You Have A Decade (Maybe)

The process of global collapse and decline can be fairly described as a series of events, observations and measurements depicting an overall decline in the ability of a civilization to take care of itself.

While it is possible that a single event could precipitate a catastrophic collapse of civilization, the historical record demonstrates that this type of event is very, very rare. History most often shows that the collapse of civilization, which has happened many times before, is a variable period lasting decades to thousands of years, although there are some exceptions to this.

Modern man has forgotten that all former civilizations are now gone. Their relics and monuments remain, but their applicability to “us” and our advanced modern world mystifies most of us. We may be the descendants of our ancestors, but we are nothing like them. We are all extremely vulnerable to the failure of our civilization, lacking the skills, knowledge and ability (including resources) to take care of ourselves should the worst happen.

Our ethnocentric views, lack of historical knowledge and the overall general disconnect and indifference of how civilization exists creates an illusion of false comfort, a sense of the “here and now” as being all that matters, creating a false sense of “protection” and security, a blind faith that collapse of the modern world is virtually impossible in this day and age.

Hinging upon this false sense of security is the general lack of understanding of the interconnected Earth systems upon which all humans who have ever existed and all life on Earth entirely depend, and the human dependencies we have fashioned for ourselves, which is civilization itself, and the over-exploitation of the natural resources over the entire surface of this world.

Most people simply ignore what we are doing, remaining generally ignorant and indifferent to their personal contribution and that of the larger society around them towards the “impossible”.

Indeed, it is the very construct of this design that we call civilization, now spanning the entire globe, that has created the illusion of safety and security for billions of humans. We’ve come to completely depend upon these steely layers of metal, concrete and asphalt and endless construction of “stuff” as a false security blanket against a world many of us barely seem to understand, yet it is the same world it has always been.

Ancient man lived closer to the land by necessity, taking sustenance and what comfort could be found by the work of his hands and the sweat of his brow and the sheer opportunity that presented itself. The Earth provided, the incredible abundance of this planet ensured that survival of the human race was all but guaranteed for hundreds of thousands of years to come, even millions of years into the future (at least), barring catastrophic disaster or perhaps the insane stupidity of a advanced civilization screwing things up too badly.

Yet the very unthinkable has now happened.  The “impossible” has arrived at our doorstep by incremental degrees, like the collapse of civilizations before, and yet we continue to barely recognize it, stubbornly clinging to our security blankets and the safety of ignorance embodied in the “here and now” existence we call daily life.

To all of my readers:

I often contemplate what to call the title of each blog post. First off, I want you to read it. I have zero interest in gaining your “following” or personal attention, knowing that this false illusion of self-importance destroys character and integrity. I publish anonymously, every time on purpose, so that the words and not the man are what is important. Secondly, I want you to contemplate and assess what is written. Weigh it out, think about it, decide for yourselves if it’s right or wrong. Over the years, I’ve written thousands of entries and articles here, there are even more elsewhere on now defunct forums. From the About Me page:

The collapse of our society and particularly, the United States, is unfolding before our eyes. My focus is on sustainability and common sense, even if the United States somehow manages to stay intact, which I now very much doubt. Collapse is coming and finding ways to navigate this morass and devastation to come is now consuming the majority of my time and life. My purpose in ensure my own survival is quite simple – we have an obligation to all future generations to simply live. While we have squandered their (and our) inheritance in unbelievable ways, we stand a small chance of preserving humanity itself if we change our ways.

There is grave doubts regarding our chances and whether or not we will change our ways.  Since starting this blog, I have come across a tremendous amount of evidence that the United States in particular will not change its ways in time or sufficiently enough to avoid a catastrophic collapse. I now believe that this is 100% unavoidable for the entire world. With collapse will come many radical and dangerous changes, the likes of which I have carefully documented on this blog.

I wrote that over 7 years ago. In that time, I have seen nothing but mounting evidence that the collapse of civilization is definitely happening — and that it will be more catastrophic then we can even imagine.

