By wis.dom project: Regress in Progress: My state of mind

Dire Evolutionary Timeline by Blu

This is an essay from reader wis.dom project who describes his painful personal journey of connecting dots to achieve awareness of our overshoot predicament.

I was born in 1969, at a time when everything still seemed possible. On July 20, two people walked on the moon, which is probably the greatest technological achievement of man to this day. In my youth, I devoured novels by Asimov, Clarke, Lem, Dick and Herbert. The galaxy’s colonization seemed within reach.

45 years later, I realized that I was a victim of mass hypnosis, what I refer to today as techno-utopia – a belief in the limitless human development, genius and almost divine uniqueness of Homo Sapiens. I realized that industrial civilization, like any other dissipative structure, is doomed to inevitable collapse.

In 1972 – 3 years after my birth, a book titled The Limits to Growth was released by the Club of Rome. It was the first scientifically compiled report analyzing future scenarios for humanity. It indicated that unlimited development is not possible on a finite planet. The book was published in 30 million copies and was one of the most popular at the time. Surprisingly, despite the wide range of my readings, the book did not appear on my horizon for a long time. As if it was covered by another intellectual  “Säuberung”. In fact, it was the subject of an intellectual blitzkrieg and relatively quickly evaporated from the media circulation. I experienced this myself by talking to several university professors. Every one of them dismissed the LtG concept with a shrug and an unequivocal, non-debatable conclusion that the theory had long been discredited.

Since then, there have been many other events that have offered an opportunity to change consciousness and thus the trajectory of industrial civilization.

On June 15, 1979, during the ongoing second oil crisis, President Jimmy Carter gave a famous speech in which he announced: “The energy crisis is real. It is worldwide. It is a clear and present danger to our Nation. These are facts and we simply must face them”. Photovoltaic panels were installed on the roof of the White House to symbolize a new trend – energy conservation and an attempt to develop alternative sources.

American people responded by choosing Ronald Reagan as the 40th president of the United States, who had the panels dismantled. Before he did so, he announced: “There are no great limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence, imagination, and wonder.” As a result of the use of “intelligence, imagination, and wonder” American analysts probably came to the conclusion that if we do not have the resources ourselves, they should be organized from a different source. Therefore, on his first overseas trip, Reagan traveled to Saudi Arabia, where he probably proposed the following alternative: petrodollar, protection and weapons for cheap oil… or American aircraft carriers will stay anchored in the Persian Gulf for longer – as in the Al Capone quote: “You can get much further with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone”. Same logic. Following, we got post-colonial globalization with all the necessary tools like the IMF, World Bank, BIS, and Washington Consensus. Pax Americana in full release. A decade of crises had begun.

In 1980, a group of “loyal Americans” constructed Georgia Guidestones, “The American Stonehenge”. On 4 granite slabs, in 8 languages, the authors recommended 10 commandments of a healthy civilization, including limiting the global population to 500 million. This humanist monument was recently destroyed by fanatical terrorists and then demolished by the county authorities for “security reasons”.

In 1984, the publisher of George Orwell’s famous book, which regained popularity as a result of events at that time, advertised it with the slogan “maybe not 1984, but there is always 1985”. We solved the waves of hunger that engulfed African countries with “Live Aid”. The eastern block began to fall apart.

For the growth protagonists, their optimistic belief in progress was confirmed in the 1990’s, after the collapse of the Eastern bloc and another “gold rush”, this time in the oil fields of Western Siberia. Another wave of globalization had begun. The ceiling of the ecological capacity of mankind was raised again, and the extraction of natural resources accelerated to planet limits. China joined the WTO and “the sky was the limit” again.

The digital revolution restored belief in unlimited development, and Hollywood started showing “happy endings” again after years of dystopian themes. However, the honeymoon of unipolar globalization was short. In 2001, cracks started to appear. US president, George W. Bush, announced that the prosperity of the Americans was not negotiable. Invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan clearly showed the intentions of Zbigniew Brzezinski’s  “The Grand Chessboard” strategy. After all, the 9/11 organization required remarkable synchronization, and its presentation to the public was another masterpiece of the hypnotic power of mass communication. Undoubtedly, its organizers were aware of the challenges ahead. In 1998, Colin J. Campbell, a highly respected geologist dealing with oil field analysis for companies such as BP, Texaco, Amoco, together with Jean Laherrère published an article titled The End of Cheap Oil. Shortly after, he recalled, gentlemen from the Pentagon / CIA visited him with a proposal to cooperate. They wanted to know more about the impending peak-oil. They knew the matter was serious. Campbell’s relatively precise predictions materialized in 2006, when we reached the peak of conventional oil production.

However, also this time the convulsions of civilization were prolonged. For optimists, the shale revolution, fracking, deep and arctic oil were another confirmation of human genius and the possibility of unlimited expansion of the species. Changing the definition of oil production to ‘all liquids’ and the inclusion of bizarre products such as biofuels once again gave the impression of unlimited resources. For the more inquisitive observers, it was more like “last drops from the bottom of the barrel.” The IEA’s prediction of production scenarios, with a price of $300 per barrel, did not seem to scare the public. For some, they were another opportunity for tempting profits. The oil price reached $147 a barrel in 2007 and has yet to be beaten. However, it had far-reaching consequences in the form of a global financial and economic crisis. In November 2018, we probably achieved the final peak of production of all liquid hydrocarbons.  Peak oil has become a fact.

Germany’s Bundeswehr 2010 publication on the consequences of the peak extraction of critical resources has not reached a wider audience. Instead, we got another installment of mass hypnosis in the form of such oxymorons as “renewable energies” (which for semantic precision are not renewable) and “sustainable development” (whatever that means). The energy transformation, changed by all cases, was called a revolution by its followers. Apparently, none of them noticed that revolutions are by nature bottom-up. The current attempt at energy transformation, on the other hand, is a top-down, elite-bureaucratic decree forced into the economy with an enormous organizational, financial and propaganda effort, and has nothing to do with the revolution. Except perhaps the inevitable failure.

Further memes of the Holy Grails of energy appear in the widespread public perception. From nuclear fusion projects, new categories of nuclear reactors, SMRs, large-scale energy storage to the recently very popular multicolored forms of hydrogen. Already every moderately educated inhabitant of Western countries can cite further possibilities of increasing our chance for a vacation on Mars in the near future, a vision presented by Elon, the most popular techno-utopian messiah. The knowledge on this subject is usually so shallow that it only causes confusion. After all, if all these solutions are at hand, why are we living in times of a global energy crisis? Undoubtedly, if not terrorist inclinations, this can at least provoke rage against such inept politicians. Greta is disappointed, as are her millions of unsuspecting millennials. False hope is a source of frustration expressed by aggression. This generation will inspire a wave of radicalism and eco-terrorism in the near future.

So here we are. Pandemic, wars, revolutions, hunger, migrations, financial crisis, stagflation, new cold war, de-globalization – we got a jackpot in this draw.

In 2011, a public opinion research company surveyed Western countries’ populations on the threats to human civilization. 11% expressed the opinion that events that threaten civilization will occur during their lives. I wonder what the result would be today, but I have no doubt it would be significantly higher. Still, the wider population was not frightened by the fact that in 2018 Sweden mailed instructions to its citizens on how to prepare for war, which was also a pocket prepper plan. The city of New York is preparing for a nuclear attack right now. A day like any other, nothing to see here. Yet all over the world there are no reactions, no demonstrations, no prayers for peace. The masses are  hypnotized. Most of the younger generation of Western societies fear climate change. Nobody told them that the greatest threat to their welfare is, paradoxically, an end to environmental rape.

A breakthrough on the legendary World3 Model Standard Run is happening right before our eyes. Except the fall, like in Hemingway’s novel: How did you go bankrupt? Bill asked. “Two ways”, Mike said. “Gradually and then suddenly”. “Gradually” was already there, now “suddenly” begins. As if we were watching Seneca Cliff live. Yet most people believe this is just a temporary stumble on the way to permanent happiness and prosperity. Almost every statement of people in the media contains hidden optimism when they make plans for 10, 20 or 30 years, visions of smart-cities, hydrogen-economy, electric cars and universal happiness. Even the so-called pessimists that see the crisis and the forthcoming World War III, believe in the following reconstruction and further progress after the victory of the only right one, i.e. OUR SIDE. Spes decedit ultimo, amorem non moritur.

The pandemic, the genesis of which should be sought in biological weapons laboratories, was presented efficiently and with amazing media synchronization as a natural zoonotic epidemic. At the same time, the health service suffered global Münchhausen’s surrogate syndrome and concluded that injecting 5 billion people with experimental gene therapy is a good idea. And this despite the fact that for the vast majority of them the disease is relatively harmless, while gene therapy turns out to be ineffective and risky. I mean, safe and effective. How the “vaccine”, which should be injected in your body 4 times in 1.5 years is effective, no one explained and few asked.

Meanwhile, the frequency of meetings between political elites, presidents, prime ministers, ministers and a whole host of other notables in various configurations has drastically increased. This could hypothetically indicate greater international cooperation, but I am betting that the number of fires to be extinguished has increased instead. And I’m afraid this is just the beginning. Groups from WEF, G7, G20, BRICS, AUKUS, NATO, B&RI, QUAD, RCEP, ASEAN, to the Bilderberg Group meet to agree current positions, preferences, transactions, exchange information and confirm alliances. The chessboard is dynamically reconfigured. Global industrial civilization, like any dissipative structure, bifurcates. The world will divide. We go back in time. Another Cold War has arrived, and as one California senator noted, the truth is its first casualty. The level of propaganda is so advanced that, as in my youth, we will soon be seeing “TV is lying” graffiti. And this is justified. The elites are trying to prepare for the coming crisis, and this requires the right tools of indoctrination, surveillance and control. We can expect more riots, protests, strikes and demonstrations. More state control. More power of brute force. More epidemic passports, debt, digital currencies, vaccinations, bankruptcies, unemployment and migrations. Less money, food, travel, vacation, products, freedoms, and rights. The polarization of opinions is growing, and the spectrum of the narrative is intensifying the schizophrenia of paradigms. Social discontent will grow. As William Gibson stated, “the future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed”.  Sri Lanka is the proverbial canary in the mine. It’s just a matter of time before it will also show up in my neighborhood. Klaus Schwab from the WEF is supposed to keep me happy, but I only see it in the scenario of Futurological Congress. I can handle “less meat” with pleasure, but a lack of property is a fresh implementation of techno-fascism based on the proven model of CCP. National Socialism has the same imperative regardless of the flag. Klaus’ pupils, the prime ministers of the Netherlands and Canada, are already eagerly implementing the plan heading straight towards Soylent Green. The new techno-utopian prophet Yuval Noah Harari (Noah is quite symbolic in this context) and at the same time faithful to the Great Reset sect defines the challenges facing humanity as, among other things, providing adequate entertainment for these billions of “useless people”. 4th industrial revolution – biotechnology, automation, geoengineering, brain-computer interface, remote control, complete elimination of privacy, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, transhumanism and singularity will save us. In which metaverse, Mr. Harari? Techno-fascism? It looks more like smart-depopulation than smart-dictatorship.

Meanwhile, the war in Europe became a breeding ground for hysterical psychosis, in which a billion people of the Western world decided that  preparations for WW3 should begin. Europe has been organizing Seppuku type economic crises on an unprecedented scale since 1929, followed by the depopulation scenario of the anonymous white intelligence agency These two events are another masterful operations on the open brain of global population. Simultaneously the UN forecasts the size of the human population by 2300, and the optimistic scenario predicts 36.4 billion inhabitants of the planet. Are they already implementing Stanislaw Lem’s scenario in their canteens? Is this a pilot?

The process of absorbing this knowledge was painful. The closest analogy is DABDA (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance) described by Elisabeth  Kübler-Ross in the book On Death and Dying (also published in 1969). In her description, the stages of dying may occur many times, and their sequences are individual for each person becoming aware of their own mortality. I saw it myself in my loved ones who passed away. This happened to me also in relation to the revelation that industrial civilization is dying. Such awareness is an extremely difficult experience. In addition to its own emotional consequences, it also brings deep alienation. It becomes a natural need to share your knowledge with others, including your loved ones. As much as I could, I tried to avoid it, knowing from the descriptions of others who had previously had such experiences. Sharing such information brings only isolation, mockery, and being labelled as a “depressive-manic supporter of conspiracy theories”. Despite my sincere desire, I did not avoid ostracism and contempt, like many others before me. Kassandra, the social nickname that had been given to me half-jokingly in my social circle, turned out to be only a sign of intellectual gaps of my friends. After all, Kassandra was right in predicting the fall of Troy. I was doomed, like her, to a consciousness that no one would accept. No wonder,  eschatology has a long history and the list of Armageddon prophets is long.

As part of my personal DABDA I am trying to decipher the history and its mechanisms. The question “how did this happen?” is lingering. How is it possible that we have brought our species and the planet to the brink of collapse? And there is the question of who was responsible.

The story leading to the LtG conclusions seems quite obvious from my current perspective. David Attenborough provides the simplest explanation:

We have a finite environment— the planet. Anyone who thinks that you can have infinite growth in a finite environment is either a madman or an economist.

After 30 years of studying economics, I came to a similar conclusion. Modern mainstream economics is a scholastic sect that created pseudo-science describing economic mechanisms without considering any environmental factors in their models. Economists rationalized that any limitations related to demographics, resources and pollution will be resolved by the market, and ultimately by another sect – academy of scientific progress in cooperation with mammon wizards, i.e. rulers of the financial system. I am writing this with great respect and admiration for thousands of great scientists. We are also a brilliant species after all. Without them, we would still be jogging through the Central African savannahs. And probably the debt-engineers also deserve gratitude, because as Lloyd Blenkfein, president of Goldman Sachs said at the height of the previous global GFC financial crisis, “I’m doing God’s Work”. In fact, I cannot disagree. Without sophisticated debt magic the pyramid of industrial civilization would have collapsed much sooner.

The population of the planet grew exponentially, and we just recently surpassed 8 billion people on the planet for a while. Paul R. Ehrlich published The Population Bomb in 1968. The book received similar intellectual reception to LtG and was recognized as a Malthusian propagation of fear and defeatism.

