It’s the End of the World as We Know It

In most Western cultures there is a tradition of saying “Happy New Year” as one year draws to a close and another beckons. As we stumble relentlessly into another anthropogenically warmed January, in a time of abrupt climate change, there will never be another “Happy New Year” for the biosphere or any of the awake sapiens or other earthlings.
“One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds.” Aldo Leopold.
“Because of social taboos, despair at the state of our world and fear for our future are rarely acknowledged. The suppression of despair, like that of any deep recurring response, contributes to the numbing of the psyche. Expressions of anguish or outrage are muted, deadened as if a nerve had been cut. This refusal to feel impoverishes our emotional and sensory life. Flowers are dimmer and less fragrant, our loves less ecstatic. We create diversions for ourselves as individuals and as nations, in the fights we pick, the aims we pursue, and the stuff we buy.” The Greatest Danger; Joanna Macy
Anyone paying attention can see that both the biosphere and the global economy are teetering on the brink as the early stages of collapse are unfolding. Many of us nursing our ecological wounds wouldn’t normally lament the collapse of industrial civilisation but understanding the implications of the loss of “Global Dimming” and the attendant 1 to 1.5C temperature spike from masked warming and then the melt down of the worlds 450 nuclear power stations and their 1300 spent fuel pool fires makes the prospect of the collapse of the capitalist cancer that is killing the living planet a terminal sentence for the biosphere. We’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t. Soon the living will envy the dead.
On December 28th on this blog I published an article titled “This Civilisation is Finished. Rupert Reid, Paul Ehrlich and Jem Bendell. 

Embedded are You Tube presentations from Rupert Reid and Paul Ehrlich and Jem Bendell’s seminal paper all predicting that relatively soon we will see the collapse of industrial civilisation. Paul Ehrlich’s interview in The Guardian begins “shattering collapse of civilisation is a “near certainty” in the next few decades due to humanity’s continuing destruction of the natural world that sustains all life on Earth, according to biologist Prof Paul Ehrlich.”
I believe Paul Ehrlich, who I interviewed previously on my and Professor Guy McPhersons radio show Nature Bats Last is being overly cautious after being heavily attacked over some of his predictions in his 1968 book “The Population Bomb”not coming to pass.
What Paul and Anne Ehrlich couldn’t have known in 1968 was the ‘Green Revolution’ fueled by our crack like addiction to fossil fuels would allow the already balooning of the human population to escalate dramatically. This aspect of overshoot has compromised the natural world enormously.
In his seminal book “The Collapse of Complex Societies” Joseph Tainter points out that the more complex a society becomes the more vulnerable to collapse it is. There has never been a civilisation in history remotely as complex as this one. There in lies the mortal danger we face as the lunatics juggling the global economy create ever more debt out of no where and continue to juggle ‘Chickens and Chainsaws’

In 2008 the global economy teetered on the brink of collapse due to unsupportable mountains of debt, Lehman Brothers bank collapsed and threatened to bring down the entire global economic system and the ‘solution’ the gangsters came up with was more debt. The global economy has all the hall marks of a classic ponzi scheme.
Desperate times call for desperate people to literally try anything to avoid the worst scenarios unfolding. When faced with the economic collapse of an empire one of the ‘go to’ options is war.

António Guterres, the United Nations secretary general, told global leaders this week that “The world has less than two years to avoid “runaway climate change.” WTF does anyone think can or will be done in 2019 to avoid runaway climate change when we are already in it? I note that the UN said in 1989 that we had 10 years to avoid dangerous climate change. How can we have 1 year left 30 years after having only 10?
We are being lied to at the edge of extinction, why would we be surprised?
Right on Christmas 2018 the US “Plunge Protection Team” was mobilised to discuss financial markets amid a rout on Wall Street. What can we expect them to come up with between canapes, champagne, cocaine and hookers and in Donald Trumps case cheeseburgers?

All we can be certain about is that we teeter on the brink of a collapse that can and will mark the extinction of most if not all complex life on this fragile planet.
I was in Berlin one week before the Berlin Wall came down which triggered the collapse of the East German state and shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union. There was not one hint of the coming collapse on the streets of East or West Berlin yet a week later the game was effectively over for the Eastern Block of nations. This collapse being much wider spread will be infinitely faster and terminal, not just for nation states but for the entire biosphere.
Wishing you all the best for the coming new year with some gallows humour from the brilliant Katie Goodman and her sisters;


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Posted in Abrupt Climate Change, Collapse, Jem Bendell, Near Term Human Extinction--NTHE, Professor Guy McPherson, Professor Paul Ehrlich

This Civilisation is Finished. Rupert Reid, Paul Ehrlich and Jem Bendell.

