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.