I Don’t Feel Like It

In the aftermath of (s)Election ’08, I have spent a fair bit of time reading on other sites and news sources. Of particular interest to me has been the new developments in climate change and the response to the (s)Election. The two are actually related, far more so then people might think.

I’ve already mentioned the ‘black hatred’ out there, but I’ve said little, recently at least, about the ignorance when it comes to climate change and what is means for humankind. The related connection here is “denial”.

Obama is hated for various reasons, none of which are particularly important (really). The changes his campaign alleged to represent are yet-to-be, that is to say, we simply don’t know what will happen. Not yet. I don’t really care what all the hoopla and excitement is about, the man isn’t even in office yet, so it’s all just speculation and hearsay at this point. But did anyone REALLY think things were going to get better? Or did we secretly know that it was still going to be business as usual?

I’ve argued the point in my own fashion that it is all down hill from here, because this is the only way we can actually go. We’ve peaked, in many, many ways, taking and destroying and partying our way down the food chain and with the environment like there was no tomorrow. Well, there isn’t. Not really.

Our tomorrows are destined to be highly difficult days because of the other point I’ve mentioned, climate change. The changes to the Earth’s environment are severe and growing worse by the day. Literally. And this is where (s)Election ’08 and climate change meet.

The misguided hope that Obama will finally address the fundamental issues that have destined the human race (at least those in America) on a path of sustainable development is fanciful at best. Representative of the status-quo, Obama can do very little in real life except bulldoze a few new roads with policy. That’s it. He has a Herculean task ahead of him, his inheritance from Bush and Clinton and Bush and on down the Presidential line. And he’s not going to fix much of anything at all as a result. We’re talking decades old problems here that have now come to a head in this Presidency. They’ve always been there, developing lesions worse and worse every year, but now, they’re all poised to come crashing down like an infected tree limb. And they probably will.

Therefore, he will have to respond in some pretty draconian ways if he responds effectively at all. And everyone is already up in arms about this, which tells me that they really don’t want change, despite their former claims.

I’m not apologizing for him, remember, I didn’t vote, I withdrew my consent. But the change we all said we’d like to see can only happen if we actually do change. And I mean a big change. Already, allegations and fear and paranoia are sweeping across the Net claiming that these changes (all alleged as of here and now) are going to be the death of America.

Well, I’ve got a news flash for you: America already died. We’re at present in our death throes and if you can’t see it, you’re not paying very close attention. The bailout / ripoff fiasco is one clear and present danger and a obvious sign of this. They don’t even want to tell us where $2 trillion dollars just went. Hahaha, told you so. This is a mega-disaster waiting to clobber us all.

But the clamor is for Obama or whoever occupies that dubious throne, to “fix it”. Make it all go away and return us to “normal”. Another news flash: there is no “normal” anymore, because it’s all down hill from here.

The really big “fix” that we either claim we need and want, or the other crowd that claims doesn’t even exist, is climate change. Unlike the mythical alien races that are alleged to be monitoring our planet, climate change can be soundly proven to be real, dangerous and quite threatening — if the science and evidence behind this isn’t just ignored out of hand.

I became keenly interested in this field because of its relationship to our future and even our freedom. Climate change will severely impact both of these things in ways which are highly negative, at least at first. To me, it is “the big issue” that triumphs over everything else. And I do mean everything else. Nothing else even comes close. Understanding the connections and the dependencies of the human species to the planet and a living environment is critical. Ignore this at your own peril, because in very short order, humans will be reminded just how fragile we really are.

So here we are, post-(s)Election ’08 and everyone clamors for change but not a change that they are willing to accept. The divisions within America are pretty deep and the ignorance exhibited by the masses is even deeper. My journey off into newsland and on blogs and forums showed me just how incredibly misinformed most people really are. I’m sorry, but their just as dumb as a box of rocks when it comes to some of these issues.

The other thing I noticed is how they refuse to accept any changes, even those that aren’t even happening yet. On the other hand, they’re still busy demanding change like a kid that can’t have his or her own way. It’s kind of like demanding more government services but refusing to pay any taxes. They want both, but no responsibility for either one. And it makes absolutely no sense at all, because it is clearly self-defeating and stagnating, nothing will ever change under these conditions except people’s opinions and a few deck chairs.

