Cassandra has moved. Ugo Bardi publishes now on a new site called "The Seneca Effect."

Friday, February 23, 2018

Our only hope for long term survival

Sometimes, a good rant is needed. Here is one by Geoffrey Chia

by Geoffrey Chia, February 2018

Language warning: Many may find the following article offensive, such as:
  • Technocornucopians - eg geoengineering and carbon drawdown fantasists, blinkered university academics and engineers, TZM, Elon Musk etc
  • People who think reducing population and/or consumption are sacred cows which should never be mentioned
  • People who are shocked by and reject the idea that billions will die this century
  • Economists - who know the price of everything but the value of nothing
  • The Pope (who jumped on the bandwagon too late, but nice dress though)
  • Christians and other religious types
  • Global warming deniers
  • Economists 
  • Creationists
  • Politicians
  • Most Americans (they are mad)
  • Kim Jong Un (slightly less mad)
  • NBL fanatics (not referring to the basketball league here)
  • Economists

If you take umbrage at this article please consider the possibility you may be a fw rather than a sp

I agree entirely with Dennis Meadows that climate change should be regarded as a symptom or complication or side effect of our overshoot. Climate chaos will relentlessly worsen to become the worst problem threatening our very existence, but it is not the core problem. Furthermore it is not the most urgent problem right now. Despite many areas having been hit by severe weather events, global industrial civilisation is not immediately at risk of being brought down by climate change 1. Financial and economic collapse, which are intimately linked with the depletion of “easy” (high EROEI) oil and the looming net energy cliff (which will cause all resource outputs to fall off their respective Seneca cliffs) are much more immediate threats.

I assert that those who endeavour to study our predicaments should categorise threats according to what is worst, what is at the core and what is most urgent. Climate change is just one manifestation of the Limits to Growth and is not a core problem. Trying to address climate change in isolation is and always was futile. Solitary focus on “fixing” climate change alone will result in:

  • failure to solve it
  • unintended consequences eg acid rain from sulphates, failure of the monsoons, marine dead zones due to algal overgrowth (assuming “fertilising the oceans” can actually work) etc
  • being blindsided by more urgent issues (eg financial/economic collapse) and subsequently being powerless to do anything
  • other opportunities being lost because of wasted time and effort

Nevertheless I do support those who protest against Adani and CSG in Australia, DAPL and Keystone XL in the US and new coal or unconventional oil and gas developments in general, because of the contemporary environmental vandalism wreaked and future carbon emissions released which may be the critical determinant whether we go extinct or not. However civilisation is doomed even if we cease all carbon emissions now, due to the extant GHGs and the numerous unstoppable adverse feedback loops already underway, which will destroy our capacity for large scale agriculture. Cities (defined as dense urban concentrations) are the basis for civilisation and cannot exist in the absence of large scale agriculture. There may be some hope for small scale permaculture in future residual climate resilient pockets (eg South Island of NZ, the southern tip of South America – a good jumping-off point to a thawing Antarctica), even as the rest of the world burns.

Any competent Physician will tell you that a disease can only be cured by eliminating the underlying cause. Managing symptoms is important but is only a temporary fix at best. Unless the underlying cause is treated, there will be no cure.

In my 3D collapse model, I indicated that the core issue driving all the collapse mechanisms was our total human footprint (THF) which I expressed as:

THF = total human population x (individual consumption + waste production) 2.

This begs the question: if our THF is the core issue, are there even more fundamental root causes for this core issue?

To me the fundamental root causes for the cancer-like overgrowth of our THF are dysfunctional human behaviour driven by greed and stupidity. Plunder and exploitation justified by the fabrication of self-serving narratives which have no basis in reality. For example, the delusional ideology that we were created by a supernatural all-powerful being in “his” image to hold dominion over all living things on Earth and exploit everything, any-which-way, just as we damn well please. Spread forth and multiply. And multiply and multiply. I have alluded to this before:

Only latterly did Il Papa come out stating that humans need to exercise responsible custodianship over our natural world or face catastrophe. Hey Pope! Your words were too little too late! And where did you get your ideas from? Did they come from an undetectable deity who telepathically beamed his thoughts into your brain from dimensions unknown, or did they come from reasoned conclusions derived from decades of peer reviewed scientific research conducted by mere humans? And what about population control and reduction huh? Huh? Per favore potresti spiegarmi.

Religious justifications for our historical bad behaviour, based on the claim they came from supernatural authority, may have had survival value long ago when we lived as primitive small tribes struggling against harsh Nature and the hostility of other tribes. Scientific advances and globalisation changed all that, but most human thought remains implacably fixated at the level of the reptile brained Id. It is impossible to become POTUS without public expressions of pious Christian religiosity. Tribal sabre rattling between “leaders” of Nations may well trigger nuclear Armageddon. And why? Because we are governed by fuckwits who were voted in by fuckwits (or who seized power by collusion with fuckwits).

