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Failure to Plant Crops

Failure to Plant Crops 

COMMENT: Good day from Chatham, Ontario Canada (50 miles east of Detroit 42.4048° N, 82.1910° W);
Interesting your models are warning of the next year’s results in climate change.

Our location is always the first to plant in Canada as it is the same latitude as northern California.
A few climate tidbits;

– As of today, May 18th, 2019, no farmers (zero) have started planting.
– In 3 years the percentage of April planting starts has decreased to 0% from 70% just 4 years ago. Typically planting was completed by mid to end of May.
– Flooding this year from Ottawa to Detroit along with cooler temperatures can wreak havoc on winter wheat crops which are planted in the fall and has germinated. But if the heat doesn’t come to dry up the land then the wheat crop is susceptible to rot.
– soil temperatures are below the 25-year average by 23 degrees.
– more rain means less sunshine.
– Songbirds in our area are unusual for May. Makes for a very noisy morning coffee.

Bird watchers reporting many species have not finished their normal migration north. Somehow they have stalled in lower latitudes knowing the northern food sources are not ready.
The birds singing is nice, but I would like to eat.
Best to you;

RH

REPLY: Others are reporting the same general trends. Some people write in and try to disagree with the forecasts. What they fail to understand is this is BY NO MEANS my “opinion” or what “I think,” for I do not see myself as qualified on such a personal level to forecast such events since I am not a farmer and have never been. My grandfather had maybe an acre where he grew grapes, fruit trees, and some other things like tomatoes. He was not a professional farmer.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

What Do You Do When Your Supplies Run Out?

What Do You Do When Your Supplies Run Out?

The small percentage of the population that keeps extra supplies on hand in the event of a disaster have taken the necessary steps to insure their family will not suffer as most others will following an event. This is the act of intelligent people that realize we live in a dangerous world with many unknowns. 

It does not matter if you are prepared for two weeks, two months or two years of societal disruptions. At some point, if the event goes on long enough, you will eventually come to the end of your supplies. When that happens, what will you do? 

Having a two year store of supplies is exceptional but as we have seen, some disasters can last far beyond that. The food scarcity we see in places like Venezuela have taken years to unfold and some past wars have raged on for more than a few years. When that happens even your best efforts may fall short and leave you in want. 

Those that store a certain amount of supplies for a set period of time need to think beyond that period of time and imagine what they will do when the disaster lasts longer than they had planned on. 

When you plan for an event, you need to think of the worst possible scenario and have a plan to handle it. A worst possible case may entail more supplies than you have the ability to buy or store but you should consider what your actions will be if you find yourself in that situation. Thinking about it now while you have the time to find solutions and determine a course of action will help you to stay calm and prevent you from making mistakes that might harm you later.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

From despair to repair

From despair to repair

I belong to an online climate discussion group that today asked three questions: what is the state of the movement, do we need climate change or system change, and do we need a meta-movement? Keying off the insights from the Earth Repair Conference, I wrote the following – and have added a post-script to include a week of research on the state of the movement for Earth Repair:

CLIMATE MOVEMENT: STATE OF PLAY

Last weekend I attended the Global Earth Repair conference and this workshop (long) is where a new context clicked for me, though I’ve had all the pieces collected over all these years of low to the ground innovations. 

The cumulative impact of the event revealed this: the Climate Movement is missing a crucial, essential element. It offers resistance but not repair. It is clear about the against, but largely mum on an equal scale restoration project. The anti-war movement allied with the Peace Movement had moral and spiritual power. In the Climate Movement we are shown pictures of the beauty of the earth and the losses of the world we and our kin were born into, but mostly to awaken individuals to act. If you love this earth… you will change your habits and join the resistance. Habit change is under the banner: if we all do a little we can do a lot.

With the Climate movement solely a resistance movement and an energy transition movement, we are missing this: the self-nourishing, self-healing, self-restoring, self-generating ecosystems of the earth herself. We are fighting symptoms without an equally massive movement for restoring health where we can – which is immense considering degraded and degrading landscapes.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Timidity and Palliatives While the Planet Burns

Timidity and Palliatives While the Planet Burns

Photograph Source: Eric Fisk – Public Domain

The best conditions for genuine discussion, for me at least, is during a feast of good food and drink. Ancient Greeks called that symposium.

The wisdom behind the tradition of symposium – millennia ago and today — is simple. Friends and guests eating food and drinking wine feel good about themselves. Organic food well-cooked and excellent wine do that. They are medicines. In such euphoria, symposiasts are very likely to be honest, even eloquent, in their expression of their views or opinions.

