Another year is drawing to a close and it’s time to look back and see what we’ve done in 2013. There were 137 blog posts for 2013 with several notable guest essays by Brutus, Darbikrash, Scott Erickson, Kevin Moore(from a detailed comment he made) and ulvfugl. I’ve put out a couple author invitations for people whose comments caught my attention. One has already accepted but is sitting on the sidelines for the time being.
As calculated by wordpress for 2013, Collapse of Industrial Civilization was viewed about 200,000 times, and the top twelve essays were…
- Disillusioned in Dismayland
- There Will Be No Miracles Here
- “For Sale. Baby Shoes. Never Worn.”
- A Crumbling Cultural Story in a Period of Near-Term Extinction
- It Only Happens in the Movies
- Questions for Abby Martin Interview
- How Big is Your Prison Cell?
- Energy Unicorns and Delusional Greenwashing of Industrial Civilization
- Drought, Fires and Tree Death: Ignoring Die-Offs Until It’s Our Own
- Runaway Climate Change in the Arctic is Just The Beginning
- Gulf of Despond
10 things we were reminded of in 2013?
- Industrial civilization is indeed transitory.
- Nuclear energy was a very bad idea spawned from the nuclear weapons program and sold to the public by government spin doctors.
- Industrial civilization is dependent on large inputs of fossil fuels and will continue to use them until it can’t due to diminishing EROEI and environmental pressures.
- Geoengineering is already being looked upon as the only solution to climate chaos.
- From the multiple climate feedback loops that have already been triggered, the eventual extinction of man is guaranteed.
- Capitalism is the predominant religion of the world. Capitalism is how the world works and to question it is blasphemy.
- Corporations and the wealthy elite will continue to use government as a tool for suppression as well as for looting the planet and fellow human beings.
- Capitalism feeds off overpopulation and is, to a great degree, dependent on it.
- Most falsely believe that technology (not energy) runs the world and that technology can and will solve all the world’s major problems.
- Most don’t realize that technology is a byproduct of available energy resources. Without energy, there is no technology.
Hyperlinked list of posts for 2013:
Thanks for giving me some reason to think I am not the only one! Isolation can be terrifying.
2013, though, seems to be the year when ideas of collapse moved into maybe not the mainstream, but into well read alternative sites on the Internet, and even onto the pages of the Guardian and the Huffington Post, at least guardedly. McPherson is no longer an unknown name.
Of course, in my area here in coastal NC, global warming is still a conspiracy brought on by socialists wanting an excuse to to have the government take over our lives, so there is a long way to go.
X-ray Mike leads the way.
Looking forward to more great stuff from you and the others here. I am constantly inspired by the great writing and thinking here.
In case anybody hasn’t already seen this. Its the trend towards ignorance that is most disturbing. Given that the republicans have gerrymandered their way into such a place of political dominance, this ignorance will continue to have major impact. As our local alternative press writer put it, “fuck we are a stupid country!”
Happy New Year!
Jeez, sorry for the spam. From warincontext about just how disturbing this Pew research is, read the whole thing:
“No one would conduct a poll asking Americans whether they believe the Earth revolves around the Sun and yet when it comes to the subject of evolution, the deference to religious belief is so engrained that evolution is treated as a completely subjective term — evolution, whatever that means to you.
Why does this matter?
The world cannot tackle climate change if America turns its back on science. And yet as a culture, America currently stands somewhere between the sixteenth and the twentieth century. Copernicus was successful but the jury’s still out on Darwin.
If two-thirds of the population is skeptical about evolution, what chance is there of persuading them that climate change is caused by human activity?
It hardly seems coincidental that almost exactly the same number of Americans who believe in human-caused climate change also believe in evolution through natural selection. (I would hazard a guess that it’s not just the same number, but also the same Americans.)”
Actually, Gallup in 1999 found that 18% of americans didn’t believe the earth revolved around the sun. Americans believe a lot of insanely stupid things. Here’s just one of many many many articles on that subject.
That Young Turks video I posted on the previous thread explained a lot on why credibility has been lost — corrupted by corporate money. Too many biostitutes being paid off to serve as spokespeople for corporate-funded studies.
Here’s TYT talking about the poll you referenced…
99 cent nation said:
May 2014 be interesting. Not better or worse but interesting. We all know what is coming. Depending on your perspective will depend on you reaction to it. For me it will be interesting. Really interesting as old fables finally give up the ship and we are left with only our imaginations to keep us going.
And here is Cenk on Fulushima, via ENE:
Former MSNBC host told not to warn people about Fukushima meltdowns: “The official gov’t position is that it’s safe” — “Now go explain that to people who served on the USS Ronald Reagan” (VIDEO)
Go Cenk…give ’em he’ll.