It is not my intention to single out Christianity for bashing, no matter how well deserved. I am merely using Christian delusion as one example. Even worse than Christianity (or Islam or Judaism) is the insane theology of the neoclassical, neoliberal economic high priests, who claim that their so-called free market will save us if we just return to growth! Let's put out the fire by pouring petrol over it! Not crazy at all! They and their disciples are the most toxic fracking fuckwits on this planet, even more resistant to scientific persuasion than Il Papa.

Notwithstanding the impending demise of industrial civilisation, let us engage in a thought experiment. Imagine that benevolent aliens descend from outer space tomorrow to magically fix our problems. They reset our global population (by some unexplained deus ex machina), painlessly down to one billion people, the survivors being selected randomly. Mr HWAFL (which rhymes with “awful” and stands for “Hairpiece Without A Frontal Lobe”) and his dodgy clan vanish in a puff of flatus. However Mike Pence and Rex Tillerson remain. The aliens restore all ecosystems, resources (including subterranean fossil fuels) and greenhouse gas levels back to the pristine situation of 1850 CE. The aliens declare to the remaining one billion people: this is a one-off reset of humanity, one last chance to fashion a sustainable future for yourselves. You will never again be given such an opportunity. The benevolent aliens will never return.

Here's the rub: failure to address the underlying problems of human stupidity and greed will inevitably lead to a re-run of this same failed fossil fool experiment. The remaining humans, the majority of whom are fuckwits, will merely fabricate new or recycle old delusional ideologies to justify their ongoing pursuit of short term greed over long term need, condemning our biosphere to utter devastation yet again. Stupid and greedy humans never learn from history and the majority of humans are stupid and greedy. If it were not so, we would not be facing these planetary predicaments.

Our only hope for long term survival is if wisdom and restraint can permanently triumph over stupidity and greed.

Only if wisdom and restraint become enshrined in all our policies will humanity have any hope. Humans have held these values before. The Six Nations of the First Peoples of North America formulated such principles. Their time horizon looked seven generations ahead, not at the next quarterly profit. Unfortunately invaders bearing germs (which killed off 95% of the native population), guns and steel all but wiped them out. A few of their surviving descendants still fight at Standing Rock, among the last examples of decent human beings remaining on this planet. 

Are there any countries today where the sapients outnumber the fuckwits, enabling sane and just social and environmental policy to prevail? Very few, but they exist. Bhutan comes to mind, where the official State policy is gross national happiness. Maybe some Scandinavian countries. In New Zealand my guess is the sp/fw ratio may be as high as 50:50, although I may be wildly optimistic. John Key was a fuckwit who was cunning enough to get out while still able to take credit for the good times. It is possible Jacinda Adern may be a sapient. For the sake of her child I hope she is. In Australia, the fuckwits (=American wannabes) far outnumber the sapients, however there is huge regional variation. Even in America, land of the creeps, home of the knaves and the batshit crazy heartland of fuckwits (creationists, global warming deniers, Chicago school economists, new age antivaccination wackos etc), there are a few pockets of enlightenment. The Pacific Northwest and Hawaii are home to millions of sane, reasonable people who can look forward to a good medium-term future, if only they can find a way to prevent being overrun by fuckwits from the heartland, armed to the teeth with assault rifles and fleeing from “non-existent” climate change (mid-continental heatwaves, droughts, tornadoes etc). Maybe Northern California can build a fence and get Alabama to pay for it.

Is there any realistic prospect for the global ascendance of sapience and thus any hope for long term human survival? Actually, yes, there is a tiny possibility.

So here is another future scenario, perhaps unlikely, but far more probable than the benevolent alien scenario:

As this century unfolds we will witness the die-off of billions of people through wars, resource depletion, droughts, floods, storms, crop failures, sea level rise (with no place to migrate to), pandemics and numerous other disasters. However several thousand people, perhaps even a million, will survive to the year 2100 and beyond. They will be the descendants of those people living today who were intelligent enough to read the signs of imminent collapse and to plan in advance to cope with the looming catastrophes.

The ancestors of future humanity version 2.0 are those few people living right now who are planning to move to a climate resilient location and are preparing their off-grid community homestead to be as self sufficient as possible. As industrial societies fail and central services collapse, the fuckwits, almost all of whom will be living in the cities, will experience severe deprivation and will turn on the clueless sheeple (cs) and on each other like cannibalistic rats. It is possible some outlier fuckwits may overrun some rural homesteads. But not having cultivated the knowledge and skills of self sufficiency and not having built up community trust and cooperation, those invading fuckwits will inevitably die off quickly. In the long term, Nature will select for the sapients who had planned in advance and promoted the values of wisdom, restraint, conservation and mutual cooperation within their small local communities. As time goes by, life will get ever harder, but humans are adaptable and the survival instinct is strong. If the world heats up to the extent that the only remaining survivable location is Antarctica, then humans will migrate to Antarctica. Even if 99% of the (several thousand) surviving communities ultimately fail, all it takes is for a small nucleus of people to survive in the long term, for humanity to get through this genetic bottleneck. DNA studies show such a genetic bottleneck has happened at least once before and it can happen again.

