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wdmn

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #100 on: December 15, 2018, 10:33:49 PM »
@wili

I second everything you just said. That departure from Nature got a lot to do with christian history, materialist/physicalist science combined with modern technology and materialist economy.

And @ sidd

Give a wo/man a chance to rest and s/he'll almost always take it. I have no patience for this holistic moralizing. Civilizations have overshot many times before, and it had nothing to do with christianity or materialism, just as it has nothing to do with either when a population of ungulates on a predator free island overshoot.

The idea that we lost some sort of holistic harmonious state of being in the world is bullshit. If it weren't for the agricultural revolution which added co2 to the atmosphere (and which lead to desertification), it's quite possible we would have started spiralling into a snowball earth in the 13th century.

If we insist on depicting "nature" -- whatever it is we mean by that -- as a mother, she's one genocidal mother who has murdered off very large portions of her children several times in the past.

Nemesis

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #101 on: December 15, 2018, 10:44:01 PM »
@wili

" Claims for the earliest definitive evidence of control of fire by a member of Homo range from 1.7 to 0.2 million years ago..."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Control_of_fire_by_early_humans

If the real problems began that early, then the problems began without human conscious intentions, people back then could never have foreseen any implications leading to the global desaster we see today. Is the desaster we see today really some unconscious, innocent accident dating back 1.7 to 0.2 million years ago? What about the crimes of multinational corporations, the oil industry ect ect? They did (and still do) these crimes consciously, willingly for sheer funny money...
« Last Edit: December 15, 2018, 10:51:30 PM by Nemesis »

Cid_Yama

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #102 on: December 15, 2018, 10:55:55 PM »
Quote
It's what happens to a species when they overshoot available resources, or, in this case, when the resources stop coming.

You want the truth, there it is in spades.

Let me put this another way.  In the words of Hal Moore, "If the choppers stop coming, we all get slaughtered."

Never was this more true for the civilian population.  When the resources stop coming, it's all over.

I understand, Intellectualization is a defense mechanism.  It keeps your mind away from 'where the metal meets the meat.'
"For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst and provide for it." - Patrick Henry

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #103 on: December 15, 2018, 10:59:15 PM »
@Cid_Yama

What's your opinion on this one:

" And Yama said:

" Fools dwelling in darkness, but thinking themselves wise and erudite, go round and round, by various tortuous paths, like the blind led by the blind.

The Hereafter never reveals Itself to a person devoid of discrimination, heedless and perplexed by the delusion of wealth. "This world alone exists", he thinks, "and there is no other." Again and again he comes under my sway." "

- Katha Upanishad

Cid_Yama

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #104 on: December 15, 2018, 11:03:06 PM »
I rest my case.
"For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst and provide for it." - Patrick Henry

Nemesis

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #105 on: December 15, 2018, 11:08:32 PM »
" Some of these souls enter into the womb, in order to embody again into organic beings,
others assemble unto what is Sthānu (immovable things),
according to their karma, according to their shrutam (श्रुतम्, knowledge, learning)."

— Katha Upanishad, 2.5.7

Nemesis

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #106 on: December 15, 2018, 11:44:38 PM »
Follow up to wili's comment about the Fire:

The Fire in itself is neutral, neither good nor bad in itself, the outcome of it's usage solely depends on it's usage. You can warm up yourself at a fire and you can burn down the planet too, it depends on it's usage.

Fire is life, fire is death, fire is light, fire is hell, it depends on it's usage. There isn't any place nor time where fire wouldn't be present, fire is omnipresent, it's within the atom, it's within our body, it enlightens our mind or it destroys our mind, depending on it's usage. Fire is everywhere, everytime, even in ashes there is still fire, cosmic fire.

SteveMDFP

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #107 on: December 16, 2018, 12:02:49 AM »

Fire is life, fire is death, fire is light, fire is hell, it depends on it's usage. There isn't any place nor time where fire wouldn't be present, fire is omnipresent . . .

Reminded me of some music.

We Didn't Start The Fire


We didn't start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No we didn't light it
But we tried to fight it

sidd

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #108 on: December 16, 2018, 12:14:51 AM »
Re: "If it weren't for the agricultural revolution which added co2 to the atmosphere (and which lead to desertification), it's quite possible we would have started spiralling into a snowball earth in the 13th century."

Snowball earth hasn't happened in a few billion years. Even Ruddiman doesn't go that far, his strongest claim is that the next glaciation should have begun then. Perhaps you have a cite for the Snowball claim ?

sidd

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #109 on: December 16, 2018, 12:30:29 AM »
I like that song from Billy Joel, reminds me of another one:



" There is Agni (fire), the all-seeing, hidden in the two fire-sticks, well-guarded like a child (in the womb) by the mother, day after day to be adored by men when they awake and bring oblations. This is that."

" From terror of Brahman fire burns, from terror the sun burns, from terror Indra and Vâyu, and Death, as the fifth, run away.
If a man could not understand it before the falling asunder of his body, then he has to take body again in the worlds of creation."

- Katha Upanishad

Tor Bejnar

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #110 on: December 16, 2018, 03:49:46 AM »
Quote
Snowball earth hasn't happened in a few billion years.
Plus or minus being a "true" snowball, the late Precambrian is sometimes considered to have hosted snowball Earth conditions about 650 million years ago - Wikipedia article.  A previous long-lived snowball earth happened 2.something billion (American billion) years ago.