In 1959, Aldous Huxley published New World 30 years later: The divergence report. Even then he feared the consequences of overpopulation. His conclusions are being realized before our eyes. The mixture of Orwell’s 1984 and the original Brave New World is more and more obvious, only the proportions change. Orwell is increasingly dominating though, and “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength” is increasingly evident in current mass media hypnosis.

So who was responsible?

Politicians? People with sociopathic narcissistic disorders voted in to solve short-term problems? The Kissinger Report  was published in 1974 for the President Nixon administration reads:

23. The central question for world population policy in the year 1974, is whether mankind is to remain on a track toward an ultimate population of 12 to 15 billion – implying a five to seven-fold increase in almost all the underdeveloped world outside of China – or whether (despite the momentum of population growth) it can be switched over to the course of earliest feasible population stability – implying ultimate totals of 8 to 9 billions and not more than a three or four-fold increase in any major region.

24. What are the stakes? We do not know whether technological developments will make it possible to feed over 8 much less 12 billion people in the 21st century. We cannot be entirely certain that climatic changes in the coming decade will not create great difficulties in feeding a growing population, especially people in the LDCs who live under increasingly marginal and more vulnerable conditions. There exists at least the possibility that present developments point toward Malthusian conditions for many regions of the world.

The politicians knew perfectly well, at least the well-informed ones. As Deng Xiaoping, chairman of the Communist Party of China and architect of modern China, probably concluded that if China does not join the global economy relatively quickly, it will no longer have a chance to end the Age of Humiliation and “take a central position on the world stage”. In 1992, Fidel Castro delivered this speech at the Rio Environmental Conference.

Hunger and riots have been feared by politicians since ancient Egypt. Because who wants to end on the guillotine? Today, an eclipse is not enough to pacify riots. There are much better methods, as progress can be seen in every area. Alternatives to the horsemen of the apocalypse remain. Eugenics, euthanasia, and birth control were supposedly not humanistic enough.

Financial elites? These people were destined to make more money and power. They try their best playing in the sandbox of techno-utopia. The WEF Great Reset does not look promising either. Rather desperate, though logical. Likewise their contingency plans.

Scientists? In search of clues pointing to our destiny, we can also go back to the discoveries of Prigogin, Odum, Georgescu-Roegen and Lotka, great scientists who brought us closer to the knowledge of what life is. And modern authors describe with high precision our dependence on fossil energy to keep the population alive. Joseph Tainter, Matthieu Auzanneau, Craig Dilworth, Charles A.S. Hall, François Roddier, and many others, described how the world really works and the state it is in. They also failed. Apparently the printings were too small. Science has its own limits, regardless of the symptoms of progressive degeneration to which it is subject, like any large organization. Contemporary philosophers, however, dreamed of this future, but apparently they were not invited to breakfast TVs. Yet they were destined to rule Plato’s state.

Humanity? Each of us with internet access had the opportunity to find this knowledge. Some of us, however, preferred to watch cute cats or modern gladiators running on the trimmed lawn. Panem et circenses.

Philosophers? After all, philosophy, as a love of wisdom, was perhaps the most responsible for the awareness of human destiny. The philosophers were proto-scientists, only with progressing specialization migrated to the role of provincial humanists with an inclination to determine the number of angels dancing on the head of a pin. They also failed. As a result, most of humanity lives in Plato’s cave, waiting for the looming vengeance of Thomas Malthus, the first professor of political economy. What an irony.

Or maybe nobody is to blame, and humanity – as in the Greek tragedy – was destined to follow this last journey of Icarus from the beginning?

George Orwell in Shock

169 thoughts on “By wis.dom project: Regress in Progress: My state of mind”

  1. I want to thank wis.dom project for choosing un-Denial to publish an essay that he’s clearly been thinking about and writing for a long time. Wis.dom is very well read and his essay introduced me to thinkers in the overshoot space that I was not aware of.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yesterday’s interview by Lex Fridman of Steve Keen is interesting on several levels.

    Steve Keen is pretty much the only economist on the planet with a functioning brain. It’s been his life’s mission to show that other economists are idiots and that his discipline needs to be reformed around systems science with a respect for the laws of thermodynamics and the value of other species. Most recently Keen’s collaborated with Tim Garrett to bring some sanity to the economics of addressing climate change.

    Lex Fridman is one of the better podcast interviewers. He’s intelligent with an engineering background and seems to be an open minded truth seeker. I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to fully observe his denial genes because I don’t recall him having a guest that has discussed overshoot issues.

    Some highlights of the discussion:
    – Keen provides a superb history of the different economic schools of thought including a deep dive in to the work of Karl Marx;
    – Keen passionately discussed the threat of climate change and how economists are screwing up the discussion we need to have, and yet Keen seemed unwilling to say what needs to be done other than the relatively safe position that the rich need to become less rich;
    – Keen understands energy and I know he’s aware of peak oil and yet he oddly never mentioned this threat – my guess is that peak oil is still too taboo for anyone trying to maintain a large mainstream following, which is quite pathetic given that we are now seeing the world unravel in real-time due to energy depletion;
    – The word overshoot was not mentioned in the discussion;
    – Fridman discussed how impressed he is with Becker’s denial of death theory, but of course did not mention Varki’s MORT which is to Becker like general relativity is to Newtonian physics;
    – I could see Fridman’s brain getting really uncomfortable and pushing back aggressively every time Keen got close to an overshoot issue like the danger of climate change – I’m going to keep him on my list of polymaths in denial.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Watcher @ POB:

    Few years ago, with just 34 million of population, KSA was in danger of overtaking Japan (pop 125M) as the #4 oil consumer in the world behind US, China and India.

    To reinforce their imagery of sustainable claptrap hyper green perspective, they fought off the gains (theirs) and losses (Japan) and managed to stay quietly at #5.

    Well, that is over. They are now, with 34 million population, the 4th largest oil consumer in the world at 3.595 mbpd. Japan faded to 3.34 mbpd. That’s now #6, not #5. Russia is at 3.407 mbpd.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Shallow Sand @ POB:

    Who ever would have thought that after three months we would still be waiting on two 25 pumping units? We are advised they are sitting somewhere in Texas waiting on a trucking company to haul them North.

    Who would have ever thought our supply stores would only have 1,000’ of salta tubing and 0’ of seal-tite tubing for a field that has over 1 million feet of injection wells, such that the state is routinely granting extensions for injection well repair work due to “no equipment available?” Likewise, who would have thought it would take weeks to get a simple buck booster for the electrical system for an injection plant. Or that less than ten workover rigs would be running in a field with 2,500 production wells and over 1,000 injection wells. Or that the only drilling going on would be out of casing inventory operators built during 2015-2020, and that once those wells are drilled, no more will be until there is any casing to even be had, let alone the few joints available are priced at over 10x pre-COVID levels? Let alone that oil has been around $100? Or that the only reason these can even be drilled at all is the owner of the rig is drilling on his own leases.

    Another driller here who has five drilling rigs has 3 in the field, but only the labor for 2, and they kind of go back and forth in a patch work pattern.

    A young guy here leased some land earlier this year, one year term. He’s now negotiating and extension because he can’t get them drilled till 2023 at the earliest.

    We could probably plug out our field at a huge profit, if we could only find the labor, rigs and cement to do it! Isn’t that just insane!

    We haven’t seen this EVER in 40 years. I’m amazed that production is growing in the Permian, I think all the oilfield labor must have moved there?

    Gotta thing this whole thing is pretty much being held together by duct tape and bailing wire!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Chuck Watson is the impressive nuclear weapons expert that Nate Hagens has interviewed a few times. Weather analysis appears to be his current day job.

    #Europe and the UK on Fire

    Temperatures in the UK and Europe are on track to set all time records today. Headlines on BBC are “Warnings of Heat Apocalypse (link)”, which for once are actually not far off …

    France has been suffering for several days, with not just high temperatures but extensive fires in the Southwest of the country. Portugal and Spain also have extensive fires…

    London is under its first ever “Red Extreme Heat Warning (link)” and is on track for records today. The overall high temperature record is the UK us 38.7F, or 101.7. That record will almost certainly be broken somewhere in southern England today. But records are broken all the time, given the fact our record of observations is relatively limited. So just how unusual is this? Let’s take a closer look.

    The observatory at Greenwich has been collecting data since 1841. That’s a pretty good record, but it’s only 180 years. Using data from 1991 to 2020, the average high in July is 74.8F, the record is 95.5F, the all time record, set in August 2003, is 99.5F. The previous record was set in 1990 at 95F. So if the temperature does hit 106F as forecast then both the July and all time records will be shattered. So this is a pretty unusual event. Is it related to climate change? Well, that’s a more complicated question. The temperatures are likely higher due to anthropogenic (human caused) factors. Pointing the finger at any given day or event and screaming “J’ACCUSE!” is really tricky (and scientifically unsound). What we can say is that events like this are more likely, and we will see more of them going forward. That’s not a good thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting. Jimmy Carter is even wiser than I already assumed. Solar Hot Water is a much smarter investment than PV.

      Compare the intellect/wisdom of Carter with Biden/Trump. Oh how far we’ve fallen.

      I reviewed Carter’s latest book. Very odd that he stopped talking about peak oil. Maybe grandkids and denial got to his brain? Or maybe he’s concluded it’s too late to do anything useful now.

      book review: A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety by Jimmy Carter

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hear, hear, I second Campbell’s remark with resounding approbation for our newly discovered wis.dom friend! Alas, I am very time poor at the moment although I would love to sink deeper into many of the links but here I am relying on the generosity of Rob whom I know will distil whatever knowledge within and continue to open-heartedly share with us all. Thank you for providing this space for all overshoot world-weary wanderers (and wonderers) to stop by and refill our tanks so we may press on with more courage and wisdom, hopefully tempered with understanding and compassion for our collective biosphere and the suffering masses hitching a ride upon it.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. el gato malo today takes a fresh look at the evidence for “more injection = more infection”.


    – if these variants are more vaxx enabled, we’ll see more rise in prevalence in places of high vaccination.
    – if this prevalence is swamping the lower virulence of the variant, we will also see a rise in severe outcomes (because 4X cases at 1/2 severity is still 2X the number of severe outcomes)

    Data analysis result:

    – all of this is strongly consistent with the idea that we have a much milder variant that is still producing a greater number of severe outcomes because the case count is so much higher and this case count is being driven by the vaccinated, not the unvaxxed. their risk ratio for catching covid looks to be 3-5X higher.

    Then he reminds us how stupid our leaders are:

    – this is the outcome no one wanted/everyone hoped against. alas, reality is not optional and the reality is that this was entirely predictable because this is how evolution works. it’s why we do not use leaky vaccines. the herd level antigenic imprinting suck drugs produce becomes an evolutionary selector and the outcome will always be this (unless, like flu, the vaxx is so ineffective and the pathogen so variable that the imprinting is too wide of the mark to fixate).
    – your immune system becomes a one trick pony and the virus learns to trick the pony and spread like wildfire
    – that’s nature for you.

    Then he concludes with a prediction:

    – how this ball bounces next is not easy to call with precision, but in general, i’d expect the omicron sub variants to become ever more vaccine advantaged, the risk ratios to stay elevated and possibly rise further, and for durable covid immunity among the vaxxed to remain elusive, especially in those with weaker general immune systems (mostly, the aged).
    – boosters seem to be making it worse and evidence that variant specific boosters will provide efficacy is absent. tests of such have shown them to be ineffective and this stands to reason: if the actual virus cannot overcome vaxx induced OAS it’s unlikely a vaccine can either.


  7. Sid Smith answered my question regarding MORT. I linked him the video (which I’m quite fond of). That is his reply:

    So, I hadn’t heard of it. But I finally had time to follow the link and I quite enjoyed the lecture. It’s a fun speculation, to be sure, the notion that we achieved complete self-awareness at the same moment we lost our minds (i.e., our grip on reality). By an odd coincidence (or maybe it isn’t), that is exactly what the mythology of the Abrahamic religions asserts. So in a way it isn’t a new idea, although telling the story in the “mode” of scientific explanation is new.

    As an explanation of our apparent inability to behave, collectively, in such a way as to avert disaster I think it is not as strong as it seems. While it is true that various forms of denial (especially in the covert form of motivated reasoning) result in complacency and poor policy decisions, I don’t think these alone are the reason for our failure to confront the situation as a global community.

    People seem to assume (especially on this sub) that society as a whole has the capacity to regulate its own behavior if only it would wake up and smell the toast burning. I am not aware of any evidence of this, but I am aware of plenty of evidence that historical and social forces are irrational, emergent, and beyond the ability of anyone to manipulate regardless of their station or authority. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but the fact is we’re pretty much just along for the ride, no matter who we are.

    Individuals and groups can adjust their own behavior, of course, and should. I’m a strong advocate of striving to cultivate resilience and sustainability. But I’ve given up on raging at the race as a whole. I honestly believe it can’t help it. As I’ve written elsewhere, our story is a tragedy, not in the modern sense of something that might have been averted if only we’d made better choices, but in the original, ancient Greek meaning of tragedy, in which the hero’s downfall is predestined by his own tragic flaw.

    To put it another way, demanding that the people in charge fix the problem is just another form of reality denial.

    Cheers, Sid


    1. Hi required,

      There’s a lot of substance in Smith’s response. I’m thinking of creating a new post quoting his answer above and then discussing it.
      1) Are you ok with this?
      2) Do you think Smith would object?
      3) Can you provide a link to the source?

      I expect the gist of my response will be a variation on this post:

      The un-Denial Decision Tree

      In which I argue that:
      1) If you believe (like Sid Smith and many others) it is not possible to change our collective path then MORT is simply an interesting theory with no useful application.
      2) If you want to change our collective path (like Nate Hagens & Jack Alpert) to produce a future with less suffering that retains our best achievements then MORT is the very first issue that must be addressed.

      What do I believe?

      Sid Smith is probably right but because we have such a rare and precious gig in the universe it’s worthwhile to try to alter our course to preserve it. Hence my obsession with MORT.


  8. This was so well-written and is a very good summation of where we are at and summary of how got here. Couldn’t agree more. Thank you Wis.Dom Project.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yo Wiz – Great write up. I am right there wit ya. I started about 10 years earlier but that is not significant.

      Have you seen the book “The Survival of the Wisest” by Jonas Salk? Jonas is the inventor of the Polio Vax but don’t hold that against him.