I very much “feel” for our future generations. I have a family, children, a wife, and people I care about. Yet there future survival is not a certainty. In fact, we may have unleashed a terrifying monster of epic proportions upon them. And this frightens me very, very much.

The title of this post then must be serious, because of late, I have had nothing but serious news to report. And this post is no different. Beyond my pleading words that all readers truly listen with their hearts to the words written, this post is about what lies ahead. The “impossible” has happened, it is happening. It is a certainty, a guaranteed experience for the entire planet.

I am not a scientist, and I am not bound by any peer-rules of “don’t be too alarmist”. Yet it is the scientist themselves who are bringing forth the evidence that we must listen to.

I have long believed it is my duty as a human being, an inhabitant of this Earth, to speak the truth as loudly as I dare (in a time when telling the truth will get you killed or arrested). There are times indeed, when I say nothing, however, this is not one of those times. For some time now, I have been trying to convey how much, how fast, and how serious things are getting, because it is all working together in a mosaic of disaster for humanity and the Earth.

We need to know if we hope to change anything. So know this.  There is a new article – Albedo change in the Arctic

The graph below depicts the loss of sea ice in the Arctic. The black line is actual measurements since the early 80’s up to summer 2012 (now). The red line projects no sea ice as early as 2015.

Arctic Ice Decline

There are more graphs on the link above, you should read the article too. The article also shows a trend line of no ice by 2014, just two years away.

How is this a big deal?  The loss of sea ice exposes open ocean, changing the albedo (reflection). The albedo effect sends solar energy back out into space, critical to the survival of the biosphere (living things).

It’s also happening over land:

Apart from the albedo change that comes with this loss of sea ice, there’s also the loss of snow cover on land. Snow cover over Northern Hemisphere lands retreated rapidly in May and June, leaving the Arctic Ocean coastline nearly snow free, says the National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC), adding that this rapid and early retreat of snow cover exposes large, darker underlying surfaces to the sun early in the season, fostering higher air temperatures and warmer soils.

Here are a few borrowed images:

Snow cover loss

Sea ice losses

So what’s the big deal?

The joint impact of loss of sea ice and loss of snow cover on land will make a huge difference, much more sunlight is now absorbed, instead of reflected back as was previously the case.

Professor Wadhams estimates the present summer area of sea ice at 4 million square km, with a summer albedo of about 0.60 (surface covered with melt pools). When the sea ice disappears, this is replaced by open water with an albedo of about 0.10. This will reduce the albedo of a fraction 4/510 of the earth’s surface by an amount 0.50. The average albedo of Earth at present is about 0.29. So, the disappearance of summer ice will reduce the global average albedo by 0.0039, which is about 1.35% relative to its present value.

As NASA describes, a drop of as little as 0.01 in Earth’s albedo would have a major warming influence on climate—roughly equal to the effect of doubling the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which would cause Earth to retain an additional 3.4 watts of energy for every square meter of surface area.

It’s right there. The biosphere cannot safely absorb an additional 3.4 watts of energy to every square meter of the surface, it will heat up too fast. The speed by which this happens will be (and already is) faster then species (including humans) can adapt (those that survive). The net effect is the Earth will absorb FAR more energy that it can radiate back into space. Land, ocean and air will heat up far too fast.

You have a decade, maybe more, maybe less, before hellish conditions will exist. Meanwhile, oxygen depletion will worsen due to increasing temperatures, to what degree I don’t know. I can safely say it won’t be getting better. Not unless we shut everything down, pronto, and hope like hell that we still have a chance to reverse what we started.

Unlikely. Which is why I never dwell on this hopium topic. It’s fantasy. Modern humans are simply too arrogant to believe that the impossible has now happened.

Between now and then — food destruction (crop loss), desertification, loss of oceans, reefs, fishing, storms, flooding (hydrological cycle will be greatly accelerated), resource wars, political pandering and finger pointing, all the usual sins and evils of mankind mixed in with chaotic Earth systems swinging wildly from the “norm” (ridding itself of the virus).

