121 Replies to “The Gales of November Thread”

  1. we may have to wait awhile now that mitt lost to get a new banner. it’s tied to JR’s unstated prediction of a US instigated war with Iran. if it were mine, the war would begin the day after i pulled the photo. he may be thinking the same way about his karma, thus affirming he is not a war monger.

  2. i think it was taleb who said something like: “the worst addiction any man can have is to a weekly paycheck.” or something like that.

  3. a corollary is: “one never gets rich working for someone else” or something to that effect.

    seems to me one could get kinda rich that way, if the boss were super-rich, and a generous person. ed mcmahon worked for johnny carson for years, and was well healed as a result, etc. so maybe it’s super-rich above. all is relative. some street people are richer than others, and push moron crap around in their “borrowed” shopping carts, etc.

    boy, the street people must really be excited about the cristmas shopping season. moron crap and free stuff from a generous but shrinking middle class. i used to think it was becuase they thought jesus would dilike or disown them if they were stingy, but no moron. some folks love to share.

  4. so i’m guessing the movie “soylent green” is gonna be fairly predictive of future events when the global warming really kicks in. the only problem is what do those folks eat after the supply of dead bodies runs out? it guess it’s gonna be wild cannables time.

  5. “That doesn’t look all that big. I have a bigger fire going right now in my woodstove.”

    ha ha, ho ho. that fire is about 1100° C, or over 2000° F. you could mend your horseshoes on it. a little higher, and it would melt steel. you’d need a good gas mask, though.

  6. You Can’t Say That!
    Posted Nov 14, 2012 by Richard Heinberg

    In his November 14 press conference president Obama made a few brief comments about global warming:

    “There’s no doubt that for us to take on climate change in a serious way would involve making some tough political choices and understandably, you know, I think right now the American people have been so focused and will continue to be focused on our economy and jobs and growth that if the message somehow is that we’re going to ignore jobs and growth simply to address climate change, I don’t think anyone’s going to go for that. I won’t go for that. If, on the other hand, we can shape an agenda that says we can create jobs, advance growth, and make a serious dent in climate change and be an international leader, I think that’s something that the American people would support.”

    What’s wrong with this picture? Well, almost everything.

    Yes, the most effective way to slow climate change is to shrink the economy. That statement is inconvenient as hell, but it’s true. Sure, efficiency and renewable energy can nibble around the edges of our carbon emissions, but just three or four percent economic growth per year would be sufficient to cancel out any gains we’d be likely to achieve with solar panels and electric cars. Understandably, this makes the post-carbon transition a tough sell.

    But here’s what the president didn’t say—and it makes all the difference in the world: Real economic growth will be elusive anyway. For the past couple of years we’ve been enjoying a species of faux growth based on massive injections of cash from the Fed and $100 billion a month in Federal deficit spending. Take those away and the anemic residue of growth we’ve been enjoying will go too (which is why so many analysts are frightened of the fiscal cliff). Indeed, economic growth has been waving a long, slow goodbye since 1980: in the past three decades, total debt in the US has expanded at three times the rate of GDP growth. We’ve been hocking our grandkids’ future for a little more spending money today. In recent years, the amount of GDP growth we’ve gotten per dollar in new debt has declined. Whether the debt-for-growth swap ever made sense, the fact is it’s succumbing to the law of diminishing returns.

    But it gets worse. The costs of climate change are mounting. With more record droughts and massive storms we’ll see those costs mushrooming to the point where they are equal to or greater than the amount of economic growth the U.S. has been clocking per annum. That’s right, if we decide to forget climate change in order to go for the growth, Mother Nature will make sure whatever growth we do see comes mostly from spending on disaster recovery.

    So the real trade-off, the real choice we face, is not between climate protection on one hand and economic growth on the other. It’s between planned economic contraction (with government managing the post-carbon transition through infrastructure investment and useful make-work programs) as a possible but unlikely strategy, and unplanned, unmanaged economic and environmental collapse as our default scenario.

    Mainstream environmental organizations don’t want to mention any of this because they don’t want to be pilloried as “anti-growth” or “socialist” by right-wing politicians and powerful free-market think tanks. The president won’t touch it with a forty-foot pole, for the same reasons.

    Some of us are under no such constraint. We can tell it like it is—and we might as well do so. What do we have to lose, other than illusions?

