A Time To Cry

Malcom Light has published a paper, “The Non-Disclosed Extreme Arctic Methane Threat“. Special thanks to Lonewolf for sending this along.

This is perhaps one of the most sobering reads you will ever lay your hands on in the scientific literature. At least, for the moment.

I suspect, as I have already published, that the days, weeks and months ahead, we will see much more of this sort of thing. The scientific reticence of the past is evaporating away, all too slowly, but nonetheless, it is happening.

Light’s paper contains extreme words of warning to the global community of humanity.  In short, a major extinction event of all life on Earth within just 30 – 40 years is now occurring.

Citing numerous scientific research papers and authorities, Light presents a convincing case: humanity is on the verge of a catastrophic event; an Anthropocene extinction caused by abrupt Arctic methane release.

This is far too serious to simply dismiss. The works cited by other scientists are summarized in Light’s paper.

  • Carbon dioxide pollution has caused a massive atmospheric temperature rise since at least 1960.
  • This has caused a “delayed temperature anomaly of more then 12°C” and is causing an increase in the severity of storm systems as evaporation puts more energy into the atmosphere.
  • There is uncertainty about when this sudden delayed temperature anomaly will occur; but new calculations show this can happen quite soon – in just 10 – 20 years.
  • The IPCC has elected to not raise the alarm about a sudden large methane release, or how this could lead to abrupt climate change.
  • The current best estimates of a major methane release in the Arctic with a global mean average temperature increase of 8°C leading to the major extinction of all life on Earth is 2050, with a range of 2042 to 2050.
  • The mean time of extinction of the Northern Hemisphere was previously fixed between 2024 and 2039 (Light, 2012). The best estimate of final extinction (2050) is 3 years later than the mean estimate for the Southern Hemisphere of 2047.
  • A giant pall of methane covers the Northern Hemisphere (Figures 9a,b)) and massive amounts methane have been erupting along the entire length of the Eurasian basin and the Laptev Sea from October to December, 2013 (Figures 10, 11, 12).


Figure 3 .  Seven mathematically determined mean extinction times for the Northern and Southern Hemispheres and absolute mean for the extinction of all life within 3/4 of the world’s surface area. Data from Carana, pers. com. 2011; Connor, 2011; Dessus et al., 2002; Hansen 2011; IPCC 1992 a,b, 2007; Light, 2011; Masters, 2009; NOAA 2011 a,b; Wignall, 2009.


Light proposes using radio – laser transmissions, operating on a 13.56 mhz frequency to “zap” the atmosphere and destroy as much of the methane as possible. Three ships are proposed to work together.

This won’t stop the loss of the Arctic ice cap however, this is still expected to occur in the new few years, exposing even more dark ocean water to solar energy absorption.

  • Methane emissions are now appearing strongly over the East Cost of Greenland, confirming the Gulf Stream (Atlantic) waters have got so hot that they are now destabilizing methane hydrates throughout the entire Arctic Ocean.
  • In only two years, East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) methane emissions rates have risen from 8 million tons to 17 million tons.
  • 2007 was the main atmospheric tipping for for methane emissions. Atmospheric methane is increasing much faster then carbon dioxide emissions due to destabilized subsea Arctic methane hydrates. “We are now power diving towards extinction”.
  • A fast-approaching extinction event is now a reality and can only be averted through swift and immediate action.
  • Gigantic zones of circulating warm air (20C anomaly) have been measured, indicating significantly increasing atmospheric methane buildup and feedback (Fig 14).
  • Rising Arctic methane emissions are creating a continuous, thickening global warming ‘veil’ encompassing the entire Earth. (Fig 15).
  • The delayed carbon dioxide and methane temperature anomaly is 12°C to 20C. The stage is therefore set for giant firestorms, catastrophic weather systems, drought and sea level rise caused mostly by the uncontrolled build up of methane in the atmosphere due to the destabilization of the Arctic permafrost and subsea methane hydrates by carbon dioxide induced global warming. This will cause the total global extinction of all life on Earth.
  • The area of the Eurasian Basin is similar to that of the East Siberian Shelf where Shakova et al. (1999) indicate that some 50 billion tons of methane could be released at any moment over the next 50 years from destabilization of subsea methane hydrates, producing catastrophic consequences for the global climate system.
  • Consequently global warming is probably now also destabilizing methane hydrates in the Eurasian Basin, (Figures 10 and 11) starting the release of an additional 50 billion tons of methane which will further compound the catastrophe represented by the destabilization of methane hydrates on the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (Shakova et al. 1999).
  • Essentially we have passed the methane hydrate tipping point and are now accelerating into extinction as the methane hydrate “Clathrate Gun” has begun firing volleys of methane into the Arctic atmosphere (Figure 13).

