We’re just one ‘Black Swan Event’ away from Collapse and a Total Loss of Habitat.

If your paying any attention at all, you will know that we have already entered dangerous,  irreversible, non-linear climate change. There is a  10 to 30 year lag between when emissions are dumped into the atmosphere and when their full effects manifest. That means there is a huge amount of warming and consequences already baked in that have yet to be seen or felt, with emissions accelerating every year at a non-linear rate of increase, with the dreaded but much ignored “Feedback Loops” about to take centre stage.
Lets debate what that means for us and our loved ones, irrespective of which ever species of earthling your loved one’s are.
My role and that of my co-host on Nature Bats Last on The Progressive Radio Network is to connect the dots on the great unraveling we are witnessing.

As we all watch the Corona Virus spreading like wild fire around China and daily the planet, we are forced to confront the reality that our complex societies are extremely vulnerable to the whims of the next so called “Black Swan Event” that could tip industrial civilisation over completely or into the worst economic depression of modern times. This could literally happen over night. Imagine what stressors the global Insurance Industry is already under?

Let’s factor in the Aerosol Masking Effect;
Either a ‘Great Depression’ or partial-collapse of industrial civilisation will reduce the aerosol masking effect which will  trigger (not maybe or could), the crossing of yet another, irreversible climate tipping point.
Had the worlds international, commercial airliner fleet been grounded at the outset of this pandemic we could well have been tipped into the abyss due to the loss of the aerosol masking effect or ‘Global Dimming’.
Bare that in mind when the next threat looms or this virus mutates.

“As pointed out by the lead author of the paper in Science on 22 January 2019: “Global efforts to improve air quality by developing cleaner fuels and burning less coal could end up harming our planet by reducing the number of aerosols in the atmosphere, and by doing so, diminishing aerosols’ cooling ability to offset global warming.” The cooling effect is “nearly twice what scientists previously thought,” and this 2019 paper cites the conclusion by Levy et al. (2013) indicating as little as 35% reduction in industrial activity drives a 1 C global-average rise in temperature.”

According to an overview published by European Strategy and Policy Analysis System in April 2019: “An increase of 1.5 degrees is the maximum the planet can tolerate; should temperatures increase further … we will face even more droughts, floods, extreme heat and poverty … and at worst, the extinction of humankind altogether.” Using 1750 as a baseline we are already past 1.5C; How much warmer is it now?

All of the above quoted peer reviewed data can be found in this article recently published on Counter Punch titled “Extinction Foretold, Extinction Ignored”.

Now to address the economic consequences of this unfolding pandemic;
“Factories all over China have been shut down, global supply chains have been hit by an unprecedented shock, the Baltic Dry Index is absolutely collapsing, the tourism industry is being absolutely devastated, and companies all over the globe are warning that sales will be lower than anticipated this quarter.  This coronavirus outbreak is already taking a very serious toll on the global economy, and experts are warning that we could still be in the very early chapters of this crisis.  If this outbreak ultimately evolves into a horrifying worldwide pandemic that kills millions of people, what will the global economy look like a few months from now?”This Coronavirus Outbreak Is Really Starting To Take A Very Serious Toll On The Global Economy.

I’d like to draw your attention to a series of You Tube presentations and analysis done on the Corona Virus by Chris Martenson of Peak Prosperity. Chris has dedicated a lot of time and analysis to the outbreak. Below is one of a series;

The central point of this blog post is that we are now a day to day, week to week, month to month proposition. This virus may or may not be the one that takes down industrial civilisation or the biosphere but we can be sure that there are flocks of ‘Black Swans’ lurking in our already murky future.
Professor McPherson and I have been branded ‘Alarmists’ by the corporate media and their sycophantic, well paid, corporate scientists whose tenure, status, personal renumeration and research grants all involve kowtowing to the dominant culture. It’s impossible to get funding for a 10 year research project if we don’t have 10 years.

Fundamental to my analysis is following “The Precautionary Principle”.
“The precautionary principle enables decision-makers to adopt precautionary measures when scientific evidence about an environmental or human health hazard is uncertain and the stakes are high.” The precautionary principle: Definitions, applications and governance

I didn’t learn about the ‘Precautionary Principle’ at university. I learned it on 16 ocean passages on small yachts and back packing through 50  countries over 4 decades. I’ve lived in two war zones. The fact that I’m still alive reflects my adherence to the precautionary principle. Blue water ocean sailing teaches the sailor to have respect for what mother nature can throw at you. You hope for the best but plan for the worst.
All of the corporate / state proposals to dealt with our predicament are nothing more than platitudes.
There is No Plan and there is No Planet B.

The cold harsh reality is that the climate change ‘can’ has been continually kicked down the road and off the cliff. Let’s talk below about reality not fantasy. Time is short, let’s cut the crap and cut to the chase.