  7. what bothers me about Richard Heinberg is how he can relate this stuff and still keep a smile on his face. JHK can too, but he’s a zionist pessimist turned all eddy albert “green acres” on us.

  8. just got an announcement that a former colleague and friend, recently retired, and moved to montana to take over his parent’s farm, has been diagnosed with “mad cow” disease and is in the final stages in the hospital. they say it’s a horrific death, as the prions eat your brain tissue and you go crazy. dunno.

    stay safe out there.

  9. our essense is the same as soap bubbles. we float around until we pop, never to be seen again. only real difference between us and soap bubbles, is that we tell stories about floating around, and pretend that we have some control over the floating. but we don’t.

  10. most nights, before i go to sleep, i watch the lights flickering behind my eyelids. “that’s me.”, i tell myself.

  11. lately i’ve been thinking that perhaps i died a few nights ago in my sleep. now, i just get up every morning and do the same old stuff, even interacting with others, only thing is, i’m not really there anymoron. maybe the living only truly interact with me in their dream state, day or night.

    so i’m thinking “hey, this could be the plot of some hollywood movie”. then i think, they musta made this movie many times in the past, and i’m just subconsciously stealing the plot line of some tired old movie that i probably slept through. but then, maybe i wasn’t asleep, is was just dead. oh well….

  12. Today was a good day to be a soap bubble. I was deer hunting in the morning (saw a couple but didn’t have a shot). Late in the morning I went down by the creek and climbed up on a big smooth log to eat my lunch and take a cat nap in the warm sun. Sitting there eating and all of a sudden here comes a mink. Runs up the creek bank in my direction. I slapped my hand on the log and scared the shit out of him. He took off. Pretty cool, first mink I’ve seen in 20 years. Beautiful little animal.

    BTW, good heinburg comments.

  13. what hienberg seems to be proposing is thermodynamicaly impossible. imposing more order on a system , while restricting energy input, is impossible.

  14. I think he said we’re going to contract one way or the other. Planning for it might help, but is unlikely, and that unmanaged collapse is a more likely scenario.

    IMO, facilitating an orderly contraction is not only unlikely, but probably impossible at this scale. Mostly for political, geopolitical, corporate and social behavioral reasons.

    I’m guessing he probably knows we’re toast, but must keep alive a small avenue for hope or he wouldn’t be able to sell his books and make a living.

  15. we’re not yet even running out of energy, just running low on the most important variant, oil, that modern societies have completely adapted to having around in abundance. so, we have really painted ourselves in a corner, collectively. there may be survivors out there of the coming crash and collapse, but they will be the ones who are properly situated and can revert to pre-industrial ways quickly. my guess is it will be over rather quickly for most nobs here in the United Parking Lot. so, just go on a long vakay to your hidy hole, take the CB radio and extra batteries, and come out when the fighting and crying stops.

    there should be plenty of jobs cleaning up afterwards, assuming you can get paid in something worth your time and effort.

  16. I’m thinking Napolean’s and Germany’s retreats from Russia. If you were caught up in either of those debaucles then I’d say your prospects of coming back alive and in one piece were more dumb luck than anything else.

    However collapse and contraction will probably play out a thousand different ways geographically. A full range of circumstances and special challenges, and varying time lines. A lot of unforseeable [right/wrong] place at the [right/wrong] time stuff. Rumors. Misinformation. Bad weather. Uninformed decisions and miscalculations. Black swans.

  17. this reminds me of the WWII story of the man who foresaw the trouble brewing in Europe with the aggressive moves by Hilter’s Germany and moved his family as far away as he could. so, he settled on the peaceful tropical island of Guadalcanal in the Solomon islands, and the rest, they say, is history.

  18. Substitute [is playing out] for “will play probably play out” Bif in your last paragraph, perhaps..Well said.

  19. I saw a minx today. She’s the new waitress at the local cafe which just reopened. 18 yr. old(?), blond-haired, blue eyed, minx….I think I’m in love.

