By Gaia Gardener: On Suffering

Buried in the comments of the last post we discussed human overshoot and what should be done about it. I proposed our goal should be to minimize suffering and that the best path to achieving this goal is awareness of Ajit Varki’s Mind Over Reality Transition (MORT) theory.

My view, in summary, is that when fully aware of the reality and implications of human overshoot, our best personal and collective responses become self-evident and require no coercion to implement. Conversely, when overshoot is denied, all of our best personal and collective responses are vehemently rejected as assaults on our rights and entitlements.

Unfortunately, our genetic tendency to deny unpleasant realities, as explained by MORT, blocks overshoot awareness. Therefore any progress in a good direction requires an understanding of MORT.

Put more bluntly, all environmental activists, climate changers, peak oilers, Gaia lovers, population reducers, etc. should be focused with Zen-like precision on MORT, and any other activity is a complete waste of time, as demonstrated by our zero progress on any substantive issue over the last 50 years since Limits to Growth was published.

Reader Gaia Gardener responded with some beautiful prose that I thought was a good reason to clear the decks and create this new post.

For useful background, the comment thread that motivated the following essay by Gaia Gardener begins here.

Upon gazing up at the starry night sky thoughts like these come to my mind–there must be some sentient life form and civilization somewhere in this vast universe that broke through this barrier of denial that causes suffering to self, other life forms, and their ultimate destruction of their planetary home. Just being able to internalize this gives me much peace and acceptance of my infinitesimally small but still conscious being. If I keep gazing, sometimes I can lose sense of self completely and just melt into a time/space/no and every mind. Fermi’s paradox may be the most probable explanation for our seemingly unique manifestation but in a near infinite cosmos, there is still a chance that we may not understand everything!

If we are not here, or even if we were never here, the vastness of the universe continues to be, the ultimate laws of physical construct still stand as foundational building blocks to all matter and life, and life forms will continue to evolve even if given the most minute opportunity. In light of these critical truths, our knowledge of it is an ego awareness and recognition of what always was and will be and which has been already recognized by eons of cultures in their own way of expression. From creation myths to quantum equations, it is all a finger pointing at the moon, a way of reaching the untouchable but the real mystery and awe lies in the experience of just being. I suppose what is most tragic to our species is that we may lose our own consciousness to reflect back on our understandings of our world, in a word, annihilation. But can we take solace in the knowledge that we are elemental stardust to begin with and will return to that state, and since our guiding laws tell us matter and energy are constantly changing form, that is what we must be also, moment by moment, if even there is something called time. Then it is not a far reach for me to accept death, but suffering is another matter. Our ability to experience suffering ourselves is the prerequisite of consciousness and to be aware of suffering in others and make a choice for relief is the core of our humanity.

I have of late, at this crossroad of our civilization, find myself asking “Has it all been worth the suffering?” The knowledge gained, the art expressed, the structures erected, the technology exploded, has it been worth what we have also wrought with the same force and energy, the destruction and injustice to our planet and other life forms, starting with our own species, closer kin than any other stardust in this vastness of space. For example, for JS Bach to be born and for us to experience the incomparable beauty of his music, was it worth whatever else had to pass for our civilization to bring forth such genius? Can another member of our Homo sapiens family, in destitution and hunger for generations oppressed, can they say our enjoyment of our highest pinnacle achievements was worth their suffering and their ancestors suffering and their children’s suffering at the hands of our dominant culture? What of their choice to relieve suffering if only we had used our energy in a different way that may have allowed them to reach their own developmental potential? I cannot lie to a deepest truth that it is only my judgment that deems one being more worthy than another, the universe has none. If we are uberconscious, then we will also know that the universe has no judgment on our beingness or existence, it is only us looking at and contemplating ourselves in the mirror for this briefest of constructs called space and time. But since we have developed this mind and we have created our microuniverse within the macro, it is our responsibility to finish what we began, on every level. Overshoot and its repercussions is the stage set for our generations, we cannot shirk from finishing the show we have written, directed, and acted in. But there is also more to our human existence, and from the earliest times our inner desire has been to find our meaning and place in this cosmos. The present is the only time we ever have to continually seek and refine for ourselves what resonates, only now it seems of greatest urgency, at least to me. Maybe being born in the age of overshoot collapse has refocussed this for all of us here. And I do agree that reduction of suffering is a noblest goal and can manifest in myriad ways; kindness is always our choice.

183 thoughts on “By Gaia Gardener: On Suffering”

  1. Nice example from Jessica Rose on how there are also bad actors in the pharma distrusting camp spreading misinformation. One can see how someone without the time to invest in vetting, and an inclination to believe one view or the other, would have a very tough time finding reality today.

    If you go back to the video at minute three and thirty seconds, you’ll notice something… strange. Rather, bad, photo-shopping? When they overlapped their frames to create the documentary, the editor must not have noticed this ‘error’. It is clear is that someone added the COVID-19 text to turn the ‘Medical Test kits’ into ‘COVID-19 Test kits’.

    I don’t like this at all. A lot of (probably closer to all) people are really confused after 2.5 years of this stupidity, lies and treachery from leaders, regulatory agencies and companies. We, as a public, an do without errors like this – it makes it even more confusing in a time when everyone is looking for answers. And hope. And truth.

    Please be mindful of what you read and watch. Make careful decisions based on much research. Listen very carefully to what EVERYONE is saying. And develop careful and thoughtful consensus on important issues.


  2. Hi Rob,

    Thanks for speaking out on the human course forward and why we are in it.

    Thank you for offering to help put mort into my work creating a viable civilization.

    If it was not for Covid I would have come for a visit to hang out with you. Although my serious hiking and motorcycle riding days are over unless I find a trainer who can but some strength back into some tired muscles.

    I am still riding a bike for 40 minutes every morning on the park trails and I spend 6 hours on a soccer pitch each week — But it is more like fast walking.

    I have no reservations with mort being a fundamental part of the human story.

    However, I treat it no differently than any other genetic predisposition that contributes to collapse.

    I design social contracts that do for civilizations what stop and go traffic signals do for dangerous intersections. They constrain normal behavior that results from predispositions.

    I have put 3 months of work into the cacor talk to expand and detail the social contract elements.

    I keep telling friends a few more days and I will post beta 3. When it is posted I would like to talk to about the relationship between Mort and the social contract elements that manage it.

    Best regards,


    Jack Alpert 913 708 2554 Jack’s work 600 word summary


    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for stopping by Jack. I look forward to discussing your latest work.

      I agree with you that there are many genetic predispositions that contribute to overshoot.

      I view denial as special because it is a keystone behavior capable of disabling our powerful intelligence thus making it possible for the other destructive behaviors to continue.

      Denial also answers the most interesting question for those few of us that are overshoot aware:

      How is it possible that such an intelligent species cannot see its most important threat?


  3. I really enjoyed this intelligent interview with Stanford professor Jay Bhattacharya who was a co-author of the Great Barrington Declaration.

    I learned some new plausible explanations for the bad decisions our leaders made on covid.

    FYI, Bhattacharya disagrees with the doomy Bossche predictions, and is pro-vaccine for people at risk.



    I’m reading for the 2nd time one of my favorite books: Arrival of the Fittest: Solving Evolution’s Greatest Puzzle by Andreas Wagner.

    The book tries to explain the evolutionary solution space of life and how life innovates. It’s very complicated and dense and I don’t profess to understand or retain all of the ideas.

    I do however understand that Wagner is discussing something very important about our existence, and my best attempt at a summary is as follows.

    Life and its amazing diversity exists because:
    1) There are a near infinite number of reactions possible with carbon chemistry.
    2) There are a near infinite number of ways to implement each of the near infinite chemical reactions.
    3) There are a near infinite number of ways of encoding the recipe for each of the near infinite chemical reactions.
    4) There are a near infinite number of ways of controlling each of the near infinite recipes.
    5) Evolution acts on this near infinite solution space to innovate and to create networks of unfathomably complex chemical reactions that permit me to exist and to write this sentence.


    1. Ok, on your recommendation I ordered a copy. I will be interested in comparing it to Nick Lane’s book – as I found his last one to be one of the most dense (or perhaps I am?) books I have read (in biochemistry) since college chemistry texts.


      1. Hope you enjoy it.

        I just loved Lane’s last book because it explained the emergence of the eukaryotic cell, which is one of the most important inventions of evolution that enabled complex life.

        The 2nd most important invention of evolution is of course denial which enabled high intelligence with an extended theory of mind in only one species.

        Wagner’s book provides some insight into the plumbing and mathematics that enabled those two inventions.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember many years ago respecting the wisdom of Chinese leadership for their 1 child policy. Then they reversed course and became idiots like the rest of us. I would like to understand what actually happened and why.

      I know social problems were caused by parents preferring males but I’d like to understand why the government didn’t fix that with a financial incentive to have daughters.

      I started reading the book One Child: The Story of China’s Most Radical Experiment by Mei Fong but did not like the author’s style or bias so quit. Maybe I’ll have another run at it.

      Anyone know any other good books?


      1. Hi Rob and friends, and here’s to a new page that I never would have anticipated in all the evolutionary years to have my name on it! Life certainly is astounding. In haste now as I’m doing a final pack before traversing climate zones tomorrow but I do have a few thoughts in regards to the One Child policy, mainly observations of many families’ social outcomes, being of Chinese descent myself and having my elderly mother live with us we know quite a few. I am also an only child (by happenstance, not by decree, being US born to immigrants from Hong Kong) but with a very different experience growing up as first generation Chinese in America; our cohort has been called “bananas” by mainland Chinese (and this is not exactly an endearing term, more a thinly veiled derogatory one)–yellow on the outside but white on the inside! Never mind, this banana has a tough peel! Suffice to say for now that I think the experiment has been an unmitigated disaster at least in measure of societal stability and reduction of suffering, a perfect storm of forcing together thousands of years of Chinese culture and mass destitution, the rise of the CCP and then globalization and subsequent explosion of the middle and consumer class. It never would have ended well to have the hopes and dreams and expectations of 6 persons (parents and two sets of grandparents) focussed solely on one, you are just asking for pressure cooker level expectations. Remind me to get back to this topic if you’re interested in my thoughts. I must admit I never looked for any particular book on this, probably because we were experiencing the outcome around us already. Stay well and may you find the beauty and joy in every day.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Safe travels and don’t forget to take your favorite things in case world events make it a one way trip. 🙂

          Please do come back and explain what went wrong in China and what they should have done.


  5. Damn. There’s a lot of smart people digging into covid data and finding troubling things.

    This guy’s a Canadian looking at Canadian data.

    For some time, the Health Canada posting on Adverse Reactions to the Jabs has had me troubled.

    Not just because there are over 114k reports in 45+k people. The fact that we’ve harmed more people with Jabs than COVID has killed has always bothered me.

    While I didn’t find any actual Adverse Reactions by way of Health Canada’s current symptoms and definitions, what I found was way worse – an increase in Risk, not only to those who are most vulnerable but to all ages, across the board on Hospitalizations, ICU Admissions and Deaths.

    And I’m even more troubled now than when I started!

    Wondering if I’m in social media silo?

    Have any of you found some really smart people that analyze covid data and conclude our leaders deserve admiration and respect?


  6. Gail Tverberg today predicts a collapse in the global debt (aka overshoot) bubble.

    What we should be most concerned about is a very rapidly shrinking economic system that cannot accommodate very many people. It seems that such a situation might occur if the debt bubble is popped and too many supply lines are broken. There may be a time lag between when interest rates are raised and when the adverse impacts on the economy are seen. This is a reason why central bankers should be very cautious about the increases in interest rates they make as well as QT. The situation may turn out much worse than planned!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Nice summary by Norman Pagett on debt and untruthful leaders.

    the problem might be said to hinge on the need of politicians to stay in office at any cost.

    western, developed societies created democratic political systems, requiring votes from ordinary people to stay in office (as opposed to previous ‘systems’ which were largely self perpetuating among the aristocracy).

    This was the direct product of the industrial factory system and the industrial revolution of the 1700s

    votes from ‘the masses’ could be counted on, as long as some kind of prosperous ‘growth’ was seen to be happening.

    the name of the political faction didn’t matter much, as long as wages rose, and nice things could be bought.

    Then in 1969 the world passed peak oil discovery (note–not peak oil production)–this meant that the writing was on the wall for the ‘American way of Life’.

    The political answer to that was debt. Debt cloaked reality, (that industrialised society was destined to fail)
    Politicians repeated the lie that growth was forever. The fact was that debt was replacing growth and at an ever increasing rate. Nevertheless the lies bought votes—from Reagan to Trump.

    the majority of voters bought into it. They voted for the ‘growth liars’. Idiots kept their political seats and everyone pretended that growth was forever.

