I’ve got to get these words down before it’s too late. I don’t know how much time I have, they may have seen me come in here and I know if the find me, it’s all over. For good this time.
I wish I had more time, but I don’t, so bear with me, I’ll try to get it all down as best I remember it.
The Thirty-Years war was finally over. Actually, it didn’t last that long and some say it wasn’t just a single war. Well, it wasn’t, not really, but one war led to another with no break in between and it wasn’t long before everyone was involved. It only stopped long enough for the nations to rearm themselves, so we never really did catch a break.
It doesn’t matter anyway how long it lasted or what it’s called, it happened, and it destroyed everything. By that, I mean EVERYTHING. There is nothing left. There’s no water, no soil, no food, no cities, nothing. Not here. Maybe not anywhere, I don’t know. It’s all gone, dismantled and taken apart or blown to bits. Many areas are radioactive now, but you should know that, everybody knows that.
As far as the planet goes, well, we’re fucked. Royally. I’m alive only because I got very, very lucky and because somebody else saw all this coming and he made it possible for me to be here today. But my time is running out. I’m sick now and the strompers are after me, I’m pretty sure they saw me head in this direction.
Sorry, I’ll stick to the story. The year was 2100. This was the year we, I mean the planet broke all temperature records, at least it was hotter then it was before. It got worse later, like last year, it was really bad. The crop losses were huge then and the world plunged towards hunger and starvation. It was the poor countries that suffered the most. The rich countries continued to hoard food and energy resources (oil in those days) for themselves. Those that didn’t have enough didn’t get enough from anyone, anywhere.
The United Nations was still in existence back then, before they were taken over by the Global Legion. But they weren’t able to do anything anyway. 2010 was bad, but this was only the beginning of the troubles we endured.
I wasn’t even here then, not yet. My dad didn’t buy into the promises the government was making and back then, you could still have as many kids as you wanted. Even though by now a lot of people knew that overpopulation would only make things worse then they already were.
I had two sisters and one brother. They’re all dead now, both my sisters died from the Red Plague that killed those millions in the 20’s. My brother was killed fighting in Angola. God only knows why he was stupid enough to go, although I don’t suppose he had any real choice. Everyone was drafted back then, didn’t matter who you were or where you lived, you fought. The Global Legion saw to that, everybody was “enlisted”.
My dad called this conscription and slavery. I didn’t go, because as far as the government was concerned, I never existed. That was hard, living and hiding and pretending I was one of “them”, but I wasn’t anybody. I worked at home with my dad, and when he died, well I just kept myself going, but I had my dad’s library and research.
Our neighbors thought I was unable to fight, but they never asked either. My dad told me once that he’d fixed it for me somehow, and that they’d leave me alone. For that, I am eternally grateful, as I’m sure I’d be among the millions of dead that have been lost.
But I wasn’t prepared for what came after my dad’s death. It was his books, the ones he wrote himself and the other ones I found. And his journal. That was the most amazing piece of writing I have ever seen anywhere. It changed my life and my thinking and I became what my dad said I would. This was before I even knew what he was talking about. I became a “gojun”, the word has several definitions. I like that one that means “fight from the spirit”. I think my dad might even be the one who invented this word, but I’m not sure.
He died hard, but I think he knew that he would. The blood was everywhere, but he’d killed the three who killed him. I found him too late to do anything about it, and buried him up on our hill, at night when it was really dark and nobody could see. There wasn’t anybody else there and I didn’t know who I could trust back then, so it was just me and him in the cold ground. I cried a lot, I couldn’t help myself, but I was glad I was able to do this for him. A lot of people had died, and nobody buried them. Entire cities had been destroyed in an instant and entire generations of families were instantly wiped out. By then, I was fourteen and it was 2028.
I didn’t know what to say to the neighbors when they eventually asked, so I simply told them the truth. That’s something else I learned from my dad, the truth was always better then a lie. They were sympathetic, and a couple had even come by to check up on me since, but I haven’t seen anybody now for a long time. George told me that my father was a good man and had made a hell of a difference in the world. It wasn’t until I had read my dad’s books and his journal did I finally figure out what George meant by that. To me, he was just my dad, and then he was gone.