  20. through a university-academic connection, i was hosting a german woman here who brought her parents out to visit hawaii. we had them all over for a bbq dinner at our place. then, with my colleague (his daughter) helping with the translation, the father relates that he was a member of the german army mountain rangers in wwII. he had a metal plate in his head from a russian bullet, but had otherwise suvived OK. he said they had gotten as far as the caucassas mountains when the tide turned, and he spent the rest of the war retreating back to germany with his patrol, all the while being chased and shot at by the russians. he was a very tall man, lanky. he looked like he must have been very fit back in those days.

  21. no dave, to quote our old CFN friend, you’ll know it’s collapse when “the fat fuck in the purple velvet jump suit and gold chains drives his black espanade into the closed doors of the local safeway.”–XER

  22. Extra crispy is right. i didn’t even plant this past season. Currently in AZ for the holiday. Phoenix just keeps growing – surreal. don’t miss it at all. collapse will be very ugly here.

    i do miss the mtns. drove down via holbrook, heber, payson to mesa. even better than taos-santa fe, and no hum. old stomping grounds in those mtns.

    happy thanksgiving to all the ZKers. Even JR (wanker).

  23. just when it’s getting real dark and gloomy, the skies part and sunbeams shine down on God’s favorite country and freedom-loving people: http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/23/business/america-shale-gas-ferguson-stevens/index.html?hpt=hp_c1

    posted just in time for the long holiday weekend, and on Black Friday, too.

    we’re saved! economic growth and energy independence will return, (and less snow and ice to bother with in the winters, too. nevermind those pesky climate change problems.)

  24. “Many Americans, for instance, are convinced that “half of all marriages end in divorce,” though that hasn’t been the case since the early 1980s, when divorce rates peaked at just over 50%. Since then, they have declined by almost a third.”

    Simple answer: more couples cannot afford the divorce. Two incomes are better than one or none. Your mileage may vary, of course.

  25. “The one positive social trend that did generate a significant amount of coverage — the extraordinary drop in the U.S. crime rate since the mid-’90s — seems to have been roundly ignored by the general public. The violent crime rate (crimes per thousand people) dropped from 51 to 15 between 1995 and 2010, truly one of the most inspiring stories of societal progress in our lifetime. ”

    Could this be a simple outcome of the highest rate of incarceration of all nations, including those with larger populations than the US?

  26. “And while the story of water and air pollution over that period is a triumphant one, the long-term trends for global warming remain bleak.”

    Understatement of the 21st century, so far.

  27. yeah, it’s pretty easy to paint whatever picture you want with carefull selection of your metrics. for example: sunny days in the mid west, way up for 2012. that’s good, right?

  28. You say “impossible”, I say “unpossible”. Six of one, a half-dozen of the other. Wax on, wax off. Night and day.

    Funny how this doom thingie keeps not happening. I almost feel like going back to old CFN stuff from pre-2007 just check that we’re already past the dates of the SHTF predictions from back then. We probably are. I’m too lazy to check to make sure.

    Shouting out to MOU if you still read here :)

    These days I am keeping wonderfully busy collecting material for what might turn out to be a book or another blog, not sure which way it’s going to go yet. My sewing machines are getting a workout.

  29. sex, drugs and rock & roll morphed into sex, guns and bullion. That doesn’t mean we won’t put the Stones on and get loaded like we used to tho.

  30. Nudge, good to hear from you again, no kidding. MOU treats this blog like an aquarium, she mostly watches us fish comment and once in awhile drops by to clean the glass.

    Glad to hear about the new blog or book and you are still at the sewing. Please give us some hints about the subject matter.

  31. yah remus, i’ve resigned myself to the loooong emergency, although i was at one time hoping for a shorter one. whatever you think about or define the collapse, now ongoing, it will be described as a series of many other things, mysterious in causation, to those describing them.

  32. tell me stories about bicycles, hybrid cars and sewing machines, whiles i rub one off, please. nudge, it don’t take much.

  33. nudge, serious business, i want to find some music for you. i’d give you my body (dick) and my soul (i don’t have one) but you won’t let me. so i’ll try to find some fitting music instead. wait right there. don’t go anyplace (sure). i’ll be back.

  34. Dave, umm, thank you for your kind thoughts, and so graphically expressed too. You sure know how to charm a girl ..

    Doom, yes I am still sewing .. that’s one of those things I get into and out of periodically over the course of decades. Still bicycling and doing many other things to chase that elusive physical look some might call “toned”.