      The book makes a very detailed and reasoned case for how humanity would, could, should evolve by becoming wise…vs ignorant I suppose. Anyway it is well reasoned by a very advanced mind. Unfortunately I don’t believe it happened, at least not yet.

      The Survival of the Wisest


  9. Thanks for the interesting piece, wis.dom project. I’ll cut to the chase: How did all this information influence your decision on having children . . . or not?

    Rob, here’s just another reason why I’ve completely given up on the greasy human race:

    It reminds me of this sample from Kunstler:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It didn’t. At the time of my procreation I wasn’t aware of LtG concept.
      I was in a deep halucinogenic techno-utopia trance at that time. 90s.

      Bigger problem arrived after LtG arrived in my paradigm. I did: “I will tell this only once…” speech 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve already said most of what I wanted to say about denial so fresh content from other authors is always welcome.

    If there’s anyone out there, like wis.dom project, that has something to say that’s relevant to the themes of un-Denial, I welcome your essays.

    I promise to respect your confidentiality and will do whatever I can to help you present your ideas in a good light.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I disagree with this guy because I think a fair system for rationing is wise and necessary. But it’s interesting to see how the vaccine passport infrastructure could be repurposed.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. What a crazy world.

    One day the best guess is Europe will collapse first. The next day it’s Japan. Today Panopticon’s focus is on China.


    The whole shooting match is going down.

    China’s debt bomb looks ready to explode…

    Perhaps because Beijing seems to be able to defy financial gravity, fewer people these days worry that its ballooning debt could unleash a systemic crisis. But there are many warning signs indicating that China may face a debt reckoning soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. NZ trades a lot with China and Japan. During the 2007 GFC, NZ wasn’t that badly effected because we were less exposed to the USA. When China has trouble, it will be a lot worse for Australia and NZ.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Tom Murphy has recapitulated his brilliant argument that economic growth must end in a new paper published in the journal Nature Physics.

    Readers of Do the Math will be familiar with my line of argument that economic growth as we know it is destined to end. It was the second post of the whole series, and the basis for one of the more popular posts recounting a conversation I had with an economist. I also adapted the same reasoning into Chapter 2 of my recent textbook. Already, I sound like a broken record. Yet I write this update to announce the publication of this idea in a “real” article in Nature Physics. If the link does not work (to get you past the usual pay wall: despite my intentions, Comments are not able to be open access in Nature Physics), here is a link to the PDF. Anyway, that’s all. Please share with anyone you think may be interested.

    Click to access limits-econ-final.pdf

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Bret Weinstein and Michael Shellenberger have a spirited, intelligent, well informed, and open minded debate about whether nuclear fission should be part of our energy mix (starting at 1:18:16).

    Every issue is discussed except the most important issue: Is it possible to safely operate, govern, and maintain nuclear when the economy and societal complexity are contracting in unpredictable ways due to fossil energy depletion?

    Nate Hagens calls it energy blindness. I call it denial of overshoot.

    Once you see it, it’s everywhere you look.


    1. When ever I see/hear discussions on the safety of nuclear energy, the discussion seems to usually focus on the safety of a (singular) nuclear facility. I don’t hear discussions of the systemic risk of a large percentage of 400+ nuclear facilities shutting down simultaneously, or in rapid succession over a short period of time.

      Just based on real events in recorded human history, multiple nuclear facilities could be shut down involuntarily during a coronal mass ejection the size of the 1859 Carrington Event, a super (not world ending). Rapid climate change could disrupt weather patterns, and produce a global famine lasting over multiple years, disrupting the social fabric and making it extraordinarily difficult to maintain nuclear facility operations. I can envision other scenarios, some manmade, where it become difficult or untenable to maintain nuclear facilities.

      Can our global civilization manage the shutdown of 20, 40, 60 nuclear facilities at the same time? What about – lets pick a number – 10 nuclear facility Fukushima level accidents happening at the same time?

      Many nuclear facilities are along coast lines, and in the worst-case climate change scenarios, sea level rise could inundate many nuclear facilities over the next 70 years.

      I know the controversial Guy McPherson (maybe a few others) have highlighted the aggregate 400+ planet wide nuclear facilities as a doomsday device that goes off when the global temperatures rise begin to rapidly destroy the habitat in which most life existing today evolved.
      Is he, are they, right?

      Even if fossil fuel use does begin to decline more rapidly than anticipated by the climate models, the tail risk (low probability, high impact) worse-case risk of high global average temperate rises remains possible. Natural geophysical events cited above happen over human time scales. I would like to see a real science and engineering discussion on the planetary risks of the total existing and future planet wide nuclear facilities. My sense is this is a real issue, that McPherson is at least directionally correct on this existential risk.

      I have never seen this issue discussed in some “mainstream” articles and books on existential risks, which in this strange time tells me something.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Very good points.

        I read that some nuclear plants are being shut down in Europe due to the heat wave. When the ambient temperature gets too high they can’t reduce the temperature of their cooling water enough to safely discharge it in the rivers.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Alice Friedemann today recounts a peak oil conference she attended in 2005.

    I observe there used to be a bunch of wise and respected people discussing reality and what should be done.

    Now there is zero discussion of reality, except for a small number of fringe blogs, and widespread orchestrated denial everywhere you look.

    Congressman Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland gave the most amazing speech at the conference.

    He said: “Let’s not fill in the gap. We shouldn’t use the Hirsch plan, because the higher you rise, the harder you fall. And the more damage you do to the environment. When the stopgap measures run out, even more people will die than if we just kicked the oil habit now”.

    He dismisses all other energy sources as potential solutions, so he’s taken what some would call the “deep ecology” position – let the die-off begin. Though he hopes to cheat death by having us stay under the depletion curve, reducing our demand by 5% relentlessly year after year (he didn’t say this at the conference, I found out later that’s what he has in mind).

    He said “We’ve blown 25 years even though we KNEW peak was coming! Shouldn’t we have paid attention when we had a chance to cushion the fall?” We’ve borrowed a tremendous amount of money from our children’s future. But we can’t borrow their time. We should have started yesterday, but it’s too late for that. We must begin reducing demand NOW. What kind of world are we going to leave to our children?

    He also talked about exponential growth, which is key to understanding the situation we’re in. To illustrate exponential growth, Bartlett talked about how if we have 250 years left of reserves in coal, and we turn to coal to solve our problems, increasing our use by 2% a year — a very modest rate of growth considering what a huge amount is needed to replace oil — then the reserve would only last 85 years. If we liquefy it, then it would only last 50 years, because it takes a lot of energy to do that.

    He also said there was no such thing as sustainable growth. And that efficiency would do nothing for us. He explained Jevons paradox to the audience. First he gave the standard example: when people buy cars that go twice as far on a gallon of gas, they drive twice as far. Then he talked about a businessman who puts low-watt lighting in his factory and saves $5,000. If he spends the money on a vacation in Europe, he’s more than burned up that saved energy in jet fuel. If he puts the money in the bank, it’s even worse, the bank will lend that money out another 5 or 6 times, and some guy using a lot of energy to grow his business will borrow it.

    Congressman Bartlett put up a slide of Easter Island heads captioned EASTER ISLAND – They Didn’t Make It! He said: “I’d like to make the case that that’s where we are now. They ended up eating each other. How did they reach that point? Aren’t we doing the same thing?”

    After the event, about half a dozen of us surrounded congressman Bartlett. He is a true Renaissance man, he discussed satellites, regional droughts in the southwest, his life as a farmer, but what I thought most interesting was that Bartlett told us the main problem was population. This is a topic he said he and other politicians don’t dare mention.

    I looked up Bartlett on Wikipedia and found this summary of his personal life. It seems he came to understand overshoot late in life.

    Bartlett and his wife Ellen have 10 children (of whom one, Joseph R. Bartlett, is a former member of the Maryland House of Delegates), 17 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren. Following his defeat for re-election, Bartlett decided with his wife to live “off-the-grid” in the West Virginia mountains. Their cabin lacks electricity, phone service, and municipal plumbing. Bartlett currently works as a senior consultant for Lineage Technologies, a cyber security group that seeks to protect supply chains.

    Bartlett is a vegetarian and does not drink alcohol or smoke. He also grows his own organic vegetables.


  16. Bartlett was one of the early peak-oil advocates, and gave more than one speech on the topic to a nearly empty House chamber in the Capitol. He’s also a Republican. We aren’t in his former Congressional district, but I would have voted for him if we were. There aren’t many Republicans like him around these days – and not for the better.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Nice history of the most impactful technology ever, and the tragic life of its inventor, Fritz Haber.

    No mention, of course, of the most important thing to observe about the invention: It pushed our species into severe overshoot by growing a large population totally dependent on natural gas, a finite depleting non-renewable resource.


  18. Feeling a little down. Had dinner with my closest friends tonight. Listened to them discuss with each other how they planned to get boosted as soon as one was available. Also said their baby grandchild will be vaccinated in about 6 months as soon as it is old enough.

    They know I am unvaccinated and spend a lot of time studying what’s going on. No one asked for my opinion. I saw no evidence that they were in command of a different set of data.

    Are governments leading or following?

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I have the same experience. Like we were living in parallel universes.
    I believe it’s the matter of different info-spheres, range of your information sources. It really is like intellectual hypnosis. Really strange and sad process.

    Leading / following? Hm, I still don’t get the motivation of TPTBs, especially considering global/1st world coordination. Apart from depopulation idea, which is quite weak in my opinion – there are many more efficient ways to depopulate the planet, the only thing that comes to mind is the training ground for biological warfare. Like next hybrid level of arms race. Develop weapons (strains), best defence shields (vaccine tech), teach your population to get inoculated on regularly basis… and you are ready to go. This would also explain China’s hysterical lock-down/zero-covid strategy. Just a guess, open-ended hypothesis.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Intellectual hypnosis is good.

      I know nothing about biological warfare except I am surprised how many labs are doing research. Why in god’s name would you put a lab in Ukraine?

      Visited with another close family member last night. I said, what an unnecessary tragedy the suffering in Ukraine is. She said, yes that guy is really evil. I said, you mean Zelenskyy? She said, no the other guy. I said, you mean Putin? She said, yes. I said, have you ever listened to a speech by Putin? – he’s very intelligent and persuasive that this could have been avoided. She said, no. I said, if Russia organized a coup in Ottawa and installed a friendly government the US would go bat shit crazy. I said, if Russia installed weapons in Mexico, the US would instantly attack. Why the double standard? She said, nothing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I feel for you. My wife is kinda the same way. She goes along with my thoughts on Ukraine only because she has the perspective of her mother (who emigrated from China), i.e. the U.S. leadership only thinks of what it wants to continue as the only world power.
        When it comes to civilizational collapse, covid insanity, energy limits, the economic collapse and everything else she is in complete denial because to admit those things the future as she wishes/desires for can’t exist. She follows that off by saying that I live in an echo chamber of the internet (where she lives in the propaganda world of MSM) and she won’t consider any alternative information. Denial all the way down.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Perhaps we are a social species that organizes as tribes around belief systems and success of the tribe is determined more by the fact that everyone is rowing in the same direction than it does on whether the beliefs are true. Truth may be irrelevant to the evolutionary success of our species. My tribe’s pretty small.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. This resonates strongly with me Rob. I’m a big subscriber to Dunbars Number and the Monkeysphere for sustainable social and ecosystem reciprocal relationships. Tribes seem to have been our most enduring scale of successful living without going into overshoot.

            The first half of this interview is pretty good although I think it was done before Schmachtenberger met Nate Hagens so maybe his thoughts on what might be a viable society governance scale have changed. He talks cities here.

            My wife and I tallied up people we know within a half day cycle ride of us today and came up with around 90. So apparently we’ve got room for another 60 in our Monkeysphere 😀

            Most of my family (not my wife) and other people in my circles are techno-optimists. I worked in corporate sustainability previously and even ex-colleagues in that space who appear to understand the issues are still optimistic. My brain is simplistic and all I can think of when people are sharing their future dreams of overseas travel, new cars and mortgages is go local, power down and prepare for wood world. It’s hard not to come across as a killjoy. I find talk of gardening, community and time in nature is a good place to connect.

            Ironically a lot of new friends where we’ve settled are against vaccination and mandates (as am I even though I’m vaccinated) and they are the ones talking collapse / disorder but more from a conspiratorial Great Reset perspective than overshoot and energy depletion. They’re prepping so again gardening and community resilience are good connections with those folk.

            Having a partner who is aligned in their thinking and is a “get shit done” to get ready and have fun along the way kind of person helps immensely in maintaining a healthy mental wellbeing. Cheers

            Liked by 2 people

            1. I finished the 4 hour interview with Daniel Schmachtenberger while working at the farm today. He’s a deep thinker looking for viable solutions to prevent our self-extinction. Too bad he’s not aware of Varki’s MORT. It might prevent him from wasting time on options that won’t work.


              1. He’s definitely a smart man. I am interested to see where he and Nate Hagens get to in their planned third discussion.


                1. Me too. Nate’s doing a great job on his podcast.

                  Dr. Varki contacted me a few days ago saying he’s not heard from Hagens to schedule an interview. I asked Nate for an update but he hasn’t replied. I hope Nate hasn’t reconsidered.

                  I remember Nate’s mentor the late Jay Hanson getting angry and irrational towards MORT because (I think) it threatened his lifetime’s work explaining overshoot. He couldn’t accept that he missed the most important piece of the puzzle.

                  There’s also something about MORT that repels most people.

                  Perhaps it’s the genetic explanation for a uniquely intelligent species that believes in gods and denies overshoot.

                  Liked by 1 person

          2. Or maybe, we are collectively losing cognitive capacity. Collapse need not only be of tangible assets.
            If our sentience would decline because of, say, increased exposure to shallow information overload, pesticides, heavy metals, nanoparticles, increase in CO2 concentrations, or hormones would we (as a society) notice? Would we acknowledge it?
            After all, saturnism was something in the Roman empire. (Or is this just another myth?)
            Anyway, just pointing out that we are so deep in free fall already, it may just be wiser to make peace with the state of the world as it is… Cheers.
            (I sound as if all this is easy, but I am also frequently angered at the inertia of most. It all seems like a defence mechanism to avoid changing behaviour to me. It is such a pity that most prefer to live in comforting illusions. Oh well 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Dumbing down is a plausible explanation. Some evidence I’ve observed is that university engineering curriculums are much easier than they were 40 years ago.

