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Page added on September 28, 2015

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Janaia interviewed on Nature Bats Last

Last week I was interviewed by Guy McPherson and Mike Sliwa on their Nature Bats Last podcast. It’s fun to turn the tables: I’ve interviewed Guy twice: Climate Change and Human Extinction – A Personal Perspective (2014) and Living Each Moment in the Face of Abrupt Climate Change (2015).

I started with my perspective on abrupt climate change and possible near-term human extinction — that basically we don’t know what will unfold or how quickly and where. What matters is that we live our lives in ways that contribute to the greater good. For that, I’m grateful for Peak Moment TV.

How did I get started in all this? I was intrigued by reading clairvoyant Edgar Cayce’s Earth Changes in the late 1960s, and McKibben’s The End of Nature on climate change in 1989. Peak oil hit our radar in 2005, which led to Peak Moment TV.

With our travels starting in 2006, we’ve recorded and met inspiring people and places — people who are doing good things in the world like permaculture and natural building and local currencies. I talked about the power of one person, my example being Judy Alexander of Port Townsend, with whom we’ve done five shows. Her first is our most-viewed program: How Much Food Can I Grow Around My House? Her other shows involve local farmers and eaters, community gardens, her sharing one car with another couple, and community-supported dying (forthcoming). She introduced us to the local bicycle ReCyclery, and LION, the local investment opportunities group.

Mike and Guy asked about how my awareness of climate chaos and the possibility of near-term human extinction has affected my relationships. Fortunately, Robin “gets it.” That said, I respect her wish not to hear every report as the effects worsen more quickly and deeply than forecast. My family? It’s not something we discuss very much. They know but there’s no need to pound them into believers. At 92, my mom is living her life to the fullest — exactly what I encourage for all of us, no matter how events play out.

A caller asked whether I had any regrets for our 25 years living off-grid and self-reliantly. Heavens no! It is a fabulous experience to live within resource constraints, learning resourcefulness and feeling happy with less stuff and more nature. The skills Robin and I gained in construction, water systems, 12v electricity, sewing insulating curtains, woods management, and preserving food have served us well. I put out the idea that maybe down the road someone (or several someones), especially younger people, might adopt us for awhile, so we can share some of those skills.

We also covered how climate change/peak oil is affecting our personal plans (like the current sale of our house), and my view on how peak oil has played out in the nine years after it hit my radar. I thought then that getting hit in our pocketbooks by increasing oil prices would change our behavior and prevent runaway climate change. It’s not unfolding that way, not in the least.

When we talked about interviewing others, I told them two questions I sometimes ask: “What are the challenges?” and “What inspires you?” Near the end of our conversation, they turned the tables and asked what inspires me. Take a listen to find out (you can also download it and listen later).



13 Comments on "Janaia interviewed on Nature Bats Last"

  1. apneaman on Tue, 29th Sep 2015 1:11 am 

    Voyage traces stirred-up Arctic heat

    “Oceanographers have gathered fresh evidence that turbulence in the Arctic Ocean, driven by the wind, is stirring up heat from the depths.
    As dwindling ice exposes more water to the wind, this turbulence could close a vicious circle, accelerating the melt.
    The research team has measured heat rising from below that matches what is arriving from the autumn sun.
    They spoke to the BBC by satellite phone as their month-long voyage headed back into port.
    Although their findings are preliminary, the “ArcticMix” team has been taken aback by what they’ve seen in the raw data.”

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-34324439?SThisFB#_=_

    Warming Arctic Ocean Seafloor Threatens To Cause Huge Methane Eruptions

    “Arctic sea ice extent and especially concentration are now growing rapidly, as illustrated by the Naval Research Lab animation on the right.

    This means that the sea ice is effectively sealing off the water of the Arctic Ocean from the atmosphere, reducing the chances of transfer of ocean heat from the water to the atmosphere. Conversely, the risk grows that ocean heat will reach the seafloor.

    Furthermore, this seal makes that less moisture evaporates from the water, which together with the change of seasons results in lower hydroxyl levels at the higher latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, in turn resulting in less methane being broken down in the atmosphere over the Arctic.”

    http://arctic-news.blogspot.co.nz/2015/09/warming-arctic-ocean-seafloor-threatens-to-cause-huge-methane-eruptions.html

  2. GregT on Tue, 29th Sep 2015 1:37 am 

    From your last link Apnea:

    “A polynomial trend for the Arctic shows temperature anomalies of over 4°C by 2020, 6°C by 2030 and 15°C by 2050, threatening to cause major feedbacks to kick in, including albedo changes and methane releases that will trigger runaway global warming that looks set to eventually catch up with accelerated warming in the Arctic and result in global temperature anomalies of 16°C by 2052”

    This is what the IPCC has ignored, and why GM is probably correct. While I have no doubt that humans could survive in Northern Canada during summer temperatures in the mid 40s, they will not do so when the entire ecosystem collapses. McPherson’s argument all along. We human beings may be adaptable, but the entire food chain below us is not.

  3. apneaman on Tue, 29th Sep 2015 2:16 am 

    Yes, the habitat. Most of the press, especially the MSM, goes to a small clique of American based rock star climate scientists. That is fine for physics and atmospheric chemistry, but what about biology? Knowing the temps is all fine, but what does it mean for living things, for apes? A growing body of the biology people are conveying an ever dire picture. I wonder why the press does not give those scientists the same air time? They run 6th mass extinction stories. Maybe it’s because the answers they give have less happy interpretations.

    Reporter: “What do we have to do to stop/fight climate change?”

    Climate scientist: “Immediately reduce emissions by 90%”

    Reporter: “What do we have to do to stop/fight the 6th mass extinction?”

