Last Hours of Humanity: Warming the World to Extinction

If you were standing outdoors looking at the distant and reddening sky 250 million years ago as the Permian Mass Extinction was beginning, unless you were in the region that is known as Siberia you would have no idea that a tipping point had just been passed and soon 95% of all life on earth would be dead.

It's almost impossible to identify tipping points, except in retrospect.

For example, we have almost certainly already past the tipping point to an ice-free Arctic. And we are just now realizing it, even though that tipping point was probably passed a decade or more ago.

This is critically important because in the history of our planet there have been five times when more than half of all life on Earth died. They're referred to as "mass extinctions."

One – the one that killed the dinosaurs – was initiated by a meteorite striking the Earth.

The rest all appear to have been initiated by tectonic and volcanic activity.

In each case, however, what happened was that massive amounts of carbon-containing greenhouse gases – principally carbon dioxide, were released from beneath the Earth's crust and up into the atmosphere.

This provoked global warming intense enough to melt billions of tons of frozen methane on the oceans floors. That pulse of methane - an intense greenhouse gas - then brought the extinction to its full of intensity.

While in the past it took continental movement or an asteroid to break up the crust of the earth enough to release ancient stores of carbon into the atmosphere, we humans have been doing this very aggressively for the past 150 years by drilling and mining fossil fuels.

So the question:

Will several centuries of burning fossil fuels release enough carbon into the atmosphere to mimic the effects of past volcanic and asteroid activity and provoke a mass extinction?

Geologists who study mass extinctions are becoming concerned. As more and more research is coming out about the massive stores of methane in the Arctic and around continental shelves, climate scientists are beginning to take notice, too.

The fossil fuel companies are sitting on roughly 2 trillion tons of underground carbon. That, in and of itself, is enough to warm the earth by 5 or 6°C, and is an amount of carbon consistent with tipping points during past mass extinctions. There are an additional estimated 2 trillion tons of methane stored in the Arctic and probably 2 to 5 times that much around continental shelves all around the Earth.

If our burning fossil fuels warms the oceans enough that that methane melts and is quickly released into the atmosphere, the Earth will be in its sixth mass extinction. And make no mistake about it, the animals and plants that are most heavily hit by mass extinctions are those that are largest and at the top of the food chain.

That means us.

We must stop the carbon madness and move, worldwide, to renewable 21st century energy sources.

This is why we’ve produced a short documentary on this topic, and a short e-book title “The Last Hours of Humanity: Warming the World to Extinction” that you can find at www.lasthours.org.

Please check it out and share it with as many friends as possible.

The future of humanity is at stake.

Comments

Kend's picture
Kend 8 years 14 weeks ago
#1

DAnne there is a difference between greed and motivation. Yet you look at them the same. Culture is created by desire. Desire do to the best for your family. Whatever you believe that is.

Because I worked endless hours and took massive risks to accumulate the lifestyle I have you call me selfish, greedy, foolish, ignorant, and short sided.

Are you suggesting I should have just took a government just and been content with that. That if I did that I would be a better person.

DAnne I agree, I think your right. Just think of all the nights I could of slept all night because I didn't have to worry how I could bring in enough business to keep those great Employiees I have in a job when the economy went to crap. All of Saturdays I was in the shop racking my brain to come up with new ways to compete. What was I thinking. Why was I so greedy. I could of worked for the post office and been done work a 1:00 every day with my 6 weeks holidays and my 12 sick days a Year. The best benifits in the world. Thanks for the advice I think I am going to go into work Tuesday (because Monday is Canadian thanksgiving" and shut the company down and go golfing in Scottsdale all winter. I will feel so much better knowing i am not a "selfish, greedy, foolish, ignorant, short sided person" Thanks buddy I can feel the wait lifting right off my shoulders Already. What the hell was I thinking.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 14 weeks ago
#2

Roland369: I went to Slovakia back a few years ago. Piestany. Nice Place! Was there for a couple of weeks on business but had plenty of time to enjoy walking around town and across the bridge to the Spa area. I enjoyed the accordion music one old guy was playing on that bridge. In fact, I grew up in a town in the US whose population was mostly Czech and Slovak..back then, of course, ..it was called Czechoslovakia.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 14 weeks ago
#3

Kend: I have nothing against people who actually do work hard and take risks and even get rich from their labors. They really do deserve what they have earned. But I believe that even you would agree that there are some people who have become very wealthy by screwing other people...and I'm not talking about bordellos here. Many of those people may have inherited much of what they now have and they, and other opportunists, have just schemed and rigged the system to cheat others out of their money. They are not all as magnanimous as you are because they have consistently worked to squeeze workers out of benefits and wages. I'm glad that you are setting the example for being a good employer. But these other selfish parasites have frequently committed illegal acts just to get a slap-on-the-wrist fine that they consider the cost-of-doing-business and end up making the consumers pay those fines by increasing prices. The top execs make out like bandits...because they are bandits.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 14 weeks ago
#4

DAnneMarc & Aliceinwonderland: That link in DAnneMarc's #76 was from last year. So, unless anyone has heard anything recently about this we may be jumping to conclusions. Maybe they just went on a vacation? I hope that's all it is. By the way AIW...nice hat! I also play trumpet...but not in a while. Just for the fun of it ...no bands. I guess I should get it out and see if I can still play it.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 14 weeks ago
#5

DAnneMarc: Thanks for the German lessons...I always wondered what Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft meant...now I know! G1 and G2...cool!