    I would /love/ to drop hints about recent activities and new writing adventures, but the trouble is that your IQ is so far beyond mine that any minor hint I could devise would to you be like a megabillboard sign with 40 foot high flaming letters. The rest of the crew here are not far behind you. The writing material in question is just field notes so far .. anyway I’m doing something part-time that’s vaguely related to the forestry service and for which my athletic attributes are helpful.

  35. if my ancestors were smart, they would have killed john d rockefeller back when it would have done some good. so, my ancestors were clueless and dumb, and they couldn’t foresee the troubles we’d all be in once old john d and his cronies started us down the path to gas-powered car and truck dependence, pulling up all the tracks on the good alternative mass transit choices back in the day. how could they be so stupid and easily manipulated?

    so, those are my distant relatives, nudge, a bunch of short-sighted morons. how could i be any different? it’s genetic, as jay hanson likes to say.

  36. Dave, wow, how’s that for synchronous posting. Umm, just name a major city you live closest to and I’ll try to get out there some Saturday for biz. I’m using a lot moron gasoline these days anyway, so any excuse to drive long distance works fine for me.

  37. nudge,

    what is synchronous about our postings?

    i’ve offered and tried to meet you many times in the past. you’ve always blown me off. what’s different this time?

  38. We don’t need no stinkin’ keystone pipeline. Let them burn firewood, corn cobs, cow chips, or some other carbon neutral fuel or do without. Yeah, do without is best of all.

  39. i’ve long said that the only way uot of this dilemma is to leave it in the ground. not gonna happen, voluntarily, i don’t think.

  40. the next 10 years will look pretty much like the last 10. rising prises, constant small wars, lowered expectations, fewer (real) jobs, rising poverty levels, more and more desperate energy plays, etc…sounds about right to me.

  41. Also somewhat related: meds become unattainable, costly. Infectious diseases become more incurable. More mayhem and carnage on the highways caused by people texting, sexting, mult-tasking while driving. More severe droughts, floods raise havoc with agriculture leading to higher food costs. It will be a great time to be alive.

  42. I knock off some of that wood pile each day. I don’t want to finish it off too soon. Its a great winter exercise.

  43. of course at ZK, we don’t need no stinking permissions for anything.

    I requested permission from the author of this comment to share this further. Many of us who post on Nature Bats Last found it quite moving. NTE stand for Near Term Extinction. Posted on Nov. 28, as a comment on this essay http://guymcpherson.com/2012/11/speaking-in-louisville-and-a-couple-essays/

    “Random thoughts on NTE

    For the sake of argument, putting aside Keeling’s early work, let’s say climate science(the study of global warming) is basically thirty years old.

    So, for the last thirty years, we’ve been watching this slow motion tragedy unfold during a significant portion of all our lives. For many of us, we came of age during the era of global warming. However, this decadal awareness, has inadvertently hampered how many of us now perceive the reality before us. We have a very linear understanding of non-linear events, given none of us have ever lived through such rapid change over such a short period of time.

    For twenty five/thirty years, we have known about the potential threat of runaway global warming. We’ve known that if humanity is to survive, we must curtail our pollution, before we triggered any number of intractable catastrophic feedbacks. For the last thirty years, we have only witnessed our continued failure to heed the scientific warnings.

    Now, it’s 2012, and no less than five feedbacks have been triggered, and we are now witnessing the last three years of non-linear rates of change, completely erase all “conventional wisdom” concerning climate change. However, as Guy repeatedly highlighted in his last PowerPoint, we are now where we knew we would be twenty five years ago.

    Yes, it’s terribly confusing. Yes, climate science has sadly been proven correct, but our socio-economic policies have so distorted the science, it’s extremely challenging to know who or what to trust. Especially, given that the rates of change we are now observing, are probably beyond the scientific community’s peer review process, which only adds to the insane complexity of this ever unfolding cataclysm.

    Similar to peak oil, we can only know we reached a peak in hindsight. We need several years to pass, before we can discern whether we’re just witnessing an anomaly, or discovering a new normal. Same goes for climatic non-linear rates of change. Though we’ve been witnessing accelerated rates of change starting around 2007, it didn’t kick in until 2010. We’ve needed several years of data sets, for us to determine whether or not we’ve finally crossed the point of no return. This means, with the advent of this year’s record loss and methane spike, we have only truly been living in full awareness of the possible threat of NTE for about six months +/-. And even though it confirms what many of us have long suspected, and have been watching unfold over that last few years, we’ve only recently, had the empirical evidence to finally establish the trend of non-linear rates of change.