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, Feedback loops, Habitat, Professor Guy McPherson
37 comments on “We’re just one ‘Black Swan Event’ away from Collapse and a Total Loss of Habitat.
  1. Kevin Hester says:

    “What it found was that among some of the top Chinese cities including Guangzhou, Shanghai and Chengdu, a clear pattern was evident – air pollution was only 20-50% of the historical average. As Morgan Stanley concluded, “This could imply that human activities such as traffic and industrial production within/close to those cities are running 50-80% below their potential capacity.”
    There goes our global dimming already.


  2. Guyo says:

    We won’t see 2021, let alone 2100, or we will wish we were extinct

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Marie says:

    Thank you Kevin, you never cease to hit the nail on the head. Terrifying to watch the bricks collapse in slow motion while the world goes as if everything were fine.

    What a weird pickle we are living in…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Marie says:

    I keep wondering why global levels aren’t increasing. I suspect it is because very little testing is being done. Our hospital (level one trauma hospital in a major metropolitan area) has dine exactly zero tests. I cannot find one on our floor and no one seems to know where to get one.

    Oh and we are out of masks… 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kevin Hester says:

    The latest update from Chris Martenson;


  6. 44 south says:

    Very timely post Kevin. All your thoughts have similarly been bouncing around my brain for the last few weeks.
    God knows what we will be facing by the time we are asked to vote for a government in September.
    James Kunstler speculated today that the virus might postpone the US election.
    Hal Turner has published private emails indicating a much worse impact already in the states than is being acknowledged.
    Hang on tight folks, we’re in for a wild ride.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 🦊 We-Lied.com 🦊
    To our Children – We lied!

    Note that I post suggestions on Twitter (via @RealityDictates) that involve the will to IMPALE Pollution’s Politicians.

    Other than “A Few Minutes to Save the World – Stuart Scott”

    . . that Stuart Scott – NO ONE – has tried to have me stopped from promoting that SPECIALIZED IMPALEMENT.

    Such should tell everyone that all governments have known as long as we have – “Life’s Dusty Passing” – Poetry (1985) –
    that our Greed for “More” was killing us . . .

    From Cambodia – on the edge of a Jungle that suits me just fine.

    Hand dug well – never gone dry. Rice, lots of Rice and every sort of edible roots and plants and Fruit for survival. Near eighty. I last left Canada with a medical caution regarding CHF (Congestive Heart Failure). Two Motor Cycle accidents since, one at high speeds, has me concerned that I’ll be “The Last Man Standing” . . . and who might I leave my grand STASH of the world’s best WEED?

    Ke Sara!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Kevin Hester says:

    “China’s carbon emissions have dropped by least 100 million metric tonnes over the past two weeks, according to a study published on Wednesday by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) in Finland.”



  9. Cal says:

    Seems like this is becoming another case of Cui Bono.

    As above, everything I see these days seems to be about someone still thinking that they can still get an edge on what’s unfolding.

    Like most Folk here (I suspect), I’m currently finding it very unsettling to watch things beginning to roll out in ‘realtime’ rather than just speculating about it.

    Many thanks for continuing to post.


    Liked by 1 person

  10. Kevin Hester says:

    At the 11 minute mark in the You Tube presentation Chris Martenson mentions that people in Beijing are commenting on how clear the skies are above the city.
    That is because the pollution aerosols have fallen out of the sky and have not been replaced.
    This is the issue with the “Aerosol Masking Effect”,this is a huge threat to us all.


  11. Gypsy Gail says:

    I can see how people get confused about warming and the environment in general. Feedback loops are not often explained, and at least in America, few care to research or read ANYTHING that doesn’t fit their personal narrative and preconceptions. I am amazed by how much I have learned from the internet-I was late, just getting it in 2010. Many people just ignore the internet as far as a resource for learning and instead post their casserole pics on Pinterest. Soon, climate change and our fate as a result, will be completely undeniable, but too late to fix. Our Iowa derecho in August and the current hurricane season, along with so many wild fires on a global scale…well…I honestly get scared. Can’t dwell on it but I can’t live in denial and be of any use to my family. So, yeah, Kevin-it all just sucks! Thank you for your posts though. You teach me a lot!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Kevin Hester says:

    Who had a solar storm taking out the internet and then the global economy, triggering the loss of ‘Global Dimming’ ?


  13. Kevin Hester says:

    We’re all trying to navigate the perfect storm.
    As a skipper my obligation to the crew is to prepare for the worst and follow the Precautionary Principle.
    The existing science shows that we are fucked without feedback loops and ‘Black Swans’.
    I admire Eliot for his candour and courage in facing the infolding collapse.


  14. Kevin Hester says:

    “Perhaps what’s most surprising is that glowing snow had not been seen before at a biological station that’s been active for over 80 years”
    We are in a time of unprecedented change and none of it is good.
    We have unleashed a Pandora’s box of so called ‘Black Swans’. Whilst this may not seem so bad at first glance precedents in Science foretell of unknown consequences.



