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Index–Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh

The following is a list of my Medium posts from the first one I penned on January 24, 2018 to the most recent. There is a link to each with a paragraph or two that follows this link and provides some insight into what the post is about.

Pre-Contemplation Essays

‘Patriotism’ and Manipulation of it by the State

January 24, 2018

The State, therefore, relies upon and manipulates its citizens’ very emotional notion of ‘patriotism.’ It uses it to maintain and expand its control of resources (both physical and financial) both domestically and abroad. And those who question or challenge it are branded treasonous and attacked/ostracised in any number of ways. Questioning is not allowed.”

Hell in a Hand Basket and Why We’re Going There, Guaranteed (Sort of)

February 28, 2018

“Despite all of the above, there are a variety of other variables that could push a teetering globe into a collapse scenario, particularly geopolitics or a natural disaster. No one knows. Prediction of the future is for meteorologists and economists, neither of which is very good beyond a couple of days for the former, and much less for the latter. I must admit, however, that Marion King Hubbert’s prediction of the coming demise of industrial civilization, along with the seminal text, The Limits to Growth, are pretty good guesses in my books.”

Don’t Spill the Beans

March 4, 2018

“In his book, The Collapse of Complex Societies, archaeologist Joseph Tainter argues that a society becomes more prone to collapse when stress surges — that are a common occurrence for every society — can no longer be accommodated due to a lack of ‘reserves’. In other words, when a society has hit the limit of its capability of dealing with stress it becomes increasingly susceptible to collapse (i.e. spilled beans).”

Is ‘Growth’ a Positive Force? Part One

April 5, 2018

“One of the steps I believe we need to take to avoid, or at least mitigate (if it’s not too late), some of the predicaments we are likely going to have to face in the not-too-distant future is to challenge the ‘growth is progress’ mindset that I’ve just outlined and scale back on the pursuit of growth at all costs. In fact, as these articles evolve my hope is that readers will come to appreciate that ‘growth’ is not just a positive force but has negative attributes as well that we tend to ignore or downplay.”

Covid-19 and Our Competing Narratives

April 25, 2020

“Another thing I’ve come to believe is that complex systems with all their various feedback loops and emergent phenomena are impossible to predict or control no matter how sophisticated one’s model to interpret the system in questions is. While I have my own biases based upon my readings, research, and experiences (especially with respect to what pre/history tells us about complex societies and their ‘evolution’), I’ll make my predictions about what will happen when everything has worked itself out. That’s the safest bet for guessing what the future holds. I will say this however, it is likely in one’s best interest to prepare for the worst and hope for the best…whatever that may be. Life rarely, if ever, quite works out the way we expect.”

Today’s Contemplations

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh

August 8, 2020

“The world is not as we have been conditioned to believe by the narrative managers who weave the various storylines (read Edward Bernays book Propaganda for interesting insight on this). Awareness of this is a first step towards a better understanding of how messed up this world truly is and, possibly, doing something for your family/community to make it more resilient as the system inevitably declines/collapses.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh II

August 8, 2020

Most of us want to believe that technology and human ingenuity will ‘save’ us (thus arguments from academics/educators about focusing more resources into education, not realising that there isn’t the time nor agreement over ‘solutions’ for education to play a role) but it is most likely that our efforts at greater and greater technological ‘solutions’ are just expediting our journey over the cliff since technology speeds the exploitation of finite resources, much as money printing does, and creates a host of negative consequences we conveniently ignore.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh III

August 14, 2020

“We need to come to accept that our chasing the infinite growth chalice must stop, and that all the ‘baubles’ promised from this pursuit by the sociopathic ‘leaders’ that profit from their control of the wealth-generating and -extraction systems that arise from this economic/political quest of growth are not worth the journey over the cliff ahead.

If we do not choose to stop this insanity now, we can be assured that nature will do it for us and we are not going to enjoy the choices nature makes for us to reset things to some sort of balance. The collapse that accompanies overshoot is never ‘fun’ for the species experiencing it.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh IV

September 24, 2020

“There is no consideration whatsoever of the limits imposed upon us. There is only more growth to try and address our dilemmas that are created by us pursuing growth in the first place.

Despite the story that these policies are being used to solve our problems and help people, the reality is that they are very much probably doing the exact opposite.

In fact, a good argument could be made that the ‘all in’ aspect of this is further evidence that the planet is reaching the endgame of overshooting our natural carrying capacity and the fallout is quickening towards its obvious conclusion: collapse of the complex systems we have come to depend upon.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh V

October 2, 2020

“An energy descent is in our future whether we wish it or not. We can go through the ‘collapse’ that always accompanies a species that has overshot its environmental carrying capacity in a relatively dignified way by addressing the dilemma head on, or we can spend our last breath attempting to sustain the unsustainable and go out with a bang.

I’d like to believe we could do the former but my bet is on the latter for humans very much engage in behaviour that reduces their cognitive dissonance to avoid reality and, unfortunately, the foxes are firmly in charge of the henhouse and seldom, if ever, allow a good crisis to go to waste…”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh VI

October 9, 2020

“Unless and until we all begin serious discussions about degrowth on a global scale (even just local/regional would be a great start), I fear we will continue along our current path; in fact, it would appear we have actually picked up speed in these exploitive and damaging endeavours as diminishing returns (see archaeologist Joseph Tainter’s The Collapse of Complex Societies) have made it necessary to invest more and more effort, energy, and resources into finding and retrieving the resources necessary to hold our complex systems together for a bit longer.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh VII

October 12, 2020

“Will, as some argue, our technology and human ingenuity save us in this current trial in complex societies? I’m doubtful; in fact, I’m fairly certain these things will simply expedite the fall as we rush into them to try and solve the problems we have created, bumping up against the real biophysical limits imposed by a finite world in the process and creating even more problems and dilemmas.

Of course, because I cannot predict the future with certainty, only time will tell…”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh VIII

October 30, 2020

“Every dollar spent requires energy to produce the goods or services provided. Think this doesn’t happen? Take a look at GDP and energy use. They are correlated almost perfectly. They increase together. Think alternative energy will meet this demand? Hardly. Increased alternative energy production has not even been able to keep up with increasing demand. The world has had to continue to ramp up fossil fuel use to meet demands. The more money that is created and spent, the more demand there is for energy and resources.

But we have a slight problem. We live on a finite world with finite resources but especially fossil fuels which underpin our current world and all of its interconnected complexities. Our world as designed and functioning currently is fubar without fossil fuels.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh IX

November 7, 2020

“For these two reasons alone the majority of people and certainly almost all the ruling class (and this includes academics, media, politicians, corporations) will refuse to see or acknowledge the flaws when exposed. Evidence is memory-holed. Whistleblowers are vilified (or worse). The believers and those benefiting from the dominant storyline will fight tooth and nail to defend the system. The narrative must be protected. Just read up on the various inquisitions of the Catholic Church to see how narratives that support the powerful are protected.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh X

April 29, 2021

“The best thing one can do is attempt to remove one’s family and local community from this delusional matrix as much as is possible. Yes, make your displeasure and contempt for the way things are known, especially at a local level, but focus on building your community’s self-sufficiency and -reliance. Reduce your consumption. Grow your own food. Re-localise as much as possible. Stop depending on both government and corporations. Stop feeding the beast for it will consume us all while selling us lies and stealing our ‘wealth’.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XI

May 7, 2021

“Why is this connection to fiat currency important? Primarily because money is basically a claim on future resources and such resources are in terminal decline. So, the more money we ‘print’ (regardless of the reason for its printing), the more claims there are on future resources; resources that not only are disappearing quickly and getting more costly to access (because we always retrieve the easiest and cheapest to get to first), but whose retrieval results in monumental ecological destruction.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XII

May 14, 2021

“I have to laugh at the bombastic rhetoric. They cheerlead ‘sustainable’ development and growing with the environment in mind without flinching at the hypocrisy in their oxymoronic statements at all. They talk about protecting the environment while undermining it with expansion. They speak of responsibility to future generations while using up all the finite resources that support life. They expand and expand and expand with no understanding of how exponential growth quickly overwhelms systems and that overshoot of the environmental carrying capacity of a region always ends in collapse.

The foxes truly are in charge of the henhouse. But they have created a comforting narrative so that the chickens can avoid the cognitive-dissonance that comes from realising it’s all just a fairy tale. Ontario, a place to ‘grow’.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XIII

May 17, 2021

“We really do need to stop using language that does not reflect reality. Electric vehicles are neither ‘green’ nor ‘clean’. A shift to them is not in any way, shape, or form helping us to address the various ecological/environmental dilemmas humanity has created in its endless expansion and exploitation of the planet’s limited resources (and that go far beyond carbon emissions).

