Crapola, Crapola, Crapola

There is so much crap online these days in supposedly ‘Clean, Green, Eco-aware, Environment-Friendly, Forward-Thinking, Concerned, Activist’ sites like The Climate Reality Project, that the situation is unbelievable.  Someone has to be kidding.  That site should be called ‘The Climate Con Project’.

Do I sound like a denialist?  Well, I am not.  Quite the contrary.  I am a realist who knows the dangers that humanity faces from out of control climate change.  I do not subscribe to wishy-washy so-called plans or agreements to stop, slow-down, handle, turn-around, eliminate, mitigate, or in any other way affect climate change.  All such efforts, or at least the ones always put forward, spoken or argued about, are entirely meaningless and ineffective.  They are, in short, a con…

Take for instance one of the latest posts from the Climate Reality Facebook page or go direct to their linked article: What Is Grid Parity and Why Does It Matter?

Tell me, what has anything, anything at all, any little thing, any huge big thing, any aspect whatsoever, concerning the electricity grid got to do with stopping climate change?  Eh?  What?  If you said anything at all, you were wrong, whatever it was you said.  Unless what you said was something like “Nothing at all”.

The electricity grid is all about adding to climate change, no matter how it is powered.  The electricity grid has nothing to do with stopping climate change.  Nothing at all.  To say, or imply, that it has, is the biggest lie that we, the gullible public, are being conned into believing.  It is the big “Renewables Is The Answer” fraud.

Now, if we were to do away with the electricity grid, entirely, altogether, completely, then that might have some effect in slowing down (not stopping) climate change.  But that is not even on the table is it?  We are not being asked to do that at all, are we?

They think we are fools.  Well, they might be right there, generally speaking.  I don’t hear many voices saying what I have just said.  There are a few, but mostly we just suck up whatever people like Climate Reality tell us, if we listen to anything at all or give the matter any thought time.

So, what’s the answer?  Well, shutting down the electricity grid would be a start, but it is only a small aspect of what in total contributes to climate change.  There are a lot of other things that we would need to stop doing in addition to that.  If you think about it.  If you care enough to start to think about it.  That’s the secret, they don’t expect us to think about anything much at all.  We are held in thrall, dummyfied, by the bread and circuses of modern life that have been provided just for that purpose.

Break out!  Live!  Think!  Read!  And don’t be taken in by their distractions.  It will kill you.

…I didn’t finish, as you may have noticed, what I was saying earlier.  So, finally, what do I see as being a solution?  What do I stand for?  Firstly, there are no solutions (so don’t waste your time, energy and money on any such thing).  Secondly, I stand for Adaptation (the preparing for the unknown future as best as can be done, while leaving behind all that has been accumulated in the past, freeing yourself from attachment to the past.  That is where to invest your time, energy and money).

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So, Basically, We’re Trapped With No Way Out

I’m not going to say anything, other than pose the question – “When are people going to accept this and stop trying to fix climate change?”

I will leave Bill McKibben to explain the situation: Global Warming’s Terrifying New Chemistry.  Not that he reaches the same conclusions as I do.  No climate change expert does, or perhaps none of them dares to express those views (except perhaps the mad scientists at AMEG and also Guy McPherson – not that I want to identify with him and, come to think of it, he is one of those mad scientists at AMEG).

It is patently clear that if we do nothing, by simply carrying on the way things are, climate agreements or no climate agreements, we are doomed to fry (maybe ‘dessicate’ is a better description) eventually if we are not starved or bludgeoned to death by natural forces first.  Or possibly we could go out in a gigantic aerial explosion that burns up the atmosphere.  Please note, I have no scientific basis for that last remark, just that an increasingly methane filled atmosphere, mixed with oxygen, must be a very dangerous place to live and breathe.  I offer that simply as a casual thought.

It is also patently clear that if we were to come to our senses and power down our global society and all live like it was the nineteenth century, then most or all of us would still be stuffed because we just couldn’t do it and even if a gallant remnant were able to adapt sufficiently to make a go of it, it probably wouldn’t alter the planetary outcome anyway in a timescale that would be of any benefit to us.

It is also patently clear that if we all agreed to an immediate global power down but first we would do some geo-engineering to slow down the rate of climate change (as the mad scientists at AMEG and others would recommend), the effect or side-effects of doing that would make our power-down gesture meaningless.