I didn’t know what to do with myself for a long time, but I managed to stay alive. One reason that happened is my dad had made sure I’d have what I needed to do that. I won’t tell you everything, ’cause he also said it’s not a good idea to blab about everything, but he made sure that there would be the basic things I needed to stay alive and that’s what I did.
By 2030, things were getting really bad. A lot of people that were still left had disappeared or died from one thing or another. The Red Plague took a lot of them, but others were killed by the strompers. They were forcing people to talk about all their neighbors then, back when they still thought some of us might have something still worth taking. It didn’t matter what you might have, they’d take it. They’d even take the young boys and girls when they found them.
That’s why they’re after me, somebody talked, but I don’t blame them, whoever it might have been. The strompers were brutal, I saw what they’d done to Kevin’s family, back when he still had one.
This is where I got lucky. Something, I not sure what it was, told me it was time to clear out. I’d been pretty much planning on doing this anyway, knowing that if others were disappearing near here, it would be my turn soon too. So I’d been moving my stuff, just the essentials to my hidden spot, at night when I could get it done and nobody could see. It wasn’t too far, but it was still hard work.
That’s when they’d come looking for me, I could tell by the signs they left that they’d been there. But I’d been gone then and like usual, they came at night. They didn’t find me, but they’d found some of my dad’s guns and some of the food stash that I’d still had left behind. All these things were gone now and I knew they’d be back. But they didn’t find the cellar and the hidden door, where my dad and I had hid all the really important things we needed to survive.
But I was out of time, there was no way I could move this stuff fast enough by myself. And there wasn’t anybody I could ask to help either, almost everyone around here was gone now. So I decided to just move everything I could and hide it close by, and then try and get that all moved to my hidden spot where I was planning to live.
It took me all night to do it, but I got it done. There was a dense stand of trees still alive back then nearby, where my dad had planted them years before. He told me that this was our future firewood supply and it wasn’t far away at all. So I made dozens of trips with a wheelbarrow and taking eveything out of the cellar, I got it all stashed in the trees. By dawn, I was exhausted and I managed to drag myself away someplace where I could see if the strompers would come back.
They did too, but they didn’t bother to look around much. They just checked the old house and crashed around breaking things, looking for more food and weapons. There wasn’t much there, part of my dad’s strategy had been to never appear to have too much. They left empty handed this time, having already taken eveyrthing that they wanted.
That night, I started making the trips to the hidden spot and getting everything moved. The weather turned cold by the time I was done, I could only do one trip a night loaded down. But nobody found that stash, which was a damned good thing, or I’d have long since been dead.
And this is where I stayed for the next seven years, hiding here, coming out only at night and never in the day. But now everything is dead, it happened so fast, you can see the gray ashes everywhere. And I’m sick, so I broke my own rule and tried to find some help. There’s blood when I cough now and I don’t know how to treat whatever it is that I’ve got. And that’s how the strompers found me again. I’d left to see if I could find help, I didn’t want to to die up here all alone.
I’d gone in the direction of town, but I hadn’t been there now in many years. It took me two days of walking to get near, and I didn’t see anybody. But when I got there, I realized I had made a mistake. There was nothing there, just some burned out hulks of buildings, but no sign of any people. The town had burned to the ground apparently, and was abandoned.
I decided to take another route back, but it was slow going. What had used to be a verdant forest way back now was now just a wasteland, but there was a great many downed dead trees I had to cross, and this is where they spotted me. I had just cleared the top of a ridge, the only living thing moving for miles around, or so I thought. But I’d skylined myself and the movement caught their eye.
They were down below me in a clearing, there was a camp of some sort with huge piles of junk piled up all around. They saw me about the same time I saw them. I disappeared back over the ridge before they could shoot. If they could shoot, I didn’t know if they had any weapons still or any ammunition for them, but I recognized their uniforms or what passed for them. They were strompers alright, and I was certain that they’d kill me if they could find me.
