Reality Blind by Nate Hagens and DJ White

Nate Hagens has published a new book on the predicament that fossil energy consumption and depletion, and our denial of this reality, have created for life on this planet.

A skim suggests the book will be excellent and I hope to write a review after reading it.

I observe there is no mention of Varki’s Mind Over Reality Transition (MORT) theory which is sad because MORT provides an evolutionary foundation for the denial that Nate discusses, and explains why only one species has emerged with the intelligence to exploit fossil energy.

Denial of our genetic tendency to deny reality is apparently the strongest form of denial, even among the few of us that are aware of the human predicament.

You can read Nate’s book for free and purchase a copy here:

In case you missed it, this year’s annual Earth Day talk by Nate is on the same topic and is a masterpiece.

24 thoughts on “Reality Blind by Nate Hagens and DJ White”

  1. Can you spot the perpetual motion machine and the denial?

    White House maintains that Biden’s $4.5 trillion infrastructure bills won’t cause inflation to jump.

    The top White House spokesperson claimed that “the way to keep prices in our economy down is to increase the supply of goods that consumers want to buy and keep the costs of producing and getting them to market lower.”


  2. Today’s roundup of troubling weather around the world.

    Keep an eye on food prices and availability.

    The world is facing unprecedented levels of drought.

    In the U.S., nearly half the mainland is currently afflicted, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. The situation is especially dire in the Northwest, which is facing some of its driest conditions in over a century following a heat wave that killed hundreds of people.

    No continent, except Antarctica, has been spared, according to the SPEI Global Drought Monitor…

    Drought — low precipitation leading to water shortage — has existed forever. But scientists say that rising global temperatures and shifting precipitation patterns are already leading to more frequent droughts and that the situation is likely to get worse.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. For many years we had 11 rain barrels on our little lot [110 L/barrel] and still ran very low on water for small garden. Now we have only 2 barrels in a seniors condo setting for even smaller garden. 1/2 inch of rain helped refill one barrel. But who among younger generations will bother to learn any of this for their lives in the future that my generation {boomers} brought upon them? Hope comes in small packages, but if lessons are wilfully ignored, their will be no hope!

    Liked by 2 people


    WASHINGTON—The Environmental Protection Agency launched a major new ad campaign Monday encouraging people to conserve resources by turning off their showers when they’re not showering. “We estimate that Americans waste up to 20 billion gallons of water each week by leaving their bathrooms with the shower still on, heading off to a full day’s work followed by a full night’s sleep, and then waking up the next morning to step into an already running shower,” administrator Lisa P. Jackson said of the EPA’s advertising effort, which includes TV spots that touts the benefits of turning showers off, such as not having a steamed-over bathroom mirror and not running out of hot water. “Nobody likes the inconvenience of having to manipulate a faucet first thing in the morning, of course, but we want to show people how the pluses of not leaving the water running all the time really can outweigh the negatives.” If the ads are a success, the EPA plans to launch a follow-up campaign in the spring urging people to conserve fuel by turning off their car engines when they return home for the night.


      1. It’s a joke by the Onion but given that most people think solar panels will solve climate change, and feed 10 billion people, and allow them to continue whizzing around the planet in cars and planes, yes I’d say they are that stupid.

        Liked by 3 people

  5. Kur Cobb today summarizes the demise of shale oil…

    There is an oil price that would certainly make shale deposits profitable. But that price is likely too high for the economy and consumers to bear without falling into a recession. That, it turns out, is the conundrum for the oil industry as a whole. The price band that is affordable to consumers in the long run no longer overlaps with the price band that will allow oil companies to exploit increasingly difficult-to-extract deposits.

    That may already be reflected in the fact that oil production worldwide peaked in November 2018, long before the pandemic began. Those of us who have been concerned about a near-term peak in world production are starting to believe that we’ve already passed it. It may turn out that all the hype over shale oil had people looking the wrong way when one of the most momentous developments in modern history was taking place in plain view.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Esteemed oil economist Mamdouh G Salameh is unworried by this has. Russia already was the leading producer when ignoring constraites and they and opec or planning massive production boosts. When considered with the new finds in Namibia I see no reason to panic yet.

      And he said this about about the claimed oil peak of 2018. To him it was caused by Opec production cuts instability In Libya Nigeria and others that caused this. He predicts Oil will meet demand until 2040. And that the crunch after covid caused by lack of oil demand and rising priced when people open up will boost investment in oil exploration.


      1. It’s possible that oil will always meet demand because as oil depletes and the cost of extraction goes up, we will become poorer and able to afford less. We can thus continue to deny peak oil and blame the problem on falling demand.

        P.S. It’s not wise to believe anything that an economist like Salameh says. Their discipline ignores the laws of thermodynamics and the fact that our planet is finite in size.