Narratives that use the small Overton window of internal combustion engines vs. electric vehicles completely disregard the underlying issues of our dilemmas and avoid the hard choices that need to be made — to say little about the fact that they mislead and propagate false beliefs. They do, however, help significantly in reducing our mass cognitive dissonance that is created from our pursuit of the growth chalice on a finite planet with hard, biophysical limits.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XIV

May 20, 2021

“I think you’ve got it completely backward; in fact, your suggestion would likely expedite the impending ‘collapse’ of our complex and energy-intensive, industrialised world. The ‘advanced’ economies are going to have to become far, far less ‘rich’ and as I said, either we choose how this might be done before we fall over the impending energy cliff or nature WILL do it for us; and nature doesn’t give one single iota of care or concern about how populations are brought back into balance with an area’s environmental carrying capacity. There are many who suggest a massive die-off of humans is the most likely scenario for the planet.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XV

May 21, 2021

“I’m increasingly doubtful we are going to face the ultimately very difficult decisions that need to be made (in fact, needed to be made decades ago) and we will continue to stumble along hoping and praying that all will work out just fine, thank you. Only time will tell how this all plays out for none of us can accurately predict the future but the path of decline/collapse seems fairly certain. Every complex society that has existed up to this point in history has experienced it and we are not significantly different when push comes to shove. If archaeologist Joseph Tainter’s thesis in his monograph The Collapse of Complex Societies is accurate, complex societies ‘collapse’ due to the inability to deal with stress surges because they have been experiencing diminishing returns on their investments in complexity; and this is exactly the situation with humanity’s investments in fossil fuels.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XVI

May 24, 2021

“In fact, it may actually be too late as some suggest and all the arguments and competing narratives are just ‘academic’ at this point — we would only truly know in hindsight. Perhaps the best one can do is to try and make one’s household and local community as resilient and self-sufficient as possible. It is sometimes wise to plan for the worse and hope for the best; although hope is not really a strategy and the planning/action part is what’s really important. Yes, stop consuming as much and change your expectations but also be prepared for a future of less and not one of perpetual growth and prosperity as our ruling class pushes (what politician has not promised ‘more’ to garner support? as the article highlights). ‘Normal’ is what we make it, not what we are told by others — especially those who seek to ‘profit’ from us. It is going to take a massive paradigm shift for us to weather the impending energy cliff and we are quickly losing time to prepare, both physically and psychologically.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XVII

June 1, 2021

“Most (all?) discussions about reducing fossil fuel use are comforting narratives that help to reduce our mass cognitive dissonance that is created when one realises that our lifestyles/complex society cannot continue as it is on a finite planet. We tell ourselves and others that our human ingenuity (especially via technology and ‘science’) will save us without realising that all we are doing is avoiding the really tough decisions that need to be made, individually and collectively.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XVIII

June 5, 2021

“We live on a finite planet with real biophysical limits that have very likely been well surpassed in a number of areas. The sooner we realise this and reach the conclusion that we cannot in any way support or expand our high-energy complexities and the growth that accompanies this, the sooner we might, just might, get on the path towards degrowing our world in a just and equitable way rather than continue to chase the magical thinking necessary to sustain our world as currently contrived and going even further into overshoot than we already have. Reversion to the mean always happens in such instances and if we hope to mitigate in any controllable way the consequences that will flow from this, we need to get started — like yesterday.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XIX 

June 7, 2021

“The two extreme and relatively polar-opposite responses are simple. We could curtail our dependency on this resource and greatly reduce our complexities (something that was probably needed to begin decades ago). Or, we could create stories about how our ingenuity will provide us with a scientific/technological solution to avoid the tough path of degrowth — primarily through the magical thinking necessary to believe that there is a ‘green/clean’ energy source that we can tap into to sustain our energy-intensive living standards and global complexities.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XX

June 9, 2021

“I truly do believe many people are susceptible to/persuaded by misleading stories/narratives for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the most prominent of those being the deference to authorities/experts that we tend to display (think Stanley Milgram’s electric shock experiments). We tend to have trust/faith in particular people/professions and the marketers/propagandists (aka snake oil salesmen) are quite aware of this. So, a handful of academics/politicians/‘experts’ come out and declare ‘electrification’ of everything will lead us to the promised land…and here we are, only discussing the more comforting (and misleading/false) ‘solution’ and completely ignoring a more painful one that may be much more realistic in nature.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XXI

June 16, 2021

“I’ve come to the conclusion that government, especially big government, is virtually the last place I am going look to for leadership, virtue, or even just common sense since their motivation is to subjugate the majority of us to serve their interests and that of their close supporters (primarily the rich and influential financiers), not mine, my family’s, or my community’s.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XXII

June 22, 2021

“The ‘net-zero’ propaganda is a perfect example. It continues to push expansion (the very cause of our dilemmas), particularly of certain ‘solutions’, while marketing itself as the road to sustainability because, you know, it all evens out in the end. Sit back, relax, fire up the Netflix, watch another sports event, your ‘leaders’ have everything under control. Pay no attention whatsoever to the kerfuffle behind the curtain over there. We can have our cake and eat it too!”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XXIII

June 28, 2021

“Such a fairy tale ending is indeed possible, but only in our imaginations. The momentum of our complex systems and the reality of a finite world straining under the exploitation of cognitively ‘advanced’ walking-talking apes are taking us down a path that is best described by William Catton Jr. in Overshoot: a species that overshoots its environmental carrying capacity is destined to encounter a population ‘collapse’ and any response that increases the drawdown of the fundamental resources upon which the species is reliant only speeds up the process. And this seems very much to be exactly what we are doing as we ‘debate’ ways in which to sustain our living standards and most of our energy-reliant and -intensive sociocultural practices.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XXIV

July 2, 2021

“Given all of this, I am increasingly coming to believe that regardless of our understanding of our dilemmas we will fail to address them in a way that would differ from complex societies of the past. We will continue to pursue growth and attempts to prolong such growth for as long as we can, damn the consequences. We will, for the most part, continue to believe biophysical limits do not, well, limit us. We will continue to tell ourselves and believe the comforting narratives our ‘leaders’ will tell us. We will continue to cling to faulty paradigms and rarely, if ever, admit the crumbling social structure (and physical structures) around us is anything but the ‘fault’ of those who didn’t believe in our ingenuity and inventiveness; to say little about the fact that the rich and powerful marketing these fantasies stand to become even richer and more powerful as we pursue them. It’s a final blow-off top of ‘growth’ before the eventual collapse that always accompanies a species overshooting its natural environmental carrying capacity.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XXV

July 8, 2021

“Some of the negative consequences of our expansion and increasing complexity have been acknowledged. Instead of slowing our march towards the cliff ahead, however, the vast majority (all?) of our ‘ruling class’ (whose primary motivation, I would argue, is the control and expansion of the wealth-generating systems that provide their revenue streams), as they so often (always?) do is leverage the increasingly obvious crises to enrich themselves. They use narrative control mechanisms (particularly their influence over the mainstream media and governments) to craft stories extolling solutions and salvation that not only preserve their revenue streams but expand them in a kind of final blow off top of resource extraction and use; ignoring, of course, the environmental fallout of this.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XXVI

July 9, 2021

“I interpret my approach as actually somewhat ‘optimistic’ and focused on what I personally can control because if we are being honest with ourselves, most of what is occurring is well beyond our personal control, and probably even collective control. And if we’re dealing with ‘emotional’ responses to our social and physical environments, the only thing we can control is our reaction. Ultimately we all see what we want to see, we all hear what we want to hear, and we all believe what we want to believe.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XXVII

July 24, 2021

“I’m increasingly chagrined to see us continue to chase the infinite growth chalice with a belief that this will all work out just fine, thank you, as long as we abandon fossil fuels and shift to ‘renewables’ with a religious-like fervour that completely ignores some harsh, biophysical realities. I am reminded of author Robert Heinlein’s observation that we are rationalising creatures, not rational ones, and we are leading ourselves into a very, very precarious and dangerous place.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XXVIII

August 10, 2021

“Increasingly, however, this storyline is showing many plot holes: energy-return-on-energy-invested close to zero or even negative; non-renewable, finite resource limits; environmental/ecological destruction to procure needed resources; dependency upon the fossil fuel platform for the procurement and processing of necessary materials as well as the distribution, maintenance, and afterlife disposal/reclamation processes. As I attempt to point these roadblocks out to the advocates of ‘renewables’ and suggest degrowth is a more realistic path given the biophysical limits of living on a finite planet, I am quite chagrined with the variety of personal attacks I am subjected to. From being a climate change ‘denier’ to a shill for the fossil fuel industry, the anger/denial that is displayed is quite something.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XXIX

August 17, 2021

“Probably the most dire predicament we face is ecological overshoot — too damn many people (especially living in ‘advanced’ economies) for a planet with finite resources.[xiii] The constant push for growth (which really is just to prolong/support the gargantuan Ponzi that our financial/economic/monetary systems have become) is the exact opposite of what we likely need to be doing; as is the push to ‘electrify’ everything.  The unfortunate thing for the future is that any species that overshoots its natural carrying capacity has only one way to be rebalanced: a massive die-off. When that occurs (and how it unfolds) is anybody’s guess…” 

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XXX

September 21, 2021

“As Rex argues, the ‘solutions’ that will matter most to people will be at the local level. Relocalistion of as much production and distribution of goods as possible (but especially potable water, food, and shelter needs — including that which is needed to deal with local weather/climate, such as wood for winter heating) is the best approach to be taking to help one’s community mitigate as much as possible the coming storm. It’s likely to get ugly and ‘government’ will be nowhere to be found to turn to; you will need to depend upon immediate family, friends, and community members so cultivate those relationships and work on getting them to understand our predicament and begin making your local community as self-sufficient and resilient as possible.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XXXI