Long term human survival depends on the survival of the sapients and the extinction of the fuckwits. Readers of this blog are a self-selected tiny population and (apart from NBL trolls) are very likely to be sapients. As sapients, you are bound to have strong traits of empathy and compassion. However my message to you is this: when the die-off begins, you must not mourn the fuckwits. You must maintain your focus and harden your hearts. The fuckwits will reap what they have sowed. Your responsibility, dear reader, is to save yourself and your family, because the future survival of humanity depends on your survival.

Some argue, using sound evidence and logic, that the most probable scenario is human extinction (via multiple mechanisms, climate chaos eventually becoming the worst) by 2100. I do not disagree. Nevertheless I assert that no matter how unlikely long term human survival may be, even if the chance is only one tenth of one percent, failure to at least attempt to survive will be foolish. At the very least you will buy yourself another decade of good quality life beyond the die-off of the fuckwits.

There is one former scientist who proclaims with absolute certainty that humans face climate extinction by 2026 – which I have shown using arguments based on physics to be an easily falsifiable hypothesis. That death cult prophet and his parrot-like disciples spew forth an insane ideology of nihilistic, fatalistic, helpless hopelessness (or hopeless helplessness – take your pick). Those misery mongering whiners are no better than the fuckwits. Failure to plan is planning to fail. The time to plan and get organised is now, before descent into chaos deprives you of options and agency.

A global population cull is on the horizon and if it selects for sapience then maybe, just maybe, humanity may have a long term future.

So how can we awaken potential sapients and encourage as many of them as possible to establish as many offgrid rural homesteads as possible? The first step is to improve and expand awareness of the troubles ahead among the populace. That, dear reader, is where YOU come in. YOU need to organise free community meetings in your location to raise awareness of the troubles ahead and how to mitigate against them. Most will ignore your message, but perhaps one in a thousand may listen and one in ten of those may act. That is what I am doing now and will be writing about next.

G. Chia, February 2018

  1. Even though climate change by itself will not bring down global civilisation within the next decade or two (economic and energy collapse will), climate chaos could kill you and your family right now if you live in a particularly vulnerable area. If you live in a hurricane corridor or mid continental location prone to heat extremes or are already experiencing unprecedented droughts or floods, you need to get the hell out now if you can, while you can. It is the most urgent issue for you personally.
  2. The ecological human footprint is properly expressed in acres or hectares as described by the originator of this concept, Canadian ecologist William Rees. It is the land and water area we use for resource extraction and waste expulsion to support the lifestyle to which we are accustomed. The physical footprint of a city may be small, but its ecological footprint may be a thousand times larger. No city can exist without a much larger hinterland to support it, whether that hinterland is inside or outside its national boundary. For example, the supporting hinterland for the city state of Singapore is essentially 100% outside its national boundary. Essentially all its citizens live in denial (a combination of fw and cs)


  1. I don't dislike Gore Warmers because they believe in manmade warming. To me it is a non-issue. I dislike them because their default solution is "can't we all just get along?". No Rodney, we cannot. And expecting us to goes against human nature. We are wired to fight and kill each other for resources, because we are our only predator. To expect us to change that is to defy reality. Why have ALL civilizations failed in the past? Resource overexploitation. Why do we do that when we know how it will turn out? Because if we don't do that, our enemies will. He who has the most resources wins. The game civilizations play is to be the last to starve. If you want that to change, you cannot change human nature. You must abolish agriculture. And that isn't happening because cereal crops are excess calories and how you outbreed and outfight your opponents. Man is always going to be an opportunistic predator. Always. Glittery unicorn fart wishful thinking doesn't change that.

    1. With all due respect, NOT all civilizations have failed in the past. (Premodern) China for example was able to carry on the torch for nearly five thousand years. It was only in the 19th and 20th centuries that she was compelled by the West to trade in her ancient ways of life and thinking for the whole modern industrial way of life -- and a lot of good it's doing us all.

    2. People have been the china region for 5000 years but it hasn't been one continuous uninterrupted civilization.

  2. It is good to see others who also cut through the politically correct group think fog and look at the big picture. As a species we love to fixate on a few simplistic things. Right now the problem of global warming is the super star. All other issues are cast aside as we flail about, wasting time and energy "solving" problems out of sequence.

    1. ..for the sake of brevity, I'll just reply to your comment with a '+1' .

