6th Mass Extinction, Capitalism, Climate Change, Collapse of Industrial Civilization, Corporate State, Corporatocracy, Eco-terrorism, Ecological Overshoot, Environmental Collapse, Extinction of Man, Homeland Security, Iraq Invasion, No-Bid Government Contracts, Runaway Climate Change, Science Applications International Corporation(SAIC), Security and Surveillance State, Techno-Optimists, The Revolving Door Between Government and Corporations, War for Profit, War on Terror, Will Potter: Green is the New Red
This website got an interesting comment in the ‘About’ section from a well-educated fellow who works in the technology sector of the economy. His credentials are impressive. I did some checking to see if he really was who I thought he was and it definitely appears so. His IP address takes me directly to the Science Applications International Corporation(SAIC). SAIC is a major defense contractor with “friends in high places”, having received numerous no-bid contracts from the government. Its top personnel move freely within the government/corporate revolving door. A noteworthy fact in their history is that they were “instrumental” in fabricating the myth that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and they pushed war as the only option. SAIC was the contractor that waisted hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on the failed Trailblazer project which was an attempt to create a system that would spy on cell phone, internet, and other electronic communications. Needless to say, they have an extensive and dark history:
Additional information on SAIC is here. Now that I’ve gotten that introduction out of the way, let’s look at the message from Tihamer Toth-Fejel:
I’m happy you got a chuckle out of this website. We here at CoIC try to deal with the angst of the collapse of industrial civilization by treating the situation with gallows humor. Yes the Roman Empire did take some time to collapse, but I’m very confident that we don’t have the luxury of “hundreds of years” to see modern civilization disappear into the dustbin of history. The reasons for such an accelerated crash have been documented here and elsewhere numerous times. You only have to read The Limits to Growth to know much of what was accurately predicted decades ago. Collapse doesn’t happen overnight, but occurs in pulses and waves. Nothing as large and extensive as modern civilization will simply disappear overnight and no one here pushes such a theory. Ecologic overshoot is not a hard concept to understand and mankind is subject to it just as any other organism, although we have proven very adept at ‘extending and pretending’ our overexpansion. Cognitive biases are “an inevitable feature of adaptive behavior in all organisms, including ourselves.” Perhaps mankind can exhibit a collective free will and turn this ship around, but I highly doubt it. Our political system is beholden to Wall Street money and everything in Washington is predicated on the short-term election cycle. The same goes for our economy which needs constant growth and quarterly profits at the expense of a habitable planet. Dealing with climate change interferes with profits, so the capitalists feel better when they bury their heads in the sand. Unfortunately, humans did not evolve to deal with seemingly invisible, long-term, existential threats such as climate change and ocean acidification, many of their effects being nonlinear and complex.
Concerning your second point, I am indeed using the internet to write about the collapse of industrial civilization. What is your point? I think you are implying that I am anti-technology, encouraging mankind to live in caves. If you read my core beliefs for this site, you’ll find your answer; nonetheless, we do recognize the rule that technology is a byproduct of available energy resources, and at the rate that humanity is exhausting the plant, animal, and mineral wealth of this planet, I’m not sure what pixy dust the techno-optimists think is going to maintain our current set of unsustainable living arrangements. Perhaps you can tell us. And if humans were able to bend the laws of physics and create some new energy source, we would still be in trouble due to overpopulation and our enormous consumption of natural resources. I think Brutus had it right when he called humans “locusts” stripping the land bare.
On your third point, yes planet Earth will eventually die… in about five billion years when our sun becomes a red giant, maybe. Does this inevitability give us the green light to exterminate everything within a mere century? This would be somewhat analogous to a three-year-old committing suicide because they have come to the realization that they only have roughly 80 more years to live. And what about future generations? Is that even a consideration in your thinking? Perhaps you could even expand your thinking to include this planet’s myriad other life-forms whose biological functions support a vast web of life that makes our very own existence possible. Humans are currently overseeing the 6th mass extinction which will likely take us all down as well, but I’m sure you are well aware of this crisis and are working diligently on some sort of techno-fix for it. Your last sentence implies that you are a person of the anti-environmental, right-wing persuasion who sees those concerned about the habitability of the planet as eco-terrorists. This is a predictable viewpoint from someone who is an apparent contractor for the DoD and servant of the corporatocracy, but I assure you that future biospheric events will change the minds of even the most greeny-hating, military-industrial-complex loving demagogues on the planet.
Well now, isn’t that interesting? There is a regular visitor to my blog from SAIC, but I never bothered to look up their past misdeeds. So thanks for that!
I have a new philosophy about things, I’m happy to say, which allows me to be more a spectator and eases up on the outrage…
I absolutely love the cartoon pasted below – I have decided to embrace it completely. I have been feeling terrible, thinking that we are destroying nature because we are driving so many species to extinction – and may even (we’ll never know) have triggered a runaway Venus effect where nothing will survive on Earth. But now I think, even that is part of Nature too. The universe will still be here.
It’s part of their program to keep watch on any and all of society’s perceived malcontents.
That cartoon says it all.
Hmm. I get regular visits to my blog from someone from one of the big US industrial poultry processing outfits. Can’t imagine what they find to interest them 🙂
SAIC is also one of the big four in the vote-counting business. Part of the Bush/Carlyle/binLaden group.
By way of the world of expensive horses, I have crossed paths with some of the mega-rich, mega-powerful folk. All I can say of the ones I met is that they send a shudder of revulsion through me, completely vacuous meaningless idiotic people who fill their time with total shit. They have the ultra expensive clothes and watches and cars, spend an ordinary person’s years salary over a weekend on frivolous travelling and meeting other worthless people like themselves, discuss their petty grudges and grievances. It all amounts to nothing at all.
Yes, I suppose that lot have the power to erase us all, many time over. They are the ones who put the paedophiles into strategic positions so they have obedient sycophants who will follow orders, and they are the ones who assassinate leaders who get in the way of their stratagems. John Major and many others got rewarded with a lump of shares in Carlyle for being ‘good servants’. Fuck ’em all.
Anybody half way decent and sane could find a zillion better ways to spend a precious life time on this planet than being involved in that shit. But there we are. If you’re a psychopath, and power is what gives you a buzz, that’s where it’s at.
I think it’s like surfing, the challenge of staying upright on top of the wave. It doesn’t last long. They obviously don’t know any better.
buz painter said:
After reading Political Ponerology some time ago I began seeing Psychopaths every where. I had to calm myself down and realize that basically we all must act as psychopaths if we are to survive in this society. It was then that I began the process of disengaging myself from the system.
When you realize that psychopaths have inserted themselves into most of the power positions in this world, it all comes into focus. Fortunately I have since moved on and work on myself. I go complete days without thinking about them. Easier said than done because I see the result of their manipulations all around me.
OK, at least I go hours without thinking about them.
we humans have not triggered runaway “Venus” effect on Earth, and we most likely won’t be able to, no matter what we do. I know it, and in fact, it’s quite simple physics which makes me sure about it.
I’ll put those physics in detail for you.
The cornerstone process which defines whether Earth could, or could not, suffer Venus effect – is the process of ongoing energy balance between Earth and surrounding space. The balance is dynamic, of course, – and, of course, this balance has its own bondaries, beyond which it can’t go.
The “input” of Earth’s energy balance – is, obviously, all the Sun’s energy (visible light, infrared, ultra-violet, gamma rays, protons, etc) “hitting” Earth. And here’s the most important difference between Earth and Venus: Venus gets nearly 2.25 times more energy per square meter in compare to Earth.
Why? Because Venus is about 1.5 times closer to the sun – and amount of energy per square meter is proportional to second power of distance (1.5*1.5=2.25). Venus is smaller than Earth, but it’s smaller for both input and output of energy, so “per square meter” is exactly what matters in terms of energy balance.
To balance out this huge input of energy, planets (Earth and Venus included) have two main mechanisms: reflecting part of this energy back into space is the 1st (which is called “albedo”), and for the 2nd – absorbing this energy initially, and then re-emitting this energy at a different wavelength (typically as infra-red radiation) back into space. With those two mechanisms, Earth and Venus and anyother planet is keeping itself from overheating (with time) into infinitely high temperature (given long enough input of Sun’s energy – and planets of our solar system are here for 4+ billions of years, which is quite long).
Earth albedo is quite low – Earth reflects only 30…35% of incoming Sun’s energy. It is not completely clear whether climate change would reduce or increase Earth’s albedo: in the Arctic and other places, ice and snow covers are being reduced, and this reduces albedo, causing those places to absorb more energy; but, in the same time, higher temperature (average on Earth) means more intensive evaporation of water, which means more clouds – and clouds have relatively high albedo, so this contributes to increasing Earth albedo. There are other factors like desertification, deforestation, etc. But even in very worst theoretically possible case, which is Earth becoming completely black body (so, drop from 30…35% albedo to 0% albedo) – the amount of energy absorbed would only increase by a factor of 1.5, tops (from 65% absorbed to 100% absorbed). Please keep this in mind for the next part.
Next part is emission of energy by Earth into space. Physics teaches that any “hot” body – means, a body which has higher surface temperature than its immediate environment, – radiates heat out. Average Earth surface temperature is close to 14 degrees celcius (i.e., 287 degrees on Kelvin scale – physics are done using Kelvins; 1 degree Kelvin = 1 degree Celcius, but the Kelvin scale starts with 0 degrees Kelving being the “absolute zero” temperature – coldest physically possible, – which equals -273 degrees Celcius). And, temperature of Earth immediate invironment – which is near-Earth space – is practically close to the absolute zero (0 kelvins); background radiation in space, which is its main temperature-defining characteristic, is so weak that it only “heats up” space up to ~3 degrees Kelvin.
Now the most important part of this all. The speed of energy loss, which any “hot” body “suffers” as long as it is hotter than its environment, – this speed is proportional to 4th power of the difference in temperatures (calculated in Kelvins, of course). In Earth’s case, the difference is 14+270=284 degrees Kelvin. This difference defines how fast Earth cools down. Note, all parts of Earth surface continuosly undergo this process: every sqaure meter of our planet emits some heat energy out, 24/7. While the “input” – Sun’s energy, – is only present HALF the time (during days) – the other half being nights, of course.
The key to understand why Earth can’t go to Venus effect is to apply the above to a higher temperature difference. You see, let’s say Earth will warm up by, say, 20 degrees Celcius (Kelvin – the same) – from ~14 degrees Celcius to 34 degrees celcius for average surface temperature. The space would stay at 3 degrees Kelvin, of course, – so, the difference will be increased to 304 degrees Kelvin. Now, we can find out how FASTER Earth will be emitting heat into space (in other words, how faster Earth will be cooling itself down). Math is quite simple: to find out, we just have to put 304 to 4th power, then divide by 284 also in 4th power (according to the above physics exaplined):
304*304*304*304 / 284*284*284*284
And this is something anyone can do using a windows calculator. Result is:
= 1.31287 .
This means, that if climate change would somehow manage to increase average Earth temperature by ~20 degrees celcius above pre-industrial – then Earth will be emitting heat into space ~1.31 times faster than before.
Thus it’d be cooling down 1.31 times faster than before.
To maintain itself in +20 degrees surface temperature state indefinietly, Earth then would need exactly 1.31 times higher energy input. Where exactly could Earth get it? As explained above, the only energy input Earth has (only significant one, anyways) – is Sun’s energy hitting the planet. And as explained above, even in worst theoretical case of Earth losing all of its reflective ability (albedo), it’d only get ~50% more energy as input. So most of that would be REQUIRED to maintain just quite “humble” increase of +20 degrees C. +32 degrees C (so Earth would get to ~46 degrees C average surface temperature) is already IMPOSSIBLE even theoretically – Earth will emit energy into nearby space faster than Sun would be able to put more energy even into completely black (absorbing all incoming energy) planet!
