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The Extinction Of Humanity pt. 2

The Extinction Of Humanity pt. 2

Unread postby Carlhole » Mon 06 Sep 2010, 09:18:18

Al Fin Energy

Peak Oil will occur when humans no longer want to bother drilling into the ground to extract dark, gooey, messy liquids to turn into fuels. Instead, humans are slowly but surely developing other, more reliable and sustainable ways to fuel their industrial base and somewhat affluent lifestyles. Dieoff.orgiasts and other members of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement hate to see any alternatives to Peak Oil Doom, or any skepticism to the orthodoxy of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. But humans are innately a problem-solving and skeptical lot.


I never knew there was anything like voluntary extinction movement.
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Learning how to die in the Anthropocene

Unread postby dohboi » Wed 13 Nov 2013, 19:56:25

Learning how to die in the Anthropocene

Walking through apocalypses in real time

Driving into Iraq just after the 2003 invasion felt like driving into the future. We convoyed all day, all night, past Army checkpoints and burned-out tanks, till in the blue dawn Baghdad rose from the desert like a vision of hell: Flames licked the bruised sky from the tops of refinery towers, cyclopean monuments bulged and leaned against the horizon, broken overpasses swooped and fell over ruined suburbs, bombed factories, and narrow ancient streets.

With “shock and awe,” our military had unleashed the end of the world on a city of six million — a city about the same size as Houston or Washington. The infrastructure was totaled: water, power, traffic, markets and security fell to anarchy and local rule. The city’s secular middle class was disappearing, squeezed out between gangsters, profiteers, fundamentalists and soldiers. The government was going down, walls were going up, tribal lines were being drawn, and brutal hierarchies savagely established.

I was a private in the United States Army. This strange, precarious world was my new home. If I survived.

Two and a half years later, safe and lazy back in Fort Sill, Okla., I thought I had made it out. Then I watched on television as Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. This time it was the weather that brought shock and awe, but I saw the same chaos and urban collapse I’d seen in Baghdad, the same failure of planning and the same tide of anarchy. The 82nd Airborne hit the ground, took over strategic points and patrolled streets now under de facto martial law. My unit was put on alert to prepare for riot control operations. The grim future I’d seen in Baghdad was coming home: not terrorism, not even W.M.D.’s, but a civilization in collapse, with a crippled infrastructure, unable to recuperate from shocks to its system.

And today, with recovery still going on more than a year after Sandy and many critics arguing that the Eastern seaboard is no more prepared for a huge weather event than we were last November, it’s clear that future’s not going away.

This March, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, the commander of the United States Pacific Command, told security and foreign policy specialists in Cambridge, Mass., that global climate change was the greatest threat the United States faced — more dangerous than terrorism, Chinese hackers and North Korean nuclear missiles.


http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2013/11 ... ocene.html
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Re: Learning how to die in the Anthropocene

Unread postby sparky » Wed 13 Nov 2013, 20:05:03

.
Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III is wrong , the greatest danger is always other people

An "act of God " as in the Philippines or the Japanese Tsunami will kill thousands
the Burundi civil war saw hundreds of thousand killed , with machetes !
the Syrian civil war is ramping up the count , 100.000 or more ?

Climate change is chimp stuff , a full-on third world war would see devastation of whole countries
the casualties direct and indirect in the hundred of millions
This is not hyperbole , that a dead sober estimate
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Re: Learning how to die in the Anthropocene

Unread postby dohboi » Wed 13 Nov 2013, 20:16:15

So now you know more than career military about their jobs, just as you know more about climate than the scientists that study it as a career. You really are quite some guy!

"the Syrian civil war is ramping up the count , 100.000 or more"

Presumably it would be too much to ask you to pause for half a moment to think about the causes of this conflict? After all, thinking is very hard work, and a half moment can seem such a very long time.
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Re: Learning how to die in the Anthropocene

Unread postby Lore » Wed 13 Nov 2013, 20:51:47

sparky wrote:.
Climate change is chimp stuff , a full-on third world war would see devastation of whole countries the casualties direct and indirect in the hundred of millions
This is not hyperbole , that a dead sober estimate


Climate change will be the trigger to all you fear. Both foreign and domestic military planners are bracing for full on catastrophic events brought about by a changing climate that will lead to heighten international tension.
The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any-price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living, and the get-rich-quick theory of life.
... Theodore Roosevelt
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Re: Learning how to die in the Anthropocene

Unread postby Plantagenet » Wed 13 Nov 2013, 21:34:32

Its the modern four horsemen of the apocalypse. Any one of them can put us in a world of hurt...

