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Chris Martenson: The Way To Save Ourselves

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It’s time to be blunt: Humans are headed towards disaster. 

Most of us already know this.  Some consciously, others unconsciously.

Those aware to the many predicaments we face may understand them intellectually, such as through the data provided in The Crash Course. Or they may sense them intuitively as a feeling in their gut that “something is wrong.” Many experience a combination of both.

Those operating at the unconscious level may only experience a pervasive sense of dread encroaching into their lives.  Many of these people are confused because they are aware of the context and are increasingly either checking out via numbing behaviors such as drinking and opioid addiction, or they’re acting out via violence and protest.

No matter if it’s consciously or unconsciously, everybody who ‘knows’ that something is terribly wrong is correct.

A Very Different Future

The data is obvious and the logic is clear. We cannot continue as we have been. The system is simply unsustainable.

Unfortunately, “continuation” is the one and only plan of the state. Let’s get back on track doing what we always have been (and use increasingly blunt techniques to saturate the populace with this message).  That’s the whole plan.  It boils down to: More of the same.

But ‘the same’ is killing the planet.

Species are disappearing at horrifying rates that have few comparisons over the past 500 million years. Soil washes to the sea creating dead zones, while humans and the animals they eat are now 95% of the terrestrial animal biomass.

Oceans are acidifying, causing phytoplankton to disappear. Glaciers are melting and sliding away, with those in Greenland and Antarctica contributing to sea level rise, a phenomenon that is not somewhere out in the future, but right here, right now.

Via Bloomberg:

The impact [of sea level rise] is already being felt in South Florida. Tidal flooding now predictably drenches inland streets, even when the sun is out, thanks to the region’s porous limestone bedrock.

Saltwater is creeping into the drinking water supply. The area’s drainage canals rely on gravity; as oceans rise, the water utility has had to install giant pumps to push water out to the ocean.

That’s not a future scenario, that’s right now.  When utilities are installing giant pumps, they are not doing that because of what might happen, but because of that which is already happening.

Pro tip:  If you own coastal property worth a bundle that’s at risk, sell now and avoid the rush.  That’s the conclusion of the Bloomberg article above, and something that insurers and underwriters might render moot by pulling your insurance coverage. How much is an uninsurable property on the coast of a rising sea worth?  The answer is: Less than its current price.

A (very) little bit of study reveals that exponential growth on a finite planet is a bad idea, which means that perpetual exponential growth is an even worse idea, insanity defined practically.  Unfortunately, and quite obviously, perpetual exponential growth lies at the very heart of every so-called ‘modern’ economic model.  It’s what we seek as a culture, and is lauded and rewarded in every possible way.

But it turns out that debt-based money coupled to the insatiable human desire for ever more is a very toxic combo. Both to ourselves, individually, as well as the planet as a whole — as the historically-brief past 150 years of rampant human feasting on fossil fuels has been devastating to our ecosystems.

While you’ve probably read a dozen articles talking about the death knell of fossil fuels and demand destruction due to substitution and technology, the reality is that (outside of severe economic downturns) each year humans quite reliably consume more oil than the year before:


This is just the what the data tells us.  More oil consumed this year than last.  While demand destruction from new technology and different choices may show up in the future, that dynamic is nowhere to be seen in the actual data yet.

Even more worryingly, there are at least 10 and possibly as many as 20 fossil fuel calories embedded in each single food calorie we eat. Our diet is made possible only by today’s surfeit of fossil fuel energy. Yet there seems to be no replacement plan and no concern for this fact outside of a few ‘fringe’ blogs and academic arenas.

But on our current course, 8 or 9 billion people will soon be trying to produce more food from degraded soils even as fossil fuels begin to wane, in both aggregate and especially in terms of net energy.

And that’s not some super far off date in the future. That’s in as few as 15 years, which really isn’t a lot of time given the seriousness of the predicament.

My point here is that The future has arrived. There’s no more waiting required for those who dare to look.  Or to feel what’s in their hearts, or gut, or wherever your intuition registers.

Our Giant Canoe

Think of our situation as if humanity were all together in a giant canoe and nearly everybody is paddling as hard as they can.  After all, we’re trying to get somewhere: to improve ourselves, to grow our economy and increase our prosperity. There are goals to be met!