Of course, local temperatures can exceed average somewhat – they do even today; highest recorded is something about 60 degrees C (in some desert with no water). However, the same physics applies to locations just as much as it does to Earth as a whole: i.e., the HOTTER some place is, – the FASTER it cools down once Sun sets down. If you ever been in deserts, you probably know how it goes: during the day, it can be extremely hot, but during nights, temperature drop is massive, and if the sky is clear (means that heat going out into space has little obstacles, and indeed mostly leaves right up there), – it can get real cold. No matter how hot it was just a dozen hours ago.
So you see, it’s quite simple: Earth is TOO FAR from the sun to have its oceans boiled, and thus enter Venus scenario. Clouds or not, greenhouse effect or not, as long as Sun’s output is stable (which will be the case for at least 1 billion years into the future) – Earth’s oceans will NOT boil. This 2.25 times less energy Earth gets per square meter from the Sun (in compare to Venus) – is exactly the reason to it.
So you see, i – and i hope, now you as well, – can at least be completely sure that mankind won’t literally decimate the entire surface of Earth. As long as there is water (and Earth has so much of it), – there will be life, somewhere. May be only in high mountain ranges, may be in Antarctica so remote from most of humans’ activities, may be in deep ocean layers, finely isolated (by specifics of ocean currents) from most of human pollution and filth, – but there will be places where life will go on, NO MATTER how bad we humans will be.
Myself, i am glad to know this. I hope you are, too. 🙂
F. Tnioli: Nice analysis. There’s another way we could “go Venus”, but it wouldn’t be because we did anything on Earth. It would involve the Sun blasting our (already weakened) Van Allen belt(s) away via massive solar flare eruption. Just sayin’.
Thanks, Tom, for the compliment – but really it was just some thoughts aloud. It’s just one of rare cases when i allowed myself to put my thoughts into full detail, in writing… Most of the time, should i try to do so about other, more complex, subjects, – lengths would be more than excessive. At least in a format of a comment or an article.
Oh, and sure, if Sun will at some point “frry” us real good – then there will be big trouble. If the hit would be strong anough to cause oceans boil, though, – its immediate effect will probably decimate life on Earth right away, making Venus effect not a problem of itself, anyways… Nothing will be present to actually be hurt be it, i mean – pretty much everything would be dead already. Yet, for billions of years, it didn’t happen; i dare hope it won’t happen for at least few dozens millions years into the future, too.
Dear Mr. Toth-Fejel,
If by any chance you come to read these comments a path toward discovering your own humanity is hinted at above by Mike himself. Please read most everything Joe Bageant ever wrote. He was one of the great ones of our time. However your culture would never let you know of him. It won’t cure you but it will help, a lot.
With All good Intentions,
I’m not sure what you mean by “your culture”. I was born in Ohio, and raised in Silicon Valley. English is my second language, and I paid for my BSEE with a wrestling scholarship and my MSEE by coaching.
I read Joe Bageant’s “Why rednecks may rule the world” What I riot! I loved it! (I drive my fat-tired ’96 Cherokee all over my back (and front) yard as a tractor, and my redneck neighbors don’t mind at all). The conversation that Bageant had with Tim Leary was fascinating– even if half of both of them said might be wrong (I’m not completely sure which half).
Many of these corporations trace their roots back to here
The philosophy of ‘Aryan supremacy’, ubermensch, I just mentioned in another thread, Prussian elite with Spartan values, who despise ‘lower orders’, etc.
Such people came to the USA, moulded it’s education system, and social darwinism ( which has no basis in Darwin’s writings) and with Paperclip
They took over the CIA. The Bush family, Henry Ford, many US corporations and banks, were already deeply entwined with Hitler’s regime. There’s also a strong alliance between the fascist conspiracy and the zionist conspiracy, which has an almost identical racist supremacist philosophy. Basically, control the money, control the power, get what you want by any means necessary. NSA Utah is mirrored in the Negev.
Your correspondent’s view, as expressed in the comment, is ‘realistic’, if you love nothing and nobody and worship power, which is where all these people are at.
They respect one another to the extent that they are like mafia bosses.
If the other guy runs a tight organisation, with good defences and destroys his opponents efficiently and ruthlessly and stashes his treasure away securely, then he’s to be treated as ‘one of us’. They don’t care that the Earth is destroyed and everybody dies. It was going to happen anyway, some day, no ?
So, the name of the game is to stay on top. By any means necessary. If that means killing your brother, mother, friend, whoever, that’s what you do. Everybody must fear you. If they don’t fear you more than they fear the other guy, they’ll kill you. That’s how they played in ancient Rome.
That’s the lesson of the narco cartels in Mexico. That’s why they hang disembowelled bodies from flyover bridges with signs saying ‘Don’t talk about us on Facebook’.
People think that the IMF and the World Bank and the Federal Reserve and the Bank of International Settlements and the NSA and the GCHQ and all the other fucking organisations we hear about every day and all those guys in smart suits getting on and off planes are sort of decent honourable people working in the interests of the people of the world… well, to what ? make it a better place ? solve problems ? hahaha
They are trashing one country after another, turning them into dysfunctional chaotic disaster zones… everything we are told on MSM is lies.
Kevin Moore said:
Pabulum for the masses:
‘US and British scientific academies say there is a clear consensus that climate change is real and will have serious disruptive effects on the planet.
The US National Academy of Sciences and Britain’s Royal Society said they are making the joint declaration in hopes of moving the public debate forward — to the question of how the world responds, instead of whether climate change is happening.
“It is now more certain than ever, based on many lines of evidence, that humans are changing the Earth’s climate,” the joint publication said.
“The atmosphere and oceans have warmed, accompanied by sea-level rise, a strong decline in Arctic sea ice, and other climate-related changes.”
The academies cautioned that science inherently cannot settle every detail and that debate remained on some specifics, including how much climate change is linked to extreme weather events.
But it said scientists were “very confident” that the world will warm further in the next century and that a rise by just a few degrees Celsius would have “serious impacts” that are expected to include threats to coasts and food production.
Amid a bitter winter in several parts of the world, the academies stressed that global warming is a “long-term trend” and that day-to-day weather can still be unusually cold or warm.
Climate change is already widely accepted by scientists.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations-backed group of scientists, said in a report in September that it was more certain than ever that humans were causing rising temperatures and that heat waves, droughts and other threats would intensify.
But there has also been a backlash, including in the United States where industry-friendly conservative lawmakers have questioned the science as they oppose laws to curb carbon emissions blamed for climate change.’
Specifically, the government spends a great deal of manpower and money to monitor which stories, memes and social movements are developing the momentum to actually pose a threat to the status quo. For example, the Federal Reserve, Pentagon, Department of Homeland Security, and other agencies all monitor social media for stories critical of their agencies … or the government in general. Other governments – and private corporations – do the same thing.
Because a story gaining momentum ranks high on social media sites. So it has a high probability of bursting into popular awareness, destroying the secrecy which allows corruption, and becoming a real challenge to the powers-that-be.
Mike: Bravo, wonderful response. What are we supposed to do, just let people like that dump their worldview on us all without even a rebuttal? You showed wondrous restraint (my response would probably have been laced with profanity initially, then after I calmed down, i’d proceed to a more thoughtful one).
Please enjoy the following album everyone.
Here we have the connections between American neo-Nazis and Ukrainian neo-Nazis
and here we have John Kerry giving them a billion dollars
So it’s the same old shit all over again, the MSM telling the useful idiots in the West that ‘we’ must help, take ‘them’ our ‘freedom and democracy’
Same as we did in Somalia and Iraq and Afghanistan and Tunisia and Libya and Egypt and Syria, killing hundreds and hundreds of thousands of totally innocent men women and children, forcing millions to become refugees, wrecking everybody’s lives, trashing everything, leaving everything in complete chaos. Same thing in Greece, Venezuela, Thailand, all around the planet, the same fucking people.
In Syria, America and Britain are arming and funding the most vicious Islamic terrorists, who behead little children and Christians, and now they are funding and supporting the most vicious racist neo-nazis in Ukraine, who have brought down an ELECTED government, just as they did in Egypt.
Fucking American neo-liberal fascists don’t give a shit if they wreck the whole of Europe and cause a new world war, just so long as they keep their own insane disgusting megalomaniac scheme to rule the world on track, destroying everything and everybody in the process… and where does it all come from ?
A small bunch of evil psychopaths. We can list the names.
Kevin Moore said:
The maniacs who run the show are just doing what they have been doing for the past couple of hundred years: spurring weapons sales to create quick profits and creating opportunities for reconstruction based on loans with interest payments. The Rothschilds made a fortune out of the Napoleonic Wars, just the start, of course.
Why would the evil psychopaths abandon a game that has served them so well? Keep the masses misinformed and take their money (and their lives).
Right now many of the uninformed fools who inhabit this town are waving American flags and celebrating rapid destruction of their own futures.
Hmm. Could be a real person, or a “online persona management” puppet bot.
“…the US military is developing false online personalities – known to users of social media as “sock puppets” – could also encourage other governments, private companies and non-government organisations to do the same.
The Centcom contract stipulates that each fake online persona must have a convincing background, history and supporting details, and that up to 50 US-based controllers should be able to operate false identities from their workstations “without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries…
the software could allow US service personnel, working around the clock in one location, to respond to emerging online conversations with any number of co-ordinated messages, blogposts, chatroom posts and other interventions. Details of the contract suggest this location would be MacDill air force base near Tampa, Florida, home of US Special Operations Command….”
Great response, but it’s basically like screaming into a waterfall trying to explain reality to a secondary sociopath system manager of the corptalitarian state. if he is in fact real. A message? Perhaps. An intervention? Definitely. Keep up the good work Mike!
At what point would the interlocuters have a high probability of also being bots, and would a bot even notice?
Apparently he doesn’t understand complex adaptive systems, where they come from, how they form and persevere, how the components interact and give rise to malignancies. This is understandable. Even if technology were able to flourish upon a sterilized stage and eventually push the earth beyond the sun’s reach, to what purpose? If such technology ever exists it will have eliminated organic life’s role. It will have escaped from planet earth into the equally organically dead outer space without any need to save the planet. Unfortunately for those machines, there is no purpose, but then again we have no purpose either. If you were to shrink down to molecular size and look inside a cell, you would find yourself there busily working. Now scale back up and examine closely the hum and buzz of what’s happening around you – it’s the same in pattern but not substance. The only problem is that human technology is not defined by and composed of the chemistry of the biosphere but rather by the innovations of greedy and puerile minds ill-equipped to grasp the gravity of their actions. Advanced technological civilizations already exist – they’re also known as species. For every step forward in human scale technological advancement, we take five steps back in elimination of ecosystem/cellular scale complexity. Think of the massive scale of this tumorous growth, this brutal creation of man, smashing the hell out of “God’s” creation. You can’t be this stupid and survive.
In fact, it burns trees as it’s doing it! 😉
Wasn’t it “Skynet” in Terminator movies, though?
Also, no, as long as we talk about what we see in Terminator movies – it’s not likely it’s about remotely controlled drones in those movies. Obvious features which define terminators as autonomously-functioning combat units, which are not controlled directly, but only controlled by the set of general “directives” – much like human soldiers follow orders, – makes it obvious that artificial intelligence is indeed the case on those movies, – at very least on individual terminator’s level. The “command center” indeed may be a group of people as likely as some “big AI”, true – but there is no actual indication for the former, yet some clear indication (direct replcas) about the latter.
As for which future is more likely in reality, – my answer is: “same”. Because, if any country will actually manage combat units as autonomous but in the same time as capable as terminators (in the movies) are, – then, as far as i can tell, it can only be done using an AI. But then it means AI technologies will be available – which means, Skynet would be possible to be built (and most likely would be), and then, as a result of some sloppy programming… You know? Bugs, bugs! 😀
Yes, a slight mistake my the author. It is Skynet, not Skylab, and the company that built it was Cyberdyne Systems.
Skylab was America’s first space station launched and operated by NASA from 1973 to 1979.