In other words, basically, we’re trapped with no way out.

So much for me not going to say anything.

Just for effect, I will finish with my original question: “When are people going to accept this and stop trying to fix climate change?”

Playing With Fire

Well, there you go. You play with fire, eventually you will get burned fingers.  New York investigates radioactive leak in groundwater near city

Photo credit: The Indian Point energy center in Buchanan, New York.  Ricky Flores/AP

This could be considerably worse that they are currently admitting.

And…  just to put it in context, what happens when the electricity grid eventually fails due to poor infrastructure maintenance, lack of natural resources (oil and coal, yes, nuclear power generation relies on the grid to keep operating), war, climate upheaval, civil insurrection, financial or general economic collapse, lack of trained workers, revolt of trained workers or terrorist activity?

All of those 99 nuclear power plants in the US would suffer meltdown (just like Fukushima, Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, among others), if not in the reactor itself then in the cooling ponds.  Much of the US will become uninhabitable when any of those things occur.  That is why, I think, they have military forces scattered over the whole world.  They will soon need, and not just because of the nuclear contamination risk, somewhere else to park their people.  That US Marine battalion up in the north of Australia is not just there for this country’s protection.  Not that Australia will remain habitable for long either, except for Tasmania and perhaps a few small areas up north.

Calving Ice, Redux

It has been three years since I first saw this amazing video.  It was hard to convince anybody about the reality of climate change back then.  Few were interested.  That has changed some, a little, now, I guess, and as the next year and years roll out, that interest will continue to grow, simply because we won’t be able to ignore the facts as they confront us ever more disruptively.

It has been three years, but I still haven’t seen the entire Chasing Ice video.  There is a good reason for that.  Human greed and the need to make money, even out of such tragedies as the melting of Earth’s poles.  This dramatic footage was not shot for the public good.  If it were, it would have been distributed freely.  The fact that it hasn’t been, is a human failure to comprehend the trouble that we are in as a species.  Commerce and money tops that sort of thing and dominates all else, every time.  As a result, I doubt if many would even remember the Chasing Ice movie today because very few would ever have seen it around the world.  That, in itself, is a tragedy.

Still, it’s nice to have even this short video to give us the opportunity to grasp the portents of the climate carnage that we have released on ourselves.  Watch it full-screen.  Feel the immense power of nature.  And tremble at what awaits us as our coastal infrastructure becomes torn apart and buried by and under rising tides in the coming years.

“We Stand Today On A Precipice Of Annihilation”

The dramatic quote that I have chosen as the title for this post comes from an article by Roy Scranton which appeared on the New York Times website dated 21 December 2015 (link below).

Whoever would have thought that one might see an article with the title:  We’re Doomed. Now What?  appearing in a major mainstream media source?  I was intrigued and had to take a look.

I didn’t find this piece myself, it came as a link in an email newsletter from Dave Pollard’s How To Save The World blog

21stoneweb-superjumboImage: Aly Song / Reuters

 

So, what did Roy Scranton have to say?  Did it live up to the excitement generated by the title?  Or was it just another beat-up?

Well, it started off quite well, better than that in fact.  I will repeat the first paragraph here as an appetiser which will I hope draw you in to read more in the article, and make up your own mind.

The time we’ve been thrown into is one of alarming and bewildering change — the breakup of the post-1945 global order, a multispecies mass extinction and the beginning of the end of civilization as we know it.  Not one of us is innocent, not one of us is safe.  The world groans under the weight of seven billion humans; every new birth adds another mouth hungry for food, another life greedy for energy.

