The Audacity of Fake Environmental Hope

Back in the 1980s, it may have been possible to reverse climate change. But we missed that opportunity and now it’s too late. There’s simply too much energy in the atmosphere to reverse the effects of more than two centuries of mass industrialization. Yet every new story and article put out by environmentalists and their allies keep claiming that it’s not too late to reverse course. What’s the point of hope when the truth is hopeless?

89 thoughts on “The Audacity of Fake Environmental Hope

    • 80 billion tons of magnesite would require the extraction of elemental magnesium.

      What form of magnesium extraction does not involve its own energy use and waste production introduced into the environment?

      Electric vehicles are said to reduce environmental destruction, but many rare earth elements used in electric vehicles are extracted from areas such as Afghanistan, necessitating the continuation of the US’s longest war, and war is among the most energy intensive and environmentally destructive processes.

      Engineers usually regard the environment as an “infinite heat sink” and use “dilution as the solution to pollution” in their ballpark calculations. Engineers are not noted for bringing possible negative long term consequences to the attention of finance, which is only interested in short term profit.

      I once investigated a circuit board manufacturing operation in conjunction with high fresh water use. It turned out that the level of lead in discharge water was too high for EPA standards and so fresh water was used to dilute lead in the discharge water to meet these standards, but here was no reduction of lead into the environment with this solution.

      I was a subscriber to Scientific American Magazine for many years and was always disturbed by the absence of discussion of the consequences of using newer technologies, many of which can be listed under the heading of entropy.

      • @glenn, as noted in the article, this would not be a complete solution in & of itself. I just found it interesting – one more *possible* solution.

        We wouldn’t be in this situation if rich folks valued long-term sustainability over short-term profit in the first place. (strike that – make it ‘humans in general’)

      • “We wouldn’t be in this situation if [‘humans in general’] valued long-term sustainability over short-term profit in the first place.”


        And if social value was more important to capital than private profit.

        Bridges fall because capital decides to create private wealth at the price of public poverty.

        IEEE had a cover story about Edison’s light bulbs that lasted too long. They were redesigned to fail, enabling the manufacture of new replacement bulbs to generate a profit (along with a greater environmental waste stream).

        “How exactly did the cartel pull off this engineering feat? It wasn’t just a matter of making an inferior or sloppy product; anybody could have done that. But to create one that reliably failed after an agreed-upon 1,000 hours took some doing over a number of years. The household lightbulb in 1924 was already technologically sophisticated: The light yield was considerable; the burning time was easily 2,500 hours or more.”

        Planned obsolescence

        Capital decides what science and technology is developed and determines what costs will be externalized on society and the environment.

  1. According to the American historian and dead white male the left loves to hate, Henry Adams, human history can be reduced to the second law of thermodynamics. As society progresses, entropy increases. “Humanity was the most advanced type of physical decadence,” he declared. “No longer at the top, but at the bottom rung of the ladder.”

    • I found your Adams quote in “A Letter to American Teachers of History” By Henry Adams in Googlebooks.

      And this:

      “Within a finite period of time past, the earth must have been, and within a finite period of time to come, the earth must again be, unfit for the habitation of man as at present constituted, unless operations have been, or are to be performed, which are impossible under the laws to which the known operations going on at present in the material world, are subject.”

      This is the big “secret” gnawing at the core of human existence, one that continuously demands distraction from by consumerism and building of present day analogs to monuments such as those on Easter Island.

    • @AT

      You may try to fit this into a left right paradigm, but consider Malthus:

      The Right justifies situating the poor where “swamp gas” will limit their numbers, and the “Left” denies the facts that Malthus presents about population growth ultimately outgrowing the ability to produce food, despite the sequence of technological temporary fixes that only dig the hole we’re in even deeper.

      By whatever means, the Sixth Extinction, as written about by Richard Leakey is upon us.

  2. Homo incendiarius, the only species on earth that has externalized its metabolic processes, is hooked on fire (and other more recently developed, and deadly) exothermic reactions.