I don’t think the average person was any clearer on the rationale for WWI, say…
US agenda in Ukraine
Please don’t be hostile towards those poor guys. At the moment, they think they have the ultimate power. In fact, they have very little of it, – all the power they get is indeed the short-term power, as you mention yourself. There will come time when they will realize how little power they had, and how tiny amount they’d be still having by the time of such realization. Also, i am quite sure guys like the one whos message you are replying to, – such guys are very much a product of the governing system (interted totalitarism, please forgive my russian-like spelling). And very likely, they do not even know it. They are shaped by a pressure much higher than pressure any “average Joe” is being put under, too – being “near the top” of the structure, they have to be quite reliable in doing what they are doing; where average Joe is “sllowed” to have doubts or even original thought – because, heck, who cares what exactly some few average Joes are thinking, eh? – the guys “near the top” of the governing structure are “treated” in such a way that they would NOT have a second thought. And this treatment is sometimes really crippling, too… That’s why i say “poor guys”, you see.
You probably have seen it, but if by some chance you didn’t, – please listen to the story of John Perkins (i’ll put a link in the end of this comment), and then ask yourself: if Johjn, who was quite “one of many” agents, doing, in principle, quite mechanical job of delivering a special sort of messages, – if he was so much “indoctrinated” he says he was, – then how much more of this indoctrination is actually used to form men and women like the one you are replying to?
So you see, getting hostile to people like that – is, 1st, at least questionable from ethics’ perspective; and then, of course, it’s not hugely productive, too.
I don’t advocate “healing” those folks, though. Nor “saving their souls”. Nothing like that. Me, i think that whenever those guys show up and put some remarks – quite very simple, neutral (emotionless) response like “well, we ask you to hear all we have to say and then decide for yourself, using your best judgement, whether what we say is true, or mistake, or incomplete knowledge”. If they can – despite their indoctrination, – make logically correct conclusions, then, provided they put enough attention, they will understand facts of life properly. John Perkins, at some point, did just that, didn’t he. If some of them can’t do so – then i don’t think it has any use to talk with them, at all. Would be a waste of time – and if we’d get hostile in the process, could also be dangerous, too.
The story of John Perkins: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6p5pXqQEGM4 .
another awesome post. your eloquent reply contrasts markedly with that of that mans very badly argued and knee jerk criticism of your blog. his ideas were laughable, and especially sad considering he is probably quite highly educated in some respects, and should easily be able to see the massive logical flaws in his ideology. i suppose you cant make a silk purse out of a pigs ear though.
that he thinks we’ll one day be able to ‘move the earth’ proves he is, to put it mildly, a ‘high functioning imbecile’ (its debatable whether he is even ‘high functioning. after all, you can pay any idiot a high salary to push buttons and tow the line). most smart 10 year olds could see the error of his argument straight away. humans would have evolved into something else long ago, or more likely become extinct for hundreds of millions of years by then. i think the guy has been watching too much doctor who, as snapping fingers and magically moving the earth with advanced fancy techno wizardry, – without there being apocalyptic knock on repercussions to that planet – is a storyline of at least one recent episode. unfortunately people of his deplorable uncritical thinking standard are running everything. just too dumb to know how dumb they really are. oh they are superficially smart , but such people dont have the capability of critical thought and prove themselves time and again to be well out of their depth when discussing anything more challenging than very prosaic everyday matters. did he have the guts to reply?
No reply. He’s free to make comments if he chooses.
Dear Andy from UK,
On 17 July 1969, the day after Apollo 11’s launch, the New York Times issued this correction over a 1920 story it ran saying spaceflight is impossible. The wrote:
“1969: On Jan. 13, 1920, Topics of The Times, an editorial-page feature of The New York Times, dismissed the notion that a rocket could function in a vacuum and commented on the ideas of Robert H. Goddard, the rocket pioneer, as follows. ‘That Professor Goddard, with his ‘chair’ in Clark College and the countenancing of the Smithsonian Institution, does not know the relation of action to reaction, and of the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react — to say that would be absurd. Of course he only seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.” Further investigation and experimentation have confirmed the findings of Isaac Newton in the 17th century and it is now definitely established that a rocket can function in a vacuum as well as in an atmosphere. The Times regrets the error.'”
So…why exactly is it impossible to move the Earth?
Do the math. It only took Eric Drexler and Kieth Henson one after to figure it out. We only need to build a large gravitationally-coupled solar sail (a tens of thousands of miles in diameter) and then we should have no trouble moving the Earth. If you do it right, then it will barely be visible from the ground. True, it will take a few thousands of years to actually move far away enough that the slowly warming Sun won’t be an issue, but hopefully the human race will be grown up enough that we should be able to handle this problem.
Yep. And here’s more on what’s going on:
The U.S. and Its Allies Had Contact with Bin Laden and the 9/11 Hijackers Many Times Before 9/11
Including a Direct Contact with Bin Laden by an FBI Resource In 1993
The report that the FBI had a human resource in direct contact with Bin Laden in 1993 – and covered it up and hid it from the 9/11 Commission and Congress – is newsworthy. See this Washington Times report and NBC News coverage.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg:
◾Top American officials admit that the U.S. armed and supported Bin Laden and the other Mujahadin – which later morphed into Al Qaeda – in the 1970s, in order to fight the Soviets
◾The mainstream French paper Le Figaro alleged that the CIA met with Bin Laden himself 2 months before 9/11
◾According to the Congressional Joint Inquiry into 9/11, an FBI informant hosted and rented a room to two 9/11 hijackers in 2000. And see this Newsweek article and this New York Times report
◾According to the large French newspaper Le Monde, the intelligence services of America’s close ally France and of other governments had infiltrated the highest levels of Al-Qaeda’s camps, and actually listened to the hijackers’ debates about which airlines’ planes should be hijacked, and allied intelligence services also intercepted phone conversations between Al-Qaeda members regarding the attacks
◾According to reports from Bloomberg, an ABC News investigative reporter and others, one of the main trainers of Bin Laden and Al Qaeda worked at various times for the CIA, FBI and Green Berets
◾A high-level military intelligence officer says that his unit – tasked with tracking Bin Laden prior to 9/11 – was pulled off the task, and their warnings that the World Trade Center and Pentagon were being targeted were ignored
◾Several key employees for the defense department say that the government covered up their testimony about tracking Mohammed Atta before 9/11
◾The National Security Agency and the FBI were each independently listening in on the phone calls between the supposed mastermind of the attacks and the lead hijacker. Indeed, the FBI built its own antenna in Madagascar specifically to listen in on the mastermind’s phone calls
◾According to various sources, on the day before 9/11, the mastermind told the lead hijacker “tomorrow is zero hour” and gave final approval for the attacks. The NSA intercepted the message that day and the FBI was likely also monitoring the mastermind’s phone calls
◾Shortly before 9/11, the NSA also intercepted multiple phone calls to the United States from Bin Laden’s chief of operations
◾The CIA and the NSA had been intercepting phone calls by the hijackers for years (see also this)
◾According to the Sunday Herald, two days before 9/11, Bin Laden called his stepmother and told her “In two days, you’re going to hear big news and you’re not going to hear from me for a while.” U.S. officials later told CNN that “in recent years they’ve been able to monitor some of bin Laden’s telephone communications with his [step]mother. Bin Laden at the time was using a satellite telephone, and the signals were intercepted and sometimes recorded.” Indeed, before 9/11, to impress important visitors, NSA analysts would occasionally play audio tapes of bin Laden talking to his stepmother.
◾And according to CBS News, at 9:53 a.m on 9/11, just 15 minutes after the hijacked plane had hit the Pentagon, “the National Security Agency, which monitors communications worldwide, intercepted a phone call from one of Osama bin Laden’s operatives in Afghanistan to a phone number in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia”, and secretary of Defense Rumsfeld learned about the intercepted phone call in real-time (if the NSA monitored and transcribed phone calls in real-time on 9/11, that implies that it did so in the months leading up to 9/11 as well)
Indeed, former counter-terrorism boss Richard Clarke theorizes that top CIA brass tried to recruit the hijackers and turn them to our side, but were unsuccessful. And – when they realized had failed – they covered up their tracks so that the FBI would not investigate their illegal CIA activities , “malfeasance and misfeasance”, on U.S. soil.
And former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds – deemed credible by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General, several senators (free subscription required), and a coalition of prominent conservative and liberal groups – alleges that the U.S. worked with Bin Laden right up to 9/11 … and for months afterwards.
In any event, it’s indisputable that 9/11 was entirely foreseeable … as was Al Qaeda flying airplanes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
As is the fact that the U.S. has backed the world’s most dangerous and radical Muslim terrorists for decades.
and now we have:
White House Panelist On NSA – and Former Counterterror Czar – Says NSA May Enable a “Police State”
“Once You Give Up Your Rights, You Can Never Get Them Back. Once You Turn On That Police State, You Can Never Turn It Off.”
Richard Clarke is one of the four White House panelists on NSA spying, and the former top counter-terror czar in the Clinton and Bush administrations.
Clarke has previously said that mass surveillance isn’t needed to keep us safe. And see this.
As Tech Target reports:
Revelations about NSA monitoring activities over the last year show the potential for a police state mechanism, according to the former U.S. cybersecurity czar, but there is still time to avoid the dire consequences.
“[T]hey have created, with the growth of technologies, the potential for a police state.”
“Once you give up your rights, you can never get them back. Once you turn on that police state, you can never turn it off.”
Indeed, top American officials have warned for decades of a police state enabled by the NSA.
And a former top NSA official said that we’ve already got a police state. He told Washington’s Blog:
I am glad he [Clarke] also understands the threat to democracy.
The only reason I recognized that in 2001 is because I worked the Soviet problem for close to 30 years … and what NSA was doing was exactly what the Soviet’s tried to do (as well as the Stasi and the Gestapo/SS).
And see this. [link provided in article]
The U.S. has not dropped its embargo on Cuba, though it doesn’t put a lot of effort into it and isn’t super-strict about people visiting there (so long as you ask and they know). This may come back to haunt them.
Russian spy ship docked in Havana
Havana (AFP) – A Russian warship was docked in Havana Wednesday, without explanation from Communist Cuba or its state media.
The Viktor Leonov CCB-175 boat, measuring 91.5 meters (300 feet) long and 14.5 meters wide, was docked at the port of Havana’s cruise ship area, near the Russian Orthodox Cathedral.
The Vishnya, or Meridian-class intelligence ship, which has a crew of around 200, went into service in the Black Sea in 1988 before it was transferred seven years later to the northern fleet, Russian media sources said.
Neither Cuban authorities nor state media have mentioned the ship’s visit, unlike on previous tours by Russian warships.
The former Soviet Union was Cuba’s sponsor state through three decades of Cold War. After a period of some distancing under former Russian president Boris Yeltsin, the countries renewed their political, economic and military cooperation.
The ship is reportedly armed with 30mm guns and anti-aircraft missiles.
Its visit comes as isolated Havana’s current economic and political patron, Venezuela, is facing unprecedented violent protests against President Nicolas Maduro’s government.
Cuban President Raul Castro’s Communist government is the Americas’ only one-party regime
Oh, noes, a single spy ship is not so far from US soil, what we gunna do, eh? 😀
Geez. US spy satellites are picking down on the whole world, with awesomely fine resolution. Russian satellites do the same, though with much worse resolution. Europe, India and China are not too far behind.
But a single ship is a tragedy? Geez. May be guys are just restocking supplies. Anyhows, what exactly can they sniff out what satellites can’t see?
Couple of quick notes. Fat-cat plutocrats are often depicted as laughing ghoulishly at the proles in cartoons and other media. That was the approach in Tihamer’s comment straight out of the gate, which might give someone with a more healthy regard for psychology a quick impression of who’s writing. The two further arguments, that doomers lack ideological purity and that we’re all going to the grave in cosmological time anyway, are presented as soundbites to supposedly demolish and distract from very real concerns in the here and now. They do not function as lynchpins that, once pulled, cause the entire edifice to tumble.
Mike did a good job in his research in and response. Myself, I’d probably forego responding with more than a paragraph at the risk of losing track of who is the fool once we begin debating fools.
Jacob Horner said:
“…losing track of who is the fool once we begin debating fools.”
So far that’s my quote of the week.