              Making peace with the world is good advice. I’m usually ok when dealing with strangers. I get upset when the few people close to me show no interest in facts or evidence, on something as important as health, which unlike overshoot issues, I would have guessed should not have triggered the usual denial circuits.

              Liked by 1 person

  20. Mac10 with a nice market summary.

    Which gets us to the latest most popular investor narrative – rate hikes this year followed by rate cuts next year to mitigate recession. Unfortunately that fairy tale implies a 5% Fed Funds rate by the end of 2022 from 1.5% today. There has never been a recovery from recession at anything less than a 5% Fed rate EXCEPT the pandemic which required fiscal and monetary QE at a combined level of 15% of GDP. Yes, you read that right.

    NONE of which risk is priced into stocks right now. What IS priced into the stock market is a soft landing. In a run of the mill recession, stocks decline 20% which is where they are now. In a deleveraging recession such as 2000 and 2007, stocks decline 50% or more.

    Which means that what we’ve seen so far in markets is the denial phase. Which will be followed by the investor panic phase. And finally the Fed panic phase.

    One other UNPRECEDENTED risk that NO ONE mentions is that regardless of investor sentiment and Fed rate hikes, the Fed will be draining liquidity at record levels for the indefinite future via Quantitative Tightening.

    Never mentioned.

    Now, consider the fact that the U.S. is doing better than the rest of the world. Europe, China, and Emerging Markets are imploding in real-time.

    And there’s your bull shit market. If that’s your thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Steve St. Angelo @ POB:

    In looking at the Rystad & BP Statistical data for these two periods:

    2010-2014 Global Oil Investment = $3.6 trillion
    2010-2014 Global Oil Discoveries = 51 billion barrels
    2010-2014 Global Oil Demand = 140 billion barrels
    2010-2014 Demand vs Discoveries = 2.7 to 1 (barrels)

    2015-2021 Global Oil Investment = $3.4 trillion
    2015-2021 Global Oil Discoveries = 38 billion barrels
    2015-2021 Global Oil Demand = 207 billion barrels.
    2015-2021 Demand vs Discoveries = 5.4 to 1 (barrels)

    The takeaway from this data set shows that even with significant global oil investment, we aren’t finding that much oil. Sure, the global oil investment from 2015-2021 was less than 2010-2014, but oil companies aren’t too stupid to realize they’re just isn’t that much good quality out there remaining.

    For example, Offshore oil exploration has been a complete mess in the past 5-10 years with DRY HOLE percentages surging. The only Outlier has been Offshore Guyana. But, that Sweet spot won’t last forever and will not offset the declines coming.

    Furthermore, the Demand for oil versus Discoveries has doubled from 2.7 barrels during 2010-2014, to 5.4 barrels from 2015-2021. Thus, the issue isn’t that we aren’t spending enough money on finding new oil… THE LORD GOD & MOTHER NATURE only provided us with a certain amount of high-quality oil, and we had a great deal of fun burning most of it in the past 100 years.

    Lastly, with the Coming Collapse of the Global Debt Market, that will also pop the Global Assets. The collapse of the Global Asset Market will destroy the ability to produce oil in the future.

    Thus, we have the ENERGY CLIFF.

    With global debt increasing from $97 trillion in 1997 to over $300 trillion currently (International Institute of Finance data), the world has to service this debt. Servicing debt becomes increasingly difficult when interest rates rise, either the Fed Funds rate, or the Real market rates.

    Increasing debt only works in an environment of rising oil production. The Fed & Central banks have lowered interest rates to offset the Falling EROI of Oil (Energy), which has been propped up by the massive debt. Thus, the massive increase in global debt, as well as lowering interest rates, were used to OFFSET the Falling EROI of oil.

    But, again… that only works in a rising oil supply environment. When global oil production peaks and begins to decline, it becomes increasingly impossible to service this debt or to roll it over. Thus, the Global Debt Bubble begins to burst.

    However, someone’s DEBT is another POOR SLOB’S ASSET. Thus, the collapse of debt means the collapse of assets, especially, pension plans, 401ks, retirement plans, insurance funds, and so on and so forth. This leads to the collapse of BUYING POWER as assets collapse.

    Hence, the collapse in the ability to fund and produce future oil production.


    1. I think Steve St. Angelo’s statements above are a bit imprecise and leave out some important issue on how oil is utilized/burned in the economy/heat engine.

      But it is interesting to think that “it” is all about oil.

      It being almost everything.

      As S. Angelo cites above, everything includes the reason for Central Bank monetary interventions of the last 14+ years, and the exponential growth in debt loads in the past several decades.

      But also, everything includes oil as the backup for the U.S. currency which is still has financial supremacy. Oil (and its distribution of stocks in the ground globally) as the reason for the structure of the current global economic system with the U.S. as hegemon. Oil as the raison d’etre of the globe spanning U.S. Navy?

      And from a bigger picture perspective, oil is everything includes the exponential population growth especially circa 1900 or so. And the “great acceleration” circa 1945, that has brought so much human “progress”, but also the massive increase of Green House Gases into the atmosphere. And other pollution, and destruction of so much habitat.

      If the above is correct, the beginning of the decline in oil production would seem to be the beginning of the change in “everything.” Is this change what we are witnessing in the headlines now, every day? Time will tell.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think oil is everything. All other forms of energy, including food, depend on diesel.

        Elon can’t get to Mars without diesel to mine the minerals needed to build his rocket.

        I suppose some might argue that the design of our debt backed fractional reserve monetary system must eventually lead to too much debt which will then constrain growth. If debt is the core problem, and not energy, then we would expect growth to resume as soon as the bad debt is cleared by a depression. I don’t think this will happen. I think the next depression will be permanent, with some oscillating feints, because the core problem is energy depletion.

        Liked by 2 people

  22. Does anyone understand what’s really going on with the push to reduce fertilizer use in Canada and Europe?

    If the goal is to reduce greenhouse gasses, is it the nitrous oxide or the CO2 from the natural gas used to make the fertilizer that they’re after? Is nitrous oxide a significant problem in the climate change system?

    Or is the real goal an attempt to address the nitrogen imbalance in the environment caused by fertilizer runoff?

    Or is the real goal an attempt to conserve natural gas to help Europe keep the lights on?

    Or is the real goal an attempt to address ground level ozone which is is killing trees worldwide?

    Or is the real goal an attempt to promote organic agriculture knowing that synthetic fertilizer will soon be expensive and scarce due to natural gas depletion?

    Or is the real goal an attempt to shift more people to plant based diets by making meat more expensive?

    Or is it something else?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, that makes much more sense. I can see that excess fertilizer is a serious problem but it’s not primarily a climate change problem. Odd that the Canadian government seems to be lumping it in with climate change policies. Another reason not to trust anything they say.


    1. What about a religious explanation for once :

      It is the occasion for me to tackle a difficult topic, I wanted to address for quite a time, but did not find the correct words to convey my thoughts.
      If I am not mistaken, I have seen you frequently use the example of religions and the belief in life after death as an example of denial. However…
      My understanding of several religious messages (non-dual vedantism, buddhism and even christianity) is not that they promise eternal life to mortal beings. Rather they reveal the eternal nature of a unique being which locally believes it is multiple and mortal.
      More precisely even, and it is particularly made clear in non-duality: they do not state anything about the nature of reality, they simply point out that the widespread dual interpretation of life is an interpretation not grounded in reality. (In other words, they show it is a model and where it breaks)
      I hope this makes sense to you, because, even though, it is not easy to explain, it is not some woo-woo.
      Fundamentally, we can arbitrarily define what “I” means, but there is no “I” to be found in the world. Or in other words, we navigate the world, mentally cutting it into pieces and applying labels to the pieces. Then, we forget this is all just a mental construct and mistake our mental model with the world. In particular, one of these pieces is the “I”.
      So the statement “I am mortal” is as much a belief as “I am immortal”. It is true the body is mortal, but are we that?
      The process of identification is automatic, but need not be with our body (or mind). (In truth for some people, identification is with their car rather than their body 🙂 What is particularly fun, is to see how identifying with various scales changes the meaning of things. (it’s a bit like moving from geocentrism to heliocentrism)

      This is not to say that religions, especially organized and centralized one, have not been used to control people or to feed our worst fear, ultimately grounded in our prejudice about what life is. But, I wanted to clear the initial underlying and profound message of various religions, because I believe a lot of misleading things have been said about the old religions by the new one (the church of progress). Like science, religions would not be amongst us for such a long time, if it were not standing on solid ground.

      Well, well, well… Hope this all made somewhat sense to you.


      1. Thanks Charles. I read this once, was not sure how to respond, and then read it again a couple days later, and I’m still not sure. You are thinking deeply about things I do not think about.

        In the early days of I went searching for a religion that does not have some form of belief in life after death. I could not find one. Even the new religions like Scientology believe in life after death.

        I think if we can find a religion without a life after death story it might be enough to kill Varki’s MORT theory.

        If you know of such a religion, please let me know. I will dig into it and then discuss with Dr. Varki.


        1. It is not my purpose to refute Varki’s MORT theory. Simply, I wanted to defend the depth and beauty of some religious thinking, especially from the mystics.

          In no way, can I pretend to be an expert in religions. However, it seems to me that the wikipedia page on Afterlife is misleading. It’s a bit like judging a culture from another one. Mystics are not framing the problem in terms of individuals, birth and death. They are looking for the true nature of self (or Self for that matter).
          To flesh this out, here is just one concrete example (
          “There is no doer of a deed
          Or one who reaps the deed’s result;
          Phenomena alone flow on—
          No other view than this is right.”
          Whoever wrote this was not pointing towards eternal life, but rather at the absence of individual, thus making the question of life after death void. (Of course, this can be falsely interpreted by the superstitious as a promise for eternal life. But it is merely trying to lift the illusion of being a separate entity.)
          This is from buddhism but one can find other examples from the Christian tradition (St Francis Assisi, Meister Eckhart, Thomas Merton) and hinduism (in the Bhagavad Gita, Ramana Maharshi, Swami Prajnanpad).

          Sorry, I do not really wish to go further than this. Because it is way beyond my knowledge/ability. (even though there are endless analogies, like the golden necklace which is then melt into a golden bracelet, or the toaster which does not operate without electricity, or the wave within the ocean, or the screen on which the image is projected, the plant which is propagated from cuttings…)
          It took me a long time to lose my modern-man conditioning. Now I am just blissful not to be burdened with the individualistic/mechanistic/materialist apparatus any more. Sometimes I try to share an insight. Since, as a wise man said: “when you find a bus out of hell, why not tell the other where the bus stop is”. Ah ah ah.

          Again, my purpose was not to attack Varki’s theory. It can be right. Simply, like all theories, it operates within a particular context, it has its domain of application and limitations. It is true and has meaning only within a set of beliefs, a language.


          1. Thank you Charles for sharing some of the things you have learned to help find peace and happiness. It sounds to me like you have achieved something many seek.

            Sorry for giving the impression that I thought you wanted to attack Varki’s theory. I am simply seeking facts that might kill MORT and it sounded like you might be aware of some. If we can’t find any such facts then the probability that Varki is correct increases.


    2. Hi Rob,
      It would be nice to think that all of the above are reasonable goals but given the escalating world events unfolding as they are, I would like to suggest that the real goal is to decimate the agricultural sector so that governments can take over land and farms and move ever closer to Reset and dictating what needs to be grown and how we get to access the food as part of staged collapse and then building back better. It has been shown clearly how Sri Lanka toppled with their great fertilizer reduction experiment, leaving the populace clamouring for new government–if the scope was big enough world wide and food shortages hit even the first world countries, then we might be ready for a new system, too. Especially when we’re sick, broke, and ready to blame something or anything.

      Just a little aside, I did respond to our dialogue in the last posting, did I miss anything you may have added?

      Thank you for that majestic photo of the mountain lake, just be a conscious creature able to appreciate such beauty and grandeur is a staggering result of a life experiment that hit the mark. At least we have proven it can be done and has been.

      I have been engrossed in some prepping work and would like to share with everyone that we have invested in a small solar generator powerstation which will run from 12V solar panels that are used in RVs. It is a Bluetti system and I recommend that everyone have a look at their website if you are not familiar with this outfit–their all-in-one, plug and play type units have been a game changer for portable and home power and the pricing puts it in reach with several different power level units to choose from and the option of adding on batteries.

      Our idea is to be able to have a few modcons going through the transitory phase of the Great Simplification, mainly to help with work load on the property. It sure would be nice to use our battery powered tools, especially the brushcutter, for as long as possible as scything is hard work and best done once the grass is first knocked back using a machine! And with judicious use of power, we may even be able to keep a small freezer going, which is great for storage of excess foodstuffs out of season, and especially meat for those who have access to and eat it.

      Next is getting a quote on solar hot water, this does make the most sense and the thermosiphon system coupled with our gravity fed water should be electricity-free. I did think about using black polypipe but I don’t think I have enough header tank pressure to be able to push the water through all the coiled pipe. Still, it would be a useful low tech way to heat up some water in the day, then keep it in insulated containers, for hot water bottles at night. Luckily it’s usually the cloudless, sunny winter days that portend frostier nights.

      The more I think about using wood to heat the more I realise what a difficult proposition that is as most of us do not have access to vast woodlots and it sure takes a lot of wood to keep even a small dwelling comfortable in freezing climates. Right now I am luxuriating next to a woodstove using the densest eucalyptus species wood which is giving off a lovely steady heat that is capable of overnight burns on a few logs. However, I am being incredibly indulgent as it is technically the subtropics here (but highland at 1000m so it does get chilly and even frosty), but nonetheless, another jumper and toasty socks would have almost sufficed in this minimally insulated shed I’m living in. The wood was also bought and delivered, but if I had to try to chop down a tree by axe, split and haul it into place (not things I am skilled up for at all), I would be much more judicious about its use, if even using at all. We have coppiced quite a few trees here and that does produce more biomass but the branches are smaller diameter and just won’t give out the heat energy a large trunk log can. However, I can cook with gathered small branches fed into a rocket-type stove, that’s about the easiest skill to master, but to actually generate real lasting heat, that is not going to be easy for any one of us. Anyone good with an axe?