Words really cannot describe the seriousness of the situation. Humans have triggered catastrophe on a global scale. Light’s proposal to ionize the atmosphere with radio waves is a “Hail Mary” pass to save humanity from extinction.

I don’t know if it will work. What I note is how late the hour has become for all of us. If we have reached the point where we must take this desperate gamble – while the world stupidly ignores the cause – then it doesn’t bode well at all for long-term survival for anything.

There are many who now believe that near-term extinction is not only likely, but a growing reality.  Light’s paper adds emphasis to this perspective. His proposal to “save ourselves” is an indication that our situation is already very, very desperate. Scientist now telling us to save ourselves?

Rising temperatures will lead to widespread crop losses and famine; gigantic fires and firestorms; severe drought the likes we’ve never before experienced; and the exact opposite – storms of such ferocity and intensity, causing infrastructure damage and flooding, that it becomes EXTREMELY questionable how long we can “endure”.

My best guess – not long. There is a very limited window of “survival” built in to industrialized civilization. Just-in-time delivery systems must work regularly and incessantly, without fail, around the clock to provide everything that everybody needs to survive. Only 3 days worth of food can be found in any supermarket. Increasing crop failures due to disease, drought, and changes in seasonal cycles will immediately be ‘felt’ with higher prices and then shortages and then … nothing at all, as widespread farm failures spiral out of control. Then starvation sets in.

This is what a lot of people completely fail to realize. We will starve long before we overheat. We can temporarily shield ourselves from the scorching sun – but we cannot do this for our crops on a wide-enough scale to make a difference. We cannot grow everything we need indoors, or underground, or in vertical greenhouses either. The simple fact is once we lose industrialized agriculture due to temperature extremes – we’re going to starve to death. By the hundreds of millions – then by the billions.

The planet will continue to heat up and experience extreme temperature anomalies. Light’s paper indicates we could see over 20C temperature increases, which would literally boil off the oceans into space in time. This is not a joke – this is deadly serious.

It’s also the reason I’m posting very little. The world isn’t listening, does not care and continues to pretend all is well. This is the exact opposite of reality. I find myself in direct opposition to the widespread ignorance and denial that continues to govern the thoughts of other men. The world they live in in is pure fantasy; an illusionary make-believe that humans really aren’t going to screw things up ‘that badly’.

It’s very clear now that indeed we have; and that we’ve very little time left to screw around. This weekend is stupid-bowl time again, where millions of Americans get to be distracted by another gladiator game while Rome burns to the ground.

Good luck with that. If that’s how you want to spend your last days on Earth watching overpaid lumbering humans beat each other up, go for it. Why anybody would be a ‘fan’ of such brutality and orchestration is beyond my comprehension. Know this – none of the players, promoters, advertisers or corporate sponsors give a flying fuck about you at all. All they want from you is your support through patronage, ticket sales, televisions broadcast and advertising. The message is always the same, keep conned-suming. They’re playing every one of you for a fool, economic units to be exploited for their profit and gain.

Personally, I’ve got a lot better things to do, like take care of my family and do everything I can to try and spend as much real time with them as possible. Wasting my life sitting in front of a flickering screen is simply stupid beyond belief. So instead, here I sit – in front of yet another screen, pounding away, begging, pleading, hoping against hope that these words will reach someone.

I could just cry, at all of this. We all just want to live. To experience the sheer joy of being alive, to breathe deep of the fresh air, to marvel at the skies and the nature that is all around us. To revel in each day with each breath, hearts beating and eyes clear with the anticipation of simply being.

The experience of being alive is taken for granted. But if you have never experienced the risk of death, or come close through injury, sickness or circumstance, then it is too easy to dismiss. You come to take it for granted, until you get old or something happens to you.  Then you begin to truly realize how precious it really is, and not just for your own self, but for every living being.

The opportunity to even be alive is actually a rare gift. Not everyone or everything which could actually live gets that chance. Many are robbed of their lives early on. Eaten for food, or simply killed, the life that we who live and take for granted, is denied to billions, trillions of creatures, all of whom very much would enjoy life, however brief, as much as we have.