Over there....CLIMATE CHANGE.

On the right......WAR

On the left......FAMINE AND POVERTY

And coming fast straight ahead and riding down on us now.....PEAK OIL.

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Re: Learning how to die in the Anthropocene

Unread postby americandream » Thu 14 Nov 2013, 02:00:43

This tendency to blame humanity without context has been our biggest downfall in actually addressing the issues. Its the "lock them up in jail and throw away the key" mentality. In the Dark Ages, this sort of thinking led to brutal summary justice on the streets for the most vulnerable.

dohboi wrote:So now you know more than career military about their jobs, just as you know more about climate than the scientists that study it as a career. You really are quite some guy!

"the Syrian civil war is ramping up the count , 100.000 or more"

Presumably it would be too much to ask you to pause for half a moment to think about the causes of this conflict? After all, thinking is very hard work, and a half moment can seem such a very long time.
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Re: Learning how to die in the Anthropocene

Unread postby dohboi » Thu 14 Nov 2013, 06:55:32

AD, I'm not clear about who you claim is blaming humanity without context. I try to avoid doing that myself, but since you quoted me, I was wondering if you thought I was doing so. If you could be clearer about that, it might be helpful.

Meanwhile:
http://www.climatecentral.org/news/mili ... orld-16734

Haiyan Foretells Challenges for Military in Warming World

Super Typhoon Haiyan left the central Philippines in ruins, with a staggering death toll that could climb well above 10,000. The U.S. military is leading the international response to the devastation, along with international aid agencies. The Pentagon has dispatched an aircraft carrier and five other Navy ships, plus a separate group of at least 90 marines and specially trained humanitarian relief teams to the area.

Although the humanitarian deployment is nothing new for the Pentagon, it foreshadows what many national security experts — including the Navy's top Pacific commander — see as an increasingly challenging role for the U.S. as global warming influences the power and destructiveness of storms via warming and rising seas.

Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, head of U.S. Pacific Command, identified climate change-related impacts as the biggest threat facing U.S. forces in the Pacific, telling the Boston Globe in an interview in March that warming “is probably the most likely thing that is going to happen . . . . that will cripple the security environment.”
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Re: Learning how to die in the Anthropocene

Unread postby americandream » Thu 14 Nov 2013, 07:34:13

It was with reference to the other guys blanket charge levelled at humankind. It is too simplistic a response to a complex issue (climate change) and I am still scratching my head over culpability....especially in a world of 7 billion where the vast majority live a subsistence lifestyle.

It irritated me as well.

dohboi wrote:AD, I'm not clear about who you claim is blaming humanity without context. I try to avoid doing that myself, but since you quoted me, I was wondering if you thought I was doing so. If you could be clearer about that, it might be helpful.

Meanwhile:
http://www.climatecentral.org/news/mili ... orld-16734

Haiyan Foretells Challenges for Military in Warming World

Super Typhoon Haiyan left the central Philippines in ruins, with a staggering death toll that could climb well above 10,000. The U.S. military is leading the international response to the devastation, along with international aid agencies. The Pentagon has dispatched an aircraft carrier and five other Navy ships, plus a separate group of at least 90 marines and specially trained humanitarian relief teams to the area.

Although the humanitarian deployment is nothing new for the Pentagon, it foreshadows what many national security experts — including the Navy's top Pacific commander — see as an increasingly challenging role for the U.S. as global warming influences the power and destructiveness of storms via warming and rising seas.

Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, head of U.S. Pacific Command, identified climate change-related impacts as the biggest threat facing U.S. forces in the Pacific, telling the Boston Globe in an interview in March that warming “is probably the most likely thing that is going to happen . . . . that will cripple the security environment.”
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Re: Learning how to die in the Anthropocene

Unread postby Pops » Thu 14 Nov 2013, 07:51:46

Katrina, Sandy, Hayian have nothing to do with Bagdad; sure they have something to do with GW; but they are mostly about is living on the beach and expecting to stay dry. Too many humans thinking they have dominion is the problem - or maybe too many humans not thinking - or just too many humans, LOL.

During the Fukushima meltdown the picture of ancient stone markers warning of tsunamis really stood out to me:

Image
"High dwellings are the peace and harmony of our descendants," the stone slab reads. "Remember the calamity of the great tsunamis. Do not build any homes below this point."
http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-202_162-20051370.html

Of course it's not just the beaches. In my hometown there is a broad flood plain, early in the last building boom I was surprised to see homes being built on that plain for the first time. Inevitably an early spring rain in the Sierras caused a big snowmelt one year and the choice was to either release water from the reservoirs or let it overtop the dams. Dozens or maybe hundreds of homes were destroyed essentially because a developer had an in with the zoning board and convinced them Nature was whipped. It had been 30 years since the dams had been raised and the last big floods occurred - even 30 years is long enough for memory to fade.

The national flood insurance program is 24 billion in the hole and people who want to live on the beach will be seeing their insurance rise - unless Realtors® can convince FEMA to continue underwriting the lifestyle.

It's the same building in the forest and not expecting a fire or living in the desert and not expecting thirst or living in the city and not expecting hunger. A person can wring their hands, blame it on GW and pretend there is nothing to do but I think they should at least consider their location and prepare for what unlikely thing is most likely for their locale.

Personally I worry most about people. I traded living in a somewhat populated area where no one even thinks about nature and hasn't for generation for a location with a chance of a tornado landing on my head. In fact I'd rather have that than be anywhere that a couple of days without Mickey D's would be life threatening.
As the Realtors® say:

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If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide.
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Re: Learning how to die in the Anthropocene

Unread postby dohboi » Thu 14 Nov 2013, 09:17:57

The problem is that the line of safe habitation near the water will keep moving upland for the next few centuries.

Tacloban had weathered hundreds of typhoons. But it had never experienced storm surges of (by some reports) over 40 feet.

It should be blindingly obvious by now that most dwellings at sealevel should be abandoned. But how high should that abandonment go at this point? How soon should we, for example, abandon the state of Florida, since we know it will be gradually inundated?

In the Philippines, these aren't people who are living near the ocean just because they like the views. They earn their living on the ocean. The ocean is also often their main form of transportation.

But the combination of slr and ever more powerful storms means that this way of life will become more and more impossible. Perhaps this is why, in a recent pole, Filipinos rated fighting GW as a higher priority than poverty and many of the other enormous challenges facing the nation and its people.
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Re: Learning how to die in the Anthropocene

Unread postby Ibon » Thu 14 Nov 2013, 09:37:41

When an increasingly unstable environment and society remove the assumptions of stability we should remember that from there onwards we stop prioritizing planning for retirement and paying insurance and worrying over our savings and nest eggs and all that stuff.

The paradox to an increasing unstable world is that we not only learn how to die and accept death but we might also once again really start living.

Existence historically has been lived most in the moment when your guarantees were most at their minimum.

There are silver linings in this downward spiral......

And one last note on dying in the anthropocene...... your last dying thoughts can be filled with a deep deep peace that you are helping in your own little way to bring your species back down down down to within carrying capacity. Your exit you bestow on your grandchildren, opening up space for them, this can make you truly rest in peace.
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Re: Learning how to die in the Anthropocene

Unread postby Pops » Thu 14 Nov 2013, 11:03:58

I presume the folks who put up the stone markers above Fukushima lived off the ocean too. There are two options, stay in the danger zone and take the chance or learn to live elsewhere or elsewise, it ain't rocket surgery.

I don't expect "we'll" abandon Florida, NOLA, NYNY or anything else until the cost of staying, political and otherwise, outweighs the benefit. Chris Christie is the savior of Sandy, may become President because he rebuilt on the same sand.