Another one would doom human existence, but I don't expect the Holocene ever held any promise for such an extreme!
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

wdmn

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #111 on: December 16, 2018, 06:33:52 AM »
I maybe should not have used the term "snowball earth." My understanding of this is limited to what I read in the "Early Anthropocene" thread.

Quote from Jai Mitchell (reply #2 in that thread):

Quote
What the paper doesn't consider is that periodic volcanic eruptions in a world without Neolithic agriculture would have plunged into another ice age subsequent to the massive 1258 volcanic eruption.

after a decade of ice sheet accumulation and subsequent albedo increase, vast portions of north America would be made uninhabitable if methane was still 450ppb and CO2 was 245ppm.

http://www.wired.com/2012/02/the-mysterious-missing-eruption-of-1258-a-d/

in this view, then, the date of the anthropocene should be at least 1250, when we prevented this ice age driven negative feedback.

josh-j

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #112 on: December 16, 2018, 12:26:33 PM »
The simple fact is. Humans can’t live on a dead planet. And the amount of species that will go extinct in the future and the fact that human animals will lose habitat is everything. Keeping civilization going will make matters worse.

But yes, ideally we would be able to re-imagine a civilization that does not see itself as essentially the enemy of the rest of living (and much of non-living) nature. That works constantly to live within its bounds, that could truly be sustainable over the very long term. But that would be a very, very different civilization than the one we have and than the one most here seem to be imagining.

I think my answer to your point WhereIsTheIce is the hope that we can make something like this part of Wili's reply. I don't doubt that civilisation as it exists now is completely unsustainable and is going to go away one way or another - but I hold out some hope that part of the process of it collapsing might either become a transformation into a better civilisation, or at least set the seeds for that to happen afterwards.

Rupert Read has done a very good talk about this; he too holds no illusions of false hope. He sees movements like Extinction Rebellion, if I understand him correctly, as a necessary attempt to try for the best outcome - even if it might not be likely to succeed. He does also advocate planning for failure as well - which is entirely wise. Deep green adaptation is a big focus of this talk:

n.b.This is not a happy and smiling talk; I don't know how to stop the forum previewing the video like this!

This Civilisation is Finished: So What is to be Done?


So yes, I wouldn't say I expect efforts to transform our current disaster of a civ into a nature-compatible one will be successful, but its about the only hope there is of avoiding complete (human) catastrophe and maybe that's worth a try. Perhaps it is only postponing the inevitable, but it might lay the groundwork for the future. Perhaps it will cause more devastation by prolonging a broken model. Or, on the other hand perhaps it will save us from our doom.

Who knows. Best to try, hey? Humans are complicated beasts; we don't have to live in the destructive way so many of us do now.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2018, 03:24:20 PM by josh-j »

Nemesis

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #113 on: December 16, 2018, 01:37:43 PM »
Meanwhile the money/tech elite is in panic mode, surprise, surprise, their only hope is to escape into some beautiful luxury bunker or to cosy Mars:

" How tech's richest plan to save themselves after the apocalypse

... For them, the future of technology is really about just one thing: escape...

It’s a reduction of human evolution to a video game that someone wins by finding the escape hatch and then letting a few of his BFFs come along for the ride. Will it be Musk, Bezos, Thiel … Zuckerberg? These billionaires are the presumptive winners of the digital economy – the same survival-of-the-fittest business landscape that’s fueling most of this speculation to begin with...

Thus, we get tech billionaires launching electric cars into space – as if this symbolizes something more than one billionaire’s capacity for corporate promotion. And if a few people do reach escape velocity and somehow survive in a bubble on Mars – despite our inability to maintain such a bubble even here on Earth in either of two multibillion-dollar biosphere trials – the result will be less a continuation of the human diaspora than a lifeboat for the elite."

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jul/23/tech-industry-wealth-futurism-transhumanism-singularity

What a Wonderful World  :)


Shared Humanity

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #114 on: December 16, 2018, 04:05:35 PM »
I posted this on the Food thread but thought I would repost here in response to all of those here who say there is nothing we can do.

Anyone who knows me here is aware that I have a fascination for data. This springs from my 30 year career in manufacturing where everything is measured and these data are then used to identify the source of a problem and implement practical solutions. The more effective you are at drilling down into the data, the closer you can get to identifying root cause and when you eliminate a root cause, you discover that you can improve multiple problems simultaneously.

This approach can be remarkably simple and clear as the data reveals itself. Fortunately, there is no lack of data that can be used to identify problems and root causes and fashion solutions. Here are some data that serves to reveal a solution.


•   50% of the world's habitable land has been converted to agriculture.
•   33% of agricultural land worldwide is used solely for livestock feed production.
•   Agriculture is responsible for a staggering 80 percent of deforestation.
•   Worldwide, forests serve as the habitat for over 80 percent of the world’s animals.

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/livestock-feed-and-habitat-destruction/

•   60% of land dedicated to agriculture is used for grazing.
•   In total, 93% of agricultural land or 47% of all habitable land is dedicated to raising livestock.


http://www.fao.org/docrep/x5304e/x5304e03.htm


•   31% or 9.9 billion acres of the earth's's land surface are covered by forest.
•   4.7 billion acres have been lost since the advent of industrialization.
•   18 million acres of forest are lost worldwide each year.

http://www.earth-policy.org/indicators/C56/forests_2012


•   Our current industrial agricultural model is heavily dependent on fossil fuels.

https://www.resilience.org/stories/2005-04-01/why-our-food-so-dependent-oil/


•   People in the developing world eat 32 kilograms of meat a year on average.
•   People in the industrial world eat 80 kilograms.
•   Livestock account for an estimated 18 percent of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, producing 40 percent of the world’s methane and 65 percent of the world’s nitrous oxide.
•   An estimated 11 percent of deaths in men and 16 percent of deaths in women could be prevented if people decreased their red meat consumption to the level of the group that ate the least.