Get ready. Lame “advice”, I know, considering the size of the problem, but what else are you going to do?  Wring your local politicians neck?  That will come too, probably — sooner then we may think.

I’m not going to spend any time on the (s)Election, it’s utterly irrelevant and totally meaningless. The next idiot-in-charge will undoubtedly screw things up even worse, they always do.

Emergency planning on a global scale is clearly needed, but you won’t see this for a while, and there is a very high probability, knowing how government works and thinks, you won’t like it anyway. At all. First, it will be business as usual. Then, too little, too late. Then lots of hand-wringing and head rolling as a (very) few of those held responsible are sacrificed to appease the anger of the people. In the end, desperation will drive decision-making. It’s anybody’s guess “what” will be done, but it’s already very unlikely it will be sufficient.  That’s more Hopium.

It is the refusal to face the facts, accept the evidence and deal with the expectations that will cause massive levels of suffering and loss on this planet.  Kinda like what has been happening within the modern world since it’s arrival a few hundred years ago. We were hell-bent on wiping out everything in our path as our “Destiny” compelled us. Well, we got it, as they say. You just can’t save some things that were wrong to begin with.  And we need to STOP TRYING.  IT IS NOT THIS CIVILIZATION THAT WE SHOULD BE SAVING.

There are an increasing number of people and organizations that are saying that, so I’m not alone. The civilization we have now is virtually, figuratively and quite literally, TOAST.

So our job, as it were, is to collectively figure out what can be done if humans are to survive. First, I would strongly suggest that we preserve as much as the biosphere as we can, it is after all, what we depend upon for our own existence. Secondly, our civilization will need to be redesigned and rebuilt for survival. How? I don’t know. I’ve reviewed various proposals, some “get it” in regards to truly fundamental changes required, but most don’t. I’m working on it. I hope to contribute something in this direction in the future. My own plans are taking up all of my free time, but long ago I recognized that without community support, it was all for naught.

We don’t have time to screw around either. The entire world should be on emergency “war” footing right now to deal with this issue. Industry, business and government should be revamped as fast as humanly possible to both change their destructive ways and contributions to the problem and redesigned / modeled towards solutions. If there are any. There definitely exists a high probability that there aren’t any, because the drastic emergency actions that are needed are needed right now, not ten or twenty years from now.  It would take the shut down of industrial civilization (globally) and immediate conversion to agrarian / locally grown / locally produced low-impact living (no more emissions), reforestation and population control (which is going to happen anyway) to offer the best, real chance humanity has.  Everything else is Hopium. Space blankets blocking the sun, nuclear weapons discharging aluminum particles over the planet, iron oxide in the ocean — we have no frigging idea what the terrifying side-effects could be.

What is obvious though are two things: we won’t do it. We will cling to “this” civilization and its method of madness as long as we possibly can, to our own peril. So take that advice if you can. Don’t expect much. As usual, you are really and truly on your own (and always were, but now it’s starting to sink home I think).

The lines will be long, so keep that in mind. Discard everything else and start thinking about what you may want to do. I do not advocate giving up (and never have). Giving up means your entire life is wasted, you “quit”. Life isn’t something you quit, you live life. Living is just going to get a lot harder, but nobody promised any of us an easy road or an easy life unless you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth and a trust fund.

It’s brass tacks time people. I can’t make it any plainer then this. What we do now, and in the next decade, will dictate EVERYTHING.

Readers: please promote this post and the others linked in this article. I’ve never asked you to do this before, believing that all should decide for themselves. This time it’s different — please spread the word.  We’ve got to try.


admin at survivalacres dot com

13 thoughts on “You Have A Decade (Maybe)

  • July 19, 2012 at 10:38 am

    No responses… well, I guess I’m scaring the hell out of everyone.