November 2, 2021

“If we are not discussing significant degrowth , however (and we’re not because there’s no money to be made from it and the primary motivation of the ruling class, who control the mainstream narratives, is the control/expansion of the wealth-generating systems that provide their revenue streams), then it would seem we are just creating stories to sell more stuff and people tend to accept them readily because they reduce cognitive dissonance — we recognise we live on a finite planet and infinite growth is not possible (except through extreme magical, Cargo Cult-like thinking) but want to also believe that we can continue to live in our energy- and resource-intensive lifestyles uninterrupted and without significant sacrifice”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XXXII

November 6, 2021

“For a long time, the growth needed to ‘fuel’ our economic system was provided by our exploitation of the planet and its relatively preserved and seemingly limitless resources. That changed, however, as we began encountering diminishing returns on our investments. For the past 50 years or so this growth has been predicated upon the expansion of debt/credit (i.e., fiat currency creation) and has, unfortunately, entered a very dangerous territory where debt repayments are exceeding people’s ability to even pay for their interest, let alone principal. To say little about the fact that debt/credit is in essence stealing from the future in the form of claims on future resources (especially energy) that are not only increasingly difficult to procure but in many cases don’t or won’t exist in the future because we live on a finite planet.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XXXIII

November 25, 2021

“It is increasingly likely that a ‘solution’ at this point is completely out of our grasp. We’ve pursued business-as-usual despite repeated warnings because we’ve viewed and interpreted our predicament through the wrong paradigm and put ourselves in a corner. It is likely that one’s energies/efforts may be best focused going forward upon local community resilience and self-sufficiency. Relocalising as much as possible but especially procurement of potable water, appropriate shelter needs (for regional climate), and food should be a priority. Continuing to expand and depend upon diminishing resources that come to us via complex, fragile, and centralised supply chains is a sure recipe for mass disaster.

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XXXIV

November 28, 2021

“The inability of our ‘leaders’ to view the world through anything but a political/economic paradigm and its built-in short-term focus has blinded them to the reality that we do not stand above and outside of nature or its biological principles and systems. We are as prone to overshoot and the consequences that come with it as any other species. And because of their blindness (and most people’s uncritical acceptance of their narratives) we are rushing towards a cliff that is directly ahead. In fact, perhaps we’ve already left solid ground but just haven’t realised it yet because, after all, denial is an extremely powerful drug.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XXXV

December 8, 2021

“There is no solving this via our technology or ‘ingenuity’ (in fact, there’s a good argument to be made that our attempts to do this are actually expediting and adding to our overshoot by increasing our drawdown of finite resources, further overloading our planetary sinks, and further reducing our carrying capacity). Our refusal (for whatever reason) to degrow/downsize/power-down/etc. ensures we lose our chance to mitigate the consequences of our overshoot.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XXXVI

December 21, 2021

“I could go one with example after example of such blatant manipulation of narratives by our ruling elite and their so-called ‘fact checkers’ but what else is there to say? Except, if the mainstream/corporate media and/or government/politicians are pushing repeatedly a narrative (or purposely censoring one), then it likely serves the purpose of manipulating what you believe so as to maintain/expand the status quo power and/or economic structures of our society. Their stories, no matter the rationalisation/justification for them, should always be viewed critically and questioned. Chances are they are serving their narrow purposes, not the wider society’s.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XXXVII

January 15, 2022

“And while the above beliefs of mine may appear as anti-science to some I would argue they are not. They are simply critical awareness of the fact that science is an endeavour practised by very fallible human beings that live in a social world where they are pushed and pulled in numerous directions by a variety of forces that can and do influence the way they think and interpret their physical world. Add to this the (ab)use of ‘science’ by the ruling class and we have the perfect environment for controversy beyond a simple reflection about the human aspects of the practice of science.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XXXVIII

January 25, 2022

“No one, not one of us gets out of here alive. Whether some of us or our descendants make it out the other side of the bottleneck we have created for ourselves is up in the air. I wish the stories that have been weaved about ‘renewables’ and the future they could provide were true but I’ve come to the realisation that the more we do to try and prolong our current energy-intensive complexities, the more we reduce the chances for any of us, including most other species (at least those that we haven’t already exterminated), to have much if any of a future.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XXXIX

January 29, 2022

“We are not special in nature, however, and every complex society that has existed in pre/history has eventually succumbed to decline/collapse — the reasons vary, but they always do. Our belief that we are unique or that our technological prowess and ingenuity will somehow ‘save’ us is all part of the denial/bargaining that comes with the grieving process when loss is imminent or happened.

Coming to grips with our own and/or society’s mortality is difficult and not everyone makes it to the acceptance stage of grieving. We want to believe it won’t happen but no one, not one of us gets out of here alive. Everything and everyone comes to an end eventually.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XL

February 19, 2022

“In fact, many of those who argue along a similar line actually end up cheerleading the pursuit of changes that actually exacerbate our overshoot. They ignore the pre/historical evidence that complexity in the form of large social units (e.g., civilisations, empires, nation states, city states, etc.) and their energy and resource demands are unsustainable regardless of the economic and/or political systems employed; that all of our previous experiments with complex societies have failed because they expand and overexploit their environments, requiring them to disband or takeover un- or under-exploited regions to sustain themselves.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XLI

February 22, 2022

“The fundamental flaw I see in Doughnut Economics is that it proposes a ‘solution’ that is entirely the opposite of what we need to be doing. We need to be contracting our complexities and the resource-demands they place upon our planet. We can’t be seeking to bring the vast majority of ‘un/under-developed’ humans up to ‘advanced’ economy standards. We need to be lowering significantly the standards and size of the advanced economies that are very much responsible for much of our plight — perhaps even disbanding large, complex societies completely (and how many of us would survive that given the loss of skills/knowledge to be self-sufficient?). And could this even be done in an ‘equitable’ manner? I have my doubts.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XLII

March 1, 2022

“Keep in mind that resource ‘wars’ far, far predate our past few decades of fighting over oil and gas (resources that, unfortunately, underpin our current massive global complexities and footprint). Fossil fuels have simply expedited our propensity to overshoot our local carrying capacity and taken it global in nature. It is this, ecological overshoot, that is our predicament; the consequences of which we increasingly appear to be unable to avoid because we’re misdiagnosing/misinterpreting it (and have been for some decades). I would argue that there is nothing that is ‘sustainable’ for close to 8 billion humans. Nothing, probably not even ‘Stone Age’ hunting-and-gathering.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXIII

March 6, 2022

“The world is not as it appears to most. What most of us believe in is, in my opinion, a tightly controlled illusion that benefits a minority primarily at the expense of the majority.

There are no ‘solutions’ to our predicament of ecological overshoot and the inevitable collapse that is awaiting us (if not already begun). There is, at best, a ‘hope’ for some to come out the other side of the bottleneck we’ve created (primarily via our leveraging of technology to overexploit our planet and expand the human experiment).”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXIV

March 19, 2022

“I’d argue the chips are stacked firmly against another complex society, certainly global-spanning one, developing again in the future. Of course, as several notable personalities have been credited with stating: It’s difficult to make predictions, especially about the future[10].

Only time will tell…”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XLV

March 24, 2022

“Yes, we need to shut down our fossil fuel industry but we also need to realise there is no ‘replacement’ for the significant energy it supplies society. The post-carbon world will be radically, and I mean radically, different than today. The illusion of a modern utopia with electric vehicles and all the accoutrements painted by the techno-cornucopian snake oil salesmen (that are little more than grifters lining their pockets) must be abandoned if we are to have any hope of getting through the bottleneck we have created for our species and most others on this planet.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XLVI

April 4, 2022

“More and more I personally am focusing upon the ‘actionable’ part of preparing rather than the ‘cerebral/academic/economic/political’ aspects of what’s happening. I can’t control what happens much outside of my own little ‘world’ so why worry about it and/or the reasons for what is happening.

And when push comes to shove it doesn’t matter the reason for our ‘collapse’, what matters is the re-learning of ‘lost’ skills/knowledge for self-sufficiency (especially for those of us enculturated in the ‘modern’ complex societies that have oriented towards a future of techno-cornucopianism that always had a relatively short lifespan on a finite planet). The last three books I have read are about composting, seed saving, and first aid/CPR. The one I just started is about mini-farming.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XLVII

April 13, 2022

“In the final accounting of all of this I have come to the same basic conclusion that Richard Heinberg does: don’t depend upon your government/ruling class for salvation from the coming collapse of current complexities. Such ‘faith’ is significantly misplaced and will be deeply disappointing if not disastrous for those that maintain it. It is personal, familial, and community resilience and preparedness that will be ease the decline; pursue this rather than believing you have significant agency via the ballot box and who might hold the reins of sociopolitical power.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XLVIII

April 19, 2022

“So, what do you have agency over? I would argue primarily one’s own actions, particularly at the local, community level.

Relocalising as much as possible now is paramount but especially in terms of potable water procurement, food production, and regional shelter needs. To do this an awful lot of learning and work needs to be accomplished, quickly. There is no time to waste when exponential factors are at play and a Seneca cliff of energy contraction just ahead.

Starting your journey to self-sufficiency yesterday would have been prudent but starting today is better than tomorrow. Do what you can, even if it seems minimal. Plants a few pots of beans or tomatoes. Read a book on composting or seed saving. Find some like-minded neighbours and begin a community garden.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XLIX

May 5, 2022

“As Frederick Nietzsche has been credited with arguing: “Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.”