    Anaerobic life forms made their environment too toxic by dumping their waste product (oxygen) into the atmosphere. Now they must hide from their waste to live.

    American Exceptionalism cannot exempt itself from the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

    • «… the only species on earth that has externalized its metabolic processes, …» Is that what is meant by «outsourcing» ?… 😉


  3. Just to get this into the mix …

    My suspicion of what will start the dominoes toppling?

    Shortly after the first total disappearance of some portion of a country triggers a migration, as soon as the headline goes out “Venice Is Gone” or “Flooding Eliminates 14% of Bangladesh, Millions Cross Into India” or “Harvard and MIT Permanently Flooded,” it’s going to be like a nightclub fire. The ones who move quickly, calmly and first will have the greatest chance for survival. After a very narrow window of opportunity, the survival rate will drop precipitously as the rate of migration simply explodes and all the developed countries suddenly (in a complete coincidence) ratchet up their immigration policies to exclude all but the best (or richest) people. It will be absolutely horrifying to witness.

    I’ve been watching this hurricane season with great interest. The forecasts are for a below-average season. And we’ve only had one Gulf of Mexico storm so far. And no major hurricanes (cat 3 or above) because of El Nino. What happens next year? We’ve seen how inept the government is at handling disasters. When New Orleans floods again, does anyone really think it’s going to be any better? When the next superstorm superfloods lower Manhattan, does anyone think the superjingles about how we’re stronger than Helene or Dorian will superinspire anyone?

    Middlanowhere South Dakota is sounding better and better every day.

  4. The will of nature is becoming apparent.

    Bad news out of Africa (U.N. agencies, The Independent, Ghana Times)

    Two months of rain kills hundreds, displaces thousands in East Africa.

    Flooding kills 6, destroys thousands of homes in the Sudan.

    48 die when a dam bursts in Kenya.

    West Africa:

    Floods in Ghana kill 5.

    Heavy flooding in Monrovia, thousands displaced, 186 dead.

    Deadly flood in Ivory Coast. 18 dead. Hundreds homeless.

    Mother Nature won’t be appeased.

  5. The big miss on a sustainable and better world happened long ago.
    God created Adam and Eve. They screwed up and God ran them out of Eden. It has been chaos ever since. God should have simply built two new versions with better operating systems.
    Later, God became so pissed at mankind that he caused a flood. Noah and family and chosen species survived. Bad move. Same human DNA, same shitty results. God should have changed the DNA, installed a new operating system. Gross mismanagement . Worse, God never admits a mistake.
    We now have another chance. CRISPR allows the reorganizing of DNA. Humans have the opportunity (God given?) to remake mankind.
    Make your own shopping list of the problems of human nature. There is plenty of room for improvement.
    I don’t know if humans survive climate change if we don’t change ourselves.

      • Very good, teach!

        And the great orange hope has his foot on the accelerator. Funny that you would vote for him given that you claim to understand the problem.

      • > Trust me, I won’t be among the slaughtered

        I’m sorry, I don’t understand. You, yourself, said that you should be among the slaughtered.

        We have to throw some people off the lifeboat, and we should throw the over-breeders off first. That’s what you said – it’s too late to deny it now.

        Well, alrighty then. People in rural areas have larger families than those in urban areas. Religious people have larger families than atheists. Catholics and Mormons and other xtian sects encourage large families. They outright prohibit contraception and abortion. People south of the Mason-Dixon line have larger families than those to the north. (I include – of course – all those dastardly Catholics in South America)

        Therefore by your *OWN* reasoning rural Catholics south of the Mason-Dixon line should be “shot or have their hands cut off with axes.”

      • @ch

        You weren’t threatening me, were you?

        I have a loaded handgun, all legal, of course, in every room in the house.

      • > You weren’t threatening me, were you?

        You were the one who suggested shooting people. I merely pointed out that your own reasoning singled you out as a target.

        If you believed your own argument, you’d be playing Russian Roulette with your favorite automatic.

      • > As already indicated …

        … you don’t believe your own argument. That was my point. You’re perfectly happy deciding who gets thrown off the lifeboat, so long as that isn’t you.