    Biology scientist: “Immediately reduce humans by 90%”

    Reporter: “Uh…Now over to Jim with sports”

  4. Jersey Patriot on Tue, 29th Sep 2015 1:36 pm 

    Warming Arctic Ocean Seafloor Threatens To Cause Huge Methane Eruptions

    Drawing lines on a chart is not climate modeling. Those graphs aren’t useful.

    Hilariously enough, Guy McPherson is predicting the extinction of humanity before 2030. He doesn’t do any climate modeling either, he misreads a number of studies, and he denigrates the actual scientists doing the actual work for not buying into his apocalypse. He’s the flip side of Anthony Watts.

    Climate change is frightening enough on its own and doesn’t need unscientific doomer crap. Ignore these two.

  5. apneaman on Tue, 29th Sep 2015 5:00 pm 

    Jersey, yeah that climate modeling is just so fucking perfect.

    Climate Science Predictions Prove Too Conservative
    Checking 20 years worth of projections shows that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has consistently underestimated the pace and impacts of global warming

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/climate-science-predictions-prove-too-conservative/

    BTW it’s not before 2030. It is 2030. If you are going to say Mcpherson is wrong you should break it down. I know where I think he is wrong, but I don’t care to make the case because it’s academic to me. If I was a casual observer and I read the claims from people like you, I would not be convinced of anything since all you are doing is contradicting Mcphersons claims without making a case. There is a lot more to the predicament than AGW. You know what else is unscientific? Proclamations from high status American climate scientists on alt energy and a bunch of other things they are not qualified to talk about. Michael Mann, Gavin Schmidt and a few others. Rockstars. AGW is not the main driver of the 6th mass extinction; it’s our increasing numbers. We have spread out like a cancer and if there were no AGW it would only change the equation by a century or so. AGW just speeds things up. McPherson has a number of things wrong, but his main thesis of habitat destruction, is right in line with all the other biology scientists.

    Humans could be among the victims of sixth ‘mass extinction’, scientists warn

    “If it is allowed to continue, life would take many millions of years to recover and our species itself would likely disappear early on,” lead author Gerardo Ceballos of the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico said.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-20/sixth-mass-extinction-impact-humans-study-says/6560700

    Humans face extinction if plant destruction continues: ‘Laws of thermodynamics have no mercy’

    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/humans-face-extinction-if-plant-destruction-continues-laws-thermodynamics-have-no-mercy-1511026

    Web of life unravelling, wildlife biologist says

    “Wildlife biologist Neil Dawe says he wouldn’t be surprised if the generation after him witnesses the extinction of humanity.

    All around him, even in a place as beautiful as the Little Qualicum River estuary, his office for 30 years as a biologist for the Canadian Wildlife Service, he sees the unravelling of “the web of life.”

    “It’s happening very quickly,” he says.

    “Everything is worse and we’re still doing the same things,” he says. “Because ecosystems are so resilient, they don’t exact immediate punishment on the stupid.”

    https://web.archive.org/web/20150419201929/http://www.oceansidestar.com/news/web-of-life-unravelling-wildlife-biologist-says-1.605499

    b”they don’t exact immediate punishment on the stupid.” that quote says it all for me. A bunch of stupid apes waiting for their punishment to kick in. Mass die back, NTE, next century, bottleneck bla bla bla, whatever. We are fucked no matter how you look at it.

  6. GregT on Tue, 29th Sep 2015 5:55 pm 

    Jersey:

    “Guy McPherson is predicting the extinction of humanity before 2030. He doesn’t do any climate modeling either, he misreads a number of studies, and he denigrates the actual scientists doing the actual work for not buying into his apocalypse.”

    GM is not a climate scientist. He is “Professor Emeritus of Natural Resources and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology”. Exactly what most people are ignoring; Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. The media portrays sea level rise, and extreme weather events as being the biggest problems associated with CC. They are not. It is the ability of the entire food chain to adapt to an abrupt change. Something that took hundreds of thousands to millions of years for ecosystems to reach equilibrium.

    We have already seen the effects of one individual insect in BC. The Western Pine Beatle. Due to the relatively small average increase in mean temperatures that we have seen so far, the beetle has wiped out some 55 million acres of trees throughout our province. The same is happening in the US now, as well as Russia, and Northern Europe.

    We have already caused imbalances in the Earths natural ecosystems, every single ecosystem on the planet is now in a state of decline. Which species of insect, bacteria, or plant is it that will create a domino effect? Nobody knows for sure. I have a feeling that we are about to find out the hard way.

  7. apneaman on Wed, 30th Sep 2015 1:22 am 

    I recently read “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” it was a pretty good account of our blood soaked history until near the end when he reversed course and played his own techno savior card and kumbaya tripe. Does not understand thermodynamics.

  8. GregT on Wed, 30th Sep 2015 1:40 am 

    You have a brilliant mind BC. Thanks so much for sticking around.

  9. GregT on Wed, 30th Sep 2015 1:52 am 

    Apnea, grade 9 you say? I’m amazed that you lasted that long. I started questioning everything at about the 7th grade. Very few teachers could keep up. I pissed most of them off from that point onward. People don’t generally like other people with high intelligence. I’m sure that you understand where I’m coming from.

  10. BC on Wed, 30th Sep 2015 1:53 am 

    GregT, you are TOO kind, but thank you, nonetheless. I am a living, breathing example of the older I get and the more I “know” the less I “know” that I don’t “know”; but that’s what makes living so fascinating and encourages the continuing effort to “know” just a little more of what I don’t “know”. 🙂

  11. apneaman on Wed, 30th Sep 2015 2:04 am 

    Greg, yes bored to tears except for social studies and sports, sports, sports. Funny you mentioned it as I was just reading this…spooky dude.

    A Thousand Rivers
    What the modern world has forgotten about children
    and learning.

    http://schoolingtheworld.org/a-thousand-rivers/

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