    But not everyone in government was/is stupid. They are fully aware that we do not live in a ‘money economy’ we live in an ‘energy economy’. It is a universal law of economics that a shortage of energy collapses money.

    oil is our ‘equity’….we are now in a state of negative equity pretending we can rebalance the books with debt. Which is why commodities (requiring energy to produce them) are slipping into short supply, while more debt is being created to cover up the growing cracks in the system.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m a long time admirer of the work of Nicole Foss.

    In 2011 I attended a talk she gave in Vancouver when she was a doomer rock star giving presentations around the world.

    I’ve posted some of my favorite work by Nicole over the years:

    And you can find an archive of all of her work here:

    Nicole stopped writing a few years ago but has remained active on Twitter, lately mainly tweeting about covid. I’ve never seen Nicole state her opinion on the covid big picture so I sent her a message asking her to write something since she has a great brain for making sense of complex systems. Nicole responded as follows:

    Hi Rob,
    I’m planning doing some more presentation work and writing. I’ve been obsessed with covid from December 2019. I was once a biologist and medical researcher, so this stuff is fascinating to me. The more I read, the worse it looked. I watched the censorship of doctors offering treatments, the studies designed to fail, the fraudulent studies published, the singular focus on rushed vaccines, the governments failing to follow their own laws etc. Watching them throw out the Nuremberg Code was the worst. I’m with Vanden Bossche, the FLCCC and other medical and scientific dissidents. Mattias Desmet’s work on mass formation is particularly important. The vaccines are completely ineffective and very harmful. IMO both covid and the vaccines are bioweapons. To be specific, the bioweapon is the spike protein, which is common to both. These vaccines have killed at least as many as the disease worldwide, and perhaps more. I’m censored almost everywhere for saying this. I’m also calling for the next financial crisis soon, and for a major energy crisis at the same time. The next few years are really going to suck unfortunately. I think we’ll see an attempt at central bank digital currency, which will be slavery. I’m very concerned that we’re moving into a tyrannical period, no matter who’s in power. I wouldn’t trust any government or mainstream media at the moment. They’re just creating distractions from the limits to growth crisis that’s finally here.
    Cheers, Nicole

    Here’s a great interview with Nicole.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve a lot of respect for Nicole and much of what she has said about COVID makes a lot of sense. But the claims above seem to be bizarre. The stats here in NZ (where Nicole lives) give the lie to the vaccines being completely ineffective and I haven’t seen the evidence for the claim that vaccines have killed more than the virus. Indeed, most deaths occurred before vaccines were widely available. As far as I know, excess deaths in 2021, didn’t reach the levels seen in 2020.

      By the way, though she’s “active” on Twitter, most of her posts are retweets and the bulk are focused on an anti-Trump message. It would be good to see her analyse the current resource and financial situation again.


      1. Pre-covid Nicole was 100% Trump for a while and I tuned her out at that time.
        Saw the same thing happen with another great female mind in the overshoot space.
        It seems Trump is viscerally offensive and threatening to aware females.
        Perhaps because they understand the risk to woman’s rights as we collapse.


    2. RE Nicole’s “Mattias Desmet’s work on mass formation is particularly important”

      The official framing of the mass formation “phenomenon” is misleading and wrong. The false hope-addicted psychologists and their acolytes want you to believe this is “just some temporary occasional” madness by the masses that has been going on since only about the 20th century when it is but a spike of a CHRONIC madness going on for aeons with “civilized” people —

      One of these mainstream psychologists who have been spreading this whitewashed reality, Dr. Desmet, also fails to see that the Covid Psyop is a TOTALLY deliberate ploy because he doesn’t think it’s ALL intentionally sinister. This makes him witting or unwitting controlled opposition.

      Worst of all, perhaps, the mass formation/mass psychosis notion frames the problem as the public being a mere unaccountable non-culpable victim in this phenomenon. Nothing could be further from the truth (see referenced source above)…


      1. Hi welcome. I’m trying but am not sure I understand your point.

        Something bad has definitely happened to citizens since covid. Many of my friends and family have lost their ability to think rationally regardless of data or evidence.

        Are you saying this is business as usual?


  9. I thought I understood the covid money trail.

    Chris Martenson today shines a light on another money thread.

    I added point 5) to improve the summary I wrote a while ago.

    Follow the covid money:
    1) Politicians depend on pharma donations.
    2) News & social media depend on pharma ads.
    3) Scientists depend on pharma contracts.
    4) Pharma CEOs depend on profit growth.
    5) Regulators depend on pharma royalties.


    1. I appreciated his take on nuclear. This is one area where even I as a mechanical engineer struggle to sort through. I know many speakers/authors who fall on different sides on this one.


      1. Thought this was an incredible discussion which aligns well with my cognitive bias 🙂
        I’m not as hopeful as they were at the end and would have liked Nate to ask how many people the society he foresees would be able to support. I did like Simons call to those who are aware of our predicament to focus on what can be done, creating the new future and some positivity (as hard as that may be sometimes). So his hierarchy of needs assessment of food, water and waste and heating (I’ll add easily repairable shelter and family/ community) also align nicely with my current focus and where I find joy in the world.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. And I just tested positive for Covid. Symptoms minor like a head cold with lethargy, slight sore throat and temperature. Still able to garden with some panadol on board. Appetite fine. I’m vaxed last October but not boosted.


          1. Hello there Kiwi friend, just logging onto the computer for the first time in several days and of course I went straight to this blog before withdrawal symptoms got too severe. Sorry to hear you’re slightly under the weather with Covid de jour but I share in the confidence that you will be feeling fine very soon but do try to rest as much as possible these next few days even if you feel up to getting into the garden, your immune system will capitalize on the energy you’ve conserved and kick the virus even more efficiently. Just a little patience and TLC for yourself which we all should be following!

            I’ve made my winter migration to the Atherton Tablelands, finally got the cobwebs out of the shed (now I truly appreciate what that saying means, spiders have been busy everywhere!) and will start to assess the jungle growth here, sector by sector. The citrus from what I can see look pretty good, we’ve got a strange beast called Buddha’s hand because it roughly resembles fingers held together in Namaste position, my variety is more a palm with opening fingers. It’s all peel and pith and no pulp but the Asians love it for the religious significance and the aroma of the peel is lovely. It’s apparently also sought after in Traditional Chinese Medicine. By the way, if you have any grapefruit handy, this is an excellent time to eat it along with as much of the white pith as you can, that’s where the quinine compounds are, yes, the same family as the drug hydroxychloroquine. I would think my weird Buddha’s hand is full of it, too, but you may not find these so easily. Do consider growing one of these oddities, it’s a fantastical fruit and it would do really well in your climate zone.

            I send you a virtual Buddha’s hand for your good health and in honour of your journey to experience the fullness of life in the time and finding the peace and joy in the time we have been given. Namaste!


            1. No citrus grown here but today I had my first feed of asparagus grown on the farm I help. It’s nothing like that imported from Mexico and elsewhere. Thick stems but tender from top to bottom with a delicate flavor. Delicious!


              1. I am green with asparagus envy! Nothing like fresh sweet asparagus, I have been known to eat them raw straight snapped from the soil. Now for something interesting and since we’re all amongst friends here I hope you won’t find this subject too off colour. Does your urine have that unmistakable post-asparagus pong or not? Some people do not excrete the sulfur compounds after eating asparagus and therefore do not produce stinky pee but it gets weirder yet as apparently there’s a gene that causes some people to not be able to smell it, even if it’s their own urine that has the characteristic odor. So there’s four types of people in this world when it comes to asparagus! I am most definitely an excreter and can smell the parfum l’asperges a mile away! Small price to pay for a most delectable Spring delight.


            2. Thanks Gaia. I’m doing pretty well. Still feeling a little under powered so not doing anything too strenuous. Glad you arrived safely in your northern paradise. Oddly enough today my wife and kids planted a Buddhas Hand along with a dozen other fruit trees. We don’t have any grapefruit yet. I’ve heard of their health benefits though. My favorite book at the moment is Ultimate Fruit and Nuts by Susanna Lyle. It’s my go to for everything for the food forest. Lots of Australian native plants too. Check it out.

              Having traveled to India twice in the past I reciprocate your Namaste. Go well.


              1. Now how’s that for synchronicity about the Buddha’s Hand? What other lucky trees found their new home at your place, I go absolutely bonkers over fruit and I have yet to meet a fruit I don’t like, some I like much more than others of course. I must say mangoes are near top of the list, I adore custard apples, and I am a confirmed durian addict, but really, any fruit in season and in front of me is my favourite! Thanks for the book tip, I will check that out straightaway. Keep resting and every day that passes will see you better soon.


                1. Plenty of custard apple (cherimoya), avocado, casimiroa, papaya, bananas and your more common fruits like apple and plum. If you haven’t already heard of it look up lucuma which is known as the Gold of the Incas with a maple and caramel like flavour. I have a few planted. We’re on the border climate wise (currently at least) for mango and durian. Have sprouted mango seeds but they died. Will have to give them another go.

                  My health is coming right now. Plenty of fresh mulch to spread in the latest orchard plantings. Namaste!


                  1. That’s uplifting news, both your good recovery and the orchard plantings! Well done for supporting your immune system and overall health with fresh air, exercise, and lots of fruit! It looks like we can grow many of the same types of fruits and nuts here, being high altitude tropics (we’re 17 degrees South but 1000m up) we actually have the best (and worst) of several climate zones, for example we can get frost (which is good for stone fruit and blueberries) but that can kill some more tropical plants outright (alas, twice our breadfruit and star fruit died and I am not even going to try durian). Plenty of bananas, avos, and custard apples, as well as lychee, longan (I’m Chinese heritage after all, so these are a must!) and also wampee. Because I love them so, we have planted about 20 mango trees, many from seeds. They are in varying stages of growth, with the grafted ones starting to bear but weaker looking trees, as often the case. When mangoes form they sometimes drop off due to wet weather at the wrong time, and then not always successfully ripening on the tree, everything depends on the vagaries of the year. The key is to plant as many varieties as you can manage in as many different places you can find, somehow you’ll hit the right mix and in good years you should get something, even if it’s green mango pickle, not bad! We also have jackfruit successfully growing, and a first fruit this year after 8 years, like a long-awaited baby! Do you have black sapote, aka chocolate pudding fruit? These will do well for you as they are growing crazy here. And yes, I would love a lucuma fruit but haven’t found one here yet. I’ve got a mamey sapote and several canistel (Egg fruit) which are taking their time settling in, they’re the same type of starchy sweet fruit. And don’t forget Rollinia, the Brazilian Custard apple which tastes like lemon meringue pie! Oh, we are fellow fruit addicts indeed, probably have always been in previous lives! I have ordered The Ultimate Fruit and Nuts book and of course it’s coming from NZ. My fruit bible is by Louis Glowinski, The Complete Book of Fruit Growing in Australia, it’s a classic, too. In case anyone is reading this from northern climates and thinking how delectable subtropical and tropical fruit must be, you would be pleased to know that most people here would give anything for a crispy apple or juicy cherry. It always seems that humans want whatever is furthest from their reach! Enjoy your time in the garden of earthly delights and I will too here, starting with tackling the grass…sigh!


                    1. You are all welcome to share any bounty with me, of course the only problem is being able to get to where the fruit is actually a solid reality in your hand and ready to eat rather than a figment of your brain’s imagination as a result of a vanishingly rare circumstance of developed language, theory of mind, and pinnacle of technology! Until then, I will continue to paint as luscious of a picture as I can. Seriously, though, it may very well be for me that whichever food forest paradise I will find myself, either north or south, will depend on the possibility of continued air travel, which is in great doubt for so many reasons, including geopolitical. Now every time I get onto a plane to leave husband and mother behind, I do wonder if that could be the last that separates us for some time, Rob you did jokingly say that I should take along something with me that I can’t live without in case I don’t get back but that has been a forethought in my mind already. And now I would like to ask for your assessment and opinion on what has been a theoretical exercise so far but may become a necessary choice–given what you know of my description of both properties (and feel free to ask any questions to fill in gaps) on a purely food sustainability and overall survival probability (at this present for our family there are many other considerations, but in times of crisis, it would boil down to these basics), would you choose Tasmania or Far North subtropical Queensland for your last stand? Not fair to just pick the place that offers the fruit you enjoy most!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. Hi Gaia. How’s the grass management going? Have you heard of Tithonia or Mexican sunflower? We use it as a colonising plant for our food forest here as it grows rapidly from cuttings / stakes even through long grass, actually weakens the grasses through an allelopathic effect and rapid shading. It produces huge amounts of biomass for chop and drop and seems to promote great growth in other plants like a compost accelerant. It is a winter flowering plant and is coming into full bloom right now (photo taken yesterday link here –

                      We don’t get as warm but don’t have the frosts here. At least our first winter last year had no frosty mornings. So some of the fruit you mention are borderline viable here but maybe worth a punt on things like Lychee (my oldest sons favourite), Jackfruit etc. They are very expensive to get hold of seeds or seedlings here. We don’t have any black sapote yet but I’m on the lookout. I’m also keen to get a lot more nut trees in this winter for future alternative flour. Am also sourcing different plants with tubers / rhizomes for flour alternatives too. Canna lilly (arrowroot) and taro as examples.