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 14 weeks ago
#6

Kend, ahem... in response to your remark about Europeans' frugal ways: "Why would we want to bring that culture here?" my answer is: Who the hell needs more than one home for chrissakes?! Plus RVs, boats and other big-ass expensive toys. That's what life's supposed to be about, eh; more-and-more-and-more STUFF... Oh yeah? Gimmie a break. This lifestyle you describe is friggin' unsustainable, and ya know what Kend? Like Thom put it so succinctly, it's gonna destroy all life forms bigger than cockroaches inhabiting this planet. Oh and by the way, that includes us.

Now, while I'm not in the habit of using Biblical references, what comes to mind is that golden calf we were warned about in the story of Moses; you know, one of those false gods we'd better not worship unless we want all hell to cut loose... Remember that? Secular though I am, the power of such metaphor hasn't escaped me. And look where we are today. It hasn't all cut loose quite yet; not full tilt boogie - but that's where we're headed. You fossil fuel defenders who like to deny what climate scientists keep warning us about-- hey, you guys can keep denying it all you want. Pardon me pal, I hate to break it to ya but you're barking up the wrong tree with that bull crap.

I'm talking about climate deniers' false claim that ice is increasing on the Arctic, for example. And how many times have we heard some doofus proclaim: "The planet isn't warming 'cuz it's cold up here!"... I swear, if I hear that one more time I think I'll scream. But seriously, when it comes to matters of geology and climate science (which, incidently, Kend and I know nothing about), I'd prefer to listen to real experts; actual scientists who've spent a lifetime studying and learning about this stuff. And the fact is, dear Kend, about 95% of these experts are telling us to wake up, that we're blowing it for our grandkids and later generations. Earth will no longer be able to sustain life a couple centuries from now, unless we get our priorities straight and learn to live in harmony with nature.

Thom Hartmann happens to be no slouch when it comes to matters of science, possessing enough of a knowledge base to be capable of intelligently discussing subjects that are scientific by nature. Thom has reminded us repeatedly how our way of life will have awful consequences if it continues unchanged for much longer. He warns us (and I'm paraphrasing) that the damage inflicted on the structural integrity of this planet - since the 1850s, when the industrial revolution began - has been accelerating the very process that caused five previous mass extinctions scientists have identified, dating back millions upon millions of years. Now, who's got your ear; climate experts with no profit motive behind their message, who are only trying to prevent or diffuse a looming disaster by educating the public? Or do you listen instead to fossil fuel industry's schills who have a vested interest in the status quo and don't know doodily-do about climate science, who are only brainwashing the public with psuedo-scientific hogwash to serve a private agenda? Who seems most credible to you, Kend? Duh, hello...

Now if my memory serves me, didn't you draw a paycheck from a fossil fuel company for a few years? Is that who feathered your nest? I rest my case. - Aliceinwonderland

Bob Hearns's picture
Bob Hearns 8 years 14 weeks ago
#7

DAnneMarc, so from your response, the solution is to grow hemp. Over time the industrialized world will revert to agricultural, the tipping point will never be reached and all the ills of the world will disappear. Really?

As far as your statement about exploring the issue enough. I'm not sure what issue you are referring to - problem solving? symptom solving in general? or the specific symptom of melting permafrost? As I said earlier, I have no interest in symptom solving. If you are referring to problem solving we have only scratched the surface, at best.

It appears to me that as far as problem solving goes, you and I have not connected at all so far.

dialindicator's picture
dialindicator 8 years 14 weeks ago
#8

Bob Hearns you wrote simply understanding greed intellectully is no understanding at all. I guess you mean knowing the definition is not a solution to ones own greed. Indeed seeing greed arise as a reaction to ones emotion is the mechanism to dissolve it within oneself. You wish to explore what happens when all negative emotions, envy, jealousy anger, saddness etc., cease within oneself. Ummmm you become The Budda, Jesus, Lao Tzu? Seriouslly I don't know, guess I've not arrived. I do find it hard to belive greed can manifest, thrive and persist within a person without them knowing it,observing it,living with it, hideing it. Unlike momentary saddness or anger or even fear, true greed seems to be an addiction.

I've read and understand greed to arrise from fear, specifically fear of scarcity. Scarcity being a relative and sometimes even abstract thing, we often find the wealthy to be the most afaid of scarcity. Afraid of losing,afraid of becoming common, afraid of loss of control etc. I have personally observed the seeds of greed arise in myself and in animals when wealth is suddenly introduced.

Here on my little homestead I have horses, goats and chickens, and dogs of course. What I have noticed especially with goats and and horses is contentment is the normal state when forage is abundant. But even when forage is sparse (winter etc.) they seem to go on as if abundance remained, nibbling what they can find where they can find it, occasionally engaging in playful conflict. Now introduce grain. Suddenly the most aggresive (maybe not stongest or largest) attemps to take it and with whatever level of violence it takes to gain control. If the portion was concentrated to a single small area the most aggresive would take all. Even if portions of hay or grain are separated by a hundred feet or more the aggresive one will atempt to control even if it causes them to get the least. In spring and the grass is knee high and two horses are suddenly turned out on common pasture the most aggresive will try to dominate all of the space. I'm not exactlly sure how this relates to the Koch brothers or you or me or global climate change.

A Native American Proverb I found here on the internet goes.; A grandfather talking to his young grandson tells the boy he has two wolves inside him struggling with each other. The first is the wolf of peace, love and kindness. The other wolf is fear,greed, and hatred. Which wolf will win grandfather? ask the young boy. Whichever one I feed replys the grandfather.