Along the way we’ve convinced ourselves that this canoe is the best one ever built and it cannot fail us. It is the very pinnacle of achievement.  It looks great, and there are creature comforts and pleasant distractions galore.   Food has never been more abundant or easier to obtain, new gadgets keep showing up, and (in theory, at least) you can determine for yourself where you want to sit in the canoe.

The people in the front love being there, as they feel powerful and in control. Ironically, though, it’s the few people in the stern who are actually secretly and rather effortlessly steering, but nobody in the rest of the canoe seems to notice or care.

There’s only one thing wrong with this canoe. It’s headed for a gigantic waterfall, and if it tips over the lip, very few will survive. It will be like going over Niagara Falls without a barrel.

A few in the canoe have woken up and noticed this. But their protests are limited to either pulling their paddles out of the water and refusing to propel the canoe any faster, or even trying to futilely paddle backwards against the rest of humanity’s combined efforts.

Neither approach is a solution, mind you. But at least for these ‘awake’ souls, it feels better than paddling mindlessly towards the roaring falls.

As it stand today, humanity’s canoe is destined to speed right over the edge. Unless we consciously do something about it. Which we could, if we really wanted to.

As there’s nothing preventing us from steering the canoe safely to land, I find this one of the most interesting and fascinating times to be alive. We are currently playing the role of our own destroyer, but the savior role is still there for the choosing.

But what stops us?  What keeps us paddling furiously ahead even as the sound of the roaring falls gets louder and louder?  The answer is at once both very simple and devilishly hard.

It’s our egos.

To save ourselves from ourselves, we have to begin doing things very, very differently.  Truthfully, the only way we can save ourselves is to shift our consciousness.  

New Territory

This is a big claim, I realize.

In Part 2: How To Be, I’ll provide the elements of psychology, neuroscience, behavioral economics and human culture that lie at the root of our self-destructive behavior, yet also hold the keys to our salvation. I’ll explain why to start living differently, we first need to start thinking differently.

This line of investigation is what has been dominating my thoughts for the past year.  Some of it has snuck out in podcasts now and then, and those who came to the Rowe seminar in April 2017 got a pretty good glimpse of it.

There’s an emerging huge body of work here that goes deeply into the ‘Being’ and Emotional Capital areas of our ongoing efforts to help people live with greater resilience.  We’re talking about real inner change here. If you want things to be different on the outside in your life, the only certain way to go about doing that is to change things on the inside first.

27 Comments on "Chris Martenson: The Way To Save Ourselves"

  1. Davy on Mon, 15th May 2017 6:41 am 

    For those who are honest with the science of destructive change the question then becomes when, how, and where. This then leads to more how. Once at this point it becomes the internal of doing and being.

    When is this coming? Science is unclear so it takes a certain leap of faith. How is this destructive process going to unfold? There are many paths but some narrowing can be achieved when one looks local. Some events are all inclusive like NUK war but others are local and particular. Where then comes into play. If you can move then location is your most important consideration after your internal compass is hatched. If you can’t move and many can’t, then it is about what can I do in place to make myself more resilient and sustainable. This can be an effort for as little as a few weeks of backups to get you through the panic period of a shock.

    The next level of how is the preparation part. If you go backpacking for a long period you have to pack and plan. Special Forces units will prep and plan. You as an induvial can also prep and plan. This “how” can become a way of life also. As a way of life you will learn new skills and leave bad behavior. You will do this because you have direction and this direction is preparations for a destructive period of change. One point to make is this change in activity can be very rewarding because the basics of prepping are educational and achievement based. Gardening and home economic skills are wonderful activities.

    The last part is the internal of doing and being. This should become a life process because if you don’t make it your life’s purpose you cannot commit to what is required. You cannot achieve what is needed. If you go only half in then you may have pissed away resources on a stranded assets and efforts. You may alienate those important to you and that is the last thing you want to do. This needs to be an “other oriented” activity.

    The being is the most difficult. The reason for this is your efforts will be counter to what is happening in the world. You have chosen a way that is not more of the same but you will have to use more of the same to leave it. This then puts you in a surreal environment of conflicts. Money and its requirements will always complicate action. You can’t do this without dedicating some money to it. It is best to start simple with humility and sobriety. Your most important part of being is realizing there are no guarantees of success. You have better odds with preparations and this would be considered the lifeboat process. Stock your life boat with necessities.