                      Glad you managed to track down a copy of the book. You’ll love it I’m sure. Happy days.


                  2. Hello there Campbell,
                    Hope this finds you back to your usual robustness and happily busy creating your food forest! As for the grass situation here, well, let’s say the grass has definitely got the upper hand at the moment, some of it being 6 feet tall and two inches thick at the base, and prickly to boot! Not to mention heaving with ticks which seem to just be awaiting latching on to any warm-blooded creature that sweeps by, that would be me. Whilst the tall drier grass hosts the sucking arachnids, the shorter grass damp with dew and rain has legions of blood-thirsty leeches. I always carry a container of salt with me, but sometimes you don’t even feel them, just the trickle of blood going down in your boot as their calling card. What we go through to experience living off the land, or shall I say, the land and its inhabitants are doing a better job living off me for now!
                    Thank you for the lovely Mexican sunflower photo, yes, I am aware of this plant which unfortunately has earned a stigma as a noxious weed up here in Far North QLD where it spreads rampantly. I do see it on the sides of roads regularly and yes, it’s blooming now and quite cheerful! I am not sure I want to directly encourage it on our property at the moment, mainly because I am not here the full year to keep on top of it and I think neighbours may not appreciate its permaculture potential as I do. I have tried to plant more legume plants like pigeon pea, and inga to be chop and drop candidates, the inga (or ice-cream bean) has been especially successful and coppice/pollard exceptionally well. As the years go by, I am seeing that the shade provided by the growing fruit trees and bamboo are slowly but surely diminishing the grass vigor and other types of weeds seem to come through, then also recede into the deep leaf litter mulch. Finally I see evidence that the forest is reclaiming the open grassland, but it is hard to cover 3 acres in food species all at once (even after 9 years at only 3 months/year) so there remains the constant struggle.
                    Here’s a return recommendation for you in the starchy nut category–can you find a Malabar Chestnut, they have a large seed pod that has quite tasty nuts which can be eaten raw but tastier roasted, very much like a chestnut. Then again, you can also try chestnuts and pecans, they should do well for you.
                    We have excellent nurseries here that seem to have a wide range of fruits, but the best bet is local markets or just word of mouth trying to get the varieties you want. Growing from seed is the most satisfying, and only sets you back a few years here in the subtropics. I have successfully sprouted lychee from seed, do you get fresh lychee where you are, the season is past for this year however. If you know anyone with a lychee tree, you can try to marcot the branch, that’s how most commercial ones are propagated. Black sapote grows like a weed from seeds, so all you need is one chocolate pudding fruit. Gee, if only you were closer (not to mention skirting quarantine) I would just love to share whatever stock I’ve got here with you.
                    And last but not least, I am a tuber addict! I have made it one of my minor missions to spread the love of the tuber, they are so much easier than grains to grow and harvest, and also digestible and nutritious. Taro is fabulous, the secret is to grow it in those large plastic trugs, do not drill holes in the bottom, you want to keep the plant submerged in water constantly as it is one of those that thrive that way and it keeps weed free. We also have cassava, these just multiply from cuttings, just stick in the ground and it will shoot. You must cook thoroughly both these tubers, one for the oxalic acid and the other for cyanide, but really, they aren’t as toxic as the books make out because your tongue and throat won’t let you eat enough to harm you. There’s also sweet potato, and the leaves are a great green. And the world of yams, the true yam of the Dioscorea family–this one species can be the foundation of starch self-sufficiency. I want to also give a shout out to a new personal favourite, the Aracacha or Peruvian Parsnip, it’s like a creamy celeriac/potato that is just divine roasted. Do anything you can to get even one slip of these, they take nearly a year to mature but once you have a full grown crown, you will have at least 15 new plants.
                    Sorry I’ve gone a bit over the top, and thank you Rob for indulging me the space to wax lyrical over what obviously is my passion (and personal response to overshoot). I didn’t choose Gaia gardener as a moniker for nuffin!

                    Liked by 1 person

        2. All true but they did strongly imply population will have to significantly decrease, and they said there’s a tradeoff between standard of living and number of people. Which is an improvement over prior work.

          P.S. I am very curious why Nate remains silent on covid. Perhaps discussing population reduction policies and covid corruption/incompetence is incompatible with a university job.

          Anyone seen Nate state his opinion on covid policies and the competence/integrity of our health leaders?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Bingo, Rob. I think that is exactly why Nate is silent on Covid and its attribute topics, his employer being a University and therefore by definition now under the aegis of the money/power/policymakers. One misspoken word or post and you’re sent packing, this has happened to countless academics over the past couple years from all disciplines, not just in science and medicine. It makes me shudder to think how the once ivory and mighty tower has fallen into a blackened rubble.

            Liked by 1 person

  10. Tim Morgan, again, recapitulates the energy foundation of the economy. He’s kind of like me on denial, saying the same thing over and over and over, to the same audience who already understands it. I guess that’s what people do when they see something they think is vitally important for survival that others have missed.

    Repeating my often repeated message, notice how denial of reality is central to Morgan’s conclusion, and notice that Morgan does not appear to understand, nor appears to be interested in, the reason otherwise intelligent people are blind to something obvious.

    When we see past these misconceptions, what emerges is an economy poised for severe contraction because of (a) the depletion of the low-cost fossil fuel energy which has powered the industrial sage, (b) the absence of any plausible replacement for this low-ECoE energy, and (c) the sheer idiocy of the idea that we can somehow “de-couple” economic prosperity from the supply, value and cost of energy.

    This gap between reality and misconception poses enormous risks for a financial system which has created gargantuan ‘forward claims’ that cannot possibly be delivered. These excess claims will have to be repudiated, through default, through runaway inflation, or a combination of both. This inevitable process of disorderly downside on the claims side of the equation has obvious implications for asset prices which have been inflated, often to the point of absurdity, through a period of ultimately-futile policy gimmickry.

    Based on the same misconceptions which distort collective understanding of the economy and the financial system, it is widely assumed that existing political and social arrangements, and the intellectual dogmas that support them, will evolve only very gradually from where they are today.

    We have reasonable grounds for concluding that this consensus view is shared by leadership cadres in government, business and finance. Whilst it is fashionable to question the candour of politicians, we can state with confidence that, if business bosses and investors really did have serious doubts about the validity of the consensus “narrative”, these doubts would already have become apparent, not least in corporate strategies and, most obviously, in the markets.

    What we cannot calculate is the moment at which reality displaces all of these fondly-cherished delusions, economic, financial and political. A purely personal view – and an admittedly somewhat subjective one – is that we are now very close indeed to the moment at which the myth of perpetual growth succumbs to the hard facts of an economy heading into contraction; a financial system, built on false predicates, trips into a crisis of disorderly downsizing; and the public demands pragmatic responses to challenges which its leaders, perhaps in all good faith, have hitherto refused even to acknowledge.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Nice find by Herbie Ficklestein @ OFW.

    Time magazine discusses Smil’s book “How the World Really Works” on the material realities of modern civilization.

    I note that the article concludes by focusing on the vague possibility of a difficult and distant transition to renewable energy thus satisfying the denial circuit in our brain and permitting the article to be published.

    Modern societies would be impossible without mass-scale production of many man-made materials. We could have an affluent civilization that provides plenty of food, material comforts, and access to good education and health care without any microchips or personal computers: we had one until the 1970s, and we managed, until the 1990s, to expand economies, build requisite infrastructures and connect the world by jetliners without any smartphones and social media. But we could not enjoy our quality of life without the provision of many materials required to embody the myriad of our inventions.

    Four materials rank highest on the scale of necessity, forming what I have called the four pillars of modern civilization: cement, steel, plastics, and ammonia are needed in larger quantities than are other essential inputs. The world now produces annually about 4.5 billion tons of cement, 1.8 billion tons of steel, nearly 400 million tons of plastics, and 180 million tons of ammonia. But it is ammonia that deserves the top position as our most important material: its synthesis is the basis of all nitrogen fertilizers, and without their applications it would be impossible to feed, at current levels, nearly half of today’s nearly 8 billion people.

    And these four materials, so unlike in their properties and qualities, share three common traits: they are not readily replaceable by other materials (certainly not in the near future or on a global scale); we will need much more of them in the future; and their mass-scale production depends heavily on the combustion of fossil fuels, making them major sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Organic fertilizers cannot replace synthetic ammonia: their low nitrogen content and their worldwide mass are not enough even if all manures and crop residues were recycled. No other materials offer such advantages for many lightweight yet durable uses as plastics. No other metal is as affordably strong as steel. No other mass-produced material is as suitable for building strong infrastructure as concrete (often reinforced with steel).

    Fossil fuels remain indispensable for producing all of these materials.

    Ammonia synthesis uses natural gas both as the source of hydrogen and as the source of energy needed to provide high temperature and pressure. Some 85% of all plastics are based on simple molecules derived from natural gas and crude oil, and hydrocarbons also supply energy for syntheses. Production of primary steel starts with smelting iron ore in blast furnace in the presence of coke made from coal and with the addition of natural gas, and the resulting cast iron is made into steel in large basic oxygen furnaces. And cement is produced by heating ground limestone and clay, shale in large kilns, long inclined metal cylinders, heated with such low-quality fossil fuels as coal dust, petroleum coke and heavy fuel oil.

    As a result, global production of these four indispensable materials claims about 17 percent of the world’s annual total energy supply, and it generates about 25 percent of all CO2 emissions originating in the combustion of fossil fuels. The pervasiveness of this dependence and its magnitude make the decarbonization of the four material pillars of modern civilization uncommonly challenging: replacing fossil fuels in their production will be far more difficult and costly than generating more electricity from renewable (mainly wind and solar) conversions. Eventually, new processes will take over— but currently there are no alternatives that could be deployed immediately to displace large shares of existing global capacities: their development will take time.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Reality is sobering despite expecting it.

    A vast swath of North America from the Great Lakes to the West Coast is at risk of blackouts this summer as heat, drought, shuttered power plants and supply-chain woes strain the electric grid.

    Climate change is partly to blame. A historic drought is covering the western US, limiting supplies of hydroelectric power, and forecasts call for a hotter-than-average summer. But the fight against global warming poses its own risks as older coal-fired plants close faster than wind farms, solar facilities and batteries can replace them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We don’t have a TV and haven’t missed it for the past 27 years but every now and then I get a chance to plop myself in front of the boob tube, for example just a few nights ago when I stayed overnight in a motel whilst in transit. I flipped onto a drama called Cobra, a UK series in its first season about the UK prime minister convening an emergency committee of Britain’s leading experts, crisis contingency planners, and senior politicians to deal with an unfolding national emergency–get this, the emergency was a longstanding nationwide black out due to solar flares and the social upheaval that followed as half the country remained without power for weeks to months. We’re talking herding tens of thousands of rioting people into concentration camps under strict police/military guard, and the big drama moment this episode was a near lynching of an innocent by the frenzied mob. Well, if predictive programming is still the way things go, then here’s another entry to preparing us for another nightmare scenario. Why do we even need TV when we’ve got a reality that we couldn’t make up even if we tried.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. In Germany, the prices are around 2,10€ since weeks. This is the price for gas stations within towns. If you have to fill up your gas tank at highway service station, the prices are even higher (normally around 10-15 cent). When I stopped at a service station two weeks ago, gasoline was 2,46€. I have never experienced such high prices before.


  13. Motherf@cking corrupt morons in my government f@cking with data to protect their f@cking necks.

    Shame. Canada used to be a good country.

    More Data Fuckery by Health Canada

    We’ve tagged, emailed and called out MPs, MLAs, Health and Travel Ministers, Provincial Premiers and let them know a couple of things.

    1) There are still Federal Mandates based on “Science” that isn’t substantiated by the Health Canada Data.
    2) The most vulnerable, who we’ve known by name, address and phone number by their specific age and pre-existing health conditions are still the most vulnerable; because
    3) We’re spending more energy focusing on Punishing the Unvaccinated than with being concerned for those who need protection.

    Because of this…there was some real magical data fuckery that came in the following week. A couple things notable in that the number of deaths had increased but that a steady trend of this increase in Risk tending towards the Vaccinated was Tipped!


