AuthorTopic: Symbolizing Life & Death  (Read 656 times)

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Symbolizing Life & Death
« on: November 05, 2017, 01:16:22 AM »


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Published on The Doomstead Diner November 5, 2017






 



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When I began first reading, then commenting and then blogging and ranting on the subjects of Collapse in 2007, the main topics of conversation across the collapse blogosphere were on Energy & Resource depletion (specifically Peak Oil) and Economics (specifically the Financial Crisis which began with the collapse of the investment banks Bear Stearns & Lehman Brothers).  The second of those two topics was what got me interested in questions of collapse, its causes and what the potential outcomes might be.



At the time, there wasn't a whole lot of debate about either Climate Change or Extinction on the sites concerned with Collapse, it was Energy and Economics ideas being batted around.   As I recall on the Peak Oil Forum there was one commenter who brought the topics up fairly regularly, but he was in an extreme minority.  Since my main interest is in the economic end of the collapse, I was quite happy in this environment of discussion, although granted I still got in plenty of heated arguments!  Not to mention getting banned from a few of the websites. lol.



https://dsx.weather.com//util/image/w/3daf7975-97f7-40a6-9e9d-8c82eceb1c50.jpg?v=ap&w=980&h=551&api=7db9fe61-7414-47b5-9871-e17d87b8b6a0Fast forward from 2007 a decade later to 2017 and the situation has exactly reversed itself.  Now the dominant discussion through the collapse blogosphere revolves around climate, the environment and speculation about extinction for Homo Saps along with most of the rest of the biosphere, if not all of it.  It's got to the point now you can't even post a link on Reddit about a chain of 45 Bookstores shutting down without some Extinction aficionado dropping in the commentary with a "Stores Closing is not Collapse.  Stores always close down."  Which is true, but not in the kind of numbers we are seeing and not all across the board through many retail chains, restaurants and even Big Box stores like Circuit City.  Sears of course is rapidly on its way to the Great Beyond, they just announced yet another 63 closures to come right after the holidays just after all of Sears Canada was shut down.  Sears of course was the biggest retailer in the world before Walmart and the Internet showed up.  They definitely missed the boat on shifting to online retailing, but they were so invested by then in brick & mortar real estate that it would have undermined their own property holdings.  Sears really was a REIT in its last years, the perceived value of the company was not in its sales but all that juicy commercial real estate space they owned all over the country.  Now of course, this real estate is becoming increasingly worthless by the day.  It's not like a Mall landlord can go and find another client to drop in that space at the drop of a hat.  Said operators are of course currently being bailed out by Da Goobermint.



Anyhow, back to the topic at hand, its almost impossible now to find Kollapsniks to discuss these issues with because they are all so preoccupied with Climate, Environment and Extinction.  Problems with available Energy, Economics and Geopolitics are barely worth mentioning with the atmospheric CO2 making its inexorable climb upward and the Oceans threatening to inundate all the coastal cities.  I'm not sure if that is supposed to occur before or after all the fish and phytoplankton die? ???  icon_scratch    These problems are very serious and they do threaten the existence of all life on Earth, at least in this iteration of the geological record.  One does have to remember though that there have been 5 prior Mass Extinctions, and in all of them Life on Earth rebounded, regardless what the instigating cause of the extinction was.  In some cases perhaps an Asteroid Impact, some cases maybe Super Volcanic eruption, some cases maybe Who Knows?  We do know of course in all the prior ones Homo Saps could not be held responsible for them, we did not exist as a species at the time but they happened anyhow.



http://anorganicconversation.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Rachel-Carson-Silent-Spring-620.jpgAs self-aware, sentient & sapient creatures here now though, what the angst really is about is not so much the extinction event itself, but the generally held belief within the Extinction community that Homo Saps first off are responsible for this, and that second if we just got our shit together and used our Big Brains that evolution gave us in a constructive manner, we could put a stop to this.  You might make the case this might have been possible had we started around the time Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring back in the 1960s, but at this point the door has been open for too long and the Horse left the Barn quite some time back. http://dieoff.org/Crash2.GIF The industrial civilization we live under is a Juggernaut, it's a Bullet Train with no brakes.  No one person can effect enough change to stop the trajectory of this juggernaut, and not even a Movement of people could do it now, even if you could get one together which you can't because there are too many competing interests that make a profit from industrial society and because most of the population doesn't want to give up the creature comforts that come with it, as long as they still have them.



On the biological level of reproduction, we are no different than bacteria in a Petri Dish, Yeast in a Vat or the Reindeer on St. Matthews Island.  We exploit the environment to the maximum level possible for its available energy, until the energy runs out, then there is a mass dieoff over a fairly rapid period of time.  Unless during the growth phase there are Predators in the environment also that keep your numbers in check, any species will do this.  Homo Saps reached the point where we conquered just about all our natural predators, including disease.  At least for a while with technology and high energy input we did anyhow.  Ever speculate on how much electricity it takes to run an MRI or CAT scan for just ONE patient?  I've had plenty of time to speculate on this while lying inside these electronic coffins for those of us with a fast ticket to the Great Beyond.  I Googled it for this article, and in a study done by PE International in 2012, the average exam takes about 15 kwh.  So that is about half what the average FSoA McMansion owner uses a day to run his fridge, air conditioner and Big Screen TV in his McMansion, which isn't too bad except of course they run a dozen of these a day and that is just ONE machine in ONE Hospital!




Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has undoubtedly reshaped the medical landscape. They offer a means of diagnosing disease and elucidating brain function. Unfortunately, these machines have a cost. They necessitate the employment of a large and expensive cryogenic high-field magnet. [1] As a result, not only do they consume enormous amounts of energy, but they also deplete a finite resource: helium.



Just How Much Energy?



According to a report published in 2012, the United States performs 97.7 exams per population of 1000. [2] Given that the population of the US is 314,900,427 as of 2010, this means roughly 30,765,772 exams are performed in the US per year. [3] In a study done by PE International in 2012, the average exam takes about 15 kwh. [4] Given this, the US consumes roughly 461,486,576 khw a year. This accounts for roughly 0.01% of the U.S.’s energy use, given that the US uses 4,158 billion khw. [5] Because the standard of living is growing particularly in China and India, the energy costs globally will likely by increasing by a very large margin in the future.



How Much Helium?



Large amounts of helium are needed to cool the superconducting wire to temperatures as low as 4 degrees Kelvin. However, this cooling requires large amounts of helium. According to NEMA, MRI machines consume about 7000 tons of helium annually. [6] In 1996, it was estimated that the US used about 2.6 billion scf. [7] If one extrapolates the upward trend in helium consumption, then let’s very roughly say that about 5 billion scf of helium are used annually. [7] That would mean 27% of the U.S.’s helium is being allocated towards the use of MRI’s every year. Sources conflict on the exact amount of extractable helium left on the planet, but the amount is finite. [8]



Conclusion



MRI's are quite costly, and with a growing population, are not sustainable. However, the MRI has become such a staple of modern medicine that we cannot simply eliminate it. More energy efficient MRI's are needed. Shoujun Xu has developed a method to eliminate the need for cryogenics using a optical atomic magnetometers. [9] Such developments are promising for the future of medical imagining.



© Spencer Nam. The author grants permission to copy, distribute and display this work in unaltered form, with attribution to the author, for noncommercial purposes only. All other rights, including commercial rights, are reserved to the author.




Without these scanning devices, modern medicine as we know it today won't exist.  The doctors are clueless what might be wrong with you until they get their test results back and the report from the Radiologist.  To be truthful, even if they DO get the scan done and get the results, they STILL can't diagnose the problem!  That's been my experience over the last year anyhow…OK, wait, I am going off on a tangent here.



http://krusekronicle.typepad.com/kruse_kronicle/images/2008/03/23/globalbirthdeath.gifThe point is at the moment we have no other effective predator here for Homo Saps other than Homo Sap himself killing each other through warfare, but believe it or not as much of that as we have ongoing, it's currently still not enough to get the Death Rate to exceed the Birth Rate on a Global basis.  Disease is starting to make a comeback now as predator, between the Super Bugs that are resistant to all anti-biotics, new strains of viruses and the lack of clean drinking water in many neighborhoods, including those in so-called 1st World Industrialized nations.  See Flint, MI.  One has to expect the Death Rate to continue to climb here over the coming years as there is less available energy for hi-tech medicine and providing clean drinking water and effective sewage treatment plants in the large cities that have sprouted up like mushrooms on a cool morning in Kennett Square, PA since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.  Particularly since the 1950s-60s with the so-called "Green Revolution" and the application of high energy oil based fertilizers and powerful pesticides to industrial agriculture.  So there is some self-regulation in the system, although it's not working fast enough for the Nihilists & Misanthropes on Nature Bats Last who would like to see all of Humanity DEAD ASAP!  In the words of the Church of Euthanasia, "Save the Planet.  Kill Yourself."



https://vice-images.vice.com/images/content-images-crops/2015/10/22/save-the-planet-kill-yourself-the-contentious-history-of-the-church-of-euthanasia-511-body-image-1445475661-size_1000.jpg?output-quality=75



I have little doubt that if the Church of Euthanasia was still a going concern, they would have the Extinction Symbol hanging behind the the Altar while the Faithful drink the Kool-Aid, eat the Oreo and genuflect.






http://media.10news.com/photo/2012/10/07/Cult-members-took-a-lethal-cocktail-of-vodka-and-phenobarbital.-Then-they-laid-on-their-beds-with-2952825_277393_ver1.0_640_480.jpg



Speaking of NBL, its proprietor and Nihilist-in-Chief Guy McPherson (aka "Dr. McStinksion here on the Diner) is one of the pundits who has made bank on the growing fretting over imminent extinction, jet setting around the world to deliver his message of hopelessness and apparently abusing a few of his female groupies along the way.  He beat Kevin Spacey by a few months in having the Dark Side of his character outed.  Now everybody is getting outed for this transgression.  This is the latest in distractions from the MSM hitting Faux Newz daily.  He would be doing a lot better these days on his website if he had a more squeaky clean sex history, but dems are da breaks.  Doesn't look like Kevin Spacey's career is going to be doing too well either over the next few years.



Dr. McStinksion's name came up inside the Diner again recently, when one of the Diners put up the Extinction Symbol, which apparently has been floating around since at least 2014 or so, but I had never seen it before.  It's up at the top of the page here heading the article, along with the SUN☼ symbol for Life.  The admonition along with the extinction symbol is that you should:




Create the extinction symbol in a temporary non-toxic medium where people will see it.




      



http://www.wpxs.info/wp-content/uploads/uncategorized/Bathroom-Wall-Graffiti-is-graffiti-and-who-does-it-belong-to-viz-the-most-epic-things-ever-written-in-bathroom-stalls-the.jpgThis restriction of a "temporary, non-toxic medium where people will see it" is quite limiting.  You can't spray paint it on a wall, spray paint is an oil product and toxic.  You can't write it on the toilet stall wall at Walmart, because ink is also a toxic oil product.  You could scratch it in the dirt or sand, but that would wash away with the first rainfall.  Longer lasting but not too harmful would be to carve the symbol into the bark of a tree.  This doesn't usually do too much harm to the tree, although I am not sure the tree huggers would approve of this anyhow.  Electric & Telephone wire poles would be OK though, the tree is already dead.  Chalk on the sidewalk works OK, although a lot of fossil fuels are burned to mine the Calcium Carbonate that chalk is made from.  If you find wet cement somewhere you could draw it in that and hope it's not smoothed over before the cement dries.  Cement also though is a very energy consumptive material in mining the limestone.  It also uses up a lot of sand, and the planet is running out of that too.  Mainly though, if it is going to gain any public traction it probably would have to be on Leaflets glued to walls and poles like rock concerts used to be advertised.  So far going back to 2014, I haven't seen the symbol anywhere, thus my ignorance when it was dropped on the Diner last week.



What is the purpose of dropping this symbol down everywhere basically in isolation with nothing to explain it?  It would take recognition of what the symbol MEANS in the viewer to begin with, like the old PEACE symbol from the 60's.  That also must have taken some time to gain traction.  Googling again, it turns out the Peace Sign was originally designed in 1958 for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.




The peace sign was really designed in 1958 by British artist Gerald Holtom for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), which was having its first major march in England. Holtom explained that the symbol superimposed the semaphore letters “N” and “D” over each other.




http://ww2.hdnux.com/photos/57/60/41/12519529/3/premium_landscape.jpgNow, a campaign like that is a good place to launch a Symbol for a movement, but even so it took until the mid 1960's for this to really catch on and become a symbol of the counter culture movement.  I remember back to the mid 1960's watching newz on TV, and really I didn't start seeing this symbol until probably 1967, with the Summer of Love in the Haight.  So nearly a full decade to get general recognition of a symbol, and do we have time for a full decade to pass now before we radically change direction?  No, we don't, we are already out of time to stop mass extinctions.  However, if the Extinction Awareness people really want to get their Symbol launched, they will need to get a big march going like the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament did, at the very least.



Now, it's not like I am unaware of the extreme gravity of these problems, and I recognize that the folks who want to see the Extinction Symbol everywhere to try and WAKE PEOPLE UP are Homo Saps with good and noble intentions, but to me this is a lot like continued climate research.  There is already enough evidence to lead any reasonable thinker to the conclusion we're headed for an extinction, hell it's already underway through a good part of the food chain.  Insects are dying and the birds that feed on them are dying too.  What is not clear of course is what the timeline is on our own extinction, just that it is an inevitability.



So to me, we should be devoting our scientific and engineering knowledge not to try to fix what is terminally broken at least on our civilizational timescale (although likely not on the geological timescale), but rather what we need to do in order to make the best of a bad situation and stay alive as long as we can.  On the individual level, this is what the patient with Terminal Cancer usually does, rather than give up and die he goes on the Chemo and Radiation and tries to stay alive, even though he knows he is likely DOOMED in the end regardless.



So that is why I contrasted scribbling the Extinction Symbol with the SUN☼ Symbol if you are going to carry around chalk to do symbol writing on the sidewalk somewhere.  The Extinction Symbol is a DEATH SYMBOL, and it's going to attract the Nihilists & Misanthropes the same way Nature Bats Last and Dr. McStinksion do.  It's not going to do much to attract the average J6P, who at this point won't even know what it means and if he does figure it out he won't worry about it as long as he still has a job and beer in the cooler after work and the NFL playing on the Big Screen TV on Sundays.  The SUN☼ symbol on the other hand stands a chance of attracting people interested in developing a Sustainable Living lifestyle, insofar as that is possible in a world with a rapidly changing climate.  It focuses on the positive, rather than the negative and it promotes ACTION on things you actually have control over in your own life and community.  The drivers for extinction go far beyond this, they are systemic and part of the biological flow, that repeats itself in cycles and likely will do so until the radiation output from the SUN☼ exceeds what eukaryotic organisms can withstand, estimated to be at max 500M years from present day.  Then after that in a few billion more years when the surface of the Earth is completely barren of life and the only remaining organisms are surviving around the sulfur vents at the bottom of the ocean the SUN☼ will go Red Giant, boil off the Oceans and even those organisms will go Extinct too.  So Extinction is guaranteed here, and all you are quibbling over is the timeline for it and what caused it.



In this case, the preponderance of evidence (although not all) supports the idea this particular Extinction Level Event is being caused by Homo Sap, and thus is in some way worse than prior events which came from "Natural Causes".  Asteroid Impacts and Super Volcanic Eruptions are "Forces of Nature".  But isn't Homo Sap a Force of Nature also?  We are just obeying the Laws of Nature as it was bred into us from the time we evolved.  Exploit the environment and procreate to the MAX.  That's how species become successful.  Some people believe that because we have "Wisdom" and "Sapience" we should be somehow different than the bacteria, the yeast and the reindeer, but in aggregate our network intelligence is no greater than theirs and we are subject to the same constraints and imperatives.



Extinction will come when it will, as Death comes to all living creatures.  You need to reconcile yourself with the fact that death is an inevitability.  Life is precious while you have it, but nothing lasts forever.  In the grand scheme of the Universe, does it really make a big difference if we go extinct in 20 years, 100 or 1,000,000?  It's going to happen at some point.  In the meantime, you do the best you can to last as long as you can.  That is why I promote the use of the SUN☼ Symbol rather than the Extinction Symbol in trying to raise awareness of the problems we face.  If you feel the Extinction Symbol will do the job better, then you should scribble that in chalk on the sidewalk as you cruise about town.  If like me you feel the SUN☼ Symbol is the better choice, then scribble that.  Or scribble them both if you have the time.



I of course will not be cruising around town scribbling either symbol, I do my scribbling over the internet here on the Doomstead Diner.  The legs don't work right for mosying around town to scribble on the sidewalk, and once I got down on my knees to scribble, I wouldn't be able to get back up again.  So here is where I will post the Symbols of LIFE, not DEATH.












I will leave it to Dr. McStinksion and his crew of Nihilists & Misanthropes on Nature Bats Last to post the Extinction Symbol there.


SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

Offline monsta666

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Re: Symbolizing Life & Death
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2017, 02:48:14 AM »
This belief that people should stop reproducing (if earnestly believed) is truly self-defeating because if an entire group of people actually followed through with this plan then the group and its ideology would simply die out leaving only other groups that promote other belief systems. In fact it is my observation that the societies that promoted maximum reproduction have persisted precisely because they spaced out societies that took a more conservative approach to having children. It is no coincidence that all the major religions celebrate child birth and encourage its member to maximise the number of children they should have. In light of this I do not see any practical reason why you would promote the idea that you should not have children. It is self-defeating, it won't change anything in the long-term and besides that it is an idea that will gain little traction as it goes against peoples' instincts and is too radical a departure to people's beliefs in contemporary society.

Like many aspects of life a more prudent attitude would be moderation and avoiding extreme options like having no babies. You should strive to limit reproduction and with what limited reproduction you do have to limit consumption. There is already a worldwide trend to a reduction in childbirth rates because of mounting expenses and declining real wages so the idea of limiting children is an idea that could be readily accepted especially under the context of economic and  environmental concerns. Obvious problem though is those behavioral changes are too slow to be effective and often the people who should be having the least number of kids have the most. Going to the consumption front it can be argued that maximum consumption is a natural human condition but I think with the right social reinforcement this can be limited. In other words what I am trying to say is that if we had a society that placed more importance in social interactions such as friends, family rather than material success it should be possible to maintain happiness whilst reducing overall consumption. I think part of the problem in modern societies is we promote the idea we can have it all when in reality most people cannot get that and it is these dashed expectations that cause unhappiness. The fact that society is becoming increasingly unequal with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer plus the fact we are becoming more atomised and limited in our physical interactions with people and the general public simply compounds this problem.

As for it taking 10 years for symbols to be widely recognised I don't think that is necessarily the case any longer. The difference between the late 50's/60s is today we have social media so ideas and symbols can spread like wildfire and if something can go viral then obscure ideas and symbols can become the mainstream in a matter of months if not weeks. The problem for people who advocate short-term extinction is that this idea will not go viral because too many people will disagree with it. The problem with the internet is it can act as a good insulator of ideas so people can more easily form cliques that shun counter arguments to the group spin. This not only has the effect of radicalising people to a particular idea but makes it seem that a given ideology is more popular than it really is. These extinctioners or whatever you want to call it is a subset of the collapse community which is already a small community (and a relatively extreme group when compared to views of the prevailing culture) so I severely doubt this symbol will escape its fringe status.

Peak oil, resource depletion and economic discussions will become popular once again when there is a real crisis. On paper (and this what most people will believe even if untrue) is the economy is doing decent. Unemployment is at 16 year low, the DOW is on 23,000 there is economic growth (if a tad slow) and inflation is low. If you are not living paycheck to paycheck then collapse does not exist. Questions marks are raised because the statistics are gamed so much that the headline figures no longer reflect the perceived reality. This feeling will persist until the figures match the reality and like most lies, the truth will come out when the bubble bursts and the emperor is found to be naked. Then at some later point (or perhaps the same time) peak oil and other resource concerns will enter the forefront when it becomes apparent consumption rates are declining year on year. It should be noted that since around 2012 global crude oil production has slowly increased and it is now around 80mb/d so even the long plateau expression has become outdated. The idea of peak oil is still sound however so it simply is a case of waiting for it to become self-evident. All in due time though...

Offline knarf

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Re: Symbolizing Life & Death
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2017, 05:52:53 AM »
Great writing RE, as usual! :)

When the article about the 6th mass extinction was WIDELY publicized in June, of 2015, it was hard not to run into it. Before that it was mainly in the closet. With it's publication millions of people became conscious that it might be really be happening, and they were not aware of it before. That publication has changed the way many people see our future, the destiny of life on the planet, the way we all are contributing to the destruction of life. You might say that is has permanently changed thousands of peoples paradigm about life. The science behind the article is solid, and most scientists agree that it is truly happening.
  I passed on this article to my daughter, a Christian and RN, and her response was is that science is often wrong.  Which means that there are also millions of people who "believe" that it is just a scary story that scientists made up probably to attract research money or fame.  The evidence that they presented can not be disputed, and because other things are more important in peoples life, they go on as though it is not really happening.  Denial is always the first reaction to any major personal crisis, and it is also the response of millions of people who do not want to face the reality that their behavior is contributing to the event.
  The materialist paradigm that has dominated the earth for the past 200 years is a major reason this has happened. Humans have generally lost contact and understanding of nature and the intricate and cooperative balance that nature IS. They are ignorant of the effects they have on killing the life on our planet. As most of you know, the monastery in which I live, is about as simple a life that can be sustained. ( kind of like your all's vision of what the SUN community can do )Yet we too contribute to the causes that have created the human induced extinction. I have no doubt that life will continue after the major die off, and it is not a fatalistic philosophy to acknowledge the truth of the matter. It might take 200 years, and maybe there will be some way slow it down or even stop it's range of life that dies.
  They extinction symbol is kind of a joke. It will not do diddly to make people aware of what is occurring.
It is so limited to people that are paranoid about death and the innate angry people who need an excuse to join others who are fanatics because they are out on the fringe of society.
  The religious people don't care because God will save them and they will enjoy eternal life. The still materialistic people will go on with BAU and disregard the science.  By all means pass on the community development project you all have in mind. Maybe that will become necessary for millions of people to do to survive. Having taken the Bodhisattva vow 20 years ago it behooves me to do all I can to help people become aware of reality. Personally, I don't think that scribbling the extinction symbol anywhere is going to do that. I post it here so that readers understand that very small things that they do has an effect on the rest of life, and I will continue to do so whenever one pops up, just to jolt the consciousness of the reader. ( or not ). :)
  You really covered this subject well, and fairly. I agree with with most all of what you say. In Zen Buddhism, often the student is slapped, or hit with a stick, or verbally discouraged by their "teacher". Here, we called it "fish slapping". Like one does to a person to wake them up, or keep them alive if they are losing consciousness. Maybe a bit like being spanked. :)
  As I have said many times, I don't base my view of this life on "beliefs", or opinions. I try to keep mind free of those things so that I  can understand the present moment we are living in. I am not fatalistic, or optimistic...I try to remain neutral so when something occurs that is news, that is what I mainly present to the readers of my channel.

Thanx for the very well written piece! 
HUMANS ARE STILL EVOLVING! Our communities blog is at https://openmind693.wordpress.com

Offline moniker

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Re: Symbolizing Life & Death
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2017, 06:09:17 AM »
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</p>
<p>
   When I began first reading, then commenting and then blogging and ranting on the subjects of Collapse in 2007, the main topics of conversation across the collapse blogosphere were on Energy & Resource depletion (specifically Peak Oil) and Economics (specifically the Financial Crisis which began with the collapse of the investment banks Bear Stearns & Lehman Brothers).  The second of those two topics was what got me interested in questions of collapse, its causes and what the potential outcomes might be.
</p>
<p>
   At the time, there wasn't a whole lot of debate about either Climate Change or Extinction on the sites concerned with Collapse, it was Energy and Economics ideas being batted around.   As I recall on the Peak Oil Forum there was one commenter who brought the topics up fairly regularly, but he was in an extreme minority.  Since my main interest is in the economic end of the collapse, I was quite happy in this environment of discussion, although granted I still got in plenty of heated arguments!  Not to mention getting banned from a few of the websites. lol.
</p>
<p>
   <img alt="https://dsx.weather.com//util/image/w/3daf7975-97f7-40a6-9e9d-8c82eceb1c50.jpg?v=ap&w=980&h=551&api=7db9fe61-7414-47b5-9871-e17d87b8b6a0" src="https://dsx.weather.com//util/image/w/3daf7975-97f7-40a6-9e9d-8c82eceb1c50.jpg?v=ap&w=980&h=551&api=7db9fe61-7414-47b5-9871-e17d87b8b6a0" style="height: 225px; width: 400px; float: left;" />Fast forward from 2007 a decade later to 2017 and the situation has exactly reversed itself.  Now the dominant discussion through the collapse blogosphere revolves around climate, the environment and speculation about extinction for Homo Saps along with most of the rest of the biosphere, if not all of it.  It's got to the point now you can't even post a link on Reddit about a chain of 45 Bookstores shutting down without some Extinction aficionado dropping in the commentary with a "Stores Closing is not Collapse.  Stores always close down."  Which is true, but not in the kind of numbers we are seeing and not all across the board through many retail chains, restaurants and even Big Box stores like Circuit City.  Sears of course is rapidly on its way to the Great Beyond, they just announced yet another 63 closures to come right after the holidays just after all of Sears Canada was shut down.  Sears of course was the biggest retailer in the world before Walmart and the Internet showed up.  They definitely missed the boat on shifting to online retailing, but they were so invested by then in brick & mortar real estate that it would have undermined their own property holdings.  Sears really was a REIT in its last years, the perceived value of the company was not in its sales but all that juicy commercial real estate space they owned all over the country.  Now of course, this real estate is becoming increasingly worthless by the day.  It's not like a Mall landlord can go and find another client to drop in that space at the drop of a hat.  Said operators are of course currently being bailed out by Da Goobermint.
</p>
<p>
   Anyhow, back to the topic at hand, its almost impossible now to find Kollapsniks to discuss these issues with because they are all so preoccupied with Climate, Environment and Extinction.  Problems with available Energy, Economics and Geopolitics are barely worth mentioning with the atmospheric CO<sub>2</sub> making its inexorable climb upward and the Oceans threatening to inundate all the coastal cities.  I'm not sure if that is supposed to occur before or after all the fish and phytoplankton die? <img alt="???" class="smiley" src="http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/Smileys/dd1/huh.gif" style="float: none; margin: 0 0 0 0;" title="Huh?" />  <img align="bottom" alt="icon_scratch" id="smileyBox_message_postform_0_19" src="http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/Smileys/dd1/icon_scratch.gif" style="cursor: pointer;" title="icon_scratch" />    These problems are very serious and they do threaten the existence of all life on Earth, at least in this iteration of the geological record.  One does have to remember though that there have been 5 prior Mass Extinctions, and in all of them Life on Earth rebounded, regardless what the instigating cause of the extinction was.  In some cases perhaps an Asteroid Impact, some cases maybe Super Volcanic eruption, some cases maybe Who Knows?  We do know of course in all the prior ones Homo Saps could not be held responsible for them, we did not exist as a species at the time but they happened anyhow.
</p>
<p>
   <img alt="http://anorganicconversation.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Rachel-Carson-Silent-Spring-620.jpg" height="188" src="http://anorganicconversation.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Rachel-Carson-Silent-Spring-620.jpg" style="float: right;" width="334" />As self-aware, sentient & sapient creatures here now though, what the angst really is about is not so much the extinction event itself, but the generally held belief within the Extinction community that Homo Saps first off are responsible for this, and that second if we just got our shit together and used our Big Brains that evolution gave us in a constructive manner, we could put a stop to this.  You might make the case this might have been possible had we started around the time Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring back in the 1960s, but at this point the door has been open for too long and the Horse left the Barn quite some time back. <img alt="http://dieoff.org/Crash2.GIF" class="transparent" height="243" src="http://dieoff.org/Crash2.GIF" style="float: left;" width="202" /> The industrial civilization we live under is a Juggernaut, it's a Bullet Train with no brakes.  No one person can effect enough change to stop the trajectory of this juggernaut, and not even a Movement of people could do it now, even if you could get one together which you can't because there are too many competing interests that make a profit from industrial society and because most of the population doesn't want to give up the creature comforts that come with it, as long as they still have them.
</p>
<p>
   On the biological level of reproduction, we are no different than bacteria in a Petri Dish, Yeast in a Vat or the Reindeer on St. Matthews Island.  We exploit the environment to the maximum level possible for its available energy, until the energy runs out, then there is a mass dieoff over a fairly rapid period of time.  Unless during the growth phase there are Predators in the environment also that keep your numbers in check, any species will do this.  Homo Saps reached the point where we conquered just about all our natural predators, including disease.  At least for a while with technology and high energy input we did anyhow.  Ever speculate on how much electricity it takes to run an MRI or CAT scan for just <strong>ONE</strong> patient?  I've had plenty of time to speculate on this while lying inside these electronic coffins for those of us with a fast ticket to the Great Beyond.  I Googled it for this article, and <a href="http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2012/ph240/nam2/" target="_blank">in a study done by PE International in 2012, the average exam takes about 15 kwh[/url].  So that is about half what the average FSoA McMansion owner uses a day to run his fridge, air conditioner and Big Screen TV in his McMansion, which isn't too bad except of course they run a dozen of these a day and that is just <strong>ONE</strong> machine in <strong>ONE</strong> Hospital!
</p>

<p align="justify">
      Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has undoubtedly reshaped the medical landscape. They offer a means of diagnosing disease and elucidating brain function. Unfortunately, these machines have a cost. They necessitate the employment of a large and expensive cryogenic high-field magnet.
[1] As a result, not only do they consume enormous amounts of energy, but they also deplete a finite resource: helium.
   </p>
<h2>
      Just How Much Energy?


   </h2>
<p align="justify">
      According to a report published in 2012, the United States performs 97.7 exams per population of 1000. [2] Given that the population of the US is 314,900,427 as of 2010, this means roughly 30,765,772 exams are performed in the US per year. [3] In a study done by PE International in 2012, the average exam takes about 15 kwh. [4] Given this, the US consumes roughly 461,486,576 khw a year. This accounts for roughly 0.01% of the U.S.s energy use, given that the US uses 4,158 billion khw. [5] Because the standard of living is growing particularly in China and India, the energy costs globally will likely by increasing by a very large margin in the future.
   </p>
<h2>
      How Much Helium?


   </h2>
<p align="justify">
      Large amounts of helium are needed to cool the superconducting wire to temperatures as low as 4 degrees Kelvin. However, this cooling requires large amounts of helium. According to NEMA, MRI machines consume about 7000 tons of helium annually. [6] In 1996, it was estimated that the US used about 2.6 billion scf. [7] If one extrapolates the upward trend in helium consumption, then lets very roughly say that about 5 billion scf of helium are used annually. [7] That would mean 27% of the U.S.s helium is being allocated towards the use of MRIs every year. Sources conflict on the exact amount of extractable helium left on the planet, but the amount is finite. [8]
   </p>
<h2>
      Conclusion


   </h2>
<p align="justify">
      MRI's are quite costly, and with a growing population, are not sustainable. However, the MRI has become such a staple of modern medicine that we cannot simply eliminate it. More energy efficient MRI's are needed. Shoujun Xu has developed a method to eliminate the need for cryogenics using a optical atomic magnetometers. [9] Such developments are promising for the future of medical imagining.
   </p>
<p align="justify">
       Spencer Nam. The author grants permission to copy, distribute and display this work in unaltered form, with attribution to the author, for noncommercial purposes only. All other rights, including commercial rights, are reserved to the author.
   </p>

<p>
   Without these scanning devices, modern medicine as we know it today won't exist.  The doctors are clueless what might be wrong with you until they get their test results back and the report from the Radiologist.  To be truthful, even if they <strong>DO</strong> get the scan done and get the results, they <strong>STILL</strong> can't diagnose the problem!  That's been my experience over the last year anyhowOK, wait, I am going off on a tangent here.
</p>
<p>
   <img alt="http://krusekronicle.typepad.com/kruse_kronicle/images/2008/03/23/globalbirthdeath.gif" src="http://krusekronicle.typepad.com/kruse_kronicle/images/2008/03/23/globalbirthdeath.gif" style="float: right;" />The point is at the moment we have no other effective predator here for Homo Saps other than Homo Sap himself killing each other through warfare, but believe it or not as much of that as we have ongoing, it's currently still not enough to get the Death Rate to exceed the Birth Rate on a Global basis.  Disease is starting to make a comeback now as predator, between the Super Bugs that are resistant to all anti-biotics, new strains of viruses and the lack of clean drinking water in many neighborhoods, including those in so-called 1st World Industrialized nations.  See Flint, MI.  One has to expect the Death Rate to continue to climb here over the coming years as there is less available energy for hi-tech medicine and providing clean drinking water and effective sewage treatment plants in the large cities that have sprouted up like mushrooms on a cool morning in Kennett Square, PA since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.  Particularly since the 1950s-60s with the so-called "Green Revolution" and the application of high energy oil based fertilizers and powerful pesticides to industrial agriculture.  So there is some self-regulation in the system, although it's not working fast enough for the <a href="https://guymcpherson.com/" target="_blank"><strong>Nihilists & Misanthropes on Nature Bats Last</strong>[/url] who would like to see all of Humanity <strong>DEAD ASAP! </strong> In the words of the Church of Euthanasia,<strong> "Save the Planet.  Kill Yourself."</strong>
</p>
<p style="text-align: center;">
   <img alt="https://vice-images.vice.com/images/content-images-crops/2015/10/22/save-the-planet-kill-yourself-the-contentious-history-of-the-church-of-euthanasia-511-body-image-1445475661-size_1000.jpg?output-quality=75" src="https://vice-images.vice.com/images/content-images-crops/2015/10/22/save-the-planet-kill-yourself-the-contentious-history-of-the-church-of-euthanasia-511-body-image-1445475661-size_1000.jpg?output-quality=75" style="height: 519px; width: 750px;" />
</p>
<p>
   I have little doubt that if the Church of Euthanasia was still a going concern, they would have the Extinction Symbol hanging behind the the Altar while the Faithful drink the Kool-Aid, eat the Oreo and genuflect.
</p>
<p style="text-align: center;">
   <img alt="" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-36835" height="483" src="http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Curch-Euthanasia.png" width="731" srcset="http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Curch-Euthanasia.png 731w, http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Curch-Euthanasia-300x198.png 300w" sizes="(max-width: 731px) 100vw, 731px" />
</p>
<p style="text-align: center;">
   <img alt="http://media.10news.com/photo/2012/10/07/Cult-members-took-a-lethal-cocktail-of-vodka-and-phenobarbital.-Then-they-laid-on-their-beds-with-2952825_277393_ver1.0_640_480.jpg" src="http://media.10news.com/photo/2012/10/07/Cult-members-took-a-lethal-cocktail-of-vodka-and-phenobarbital.-Then-they-laid-on-their-beds-with-2952825_277393_ver1.0_640_480.jpg" />
</p>
<p>
   Speaking of NBL, its proprietor and Nihilist-in-Chief Guy McPherson (aka "Dr. McStinksion here on the Diner) is one of the pundits who has made bank on the growing fretting over imminent extinction, jet setting around the world to deliver his message of hopelessness and apparently abusing a few of his female groupies along the way.  He beat Kevin Spacey by a few months in having the Dark Side of his character outed.  Now everybody is getting outed for this transgression.  This is the latest in distractions from the MSM hitting Faux Newz daily.  He would be doing a lot better these days on his website if he had a more squeaky clean sex history, but dems are da breaks.  Doesn't look like Kevin Spacey's career is going to be doing too well either over the next few years.
</p>
<p>
   Dr. McStinksion's name came up inside the Diner again recently, when one of the Diners put up the <a href="http://www.extinctionsymbol.info/" target="_blank"><strong>Extinction Symbol</strong>[/url], which apparently has been floating around since at least 2014 or so, but I had never seen it before.  It's up at the top of the page here heading the article, along with the <strong>SUN☼</strong> symbol for Life.  The admonition along with the extinction symbol is that you should:
</p>