I think that proverb speaks well to where our culture is as well as how we are move it to a better place.

On a side note, many of you are wondering where Thom And Louise are while I'm wondering which of you is secretly Thom and which is Louise

dialindicator's picture
dialindicator 8 years 14 weeks ago
#9

Kend, for some reason you and I have been taught there is a future and that it owes us something based on our past. You are not greedy and the world is greatful for your hard work.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 14 weeks ago
#10
Quote Bob Hearns:It appears to me that as far as problem solving goes, you and I have not connected at all so far.

Bob Hearns ~ Apparently not!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 14 weeks ago
#11
Quote dialindicator:On a side note, many of you are wondering where Thom And Louise are while I'm wondering which of you is secretly Thom and which is Louise

dialindicator ~ Strange, I often wonder the same thing myself. Catch anything today? Apparently, your time was better spent than mine.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 14 weeks ago
#12
Quote Palindromedary:DAnneMarc: Thanks for the German lessons...I always wondered what Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft meant...now I know! G1 and G2...cool!

Palindromedary ~ Your welcome! My pleasure!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 14 weeks ago
#13
Quote Kend:DAnne there is a difference between greed and motivation. Yet you look at them the same. Culture is created by desire. Desire do to the best for your family. Whatever you believe that is.

Because I worked endless hours and took massive risks to accumulate the lifestyle I have you call me selfish, greedy, foolish, ignorant, and short sided.

Kend ~ Whatever happened to your thick skin. I must have hit a nerve. First of all, I didn't call you selfish, greedy, foolish, ignorant, or short sided--you did. I used those terms to describe the ancestors of you and I. I can't blame you or myself for making the decision to come here. We are the victims and have to play the cards we have been dealt. I'm glad to see you have managed to deal yourself a full house. Kudos.

As usual you are reading what you want to in what I write and say. First of all greed and motivation are two different things. Motivation helps one succeed by fair and just means. Greed drives one to over succeed. by any means.

Culture is not created by desire. I have no idea where you got such a ridiculous definition of the word. Let me provide a dictionary definition.

Quote Free Merriam Dictionary:

1cul·ture

noun \ˈkəl-chər\

: the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time

: a particular society that has its own beliefs, ways of life, art, etc.

: a way of thinking, behaving, or working that exists in a place or organization (such as a business)

My definition is "The total life ways of a group of people."

Culture is something that evolves over generations and is unique to every isolated group of people. It is a beautiful thing that you cannot buy or replace. Many ancestors paid with their lives--through hit and miss--to learn the lessons passed down in cultures. Throwing a culture away is forgetting the sacrifices and struggles of your ancestors. It is like intentionally losing the unwritten history of your forebearers; thus, dooming yourself to repeat all the mistakes and lessons already learned over hundreds of centuries which is stored in their culture. I call that foolish and short sided all right! Insane would work too!

Doing what is best for you family is merely common sense responsibility. What, you want a medal or something? Taking care of the workers who made your business a success makes you some kind of a hero? Maybe we should nominate Kend for the Nobel Prize? You may be a wonderful person Kend, but nothing you've mentioned has anything to do with not being selfish, greedy, ignorant, foolish, or short-sided. Not that you are, by any means. Its just that nothing you've said proves that you aren't.

Lighten up buddy. I meant no personal knock against you. I was just trying to answer your question as to why it is so important to not lose a culture and why people over here are not necessarily better off than their fellow countrymen that they left behind. I don't think you have a good grasp of what a functional culture really is or how really important it can be. You are not alone by any means. Most of the people in North America share your handicap. They, like you and I, have never had any real culture to speak of; and, your personal exposure to any authentic functional culture is limited. Certainly your understanding of Sociological terms are limited. Sorry if I'm talking over your head. I've had the advantage to study these concepts for almost 30 years. Trust me, an authentic functional culture that is hundreds of generations old is priceless. Being part of one could save and enhance your life every single day.

They say you don't know what you have until it is gone. I guess the contrary is also true. If you've never had it, you never know what you're missing.

Bob Hearns's picture
Bob Hearns 8 years 14 weeks ago
#14

dialindicator, does thought play a part in greed? or put another way, without thought being present would greed occur? what about compassion? does thought play a part in compassion? or does compassion arise only in the absence of thought? is compassion necessary to end human behaviour that is contributing to climate change, to the pollution of the air, the water, the soil, to the slavery of children, to war, to government gridlock, to every conflict small or large that exists today, to the pursuit of pleasure, happiness, and other positive feelings no matter the cost and to the melting of the permafrost that will release enormous amounts of methane into the atmosphere?

Or should we stick to the tried and failed? International protocols, like the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 to reduce carbon emissions that have steadily risen year after year with 2012 being a record breaker, legislation, coercion, voluntary participation (the Canadian Liberal government of Jean Chretien's suggestion to business concerning CO2 emission reduction), moral suasion. All of them are external attempts to control and change others. TRIED AND FAILED. All symptom solving approaches as well.

The government of China passing the one child per family law to decrease population growth which then saw many parents abort female fetuses which then created a large imbalance between the number of males and females which then created many social problems now that they have come of age and there are no women to marry for millions of men. This is a typical outcome when doing symptom solving. It's beyond my ability to imagine what problems would occur if the entire world adopted this approach to limit population growth.