      Bien dit et concis ;)

  3. I have been convinced for some time that we cannot fix the 'problems' we face (as some say, they are not problems with fixable solutions but dilemmas that must be 'managed'). One cannot control complex systems, despite our hubris to the contrary. We seem destined to experience overshoot and collapse, as do all species that come to depend on a limited number of finite resources (in spite of the technocornucopian insistence that technology will 'solve' everything). And while I have been attempting to 'enlighten' my community and family members to the impending perils of chasing the holy grail of infinite growth on a finite planet (and all the negative repercussions of that misguided adventure), it's not easy. As the esteemed Rabbi Schlomo Risken has said: When you're one step ahead of the crowd you're a genius; when you're two steps you're a crackpot. And one can only be interpreted as a 'crackpot' within one's community (and family) for so long until you heed singer/songwriter David Byrne: "Say something once, why say it again?". I feel for all those 'innocents' that are going to be caught like a deer in the headlights by the upcoming Black Swan Event but as Jared Diamond responded to me after asking him a question at a presentation at the Royal Ontario Museum some years ago regarding his book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fall or Succeed: "Just because we have the knowledge, doesn't mean we will use it" (paraphrased). I'm finding (limited) comfort in preparing for the upcoming transition by disengaging from the Matrix's complex systems as much as possible by learning important skills (i.e. food production, first aid, etc.), building resilience and redundancies into our lifestyle, and occasionally trying to 'enlighten' others (most, however, are content to remain in the Matrix and travel with the herd--cognitive dissonance is a very powerful psychological phenomenon).

  4. "So how can we awaken potential sapients and encourage as many of them as possible to establish as many offgrid rural homesteads as possible?"

    My response is that there is no need to awaken sapients. They should already be awake. If they aren't, then they probably aren't sapients. My suspicion is that the people who will survive are people who are already living some version of subsistence lifestyle. There are already a lot of these and most of them are not living in industrialized parts of the world. If you are living a subsistence lifestyle now, you are in a good position to continue living that lifestyle post-industrial collapse. If you are living off-grid now, it doesn't matter whether you are sapient or not. You are more likely to survive than some sapient who hangs on to his/her investment portfolio to finance their pleasant lifestyle for as long as they can while they start dabbling with permaculture.

    1. Exactly!

      Chia is very developed-world-centric. His advice only applies to those in high-energy industrial societies. Those of us who live in such places could all die and there would still be millions in the 'emerging' South who would survive.

      Still, good advice to the urbanite everywhere.

  5. Another ignorant "blame it all on bad human behavior" rant. Please step back a pace and consider the forces driving bad behavior.

    I am going to reduce it down to the simplest of terms.

    You will not find anyone of any mental acuity what so ever that will deny the fact that at the "core" humans are most concerned with, most worried about Pain, Suffering, and top of the charts...DEATH! This is absolutely universal from the poorest to the most wealthy. Our concern amplifies exponentially when loved ones/children are added into the equation.

    What is the one and only UNIVERSAL aspect of life on planet earth that addresses those core concerns?????? MONEY! Don't give me any omie groovie "...but what about..." NO!

    Now please consider the fact that money is one of the most unique things on earth in that it is always going at once, always. Again everyone knows this from the richest to the poorest.

    With these two factors in consideration, only money insures less pain, suffering, and death for you and your loved ones, and said money is not all that easy to get and is ALWAYS going away, "GREED IS GOOD" as is a whole host of the worst possible behavior humans are capable of.

    Yes we have accepted this arrangement which is the worst possible one and in fact most will argue (quite forcefully in fact) that this is the ONLY option. BS!!!!!!!!!!!!! In fact the original post here tries, lamely I might add, to do just that.

    I have had hundreds of discussions with very bright people who understand the converging constraints and all ultimately end up with them disparaging human behavior and using that as an excuse for not having to try and do anything.

    Come on people....we treat our dogs better than this for dogs sake.

  6. *Exactly How Green Energy Will Kill Earth*
    *No Soil & Water Before 100% Renewable Energy*

  7. One of the strange things is to stare at the doomer abyss and for doomer abyss to stare back at you. The language used in this piece is just chock full of recycled peak oil memes (sapience, seneca cliff, die-off). There will still be at least a billion people left on all the major continents (sorry Australia, you don't count) at the end of this century. Not sure why Ugo gives space for this garbage. I thought he was getting more optimistic then I and has seemed to turned a corner back to the abyss. What about the Sowers story and battery operated cars and farm equipment?

    1. A rant is a rant is a rant, as Gertrud Stein never said.

    2. I enjoyed the rant.
      I disagree with prognosis too. Die off it will be, not extinction.
      Despite my own mildly misanthropic tendencies, I happen to believe humans were actually "funneled" in their predicament as much by circumstances of history as they were by their behavior and bad decisions in the worse of time to have made them...
      But I still enjoyed the rant because of the "fuckwits" ' obstinate persistence in reading way too much into EVERYTHING and bullshitting themselves to the bitter end will always make me find relief and dare I say joy (!) in the company of people who have made roughly the same diagnosis as I have.