“A research paper concluding that climate-induced collapse is now inevitable, was recently rejected by anonymous reviewers of an academic journal.”

“It has been released directly by the Professor who wrote it, to promote discussion of the necessary deep adaptation to climate chaos.”

“I am releasing this paper immediately, directly, because I can’t wait any longer in exploring how to learn the implications of the social collapse we now face,” explained the author Dr Bendell, a full Professor of Sustainability Leadership.
One piece of feedback from the 2nd reviewer is worth quoting verbatim:”

“The authors stress repeatedly that “climate-induced societal collapse is now inevitable” as if that was a factual statement… I was left wondering about the social implications of presenting a scenario for the future as inevitable reality, and about the responsibility of research in communicating climate change scenarios and strategies for adaptation. As the authors pointed out, denial is a common emotional response to situations that are perceived as threatening and inescapable, leading to a sense of helplessness, inadequacy, and hopelessness and ultimately disengagement from the issue…” The full article is embedded below;
The Study on Collapse they thought you should not read;

In the presentation below Rupert Reid talks about the meltdown of the worlds nuclear power plants and their attendant spent fuel pool fires after industrial civilisation has collapsed;

“A shattering collapse of civilisation is a “near certainty” in the next few decades due to humanity’s continuing destruction of the natural world that sustains all life on Earth, according to biologist Prof Paul Ehrlich.” I believe that Paul Ehrlich is being over cautious with his timeline due to his being proven wrong  on some of his predictions in his and Anne Ehrlich’s seminal book “The Population Bomb”. Paul was a former guest on Nature Bats Last, the show is embedded here;
aul Ehrlich: ‘Collapse of civilisation is a near certainty within decades’


The 7.6 billion sapien question is how quickly can industrial civilisation collapse and the answer is almost over night.
Check out Joseph Tainter’s work on the Collapse of Complex Societies.

A little discussed aspect of the collapse of industrial civilisation is the loss of ‘Global Dimming’ or ‘The Aerosol Masking Effect’ as it is referred to in the referee journal literature. When Ind.Civ collapses we loose the masking effect of our pollution and within about 6 weeks of collapse we will see the particulates fall from the sky and the 1.2C to 1.4C of masked warming manifest in the climate system.
We covered this terminal reality previously on this blog here; Global Dimming Keeping the Planet Habitable

Professor Guy McPherson and I will continue chronicling the unraveling of the biosphere  and collapse on our radio show Nature Bats Last on PRN.FM

“How do we live with the fact that we are destroying our world? What do we make of the loss of glaciers, the melting Arctic, island nations swamped by the sea, widening deserts, and drying farmlands?”

“Because of social taboos, despair at the state of our world and fear for our future are rarely acknowledged. The suppression of despair, like that of any deep recurring response, contributes to the numbing of the psyche. Expressions of anguish or outrage are muted, deadened as if a nerve had been cut. This refusal to feel impoverishes our emotional and sensory life. Flowers are dimmer and less fragrant, our loves less ecstatic. We create diversions for ourselves as individuals and as nations, in the fights we pick, the aims we pursue, and the stuff we buy.” From the essay “The Greatest Danger” by Joanna Macey


Posted in Collapse, Jem Bendell, Professor Paul Ehrlich, Ruppert Reid

McPherson and Hester stepping in for Ralph Nader !

Wonders will never cease. Today Professor Guy McPherson and I were asked by Gary Null the owner and host of his own show on The Progressive Radio Network to fill the shoes of Ralph Nader who was scheduled to be his guest on Gary’s show but had to cancel.

The episode is embedded here;

Gary brought up the issue of China charging ahead at full speed and I quoted details from my blog post Buckle Up and Cut the Crap, we’re on the ‘Belt Road’ to Armageddon.
“The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) simply blows out of the water anything else that’s been attempted in human history.”
“As currently planned, it will involve some 7,000 separate infrastructure or extractive industry projects scattered across 70-odd nations, with a total price-tag of $8 trillion. It’ll span half the planet — from Asia to Africa, Europe and the South Pacific. It’ll affect every facet of human endeavor, in one way or another.”

Additionally I discussed the link between the collapse of the monetary system leading to the collapse of industrial civilisation and the loss of “Global Dimming” or the aerosol masking effect. That essay is embedded here; All species go extinct, all civilisations collapse, all bubbles burst. There is no Planet B”

EDITORIAL | Nuclear Power Plants are Civilizations “Poison Pills” Against Disruption of Society


Posted in Climate Science, Gary Null, Professor Guy McPherson

All species go extinct, all civilisations collapse, all bubbles burst. There is no “Planet B”.