        Any spoiled five-year-old would agree with your ‘me-first’ philosophy. The trouble is in convincing *other* people that you are more worthy than they.

        Pennti Linkola, who you brought up (but didn’t “espouse.”) Said that he, personally, was willing to die for the cause.

        Are you willing?

        Or are you a hypocrite?


        As usual?

        Knock, knock?

      • I give more than I take.

        Were I to vanish, the damage to be done to my scrap of the world would be incalculable.

        Unlike you, I’m not out picking mushrooms.

      • > I give more than I take.

        Funny, I distinctly remember an editorial wherein you were bragging about how good you were at taking more than you gave.

        … but by using that to evade the question of whether you were willing to abide by your own rules, you make it clear that you are not.

        But we knew that already.

        My job here is done.

      • My posts are about my professional life.

        In private, I’m on the way to sainthood while you are awaiting your next trip.

      • >> I give more than I take.

        > Funny, I distinctly remember an editorial wherein you were bragging about how good you were at taking more than you gave.

        It would be immensely funny if it were not so tragic.

        In a similar vein, someone who brags about being compensated absurdly well from public funds for little effort would perhaps be well advised to not constantly paint immigrants as lazy and undeserving – seeing that in contrast, it is made deliberately difficult for immigrants to access to benefits that accrue to them for paying their dues.

        I blame education 😉

      • Andreas

        Where is your readerly intelligence?

        Never said I was better at taking than giving. That is your twist.

        Never called immigrants lazy although if so many of them are on relief Trump is doing right to strip them of green cards and legal residency. Immigrants are supposed to be a boon to this country and they are supposed to come here legally, not sneak across the border or overstay their visas. Our laws need to be enforced, not ignored.

      • > Never said I was better at taking than giving. That is your twist.

        Well, CH first called you out on this.

        Committed teachers go the extra mile, they stay after hours to check in with students who look like they are struggling, talk to students about personal issues, even do home visits to try to mediate difficult domestic situations, etc., all without pay.

        You have laid out how you feel you have nothing to give that any student would want, and how you try to sneak away as quickly as humanely possible as often as physically possible.

        In contrast, you do brag about how much money you are raking in – the one point which I think everybody here had trouble believing… but far be it from me to begrudge teachers from being well compensated, even if this means there is going to be the occasional moocher.

        But I hope you will find eventually something worth giving and a person to give it to in your professional life as well. Until then, you are taking more than you are giving according to your own description of your public persona.

        > Our laws need to be enforced, not ignored.

        Rule of law is an interesting issue, especially since neither you nor I had much say in how those laws got on the books. Interpretation and enforcement are nuanced in the real world. Japan famously imported the Prussian criminal law book and implemented it without exception (something which even the famously strict Prussians couldn’t even contemplate). The results were grim.

        Ironically, if a modicum of the rule of law were respected, most of the administration from the president down would be in jail (the Trump U scam alone should suffice). In fact, some of them are probably going at least going to get convictions, which the people at the top can usually sidestep, this is how blatantly criminal they have been acting.

        While Trump talked a good deal about the corrupt elite, do you really think a Trump admin would ever go against a single rich criminal except on Twitter?

        I am really not sure why you are so keen on Jose who picked your strawberries to be deported and the smartest guys in the room who picked our pockets to go away scott free. Jose’s employer paid taxes on his workers salaries even though he didn’t necessarily pay Jose (wage theft against immigrants is rampant). In contrast, the .1% gave themselves huge tax cuts. All legal, of course (provided one can afford to lawyer up).

        Do you really think a dollar on an ICE thug uprooting lives is well spent while the IRS gets defunded so that tax evasion is rarely enforced?

        Maybe we should enforce common sense and mutual aid instead?

      • Oh, Andreas,

        You’ve said so many things and I have so little time for this nonsense.

        I never said that I was committed either. I wouldn’t go an extra inch for obnoxious kids.

        As for salaries, they are a matter of public record. You can look them up, by state, and figure it all out.

