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« Is It Time For Action? | Main | Human Consciousness and Sapience »

June 22, 2010


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When the chilly winds blew down
Across the canyon
Through the canyons of the coast
To the malibus
Where the pretty people played
Hungry for power
To light their neon ways
Give 'em things to do

Some rich man came and raped the land
Nobody caught him
Put up a bunch of ugly boxes
And Jesus people bought them
They called it paradise
The place to be
They watched the hazy sun
Sinking in the sea

-The Last Resort (Frey /Henley)

Phil Henshaw

Exactly! But isn't the take-home message that these are escalating costs and complications can be seen coming, with high confidence, a long way off??

I think reporting on them in hindsight is only useful if it leads to sharing the foresight by those like me who realized that our productivity model included the need to manage ever more complex physical systems with ever less physical effort.

It's a problem to have a system that requires ever more complex solutions to remain stable, with lines of whole system instability then sure to be crossed.

George Mobus


Thanks. Sad but true.

Hi Phil.

But what do you do when the majority of people don't want to understand. Look at how they treated the Meadows and Ehrlich. There are only a handful of people with the power of being seers. And we are mostly talking to our selves!

That is why I do not really make an attempt to go big time (as with a book of alarm), because it just wouldn't do any good. This blog (as I suspect is the case with yours as well) is sufficient to reach and have conversations with people who can anticipate the future.



Around the world there are probably millions of people living on the slopes of active volcanoes. They know they're at risk, and yet they stay there, because the living is good on the fertile soil, or just because that's where they were raised and it's all they know how to do. They also know the volcano will probably erupt one day, and kill many people, but they hope it won't be in their lifetime, or that if it is, they will survive it. Why else would people live in such places?

I think this is how people in general carry on with life - it must be obvious to anyone who thinks about it for a moment that we can't have ever-increasing population and ever-greater exploitation of natural resources without there being a point at which it all goes horribly wrong... but since this is all we know how to do, we just carry on in the hope that the point at which it all goes horribly wrong is far enough in the future that we can safely ignore it, or that "someone will always figure something out" so we will survive it. It's probably not so much that people can't see what's coming, as just hoping it won't be in their lifetime.


Also what seems to be the very usual pattern in our doings (we = all the people on the earth) only relatively short-term developments are something that is reacted to early enough. I'd be vastly surprised if CO2 emissions would be meaningfully curtailed, if the total population on earth would be voluntarily reduced, or even if something less huge long-term issue would be handled reasonably early enough...

George Mobus


Solid sounding insight I think. But isn't this just an additional piece of evidence that Homo sapiens is minimally sapient? Would not a wise people not only recognize the potential danger but also seek preparedness in the event that the catastrophe occurs on their watch?



Same comment and question. Would not a wise people behave differently vis-a-vis their thinking about and responding to long-term (slow but discernible) events?


coach handbags

How many people actually have 8 true friends?Hardly anyone I know.But some of us have all right friends and good friends.



I urge you to consider the industrial Hemp Plant. It requires minimal inputs to cultivate, is self replicating, and can provide transport fuel in the form of Methanol. There are other types of Fungi that can produce diesel like substances.

I estimate an area the size of england in the USA can produce around 6 billion barrels of methanol, which nearly matches U.S consumption, not accounting for drastic efficiency.

Hemp has been forgotten, suppressed, ignored, yet is is low input, high output. Just using it for food and material alone could ease the pressure caused by decline. It is implemented easily at local or national level.

It can be done.


George Mobus


I have no biases one way or the other about hemp. I think that is going to be up to the people who actually survive into the coming generations. I imagine the plant will always be available to produce crops from.


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