A speculative essay on how the collapse of the global economy and banking system could and probably will trigger the extinction of most if not all complex life on our planet.

All previous advanced civilisations on this planet have collapsed and disappeared leaving behind religous relics, art, weaponry, advanced engineering ruins and ecological armageddon. Common themes were financial, population and resource overshoot, regional climate change, debauchery and societal neglect from the ruling classes, the debasement of the currency of the day and complexity. Ring any bells yet?

Capitalism has created a mountain of global debt that can not and will not be repaid. “Global debt mountain officially climbs to record $237 trillion in 2017”. It will no doubt be much more considering the regulatory capture and inherent dishonesty. Ask yourself, will they be understating or overstating their levels of debt?
All ponzi schemes eventually implode and when this one does it will be like no other.

The ‘Bail out’ options of the capitalist banksters in 2008 was to cut interest rates to either close to or at zero and in some cases they were even in negative territory, money was effectively free to the banksters. Instead of injecting the money into infrastructure and structural reforms as was planned, the banksters bought their own shares and reinflated the bubble. Slowly interest rates are now creeping up as are the repayments on the spiraling debt. When the Global Financial Crisis struck we were hours away from a systemic collapse of the global financial system. Not only were the structural flaws and debts not addressed in 2008 and subsequent years the ‘solution’ was more debt. Subsequently the situation is infinitely worse today than it was in 2008.
I want to canvass in this essay just a few of the potential repercussions, as always the situation must be worse than we know. Your informed contributions to the debate are welcomed in the comments section.

When systemic collapse of the financial system unfolds the vast majority of workers will stay home from their usual toil until they know what is planned by their capitalist slave owners. With no salaries paid on the first, second, third and subsequent days people world wide will be initally thrown into fear for where their next meal will come from and panic will quickly over take societies world wide. You can’t buy groceries without a functioning banking and electricial system.
Of immediate concern will be the abrupt cessation of the flow of water from the municipal taps, electricity from the grid and the halting of trucks driving into cities loaded with food, fuel and medicines. With no ability to invoice and process sales there will be no deliveries. How long before nuclear plant workers, firestation staff, doctors, nurses and police don’t show up at work? Days at most.
Suddenly we will have mega cities, many in desert or tropical zones with the water, power and gas no longer flowing and temperatures, both atmospheric and societal rising rapidly.

Airports and Sea ports world wide will close for a multitude of reasons including those above as will most industry and we will immediately lose the ‘Global Dimming’ or Aerosol Masking effect covered previously on this blog ; Global Dimming Keeping the Planet Habitable

The loss of the aerosol masking effect will double the total of anthropogenic warming in as little as 6 weeks. 300 years of anthropogenic global warming doubling in weeks, imagine how the flora, jet streams and Arctic and Antarctic ice caps will react to that.

“A research paper concluding that climate-induced collapse is now inevitable, was recently rejected by anonymous reviewers of an academic journal.It has been released directly by the Professor who wrote it, to promote discussion of the necessary deep adaptation to climate chaos.”
“I am releasing this paper immediately, directly, because I can’t wait any longer in exploring how to learn the implications of the social collapse we now face,” explained the author Dr Bendell, a full Professor of Sustainability Leadership.  The study on collapse they thought you should not read – yet

“The excavation of more than 600 billion tons of toxic carbon and hydrocarbon geological remains of previous biospheres and their transfer to the atmosphere as carbon gases constitutes nothing less than insanity leading to global suicide.” Crimes Against the Earth by Dr Andrew Glikson, a previous guest on Nature Bats Last.

The collapse of industrial civilisation is now an extinction event for most if not all complex life on the planet and collapse is imminent. Connecting the dots on these issues is imperative to understand how tenuous our position has become and how quickly it can and will unravel.
No doubt readers of this blog have been watching the IPCC talkathon in Poland where the puppets of empire have been twittering and tweeting about holding global warming to a 1.5C temperature rise. I’ll draw your attention to this blog post from Sam Carana of the Arctic News Blog;
“In other words, merely changing the baseline to preindustrial, as agreed to at the Paris Agreement, can show that we’re already above the 1.5°C guardrail that the Paris Agreement had pledged we should not cross.” More details at “How Much Warmer Is It Now”.
My blog post on Baseline Temperature Dishonesty at the Edge of Extinction
I will continue connecting the dots as I see them at this blog and on my and Professor Guy McPherson‘s radio show Nature Bats Last on the Progressive Radio Network.