    Borrowed from Wit’s End recent blog post, a quote by Chris Hedges:

    In a column at truthdig, Time to Get Crazy, Chris Hedges confronts this topic by exploring the uncompromising nobility of Crazy Horse. He begins:

    Native Americans’ resistance to the westward expansion of Europeans took two forms. One was violence. The other was accommodation. Neither worked. Their land was stolen, their communities were decimated, their women and children were gunned down and the environment was ravaged. There was no legal recourse. There was no justice. There never is for the oppressed. And as we face similar forces of predatory, unchecked corporate power intent on ruthless exploitation and stripping us of legal and physical protection, we must confront how we will respond.

    The ideologues of rapacious capitalism, like members of a primitive cult, chant the false mantra that natural resources and expansion are infinite. They dismiss calls for equitable distribution as unnecessary. They say that all will soon share in the “expanding” wealth, which in fact is swiftly diminishing. And as the whole demented project unravels, the elites flee like roaches to their sanctuaries. At the very end, it all will come down like a house of cards.

    Civilizations in the final stages of decay are dominated by elites out of touch with reality. Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth. Karl Marx was correct when he called unregulated capitalism “a machine for demolishing limits.” This failure to impose limits cannibalizes natural resources and human communities. This time, the difference is that when we go the whole planet will go with us. Catastrophic climate change is inevitable. Arctic ice is in terminal decline. There will soon be so much heat trapped in the atmosphere that any attempt to scale back carbon emissions will make no difference. Droughts. Floods. Heat waves. Killer hurricanes and tornados. Power outages. Freak weather. Rising sea levels. Crop destruction. Food shortages. Plagues.

    ExxonMobil, BP and the coal and natural gas companies—like the colonial buffalo hunters who left thousands of carcasses rotting in the sun after stripping away the hides, and in some cases carrying away only the tongues—will never impose rational limits on themselves. They will exploit, like the hustlers before them who eliminated the animals that sustained the native peoples of the Great Plains, until there is nothing left to exploit. Collective suicide is never factored into quarterly profit reports. Forget all those virtuous words they taught you in school about our system of government. The real words to describe American power are “plunder,” “fraud,” “criminality,” “deceit,” “murder” and “repression.”

  • July 19, 2012 at 2:57 pm
    Excellent, as usual. We’re on a train who’s locomotive has already started over the broken trestle. Now the simple questions are which car are we in? Do we jump off (if we are aware)? Or do we just have a drink and “go out in style”?

    Side question… why did I have to ‘register’ for a new wp account when I already have one (which would not work here)?

  • July 19, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Nice website! Suggested reading for newcomers: Doom, gloom, me, and the future of the biosphere

    Everyone, because we are human animals, is concerned with their personal relationships, social lives, status, pleasures, their loved ones, their hated ones, their work, their holidays, their ambitions and dreams and likes and dislikes… and everyone feels fear, doubt, anxiety, and grief over broken love affairs, the death of beloved relatives, the anguish of illness, and so on… I’m not saying that I have stopped being human, or that I want anyone to stop being human…

    But, people, get a sense of proportion ! The events that are unfolding are of a magnitude that is almost way beyond comprehension. If you were shocked by the tragedy of the twin towers, well, what about the tragedy of what we are now facing, which is immensely, immensely, immensely greater ? Why doesn’t the shock register ? Why can’t you see the obvious ?

    I have given up quests for personal satisfaction. I have reduced my daily living to the minimum that still allows me to function and be reasonably effective and happy. Certainly I can tighten my belt still further, if I have to. But, compared with most, my eco-footprint is minute, and probably positive, because I do all that I can to assist other species.

    I’ve been told that I am strange. For fuck’s sake, it’s not ME that is strange. It’s all you people out there who have not got the picture yet, and are just carrying on, oblivious of reality. IMO, it’s totally irresponsible. You have a duty, to yourselves and those who you love and those who depend upon you, and to the future, to do whatever you can, to change the course of history, to try and mitigate the oncoming disasters, to try and buy time, so we can learn how we come to terms with something so terrible and so demanding.