This is the reason Plato chose the dialogue for the spreading of his ideas. The dialogue comes from intimate symposium discussions.

Today I often hear Americans speaking in radio or television saying this and that must be part of a “national conversation.” I wonder what they have in mind.

Invisible civil war

This is because in the second decade of the twenty-first century Americans are divided as never before. Republicans are embracing guns, perpetual wars, corporate plutocracy, America-first, and ecocide. Indeed, Trump and the Republicans are now moving the country for a possible war against Iran.

The Democrats advocate policies that may improve the well-being of Americans. Yet when the Democrats had the White House and Congress, those policies were timid in fixing the gross inequality among rich and poor in America. In addition, Democrats have yet to propose a coherent plan to diminish and end global warming.

Given this political instability, verging on soft civil war between the rich and poor, the cultural elites are covering up the schism by palliative measures, especially unpolitical but fashionable talk in the academy. Professors pontificate about sexuality, race (whites or blacks or lesbians for new appointments?) and other anthropological headings.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How A Sustainable Food System Is Built

How A Sustainable Food System Is Built

From the ground up.

Photo by Gabriel Jimenez on Unsplash.

We all eat food. Most of us every day. Most of us several times a day.

Food is undoubtedly one of the most constant and impactful aspects of our lives.

And the ways that we produce — and consume it— are impactful as well.

We all know about climate change. Agricultural activities (crop, livestock and fossil fuel) contribute approximately 25% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions — yet around 1/3 of all food is wasted.

15% of the world’s land surface area has been degraded by soil erosion and physical and chemical degradation, while even more is at risk.

Industrial agriculture is using more and more toxic chemicals to control weeds and pests, which put the environment, agricultural workers and consumers at risk.

Farmers now earn less in every dollar that we spend on food, despite rising costs of living, as big companies squeeze (and squeeze).

Rural communities are collapsing, the quality and diversity of food that we produce (and thus eat) is constantly decreasing, neoliberal policies have seen small farmers displaced coupled with a rapid rise in the rate of rural-urban migration.

The rural poor are poorer than ever before, food security issues are rife and malnutrition is one the rise.

Meanwhile, both producers and consumers are disenchanted and dissatisfied with the current state of the industry and the way it’s structured.

In short, many aspects of the way that we produce and consume food is not sustainable.

Something (i.e. a lot of things) needs to change.

Sustainable Agriculture Isn’t Simple

But it’s necessary. Very necessary.

Defining Sustainable Agriculture

I’ve defined sustainable agriculture before but I’ll do so here again, so that we’re all on the same page.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

It’s confirmed. It really is an emergency

It’s confirmed. It really is an emergency 

The latest report that charts the accelerating impacts of global warming, climate change, and mankind’s destructive impact on the natural environment lays out a grim future for over a million of the planet’s species. This warning follows hot on the heels of a Canadian government assessment that forecasts that Canada will warm twice as fast as the global average, and the startling 2018 IPCC report that meticulously laid out the evidence that even keeping global warming to 1.5°C will result in widespread social and economic disruption as climate-driven natural disasters increasingly bludgeon the planet.

The alarming report on global biodiversity published by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, presents the work of more than 450 experts on biodiversity who have laboured for the last 3 years to bring together the latest assessment of the deteriorating condition of the planet’s natural environment and its biodiversity. 

The Bramble Cay melomys: already extinct

Their stark conclusion is that human actions threaten more species with global extinction than ever before. An average of about 25 % of animal and plant species are threatened, suggesting that around 1 million species face extinction within a matter of decades unless action is taken to reduce the intensity of the main drivers of biodiversity loss.

The problem is not only climate change—which is judged to be the third most destructive influence on the biosphere. The main culprit is the way mankind has radically changed and destroyed the natural landscape. Seventy-five percent of the land surface has been significantly altered, 66 percent of the of the oceans are experiencing increasing cumulative impacts, and over 85 percent of wetlands have been lost. Across much of the tropics, 32 million hectares of primary or recovering forests were cut down between 2010 and 2015—an area half the size of France.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Are we Heading into a Food Shortage?

Are we Heading into a Food Shortage? 

COMMENT: Mr. Armstrong, I find it really distasteful that you laid out events well in advance and then everyone copies you without ever giving you credit. There are articles now appearing about the coming food shortage. The degree of plagiarism is unbelievable. It must be dishearting. I certainly begin to distrust these people and organizations for they certainly even know who you are.