        As for Jose, which I find an interesting choice of names, whether legal or illegal, there is a 50% chance that he is getting some sort of government benefit, which means that he is robbing me. I would gladly pay extra, and it won’t be $20 as CH crazily insists, to have an American pick my lettuce.

        In fact, since education is so wasted on the youth, I would send them out into the fields for a few years. A few years under the scorching sun and they would crave AT!

  6. Ted,

    Although I agree with your assessment mostly, I still retain a grim sort of optimism. There is a marginally small chance that some technological innovation will be developed that will enable large-scale elimination of greenhouse gases.

    Just the other day, I was looking up what did in Megalodon. What wipes out an apex predator bigger than a great white shark? Turns out it was the Ice Age. The oceans cooled, the animals it preyed on moved to colder waters, the ocean levels sank (altering its nursery territory), etc. The thing that killed the baddest shark around was climate change.

    We’ll do a little better; I don’t think humans will go extinct. We’ll have a massive die-off. We may end up in about a few hundred major communities around the globe. I hope our descendants learn to build the robots first, so that the idea of working for a living (and all the crap that comes with it) simply doesn’t get added to the mix next time. But every time I go to the supermarket these days, I notice the small children picking out boxes of cereal (from a row of shelves that has about a hundred different types). I wonder about what those kids will remember when they’re my age. “Seriously, there used to be enormous stores called supermarkets.”

    But one question I keep not seeing asked (or answered). What, exactly, will be sufficient evidence for the majority of people that there is something seriously wrong with the climate? I remember thinking that New Orleans’ survival from Hurricane Katrina was, in several ways, the worst thing possible because it gave the people watching at home the sense that it was “just a bad storm.” And in the New York area, after Superstorm Sandy came through, the jingles on television intoned that we were “stronger than the storm.” Two major lines on the subway were heavily damaged and the 4/5/6 lines going up the eastern side of Manhattan survived unscathed because a supervisor decided that a flood barrier should be built even higher, just in case, and people are still acting like there’s no way Mother Nature can push us around. Ugh. Beat chest. Club girl over head. Drag to cave by the hair. Ugh. Me not Beta Cuck.

    • @Alex

      Stephen J. Gould hypothesizes that evolution doesn’t happen so gradually after all. Rather it’s driven by large, swift changes. (Dinosaur-killer meteor, f’instance)

      We definitely have the possibility of some large, swift changes coming up. We’re already seeing some of them.

      Maybe homo sap will go extinct, maybe homonextius will do better, or maybe some new life will blossom from the wreckage. Maybe it will do better …

      • It’s gonna be war, right? Good old fashioned major large scale war. It’s good for industry. It’s good for jobs. It lowers population.

        And/or, the rich will just kill us all with some super-bug that they’ve got the antidote to.

  7. Environmental action demands global population reduction, which will not be popular.

    Humans will have to do things that they willingly do to other species.

    Take, for example, mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are killed off with death traps and chemical gases, and their ability to breed is stifled.

    Note, that I don’t propose that as a solution for the human population; I merely note that that is how we have dealt effectively with others.

    But this is a lifeboat and not everyone is getting on. Some will perish for the species to survive. We are already seeing the perish part.

    • > I don’t propose that as a solution for the human population

      Of course not, that would be bad. You only propose it for the darker shades of the human population.

      (You can easily prove me wrong by stating clearly and unequivocally that blacks are just as good as whites in all the ways that matter.)

    • The biggest problem with managing global population reduction is that no one is interested in managing the cause of it: humans having sex.

      • The answer, my disciple, may lie in Trump’s Space Force, which will be run by scientists and engineers.

      • To AT:

        To laughingly self-avowed noble teacher:

        Managing human sex and reduction of the current population are two distinct issues.

      • But intertwined, my little falco.

        The space force will handle this. And make us supreme forever.

  8. If things continue unabated, we are absolutely fucked.

    My understanding is that many scientists are minimizing the problem because they’re worried that full disclosure would cause panic & preclude trying to do anything whatsoever. I think they’re over-estimating Joe Sixpack’s mental capacity.

