Abrupt Climate Change and Extinction ‘Jenga’. The very last ‘game’ on Earth.

Since the dawn of Industrial Civilisation we have been involved in a giant game of Jenga and the pieces to the puzzle are our fellow earthlings. One by one we have been removing them from the intricate fabric of the biosphere and now as collapse is unfolding most sapiens fein surprise and shock. We cannot continue to condemn to extinction 150 to 200 species every day without eventually facing the consequences. That time is now, the piper is calling. Death by a thousand cuts to the biosphere is just that, extinction now beckons.
Everyone who has played ‘Jenga’ will know that as each piece is removed, the entire edifice becomes more and more unstable until Collapse unfolds.
Anyone paying any attention to the climate/ extinction crises can see how unstable the biosphere has already become, so much for 2C being safe.  ,yet so few are courageous enough to face the severity of the multiple crises that are now unfolding in a non-linear trajectory.This denial of the now obvious leaves us totally unprepared for the imminent collapse, the outcome of every ‘game of Jenga’.
“One of the greatest shortcomings of the human race is it’s inability to comprehend the exponential function” A quote from the late, great Albert Bartlett;

Two scientists that I have previously interviewed on my radio show Nature Bats Last who are courageous enough to face the perfect storm are Professors Guy McPherson a personal friend of mine and Paul Ehrlich


Jenga image courtesy of Ken Avidor, a link to Ken’s great work is embedded here;

I refuse to be the last generation of elder to lie to the last generation of youth. They have been robbed of a future, at the very least they deserve the truth.

At the 13 minute mark in the following embedded link from “Collapse Chronicles“, Judy and Dan Dourson talk about the Collapse of the Southern Appalachian Forests and Judy mentions the analogy of Jenga. Those forests are dying today and yesterday, not long off in the future. Factor in the 10 to 30 year lag between emissions and when their full consequences are felt and any clear headed analyst will understand that the situation is much more dire than has manifest to date with a shit load of warming and chaos already baked in. Governments and the large NGO’s talking about their emissions scenarios for 2030 and beyond are delusional.
Unfolding in parallel to the climate crisis is the collapse of the insect populations on this planet, without insects we cease to exist;
“This point was underlined last week when tweets from the naturalist and TV presenter Chris Packham went viral after he commented on the absence of insects during a weekend at his home in the New Forest. Packham said he had not seen a single butterfly in his garden, and added that he sleeps with his windows open but rarely finds craneflies or moths in his room in the morning. By contrast, they were commonplace when he was a boy.” “Our generation is presiding over an ecological apocalypse and we’ve somehow or other normalised it,” he later said.

Everything we know, love and need for our own survival is going away.
Soon the living will envy the dead.
I am often attacked for speaking about the ongoing 6th great extinction but for me it is a means of; 1) Managing my grief and 2) It is a mea-culpa to all of the species either driven to extinction or on the brink of it. At the very least we need to take ownership of the crimes we have committed every time we turn on a light or drive to the liquor shop (Guilty as charged).

Make the most of every day, time is infinitely shorter than most comprehend. Be nice to each other, only love remains.

“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”. The Greatest Danger by Joanna Macy

I'm an anti-imperialist, environmental activist and blue ocean sailor, who is passionate about the earth and all it's inhabitants without favour. Brace for imminent impact as we bare witness to the non-linear unraveling of the biosphere and habitability disappearing for most if not all complex life on the only habitable planet we know of. To quote President Niinistö in North Russia: ‘If We Lose the Arctic, We Lose the World’. Folks we have lost the Arctic.

Posted in Abrupt Climate Change, Collapse, Near Term Human Extinction--NTHE
31 comments on “Abrupt Climate Change and Extinction ‘Jenga’. The very last ‘game’ on Earth.
  1. Truly sad how us humans treat the world. Another good analogy I tend to think of is this. You have the host (earth) and the virus (humans). Two ways it could go. The host kills the virus, virus dies. Virus kills the host, virus dies. In both scenarios the virus dies. To me it seems we are killing our host, and soon we will all die.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Eric Rothdeutsch says:

    Thank you for being a truth teller Kevin. I’m curious, you’ve mentioned you collect rainwater on Rakino, do you further purify it? I’m thinking of doing the same but don’t trust the chemical soup in it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kevin Hester says:

    Dahr’s latest round up will be chilling reading for anyone who is conversant with the exponential function. A doubling time of 10 years is simply catastrophic and it only applies to dead zones doubling every 10 years.
    To quote Al Bartlett, “One of the greatest shortcomings of the human species is its inability to understand the exponential function.”
    All our graphs are showing the hockey-stick trajectory, so are ocean dead zones.
    We are rapidly losing the terrestrial pollinators and flying insects and our oceans are dying now, not long off in the future.
    The most diabolical game of ‘Jenga’ in history continues accelerating daily.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. 2018 – 45+ Positive Global And Individual Tipping Points, Reason For Hope, A Vision For A Bright Future For Humanity

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dean Walker says:

    Hey Kevin,

    This is a great blog post, thank you.