But we and every other living thing are being robbed of this chance, every single one of us, in the cruelest, most inhumane way possible. I cannot imagine a worst outcome.  We are self-destructing, with a vicious, rapid abandon, swiftly eradicating all the pretty places, all the pristine, sacred and marvelous natural existence that once covered this Earth with what we’ve called “progress”. Civilization is our cancer, corrupting everything it touched. And now we’re going to pay, very, very dearly for what we’ve done.

The time to cry is upon us. I cannot believe we’re going to stupidly stand around and let this happen. Let it all just die while watching another stupid-bowl.

This is unbelievable. A tragedy doesn’t even begin to describe it. How do you enunciate the words that we killed an entire planet through sheer arrogance and hubris? All the beauty – gone. All the pretty places – disappeared. Buried under mountains of debris. Polluted with trash. Poisoned with toxic chemicals. Irradiated for thousands of years. Harvested for whatever resources found.  All this – then superheated and deluged, utterly ruined for life.

We’re talking about forerever. Gone. Along with all of us, and every other living thing on the entire planet.  Extinction literally means forever.

Because we could NOT get our act together. Instead, we entertained ourselves to death. Our blood-lust was limitless, we perfected the art of murder, assassination and genocide. Anything that stood before us was simply wiped out. We didn’t care how we did it. We didn’t care about any of the consequences either. All we care about was the immediate results and our gratification.

No species has the right to do that.

We obviously don’t care about our own children either. The growing alarm from the scientific community absolutely, positively proves this fact. I find this absolutely and completely unacceptable. I’m a father, and I cannot accept that all you other humans don’t give a flying fuck about the future of your own damned children. But that’s exactly what I see happening. Nobody even cares. They simply do not give a shit. everybody is so damn busy being distracted with stupid shit that they’re willing to destroy it all for momentary pleasures.

Goddamn it all, this make me angrier then shit. You’re killing my children, did you know that?  Of course I’m angry!  I’m not going to stop being angry either. No loving father would.

Definitely a time to cry at the sheer stupidity of the human race. The increasing arrogance and ignorance that permeates our species. What a waste. What an incredible waste. The whole of human history, hundreds of thousands of years, the long, long struggle for life, for joy, for discovery, for existence – to be tossed away, discarded like refuse.

How in God’s name can we do such a thing?

I simply can’t, can’t, can’t believe it. But obviously, I should, because it is clearly happening. So I guess this means that I simply cannot accept it, even if I’m gasping my last breath of air, I refuse to accept this outcome. This should not be allowed to happen if we care even a tiny bit about anything.

It didn’t have to be this way. We could have rebuilt our society; our civilization. We could have created a entirely new culture, whereby we could have truly learned to live and be free while not wasting the planet and screwing everything up. The biosphere was not ‘for sale’ and this should have never been allowed or permitted.

Life has value. The experience of being alive, to embrace the joy, the meaning, the whole range of human experience… this is what life offers us. But we will have no more of this. The events now unfolding are so monumental and so catastrophic that we can now number the days we’ve left.

Count the days. Give it a good, long heart-felt cry if you can. Make your time left count for something. Embrace fully what remains. Weep for what is already gone and what comes our way. At least show your family that you really did care, even it is already too late for all of us.

Hug each other while you still can. Turn off the incessant squawk box and get outside and breathe deep.  Now you know what it is to truly be alive.  You’re holding it in your arms and in your lungs. This is the joy that life brings.  This is what really matters and the only thing that ever really did. To be alive and to experience the sheer joy of it all and all that it contains.

Life – it’s what we are, please, please do not waste any more if it.


admin at survivalacres dot com

18 thoughts on “A Time To Cry

  • December 29, 2013 at 5:38 pm
    I read Light’s paper.
    It will not be accepted by anyone in the mainstream, whether they are NPR-listening liberals, or Wall Street Journal reading conservatives. Or progressives.
    His paper is obviously not peer-reviewed, and uses terms that are more advocacy than objective… talking about the ecosystem in anthropomorphic terms, etc.

    That said, I looked the author up, and he seems to be a legitimate climate researcher. A researcher who has freaked out? Likely.