This is why I am only interested in problem solving. All these symptoms have at least one thing in common - thought. dialindicator, this is how the Koch brothers, me, you and global climate change are related. Interested in further exploration and observation?

Kend's picture
Kend 8 years 14 weeks ago
#15

Yes Palin I do agree but there is very few parasites most business owners are just hard working "C" students trying to make a living.

What does it matter if they inherit the money. That's no bodies business but theirs. I still can't get over that you tax dead people down there. How low can you go.

dialindicator's picture
dialindicator 8 years 14 weeks ago
#16

Thought indeed... Is it? "I think therefore I am"(Decartes) or is it? " Before Abraham I was" (Jesus). Is it? I am therefore I can think!

I stated my understanding of the seeds of greed as a reflex to the fear emotion. It is one of the places fear goes when it moves from its innate even useful state into its thought based state. Greed is a pyscological place where fear can be givin past and future. Unless you are thirsty, starving, cold or sick there is no scarcity, yet thought based in fear can project a sense of scarity into abundance and obscure the present moment entirely. In the present (the"Before, I Was"). In the I am, thought is freed to here and now. Innate thought, abundant with practical uses.

Comppassion did not die on a cross. It dies on a cross on a cross we all bare, (psycological time based thought). Comppassion arrises in presence. Thinking and doing will not solve climate change or any other ill. If they are what created them. Being is comppassion and visa/versa. It is this wolf we must learn to feed. Thanks for asking.

Kend's picture
Kend 8 years 14 weeks ago
#17

Alice where do I start. No one needs more than one home. But if I have the money why not. its not stuff it a lifestyle one I earned. It's not unsustainable if you can afford it. It is nobody's business but mine what I buy. Why do you and Thom care?

False claim about Arctic ice? It's a fact. Don't forget I live here all the science here is telling us the Arctic is increasing. The UN last report shows us there is no Global warming. I guess sceince is wrong and Al Gore and the hundreds of millions he made are right. in the last 10 years it went from "global warming" to "climate change" and now it's "CO2 levels". What's next. The whole movie Gasland has been proven wrong. What else would a logical person believe.

Yes many years ago when I finished high school I worked on the rigs and in the oil business for about 10 years and I am very proud of it. but you don't have to thank me for making your life so much easier. I was paided very well.

Kend's picture
Kend 8 years 14 weeks ago
#18

Thank you dail.

Bob Hearns's picture
Bob Hearns 8 years 14 weeks ago
#19

So you do get it. As you've succinctly stated, psychological thought, the creator of all these symptoms, is the problem and cannot resolve them. Keeping psychological thought active will only create more symptoms.

So you do know what happens In the absence of psychological thought. Not just greed but all the emotions envy, etc. and the so called positive emotions associated with psychological thought end. Compassion blossoms or compassion is. As you know, you don't become the Buddha, Jesus, Lao-Tzu etc., you become dialindicator whole, unfragmented, a steward of the planet, as you are meant to be. As we are all meant to be.

Thanks for the dialogue. I have enjoyed meeting you.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 14 weeks ago
#20
Quote Kend:The UN last report shows us there is no Global warming. I guess sceince is wrong and Al Gore and the hundreds of millions he made are right.

Kend ~ Wrong again, Einstein! Oh, how you love to make stuff up to defend the undefendable. You should become a fiction writer. You definitely have the talent.

From the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Report Summary for Global Policy Makers

Quote IPCC Report:Human influence has been detected in warming of the atmosphere and the ocean, in changes in

the global water cycle, in reductions in snow and ice, in global mean sea level rise, and in changes

in some climate extremes (Figure SPM.6 and Table SPM.1). This evidence for human influence

has grown since AR4. It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of

the observed warming since the mid-20th century. {10.3–10.6, 10.9}

http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/WGIAR5-SPM_Approved27Sep2013.pdf

Kend's picture
Kend 8 years 14 weeks ago
#21

Ok DAnne, lets just say I am wrong. Why after spending trillions on global warming, oh sorry climate change, have the tempatures not come down. I can post just as many studies that say the oppisite of what you post. One of the problems is there is no money in saying there is no warming.

Me a writer. I can't even spell.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 14 weeks ago
#22

BALONEY, Kend! I can't believe how myopic you are on these issues. It's not all about money; it's about available resources on the planet. If every human being on Planet Earth had enough money to buy a "winter home" and a "summer home" and all that crap, it would be UNSUSTAINABLE because of the planet's limited resources. Far as the Arctic is concerned, what you and other deniers are telling us is polar opposite (pun intended!) to what Thom and those climatologists are saying. (Gee I wonder... who am I supposed to believe? Ha-HAH!) As for the fossil fuel business making our lives so much "easier", don't make me laugh Kend. When automobiles were first invented, they were designed to run on fossil fuel not because it was the only option or even the best option. They were designed that way (surprise!) because it was more profitable for the oligarchs, and something to monopolize! And in the crony capitalist's realm of reality, my friend, monopoly is key.