    I especially liked the Joanna Macy piece.

    I am curious if you know that this is actually a perfect fit for the work that Carolyn Baker and I are doing…

    offering people safe environments in which to grapple with our shared predicaments… and, expanding our capacity to generate resilience in the midst of large scale stressors.

    If you are willing… could I visit you on NBL?

    I’d love to talk about the state of the art at the moment, of the Resilience Movement and the Trauma-Awareness movement… as about the only large scale tools that are being offered to agencies and to the public.

    spoiler alert… the offerings to the public are entirely at the level of Business as Usual and typical disaster relief… but in my judgment, there are aspects of the Trauma work that, when combined with some basic skills at discerning individual and collective Shadow dynamics… it can be a strong tool.

    anyway… I’d love to chat with you, if you are willing.

    all the best.


    Dean Spillane – Walker The Impossible Conversation Living Resilience Alliance 541.499.2768 cell phone safecircle@gmail.com

    Stay together, friends. Don’t scatter and sleep. Our friendship is made of being awake. *Rumi



  6. Kevin Hester says:

    Disregard the religion and digest the numbers and get a sense of the unfolding armageddon.


  7. Kevin Hester says:

    I’ve just discovered this blog post from 2013 Someone beat me too it;
    “We can’t identify 99 percent of the species that have gone extinct so trying to keep everything we do know about from going extinct is tilting at nature’s windmill.”

    “But if we played Noah and had a giant ark and wanted to engage in ecological Jenga (build a tower, then remove blocks without causing the tower to collapse), which species should we save first to prevent a collapse in ecological function?”



  8. Kevin Hester says:

    In 1989 the UN said we had a 10 yr window of opportunity to avoid dangerous climate change and they failed to act.
    I suspect the reason was they found it was already too late even then.


  9. Kevin Hester says:

    “Some of the negative responses we found were quite concerning, including more than 100 cases of dramatic population declines and 31 cases of local population extinction following an extreme event.”
    That’s cruical. Sub-species and genitic diversity can be lost with regional extinctions.
    Another piece removed from the jenga matrix.


  10. Kevin Hester says:

    We relentlessly continue,pedal to the metal with the biggest game of jenga in history, seemingly oblivious to the fact that extinction is forever.
    Every time we lose a branch of evolution it is gone forever. These species form a tapestry that we are unraveling.
    The ongoing insanity is amazing to me.


  11. Kevin Hester says:

    At the 53 minute mark Dr Smith mentions “Jenga”.


  12. mtrexler says:

    Kevin, just today did I come across a reference to Jenga in the context of climate change. I’ve pulled together some of the best resources on Jenga and climate change I could find here in the Climate Web. https://bra.in/6jrdJ5


  13. […] action.” “Just in Time”, this is how this culture teeters like the proverbial Jenga Stack.Read and watch the Orwellian neo-liberal double speak embedded below. In one foul swoop we are now […]


  14. Kevin Hester says:

    I started down the rabbit hole of collapse with my interest in the Mayan civilisation. I climbed the pictured monument in Tikal in 1985. Our Jenga stack is shaking more every day.
    Why Complex Systems Collapse Faster https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/science/articles/why-complex-systems-collapse-faster?fbclid=IwAR2MSyNa-uaHLEMvxTKHIHQeOREKVk_3w836ixgt-1SwDSMUnpitqqFJsKI


  15. sealintheselkirks says:

    Getting a little abrupt for Southern California I would say. Here for the first time is…let your water-sucking non-native plant species die off (and ALL THAT FUCKING USELESS GRASS!).

    ‘Unprecedented’ Water Restrictions Ordered in Drought-Ravaged California

    “We don’t have enough water supplies right now to meet normal demand,” warns one state official. “The water is not there.”


    Getting a bit sticky down there, what? No, change that to a bit dusty instead!


    Liked by 1 person

  16. Kevin Hester says:

    “Like playing Jenga, we know that the tower will eventually fall over, but we can’t say with certainty if it’s going to be when we pull this particular block, or the next. We can’t predict the direction. We can’t predict who is going to win.”

    View at Medium.com


  17. […] we watch the US banking system totter and begin to collapse, like the proverbial Jenga stack, we need to consider the implications this has for the global financial system and its supply […]


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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.

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