    That said, I do believe that there are engineering solutions available. But much like treating cancer in humans, the solutions bring along their own problems.

    Solution: Our very own nuclear winter. Drop some nukes in the middle of the ocean, or the South Pole or…? Create the cloud cover to reflect the heat.
    Problem: destruction of whatever was living there beforehand.

    Solution: High atmosphere/orbital reflection. Deploy lots of glitter in the upper atmosphere. More ambitious: humongo space blankets in space.
    Problem: Funding, for one. Long term effects for another. We’re already seeing negative effects from glitter seeping into the ecosystem. More is worse.

    There are others – but any are stopgaps, until and unless we address the real problem: overpopulation. We can’t keep breeding like bunnies and expect the planet to recover. (DISCLAIMER: I am not advocating genocide. I get accused of that every time I bring it up. I’m not. Next question.)

    The biggest problem, of course, is that humans weren’t designed with long-term thinking in mind. We tend to react to the immediate problem instead. (Why worry about the volcano when there is a sabre-tooth right in front of you?)

    We either learn, or we die. It’s just that easy.

      • I’m having trouble making sense of that comment. Are you associating “bunnies” with “jungle bunnies” ? Is that it?

        I find that racist.

      • Well, as I’m sure you know, not all of us are breeding like bunnies.

        Perhaps you could be more specific.

      • Okay, Teach, I’ll accept that challenge –

        As humans migrated north out of Africa, they adapted to lower temperatures and less sunlight.

        Inuit tend toward short and fat, to better insulate against cold; whereas many Africans are tall and skinny to better radiate excess heat. Darker skin protects against skin cancer in bright sunlight; lighter skin generates vitamin D better in dimmer sunlight.

        If a warmer globe is our future, then Africans are obviously the fittest survive …

        … and if the human species is to survive, we obviously need to favor that race which is fittest to survive.

        Aye or Nay?

        NOTE: The astute student will recognize this as argument as reductio ad absurdum.

    • Unfortunately, Crazy H, we will all go down unless those in the water are shot or have their hands cut off with axes. The sharks will have a feeding frenzy. Nature will have her revenge. But human beings will survive.

      • I refuse to judge anyone based on complexion, H, instead judging them on the content of their character, which in this case means the capacity to breed responsibly.

        Those parts of the world from which the population is exploding must be drastically curtailed, especially since they are not able to support themselves without foreign aid.

        Makes so much more sense than making policy based on skin tone, yes?

      • > I refuse to judge anyone based on complexion,

        Bullshit. Not a day goes by without you spouting some white supremacist sewage. (You can easily prove me wrong by stating clearly and unequivocally that blacks are just as good as whites in all the ways that matter.)

        > blah, blah, responsibly.

        Okay. Remind me, precisely – which race invented the internal combustion engine? – which race invented the coal fired generator? – which race were the petro execs who suppressed knowledge of global warming back where there was still time to do something about it? – which race is the president who is the biggest climate change denier of them all? (actually, that *is* a good question. Where do orange people come from?)

        Which race was Thomas Malthus? – and which race was it whose priests ignored his warnings and continued preaching that a woman’s route to heaven was paved with babies? Which race first learned to decrease infant mortality, but failed to take the next logical step and reduce their birthrate? Which race then spread that knowledge to other races while simultaneously teaching them that contraception and abortion were evil?

        Who is it that is irresponsible? Is it those that don’t know any better? Or is it those who do know better but fail to act?

        … or is it those who actively work against fixing the problem thereby imperiling all races?

        This cartoon seems appropriate for today’s discussion:


        -> I cannot refute your argument

        I’m bored
        -> I cannot refute your argument

        You’re off topic
        -> I cannot refute your argument

        I don’t have time for this
        -> I cannot refute your argument

        You’re rude
        -> I cannot refute your argument

        I’m not speaking to you
        -> I cannot refute your argument

        -> I cannot refute your argument

      • > You are off topic.

        You brought up responsibility, you brought up ‘who should be saved,’ and you drug race into the discussion.

