatures when they are dead?
    For now, the lizard’s shed it’s tail
    This is the end of man’s long union with Earth.

    From life alone to life as one,
    Think not now your journey’s done
    For though your ship be sturdy, no
    Mercy has the sea,
    Will you survive on the ocean of being?
    Come ancient children hear what I say
    This is my parting council for you on your way.

    Sadly now your thoughts turn to the stars
    Where we have gone you know you never can go.
    Watcher of the skies watcher of all
    This is your fate alone, this fate is your own.

    Studio version.

    Live version.

    More poetry, less redundant repetition of the obvious ! 😉

  • .
    “The wildfire that raged unchecked on Thursday in the city of Fort McMurray in the heart of the Canadian oil sands region knocked out as much as a third of the nation’s daily crude capacity and closed some major pipelines.

    While oil sands facilities are not in the fire’s path, seven production companies and two pipeline operators have curbed activities to allow workers and others to get to safety.

    At least 640,000 barrels per day of capacity was offline on Thursday, according to Reuters’ calculations.”


    Don’t fuck with mother nature.

  • I think I would describe this work as trite but effective, certainly unambiguous. Maybe that’s what’s required to get through to people, politicians especially.


  • At the sure risk of being hated I would suggest that NBL has the aura of some kind of disaster pornography. Such a detached group of people watching the murder of a beautiful living being. I detect very little empathy. The unemotional viewing of a rapidly accelerating earth “snuff film”.

  • @steve

    YES. You are fuckin RIGHT. Thank you very much for your comment.

  • I meant to say, that sculpture linked in my last post also seems very clever. The title is “Unbearable”, which could be taken to mean that we are going to “Un-bear” the whole planet, before we go. Which is something the indigenous people didn’t do. ( Except we don’t know for sure what caused the extinction of the cave bears apparently. Did the first humans consciously select for grizzlies? )

    Here’s another very sad story of extinction.


    I think it’s a survival function that we become a little numb, or at least it seems inevitable. If you allow too much pain to manifest, in the form of anguish, despair, sorrow, you can’t function well. Or, you just become conditioned perhaps. How do doctors keep functioning in war zones? ( Maybe that’s the same rationale used by oil company and investment bank CEO’s too, not sure? )

  • @Nemesis — That’s why I cited it as an example of your sense of humor, which is what we always need in these times. I appreciate your light touch when implying criticism. I’m not around here enough to know much more about you than that.

    And no, no doctor has the cure after I’ve been “crazy all these years,” I know that now. (Doomer since age 9, now to be proven correct at last, in my final Act?) The kind of “sanity” (Conformity) that’s out there is not for me. My own brand has to take into account multiple realities that few doctors will find in their DSM. Glad to have grown up in the pre-“medicate ‘im down” days.

    So of course, we want to keep on discussing issues and philosophies, not people.


    “Happy”? The “Thank U” is from Morissette’s artistic construct, of coming to terms with harsh experience, and the lyrics indicate the acceptance of several things we usually prefer to avoid: Terror, disillusionment, frailty, consequence, grieving, crying, death, nothingness, and finally, grateful for clarity and — Silence.

    So I just added a few items, relevant to NBL (hopelessness, fire, extinction), and Guy’s pursuit of philosophical resolution, which kind of leaves a superficial “happiness” in the dust.

    “Karma” I used in the limited colloquial sense familiar to Americans of certain recent eras, and nothing as deep as Robin generously provides for me to re-read several times. I admit I haven’t gone much past “sanskaras” from reading almost 50 years ago in college.

    My intuitive sense since that time is that causes and effects are there, but not sharply outlined as the superficial use of the word “karma” might imply, and nothing that we can grasp logically, or milk for desired outcomes.

    Things go on behind the scenery that we can see, like the figures and gears moving behind the face of the Swiss clock. The same applies to these now-displaced individuals and families. A whole web, likely impenetrable to my outside observation.

    But the Tar Sands of Alberta are unalloyed Evil in our times, a multiplication of destructiveness both in the production of fuels, and then in their uses, and anything that shuts them down, well… Hand o’ God?

    Many German soldiers froze to death on the steppes of Russia, where they had NO BUSINESS BEING, and I wonder what were their last thoughts on Life’s lessons? I wonder if any of the displaced Tar Sands workers will offer us similar reflections?

    Acquaintances of mine have been turned back at the border on minor excuses, but really to prevent political expression. With DGR margined into the nebulous Neverland of those who might actually “do something”, we see that this civilization is bound and determined to not let anything change its course into Guy’s envisioned outcome, and, methane willing, right on his schedule.

    Most are passive consumer-participants in this self-destruction, but when they are needed, there will be uniforms and billy-clubs and pepper-sprays to keep the dissidents in line. Occupy was one of the last small gasps of protest, though no longer possibility, on the descending hump of the Bell curve of this careening toward extinction.

    Freak accidents make us question the reality we walk around in. I am still a bit stunned by the news about Doug Tompkins, whose videos I had watched last year, and thought “This is what a rich person should be like.” I was unable to summon up any cynicism about his efforts or accomplishments. He leaves a very clean legacy. And I often wonder if some folk — Lennon, Gandhi, King, etc — are “taken back” early, before even more awful things happen, almost as an act of divine kindness, at their peaks, so they will not have to see their dreams despoiled.