This data, easily accessible on the internet, highlights the health crisis that is meat production and consumption. It also vividly drives home the concept of root cause as meat consumption affects the health of our forests, most species, the overall health of the planet and, finally, human health.

If someone were to approach you today and tell you that you could dramatically impact the existential crisis that is climate change by adopting a few simple practices in your kitchen, what would you say or do?

Nemesis

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #115 on: December 16, 2018, 05:01:51 PM »
There's truly a lot to do. To begin with personal responsibility:

I don't drive a car for 30 years (no, not even electric, I love my bike), I don't fly, I stay away from overconsumption (the less I consume, the more I am free), no extra consumption around funny christmas and shit ect ect. We just need to tell all the solutions the funny elite (who got the biggest eco-footprint by far) as well ;)

zizek

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #116 on: December 16, 2018, 05:19:15 PM »

You’re not describing the root cause though. You’re describing symptoms of a problem.
Environmentally intensive foods like red meat, nuts, palm oil are incredibly profitable products. These foods are delicious and satiable, so they’re easily marketed to a massive population of 7 bazilllion people.  And most importantly, agriculture is controlled by a handful of very powerful and influential people.

You can not solve the agriculture problem by simply convincing people to stop eating red meat.  Similarly, you can not solve the fossil fuel problem by simply asking people to drive less. Nor can you solve the suburban housing problem by asking people to live in apartments.  The only way to solve these problems is by surgically removing the societal forces that’s imposing these decisions upon us. And these forces can be easily attributed to the reckless profit motivation of capitalism. That is the root problem.

The pistachio wars are a perfect case study
https://grayzoneproject.com/2018/12/04/pistachio-wars-how-the-resnicks-snack-food-fortune-is-fueling-the-assault-on-iran/

A billionaire, who has far more wealth than he needs or will ever need, is sucking California dry by growing cash crops harvested by poor workers in appalling conditions. Not only that, he is literally calling for armed warfare against his main competitor. Excuse my pun, but this is capitalism in a nutshell. Environmental destruction, labour abuse, imperialism. The pistachio wars have nothing to do with personal responsibility of consumers. It has everything to do with greed and power of the wealthy. This is the root problem. This is capitalism.

And when I said surgically removing, I mean you must remove it completely. You do not call it quits when you’ve only removed 60% of a tumour, nor do you stop taking antibiotics when you’re still oozing puss.  You must completely destroy it or else it will come back stronger and faster.

This is one of the biggest issues with dealing with climate change, is that most people can’t make the final hurdle of identifying the actual problem. Everything else is delaying the inevitable. 


Nemesis

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #117 on: December 16, 2018, 05:59:52 PM »
@zizek

You nailed it perfectly. The endless ignorance and greed of a global minority is the root cause of the mess we face.

" The only way to solve these problems is by surgically removing the societal forces that’s imposing these decisions upon us. And these forces can be easily attributed to the reckless profit motivation of capitalism."

Oh how I love your suggestion :) Question is:

HOW could they be removed? I got some kitchen knife and a broomstick, but that's not enough force to remove any of em I guess...

zizek

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #118 on: December 16, 2018, 06:20:41 PM »
with a few extra broomsticks and a little creativity you got yourself a guillotine.

Nemesis

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #119 on: December 16, 2018, 06:33:35 PM »
I see^^ Who shall I behead first? Trump? Putin? Warren Buffet? The Koch suckerz? "grabbing popcorn"...

Nemesis

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #120 on: December 16, 2018, 06:35:23 PM »
Some lovely song comes to my mind...


Neven

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #121 on: December 16, 2018, 07:08:20 PM »
The rich aren't the problem, their wealth is the problem. Capitalism is simply the most efficient way for concentrated wealth to grow itself. It uses its owners to grow itself.

What needs to be done first, is putting a cap on how much an individual can own. The system then has the chance to change accordingly.

A guillotine will get you nowhere, only back to square one of the vicious cycle (concentrated wealth doesn't care, rich people can be replaced). But I understand the sentiment.
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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #122 on: December 16, 2018, 07:27:13 PM »
@Neven

Don't worry, I will not behead Trump, Putin, The Kochs et al, as they will behaed themselves rather quickly I bet :)

" The rich aren't the problem, their wealth is the problem. Capitalism is simply the most efficient way for concentrated wealth to grow itself. It uses its owners to grow itself."

The rich might not be the problem, but their strategy might be a problem:

" How tech's richest plan to save themselves after the apocalypse

... For them, the future of technology is really about just one thing: escape..."

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jul/23/tech-industry-wealth-futurism-transhumanism-singularity

Doesn't sound like they are trying to "change the system accordingly", does it?

zizek

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #123 on: December 16, 2018, 07:53:38 PM »
The rich aren't the problem, their wealth is the problem. Capitalism is simply the most efficient way for concentrated wealth to grow itself. It uses its owners to grow itself.