LMS

REPLY: That is life. They are trying to sell something so they have to pretend to do the research to make money by getting people to read. The flooding wiped out stockpiles. Now the planting season is already behind on schedule because of the weather. As I have warned, the computer has been forecasting colder winters and shorter-summers. The planting season will decline and thus the danger of a serious food shortage as we head into 2024.

I previously wrote about the soaring bankruptcies among farmers and combine this with the flooding that continues, I believe the computer will be on point. I also wrote about how this year, the Russian wheat crop failed has failed because of the bitter cold with even April coming in as the coldest in more than 140 years. To make matters worse, our computer warns that the weather will not improve. The next 4 years will put even more financial pressure farmers. Even in Australia, the drought is sending the “roos” invading the cities and they like to feed precisely during Rush Hour.  The drought is so bad in Australia, that animals are dying for lack of feed crops.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Prepping: The Only Way to be Ready for Anything is to be Ready for Anything

Prepping: The Only Way to be Ready for Anything is to be Ready for Anything

Most of the time, no one actually expects the S to HTF on that particular day.

Most folks don’t go through their lives expecting one specific disastrous event to occur, and then have it unfold according to a predetermined script.

Several years ago, I didn’t get up in the morning expecting some jerk to get mad at his girlfriend, light a tree in her yard on fire, and set off a 100,000-acre forest fire. But he did.

People don’t go to work, expecting to sit down at their desks and grab another cup of coffee, only to find the company filed bankruptcy at midnight the night before. But it happens.

The folks in West Virginia didn’t expect that a container would leak deadly chemicals into the municipal water supply. But it did.

Residents of Haiti weren’t expecting it the day an earthquake leveled most of the homes on the island. But they still found themselves homeless.

Some disasters we can expect. If we live on the coast and there’s a hurricane warning, we know that we either need to evacuate or batten down the hatches and ride out the storm. We are usually aware if war is brewing. Often, we suspect we’re on thin ice in the workplace long before the pink slip arrives on our desk.

But most disasters are a complete surprise, either in their suddenness or an unexpected intensity. We can’t prep specifically for every single eventuality, but that doesn’t mean we must face challenges unprepared. By combining adaptability with general preparation, we can be ready for whatever life throws our way.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Excerpt from The Patterning Instinct: Can We Transform Our Society for a Flourishing Future?

Excerpt from The Patterning Instinct: Can We Transform Our Society for a Flourishing Future?

Ed. note: Excerpted from the final two chapters of Jeremy Lent’s award-winning book, The Patterning Instinct: A Cultural History of Humanity’s Search for Meaning, (Prometheus, 2017) which explores the different ways cultures have patterned meaning into the cosmos, and reveals how various worldviews arose and shaped the course of history. The book uncovers the hidden foundations of our modern unsustainable worldview, and offers a potential vision for a more harmonious future. Jeremy is founder of the nonprofit Liology Institute, dedicated to fostering an integrated worldview that could enable humanity to flourish sustainably on the earth. More info: jeremylent.com.

Ideological lock-in

The reasons our civilization continues hurtling towards a precipice are multi-layered. There are some readily identifiable factors; underpinning these are certain structural characteristics of our global system that lock in our current momentum; and underlying these are cognitive frames –  mostly concealed – that form the basis for our collective behavior. Each of these layers must be addressed to make a meaningful course correction.

The easily identifiable forces propelling humanity on its current course are the special interests that gain financially and politically – at least, in the short-term – from continued economic growth and use of fossil fuels. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent annually in political lobbying and funding for those who deny the threat of anthropogenic climate change. They currently exert enough power over the U.S. legislative process to thwart meaningful legislation at the national level.

However, even without these special interests, some structural characteristics of our global system make it very difficult to change direction. One of these is known as technological lock-in: the fact that, once a technology is widely adopted, an infrastructure is built up around it, making change prohibitively expensive.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Loving a vanishing world

Loving a vanishing world

I want to talk about power — how much we have, and how we can use it meaningfully.

But I’m going to start with despair. At a beach in British Columbia’s Gulf Islands recently — on my first real vacation in almost three years — I felt much of the loosening that I often feel at the coast. The smell of the sea is home for me, the brush of the waves on the shore, the spark and flutter of sun on the water like innumerable languid butterflies. Breathing at the ocean, I feel different.

I’ve known for a long time that humans and other species are in profound trouble, and that the seas are rising. I’ve known for a long time how much is at risk. I went to BC specifically to have the time to develop my thoughts and write about these risks, and how we can move forward in a way that matters.

