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This Is How Human Extinction Could Play Out

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Oh, it could get very bad. In 2015, a study in the Journal of Mathematical Biology pointed out that if the world’s oceans kept warming, by 2100 they might become hot enough to “stop oxygen production by phyto-plankton by disrupting the process of photosynthesis.” Given that two-thirds of the Earth’s oxygen comes from phytoplankton, that […]

‘We are witnessing the impacts of a disorderly transition’


Committee on Climate Change CEO discusses infrastructure, airline bailouts, COP26 and making the best of a bad situation. It all seems so long ago now, but back in 2019 BC (before coronavirus), Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion had helped drive awareness of the climate crisis to record levels, net zero had become the climate action […]

The Pandemic Is Laying Bare a Global Water Crisis


Days after he shared images of municipal workers disinfecting the streets of Addis Ababa with high-powered hoses, Mayor Takele Uma Banti found himself struggling to explain a 72-hour water shortage. For the 4.8 million residents of Ethiopia’s capital city, interruptions to the water supply are nothing new. But in the grip of a pandemic, the […]

Population Boom, or Population Bust?


We all know the world population is set to hit 9 billion by 2050. Or is it? Darrell Bricker says it’s not going to happen, and we should prepare to have fewer mouths to feed — not more. It’s common knowledge that the world population is rapidly expanding, set to hit the 9 billion mark […]

Life on the human planet

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A week ago, I wrote an article on the Essentials of Human Life. I concluded that these essentials are “air, water, energy (which includes both heat and light and cooling where necessary), shelter, nature, sustenance (food), transportation, communication, health, cleanliness, community, pleasure, and learning.” These are the things that can make life a pleasure. But […]

(Still) Against Degrowth

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Protesters march during a “Youth Strike 4 Climate” protest march on March 6, 2020 in Brussels. … [+] AFP via Getty Images Was anyone smarter than Freeman Dyson? In 1965 a Nobel Prize was awarded to three physicists who developed the field of quantum electrodynamics; but it was Dyson who made these men’s disparate theories […]

Satellite images reveal huge amounts of methane leaking from U.S. oil fields

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Oil and gas operations in the Permian Basin, the largest oil-producing area in the United States, are spewing more than twice the amount of methane emissions into the atmosphere than previously thought — enough wasted energy to power 7 million households in Texas for a year. That’s the result of a new study by researchers […]

‘Megadrought’ emerging in the western US might be worse than any in 1,200 years


Scientists say that about half of this historic drought can be blamed on man-made global warming. The study covers an area stretching across nine U.S. states from Oregon down to New Mexico. Naturally-occurring western megadroughts have occurred many times before. Fueled in part by human-caused climate change, a “megadrought” appears to be emerging in the […]

How effective is a hard lockdown against the COVID epidemics? The data say not so much


  Data about the mortality of the coronavirus epidemic start being available. Above, a list of mortality rates for Western European countries (including the US) taken from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) of the University of Washington. The data are ordered by the projected number of deaths per million inhabitants. In addition, […]

New York Not Close to Exiting Lockdown

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The above shows the daily count of new Covid cases in New York state (blue) and the seven day centered moving average (orange).  The black line marks when the Governor issued his “PAUSE” (shutdown) order.  It continues to appear that around 12-14 days after that order, cases peaked and are now in a slow decline. […]

John Michael Greer: In the Footsteps of High John


Two weeks ago, while winding up the story of the colonial Rhode Island astrologer Joseph Stafford, I noted that the kind of occultism practiced by Stafford and Johannes Kelpius—the learned occult traditions of the Renaissance, which were experiencing their last golden autumn in Europe during the years when the American colonies were being founded—was by […]

Adjusting to a collapsing civilization


The Covid-19 pandemic affecting us here in Vermont and internationally is one more indicator that we are now dealing in a broader perspective with the collapse of the industrial/capitalistic/military economy. The other indicators are that we have catastrophic global heating, the “Sixth Great Extinction,” the rise of fascist/authoritarian governments around the world including the United […]

The Three Causes of Global Ecocide


In a recent post I questioned the well-known formula: Human Impact = Population x Affluence x Technology. But I don’t question that humans now have a severe impact on earth systems. So if not PAT, then what? Here I’m going to lay out some other factors that I suggest underlie our impact and our present predicament […]

New York vs Italy

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I think what is happening here is that Italy is just barely maybe starting to contain the virus.  New York is in serious and, I would guess, irrecoverable containment failure.  Italy has been locked down since March 9th.  New York is still far from fully locked down. The data are for New York State, but […]

The decline of oil has already begun


In 1961, when I was 14, working on a science fair project, my father – a geologist and petroleum engineer – explained oil depletion to me. To grow production, oil companies were drilling deeper and deeper wells, developing technologies to extract more oil from spent fields, and would one day tap into shale rock and […]

Coronavirus and Climate Change – will the Environment Benefit or Suffer?


The panic around the coronavirus is spreading and impacting more people across continents and touching more aspects of our lives, from travel restrictions to fluctuations in financial markets to delays and shortages in retail supplies.  When we look at the bigger picture, what does this crisis mean in terms of climate and our environment?  If […]

The Greatest Crime in History: How it is Being Perpetrated in Front of Your Eyes.