    Actually saving some species from extinction, by providing renewed habitat! Yes, it is spooning out the ocean drop by drop, but aren’t we here about finding something excellent to do — and doing it?

    “No safety or surprise, The End” — Jim Morrison

  • The immensely visionary Peter Gabriel collaborated on this masterful, emotional piece with Robert Fripp in 1977: Here Comes the Flood.

    Gabriel wrote this while he was on hiatus after leaving Genesis in 1976. He claims it “wrote itself” after a moment of inspiration when he ran along a hillside near his house with his eyes closed.

    When the night shows
    the signals grow on radios
    All the strange things
    they come and go, as early warnings
    Stranded starfish have no place to hide
    still waiting for the swollen Easter tide
    There’s no point in direction we cannot
    even choose a side.

    I took the old track
    the hollow shoulder, across the waters
    On the tall cliffs
    they were getting older, sons and daughters
    The jaded underworld was riding high
    Waves of steel hurled metal at the sky
    and as the nail sunk in the cloud, the rain
    was warm and soaked the crowd.

    Lord, here comes the flood
    We’ll say goodbye to flesh and blood
    If again the seas are silent
    in any still alive
    It’ll be those who gave their island to survive
    Drink up, dreamers, you’re running dry.

    When the flood calls
    You have no home, you have no walls
    In the thunder crash
    You’re a thousand minds, within a flash
    Don’t be afraid to cry at what you see
    The actors gone, there’s only you and me
    And if we break before the dawn, they’ll
    use up what we used to be.

    Lord, here comes the flood
    We’ll say goodbye to flesh and blood
    If again the seas are silent
    in any still alive
    It’ll be those who gave their island to survive
    Drink up, dreamers, you’re running dry.

    Studio version:

    Robert Fripp Exposure Version (1979):

    Live 2010:

  • Stay home, go for a walk, do not spend any money on things other then necessities. Together we can live lives of excellence and SHUT IT DOWN.

  • Steve, it’s more like a murder suicide film. Once the suicide is complete the wanton murder and destruction will end after the inertia subsides.

  • @steve

    The poets have been describing this irony since their beginning. Shakespeare (following the much earlier Ovid) in Titus Andronicus has Lavinia come onto the stage, after being ‘ravished’ (raped), with both hands cut off and her tongue cut out so she can neither speak nor the names of her attackers. Her uncle sees her and describes what he sees in some of the most elegant, sublime verse:

    Speak, gentle niece,—what stern ungentle hands
    Hath lopp’d, and hew’d, and made thy body bare
    Of her two branches,—those sweet ornaments
    Whose circling shadows kings have sought to sleep in,
    And might not gain so great a happiness
    As half thy love? Why dost not speak to me?—
    Alas, a crimson river of warm blood,
    Like to a bubbling fountain stirr’d with wind,
    Doth rise and fall between thy rosed lips,
    Coming and going with thy honey breath.


  • Satish Musunuru Says:
    May 5th, 2016 at 1:16 am

    “Jeff S. said:

    “…the entire Pacifica Network thrive on selling the illusion of incremental progress via activism which they will be the voice for.”


    That’s an excellent description of what KPFA is, Jeff. An activist media organization based in Berkeley… what else could we expect? Their target audience is the liberal progressive, the techno-optimist crowd that you’d find swiping smart screens at Philz Coffee (but it’s OK… they got there on their bikes today).

    I used to listen to KPFA a few years ago. But it looks like all those internal power struggles and change in control betrayed their role in Berkeley’s non-profit industrial complex. Their programming has become more of that old statist propaganda. While NPR has become more corporate-funded and hardly indistinguishable from mainstream media, KPFA and the Pacifica Network have become the new NPR.”

    Excellent post, Satish, you nailed it to the T. And in fact, Pacifica’s internal power struggle is the most intense ever, as the network teeters on bankruptcy, with the dominant faction, associated with the “left” of the Democratic Party, maneuvering to sell two or three of the networks five stations, forming a new foundation to take over KPFA and KPFK. See Pacifica Radio in Exile for the dirty details. I’ve pretty much stopped listening except for the 8AM news headlines which i listen to while in the shower, that’s why i caught notice of Guy’s appearance on the succeeding program. It’s just another version of lies, and increasingly bad quality to boot.

  • McMurray
    Alberta has declared a state of emergency, it is the largest fire evacuation in the province’s history
    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau branded the situation ‘terrifying’ as he sent government aid

    Incredible dash cam footage has captured a man’s drive through supercharging wildfires tearing across Alberta, Canada, as more than 88,000 people are being forced to evacuate their homes.

    More than 1,110 firefighters, 145 helicopters, 138 pieces of heavy equipment and 22 air tankers were fighting a total of 49 wildfires that now cover land the size of New York City. Seven of the blazes are deemed out of control.

    On Wednesday, one resident in the devastated oil sands city of Fort McMurray filmed the moment he had to drive across town through flying embers and black-out smoke.

    Cars can be seen veering from lane-to-lane to avoid the flames as gusts of wind threaten to push burning trees over.

    Though it was filmed at 2pm, the scene looks dark as night.


  • all i can say, is it’s an effing beautiful day in atl. ga.