  15. So from your 2Aug post above about water from the Tonga eruption, could this radical amount of flooding the US is seeing be an effect already? Sure has been a lot of water falling this summer…along with the continuation of the 22 yrs of massive drought in the Southwest. An article the other day said Las Vegas had 50 days of water left but now it’s down to 30 days…but they are still pumping from Lake Mead which is now 3/4 empty? How does that work again? Pretty soon the ‘2nd straw’ will be high & dry like the first pipe and Tier III shutdowns will end exports of water AND power supposedly…

    And this in Asia:

    Noticed that Jefferies in this article is calling the China heat wave a Black Swan Event:

    China Suffers Through ‘Worst Heatwave Ever Recorded’


    Faster and faster the top spins and more and more it wobbles…



  16. Screenshot of a still posted on an MSNBC 10 minute vid titled:

    Bill Nye Addresses Trump’s Suggestion To Nuke Hurricanes | The Katie Phang Show


    It caught my eye; Trump wants to NUKE hurricanes WTF, so I tabbed it (I was looking for something else) and at 30 seconds this still pops up:

    New Scientist
    Heatwave in China is the most severe ever recorded in the world.
    by Michael LePage

    “There is nothing in world climatic history that is even minimally comparable to what is happening in China”
    No idea who the Katie Phang Show is but something current on Bill Nye (he hasn’t died of old age yet?!) piqued my curiosity. What could he have come up with in his new show ‘THE END IS NYE’ about disasters we are facing.

    just that screenshot made me think to myself:


    Ahahahahahaha I couldn’t fucking help myself, I just started laughing because even though I do NOT go to Walmart just about everything manufactured is stamped Made in China and still fixing stuff for the 2nd hand one afternoon a week let’s me handle a lot of merchandise and I tend to notice…

    So then I continued to the start of his show’s blurb promo (at 2:55) and the first thing out of his mouth was “It doesn’t have to go down that way. Together we can save Earth” and that was enough hopium for today…

    It’s already hot and not even noon yet.


    Liked by 1 person

  17. Kevin Hester says:

    “The epidemiologist said, “We have a serious problem on our hands that, if not mitigated, could threaten mankind’s survival.”
    Could this be another “Black Swan” event on the road to Armagedón?


    Path to extinction? Sperm count accelerates its decline



  18. Thought this end-of-the-year article on climate fits right in here because in my mind we are seeing all sorts of ‘Black Swan Events’ that continue to pile up. So-called ‘1000 yr events’ happen over and over in the same year, 500 yr events do the same, and all this seems to be adding up to one long black swan event…that certainly seems to point in one direction. Can’t wait for El Nino to hit the Pacific, eh?

    Roaming Charges: Hotrails to Hell, the Year in Climate


    Selkirk Range weather:

    Somewhere over 36″ of snow in the last ten days, days of sub-zero F just absolutely numbing cold at -10’F(not including windchill factor), it was -10F at 11am on my b-day 22Dec, 3″ more snow the next day with 5’F at 11am, and 24Dec saw snow turning to icing and 18’F at 2pm. It was RAINING on Christmas Day at 22’F, black ice on all roads and accidents everywhere, and went up to 32’F at dark. Yesterday continued rain (on three feet of snowpack on the roof!) and a friend’s barn collapsed as the temps went up to 42’F by 8pm. Today it was 41’F in the morning and still raining, to almost 43’F right now at nearly 2pm. It’s stopped raining for the moment…but water conintues to pour off the roofs from the snowpack that is steadily getting heavier and more compacted from the excess water soaking in. I’ll have to be up digging more snowpack off since only certain sections have slid by themselves. There is now a wall of compacted icy snow that’s close to 4 feet tall in front of the porch… On the upper roof, which wasn’t angled correctly when built as the pitch should have been steeper, 50 yrs later it does NOT slide off at all anymore at all and the crack above my head in this upstairs office has widened this week. There’s now a dip in the center of the ceiling and I absolutely have to clear it before I have a Black Swan roof event!


    Liked by 1 person

  19. Kevin Hester says:

    “The Caspian Sea has extensive natural gas reserves that are being tapped increasingly.”
    Who had methane asphyxiating Seals for December?
    This is a twist on the methane threat I never saw coming.
    The quintessential “Black Swan”.


  20. Here’s a potential ‘little Swan Event’ that is about to happen in a major Central California food producing region. You know, the vegetable/fruit/nut capitol of the US?

    Ummm, when you drain a lake that used to be the largest body of water west of the Mississippi River and a hundred years later a climate destabilization-produced winter happens that drops 200-300% more snowpack right above the bowl that used to be the lake (70 FEET??!!); while the former lake’s bowl has already flooded with the massive rainfall levels produced by the multiple ‘atmospheric river’ rain events (12!!!) one after another for a couple of months that left all that snow up above; and then the expectation of an El Nino heat event is extremely likely to become a reality so that it may all fucking melt at once…

    Oh my.

    How many small Swans does it take to cause a major one, Kev?



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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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