The Danger of Methane Hydrates and how Some Idiots are Planning to Extract Them as Fuels.     Methane hydrates may be the most dangerous thing existing on this planet. They won’t do any damage until they stay where they are, underground, but some idiot is proposing to extract them as fuels. Great idea: like […]

Population explosion is over

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For thousands of years, philosophers have wrung their hands because of fears about the supposed negative impacts of population growth on life as they knew it. In the 5th century BC, Confucius argued that population increases would reduce the quality of life. In ancient Greece both Plato and Aristotle maintained that a growing population was […]

Blue Acceleration: Capitalism’s Growing Assault on the Oceans


“A new phase in humanity’s relationship with the biosphere, where the ocean is not only crucial but is being fundamentally changed” Capitalism’s inherent drive to expand went into overdrive in the mid-20th century. Long-term socioeconomic and Earth System trends, graphed fifteen years ago and updated in 2015, show nearly simultaneous hockey stick upturns in about […]

Japan Set To Release 1.2 Million Tons Of Radioactive Fukushima Water Into Ocean, Causing “Immeasurable Damage”


Just in case a global viral pandemic, whose sources are still unclear and apparently now include human feces, wasn’t enough, the global outrage meter is about to go “up to eleven” with Japan now set to flood the world’s oceans with radioactive water. In a move that will surely prompt a furious response from Greta […]

After a Decade of Fracking, Billions of Dollars Lost and a Climate in Crisis


As 2020 begins, the impacts of climate change have become increasingly clear around the world. The new year started amid devastating wildfires, tied to the worst droughts Australia has experienced in hundreds of years, which encircled much of the continent. So far, 29 people have been reported dead. A University of Sydney professor estimated the number of animals killed likely tops one billion. Today’s climate […]

TEPCO Proposes 44-Year Plan To Decommission Fukushima No. 2 Nuclear Plant


About a decade ago, a powerful earthquake triggered a 15-meter tsunami that disabled the power supply and cooling of three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The accident led to nuclear cores of three reactors to meltdown, causing widespread radiation release, along with the evacuation of thousands of people within a 30-kilometer radius. Tokyo Electric […]

Dance Until the Music Stops

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Credit: Several seconds, FlickrCC This is the view from Kennedy airport 18,000 years ago: a two-mile high wall of ice (called the Laurentide Ice Sheet) extends across Canada and the northern part of the U.S. If you look south towards Jamaica Bay, there is only frozen tundra for as far as the eye can see. […]

The population question: Toward a plan for global sustainability


Too often, it seems, matters of population are overlooked in discussions of global sustainability. And this is true, despite some rather obvious points: A world of, say, 5 billion people is more likely to be sustainable than one of 10 billion; and a world of 1 billion is likely more sustainable still. All things being […]

Our real existential crisis is extinction


If Western elites were asked to name the greatest crisis facing mankind, climate change would win in a walk. Thus did Time magazine pass over every world leader to name a Swedish teenage climate activist, Greta Thunberg, its person of the year. On New Year’s Day, the headline over yet another story in The Washington […]

Prelude to a Disaster


Every day the news gets worse. Millions of people are displaced by record-breaking heatwaves and droughts, violent mega-storms and flash floods. Unprecedented wildfires burn out of control, scorching massive tracts of forest and brush, and plunging nearby urban metropolises into surreal scenes of mid-afternoon darkness. Meanwhile, scientists solemnly inform us that marine life could be […]

Economists and climate change: Building castles in the sky


Economist John Kenneth Galbraith once said that “the only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.” Unfortunately, when some economists turn their sights on the economics of climate change, their unreliable methods imperil not just the economic life of humankind but its very existence. I have written previously about this phenomenon in […]

90% Of The World Population Will Be Food Stressed By 2100


Abstract Climate change can alter conditions that sustain food production and availability, with cascading consequences for food security and global economies. Here, we evaluate the vulnerability of societies to the simultaneous impacts of climate change on agriculture and marine fisheries at a global scale. Under a “business-as-usual” emission scenario, ~90% of the world’s population—most of […]

How Scientists Got Climate Change So Wrong

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Few thought it would arrive so quickly. Now we’re facing consequences once viewed as fringe scenarios. For decades, most scientists saw climate change as a distant prospect. We now know that thinking was wrong. This summer, for instance, a heat wave in Europe penetrated the Arctic, pushing temperatures into the 80s across much of the […]



Scientists have released images of a methane “fountain” found “violently boiling” beneath an Arctic sea in Siberia. Photos taken on-board the Akademik Mstislav Keldysh research vessel in the East Siberian Sea show huge methane bubbles rising to the surface of the water. Usually, scientists sample the water with special plastic cones, but they ditched those […]

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Could it be #peakoil? IEA chief says low oil prices will take demand beyond pre-crisis highs…

@WIRED Still glad I decided not to move to hipster Brooklyn years ago. You thought I was funny with my "conspiracy theories." Now who's laughing? Peak oil Bitch! Everything I eat is grown and raised in my community further enriching everyone in it. #peakoil #Itoldyouso #fuckyou