He then goes on to talk about how we tend to react to the situation once we realise that something is actually going on that may be important enough for us to consider, and says that “We respond according to our prejudices…”.  Quite true.  Then I actually learned something when he spoke of the different categories of prejudice, mentioning:

  • Right wing deniers – who think that the real problem is not Climate Change but only Terrorism or Refugees
  • Left wing deniers – who think that all the problems are fixable and controllable as a matter of political will
  • Accelerationists – who believe that all it takes is more technology
  • Incrementalists – whose answer is to just keep doing more of the same led by the leaders we already have
  • Activists – who want us to fight, even if it means losing

I don’t appear to fit into any of those categories somehow, but I can’t, offhand, think of a suitable group name for people like me.  I like to think of myself as a ‘Realist – who knows there is nothing we can do and we should just accept the consequences of the nice mess we have gotten ourselves into‘, but I’m sure there would be various objections to that on the basis of ‘what is real’ or ‘we can’t just lie down and give up’.  Did I say anything about ‘giving up’?  No.  Just that no matter what we do, it will make no overall difference.  It might make some difference for the individual though.  But there are no guarantees.  Oh, then how about ‘Pragmatist’?  Yes, that sounds quite important, and has some air of mystery about it.  Maybe that will do.

So, just for that little revelation, it was worth the read.  But there’s more.

Scranton went on to talk at some depth about nihilism and Nietzsche.  I thought at first he was talking about Bill Nye – The Science Guy (nihilism?).   I didn’t really, but it’s a nice line, don’t you think?

Personally, I may have at some stage been interested in pursuing such convoluted, cerebral, logical, arguments (not sure how the average New York Times reader would have reacted), but at 70 years of age I consider that I don’t have enough lucid minutes left to me to spend even some of them in trying to follow that sort of thing.  You may of course think differently.

However, I persevered by skipping along the lines until I came to something that required less energy outlay.  And I was pleased that I did.  I am going to join a few quotes from the piece together in what I think are some very relevant and interesting thoughts which everyone could benefit by considering at some length and with an appropriate degree of seriousness.  So, thank you Roy Scranton a) for getting this piece out there in mediaworld and b) for some of the fine things that you wrote.

We all see what’s happening, we read it in the headlines every day, but seeing isn’t believing, and believing isn’t accepting.  We respond according to our prejudices, acting out of instinct, reflex and training.

Meanwhile, as the gap between the future we’re entering and the future we once imagined grows ever wider, nihilism takes root in the shadow of our fear: if all is already lost, nothing matters anyway.

We stand today on a precipice of annihilation that Nietzsche could not have even imagined. There is little reason to hope that we’ll be able to slow down global warming before we pass a tipping point. We’re already one degree Celsius above preindustrial temperatures and there’s another half a degree baked in. The West Antarctic ice sheet is collapsing, Greenland is melting, permafrost across the world is liquefying, and methane has been detected leaking from sea floors and Siberian craters: it’s probably already too late to stop these feedbacks, which means it’s probably already too late to stop apocalyptic planetary warming. Meanwhile the world slides into hate-filled, bloody havoc, like the last act of a particularly ugly Shakespearean tragedy.

Yet it’s at just this moment of crisis that our human drive to make meaning reappears as our only salvation … if we’re willing to reflect consciously on the ways we make life meaningful — on how we decide what is good, what our goals are, what’s worth living or dying for, and what we do every day, day to day, and how we do it.

We can’t do it by clinging to the progressivist, profit-seeking, technology-can-fix-it ideology of fossil-fueled capitalism.  We can’t do it by trying to control the future.  We need to learn to let our current civilization die, to accept our mortality and practice humility (emphasis is mine).  We need to work together to transform a global order of meaning focused on accumulation into a new order of meaning that knows the value of limits, transience and restraint.

We were born on the eve of what may be the human world’s greatest catastrophe.  None of us chose this, not deliberately.  None of us can choose to avoid it either.  Some of us will even live through it.  What meaning we pass on to the future will depend on how well we remember those who have come before us, how wisely and how gently we’re able to shed the ruinous way of life that’s destroying us today, and how consciously we’re able to affirm our role as creators of our fated future (emphasis is mine).

I guess I can no longer say “You won’t see any of this in the mainstream media” 🙂

Old Arctic Sea Ice Disappears Over 25 Years

You may have experienced climate change for yourself.  It’s easy to do these days.  In most places on this planet, you just have to step outside for a while.

But it is not so easy to see the gradual accumulative changes that take place over years through annual cycles of ebb and flow. The short video below, mapping the destruction of Arctic Sea Ice over a 25 year period, put together from weekly satellite and surface data, allows us to see the effects play out in a time-span that we can relate to and grasp.

The original NOAA article presenting this video is here.