    Nonetheless, I sent the paper to a local science journalist who also writes for the New York Times Magazine ( Maggie Koerth-Baker). I heard her on a local public radio station on Friday morning, going to work. I heard her state, “400 ppm CO2 in the atmosphere doesn’t mean things will implode…”)

    I told her, via email, that her soft-pedaling of AGW was not good. That she should be telling the truth. She even mentioned that the last time Co2 levels were that high, the earth was 3 C warmer… but she didn’t connect the dots! Even 3 C warmer would be catastrophic for humanity. WTF?

    I called her out, gently. I sent Light’s paper.
    Guess what I’ve heard back from her? Nada.

    Oh – and they mentioned on air that she is a new mother.
    Your anger over the children was very heartfelt. Thank you.
    I almost tore someone a new one in the YWCA sauna when they talked about enjoying the record 47 C temp yesterday here in Minnesota. I wanted to ask him how he’ll be feeling enjoying the record high summer temps in 10 years, while he’s starving.

    • December 29, 2013 at 8:29 pm

      I’d not describe it in exactly those terms. Light referenced many credible scientists who are world renowned, better then I ever have. Many might think “I’ve freaked out”, but the quotations and references I give are not from the unqualified “doomers”, but from the scientist themselves who are clearly trying to convey a clear, stark warning.

      Please note – The peer review process can take a long time, and is subject to replication of results, revisions and so forth. Light has done us all a great service by admitting to what has already been reviwed and established in the scientific literature. His conclusions are not fanciful, nor imagined, they are based upon the work of many others and therefore, should be considered with clarity and acceptance.

      Right now, this respresents some of the best work we’ve seen that connect the dots in the mosaic I’ve long preached here – finally, the scientist are “seeing this”. I was never constrained by anything to “brave the rejection” that this viewpoint of “doom” was sure to cause (which is still true).

      I simply do not “care” one way or the other if this message is rejected on a personal level. This isn’t about any particular individual, it’s about what is actually happening and how it will affect us all.

      Today’s journalist are not even remotely qualified to speak out on such a serious level. They’ve too much vested interest in keeping their jobs and pleasing their editors. I expect nothing from them at all, which is unfortunate, because we desperately need a national voice on this topic immediately. This would take courage that I’ve never once seen from the journalistic community.

      • December 30, 2013 at 8:16 am
        I wasn’t trying to say I disagreed with Light, or that his paper is invalid, or doesn’t deserve peer review – just that his obvious personal stake in the issue automatically makes a paper suspect to many scientists. I remember as an undergrad being told by a professor to only use the passive voice – even saying, “I put the chemical in the test tube” was unacceptable to him. He wanted me to say, “The chemical was put in the test tube.”

        Main point: Light’s research and findings are certainly credible to me, and alarming. That said, science is always provisional: the results are never certain. Unfortunately, most people, including the “science journalist” who won’t respond to me, use the uncertainty as a way to advocate doing nothing, or as an excuse to “not alarm the public,” etc.

        • December 30, 2013 at 9:05 am

          All valid points, thanks.

          I think the scientific community is going to screw around long enough to ensure we’re totally fucked – out of ‘fear’ of their tenured positions or just the natural reluctance to speak up and out, very, very loudly in order to be heard.

          Frankly, we “know enough now” to be fairly certain (well beyond 50% likelihood, and more likely 80% – 99%) that we’re in ubber deep shit unless a global emergency is declared right now. And as others and myself have said – this guarantees us nothing, but we should still try (imo) versus ‘just accept the inevitable’ (precisely because we cannot know the future with complete certainty). The risk is simply too high to stand around with our thumbs up our asses.

          We need to see something like 900 of the world’s best researchers to descend upon Congress like hawks and demand a hearing. Grab these sorry political hack bastards by the throat and not let go. At the very least, this would finally get the media and public’s attention.

          I think the world’s scientists have done us all a great service irregardless, everyone contributing what they have researched, but there have been several papers / articles written on how they’re not reaching the public or policy makers. I ‘forgive them’ this because I’m not sure that is their job. It is the job of policy makers to LISTEN to the experts (that’s why they have them) instead of dismiss them out of hand. Think Inhofe for example, probably one of the worst politicians in America on climate science, yet he claims to be ‘informed’ and is a huge roadblock to any progress. The people of Wyoming should immediately remove this dickhead from office and assign him a job as garbage collector.

          I note that Canada is just as bad – Desdemona has been covering this lately. Their politicians, despite the presented science and eye-witness evidence of what is happening in the North, rejects anything that doesn’t make the country revenue. Canada is now one of the top emitter of emissions, ie., worst polluter in the world.