        I responded to *YOUR* posts. How – precisely – that is OT eludes me. But don’t worry your pretty little head about it; I don’t expect any sort of coherent explanation.

    • To CrazyH:

      Accusations? Indeed.

      From the introduction of the notion of “nuclear winter,”
      the “winter” part of the term, has always implied mass death of humans.

      It was initially publicized by some as an attempt to deter the use of nuclear weapons in war since the “nuclear winter” after-effect would indirectly kill many more people than initially thought “justifiable.”

      Through the decades since its first use, the nuclear winter notion reappeared as a way to deal with climate change.

      According to wiki: “The nuclear winter scenario assumes that 100 or more CITY firestorms … ”

      Cities presumably are preferred targets since they contain the fuels, which, when torched, will cause the black carbon soot that enters the atmosphere to cause the desired anti-greenhouse effect. Nuclear weapons are certainly sufficient, but hardly necessary, to initiate the needed carbon soot generating firestorms.

      So, proposing the dropping nukes in the ocean or on Antarctica may avoid repeats of some accusations against you but only because they will NOT cause the EFFECT of the nuclear winter you propose.

      Proposing an effective “nuclear winter” to deal with imminent climate change, is, however, a genocidal approach as it is sought precisely for reduction of current numbers of humans.

      • Why, yes, falco – you are the one I had in mind, I was trying to be polite by not pointing up your stupidity.

        You jump directly from “this is the problem” to ASSUMING genocide. YOU are the one who brought it up. Not me. YOU. That says far more about you than me. That’s the only solution you can think of.

        Okay, what’s YOUR solution? hmmm….? Just let everybody die? That was the best you came up with earlier.

        > sought precisely for reduction of current numbers of humans.

        So, are you claiming to be telepathic now? You know what I’m thinking right now? Okay, in which case I don’t need to explain what I think about your accusations.


      • @falco – come to think of it, the Unamerican Teacher is the one who brought up genocide.

        Perhaps your time would be better spent criticizing someone who actually is proposing a final solution. Eh?

      • To CrazyH,

        Actually it was you who suggested “we need to lower the population by 99%” (loose quote) in the old thread to which you referred, above.

        So it is up to you explain how, exactly … with a non-genocidal method, of course.

        Actually the stupidity resides with those who think that controlling the effects of blowing off a few nuclear weapons is is easy as changing the volume of one’s (pick current favorite techno gadget).

      • Funny thing falco – AT and I have been discussing genocide. HE is for, I am AGAINST – it’s right there on this very thread.

        > “we need to lower the population by 99%” (loose quote)

        Very loose. I believe I said 80%.

        > So it is up to you explain how, exactly … with a non-genocidal method, of course.

        The same method I suggested in that same conversation. Education and attrition. We need to stop teaching children that being parents is the primary goal in life. Discourage people from ‘breeding like rabbits” while those of us past breeding age gracefully recycle our bodies as our times come naturally.

        There are obviously dangers, some people :: cough :: AT :: cough :: would take that as an excuse to determine *who* was allowed to breed and/or age. I am absolutely opposed to that idea, even more so to giving that kind of power to a government.

        OTOH, if 80% of the potential breeders in the current generation spontaneously decided to *not* have children, we’d be saved. I doubt that’s going to happen, but it would undeniably help.

        OTOOH, if we do nothing, we’re all doomed (along with 90% of the species who *haven’t* tried to destroy the planet) I’m not in favor of genocide, but I do have to note that mass extinction is even worse.

        And now it is up to you to explain how to solve global warming … with a non-extinction-inducing solution, of course.

        PS – I do thank you for phrasing your post in a less confrontational tone. I’ll play nice if you will.

      • > Actually the stupidity resides with those who think that controlling the effects of blowing off a few nuclear weapons is is easy as changing the volume of one’s (pick current favorite techno gadget).

        Is this addressed to me? ‘cuz I thought I made it clear that any technical solution is fraught with danger.

        The problem is that doing nothing leads to certain doom, so again I ask: What’s your solution?