Good luck everyone, we are going to need it. Soon the living will envy the dead

Carl Sagan Extinction is the rule.


Posted in Abrupt Climate Change, Collapse, Dr Andrew Glikson, Near Term Human Extinction--NTHE

Nature Bats Last with Roger Hallam from “Extinction Rebellion”

In the December episode of Nature Bats Last Professor Guy McPherson and Kevin Hester interview Roger Hallam from the Extinction Rebellion movement.
“We are joined today by Roger Hallam from Wales, who has been an organic farmer for the last two decades. He’s been an activist since his early teens some three-and-a-half decades ago. For the last four years, he has been conducting researcher as a Ph.D. candidate at King’s College in London, England. As an indication of his commitment to activism, Roger has been arrested ten times in the last year, he has conducted two hunger strikes, and he received a jail sentence for nonviolent direct actions.” Please bare with the minor audio glitches at the beginning of the show, the two hosts and guest were in three different countries!

Clicke here for Nature Bats Last Episode 122 

Robin Westenra’s extensive blog can be found here;  

The recent Darh Jamail article I mentioned is embedded here; In the Face of Extinction, We Have a Moral Obligation

Additional evidence; Co-extinctions annihilate planetary life during extreme environmental change

The BBC documentary on Global Dimming is a must watch to understand the severity of the crises we face.

Good luck everyone, soon the living will envy the dead.
Extinction Rebellion Image


Posted in Abrupt Climate Change, Dahr Jamail, Extinction Rebellion

The Canary is Dead Part 4

Anson Nash and Kevin Hester continue their extinction dialogues discussing strategies for managing grief and doing meaningful work at the edge of extinction, including installing Penguin breeding nests on Rakino Island .

“Researching and writing about the impacts of runaway climate change, as I’ve been doing now for too many years, I’ve watched several patterns recur.”
“One of these is evident in a recent warning from the UN. Biodiversity chief of the UN Cristiana Pașca Palmer warned that if governments around the globe don’t work to bring a halt to the loss of biodiversity and succeed in implementing a plan to do so within two years, humans could face our own extinction.”
What on earth does anyone expect these opportunists to achieve in two years when in reality the situation deteriorates by the hour?
Dahr Jamail’s latest article which we discussed is embedded here; In the Face of Extinction, We Have a Moral Obligation.

Dahr will be publishing his latest book “The End of Ice” on January 15th 2019.
In July next year he will be coming to Australia and Aotearoa NZ on a book launch tour.
I’ll be co-ordinating the NZ leg with speaking engagements already planned at Mangarara Eco Lodge and I’ll be looking for venues and organisers in Wellington, Auckland and on the mainland, please contact me if you wish to be involved in any capacity.  I will be interviewing Dahr Jamail on Nature Bats Last on The Progressive Radio Network on February 6th just after the book has been launched.
The show and the previous 121 episodes can be found in the NBL archives at PRN.FM 

The issue of a nuclear winter being used to cool the overheating planet was discussed and has been covered previously on this blog here; The Inevitability of Nuclear War and Subsequent Nuclear Winter
The End of Ice

Posted in Abrupt Climate Change, Dahr Jamail, Extinction Rebellion, Near Term Human Extinction--NTHE

Militarism’s Role in the Sixth and Possibly Last ‘Great’ Extinction

U.S. Military World’s Largest Polluter – Hundreds Of Bases Gravely Contaminated
Producing more hazardous waste than the five largest U.S. chemical companies combined, the U.S. Department of Defense has left its toxic legacy throughout the world in the form of depleted uranium, oil, jet fuel, pesticides, defoliants like Agent Orange and lead, among other pollutants.”

“One of the most recent testaments to the U.S. military’s horrendous environmental record is Iraq.”
“U.S. military action there has resulted in the desertification of 90 percent of Iraqi territory, crippling the country’s agricultural industry and forcing it to import more than 80 percent of its food. The U.S.’ use of depleted uranium in Iraq during the Gulf War also caused a massive environmental burden for Iraqis. In addition, the U.S. military’s policy of using open-air burn pits to dispose of waste from the 2003 invasion has caused a surge in cancer among U.S. servicemen and Iraqi civilians alike.”

“The 20,000 tons of “stressors” mentioned in the EIS do not account for the additional 4.7 to 14 tons of “metals with potential toxicity” that the Navy plans to release annually, from now on, into inland waters along the Puget Sound in Washington state.”