I ran, jumped, leaped and crawled until my lungs tore through my chest, and then I ran some more. Once I thought I might have a little distance away from them, I started back tracking very carefuly to hide my path. This was hard to do now, as the land was so badly damaged that going any direction, even backwards was slow going. And I was still coughing up blood, more now that I was exerting myself so hard.
I decided to not go directly back to my hidden spot. If they were able to track me, I’d lead them right to me. But I made another mistake, I didn’t count on them not giving up. I was probably the only living thing they’d seen in a long time, I certainly hadn’t seen anything alive.
It took me three days of hiding and evading to make it back here, but I’m pretty sure they’re not far away now. I still need to tell you about what happened to the rest of the planet, as far as I know it to be. I’m not sure if anybody will ever find this, but I’ve got to try.
Well, I said we’re fucked, and we are. I don’t know how many people are still alive, but if they’re like me, they didn’t move far enough north to survive. Everything is dying around here and that means I can’t grow any food or hunt any animals or even drink the water like before. I have to triple filter the water now and it might even be why I’m sick, but I don’t know.
The war took everything and whatever was left, was destined to die from hordes of desperate people eating everything. Nothing was preserved. The forest and trees were cut down and what survived eventually died from the gray ash falling from the sky. The streams were choked with this stuff. The plants died, the animals died or migrated someplace else, but here, now — there’s nothing.
I heard the seas rose and flooded entire countries and all the low lying islands. My dad wrote about this in his journal, but I’ve never seen the ocean. He’d written that there were nearly two billion refugees before I was born, I can’t even imagine that number. Where did those people go? My dad wrote about them only a little more, most of them disappeared into other lands and refugee camps, but almost all of them died in the wars that followed.
I didn’t know where to go. I stayed hidden all those years, but leaving really didn’t seem like an option. If I left, I’d probably have been caught, because by then you couldn’t survive off in the woods by living on the land. They’d already wiped out almost every living thing that could be eaten and even though the gray ash hadn’t come yet, there wasn’t anything left to keep you alive. I survived this long only because I had food. I was one of the few, maybe even the only one who did. The strompers simply took their food from whoever they could, I heard that they had even eaten people after the animals disappeared.
But what I don’t know, and I still don’t know is if everybody is dead and dying everywhere else. My dad told me that there would be groups up north, far, far away up near the pole. He said they might live, if they were smart, and if they didn’t kill everything off. He said it was possible and that’s why I’m writing this all down. Maybe they’d like to know what happened down here as much as I’d like to have known what happened up there.
The radio quit working almost four years ago, so I have no idea what’s happened elsewhere since then. But even then it was all propaganda like my dad said. They were still trying to force their rules and regulations on everyone, even though there were far fewer of us still around and everything was either dead or dying. But the radio fell and broke and I haven’t heard another voice until a few days ago when the strompers tried to catch me. I’ve been very lonely, but I’ve been alone so long that I guess I’m pretty used to it by now.
But my story — I watched everything die, all around me. It was gradual at first, but then it was faster and faster. It was almost as if someone had taken an eraser and was rubbing everything out. It was very sad to see. I loved the forest and the wilds but it became a harsh, bitter place with things dying everywhere. There wasn’t enough rain and the forest fires were terrific. This accounted for the grey ash at first, but later there was more as the bombs fell.
The dying continued and it was a dark period for me. I couldn’t help it, so I began to read more and more. I’d managed to save my dads book and his journal. It was his journal that saved me. I memorized every word. He had written about this time, predicting it all as he saw it in his own words and in his own time. He had felt that mankind would not learn from his mistakes and would push the entire planet past the breaking point. They called these “tipping points” and he was right.
All I ever saw was death and destruction. It didn’t seem to even matter anymore, death was everywhere and humans were behind it. I’d learned to kill, from my father, but only when it was necessary and I’d never killed another human. But I didn’t think humans were sacred, there was much too much death in them for me to believe that. I just never had cause to kill another human, but I was always armed for the occasion if it occurred.