    3. Why would anyone think that going from 7-8 billion people to "one billion ... at the end of this century" is anything but a catastrophe. If that is the essence of optimism, we are royally screwed.

    4. @Joe ~

      You took the words right out of my mouth. Fully agree.

    5. Why would anyone think that going from 7-8 billion people to "one billion ... at the end of this century" is anything but a catastrophe.

      I would. It is not a catastrophe: it is proabably the single best thing that could happen to Planet Earth.

    6. By a billion left on all the major continents, I meant 5 billion as the estimate for the end of the century. Up to 10 by mid century then down to 5. My bad for being less than clear.

  8. Before people become excessively pessimistic, I suggest looking at two talks. The first is Dr. David Johnson, an agricultural professor at New Mexico State University, speaking at the University of California at Chico:

    The second talk is by some Slovaks who have developed a low-tech program which rehydrates the earth, with multiple benefits:
    (I think you will get this with no membership….if not I will post some sort of workaround)

    The gist of these two presentations is:
    *We can double agricultural productivity and produce biomass more cheaply partnering with microbes than using chemical agriculture.
    *The doubled productivity also takes advantage of the smart partitioning by plants to put more carbon in the soil. Net sequestration is MUCH greater than Paul Hawken or the UN are using for their calculations.
    *The increase in metabolic efficiency also increases food nutrient density which promotes health
    *Since there is more carbon in the soil, more water is retained in the soil with multiple benefits
    *We can stop water erosion with simple technology which is amenable to being built by unemployed people with modest skills at low cost
    *By rehydrating the landscape, we can ameliorate the high temperatures and increase regular rainfall, while avoiding flooding
    *Governments, suffering from various delusions, don’t like simple solutions. The rich, who control the political processes, don’t like inexpensive solutions.

    Since the world already produces enough food to feed 10 billion people, and we can double production, there is no plant physiology reason why we cannot feed all the people we are likely to have on the planet in the 21st century. And there is no hydrology reason why we cannot move the weather in a direction which is more friendly to both plants and animals. And we can slow soil erosion to a crawl and increase the depth of topsoil in degraded lands.

    The barriers tend NOT to be plant physiology or the water cycle. The barriers are:
    *Delusional governments
    *Greedy rich people controlling psychopathic corporations
    *Unwillingness of people to accept a downshifted future
    *Unwillingness to accept the isolation which befalls those who live on small farms, with little or no internal combustion transportation
    *Unwillingness to contemplate how cities with 10 or 20 million people can be fed without internal combustion engines
    *Unwillingness of the rich to accept that the IOUs they hold are worthless
    *Lack of water transportation to many cities from outlying farmland (e.g., Dallas or Los Angeles)

    Incidentally, if you are wondering why David Johnson can’t get a paper published. Of the three reviewers, one threw up his hands and said ‘I can’t understand what is going on’. Anybody familiar with the way biology works in the human body will get this immediately. For example, if you have a sleepless night, your body preferentially experiences deep sleep rather than REM sleep the next night. Then the preference shifts back to more REM, and finally comes to balance. Plants, which have been starved for fungi, when fungi start providing more soil nutrients, behave the same way the sleep starved body does: intelligently. Only people who think that Liebig had the answers can’t understand.

    Don Stewart

  9. Imagine, or draw, a Venn diagram of two non-intersecting circles. Label one "people who have the ability to create a disease that will cull the human population". Label the other "people willing to loose such a disease on the earth".

    Both populations exist in fact and both circles are growing. The technical ability to create such diseases is growing exponentially. The stresses caused by human competition and conflict will result in more and more desperate actors on the stage.

    Who can prevent the two circles from EVER touching?

    The human population explosion began some 10,000 years ago, but the explosion is like a thermobaric bomb (MOAB). The volatile human population is vastly grown and dispersed over the planet. It is just waiting for the spark when the two circles touch.

    another fred

  10. Organise a local meeting

    Hmmmm I can see it now, a sticker on lamp posts for half a mile around......extinction event meeting in the parish hall next Tuesday

    Then branded as the local lunatic for evermore

  11. All ancient pagan religions, anthropomorphic or not, including Old-Slavic tribal paganism, were always focused on nature and natural cycle. Everything changed with monotheistic religions. Nature was totally neglected and the focus was shifted to humans and their relation to God. Since the monotheistic God was in fact product of Man (and not vice versa), these religions promoted extreme form of narcissism. That is the spiritual root of our tendency to overexploit Nature. One can easily see that the Nature is seldom mentioned in Old and New Testament, and in the Jewish and Muslim Holy Books. That's not coincidence.

    Usually, monotheistic religions were presented as some kind of religious "progress", but in my humble opinion it was huge spiritual regression compared to ancient paganism. (My grandfather was Christian fundamentalist, therefore my opinion is not based on some anti-Christian view inherited from my family, but I prefer to be realistic and objective.)

    1. "Everything changed with monotheistic religions. Nature was totally neglected and the focus was shifted to humans and their relation to God."