What needs to be done first, is putting a cap on how much an individual can own. The system then has the chance to change accordingly.

A guillotine will get you nowhere, only back to square one of the vicious cycle (concentrated wealth doesn't care, rich people can be replaced). But I understand the sentiment.

You're suggesting the impossible though. Here are some of the many obstacles you have to overcome:

1) Get widespread public support. This is the easiest part. But it's still monumentally difficult since the ideology of capitalism has poisoned most of the western world. People continue to vote for people like Trump when it's clearly against their best interests. These people would gag at the idea of a wealth cap (this includes centrists like the Democrats).

2) Get politicians on board. Either convince existing ones or voting in new ones. During this electoral process the rich and their supporting institutions (which includes politics itself) are going to react. Lobbying, media, threats, violence, are all powerful tools the rich currently control, and will use them with great effectiveness against any threats to their position in society.

3) Enforce a wealth cap, worldwide. The financial system has been completely globalized. A wealth cap doesn't mean anything when you can just move wealth to wherever you please, especially with the banks helping you along the way.


A wealth cap or something similar would require a widespread transformation in our society, and such a transformation would likely be the result of revolutionary action. If we are in such a stage of society, why settle for so little? why not just go directly for the system that caused this concentration of wealth in the first place? Because once again, you're trying to solve a symptom, not the problem.


zizek

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #124 on: December 16, 2018, 08:15:41 PM »
I just don't understand it. Whenever I'm talking to environmentalists, activists, and climate change scientists, they always call for bold and transformative action.  I just don't think they understand what it means to be "bold". I'm not convinced that a carbon tax or tax incentives are what I would call "bold". It sounds like trying to tackle climate change without rocking the boat. I think cowardly is a better term for it.

We're facing an extinction. Why can't we be creative and start talking about a radically different world? And I'm not going to deny that capitalism may be too resilient to ultimately defeat. But we need to start exposing its contradictions, its exploitation, and its destructive properties. It's incredibly difficult to do that when you're still endorsing the system by promoting half-measures like wealth caps and carbon taxes.

It's time we try something else.

Bruce Steele

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #125 on: December 16, 2018, 09:00:30 PM »
Zizek, I can sit here on my couch and write about foraging, or farming and suggest difficulty and hard labor as at least a minimum for our just desserts. Hard work, every day till you run out of energy. You will get old like me someday. We want many things but almost universal is some desire for ease, comfort, warmth . Ultimately we burned the oil for an easy life. Change that desire for ease( a free lunch ) and you can save the rest of the life on this planet. Simple. At least I talked myself into going outside for awhile.

SteveMDFP

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #126 on: December 16, 2018, 09:42:28 PM »
I just don't think they understand what it means to be "bold". I'm not convinced that a carbon tax or tax incentives are what I would call "bold".

It all depends on the specifics.  Suppose with a carbon tax, it cost $1000 to fill the tank of an ICE vehicle, but only $10 to charge an EV?

Suppose agricultural land were subject to a steep property tax if it were being used to feed livestock?

While implementing such measures requires political will and courage, far more will and courage would be needed to end capitalism, or institute a wealth cap, or other proposed prerequisites for the necessary widespread societal change.

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #127 on: December 16, 2018, 10:04:27 PM »
@zizek

Maybe it's not so much about changing the system, but more about changing oneself? Capitalism looks really quite like Samsara, driven by craving, hatred and ignorance, doesn't it? Just go meditating at the boneyard, the final goal for every single one of us, no matter what. Or meditate some years or decades into the climate future and you know what I'm talking about. There's no way to change the root of Samsara nor to get rid of it in total outside of yourself, there is only a chance to change oneself within resp liberate oneself from craving, hatred and ignorance, wich are the root causes of suffering. The rich are chained to craving, hatred and ignorance and they seem to enjoy Samsara for short term profit and high cost material pleasures, so... :)

" Lobbying, media, threats, violence, are all powerful tools the rich currently control, and will use them with great effectiveness against any threats to their position in society."

You name it. Therefore they will beat down any revolutionary activities, no matter what the cost may be as they are in deep fear about losing their samsaric privileges. I don't see any chance to change that, so I concentrate on my own liberation while teaching very few people around me about the overall situation. The rich don't want to be teached, they don't want to be saved, they prefer Samsara, craving, hatred, ignorance. You can't force anyone to be saved from that.

gerontocrat

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #128 on: December 16, 2018, 10:20:50 PM »
It's late, some incoherent thoughts ..........

Those of you who are familiar with Isaac Asimov's "Foundation and Empire" series of books will already know the direction I am heading in..

In the books, the social scientist Hari Seldon believes that the Galactic Empire is doomed to collapse and that cannot be stopped. But he also believes that hidden (in his books) social engineering can reduce the period of that collapse so a new, better and democratically inclined "Empire 2.0" can emerge.

Applying that to humankind and our damaged biosphere today, one can see the inevitability of the societal collapse that is on the horizon and rapidly approaching. In the sense that it is used even by the UN, there is no such thing as "sustainable economic growth" (see quote below), and no such thing as "sustainable finance" ( a fairly new growth industry being exploited by Cambridge and Oxford Universities, amongst others) . (I've just made myself unemployable again). 

For me, the question is whether enough remnants will remain to allow civilisation to survive and adapt and avoid a long period of decline and decay of our species. The phrase "adapt or die" comes to mind. Or maybe homo sapiens will lose the sapiens bit and in a few million years a different intelligent life form may emerge.. 