    And for we empiricists, that makes all the difference. Regardless of our personal acceptance, it now moves the entire conversation of Abrupt Climate Change from hypothesis to empirical fact. And in the rational minds of those who put truth above all else, that changes everything. And this is probably why Guy has changed his tune. We all just changed our tune, whether we’re fully aware of it or not.

    So what does any of THIS mean?

    Well, for starters, it’s no longer any of our subjective opinions. It means, the entire human race, is only about six months into realizing we’re now living in a whole new paradigm. We are only six months in beginning to fully internalize the implications of this new reality, wherein processing the signal greatest catastrophic event in human history. Only six months in realizing everything in our lives has just been turned upside down. Only six months in having to experience the signal most distressing reality our species has ever had knowledge.

    Even for all my fellow travelers who have been living with Pre-TSD for decades, even though we have been witnessing this last extinction unfold for years, non-linear rates of change, is its own Event Horizon, which recasts our worst fears, from surreality to inescapability. And no matter how long any of us, have been preparing ourselves for this moment in time, all of us, are only six months into living with such acidic empirical evidence. Climatic non-linear rates of change, just took a seat in middle of our minds for the rest of our lives.

    And again, that changes everything. It’s the difference between suspecting something to be true, and knowing it to be. Whatever hope we were once so desperately holding onto in the absence of not knowing, just flew out the window, and it’s never coming back. That long dark road we’ve all been looking down for a painfully long time, just got a hell of a lot shorter and darker.

    All past references just became irrelevant. All prior knowledge, just became redundant. Every institution is just living on borrowed time. This truly is, the end of history. Simply because it is the end of literally everything. We are only six months into a dilemma that most likely has only one escape at some point.

    Given everyone on earth is only about six months into this new paradigm, then I haven’t much “faith” in how we are currently framing this new reality, given it will repeatedly mutate over time, as such coercive knowledge slowly runs its course through our current vested interests. This newly discovered empiricism, is beyond sobering. It is utterly life changing. For it will very soon, become nearly impossible for anyone who has accepted to live with it, to continue justifying doing anything that doesn’t somehow merit our limited time. And in this culture, that’s eventually going to prove to be just about everything.”

  44. Bif or Nudge, I think a have a comment stuck in comment jail.

    Thanks for bailing it out.

    [Note from the Editor: It was a big one but we plunged it out. See above.]

  45. NTE is good, or maybe neutral. there is nothing wrong, or unnatural about climate change, anthropogenic, or whatever you want to call it, or otherwise. whoever wrote that piece needs to understand that.

  46. That’s a nice bit o’ doom to read early in the morning. Makes me reach for the Red Bull and raspberry Stoli even before 8am. Tks Doom for sharing.

  47. dave, that dive looks like it might have hurt some at the end. just before, i’m thinking he was thinking “what a stupid way to end my life” or maybe just musing “wish i wuz an ant”.

  48. i don’t think he had even one clue of what was going on. he hit the ground thinking, WTF? if he had that much time, i guess.

  49. there was always a lot of talk about nuclear exchange ends to civilization and the species. no one was even thinking about air pollution as a direct cause. the irony here is i think nuclear exchanges are survivable, but no one escapes the NTE of global warming. well, maybe the Papua New Guinea highlander tribes. could get hot and dry there too, i guess. dunno.

  50. Sounds like sometime soon we’ll be on a planet of 7 billion existentialists. I predict a lot of the philosophers will be yelling really loud, and cutting in line.

    In the meantime we’re growing at 200,000 net additional pairs of lips per day. People sure must fuck a lot. Extraordinary.

  51. GB I hardly burned last years wood. I’ve got a dozen chords ready to go.

    Killed a doe last week. Freezer is somewhat full now but I’m trying to get one more animal. Just one more. Weather sucks lately for hunting though.

  52. no, sorry, he’s the first guy to appear outside the door, with only one babe.

    he wants to be a comic star. don’t hold your breath.

    now who do i give the prize bag of doritos to?

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