As pointed out by Colorado Bob and Robert Scribbler, the following news story indicates “another link between new weather patterns (extreme drought/ flood) and the provision of nutrients that result in harmful microbe explosions.”…
A much more toxic, fast-producing oceanic algae is replacing the Swan River’s phytoplankton, according to a world-renowned environmental scientist.
Curtin University researcher Dr Jacob John has studied algae in Perth’s river systems for more than 30 years and says a decline in rainfall is pushing sea algae, known as red tide organisms, into the upper reaches of the Swan River.
Dr John says that historically, the river was flushed with fresh water every winter, but a decrease in rainfall has allowed salty conditions to linger longer and higher up in the system. The salt water sits above increasingly nutrient-rich sediment, feeding algae and sparking blooms.
“Over the years in the Swan River we find that the diatoms [algae] are increasingly replaced by another group of algae called dinoflagellates, or red tide organisms,” Dr John says.
“They are the ones that multiply very fast and some of them could be toxic to fish and other organisms.”
Dinoflagellates also produce a powerful neurotoxin, which paralyses the central nervous system of fish, killing them by suffocation. Shellfish can carry the toxin which can poison humans if eaten.
Read more: http://www.watoday.com.au/environment/save-our-swan/more-toxic-sea-algae-invading-swan-river-system-20130920-2u4le.html#ixzz2uVmJo2hO
Toxic algae is likely to get worse in Lake Erie. Here’s how to fix it
Scientists: Climate change to worsen Lake Erie algae
The future of the oceans?…
Likely, yes. This increasingly will be the new reality of the world ocean – and once climate goes well beyond +3C above pre-industrial, similar processes are likely to start and widespread in vast land regions, as well.
And i think i know why, and how, exactly, this happens.
Simple organisms like algae and plankton do not “care” about higher forms (like fish, clams, etc). Much like, say, the grass is completely OK no matter whether any particular herbivore would be able or unable to feed on it. Frequent opinion tat herbivore’s manure is required to recycle nutrients back to forms needed by grass – is incorrect; it’s not “required” – it’s just one of many possible “methods” nature evolved for the task. Should no mammalian herbivores be present – various fungi, bacteria and other isimple forms, possibly also insects, would easily do the same task.
In other words, the world of microscopic life – does not really care whether “big guys” (life forms larger than few centimeters in size) could survive or not. Those “big guys” are ones who evolved to adapt to survive using exactly “given” services and conditions which microscopic life provides. This is tru both about “big” animals and also “big” plants – like trees, which get much (if not all) of their required minerals with the help of diverse set of microscopic bacteria and fungi, which symbiotically “live in or on” roots of trees.
When conditions change, microscopic life evolves and “reconfigures” itself:
– new, differently functioning species appear very soon (because of short life span of many microscopic organisms, their rate of evolution is hudreds to dozens thousands times faster than for big guys like us humans – or trees) – those new species are selected by the process of natural seleection as better fit to changed conditions; so those new forms quickly dominate ecosystems with relevant changes of conditions;
– old, but much “supressed”, species and/or genes, ones which evolved during very distant past when Earth was much hotter, more acidic, with CO2 being over 1000ppm, – those “show up” en masse, “wake up”, so to say, and start to dominate.
And, of course, in changed conditions, quite few new (or those “old, different, now becoming dominating”) species of microscopic life – quite few of those produce different “outputs”. Larger forms of life which feed or otherwise depend on those microscopic life forms, – are often not adapted to those different “outputs” which start to be produced in large amounts by microscopic life forms. Sometimes it’s harmless (yet not as nutrient-rich as before), but sometimes it’s poisonous, too.
The more conditions change, the more changes of described sort will also happen in terms of microscopic life forms “mode of operation”. And the more changes to it, – the more of “everything” will happen, – including more poisons present”.
This, i dare hope, explains logically why the word “toxic” will be defining more and more as the enviroment degrades.
But i must note that “toxic” is not a physical property of any compound; it’s merely the description how harmful a particular compund is to a PARTICULAR life form (or a set of life forms, united by some common features). However, it takes millions of years for life to adjust to significant changes in chemical composition of the Earth biosphere, – and during such “transition”, lots of die-outs and eco-system collapses are likely to happen. We humans don’t have that much time to wait; we pollute so fast it’s quite instant in evolutionary terms.
P.S. Personally, i’d formalize it as “degradation of complexity within eco-systems, manifestating itself in worsening conditions for largest-scale (most complex) life forms, ultimately extinction of many or all such forms; said degradation, in our case, is caused by unprecedentally fast speed of environmental changes (climate, chemistry, insolation changes by anthropogenic dimming, etc) – changes which are hundreds to millions times faster (depends on which particular change we are talking about) than anything experienced by Biosphere of Earth during last few dozens millions of years).
The Mainstream Criminal Media:
Whose the real monster?
Kevin Moore said:
Another week of hot and dry for most of California. US Drought Monitor:
Record-setting warmth accompanied dry weather from California into the Southwest, while beneficial precipitation fell from the Pacific Northwest to the northern Rockies. Benefits of California’s early-February precipitation are being overcome by resurgent warmth and dryness, leading to rapid expansion of extreme to exceptional drought (D3 to D4) into the San Joaquin Valley and the southern Sierra Nevada. By February 26, the California Department of Water Resources reported that the Sierra Nevada snowpack contained an average of 5 inches of liquid, just 22 percent of the late-February normal. Prior to the early-February storminess, the water equivalency of the Sierra Nevada snowpack was 3 inches, about one-sixth of the end-of-January normal.
From a broader perspective, California completed its 12th-driest year from July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2012, and its 11th-driest year from July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2013, according to the National Climatic Data Center. During the last 120 years, the only comparable period for dryness occurred from July 1, 1975 – June 30, 1977, when California experienced its fourth- and third-driest years on record. However, that drought ended with heavy winter precipitation in 1977-78. This year, California is on track to complete one of its driest years on record; the period from July 1, 2013 – January 31, 2014, broke an all-time record for dryness. Heat has certainly not helped California’s drought situation; Needles—with a high of 90°F on February 19—reported its earliest ever 90-degree reading (previously, 90°F on February 24, 1904). Sandberg, California, has reached or exceeded the 70-degree mark on 7 days in February; the previous standard of 4 days was established in February 1963.
California’s drought impacts continue to mount, with one of the most recent blows to agriculture being that the Central Valley Project plans to deliver no water to many growers in 2014. The most senior rights holders are pegged to receive 40 percent of their normal water. Those allocations could change if reservoir storage were to improve. Some growers could make up the loss by pumping groundwater or buying water from senior rights holders.
Meanwhile, significant long- and short-term drought persisted or intensified in the Great Basin and the Southwest. Arizona’s rangeland and pastures were rated 60 percent very poor to poor on February 23, up from 24 percent at the beginning of 2014. Statewide reservoir storage was barely one-quarter of normal for this time of year in Nevada and just over half of normal in New Mexico. Farther north, Pacific storms led to reductions in coverage of dryness and drought from the Pacific Northwest to the northern Rockies. In fact, no drought remained along the eastern slopes of the Rockies from Montana to northeastern Colorado.
Couple days of rain expected this weekend in CA. It won’t do much to counter the drought (especially with respect to agriculture) but it helps.
Kevin Moore said:
I must use professor Albert Bartlett’s good-is-bad-and-bad-is- good argument and say that rain allows the present system [of overconsumption] to continue. .
Therefore, the only thing that would really help would be no rain for many months. That would bring a large portion of the system down fairly quickly.
Kevin Moore said:
New Zealand – welcome to the Police State
Law will hit deep-sea drilling protesters
The public will lose their right to formally oppose deep-sea oil and gas exploration from tomorrow.
One of the online resources that really got me questioning BAU and helped me access evidence for the inevitable collapse of industrial civilization was Chris Martenson’s crash course. I remember reading that the high-paying corporate job he bailed on was an executive position at SAIC. Nothing in the wikipedia entry for Martenson on his employment at SAIC, but his Cornell University profile does mention that he is a former VP of SAIC Life Sciences Division.
I wonder what Tihamer thinks of this SAIC alum . . .
John Theodorou said:
Similar moves in Australia, where the Queensland government is moving to ban “ideological objections” as a reason to hold up new mining projects, http://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/move-limit-ideological-objections-qld-083251512.html.
Things are definitely going to get worse, before they become dire, as the gears of the industrial world break up from all sorts of limits to growth. I expect complacency will remain the order of the day in Australia though, even as techno-fascism tightens it’s grip on all aspects of our lives. People will instead reach for the “remote control” and choose to tune the avalanche of bad news out, right up until the end, rather than deal with it.
RE from the Doomstead Diner here.
A couple of the Diners discovered your blog a little while back, and I was hoping you would join us for a Podcast on the Collapse Cafe.
Contact me on the Diner or via email reverseengineer77 AT gmail DOT com.
I’ll get with you soon. Thanks for the invite.
This is among the smartest blogs in existence.
The commenters are among the smartest and most civilized in existence.
Tihamer is not among them.
xraymike, I don’t know why you even bother with it.
Seriously, there is nothing there.
In the final analysis, so says me, nobody home at that address.
Now, watch me piss off one of the under, under, under bosses or techies with a button and get Carlined or Simmonsed. Long live George, Matt, and the rest of the real patriots.
“I rise on behalf of the vast majority of the American people who believe that money is not speech and corporations are not people and our democracy should not be for sale to the highest bidder,” the protester says. “Overturn Citizens United. Keep the cap in McCutcheon. The people demand democracy.”
Thanks for all the smart comments on this post. I think I’ll do some art now –it’s a therapy of sorts for me.
Some folks surf the net
Like the beach boys surf /\t
I do not though
But I dream of it too.
It’s the, alter net
Kevin Moore said:
‘And now we have solid proof that the governments of the western world are paying people to manipulate discourse on social media, blogs, forums and websites.
So will there be great outrage over this, or will the apathetic public just roll over and ignore this like they have so many other times the past few years?’
Climate change ‘helped to end monsoon 4,000 years ago’
By Tim Radford
Drought appears to have played a significant part in the collapse of a vibrant community in south-west Asia several thousand years ago, British researchers say – with lessons for us today.
LONDON, 27 February – Climate change can seriously damage a civilisation. An “abrupt weakening” of the summer monsoon in north-west India accompanied the decline of the great cities of the Indus valley more than 4,000 years ago, according to new research by British scientists.
They analysed the oxygen isotopes in snail shells preserved in ancient lake sediments to build up a picture of rainfall patterns in prehistory, and found the first direct evidence that sustained drought contributed to the collapse of a great Bronze Age civilisation, they report in the journal Geology.
The Indus or Harappan civilisation – after Harappa, one of the five great ancient settlements of what is now Pakistan and western India – was marked by the world’s first “megacities”, concentrations of population in built-up areas that covered more than 80 hectares.
“They engaged in elaborate crafts, extensive local trade and long-ranging trade with regions as far away as the modern-day Middle East,” said Cameron Petrie of the University of Cambridge. “But by the mid-second millennium BC, all the great urban centres had dramatically reduced in size or been abandoned.”
The finding links the decline of the Indus civilisation to what now seems a much greater scale event: the failure of Early Bronze Age civilisation in Greece and Crete, the weakening of the Old Kingdom in Egypt, and the crumbling of the Akkadian Empire in Mesopotamia.
Researchers last year used pollen grain sediments in an old lake bed in Cyprus to build up a picture of sustained environmental decline that accompanied the collapse of the civilisations linked with Mycenae in Greece and Knossos in Crete. In all cases, there must have been a number of factors at work, but common to them all was a pattern of drought.
Without water crops fail, populations fall and concentrations of people must disperse. Archaeological evidence in the north-west Indian sub-continent has told a story of dispersal. Palaeontological evidence from an old lake bed has confirmed the picture of a changing climate.
“We think we now have a really strong indication that a major climate change event occurred in the area where a large number of Indus settlements were situated,” said David Hodell, an earth scientist at Cambridge, and one of the authors.
“Taken with other evidence from Meghalaya in north-east India, Oman and the Arabian Sea, our results provide strong evidence for a widespread weakening of the Indian summer monsoon across large parts of India 4,100 years ago.”