‘Facts/truth’ (such as the ecological destructiveness of pursuing non-renewable renewables, or that climate change is a symptom of the predicament of ecological overshoot and not a separate problem that can be ‘solved’ using maladaptive strategies that exacerbate overshoot) mean next to nothing to those captured by the fanatical belief that more technology and human ingenuity can reverse the negative consequences of almost all our technologies and the unprecedented growth they have supported. Such a belief system is difficult if not impossible to change for it is supported by powerful psychological mechanisms that prevent humans from confronting anxiety-provoking thoughts (e.g., the denial/bargaining stages of grieving a significant loss) or that serve to rationalize destructive behaviours (usually to avoid/deflect guilt).

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh L

May 19, 2022

Cognition and Belief Systems in a ‘Collapsing’ World: Part One
“What we believe is extremely important to our perception of the world as it creates a ‘reality’ for us that may or may not have much in common with observable, physical evidence. Ultimately it would appear that we believe what we want to believe; ‘facts’ be damned. We very much don’t want to acknowledge this but we seem to be, as author Robert Heinlein has been credited with stating, rationalising animals not rational ones; and research is increasingly supporting this view.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LI

May 27, 2022

Cognition and Belief Systems: Part Two — Deference to Authority
“As social psychology has demonstrated, human deference/obedience to authority is a significant tendency. In a complex society that invariably develops hierarchical structures that facilitate organisation as it grows in size and complexity, this propensity can be — and pre/history shows it has been — leveraged by a society’s rulers to ensure efficiency but also to maintain compliance and control, regardless of its pursuit of ‘equality’ or ‘democratisation’.

I have the feeling that this deference to authority is perhaps one of the more problematic of human tendencies, especially as we glide down the Seneca Cliff of cheap resource availability (especially energy) and all the knock-on effects of this.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LII

June 7, 2022

Cognition and Belief Systems: Part Three—Groupthink
“…it would appear that humans can be ‘herded’ into believing particular stories by way of the higher status amongst us establishing the context through which we interpret and understand issues and events. This doesn’t necessarily necessitate some grand ‘conspiracy’ but simply a small number of decision-makers to set the stage through policies, actions, and/or even just repetitive ‘marketing’ via speeches, media releases, etc. that are invariably wrapped in verbiage that highlights supposed benefits for the masses. Once a majority of people come to accept the narrative being shared, our strong tendency to want to belong and meet the ‘norms’ of the social group in which we find ourselves leads us to accept the group’s ideas and behaviours—primarily to avoid the negative social pressures that accompany non-conformity. We may not necessarily agree with certain things, but we tend to go along for better or worse.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LIII

June 11, 2022

Cognition and Belief Systems: Part Four—Cognitive Dissonance
“How do we alleviate the resulting anxiety? We employ our mind to filter out the incoming information in a way that reduces the stress we are experiencing. It matters little what we experience with our own senses or the data we are exposed to. We simplify, alter our perspective/interpretation, and create a narrative that we can filter evidence through. We also seek out self-reinforcing echo chambers of like-minded individuals/groups. Confirming information is amplified and reinforces our story while disconfirming information is ignored, denied, or rationalised away. In essence, we believe what our minds want us to believe; ‘facts’ be damned. And if we are challenged and begin to experience dissonance, we grab a hold of our fundamental beliefs even harder.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LIV

June 18, 2022

Cognition and Belief Systems: Part Five—Justification Hypothesis
Once we latch on to a narrative we strive to justify it and rationalise events/evidence in light of it to reduce any anxiety that might arise from the conflicting messages our minds receive. This phenomenon is perhaps one of the strongest mechanisms that contribute to the denial of ‘facts’ that challenge one’s interpretive narrative.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LV

June 22, 2022

“Of course, overshooting limits (be they biological in nature or economic) can carry on for some time before the actual ‘pain’ is felt — the human penchant to deny reality helps here in the extreme. This is perhaps why Black Swan events are the ones that create the greatest impact on us; in our denial (and our inability to assess risk very well), we fail to prepare for possibilities that increase our anxiety — like collapse. Better to live in a fantasy world of human ingenuity and technology always being there to rescue us than accept that we are simply walking, talking apes that don’t understand complex systems and how our tinkering with them always, eventually backfires.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LVI

June 29, 2022

Cognition and Belief Systems: Part Six—Sociopolitical ‘Collapse’ and Ecological Overshoot
“Humans are susceptible not only to sociopolitical collapse but collapse of its population via a massive die-off due to ecological overshoot. Both seem inevitable at this point in our evolution. And both are extremely anxiety-provoking regardless of whether one has moved through Kubler-Ross’s Stages of Grief and reached the final stage of acceptance or not…

And while in our denial of this inevitability we have created stories that we can avert such a future, Catton asserts that “habits of thought persist…people continue to advocate further technological breakthroughs as the supposedly sure cure for carrying capacity deficits. The very idea that technology caused overshoot, and that it made us too colossal to endure, remains alien to too many minds for ‘de-collosalization’ to be a really feasible alternative to literal die-off. There is a persistent drive to apply remedies that aggravate the problem.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LVII

July 2, 2022

“Almost everywhere the pursuit of the infinite growth chalice (primarily by the ruling elite) and/or population growth along with a disregard for/ignorance of biophysical limits has put a community/region/nation into ecological overshoot. As a result, the people have become dependent upon fragile and complex long-distance supply chains–to say little about the creation of communities in areas that never should have been occupied by humans as they were never sustainable without such supplied resources.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LVIII

July 6, 2022

“The widespread adoption of magical thinking to avoid anxiety-provoking cognitions is in no way surprising. It is perhaps, as Ajit Varki argues, that “Some aspects of human cognition and behavior appear unusual or exaggerated relative to those of other intelligent, warm-blooded, long-lived social species — including certain mammals (cetaceans, elephants and great apes) and birds (corvids and passerines). One such collection of related features is our facile ability for reality denial in the face of clear facts, a high capacity for self-deception and false beliefs, overarching optimism bias and irrational risk-taking behavior…””

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LIX

July 13, 2022

Infinite growth. Finite planet. What could possibly go wrong? Part One
“Given our reliance upon fossil fuels, their finite nature, and the diminishing returns we have encountered because of this—and the way in which their use and the industrial processes they have ‘powered’ have overwhelmed the various planetary sinks that normally help to filter and purify the waste products we produce—it is increasingly clear that we have overshot our carrying capacity and have but the negative consequence of that to experience (or as many argue, are already experiencing).”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LX

July 19, 2022

Infinite growth. Finite planet. What could possibly go wrong? Part Two
Is there a way out of this conundrum? I personally waffle between ‘hope’ (something I wish for but really have no agency in) and despair (see image below).

My ‘hope’ is that we will come to realise that our pursuit of the perpetual growth chalice is taking us to a dark place where few of us survive (and that would be many species, not just homo sapiens) and reverse our trajectory; what can referred to as ‘degrowth’: a purposeful cessation of our current path and ‘deconstruction’ of almost all our socioeconomic and sociopolitical excesses until we reach a standard of living and population level that is ‘sustainable’.

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXI

July 29, 2022

“We have hit significant diminishing returns on our extraction of fossil fuels. This is extremely problematic not only because they support virtually all of the complexities necessary for our very survival but because we continue to be beholden to systems that perpetuate the predicament, especially the pursuit of the infinite growth chalice.

If we do not prepare ourselves adequately and do not abandon our pursuit of growth, we risk massive negative consequences. In fact, it may already be too late to avoid most (all?) of such negative impacts given how far we are likely into ecological overshoot…”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXII

July 31, 2022

“Telling ourselves and believing in lies and fairy tales is a sure recipe for the consequences of our well-meaning but ecologically-destructive ways to be significantly worse than they could otherwise be. Ramping up our industrial production of unsustainable technologies not only expedites the negative consequences of our overshoot but worsens our plight by further reducing the planet’s carrying capacity.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXIII

August 11, 2011

“Perhaps the most egregious (but purposeful) ‘error’ our elite make is their chasing and cheerleading of the perpetual growth chalice (particularly economic growth, but they do also encourage population growth). The common refrain/narrative is that growth is primarily—if not ‘solely’—a benefit to human ‘progress’ and well-being, any negative impacts being discounted or rationalised away demonstrating a poor if not conveniently purposeful ignorance of the way complex systems behave.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXIV

August 15, 2022

“Will another civilisation rise after ours collapses?

Perhaps. Perhaps not. Circumstances are always different and most certainly are today with our globalised, industrial civilisation that is, for all intents and purposes, completely reliant upon the dense and highly-transportable energy of fossil fuels — a finite resource that has encountered significant diminishing returns.

Off the top of my head, I can think of at least three significant impediments to a global, complex society again rising from the ashes of our destined-to-collapse one.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXV

August 20, 2022

“Long before ‘capitalism’ took hold of our elite, there were complex societies that ‘collapsed’ due to what archaeologist Joseph Tainter argues are diminishing returns on investments in complexity. Our human societies’ problem-solving proclivity to exploit/extract the easy-to-retrieve and cheap-to-access resources first leads to eventual ‘cost’ increases (particularly in terms of energy) that require the use of society’s surpluses/reserves to maintain/sustain political, economic, and organisational structures (as well as technologies) that serve as our ‘solutions’ to perceived ‘problems’.