  14. George Gammon today interviewed Dr. Peter McCullough (who has published the most peer reviewed papers in his field of heart disease) on the disturbing censorship trend in medicine.


  15. Nice to see James writing again.

    Squeezing the energy out of fossil fuels is the human’s special project for the universe which has the beneficial side effect of allowing humans to eat much more organic life than would have been possible with the energy derived from their tissues. We can actually eat food that would have traditionally had a negative Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROEI) throughout all of natural history. Fossil fuels have been a nice subsidy while they lasted but have created lots of damage to the coevolved ecosystem. Humans in their rRNA tool-building capacity are desperately trying to come-up with something additional to eat as fossil fuels begin to wane. Even the organic matrix and been stripped bare and has been depleted of nutrients so that even if fossil fuels lasted, the matrix of industrial growth for human food likely would not and fake laboratory meat and meal worms will not make-up for capacities being lost from the natural environment.


    1. It’s getting so surreal that it’s scary, but have you come across this and what do you think?


      Taken from the Executive Summary of the paper:
      In March 2021, the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) partnered with the Munich Security Conference (MSC) to conduct a tabletop exercise on reducing high-consequence biological threats. Conducted virtually, the exercise examined gaps in national and international biosecurity and pandemic preparedness architectures and explored opportunities to improve capabilities to prevent and respond to high-consequence biological events. Participants included 19 senior leaders and experts from across Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe with decades of combined experience in public health, biotechnology industry, international security, and philanthropy.

      The exercise scenario portrayed a deadly, global pandemic involving an unusual strain of monkeypox virus that emerged in the fictional nation of Brinia and spread globally over 18 months. Ultimately, the exercise scenario revealed that the initial outbreak was caused by a terrorist attack using a pathogen engineered in a laboratory with inadequate biosafety and biosecurity provisions and weak oversight. By the end of the exercise, the fictional pandemic resulted in more than three billion cases and 270 million fatalities worldwide.

      Is this the Pandemic number Two that Gates and Co have been smirking over years prior? Note this tabletop exercise combines the best of both pandemics and bioterrorism, just what we have been told is the next new thing. And with the current state of immune status of billions of people in question due to the vaccine, one can only pray for calamity (I am respectfully borrowing this phrase from a once blogger you admire, whose name escapes me but his conclusion has been forever etched in my consciousness).

      It has not escaped my notice that the hypothetical date chosen during this thinktank forum in 2021 for the initial fictional bioterrorism attack and subsequent first major outbreak is 5 June 2022, just a fortnight away. Already we have sabre rattling around the world with reports of scattered monkeypox cases and governments commandeering smallpox vaccines. It’s like we’re living in a movie within a movie.

      Sorry to bring more distressing news to our days but to be forewarned is to have a chance of being prepared, physically if possible but even more important now to be mentally ready for what’s ahead.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks. I was aware of that monkeypox exercise a year ago.

        I agree everything is surreal today. I don’t know what to make of it yet.

        On the one hand, if we had intelligent and wise leaders with good intentions we should applaud them for worrying about infectious diseases on a planet with 8 billion monkeys whizzing around in planes and tinkering in bioweapons labs.

        On the other hand, our leaders have proven they are not intelligent, nor wise, nor have good intentions with covid, Ukraine, overshoot, etc. etc..

        I’ll probably let the evidence wash over me for a while longer before forming an opinion on monkeypox.


        1. Hi Rob,
          Any developments to your stance on the monkey-on-your-back pox? I just read this piece by Dr Robert Malone, the same mRNA vaccine specialist of Covid notoriety. At first he espoused a similar stance of watch and wait and disregard the fear porn, but then only a few days later, published this slightly sensational piece on his Substack.

          The science part of it is based on the would be seminal 23 May report by the Portuguese National Institute of Health.

          The implications are very concerning, and the fact that a disease once relegated to Africa has now turned up nearly simultaneously in different Western countries, is novel, even if the disease is not quite. And I am considering the fact that this may not even be a true outbreak but then because it is touted as one is equally disturbing.

          It has gotten to the stage where nothing could shock me now, it’s just hang tight for the ride. We have changed gears and the wheel in the sky keeps on turnin’–I don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow, to quote very aptly from Journey.


          1. I missed that article by Dr. Malone, nice find. I don’t have an opinion yet on monkey-pox but there’s reason to worry in Malone’s piece. Will monitor.

            I’m still deeply disturbed by our covid policies and the fact that the majority of citizens support them. I feel like I’m swimming in a sea of insanity and stupidity.

            I suppose a good question to ask is:

            If our leaders are aware of overshoot and imminent collapse, and assuming they can’t discuss openly for fear of causing an accelerating panic, WHAT SHOULD/COULD/WOULD THEY DO?


            1. That’s the rub, isn’t it? I’ve been asking myself the same question for many moons now and the only answer I keep coming back to that even remotely makes the slightest sense is that the global theatre is unfolding according to a long determined script, and whatever is happening now is what is in the playbook, within certain variables of parameters. For some interesting reason, and maybe this is part of the “fair” play stipulation, the powers that be (for lack of a better term) have “hidden” their agenda out in the open for anyone who has eyes and ears to see and listen. The WEF, Event 201, and the Monkeypox simulation, as well as all the inconsistencies with the Covid narrative that are coming to light but were always there to find–it’s like “we told you so, and you had a chance to be prepared, don’t say we didn’t warn you”. Economic collapse and population reduction are twin pillars to support the ushering in of the New World Order–the ensuing panic and chaos will leave most of the world left standing begging for a saviour government, just for the chance for survival. It’s all happened before, just a matter of scale.


              1. Good points. It’s all out in the open if you care to look.

                I’ve had a draft essay with similar thoughts waiting for me to finish it for a couple years. I might dust it off.


  16. el gato malo once again steps in to analyze the data that our idiot leaders should be all over but instead ignore.

    Today he looks at VAERS to see if adverse reactions from boosters are trending better or worse than the first 2 shots.

    He concludes with articulated uncertainties that it appears very bad.

    the surge of boosters in the US began in September 2021.

    this is precisely the same time the spike in deaths and hospitalizations per day per dose per day started.

    so this is NOT an artifact of just dosing more, we’ve already controlled for that. the per dose incidence of death and hospitalization rose 4X immediately, seems to have plateaued for a minute, then found another step function spike in late january early feb and basically increased 5X from its already 5X elevated level.

    that is actual exponential growth in propensity for severe bad outcomes per dose.

    such a thing is extremely unusual to see and would appear to be of such magnitude as to make a simple rise in reporting rates appear highly unlikely, especially as the overall reports figure does not mirror this pattern, retains linearity, and shows no major moves during this spike in more severe outcomes.

    this leads me to suspect we’re seeing a real clinical outcomes feature here around dramatically increased severe outcomes per dose and while we cannot definitively ascribe causality to correlation, one would seem remiss to ignore a correlation like this and well advised to take it extremely seriously given that we have both strong a priori reasons rooted in immunology and pharmacology to suspect such a linkage and such prevalent anecdotal evidence of people having bad reactions to boosters far in excess of anything i recall from the initial double dosing.

    the fact that this is not front an center as an issue of utmost inquiry is proof positive of the incompetence or full fledged capture of our purported health and safety agencies.

    VAERS is supposed to function as a tripwire, a warning system. it’s the canary in the vaccine coal mine.

    american public health officials appear to be literally treading on a carpet of dead songbirds so thick that feet have not touched floor in nearly two years.

    and yet no one seems to care.

    if covid vaccines were treated like baby formula, these would have been pulled in december 2020. if they were treated as any other vaccine in US history, they’d have been pulled by jaunary 2021.

    but instead, what’s left of the FDA vaccine division (after both top people quit in disgust over handling of boosters) seems fixated on bigger hammer theory without remote regard to safety or the cost/benefit calculations that must underpin all sound medical decisions.


  17. Did you guys see this? It would be so funny if it weren’t for the untold numbers of innocent Iraqis who suffered and died because of this man. Bush calls Iraq invasion ‘unjustified’ in slip-up

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I found this curtsey of mike Stasse.

    These are dark days for supplements. Although they are a $30-plus billion market in the United States alone, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, beta-carotene, glucosamine, chondroitin, and fish oil have now flopped in study after study.

    If there was one supplement that seemed sure to survive the rigorous tests, it was vitamin D. People with low levels of vitamin D in their blood have significantly higher rates of virtually every disease and disorder you can think of: cancer, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, heart attack, stroke, depression, cognitive impairment, autoimmune conditions, and more. The vitamin is required for calcium absorption and is thus essential for bone health, but as evidence mounted that lower levels of vitamin D were associated with so many diseases, health experts began suspecting that it was involved in many other biological processes as well.

    And they believed that most of us weren’t getting enough of it. This made sense. Vitamin D is a hormone manufactured by the skin with the help of sunlight. It’s difficult to obtain in sufficient quantities through diet. When our ancestors lived outdoors in tropical regions and ran around half naked, this wasn’t a problem. We produced all the vitamin D we needed from the sun.

    But today most of us have indoor jobs, and when we do go outside, we’ve been taught to protect ourselves from dangerous UV rays, which can cause skin cancer. Sunscreen also blocks our skin from making vitamin D, but that’s OK, says the American Academy of Dermatology, which takes a zero-tolerance stance on sun exposure: “You need to protect your skin from the sun every day, even when it’s cloudy,” it advises on its website. Better to slather on sunblock, we’ve all been told, and compensate with vitamin D pills.

    Yet vitamin D supplementation has failed spectacularly in clinical trials. Five years ago, researchers were already warning that it showed zero benefit, and the evidence has only grown stronger. In November, one of the largest and most rigorous trials of the vitamin ever conducted—in which 25,871 participants received high doses for five years—found no impact on cancer, heart disease, or stroke.

    How did we get it so wrong? How could people with low vitamin D levels clearly suffer higher rates of so many diseases and yet not be helped by supplementation?


    1. Thanks for this! Favorite quote: “We are always being told to replace something natural with some artificial pill or product that is going to improve our health, and it almost always turns out to be a mistake because we didn’t know enough.”


      1. Isn´t this part of the human condition that we create tools (in this case medicine) to improve our situation on this planet?


    2. Hi Perran, thinking of you back home and your frosty start this morning. Thank you for championing what my body has told me long ago. If only I could get the same health results from simple Vit D supplementation, then I probably would have never found a reason to leave my beloved Tasmania each winter. It’s totally bizzare but I literally feel like a switch has been flipped in my body with more energy or something even after half a day up here after arriving from the south. My swollen chillblained fingers begin to resolve immediately. The difference for me is incredible and can only be attributed to the higher UV direct from the sun, even if it’s cloudy which it has been for the past week. Being naturally darker pigmented in skin, I take it that the UV levels in Tasmania just aren’t strong enough to trigger enough Vitamin D production in me even for some of the summertime, not to mention being hopeless in winter. Actually, no one can produce adequate levels in winter if you live north or south of about 35 degrees latitude, even lighter skinned people, but the idea is they have enough stored from the summer months to get through. The UVB rays needed to activate Vit D making just aren’t getting through the lowered angle during the winter months. Supplementation is kind of like a second-best proxy stimulus to remind our bodies what it really craves will be coming, and just to hold on. Whatever we call Vit D is actually a hormone that just about every process in our bodies responds to, after all, light is life energy and the sun is the ultimate source of all life. No wonder Sun worshipping is part of nearly all first religions; I’ll remain a firm believer and follower in that!
      On a corollary note, I surmise that one of the reasons people in the States with African and Latin ancestry do so much worse with Covid, and generally most health conditions, is that they have been transposed for the most part, to a different climate zone, meaning sunlight zone, from where their health is optimized for their genetic skin pigmentation. I just followed through logically what I have experienced to come to this seemingly clear conclusion.
      Never in my medical training did we ever learn about the importance of sunshine especially for darker skinned people, they were encouraged to use sunscreen just as well. To produce enough Vit D even in summer, a darker skinned person needs 3-6 times the exposure as a lighter skinned person, and not just exposing face and forearms, but 50% of the body surface. How many of us really get that? I am now resolved to believe that optimal health for people genetically primed for more sunlight requires just that, but supplementation, starting with education for supplementation would be a start. By the way, in my researches, I have found that at least 2000U Vit D3 daily is the minimum supplementation, and for those in the Southern hemisphere this is a good time to get a blood test to see what levels you have going into winter, so you are aware of what the shortfall might be for you. And whatever it comes back as normal, consider that to be sub-par, it would be better to aim for doubling it. Forgive my doctor’s prescription tone, some things never leave you, and this (along with fruit!) are amongst my top pet topics. For those in the Northern hemisphere, say welcome to the Sun for me and bare your skin, maybe even those areas where the sun usually doesn’t shine!