The authors collected shells of the water snail Melanoides tuberculata from the sediments on an ancient lake, Kotla Dahar in Haryana, India. The changes in oxygen isotope ratios over a period of thousands of years told the researchers a story of a deep lake that became a shallower one, as evaporation accelerated and water supplies dwindled, and then all but disappeared, with an abrupt weakening of the monsoons that lasted around 200 years….
…Simultaneously, a French academic has argued that extended drought may have played a role in the crisis in Syria right now. Francesca de Chatel of Radboud University in the Netherlands writes in Middle Eastern Studies that in her opinion the bloodshed and turmoil in Syria is the culmination of 50 years of sustained mismanagement of water and land resources, capped by a severe drought during the years 2006-2010.
She argues “It was not the drought per se, but rather the government’s failure to respond to the ensuing humanitarian crisis that formed one of the triggers of the uprising, feeding a discontent that had long been simmering in rural areas.” – Climate News Network
Other civilization-ending news for the month of February:
The Symptoms Of Climate Change Are Spreading And Deadly as extreme weather eases the spread of a variety of pathogens throughout the world.
Brazil Drought Drying Out Cities, Crops, With Worse to Come say scientists.
UK Storms ‘Have Changed Coastline Forever’ say authorities.
Ireland: Extreme Weather Leaves Farmers And Fishermen On Brink Of Ruin
Slovenia Puts Freak Ice Storm Damage On Woods At 194 Million Euro
Extreme Weather Increases UK Winter Lightning and a winter tornado is seen in the US, which meteorologist Paul Douglas has never seen before in his 30+ years of watching the weather, he tells me.
We Can’t Geoengineer Our Way Out Of Global Warming, say researchers in a new study; even IF we could build the machines needed and had the money to run them, we’d have to run them 500-1,000 years without disruption, through social unrest , other environmental disasters, or any other threat to our civilization. Look back at our history: how likely is this to happen?
Arctic Temperatures Could Increase 23F By 2100 – very likely ensuring the destruction of Earth’s Arctic thermal shield, the summer Arctic ice.
Melting Antarctic Glacier Passes Tipping Point, Will Keep Raising Seas – the glacier’s history shows that once started, the melting, persists from decades to centuries.
Emptying the Seas: Overfishing Top Down, Acidifying Bottom Up – the marine food chain, that is.
Scientists Are Worried The IPCC Is Underestimating Sea Level Rise – the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the global climate change authority, which forges a consensus over several years with thousands of scientists worldwide for its reports.
This Year’s Weird Winter Extremes writes Philip Newell at Climate Nexus, include a record-breaking dry year for California, record-breaking precipitation in the United Kingdom, record-breaking warmth in Siberia and other parts of Russia, and record-breaking cold and heat in the US caused by abnormal behavior of the jetstream, creating a polar vortex that pumped heat into Alaska as it funneled Arctic cold deep into the midwest and south to Georgia.
Nearly 30% of US oil now comes from expensive fracking wells whose production declines 60-70% within their first year, reports Asjylyn Loder at Bloomberg Businessweek.
With No End In Sight, California’s Drought Endangers Public Health reports Jeff Spross at Climate Progress, in several ways: as groundwater sources shrink, contaminants within them – farming, fracking, and industrial pollutants, and natural arsenic – can concentrate to hazardous levels. Dry conditions turn creeks and ponds into stagnant pools, perfect breeding grounds for disease-carrying mosquitoes, while the resulting dust worsens asthma and lung problems. Meanwhile, the weather forecast almost certainly ensures drought for the rest of 2014.
Earth’s Thermal Shield, Arctic Ice, Drops to Record Lows in February 2014, reports Ryan Koronowski at Climate Progress, when temperatures warmed above normal, even in perpetual Arctic winter darkness. The Arctic has already warmed over 3.5°F since the 1970s, and federal scientists warned recently it could warm up to 23°F by 2100, likely ensuring the disappearance of Earth’s thermal shield during the entire arctic summer, when it is most needed. Total loss of summer Arctic ice is estimated to double global warming.
January 2014 Fourth Warmest Globally since records began in 1880, reports Brian Kahn at Climate Central. It continued a solid streak in above average temperatures for almost 29 years. Global average temperatures were also among their top 10 warmest for the ninth straight month, according to NOAA data. January 2014 set other records, too, reports Jeff Spross at Climate Progress: third-wettest January on record for Britain, the fifth-wettest for Australia, the fifth-driest on record for the U.S., and the second-warmest since 1961 for China. Arctic sea ice hit its fourth-lowest level on record
—How unusual has the weather been? No one event is “caused” by climate change, but global warming, which is predicted to increase unusual, extreme weather, is having a daily effect on weather, worldwide. Looking above at recent temperature anomalies and the jetstream, the polar aneurism over the US has changed but persists, while the North Pole and surroundings is experiencing much warmer than normal temperatures – not good news for our Arctic thermal shield of ice. Hotter than usual temperatures continue to dominate human habitats. (Add 0.3-0.4 C to have these anomaly values calibrate with those of NASA.) Daily updates of can be seen here for both the temperature anomalies map, and the jetstream map. For real time animated US surface wind patterns, click here, and here, for the planet. (Clicking on “earth” there reveals data and map options.)
Kevin Moore said:
All I can say is I’m so glad that ‘the Earth makes oil faster than we can use it’, that ‘debts and deficits don’t matter’, and that ‘climate change is a myth’ (all things I have heard a multitude of times over the past decade), otherwise I might be rather worried about my grandchildren’s future.
Yes, kevin. It means the American, British and Israeli psychopaths have plenty of time to fit in World War Three.
@somebody As I wrote a number of times before – things are not what they seem. Poland, Germany and Russia want to shake off the decades old yoke of the Anglo-US-Israel empire of evil and form the Eurasian union. Said empire has been doing whatever it takes to block this effort through various means of terror: economical, financial, physical (Operation GLADIO or selective assassinations like that of Dariusz Ratajczak or quite recently, most probably of Bohdan Poręba too, who was just working on a movie refuting this paid shill Gross nonsense about Polish alleged complicity in the Jedwabne massacre) and internal – from the Law & Justice Party with infamous Jarosław Kaczyński at the helm. The leaders of that party have been doing amazing job with keeping about 20% of the population blinded by vicious, disgusting, vile national/religious radicalism aimed against Russia and Germany. They also foment veiled anti-Jewish sentiments, that have never seem to hurt international Jewish globalist interests, but quite the opposite, have helped considerably such organization like ADL or AIPAC to keep strong stance and justify their scheme under the pretext of fighting “anti-semitism”. Those 20% of people lack any ability to think for themselves, critically, and were never bothered by the apparent contradiction that the leadership the L&P has always strongly supported Israel, the USA and the British (at the top) from where obviously their secret foreign funding comes. It’s astounding how stupid they are, yet, en masse, used very effectively against any government that would attempt really close relations between Poland and Russia, Poland and Germany. Shamefully that is a really large number of “useful idiots”, traitors quite honestly.
Surprisingly to some maybe but Polish FM Sikorski, married to Ann Applebaum (How they marriage works I have no clue, he’s been attacked a lot for being married to a Jewess, who’s father have been involved in some shade deals with hard core neocon scum), has done a lot to improve Poland’s relations with her two mighty neighbors, including very successful agreement enabling development of the near-border traveling. He has to watch his every step because the LP party leaders wait for his smallest mistake to discredit him. It is in this context that you have to analyze why Poland, Germany and France helped with the agreement with Yanukovitch and the Polish FM warned the opposition of the grave consequences of breaching it.
The MSM in Poland, both government and private, are so disgusting in their coverage of this
crisis that it makes any normal person to puke immediately in disgust of such sewer of lies, hypocrisy, double standards, lack of professionalism and balance. Sochi coverage on the other hand was quite OK, much, much better than this in the countries of the Anlo-US-Israel axis.
Poland and Germany are occupied countries and getting rid of common oppressors is a very painful and prolonged process.
Very good analysis, as usual, from Engdahl The Rape of Ukraine – Phase Two Begins
NATO troops landing already in Western Ukraine
Kevin Moore said:
There is substantial.evidence that World War Three commenced in August 1945.
Rather than implement policies that promoted demilitarisation, the various fascist in control of much of the world at the time sent in armies of occupation, set up a global network of military bases, and ramped-up their propaganda machines to demonise opposition to global exploitation by corporations.
Round one: Overthrow the socialist government of Korea and set up the condition that led to full scale war 5 years later.
Round two: Assist the French is their attempt to reassert control of Indo-China and set up the conditions for a long, drawn-out war of liberation. .
Round three……….. . .
The part about +23F in Artic by 2100 – this is, perhaps, carefully crafted “pill for the masses” by the powers that be. Because 2100 is indeed TO FAR AWAY into the future for our beloved Average Joe. Hearing “by 2100”, the good Joe will probably stop listening (or, reading) right away, eh? And quite many decision-makes are such Joes, too.
Nor is it the most pressing concern in most regards, if we talk Arctic ice, too!
I mean, of course it’s bad Arctic won’t have summer ice by 2100. But what’s actually much worse for us all – is that Arctic won’t have any much summer ice by 2020, give or take very few years (to the climate’s seasonal variability). And, “any much” – means “10% or higher of normal amount of ice”. In practice, it’s the SAME message – except the year is not 2100, but 2020.
Why doesn’t they tell so?
PIOMASS (confirmed by Icesat data) is conclusive about this. The exponential trend is not just visible, – it’s completely obvious by now. See yourself, if you haven’t yet: http://neven1.typepad.com/.a/6a0133f03a1e37970b015435378c39970c-pi .
And, of course, there are all the works of dr. Maslowski (from some US naval lab, forgot which), of prof. Wadhams, large wealth of published scientific knowledge about Polar Amplification, etc etc.
2020, jentlemen. 2020…
ulvfugl: indeed. (thanks for the music link – enjoyable)
Global Power Project: The Group of Thirty, Financial Crisis Kingpins
Following parts one, two and three of the Global Power Project’s Group of Thirty series, this fourth and final installment focuses on a few of the G30 members who have played outsized roles both in creating and managing various financial crises, providing a window on to the ideas, institutions and individuals who help steer this powerful global group.
[read the article, ends with]
What we see, in this analysis of the Group of Thirty, are the connections between those in positions of power to respond to and manage economic and financial crises, and those in positions of power who created such crises. Naturally, as well, the G30′s membership includes numerous bankers who, as fortune had it, shared handsomely in the profits of those crises. Put simply, the G30 can be thought above all as an exclusive club of financial crisis kingpins. And it is a club, no doubt, that will continue to play a significant and not altogether helpful role in global financial management for years to come — or until something is done to stop them.
Kevin: I agree with your analysis (above) wrt the rain in CA. The U.S. “leadershit” will get the idea soon enough that their wanton chase of oil and fracking at any price to keep BAU going has wrecked the conditions that keep us alive. I saw this incredible article this morning:
Friday, 28 February 2014
Fracking Waste is Being Dumped Into the Ocean Off California’s Coast
ReWire has reported previously on a form of oil well enhancement in California that doesn’t get much attention from the press, namely, offshore fracking. At least 12 rigs off the coast of California inject proprietary mixes of potentially dangerous chemicals into undersea rock formations at high pressure. They do this in order to break those rocks up which makes it easier to pump out the crude.
That’s the process commonly known as fracking, short for hydraulic fracturing. The fluid pumped into the wells usually gets pumped back out again as wastewater. And if you suddenly have an uneasy feeling about where those offshore rigs dispose of that wastewater, you may well be correct. About half of the state’s offshore rigs pump at least some of their wastewater right into the Santa Barbara Channel.
According to the Center for Biological Diversity, oil rig operators have federal permits to dump more than nine billion gallons of fracking wastewater into California’s ocean waters each year. That’s enough wastewater to fill more than 100 stadiums the size of the Rose Bowl brim-full of toxic waste. And CBD wants the Environmental Protection Agency to do something about it.
In a legal petition filed Wednesday, CBD is urging the EPA to rewrite those federal wastewater dumping permits to keep fracking waste out of the ocean, and to develop national guidelines for offshore rig wastewater disposal that address the threat from fracking chemicals.