Any good music to bring in the new year? If so, please post here. Something pensive and reflective is what I’ll be listening to as I look up at the stars from my rooftop.
This is one my favorite pieces of music. Even people who don’t think of themselves as being into classical music should give it a try. It is the 5th movement of Rachmaninov’s Vespers, the lyrics in English are:
“Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy work; For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; To be a light to lighten the Gentiles, and to be the glory of thy people Israel.”
I’m not sure what Rach was thinking as he composed this reworking of an old melody, but the mood of this piece is so haunting and melancholic, what one is left with is not salvation, light or glory; it is the farewell, the departure, perhaps grief, but maybe relief as well, as if a burden has been lifted. At least to me. But music is its own language, listen and judge for yourself. It is most definitely pensive and reflective, as well as profoundly beautiful.
And for balance, but also moody, this one from Kaskade. Despair is held at bay when you can move and dance.
Jerry McManus said:
This blog is in my top three all time favorite websites, the other two being desdemona despair http://www.desdemonadespair.net/ and collapse report https://www.rebelmouse.com/ThreeEsEmail/
Thanks for a job well done.
Kevin Moore said:
Greetings all, and thanks Mike for the work you continue to do.
It’s Wednesday morning, the sun is shining, the sparrows are calling one another, and the stupid people will soon be heading for the beach without proper protection to get yet another overdose of UV radiation which will probably result in skin cancers at some stage in the future, as suggested by the insane culture that misinforms and misleads them. I did castigate the council for promoting beach activities during the peak of UV and not even mentioning UV, but to no avail. The idea of going to the beach after 3pm just doesn’t fit the cultural meme or the commercial schedule. .
We in NZ have the dubious honour of leading the world into each new day and each new year, and in a sense NZ is leading the charge off the cliff, though in practice the level of cultural insanity and environmental insanity here are somewhat lower than in other ‘developed’ nations. Most of the stripping of resources -gold, trees and easy oil- took place between 1860 and 1920, and now covering cleared land with houses and shopping malls, and buying stuff no one really needs constitute the greatest forms of madness. Oh, and building more roads for vehicles that won’t be going anywhere in the not-too-distant future. Low grade petrol recently went to $2.20 a litre. .
Following up on a George Carlin comment I found this:
One can’t help being reminded of what 19th century writer and critic Thomas Lounsbury once observed:
“It never ceases to surprise me at the infinite capacity of the human mind to resist the introduction of useful knowledge.”
Kevin Moore said:
Pity there is not an edit facility for us to correct mistakes we make when we reconstruct sentences.
Fixed it. I usually do that after reading them.
Happy Doomer New Year 2014
In past years, we, as ever, perverse,
Joked “If we’re still here” as some curse,
But now it appears
That we’ll be here for years,
An outcome that’s probably worse.
Happy New Year! 😀
… ♫ “Humans roasting over an open fire.” ♫ … ♪ …. silence.
BtD: Thanks for popping up again – I sincerely hope you’re doing well and are healthy.
Great limerick and I especially like the sentiment (collapse survival may be
Kevin Moore said:
All we need now is a few more mainstream reports indicating that 4oC or 5oC of warming is likely to occur by the middle of this century.
Maybe later this year? For now this:
Temperature rises resulting from unchecked climate change will be at the severe end of those projected, according to a new scientific study.
The scientist leading the research said that unless emissions of greenhouse gases were cut, the planet would heat up by a minimum of 4C by 2100, twice the level the world’s governments deem dangerous.
The research indicates that fewer clouds form as the planet warms, meaning less sunlight is reflected back into space, driving temperatures up further still. The way clouds affect global warming has been the biggest mystery surrounding future climate change.
Professor Steven Sherwood, at the University of New South Wales, in Australia, who led the new work, said: “This study breaks new ground twice: first by identifying what is controlling the cloud changes and second by strongly discounting the lowest estimates of future global warming in favour of the higher and more damaging estimates.”
“4C would likely be catastrophic rather than simply dangerous,” Sherwood told the Guardian. “For example, it would make life difficult, if not impossible, in much of the tropics, and would guarantee the eventual melting of the Greenland ice sheet and some of the Antarctic ice sheet”, with sea levels rising by many metres as a result.
The research is a “big advance” that halves the uncertainty about how much warming is caused by rises in carbon emissions, according to scientists commenting on the study, published in the journal Nature. Hideo Shiogama and Tomoo Ogura, at Japan’s National Institute for Environmental Studies, said the explanation of how fewer clouds form as the world warms was “convincing”, and agreed this indicated future climate would be greater than expected. But they said more challenges lay ahead to narrow down further the projections of future temperatures.