Once these surpluses/reserves are unavailable due to their exhaustion and ‘society’ can no longer provide the benefits of participation in it, people ‘opt out’ and withdraw their support—usually by packing up and leaving. This ‘abandonment’ by increasing numbers of people undermines the necessary human, and thus material, inputs that support the structures that hold a complex society together and it eventually ‘collapses’.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXVI

September 2, 2022

“Now that our energy and material resources have encountered the hard biogeochemical limits of existence on a finite planet, and are experiencing significant diminishing returns on our investments in them — to say little of the negative environmental and ecological consequences of this — we are flailing about blaming our political and economic systems rather than recognising the actual physical limits that exist. Yes, our social systems have exacerbated our predicament but it seems as a result of our reality blindness we are likely to continue misdiagnosing our predicament and chase maladaptive ‘solutions’ (the narratives around ‘green/clean’ energy are a perfect example).

It’s increasingly appearing that we are not the ‘wise’ apes we believe ourselves to be. We are something very different, but not so different to other species that we can forgo the physical and biological limits of existing on a finite planet.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXVII

September 16, 2022

“From Chernobyl and Fukushima, to Bhopal and Beirut, to numerous lab failures and ‘accidental’ infections and deaths of lab employees (to say little of the recent possibility of Covid-19 having escaped from a lab), the dangers posed by them have periodically been quite obvious.

As our surplus energy to minimise these dangers falls, our ability to protect ourselves from them also declines increasing the risks that they pose substantially. It seems only prudent to decommission and ‘safely’ eliminate the dangers while we still have the energetic-ability and resources to do so.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXVIII

September 21, 2022

“The dangers of humanity’s continuing pursuit of the infinite growth chalice on a finite planet should be self-evident to everyone, but sadly this is not so. Perhaps because we continue to believe we stand outside nature and its ecological systems, and can control them. Or because we have grown to perceive everything from an economic perspective, where land is only viewed as having ‘value’ once it has been ‘developed’ and built upon. Possibly it’s because we have allowed those who stand to ‘profit’ from such a perspective to influence excessively and unreasonably our sociopolitical systems and sociocultural narratives and beliefs…

That we continue to ignore the signals being sent to humanity by the planet and its fellow species speaks volumes about our continuing misuses of our finite world and whether we actually are acting ‘responsibly’ in our behaviour and actions. The evidence is continuing to mount that we are not. In fact, that we are doing the exact opposite of what we should be doing—degrowing our existence.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXIX

October 2, 2022

“At this particular juncture in time it is looking increasingly likely that a world war is just around the corner. In fact, there’s good evidence to suggest this has already begun—we’re simply absent the ‘official’ declaration of it.

I would additionally argue that such geopolitical events expedite our decline precipitously with their significant drawdown of resources. In fact, with our population growth and penchant for chasing the infinite growth chalice, global imperialism is one of those relatively recent human tendencies speeding up our decline.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXX

October 6, 2022

“Apart from the observation that there is increasing evidence that there is no ‘solution’ to the predicament of ecological overshoot, I share these thoughts to try and point out why I firmly believe (and think others should as well) that our political systems should not be where we are looking for mitigation strategies since the kind of things we should be doing are not in the elite’s interest. As a result, the political systems that have been created and maintained by our ruling elite will avoid like the plague discussions/strategies that would undermine their goals. In fact, I would argue that they will do (are doing) those things that meet their primary concern and actually serve to make our predicament worse; all the while twisting narratives to suggest the opposite.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXXI

October 10, 2022

“Our pursuit and leveraging of complex technologies, amongst a few sociocultural practices, is what has led us into ecological overshoot. The evidence appears to be accumulating that they are not likely to help us out of this predicament and pursuing them to the degree their cheerleaders suggest (many of whom stand to profit handsomely from during such a shift) would compound significantly the negative consequences of their production and distribution.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXXII

October 19, 2022

“Might my concerns for the environment and ecological systems because of our industrial processes and pursuit of increasingly complex technologies be overblown or misplaced? Perhaps. But if they’re not and we continue to chase them in our quest for some holy grail to sustain our current living arrangements, the reversion to the mean for humanity will not be very welcome. Not at all.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXXIII

October 31, 2022

“Given that we walking, talking apes are prolific story-tellers in our quest to share our understanding of this complex universe we exist within, I expect the narratives that aid our ruling elite in sustaining/maintaining their positions of power, prestige, and wealth to harden in the sense of increased vilification/censorship/ostracisation (perhaps even criminalisation) of dissenting voices.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXXIV

November 7, 2022

“Attempting to make one’s local community as self-sufficient as possible in these crazy times seems the only sane course of action. Getting people on board with such a pursuit when society’s ‘leaders’ are pushing with all their might in the exact opposite direction is, however, a task in and of itself–particularly when those who question mainstream narratives are increasingly being censored, vilified, deplatformed, ostracised, and even criminalised.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXXV

November 9, 2022

“For despite the seeming strength of the concept that infinite growth on a finite planet is entirely possible (because of technology and human ingenuity), if a tipping point of the populace comes to understand that our pursuit of growth is what has destroyed vast portions of our planet and other species leading us deeply into ecological overshoot—and subsequently rejects its pursuit–then the entire foundation of the ruling elite crumbles. And we can’t have that!”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXXVI

November 12, 2022

“Keeping at the forefront of one’s thinking the fact that the future is unknowable, unpredictable, and full of unknown unknowns, anything is possible. But I would argue we do ourselves no favours in participating in and believing without full skepticism our various narratives about endless growth and technological ingenuity as the saviours that will make our utopian dreams/wishes of a ‘clean/green’ future come true.

Such magical thinking keeps us on a trajectory that increasingly is looking to be suicidal in nature, or, at the most promising, deeply ‘disappointing’ and broadly chaotic/catastrophic.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXXVII

November 15, 2022

It seems increasingly unlikely that we can ‘save’ everyone or everything. And while holding our sociopathic ruling caste’s feet-to-the-fire is a necessary action (if for no other reason than to get the message out to a wider audience), I’m leaning towards the notion that the best we can do is to attempt to make one’s local community as self-sufficient and resilient as possible for the exceedingly difficult journey ahead. Given we are sure to experience an increasing breakdown of the various complexities we’ve come to rely upon for our lifestyles, this approach is getting well past the critical stage of ‘necessity for survival’.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXXVIII

November 20, 2022

The ‘green/clean’ energy-based, utopian future appears increasingly to have become a grand and extremely attractive narrative which its adherents have argued is the ONLY means of ‘solving’ our fossil fuel addiction. It reduces significantly the anxiety-provoking thoughts that accompany a realisation that humanity have severely overshot the natural carrying capacity of the planet, destroying it and untold numbers of other species, and faces a less than utopian future—to say the least. And it avoids, through the use of a tight Overton Window, the much more difficult option of a gargantuan ‘powering down’ our so-called ‘advanced’ economies and mitigating our overshoot in ways that most people (most particularly in these ‘advanced’ economies) would not readily accept.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXXIX

November 24, 2022

In his latest post, that highlights the failings of the ‘renewable’ energy transition, Richard Heinberg seems to be arguing in terms of contradictory assertions, and ones which I am not sure can be overcome — at least, not without exacerbating our primary predicament of ecological overshoot.

On the one hand he points out the significant failings, limitations, and negative consequences of non-renewable renewable energy-harvesting technology, but on the other argues for our pursuing them at great haste so as to attain a ‘soft landing’ for our species’ inevitable energy descent.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXXX

November 28, 2022

The ecological damage that we continue to perpetrate upon the planet in our attempts to sustain our complex energy-intensive conveniences (that we have come to depend upon as we’ve lost the skills/knowledge to be locally self-sufficient) via non-renewable, renewable energy-harvesting technologies is for the most part completely and utterly left out of the propaganda/marketing we are exposed to; or, rationalised away by the fanciful narratives weaved about ‘clean’ technologies.

These comforting narratives, much like everything else, are leveraged by the ruling caste and profiteers (and there is much overlap between these two groups) to meet their primary motivation: control/expansion of the wealth-generation/-extraction systems that provide their revenue streams and thus power and wealth. And the narrative control managers that work with and on behalf of these groups know full well that significant psychological mechanisms (e.g., reduction of cognitive dissonance, obedience/deference to authority, groupthink, etc.) can be activated to support such stories.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXXXI

December 4, 2022

As walking, talking apes that tend to deny reality and believe in ‘magic’, we will continue to weave comforting narratives that our human ingenuity and concomitant technological prowess can save us from ourselves. Imagination, however, is not reality and while we can think up all sorts of possibilities the starkness of physical laws and biological principles stand firmly in the path ahead preventing our magic from having any real impact–except, perhaps, to exacerbate our predicament.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXXXII

December 7, 2022

“This appears to be the crux of the matter when it comes to many issues. The ruling caste, with the help of the mainstream media and others, circumscribe the range of the debate. This provides cover for the ultimate endgame — in the issue over the Greenbelt expansion it is the accommodation of population expansion through the construction of millions of homes (and it matters not whether these are on ecologically-sensitive lands or not in the long run) from which the ruling caste will undoubtedly make billions of dollars in profits…while the finite resources necessary to support this growth become more rare and costly to extract/process, and the environment and ecological systems upon which we depend continue to experience disruption and destruction.