      1. Hi Gaia, it has been a little frosty but the last couple of days have been gorgeous. When I last did a blood test the doctor told me I had very high vitamin d levels…. Like well over double what is considered optimal. I am quite fair and work outside. I do use sunscreen from September through to end of April although even in summer I usually don’t apply any until about 10am.
        My mother was always at us for wearing a hat and sunblock when I was a kid and I seldom got burnt growing up. Maybe it’s a hangup from my upbringing but I’m not sure I’m ready to give sunblock a miss yet. My poor nose would be toast if I didn’t put something on it for protection.


        1. That’s great news about your excellent Vitamin D status, Perran! You were made for Tasmania and more UV power to you! The year I realised I wasn’t optimised in Tassie was when I did a Vit D level blood test at the end of February (so that’s near the end of summer for us down under) and it was Low. I have never worn sunscreen and hats in Tasmania and I am also outdoors quite a bit. I occasionally get what you might consider a sunburn but usually I crave the slightly stinging sensation of the sun. My skin colour in Tassie isn’t exactly dark, the usual Asian tone I suppose, but when I get up north, it turns much darker, I always get a bit of a ribbing from friends in Tassie when I return that I’m as brown as a berry (or another less PC description which is a badge of honour for me). From March until when I leave in end of May, I take 5000U of Vit D a day, but still I receive my first chillblain around the first of April like clockworks every year. My chillblains are pretty serious, in the 13 winters I spent in Tassie, my hands would go purple and ulcerate from all the repeated effective frostbite, they would finally clear up by the end of September. Just goes to show how there are countless different varieties of Homo sapiens, and each of us has a special niche! Enjoy the crisp sunny days and welcome to Winter, the shortest day is only 4 weeks away (and I don’t mean that snarkily!) When I get back, you really must come to our place in Glen Huon, it’s just amazing that we’re both on this same page and only 30kms from one another in Tasmania.


  19. Kunstler today does a nice job of articulating how we collectively have lost our minds and how our leaders are making things worse.

    He reinforces my belief that leaders mostly reflect what citizens think rather than influencing what citizens think.

    When I wrote The Long Emergency nearly twenty years ago, I never thought that, once it got going, our government would work so hard to make it worse. My theory then was just that government would become increasingly bloated, ineffectual, impotent, and uncomprehending of the forces converging to undermine our advanced techno-industrial societies. What I didn’t imagine was that government would bring such ostentatious stupidity to all that.

    Obviously, there was some recognition that ominous changes are coming down. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have heard so much chatter about alt energy, “sustainable growth,” “green” this-and-that. But the chatter was more symptomatic of wishful thinking for at least a couple of reasons: 1) mostly it ignored the laws of physics, despite the fact that so many people involved in enterprises such as wind and solar energy were science-and-tech mavens; and 2) there was a dumb assumption that the general shape and scale of daily life would remain as it had been — in other words, that we could still run suburbia, the giant cities, Disney World, WalMart, the US military, and the Interstate highway system just the way they were already set-up, only by other means than oil and gas.

    Now, we’re finding out the hard way how much daily life must change, and is changing, and how disorderly that process is in every way from the imperative personal adjustments to our spiritual attitudes about them. As with so many things in history, this disorder expresses itself strangely, even prankishly, as if God were a practical joker. Who would’ve imagined that our politics would become so deranged? That there would be battles over teaching oral sex in the fifth-grade? That the CDC would keep pushing vaccines that obviously don’t work (and that so many people would still take them)? That stealing stuff under a thousand dollars in value wouldn’t merit prosecution? That riots featuring arson and looting are “mostly peaceful?” That we’d send $50-billion halfway around the world to defend the borders of another country while ignoring the defense of our own borders? That financially beset Americans would spend their dwindling spare cash on… tattoos?

    Notice that that all of these strange behaviors have really nothing to with making practical adjustments to the way we live. The collective psychology of all this is bizarre. Of course, mass formation psychosis accounts for a lot of it. Groups of people under duress, suffering from loneliness, purposelessness, helplessness, and anxiety will fall into coordinated thought-and-action if presented with some object or someone to fixate their ill feelings upon.

    Donald Trump was such an object. He galvanized about half the country into an intoxicated fury aimed at destroying him. It actually managed to drive him off the scene via a fraud-laced election which many in-power (local officials, judges) deemed a means justifying the desired end. That success reinforced their mass formation psychosis. Alas, having succeeded against Mr. Trump, they were left without a galvanizing object to focus on. So, they adopted one of the devices of Trump-riddance, Covid-19, as the next object of all their distress and anxiety, adopting the mRNA vaccinations as their next savior du jour.

    Unfortunately, the vaccination scheme has gone very much awry, and now millions face a future with damaged immune systems. The horror of that is too awful to comprehend, especially by government, which caused the problem in the first place and can’t possibly admit it without demolishing its legitimacy… so it presses on stupidly and heinously with the vaccine program. Already all-causes deaths are substantially up, and in time the recognition of how-and-why this happened will reach a point of criticality.


  20. Rob – I had a thought today.

    Recently I’ve been despairing that it’s irrational to expect to be able to educate people about overshoot and collapse (in large part because of denial, as you’ve well noted). I had the thought today that my small contribution to the field could be to write an allegory about overshoot – in order to talk about complicated and unpopular topics through a less threatening story.

    Think “Animal Farm” by Orwell. Do you know if any such fictional allegory exists already?


    1. I haven’t consumed much fiction in my life so perhaps others can chime in with better examples.

      The allegories that I can recall are that humans behave no differently than:
      1) yeast in a flask of sugar water
      2) mice having a party in an overturned grain truck
      3) reindeer newly introduced to an island with abundant lichen

      I’ve found yeast in a flask to be easy for people to grasp and remember. It nicely captures the ideas of no free will and exponential growth constrained by depleting resources and accumulating wastes, and it leads to the obvious question of why does a species with extreme intelligence behave no differently than yeast? The answer is of course you can’t have high intelligence without denial.

      If you write an essay you’re welcome to publish it here. The audience is small but they’re the only people that matter. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeast are smarter than humans because when their food source runs out, they voluntarily go into a dormant phase, rather than eating all their resources and dying out


          1. Earthworms apparently do something similar; they stop breeding when they are getting low on food. I need to read up on these examples because they make for a funny comparison to humans


      2. Our species is probably little different from other species. Most species reach a kind of equilibrium between consumption and predation. If there are enough resources, relatively easy to acquire, most species will probably consume them and then crash. Humans just seem different but they’re not.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Thanks, Rob. However, some of those behaviours are not unique to humans, though almost all are. Also, those aren’t the kind of behaviours I’m referring to. None of them, as far as I can tell, affect our shared behaviour of consuming as much as is easily obtained as possible. Collectively, we can’t seem to help ourselves. We would have to become a different species to stop doing what we do.


            1. You are missing the important point.

              We have a uniquely powerful brain more than capable of understanding and calculating a better path than our current acceleration into an overshoot brick wall.

              Yet on overshoot matters, as you say, we behave like all other species.

              Anyone that desires a better future must understand the cause of this automatic unconscious disabling of intelligence.

              If you don’t want to try to do anything about our self-inflicted demise then there’s no need to understand denial.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. I’m sure we can, and do, understand the situation but we can’t help ourselves.

                I am trying to do something about it, in my own way, but I can’t see any hope for changing our collective behaviour. Obviously, if the environment (small ‘e’) we’re living in changes, then that affects behaviour like for any other species. So my current thinking is that we will have to wait for enough people to be affected permanently, by our recklessness, before there is some noticeable change in collective behaviour.

                Witness that various countries have even declared a climate emergency in their parliaments but their policies continue to support BAU. In all of the various global agreements that have been made over the last 30 years, though all of the various so-called commitments that countries make regularly, emissions have kept rising. Why do you expect any change in behaviour, collectively?


                1. I’m sure we can, and do, understand the situation but we can’t help ourselves.

                  It seems we live on different planets.
                  99% of the people I interact with have no clue what is going on and do not want to know.
                  When I try to explain our overshoot predicament and what needs to be done a curtain comes down over their eyes and they either tune out or make moronic arguments why I’m wrong.
                  Confronting our genetic tendency to deny unpleasant realties is the keystone for any progress in a good direction.

                  Liked by 2 people

                  1. OK. I’m assuming, perhaps naively, that numerous polls, even in the US that show a majority are concerned about climate change and want tougher action, along with near unanimity among governments (to the degree we see agreement on COP wording), does seem to indicate that the world “gets it” to some degree. The problem is that they want “solutions” that don’t impact their lives. That’s where the problem is.


  21. Nick Lane, who is my favorite science writer after Ajit Varki, has published a new book, Transformer: The Deep Chemistry of Life and Death.

    I plan to read it as soon as I get my hands on a copy.

    Lane was interviewed about his new book today by Sean Carroll:

    Other un-denial posts about Nick Lane’s ideas:

    By Nick Lane: Why is life the way it is?


    1. I listened to the Sean Carroll interview of Nick Lane on my walk today. It’s very interesting and a nice summary of Lane’s theory on the origin of life and the importance of the (probably very rare in the universe) eukaryotic cell.


      1. “What life does is lower kinetic barriers to thermodynamically favored reactions.”

        In other words, the purpose of life is to accelerate the degradation of energy gradients.


      2. Yes, I listened to it today also (while planting corn in the garden). It was just like his books – intelligent, logical and a very clear thought process (rational). I look forward to the book.


    2. Not available until July 12. I will order it then. His other books are my favorites (after Origin of the Species and Denial).


  22. I did not enjoy Nate Hagens’ podcast today with Daniel Schmachtenberger.

    Two super smart, hyper-aware people articulating dozens of different perspectives on our predicament with thousands of clever words and yet they just can’t cut to the chase and simply say we’re in a severe state of overshoot and we need to reduce our population to reduce the coming suffering.

    We’re out of time. Get to the fucking point.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, but if they just said “we’re in overshoot” it would be a very short discussion Rob.

      I quite enjoyed their conversation about perverse game theory, the “multipolar trap” & the race to the bottom summed up as, “if we don’t they will” resulting in the Tragedy of the Commons and the downward spiral in which we find ourselves.

      Oh and it was nice of them to reference Marvin Harris who is under appreciated in my estimation.


      1. I’m probably one of the few people that has read pretty much everything Nate Hagens has written over the last 15 or so years, which means I’m a big fan. His analysis is superb and his understanding of the problem has gotten deeper and deeper and deeper and deeper.., and yet he just can’t say what has to be said. We are in overshoot and the population will go down one way or the other. One way is humane with less suffering, the other is not.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. …”if he would just say what has to be said.” Just say it damnit! Of course there might be something to the quasi-magical power of naming. Make the invisible visible. Abracadabra loosely translated means “I create what I speak.” The Sapir Whorf hypothesis posits that the structure of language can have a limited effect on the perception of the speaker and as a result on how they think and understand the world. And humans are imitative, so ideas/memes can go viral. Or maybe that’s all folderol and saying so isn’t going to make it so because as you said in a different comment “the purpose of life is to accelerate the degradation of energy gradients.”

          Sorry, I don’t mean to sound hopeless or deny we can take constructive action – I guess at this point I’m just auditing the wreckage and trying to do what little I can in a palliative way. When I blur my eyes and look at the situation everything almost looks normal. I find reading Candide to be helpful.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I listened to the podcast today while working on my garden drip irrigation system. Mandrake makes some good points about the discussion but all those propositions (game theory, tragedy of the commons, etc.) fits easily under the MPP – which they mentioned. I was left with the feeling that Schmachtenberger appears to be involved in some attempt to reform/save our current civilization/economy. I think like Rob, we are in severe overshoot and collapse is coming at us at full speed – population will decrease and pain could be avoided if we act NOW.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. It’s been suggested that the MPP is the 4th Law of Thermodynamics. What’s do you think the odds are that we humans can violate one of the laws of energy?

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Odds are a little above zero if we talk about overshoot and the implications of our genetic tendency to deny it.

              Odds are zero if we don’t talk about it.

              Our rare gig in the universe is worth trying to preserve which is why I talk about overshoot & denial.

              Liked by 2 people

            2. The laws of nature are deterministic no? the MPP loosely translated asserts that the purpose of society is Pac-Man materialism/maximizing material gain. Can society change its system or purpose? Reorganize itself? Social engineering projects generally fail and when they succeed it is usually accompanied by a great deal of bloodshed. On the bright side, Patricia Churchland says that all mammals have degrees of self control. So scaling down our draw is possible. Maybe we can learn to leave the last piece of cheesecake alone and save ourselves.