    You now have a “morale” that comes with purpose and preparation. So part of the being part is mental conditioning for an undefined end. This is the hospice part. This mental conditioning for the end involves your loved ones who may be taken unfairly and prematurely. If you have done all of the above you can then enter the spiritual dimension of going forth to teach others. You can prepare a personal monastery for the possibility of a coming dark ages ahead. You can save equipment and knowledge that will help others when the status quo fails. You can leave wisdom of this process to guide the younger generation that may survive you.

    The final ascension is acceptance of nature’s process and acceptance of the human process of civilization. Blame and complain will only cloud this effort but it is also very human. So accept your humanity but try to improve on it. Am I there, NO. Am I working on it, Yes. Am I having an amazing time trying, Yes. Is my way the way, NO. There are so many locals and so many relationships within groups that a blueprint is not possible. What is possible is a manual of different aspects of what will be required of all locals in transition. This is significantly just common sense. It can be found in our history. The biggest step is the first step then all else falls into place.

    Doing nothing is fine too. Few can be awakened and those who can be awakened there are fewer who have the resources. If you are awakened and can do something then you should because this is the basics of our human nature. If you can’t this is life. I may die today in an accident because there are no guarantees. Just remember if you choose to be cavalier about what is ahead there are consequences. If you accept that then that is fair.

  2. BigMind on Mon, 15th May 2017 6:52 am 

    Chris Martenson will tell you the secret for saving yourself just as soon as you buy a Pro membership at his web site.

  3. Cloggie on Mon, 15th May 2017 8:01 am 

    In November 2011 he told a Spanish audience that it would be all downhill from there:

  4. Jef on Mon, 15th May 2017 9:26 am 

    “What keeps us paddling furiously ahead even as the sound of the roaring falls gets louder and louder?”

    Its MONEY!!! You know that stuff that which without it you WILL die!!!
    If you only have a little bit of it you will live like a dog or worse.
    If you have a moderate amount you will live like a slave working most of your waking moments at a job you hate then over eating and watch crap TV.
    If you have a good amount you still work like a slave but you get to have cooler stuff and get to be marched through the alloted locations around the world called “vacation spots” and incouraged to shop.
    Even if you have a lot it goes away in too many ways to list here so you must make sure that you are always getting more and more.

    Its not just bad people, its bad behavior elicited buy a horrendous, suicidal system that we allowed ourselves to be structured under.

    The one and ONY way out of this would be to restructure the system under which we have organized ourselves in such a way as to emphasize our true human nature of mutual aid, loving kindness, and oneness with nature.

    Here is where commentators try and tell us “no thats all a pipe dream, all people are greedy, selfish, violent, assholes”.

  5. Apneaman on Mon, 15th May 2017 9:56 am 

    Assuming the cancer monkeys can avoid a nuke war – unlikly- they have less than one cancer monkey lifetime before their extinction. The data are crystal.

    The Great Acceleration

  6. Sissyfuss on Mon, 15th May 2017 10:31 am 

    Well, now that I have you all panicky and scared, please send me your money because it is more important that I prosper and survive comfortably than you.

  7. Apneaman on Mon, 15th May 2017 11:08 am 

    1-in-1,000 year rainfall caused Missouri floods

    “This is at least the 10th “1-in-1,000″ year rain event across the U.S. since 2010.”

    “And, it’s the extreme rainfall amount in such a short amount of time that’s the 1-in-1,000 year event, not the resulting floods, NOAA hydrologist Sanja Perica said”

    “That means we’re more likely to see 1-in-1,000-year rains as the planet warms, the Weather Channel said.”

    “more likely”? Ha! Guaran-fucking-teed

  8. bobinget on Mon, 15th May 2017 11:13 am 

    D. Trump is determined to “Make America Grate” again,
    Shut-up, stop whining and learn to Respect Authority.

  9. Apneaman on Mon, 15th May 2017 11:15 am 

    Bangladesh faces food supply crunch after flash floods

    Unusually heavy pre-monsoon rains wiped out 2 million tonnes worth of rice crops, making farmers destitute and pushing up costs

    UP reels under heatwave, mercury climbs to 46.8 degrees [116.2 F] at Banda

    Uttar Pradesh reels under severe heat wave, power cuts

    Heat wave across Uttar Pradesh continues unabated, with temperatures set to cross 45 degrees Celsius, said the weatherman on Monday as power cuts added to people’s woes with no signs of respite.