My dad had lots of guns and he’d made sure I knew how to use them, clean them and make each shot count. Ammunition was absolutely priceless, even when I was young. Now, ammunition is probably worth a month’s supply of food, but I bet you nobody would trade that kind of food for a bullet or even for a whole box of shells. Food is gone now, nobody has any food and what good is ammunition really going to do you if there is no food?
My dad said the same thing about gold and silver. People were hoarding this stuff, believing it was going to help them when things got bad. They found out that this wasn’t true, people that had the stuff they needed weren’t willing to trade it for useless metal. They’d only trade their stuff for important stuff, like medicine, sometimes liquor (which nobody really needs either, but it was something people in those days stlll seemed to want) and stuff like boots and warm clothing. Some people got stupid and got drunk and it got them dead pretty fast. My dad had a little of this, but I didn’t bother to take it, it’s probably still in the cellar.
I did take the guns though, but I don’t see how they’re going to help me much now. I need help, I’m weak and sick now and there’s nobody around now that could help. If the strompers catch me, it won’t matter anyway and then I’ll use my guns on them. This place is pretty good, if I’m awake when they come, I’ll see them first and these guns are pretty good, I can probably kill a dozen before they make it up here.
But I’ll be honest, I don’t see the point. Why are we still tearing each other apart? Why are we still fighting over the last scraps like this? Haven’t we done enough damage? My dad said it would come to this. He saw this coming. He said that the last human would be surrounded by empty shell casing as he killed off the last surviving animals on earth — which would be another human. I don’t know if he thought that that man would be me, but if he did, he never said it.
I don’t want this to be me. What a terrible legacy this is! I can’t believe it’s come to this now, this is too horrible to bear. I think I’m glad that I’m sick, I don’t want this to be me. If I die here and nobody comes, at least I will die without that.
But I hope that somebody finds this letter. I really do. I want them to see if they can, that some of us finally understood that there has to be a better way. There was no need for all this fighting, even though I didn’t fight, I still feel like I was a part of it. I hid, and I ran, and I stayed away as much as I could, but I didn’t have any choice. That’s fighting, isn’t it? Isn’t it really the same thing? We’re not working together, we’re not trying to make things better, we’re still working against each other, tearing it all apart.
This is terrible, but I don’t see how it could have turned out any other way. My dad said so too — he said that we’d keep doing this to each other until we finally destroyed it all because we were stubborn and foolish and stupid and we’d not even believe the evidence before our own eyes. He wrote about that — a lot. Back then, when he started his journal, they’d not believe anything it seemed, even if they were standing right over it looking at it. I found that hard to believe, but not anymore. I seen it, in the eyes of others and in what my dad had wrote. Nobody would believe it could happen to them.
I wish my dad was here, but it’s probably better that he’s not. I don’t think he’d have known what do now anymore then I do, but I don’t know. I sure do miss him though.
I think I hear them coming now, there’s a sound down there that that shouldn’t be there. I need to stop writing now and get ready. I hope someone finds this — tell whoever is left that I didn’t want it to end this way. Tell them that even in all this death and agony and gray and ash that I believe we could have done it better — a lot better. Tell that that if we had embraced life and all things living, this place would still be here for us. This was our home. Our only home.
Tell them, if there are anyone else out there alive to still tell — to never, EVER forget what we did.
Tell them that if they get to live — to live it right.
And tell them to take my dad’s books and his journal. You’ll understand why when you read them.
Fade To Black
I’ve written a few chapters of a fictional book, “Fade To Black”, that subscribers can sign up for. It’s a free e-book of course, you will need to sign up to receive this.
New chapters will be sent out periodically when they’re ready. The above story is NOT one of them, it’s just a short story of a possible future facing humanity.