              1. I return to my analogy of the cattle ranching family sitting around the dining table discussing what to do about their livelihood and the drought they know will continue. They have the intelligence and wisdom to do the right thing when they understand the problem. Similarly, I think many, if not most, people would see population reduction as the only wise path forward if they could break through their genetic denial and understand our overshoot predicament and its various paths.


                1. Hi Rob, Mandrake and friends,
                  I wish it were as simple as leaving the last piece of cheesecake for Miss Manners. Yesterday I thought I should put my money where my mouth is and start an overshoot discussion with a neighbour up here who is also interested in self-sufficiency. I think the money dropped out of my gaping mouth when she replied to my question “how long do you think we have left for fossil fuels” with an answer of “it’s an infinite supply, they just haven’t been telling us the truth because they want to control us through the myth of climate change”. I’m not sure how to begin to address that level of denial heaped upon denial, but I suppose I left it just trying to think how mind-boggling life is to beget so many versions of perception as there are perceivers. I believe I was wise to leave the discussion of population reduction for another day…

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. I’ve had similar conversations and it’s always shocking. I’m convinced Varki’s theory is correct for many reasons including that I can see brain’s denial circuit operating in most people.

                    Liked by 2 people

                    1. Many alternative people believe oil is infinite. It’s their method of denial. Mainstream people say, we’ll think of something or electric vehicles will solve it (& don’t forget asteroid mining!). I’m disappointed how often the term “conspiracy theorist” is used as an insult to critical thinkers. However, a heck of a lot of alternative people use conspiracy theories to deny anything they don’t like and / or cover up the flaws in their logic. Eventually you end up wondering, why do I even care about reducing pain and suffering for these morons?


              2. With regard to laying off the cheesecake – Nate Hagen said in one of his podcasts that humans will not voluntarily scale back consumption. Instead we need to get the prices right – this means don’t tax human labor, rather tax non-renewable materials and the associated cost externalities. So if a person buys an iPhone they then have to pay big tax on the NR resource components. Interesting idea.


                1. It’s a good idea, but as with carbon taxes, is a bad idea if it’s presented in a benign way.

                  I get the sense Nate wants to say we’re going to take away some money here, and give you the same amount of money back over there, and this will help save the planet.

                  This will make people very angry at their leaders when they later learn they cannot afford an iPhone.

                  I think honesty is a better strategy. For example: “iPhones are unsustainable, it’s impossible to design them to be sustainable, and their manufacture is trashing the planet. We’re putting a tax on new iPhones so very few people can afford to own one.”

                  But it’s still nibbling around the edges. If we were serious we’d implement population reduction policies and raise the interest rate.

                  Liked by 3 people

                  1. This idea of Nate’s seems like a good way solve Jevons Paradox; by taxing all the efficiency gains and destroying that currency. However, the challenge with these top-down solutions is that Government is just a collection of people. Why do Nate and others believe people in government would be any different from all the rest of the people?? This happens a lot with collapse / overshoot aware academics. They often come back to solutions of influencing policy at the highest levels. And the only reason they share their “special” ideas with the wider public is to hope that we will put pressure on government to enact this or that academic’s “brilliant” idea. I find this way of thinking hopelessly naïve and bordering on narcissistic hubris


                    1. I don’t think Nate’s talking about taxing efficiency gains. I think he’s talking about eliminating income taxes and replacing them with taxes on non-renewable resources to force a change in behavior to reduce consumption and increase recycling. It’s the same idea as a carbon taxes with offsetting rebates. I think they are both problematic because our leaders will ty to sell them as not having any negative consequences. Better I think to be honest to retain credibility.

                      Liked by 1 person

          2. Hi there AJ, hope all is going well for you in the verdant Pacific Northwest. How is your forest growing? I had to smile when you mentioned working on your drip irrigation system! How I, too, have spent countless hours trying to work out all the endless pipes, tubes, connectors, risers, microjets, whatnots, all in the hopes of keeping plants alive so hopefully I may be kept alive someday! My friend the goof plug is always at hand! The most damning thing is no matter how carefully planned the schematic, it only takes a blocked filter, blown main pipe, broken timer, or the worst case scenario, a busted pump to put a complete stop to the water works, and we’ve had experience with all of these multiple times. I think you are very wise to listen to a podcast (even one as serious as that) and whistle while you work!


            1. Thanks to my urging the farm I help now keeps spare pumps. They do fail and we’re finding it harder these days to find replacements. I’ve had some luck repairing pumps because a common failure in the irrigation pump we use is a failed flow meter which can be replaced. We don’t discard failed pumps so we can scavenge parts from them.


              1. We’ve got 2 pumps sitting under the house in Tassie, both conked out one way or another. Alas, we are not at all mechanically versed as you so I’m not sure if they could have been repaired but the irrigation shop obviously encouraged our buying a new one and because all pump failures are a minor emergency, we did just that. Our first lasted 15 years, and the second one only 4. We’re on our third but there’s already trouble brewing as it keeps shorting out. In Tasmania, our water system is totally reliant on electricity and the goodwill of multiple pumps (however, in our favour, the dam is spring-fed and always full, but it is at the very bottom of the property), not ideal but there it is. Also, we have just come out of the driest summer in recent history, it seems that it has forgotten how to rain here and when it does, it can be a deluge. Everything is topsy-turvy now.

                Liked by 1 person

            2. Here in the coastal PNW we have 10 (now only 9) “wet” months and 2 – 3 dry months without any rain. One needs summer water and I have a pond that impounds a seasonal stream that comes off my spring (which feeds my house plumbing)-I have no pumps but a pressure pump for the house plumbing. So, the spring/stream fills and overflows into swales in the winter and I use the pond as a potential fire fighting resource and bucket water out for some trees. I set up my drip system to be entirely gravity fed. In the winter I use the stream with a ram pump to move 5000 gallons of water up the mountain to storage tanks that then gravity feed my gardens (and house if necessary). As long as I keep the filters clear my emitters rarely clog. It would be nice to have a climate that supplied rain periodically in the growing season (but I think a lot of that it gone now or soon will be).

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Hi AJ, that sounds awesome; you’ve got the water works in hand! It’s great that you’ve harnessed the potential of gravity and your water system does all the work for you (after the initial set up, of course). We have a similar schematic here in the subtropics, the property is bordered by a permanent creek and it just happens (lucky!) we have a section of fall so we can use our Bunyip pump to move about 7000L of water/day to our top dam, about a 25m head. The property is sloped and swaled with plantings at all levels. Unfortunately, the dam hasn’t sealed but it still means all water remains on the land, just slowly seeping downward to charge the soil. My main winter project this year is to work out how to seal the dam so we can finally begin our aquaculture project, and I am sure your wife (and perhaps you, too) will appreciate our desire to try growing lotus root, water chestnuts, and kang kong, amongst other edible Asian water plants. Taro is grown elsewhere, in tubs, actually. All water to the shed-cum-house is gravity fed, like yours, but I do rely on a huge 22500 litre tank which fills very easily through our wet monsoonal summer months. Like your PNW, we are in rainforest country, but the patterns have been changing, this year the monsoon rains never eventuated (whilst much of the East Coast of Australia flooded again and again) but we did have later autumn rains. Winters (if you can call it that in the subtropics) are variable for moisture, but generally wet. What is your average yearly rainfall? Here it is about 1500-1800mm year (60-70 inches), and more if a cyclone or two passes by. I haven’t yet experienced a direct hit cyclone in the nearly 10 years here, and we are inland enough to have the full force dissipated, but I fully expect more frequent cyclones in the coming seasons. At least that is something you haven’t had to worry about, thankful for small and all mercies!


                1. Hi Gaia,
                  We get about 70″ of rain a year, with most of it in December/January. However, even in the short time I have been here (7-8 years), the variability has gone through the roof. This past February we had another false spring – 1/2 the rain we should have gotten, and days got up to the high 60’s F. Lots of trees started to bud out and then got hammered in March by temps in the mid 20’s F. Now in May we have had about 25 days of measurable rain, about 4″. Normally we would get 10 days with about 2″. So, everything is still mud everywhere and the grass is pushing 3′ high in some places. The only critters that loved May were the slugs – and we get these nice 4″ monster Banana Slugs – they love garden sprouts. I tell everyone who will listen that “early” climate change is not necessarily hellishly hot temps (although we have had some of that) but it is a loss of predictably stable climate/weather. Most of that in the PNW is due to the rise in temperature in the Northern polar latitudes. With such a rise the jet stream is no longer west to east (as a boundry layer between Hadley cell circulation in the polar region vis-a-via the temperate latitudes) but takes huge dips south to north. Such dips can bring us unseasonable weather such as warm January and cold wet May. It also has the same effect on the continental U.S. with polar cold Texas in winter followed by unseasonably warm springs. All as a prelude for when the temps really start going through the roof (with unlivable wet bulb humidity) and start killing people.
                  Guess this is what happens in overshoot and people being idiots led by idiots.


        3. Hi Rob and friends, hope everyone is going along steady and staying healthy. I, too, would have hit the Like button many times over during my time here (kinda like an obsessive waiting for an elevator to arrive) but I also don’t have a Word Press account. I also grimace, grit my teeth and pull out hair thinking why influential people cannot come out and say what needs to be said but having a husband also in academia I can understand why Nate cannot overstep certain lines. Those of his ideas and statements that can be construed as an overt political statement not sanctioned by his institution will be dangerous territory and can be cause for reprimand, even dismissal. I think he’s been saying clearly enough, even if between the lines, what we all know as our reality but I understand our frustration that people like Nate may not be reaching beyond preaching to the choir. I think he would agree that being able to keep his position at the University and having the chance to at least try educating as many as he can is a worthy and feasible goal pragmatically speaking, for his own benefit as well as the wider audience. Even though his Great Simplification endeavour is a side shoot of his lectureship career, whatever you espouse publicly is still considered a reflection of the University and they have the authority to censor your activity through terms of employment. I wonder how many of us are not currently beholden to any such overlord and therefore makes it easier to forget how difficult the pull of financial security truly is. Teaching in a medical school, if my husband even spoke one question out loud over the institution’s handling of Covid (they are still required to wear masks in the building for example) or voice his opinion in a public lecture differing from that of the University’s, he would earn a special “conversation” with his supervisor warning to toe the party line or start seeking employment elsewhere. The intimidation is so complete that no-one in his pod (shared office between four academic colleagues) have ever opened up a discussion of Covid beyond the mainstream topics in the past 2 years, and these are medical school educators (PhDs, not clinicians, but nevertheless). You’d think a medical school community would be encouraged to have open debate but it has been just total silence and all are complicit in a way, monitoring one another. Of course he had to have the vaccination (but thankfully has avoided the booster for now, but for how long?), no category for exemptions were given. We are not proud of this compelled mercenary stance but at the end of the day, it is his job which funds our lifestyle (namely keeping up two rural properties) and keeps the light at the end of the tunnel burning by moving us ever closer to the day when we can shake off at least some of the coils of the system (that was the idea, but it looks like events are going to overtake us first). It is ironic that we have to perhaps sell our souls first in order to save it. Anyway, that’s more than my two cents but perhaps someone like Nate has a similar predicament.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. We have an academic in NZ who is always in the news spouting the party line. But he is so distrusted by the public that we pretty much believe the opposite of whatever he says now LOL


            2. Tenure does not make you bullet proof these days. There are real career killing consequences for defying the prevailing orthodoxy. And if the HR Dept/Admin types decide they want you gone they will find some pretext, real or fabricated, to get rid of you or ease you out. You could be a Nobel laureate. Doesn’t matter. So yeah Gaia, I get that Nate has to watch his ps & qs, my comment was directed more at Rob’s seemingly futile frustration.

              And good on your husband for navigating the shark infested treacherous waters of academe and keeping y’all afloat. That’s quite an accomplishment these days.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Thank you Mandrake et al for your much needed and appreciated encouragement. I left medicine 25 years ago because of complete disillusionment with the system. I was able to do so because we could still rely on my husband’s academic career and we decided to migrate to Tasmania to start a new life. Now my husband has fully awakened to the grim reality of his position and with every passing semester the workload becomes more intolerable, the students more deplorable, and the general morale at the Uni more lamentable. But he doesn’t have the luxury of abandoning ship just yet and our little family is utterly dependent on his salary so yes, he does deserve and has our great esteem and gratitude. All we desire and can hope for now is a few years of relative peace to be able to continue our food forest planting and caretaking, as our small legacy and return gift to this singular Earth for hosting us for this blink of time. It doesn’t seem much to ask, an opportunity to manifest our version of a simplified but utterly fulfilling human life, and I wish this ideal of liberty and self-determination for all of you. Despite all appearances to the contrary, whilst the human species evolved for denial, we are not meant for despair. Thank you, friends, for your validation and support for one another through these interesting and culminating times.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. To be disillusioned with medicine in your twenties it must have been very bad indeed. At least you got out early. Many people stick with things long past the time when they should have more sensibly bailed. The endowment effect I suppose.