“It’s disgusting that oil companies dump wastewater into California’s ocean,” said Miyoko Sakashita, CBD oceans director, in a press release. “You can see the rigs from shore, but the contaminated waters are hidden from view. Our goal is to make sure toxic fracking chemicals don’t poison wildlife or end up in the food chain.”
Fracking wastewater contains more than just the chemicals used by oil and gas companies to break up the rocks, including toxic substances like methanol, benzene, naphthalene, and trimethylbenzene. It can also include nasties that it picks up from those deep rock formations, including lead and arsenic. And while safely disposing of such substances isn’t easy in the best of situations, ocean disposal poses special risks for those who play in, live near, or eat fish from the sea.
Suicide by stupidity!
xraymike: that was one stupendous shotgun blast of doom there (Other civilization-ending news for the month of February)! Isn’t it amazing that there’s just no end to the volume of shit we’re witnessing?! Every DAY there’s too much to absorb (and stay sane). Thanks again for this blog and you’re work, it’s really appreciated.
toktomi: great name (‘talk to me’)
The SINGULARITY is coming, hallelujah, the promised land awaits. I really don’t know where to start with this little propaganda piece except to say Hallelujah Kurzweil!. Tom, Dick, and Harry will probably buy into this dream as their world begins to crumble. Just drink the Kool-Aid and when you wake up, (snicker, snicker), you’re all gonna be trans-human (or dead). And look at those bumbling idiot humans, we don’t need them, they’re in our way, they’re so inferior, we need more technology and we need to control them, change them with our biotechnology. This should play at every movie theater in the country. This is crowd control and techno-eugenics on the eve of collapse.
Ken Barrows said:
I read Kurzweil’s book. Not a word about the energy requirements of the nano-machines. Or the biosphere for the matter.
Dear Ken Barrows,
I don’t know which of Ray Kurzweil’s many books you have read (probably “Age of Intelligent Machines” or “Age of Spiritual Machines”). It is a book designed for mass media consumption, and as one editor put it, “Every equation you put in a book lowers it’s sales by 10%”. Why would Ray want to reduce his income by 10% with each equation he includes?”
At the same time, Ray is *very* smart. I’ve met him a number of times over the years, and while I also have my differences with him, I am very careful to make sure why we differ. I usually learn something when I do the hard work that requires.
If you want to look at the dirty engineering details regarding nanomachines, read the papers (and patent applications) of people who are working on DNA origami, patterned atomic layer epitaxy, de novo protein synthesis, and nanoscale self-assembly (i.e. Chemistry). You might want to start with http://www.biomach.org/publications/IAEA.pdf
There *are* dangers with nanotech, as there are with any technology, and I’ve written about them (A few lesser implications of nanofactories: Global Warming is the least of our problems. Nanotechnology Perceptions 5:37–59). But the greatest danger is thinking that it’s impossible..
Kevin Moore said:
One of Steven Harper’s shills?
Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore has angered environmentalist groups after saying climate change is “not caused by humans” and there is “no scientific proof” to back global warming alarmism.
The Canadian ecologist told US lawmakers there is “little correlation” to support a “direct causal relationship” between CO2 emissions and rising global temperatures.
“There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years,” he told a US Senate Committee “If there were such a proof, it would be written down for all to see. No actual proof, as it is understood in science, exists.”
He also criticised the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for claiming “it is extremely likely” that human activity is the “dominant cause” for global warning, noting that “extremely likely” is not a scientific term.
Moore warned the statistics presented by the IPCC are not the result of mathematical calculations or statistical analysis, and may have been “invented” to support the IPCC’s “expert judgement”.
The Greenpeace co-founder argued the increase in atmospheric temperature on the earth’s surface goes back the Ice Age when C02 was “10 times higher than today, yet human life flourished” at this time.
He added: “I realise that my comments are contrary to much of the speculation about our climate that is bandied about today.
“However, I am confident that history will bear me out, both in terms of the futility of relying on computer models to predict the future, and the fact that warmer temperatures are better than colder temperatures for most species.”
Moore co-founded the environmental activist group as a PhD student in ecology in 1971. He left Greenpeace in 1986 after the group became more interested in “politics” than science.
“After 15 years in the top committee I had to leave as Greenpeace took a sharp turn to the political left, and began to adopt policies that I could not accept from my scientific perspective,” he said. “Climate change was not an issue when I abandoned Greenpeace, but it certainly is now.”
Being a shill for Steven Harper is just his latest. He has been shilling for many since Greenpeace gave him the boot. Big time disgruntled employee/environmentalist. Small sample from 2011.
The Last Generation
Twenty thirty will get to us fast,
So if that’s when our time here is past,
Kids born after one four
Won’t grow up to have more,
And our next generation’s the last.
Due to irremediable insanity and self-destructive behavior, all humans shall be given shock treatments consisting of extreme exposure to poverty, violence and the elements, in no particular order. Those individuals seeking asylum upon Noah’s Ark in Norther Kentucky, if not first killed by rattlesnake bite, shall be staked to the ground and fed to the ants or alternatively given an all expenses paid night out with Bill Nye the science guy.
Due to an extra heapin helpin of stupid in Kentucky, and because of Bill Nye’s heretical effrontery, the Ark project will break ground in May of 2014.
Those unable to obtain Ark tickets will be given free seats on Kurzweil’s trans-human express. Snakes welcome.
The Ark is a good idea given that sea level is going to rise by hundreds of cubits. Should be plenty of room for the chosen Christians now that 150 – 200 former Ark passengers go extinct everyday.
Kevin Moore said:
‘the ark is expected to be finished by the summer of 2016.’
Good timing. The economic-environmental-energetic tsunami is expected to gather pace in 2016, as the global system slides down the net energy peak oil curve and the Arctic becomes free of ice in the summer.
On the other hand, the launch ramp will have to be rather long, since substantial sea level rise is not expected for several decades.
Kevin Moore said:
Global riot epidemic due to demise of cheap fossil fuels
From South America to South Asia, a new age of unrest is in full swing as industrial civilisation transitions to post-carbon reality
28 February, 2014
If anyone had hoped that the Arab Spring and Occupy protests a few years back were one-off episodes that would soon give way to more stability, they have another thing coming. The hope was that ongoing economic recovery would return to pre-crash levels of growth, alleviating the grievances fueling the fires of civil unrest, stoked by years of recession.
But this hasn’t happened. And it won’t.
Instead the post-2008 crash era, including 2013 and early 2014, has seen a persistence and proliferation of civil unrest on a scale that has never been seen before in human history. This month alone has seen riots kick-off in Venezuela, Bosnia, Ukraine, Iceland, and Thailand.
This is not a coincidence. The riots are of course rooted in common, regressive economic forces playing out across every continent of the planet – but those forces themselves are symptomatic of a deeper, protracted process of global system failure as we transition from the old industrial era of dirty fossil fuels, towards something else.
Even before the Arab Spring erupted in Tunisia in December 2010, analysts at the New England Complex Systems Institute warned of thedanger of civil unrest due to escalating food prices. If the Food & Agricultural Organisation (FAO) food price index rises above 210, they warned, it could trigger riots across large areas of the world.
The pattern is clear. Food price spikes in 2008 coincided with the eruption of social unrest in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Somalia, Cameroon, Mozambique, Sudan, Haiti, and India, among others.
In 2011, the price spikes preceded social unrest across the Middle East and North Africa – Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Libya, Uganda, Mauritania, Algeria, and so on.
Last year saw food prices reach their third highest year on record, corresponding to the latest outbreaks of street violence and protests in Argentina, Brazil, Bangladesh, China, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and elsewhere.
Since about a decade ago, the FAO food price index has more than doubled from 91.1 in 2000 to an average of 209.8 in 2013. As Prof Yaneer Bar-Yam, founding president of the Complex Systems Institute, told Vice magazine last week:
“Our analysis says that 210 on the FAO index is the boiling point and we have been hovering there for the past 18 months… In some of the cases the link is more explicit, in others, given that we are at the boiling point, anything will trigger unrest.”
But Bar-Yam’s analysis of the causes of the global food crisis don’t go deep enough – he focuses on the impact of farmland being used for biofuels, and excessive financial speculation on food commodities. But these factors barely scratch the surface.
It’s a gas
The recent cases illustrate not just an explicit link between civil unrest and an increasingly volatile global food system, but also the root of this problem in the increasing unsustainability of our chronic civilisational addiction to fossil fuels.
In Ukraine, previous food price shocks have impacted negatively on the country’s grain exports, contributing to intensifying urban poverty in particular. Accelerating levels of domestic inflation are underestimated inofficial statistics – Ukrainians spend on average as much as 75% on household bills, and more than half their incomes on necessities such as food and non-alcoholic drinks, and as75% on household bills. Similarly, for most of last year, Venezuela suffered from ongoing food shortagesdriven by policy mismanagement along with 17 year record-high inflation due mostly to rising food prices.
While dependence on increasingly expensive food imports plays a role here, at the heart of both countries is a deepening energy crisis. Ukraine is a net energy importer, having peaked in oil and gas production way back in 1976. Despite excitement about domestic shale potential, Ukraine’s oil production has declined by over 60% over the last twenty years driven by both geological challenges and dearth of investment.
Currently, about 80% of Ukraine’s oil, and 80% of its gas, is imported from Russia. But over half of Ukraine’s energy consumption is sustained by gas. Russian natural gas prices have nearly quadrupled since 2004. The rocketing energy prices underpin the inflation that is driving excruciating poverty rates for average Ukranians, exacerbating social, ethnic, political and class divisions.
The Ukrainian government’s recent decision to dramatically slash Russian gas imports will likely worsen this as alternative cheaper energy sources are in short supply. Hopes that domestic energy sources might save the day are slim – apart from the fact that shale cannot solve the prospect of expensive liquid fuels, nuclear will not help either. A leakedEuropean Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) reportreveals that proposals to loan 300 million Euros to renovate Ukraine’s ageing infrastructure of 15 state-owned nuclear reactors will gradually double already debilitating electricity prices by 2020.
“Socialism” or Soc-oil-ism?
In Venezuela, the story is familiar. Previously, the Oil and Gas Journal reported the country’s oil reserves were 99.4 billion barrels. As of 2011, this was revised upwards to a mammoth 211 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, and more recently by the US Geological Survey to a whopping 513 billion barrels. The massive boost came from the discovery of reserves of extra heavy oil in the Orinoco belt.
The huge associated costs of production and refining this heavy oil compared to cheaper conventional oil, however, mean the new finds have contributed little to Venezuela’s escalating energy and economic challenges. Venezuela’s oil production peaked around 1999, and has declined by a quarter since then. Its gas production peaked around 2001, and has declined by about a third.
Simultaneously, as domestic oil consumption has steadily increased – in fact almost doubling since 1990 – this has eaten further into declining production, resulting in net oil exports plummeting by nearly half since 1996. As oil represents 95% of export earnings and about half of budget revenues, this decline has massively reduced the scope to sustain government social programmes, including critical subsidies.
These local conditions are being exacerbated by global structural realities. Record high global food prices impinge on these local conditions and push them over the edge. But the food price hikes, in turn, are symptomatic of a range of overlapping problems. Globalagriculture’s excessive dependence on fossil fuel inputs means food prices are invariably linked to oil price spikes. Naturally, biofuels and food commodity speculation pushes prices up even further – elite financiers alone benefit from this while working people from middle to lower classes bear the brunt.
Of course, the elephant in the room is climate change. According to Japanese media, a leaked draft of the UN Intergovernmental Panel onClimate Change’s (IPCC) second major report warned that while demand for food will rise by 14%, global crop production will drop by 2% per decade due to current levels of global warming, and wreak $1.45 trillion of economic damage by the end of the century. The scenario is based on a projected rise of 2.5 degrees Celsius.
This is likely to be a very conservative estimate. Considering that the current trajectory of industrial agriculture is already seeing yield plateausin major food basket regions, the interaction of environmental, energy, and economic crises suggests that business-as-usual won’t work.