          This is not how to run a government or create a habitable future. Sooner or later (like now), something big, bad and utterly deadly will occur and if your government(s) is run by greedy asswipes beholden to mega-nationals, then humanity and the biosphere are fucked. Politicians are making things far, far worse because they’ve no spine for the truth and are easily bought and sold.

          What the world desperately needs is a ‘fifth man’, i.e., (World War Z) where you prepare for the worst. I can’t see how this could possibly be bad, when the risk is so unbelievably high.

  • December 29, 2013 at 5:55 pm
    Sir, your words have touched me deeply.

    I grieve for those of us who fully comprehend the horrors ahead.

    Those who don’t or won’t are undeserving of our tears.

  • December 29, 2013 at 6:10 pm
    I suppose each thinking person is in one stage or another of what Elizabeth Kubler-Ross describes in a dying or terminally ill patient.

    Denial, anger, guilt, acceptance, resolution–I don’t know them all, just trying to remember a few and put them in the correct order. Logic tells me denial would be first, then anger. Anyone who wants to correct me, feel free.

    There is one thing I did not understand about fig. 3. Most of the numbers on the right “y-axis” do not match those on the left “y-axis”. There is so much crammed into this one figure–maybe I need to study it more.

    And what Light proposes will not work. Remember Einstein said something to the effect that problems cannot be solved by the same mindset that created them. Think technology. It will fail like every other techno-fix we humans have devised. Not only will it fail, but it will probably make things worse, even if it appears to buy a little time. Humans could have been something but we chose to be greedy, kill each other, and devolve.

    • December 29, 2013 at 8:17 pm

      I doubt it will work either. Too many things to go wrong. Whatever the laboratory results actually are, things work out differently in the real world. Thus, the “Hail Mary” reference, a desperate pass in the face of oblivion.

      Figure 3 is the calculated time to extinction. This represents the melt back time of glaciers and and the new mean of 2050. From his paper:

      “The polar ice core atmospheric methane-temperature correlation (Figure 18 and 19) indicates however that an atmospheric methane concentration of 1790 ppb to 1850 ppb will produce a delayed mean atmospheric temperature anomaly of 20C totally eclipsing the Major Permian Extinction Event by some 14C (Figure 3).”

      Please note: these levels of atmospheric methane are already being recorded (2012 – 2013 and perhaps sooner, I’d have to check) over the Arctic. I’ve already posted this before.

      I don’t care what “stage” I’m supposed to be at. I remain deeply angry. Part of me has acceptance, but a part of me does not. Any thinking, feeling, aware human probably feels the same way. Rage can only describe my feelings towards the corporate world, politics and rank denial the guarantees our destruction. I’ve zero tolerance / patience for greedy fools – or sheer stupidity. There is scant time left to pratice “stupid” and endless “debate” or deny. We’re living in a “horror story” that rules use all, brought to us by the morons and fools which govern the planet. They literally hold the fate of the world in their incompetent hands.

      But alas, it is in all likelihood far to late.

  • December 30, 2013 at 10:01 am
    Peer-review is good for weeding out overt author bias (but not perfect) -which this paper is laced with throughout – and also at catching gross error (unknown in this case). However, the process generally takes years (after its formulated and ‘put to bed’), as in several years, especially at ‘proper’ /authoritative Journals. However, events are developing/unfolding so rapidly now (as they surely will in future) that per-review is utterly and wholly impractical in specific disciplines (e.g. climate chaos) NTM, that 99+% of the ‘civilized’ populous couldn’t understand a peer-reviewed paper if they tried really hard and had significant help.

    “We HAVE become Death, destroyers of worlds”, several times over.

  • December 30, 2013 at 11:28 am
    Great analysis. You agree with me that the author is biased: that is, he is pro-life (in the rational sense), pro-earth, pro-biosphere.

    Unfortunately, one of the major flaws of modern science, which Heidegger among others have commented on, is that it is really just a tool that is mainly used for the exploitation of nature, beings, and humans themselves.

    It is hard for the instrumentalist, determinist, and utilitarian mindset to correct itself: the method of science could theoretically be used for the protection and preservation of life, but the power inherent in it will almost always be abused by real people, supported by real institutions (i.e. gov’t and corporations, or govcorp) ,and therefore it has become the instrument of our own destruction.