I don't begrudge anyone pride in their accomplishments. However I hope you'll forgive me if I don't happen to share your affection for the fossil fuel industry. Thanks to fossil fuel, we have wars being fought over oil, and we have this big-ass oligarchal fascist empire built around it, one that holds an iron fist over our wallets while massacring anyone who gets in their way. All the while, destroying the environment directly linked to human survival and our ultimate destiny as a species. I kid you not, mister, it's that huge. In their relentless pursuit of more oil, these fascists de-stabilize international dynamics worldwide, very dangerous considering how many countries now posess nuclear weapons. They do it by invading and occupying soverign nations too small and weak to fight back, killing and plundering with impunity in the pursuit of oil, while thumbing their snouts at international law. Yet as history has shown, and as Thom has pointed out repeatedly, empires get away with this crap only for awhile, until everyone has had enough and finally gets it. Historically, that seems to have been the pattern. Runs in eighty-year cycles. So I'm optimistic the majority will prevail once again. Eventually the "masses" take back what's rightfully theirs. I'd like to think so anyway. Hope I live long enough to see it happen again. Where there's life there's hope, right Kend? Have a lovely day and tah-tah. - Aliceinwonderland

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 14 weeks ago
#23

Kend, if I were you I'd give it up before digging myself deeper in the ideological hole. So your claim is that there's no money in denying climate change is human-caused? Are you kidding? Lordie, lordie... - AIW

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 14 weeks ago
#24

Aliceinwonderland ~ On the subject of Kend. "Duh, hello..." suits him fine; and, is hilarious!

However, all Kend is really doing is rationalizing his lot in life. He is cherry picking (making up) facts to suit his oh so comfortable paradigm. In his defense, isn't that human nature. We all tend to rationalize our stupid, irresponsible, or embarrassing behaviors and actions we make. Recently I ran across this article: "5 Popular Beliefs That Are Holding Humanity Back"

http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-popular-beliefs-that-are-holding-humanity-back/

It's a hilariously true analysis of how we rationalize all kinds of mischief, from bad behaviour to murder. The mind is a powerful thing and the simple fact of the matter is that reality is nothing more than what we believe it is. What we chose to believe becomes true to us.

5 Popular Beliefs That Are Holding Humanity Back.

Quote On Over Population Article by David Wong:Many of you do worry about overpopulation in general. But that's just common sense, right? Too many people, not enough food, water, and fuel to take care of them all -- we need to cut back. But do me a favor: Picture, in your mind, what the excess population in the world looks like. Imagine the people who, in a perfectly population-controlled world, wouldn't be there.

Are you picturing yourself, and your friends, and your family? I bet you're not. I bet you're picturing hordes of dirty, starving kids in Africa, even though they use only a tenth of the resources we do. If our time-traveling scientist suggested going back in time and preventing the births of the heaviest resource users (that is, us) by jumping out of a time portal and slapping away our fathers' boners at the last second, we'd tell him to stop that shit. After all, the world is clearly better off with smart, compassionate, loving, charming human beings like us. When we said we wanted fewer people, we weren't picturing faces, we were picturing dirty, hungry mouths. You know ... like they have in those ... brown countries.

Quote On The Belief of Prophecy Article by David Wong:The headlines will make a lot more sense to you once you understand one simple fact: About 60 percent of Americans believe that Jesus Christ and his angels will descend from heaven and destroy the planet, and about 40 percent of Americans think it will happen within the next few decades.

Every decision they make, and every vote they cast, is done with this in mind. For instance, there is no reason not to drill all of the oil now, because who are we saving it for? The unsaved, who'll be left behind when the demons roam free? Those heathens can walk.

Quote How We Rationalize Our Own Behavior Article by David Wong:Stand up, wherever you are, and describe out loud the worst thing you've ever done. OK, sit back down. Unless you were in public and have been asked to leave, in which case you'll need to progress to another location to finish reading the article. Now, I bet for most of you, the story sounded something like this:

"One time, when I was drunk, I cheated on my wife."

"A year ago, when I was short on cash, I stole from my roommate."

"During an argument in high school, I totally lost it and beat my best friend so bad, he had to go to the hospital."

"I ate another man's flesh while infected with a mind-controlling brain parasite."

Do you spot the key phrases there? "When I was drunk." "When I was short on cash." "I totally lost it." "Brain parasite." It's not just that we make excuses for our behavior, it's that we make a really specific excuse: That the person who did the bad thing wasn't the "real" us.

Quote How The Media Dehumanizes Victims To Rationalize Their Murder Article by David Wong:So, instead they cover their faces or otherwise make them look inhuman specifically so you don't think about it. Numbing your conscience, like the dentist rubbing that paste on your jaw so you don't feel the needle go in.
Quote How We Justify Disturbing Beliefs Of Others Article by David Wong:It's obvious why -- we've seen enough terrorists, suicide cults, and hateful fundamentalists to know that zealots are bad news. Fervent belief in something -- whether it's a religion or a soccer team -- shuts down the thinking part of your brain and makes you start rioting in the streets. So clearly a smart person does whatever the opposite of that is. Right?

Usually this involves taking whatever other people are excited about and putting the word "just" in front of it. Like:

"It's just a couple of rainbows!"

"It's just a game!"

"It's just a religious sermon!"

"It's just an election!"

"It's just a job!"

"It's just the summoning of Nyarlathotep, the Dark God of Crawling Chaos!"

And there's the problem. The logical part of the human brain has turned out to be a horrible motivator. The gut-level awe part of the brain is a fantastic motivator. It's just the way we're built. Those zealots are high on dopamine, which is the brain chemical that motivates us to act.

Quote How Easy It Is To Stimulate Awe In The Human Brain Article by David Wong:You need something to be in awe of. You, the person reading this. If you don't have something, you'll create it. You'll obsess over a girl or a guy, you'll obsess over money, you'll obsess over World of Warcraft. You will be defined by what you choose to worship, but you will worship something, and your whole life will be a steady parade of various people trying to convince you that they or their product are just the thing to fill that void. Buy my book.