Scientists measure the sensitivity of the Earth’s climate to greenhouse gases by estimating the temperature rise that would be caused by a doubling of CO² in the atmosphere compared with pre-industrial levels – as is likely to happen within 50 years, on current trends. For two decades, those estimates have run from 1.5C to 5C, a wide range; the new research narrowed that range to between 3C and 5C, by closely examining the biggest cause of uncertainty: clouds.
“Humans are not a rational animal, but a rationalizing one.”
~ Leon Festinger
Party like it’s 2014….
…and something from Howard DeVoto.
Jacob Horner said:
“…pensive and reflective…” Well, here y’go
“I’m always looking for something kind of melancholy,
… I guess I was trying to mix these things without really knowing it.
I write in a way that’s more subconscious,
just trying to articulate some mystery that’s not obvious”
Much obliged Mike, for all your heavy lifting.
Jacob Horner said:
First one didn’t quite make it…
Billionaire Warns Pope Francis
by The Young Turks
“Langone told CNBC that one potential seven-figure donor is concerned about statements from the pope criticizing market economies as “exclusionary,” urging the rich to give more to the poor and criticizing a “culture of prosperity” that leads some to become “incapable of feeling compassion for the poor.”*
See more at: http://crooksandliars.com/2013/12/ken-langone-cardinal-pope-better-watch#sthash.99vHG4Nv.dpuf
Kevin Moore said:
I am keeping an eye on things while trying to compile a major report. Someone with some time may like to check out what has been posted on semorerocks,.especially if they live on the west coast of Canada or USA.
Wednesday, 1 January 2014
Turner News comes out with a new alert
Rumors or news?
I am putting this out because I have no reason yet to be anything other than agnostic about this.
There is a sharp divide between those who take this seriously and those who immediately dismiss this as disinformation.
This seems to be based on an idea that this station is associated with “Hal” Turner, a known racist. In fact, the station has new owners and they take pains to point out that the content has nothing to do with “Hal” Turner.
The other is that they are associated with NETC. I have received enough information to convince me that their information is not to be taken too seriously – but I am not sure if this is more as a result to do proper research (which includes historical readings) or as a result of malign misinformation.
At this juncture I am not willing to take these reports as the final word any more than statements coming out of Fairewinds on the subject.
Please take this as something that is (as is anything) requiring confirmation. Iwaki is a large center so this should come soon enough, even if only through alternative channels.
What is not subject to doubt is that Japan and North America are subject to radiation and this is not going away any time soon
FLASH: RADIATION IN IWAKI CITY, FUKUSHIMA, JAPAN SKYROCKETS TO FROM 225 TO 21000 !!! RESIDENTS URGED TO EVACUATE THAT CITY IMMEDIATELY AS RADIATION REACHES LETHAL LEVELS OVERNIGHT; WINDS TO CARRY THAT RADIATION TO U.S. WEST COAST IN TWO DAYS
Turner Radio Network,
31 January, 2014
BREAKING NEWS ***** URGENT ***** — (TRN http://www.TurnerRadioNetwork.com ) —
Residents of Iwaki City, Fukushima, Japan should EVACUATE THE CITY IMMEDIATELY due to lethal radiation levels occurring there right now. According to the Nuclear Emergency Tracking Center (NETC), radiation levels in that city, which have averaged a level of 225 per hour over the last three months, have skyrocketed to 21,000 per hour.
This level of radiation is extremely dangerous and potentially lethal. It is likely to reach the U.S. west coast in two days.
PS I checked with NETC and there was nothing in their most recent map to indicate an alert
We need to talk about TED
…Let me tell you a story. I was at a presentation that a friend, an astrophysicist, gave to a potential donor. I thought the presentation was lucid and compelling (and I’m a professor of visual arts here at UC San Diego so at the end of the day, I know really nothing about astrophysics). After the talk the sponsor said to him, “you know what, I’m gonna pass because I just don’t feel inspired …you should be more like Malcolm Gladwell.”
At this point I kind of lost it. Can you imagine?
Think about it: an actual scientist who produces actual knowledge should be more like a journalist who recycles fake insights! This is beyond popularisation. This is taking something with value and substance and coring it out so that it can be swallowed without chewing. This is not the solution to our most frightening problems – rather this is one of our most frightening problems.
So I ask the question: does TED epitomize a situation where if a scientist’s work (or an artist’s or philosopher’s or activist’s or whoever) is told that their work is not worthy of support, because the public doesn’t feel good listening to them?
I submit that astrophysics run on the model of American Idol is a recipe for civilizational disaster…
What is TED?
So what is TED exactly?
Perhaps it’s the proposition that if we talk about world-changing ideas enough, then the world will change. But this is not true, and that’s the second problem.
TED of course stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and I’ll talk a bit about all three. I Think TED actually stands for: middlebrow megachurch infotainment.