The ice that you can see melting and flowing in this video, mostly into the warmer waters of the Atlantic Ocean, will not be replaced in any of our lifetimes.  The Arctic region is warming faster than any other place on Earth and that warmth is acting as an engine (fueled not only by the Sun but also by the release of underwater and underground Methane deposits) for the growing climate disruption that is being experienced as yet mostly through erratic weather patterns across all of the Northern Hemisphere.

3102738-largeImage source

 

This will soon, increasingly, and is even now doing so, disrupt food production around the world.  It will also speed up the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, land-based ice 2-3 kilometres thick, causing several metres, perhaps tens of metres, more rise in sea level than official reports are prepared to admit.  Those are just two of the effects of climate change that we should be, but are generally not being, worried about.

greenland-ice-meltImage source

 

Please do not think, even for a second, that the Paris climate agreement will do anything to stop or even alter in any way the severity of those effects on life on Earth.

We’ve Already Reached the Tipping Point on Global Warming

“The world I want is a world that does not subjugate, does not separate, does not monger fear and inadequacy in order to control.  The world I dream of has clean air, clean water, does not poison its people.  Instead it educates them, gives them room and space to dream.  It respects the plants and animals that share our planet, does not see them as resources to be exploited but as sacred things to be exalted and protected.”

This post inspired by the Medium article: We’ve Already Reached the Tipping Point on Global Warming. I’ve Seen It.  I have included no photos here as the linked article has enough of its own.  Read it if you want pictures.

Now, I dislike promoting anything to do with TED Talks, which have morphed into something akin to meaningless, through overuse and manipulation, but I wanted to use the above quote from this article on Medium since it resonates somehow with my own views, so I have let my dislikes slide this time and for this purpose.

The article starts off well, with the title “We’ve Already Reached the Tipping Point on Global Warming”, but then attempts to stir and warm our hearts by comparing us to icebergs and gee-ing us up to do something.  A noble gesture, but somehow crazy.  Yet worth the read.

If the climate tipping point has been reached, and I have no doubt that it has, then attempting to turn that situation around with platitudes, singing choruses of ‘Kumbaya’ while holding hands in a circle, promoting global climate talk-fests or pretty much anything else to “right this ship and chart a better course” in “service of this planet”, god, humanity, or any other lost cause, is really oxymoronic, pointless, and equivalent to trying to stop a rolling iceberg (see the video).

Face the facts people.  If any of us (or our descendants) are to live through the next several years, decades or centuries, then most of us have to die first.  And soon.  And those that remain (if there are any), need to remember why.  They will also need to learn or relearn how to live in very different circumstances to how we have lived.

Still Kidding Ourselves…

Why are we still kidding ourselves, or what’s worse, not even having an opinion or a care?

No matter what happens this month in Paris, we are not going to hold down global warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels.  There is zero possibility of that happening and, even if there were a slight possibility, we have no carbon budget (any amount of CO2 we can still safely emit) remaining to us.  We have used all calculated budgetary allowances up already due to 30 years of political stasis, backed by our own complacency.

We are already at a 1°C rise.  A year or so ago it was only 0.8°C.  So global temperature increase is speeding up, not reducing.  Consider that it has taken over 100 years to get to that 1°C rise but at current rates of increase it now needs only one or at most two decades for the next degree rise to occur.

Furthermore, a 2°C limit is not a safe level to aim for in any case.  It is on the border between the experience of dangerous and very dangerous conditions. A state of life that none of us alive at the time will enjoy, and yet the very best that we are prepared to plan for.

 

I want to include here a quote from this article, written over a year ago, just to give a clear picture of the futility of what is being considered at the current Paris talks:

“It is now clear that the incremental-adjustment 2°C strategy has run out of time, if for no other reason than the “budget” for burning more fossil fuels is now zero, yet the global economy is still deeply committed to their continuing widespread use.

We all wish the incremental-adjustment 2°C strategy had worked, but it hasn’t.  It has now expired as a practical plan.

We now have a choice to make: we can accept much higher levels of warming of 3–5°C that will catastrophically affect the world’s natural and human systems in a manner more forthright scientists say are incompatible with the maintenance of human civilisation; or we can conceive of a safe-climate emergency-action approach which would aim to reduce global warming back to the range of conditions experienced during the last 10,000 years, the period of human civilisation and fixed settlement.