  10. Apneaman on Mon, 15th May 2017 11:21 am 

    Here We Go Loopty-Loo

    Alaska tundra has become a carbon emitter rather than carbon sink, study finds

    “On Alaska’s North Slope, the loads of carbon dioxide emerging from the ground in the October-to-December season have increased by about three-quarters from what they were in the mid-1970s, the scientists found.

    That has implications across the Arctic, they said.

    “We believe we’re seeing a changeover from the Arctic tundra ecosystems from being long-term carbon uptakes or sinks and switching to being carbon sources,” study co-author Charles Miller of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at California Institute of Technology said in an interview.

    More carbon dioxide coming into the air from the Earth has the effect of creating more warming through the greenhouse effect, thus feeding into a warming loop, the authors said.”

  11. Apneaman on Mon, 15th May 2017 11:28 am 

    Climate change is already collapsing nations

  12. penury on Mon, 15th May 2017 11:44 am 

    The predicaments that humans face are in the final analysis human caused. The answers have been known for a long time. However, beig humans we are awaiting the promised “divine intervention” which will solve the predicaments provide everything necessary to insure mankind’s survival and not result in any hardship for anyone.

  13. Apneaman on Mon, 15th May 2017 1:52 pm 

    Brexit back to the stone age

    UK faces sharp rise in destructive wind storms due to global warming

    If climate change heats world by more than 1.5C, damaged buildings are likely to increase by over 50% across Midlands, Yorkshire and Northern Ireland

    1.5C? Before this decade is over.

  14. Apneaman on Mon, 15th May 2017 2:35 pm 

    Dying Guatemala lake underlines climate change threat

    “The dried-out oyster shells lie on a landscape parched and cracked by the sun.

    This is what is left of Lake Atescatempa, once a vast blue-green body of water in southwestern Guatemala.

    Now the lake is dying, a conspicuous victim of the climate change that is projected to profoundly and irreversibly affect Central America.

    A prolonged drought descended on the region last year, shriveling two rivers that feed into Lake Atescatempa, and with it the flow of tourists to the area and the livelihood of residents.

    “We have no more money coming in, nowhere to work. Our hopes for eating fish or supporting our families, that came from the lake,” explained Juan Guerra, a 56-year-old who has lived his whole life by the lake.

    Today however the lake’s shore is dotted with abandoned boats left high and dry.”

    Read more at:

  15. DerHundistlos on Mon, 15th May 2017 4:52 pm 


    The cancer President Trump is working overtime to destroy America’s last virgin wilderness areas. First on the chopping block is Bears Ears National Monument in Utah as a thank you to his Mormon supporters and a stick up the ass of the Native American tribes who wnat this sacred land protected.

    I hate the guy and his Republican enablers.

  16. DerHundistlos on Mon, 15th May 2017 5:37 pm 

    This is the reason why it is never a good idea to tell anybody of your plans, particularly since the DEA has paid informants everywhere, including banks. You know it is the end of an empire when the government is just as corrupt as the crooks and begins stealing from its own citizens just because it can. And your buddy Trump just made things a lot worse.

    Gang Of Thieves: DEA Stole $3.2 Billion In Cash From Innocent People In Only A Decade

    A bombshell report from the Inspector General (IG) at the Department of Justice has exposed the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for the colossal thieves they are. According to the report, DEA seized more than $4 billion in cash from people since 2007, but $3.2 billion of the seizures were never connected to any criminal charges. That figure does not even include the seizure of cars and electronics.
    This thievery is possible through the insidious practice of civil asset forfeiture (CAF), where law enforcement can seize cash and property on the mere suspicion of being involved in criminal activity. Originally developed in the 1980s to go after organized crime, CAF has mushroomed into a source of revenue for cops across the country – from local to state to federal – in what’s become known as Policing for Profit.