    We actually stand a much better chance of survival if industrial civ collapses fast, and enough so that modern institutional science dies. It would be fine to have a few Galileos and Darwins around, looking through their telescopes and observing the finches. But the kind of science that leads to nuclear reactors, nanotech, and AI/robotics is completely and irredeemably destructive.

    This Light guy seems to have gone off the deep end, because of the terrible knowledge he has seen. He has gone off the deep end and jumped into the pool of those who love life and want to save it.
    Alas, he is a tiny minority.

    The young mother-science journalist who has refused to communicate back to me about my very gentle opinion of her neutrality and refusal to communicate the terrible risks faced by humanity from “just” 400 ppm of CO2 is a great example. She will never jeopardize her career with the NYTimes, even if she becomes fairly certain that her new baby is doomed by her inaction combined with the inaction of all the other careerist science “journalists.”

    • December 30, 2013 at 11:45 am

      Count me among those who have “gone off the deep end”.

      At this point in human history, there is no other place to be (imo).

  • January 1, 2014 at 4:55 pm
    Admin, I just started reading a book that eloquently expresses what you are getting at by describing truly living: Martin Prechtel’s The Unlikely Peace at Cuchumaquic, The only meaningful response right now is to really live, to wake up.
  • January 2, 2014 at 9:13 am
    Thanks, admin, for another lucid post. I’ve long appreciated your eyes-wide-open perspective. And I also appreciate how at the same time you keep pointing out that we can’t see the future perfectly and that we therefore should / must continue to really live life in the best way we can, even in the face of our almost certain near term extinction.

    I’d like to ask you what (if any) realistic possibilities you may have encountered, in your extensive research and contemplation, which could conceivably stave off the collapse of the biosphere, or at least delay the inevitable for any significant period of time. Well … maybe “realistic” is too high a bar. Perhaps rational or plausible or conceivable or within the realm of the possible.

    The reason I’m asking is because it’s so easy for us to focus on the negative aspects of our situation (since there are so very many). Perhaps it would be more useful for those of us who are awake to our true situation to focus our attention on any potential positive aspects that we can think of. I’m not interested in hopium, but rather in finding (or at least searching for) something in between false hope (self-delusion) and utter despair (which I think is just as useless).

    At the very least, I think that if we (who can see the writing on the wall) brainstorm about possible solutions (or ameliorations) to the bigger problem, that it will help us to better see possible solutions to the immediate situations in our own lives. Sort of like habituating our minds to see opportunities for betterment when / if they appear.

    I’m not saying that you should stop chronicling the ongoing collapse of the biosphere. I think what you’ve been doing is important, and maybe it will wake up a few more people who might already be in the process of waking themselves up.

    So my question to you is, do you think there’s value in having some sort of group brainstorming (maybe in another post) about potential broad-scale solutions? Or do you think there’s really no value in such a pursuit?

    • January 2, 2014 at 7:45 pm

      Sorry I couldn’t respond earlier, I’ve not had any time at all today.

      There are quite a few proposals on the drawing board to combat rising temperatures caused by human emissions. Yet all are unproven, none have been done to scale, and the potential side-effects are either unknown or disastrous. Most are dealing with datasets that are already known to be incomplete (like failing to address the non-linear feedbacks already set in motion).

      None of the proposals truly address root causes (population, capitalism, growth, i.e., “civilization”) and none will work for these reasons (imo). It would do little good to ‘sequester C02 emissions’ from coal power plants but do nothing about population or endless growth and expansion. The outcome would be the same. Carbon credits are the same thing – an unworkable scheme that is already being exploited.

      All of civilization would be required to combat climate change on a truly massive scale, and this is so far-fetched as to be totally implausible because it requires “too much” from humanity. It would never be allowed. It would never be totally supported. Think “no industry, no business, little to none industrialized agriculture, no growth, no population expansion, global restoration of forests, swamps, fisheries, mangroves and much, much more”. A complete “reversal” of all of civilization – and that’s just for starters, since none of this would do anything at all about the carbon already emmitted, or the accelerating methane being released, or the missing ice so desperately needed now and a number of other feedbacks now underway.

      None of these can be “stopped” by our feeble efforts on a time scale to be meaningful to this generation (or even the next). We already know we are committed to over one thousand years of increasing temperatures for example. Which generation(s) then would truly commit themselves to working against rising temperatures? So far, the answer is virtually none.