Anyway, I could post a bunch more links of “proof” of this and that, news stories and articles by experts and authors, of any of these subjects I’ve mentioned. But I don’t feel like it, because it isn’t going to change anything, and that’s why I haven’t done so.

Enough evidence and proof is already freely available for anyone who cares to honestly look and investigate these issues on their own. Sure you can find contrary views and expert opinions, but if you’re thorough, you’ll figure it all out sufficiently so that you will be persuaded to one way or another. Climate change and its impacts on the survival of our own species isn’t a subject that should ever be taken lightly, so due your own due diligence and make up your own mind on this issue. Or just walk outside and pay particular attention to what has happened in your own region this year.

But I don’t really feel like convincing anybody on these things right now. Perhaps I will again in the future, but right now the sheer futility of trying to rightly divide what is true and what is not true in your mind is wasting my limited and valuable time. I don’t mean to sound rude here, because that’s not what I’m trying to be. I’m trying to state that we are dealing with forces that are:

a) beyond our control;
b) will prove themselves to us all whether we deny them now or not.

The claims that we can fix our climate somehow are claims that fall into this category. This is yet another one of those subject areas that dives off into a multitude of directions, each claiming to have found a (future) solution, full of promise and hope. And yet, the yearly reports keep rolling in, our climate continues to degenerate and the political will remains reluctant at best, ignorant at worst to address this issue and we are always a step closer to our own collapse.

Enter Obama. I don’t know what idiot called this man the Messiah or the Savior or whatever their claiming, but Obama is just another guy occupying the throne for a time. His inheritance is actually our inheritance, we created this problem just as much as he did. But now we’re asking and expecting this superman to somehow fix this with technology that does not exist, with political power that cannot be effectively utilized and with a population that refuses to believe it or act responsibly towards it.

Go figure. Nothing will happen under these conditions. Give me a break, it’s just not going to happen. Some changes will be enacted, but nothing on the sheer scale and magnitude now being called for by the world’s leading scientists. Effectively, this means Obama “will fail us”, but the reality is much different, we will have failed ourselves. This is our fault after all. We ignored the science and the warnings given way, way back and now that it falls on this man’s shoulders, he’s already screwed.

So our Messiah won’t come. I knew that already. So should you. The other changes he has proposed are yet-to-be, but I don’t really feel like getting up in arms about them just now, because there is this other really big issue that has been bugging me every night…

Yep, climate change again. The future survival of the human race and our possible extinction. My best guess at this time is the human race may last less then 100 years from now. That is an incredibly short span of time. I base this on the information I’ve absorbed that deals with this issue. Mind you, this is just my own opinion, nothing more. But coupled with this opinion is the realization that a multitude of events are converging into the ‘perfect storm’ of cataclysmic proportions.

A divided and bankrupt nation. A world running out of energy and food resources. A depleted environment. Oceans heating up and aquifers collapsing. Icecaps and glaciers melting rapidly. Energy demands skyrocketing. Massive ignorance and denial. Fascist and socialist policies and practices to herd the population. Resource wars and jockeying for energy around the world. Political and ignorant leadership still calling for failed policies and practices, including bio-fuels and dangerous technologies. Scientific reticence from experts who know better. Promises of a technofix solution with technologies that don’t even exist or are entirely unproven. Business as usual models in finance, industry, agriculture, mining, deforestation, shipping and on and on.

I could go on, but I don’t feel like it. In fact, I don’t really know why I’m bothering at all anymore, because I realize the futility of trying to change anything (and I’m not the Messiah). Nobody is going to change anything, and I mean nobody. We’re on this headlong train that already plunged off this very, very high cliff and we are going to crash with a sickening thud. Period.

Believe it or not, I have written my own views on how to avoid this as much as possible, but these are not views that are being met with exuberance or enthusiasm or hardly any support. Doug just sent me $50, so there’s a supporter for you (thanks Doug). You and I both know this isn’t about money, but it is about expectations and living. It’s about how we live and what we should do and what we really, really need to do if we’re going to have any hope or chance at all. But we all know, even if we don’t admit it, that if only a handful of us do this thing (change our lives) that it won’t matter at all.