Oil Company Admits Steal Tribal and Federal Lands – Chevron Corporation, Texaco, Unocal Incorporated and their affiliates (the Chevron companies)
“So that’s it. The world’s worst polluters €“ the people who are drastically altering the climate €“ gathered here in Copenhagen to announce they were going to carry on cooking, in defiance of all the scientific warnings. They didn’t seal the deal; they sealed the coffin for the world’s low-lying islands, its glaciers, its North Pole, and millions of lives. Those of us who watched this conference with open eyes aren’t surprised. Every day, practical, intelligent solutions that would cut our emissions of warming gases have been offered by scientists, developing countries and protesters €“ and they have been systematically vetoed by the governments of North America and Europe.” Johann Hari, The Independent, 19 December 2009
”In biblical terms it looks like we are being offered 30 pieces of silver to betray our future and our people €¦ our future is not for sale.” Ian Fry, Tuvalu negotiator
“This is a declaration that small and poor countries don’t matter, that international civil society doesn’t matter, and that serious limits on carbon don’t matter. The president has wrecked the UN and he’s wrecked the possibility of a tough plan to control global warming. It may get Obama a reputation as a tough American leader, but it’s at the expense of everything progressives have held dear. 189 countries have been left powerless, and the foxes now guard the carbon henhouse without any oversight.” Bill McKibben, 350.org
I’ve heard the Copenhagen fiasco (“meeting”) called Hopenhagen, Nopenhagen and now a new one invented by me, Nuttinhagen. The results are dismal, but expected. None of the world’s worst polluters intend to do anything meaningful, the business as usual of rape, pillage and destroy with abandon and ill-concern for future generations is fixed firmly in place.
There will be a lot more smoke-and-mirrors flag / arm waving going on throughout the world, but we’re commited now to 25%+ species loss and a cascading set of dominoes that will lead to humanities collapse.
And we know that 2 degrees is not a safe target, but a catastrophe. The research tells us that a 2-degree warming will initiate large climate feedbacks on land and in the oceans, on sea-ice and mountain glaciers and on the tundra, taking the Earth well past signiï¬cant tipping points. Likely impacts include large-scale disintegration of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice-sheets; sea-level rises; the extinction of an estimated 15 to 40 per cent of plant and animal species; dangerous ocean acidiï¬cation and widespread drought, desertiï¬cation and malnutrition in Africa, Australia, Mediterranean Europe, and the western USA.
The suicidal assumption of the rich nations is that those with money can adapt to 3 degrees or more. This delusion is strongly built into the current debate at every level, from government and business to many of the NGOs in their advocacy and support for actions that are a long way short of what is required for 2 degrees, let alone a safe climate.
What has happened exposes the smouldering contradiction at heart of the international process: while the science leads to 0-to-1-degree targets, the large emitters refuse to commit to actions that will leads to less than 3-to-4 degrees because it challenges their “business-as-usual”, corporate-dominated approach. The best commitments on the table at COP15 would produce a 3.9-degree rise by 2100.
It was the United States that was the primary sabateur of the accord, who fully intended to do absolutely nothing whatsoever except blow more smoke up our asses:
In early October, US climate negotiator Jonathan Pershing announced: €œWe are not going to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. That is out€. The USA set out to destroy it at COP15, actively supported by the Annex 1 bloc, with Australia in the lead behind close doors. Obama’s climate position was described by Bill McKibben of 350.org as a “A lie inside a fib coated with spin”.
Developing nations accused Australia of “trying to kill Kyoto“. Australia appeared to be saying one thing in public and another privately, with the chief negotiator for China and the small African nations accusing Rudd of lying to the Australian people about his position on climate change.
Months ago the G-77, a loose coalition of 130 developing nations, accused the US and other developed countries of trying to “fundamentally sabotage” the Kyoto Protocol (KP). They were right in their fears. Instead of enforceable targets in an updated KP, the Copenhagen Accord (CA) contains only voluntary, non-binding, self-assessing targets which amount to “pick a figure, any figure, and do what you like with it” because you will face no penalty for blowing it.