So sitting there, on sand and the countless soft shards left behind by clams and mussels and oysters over decades, I couldn’t loose myself of the knowledge that the ocean is beginning to die. There are plastic garbage patches the size of Texas. There are microplastics in almost every tested sea salt. Fish populations are collapsing. Whales and dolphins are suffering profoundly from the din of the sonar used by oil companies and the navy. Seawater is acidifying so fast in the Salish Sea that oysters are struggling to build shells. And perhaps most troubling of all, phytoplankton levels are down 40% since 1950 — and phytoplankton is not only the base of the marine food chain, it also produces most of the ocean’s oxygen, as well as ours (one phytoplankton is so prolific it generates your every fifth breath). This fact, by itself, should be enough to make us address the crises in the natural world immediately.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Escaping extinction through paradigm shift

Escaping extinction through paradigm shift

‘Rebellion’ is not enough. We need to build new systems from the ground up, right now

Drone footage of displaced family tents in one settlement in Badghis, Afghanistan, due to ongoing drought and climate change. There are thousands of makeshift homes spread between mountain hills on the outskirt of Qala-i-naw city. (Source: NRC/Enayatullah Azad)

For the last month, as a journalist and academic, I’ve experienced a strange sensation of paralysis.

I don’t usually experience this. Usually I find myself driven by the pressures of wanting to cover with due justice a full spectrum of intersecting crises and potential solutions.

But this month watching the spectacle of political madness unfolding across Washington, London and Brussels, while chaos and suffering continues to kick off across Venezuela, Yemen, Israel-Palestine, Syria, Nigeria and beyond, I experienced something I haven’t felt in a long-time. A sense of total burn-out. Of futility. Of tiredness.

Watching the news has become like entering a psychological boxing ring where you get the shit punched out of you repeatedly until you drop to the floor, broken, bloodied, and inert: helpless.

I can’t imagine this is a particularly unique sensation. But I wanted to share it with you because this is common ground. Common ground across the deepening divides tearing our societies apart. No matter which side of the divide we stand on, that sensation of paralysis and helplessness is playing out in tangible form in the political processes we see out there.

The sensation of paralysis is therefore not just a psychological artifact. It’s the internal experience of the systemic dysfunction playing out in the world. It’s a reflection of the state of collapse that our prevailing democratic institutions are experiencing as they prove completely incapable of responding to and solving for the intricate complexity of inherently interconnected converging global crises.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Human Extinction: An Idea Whose Time had to Come. 

Human Extinction: An Idea Whose Time had to Come. 

A few years ago, a political movement that took the name of “extinction rebellion” would have been wholly unthinkable. On the other hand, after more than forty years of warnings on climate change and ecosystem collapse from the world’s best scientists, the message had to start going through, somehow. One consequence is the appearance on the social media of a crowd of deranged, depressed, misanthropic, and generally nasty people who have decided that extinction is what’s going to happen no matter what we do and who seem to enjoy insulting those of us who dare to express the opinion that maybe there are ways to avoid it. Other, fortunately, seem to think that we can still rebel against this manifest destiny and that’s the origin of the movement. 

These openly declared attitudes may be just the tip of the iceberg, others may well have decided that, if overpopulation is the cause of the problem, then there are quick and very dirty ways to solve it. They may be concocting dark and dire things we know nothing about. But, as usual, we see the future darkly, as in a mirror, and the time when we’ll see it face to face has not come, yet. 

Below, a text by “Reverse Engineer” of the Doomstead Diner who examines the question and, at the linked page, you’ll find also a longer video. (U.B.) 

Guest post by R.E. (Reverse Engineer).

Extinction has moved from the dark corners of the Collapse Blogosphere into the consciousness of the mainstream.  Just a few short years ago the discussion of human extinction was relegated to a few fringe websites, but not so anymore.  Now it has become Topic #1 in the discussions on many websites that concern themselves with topics of collapse.  Sometimes this comes to the exclusion of many other collapse related topics in economics, geopolitics, energy and social psychology that are impacting more directly right now.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Unrealistically Great Expectations

Unrealistically Great Expectations

Our expectations have continued ever higher even as the pie is shrinking..

Let’s see if we can tie together four social dynamics: the elite college admissions scandal, the decline in social mobility, the rising sense of entitlement and the unrealistically ‘great expectations’ of many Americans. 

As many have noted, the nation’s financial and status rewards are increasingly flowing to the top 5%, what many call a winner-take-all or winner-take-most economy.

This is the primary source of widening wealth and income inequality: wealth and income are disproportionately accruing to the top slice of earners and owners of productive capital.

This concentration manifests in a broad-based decline in social mobility: it’s getting harder and harder to break into the narrow band (top 5%) who collects the lion’s share of the economy’s gains.