  23. Hi Rob. A commentator on Finite World linked to your article “What would a wise society do” from 2016 (long time ago!!) After re-reading it I thought I’ll look through some others so I chose “Providing alcohol to an alcoholic” from March 2020. Going through some comments I found this fairly apocalyptic interview from the 6th March

    Over here we locked down on the 23rd March.
    I wondered who this Richard Hatchett and his organisation were. It was founded in 2017 and here is a list of “Investors and Partners” Same old same old.
    Strangely enough Sweden are not on the list.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks. In case you did not see this, I wrote a summary that helps to explain the insanity.

        Follow the covid money:
        1) Politicians depend on pharma donations.
        2) News & social media depend on pharma ads.
        3) Scientists depend on pharma contracts.
        4) Pharma CEOs depend on profit growth.
        5) Regulators depend on pharma royalties.


        1. Hi Rob, thought I would tuck this little anecdote here because it’s more Covid train wreck–now I personally know of 12 elderly people who died within a 6-8 month period, starting with the introduction of the vaccines and through the booster shot. That is insane, as usually I know 1 or 2 who die each year prior to this past one. Granted, some were over 90, and most had some underlying medical condition including dementia, but in each case, prior to the vaccine roll-out they were stable (and one 94 year old was even chain-sawing on his property), but then their situations suddenly worsened and death came rather abruptly. Perhaps it can be seen as a mercy and of course death is ever more likely with each passing year, especially for the extreme old, but the timing can only be correlated with the onset of the intervention. The most disheartening fact is that many of these elders died alone and isolated from family due to hospitals and aged care homes being in perpetual lockdown, especially here in Australia. That is the final travesty and death ended that suffering. If the aim was to keep the elderly safe, first and foremost, then In Australia, we have made a total mockery of that goal. The elderly demise is considered the most natural and absorbed into the accepted course of things but there have been excess deaths in all age brackets, in many countries, and not due to Covid deaths. I know we know this but to actually need to count on more than my fingers is sobering. Let’s hope I don’t have to use all my toes to finish this unsavoury trend. What are others’ experience? It could be my age group (I’m 52) that I know many aged parents of my cohort who have died, and also I do (did) have lots of elderly acquaintances/ friends.


          1. In my very small group of friends and family I’ve observed 3 covid related things:
            1) The only people I know who caught (and recovered) from covid were vaccinated.
            2) I had a 68 year old friend in reasonable health who died without warning watching television one evening. No autopsy was conducted so we’ll never know if it was vaccine related.
            3) Nobody cares about what the data suggests and people who disagree with my view never provide data to support their view.


            1. The vaccine doesn’t stop transmission, studies suggest it reduces chances of transmission. People die suddenly all the time (my mother in law is one example in my circle, though that was prior to vaccines). I follow the data, almost religiously, and have never been able to replicate the claims made by some vaccine contrarians. Here in NZ, vaccines now seem to be having little effect though there still does appear to be a doubled chance of hospitalisation for unvaccinated over boosted (it used to be a tenfold increase in risk early in the booster uptake). Most who had boosters have now lost most of that protection.


  24. Umair Haque, a British economist (former blogger for the Harvard Business Review) wrote a moving essay “The Age of Extinction Is Here — Some of Us Just Don’t Know It Yet” published in Eudaimonia and Co, May 2022 in which he describes a world that has “already crossed the threshold of survivability.”

    An excerpt;

    “ I don’t use the words “climate change” to describe any of this, because, well, they’re inadequate. The way that we tell that story has led to a kind of shocking sense of apathy and ignorance about the reality of what we face. People read the science, and think that if the temperature rises by one degree, two, three, what’s the big deal? Ha ha! Who cares? That’s not even a hot day? Wrong. A better way to tell that story is something like this. On average, when the temperature rises one degree, the seasons change by a factor of ten at equatorial regions. One degree, one point five, which is where we are now — the summers are ten to fifteen degrees Celsius hotter. Two degrees? Twenty. Three degrees? Thirty.
    We’re heading for three degrees.
    It’s already 50 degrees Celsius in the Subcontinent. Spain is bracing for an extreme heatwave, of about 40 degrees plus as is Europe, as is much of America. That’s at one degree or so of global warming. At two degrees? The Subcontinent hits 60 degrees Celsius. Spain and Europe hit 50. At three degrees? Equatorial regions hit 70 degrees Celsius or more. Spain and Europe hit 60.

    I’m sure that some will quibble with that interpretation, so go ahead and adjust however you like. It doesn’t really matter. At 50 degrees, which is where the Subcontinent is now, life dies off. The birds fall from the sky. The streets become mass graves. People flee and try to just survive. Energy grids begin to break. Economies grind to a halt.
    Extinction happens.”

    His essay reminded me of a chapter in Kim Stanley Robinson’s book “The Ministry of the Future” which opens in a small city in Uttar Pradesh, India where an extreme heat wave exceeding the wet bulb temp kills millions.

    I suspect the survival of small burrowing animals in India will offer Umair scant comfort.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, I’m still trying to figure Musk out. He might be overshoot aware but can’t say so publicly, or he might be another polymath in denial.

      In that clip Musk says “The biggest problem the world will face in 20 years will be population collapse.”

      His statement is probably correct but I’m not sure if he thinks it will be caused by resource depletion, famine, and war, or by people ruining the economy by choosing to have fewer children.

      I know Musk wants to go to Mars because he thinks it likely we’ll destroy this planet and therefore we need a backup plan.

      Strange guy.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Lierre Kieth a very bright environmentalist from the group Deep Green Resistance ran the numbers on population growth. At a global birth rate of 1 child we would still increase for 30 years. Musk is only referring to first world countries. Many places in this world still have no access to contraception and many religions are still saying “God will provide”. We are still at a growth rate of 83 million per year. Musk is delusional.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. It seems the collapse will be from suicide.

    From Harry McGibbs (aka Panopticon) @ OFW:

    According to Lukoil’s ex-Chief, the oil is irreplaceable:

    “The former head of Russia’s second-biggest oil group has warned that a European ban on the country’s “impossible to replace” crude would be “the most negative scenario” for all parties as EU discussions on an embargo intensify.”

    He also goes on to say that Russia would be forced to shut in some production due to the insurmountable logistical challenges of re-routing oil currently shipped into the EU. This is I’m sure the EU’s primary goal in enforcing these sanctions:

    “Most Russian oil wells have meager flow rates and poor economics. A prolonged, large-scale shut-in would mean laboriously closing tens of thousands of these marginal wells, many of which could never return to profit. It could also compromise complex pressure maintenance programs critical to field profitability.

    “Restoring lost production capacity at marginal fields after a long shut-in would be a very slow and costly process — if it is possible at all. When Russia suffered a major drop in production in the early 1990s, it took over a decade, along with large amounts of Western capital and technology, to restore production to its previous levels.”

    Obviously losing a chunk or Russian oil production in this manner would push the global economy more quickly in the direction of collapse.


  26. Friend Harry McGibbs usually reports the overshoot news without too much commentary but today he shared what he thinks is going on.

    I agree with Harry but would like to point out that to stop our civilization from requiring infinite growth all we have to do is change our monetary system from a debt backed fractional reserve system to an asset backed full reserve system. Could be changed in a day by a simple majority plus one vote by our elected leaders. Easy-peasy without denial, especially if we had done it before borrowing to the wazoo to pretend we’re not in overshoot.

    Dissipative structures are a very broad church.

    The amount of energy that any given dissipative structure needs to dissipate in order to continue existing and generally go about its business tends to fall within a fairly narrow range – if I eat too little I may get weak and ill and even die; if I consume too much I may keel over with a heart attack. But the pattern of energy dissipation may shift over time, depending on the type of structure we are talking about.

    Humans and many animals have a growth phase followed by a plateau where they achieve maturity and then for a prolonged period their energy intake is roughly flat, unless they have some psychological condition that predisposes them to eat too much or too little.

    A hurricane can strengthen and then weaken and become disorganised if it hits cooler water or windshear or land, only to strengthen again when conditions are right.

    A star can achieve a state of perfect thermal equilibrium when the amount of energy generated in the core is balanced by the transport of that energy to the surface to be radiated away as starlight.

    Then there are animals like fish and amphibians that are so-called indeterminate growers, which will keep growing until environmental limits or predation stop them – but growth is not a pre-requisite for their survival. It’s not even a pre-requisite for the survival of cancer, which is sometimes offered as a, not entirely inaccurate, analogue for modern industrial civilisation.

    What’s unusual about modern industrial civilisation is that its natural condition is one of infinite growth, bar the occasional recession to clear out the dead wood, and it requires infinite growth in order to function healthily and ultimately to survive.

    It’s depressing to think in these terms but what we have collectively created is a parasitic superorganism that has gorged itself on the fruits of the biosphere, becoming ever more complex in the process, and which is now in the process of dying because it can no longer obtain a sufficient throughput of energy even via financial sleight of hand.

    It is actually adding overhead in its distress now rather than becoming more cost-effective. It is not gaining in efficiency but rather falling into dysfunction.

    I think what we are seeing is better framed as the death throes of the superorganism rather than the emergence of a more efficient, slimmed down version. Which is not to say that some systemically inessential elements won’t fall by the way side as that process unfolds.

    Above image thanks to Mac10:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, that would help (full reserve banking) but would we have anything resembling our current civilisation? I don’t think there is even a remote chance of its happening, though.


      1. I agree there’s no chance but my point was that our drive for infinite growth is not caused by some powerful force inherent to capitalism but rather simply the laws we created to define our monetary system.

        We could keep democracy and capitalism and stop the drive for infinite growth simply by changing the rules of our monetary system.

        But we prefer to deny all of this and keep going until the monetary system explodes and we lose democracy and capitalism and civil society and the ecosystems that sustain us.


        1. I thought capitalism requires growth. Debt with interest certainly requires growth. Profits in capitalism will fuel growth. I’m not sure capitalism can continue without growth. If that’s true, everlasting capitalism requires infinite growth. Is it not true?


          1. My definition of capitalism includes:
            – property rights (i.e. you can own stuff)
            – contract law (i.e. mechanisms to enforce lawful agreements)
            – price established by markets (i.e. supply & demand balanced by price)
            – reward for risk, skill, effort, & luck (i.e. you get keep some of the profits)

            Wikipedia with fancier more verbose words seems to agree with me:

            Note that capitalism does not require a fractional reserve monetary system and therefore capitalism does not require infinite growth.


            1. So we agree on the profit motive (and the rest, probably). Profits must come from somewhere or else are created. In the latter case, there is more money circulating and so growth in the economy. In the former case, someone profits at the expense of someone else and so we drive inequality.

              I just can’t see a capitalist economy happening without growth, just as I can’t see a technological industrial society continuing indefinitely. I don’t think we can have our cake and eat it. Things have to go downhill, no matter what “solutions” we come up with.


              1. A small population can have private property, and contract law, and market pricing, and some profit shared between the owner and state taxes from the surplus generated by agriculture, forestry, fisheries and modest manufacturing.

                Advanced manufacturing and high technology are probably not possible due to the requirement for large amounts of up front capital that can only be created with a fractional reserve monetary system.

                There will be inequality of wealth but that can be modulated to a socially acceptable level with wise taxation.

                The key to the whole thing working is a small populaiton below the carrying capacity of the land. And neighboring states that do not grow their population in order to take your surplus by force.

                Clearly this is not possible for all species except the one that has sufficient intelligence to understand all of the above, and unfortunately that unique species behaves like all the other species because genetic denial blocks its intelligence on anything to do with overshoot.


                1. A small population can have private property, and contract law, and market pricing, and some profit shared between the owner and state taxes from the surplus generated by agriculture, forestry, fisheries and modest manufacturing.

                  Some profit is not sustainable. Unless that profit is ultimately taken from others, it requires money to be brought into existence. Agriculture, forestry, fisheries and even “modest” manufacturing, if done industrially, are not sustainable.

                  The key to the whole thing working is a small populaiton below the carrying capacity of the land. And neighboring states that do not grow their population in order to take your surplus by force.

                  That’s key to anything sustainable but is not sufficient. That small population actually has to live within the carrying capacity. As you say, “Advanced manufacturing and high technology are probably not possible” but I wouldn’t include the “probably” and it’s not just due to the need for upfront capital. It requires resources and I doubt any advanced manufacturing and high technology could consume resource sustainably.