      Hope all are well and enjoying midsummer or midwinter. We can feel the turning of the seasons inexorably approach. Winter here in Australia has been decimating, figuratively and literally. We’ve lost ever more elderly especially in aged care due to Covid and/or co-morbidities, and people are reeling from the back to back to back interest rate hikes at a time of steady inflation mainly caused by runaway increased cost of production which is driving supply, especially of foodstuffs. Of course it’s not the typical supply/demand algorithm but just like vaccines and masks are the only answer to Covid, we’re being told on a near daily basis that suffering the pain of rising interest rates is the only way to curb inflation, and we’re all in this together.

      I think we all should be included in each other’s Dunbar’s number, what do you say? Go well everyone and don’t forget to get another sack of lentils every chance you get!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks for the tip on Bluettti back up power. I like that they are focused on longevity and safety of the batteries.

        Every time I look at these products I conclude the economics do not make sense.

        2000Wh from Bluetti, which will run my fridge for 2 days, costs $2000.

        My 2000W gasoline generator cost $560 and with 4 x 20L gas cans will run my fridge for 16 days.

        So for 1/4 the cost I get 8 times more power.

        As Nate Hagens says, fossil energy is indistinguishable from magic.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hi Rob,

          To be more energy self-reliant so we can use devices that would make living more comfortable and efficient for tasks needed to keep providing for one’s requirements is not about the economics, but survival through these uncertain times. There is a limit on how much diesel one can store for generator power and tools that help cultivate the land to grow food, not to mention how scarce fuel may become or even having the means to go out to get fuel using yet another fuel dependent machine. Mains electric power will be unreliable as it is already in many metropolitan areas with brown and blackouts through all seasons and reasons including natural disaster damage to infrastructure, market and supply manipulations, and overload on the grid as a result of wildly pendulum swinging temperatures. Then, prices for power will not even matter if it cannot be supplied–a millionaire will be in the dark the same as the homeless.

          If I looked at everything according to the current price that I can get at market compared to my costs and labour per hour to provide the same, then I may not have ever planted a single tree or tried to grow my own vegetables. First you buy the fruit tree, no, first you buy the land so you can grow the fruit tree! then it takes 6 years of tending before it starts bearing its first crop, and of course there’s on-going maintenance (pole saws, pruners), feeding (mulch from cutting grass, and compost), water (pump, dam, pipes), and netting from wildlife, then harvesting (ladders) and processing (canning, freezers, dehydrators), assuming the vagaries of the weather that year allowed for any fruit at all–heck, my cherries should be worth their weight in gold! So much cheaper and easier to pick up a sack of pre-picked fruit packaged in yards of plastic from the grocery store! But of course we all know that’s not the point, the idea is that we can take care of our own needs (such as it is with all the input required!) and at the place we are living and working without relying on everything else going just right to bring the goods we need to us. I think we all agree there’s a great satisfaction in that, and the work we do for ourselves is a joy and not a drudge. Planting a tree is a statement of sorts that we have some hope for the future, something that will live much longer than us and hopefully provide shade, food, and shelter for all those creatures yet to come. But first and foremost, we hope it will feed us, too!

          So I have come to look at these solar energy converters as a tool, an expedient for when my other forms of power will become ever more unreliable. I am willing to pay more now up front for the possibility (no guarantees in life of course! it’s a machine like everything else that can fail at any time) of a modicum of energy sufficiency so I can use my remaining physical energy more efficiently to keep my organism fed and warmed. It’s the same thinking that made us invest in all our other tools which helped us put trees in the ground instead of just sitting back and thinking the shops will always have food on the shelves.

          I am not interested in EV, because I know I won’t be going anywhere much, and hopefully will have little need to, but it really would be good to keep a small freezer going and having our battery powered tools charged and ready.
          That will be worth more than any form of money in the future. What I am also saying is that one may not see the economics of solar power now, but when we might wish for it, these types of units may not even be available to be gotten (all made in China, of course). Think of it even as an investment–why, we might be able to trade a spare LiFePO4 battery for a mule someday!

          Thanks for the update on everyone’s strange weather in the north, and the effect it’s had on crops so far this year. Now you understand about our $10 a head lettuce here in Australia (initially directly caused by the extreme flooding in vast areas of primary production). Food and especially fruit and veggie prices are sky high and will remain so as farmers are planting less due to the cost of fuel, fertilizer, and getting labor work. We’ve been more or less sufficient in fruit for some years now. I go around the property patting the trees and giving them my thanks for just doing their thing, absorbing sunlight and dropping their fruit in time. It’s a bloody miracle, really.

          Fossil fuel power may be magic, but Sun energy is god itself.


          1. Thanks Gaia. I understand the battery pack makes perfect sense for you. I should have said it does not make sense for my circumstances.

            Preptip: I do have a bunch of 18650 batteries for flashlights and headlamps. Super bright and operates for hours. Same battery most EV’s use. I used to be able to get 18650’s at a good price direct from China. Than they changed the shipping safety rules for batteries and the price became much higher.

            Not a single store in town sells the 18650 flashlights or batteries. They’re one of the best kept secrets.

            Liked by 1 person

      2. I agree wood heating is a lot of work. The farm I assist has a decent wood lot and every year I cut windfalls from the previous winter for firewood. It takes a lot of wood to heat a small house. When fossil energy becomes scarce it is dreadful to contemplate what will happen to the world’s remaining forests.

        Weather here continues in extremes. Very wet this spring. Now very hot.

        Still waiting for parts to repair the tractor 2 months after it blew a head gasket.


        1. I have the same problems with the weather, being in Oregon. The fruit trees now have almost no fruit, most of the blossoms were knocked off by the incessant late spring rains. The fruit I have is all very small because it wasn’t warm in the spring when it should have been growing and now it’s hot. Most of my neighbors didn’t even bother planting gardens, why plant at the end of June? I persevered early despite the rain and now have some zucchini, peas, and canned my first batch of pickles today. I can’t imagine doing that with a wood stove, even outside. I at least have 15+ acres of second or third growth forest that’s 80 years old. The amount of limbs that fall or other trees that fall would easily heat my house, but it would be a lot of work to cut it all manually. That’s young people’s work, not 69-year-olds (but it might be soon)😵.

          Liked by 2 people

            1. Nearly 70% loss of spuds is devastating! It’s shades of the Great Potato Famine in Ireland! Is it because of your super wet conditions this Spring, or what? Wildlife digging them up? Some sort of blight? And about the blueberries, was it also the wet Spring that decreased pollination? Fruit set last Spring both in Tasmania and Queensland was affected by that reason. It really seems that we are getting more moisture (and winds) in the Equinoctial periods in both hemispheres. That’s why it’s important to have different cultivars of fruit trees if possible, (idea is they flower at slightly different times to catch the weather dependent sweet spot of pollinating) and also planted in different places (micro climate differences) so one has a chance every year that some trees produce well and make up for the ones that don’t. But, it’s getting more unreliable and every year we also see an influx of wildlife, including now more birds, which have learned to appreciate our exotic fruit, even when not even ripe. With all the bushfires and log cutting habitat destruction, remaining wildlife come to our fruit sanctuaries where it’s easy pickings. There’s only so much one can net so our main strategy is planting more so there’s hopefully enough for everyone. Even if we get 25% of the fruit from each tree, then 4 trees should yield a full crop–in theory! But of course that’s assuming you have the land space to do so, which is why I can see how it takes quite a few acres to sustain even one person in food and fuelwood.

              I don’t really see how wood for fuel is sustainable for cold and hungry masses without access to extensive forests. Once we had them (forests that is, but I suppose cold and hungry people, too) all around the globe (and even on Easter Island), but all know what happened there. And even private woodlots will be private no longer as people comb the countryside for fuel gathering, assuming they can get there, or maybe they will just set up camp within the forests just like the pioneers of yesteryear. In any case, there just isn’t enough forest to go around but maybe the felling will be a bit slower without fossil fuels. It will take some time for the blacksmitheries to scale up to make axes and saws, how are these things made nowadays anyway? I’ve ordered a few axes made by Council Tools in the US, see Even if we’re not hale and hearty to swing one, hopefully someone else in our community will be. Sequestering tools for all purposes is a mainstay mission now, and far better use of money than in the bank, methinks.


              1. It was the wet spring that damaged the potatoes and we think also the wetness and lack of pollinators that impacted the blueberries.

                Someday when the stores are empty you might appreciate that protein visiting your property to steal fruit. 🙂


                1. Yeah, by straw poll it seems that most are reporting inundation as the limiting factor to healthy plant growth.
                  It is easier to kill plants by overwatering than underwatering. As for the creatures that visit, I appreciate the manure they leave behind and also I try to remind myself that it’s payback for taking away their habitat. Wildlife don’t consider it stealing when they eat what they can find for themselves, and I am trying to see it from their perspective. All I can do is put up more fences, netting, shade cloth cages, in fact most of the time and energy spent in planting out new trees is trying to protect them.

                  Since I am vegan (and a weirdo) their flesh is safe from me but that doesn’t mean they may not be fair game to many others. Both Tasmania and Far North QLD have lots of cattle, I am thinking they will be butchered for local eating when things get scarce, and perhaps even sustain the population for some time. Same goes for NZ sheep.

                  Liked by 1 person

              2. You’re right about wood not being sustainable as fuel for a large population.

                Before the adoption of fossil fuels, stealing wood and poaching were capital crimes in the 18th and 19th c in Britain. This system came to be known as the Bloody Code in later times. It imposed the death penalty for over 200 offenses which by modern standards are considered trivial. Draconian punishments one loathes to think long on. Fossil fuels gave us a cozy reprieve from the horrors of all that.

                Excerpt from Ash Woods in The Crime Historian blog.

                “Capital crimes in the Bloody Code included cutting down of young trees and
                blackening your face at night. In 1723, the British parliament passed the Black Act which sentenced to death anyone who was found with a blackened face in a forest or a hunting ground. The Black Act also criminalised anyone who fish, hunt or destroy trees in the these locations. People could also be executed if they set fire to corn, hay, straw or wood in the area. In total, the Black Act added the death penalty to over fifty crimes.
                These laws was passed in response to a gang of poachers based in
                Hampshire and Windsor Forest. They would hunt deer with blackened faces to avoid being identified. A short while after the law was passed, seven such poachers known as the Waltham Blacks were caught and hanged.


                Liked by 2 people

                1. Thanks Mandrake for that sobering history lesson. I will read the Bloody Code/ Black riot act to the resident wallaby and remind him how lucky he is not to be in Sherwood Forest but rather indulging in our largesse. I’m sure he’ll be contrite and leave our premises forthwith.

                  The topic of poaching reminds me of another favourite children’s book that I believe some of you would have also delighted in–Danny, the Champion of the World by the one and only Roald Dahl. monk, you must agree that this is a treasure. In fact, I relish anything Roald Dahl writes, and come to think of it, I believe his dark humour is right up your alley, Mandrake!


              3. Hi Gaia. I love reading your (and everyone else’s) comments on prep work. Much alignment in action and thinking. We have masses of firewood on our 22 acres with inherited exotics perfect for firewood and lots of regenerating native bush. I have an electric chainsaw and a petrol one for larger cuts and numerous axes and log splitters. I’m working with my two boys to build up a large reserve of firewood while power and fuel is still reliable / available. We’ll need masses once we get our wood oven installed.

                I’m not sure if I told you that I’ve managed to get hold of a couple of chocolate pudding trees. They’re small so may keep them in the sheltered nursery for another year before planting out. We’re currently preparing new areas for winter and spring plantings. We’ve got nearly another 100 fruit and nut trees to get in the ground and that doesn’t include all the bananas I need to divide and transplant. It also doesn’t include all the supporting plants like nitrogen fixers, biomass producers, ground covers or annual vegetables we integrate too.

                Our new favourite plant is yacon. Do you have it? Two small tubers planted last spring have yielded around 10kg of harvest and masses of tubers for putting in with our plantings coming up. Root vegetables do great in our volcanic soils.

                It’s been incredibly wet here this winter. Local farmers say it’s record level wet and muddy to the point they can’t use their machinery. We plan to build a large shed this summer for storage, additional accommodation, workspace and additional water collection. Have gone with white iron roof but a small portion of dark iron for laying black pipe coils on for summer solar showers. Rest of the materials, posts and timber, will be off our land and infill walls in earth / cob / wattle and daub.

                I have a moral dilemma every time I buy new products like the iron because I know each purchase extends overshoot and emissions etc. Do we use concrete or not is another debate going currently. The dilemma is caused by knowing what overshoot means for my kids and future others conflicting with my selfish gene of fuck it I need to prepare / protect my tribe. It’s a catch-22 isn’t it!

                Oh and we got a rescue dog from a friend and I’m pissed because of the footprint of dog ownership but then she is great at chasing rabbits and keeping them out of the food forest and garden. If only she was able to catch them and feed herself. Inevitably I’ll have to help her there with feeding her the possums I am trapping. One nations endangered species is anothers dog food. Ironic.


                Liked by 1 person

                  1. I’m thinking I might be sharing rabbit stew with the dog in the future if I can make a decent snare. I don’t have a gun.


                1. Kia ora, friend across the Tasman, and everyone across all oceans! I love hearing about your marvellous endeavours (especially since I can picture a lot of what you describe in my mind’s eye having had the video tour of your amazing property), and find myself smiling all the while reading what you have shared–more power (fossil fuel free in spirit!) to you and your family for your grand adventure in learning and doing what resonates best with your life philosophy. I am full of admiration and respect for your obvious enthusiasm and sincerity in trying to balance all decisions, and all the while putting your hard labour into making things happen and taking responsibility for the results. Well done and thank you for your inspiration and encouragement just by being here and keeping going as you are.

                  The black sapotes will take off once the warmer weather returns, they are very hardy trees with lovely evergreen shiny leaves. You’re right to pot them up for now but I think you can put them in the ground in late Spring, probably with shade cloth protection from the wind. The fruit is so interesting, being a member of the persimmon family, they need to be super ripe before eating, they go from green to a very unappetising greenish-brownish-black and very soft. The deep brown coloured flesh totally has the consistency of smooth pudding and can be considered a bit chocolately in flavour, brought out even more by a pinch of sweetener (I use coconut sugar) and a dash of cinnamon. If you want it richer, add some coconut milk and mash. If you half freeze it, it is even more delicious. There is a special knack of knowing when it is time to pick the fruit, if you leave them to soften on the tree, most likely birds or your favourite resident possum will help themselves, so you need to pick them still hard and green–but only when the calyxes, which are quite prominent just like in persimmons, lift completely up from the round fruit, so there’s a definite gap. Then it will continue to ripen indoors, otherwise if the calyxes are clamped down and you pick the fruit, it will never ripen successfully and remain inedible.