The epidemic of global riots is symptomatic of global system failure – a civilisational form that has outlasted its usefulness. We need a new paradigm.
Unfortunately, simply taking to the streets isn’t the answer. What is needed is a meaningful vision for civilisational transition – backed up with people power and ethical consistence.
It’s time that governments, corporations and the public alike woke up to the fact that we are fast entering a new post-carbon era, and that the quicker we adapt to it, the far better our chances of successfully redefining a new form of civilisation – a new form of prosperity – that is capable of living in harmony with the Earth system.
But if we continue to make like ostriches, we’ll only have ourselves to blame when the epidemic becomes a pandemic at our doorsteps.
Dr Nafeez Ahmed is executive director of the Institute for Policy Research & Development and author of A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilisation: And How to Save It among other books. Follow him on Twitter @nafeezahmed
buz painter said:
Based on the technobabel coming out of most scientist’s and government’s mouths, us so-called pessimists are more and more looking like realists. I liked being a pessimist more because it left a larger gap for me to be wrong. That gap is slamming shut with no time time left to start anew.
from that Mark Ames article linked from InformationClearingHouse
” Marcy Wheeler, who is the new site’s “senior policy analyst,” speculated that the Ukraine revolution was likely a “coup” engineered by “deep forces” on behalf of “Pax Americana”:
“There’s quite a bit of evidence of coup-ness. Q is how many levels deep interference from both sides is.”
These are serious claims. So serious that I decided to investigate them. And what I found was shocking.
Wheeler is partly correct. Pando has confirmed that the American government – in the form of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) – played a major role in funding opposition groups prior to the revolution. Moreover, a large percentage of the rest of the funding to those same groups came from a US billionaire who has previously worked closely with US government agencies to further his own business interests. This was by no means a US-backed “coup,” but clear evidence shows that US investment was a force multiplier for many of the groups involved in overthrowing Yanukovych.
But that’s not the shocking part.
What’s shocking is the name of the billionaire who co-invested with the US government (or as Wheeler put it: the “dark force” acting on behalf of “Pax Americana”).
Step out of the shadows…. Wheeler’s boss, Pierre Omidyar.
seems to me that Marcy Wheeler just, completely inadvertently, called her boss the “dark force” acting on behalf of “Pax Americana”
So Pierre Omydiar is working with the CIA (disguised as “USAID”) to help overthrow the gov’t of Ukraine.
And now a guy working with the CIA employs most of the people that received documents from Edward Snowden.
Global riot epidemic due to demise of cheap fossil fuels
From South America to South Asia, a new age of unrest is in full swing as industrial civilisation transitions to post-carbon reality
One more thing. Speaking about truly *delicious* irony – here i am, a russian guy whos english is, by all means, quite poor, yet it is me who notices the following in the mr. Toth-Fejel’s message:
– “the irony” is spelt without capital “T” – which is a piece of bad grammar, i guess, since this “the” word is put right after “…”. Slightly above, he’s writing “Still waiting… Though” – using capital “T” for “Though” word;
– then he writes: “the sun will go into it’s red phase” – which is again a piece of bad grammar, since in this case it should be “its” – without ‘ symbol, no?
– in the same phraze, he writes “sin” without capital “S”, – yet few phrazes after, he writes “Sun” with the capital S”;
– and when he does write “Sun” with the capital “S” – he puts a “-” symbol right after the word, without putting a blank space between the word and the symbol, which is again a piece of incorrect writing, right?
You see, it’s one thing when an amateur scientist (if even that), who got his native language being very different from English in both lexics and grammar – one like me – does some poor english; it’s, i hope, forgivable. But when someone who got as impressive credentials as mr. Toth-Fejel does the same – it’s completely different story. It makes me (possibly, not just me) to wonder: how can he think consistently about quite complex matters such as climate, remote future of the whole planet Earth, industrial civilization fate, etc – if he can’t even get consistent with his own english (which, considering his positions/duties, should be quite close to perfect if he’s to do his job adequately)?
It’s a facepalm, ain’t it, eh…
Everyone makes mistakes — even those who have the benefit of copy editors reviewing their work. So I’m inclined to offer some forgiveness for mere typos. I also class foreigners for whom English is a second (or third) language differently, as you do. However, at the risk of being a grammar Nazi, I’m less forgiving when it comes to fundamental errors in structure and cohesion. Style is much more flexible and less of a problem when it’s flat or academic. Scientists are not known to be excellent writers as a rule.
Facepalm? I dunno … I see so much egregiously bad writing that most things I just skim. I pay close attention to those who distinguish themselves as good writers.
Aptitude Design said:
His name is Hungarian, so his English is untutored. Better than some so-called Anglophones, though.
Yes, Aptitude Design, my name is indeed Hungarian (my first language). Thanks for the left-handed compliment! 🙂
And Brutus, thank you for the kind words. My copy editor is too busy for me to bother her with everything I post.
Aptitude Design said:
Re Climate &c. Recently, the Australian PM, a glove-puppet of Rupert the Morlock, told us that Nature was made for Man, not Man for Nature.This is the quintessential folly of the materialist-capitalist moron: the inability to see that Man & Nature are inseparable. Nature was indeed made for Man, for, without Nature, there would be no Man. Moves are afoot to have the Phony Rabbit [ Tony Abbott ] deposed, asap. … One more lying mongrel politician [ to use my late father’s apt phrase] is going to be sent down. Unlike the much-touted Eureka Stockade , this is a citizens’ protest, not a bunch of malcontent immigrant gold-diggers.
Way cool blog. Concerning the Sun’s demise of sorts, and the close-in planets along with it, there may be a reason (The Tenets of Ecocosmology). A test.
Kurma Chaitanya said:
As regards the second point made by Tihamer – would he accuse a police car of violating traffic rules if on a high speed chase? Actions should be judged by motives and end results – a surgeon and a murderer both use knives. It shows his petty mindedness and severely underestimates the intelligence of those who visit and value this site. It’s unfortunate that such dullards are mistaken for intelligent people and guide governments as blind will lead the blind. But for sites like this we will all end up in the ditch.
Dear Kurma Chaitanya,
Thanks for giving good analogies, though the analogies might be more accurate if the police believed that cars were illegal, and the surgeon thought that metal was a work of the devil. Yes, I know that most of you are not against technology per se–only it’s evil use. Right? Then we agree.
Unfortunately, technology is difficult to generate without a complex support structure, which is either totalitarian or capitalistic in nature. It would be *wonderful* if researchers could explore new scientific truths for free, and if engineers could develop those discoveries into useful devices that are only used for good, but the world doesn’t work that way. I don’t know how to fix that, and all the utopias have been proposed have severe flaws.
Xray Mike – I accidentally ran across your web page and found that there had been some discussion regarding a short note I had left back in February and had forgotten about.
For a while, I couldn’t figure out why you were going on and on about SAIC. I do not work for SAIC. Never have. Never will (well, most likely never). I think I know why my IP led you there, but I’m astounded that you wasted that much time tracking down that dead end. It reminds me of when the Yugoslavian police arrested my dad for a day back in the 1980s. My dad was an ordinary American on vacation in the town he was born, and at the police station they literally had binders of information about him and my mom. He was astounded. No wonder the communist empire fell! Didn’t they have anything better to do than be paranoid about American immigrants who had left forty years previously?
By indulging in such paranoid thinking, I think you’re headed the the same direction as those poor communist police. Not that there are not actual conspiracies and abuses of power–it’s just that your time could be better spent on finding solutions instead of placing blame in a zero sum game.
> …I’m very confident that we don’t have the luxury of “hundreds of years” to see modern civilization disappear into the dustbin of history. … You only have to read The Limits to Growth to know much of what was accurately predicted decades ago.
I read Limits to Growth when it first came out, and it worried me greatly–until I discovered it’s errors; most prominently the “closed system” and frozen technology assumptions. I also read Erlich’s Population Bomb, which predicted food riots in the United States by the 1985. Look, Malthus has been wrong for 200 years, why do people still believe his fatal idiocy? Do you like to be wrong?
> Ecologic overshoot is not a hard concept to understand and mankind is subject to it just as any other organism, although we have proven very adept at ‘extending and pretending’ our overexpansion.
Exactly how has that extending occurred? There were only a few million of us, worldwide, when we invented fire. Ecologic overshoot for that level of technology happened a long time ago.
In other words, ecological overshoot depends on the carrying capacity of an environment, which depends on the capability that a species has in extracting energy from the environment. Back in the olden days (before photosynthesis) that capacity was fairly small. How can you predict how that capacity will change, given Moore’s Law (and Kurzweil’s Law of Acceleration)?
You are making a typical, logical error that computer make all the time. You’re not modeling human beings correctly. We have an imagination, which is one of the most important foundations of the technical arts. You are acting as if we are just material animals. But even in your everyday life, you want Truth, beauty in all it’s forms, and unconditional love. Animals don’t need all that.
> Cognitive biases are “an inevitable feature of adaptive behavior in all organisms, including ourselves.”
Certainly. Only who is suffering from them more? How can we tell? I’ve worked with Descriptive Logics and Semantic networks – it appears (so far) that the more things you can say with a formalism, the more difficult is it is to do automated reasoning with it. So we can’t ask HAL. 😦
I can tell that you are suffering from the same disease that most bureaucrats in government and large companies suffer from: a complete lack of imagination.
> Our political system is beholden to Wall Street money and everything in Washington is predicated on the short-term election cycle.
Sure. Money talks. It pays for media time. And politicians will say anything to get re-elected. Our Capitalistic Democratic Republic is the worse system in the world. Except for all the other ones. I’ve been wined and dined by governments in communist Bulgaria and in Cuba – I’ve seen the best they can do. Their philosophy and their plumbing do not hold water. Ideas have consequences, and bad ideas have fatal consequences.
You may not believe this, but I agree with you that capitalism sucks (Pope Francis believes it too–as a bishop in the slums, he saw up-close the cost to the losers). Similarly with democracy and two party systems. Unfortunately, however, everything else we have tried on this planet sucks much worse. The problem of understanding economic systems well enough to make them fair and efficient is… well, really, really difficult. I was going to University of Notre Dame as a grad student when the bishops of the United States decided to issue a letter on economics. After a day of of lectures by experts, the bishops realized that the problem was too overwhelming for them to solve. As a student, I was accustomed to be ignorant, but I really respected these bishops because they admitted ignorance (as opposed to politicians). I don’t see too much humility in the comments on this web site (then again, it’s not very common anywhere ;-( )
> Unfortunately, humans did not evolve to deal with seemingly invisible, long-term, existential threats such as climate change and ocean acidification, many of their effects being nonlinear and complex.
The Lifeboat Foundation, of which I am a member, is concerned with existential risks like that. Personally, I haven’t put in the time to really study the issues of climate warming… I mean climate change. I have noticed that the discussion is similar to the arguments about the Big Bang in the 1960s. It’s a theological argument, not a scientific one. At any rate, whether climate change is really true is irrelevant – even if it is anthropogenic (I suspect it is)–it is still the least of our problems. If we caused it, we’ll be able to change it. See Howard Bloom’s “Screw Sustainability” at http://lifeboat.com/ex/screw.sustainability. See also http://www.nanotech-now.com/columns/?article=486 and http://www.researchgate.net/publication/235889282_Toth-Fejel_Tihamer_%282009%29_A_few_lesser_implications_of_nanofactories_Global_Warming_is_the_least_of_our_problems._Nanotechnology_Perceptions_53759
> Concerning your second point, I am indeed using the internet to write about the collapse of industrial civilization. What is your point? I think you are implying that I am anti-technology, encouraging mankind to live in caves. If you read my core beliefs for this site, you’ll find your answer;
Thanks for trying to clarify your beliefs. Many of them I basically agree with (e.g. the first three) However, your core beliefs are either over-simplified, incomplete, or self-contradictory. For example, you write that “Man is part of nature, not separate from it.”