      • @ch

        So you have given falco a solution that, by your own admission, will not work. (And then you try to put the blame on the great AT. Coward. And now you want people to be nice to you. Dish it out, take it pal)

        That is no solution at all.

        Your distracting arguments, testament to the psilocybin, no doubt, can’t hide the fact that you were cornered. (I can’t believe you actually suggested letting off some nuclear bombs. You must have had a bad trip yesterday.)

        Falco wins.

      • > So you have given falco a solution that, by your own admission, will not work

        Fail. I gave him a solution that *could* work, although I *doubt* that homo sap will actually implement it. If that’s too subtle a distinction for you, maybe you should go sit at the kid’s table.

        It’s certainly more palatable than your proposal.

        > And then you try to put the blame on the great AT

        Fail. Even if there were a ‘great’ AT, I would in no way credit him with my ideas.

        > Your distracting arguments, testament to the psilocybin, no doubt

        the young’uns would call that ‘meta’ – I call that being oblivious to the fact that your own ad hominem argument is itself a distraction. Also, pretty darn silly.

        > I can’t believe you actually suggested letting off some nuclear bombs.

        Really? Why? We’ve already set off a fair number of nukes and are still around. I specifically noted that it would be bad for the near-by ecology. Do I really have to stipulate that fallout is also bad? Okay, I do so stipulate. We could achieve similar effects with great, big, piles of conventional explosives, heat pumps, reflectors or other means. The science is sound and better yet – self correcting (assuming humans wise up in the interim.)

        There are other possible solutions as well, all with their own drawbacks. I gave one other alternative, Google will show you even more.

        Remember, we are on the brink of destruction, and you have yet to offer one, single alternative solution.

        (other than genocide – but you’ve already proven you wouldn’t actually follow your own proposal. Is that anything like “a solution that, by your own admission, will not work. ” ? )

      • To CrazyH

        Re your quote, above: “Very loose. I believe I said 80%.”

        To this I remark:
        1) Yes, you did say 80% … on THIS thread. However, that is not the thread to which I was referring, above.
        2) I am “surprised” you are unable to find the actual thread – in the past you have extract old “discussions” to put your adversaries on the spot. Were you assuming I couldn’t or hoping I wouldn’t?

        Here’s your actual quote that started this all, from four months ago: “If we cut our numbers by 99% we would we would still have a large enough gene pool to sustain the species without destroying the Earth in the process. We could all drive SUVs, live in McMansions, and leave the lights on all night. (continues)

        It’s not like we have much say in the matter – eventually the planetary ecosystem will come back into balance. Our only choice is whether we do it voluntarily.”


        Now you ask for MY solution? I gave it to you at that very instant in my response to the 99% quote. Note my immediate response said NOTHING about “cutting our numbers by 99%.”

        Rather I excoriated you for the SUV + McMansion comment that I said embodied and perpetrated THE main problem. I said: “… the (human) species will NEVER survive, as long as otherwise physically possible, with the current ‘consume more everyday’ mindset.”

        Note that problem of world population, itself, as critical as it may be, has been magnified in recent decades. This due to the entire world population having succumbed to the pressure/excitement to consume at the level of “the West,” i.e at ≥5 times any objective “equal” rate. (This should clearly give guidelines about which segment of the global population stays or goes in AT’s scenario.)

        And, the solution to dealing with the “consume more every day mindset”? Simple, in theory, but difficult in reality: dump capitalism and its central, monumental hoax, i.e. that the sum of the realization of bottomless individual greed is maximally beneficial for the society as a whole. I have railed against that system of inevitable societal suicide continually on these threads and many others … for quite a while.

        And no, even if such a critical step were miraculously taken this very minute (see “outlaw factories and cars” in comic above) it is unlikely civilization would be able to escape the predicted, population destroying effect of climate change.

        And ditto for your solution for voluntary cutting of 99% of the population

        Now, below you refer to our being at the “brink of destruction.” Perhaps. But that level of urgency along with cutting population enough, by attrition, to some sustainable crisis-avoiding level, simply do not go together.