                  Yacons are great! I love all manner of tubers, which I believe will be the go-to starch source as grain-growing is just so labour intensive not to mention a lost cause with animals. Have you managed to find a couple crowns of arracacha, also known as Peruvian parsnip? You must seek these out, they are so delicious especially roasted, a combination of potato, celeriac, and chestnut. Pretty high yielding and the leaves are edible (not the most palatable but in the celery family), and you can use the leaves as animal fodder.

                  If it’s any consolation to you, or maybe just a different perspective to consider, I believe we are the transition generation that will provide the base for the Great Simplification life that is yet to unfold, and our greatest contribution is to prepare the physical and societal foundation so that coming generations may build upon it. That is what all the infrastructure work we are doing and developing community is all about. It may be that we need to continue to use the resources available to us at this time to get us through to the next stage. Anything that can make this transition happen in a smoother and more feasible way is a good use of energy now in my opinion, it’s the potential that we are counting on and it is our privilege to be able to harness the power when it is most critical in hopes that our choices and actions will produce a lasting result for ourselves and the generations to come. We are in our maximal potentiality due to circumstances of being born in the time and place we have been, and this great privilege and power is not taken lightly. I feel so strongly that it is our duty, those of us who have awakened from denial, to stem the tide as we can, but we can rightly use the tools of our age because that is the bonus prize we have been given, a final leg up to get us across the line to the new way of living. It is the intention of use that is most relevant now, in my opinion. We are harnessing the power of fossil fuels in a concerted bid to remake a life where we do not rely upon them, not to further a life where they will continue to be consumed without limits. The way I see it, to have some conveniences at hand to save our energy to be able to do even more planting, harvesting, irrigation, building necessary structures, etc… and most importantly, being a positive influence for others and continuing to learn and teach skills of living, this is what we must pace ourselves to be able to do as the bridge generation. We are the ones now in fullest possession of resources and means to use them, (I believe you and I are the same 1971 model?) and it is our responsibility to our family and others to do so in a wise and considered manner to provide increasing benefit in the future. So, I do not berate myself any longer for making choices that seem incongruent with reducing overshoot because I am trusting that the final result will bear out the rationale of my decisions. The proof is in the pudding as they say, and here we have the pleasure of one day even tasting the proof in a chocolate pudding fruit!

                  Go well and easier on your mind, Campbell and friends. You are doing a fantastic job, declaring to all another path forward which others will be able to see and perhaps take courage and confidence to follow. I am certain that all our choices now are made with the utmost deliberation for present and future survival, and hopefully more than just. Living the examined life, freely and contentedly, in communion with nature and our community, now that is thriving and I wish it for all. Namaste.


                  1. Thanks Gaia for the kind words and more food growing tips. I can’t seem to find the Peruvian parsnip here in NZ from any commercial seed suppliers. Will have to ask in some of the Facebook groups I belong to.

                    Today we prepared another area of land for planting fruit trees tomorrow with the kids. All hands on deck to get the food forest humming. Go well.


  23. El gato malo is really good today.

    He reminds us that tribes are more important than science for covid policy, and our policies are breathtakingly bad compared to historic precedents.

    even if you’ve seen it before, watch the video above.

    watch the iron bar certainty and the crocodile tear sincerity as all the vaccines’ soon to be fiercest proponents were calling the jabs fraud when they thought that orange man might get the credit for them. it was trump’s rush job poison needle that only a fool would take and in which no one should place faith. the FDA was not to be trusted. transparency was needed. all the data needed to be released to all the experts. the fix was in and the american people should not fall for it.

    then, suddenly, it was the blessed fauci ouchie, the social duty, and as much as could be made possible the legal obligation to get one. and no, you cannot see the data, it’s private and the FDA who everyone knows MUST be trusted because they are the experts wants 75 years to release it. analyzing it yourself is arrogant madness. the science is settled now shut your pie hole and accept our grand largess.

    how is any trust to survive that?

    so uh, maybe you should have thought about that before calling an experimental injection using a failed mRNA modality known to be toxic and to drive autoimmune response “a vaccine” despite it not working and then riding around like the paul revere of pseudoscience telling everyone that because it’s a vaxx, it’s safe and ignoring the glaring fact that there was woefully insufficient testing to make any such claims.

    this entire campaign has been like demanding that everyone take fentanyl after a night of drinking and calling the people who won’t “anti-medicine” because the belief that “hangovers get better by themselves” is a conspiracy theory.

    you know why people trusted vaccines for MMR and polio and diphtheria?

    because as long as you didn’t get some cut rate version from a bill gates crony, they worked.

    they had long records of safety and efficacy. you got the vax, the side effects were negligible, and you did not get the disease. polio and measles and smallpox went away.

    (*the flu vaccine is, admittedly, a joke and likely provided a template here, but at least it’s not notably dangerous)

    these jabs spent 10 years in development and 10 more getting used in high risk groups before really going wide.

    they were incredibly well tested and incredibly safe.

    no one would ever have launched one this broadly this fast on such little data, especially using an entirely novel mode of action never before approved in humans that had already failed who knows how many times as a therapeutic because it was too toxic and deadly to be a fricking oncology drug.

    let that sink in.

    the last rush job vaccine was for h1n1. they pulled it off the market for side effects not even 1/1000th those of these vaccines. (yes, really)

    it was a tiny little screwup compared to this one.

    they were pikers, really.

    “GlaxoSmithKline turned over an estimated $1.7 billion selling H1N1 vaccines and this only in the 4th quarter of 2009.”

    (though it did have a strikingly similar cast of characters)

    but even this eensy bit of graft with far lesser consequences elicited real response.

    but not today. today, we have nothing. the CDC is not even monitoring the VAERS safety signal per their own mandate. they admitted it under FOIA.

    all eyes are turned and blind.


  24. Nate Hagen’s podcast today is on debt and I found it quite interesting. Some new insights and some ideas for how governments might constructively respond to overshoot.

    One statement stood out: 90% of our leaders do not understand how money is created. It’s remarkable, our leaders have not taken the time to study the thing they care most about.

    On this episode we meet with ecological economist and Professor in Community Development & Applied Economics and Public Administration, Josh Farley.

    Money. What is it? Where does it come from? How is it created? How is it tethered to our biophysical balance sheet? What is on the horizon with our monetary system? How might we create and use money differently in the future during a source and sink contained system? Josh Farley explains it all – and explains how the links between money, energy, and the economy will become more central in our lives.


  25. Remind me not to hire a bunch of people to grow

    I do not like what I’m seeing happen with Chris Martenson on YouTube. Ditto for Steve Van Metre.

    Every video has an increasingly desperate clickbait title and thumbnail.

    Sad what people have to do to earn a living selling news on the internet.

    Liked by 4 people

  26. James Lovelock, creator of the Gaia Hypothesis died today. He was 103.

    “His Gaia hypothesis posits that life on Earth is a self-regulating community of organisms interacting with each other and their surroundings. He said two years ago that the biosphere was in the last 1% of its life.”

    Another notable invention by Lovelock was a device that detected CFCs, which are damaging to the ozone layer.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for sharing that news. 103 spins around the Sun as part of Gaia is a good run for an individualized lifeform, and recycling back into Gaia is the perfect epilogue. The concept of Gaia obviously has resonated deeply with me.
      We are all Gaia gardeners, growing hopefully a bit wiser and kinder together.
      Namaste, everyone.


  27. Norman Pagett thinks “we cannot mutate in the slightest degree over 100 years or less.”* That sounds so final, so definitive. What if we put our minds to it? If we can put Man on the Moon I’m pretty sure we can Crisper our DNA out of this mess. Evolve on demand – has anyone tried it?

    *Recent response to GT at OFW

    Liked by 1 person

    1. not the Crisper toaster from Blood Bath and Beyond but CRISPR. Apparently you can buy do-it-yourself CRISPR genome editing kits for home use that are perfectly safe. We are probably at an inflection point where we cannot leave this exclusively to licensed and trained technicians.


      1. James agrees with Pagett…

        We couldn’t save the Arctic, the Amazon or the last piece of cheesecake so it looks like we won’t be able to save ourselves. The end. — James @


  28. Another troubling covid experience at a dinner with some family and a guest I do not know.

    The guest was an educated young woman who thinking she was in the company of all vaccinated people starting spewing the most hateful venom I have ever heard about “anti-vaxxers”. She of course had no command of data or nuance, and there was no evidence she understood anything about covid. Apparently she works part time for a Canadian university cleaning misinformation from the internet.

    I sat silent for about 5 minutes until I could take it no longer and then stood up, told her she was a fucking idiot, and went home before dinner was served.

    Above on the same topic I asked the question, “are governments leading or following?”.

    What I meant was, I wonder if what is actually going on with bad government policies is that they are simply doing what the majority tribe has decided is the correct path? Maybe our “leaders” are simply trying to stay in power.


    1. Yes, indeed! My feeling exactly for a long time. None of this would have been possible if the educated/voting masses did not agree. Most were eager to sacrifice anything or anybody else by fear for their little self and that’s what happened.
      People live in a world of beliefs that they rarely update. Everything else must fail, before we start questioning ourselves.
      That’s why I find the current crisis to be first a moral crisis. The world is a reflection of what truly is in our heart.
      The same with many other things like climate change or wildlife decline.

      The leaders are neither good nor bad, nor do they lead, neither do we truly need leaders.

      I wonder if idiots, especially young ones, can be reasoned. I believe not. They unfortunately have to learn the hard way. Weren’t we young idiots at some point? Ah ah ah…

      I wish you a lot of patience. I personally know how hard it is to be isolated from the group, but still being “mathematically” right about (an aspect of) reality. I now view these situations as training opportunities in equanimity and magnanimity. (Although, I often indulge in a telling smirk) Ah ah ah…

      By the way, I believe, the same zealot will have the opposite position in no time (give her a few years)


      1. I like what you said about living in a moral crisis.

        In 2008, one of our dominant federal parties ran with a serious platform to address climate change. They lost by a land slide. There will never be another serious platform from any party until citizens are starving and they blame climate/energy instead of the Russians.


        1. This is going to be a bit long, and maybe sound naïve and/or condescending. That is not my intention. I just want to share my personal strategies to cope with these situations. Because, it seems, that we are both on the cold analytic side of the human spectrum. A bit like computers.

          Yes, it is a moral crisis (which will bring hardship and then inner-change). Yet, at the same time, Mandrake is right.
          For a long time, I did not understand what people meant by the need to “grow up”, when I thought they were the ones not to see the obvious (given data, some time to analyse, and unbiased logical thinking).
          However, in a way, by staying in our “ivory tower” of facts and mental models, we are demanding the other something we are not even ready to do ourselves: listening to and understanding their world-view, their way of feeling things (we may not agree, yet it is still true to them, their inner landscape).

          For socially gifted people, “growing up” may be something simple. But, I was always angered when someone told it to me, because they were only giving me half of the answer. How am I suppose to grow up? So I addressed this problem, like every other, like an engineering task. Here is my personal answer.

          To that day, I am still unsure of what “growing up” means. Probably, faking acquiescence in order to get along, to be accepted, to still be in the group. But for once, I have not really ever much cared about being in the group, and most of all, I value intellectual integrity above many things. So, to me, behaving/lying always felt like a betrayal towards the other. To the point that it seemed better to isolate, than to play the poker face.

          However, I now believe I simply made basic errors in communication. This may come out as obvious to many, but took me a long time to understand. The primary error is to model the other human being as functioning similarly as ourself. We do not make this mistake when interacting with, say, a cat. Because, it is blatant it is different.
          When I interact with humans, I now remind myself that:
          * what I value is not necessarily what the other person values,
          * we may have extremely different worldviews,
          * we may have extremely different “inner architectures”
          To give some concrete examples, if I remember well what you wrote in some other post, you do not possess the ability to be moved by poetry. Similarly, many people do not possess the ability to think logically about a problem. Among the ones that do, some lack topography (small insignificant facts are at the same level than major events), and so lack the ability to synthesize. Etc, etc…
          This is a good thing, like the diversity of life, it allows everybody to easily do what it is strong at so that the whole is optimized: plants digest the sun, herbivores digest grass, mushrooms digest wood…

          Luckily, we can still express ourselves without having to force our truth on the other one. Neither of us have to change in order to exchange. I now view encounters with other humans, as I would eat a new ice-cream (blind-folded). To convince somebody is like a puzzle. It takes time and often fails. It requires a lot of observation to understand the cause of the cause of the cause (a person hysteric about the need for vaccines, may unconsciously know something and be afraid of discovering it). Pure force, is often not very efficient and may lead to damage (to both). The first and often hardest step is to get rid of the social mask. New encounters is, in a way, a technical problem to be solved and to see the world with the eyes of the other most often a wonder to be enjoyed.

          By the way, did you read the story of Christopher Thomas Knight, “the stranger in the woods”( There is always weirdoier than we think we are (and to me weirdo is a compliment 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Thank you Charles for the wise words about interacting with others.

            When younger I was successful at leading large groups of engineers on projects and I think one of my core competencies was influencing others by applying empathy.

            Unfortunately I’m all out of empathy for morons who think I should inject something that will probably make the situation worse, both for me and for them, and who aggressively disparage other more safe and effective responses.

            As you point out, there is a wide range of how brains model and respond to reality. This is why when it comes to dangerous activities like flying planes and injecting substances into billions of people we need to compensate for the vagaries of the human brain by relying on experts with uncompromised integrity to apply the scientific method to ensure our planes and injected substances are safe and effective.

            Our leaders have completely failed us by not enforcing the required process.