      What? No. This is incorrect.

      Rome was polytheistic, and just as artifical and inimical to nature as was Victorian England. Babylon cut down all of the cedar forests in Iraq, and was polytheistic. Catholic Christendom and Judaism, on the other hand, has a high view of the natural world and always considered Creation sacred, something which is clearly manifest in the self-sufficiency and closeness to nature of Monasticism. They went out into the desert in disavowal of civilization, of the city and worldly pleasures.

      In the Tanakh, the prophets always encounter God in the wilderness, and are consistently in opposition to worldly power and human glories and endeavours. Nature is a constant theme throughout the entire Tanakh.

  12. ["So how can we awaken potential sapients and encourage as many of them as possible to establish as many offgrid rural homesteads as possible? The first step is to improve and expand awareness of the troubles ahead among the populace. That, dear reader, is where YOU come in. YOU need to organise free community meetings in your location to raise awareness of the troubles ahead and how to mitigate against them."]

    Since I'm not 'people person', I went with the most obviously underutilized advertising space, which is my own car :

    Does it work --- You can take my words for it, it does grab attention on a regular basis...

    1. fantastic! love that dome. Not only lucid, energetic!

    2. Brilliant! I love the assortment of quotes and charts!

  13. There are Talkers and then there are Do'ers.
    I cant be the only do'er.

    I'm on board with your premise, here at Dark Green Mountain. This has been my one and only focus for decades. The Plan, 1-Upgrade resilient food systems. This feeds more people that can grow more food and provide security against the ever increasing threat of "Fuckwits". This will attract more people that can produce more food and provide more security.Throw in teaching some medical skills and you have the whole package necessary for self reinforcing community...during a die off.

    The Fuckwits are not to be underestimated.

    I have been asked to be the master of ceremonies at an up and coming Equinox Party at a friends permaculture doomstead . I have been preparing my speech. First I will point out how bad things are. Then I will tell the party, "Look around at the people that are here. This is Your Community. These are the people you will count on during a collapse. Get to know these folks well and strengthen your connections". ETC.
    This is how it is done. One party at a time. Hopefully we can do a dance party on the hill of Dark Green Mountain Survival Research Centre, by Solstice to keep the community building going. Grow it and they will come. If they see it practiced, Disaster permaculture, doomsteading and community building, They will learn, mimic, join or know where to come to pitch in. I can feed 10 extra. With 10 more hands, I can feed & secure 30.

    So. Geoffrey Chia's plan is what I have been trying to bring into practice.

    This is how you avoid, "Planet Of The Fuckwits"

    Please tell me We Are Not The Only Ones.

    Are You a Do'er... or a Talker?

    1. I don't have a progeny, and I don't have the will beyond educating on the topic, so I'm somewhere in the middle.
      Truth be told, people presume too much about how the events will unfold...

    2. I'm a cryer, hate talking and doing is mild suffering, does help distract though..

  14. Why do humans need to exist? What's wrong with human extinction?

  15. "If you take umbrage at this article please consider the possibility you may be a fw rather than a sp" hmm...

    Thefuturefarm is a technocornucopian who called the article garbage. Humans have been around at least 200K years and have always tried to maximize their numbers but never exceeded one billion people, even when ecosystems were abundant and climate was stable, until the use of fossil fuels. Then, in less than 200 years we have gone from 1 billion to 7.5 bilion
    Thefuturefarm asserts without evidence that more than one billion can live on EACH continent at the end of this century when we will have neither cheap energy nor a stable climate nor thriving ecosystems
    fw or sp?

  16. “If you take umbrage at this article please consider the possibility you may be a fw rather than a sp”...hmmm...

    thefuturefarm called the article garbage and said that there will be more than one billion people on EACH continent by the year 2100.. based on what evidence, pray tell?
    Let's see...humans have been on this planet for more than 200,000 years and have been trying to maximize their numbers from the get go but numbers never exceeded 1 billion worldwide even when ecosystems were pristine, the climate was stable and there was no pollution. Only since the advent of fossil fuels, in under 200 years our numbers have shot up to 7.5 billion. How in Allah's name will it be possible to support several billion by 2100 when ecosystems are screwed, the climate is shot, pollution is rampant and we have no cheap energy left? By technocornucopian optimism?
    Hmmm....fw or sp?

    1. I am basing my estimate on what is seen in bacterial cultures. The curves are symmetrical. Humans have dug up a ton of ores, created a lot of structures, made a lot of information and we aren't just going to go quietly into the night. We will feed on the remnants of industrial civ. Hey, I thought an estimate of 5 billion was bleak. Btw, I'm totally fw.

  17. Jesus, this is really a tirade!
    We humans are a very very very resilient species, not least because of our ability to cooperate and learn. And learn we do. We might not like it but we could survive - and live happily - with a much lower level of wealth. It all depends on first: education and second: social organization. Organization as societal information processing and conflict resolution mechanisms. Discredit nationalism and tribalism, replace reverence of strong men by democratic self-confidence. Overcome atomization of society by consumerism. (Actually, this blog, and the discussions in the comment sections, are a little step in this direction.)