The key rhetorical device for TED talks is a combination of epiphany and personal testimony (an “epiphimony” if you like ) through which the speaker shares a personal journey of insight and realisation, its triumphs and tribulations.
What is it that the TED audience hopes to get from this? A vicarious insight, a fleeting moment of wonder, an inkling that maybe it’s all going to work out after all? A spiritual buzz?
I’m sorry but this fails to meet the challenges that we are supposedly here to confront. These are complicated and difficult and are not given to tidy just-so solutions. They don’t care about anyone’s experience of optimism. Given the stakes, making our best and brightest waste their time – and the audience’s time – dancing like infomercial hosts is too high a price. It is cynical…
Read the rest
Waa..?! I only got No 5 and No 8 ?? Must be rigged.. ;->
Funny, I never thought about ratings until I saw this list and now my competitive capitalist social darwinist spirit is all revved up, NUMBER ONE next year… hahahaha
The weather HERE is unbelievably bad, the wind roars and the rain is horizontal and I can only see a few yards because of the grey moisture in the air which is hurtling up from south Atlantic, sucked into a whirlpool over the north Atlantic, I see they speak of 100 foot waves coming towards Ireland…
I don’t do this New Year Christian Calendar crap. It’s all cultural bullshit. Time doesn’t care. Humans try to impose structures onto everything because they are scared shitless of infinity and eternity and letting go…and they make a miserable mental prison for themselves. Blake’s ‘Mind forged Manacles’. I say throw them away.
Fortunately, people where I live, whilst not all as radical as I am, are at least as stubborn, and cling to the old ways, and say fuck you and yer stupid newfangled dating systems. WE still follow the PROPER calendar. Well, that’s if you like Rome, which I don’t. I say bring back the Mesolithic Calendar. Trouble is everybody seems to have forgotten what it was… we shall have to do some divination and rediscover it, I suppose…
The Gregorian calendar cut 11 days from September 1752 out of existence in an attempt to correct a growing discrepancy between dates of festivals and the actual seasons.
However, the people of the Gwaun Valley near Fishguard in Pembrokeshire ignored this decree and carried on regardless.
ulvfugl sez: I don’t do this New Year Christian Calendar crap. It’s all cultural bullshit. Time doesn’t care. Humans try to impose structures onto everything because they are scared shitless of infinity and eternity and letting go…and they make a miserable mental prison for themselves. Blake’s ‘Mind forged Manacles’. I say throw them away.
Yeah, man! Fuck all that shit! Better off without it.
Problem is, it’s all cultural bullshit, and once tossed, the value relativism that remains does no one any favors. We could compile quite a list of things that don’t care, so in a sense, it’s up to us to care, even if it’s ultimately arbitrary.
I chafe all the time at what everyone now calls the dominant paradigm, which is frankly quite mad. But I don’t think there are better alternatives. We’ve created our own hell and now must live in it. And as you know, truly free, creative thinking and behaviors create topographical anomalies that are pretty routinely hammered down.
All that said, local practice is where it’s at, so long as it’s a nested consensus like the one you cite.
Yeah, well, it’s hard to escape isn’t it. I do live like Ben Gunn or Robinson Crusoe, to a degree, but my head is buried in the internet half the day…
I use zen to get free from all belief systems, but zen itself is still a belief system… it’s like Wittgenstein’s notion of using a ladder to climb a wall so you can look over and see the view… you have to have the accumulated cultural baggage to build the ladder, unless you’re raised by whatevers, with no human contact, you’re going to pick up some cultural stuff. Intensive zazen sort of clears it all out in a fairly gentle and therapeutic manner. You could do it with heavy duty psychedelics too, but then what do you put in its place ? That’s the problem. The zazen people have had a couple of thousand years of dealing with this, they instill a code of ethics first and a strict lifestyle with a structure, so there are not so many casualties.
I’ve known plenty of casualties in my life, you know, young men who took datura and stripped off their clothes and played hide and seek with the police, kinda thing. That’s not the way to go.
What I have to do is to walk this very fine line, with one foot firmly inside the boundary of civilisation, because I have to stay in touch, so that I can understand where everybody is at, and comprehend what’s going on. At the same time, I’ve washed out as much of the conditioning as possible, so much so, it’s really hard to find anyone I can talk to about any of the stuff that I’m into, because they have no idea at all where I’m at…
Here you go, dear friends… I do try…
I appreciate that you’ve given this a lot of attention and arrived at your own informed response to replace automatic subscription. You have a more isolated and spiritual approach than I can muster, I’m afraid. But I’m involved in lots of aspects of life while spending less of my time staring a screens, either reading or writing. Cooking and music-making are fairly primary.
A surfeit of doom over at Desdemona Despair:
50 doomiest graphs of 2013
Dave Gardner said:
Glad to discover this site. Keep up the important work!
Director of the documentary
GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth