“I’d love to be wrong about near-term human extinction, not to mention habitat loss for the many non-human species this culture gleefully drives to extinction. I’d love to believe the Sixth Mass Extinction is a myth. But I know better.”
In 1987, R.E.M. recorded "It's the End of the World As We Know It and I Feel Fine", a tune not quite so flip as its title at first suggests. Certainly the world's Converging CrisesTM first widely discussed during the 60s and 70s had receded during Reagan's "morning in America" and Thatcher's orchestrated regression. Yet, many were still in a rebellious mood, warning that all was - increasingly - not well. (See my review of Friendly Fascism, 1980) At that point in time, we might still have been able to do something. More likely our last chance was '65-'75. But, the Clinton and Bush eras changed all that, refocusing, recalibrating and lobotomizing most of the US and the world. (The parts they didn't outright destroy.) Though we must never stop resisting, the Sixth Extinction is well underway, and at unprecedented speed. (And, here.)
Let's take a brief etymological pause distinguish, for purposes of this column, "the world” from Life or reality. The world is culture. It is travel, governments, cities, people, friends and trends. It's what we access through our media. What dominant culture calls "reality." The Matrix in which we're domesticated. Life is what evolves on our planet regardless of (or despite) what "the world" is doing. Life is far more complex, far more exquisite, far more intricate and beautiful, meaningful, real and, uh, important. Far more sane. Equally threatened, and (now) threatening.
A Brief Personal History
A nascent environmentalist since childhood, a convert during the 60s and 70s, I was the one who set up the recycling programs wherever I worked, who had a deep affinity for the ocean, who advocated organic, shopped at co-ops and made "green purchases". I was trying to keep on the right path, but unaware who'd created it, owned it. Unaware that all their paths lead where they want you to go. A decade ago, I got the message. The world I thought I'd found my way in would be interrupted in the near term due to forces I'd only glimpsed: peak resources, overpopulation, climate change, the inbred psychopathy of the owners, and the ignorance of well meaning people like me. There would be a compulsory reset to a simpler way of living. Time left to prepare might prove sufficient for all that needed to be done.
I left the home and the life and the land I love and moved far north with the man I love to a small piece of land with a big house where we could create our earth haven and wait out the coming collapse.
In those days, the epithet used by the owners’ for people like us - with eyes partly open and brains engaged - was “Doomers”. We chafed against the title, but gradually found pride in it as we became acquainted with others who were "dropping out" as we said in the 60s.
Here's where we go off the map
Out past the power lines
Up that little side road without a sign
Hidden from the mainstream
The keepers of the ancient future
Keepers of the drum
They don't preserve it
They live it
We occupied a decade with learning to provide for ourselves what we felt we needed, do without much of what we wanted (and formerly thought we needed), better understand events unfolding across the planet, unlearn the myths of western culture and liberalism, listen to and work with the land and our fellow beings, and share with others in the small communities nearby.
Gradually, Life made more and more sense. Though I terribly missed my home, my land, the world in which it existed seemed crazier and crazier. While the number of "doomers" grew, the number of deniers ultimately grew even faster, especially, it seemed, after 2012.
We continued to search for user-friendly ways to help people prepare and a deeper understanding of the world and where/how it was being directed. We discovered 1) Guy McPherson's comprehensive analyses and syntheses of the latest climate science, 2) nanotech and transhumanism, and 30 the utter lack of planning for dealing with all forms of nuclear refuse. An emeritus physics professor we met introduced us to gray goo, the Singularity, and transhumanism. Even better. Fukushima spawned a surge of nuclear articles and information as it spewed (and continues to spew) radiation. We watched Into Eternity about Onkalo and began researching nuclear waste facilities and practices. (There are virtually none. But, the world does have nearly 450 nuclear power plants plus untold nuclear weapons, storage facilities, and labs.) Nature Bats Last, a sentiment with which we thoroughly agree, just topped it all off.The world seemed obsessed with the most illogical, destructive pursuits possible.
Our lifestyle is no longer so spare as it had become, partly because we learned that the length of our showers has virtually no impact on what is happening to Earth, partly because we no longer notice the "lack" of what we once considered to be “missing”, and partly because our original goals (a simpler life) had been accomplished or (waiting out collapse) were no longer possible.
As change sped up, intelligent discourse began to shrivel since we increasingly diverged with friends on the topics occupying our daily lives. We turned more and more to books and the internet and began making plans for withdrawing from community involvement and teaching, focusing in on our Earth haven land and this new website.
No Expectation of Response
I had found disengaging from the world a mental as much as physical endeavor. Interacting with most humans – whether person-to-person or through reading – increasingly required mental “translation” as though speaking in a language I no longer use on a daily basis. (With non-humans, there is no gap except in my language acquisition. They speak their language(s) and understand much of mine. I’m still working on theirs.)
From childhood on I spent decades in performance arts interacting with audiences. As a counterbalance, I've loved writing, a mode of expression with no expectation of response, which seems timely and appropriate. I will share insights as they arise, so I will post irregularly. There will be no "Comments" section. My thoughts, analyses, syntheses are based on a full life, a passion for devouring nonfiction, an extensive university education and even more extensive dis-education and self-re-education, and a fairly thorough dis-illusioning. Spurted mini-thoughts (aka, tweets) from people I know nothing about, as well as trollings from Langley bots could just mess up an otherwise fine day. I'd rather talk to my cat. Those intelligent humans who have questions or thoughtful additions can use the website email, which I do check occasionally.
Expectations, Assumptions, Solace
A logic-infested zone expressing reverence for all the breathtakingly beautiful living, changing, evolving beings and systems on Earth, with the probable exception of psychopaths.
A celebration of Life, organic and unfettered by civilizations’ fantasies and falsehoods.
A grieving and gathering space.
A bullshit-free red pill zone.
TEOLAWKI TIMES will serve all these purposes. The World As We Knew It is gone, whether or not that's apparent to most people. (Denial is, after all, the first stage of grief and can be a long stage.) This column focuses on The End of LIFE As We Know It.
Life on our planet is already disappearing at a rate1,000 to 10,000 times background extinction rates. (See also this and this and this and this.) Life as we’ve known it anyway. I still harbor one hope: that enough resistance – from humans, from the Earth herself – will build quickly enough to speed civilization’s end, allowing some life forms, probably the smaller ones who reproduce more quickly and therefore adapt more readily, to live on in the extreme temperatures and widespread radiation facing our planet in the all-too-near-term.
But, elephants, zebras, lions, tigers and bears, snakes, fish, marsupials, fowl, and humans? Not so much. The non-humans in this list have already leaving for decades. Before I leave during the next decade and during the decade after, the remainder, including humans, will lose the habitat to survive.
So, this will be a space for grief, meant for those who’ve left denial and bargaining and who benefit, as I do, from the validation and support found in the small corners of cyberspace where fellow travelers meet and grieve and share and laugh in some semblence of togetherness because those we love may have no idea where we're coming from.
To whatever small measure I can, I hope to support the rage, sarcasm, humour noir, and love of Life we all feel while watching the inevitable occurring. To share the frustration and hopelessness we’ve all felt while trying futilely to connect with families and friends who refuse to see, hear or speak about anything so “dark” or “negative” as truth. To obviate the need for translation and avoid that single sentence in a chance conversation that slams shut the glass door between us and those still living in the capitalist fantasy world. And always, to keep resisting, fighting, raging against the dying of the light.
Assumptions (in no particular order)
- Readers are able and willing to follow links and to search (fuck “google”) the unfamiliar or seemingly questionable.
- Exponential change is not at all like linear change.
- Beings - yes, including human beings - who do cannot provide their own food, water, shelter are domesticated.
- Domesticated beings are at the mercy of whoever controls their food, water and shelter.
- There is no free lunch. Everything has a price. Our 200-year joyride in Dad’s car will literally run out of gas.
- Reasonable amounts of sunlight interspersed with reasonable amounts of rainfall along with non-radioactive soil are necessary for wholesome food to grow.
- Reasonable water temperatures and oxygen content are necessary for fish to live.
- Humans cannot live without air, fresh water, food, sleep and shelter.
- All civilizations fall. Therefore, industrial civilization will fall.
- As industrial civilization fails, electricity will become erratic, scarce or nonexistent.
- Nuclear power plants require electricity and water to keep from melting down.
- Radiation is not good for children and other living things.
- Life teaches us through Nature’s Laws and the laws of physics (if there’s a difference) that death and extinction are final. There is no eleventh hour savior-on-a-wire.
- There is no higher purpose than living in balance.
- To live in balance one must leave their matrix.
- There is Life and Death in a cycle, and nothing is more beautiful.
Welcome to The End of Life As We Know It. I do feel fine.
 I will refer to the psychopaths-in-charge, TPTB (The Powers That Be), using Carlin’s apt and accurate term. I refuse them the dignity of capitalizing it, and I absolutely refute the usual sycophantic “elite”, which means (according to Webster) “resembling the finest, best, most distinguished, most powerful”. Fuck ‘em.