Historian Peter Turchin has identified the increasing burden of parasitic elites as one core cause of social and economic collapse. In Turchin’s reading, economies that can support a modest-sized class of parasitic elites buckle when the class of elites expecting a free pass to wealth and power expands faster than what the economy can support.

The same dynamic applies to productive elites: as I have often mentioned, graduating 1 millions STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) PhDs doesn’t magically guarantee 1 million jobs will be created for the graduates.

Such a costly and specialized education was once scarce, but now it’s relatively common, and this manifests in the tens of thousands of what I call academic ronin, i.e. PhDs without academic tenure or stable jobs in industry.

This glut is a global: I’ve known many people with PhDs from top universities in the developed world who have struggled to find a tenured professorship or a high-level research position anywhere in the world.

In other words, what was once a surefire ticket to status, security and superior pay is no longer surefire.

No wonder wealthy parents are so anxious to fast-track their non-superstar offspring by hook or by crook.

There is an even larger dynamic in play. As I explained here recently, the economic pie is shrinking, not just the pie of gains that can be distributed but the pie of opportunity.

The Great Unraveling Begins: Distraction, Lies, Infighting, Betrayal

The Great Unraveling Begins: Distraction, Lies, Infighting, Betrayal

The good news is renewal becomes possible when the entire rotten status quo collapses in a putrid heap.

There are two basic pathways to systemic collapse: external shocks or internal decay. The two are not mutually exclusive, of course; it can be argued that the most common path is internal decay weakens the empire/state and an external shock pushes the rotted structure off the cliff.

As Dave of the X22 Report and I discuss in The World Is About To Change & It’s Going To Be Glorious, we are in the early stages of terminal internal decay.There are a number of dynamics shared by decaying empires/states:

1. The ruling elites lose the moral imperative to sacrifice for the good of the empire/state. Instead they use the power of the state to further their own private interests and agendas.

2. The ruling elites start “fudging” reports (i.e. lies are presented as truths) and promoting narratives to mask their self-aggrandizement and the erosion of the nation/empire under their self-interested rule.

In other words, the elites know the public would resist their leadership if the truth were widely known, so the ruling elites devote tremendous resources to massaging the news to distract the public from reality and reflect positively on their self-serving leadership.

Since the weaknesses of the empire are being hidden, they cannot be addressed, and so rot that could have been fixed early becomes widespread and fatal.

3. Flush with the state’s wealth and power, the ruling elite splinters into warring camps which squander the empire’s remaining wealth on private battles over which camp will rule what appears solid and eternal–the empire. 

4. As the elites battle it out, the nation/empire falls apart as the leadership’s focus is on internecine conflicts over the spoils of the empire, rather than on preserving the foundations of the empire’s wealth and security.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Part 2. How long do civilizations last on average? 336 years

Part 2. How long do civilizations last on average? 336 years

I stopped trying to find out why each civilization failed in Wiki because it’s not always clear and historians bicker over it, though it’s clear drought, invasions, civil wars, and famines played a role in most of them.  Yet what’s seldom mentioned is that deforestation (Perlin “A forest journey”) and topsoil erosion (Montgomery “Dirt: the erosion of civilization”) were often the main or one of the key reasons for collapse. 

But what’s clear is that societies always collapse, and our civilization will fail as well, since it depends on a one-time only supply of fossil fuels.

Kemp, L. 2019. Are we on the road to civilization collapse? Studying the demise of historic civilisations can tell us how much risk we face today says collapse expert Luke Kemp. Worryingly, the signs are worsening. BBC

In the graphic below, I have compared the lifespan of various civilizations, which I define as a society with agriculture, multiple cities, military dominance in its geographical region and a continuous political structure. Given this definition, all empires are civilizations, but not all civilizations are empires.

Civilization [Duration in years]

  1. Ancient Egypt, Old Kingdom [505]  The power of pharaoh gradually weakened in favor of powerful nomarchs (regional governors)…. The country slipped into civil wars mere decades after the close of Pepi II’s reign.  The final blow was the 22nd century BC drought in the region that resulted in a drastic drop in precipitation. For at least some years between 2200 and 2150 BC, this prevented the normal flooding of the Nile. The collapse of the Old Kingdom was followed by decades of famine and strife.
  • Ancient Egypt, Middle Kingdom [405]   
  • Ancient Egypt, New Kingdom [501]  Egypt was increasingly beset by droughts, below-normal flooding of the Nilefamine, civil unrest and official corruption

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai III: Cataclysm
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