Lots of "I"s might abandon it though; the population of NOLA is still 25% lower than in '05 for example even though the Corps of Engineers spent umpteen billions, FEMA spent who knows what, etc, etc.
If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide.
-- Abraham Lincoln
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Re: Learning how to die in the Anthropocene

Unread postby Newfie » Thu 14 Nov 2013, 11:19:07

Jared Diamond made the point in "The Day Before Yesterday" that governments role is to keep the warring tribes from killing one another. He claims, and supports with good evidence, that even Germany in the last century had a lower death rate due to war than do "primitive" tribes.

This makes a great deal of sense. And, it seems to make sense of our (US) willingness to tolerate more and more infringement into our privacy and freedom for "Safety and Security." For example I think Snowden expected to be something of a hero for exposing the NSA spying. But he has been vilified and most American's view him as a traitor, not a patriot.

This works as long as government can fulfill that role. But what happens when it can't? Or even if we start to experience LESS security than before? Then we tend to retreat into warring groups (Syria, Balkans, etc.) and start killing one another once again.

And the seeds of such destruction are within our culture. Within center city structures there are areas where law and order is either missing, or hostile to the population. In these areas you see gangs form who become a sort of shadow government protecting the folks within their turf.

But I think it extends beyond those borders, it is just more visible there. Elsewhere you have Aryan movements, and various survivalist groups. But then you also have the Tea Party, and Occupy, and any number of other various groupings that could evolve into some other, broader based, movement. Is it not possible, perhaps likely, that we are seeing the beginning of disintegration of the USA within our government offices in DC?

Peak Safety and Security?
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Re: Learning how to die in the Anthropocene

Unread postby dohboi » Thu 14 Nov 2013, 11:55:59

"most American's view him as a traitor"

This is getting a bit off topic, but most Americans I know see him as something of a hero (or don't think about him much at all). But in the Faux-news soaked populace, it wouldn't surprise me if your stat was right.

I haven't read that Diamond book yet. But I have to assume that pretty much all of the behaviors of small scale traditional societies are those that best help them to adapt to their environments.

As a species that has pretty well killed off its major non-human predators, there is some adaptive advantage to have your neighbors play that role--killing off the weakest so that the tribe as a whole steadily becomes stronger. It seems cruel, but a small scale society can't very well survive if it selected for future generations the weakest of its members.

It certainly seems to me to be a reasonable hypothesis that the violence in the Balkans was partly a result of tribal tensions, long held in check and able to fester below the surface, suddenly being let loose. (Of course, unscrupulous politician also played a roll in whipping up those sentiments to augment their own power.)
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Re: Learning how to die in the Anthropocene

Unread postby Pops » Thu 14 Nov 2013, 12:30:28

Good stuff Newfie. The balance between government as protector vs controler is the open and ongoing question. Heat engines and energy slaves are the anomaly this last century and a half allowing gov to become more protector to the little guy, prior to that the slaves were human and gov was tilted to controlling them and protecting the owners.

As the time of fossil energy slaves passes, if there is no replacement gov will likely move back to it's old role of protecting owners at the expense of the prole-cum-slaves. In which case the areas with the most expensive views will likely be protected at all costs and those less "desirable" will be left to the masses to deal with.

--
I'm pretty sure Snowden is a hero to more than a few. Interestingly the erosion of civil liberties is one place where folks on the both the libertarian left and right might find common ground.
If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide.
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Re: Learning how to die in the Anthropocene

Unread postby Timo » Thu 14 Nov 2013, 14:30:53

Pops wrote:The balance between government as protector vs controler is the open and ongoing question.