COP15 failed because the US and the major economic powers did not want the KP renewed and the climate action movements within those nations did not have the power to stop them behaving this way. China appeared not to care too much what happened one way or the other. With central planning of their booming green/climate sector, they have no need of global agreements or carbon prices to drive their industry policy; they may even have a competitive advantage in seeing the process fail.
Climate multilateralism may already be dead. It is reported that US officials were boasting privately that they are “controlling the lane”. Most developing nations are deeply unhappy that the CA is outside the climate convention framework, but they were bribed to sign on by the USA with threats that poor nations who refused would loose their share of the $100 billion that rich countries have (theoretically) pledged to compensate for climate impacts the rich countries themselves have caused. Unless every country agrees to the US terms, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton explained, “there will not be that kind of a [financial] commitment, at least from the United States.”
Everybody should think on this: humans cannot “negotiate” with the planet. We cannot dictate our terms to the environment, or nature or the myriad of natural systems that support life on this planet. Nor can we fully influence them either good or bad and certainly not in the timescales that we are now pretending we can.
Reality will triumph over political foolishness every time.
The reason why I have kept my own personal stance on climate change is because that is exactly what reality reports. Many people have “switched size” depending on the literal season (time of year) finding their “proof” in snowstorms or droughts. This is ridiculous and show a lack of critical thought. We are fully able to measure what counts the most — long term trends through direct measurements. Seasonal variations have almost zero impact upon these trends.
This newsletter and the old blog had documented hundreds if not thousands of reported examples as “proof” of these trends. From collapsing fisheries and oceans to widespread drought and depleted acquifers to glacial melt and disappearance — the trends are dead-obvious for anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear. But like our politics, many have “switched” the opinions depending on how the wind blows.
The Earth’s natural systems are immune to politics and opinions. Recently I wrote that it is irrelevant “what we believe” and this is also the case here. We need to remain focused on what is actually happening, in ALL things including measurements, science, politics and practices.
This is the “do” or “doing” that I’ve also emphasised in the past. What we are actually doing, not what we are actually saying.
I’m sticking to my guns, climate change is real, it’s happening now, humans are largely responsible, we are doing next-to-nothing to effectively stop it and it will lead to humanities utter collapse.
It is dead simple — if animals, fish, plants and trees cannot live here — neither can we. And at the rate we are going with our pollution, destruction, consumption, depletion, acidification and poisoning, we are ensuring that there will be nothing left in existence.
Does it matter? OF COURSE IT DOES. Or the scenario written above will come true.
Northwest Bomb Plot ‘Oddities’ – It is no longer surprising in the least that whenver a unjust law is about to expire, something “just happens” to show how much we need government to protect us from boogeymen.
Also read Hacking Drones, Crumbling Empire. There is no doubt whatsoever that this technology will be / is being used to subvert people all over the planet, including here in America.
The first involves programmes designed to saturate such cities with myriads of networked surveillance systems. …
This leads neatly to the second main area of defence research and development to help assert the dominance of US forces over global south cities: a shift towards robotic air and ground weapons. When linked to the persistent surveillance and target identification systems … these weapons will be deployed to continually and automatically destroy purported targets in potentially endless streams of state killing. Here, crucially, fantasies of military omniscience and omnipotence, which blur seamlessly into wider sci-fi and cyberpunk imaginations of future military technoscience, become indistinguishable from major US military research and development programmes. The fantasies of linking sentient, automated and omnipotent surveillance–which bring God-like levels of ‘situational awareness’ to US forces attempting to control intrinsically devious global south megacities–to automated machines of killing, pervades the discourses of the urban turn in the RMA. (Stephen Graham, “Surveillance, urbanization, and the ‘Revolution in Military Affairs’,” in David Lyon (ed) Theorizing Surveillance: The Panopticon and Beyond, London: Willan, 2006, pp. 251, 254-255)
I am definitely suggesting you look ahead to here, the “land of the free” as you read this article on military dominance and indifference.
Wired Magazine has another article, Danger Room’s Top 10 Stories From A World Gone Nuts. The common theme here is the industry of death, most of it originating in the land of the free.