  6. Xraymike79 today with a nice status report on how screwed we are.

    Relevant to un-Denial his essay has a reality denial theme throughout.

    Here are a few snips but the whole essay is worth your time…

    “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” ~ Aldous Huxley

    The foundation beneath our house of cards is beginning to buckle and heave. For far too long, humans have poked the sleeping monster of abrupt climate change and it’s starting to awaken. Thus far, nearly a thousand deaths in British Columbia alone are likely attributable to hyperthermia caused by a persistent heat dome that has spiked temperatures to unprecedented levels. Take note that we are seeing these unreal temperature spikes at the end of a cooler La Nina cycle. When these heat domes form during the next warmer El Nino cycle, the results will be disastrous. We have now made such mass casualty events 150 times more likely with our heat-trapping gases which have doubled the earth’s energy imbalance in just the last 15 years. Over a billion sea creatures are estimated to have cooked to death off the western shores of Canada.

    At this late stage, techno-optimists still cling to the belief that somehow we can adapt and thrive in an inhospitable and deteriorating post-Holocene epoch. At the same time, disinformation and propaganda continue to be spread by those who are outright denying the growing existential threat. The end result is the same, no matter which side prevails. Humans can’t even agree on what is reality, so how could they possibly organize a coherent response in time.

    There is no escape from this cage modern man has constructed for himself. As lead scientist Dr. Robert Rohde at @BerkeleyEarth points out, 78% of humanity’s energy systems are powered by fossil fuels as of 2020. Oil and gas took 90 years to displace coal as the main energy source, illustrating that transitions take a very long time and ‘renewables’ remain a small fraction of total energy consumed.

    As has been pointed out before, but which is still not accepted let alone understood by the vast majority, is that even if we employed techno-fixes such as Bill Gates’ Solar Radiation Management Company, it would not stop climate change’s evil twin, ocean acidification, which is threatening to collapse the entire marine ecosystem. A recent paper by marine biologists and environmental consultants has warned that human society faces extinction if nothing is done to reverse the destruction of the oceans.

    According to paleontologist Dr. Peter Ward, all major extinctions occurred when CO2 levels exceeded 1000ppm. Past extinction events took hundreds of thousands to millions of years to play out, but our current rate of change is 25,000 times faster than the last known event (Paleocene Thermal Extinction) which took a million years for CO2 to increase by 100ppm. We’re on track to reach 1000ppm within a century, but we’ll never get their of our own volition because our civilization will be toast long before then; however, once tipping points in the climate system are breached, positive feedback loops will have been set in motion that will propel CO2 levels upward beyond our control. For instance, the Amazon is now emitting more carbon than it is absorbing.

    Aldous Huxley’s vision of a world driven by absolute consumerism that sacrifices human values and controls the masses with a non-stop supply of diversions via mindless entertainment and sensorial stimulation has become a dystopic reality. Just as in his book, it’s all happening in broad daylight with the tacit acceptance of everyone as we watch the world burn.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I dipped into the Twitter toxic soup to have a look at the attacks on Bret Weinstein’s Ivermectin position. They’re emotional, personal, and fact free. Bret on the other hand is respectful, rational, evidence based, and corrects himself when he makes a mistake. I know who I trust.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Mathematician Sid Smith is a wise man and an aware man.

    A few days ago he addressed the 10th International Symposium on Youth Leadership and Climate Action.

    Humans are a species in overshoot of their ecological environment. This is commonplace. Species go into overshoot all the time and from the point of view of nature it is a feature and not a bug because overshoot introduces creative disruptions. This may however be the first time that a species has gone into overshoot globally rather than locally.

    The size and complexity of civilization is an emergent property of exploiting the stored sunlight in fossil energy. The party will soon end. All use of energy to perform work increases entropy which degrades the physical environment in which it is used. Our problem is that we discovered 500 million years of stored sunlight and used it all up in 200 years resulting in damage all around us.

    People searching for substitutes for fossil fuels with the expectation that we won’t have to live with less energy have not thought it through. Learning to live with the same energy people in 1721 used is the challenge we face this century.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. David Wallace-Wells
      “Renewable energy overtook both coal and nuclear in 2020. But fossil fuels still comprised 40% of US energy.”

      Recent tweet by DWW. The problem is that anyone not paying attention will read the headline and think we’re well on our way to an all renewables paradise when really it relates only to electricity production not energy. This table from the EIA gives the true energy picture

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Right now they do we have to use some fossil fuels unorder to transition its not a overnight affair. But right now the have a very small carbon impact when looking at life cycle.

          Also Solar and Wind have very high EROIS 20 to over 50 depending on radiance level and panel type.


          1. Have you looked at the manufacturing, installation, and maintenance processes for solar and wind and tried to imagine accomplishing them without diesel? It will never happen. Oil underpins almost everything in our civilization.


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