Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I survived and am doing well

I am thinking about posibly reviving this blog because I have been doing well again.

Whether I revive it or not, I need to refer to my journal now:

http://mikemonett.livejournal.com .

Unlike this blog, I've been updating my journal since I first got back on my feet, and will continue to add to it even if this blog remains dormant.

Hopefully it won't remain dormant. We will see.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

my life as I have known it is over

This message will be posted on both the new blog that I tried to start in 2010 and on the journal I started in late 2006.

If things stabilize back to some kind of a norm again someday I may reactivate these.


I have been stricken by a black swan event or a rogue wave. It has cascaded into a meltdown of my life.

Here is what happened, starting from the beginning:

It had been becoming unbearable for me to live in my condo anyway since early 2009 because I have been unable to restore the financial health of the treasury, in spite of extreme stress and sacrifice of huge amounts of my spare time. There are fifteen units here, in a building that needs lots of care because of it's age. Too many owners have not been paying their condo fees and although I put a huge dent in that problem, it has not been enough.

Unless ALL the remaining delinquent owners pay ALL that they owe NOW, there will be NO heat in this building in the coming winter.

I am going to call all the owners together for an emergency meeting, make this fact clear, then resign from the treasury and announce that I can't continue to try to solve these problems because I can't live here anymore anyway and am ready to give my condo away for $1 and just write off the $17,000 I paid for it in 2007.

This is just the backdrop for the natural disaster that struck like a rogue wave...

I am referring to something I never heard of until last year known as "bed bugs".

These have exploded into a frightening epidemic and are making whole buildings permanantly uninhabitable in Dayton and other cities.

Not only did we need to mobilize several weeks ago to make sure we don't have these infecting our building, but I had to take extra precautions because my employer wants NO chance that even one of these bugs could infect our workplace via my clothing or cell phone or any other way.

This is an extremely tall order, so as of last week, at a cost of many thousands of dollars of my savings, my condo has been gutted to make sure none of these are in the walls or floors, and it has been treated heavily with strong chemicals. I have been told that my condo and my car must be inspected every two weeks for a year, and there is no guarantee that it won't be gutted further.

I do not know if I really still have a job after being there over 20 years, or if I do, when I will return to it.

I will never feel secure there again because if a bug is found in my condo during any of the inspections twice each month I will be quarantined away from my workplace indefinitely again.

The insurance company threatened to cancel the policy on the condo building if the 5-car garage roof was not replaced immediately. Just by luck, this was just finished yesterday (but I had to lend money to the condo treasury from my savings to pay the roofer). This means I have a place to hide without going 30 miles out to Camden where I own my own garage. A week ago the roof in this 5-car garage leaked like a sieve so the whole structure was permanantly soaking wet. Now, it is dry and I've scrubbed and swept a part of the building and have been sleeping here on a lawn chair and feeding the cat in here. If I need something I go up the balcony four stories and get it from my trashed condo.

This can't continue very long. The neighbors will be getting uneasy if I try to stay here for long. Some of them don't like me anyway since I have been harassing them for their condo fees for a year and a half.


I am doing OK because it is Summer when I never have problems with depression.

However, I am having those PTSD-type episodes where I have "dread waves" that sweep over me, especially in the middle of the night. But luckily they subside quickly enough and then I just calmly try to plan my next step to get through all this and my moods stay calm. I am getting help, but this too is depleting the savings I worked so hard for.

I am only feeling sick from the chemicals when I get really hot from the July weather. But when I go to the bathroom, my liver or kidneys get activated and that stuff pours out of them and I feel nauseous and have a horrible taste in my mouth for about two hours.


I don't think anybody but my Dad still read these journals, but I told him all of this on Sunday so I am not worried about shocking him. If anybody else is reading this, I love you very much, and wherever I have to go to try to re-build my life, I will start a journal up again if I can.

Friday, June 25, 2010

great book (so far) I'm reading

As I've said recently, I'm out and active too much lately to be in the mood for writing, but I have been reading, and here is the latest new book that I have started:

So far, I am very impressed with its ideas and arguments.