We are continually fed a mythical narrative about growth and then set to debate and argue each other over how to accommodate it while ignoring the only way that might help to mitigate — at least marginally — our ecological overshoot predicament: degrowth.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXXXIII

December 9, 2022

“Ever-increasing costs and ever-decreasing marginal returns typify peer polities in competition—a negative feedback loop that a State’s ruling caste will not abandon for fear of losing their privilege/power. This ends in either domination by one state and a new energy subsidy, or collapse of all.

Collapse, if and when it comes again, will this time be global. No longer can any individual nation collapse. World civilization will disintegrate as a whole. Competitors who evolve as peers collapse in like manner.”

Be it from ecological overshoot (the root cause of all the above) or sociopolitical machinations of our ruling caste, the writing would seem to be on the wall for this latest hominid experiment we have, in a self-congratulatory manner, termed ‘wise man’…”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXXXIV

December 16, 2022

“The insanity of such a message on a finite planet should be self-evident to all but sadly this is simply not so. I have found that the overwhelming majority of people actually don’t pause whatsoever to consider how absolutely ridiculous such messages are.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXXXV

December 21, 2022

Energy Future, Part 1
“Evidence suggests there is no current substitute — at density or scale — for the energy provided by fossil fuels. We continue to be exposed to countless promises and potential technological ‘breakthroughs’ to replace it, especially when it comes to ‘clean/green’ energy sources (or should I say non-renewable, renewable energy-harvesting technologies), but the cold hard fact is that our dependence upon fossil fuels continues and is actually increasing, even when one zooms in on the past twenty years when ‘renewables’ have been pursued with ‘gusto’ as shown in the following graph (although not as much fervor as some would like and argue for — ignoring/rationalising away the ecological systems destruction that would accompany such a ‘war effort-like’ push)…

This is an obvious conundrum. Where do we go from here is what many want to know.” 

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXXXVI

December 28, 2022

Energy Future, Part 2
“Here we have competition over finite resources that is leading to a quickening of the drawdown of these resources. These diminishing resources are being allocated to this spiralling pursuit of competition while the consequences—both economic deterioration for the majority of humans and ecological destruction of the planet—are ignored/denied and/or rationalised away by way of narratives that argue the very instruments of our demise (increasingly complex and resource-dependent technologies) must be pursued with all the expediency we can muster.

Our conundrum is becoming ever-more wicked in its complexity.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXXXVII

December 29, 2022

“You’ve hit the nail on the head of the dominant narrative and mass magical thinking that goes on in our world around notions of limitless and ‘clean’ energy: given time (and funding/resources), our human ingenuity and technological prowess can ‘solve’ any problem thrown our way. Limits imposed by our existence on a finite planet are minuscule compared to our unfettered imaginations and abilities provided by our opposable thumbs. Finite limits? Meh. Ecological destruction? Who cares. Global collapse? Nothing to see, look over here…

And you ask a pertinent question: “Who in their sane minds approved the budget for all this?!””

Today’s Contemplation: And Now For Something Completely Different…

January 1, 2023

“As I work upon the multi-part series regarding my thoughts on our energy future, thought I would throw together something a little different for this initial contemplation of 2023.

My journey down the rabbit’s hole of Peak Oil and related energy/societal issues began more than a decade ago after watching the documentary Collapse featuring the late Michael Ruppert. The information presented seemed to mesh closely with my educational background in biology and archaeology—particularly the rise and fall of complex societies. My thinking about virtually everything shifted significantly shortly afterward. The typical Kubler-Ross grieving process was followed with much denial, bargaining, and anger until I finally reached acceptance and really began to explore ways to better understand our predicament and to help others along that road as well.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXXXVIII

January 2, 2023

“Like the story about being able to boil a frog alive because of minute temperature changes that go unnoticed, we may miss the little steps that take us to an entirely different world than the one we currently exist within and accept that everything is ‘normal’ despite evidence to the contrary. The ruling caste has learned to be quite adept in manipulating our beliefs about life and their abilities to ‘protect’ us.

All of this said, the future is both unknowable and unpredictable. It will hold many surprises, particularly for the vast majority of people who are just struggling to get through another day/week/year and tend to defer to the ‘authority’ figures that promise them this, that, and everything…”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh LXXXIX

January 3, 2023

“Whether any of humanity makes it out the other side of the ecological bottleneck we’ve created is in all likelihood well out of our hands for the biogeochemical limits, physical laws, and biological principles will always, in the end, trump human ‘ingenuity’, ‘technology’, and ‘cooperation’—especially if the last 10,000 years of our existence is any indication. Human societies grow, increase in complexity, over-exploit their surroundings, encounter significant diminishing returns on their investments in complexity, then eventually (and always) decline and perish. This time, however, this recurrent phenomenon is global in nature—thank you fossil fuels.”

Today’s Contemplation: And Now For Something Completely Different, Part 2

Today’s Contemplation: And Now For Something Completely Different, Part 3

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XC

January 10, 2023

“The evidence is accumulating that a phase transition is fast approaching for the human species.  When it occurs and how quickly it completes its shift is completely unpredictable, which is why it will be a Black Swan event for the vast majority of people. The best preparation for this transition, that cannot be avoided, will not be to put the remainder of our diminishing resources—especially energy—towards more technologies and complexities, but the exact opposite. We need to be pursuing a ‘Great Simplification’, decommissioning those complexities that pose great risk for future generations, abandoning our cherished dreams of infinite growth on a finite planet, and accepting that the future is not going to be one as laid out by our ‘leaders’ and such fictional narratives as Star Trek—not even close.”

Today’s Contemplation: And Now For Something Completely Different, Part 4

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XCI

January 16, 2023

“And I cannot help but interpret this as further confirmation of my growing belief that this is primarily (totally?) about narrative control and forced adoption of industrial products by those who own/control the industries and resources as they attempt to consolidate/maintain/enlarge their slice of an ever-shrinking economic pie as we increasingly bump up against the limits to growth on a finite planet. To say little about the blindness to the many layers of our predicament, especially when it comes to energy and other finite resources.”

Today’s Contemplation: And Now For Something Completely Different, Part 5

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XCII

January 22, 2023

“Ecological overshoot and peak resources (especially energy) have the socio/psychopathic ruling caste fighting amongst themselves for the vestiges of an ever-shrinking economic pie.

Everything will be sacrificed to serve the ends of the ruling caste…bet on it. And things are likely to get much, much worse before the impact of significant diminishing returns–to say little about ecological overshoot–puts a final nail in the coffin of such misguided and insane behaviour.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XCIII

January 25, 2023

Energy Future, Part 3: Authoritarianism and Sociobehavioural Control
“The speed with which this ‘collapse’ occurs has pre/historically been relatively slow, sometimes taking centuries as was the case for the decline of the Roman Empire. Typically it appears a population can deal with diminishing returns on their investments in society for a long time believing that the situation is temporary, or due to recency bias and the belief that the current situation, as bad as it may be, is ‘normal’.

In a world of quickly diminishing resources that are necessary to support the complexities of society and in which people have lost the skills/knowledge to live self-sufficiently—and here there are no unexploited lands to migrate to—the path towards ‘collapse’ is likely going to be much, much faster than the pre/historical ‘norm’: it will probably be a Seneca-type decline given most of humanity’s reliance upon complex and fragile long-distance supply chains and the various subsystems that support these.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XCIV

January 29, 2023

“Most citizens believe when they are informed governments are ‘consultative’, a ‘social service’, and acting on behalf of it citizens—something constantly reiterated in today’s mainstream/legacy media.

For most, what the politicians say is gospel, especially if they’re the ones they voted for.

Government consultation is a ruse, regardless of party. It is for all intents and purposes a public relations stunt to give the impression that the average person has influence or impact upon decision-making and policies, and that government is responsive to citizen input.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XCV

January 31, 2023

“Some want to believe there is an after-life. Others that human ingenuity and complex technologies will solve our existential predicaments. The laundry list of hopeful narratives is long and humans tend to want to confirm their beliefs rather than have them challenged. Denial and bargaining in the face of significant contrary evidence seems to be hard-wired in these walking, talking apes that have been able to leverage their cognitive abilities and tool-making skills to extend their ‘control’ over Nature and create the reality they wish; at least in their minds, and that seems to be all that matters for most.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XCVI

February 3, 2023

“In a world of quickly declining surplus energy, continuing population growth (many with aspirations to achieve higher economic ‘prosperity’), significant diminishing returns on increasing resource scarcity, a complex yet gargantuan Ponzi-type economic system predicated upon hundreds of trillions of dollars of unpayable debt (quadrillions if we include derivatives and shadow banking), escalating geopolitical tensions, building totalitarianism, overburdened planetary sinks, massive biodiversity loss, increasing frequency and power of extreme weather events, etc., etc., I have a very, very, very difficult time having faith in all the as-yet-to-be-hatched techno-promises (especially at scale) particularly since they tend to be coming from those who profit from the continuation of the narrative that all problems are solvable—as long as we believe and divert lots of money/resources to them…”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XCVII