This would involve fast and large emissions reduction through radical energy demand reductions, whilst a vast scaling-up of clean energy production was organised, together with the remaking of many of our essential systems such as transport and food production, with the target being zero net emissions. In addition, there would need to be a major commitment to atmospheric carbon dioxide drawdown measures.  This would need to be done at a speed and scale more akin to the “war economy”, where social and economic priority is given to what is perceived to be an overwhelming existential threat.

After 30 years of climate policy and action failure, we are in deep trouble and now have to throw everything we can muster at the climate challenge.  This will be demanding and disruptive, because there are no longer any non-radical, incremental paths available.”

Let me make it absolutely clear what will happen whether we do nothing, a little, or even enough to prevent the worst from occurring – If you are alive today and under 50 years of age, you are unlikely to live out your entire period of life expectancy.  Human civilisation will largely have ceased to exist other than for small rural groups of people struggling to live at subsistence levels, way before the end of this century is reached. (Why would doing enough to prevent the worst outcome result in the same thing as if we did nothing?  Because the ‘enough’ that would be necessary for us to do, would mean that we must voluntarily end our current civilisation and lifestyles, and live frugally.  Which would also result in a huge die-off of humanity, and also because we have at least 1.5°C of increase already built in to our climate systems resulting from our past indifference.)

For more, read this: http://globalwarming.berrens.nl/globalwarming.htm It is a degree by degree description of what to expect.

It doesn’t really bother me personally, what is going to happen.  I have most likely less that two decades of life remaining to me.  I will only live to see the ‘very dangerous’ levels of climate mayhem.  You, on the other hand, especially if you are under 50, should be quaking in your boots at the prospect.  That may appear to be a rather blunt statement, but tippy-toeing around the subject for the last 30-40 years has gotten us nowhere, has it?

This Little Piggy Went……

Happy eating to all you meat lovers out there. I hope you can face gazing at your next plate of pork chop, lamb cutlet, beef steak or chicken breast after reading this article.

Better enjoy it while you can. There soon won’t be enough room for the farming of animals that are big enough to eat and us humans as well. Eventually you will be stuck with sitting down to a nice meal of roast shank of neighbour. Or, you might just be the roast shank. Think about it.

As it is, farmed animals eat a large proportion of all grains produced around the world and consume a huge amount of the world’s fresh water in their production and processing. Not to mention the massive associated energy cost or the excessive greenhouse gases these billions of domesticated animals produce, driving global climate change. Climate change. Yes, just that one reason alone should be enough to give you reason to give up or at least cut down your meat consumption. If you care enough about your possible future, or that of your children, that is.

Something to think about? While you are chewing on that cut of salmonella laden, carcinogenic, animal corpse?

This post inspired by: Industrial farming is one of the worst crimes in history

2014, The Year Everything Changes

“It’s The System, Stupid!” – US Ex-President, Bill Clinton

It is the system.  The system is corrupt and bears us (you and me) no good will.  The system must go.

Democracy is dead.  Overpowered, overcome and taken over by Corporate lobbyists, Corporate greed and Corporate money.

Well, actually, democracy is not quite dead but has been zombyfied by corporate interests.  They actually need it to retain at least a semblance of life in order to keep the people (you know the people I mean, it’s the same ones as in ‘of the people, for the people, by the people’, aka you and me) guessing at what is going on but never quite sure whether they need to be worried or get restless somehow.  So democracy keeps staggering along, looking more dead than alive, arms dragging, face a grotesque mask and grunting incoherently about nothing that matters. Oh yes, and (just to complete the picture) eating its own brains (metaphorically) whenever it can.

This can not be allowed to continue and 2014 is shaping up to be the year that ‘we, the people’ bring it to a head.

I wrote the above on 7 January having been fired up by reading the latest piece called Crash on Demand: Welcome to the Brown Tech Future, from David Holmgren, co-founder of the permaculture phenomenon and someone whose work I greatly respect.

2014, The Year Everything Changes

…Well, it would have been, but the angst has diminished.

It is now 17 January and I have calmed down somewhat, in the intervening week or so.