For any chance of a less painful transition, efforts to develop renewable energy, farming systems that enhance soil fertility and efforts to limit the damage to the web of life must continue. Perhaps most important of all is the preservation and pursuit of knowledge. The Trump Administration's efforts to wipe climate knowledge from the Government websites is really scary. To give up is to invite collective suicide, differently from that of the Trumps of this world merely in method.

The scientific community has always had those who wonder if our knowledge-based technical society will survive. In the search for extra-terrestrial life some have said it may be a waste of time, as maybe all intelligent life wherever it has emerged in the Universe is has within it its goodbye date. I have seen an estimate of 3? 5? million years date-stamped for our species inside our DNA. But 5 million years is a bit better than 50 years.

So every time an advance in renewable energy is made I raise a faint cheer. Every time another example of a community succeeding in implementing genuinely sustainable farming I raise another faint cheer.

Meanwhile, COP24 has been a bit of a damp squib. From the latest Guardian article:-
Quote
Nicholas Stern, the former World Bank chief economist and author of a seminal review of the economics of climate change, said: “It is clear that the progress we are making is inadequate, given the scale and urgency of the risks we face. The latest figures show carbon dioxide emissions are still rising. A much more attractive, clean and efficient path for economic development and poverty reduction is in our hands.”

Sustainable economic development rules, OK?

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/16/un-climate-accord-inadequate-and-lacks-urgency-experts-warn
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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #129 on: December 16, 2018, 10:30:16 PM »
Follow up to my recent comment:

Just try to hold your breath for three funny minutes, feel the burning craving, the terror of the infinitely burning Fire for just one breath:

After just 1 - 2 minutes you are willing to give all your money, all your wealth (if you have any), your house, yacht, private jet, maybe even your wife and children for JUST ONE BREATH. And when you got that single breath, you must get rid of it after a little, little while, you must breathe out again and on and on until you end up on the boneyard, just like everyone of us.

Add the hurting pain being chained to hunger, thirst ect ect all your life and you know what I'm talking about. Samsara is terror, sometimes like cosy, comfortable terror in some costly private jet, clothed in silk, owning billions of funny money, until Yama cuts you down like a tiny, dry blade of gras just like the loser in the gutter you always felt sorry for- that's the mean thing about Samsara, it feels cosy if you are rich.

wili

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #130 on: December 16, 2018, 11:42:54 PM »
sis and nev, here are at least two politicians who want to put a cap on wealth:

http://inthesetimes.com/article/21114/maximum-wage-keith-ellison-jeremy-corbyn-income-ceo-pay
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Shared Humanity

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #131 on: December 16, 2018, 11:59:32 PM »

You’re not describing the root cause though. You’re describing symptoms of a problem.
Environmentally intensive foods like red meat, nuts, palm oil are incredibly profitable products.


And please explain to me why these products are profitable? No company has ever made a dime producing products that were not demanded by the people who consumed them.

These foods are delicious and satiable, so they’re easily marketed to a massive population of 7 bazilllion people.

And so we choose to be willing dupes, allowing ourselves to be the cause of our own demise as if we do not freely choose to eat meat from factory farms. 

And most importantly, agriculture is controlled by a handful of very powerful and influential people.

Shoot every last one of them and destroy their businesses and someone will step up and take their place if the demand for such products persist. (See Columbia drug cartels)

You can not solve the agriculture problem by simply convincing people to stop eating red meat.

Stop the consumption of red meat and pork and factory farms will disappear in weeks. Keep eating meat like we do today and no amount of protest will shut them down. 

The only way to solve these problems is by surgically removing the societal forces that’s imposing these decisions upon us.

No one is holding a gun to our heads insisting that we consume meat.

And these forces can be easily attributed to the reckless profit motivation of capitalism. That is the root problem.

You are acting as if we, as consumers, are not part of the system of capitalism.

Neven

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #132 on: December 17, 2018, 12:05:29 AM »
sis and nev, here are at least two politicians who want to put a cap on wealth:

http://inthesetimes.com/article/21114/maximum-wage-keith-ellison-jeremy-corbyn-income-ceo-pay

Thanks, wili. It's very rare to read such articles.
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

Ktb

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #133 on: December 17, 2018, 12:10:49 AM »
Quote
There's nothing fundamentally wrong with people. Given a story to enact that puts them in accord with the world, they will live in accord with the world. But given a story to enact that puts them at odds with the world, as yours does, they will live at odds with the world. Given a story to enact in which they are the lords of the world, they will ACT like lords of the world. And, given a story to enact in which the world is a foe to be conquered, they will conquer it like a foe, and one day, inevitably, their foe will lie bleeding to death at their feet, as the world is now.
- Ishmael by Daniel Quinn
« Last Edit: December 17, 2018, 12:41:40 AM by Ktb »
I have amazing news for you. Man is not alone on this planet. He is part of a community, upon which he depends absolutely.
- Ishmael

Nemesis

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #134 on: December 17, 2018, 12:18:39 AM »
@Shared Humanity

" And please explain to me why these products are profitable? No company has ever made a dime producing products that were not demanded by the people who consumed them."