February 4, 2023

“One can apparently make much more derogatory and biting comments about the situation and our various politicians’ role in the situation, but heaven forbid you raise the idea of living on a finite planet with resource limits that impact everything cherished by the ‘growth-forever’ crowd.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XCVIII

February 7, 2023

“We are putting at risk not just the overburdened planetary sinks that help to absorb and cleanse the pollutants created by our expanding industrial processes, but also the finite resource stocks—especially energy—that we depend upon for everything. Perhaps more importantly to sustaining a livable environment is the destruction of ecological systems in the wake of our growth. Biodiversity loss (mostly due to land system changes) over the past century or more has been off the charts and puts all species, including homo sapiens, in jeopardy.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XCIX

February 9, 2023

Energy Future, Part 4: Economic Manipulation
My growing sense is that if some unforeseen Black Swan event or geopolitical ‘accident’ doesn’t bring on a rapid decline in social complexity, then it will likely be a ‘mistake’ in the economic realm as it tends to impact significantly the various subsystems of trade, transportation, communication, etc. that the global, industrialised world depends upon for everything from potable water procurement to regional shelter need construction to food production and distribution, and everything in between.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh C

February 11, 2023

“The best option left is to prepare for the impending breakdown of the various complex systems that we have grown dependent upon, particularly the procurement of potable water, food production, and regional shelter needs. In addition we should be degrowing our regions/communities, not making the situation even more dire and compounding its effects by continuing to chase growth—no matter what the profiteers from this perpetual-growth strategy are repeatedly telling us.”

Today Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CI

February 13, 2023

”There are plenty of similar arguments out there if one so chooses to discover them and the overwhelming evidence that ‘renewables’ are not in any way going to do much except: add to the drawdown of finite resources; contribute to the continuous overloading of planetary sinks; provide more profits for the industrialists, financiers, and well-connected elite; and, sustain the misguided belief system that all is well for the most part, and human ingenuity and our technological prowess can solve any problem that stands in the way of some utopian future where we all (billions and billions of us) live in  harmony with nature. Transcending the biological and physical constraints of existence upon a finite planet is well within our reach…if only you believe.”

Today’s Contemplation: And Now For Something Completely Different, Part 6

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CII

February 20, 2023

“That’s overshoot in a nutshell: an epic crash in population as our fundamental resources can no longer support our numbers. The writing seems on the wall that human population numbers are likely to fall precipitously from their current and relatively high numbers.

How that unfolds is yet to be determined, but it seems the most likely scenario some time down the road as the resources, especially energy, become more scarce to support our inflated numbers…”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CIII

February 24, 2023

“It’s a right pickle and reminds me of a quote from a Richard Duncan article (an electrical engineer behind the Olduvai Theory of civilisational collapse):

“…according to the Olduvai schematic, world energy production per capita will decrease…[then] there will be a rash of permanent electrical blackouts worldwide. Consequently the vital…functions—communication, computation, and control—will be lost.

…Mother Nature then solves for us the (apparently) insuperable problem of the Tragedy of the Unmanaged Commons, which the human race seems either incapable or unwilling to solve for itself.””

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CIV

March 1, 2023

“One must not question or critique the ‘renewables’ narrative. One must confirm and/or conform to the ‘renewables’ narrative. One is a ‘right wing’, ‘Big Oil’ shill or ‘climate denier’ if a single challenging thought to the ‘renewables’ narrative enters one’s mind or somehow slips into the conversation.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh—Composting

March 4, 2023

“I have chosen the pursuit of local food production as my focus for the foreseeable future. It is a ‘hobby’ I have been ‘cultivating’ for the past decade or so and am venturing into sharing my learnings within my local community and encouraging more widespread adoption of the practice amongst interested neighbours. I have initiated a ‘Food Gardening Guild’ and with 40+ people signed up in the first 48 hours within our smallish community; I am considering it a great start and have learned that a number of them are already pursuing personal food production to a limited extent.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CV

March 6, 2023

“And, I offer no ‘solution’ to any of the above. I have increasingly come to hold that this is all one humungous predicament without a ‘solution’. The best we might hope for is to increase local self-sufficiency of communities and cross our fingers that some might make it through the impending transition that will be the result of complex society collapse compounded by ecological overshoot. On the other hand, all the other species on our planet might be hoping for our extinction given our track record of destructive tendencies…”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CVI

March 9, 2023

If we were wise, as our taxonomic nomenclature suggests, we would be learning (very quickly) how to live without all the complex industrial technologies that currently sustain us. We would be attempting to relocalise as much of our truly important needs as is possible. We would be learning not only how to live without the various complexities (especially technologies) we have become dependent upon but how to: procure potable water; grow our own food; and, draw upon local resources for our shelter needs.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CVII

March 11, 2023

“What sliver of ‘hope’ I have remaining is that  some of humanity (particularly those amongst the privileged minority that have been the largest contributors to our predicament) quickly sees through the fog that is the ‘complex technology will save us’ narrative—let alone their faith in the pursuing the infinite growth chalice—and move swiftly towards acknowledging, accepting, and preparing for what is for all intents and purposes the final endgame of this tragic experiment: the Great Simplification/Long Emergency/Long Descent/Crisis of Civilisation.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CVIII 

March 13, 2023

“The biology, physics, and pre/history spells out pretty clearly where we are in all likelihood headed (obviously no 100% guarantees on what the future holds). And while I understand the desire “to try and make life as liveable for as many as possible for as long as possible”, depending upon what this means and requires, it may end up making things far worse in the end not only for any humans that might make it out the other side of the ecological bottleneck we’ve created for ourselves but for all the other species on our planet. Only time will tell how this latest evolutionary experiment will play out…”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CIX

March 16, 2023

“It’s become fascinating to me to watch the machinations of our society (particularly our ruling caste who overly influences—via their control of mass media—the narratives we are exposed to and that ‘guide’ our thinking and beliefs) to deny/bargain and rationalise away the realities of the physical and biological constraints and consequences of existence upon a finite planet.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CX

March 19, 2023

“And, it’s perhaps also no surprise that the dominant story-telling apes amongst us in our large, complex societies have crafted narratives that the institutions that they control/direct/influence are almighty and powerful; never mind those biogeophysical limits and their nasty consequences over there. Our technology and ingenuity will reign supreme no matter the problem encountered. Criticisms and naysayers be damned!”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CXI

March 22, 2023

“The idea of the widespread adoption and distribution of electric vehicles and non-renewable, renewable energy-harvesting technologies are perfect examples. And as I point out in my latest Contemplation, and you discuss, the bargaining about these consists of denial about: the role fossil fuels play in their production; the mineral limits imposed by existence upon a finite planet; the ecological systems destruction being carried out to produce them.”

Today’s Contemplation: And Now For Something Completely Different, Part 7

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CXII

March 27, 2023

Our Banking System: Government vs. Private Control, Part 1
“But take that veneer of surplus energy away and/or the economic machinations possible through the use of fiat currencies and I believe the ‘true’ nature of our governance would soon come to the foreground. In fact, as our resources encounter increasing diminishing returns and the Ponzi-type structure of our entire financialised economic system becomes more obvious we are beginning to see the actual colours of our governing institutions as the elite increase significantly their activities to legitimise their positions of power and prestige via increased narrative manipulation alongside greater centralised control efforts.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CXIII

March 28, 2023

“The issue I’ve been pondering of late (and writing about) is people’s tendency to appeal to our political systems to alleviate our anxiety and address the issue. But just as the technology ‘solution’ compounds the consequences of overshoot, so too do our political systems that are part and parcel of a ruling caste of any complex society that almost always act in ways to preserve their status and power through the manipulation of narratives that serve to help them legitimise their privileged positions.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CXIV

March 31, 2023

“My ‘hope’ is that in your thinking about the world and our predicaments you reflect upon how we form ideas/opinions and how the less-than-honest, domineering apes amongst us might be leveraging psychological phenomena to maintain their positions of power and influence—particularly by way of narrative management and coercive policies.

Are our economic hardships/fragility truly the result of some evil ‘other’? Do our political systems truly represent the ‘average’ person/family, putting the welfare of the masses at the forefront of decisions/actions?  Can we truly sustain our complexities without harming the planet and its inhabitants?”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CXV

April 3, 2023

“There is so much magical thinking involved in this tale that I am finding it amazing that so many people have accepted it hook, line, and sinker…but, then again, denial of reality to avoid anxiety-provoking thoughts is perhaps the prototypical human behaviour.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CXVI

April 4, 2023

“I too have advocated for the sensible ‘dismantling’ of our various ‘problematic’ complexities such as nuclear power plants and their waste products, biosafety labs and their dangerous pathogens, chemical production and storage facilities and their highly-toxic materials, etc., especially given the quickly diminishing resources available to do this—especially energy.

I am, however, quickly losing any remaining belief that this is remotely achievable given we seem to be doing the exact opposite by chasing the perpetual growth chalice evermore desperately as diminishing returns on our investments in complexity quicken in their Seneca cliff-type way.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CXVII

April 6, 2023

Our Banking System: Government vs. Private Control, Part 2
“Not surprisingly, our ruling elite appear to be leveraging this belief system that ‘clean/green growth’ is the path of choice to ‘save’ us. They are compelling (increasingly by way of legislation) everyone to shift behaviours and consumption towards ‘green’ products and system-wide electrification.