Well…. yes, we are generated by nature, but we are also separate from it, and that difference is crucial. Without that difference, when the Sun starts heating up in one billion years, we are the only species that will be able to do anything about it. Would you rather that we didn’t transplant the ecosystem of Earth off this planet? With our help, Gaia is immortal. Without it, she’s toast (literally). I’d say that’s a pretty big difference.
>…we do recognize the rule that technology is a byproduct of available energy resources,
What kind of rule is that? It certainly isn’t a law of physics, nor of philosophy, nor of ethics. Nor is it backed up by data. For one thing, technology also generates additional energy resources. In some parts of the Southern California, black stuff just oozes out of the ground. When I first saw it, I remember thinking – how gross! Why would someone dump so much used engine oil in a county park? Then I found out that it was natural – which is why there were also so many oil derricks in the area. That black stuff oozing from the ground used to be a nuisance. Now, because of technology, it’s valuable stuff.
> … at the rate that humanity is exhausting the plant, animal, and mineral wealth of this planet, I’m not sure what pixy dust the techno-optimists think is going to maintain our current set of unsustainable living arrangements. Perhaps you can tell us.
The amount of solar energy intercepted by the Earth in one day is enough to run our civilization for a year (and most of that solar energy is quickly re-radiated back into space). The Earth only intercepts two billionth of the energy that our sun puts out. The amount of power generated by photovoltaic solar cells has been almost doubling every year for the last 40 years as the price has dropped and the efficiency has improved (thanks to technology). It has reached parity in many places (depending on policies and accounting practices). As one Saudi Oil Minister remarked, “The Stone Age did not end because we ran out of stones, and the Oil Age will not end because we will run out of oil”. By 2020, the coming dominance of solar power will be obvious to everyone.
Wake up and smell the oxygen. Speaking of oxygen, did you notice what the evolution of photosynthesis did to the ecosystem? It caused the greatest mass extinction in the history of Earth, and then threw our planet into the 300 million year Huron glaciation period which was almost as bad. Please have some perspective. Think about what would happen if we doubled or quadrupled the current 6% efficiency of photosynthesis in living plants. It would make the Cambrian Explosion look like a sponge in a pail of water. Yeah, it would involve some pretty serious genetic modification—maybe we should try it out on Mars first. I’m fine with that.
> And if humans were able to bend the laws of physics and create some new energy source,
The sun is a non-monopolizable nuclear reactor that is a safe 93 million miles away. We should use it!
> we would still be in trouble due to overpopulation and our enormous consumption of natural resources.
Overpopulation? Oh, please. How many centuries has Malthus been wrong? And where exactly are the limits to Earth’s ecosystem? See http://www.islandone.org/MMSG/9701_05.html#_Toc394339700
> On your third point, yes planet Earth will eventually die… in about five billion years when our sun becomes a red giant, maybe.
Read the article carefully. All it talks about whether or not the third rock from the sun will fall into it’s star. The oceans will boil away billions of years before that – unless we build a large gravitationally-coupled solar sail that moves Earth into a higher orbit (It’s not difficult; Eric Drexler and Kieth Henson figured out the details in one afternoon).
> Does this inevitability give us the green light to exterminate everything within a mere century?
No, it gives us the green light to recognize our proper destiny in our solar system; our role is to spread life—especially human life and the ecosystem we depend on —throughout the galaxy. Do we agree on that? If not, then we may have some serious metaphysical disagreements that need to be explored.
> Humans are currently overseeing the 6th mass extinction which will likely take us all down as well, but I’m sure you are well aware of this crisis and are working diligently on some sort of techno-fix for it.
There have been many more than just six. People always like to think that their generation is facing the biggest crisis ever seen. It makes them feel important—though it is true in that we’re always one generation away from extinction.
Doubling or quadrupling the efficiency of photosynthesis, while expanding the inhabitable volume of Earth’s ecosystem by a few billion magnitudes are worthwhile techno-fixes, don’t you think?
I get the impression that you’re stuck in zero-sum-game thinking. What technology does (if done correctly) is greatly increase the size of the pie for everyone, including non-humans.
> Your last sentence implies that you are a person of the anti-environmental, right-wing persuasion who sees those concerned about the habitability of the planet as eco-terrorists.
I’ve been called *much* worse. 🙂 Actually, I’ve probably been concerned about the habitability of this planet longer than you have (I read Silent Spring just five years after it first came out. Afterward my viewpoint expanded a bit). What worries me is that your philosophical position is barely distinguishable from Ted Kaczynski’s. If it makes you feel any better, you are not alone. See my analysis of Bill Joy’s Wired article at http://www.islandone.org/MMSG/BillJoyWhyCrit.htm
BTW, what exactly is the right-wing? Or the left, for that matter. Other than Churchill’s heart/head thing, I’ve never really been able to distinguish the two. Usually, the views they typically represent are both wrong in important ways.
> I assure you that future biospheric events will change the minds of even the most greeny-hating, military-industrial-complex loving demagogues on the planet.
For the record, I love the outdoors. That is why I’m typing this at midnight instead of earlier today when I was running through the woods near my house. Also, for the record, I have my qualms about the military-industrial-complex for the same reason that President (and Army general) Eisenhower did.
Back to your point. Don’t just assure me. Put your money where your mouth is. I will bet that by 2020:
* More people will be dying (worldwide) from obesity-related diseases than from hunger.
* We’ll have more forests (in terms of acreage) than we had 100 years ago.
* More people will kill themselves voluntarily than die in traffic accidents.
*We will generate 20 times more energy from photovoltaics than we did in 2010.
Will you take my bet?
Your humble servant of the corporatocracy,
You’re nearly 5 months late to the party, but let me see if I have this straight:
– Malthus was wrong and will continue to be wrong
– Human imagination will overcome ecological overshoot
– Capitalism is the only choice since every other socio-economic idea is worse (lack of imagination?)
– Anthropogenic climate disruption is a theological argument, not a scientific one
– Mankind will be able to “transplant the ecosystem of Earth off this planet”
– Technology creates energy resources
– Solar technology will be more than enough to run industrial civilization
– Human overpopulation is not a problem
– That my “philosophical position is barely distinguishable from Ted Kaczynski’s”
– Mankind will be able to “build a large gravitationally-coupled solar sail that moves Earth into a higher orbit” in order to avoid the time when our sun becomes a red giant
– That “we’ll have more forests (in terms of acreage) than we had 100 years ago” by 2020
Wow, that’s quite a list of delusional thinking. I find it frightening that a supposedly educated person can hold such a laundry list of fallacies and myths in their head, but such is the nature of modern man born into the captivity of capitalist industrial civilization.
P.S. It only takes a minute to track down someone’s IP address and profile on the internet. You should know that.
Yes, but IP addresses are sometimes wrong, or (in this case) out of date. Ground truth is important.
Dear Xray Mike –
You gave a fairly good summary of my positions, with a few caveats that I may have not clearly explained.
> – Malthus was wrong and will continue to be wrong
Would you agree that he has been wrong so far? For example, in The Population Bomb (1968), Erlich predicted food riots in the USA by 1985, and those certainly did not come true. What is the carrying capacity of this planet? And how do you calculate it?
> – Human imagination will overcome ecological overshoot.
Well, not imagination by itself. Imagination must be constrained by the laws of physics. That is how we have overcome Malthus’ predictions so far. How else would you explain why he’s been wrong for 200 years? By current scientific knowledge, our solar system is constrained (by the laws of physics; specifically having to do with matter and energy) to about 10^21 people (one sextillion, American nomenclature). In about a thousand years we might need to start worrying about that. Isaac Asimov predicted that eventually, we would have a big ball of flesh expanding at light speed. He said it like it was a bad thing. It won’t be flesh, but it *will* be intelligent, conscious, and morally aware matter. Furthermore, it’s what our dead universe needs.
> – Capitalism is the only choice since every other socio-economic idea is worse (lack of imagination?)
You got me there! 🙂 I think almost everyone agrees that laize-faire capitalism tends to unfairly exploit too many people. So for justice sake, capitalism must be constrained, presumably by force. Right now, the government’s monopoly on legal force is the only constraint. But power tends to corrupt, so we need to be careful about how much power we grant the government. Another problem is when the people who run the government also own the means of production; again, too much power. Theoretically a theocentric culture could constrain capitalism, but that won’t work in a pluralistic society where everyone worships differently (plus theocracies can be hell on the population if they are incorrect; e.g. the Aztecs).
Hey, I’m open to suggestions here. Which of today’s realistic economic systems works more efficiently and more fairly?
> – Anthropogenic climate disruption is a theological argument, not a scientific one.
Collecting and interpreting the data (e.g. building accurate models) is certainly scientific. However, in real scientific discussions, people don’t scream epithets at each other. By “theological”, I meant mostly the type of “theology” that separates MS Windows and Linux users. That being said, there is an interesting separation of deniers and believers that correlates rather strongly with belief in the Judeo-Christian God. I’m not sure why, but there is also an inverse correlation between superstition and Christianity. Does that make anthrogenic global warming a superstition? I don’t think so, but like I said, I haven’t spent the large amounts to confirm such a hypothesis. Partially because the emotionalism one must wade through to determine the truth take a *lot* of work, and partially because global warming will be irrelevant in less than about twenty years (check out Moore’s Law).
> – Mankind will be able to “transplant the ecosystem of Earth off this planet”
Heck yes. It’s a lot easier than understanding the economy. One of the properties of life is that it always expands into any and all available niches.
Don’t forget that for centuries, “might as well fly to the moon” was synonymous with the word “impossible”. Do you know the average age of the Apollo engineers who actually got us there? 26 years old! The reason was because landing on the Moon was a simple physics problem that had little to do with what other people wanted (i.e. they weren’t standing in the way). In other words, why would Earth First try to keep me from planting a forest on Mars? (Unless it cost us two forests here on Earth, I presume. What if it only cost one tree? I’d take that trade-off in a second, but I don’t know what a current member would think. I was a member at one time, but I am no longer).
> – Technology creates energy resources.
Not always, of course. It’s a two-way street. But starting with photosynthesis, continuing with the Krebs cycle, lungs, water wheels, coal, oil, solar cells, uranium, and fusion; natural and artificial technology has always discovered ways to extract more energy from the surrounding environment. This paradigm has been working for two billion years; Malthus has been wrong for two centuries. Which is the smarter bet?
>- Solar technology will be more than enough to run industrial civilization
Don’t trust me, run the numbers yourself and post them here. It’s a simple math problem that any high school senior should be able to solve. Not that converting energy sources is always easy. Look what happened to the poor whaling industry once people started using natural gas and oil from the ground.
>- Human overpopulation is not a problem
For the last century or so, famine has always been the result of ignorance, injustice, and war. Is there any objective way to measure overpopulation (other than famine)?
> – That my “philosophical position is barely distinguishable from Ted Kaczynski’s”.
And Bill Joy’s. It’s your ordering of values that is very similar. At least Bill came close to admitting this in his Wired article “The Future doesn’t need us”.
> – Mankind will be able to “build a large gravitationally-coupled solar sail that moves Earth into a higher orbit” in order to avoid the time when our sun becomes a red giant.
Please tell me why you think that would be difficult for an advanced civilization. We’ll be able to build that solar sail in about thirty years, though the specific impulse would be so low that it will take tens of thousands of years for it to actually move the Earth to the orbit it will need to be. But who cares? We have hundreds of millions of years before we really need to do it.
> – That “we’ll have more forests (in terms of acreage) than we had 100 years ago” by 2020.
That is only four years away. Do you want to make that bet?
> Wow, that’s quite a list of delusional thinking.
So you are willing to make some easy money? Yes or no?
> I find it frightening that a supposedly educated person can hold such a laundry list of fallacies and myths in their head, but such is the nature of modern man born into the captivity of capitalist industrial civilization.
We are all born in a capitalist industrial civilization, as our ancestors got kicked out of Eden a *long* time ago. On one hand, I too yearn for the idyllic life of an uncivilized primitive. Unfortunately, that path ends in death for everyone, because the carrying capacity of Earth for uncivilized primitives was passed centuries ago.
If you are not willing to take a sucker bet, then will you at least please explain exactly how each of my beliefs are delusional?
Your humble servant of the Corporatocracy,