        And I said so, four months ago, (same link):
        “The only plausible mechanism to eliminate 99% of the world’s population in a time frame relevant to stabilizing climate (not reversing it) change would be total nuclear holocaust.”

        That, I described later, to another commentator, would amount to genocide.
        Note: I did NOT say YOU advocated genocide but ONLY that your proposed population reduction by attrition had about as much chance (~0%) of affecting real change IN A TIMELY MANNER as did our dumping of capitalism … much less, presumably, the crisis-preventing effects of it deployment .

        But, on the issue of genocide, frank or misunderstood, I finished that comment of four months ago with “The majority of presidential candidates are real threats to precipitate said holocaust … ”

        This is not only the holocaust of the effects of climate change. But what if the power brokers finally recognize the potential effects of climate change? That is the cause of my shrill “rectification” of discussions about “population reduction.” It is not below them to institute the AT scenario … only to save their skins.

        I almost equally shrilly, do not abide hashing-over the litany of (sometimes) freely-admitted, useless technical fixes to a problem caused, in significant part, by runaway technology. This especially when implementation of such fixes MUST have energy/CO2 costs that are essentially never considered in the proposal.

        Further it only invites complete misinterpretation when the technology discussed was invented for and has already been “successfully” deployed for genocidal purposes, i.e. nukes.

        Finally, I must laugh at your last remark:
        “PS – I do thank you for phrasing your post in a less confrontational tone.” This after your calling me stupid/a moron (in this thread) and, a while ago, an ideological tribe-mate of AT?!?

  9. Yeah right, stop hoping and start fighting. But who’s really gonna do that? Not me. I’m scared of prison. You?

    And of course it’s not just the environmental situation. The political situation in the US (and Mexico, and Brazil, and etc) is completely out of control and unsavable, (in the geo short term, anyway). Yet here we are, talk, talk, talk; and me too, I’m just as guilty.

    I am literally sitting here drinking a beer and watching the world burn.


      • No, no, no, Aaron Williams.

        Don’t mean to intrude, but hopefully Crazy H, that self-proclaimed aging hipster, is still soundly sleeping or tripped out on psilocybin, which he no doubt ingested in his youth.

        We don’t want any revolutions. Beautiful things get destroyed. Grand homes are divided into tenements. Innocent people end up shot.

        Besides, your side can’t shoot straight.

      • > We don’t want any revolutions.

        Then why do you keep inciting them? If you don’t want conflict, you need to stop hating others. … duh?

        Yep, polysyllabic, LSD, mescaline, pot, coke, and pretty much anything else that was discovered by the seventies.

        Oh, and I also have six patents.

      • >LSD, pot, coke, anything else discovered by the seventies

        As usual, you are notoriously inaccurate. LSD was “discovered” by the Swiss chemist, Albert Hofmann, circa 1943. He accidentally ingested some, taking the first acid trip. (Hofmann was working on ergot, the fungus found on rye wheat.)

        Scientists thought LSD looked promised as a cure for alcoholism, but the FDA stopped all research because they feared the effect it was having on hippies like yourself.

        See what you did? Alcoholism would be cured by now were it not for you.

      • > As usual, you are notoriously inaccurate.

        Okay, I admit it’s been a while since fourth grade arithmetic, but I’m pretty sure that 1943 is still less than 1970.

      • Ha, I meant a beer, but could see the double meaning was there. Wasn’t actually sure what H meant, for the same reason. Go poetry!

  10. As per “hope” see Derrick Jensen*** who suggests:
    “It isn’t merely false hope that keep those who go along enchained. It is hope itself.
    … when hope dies, action begins.”

    Hope is the cosmic equivalent to signing email petitions with the, perhaps sincere, but woefully deluded, notion that anything meaningful will come of it. It ranks up there with the top false perceptions, meticulously promulgated, like “the sum of bottomless individual avarice leads to maximal societal good.”

    *** See “endgame” ISBN 978-1583227244, page 327ff

  11. The only way to reverse course is global population reduction.

    The earth can only sustain two billion people.

    By the end of this century, we are projected to have nine. I’m afraid some drastic measures are called for if humans want to survive.

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