And it won’t. But the world at large does not want to be reminded of this fact, they don’t feel like it applies to them. And they are going to keep ignoring this as long as humanely possible, which is a pretty long time. And of course, that means that the worst outcome is now assured and basically always was. So it matters not if Obama is the Messiah or not, or if his policy changes and directions are rejected or embraced, it simply won’t be enough.

I think this is a harsh message. I think even though I’ve tried to be nice about it, it’s still a really harsh message. And I don’t feel like hitting on this again and again right now. Either you get it by now, or you don’t.

But what I do feel like doing is changing gears here. I feel like focusing in on the simple, practical things that are going to make all the difference in my world and in yours. Politics be damned, because I can’t change this global outcome through the political process and never could. Saving the environment where I live is all that I can actually do. Learning how to adapt and change with the adapting conditions of the world here is all I can do too.

So I have a question for my registered readers. Relocalization is a concept that is gaining momentum. But how do you feel about it as far as making a big enough change in your area? Where you live?

Here is where I’m going with this. Relocalization as I’ve come to understand it, is still too big. Too widespread and dispersed with too few people participating in this to make much of a difference. At best, it means you have an alternative to shopping at the supermarket, or buying from China. But it’s not going to be enough either, because the economy of scale is still missing.

Because humankind will only make gradual, incremental changes against immutable environmental factors which ARE on a very short time scale, we won’t make it via our gradual, incremental changes, even with our relocalization efforts. And of course, our politicians won’t be allowed to make the big steps and changes necessary, because we’ll kick up our heels and rebel or refuse or simply shoot the poor bastard as a “Communist”.

So the economy of scale of course, on a national or state level will never happen, it’s another one of those mythical, technofix type promises not even remotely based upon reality. But what about relocalization? I suspect that this too will fail. I suspect so because it is gradual, incremental and a poor substitute for the convenience and easy living we still have available to us. Therefore, we will continue to use the ‘exploited model’ of our modern lifestyle as long as we possibly can, because we can and because we will continue to take the path of least resistance.

I can think of many countless examples of where I’m doing this myself, which is why I’m laying awake at night thinking about the fate of the human race. The path of least resistance, expedience and costs are always easier to take, but there is a terrible price for all of this easy living down the road, and that is where we find ourselves today.

So if your still with me, this is why I say “I don’t feel like it” anymore. I need to make changes in my own world, but not even on a relocalization levels, as this is still too big. I really think relocalization needs to be reduced to something smaller the what I think it is. It need to be reduced to neighborhood. Something within easy walking distance. Forget trying to “save my town”, they’ll never go for it and it’s too far away for me anyway. I need to make changes that can positively impact my own life right here and with my closest neighbors. They’ll be the ones I depend on (or deal with) anyway when the TSHTF.

Another way to look at this is tribe. My local town is not my tribe and never will be. Most of them are rednecked ignorant hicks, but that’s beside the point. They’re highly clannish and set in their ways. Most won’t adapt, they’ll refuse. Our farmers market here is a joke, sometimes only 1 or 2 growers will show up, but I’ve never seen more then 6 or 7 at anytime. It’s just not profitable enough for them to show, too few customers, distances are too far and well, they’ve got other things to do.

My neighbors, for good or for worse, are going to be my tribe. The “band of brothers and sisters” that will be with me for better or worse through the good times and the bad times to come. One neighbor has horses, another cattle and hay, another timber. Nobody besides me grows anything here, but maybe that’s where I’ll come in. Or share my warehouse full of food, as long as it lasts. But the point is, I want to work on what is right here, very close by, within my own power and influence, and do what it takes to help adapt me and mine and those that are with me for the changes ahead.

Right here is where it counts, where the real rubber meets the road in my own life and in yours too. No President is going to change that, and nothing any scientist promises is going to matter. I don’t feel like banging my head against these bulwarks anymore anyway.

admin

admin at survivalacres dot com

15 thoughts on “I Don’t Feel Like It

  • November 11, 2008 at 12:54 am
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    Admin,

    Let me start by saying I agree with your point of view. It’s summed up quite nicely with the phrase “think globally, act locally.” I practice this as much as I can.