Criminy! Just count the number of US friendly dictators who fit that description, being both protector and controller, keeping the peace between all the various tribal and cultural and religious factions within their borders. The entire friggin Arab Spring is the unleashing of all of those groups who've been held in check by their ruthless dictators, hell-bent on keeping the peace and preventing everyone from killing each other off! Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Lebanon..... and going back a couple decades, Bosnia, Croatia and on and on and on. Democracies? No. But peaceful existence? For the most part, yes. Those dictators were beneficial to either the east or the west, and once those dictators were gone, that gave their people the freedom necessary to unleash devestation upon each other. You could even extrapolate that very scenario here to the US, as well. The far right is now hell-bent on eliminating all people who are different in any way from their presence here in the US of A. Since the government prevents that goal by violent means, they've taken to coopting the legal system to accomplish that goal. With the states that have adopted the Stand your Ground laws, even violence can be used to "protect" yourself from people different from yourself. We've privatized the prison system, making the incarceration of people a viable means of economic development. The more laws we can pass that result in more people being locked up, all the better because that means jobs for my children, and the removal of people different than me. We're a sick, sick country!
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Re: Learning how to die in the Anthropocene

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 14 Nov 2013, 16:32:43

The deaths caused by global warming, wars, preventable diseases, etc. are certainly tragic. One can debate the relative morality of each of the causes…both natural and “unnatural”. But just about everyone living today will die long before we see whatever increase in global sea level develops in the next 100 years or so. That still makes it an issue for those born 50+ years from today...but to what degree? But they will be born into a world of higher sea levels then we have today so other than looking at pictures of where the beach used to be their world will be different than ours but “normal” to them. Likewise those born into their world another 50 years down the road will have a reality very different than ours today.

Perhaps the idea of losing land beneath the waves isn’t as foreign a thought to me having grown up in south Louisiana. I saw structures built 100 years ago that were eventually lost to rising sea levels due to subsidence. The folks who built those structures, such as an old fort, are long dead and thus the relative sea level rise doesn’t affect them. And folks today aren’t affected because they never walked on those now flooded lands. But land will be lost on those low lying areas…that can’t be denied. The real question is how much real impact that will have on anyone. I doubt anyone here today will be impacted if half of FL goes under the waves in 100 years. Likewise someone born 100 years from today will see FL as it is then and not as it is today…just like I don’t see the lands in south La. that now exist beneath the Gulf.

Weather catastrophes are another matter, of course. Might not be able to deliver rock hard evidence that the typhoon was caused directly by GHG emissions but the possibility can’t be ignored. Maybe 10,000 dead and immeasurable suffering by the survivors. Tragic regardless of what the cause. OTOH about 150,000 people died from one cause or another today. As did 150,000 who died yesterday and another 150,000 that will die tomorrow. And while one might assess blame for the typhoon deaths to global warming as a matter of scale it’s not that huge. Again tragic but still a rather small percentage of all those who died during the period. The suffering of the survivors will also be staggering. But, unfortunately, a great many others around the globe have been suffering at similar levels for many years if not decades.

Man is still much more efficient at killing then Mother Earth as witnessed by the hundreds of thousands of Rwandans hacked to death some years ago while the world stood by and did nothing. Of course, that doesn’t make one death or one person’s suffering “better” than another’s. Just puts it into perspective. And, granted, a rather depressing perspective. Is the world going to be pushed to action about global warming because of the events in the Philippians? Are they going to be pushed by the vision of lands in FL submerged long after they are dead? I think we have a lot of precedence indicating that they won’t.
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Re: Learning how to die in the Anthropocene

Unread postby dohboi » Thu 14 Nov 2013, 17:00:34

Pops wrote: "gov will likely move back to it's old role of protecting owners at the expense of the prole-cum-slaves."

Things are already moving in this direction, particularly if you include other concentrations of power such as multinational corporations, along with gov.

To reinforce rock's point, as anyone who has been around here more than a few nanoseconds knows, I'm fairly obsessed with GW (why isn't everyone, a person wonders).

But I still think that nuclear holocaust is at least as likely a cause of the near-ish term obliteration of most of the human race (and much else).

We have indeed developed many means to wipe ourselves out very efficiently and effectively.

All of which prompts the question: Why do we hate ourselves (and especially our children...) so very much?

(Thanks for the good discussion! These insights are what keeps me coming back here, in spite of the occasional troll swarms...)
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Re: Learning how to die in the Anthropocene

Unread postby Shaved Monkey » Thu 14 Nov 2013, 17:06:32

The true cause of all things wrong with the world including climate change and war is greed driven capitalism.
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