Here is more about the book:

The Empathic Civilization - Jeremy Rifkin

Friday, June 11, 2010

summer is just not my time for writing

Of course I become more and more emotional every day about the Deepwater Horizon disaster which will be ongoing all summer.

But I don't really have anything to say about it here yet beyond frustration.

Meanwhile, I have been outside constantly doing summer things, since it has been so nice since March 1st.

So my journal is where I've been posting, not here.

I still want to write an article about what bothers me about the style of news reporting now and recently.

But I am still organizing my thoughts about this, so even if I were in the mood to write here instead of be playing outside constantly, I'm not ready to anyway.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

checking in again during busy outdoor time

As I said, I will "check in" here when I am too wrapped up in outdoor pursuits to write about what's been on my mind.

Since the last post, Kathy McMahon added my bio to her blog and I thanked her for that.

Meanwhile, the big story for me and everyone else has been the continuing flow of oil from the floor of the Gulf of Mexico, and now it's arrival onto the marshes and beaches below where I camp in the wintertime, and where I was planning to go every winter for the rest of my life.

Will everything be dead down there from now on, in terms of both nature and also people in boats and shoreline activities?

This thought keeps going through my mind.

Being out enjoying Spring in Ohio is helpful because it keeps me from obsessing about this now, when it is too early to know.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

stopping the oil leaking -depressing news from yesterday

I don't have time to write much here this Sunday morning because I am going to get out and enjoy another nice May day.

I need to, because I found out the box that was tried yesterday to funnel the Gulf of Mexico oil leak up to a boat has not worked, and this is very depressing to learn.


I want to start writing an article about the news and how we receive it, because that has been on my mind a lot in the last few years, and because I have some ideas about this that I don't think anyone else has expressed.

Because I do so many other things, it may take me awhile to finish this.

But I will stay in touch here as I said before, to record some of my thoughts even if the main ideas I am working on aren't done yet.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

a black volcano in the sea floor, and, my bio now published

In my last post, on the Fortieth Earth Day, I said I had finished my bio for this website.

It is now published as a SPECIAL PAGE to the right, The Endangered Planet and Me -a short biography.

I have also sent it to Kathy McMahon at Peak Oil Blues, asking if she will kindly add it, edited as she sees fit, to her archive of letters and stories about psychologically dealing with collapse.

I have also added a new permanant link to Peak Oil Blues, starting with that story page.

Be sure to check out the full blog by clicking HOME in the upper left.

I finished my bio on April 19th.

The next day, the Deepwater Horizon platform exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, just southeast of New Orleans.

For several reasons, I did not realize how serious this was until last week.

Ironically, one of the reasons was because I was busy studying the feasibility of spending every winter once I reach sixty in a solar-powered boat exploring the Gulf Coast.

If you read my online journal, you will learn that since even before Katrina I have been interested in Louisiana, and have been camping there every winter since 2006.

Now, continuing the theme that caused me to start this blog, another major environmental event is weighing heavily on me in a personal way.

But this is as big or bigger than Katrina, and it will probably change history.

I now have figured out that so much of the irony that seems to permeate these events comes directly from the mainstream denial of the context surrounding them until they happen. (What seem like bizarre coincidences are not, but are instead warnings that were there all along but were not noticed and reported until the disaster.)

Just one example in this case is the amazing blog, Sky Truth by John Amos.

Last August through November, Sky Truth was reporting about a similar rig explosion off the coast of Australia, which now seems minor compared to the nightmare now happening in the Gulf of Mexico.

And it was also reporting about a minor spill in Louisiana in early April, and just a few days before the Deepwater Horizon fire, it was talking about the folly and danger of plans to expand offshore drilling to the rest of the Gulf and to the East Coast.

People like me who follow such blogs regularly know these are not coincidences.

Warnings only seem like coincidences to people who ignore them until they come true.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

finished my bio, cleaning it up

I finished the biographical writing I have been talking about since March.

I am editing it now so I should have it ready to share soon.

Meanwhile, I have found and listened to a few more excellent podcasts that directly or indirectly discuss psychological coping with collapse.