    I’m lucky to have neighbors that produce berries and other foods. We have a strong farmer’s market – probably 15 produce farmers show up every week. In addition, we have bakers, meat producers, and other food producers (honey, for example), that also actively market. Much of the food is organic. The market is so organized, it has its own website: http://www.lawrencefarmersmarket.com/

    But, given the general pessimism and foreboding in your post, and even as we face the end of our world, I cannot give up hope that things will change. I realize that this change may be last minute, a panic as things spiral into horror, but my hope is that people will come to their senses before it’s too late (if that is even possible at this point – as you, Hansen and others have written, we may likely be past the tipping point).

    I posted previously how important it is that all of us minimize our carbon footprints. What has this meant in my life?

    1) Reducing my energy consumption by lowering my thermostat in winter and raising it in the summer, or telecommuting or not using the dryer. I also keep the windows open as long as possible.

    2) Reducing my water usage. Going without shaving, rewearing my pants and shirts.

    3) Using biodegradable natural cleaners for toilets, counters, dishwashing, laundry soap, personal soap.

    4) Learning to garden organically and cook (including conserving seeds, canning, and maintaining soil through crop rotation). Right now Iâ’m learning how to make bread.

    5) Planting trees (I’ve planted nearly 300 trees on my property over the last four years).

    Future moves?

    1) Rainwater harvesting (it’s taken me a while to consider how to do this, but basically it involves erecting a large metal shed barn with a stainless steel roof to house large 10,000 gallon fiberglass tanks and making the water collected from this roofspace potable. Weaknesses in this plan include the need to purchase filtering technology and pumps. On the roof of this structure I plan to place solar panels to provide a power source to keep the tanks above freezing).

    2) Solar panels and windmills to provide energy for my home, a greenhouse, and at some point power for electric power machines, such as cars, mowers, chain saws etc. All of this is of course dependent upon battery technology improvements. Also, there is another requirement – solar tax credits, net metering, and carbon taxes to make it economically feasible to do so – and which are presently not available in Kansas.

    3) Underneath the metal shed (see step 1) is where I plan to put my root cellar. I’ll store seeds and canned vegetables and fruits there.

    4) At some point, I may actually sell my vegetables – not at a farmer’s market, but at a roadside stand, so that my neighbors can simply drop by and buy food.

    5) Rainwater harvesting off other structures by replacing the roofs with metal roofs (garage and house, wood shed, goat barn). I’m blessed because I have a large cistern near the house that I can store this water in. This water will be used to irrigate my garden.

    So here is where I scratch my head and wonder – If I can do it, why can’t others? And others are doing it – others like your readers! And beyond this, I’ve posted on this website stories about root cellars in New York City and neighborhood gardens in the slums of Detroit. Here in Lawrence, we are electing people who will protect farmland close to the city from development. In fact, new anti-development leaders were elected, which may save our local wetlands and provide net metering for our state (though that’s an uphill battle).

    Bill McKibbon and Michael Pollan, both national best sellers, have been like manna from heaven, reinforcing what you’ve stated on this blog. And they are reaching a growing number of people. There is a cultural change going on – and the Obama election is only a surface reflection of this. Many are adopting these changes on a much deeper level.

    So, regardless of whether we believe we can change our culture, we really have no choice but to change our culture. If we do die out, we can at least go out with knowing we tried our best to move the ball a bit forward. Most likely we will fail, but who knows? The future is not yet written, no matter how plainly we see things.

    Sometimes I recall the words of Gandalf the Grey in the Lord of the Rings. When Frodo laments about the Ring of Power, “I wish the ring had never come to me, I wish none of this had happened,” Gandalf replies, “So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide, all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

    You, Admin, have made a decision to pass on your wisdom to we who respect and admire your words. You did not choose to live in “such times,” but you have chosen to spend your time helping those of us who read your columns.

    By this very blog, you have demonstrated that we can work to change things, even if it might only amount to the folly of rearranging chairs on the deck. You have proven it is not in our nature to give up without a struggle.

    This is what we have chosen to do with the time that is given to us. The struggle did not begin with us nor will it end with us. But it is a crucible we must endure, and your words, though often filled with despair, give all of us more hope.

  • November 11, 2008 at 1:42 am
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    I’m afraid that I have no specific tips. The paradigm is failed. To do a little planet murder, to only murder the planet locally, to cut down on the amount of murderous activities, is futile.

    Try to survive anyhow you can because, believe me, and if not me then the worm eating masses in the Sudan, you WILL do what is necessary even if that means killing your neighbors, eating their children, and polluting the local river with six tons of mercury, if that is what you have to do, then you will do it.