Let me put that into some more specific context:

" Fossil fuels are the problem, say fossil fuel companies being sued

... The oil companies seem poised to argue that those who bought petro-products are just as responsible as those who sold them. And they will almost certainly argue that those suffering the ravages of climate change should try to fix things by passing laws rather than suing businesses. That’s a position even the most liberal members of the Supreme Court have held in the past."

https://grist.org/article/fossil-fuels-are-the-problem-say-fossil-fuel-companies-being-sued/

And now let's get even more specific:

https://smokeandfumes.org

The fossil fuel industry only supplied the people with what they wanted, but the people didn't want to be fucked from behind like described at https://smokeandfumes.org , right?

https://insideclimatenews.org/news/04042018/climate-change-fossil-fuel-company-lawsuits-timeline-exxon-children-california-cities-attorney-general

Greta Thunberg et al, the children of the globe will not be satisfied with this I'm sure:

" And please explain to me why these products are profitable? No company has ever made a dime producing products that were not demanded by the people who consumed them.... You are acting as if we, as consumers, are not part of the system of capitalism."

Nemesis

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #135 on: December 17, 2018, 12:28:21 AM »
Sure, everyone on planet Earth is part of Samsara, but not everyone is such an ignorant, greedy, criminal bastard like the fossil fuel industry resp the military-industrial complex. Just ask the children, ask Greta Thunberg and alike.

zizek

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #136 on: December 17, 2018, 01:11:31 AM »

You’re not describing the root cause though. You’re describing symptoms of a problem.
Environmentally intensive foods like red meat, nuts, palm oil are incredibly profitable products.


And please explain to me why these products are profitable? No company has ever made a dime producing products that were not demanded by the people who consumed them.


These products are only profitable because the costs don't include negative externalities. Doesn't matter what it is, from food to cars to phones to air travel, the actual costs don't reflect the real costs. And that is by design, these companies know full well the damage their products do. So unless you're willing to educate every single person about the real costs on every single product in the hope that they'll voluntarily boycott, maybe it's time to think of a different model.

These foods are delicious and satiable, so they’re easily marketed to a massive population of 7 bazilllion people.

And so we choose to be willing dupes, allowing ourselves to be the cause of our own demise as if we do not freely choose to eat meat from factory farms. 

Have you ever met anybody? Like, I mean, have you ever gone out and interacted with people outside of your circle of friends and family? People don't go to the grocery store and analyze every single product they purchase. They buy the food and leave. And even if they wanted to make the ethical choice, it's pretty difficult. Where I live, factory farmed pork and beef is often cheaper than fresh produce. People here are poor as fuck, and they're going to buy food that tastes good and is cheap. Factory Farmed Meat.

And most importantly, agriculture is controlled by a handful of very powerful and influential people.

Shoot every last one of them and destroy their businesses and someone will step up and take their place if the demand for such products persist. (See Columbia drug cartels)
What is this? Can you not imagine an alternative to profit motivated agriculture. You cannot even fathom food that's grown and distributed by the state or cooperatives?
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/28/organic-or-starve-can-cubas-new-farming-model-provide-food-security

You can not solve the agriculture problem by simply convincing people to stop eating red meat.

Stop the consumption of red meat and pork and factory farms will disappear in weeks. Keep eating meat like we do today and no amount of protest will shut them down. 

Oh right. It's that simple.
How many people on this forum still eat meat? I bet it's a pretty uninspiring number. How the hell are you going to convince billions of people when the people who give a shit can't stop eating meat.

The only way to solve these problems is by surgically removing the societal forces that’s imposing these decisions upon us.

No one is holding a gun to our heads insisting that we consume meat.

No. But there is marketing. There are subsidies. There are profits. There are lobbyists. There are a lot of ways to convince people to make bad decisions without pointing a gun. Why do I have to explain this to you?

And these forces can be easily attributed to the reckless profit motivation of capitalism. That is the root problem.

You are acting as if we, as consumers, are not part of the system of capitalism.

Of course we are. It is impossible to separate ourselves from an all-encompassing economic system, but that doesn't mean we can't criticize it, that we can't think of alternatives. People like me and you are educated and privileged to make a difference. As a result, it has become our responsibility to push for progress. Your strategy is to put the burden of climate change on the individual. That is not progress. That is laziness.

bbr2314

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #137 on: December 17, 2018, 04:05:30 AM »
The current ebola outbreak has now reached 617 confirmed / probable / suspected cases with 300+ deaths, making it the second-largest by far. There have been approximately 47,000 ring vaccinations to date, out of a current stockpile of 300,000 doses.

The transmission data is interesting as it seems containment continues to be eluded DESPITE the massive vaccination campaign. I think this hints that Ebola is now changing into an STD, especially as rates have soared for young women (males with multiple partners evidently)?

In any case, this epidemic feels different from all previous including West Africa as it has taken a bit longer to reach this state, but containment efforts seem to be failing in spite of greater overall available resources (i.e. a vaccine whereas there previously was none, even if DRC is war-torn).

I would think the next doubling will occur in a shorter timeframe than the last. The US just ordered evacuation of all family / non-military personnel in DRC.

TerryM

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #138 on: December 17, 2018, 09:06:35 AM »
Asimov's trilogy thrilled me half a century ago. Samsara opened my senses to sights, sounds and emotions I'd not experienced - but the impact is lessened each time the disk is played.


Bruce's infrequent missives from the front lines, where hirsute porcine acornivours vie with organic produce to win the seal of approval from those who ultimately control the fields, the wallows, and access to the market, give hope that some few of my species - abetted perhaps by their suid companions, might escape the winnowing that follows.