Here are two of them:

Terrence McNally podcast:

Interview: RICK HANSON, Ph.D and Author -January 5th, 2010

C-Realm Podcast:

Tools of Connection -March 24th, 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010

bio not done yet but getting closer

I have been going through a rough time, but I did manage to spend some more time today on the bio I have been talking about.

Maybe it will be done soon, unless the problems I am having persist longer than I hope.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I can't be a guide now (or yet)

As I promised, I got my energy back and want to write here again.

I have thought deeply in March about many new things and did some research.

I decided that although I have ideas and insights that will be valuable to others, my mind is still much more full of new questions than answers and summaries.

So, this blog will be of less help to others for now than I hoped.

It will be more a stream of consciousness than a regular series of conclusions.

I will be helping to sort out the threads, but I am not capable yet of helping to weave a new tapestry.

I'm glad I figured this out, because I have such a strong urge to write but I don't want to overpromise to myself or anyone else.


I started writing my biographical story of my relationship to the environment and collapse, which I will probably add to those on Peak Oil Blues as I previously said I might.

I will give myself as much time as it takes to finish this.


Meanwhile, I continue to be scared and deeply saddened by most events and news items, so the neccessary grief keeps being renewed.

For example, I read another new announcement of a study that found another positive feedback that is indeed happening, this one with temperate soil carbon.

And, the craziness of the denialsphere around me seems to get worse every week.

The Ohio-Indiana-Michigan tristate, where I lived thirty years ago, is the location of the first big story of right-wing crime since the collapse began.

Nine men were apparently involved. The plot to kill was foiled.

I would never have been able to imagine such a thing in the different world that area was in the late seventies compared to now.


It is suddenly so clear that a parallel network of reporting and analyzing is now developing quickly.

This is good because those of us who reject denial and delusion need news and need communities of discussion.

But it is tragic that I and so many millions of others have so quickly and thouroughly given up on what we used to call "main stream", especially because we mean so many things -main-stream media, main-stream politics, and main-stream society.

This fragmentation into "us vs them" is what we always dreaded so much, and hoped so much we could avoid.

I've already referred to many great websites, and will always have hot links to them whenever I mention them, but I'm determined to keep my list of links to the right very short.

But I just added "Radio Ecoshock".

Please listen to this show from March 5th, which I think was excellent.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

staying in touch here

One thing I learned almost 15 years ago is that all it takes to keep a blog from fading even though you are experiencing a time when you can't post is to be honest and just say that at least once a week.

Right now my Spring allergies and the secondary problems they cause have really slowed me down.

This is normal for late March.

I'll be back, in as soon as a few hours, or before April 1st at the latest.

I promise.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

just an update (what's on my mind now)

There are many things I think I want to write about, but I had a stressful week (see my journal ), so my thoughts are not organized enough for another article here.

I do want to share what I'm thinking about though.

It seems that right now is one of the times in my life when my views of the world are shifting again.

These mental shifts are just speeded-up periods of a continuous slow process.

Almost everyone living in America right now, especially those my age, have been immersed in a huge illusion, which I've already described as a type of mass insanity.

Broadcast media, with no exceptions, must be completely tuned out for the mirage to begin to fade. (Maybe I will talk later about why this is so important.)

Meditation and simplicity help too.

This fading is like a slow de-programming from many years in a cult. And, it has been described on the Peak Oil Blues website, which I recently recommended, as like the realizations that came to the main characters in the movie, "The Matrix". ( Do You Have a Panglossian Disorder?... )

I just discovered some other people on the internet who are focusing on this phenomenon too, and maybe I will recommend some writing or mp3s from them later.

Speaking of Peak Oil Blues, I think I might start a short autobiography, like the ones that make up most of the content on that website, and send it to Kathy the moderator.

Coincidentally, Richard Heinberg, who I greatly respect, just posted an autobiographical article about how he became the messenger that he now is.

His truth is part of what fills or will fill our minds after all the insanity has left.

I recommend his bio article for many reasons but one is because it's similar to what mine will be like if I write it.

A major thing that is common is one of the publications that triggered our first shifting incidents at the same time - about forty years ago ( Limits To Growth by the Club of Rome ).

Also, the timings of my more recent shifts in awareness are very close to his.