    The only way out is species crash, if not extinction. All else is ego and fantasy.

  • November 11, 2008 at 7:28 am
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    The “we will figure it out in time” meme is pretty durable. Add to it ignorance, and hubris (that derives from it), and you have the toxic cocktail that is the human story, the story of impending extinction.

    I can’t help but get back to what I can act upon, because the larger madness that I cannot impact. The flywheels of destruction will never be stopped. Without question, there is nothing I can do about them. I can do what I can do, that is all.

    We can imagine that hope exists somewhere, because I suppose we must. It is our nature. The science clearly states otherwise.

    I am doing what I can too, but make no mistake, I don’t imagine for a moment it is anything but stop gap, and palliative. There is no granular solution for a global collapse, that is a logical fallacy equating the scales of force for change. We are being swept along, and will finally swept away, probably fairly soon.

    We have seen this coming clearly since my youth in the 70’s, and try as we might, nobody would listen, and today, that the grand tradition of mindlessness and denial is in full career, not deflected in the least. We have achieved the prize of certain extinction, only needing a “black swan” event, and I am certain there is one in the offing.

    Obama’s message of change to most means restoration of the old order, of say 10 years ago? It is pandering to another meme, the “we can have it all” meme. We can’t, we never could, and we will certainly pay the price in full measure soon. It’s over.

    Bill McKibbon might be manna from heaven, but only to feed our delusion that we can back this up. McKibbon, I am sure, knows the game is lost. Just as does Hartmann and anyone who has looked at it closely. They have fed their delusions by imagining that something might in fact work, when nothing can. We don’t know how, we have no will to do so, no political power to put it in place, and no time to get it done. I would say these facts pretty much run the table on any human prospect. It’s just not possible, we will all be gone soon.

    I have not been around here so much recently, in part, because I don’t see where anything I do or say will make any difference for me or anyone I know. Outside of my wife and my cyber friends here, everyone is wandering in the memes of denial. It seems we require generational change to actually change, but we don’t have that kind of time.

    Apparently at some fundamental level, humans simply cannot process the need for change at an abstract, futuristic level. We seem also nearly incapable of grace and sacrifice. These are our Achilles heel. These are our certain path to extinction. These are our fatal design flaws.

    Nothing I can say or do will change anything. Writing about it has no goal except to find group support for me I guess. It clearly does not do one thing to solve problems that I know are insoluble. I am going for palliative measures now, looking to hospice practices as much as back issues of Mother Earth News to plot out my future plans.

    MD

  • November 11, 2008 at 7:40 am
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    Another bit of good local news: The City of Lawrence is forming a Peak Oil Task Force to begin planning for a post petroleum world and to look at maintaining green space and farmland in close to the city:

    LAWRENCE PEAK OIL TASK FORCE UP FOR APPOINTMENT – CITY COMMISSION MEETING
    Tuesday, 11 November 2008, 6:30pm

    Mayor Michael Dever is recommending the following members for the Peak Oil Task Force, this evening at the City Commission meeting, :

    Vice Mayor Rob Chestnut (Chair)
    Scott Allegrucci, Great Plains Alliance for Clean Energy
    Michael Almon, Sustainability Action Network
    Rex Buchanan, Kansas Geological Survey
    Paul Dietz, KU graduate student in Economics, Lawrence Sustainability Advisory Board
    Tom Kern, Lawrence Chamber of Commerce
    Joe King, Coriolis Architecture-Energy
    Dean Palos, Johnson County Planning & Development
    Dan Wildcat, Haskell Univ. Professor, Dir. of Environmental Research Studies Center
    Scott Zaremba, Zarco 66 Earth Friendly Fuels (biodiesel and ethanol)

    There are three remaining positions to be filled: a County Commissioner, a public communications specialist, and an emergency management specialist. Rumor has it that the Mayor will select our Sustainability Action Network-nominated candidates. Tonight’s agenda item is #5 on the Consent Agenda http://www.lawrenceks.org/web_based_agendas/2008/11-11-08/11-11-08h/11-11-08_agenda_click_here.html

    We also have two local groups dedicated to sustainable practices. They are open to anyone to join.