    When an innocent person’s cash is stolen by DEA, that person must petition to get it back, meaning the burden of proof (and the burden of time and expense) is on the unlucky victim who never did anything wrong in the first place. In fact, “forfeiture proceedings start from the presumption of guilt.”

    The case of a man traveling at an airport with $27,000 is a prime example of how DEA can just take the cash on a whim, without even bothering to pretend it has to do with criminal activity.

    When a task force officer explained that the U.S. currency in the bag was going to be seized pending further investigation, the passenger asked whether he could keep some of the currency to travel home. The passenger asserted that all of the currency in the bag was his, and the task force officers allowed him to retain $1,000. This seizure resulted in an administrative forfeiture of $27,000 to the U.S. government, and the DEA explained to the OIG that, other than the events surrounding the seizure, there was no subsequent investigative activity or additional law enforcement benefit.
    Reason Magazine sums it up perfectly.

    If the DEA task force agents thought that man’s cash was connected to drug activity, why allow him to keep some of it? If they weren’t sure, why take it in the first place? The answer, of course, is there is no logical or legal rationale for this sequence of events.

    Indeed, most of the DEA’s cash seizures don’t relate to any criminal investigation, and 82 percent of the cases reviewed by the IG were settled without any judicial review. The DEA focuses on airports, train stations and bus terminals, relying on travel records and a host of confidential informants to target people they believe will have lots of cash.

    DEA gives itself wide latitude to pin you as a suspect for detainment and search. Woe to those “traveling to or from a known source city for drug trafficking, purchasing a ticket within 24 hours of travel, purchasing a ticket for a long flight with an immediate return, purchasing a one-way ticket, and traveling without checked luggage.”

    The IG concludes that DEA is posing great risks to civil liberties by continuing the practices highlighted in its report.

    ‘When seizure and administrative forfeitures do not ultimately advance an investigation or prosecution, law enforcement creates the appearance, and risks the reality, that it is more interested in seizing and forfeiting cash than advancing an investigation or prosecution.’

    The IG states that “risks to civil liberties are particularly significant when seizures that do not advance or relate to an investigation are conducted without a court-issued seizure warrant, the presence of illicit narcotics, or subsequent judicial involvement prior to administrative forfeiture.”

    The threat to civil liberties posed by CAF is being recognized more and more, as states continue to abolish the practice by requiring a criminal conviction before cash and assets can be seized. But the federal government is a primary reason why CAF still runs rampant, through the euphemistically named Equitable Sharing Fund where the stolen loot (amounting to $28 billion over the last decade) is shared by federal and state drug task forces.

    These findings fundamentally undercut law enforcement’s claim that civil forfeiture is a vital crime-fighting tool. Americans are already outraged at the Justice Department’s aggressive use of civil forfeiture, which has mushroomed into a multibillion dollar license to steal in the last decade.

  17. DerHundistlos on Mon, 15th May 2017 5:59 pm 

    Forgot to say: Prep and plan what a joke. Just so I can save my ass for a little while longer. Of course I am too damn important to die so I must pour my resources into surviving at all costs. Now, I have prepped and planned in my own way. I have enough opiates on hand to make sure all of my adopted animals and I do not suffer. In the meantime I will do everything I can, locally, and otherwise to sustain NON-human life. Nothing more to do if you wish to die with a clear conscience. Lastly, fuck you Trump and all your enablers. May karma visit you and yours many times over (a pain amplifier for the rest of eternity à la mode de “Dune” would suffice as a necessary deterrent.

  18. makati1 on Mon, 15th May 2017 6:11 pm 

    DerHundistlos, The U$ has the most corrupt government in the world today. They are ALL bought and paid for by the banking mafia, corporations and the MIC. The American citizen/serf/debt-slave has less freedom than those citizens had in Nazi Germany or the U.S.S.R. under Stalin. The U$ Police State is just better covered under a barrage of propaganda and 24/7/365 brainwashing. Every part of their lives are watched, recorded, and managed with fees, license’, permits and laws. Their money is stolen from them by banks, corporations and their own government. Their views of the world are shrouded in the fog of propaganda and the current “enemy” lies and miss-directions. And, it is only getting worse. That is why I moved out and have no regrets.