...As I walk, and enjoy these pleasant March days in Ohio, I will probably be expanding on these thoughts.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

a lot of new information

Before I describe the latest things I've discovered and learned since the last post, I want to add some more clarity to what I meant.

-I was obviously challenging the idea that God never makes mistakes if he exists or that nature never does.

The only people that go there are humorists as far as I know.

But you have to think about this when you realize that faulty thinking can't heal itself, so if you want to blame somebody or something, you need to blame whatever created the faulty mind.

I have discovered that contemplating this defuses anger, and that's why I talked about it.


Another scary announcement occurred Thursday, March 4th:

Methane Releases From Arctic Shelf May Be Much Larger and Faster Than Anticipated

This is big and probably very bad.

It provides more strong evidence that the positive feedbacks that will cause global warming to accelerate have already started.

Here is an excellent place to read what is being said about this annoncement by experts and others:

Science stunner: Vast East Siberian Arctic Shelf methane stores destabilizing and venting


I am asking myself this question for the first time:

What will persons who are setting up homesteads based on past agricultural knowledge do as the growth zones shift northward every year?

As soon as they get skilled at raising corn or wheat, the zone where it will grow no longer will include their farms.


Finally, I just discovered what appears to be a very good website that is almost four years ahead of me in focusing on psychological coping:

Peak Oil Blues Blog -Exploring Emotional Reactions to Peak Oil, Climate Change & Economic Collapse

There is a lot to read here, and I've just begun.

In 2005, just after Katrina triggered in me the release of many years worth of rage I searched and searched on the internet to see if anyone was blogging about this "Ecopsychology" or Gaiaphobia, and found nothing.

It appears that I was looking just a few months too early.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

my first crazy idea about staying sane amidst insanity

As I said in a previous post, I am interested in sharing ideas about psychologically dealing with the awfulness of things that are unfolding.

Let's start with an extreme simplification of what I think is "the meaning of life":

Suffering vs. happiness



That's all

-at least for this blog.


Next, what do I say is the root of the fact that mankind has been creating way too much suffering, which is bringing us and earth to an ultimate crisis or end?


In answering this, I go way beyond everybody I know...

I blame the fact that suffering has to be a part of consciousness at all.

We are so used to it, that we just assume or have convinced ourselves for religious or other reasons that consciousness can't exist without suffering being part of it.

I believe this is not true, and that if you think about it long enough, you can also realize this.


I think that when nature (or God) screwed up is when pain became part of living bodies and minds, and then became intertwined with survival and evolution.


The only reason I say these crazy things at the very beginning is to defuse the notions like these:

man is evil but God is not
man is evil but nature is not
man is evil but other species are not
man was not evil until (fill in the blank)

Many people refer to these notions as "dualisms".

I know, I know! -My notion is as much a dualism as these, but I just think it is more realistic.


I have decided after many years of trying to go on living despite the horrible things happening that the less radical notions I listed are not right.

And clear recognition of truth is absolutely neccessary for coping with horrible facts.

A lot of new questions arise after I've answered this core question like I have just done, and I promise I will tackle those.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Two Most Important Books In History?

2009 was the year I lost all doubt that I live in a plutocracy in every sense, and that I should never expect to see moral behavior from government for the rest of my life, unless there is a revolution.

(And that was before the Citizen's United decision in January, 2010!)

So in trying to understand the environmental future, things are now much simpler for me.

-Whenever I consider government policy as a factor, I simply figure out what could be the worst imaginable policy, and expect exactly that.

Last night I just finished James Hansen's new book, " Storms of My Grandchildren " , which was done in October, 2009 and published in December, 2009.

James Hansen is the NASA scientist who is probably the leading expert in the world on climate change, and he has become a vocal and emotional messenger about how serious the threat now is.

In this book, he also makes it clear that the government is ready to make the situation even more dangerous than it already is, confirming what I just said.

Near the end, he spelled out what we should now expect:

By the second half of this century, because the tipping points will have been triggered, and because they will have overwhelmed all offsetting slow feedbacks, all the earth's glaciers and ice caps will be irreversibly melting rapidly, sea level will be rising at almost 1/2 inch per year and this rate will be increasing. There will be no way to prevent them from rising to a final level about 250 feet above present within a few hundred years. He also described how the ocean chemistry will have changed and why all types of storms will be much more powerful, and how weather patterns will be radically different from today. Mass extinctions will be underway.