“In response to concerns about these plans, a Navy spokeswoman said that heavy metals and even depleted uranium are no more dangerous than any other metal, a statement that represents a clear rejection of scientific fact. It seems that the very U.S. military operations meant to “keep Americans safe” come at a higher cost than most people realize – a cost that will be felt for generations to come both within the United States and abroad.” This story is continued at U.S. Military Worlds Largest Polluter

“Internal documents obtained by the Japan Times offer evidence that the contamination of local drinking water sources near a massive U.S. airbase in Japan is the result of years of repeated mishaps and “lax safety standards” by U.S. military forces.”

“The reports, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, “expose a spate of accidents at the [Kadena Air Base in Okinawa] during the past 15 years that have involved at least 21,000 liters of fire extinguishing agents—some of them toxic.”

“The reporting cites several such instances, including a three-day period in 2001 when 17,000 liters of fire extinguishing agents were released and “attributed by base officials to mechanical and electronic malfunctions.”

“It also cites an incident in 2015 when “a drunk U.S. Marine activated a firefighting system. It filled a hangar with more than 1,500 liters of JET-X 2.75 percent—a foam classified by the U.S. government as hazardous. It contains chemicals known to cause cancer, and neurological and reproductive disorders.” That foam made its way to local waterways, but the base did not notify Japanese authorities.”

“The U.S. Pacific Air Forces issued a statement in January that—despite the detection of toxic substance in the drinking water sources— the water was safe because it is adequately treated before consumer use.”   New Docs Link Polluted Drinking Water Supply to Massive US Military Base

“Official Iraqi government statistics show that, prior to the outbreak of the First Gulf War in 1991, the rate of cancer cases in Iraq was 40 out of 100,000 people. By 1995, it had increased to 800 out of 100,000 people, and, by 2005, it had doubled to at least 1,600 out of 100,000 people. Current estimates show the increasing trend continuing.”
A forty fold increase in just 14 years in just the human species. This ecological and genetic destruction will also be cascading through the non-human species as well.

Two US-led wars in Iraq have left behind hundreds of tonnes of depleted uranium munitions and other toxic wastes. by

A constant disconnect I have witnessed in 40 years of activism is the failure to link ecological activism and anti-war activism. Every war is a war on the biosphere and all it’s inhabitants. It’s not particularly complex, it’s the Military Industrial Complex;
Military Industrial Complex

WAIHOPAI SPYBASE PROTEST    Aotearoa New Zealand                                  

    January 25-27, 2019

“In light of the disastrous Trump Presidency – why is New Zealand still an active and willing part of the US Empire? The US intelligence and nuclear war machine controls the NZ Government Communications Security Bureau. The GCSB is now legally allowed to systematically spy on New Zealanders; as well as routinely spying on any number of other countries, on behalf of the US National Security Agency (NSA). And the NSA spies on everyone. More pressure must be put on the Government to end the anti-democratic and destructive activities of this NZ spy agency.” Anti-Bases Campaign

On the December 2018 episode of Nature Bats Last, myself and Professor Guy McPherson will interview Roger Hallam from the Extinction Rebellion movement where I intend to address this disconnect. The show will be uploaded to the archive with the previous 121 shows which are embedded at the following link; Nature Bats Last on The Progressive Radio Network.

“The WFP has warned that Yemen is on the brink of a full-blown famine, with 18 million of its 29 million population food insecure, 8.4 million severely so.”
The war on Yemen is being conducted by the monsters in the House of Saud who  recently murdered and dismembered Jamal Kassahoggi, a former journalist with the Washington Post.”A campaign to remove Saudi Arabia from the UN Human Rights Council has been launched by a group of British lawyers, who argue the desert kingdom’s membership of the body is “contradictory and ironic”.Saudi Arabia should be dropped from UN Human Rights Council, say British lawyers

Soon the living will envy the dead, the time we have left is infinitely less than most realise or are prepared to accept.
“At the edge of extinction, only love remains”.

I’ll leave the last word to the late great Bob Marley who I had the honour of seeing play in Aotearoa N.Z. in 1979. Almost no one listened to the message Bob, sorry.

Posted in Abrupt Climate Change, Activism, Dahr Jamail, Extinction Rebellion, Military
Kevin Hester

Kevin Hester is currently living on Rakino Island, a small island in the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland, New Zealand, monitoring the unravelling of the biosphere and volunteering at the Rakino Island Nursery is currently developing a proposal to create a marine reserve near by. The Island has no grid tied electricity or reticulated water.  I catch my own water from the roof and generate my electricity from the ample solar radiation on the island.

My Submission to the Ministry of the Environment
Kevin Hester, Dropping Anchor in an Exponential World
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