Hope, even unrealistic hope, if untainted by miracles wrought by gods or technology, might allow some tiny minority to search out the hard knowledge they'll need to survive the bottleneck that will strangle their peers.


Neither mysticism nor mechanical marvels will save our species. Work, sweat and empathy might spare a few.
Hope!
Terry


Nemesis

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #139 on: December 17, 2018, 12:24:26 PM »
The desperate need for air every few seconds, hunger, thirst, heat, cold, the cooking pot of Nature is real just like flesh and bones are real, no mysticism involved.

I don't need hope, hope fooled a lot of people and hope still fools a lot of people (it fooled me too when I was a child). I stick with harsh and bloody reality as it never ever fooled me for a second, I trust in the Laws of Nature 24/7.

" Abandon hope all ye who enter here "

- Dante's Divine Comedy

Archimid

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #140 on: December 17, 2018, 02:04:12 PM »
Wealth is not the problem. Unchecked greed is. The world economy can grow indefinitely if the limits of growth imposed by nature are acknowledge and designed for.

Ending civilization can't possibly solve climate change, because climate change is only a problem because it ends civilization. If we simply give up and let civilization end the result is the same as if we let climate change run it's course.

Capitalism, socialism, communism are all meaningless distractions. Capitalism without Socialism becomes anarchy and implodes. Socialism without Capitalism is impossible because the leaders and the "party" end up rich while the people suffer scarcity.  It is always a spectrum. Things like transparency and accountability goes a much longer way than any Capitalist or Socialist utopic dream.
I am an energy reservoir seemingly intent on lowering entropy for self preservation.

Nemesis

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #141 on: December 17, 2018, 02:23:03 PM »
@Archimid

" The world economy can grow indefinitely if the limits of growth imposed by nature are acknowledge and designed for."

Exactly, Nature will show capitalism the bloody limits of growth imposed by Nature dead seriously, just like the Club of Rome already acknowledged the natural limits of growth roughly 50 years ago(!).

Btw, I'm not some funny, harmless socialist nor communist. Like I said:

I solely stick to the uncorruptable, bloody Laws of Nature 24/7.

zizek

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #142 on: December 17, 2018, 02:24:42 PM »
Asbestos
Thank you for these.

Just to add to that. Johnson and Johnson knowingly selling baby powder with asbestos in it. For decades. And what's their punishment going to be? reduced stock prices? Some fines? Maybe white-collar jail time if they can figure out how to pin it on someone. Which is unlikely considering J&J have some of the most talented lawyers in the world.

There is never any justice in our system. Every single industry, so long as you meet a certain threshold of influence and power, gets away with anything they want. Climate change and pollution is no exception. The fossil fuel industry is going to get away with everything, hell, they might even come out of it even more powerful if they play their cards right with renewables.

And yet, we still find ourselves continually endorsing the system that created these monsters. And even better yet, we shift blame from them to the individual. "We're all a part of the system, we all deserve the responsibility".

The rich and powerful are causing an extinction event. And they know it. If it continues this way, they may just be responsible for destroying the only intelligent society in the universe.

What is our response to this?
"Let's take away some of their power"
"Let's tax them some more"
"Let's give them incentives to do something better!"
"Let's beg them to develop new technology to save us"

It's all so pathetic. None of this is going to age well. 

zizek

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #143 on: December 17, 2018, 02:40:56 PM »
Wealth is not the problem. Unchecked greed is. The world economy can grow indefinitely if the limits of growth imposed by nature are acknowledge and designed for.
This doesn't mean anything. You are just saying things that sound pleasant to you. None of this is rooted in reality. You need to pick up a book and read some history and theory.

Capitalism, socialism, communism are all meaningless distractions.
More gobbledygook. Our political economy is the foundation of how our society is structured. It is the core of every single interaction and decision we make.

Capitalism, socialism, communism are all meaningless distractions. Capitalism without Socialism becomes anarchy and implodes. Socialism without Capitalism is impossible because the leaders and the "party" end up rich while the people suffer scarcity.  It is always a spectrum. Things like transparency and accountability goes a much longer way than any Capitalist or Socialist utopic dream.
This cold-war propaganda bullshit on this forum is so tiring. It doesn't matter how much evidence I produce describing the inherently exploitative and destructive nature of capitalism, my arguments are always dashed away with this grade school "communist only works on paper, not in practice  heeyuck heeyuck" bullshit.  It's amazing how many users claim they use logic, reason, facts, science to make arguments. But when it comes to political economy, they just spew garbage they heard from Reagan and Thatcher and that's good enough for them.

Nemesis

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #144 on: December 17, 2018, 02:45:31 PM »
@zizek

Excellent comments of yours. You named some beautiful facts why I abandoned all hope decades ago.

Btw, you mentioned Johnson & Johnson:

Intelligent James Wittenborn „Jamie“ Johnson, the son of James Loring Johnson, made two excellent and eyeopening documentaries about Johnson & Johnson resp the funny and sick One Percent at the top of the capitalist pyramid (and faced a lot of hate therefore), lots of intimate psychological and political insights in it, highly recommended:

"The One Percent - Documentary"



"Jaimie Johnson: Born Rich,  Children Of the Insanely Wealthy"



Says it all.

Shared Humanity

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #145 on: December 17, 2018, 04:47:36 PM »
You can not solve the agriculture problem by simply convincing people to stop eating red meat.