            If Wikipedia spoke the truth, I might have had a chance at applying empathy to change that young woman’s mind. Instead, the best scientific minds with the best integrity, like Dr. Robert Malone, are portrayed as misinformation cranks on Wikipedia. It’s no wonder that a typical citizen without hundreds of hours available to dig like me has no clue what is going on.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Thank you for your thoughtful answer.
              Yes indeed. I wholly agree to everything you just wrote. (Unfortunately… Since it all smells like societal collapse)
              Well, at least it explains why I spend more time with plants than human beings, ah ah ah…

              About Wikipedia, at this point, we may well be better off without much of the advanced technology. (which will most probably be the case in the near future anyway)


              1. I agree we might be better off without the internet but I do enjoy my offline technology.

                My main hobby is collecting things from the internet that I might enjoy viewing and listening and reading in my old age when the internet has failed and I am mostly confined to my home due to insufficient energy to do anything except obtain critical supplies.

                I think I’ve got enough spare parts to make it until I die but I guess time will tell.


        2. I just wrote a reply, but can’t find it. Maybe it will pop up later… (or there is a limit on edition time, or comments depth?)


          1. Sorry about that. For reasons I do not understand, a few comments are flagged as spam by WordPress and I have to manually restore them. I try to check the spam folder every day.


            1. Hey, that used to happen to me all the time but now I have gotten the golden key and all my comments appear immediately–for better or worse! Strange. Maybe I had to pass a probationary period or maybe WordPress just gave up on my ramblings it tried to confine and contain. Thank you, Charles, for your thoughtful and kind posts, we are a very congenial bunch here (albeit weird), and easy to empathise with.

              Liked by 1 person

    2. Everyone’s going to think you’re a weirdo for fucks sake. Grow up. Dinners are about exchanging inane pleasantries. Did you at least make it through the starter and grab a bottle of wine on the way out?


        1. To fit in to the dominant narrative on everything means you are an idiot or insane or both. I would choose to be the weirdo and have an independent mind.


            1. Good thing you’ve got us lot to make up for that, eh? I think most who visit this site and tarry a while march to a different drum and have been for some time. Nice to find our little tribe, warts and all.

              Liked by 1 person

    3. Calling a dinner guest “a f123ing idiot” to their face is not showing “interpersonal effectiveness” or “loving kindness.” LOL. Normal people hold their tongue and insult people behind their backs Rob. But hey, I guess no one can accuse you of beating around the bush. Radical acceptance will take you far.

      One of the perks of wearing a surgical mask is I can stick out my tongue at dummies, make stupid faces, mumble insults and no one is the wiser. It’s kinda fun. Harmless fun and no one gets hurt.


      1. I can’t tell if you are criticizing me or praising me.

        I feel quite good about my action although I wish I had said “You are a rude fucking idiot” instead of just “You are a fucking idiot”.


        1. Both. I live in the grey zone. I’m praising you for your stark honesty but also somewhat taken aback you would say what you did to a virtual stranger. Generally we save that kind of vitriol for our spouse./s

          Calling someone an idiot is rude unless the provocation is egregious and it doesn’t sound like that was the case here. But I guess we all project from time to time. Part of the cut and thrust of being human.

          I’ve probably said some rude things on this blog (thinking I was being sarcastic, droll or whatever) and I apologize to any I’ve offended. I despise emoticons so that also makes it harder to communicate nuance. Hope your next dinner party goes better. Cheers.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Tracy Ullman is a laugh and a bit of a weirdo too so we’re all in good company.

            Maybe if I start a support group for rude f123ing idiots we can reduce the population. Finally a support group where a person can really let their hair down and cut loose.


  29. I found this interesting/ depressing

    How the ‘official’ covid narrative goes unchallenged on Wikipedia

    If you look at the Wikipedia entries of any senior scientist, clinician or ‘influencer’ who has talked positively about early covid treatments or who has raised legitimate concerns about the vaccine efficacy or safety, you will discover that they have been delegitimized and labelled as promoters of ‘misinformation’. Their entries have also been heavily edited to downplay their credentials and research record. In many cases there are blatant lies and critical omissions made to frame these people as untrustworthy oddballs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I lost respect for Wikipedia in the early days of covid. I used to make a donation to Wikipedia every year. No more. They contacted me to ask why I stopped donating and I told them I will never make another donation for the rest of my life because of their disgraceful covid behavior.

      Liked by 2 people


    Wikipedia has frozen edits to its page for “recession,” halting a frenzy of changes to the entry after the Biden administration insisted that the U.S. economy has not entered a economic downturn.

    The website’s definition of recession was altered dozens of times over the course of 24 hours, in an apparent reaction to the White House’s resistance to calling the current economy a recession.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Very good intelligent nuanced discussion of rapidly rising methane by Eliot Jacobson.

    In summary, methane is rising faster than can be explained by known sources, therefore the hypothesis is that the decay rate of methane is declining due to rising temperatures causing more wildfires which release CO which preferentially reacts with the OH that normally removes methane.

    If memory serves, methane is one of the big threats not included in already dire IPCC warnings.

    There’s only one problem, and it’s a huge one. No measurements for the half-life of methane are going on (that I know about). I have searched the literature and even asked climate-twitter, and there’s nothing on this topic. What we need is a graph where the y-axis is the half-life of methane and the x-axis is time. We need to be measuring the change in methane’s half-life over time. This has got to be the most fundamental question on methane that no one is working on right now. The longer methane persists in the atmosphere, the more f&%ked we are in the near-term.

    If the half-life of methane is increasing through non-anthropogenic feedback loops, then the methane catastrophe is happening now, today, and there is absolutely nothing we can do to stop it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. On cue today in the Guardian we finally see an article that can’t be misinterpreted about climate change:

      Can’t get much starker than that, heh? You’d think it would be stop-in-your-tracks front page news. However, my eye also wandered to a sidebar “I have a small penis, will I ever be able to measure up?” Guess which topic would probably be more interesting/important to most people?

      This is weird and it’s happened before on the Guardian with topics which must not be named (or at least not made too visible), I just tried to get back to that climate disaster article and I can’t find the lead in now on the front page where it was earlier. You’d have to sift through the Environment page to find it buried somewhere in the middle. But that other article is now front and centre with a picture of pink y-front briefs. You really can’t make this shit up, we are truly in the last days.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Here’s the hyperlink for easier access

        The actual headline could be deemed sensational if sadly it wasn’t true–

        ‘Soon it will be unrecognisable’: total climate meltdown cannot be stopped, says expert

        The expert in question is Bill McGuire, emeritus professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London and just released his book, Hothouse Earth, already out of date upon publication with heat records smashed in the UK this past month.

        If you want the link to the other article, please feel free to find it yourself. I won’t tell anyone that you wanted to read it.


      2. No you can’t make it up.

        The essay of course concluded with what needs to be done without mentioning what actually needs to be done.

        The future is forbidding from this perspective, though McGuire stresses that if carbon emissions can be cut substantially in the near future, and if we start to adapt to a much hotter world today, a truly calamitous and unsustainable future can be avoided. The days ahead will be grimmer, but not disastrous. We may not be able to give climate breakdown the slip but we can head off further instalments that would appear as a climate cataclysm bad enough to threaten the very survival of human civilisation.

        “This is a call to arms,” he says. “So if you feel the need to glue yourself to a motorway or blockade an oil refinery, do it. Drive an electric car or, even better, use public transport, walk or cycle. Switch to a green energy tariff; eat less meat. Stop flying; lobby your elected representatives at both local and national level; and use your vote wisely to put in power a government that walks the talk on the climate emergency.”


    2. Don’t know if this is included in his analysis;

      “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that there are more than 3 million total abandoned oil and gas wells. About 2 million of those are estimated to be very old and never properly plugged. The agency believes such wells are responsible for most of the methane emitted from abandoned wells.”,methane%20emitted%20from%20abandoned%20wells.


      1. I think it is because he answered similar questions in the comments.

        Something recent has changed to cause an increase in methane and nothing recent has changed in oil production, agriculture, etc. Note that he’s not saying the other sources aren’t problems, just that there is something else in addition to these known methane sources.


  32. I’m thinking about closing my Twitter account. I find the signal to noise ratio is too low.

    Do any of you use it and feel that it provides value to your understanding of the world?

    Any tips for making Twitter more useful?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t use it. In fact the only time I see it is when you post links. I only have Facebook as a type of news feed and community connect, and LinkedIn which mainly depresses me with all the hopium and so called green tech promotion.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Good on you. One useful element to Facebook is Marketplace where you can buy / sell stuff without fees (currently anyway). Great for locating cheap local and mainly secondhand resources for building resilience for the coming collapse 🙂. I don’t post stuff on Facebook these days or follow “friends” who post photos of what they’re having for dinner.


  33. I wish Mac10 would quit beating around the bush and tell us what he really thinks.


    You are not imagining things, this is all far worse than it looks…

    We are witnessing escalation towards all-out war in Europe (U.S.). Escalation towards war between China and Taiwan (U.S.). The total destruction of Ukraine. The end of Russia as a functioning nation state. Mass shootings not just in the U.S. but worldwide on an unprecedented scale. Political bifurcation bordering on civil war. 40 year high inflation. Societal breakdown reaching a boiling point. And of course environmental apocalypse in real-time.

    To top it off we are now in recession with a Fed still in tightening mode and Wall Street telling investors THIS is the start of the new bull market. When this gambit fails, don’t worry about Wall Street, there won’t be one.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. The First Street Foundation has an interesting website that calculates homeowner climate risk from flood and fire over the duration of a homeowner’s mortgage. It’s complimentary to FEMA flood maps and other resources.

    I searched our property and within the next 30 years our property has a 27% chance of water reaching the building. It has an 8/10 severe flood factor. Eek. Needless to say flood risks are increasing as weather patterns change so the risk model will need to be updated. Not a perfect crystal ball but a helpful tool nonetheless.

    Risk Factor™ is a free online tool created by the nonprofit First Street Foundation® that makes it easy for Americans to find their property’s risk from environmental threats such as flooding and wildfires and understand how risks are changing because of a changing environment.


    1. Thanks. It doesn’t seem to work for Canada but I expect my beach front property will also be threatened in about 30 years. That’s ok because there’s no where else I’d rather live and I’ll be dead by then.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve got exactly one of those metronomes, a relic from piano lesson and daily practice days. The cartoon doesn’t do justice to the incessant and mind-numbing tick-tock which for all purposes now sounds like the countdown to a bomb going off. Also, the further down you move the weight, the faster the ticking goes, the musical term for this very fast tempo is Presto (168-177 beats per minute) and even faster Prestissimo (say this aloud with an Italian accent and you can almost pass for one!) which is anything over that, some music is clocked at 208 beats per minute which is pretty much as fast as you can play your instrument without your fingers or mouth falling off. Those breakneck tempi are really coronary material and very apt for the level of anxiety most people will be ratcheting up soon. The little key on the right is to wind up the ticker, they say only 3-4 turns should do but it feels like everything is wound so tight now that something’s got to give or blow up in our faces. To silence the gadget, one just tucks the pendulum shaft behind the metal tab, and close the whole contraption with the door panel and voila! peace and quiet at last! If only we could do the same with what’s happening in the world but that wouldn’t be very sporting un-denialwise of us, would it? So, it’s Prestissimo all the way from here on out. But, hey, it’s not over until the fat lady sings, there may yet be a high note or two left before the curtain falls.

      Liked by 2 people

  35. Nice summary from Hideaway @ POB today.

    The piece he missed is that you need MORT to enable the intelligence required to exploit the resources while denying the consequences so the species doesn’t stop until it’s too late to avoid destroying itself.

    I’ve been reading this site since Ron started it after the demise of The Oil Drum, a big thanks to Ron for this site where probably the most valuable oil flow information gets posted by our various experts. IMHO the smartest oil and energy aware people in the world post and hang out here. Thanks for everyone’s contributions over the years.

    It was only a couple of weeks ago that the last piece of information necessary for where we are heading as a civilization came to me when looking at this chart from J. Laherrere et al..

    IMHO everyone has been asking the wrong questions about charts like this, trying to fit bell shaped curves to the information..

    The chart is clearly in 2 parts. First part was the exponential growth from 1900 to early 1970’s, then dislocation for a decade then the second part of the chart showing linear growth up to 2018. The question to ask is what changed to alter the shape of the bell curve? There was a lot, but 4 major influences:

    1. Realisation around that there were limits to growth, despite the protestations of economists.

    2. Technology and efficiency gains. Very quickly we had the greatest gains in efficiency allowing cheaper costs of extraction, of oil and all minerals. Like everything in life the largest gains were the early ones and the law of diminishing returns has set in over the last few decades. Now a bit of efficiency gain comes at the cost of greater complexity.

    3. Globalisation has allowed the costs of all extractive equipment to become relatively cheaper, again allowing lower grades of minerals to be mined and some non viable oil resources to become reserves. We off shored a lot of heavy industry to China that had a much lower labor cost plus a large source of untapped cheap energy in coal to be used.
    We don’t have another source of cheap labor and cheap energy to allow ‘costs’ to go lower by the same margin again.

    4. Cheaper capital. Over the last 40 years the overall cost of capital has been falling, making projects that had a high cost more viable. There are probably many deep water oil fields that would have never been brought into production with interest rates at 10%, but become viable and a part of reserves at 3% interest rates. Like wise for many mining operations.

    So what happens at peak oil production? We can’t repeat the efficiency gains, we don’t have another China to get cheaper equipment and the cost of capital is starting to go up. It means the URR for oil and all minerals must decline in the future as what was economically viable drops in viability as costs rise.

    In the background we have a relentless progression of mining every mineral becoming more energy expensive. In the last 25 years the average grade of copper mined in the world has halved from around 1.6% to 0.8% (this varies slightly from source to source). If you don’t have cheaper equipment, or better efficiency or cheaper money, then the cost in terms of dollars goes up for extraction of any given tonne of copper on average (or any other mineral).

    In terms of oil production, with the diminishing returns of technology and efficiency, plus the higher cost of equipment (oil platform, pipes, pumps, labor etc), plus higher cost of money, all new projects become less viable over time. As oil production falls and price of oil becomes more expensive, the cost of all other mining also becomes less viable and more expensive, making the inputs to any oil project more expensive again in a spiral of less affordability.

    Just like a lot of oil went into the category of URR over time from resources to economically viable reserves, because of technology gains, cheaper equipment from globalisation and cheaper capital, the exact opposite will happen when we are past oil production peak.