      Any global effort would also be immediately co-opted, leveraged and twisted around by the very corporate systems we have now that try to pass off their activities as being green or ‘good for the planet’. Corporatism and greed would essentially control who did what and who profited. In other words, the world systems of control are very poorly oriented to doing any of the “right things” to make things truly better, it’s not how they work and they never have. Instead, the world is governed by greed, profit and control. This will not change because of NTE or anything else. They’ll soon be selling ‘survival space’ in bunkers to the wealthy and elite. Oops, they already are!

      It would have to “all” go away first (and get out of the way) to permit any solutions from being tried on a sufficent scale. I see this as a factual impossibility. They will not go away, it’s all far too entrenched to even be considered as a viable possibility. Therefore, we’re “stuck” with these institutions – which are all profit oriented (even in the face of extinction) and therefore, they are impossibly “matched” as effective tools to actually help us. Everything they “do” is actually contributing to a depleted environment – and more emissions.

      It should be obvious now they are actually the driving force driving us to extinction and therefore, should be disbanded completely, but that will never happen. So to expect them to finally support a global effort to combat climate change while cutting their own throat – well, that is just pure delusional fantasy. It doesn’t add up and never will.

      The brainstorming sessions are a good idea, but they have been underway for some time over various boards (Neven’s board for example, but I’ve seen several others). So far, it’s techno-wizardry hopium being proposed – most or all failing to address root causes, meaning it’s no ‘fix’ at all. And the honesty I’ve seen indicates the same conclusions – we’re well and truly fucked.

      Personally, I think we are deluding ourselves now. First off, we don’t have the requisite skill set to deal with the problem or pretend to adequately answer it. Those that might, have proposed ideas that do not account for population, growth, capitalism or even time adequately. And lacking political support, funding and public acceptance, any idea no matter how great or good, is already DOA. This is why we’re really deluding ourselves, we’re failing to comprehend the scope and scale of what needs to be done and the ability of the world to respond.

      We are in fact, very poorly equipped to deal with something like this. It may be too concrete to declare that we won’t make it – but I think all the evidence now points to exactly that conclusion.

      But there is also a never-discussed issue that sooner or later will make itself known – do we really want to save our civilization? Especially this one? It’s pretty clear it’s a gigantic failure. If this is the “best we can do” then it’s clear it’s not good enough, not even close and it needs to “go”. But the primary question STILL remains – can humans survive the collapse?

      I think this is the ONLY thing worth working towards / discussing now since the rest is already a certainty. Can we find a way to survive what is coming and unfolding even now?

      Personally, I’d like to see real answers, real ideas, real solutions, versus going extinct and “giving up”, because that is not what we do. This IS what weighs in the balance on this topic. But I truly doubt we can actually apply any “answers” to THIS civilization, which is so poorly equipped to adapt and change itself.

      This civilization will expire – and fairly soon now. I hope that humans survive this, and restore themselves as a viable species with a totally different culture then what we have today.

      • January 4, 2014 at 4:59 am
        All excellent points! I guess the reason none of the proposed “solutions” (like zapping methane out of the atmosphere) address the root causes is because we are so far beyond the point of no return. We’d first need to build a time machine, then go back about a hundred years. But even then, no one would believe it or be willing / able to implement a solution. In fact, people would be even less likely back then to reverse “civilization” and all its biosphere-destroying aspects.

        I’m not entirely sure why I even ask such questions. I guess it’s part of that survival instinct people are born with to always think / hope / wish that there must be some way to survive, even in the face of insurmountable evidence to the contrary. I suppose that’s why hopium is so popular. I hate to say that most people are just idiots (even though that certainly seems to be the case). I think you’re right about people. We don’t have the capacity (haven’t yet evolved enough) to be able even to see / understand the scope of the problem, let alone reverse the damage we’ve done. Maybe this ultimate futility is why I haven’t bothered to participate in such brainstorming forums, and why you’re probably right that there’s not much / any value in them.

        So … civilization will implode on its own, one way or another eventually, destroying as much of the habitable ecosystem as it can in the process and killing at long last all the “civilized” people living inside it. In order for any humans to survive, they would need to extricate themselves from civilization first (nearly impossible, a you’ve pointed out many times) and hope for some small bit of habitability to be left over (highly unlikely long-term) to survive in.