    We are not alone, leastways, not around here. People are concerned and taking action, and in a city of 80,000, that’s something!

  • November 11, 2008 at 9:19 am
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    I have to agree with Cherenkov’s conclusion, “The only way out is species crash, if not extinction. All else is ego and fantasy.”

    and with Michael,”We seem also nearly incapable of grace and sacrifice. These are our Achilles heel. These are our certain path to extinction. These are our fatal design flaws.”

    Have a nice Die-Off

  • November 11, 2008 at 11:26 am
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    Michael – You have consistently made an incredibly thoughtful contribution to this blog. I’m long-winded, knowing that there are readers out there that have just stumbled acrossed this site. But you, your words are succinct and considered, right to the point! Excellent job.

    And “I’m with you” on what you’ve shared, I’m definitely feeling it. The rain is pouring down here where it should be snowing and I’m bleak as the coming winter. I know that whatever we do we are only just kidding ourselves.

    I remain convinced that we are looking for hope in the wrong places and at all the wrong things. These issues that I’ve brought up here are far bigger then any of us, even collectively cooperating together, we cannot change their outcome. We will all be swept aside like flotsam on the sea.

    Cherenkov – You too have made it right to the point! To cut down on the amount of murderous activities, is futile… I wish this were a lesson we truly understood, because it would help stop us all from just spinning our wheels now, surely what we’re going to do and thereby, making things even worse then they already are.

    logrithmic – Your optimism remains despite the doom. I don’t know how you do it. I don’t find the evidence for it to be honest. All I see is business as usual, tiny incremental graduated change, much too little, much too late.

    Michael’s “granular solution” is perfect here, the tiny grains we are adding to the change mountain are truly minuscule for the scale of the problem.

    One of the reasons I wrote this particular post is because I’m planning on making a change here on the blog. The evidence that a “granular approach” is not working is overwhelming. The evidence that no solution exists (other then what I’ve already written about) is also overwhelming. Nothing short of collapse of our civilization, the complete stoppage of all industrial activity and the resulting massive population reduction will work. And even this only means the survivors, if any, will have to ride out a century or more (more probably) of environmental change.

    I’ve returned to the immediate localness of my “tribe” as the only real influence I can actually have, but like Michael say’s, it’s still hospice, the cancer grows and there is no cure.

    My efforts at documenting and writing about these coming events was to enact change, but then I came to realize it wouldn’t ever be enough no matter what and my work has come to mean learning acceptance for what cannot be stopped. This is where I’m at these days. The cancer is terminal, I’m trying hard to learn to accept it.

  • November 11, 2008 at 2:07 pm
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    . I would also like to talk about acceptance and life for a minute. Having been addicted to drugs and the whole culture for over 35 years, having spent more time in prison then I care to mention, having done all sorts of … well anyway, having finally chosen life and light over slow death and unconscionable darkness, I find out that I have to accept the fact that I am pretty much screwed anyway. That to me is unacceptable. Even when in the midst of my addiction, I’ve always made it a practice to be aware of anything that could hurt or kill me, in or out of prison. On the whole I have been pretty successful, having only been shot 4 times and surviving many knife wounds. It was all part of the life I chose, so no big deal. But now, here I am some 9 years clean, no trouble with the law, living a semi-productive life, and I am finding out that everything is going to and is already in the process of crashing down on all of us, well, I am not like MD, so don’t expect me to show a whole lot of grace. Neither am I delusional and think I can change what is happening with a gun. It has taken me almost a year to just find some sort of balance between rage and depression. But having made the decision to choose life and all the commitment it entails, it now falls on me to figure out how best to accomplish this. I know that a lot of people believe that they can survive on land when TSHTF. I hope they’re right. I also have seen what desperation can do to people first hand.
    Noun 1. desperation, desperation – a state in which all hope is lost or absent; “in the depths of despair”; “they were rescued from despair at the last minute”; “courage born of desperation”
    despair
    condition, status – a state at a particular time; “a condition (or state) of disrepair”; “the current status of the arms negotiations”
    2. desperation – desperate recklessness; “it was a policy of desperation”
    foolhardiness, recklessness, rashness – the trait of giving little thought to danger

    Recklessness, giving little thought to danger. Now, multiply that by 300 million just in this country, and you still will not be able to imagine what is coming.
    Do I think that I have a better chance of surviving out to sea, I don’t know. At least on my boat, I can live pretty comfortably, lots of water, fish until the ocean dies, and always see new scenery. Hell, I would do that anyway. Am I being a coward or selfish? Like I said, I’ve seen desperate. My sailboat will be ready in thirty days or so. I just hope we have that much time.