Hilarious, but true! That describes Kend--and in one way or another all of us--perfectly.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 14 weeks ago
#25

Loren Bliss's last post concludes with the rhetorical question: "...Are they ['they' being the power eliute] deliberately trashing the planet to make it more readily inhabitable by some alien, probably insectiod species?"

Hey Mr. B, look who now occupies most seats of Congress! - AIW

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 14 weeks ago
#26

DAnneMarc, thank you for David Wong's ruthlessly honest, insightful observations. Yes, there's an awful lot of truth in there! At my own defense however, I will clarify that, regarding overpopulation, what comes to my mind is not the assumption that poor people (especially black or brown poor people) are the dispensible ones, those who wouldn't be here if not for out-of-control population growth. My thinking on this subject goes more like: "What contributes to high birth rates in poor countries?" and "How can we bring down the birth rate worldwide?" and "Where do we all go from here?" For thinking along those lines, regarding overpopulation, I make no apology.

Last Thursday I heard Thom make the point that, unlikely though it is, if everyone worldwide limited themselves to having one child, the human population would be at much healthier numbers by (if I recall correctly) the 21st Century. He also pointed out that population density is a major factor in the cost of labor. Makes sense to me. I've learned so much from that guy!

Anyway Marc, Mr. Wong's article is brilliant. He highlights some ugly, sobering truths, presented in a humorous light. Well done, and thanks for sharing! - Aliceinwonderland

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 14 weeks ago
#27

P.S. Whoops! I meant the 22nd Century! Sorry...

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 14 weeks ago
#28
Quote NY TIMES:Drawbridge is one of several start-ups that have figured out how to follow people without cookies, and to determine that a cellphone, work computer, home computer and tablet belong to the same person, even if the devices are in no way connected. Before, logging onto a new device presented advertisers with a clean slate.

“We’re observing your behaviors and connecting your profile to mobile devices,” said Eric Rosenblum, chief operating officer at Drawbridge. But don’t call it tracking. “Tracking is a dirty word,” he said.

Drawbridge, founded by a former Google data scientist, says it has matched 1.5 billion devices this way, allowing it to deliver mobile ads based on Web sites the person has visited on a computer. If you research a Hawaiian vacation on your work desktop, you could see a Hawaii ad that night on your personal cellphone.

Drawbridge watches the notifications for behavioral patterns and uses statistical modeling to determine the probability that several devices have the same owner and to assign that person an anonymous identifier.
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So if someone regularly checks a news app on a phone in bed each morning, browses the same news site from a laptop in the kitchen, visits from that laptop at an office an hour later and returns that night on a tablet in the same home, Drawbridge concludes that those devices belong to the same person. And if that person shopped for airplane tickets at work, Drawbridge could show that person an airline ad on the tablet that evening.
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Other companies, like Flurry, get to know people by the apps they use.

Flurry embeds its software in 350,000 apps on 1.2 billion devices to help app developers track things like usage. Its tracking software appears on the phone automatically when people download those apps. Flurry recently introduced a real-time ad marketplace to send advertisers an anonymized profile of users the moment they open an app.
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Wireless carriers know even more about us from our home ZIP codes, like how much time we spend on mobile apps and which sites we visit on mobile browsers. Verizon announced in December that its customers could authorize it to share that information with advertisers in exchange for coupons. AT&T announced this summer that it would start selling aggregated customer data to marketers, while offering a way to opt out.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/technology/selling-secrets-of-phone-us...

Anyone notice the new Google TOS? I wonder how many people are just going to go along with a wide open dossier of themselves for advertizers, and other undesirables, to feast on?

I've noticed that the almost daily pest calls that ring my house has been very silent lately...like nothing in over a week. Could it be that my caller ID is finally working..that making a concerted effort and never answering my phone unless I recognize the number has made these scammers give up? Or, perhaps maybe it has to do with several recent crack downs (ie: law enforcement shut downs and stiff legal penalties against these scammers). Whatever, I'm lovin' the peace and quiet..finally!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 14 weeks ago
#29
Quote Aliceinwonderland: He also pointed out that population density is a major factor in the cost of labor. Makes sense to me. I've learned so much from that guy!

Aliceinwonderland ~ I concur. I too learn much from Thom, you, and everyone else here.

As far as cost of labor and how it relates to population density, I believe what could be the underlying factor is the law of supply and demand. If we factor supply and demand into the population equation we see that population is somewhat self regulating. As the population goes up the demand for labor and wages goes down. Consequently, if population goes up so does the demand for food. As a result food prices go up. With high food prices and low wages people have no choice but to have less kids. Therefore, population goes down. It's kind of a feedback loop.

What throws everything off is when the food supply is artificially increased with black magic. (ie petroleum based fertilizers.) Then you get the whole world population addicted even deeper into petroleum. Fortunately, to those in the know, Hemp is a perfect substitute for fertilizer as well because in crop rotation it is the perfect soil builder.

Hemp truly is a God send. Thanks to it, when the time comes, we can wean society off of petroleum without having to shoulder some massive population holocaust.