    Right now we are seeing large increases in the cost of everything, including the cost of solar, wind, batteries and EVs. All the renewable energy future plans rely upon all the minerals needed being cheap, when their production cost is already going up because of expensive energy. No-one is mining and processing all the minerals needed for a renewable future with just energy from renewables, nor has anyone put up the capital to make it happen in even a minor way. All the known EROEI calculations for renewables are wrong as they apply to fossil fuel inputs. Using electricity inputs to make hydrogen or synthetic fuels to use in mining, makes all renewables unable to pay off their own energy inputs, leaving nothing left for society.

    Over time, the amount of energy needed to extract a tonne of whatever metal(or other mineral), rises as the ore grade becomes lower, the ore becomes deeper on average, and the hardness index goes higher on average (needing more energy to crush it!), eventually it becomes impossible to mine the necessary minerals to keep civilization going. Not only is ‘growth’ not possible but so also is a steady state circular economy. We have entropy and dissipation of existing metals and minerals occurring all the time, so we always will need to mine just to keep whatever steady state going, until it becomes a physical impossibility.

    When I think about it, because civilization is not possible in the long term, because of the declining grades of everything mined, it explains a big part of the Fermi paradox. The same rules of physics apply across the universe. Eventually every civilization must crash as it reaches an important limit.

    We have used up all the cheap easy energy available, while dragging future resources into the present via technology improvements, efficiency gains, globalisation and cheaper money, while believing that human ingenuity did it all. Instead we just brought the future decline closer to the present. Once obviously past peak oil, the decline will happen at an accelerating pace as the call on capital becomes greater for present use instead of the future. Less money will be available for capital expenses as people become worse off demanding governments do something to relieve falling standards of living in the present.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. My 4th listen with more listens to follow because it’s so information dense.

    I nominate this as the best (to date) covid discussion.

    Anyone care to nominate something even better?


    1. Spot on, Rob. I have listened to this podcast twice and it totally makes sense to me with my middling medical background as the most reasonable explanation of what’s happening now with all the health outcomes we’re seeing all around the world and very clearly here in Australia where cases are still climbing, more people are getting hospitalised and no end in sight. With Mass Formation or whatever the hell the going on, there’s still a significant number of people going for the 4th shot and waiting for the Omicron specific 5th and 6th. It’s getting to be like an drug addiction, once started, impossible to stop, especially when they keep telling the older and vulnerable that without the shots your chances of getting sick and dying are increased, as if that risk isn’t already at a high. It’s a tragedy to witness but I console myself that maybe ignorance is bliss and leaving this earth in a more or less natural way through health decline is still preferable to what we who remain will be facing.

      I am not in the least bit surprised that we are now saber-rattling with China with the latest egregious provocation, in my opinion done for that reason only. The time has come to ratchet up the ante of world destablization. It’s a foregone copycat exercise, kind of like those IQ tests we were given as youngsters to pick out matching pairs, Russia to Ukraine is like China to what? How long has China demanded that wee honour her sovereignty and the One China policy, and we know how everything China has strived for in her explosive rise to power is spurred on in large part by centuries old grievance to save face and overcome her Western challengers. How can we not think that she will not respond terribly now? Already supply chains are squeezed, what would it look like if China just stopped shipping to the West overnight, or even just hinted that it would? Just like Russia cutting off the gas to Europe, between the both, we would be on our knees faster than if we were amputated by a samurai sword.

      The relentless interest rate increases ostensibly to curb inflation is only serving to mow down businesses and individuals like grass before a scythe (gee, all my descriptors today have something to do with cutting, but that’s the biting reality). Forthcoming bankruptcies will just be the final straw to break the population’s independence and power by decimating their wealth and ability to use it. We haven’t even begun to take into account the emotional toll on families, the suffering has only just begun. In our national news today there was a sob story of all the people who lost their life savings to the failed crypto Celsius. Someone attached an ultrasound photo of their unborn baby in a letter to Celsius begging to be able to access money for their family’s sake, whilst another couple decried that the lost money was their investment to be able to undergo IVF for a child. I suppose losing one’s life savings in one swoop may help with population reduction but there is a river of misery to cross first.

      As for our own family, we have executed an about-face in our preparation strategy which will only serve to bring on collapse faster whilst the intent is to secure our survival and hopefully that of others. From hammer and tongs paying off the mortgage in the preceding few years, we have now been spending at ferocious rates to purchase items that we believe will help our living situation before the goods increase in price further or worse, no longer available (very likely very soon now with the China situation). Thankfully, we can draw down on what we’ve paid ahead in the mortgage but I can see the rationale of people even borrowing now at higher rates just to secure what they think they really need. I thought I already did a fairly comprehensive job in our future securing which has been on-going these past 20 years, at least with planting trees and property infrastructure (including woodstove, gravity water systems, ram pumps), but upon final analysis of what it really would take to live as comfortably and feasibly as one can, for as long as one can, taking care of the family members one has responsibility for, in a world without reliable power or food, the ramifications are staggering and our needs seem never-ending. In addition to the big ticket items like a solar generator system already spoken of, examples of the myriad things I have been stocking away include insulated vacuum flasks, hot water bottles, sleeping bags (keeping warm is a big thing on my list), and of course, tools of all sorts, both hand and re-chargeable (and their batteries). I’ve purchased 100 pencils (and a few sharpeners), and stacks of notebook paper. I’ve been to second hand stores and squirreled away copies of National Geographics and Time Life book series, as much for interesting reading and pictures when the lights go off as a souvenir of our human story on this planet, poignant to think of it as such. And very importantly, seeds and more seeds. This is all for a scenario where the societal collapse is taking a gentler plunge, anything apocalyptically catastrophic or catastrophically apocalyptic (take your pick) and I don’t think I’ll be around to worry about it but still hopeful that what we’ve put together will help some Mad Max soul wandering around.

      Well, that’s not exactly a very positive sounding post but I’m as cheerful as I can still decide to be, starting with total gratitude for just being alive to experience life. It’s like our generations at this time of human history have all decided to pack onto the most extreme roller coaster in the theme park, and once it starts, we’re in for the ride to the finish! I think it’s perfectly all right to scream our lungs out with the death-defying drops and g-force face-mashing turns, and totally understandable if we feel like expelling contents from either orifice end. It’s just crazy times but yet we are here.

      Go well, everyone. Love to hear all your prep-tips, and what you’re doing to keep relatively grounded through these times. A special request to Rob, please post more photos of your hikes, the scenery is soul-soothing and reminds us that Gaia will wait patiently, scarred but whole, always ready for more iterations of Life.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks for the interesting update Gaia.

        What to do with savings today is a very difficult decision. Save for future consumables needed to survive, like food and energy, knowing they will be more expensive? Or buy durables now that you know you’ll need before they become unavailable?

        I recently decided to spend a lot more than I’m comfortable with on some dental work. I suspect dentistry with its complex supply chain and extreme technology may be an early casualty. Also on my list is a spare pair of eyeglasses.

        In case you haven’t seen these posts, here are some of my hiking adventures with photos.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m buying myself a hand mill (quality one from Germany) and stocking up on whole grains (they store really well). We are lucky to have artisan well water. I figure if worst comes to worst, I can grind some grains and mix ’em with water. I’m a terrible prepper because I don’t like wasting money and am a bit of minimalist. But shit is getting real so …

        I’ve decided to start keeping any old clothes that I would previously give away or throw out. These can be repurposed to make new clothes (maybe for children or if we all lose weight in the depression LOL) or to use as rags or patchwork quilts. Most clothes given away by westerners end up polluting third world countries and not being utilized. I got an old singer machine so I can sew without power. I have no idea if I’ll use these things or if they’ll just be useful to whomever lives in my house at some point in the future.

        There was a really good prepper who focussed on preparing for disasters. She was in America I think (or Canada), I wish I could remember her blog. She was big on buying old hospital blankets, storing random timber, and putting together emergency packages for giving to people. She was really worried about snow storms and no power.

        I think my previous tip on buying practical books could be useful in the long run.

        I notice a lot of prepping tends to be driven by interests that are stereotypically men’s. Focussing on stuff preppers don’t find cool would be good to balance overall preparation in the community – hence my interest in textiles / clothes / blankets.

        Any hand tools are worth buying now. They hold their value (better than gold?) and are a great way to get ahead of inflation. And don’t just think about “men’s” tools, but “women’s” as well, sewing / cooking / cleaning etc. (sorry but there’s a lot of sexism in the prepping community). Some tools I buy aren’t very useful now, but I think of them like investments for a post-oil world.

        I have always thought that investing in skills is great, because they are the one form of wealth no-one can steal from you. In our modern low wage society, most people don’t have enough time to develop skill sets – another thing that keeps the poor poor.

        All this is assuming we’re not all fried in a nuclear Armageddon or climate/ecosystem collapse. Maybe a little bit of preparation now could make life more bearable for whatever poor souls are trying to piece together an existence at the end of this century. I hope we can inspire them to take better care of the environment than we did

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks monk, excellent preptips.

          I guess I’m not a typical male, maybe because I’m an abnormal human 🙂 . I’ve thought a lot about clothing, bedding, cooking methods, food preservation, first aid, etc.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. I’m sure a lot of true preppers are really thoughtful, it’s just something I noticed with the dudes on YouTube. If you have a defective denial gene you are probably more likely to consider a wider range of risks and requirements. Hey I’ve been meaning to tell you, I can document back in my family 3 generations before me of atheists on both side of my family (there are also religious people dotted in there). It does make me wonder if a defective denial gene is inherited?? It could be nurture too though


    1. Speaking of nukes, NYC Launches New PSA Focused On Preparing For Possible Nuclear Attack.

      Surreal. I suppose finding a building to shelter in makes more sense than staggering around slack jawed in the open…


  37. James smells like MORT today 🙂 .

    New quote added to the sidebar: “God makes dissipatives blind to the facts so they’ll finish their task.”

    Do humans parse reality in their heads or do they entertain beliefs which maximize feelings of reward and wellness while damping their fears? Beliefs like heavenly reward and immortality, the earth will never run out of resources, climate change is a hoax, the earth can support a population of fifteen-billion, government has you best interest in mind, capitalism is the best because it rewards us the most and I can get rich, communism is best because the rich won’t take all the money, humans are basically good and so on. Are those beliefs there to fill-up the cranial space while we munch and crunch our way through the forests, coal, oil, natural gas and more? Can we admit that we’re voracious, predatory dissipatives out to maximize the flow of energy through our bodies and technological cells mostly to maximize dopioids and calm the amygdala? Can we admit that we’re headed into a dead-end? Reality is the structure and behaviors that arise from successful elimination of energy gradients and part of that seems to be an emotional necessity to deny anything that contradicts the basic dissipative act.

    Jordon Peterson is now addressing the famines that are being cooked-up by those in power. Can he answer himself honestly as to why they’re embarking on population reduction? Is it because we’re going over an energy cliff? Why of course not, we’ve got enough energy to last thousands of years. Is it because the climate is going haywire? Why of course not. Yea, we’ve lost a few fish, but things aren’t that bad. We should be allowed to continue dissipating. There are hard working women and men out there, honest men, God fearing men whose families deserve a good life.

    What can you say in their defense? God makes dissipatives blind to the facts so they’ll finish their task?


  38. A lurking reader sent me an interesting essay he recently wrote about Dr. Tim Garrett’s theory.

    I think his conclusion that the rich are blocking climate change action is true but not completely true. By that I mean the poor and middle class also do not want to hear Dr. Garrett’s message and would not vote for someone promising to save their grandchildren by collapsing the economy.

    For me the interesting question is why do the rich, middle class, and poor all deny Garrett’s conclusions in spite of the evidence? I of course think the answer is that we evolved to deny unpleasant realities as explained by Dr. Varki’s MORT theory.

    By the way, I think you can tell if someone really understands climate change and what needs to be done about it if they advocate raising the interest rate a lot now (to collapse the economy) and then focusing on population reduction (to reduce suffering and improve conditions for those in the future).

    Is destroying wealth the only answer to climate change?

    In order to answer that question, we first need to question how energy use and global wealth are linked.

    The short answer is that they are inextricably linked. Global wealth is a function of energy use, the more energy we use, the more wealth we create. The more wealth we create, the more energy we use. The more energy we use, the more greenhouse gases we emit.

    So why the deafening silence? Why is Garrett’s work not being taken seriously?

    The answer is both depressing and simple, money.

    The wealthy can make things happen, they can fund research, they can support or ignore political parties, they can buy media outlets, they hold all the power and influence. The wealthy have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo, Garrett’s work is threatening to the status quo. It is a direct challenge to the way things are done, it is a direct challenge to the wealth and power of the elite.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. I love the way Dr. Malcolm Kendrick observes and thinks.

    Today he reviews the history of vaccines and points out that the medical profession has always made a living by making shit up.

    Despite his lack of money, indeed because of it – Jenner has become a historical national treasure. A selfless searcher for the truth. A delicate man, a popular man, a sensitive man. A man with a soul above such grubby things as making money… and suchlike. One is reminded of the propaganda surrounding Kim Jong-Il. The first time he played golf, he had eleven holes in one …

    “‘That time Kim Jong-Il tried golf for the first time and finished with 11 holes-in-one to achieve a 38-under-par game on a championship 18-hole golf course.’5”

    I imagine Jenner would have had twelve holes in one. Playing blindfolded, whilst entertaining an enraptured crowd with an impromptu violin and poetry recital. All for free, of course.

    Yes, Jenner is a now national treasure; vaccination has also become a national treasure. Both exist in a realm above all criticism. This is never a good thing. Particularly not in the world of science. But it has happened. Dare to critically examine either, at your great peril. Try suggesting that the whole concept of vaccination was pure luck, primarily based on a two-thousand-year-old idea, and you will be attacked. This, I guarantee.


  40. Rob said; “For me the interesting question is why do the rich, middle class, and poor all deny Garrett’s conclusions in spite of the evidence?”

    It is simple and they will all tell you exactly why if you ask them.

    Basically it’s like this; Keep doing your job and everything else BAU and you and your loved ones will continue to not suffer, you will most likly live to the next day, week, month, year, decade. or… stop driving, flying, consuming, working, etc. and you and your loved ones will quickly begin to starve, suffer, and die.

    Hmmmm? Which should I choose?


    1. Of course, but to continue with BAU, one needs to be living in a world of infinite resources and a world that can take any amount of abuse and still support BAU. It appear to be blindingly obvious, from Garrett’s work, among others, that this is simply not possible. But most people are blind to the blindingly obvious.

      Liked by 2 people

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