                  If it could be done sustainably, I’d love many of the things we enjoy now (at least in more developed nations) to continue. But almost nothing in my life seems sustainable to me. And I’m not sure I need the word “almost” in that sentence. If we could do what that primitive building guy does, in every aspect of our lives, we might have a chance.


                  1. I’m not following your profit argument. If I own a small woodlot that I harvest sustainably and that produces more wood than I need for my own use then I can sell the surplus for a profit.

                    I think advanced technology is theoretically feasible in a sustainable system, at least until the hydro dams silt in, as per Jack Alpert’s plan. The problem is you have to get the population down to less than a 100 million people very quickly which is not going to happen due to our genetic denial.


  27. Rob, I believe Johnson 8 because I also had a human-reproduction comment deleted by her. I appreciate your continuing discussion, which someone pointed out to Johnson, since there really isn’t anyone else with sufficient gravitas in the doomer world who treats the immorality of reproducing in a serious manner.

    Part of Johnson 8’s comment:

    Obviously, most people simply ignore what is right in front of their faces, which amazes me since this destructive juggernaut is not going to be stopped, and “things” are not going to get better . . . yet the babies keep coming, poor souls.

    The human-reproduction subject always stirs up the herd and satisfies my gallows-humor quota concerning humanity’s so-called depth, so it’s worth mentioning for a laugh.

    Are there any so-called YT/blogger doomers besides Sam who aren’t fake? [End quote]


    1. I have been seriously considering starting a YT channel. But my main concern is I really hate when people tell me I’m wrong LOL. I think there is space for a channel that helps explain current events through a resource and peak oil lens – without any politics or conspiracy theories

      Liked by 1 person

    2. It’s very sad how few people, even in the overshoot aware community, discuss the need for population reduction.

      It’s true that it’s too late to avoid suffering and we should have implemented population reduction policies 50 years ago when Limits to Growth was published. But it’s also true that if the goal is to reduce suffering, and I think that’s the only goal that makes sense, then it’s not too late because every birth we prevent means a little less suffering.

      It’s understandable that population reduction policies are abhorrent when overshoot is denied. However when fully aware of overshoot and its implications, population reduction becomes the wisest and most ethical path forward.

      Hence my focus on our genetic tendency to deny unpleasant realities.


      1. The agronomist Norman Borlaug has been called the “father of the Green Revolution”, and has been criticized, unwarrantedly, I think, for his role in growing the human population. But, he warned about this in his 1970 Nobel Prize lecture – the Green Revolution was only a temporary reprieve, and we needed to address population growth. Toward the end of his Nobel lecture is this:

        “The green revolution has won a temporary success in man’s war against hunger and deprivation; it has given man a breathing space. If fully implemented, the revolution can provide sufficient food for sustenance during the next three decades. But the frightening power of human reproduction must also be curbed; otherwise the success of the green revolution will be ephemeral only.”

        …and then, we need to produce more food this century than in all of human history:

        Gad – this prospect is looking more doubtful by the week.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Somebody said, “Nobody cares about overpopulation. Paul Watson, 71, just had a third kid with his fourth wife in 2021. Vasectomy? Nah. Speeches about o/p lately? zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

        Somebody else said, “Quick update: I don’t read books these days. Alan Watts said, when you get the message, hang up the phone. I’ve read lots. I’m into action mode, the research office is closed. If you read, I give the same recommendations: DGR, Endgame, Ishmael, Story of B, My Ishmael, Providence.”

        I’m with Alan Watts. I’ve been following ecology folks for years, and I’ve finally slammed into a wall. Done.


        1. I agree, lots of blah blah blah with no discussion of the core issue and its implications: overshoot.

          I’ve read most of those books. I think you also need to read Varki’s Denial to make sense of them all.



      3. Somebody said, “Some humans do override their reptilian instincts, but if you don’t believe that’s possible, then we non-breeders will just assert that our particular level of inborn puppetry is more evolutionarily advanced than the average herd participants’.”

        It’s unfortunate that we don’t have enough time to advance evolutionarily since we parasites are destroying the host.


    3. We need lower population but no reproduction eventually equals no population. I know some who think that would be a good result. Without no reproduction, someone has to decide who has babies and how many (unless incentives miraculously work to make it voluntary). Did the Chinese try it, without success?


  28. Michael Burry of big short fame says 2022 will be like watching a plane crash, aka GFC 2.0.

    The fed is apparently doing $2,000,000,000,000 (two trillion) of reverse repos every DAY.


    I don’t claim to understand what’s going on here but I’m buying more canned tuna.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Things are getting desperate here in the once Lucky and Clever Country, and it’s accelerating fast. Australians are bracing for 100% or more rise in electricity and gas rates effective immediately just as winter begins, sick leave from employment due to colds and flu have increased more than 50% for the seasonal average (and we’re only just entering winter here), with more people experiencing worse symptoms lasting for longer, and the supermarket shelves are emptying as fast as can be stocked, our major chain here has put out a sign at the entrance asking customers to only buy what they need to help with supply issues. It looks like a lot of people are stocking up on tinned tuna and everything else. I went to the grocery store today in the main town here (pop 9,000) and I saw that the frozen veggie and fruit section was ransacked with a handful of frozen peas spilled on the floor. Despite the “she’ll be right” mantra, there is a sense of foreboding doom, perhaps truly the first time many of the current population have experienced. Yes, there is distraction provided by the Queen’s Jubilee (many Australians just can’t get enough of the Royals) but there is no cause for celebration in just about every arena of real life. Perhaps we are looking for the original meaning of Jubilee to save us–an every 50 year emancipation and restoration, but what are we being freed from and to what are we being restored? The leaders of Australia have touted the instigation of the New World Order for many decades now, both openly and indirectly and through every avenue, it would appear that we are the poster child country to be inducted into this juggernaut of global control. We have just changed governments after our recent federal election, now the Labor party has an outright majority. It was the Labor party here in the 70s who adopted the NWO, as packaged by the UN, into policy. Very interesting days full steam ahead. Sometimes I almost wish I could retreat back into the fairyland of denial just for a brief respite and old times sake. I’ve stocked many kilos of dried beans, lentils are the most healthful and still relatively inexpensive. Everyone should also have a seed library of different veggies, and from now on, save your own seeds in as much quantity as you can store, others will need them, too. Grow, grow, grow, everyone!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the interesting update from Australia. You seem to be a few months ahead of us. Grocery shelves here are still ok but items with a good price, like no name brands, are frequently sold out. Tuna is up 10% but we can still buy a tin for CDN$1.19 which provides 2 healthy servings of protein at $0.60 per.

        Lentils have an interesting back story. They have the highest protein content of all pulses, are small thus requiring less energy to cook, require no refrigeration to store, have an excellent shelf life, and are cheap. No wonder lentils are popular and form the foundation of important peasant dishes like Dal.


  29. I’m getting tired of Twitter. Despite only scanning tweets from a few people I follow the signal to noise ratio is way too low. It’s mostly noise. I’m down to maybe 30 seconds every day. Perhaps zero soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve heard in a few spaces lately that a lot of the noise on Twitter is from bots. People are finding out that huge % of their followers are just bots. I’ve never liked Twitter, too many twits and twats on there 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  30. el gato malo today with an excellent takedown of the incompetent idiots in our public health care policy arm.

    I say fuck them all (and their statins too).

    i’m not going to mince words here: nearly all the policy arm of public health is woo-woo.

    these alleged epidemiologists and modelers and academics were a bunch of cloistered frauds pushing hocus pocus from the mountain top temples. and they have learned nothing. they got it this wrong in march of 2020. and they were still getting it this wrong 2 years later.

    it’s all woo-woo and fear mongering.

    their track records stink. this field has long been mostly a joke with a few bright spots generally far from the public policy portion of this ecosystem of mysticism.

    from SAGE to the CDC, the UW to the NIH, it’s been complete and total woo-woo. their models did not just fail, they were so bad they were non-deterministic and could not even replicate their own results.

    they rode in on big white woo-woo horses laden with credentials and made bold claims of their prowess and prescience. they legitimately had no idea they were not world champ top of the game stone cold epi-killahs. they had never been outside. it was 15 years of patty cake training to get ready for the gold medal round in olympic boxing.

    total misses on swine flu and zika and dengue and “ebola comes to america” had been largely ignored.

    they had no idea that they were, in reality, stunningly, embarrassingly bad at this.

    and suddenly they were in the big leagues and got knocked out in the first round in front of everyone because they did not know any better than to jump in a ring for which they were unqualified. all their predictions were wrong, their recommendations false and ill advised. it was just jumping around and tossing out jargon and mathiness as though it implied knowing how to fight a disease.

    and we watched this kung-fu theater die in real time.


  31. You know you are in really deep shit when credible scientists investigate building a wall on the Antarctic sea floor to prevent warm water from reaching the “doomsday” glacier.

    “… there is a blind-spot in the IPCC analysis, in that the severity of human influence on our planetary ecosystems is leading us toward a range of irreversible tipping points; uncertainties about which we have limited knowledge. The first of these, in the Arctic Circle region, appears already to have tipped, leading to the series of devastating extreme weather events around the Northern Hemisphere last summer. This blind-spot is the subject of Breakthrough’s latest Climate Dominoes report, which is a critically important analysis of the state of the world today and the immediate threat to our global economic systems from these tipping points. It is a sober call for all countries to follow a critical analysis pathway for dealing with climate change as the emergency that it is. It should be read and acted on by governments and their advisors, by the financial communities of the world, and by scientists, engineers, social scientists and philosophers. Precautionary action is needed now to avoid, to the extent possible, further tipping points being triggered.”

    Climate Dominoes concludes that:

    – At just 1.2°C of global average warming, tipping points have been passed for several large Earth systems. These include Arctic sea ice, the Greenland Ice Sheet, The Amundsen Sea glaciers in West Antarctica, the eastern Amazonian rainforest, and the world’s coral systems.
    – System-level change is happening faster than forecast. In each case surveyed, abrupt change is happening earlier and/or faster than projected only two decades ago.
    – Climate models don’t incorporate key processes and are not reliable. Climate models do not yet incorporate key processes, and therefore are deficient, especially when projecting abrupt change, system cascades, and changes in the cryosphere and in the carbon cycle.
    – The Earth climate system is undergoing abrupt change. It is not just that individual elements of the climate system are tipping and/or changing rapidly. They also affect each other.
    – Cascades and accelerated warming may trigger Hothouse conditions. These observed events are consistent with the cascade of system changes that may drive Earth past the “Hothouse Earth” threshold. This is not to say that this scenario is already locked into the system, but scientists have been warned that it may become active in the 1.5–2°C threshold, and that is where we are heading now, likely at an accelerated rate of warming over the next two decades.
    – Risks have been underestimated. The risks are systemic, but quantifying the probability and severity of systemic risks is not possible due to their complex nature. Because abrupt system change is happening faster than forecast, we are ill-prepared for what may happen.


    1. Yeah, no kidding. Good find. Fascinating interview of Prof. John Moore, a glaciologist by David Spratt about tipping points and climate dominos.

      The discussion about deploying a plastic wall to stabilize the Thwaites in Antarctica was intriguing but I also found Moore’s remarks about restoring grazing ecosystems to the Arctic to mitigate climate change appealing. Moore mentioned research underway in Pleistocene Park in Russia to do just that.

      I did some further reading on the subject and found an Oxford article on the website – “Rewilding could prevent Arctic permafrost thaw and reduce climate change risks”

      “This grassland ecosystem—called the “mammoth steppe”—existed during the Pleistocene period, but was lost when large herbivores such as woolly mammoths went extinct. Horses and bison could act as eco-engineers to transform present day tundra back to grassland. By removing woody vegetation, enhancing grass growth, and trampling on snow in search of winter forage, large mammals increase the amount of incoming solar energy that bounces back to space—known as albedo. Grasslands also favor the capture of carbon in the deep roots of grasses, and enable cold winter temperatures to penetrate deeper into the soil. Altogether, these changes would have a net cooling effect on Arctic lands and delay permafrost melt.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve seen people pushing a space based solar shield. I think about how much we spent to achieve the Webb telescope folding shield, and then compare that to the size needed to shield the planet. Denial in full plumage.


  32. This interview by Bret Weinstein of Neil Oliver on the evil lurking behind our health care leadership spoke to my heart. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in how I feel.


  33. preptip: Canned tomato paste & sauce must be consumed by about 4 years past the BB date. It seems the acidity of tomatoes causes cans to leak sooner than other canned foods.


    1. We pressure can (as in glass) tomatoes ands many other foods. If the lid stays sealed, it can last quite a while. USDA and other sources are too conservative, but there is a rather fuzzy limit on edibility. We use common sense criteria of appearance, smell, and taste. If it passes all three, it’s good.


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