  18. Oh great, a self-righteous rant against the usual suspects. Like I had not read them by the dozens.

    What exactly is the point of the post, and was it realty necessary to say it with so many swearwords?

    1. It's a rant of petulant puerile prattle.

      I wonder why Dr Bardi published it. I hope he has ulterior motives.

    2. You mean Prof. Bardi started this trollfest on purpose to comment on the current developments?

      I hope so.

    3. For sure it can be seen as petulant, and the swearing is not to everyone's tastes. On the other hand, it breaks out of the politically correct straight jacket most humans like to wear, and does push forward the notion that we are talking about a bit more than a few charming windmills here and there. I can understand the exasperation Chia expresses in an almost comical manner.

    4. Come on, folks. As I say at the beginning of this post, sometimes a good rant is a way to vent one's frustrations. And then we keep going. I am working at a post on the physics of global warming that turned out to be more difficult than I thought. So, I was a little frustrated, and then....

    5. And then a small trollfest. Why not?

  19. It is one thing to say ,move to a remote location where people are off grid and feeding themselves. It is another to give examples where you believe this is possible. I am sure there are still very remote locations with peoples who are self sufficient but I have doubts about how willing they would be to accept total strangers. With that in mind maybe you should instead be proving up on self sufficiency techniques that can be pursued without fossil fuels in situ...where you already live .
    Once you start down this path you might find techniques worth sharing with other people with similar interests. Convincing the much larger portion of society who would prefer to label you as a " nut job " is simply a waste of time.
    To make your task more meaningful you might pursue farming techniques that can sink carbon by raising soil organic matter ( SOM ) . These techniques should also strive to run without the use of fossil fuels. I think both of these goals are possible .
    These are quantifiable goals . To bad they aren't at this point goals society is willing to monetarily compensate. Money however doesn't give a damn about the damage we collectively do to the one earth we will ever inhabit.
    You may choose to doubt me but I believe feeding a small family on a small piece of land without using fossil fuels is an attainable goal. Yes there are imbedded energy costs in solar panels, an old tractor and the farm implements needed to pull this off but adding SOM back into the land can compensate for these imbedded costs . Reinvigorating the "commons" and collecting several tons of foraged acorns fuel the system I am utilizing but there are plenty of other options I am sure.

  20. Norman Pagett should admit he is too lazy to organize community meetings rather than sneer at such initiatives and misrepresent them as “extinction meetings” when the author is clearly fighting against extinction. As for me, I can't be arsed but at least I'm honest about it. Those who don't read an article properly then misrepresent it with hasty comment may get a reputation as lunatic trolls.

    1. i try to say things as they are, in as few words as possible---(using my own name incidentally)

      The article was fully read, I assure you.

      I've tried conversing on this subject with people of reasonable intellect, and who I know well---the reaction could be said to be akin to saying "yes" to all those questions on an American visa application form.

      Example---to someone with a Masters degree in geology (so intelligent is not in doubt)
      that "global warming will deliver 'sahara' conditions to much of Italy"

      Reply?---then UK will have a warm 'Italian' climate, so what's the problem?

      With that in mind, sitting round a table in the parish hall---(and I've done that) would bring out the collective certainty that what we face in the immediate future can be mitigated by voting for whatever it is we want because the real problem is beyond contemplation of the human mind (including mine)

      The problem? Too many people demanding a share of depleting resources, made worse by climate change serving to deplete those resources still further.
      What I call The triumvirate of Chaos.

      So the parish meeting goes thus:

      Well---you called the meeting---so what do you suggest we do about it??

      NP stands there and points out that in the broad scheme of things, the human race has screwed itself by embracing the capitalist sysyem, and by doing so has consumed its own means of survival, and the only answer is a 90% reduction in population----is going to reduce my local popularity level somewhat.
      I do believe in saying things as they are, btw.

      ///Quote from above......A global population cull is on the horizon and if it selects for sapience then maybe, just maybe, humanity may have a long term future./////

      We must I fear take our chances for the future.

      Nature has made many mistakes in the past, we may be one of them.

      We have been around in a recognisable human form for (maybe) 500,000 generations, give or take.
      In all that time, our sole function has been consumption (of resources) and reproduction (of ourselves) ----- To facilitate that, we have honed our homicidal skills to a very fine degree
      What we are now demanding (of people other than ourselves of course) is that we change our ways in the course of the coming generation or two, and become gentle pastoralists for the good of all.

      If you believe that is likely, I suggest you check out Venezuela right now. A nation still nominally wealthy, in oil terms but collapsing tbecause they cannot sustain the lifestyle they have become accustomed to, and ineptitude of governance in the face of it
      The insanity across the middle east is essentially a result of overpopulation and resource depletion

      The human race will do what all species do under threat---fight for survival.