I don’t know if it was the intention of the author to bring out the same sort of reaction I had, at least initially, in the mind of the concerned reader, but it worked.  I expect it will get more readers fired up one way or another.  But sufficiently motivated to do something radical?

If I may bluntly precis and paraphrase David’s paper in my own words, what it boils down to is this:

There is a problem with the way we, the world’s people and our societal organisations, are handling the operational conduct of our civilisation. 

The problem concerns the fact that we are impinging on the wellbeing of the planetary systems on which we rely for our existence, in ways that are going to blow up in our faces before too long.

There is a growing, though as yet low-level, awareness to those facts among the populace and its leaders but the concern is that this will never amount to a drive with sufficient impact to halt or change the current way of things.  At least in time to prevent what could be a particularly unpleasant outcome for all concerned. 

Perhaps we should take steps to avert such calamity by attempting to bring about an early end to the current system (which is going to crash all by itself anyway sooner or later) in order to minimise the damage that might be caused by letting things take the course of natural progression. 

Such an effect could be achieved by sufficient numbers of participants from the most advanced areas of society withdrawing their support from the system, thus starving it of funding to maintain credit supply and causing it to crash.  David provides what he thinks would be appropriate numbers to make that happen.

This proposal, or maybe it is just a line of thought intended to provoke discussion, has so far drawn attention from two other prominent names from the resilience arena in a three cornered kind of ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’ scenario.  With no attempt or wish to  attach any of those labels to any of these participants (they can’t be referred to as ‘combatants’ as they are all more or less friends), they are the very well credentialed Nicole Foss (aka Stoneleigh, of The Automatic Earth blogspot), Rob Hopkins, founder of The Transition Movement, and of course David Holmgren.

With David having metaphorically fired the first bullet, not generally aimed at anyone specifically, it didn’t take long for Nicole to reply with the first answering shot in her TAE article Crash on Demand? A Response to David Holmgren followed soon after by a blast from Rob delivered in his article Holmgren’s ‘Crash on Demand’: be careful what you wish for.

Now, this is not a battle royal, and I didn’t intend to make it sound like that.  It is just a (mostly) friendly discussion between folk who are pretty much on the same side and who share many thoughts and points of view.  Yet there are distinct differences between them in certain areas and each argues their position lucidly and politely.  It is all worth reading.

The Transitioner View

Without intending to be over-critical, I think Rob Hopkins position, which basically hinges around the idea that we need the current system to continue as long as possible in order to reach a general state of readiness that would be considered adequate to meet the future with some assurance of success (a not unworthy goal), is the least defensible but then his organisation The Transition Movement perhaps has the most to lose in this regard being fairly closely (as I see it, and this is purely a personal view) tied in to that same system (working from within).  Transitioners may well disagree with that.

The main thrust of Rob’s argument against ‘Crash on Demand’ lies in his view that what he envisages as a Post Growth Economy, David sees as an Economic Crash.  Admittedly the two concepts are quite incompatible.  Which is the most likely to be what we actually experience?  Well, for me the idea of any sort of economy that looks in any way similar to the current one, except that it operates on some clean, green, renewable energy supply but at the same time enables much the same sort of activity and social complexity as we have now, is totally out of the question.

As I see it, there is no substitute, none at all, for the fossil fuel based energy that has powered our civilisation and its technology for the last century or so, and there is no way that we will be able to support such a system.  There is no way also that a population anywhere near the current level will be supportable in the long term.  To raise expectations of such an existence is in my view reprehensible.  That is not to say that we could not have achieved at least the rudiments of such a society at some earlier stage, but we chose not to do so.  The time for that solution to our situation has long passed.

The Financial Economist View

On the whole, and having gotten over my initial flush of rebellious revolutionary arousal, I tend to stand more in the corner of this triangle (before it becomes even more polygonal), occupied by Nicole.

Nicole comes from a position of concern that alignment or even perceived alignment with a move to bring down the system pro-actively, could react negatively on the good name of permaculture and all permaculturists by association.  She suggests that such reaction would not assist permaculture to be the beneficial force that it could be in forming resilient post collapse communities.