    Oh boy do I agree with this. The world is utterly insane. Bat shit crazy with self-importance, arrogance and the “right” to do whatever the hell it wants. The stupidity of this position is now becoming clearer and clearer as we face the abyss of our folly.

  • July 20, 2012 at 8:15 am
    Why be scared? We all are just a heartbeat away from some type of eternity.

    This all too shall pass, just like through out the past ( up, down, melt, heat, freeze, cool, hot, expansion, contraction, depression, good times, recessions, trees growing in the Arctic, Glaciers covering 1/3 of North Anerica, etc. etc. ) and if by chance we humans and Earth survive then we survive, if not then oh well, just the way it goes…

    I truly don’t think Earth and Universe is losing sleep or tossing and turning at night worrying about it.

    All this greening of lifestyles, climate change prevention, storing food, learning ways to save humans by modern medicine, governments set up to protect life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, even conjuring up invisible, superior god beings to protect us from never existing again or even bring us back in some form or another and all the other human hopium,etc., has just one agenda, SAVE OURSELVES!

    Why? mainly because of fear of the unknown and probably ego, the mass majority of humans cannot even come close to fathoming that we will not be here in say another 100 years or 1000 years. That we could possibly go the way of the dinosuars, oh no, we’re much smarter than that.

    Should we give up, for me personally that is not an option, I’m afraid I would miss something, LOL.

    So what are we to do?

    Maybe this will help some as it has helped me keep my perspective on things – –

    “Once while St. Francis of Assisi was hoeing his garden, he was asked, What would you do if you were suddenly to learn that you were to die at sunset today? He replied, I would finish hoeing my garden.”

  • July 21, 2012 at 11:04 am
    “I would finish hoeing my garden.”

    I rather like that, but one could just as easily say, “I would finish building my doomstead greenhouse” or “I would finish protesting mountaintop removal and telling the 1% they suck” or “I would complete this medical experiment to find a life-saving procedure”.

    I say that not to mock your philosophy but to add that, perhaps we should all keep doing what we choose to do – but without the frantic fear. That’s a lesson I can appreciate.

  • July 22, 2012 at 11:08 am

    I read your post yesterday, and the day before, and I wanted to say thank you for keeping the blog and sharing your thoughts and experiences. Your voice is, strangely enough, a comfort.

    I don’t know if you’ve seen David Wasdell’s tipping point presentations (they are not new) but I’ve found nothing else as expressive or as with such the sense of urgency. (Present company excluded, of course.) The first link is a slideshow with text, the second is a video covering the same information.

    • July 25, 2012 at 1:47 am

      Great links, thanks. That video is worth watching. But I must comment on some particulars:

      His faith in a human “fix” is puzzling (or simply misguided). Five years have passed since and still nothing has been done. The reason is “human inertia” and indifference (beyond politics, money, greed), we lack the ability to change.

      It’s now “20 years past” our time of opportunity to stave off runaway global warming. The recent 97% surface melt of Greenland is a case in point — you don’t just “stop this”, we do not have that kind of ability.

      This is why I still state that we’re not going to fix this. Allegedly, there is the technical means (which are doubtful), but it won’t get done. Runaway forcings are well underway and we’re STILL dwaddling.

      There are (bad) estimates that “we can still pump 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere” being publicized right now — a figure that is DEAD WRONG (and insane), based upon the false “2C allowable limit”, a politically decided point that has no relationship to reality.

      From Hansen: “we are experiencing the emissions of 30 years ago” — which means current temperature trends don’t even come close to what lies ahead.

    • July 24, 2012 at 5:29 pm

      Thanks for putting up the link. I’ve been checking this topic daily. 97% of Greenland is now experiencing melt (nearly the entire surface is now melting). Also saw that the Arctic has lost 70% of its ice volume in the last 30 years. Big bad news.

  • July 24, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    One other point of interest is the book “Behind the Green Mask; U.N. Agenda 21 by Rosa Koire. But maybe you don’t want to scare any more folks.