It’s also not surprising that the globe’s ruling caste is forcing this shift upon the world given they own and/or control all the industrial production facilities necessary for the transition. And what better way to pillage further all the national treasuries and ensure massive profits then ‘convincing’ everyone to replace fossil fuel-based technology with ‘green/clean’ products. In fact, there are an increasing number of critics who suggest that the environmental movement has been significantly coopted by the profit-seekers.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CXVIII

April 8, 2023

“I wholeheartedly agree that some of the policies advocated by the Degrowth movement are our best option to help mitigate locally the consequences of the various symptoms of our ecological overshoot predicament. But I’ve come to hold that appealing to our sociopolitical systems to pursue such policies is perhaps, at best, an exercise in ongoing disappointment and frustration sprinkled with ‘hope’ that any moment now our governing elite will ‘see the light’ (especially if just the ‘right’ people are elected); and perhaps, at worst, an opportunity for our ruling elite to exploit further our world and its inhabitants.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CXIX

April 9, 2023

“I continue to maintain that we need to do the ‘right thing’ without our ruling elite. All they are likely to do is leverage public concerns to meet their own self-interests, and mostly in preserving the systems and policies that sustain their power and wealth. This especially means keeping in place the policies that meet this primary goal. Be it continuing to chase the perpetual growth chalice, manipulating the monetary/financial/economic systems to help maintain their revenue streams, and/or engaging in dangerous geopolitical chess games, the elite will simply leverage any public demands towards their own ends.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CXX

April 11, 2023

“To be frank, ‘managed’ degrowth is probably off the table for a variety of reasons, not least of which is the momentum of our current trajectory and a ruling caste of society that will not let go of their pursuit of the perpetual growth chalice that ensures their revenue streams (and, thus, privileged positions atop a complex society’s inherent power and wealth structures).

A discussion that includes the magical thinking of ‘renewables for all’ is one that must be avoided for that way only leads to further ecological destruction—and a guarantee that the very basis of all life on this planet is destroyed beyond repair.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CXXI

April 16, 2023

“Ecological overshoot appears to have arrived and no amount of bargaining with it is likely to change that. We can choose to reduce significantly our drawdown of finite resources, and thereby reduce the ecological destruction we are contributing to, or not. This will not and cannot happen, however, through any kind of concerted efforts to scale up NRREHTs in an attempt to replace fossil fuel use. Better, as some have stated, to decrease our energy use in toto and relocalise as much of our needs as possible. And this is by no means a ‘perfect’ solution as I believe we are past any kind of tipping point where a solution is possible. Ecological overshoot is a predicament and the best that people might ‘hope’ for is some form of mitigation on a local level since we are into the thick of it globally. “

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CXXII

April 17, 2023

“Rather than meet head on the inevitable decline of our energetic conveniences and dependencies, and attempt to relocalise all of our important survival needs and/or decommission the dangerous complexities we’ve constructed, we are doubling down our efforts to sustain/expand these finite resource-based technologies while marketing them as solutions to a predicament we might at best be capable of mitigating marginally in some regions.

The harsh reality of growth limits and ecological overshoot may never be recognised by most for simius amafabulas is eager to believe the stories that end with some as-yet-to-be-hatched miracle technology saving the day and everyone living happily ever after…”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CXXIII

April 19, 2023

“Finally, I will make clear here that I am not in favour of extending or expanding our fossil fuel use, nor do I deny the horrific impacts of their use—accusations that are lobbed at me frequently when I attempt to highlight the negative aspects of NRREHTs; aspects that are almost always ignored/denied/rationalised away by those who fiercely believe they can help to save us from ourselves…

We are trapped, but most have yet to accept this so to reduce the resulting anxiety from such an idea we craft stories to avoid or reduce such thoughts. The notion that NRREHTs can replace one of our most important supportive resources without further destroying our ecological systems is a most comforting one, and one that people will cling to regardless of evidence to the contrary. It is rarely in our nature to peer behind the curtain of such narratives for that way lies uncertainty and humans are hardwired to hate such a feeling. We would rather be certain, even if that certainty rests on shaky ground.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CXXIV

April 21, 2023

“I will continue to argue that we are in the predicament of ecological overshoot due to our leveraging of fossil fuels. There are no solutions to this, only outcomes that may at best be mitigated regionally by relocalising as much of our survival needs as possible. Could NRREHTs serve to aid in this? Sure, for a short period of time, for a small number of people—and if we ignore the ecological destruction it would entail and the furthering of overshoot it would result in; but, hey, I suppose when you’re falling from a plane without a parachute it truly doesn’t matter how far above the ground you are.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CXXV

April 22, 2023

“I have little to add to Schuyler’s response, except to stress that we appear to be in a predicament  of ecological overshoot that has only an outcome, not a possible ‘solution’—something almost everyone wishes to have laid out before them, seemingly to help them in their denial of reality to abolish the stress such an inevitable trajectory brings. This is usually accomplished through a kind of magical thinking that humans stand above and beyond nature, and can thus control it—usually via our technology—and then demand that the dominant, story-telling apes within our sociopolitical systems act to save us…

I’m pretty certain that there is no Plan B possible; in fact, I’m not even sure there was ever a Plan A…except, perhaps, to pursue our reproductive ‘success’ in adapting to our immediate environment of the moment for as long as possible (and this does not imply there is a predetermined evolutionary ‘goal’ involved aside from successful gene duplication).”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CXXVI

April 28, 2023

“It is increasingly apparent that we are aboard the Titanic, shortly after striking the iceberg. And rather than seek out the limited lifeboats, we’ve not just returned to listen to the band play on but insisted that the captain crank up the engines and speed up the ship’s journey. Such a fine example of the typical (and extremely ironic) behaviour of these story-telling apes we have egotistically called the ‘wise’ man.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CXXVII

May 8, 2023

“This doesn’t mean that mitigating actions cannot be pursued but there does seem to be nothing that can be done to maintain modern, industrial civilisation and/or all of its energetic conveniences (i.e., modern, finite resource-dependent technologies). Pre/history has shown again and again that it’s only a matter of time before a complex society that has encountered diminishing returns on the resources that sustain its complexities returns to a far more simple existence. And this time we have the additional predicament of ecological overshoot to complicate our journey into an uncertain future.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CXXVIII

May 10, 2023

Our Banking System: Government vs. Private Control, Part 3
“Two overlapping messages appear to be quite common amongst our ruling elite in recent times (especially and repeatedly shouted by the supportive priesthood of economists, government bureaucrats, the mass media, and certain academics): growth is necessary and only beneficial for society; and, this growth can proceed virtually unhindered if we simply shift from our carbon-intense, fossil-fuel energy base to a broad electrification of everything using ‘green/clean’ energy production.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CXXIX

May 15, 2023

“And, of course, these are the rationalisations of a very small minority of people that are actually aware of these issues. The vast, vast majority of our world is completely ignorant of them for they are simply dealing with the typical daily struggles of existence within our complex societies and have no time nor inclination to worry about such existential concerns; or, as James Howard Kunstler wrote in The Long Emergency: ‘These facts are poorly understood by the global population preoccupied with the thrum of daily life, but tragically, too, by the educated classes [everywhere], who continue to be by far the greatest squanderers of fossil fuels.’”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CXXX

May 20, 2023

“The increasing decline and eventual loss of surplus net energy is going to have tremendous implications for our complex societies. We will witness all sorts of attempts to counter the obvious diminishing returns on our investments that have for some time been supporting our complexities. The control/manipulation of sociocultural stories is one important avenue (which is why we are witnessing a dramatic burgeoning of a ‘censorship industrial complex’ by the elite), but so too is coercion and I suspect to see much more of this latter approach (mostly via legislation and forced conformity) as things go increasingly sideways.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CXXXI

May 22, 2023

“I am also convinced that as we run up against the diminishing returns inherent in resource extraction/use (especially energy, the fundamental resource supporting all these complexities) we will (and are) witnessing a tightening-of-the-screws by the elite since they can no longer rely almost exclusively upon narrative control (their preferred method as it tends to be more efficient and economical, and prevents social unrest) but must increase their use of coercion (mostly via legislation) to keep the masses in ignorance and feeding their insatiable desires for power and wealth.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CXXXII

May 24, 2023

“From optimistic ‘technocornucopians’ to pessimistic ‘doomers’ there lay a plethora of compelling narratives to soothe every beastly reader’s personal biases…and the more I read and learn, the more I am leaning towards the end of the spectrum that paints a far less complex future with significant simplifications and far, far fewer humans around. And whether one views this as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ very much depends upon the interpretive lens one wears.”

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CXXXIII

May 29, 2023

“The evidence appears overwhelming that placing ‘hope’ in the idea that the-powers-that-be will move society in a direction of sustainability is significantly misplaced and, unfortunately, opens the door to their leveraging of it to meet their own goals—not those of the larger part of humanity, let alone all the other species on this planet.

Those interested in ‘doing the right thing’ may be much further ahead coordinating like-minded, local community members to pursue self-sufficiency/-resiliency activities—such as sustainable, local food production that considers the environmental impacts of such a pursuit and aims to increase biodiversity and minimise the negative consequences of human existence upon the planet.”




Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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