It is also a certainty if we burn tar sands and shale as well as all the coal that in a few centuries, the final "runaway" point will be reached, when temperatures rise to where the oceans begin evaporating and adding water vapor as the final totally fatal greenhouse gas.

This will cause the earth to become another sweltering desert ball like Venus, with all water lost to outer space, and with no atmosphere except carbon dioxide.

-But, because I follow debates about fossil fuel "reserves", I know there is a way this all might not happen, in spite of humanity's best effort to make sure it does.

I say this because I and most other "peak oil" followers know that Hansen and other climate scientists have been basing their predictions on the numbers that governments and economists give them about how much coal, oil and gas remain underground and practically recoverable. (All of it will be burnt, because there are not going to be serious efforts to prevent it all from being burnt.) But, we also believe the numbers for oil and gas are inflated for political and economic reasons.

But Hansen's nightmare scenarios are due to all the earth's coal being burnt, not all the oil and gas. And, nobody was claiming that the coal numbers were also inflated.

...Not until 2007 that is!

And the claims that several credible researchers made in 2007 were solid enough that peak oil expert Richard Heinberg wrote a book about them, " Blackout " , which also came out last year.

I think that Blackout and Storms of My Grandchildren might be the two most important books in history!

Here is why...

They both came out in exactly the year that the failures of governments to respond sensibly to just a financial collapse with proper new regulation made it clear they will never be able to behave properly in regard to the even greater challenges of energy and climate.

But the studies discussed in Blackout suggest that in spite of that, the earth has been poised all along to rescue itself at the very last moment.

...If the "peak coal about 2020-2047" predictions they outline come true, it means that there just happened to be only enough coal deposited millions of years ago for modern humans to get us right to the nightmare tipping points of Hansen's book, but not over them!

If I were a theologian I would probably see something very meaningful about this.

For me, a car hanging on the edge of but not over a cliff comes to mind.

The earth is the car, and selfish and suicidal mankind is the thief who stole it and drove it toward the cliff, ready to take it over. But the car had only the exact amount of fuel (coal) that it ran out just in time to stop at the edge.

This story of how the second book relates to the first is profound, but may not come to pass.

On The Oil Drum website which I highly respect, there have been emotional debates raging about imminent peak coal since the 2007 studies predicting it were first released, and the counter arguments are very realistic.

And there is also fear that mankind and its corrupt governments and corporations will somehow be smart enough to see the peak before it blindsides them like the oil peak is now doing. If this happens, the thief will empty an old dirty gas can into the tank before driving for the cliff.

The gas can symbolizes all-out tar sands and shale oil production, ramped up in panic when mankind realizes the filthy coal will run out.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Who may want to read this blog?

I seem to want it to have a special local value here in Dayton, but my political thoughts now aren't focused much on things local.

In spite of this, I just finished my page about the relationship of Dayton and me up until now: For locals: my past Dayton involvements

I see the present as a collapse of everything collective about humanity, at least in the US. Once it's complete, individuals will need to re-build from the rubble.

Nothing could be more local than that, so, eventually this blog will probably be all about the local.

So I may try soon to let some local contacts know I started this blog.

I'm not sure yet.


The blog will be for people that love what I love rather than for argument.

But it will not attempt to analyze the present assaults on the things I love (community, nature, beauty, truth, caring, etc.)

When behaving collectively, Americans and most of the rest of the world in 2010 are completely insane, and that's all that needs to be said.

There is nothing constructive about trying to analyze insanity.

That sounds like an oversimplification but it is not.

One thing that may be constructive instead is discussion of bad turns that got us here.

That's why I think a lot about anthropolgy and earth history and human history right now, and expect to learn more about them, and maybe discuss them here.

As far as talking about the insanity around us, defense from it is relevant. For example, if you are going to want to read this blog, you are a person horrified by last month's Citizens United decision, and you know it will directly impact your life.

The way that impact will unfold is relevant for this blog.

If you are a potential reader of this blog you already keep well informed about peak oil and climate change.