Stop the consumption of red meat and pork and factory farms will disappear in weeks. Keep eating meat like we do today and no amount of protest will shut them down. 

Oh right. It's that simple.
How many people on this forum still eat meat? I bet it's a pretty uninspiring number. How the hell are you going to convince billions of people when the people who give a shit can't stop eating meat.

I don't necessarily disagree with you here. It is very hard to stop consuming something if you have a taste for it, even when it is not good for you.

But the facts remain the same.

The raising of livestock for food is responsible for 18% of anthroprogenic greenhouse gases. This does not even take into account that, absent meat consumption, large tracts of land currently used to raise livestock could be converted back to forests etc which will increase the planet's capacity of CO2 uptake. We focus on the fact that wealthy nations are responsible for the lion share of emissions and it is not a coincidence that meat consumption is far higher in these nations. Factory farms for livestock, extensive monocultures of corn and soybeans etc. exist in order to meet this demand and it is currently highly profitable to do so. The demand could not be met using familiar, family farm, husbandry methods of the late 19th or early 20th century agriculture just as the demand for fish could not be met without the brutally destructive methods of fishing that are prevalent today. So long as this high demand for meat exists, there will be producers to satisfy that demand. The term "demand" is perfectly apt in capitalism. We, as consumers, don't ask for products. We demand them and so long as we do, there will be a supply.

Regarding the issue of tasty food or the need for meat protein. Undeveloped nations get by quite nicely with diets that consist primarily of legumes and rice or some other grain, a diet that is quite affordable. As wealthy western consumers, we may long for a stable climate but don't you dare let that get in the way of my juicy steak. We would like to pretend that our choices as wealthy consumers are not driving us to the brink. We use arguments like our personal consumption has no measurable impact so how can my stopping the consumption of meat change anything. This is simply an example of a consumer driven "Tragedy of the Commons". Talk about hypocrisy.

Our profligate appetites will be the death of us all.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2018, 05:11:59 PM by Shared Humanity »

Nemesis

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #146 on: December 17, 2018, 05:27:46 PM »
VERY soon we will all be equal when we will beautifully meet at the boneyard, rich and poor alike.

I love the Laws of Nature, they never fail.

Meanwhile I let go, let go, let go, I don't need funny, ridiculous wealth on the way to the boneyard, I do not need, I do not want that kind of burdon, that kind of responsibility.


dnem

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #147 on: December 17, 2018, 06:04:34 PM »
Sorry SH, thinking that consumer choice has any hope of avoiding, or even much delaying, the coming unraveling is a fantasy.  Humans have been so fully indoctrinated by consumerism that it is literally not worth even discussing "voluntary simplicity" or whatever you want to call it as a solution.  Yeah, folks outside of the rich global north make do fine on less, but they almost ALL want more meat in their diets, more a/c in their homes, more, more, more and the corporate hegemony is salivating to sell it all to them.  No bottom up approach is going to touch this.

I've been amused listening to the most progressive members of the new incoming US congress talk about their idea for a "Green New Deal."  It's a massive jobs and infrastructure program to shift to renewables, electric cars, re-engineer the grid, etc.  Every single one of them sells it on the promise that it will "create millions of great new high-paying jobs."  What are all these folks gonna do with their great high paying jobs?  Why, consume more unsustainable shite they don't need. 

One more observation: I often hear people say things like "leisure air travel is low hanging fruit.  It should be banned tomorrow."  Kevin Anderson doesn't fly and says no one should (or hardly ever).  Just try and picture the knock-on effects if everyone took that advice tomorrow.  The massive economic upheaval would utterly destabilize the global finance system within days.

No, I think Terry is right.  The only hope is through creative destruction.  I think human extinction is very unlikely (unless that whole grid failure->mass nuclear meltdowns thing is really a thing) and the real game will be how humans go about rebuilding a smaller, sustainable and functional future.

dnem

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #148 on: December 17, 2018, 06:17:13 PM »
Please watch.

Nemesis

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Re: The Holocene Extinction
« Reply #149 on: December 17, 2018, 07:15:45 PM »
Quote GretaThunberg:

"... You only talk about moving forward with the same bad ideas that got us into this mess, even when the only sensible thing to do is to pull the emergency brake. You are not mature enough to tell it like it is. Even that burdon you leave to us children. Our civilization is being sacrificed for the opportunity of a very small number of people to continue making enormous amounts of money. Our biosphere is being sacrificed so that rich people in countries like mine can live in luxury. It is the suffering of the many wich pay for the wealth of the few... You are saying that you love your children above all else, yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes..."

That's exactly my point all my fuckin life. I was just roughly 3 years older than Greta Thunberg when I started to tell the very same uncomfortable facts Greta Thunber tells 35 years later. And STILL nothing changed since then. Quote Greta Thunberg:

" Our biosphere is being sacrificed so that rich people in countries like mine can live in luxury. It is the suffering of the many wich pay for the wealth of the few..."

That's exactly what I (and others) said in my recent comments. You got no political power when you are poor, the real power is fuckin always where the fuckin money is- it's for a reason that it is being said: " Funny money makes the world go round." Quote Greta Thunberg:

" You are saying that you love your children above all else, yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes..."

Let that sink deep into your brain, mind, heart, dear folks of wealth and power:

You kill (not just) your very own children for the benefit of funny money.

I am glad to have seen shit coming decades ago and therefore did not procreate.