  19. r eberhart on Mon, 15th May 2017 8:11 pm 

    Peak oil is a lie.

  20. GregT on Mon, 15th May 2017 9:46 pm 

    “Peak oil is a lie.”

    And gravity is a myth.

  21. Cloggie on Tue, 16th May 2017 4:54 am 

    Climate change is already collapsing nations

    Curious to find out which nations are actually “collapsing” due to climate change, I opened the link.

    Uh-oh, not that globalist “British Muslim” Ahmed Nafeez again:

    No wonder that our resident globalist Apneaman, who could not care less about the environment, but is only interested in the political aspects of climate change, pushes this chap to serve his globalist agenda.

    Climate change instrumentalized to achieve global governance. For this purpose Apneaman exaggerates climate change as much as possible.

  22. deadlykillerbeaz on Tue, 16th May 2017 5:24 am 

    I started prepping in ca. 1980, have been doing so ever since. You just never know when it is all going to go to hell in a handbasket. It just never stops, all of the strife and turmoil. Got everything now, the prepping gets old. You can have only so many tools and only so much silver, you have to stop at some time. Too much is a good reason to stop.

    I gave up my car in 1972, never to own another one. The oil companies were ripping off everybody, gas at 75.9 in 1972 was an outrage. Time to sell the car and never ever buy another gallon of gas at 75.9 cents, never, highway robbery.

    Then I decided to own one more automobile and then another after that, it was for the good of humanity. I had to get someplace somehow, so a car was it. If I had to get there, gas at 4.199 was ok. A bargain, just drive a little less. Gotta come to your senses, cars do a lot when you need a twelve pack of beer. American made beer, best in the world. You can’t drive country roads without a beer to enjoy the ride, drinking and driving, a favorite past time.

    Don’t have to ride in a giant canoe with the rest of the losers on this godforsaken earth. All they will be able to do is rock the boat and the canoe will tip over. You’ll drown with the rest of them. A giant canoe won’t do no good.

    I am driving, not getting in any canoe.

    Besides, if I can’t have a car, I’ll buy a coach and four.

  23. Jerry McManus on Tue, 16th May 2017 2:05 pm 


    Hmmm…, let’s see now, extreme rainfall, 1-in-1000 year floods every other year, extreme heat waves, melting permafrost, collapsing economies…

    I’m sensing a theme here.

    Really, all that’s left is the shouting, oh, and maybe a few bewildered talking heads on the telly saying things like “who could have seen this coming?”

  24. Anonymous on Tue, 16th May 2017 5:43 pm 

    Let’s face it. Peakers predicted oil would peak in 2005-2010 and then decline notably in the years after.

    Instead, oil has gone up. And only a very, very, very tiny amount of peakers have admitted this or have modified their views. After years of saying that they were more truth facing than others, they have really shown that they are unwilling to face events honestly and to modify views when new facts come in.

  25. GregT on Wed, 17th May 2017 12:53 am 

    Let’s face it. Hubbert, (the King of peak oil himself) predicted that conventional oil production would reach a peak globally in or around 2005. He is also on the record of saying that there was much more oil available at higher prices, and with different technologies.

    Prior to the US conventional oil production peak in the early 70s, only one income was required to maintain a family, a household, and to save for the future. After ~1975, two incomes were required to do the same. Fast forward to 2005, two incomes were required to manage debt, peoples’ savings were being wiped out just by putting their money into the bank, and the entire planet entered into “The Global Financial Crisis.” Hard to ignore, but most everyone does.

    “Instead, oil has gone up.”

    All oil is not the same Anon. It is not a matter of barrels of oil available, but rather the cost to produce that oil, and the energy available to modern industrial society. Counting barrels is kind if a moot point.

  26. makati1 on Wed, 17th May 2017 1:00 am 

    GregT, right on. About like counting coins. Some are quarters, some are dimes, most are pennies, but the number of coins sounds good.

  27. GregT on Wed, 17th May 2017 1:15 am 

    Pennies were fazed out in Canada a few years back mak. It now costs more in energy and materials than what they are worth. Kind of like when silver and gold were no longer used in coinage back in 1968, around the same time that US ‘conventional’ oil production peaked. Of course that was purely coincidental. Nothing to see here, move along.

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