In the long run no parent likes to watch their children suffer. When people see the real cost of food versus their stagnant wages I have every confidence that they will voluntarily seek responsible planned parenthood. I have every faith that in time the world population will adjust to its natural equilibrium with the environment. The current aberration is a result of rapid technological progress mixed with ignorance, inexperience, irresponsibility, and hesitant social planning from governmental representatives who fear losing their popularity. Like we have witnessed in China, sometimes obvious problems have to run to term to gain popular support in dealing with. Hopefully, China will serve an adequate example so that the same problem doesn't have to occur here before we address it properly.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 14 weeks ago
#30
Quote Palindromedary:I've noticed that the almost daily pest calls that ring my house has been very silent lately...like nothing in over a week. Could it be that my caller ID is finally working..that making a concerted effort and never answering my phone unless I recognize the number has made these scammers give up?

Palindromedary ~ Really? Over a week of sweet silence? Unbelievable. Are you sure your phone is plugged in? I too have caller ID and screen my calls and haven't notice any let up in telemarketing calls. I'd say I get 4 - 6 a day. I'm even on the so called 'no call' list. Tell me, do you have an answering machine added to your call screening? For me, caller ID isn't enough. Too may of these callers, friends, and family have 'private' or 'unavailable' numbers; yet, almost any commercial call will inevitably fail to leave a message on your answering machine. Unfortunately, they still manage to wake me up in the morning or during a nap. That really bothers me. It should be illegal.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 14 weeks ago
#31

DAnneMarc: Yes my phone is plugged in...and I have gotten calls only from people I know...since from last week. I don't have an answering machine...just those cheap little caller ID boxes from AT&T you can buy to plug it in between the phone and the line. When I was getting calls...I'd just look at the numbers and verify they were, or were not, from someone I know. I know that there are special phones that not only have caller id but also you can program them to block calls. They won't even make an audible ring. Yes, I too was on a Do Not Call list but that really doesn't do much good. They still call.

Wow! 4-6 calls a day! I have never had it quite that bad...living up here in Gumbyville, Montana. But I still get knocks on my door from people wanting to sell meat! Go figure! ;-}

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 14 weeks ago
#32

Marc, you don't have to sell me on hemp 'cause I'm a believer. It's the most versatile plant known to humans, with literally dozens of uses. Cannabis, in all its forms, is our gift from Mother Nature! It's mind blowing to contemplate how many centuries - if not millenia - hemp products were a normal part of everyday life... right up until nearly eighty years ago, when this ridiculous corporate-sponsored prohibition first asserted itself. After all, it's so much harder to monopolize something like hemp than, say, fossil fuel... Tut, tut. - AIW

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 14 weeks ago
#33

Palin, I've had it that bad. Four to six bogus calls per day is pretty standard for me. If you are a self-employed business owner, they're like horse flies; they'll badger you half to death. Those automatic dialers are especially crazy-making, because all I hear on the message machine afterwards is this little clicking noise that repeats maybe a few times before it dies. Thank goodness I can mute the ring, because without having to hear the ring or my greeting, it's a lot less bothersome & disruptive.

Frustrates me to the brink of a meltdown at times, having my space bombarded nonstop like this. Besides all these unwanted phone calls, there's the dozens & dozens of e-mail messages that keep pouring in each day; most of it impersonal, from all these organizations and so on... Then there's that big-ass pile of junk mail from our mailbox I'm having to sort through, several times a week, and dispose of... all too friggin' MUCH. Gets kinda suffocating, past a certain point... Know what I mean?

Do any of you ever crave a quieter, simpler life? - Alice I.W.

dialindicator's picture
dialindicator 8 years 14 weeks ago
#34

So, Bob Hearn and Dialindicator became anonymous friends, exchanged some philosophy and concluded on the problem. So what, Now what? Whats next? Say,s the mind. I need some content here. Are Bob and Dial going to die in a global warming caused flooding tornadic hurricane caused by burning ickkky.goouee, evil black gue. Will they be thoughtless,and comppassionate, free of self pity as they are swept away?

I wish Bob and Myself a long and plentiful life but yes maybe those things will happen. Here in this universe the laws of physics aren't denied, as far as I know. But as Bob so appropriately allowed us to point out. The problem is not about the laws of physics. The problem is about us.

It starts with the mind set, the idea, the thought. Ickkky, goouee, evil black greeeed infested gue. It moves on. Open pits, dead clear cut forest, lakes of toxic water, The Exxon Valdez, ickkky evil black gue spewing into the Gulf of Mexico, transcontinetal pipelines, fracking, the Koch brothers. I could go on all day but thats a good place to stop!

Yes the problem. Thought! Theres no question we need it (fossil fuel). Thought say's, I cant live without this thing that I,m running out of that I fought for that is killing me. Maybe I won't run out. I think I'll find a scientist who say's it good for me. I'll get a hybrid---If only everyone would get a hybrid. If I don't use it up first Maybe I can use some of it to fly the hemp seed to the tractor. No offense DeAnnemarc. Hemp is a god idea.(decideded to leave that missed key while spelling the word good)

So resentment! How could we not resent such a thing? How could we be greatful, how-ever could we honer it? I would say by not abuseing it. By teaching our children to not abuse it. By giving it the presence it deserves. And take it farther. Give that presence, that honor to every thing we take for granted. To recieve presence from what is, you must give presence to what is. We all do this with something,we know it to be true. Aliceinwonderland most certainly does it with her music, I see it in the photo. We can only solve the problem in the present. This is the wolf we must feed!

Today I will fill up my tank and somewhere deep down I will realize every single little thing it took to get that energy all the way to me!

Bob Hearns's picture
Bob Hearns 8 years 14 weeks ago
#35

dialindicator, so I woke up this morning, turned on the computer and checked to see if you had written anything more. You hadn't and subsequently, I thought 'what's next? I urge to keep moving forward.'. You wrote first, much of it is what I would have said.