      Unfortunately here in the UK there are no hidden locations where a farmstead could survive unnoticed while it's happening

      this might make some sense of our existence and of where we are headed:

  21. Survival Acre's proposed a Life Project to address future human survival. It was the best concept yet. He disappeared shortly afterwards.

  22. Some truly bizarre responses here. For example DiSc getting irate at the author for condemning the psychopaths who are destroying this planet. Makes me wonder whether DiSc identifies with the psychopaths or is in fact one of them. I agree with Joe's comment though, about it being an article directed towards people in the industrial world

  23. I take Umbrage, so go call me a fuckwitt. There is a reason why I delved into understanding how societies work and how change happens after understanding the problems we face from a natural science perspective.

    While I agree to the underlying natural science sentiment, this text is well below fuckwitt level from a sociologial / anthropological perspective. Foremost I take umbrage at the fearmongering and the tone of the piece. This sounds like right wing survivalists stuff without the religious fundamentalism.

    Fear is what keeps us from doing the right things. On many levels there is reason for hope even in collapse. Giving in to fear is what made the fuckwitts fuckwitts in the first place. We need to be unafraid to face the future in a sensible way. So spreading fear is again using gasoline to fight the fire.

    So while I understand the resentment that you harbour against your fellow human beings, only in still loving and trusting one nother we will we be able to face this crisis, even the fuckwitts.

  24. Bio info for Geoffrey Chia would be welcome. Not much found in online searches apart from a 2015 link identifying him as a cardiologist located in Australia.

  25. Fascinating responses. The merit of an article should be determined by whether it is true and accurate, and not by whether certain readers, with their own agenda, are offended or not. Is it accurate to describe those who invade other countries for their resources, frack the countryside and who deny global warming, as war criminals, murderers, liars, crooks, thieves and environmental vandals? If so, describing them as fuckwits is actually quite mild and those who are offended either identify with the fuckwits or are fuckwits themselves.
    Those who control and censor language also control and censor thought and behavior. Naomi Oreskes, Erik Conway and other researchers have shown the fossil fuel industry employed full time trolls to try to censor language and influence thought in every article which described the reality of global warming. This was very effective to mute righteous outrage against the fossil fuel corporations and prevent any policy reform, leading us into the disastrous situation we now face. Something similar may be going on here.

  26. runcible spoon said we should not judge an article by whether it offends people. I don't quite agree. If an article offends fools, nincompoops, fwits etc then it is probably a good one and the author may actually be on the right track.
    One of the outraged, thefuturefarm, was certain that several billion people will remain alive on this planet by 2100 because he believes bacterial population curves are symmetrical. Wrong and Wrong!
    Organisms multiplying exponentially within a finite system, whether bacteria on a petrie dish, yeast in a vat or reindeer on St Matthew island etc, all experience Seneca cliff population crashes after reaching the peak of their population, which is that point in time when they have fully consumed their supporting substrate. That is basic biology 101. The supporting substrate for humans in overshoot on this finite planet is cheap oil, which itself faces a Seneca cliff soon. Expensive oil (the hard to get stuff) cannot support any significant population due to poor net returns and extracting it will totally destroy the climate far beyond 5 degrees C rise as well.
    thefuturefarm failed to explain how several billion people can be supported in 2100 in the absence of cheap energy or a stable climate, while also faced with devastated ecosystems, degraded soils, dry aquifers, rampant pollution etc. It will be impossible for even 1 billion people to survive unless aliens come down from heaven to help us. Or maybe we can go to Mars and eat rocks? The only correct statement that thefuturefarm made was that he belongs in the fwit category, which he proved convincingly with abundant evidence.
    I think provocative articles, so long as the facts are correct and the logic is sound, can be quite fun, especially if it puts certain peoples noses out of joint (the idiots). Keep up the good work, Cassandras! Don't hold your punches!

  27. I went to a curch, crying about what will happen to us.
    I had a clear answer from somewhere, someone : this is necessary for the mankind to change.
    So it seems that our future is about changing our minds deeply.

  28. Dear Geoffrey, even for a rant: please write more to others, less to your own inner circle. Abbreviations, slang, all. Also, please cite more sources for assumptions. This piece is too close to the style of conspiracy theories for my liking, doing the valid concerns a disservice.

  29. Seems to me most of the commentators here have missed the point of the article: that the only chance for humanity to survive is for the stupid and greedy people, who are the vast majority, to die off, with only the wise and restrained left to nurture and protect what remains of our natural world. Why get outraged or irritated or dispute this unless you are one of the stupid and greedy people?



Ugo Bardi is a member of the Club of Rome, faculty member of the University of Florence, and the author of "Extracted" (Chelsea Green 2014), "The Seneca Effect" (Springer 2017), and Before the Collapse (Springer 2019)