  • November 11, 2008 at 2:17 pm
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    Nothing is going to stop this train. Continue preparing.
    My clan has begun eating the way we will eat after the big day when we can’t buy anything.
    Amazing what we will never eat again. Bananas, mangoes, avocados, probably will never see another orange after that day etc. etc. I am going to miss pepsi and coffee alot.
    Once the masses no longer have the international banquet available ( Not to mention Frankenfoods) many will suffer short term but severe gastrointestinal distress when they begin eating nutritionally dense high powered mother natures bounty.
    Eating and buying locally is obviously a great idea but I think where I am now residing, outside of Taos, one might starve to death.
    Logrithmic: regarding your water catchment : If all your tanks are connected to a main single line to the outlet then you can run the water through a sand and charcoal filter. No moving parts and quite potable. Also, going from a three inch outlet to a 1 inch or even 1/2 inch line will increase pressure.
    Also, the weight of water in the tanks with the aid of gravity precludes the need for pumps. Even if your tanks are a third full you will still have tremendous out pressure.
    Sooner or later ALL technology will fail. I believe it is best to begin the collapse with technology being considered a luxury not a need.
    Heat is the most energy intensive of all power needs. Instead of a solar panel you could look into solar Hot Water panels or even makes some. (Google) Very low tech and very low cost.
  • November 11, 2008 at 4:14 pm
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    A gem from Kunstler a few weeks back:
    http://www.jameshowardkunstler.typepad.com/

    “… There’s a lot about the way we live now that is disgusting, degrading, demoralizing, and socially toxic — from our suicidal diet of processed fat, salt, and corn syrup byproducts to the spiritually punishing everyday realm of the highway strip to the fantastic loneliness and alienation of a people made hostage to a TV-consumer nexus of corporate colonialism. Were done with that. We just don’t know it yet. “

  • November 11, 2008 at 7:22 pm
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    Wait! there’s more …

    ‘(borrowed’ content) from Mitsuhei Murata

    “Several years ago I had the pleasure to meet Mitsuhei Murata. The best description of him I can come up with is deep calm but active joy. He speaks of contentment, but he embraces life to it’s fullest with joy. He would enter the room like a deep calm pool of water, but one that radiated a warmth, brilliance and joy. He is as close to my image of a saint that I have ever seen in this world. Thus, I was greatly pleased to see this article written by him, that I want to pass on to you.

    Time to build a new civilization

    In the midst of the current global crisis, I am reminded of the words of Plato of ancient Greece to the effect that, to better the world, kings should become philosophers; otherwise the unhappiness of humanity will not disappear. Due to the lack of philosophy the world has lost its ideals.

    Today’s materialism is based on greed, which is now threatening the future of mankind and the globe. The current financial meltdown is one clear example. The deterioration of the environment is another.

    Mahatma Gandhi said, “The earth can provide for every oneâ’s need, but not for every oneâ’s greed.” This may explain the problems encountered by globalization.

    So-called GDP economics ignores all the important values that cannot be quantified and converted into monetary values, such as culture, tradition, family and social justice. And it makes a major mistake in regarding natural resources as “income” and not as “capital,” which requires preservation. Because of this mistake, economic growth is seriously damaging the environment.

    The prevailing supremacy of the economy has eroded the ethics of the present generation, which out of self-interest is building prosperity at the expense of future generations, abusing natural resources. This lack of ethical values is rampant on a global scale. Combined with the absence of a sense of responsibility and justice, this is cause for apprehension about the future of mankind and the globe.

    (clipped)
    more at http://www.upiasia.com/Society_Culture/2008/10/22/time_to_build_a_new_civilization/9948/
    ___________

    Have you ever noticed that throughout history, philosophers and enlightened thinkers have remained an exceedingly small minority? This is because they all recognize the environmental folly of reproduction, thus they rarely produce offspring to which they might pass their enlightened values.