I will not dwell on the current clash between peak oil and industrial civilization.

It is relevant, but many others are already blogging about this.

And, industrial civilization is part of the insanity I have been referring to, so the clash is too, thus not very constructive to analyze.


This leaves psychological coping as fair game.

You are NOT a solitary creature but a social one.

And yet your society and culture are insane, and always have been to a lesser extent.

The severe sense of loneliness this causes can be lessened if it is discussed openly I believe.

And, I have been feeling this intensely since I was sixteen, probably longer, so I have at least forty years of experience with it.

So younger people with less chance to heal may get real value from what I might write.


And, I have been practicing something called "mindfulness" for almost two years.

This is just a bare-bones simplified kind of meditation.

I am too hyper to sit still and meditate, but I have learned to do it while walking and during other activities.

It is supposed to help me have more moments of calm hapiness and less moments of fear and dread, and it is also supposed to help me think more clearly, and to not over-conceptualize.

It works.

I now think of my daily life as a kind of open monasticism.

I love to explore far and wide outdoors, which is the opposite of being in a monastery.

But monks love simplicity like I do.

Some of my simplicity is just because I love it, and some of it results from disinterest in the "stuff" around me, because it is part of an insane culture.

Perhaps this mindfulness and open monasticism will produce thoughts about coping that are really important.

Or they might paint a really exciting picture that I can share about a completely different future.

These seem like great goals for a blog.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Good Place to Start

A good place to start is with the question, "What good is another blog of another man's opinions?".

Well, right now collective consciousness seems to me to be a huge parallel processing effort, and every mind that is part of that processing is valuable.

I know that when I read the blogs of others lately, I am gaining as much insight from the comments at the bottom as from the articles, sometimes even more.

These comments are NOT all repetition and circular thinking.

And, even for those like me, who have been trying to pay attention to reality all our lives, rather than succumb to the national disease of distraction, there is a degree of confusion now.

This is because even we are shocked and surprised at many recent things.

So we have a strong urge to process our new realizations with each other, hoping to get some sense of what is ahead next, and what chances we have if any to affect the future.


I also added three links today, to three people I think are in front of this effort to correctly clarify what life is about now.

James Kunstler changed my life thirteen years ago by saying things about America I too had realized. I remember before I read his book "Geography of Nowhere" I thought I was the only person on earth becoming alarmed about what was happening to the US.

Now he is still saying the same things in the same ways, and many more people see the world the way he does now, but others are still discovering him for the first time every day.

Second, I have added Thom Hartmann, who is quickly gaining radio audience in the US, finally becoming a formidable counter force in some markets to Limbaugh and the other unchallenged right-wing voices.

His shows are not cluttered with the harsh noise and efforts to be funny and entertaining that make all other talk radio intolerable for me.

I didn't completely realize how important he is until 2009.

Finally, there is The Archdruid Report, by James Michael Greer, who's weekly articles I have just become a fan of.

I may expand this list beyond three whenever I think it makes sense.

But every voice that becomes important you will eventually discover anyway, with or without links from me.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

an extension of my journal

For about three and a half years, I've had an online journal, and it has been a good thing, which I have enjoyed and will continue to enjoy posting entries and photos to.

Originally, I expected to comment more about political and spiritual things there than I have.

I've always had multiple things that I wanted that journal to be, and I always sensed that spiritual and political talk beyond what ended up being expressed there would conflict with some of those things.

For example, for some people I just want my journal to be a way they can know I'm still alive and around.

Some rants did enter the pages there, and I don't apologize. Actually, because of the meltdown of the world around me that is ongoing since 2008, and since I was one of those who foresaw this, I am amazed I didn't fill the journal with lots of rants.

Instead, I just had a few, and also wrote two little essays in 2007, that I linked to at the right top of the journal.

The countervailing force to the emotions the meltdown is causing has been the "mindfulness" I've been learning.

If that force loses out to the emotions in the future, this new blog can be the place that happens.

A nice separate blog will be better anyway for many reasons, so my journal can stay the pleasant place that I think it is.

So, welcome to that separate blog.

Let's see if it will last very long, and if so, let's see what it will become.