  • August 4, 2012 at 11:06 am
    Permalink Not like you humans don’t have enough to worry about. I’m interested if you pay any attention to the prognosticators, my fave I guess being Cliff High the webbot guy.
    Of course I think we can survive this year as it is, meaning unless we get more. Mostly the biggest issue, which is food supply will we grow enough food, and do we have enough stored to get through a questionable winter.
    I read Cliff High and a few others predicted dooms 99% of which never happen, I’ve also lived through hundreds of predicted end of the worlds, last year there were hundreds including a rapture and the other Mayan date, all bogus.
    After the Mayans there’s a huge list going on for thousands of years including the asteroid of 2023 my last one I’ll see if you know I make it.
    To have a point though Webbot seems to say the same thing as everybody , a very very doomy future.
    It seems realistic that things will never be the same Like it or not the world as we know it is ending. The question now is how and when. Does it drag out for a decade or two, where mankind manages to take the rest of the world out with him.
    The longer we as a society survive the worse it is for every other critter sharing the planet. Were in a mass extinction ,
    We now will lose between 30 and 70 percent ? of the species, thats a huge variable, The longer humans survive as we are now, the higher that percentage number will be.
    Specially if we get hungry, I read where Russia lost most of there crops, On top of China losing there’s , on top Of North Korea having a few million extra hungry flooded peoples.
    All around the world crops are on the verge of failing. Did I mention the methane bomb? Is Siberia being on fire something to worry about?
    Just that alone will make for a December to remember as in billion’s of hungry people doing what they have to, to survive.
    back to High who said his computer tells him people will be eating worms this winter. Not to far off the possibilities in a lot of places. Sadly there are already people wishing they had worms to eat.
    It’ could get nasty, unless we all decide to love one another, and share. That said hunger isn’t a twenty 12 event, but the driver could be.
    The sun is going to get hotter as does it’s maximus or in this case extreme maximus.. Once again Cliff High mentioned the Kill shot. This is more from The Killshot.
    We may be dammed if we do dammed if we dont. Unless you have a spot in a D.U.M.B.
    While the kill shot is a guess, it’s pretty hard to deny that the sun is frying us. I think at this point it’s more of a factor than climate change.
    The sun like all stars goes through cycles, quick ones like maiximus , mostly every twelve years=ish, then there is the once a generation-imus which we are at least in now. The last one was probably in the the late thirties. Obviously it was a tough time but survivable.
    It could also be a thousand year maximus, A thousand years would put us in the dark ages. Not a pretty time , but doable.
    Then there are the big cycle’s, which have caused a few mass extinctions maybe right up to the sun becoming a white dwarf.
    Unless we get sucked into a black hole or crash into another solar system, or galaxy. Speaking of which I havent heard anything about Beitleguise a neighboring star said to go nova this year.
    I even think it is absurd to worry about things so far out of my control, yet I’m supposed to worry about ten years from now?
    That’s maybe something I can still do for myself choose what and how much to fear. It’s like the zombie thing, sure its scary that all these people are flipping out on bath salts, some that didn’t even take it, but there’s also a brain eating ameoba , that’s doing a lot more damage than zombies. I’d rather worry about zombie’s Then again isn’t fear mostly a waste of time?
    I believe I can’t survive my fate, whatever it is, I’ll be there. So why worry about it? as far as surviving you eventually lose, sure some faster than others, but rich man poor man beggar or king , we all must dance with the reaper.
    Living your own life now should be the key. Sorry to spout this stuff, but you have to find happiness in your now, not only because the future looks so bleak, but all you really know for sure you have is right now, the future is a guess at best.
    To put it another way, Lennon said “to make the changes you want to see in the world, you must first make them in yourself”. Change what you can change.
    Do it for the right reasons, and do the right thing, Ask yourself at this moment how are you doing. Take away the past and the future and that’s all that really is.
    i wish everyone ten years to decide, to do what you know you have to do anyway. Sorry to rant like this. Peace B.

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