I have been talking for years about the wonder plant 'hemp' (DAnneMarc, I agree that it is) and the many benefits we have lost over the years, but would regain IF WE ONLY STARTED PLANTING IT IN GREAT QUANTITIES.

A word I would not have used is 'philosophy'. I would have used 'facts'. The definition of philosophy includes the terms - intellectual, systems, analysis, ideas, and beliefs - none of which were part of what I was writing. What I wrote was fact for me. When the wolf that is psychological thought is not fed, when psychological thought is not active, is quiet, is dead then the other wolf, compassion, 'is'. It does not have to be fed. It just is. Compassion and all that surrounds it 'is'. Actions then stem from that.

Resentment? no resentment, it just is.

One of the meanings about being Bob Hearns is to move this forward. A crisis demands action. If you are familiar with the song 'I know an old lady who swallowed a fly', I think we may be at the goat, or worse, the cow!

I am aware of a project that moves this forward and am in the early stages of becoming actively involved.

dialindicator's picture
dialindicator 8 years 14 weeks ago
#36

I agree Bob Hearn it is not philosophy. perhaps my writing style missed conveying the point or perhaps I have missed the point. Most, not all of my little essay was meant to be an illustration of how thought would pervert the actual intent of our dialog. How thought might diminish the content. Also how thought might percieve our momentary dependance on a precious resourse and therefor create resentment about that dependance. I simply wish to point out we are addicted to abuseing a precious resourse essential to moving forward and worse we seem as a culture to be addicted to abusing everything of plenty, including each other. Yes it is about thought. Pointing at here and now in every possible way is transendence.

Like you I'm not attached to moving forward but I am about it, maybe were at the "horse" of course. we are most certainly past the "bird" to use your metaphor. No doubt any constructive project addressing climate change deserves expediancy. It is hard to imagine (there goes that thought thing again) a solution that does not require large quantitys of fossil fuel to implement, no resentment about what is. I must confess relative complacency on my part while also recognizing I'm here. I hope as the details of the project you speak become clear, awareness becomes universal as you know if it involves freedom from psycological thought, I'm already about universal awareness. Thank you for continuing to challenge.

dialindicator's picture
dialindicator 8 years 14 weeks ago
#37

Forgive me Bob Hearns, for at least twice I have misspelled your name.

dialindicator's picture
dialindicator 8 years 14 weeks ago
#38

And the start of another day and everyone has moved on from here except myself and I expect I will hear from Bob or certainly hope to. Millions of times for thousands of years the "FACT" of which Bob and I speak has been misinterpeted, called, twisted, turned into philosospy, religion, or ignored. Ignoreing I sense here and now.

I mentioned the fact that psycological thought can't resolve problems it created. This is where there is irony. Psycological thought may actually neutralize climate change saveing the earth from further peril. Only because of the bigger crisis, the true crisis. Psycological thought could likely reduce the population to stone age numbers or extinction entirely long before the "climate change tipping point" is reached.The planet can support 12 million or more sane comppassionate humans according to science. Is that what science was talking about?

" Three force's rule the world stupidity, fear, and greed"(Einstien). "The Triune God". Supiidity thrives in the weeds of ignorence(the act of ignoring) I'm not looking for attention for myself here. This is an appeal to others. Pay attention! Pay attention to yourself. Pay attention to your loved ones . Pay attention to those whom you "think" you don't know. Pay attention to your environment. Pay attention to "BEING".

Bob Hearns's picture
Bob Hearns 8 years 14 weeks ago
#39

dialindicator, you expect right. Enjoyed your last comment.

What a paradox - you think you can tell other people how to live the 'FACT' up until the point that you ACTUALLY live the 'FACT' and at the same moment you realize that you cannot tell anyone. It truly is a voyage of self discovery and ONLY a voyage of self discovery. There is no series of steps or set of beliefs that will lead you to live the 'FACT'. There is a parallel here with physical birth. It's a one way. There is no way to become unaware that you have become aware of the 'FACT'. And, of course, why would anyone want to?

I realize that what you and I are speaking of here will be met with disbelief or even derision. I understand why, I used to be where they are, and I accept it. I'll continue to speak and write. I won't be a hermit about it. Who knows (I know I don't) when someone has ears to hear..........

I enjoy listening to Thom's show and I will participate here.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Today, we are closing Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to hartmannreport.com - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"Hartmann combines a remarkable piece of historical research with a brilliant literary style to tell the grand story of corporate corruption and its consequences for society with the force and readability of a great novel."
David C. Korten, author of When Corporations Rule the World and Agenda for A New Economy
From Screwed:
"I think many of us recognize that for all but the wealthiest, life in America is getting increasingly hard. Screwed explores why, showing how this is no accidental process, but rather the product of conscious political choices, choices we can change with enough courage and commitment. Like all of Thom’s great work, it helps show us the way forward."
Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen and The Impossible Will Take a Little While
From Cracking the Code:
"In Cracking the Code, Thom Hartmann, America’s most popular, informed, and articulate progressive talk show host and political analyst, tells us what makes humans vulnerable to unscrupulous propagandists and what we can do about it. It is essential reading for all Americans who are fed up with right-wing extremists manipulating our minds and politics to promote agendas contrary to our core values and interests."
David C. Korten, author of The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community and When Corporations Rule the World and board chair of YES! magazine