    Put another way, intelligent self-awareness self-selects for genetic extinction.
    This is why the ignorant will always far outnumber the aware, and why the species on the whole is likely doomed…

    “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

    A(n obvious) Corollary:
    When what you ‘think’ (believe) and ‘who you are’ (what you do/feel) are in diametric conflict, this is Madness.

    Then you die.

    “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. ” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

  • November 11, 2008 at 7:23 pm
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    A friend of mine commented on this column. I felt it was worthwhile to repost. Hope you all don’t mind – it’s a different slant:

    Again, he (Admin) does not mention the population problem from what I read, but
    I pretty much agree with what he is saying.

    What I took from him is this, we are in a time so drastic and real that
    what was taken for “rock solid” well researched concepts in science, or
    economics is failing. And that is exactly what is happening right now.
    See the economic disaster, we have SYSTEMIC failure right now, Chomsky
    has written about this on Znet, noting that even the best run companies
    cannot do anything about a systemic system collapse. Survival acres dude
    is dead on correct in that the real problem is Global Warming, more
    properly called environmental collapse (or climate change if you need a
    euphemism) everything else pales compared to it, even our energy
    problems.

    And so we see – every dire common sense prediction made in the 60’s was
    EXACTLY right, things like pollution, population explosion, unchecked
    growth and development and so on, they cannot go on forever. Yet all our
    economic models are predicated on an INFINITE environment.

    It is so sad that seeing our little blue bubble from space in the 60’s,
    although so much was made of it, had no real impact on policy makers,
    or intellectuals for that matter.

    Note importantly that our “leaders” from then on have done everything in
    their power to fight not the problems themselves, but the BELIEF THAT
    THESE WERE THE REAL PROBLEMS. Even intellectuals like Chomsky refused to
    address the environment as the real difficulty, instead directing their
    efforts to solving wealth distribution, poverty, injustice and so on.
    Without ever saying a word about the exploding population, and the
    finite material resources that are the bases for our existence.

    Thus I prized so highly the book you turned me on to – Beyond Growth,
    this will or should be regarded in the future as an extremely important
    essay. If we even have much of a future.

    I have been appalled by this lack of vision since the late 80’s. Score
    one for basic common sense and zero for intelligence, honest concerned
    young people realize the need for a stable environment, it is common
    sense if anything can be regarded as such. Yet when they/we become
    educated this issue somehow becomes confused. It’s really just to basic
    to “study” it, because it is so damn simple. As we used to say when I
    was in capacity planning, “you can’t put ten pounds of shit in a five
    pound bucket”.

  • November 11, 2008 at 8:27 pm
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    Tao and Zen,

    Thanks for the feedback. I agree – the less technology the better,

    Log

  • November 12, 2008 at 10:31 pm
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    Not much I can add after reading so many heady posts. Whew! And thanks all.

    Years ago I had a short but vivid dream where I walked up on one of the forested mountains around here and I had an empty grocery cart. I somehow found myself on a wide forest trail and parked my empty grocery cart right there up on the mountain. Upon awakening I knew that, at least for me, the dream meant that everything I need for survival is out there in nature.

    Now it looks like we each might have the opportunity to find out if it’s true.

    The talk about solar panels and other technology, that a few years ago was a turnon for me, now seems so hollow in view of every system that seems to be crashing in on us from every side–political, environmental, economic, etc. And it’s true that climate change is the big one and it does trump all others.

    Probably what is to be most predictable about global warming will be its unpredictability.

  • November 13, 2008 at 6:38 am
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    The problem with Obama’s notion of “change”, I think, is that he presented it as a passive thing… that you really didn’t need to do much other than wait for him to hand it to you. And he never really described what he meant by “change”. For all I know, it could simply be a change of presidential skin color.

    He is “his brother’s keeper”, as he said in one of his speeches, but his real brother subsists on $12/year in the slums of Kenya and his aunt lives in the projects in Boston. Since he’s not doing anything personally for these people, is the assumption that he thinks the government should be? I don’t enjoy the thought of this problem being solved with pacifying handouts. He won’t have the money, anyway…

    I think Obama’s change is a pretty fragile one, because it’s not only passive but also almost religious in its requirement that it be reinforced every day if the illusion is to hold up. Now that the campaign is over and he’s not on TV every day, I think it is already starting to disintegrate somewhat.

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