        The only vision of survival I can imagine in this scenario looks a lot like Dune, but that is mostly due to the limitations of my imagination. Do I really want to survive to live in such a world? I guess that is where the despair and the desire to just give up come into play for people who have their eyes open. Which leaves us with the only thing we’ve ever really had anyway — living life (surviving) in the present moment as best we can. But isn’t that also a form of giving up, at least giving up on trying to survive the unsurvivable future, even if limited to personal survival and not bothering about global survival? Just a rhetorical question. And maybe struggling with not “giving up” in the face of it all is the best we can do. It’s better than nothing.

        • January 4, 2014 at 7:35 am

          You can’t fix the problems of civilization by refusing to address or even acknowledge root causes. In the past, we relied upon natural abundance and growth opportunity and technogical ability when faced with monumental problems – none of that applies anymore. Sooner or later, a civilization like ours, would totter and fall over from its own growth and excesses, it was inevitable.

          There is a huge disconnect on what science is revealing and what people even hear about. Plenty of utter idiots still claiming that there is no warming, while pointing to a “once in a century” snowstorm. The overall awareness of the accelerating climate crisis is exceedingly poor. They think their food is grown in cellophane wrappers. The atmosphere between their ears is toxic, infectious and deadly – and these morons rule the world by their sheer numbers and the idiots they appoint. There can be no argument about whether or not they will kill us all, history being our examples, that is exactly what they do.

          We’re all faced with the horrifying prospect of ‘just giving up’. The situation requires us to acknowledge a bare truth – there will be no winners of any sort.

          I think this is however, the wrong way to look at it. We never ‘could’ win anyway. What we are really is endurance, which now means survival of the human race. It’s always been about this in reality.

          If the biosphere is utterly wiped out – we won’t survive, no matter what. Wouldn’t matter if we found an endless supply of cheap energy, we’d still die out. We can’t live here if other life can’t live here. So this topic of endurance applies to all living entities.

          Endurance isn’t winning. It’s simply “being here”, living some sort of life, experiencing what that life has to offer. That’s where we find meaning, by continuing to exist for as long as we can. It’s what the human race has always tried to do.

          So – we don’t give up. We keep trying. I don’t find the talk of giving up based on sound reasoning at all. Nobody is going to give up. Not for a long, long time. We’ll keep trying to exist – even if we know it is truly hopeless.

  • January 5, 2014 at 10:16 am

    Desdemona (and others) have posted year-end pictures of human crimes against the Earth. See Des here, 50 Doomiest Images of 2013.

    This is the “proof” that anyone could possibly need that humans will not stop, no matter what, even in the face of self-extinction. Our gluttony, greed, and wanton abandon to rape the planet into total devastation is well underway, culminating towards our own complete extinction.

    • January 9, 2014 at 8:04 pm
      I love this guy: Looking at natural resources as limits to growth

      How can one reason with someone like this (the Fabius Maximus guy). He thinks of himself as a hard-headed realist, because he “takes on” both climate-change denialists, as well as global warming “alarmists.” In this article, he demolishes (he thinks) the idea that resource limits will limit the growth of the economy.

      He thinks people like us (who see infinite growth on a finite planet as being impossible and suicidal) as “doomers” whose predictions have been wrong since Malthus.

      He thinks the libertarians and supply-siders and anti-Keynesians are also deluded.

      He’s the realist, projecting slight bumps on the eventual road to hard-headed, realistic progress…

      Egads. Either he’s nuts, or we are.

      What is infuriating is that he does not see his own bias in favor of un-scientific optimism based on faith that is not seen as faith. Yet he sees the bias of the doomers and libertarians and Republicans, etc. Is it worth have debates/discussions with him? Obviously not, and even if one were to convince him of anything, it wouldn’t matter. But it just shows you how a seemingly intelligent person can be persuaded by his own bias that all is well… or rather, just a bit of a bumpy road on the way to eventual progress.

      • January 9, 2014 at 9:48 pm

        He’s in good company (idiots abound).

        None of the quotations he provides are relevant, nor prove any points. And he’s apparently never heard of the “low-hanging fruit” analogy.

        People that close their eyes to the decline of the biosphere, and how hard and how far and how deep we must now go to find resources are just fools. Makes you wonder “why” they even bother to pen such nonsense.

        The term “paid schill” comes to mind in most cases (versus honest, investigative inquiry with no monetary attachments clouding judgement).

        If the world would just STOP focusing on money, maybe they could finally SEE what is actually happening.

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