Nicole also argues that the best way to deal with climate change is to stop talking about it.  To me this initially appeared to be an astonishing statement but the more I thought about it, her reasons for making this claim made sense.  There is currently great concern about climate change, rising overall global temperatures, increasing natural disasters and climate related upheavals, and that level of concern is rightly and entirely justified.  In the short term.  But as I have said elsewhere, while we may be making conditions on this planet uncomfortable for ourselves and likely to be unlivable for most of us, perhaps all of us, for many centuries and even millennia, The Earth will never become another Venus.  Difficult as it is in times of stress, we need to look always at the big picture, the long term, and if we do that, we will see that climatic cycles always have and likely always will prevail despite local, temporal perturbences.  We will, or rather The Earth will (we may well not be around to see it), eventually enter another periodic ice age.  Like it or not, and past cycles do indicate that one is due shortly (in geological timescales).

Climate change, in Nicole’s view, and I have to mostly agree with her reasoning, is only one potential driver of possible societal collapse.  It is not considered the primary driver although if those forces attempting to keep the struggling global economy staggering along for as long as they can, succeed in any meaningful way, then climate change will eventually and inevitably force a collapse situation.  However, other factors are likely to intervene before that happens.  The prime suspect for being the triggering event of collapse of our unworkable global society, according to Nicole, is financial system collapse. She, both at her current blogsite, The Automatic Earth, and previously at The Oil Drum, has been saying the same thing for a number of years now.  Nothing I have read elsewhere has convinced me that she may be incorrect.  In fact Nicole’s position is that the journey to collapse already started with what we identify as being the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, which she claims is still ongoing and actually only in its early stages.  I find no reason to disagree with that.

Still, it is just a guessing game and there are a number of contenders for what the initial trigger for collapse might be.  Hopefully they won’t all arrive at the same time but that scenario cannot be lightly dismissed.

So, What Does 2014 Hold For Us?

What?  You think I am some sort of soothsayer?  I have no crystal ball, no time machine, no other-worldly, outer-worldly or inner worldly access to future events.

I can however, use my intuition, my knowledge of history, science, humanity, my big picture view of things and my accumulated experience of the way the world works throughout a reasonably long life so far, to be convinced that sometime soon, for each of us and for all of us, things are going to change such that life in the way we have come to accept and know it, will be turned upside down and we will be thrust into situations where we will at best have only our own wits, knowledge and resources to rely on in order to make a go of it.

We may be given ample opportunity to prepare for this, giving us reasonable expectations of weathering the storm so to speak.  We may only be given short notice, enough to make emergency preparations and therefore limited chances for a happy outcome.  We may also be taken completely by surprise and have little or no prospects of making it through.  One thing is for sure, we can expect little assistance from those directions to which many of us now look for help.  Government, emergency services, volunteer services.  Such help will be non-existent, having gone down in the ruins of collapse, disintegrated or dissipated as those who render such services look to their own safety.  Alternatively, such friendly or benign services as we look to now may prove to be anything but that in the new circumstance, instead becoming openly hostile to those in need.

Those of us who have been keeping a watchful eye on how events transpire, will have been preparing as best we can for some years now.  However, even we should admit to ourselves, if no-one else, that we may not be as prepared as we may think we are in the event that certain unforseen scenarios emerge.

Do I think 2014 will be the year this will become a reality?  I have said elsewhere that I can’t see the current system going beyond 2020 and we are already seeing evidence of collapse all around us in increasing unrest, hardship, poverty, homelessness, violence, suicide, genocide, loss of respect (self, others, authority), decaying infrastructure, inability to repair damaged infrastructure, widening gap between haves and have-nots, government corruption, erosion of liberties, growing police state, etc.   I can say with some certainty that we are on a downward track through troubled times and the journey is not going to be a smooth one.  There may be places where the time track ends abruptly in a hole or at a precipice before continuing on its path and some parts of the descent may be steeper than others.  At other points we may see some temporary hope by being directed upwards for a while.  We also cannot expect that the track will follow the identical path in every nation around the globe but we are sufficiently economically connected in this age to know that we will all end up at the same point which is both an end point for our current civilisation and hopefully a reasonably happy start point for what comes after.  If there is to be an after.

2014 will therefore unfold as it will.  But you will at the very least be able to recognise that the system is further crumbling around us.  If, that is, you are looking for it and not burying your head in the sand, hoping it is all a bad dream or the ravings of a madman.