<p>
      <a href="http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php/topic,3282.msg140330.html#msg140330" rel="nofollow">Create the extinction symbol in a temporary non-toxic medium where people will see it.[/url]
   </p>

<p style="text-align: center;">
   <img alt="" class="bbc_img" height="276" src="https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DNcN0NvVQAAeE7v.jpg" width="276" />       <img alt="" class="bbc_img" height="273" src="https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DNmcesVVQAA_zv5.jpg" width="363" />
</p>
<p>
   <img alt="http://www.wpxs.info/wp-content/uploads/uncategorized/Bathroom-Wall-Graffiti-is-graffiti-and-who-does-it-belong-to-viz-the-most-epic-things-ever-written-in-bathroom-stalls-the.jpg" class="shrinkToFit" src="http://www.wpxs.info/wp-content/uploads/uncategorized/Bathroom-Wall-Graffiti-is-graffiti-and-who-does-it-belong-to-viz-the-most-epic-things-ever-written-in-bathroom-stalls-the.jpg" style="width: 400px; height: 267px; float: left;" />This restriction of a "temporary, non-toxic medium where people will see it" is quite limiting.  You can't spray paint it on a wall, spray paint is an oil product and toxic.  You can't write it on the toilet stall wall at Walmart, because ink is also a toxic oil product.  You could scratch it in the dirt or sand, but that would wash away with the first rainfall.  Longer lasting but not too harmful would be to carve the symbol into the bark of a tree.  This doesn't usually do too much harm to the tree, although I am not sure the tree huggers would approve of this anyhow.  Electric & Telephone wire poles would be OK though, the tree is already dead.  Chalk on the sidewalk works OK, although a lot of fossil fuels are burned to mine the Calcium Carbonate that chalk is made from.  If you find wet cement somewhere you could draw it in that and hope it's not smoothed over before the cement dries.  Cement also though is a very energy consumptive material in mining the limestone.  It also uses up a lot of sand, and the planet is running out of that too.  Mainly though, if it is going to gain any public traction it probably would have to be on Leaflets glued to walls and poles like rock concerts used to be advertised.  So far going back to 2014, I haven't seen the symbol anywhere, thus my ignorance when it was dropped on the Diner last week.
</p>
<p>
   What is the purpose of dropping this symbol down everywhere basically in isolation with nothing to explain it?  It would take recognition of what the symbol <strong>MEANS</strong> in the viewer to begin with, like the old <strong>PEACE</strong> symbol from the 60's.  That also must have taken some time to gain traction.  Googling again, it turns out the Peace Sign was originally designed in 1958 for the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_symbols" target="_blank">Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament[/url].
</p>

<p>
      <span class="_Tgc">The peace sign was really designed in 1958 by British artist Gerald Holtom for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), which was having its first major march in England. Holtom explained that the symbol superimposed the semaphore letters N and D over each other.</span>
   </p>

<p>
   <img alt="http://ww2.hdnux.com/photos/57/60/41/12519529/3/premium_landscape.jpg" src="http://ww2.hdnux.com/photos/57/60/41/12519529/3/premium_landscape.jpg" style="float: right;" />Now, a campaign like that is a good place to launch a Symbol for a movement, but even so it took until the mid 1960's for this to really catch on and become a symbol of the counter culture movement.  I remember back to the mid 1960's watching newz on TV, and really I didn't start seeing this symbol until probably 1967, with the Summer of Love in the Haight.  So nearly a full decade to get general recognition of a symbol, and do we have time for a full decade to pass now before we radically change direction?  No, we don't, we are already out of time to stop mass extinctions.  However, if the Extinction Awareness people really want to get their Symbol launched, they will need to get a big march going like the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament did, at the very least.
</p>
<p>
   Now, it's not like I am unaware of the extreme gravity of these problems, and I recognize that the folks who want to see the Extinction Symbol everywhere to try and <strong>WAKE PEOPLE UP</strong> are Homo Saps with good and noble intentions, but to me this is a lot like continued climate research.  There is already enough evidence to lead any reasonable thinker to the conclusion we're headed for an extinction, hell it's already underway through a good part of the food chain.  Insects are dying and the birds that feed on them are dying too.  What is not clear of course is what the timeline is on our own extinction, just that it is an inevitability.
</p>
<p>
   So to me, we should be devoting our scientific and engineering knowledge not to try to fix what is terminally broken at least on our civilizational timescale (although likely not on the geological timescale), but rather what we need to do in order to make the best of a bad situation and stay alive as long as we can.  On the individual level, this is what the patient with Terminal Cancer usually does, rather than give up and die he goes on the Chemo and Radiation and tries to stay alive, even though he knows he is likely <strong>DOOMED</strong> in the end regardless.
</p>
<p>
   So that is why I contrasted scribbling the Extinction Symbol with the <strong>SUN☼</strong> Symbol if you are going to carry around chalk to do symbol writing on the sidewalk somewhere.  The Extinction Symbol is a <strong>DEATH SYMBOL</strong>, and it's going to attract the Nihilists & Misanthropes the same way Nature Bats Last and Dr. McStinksion do.  It's not going to do much to attract the average J6P, who at this point won't even know what it means and if he does figure it out he won't worry about it as long as he still has a job and beer in the cooler after work and the NFL playing on the Big Screen TV on Sundays.  The <strong>SUN☼</strong> symbol on the other hand stands a chance of attracting people interested in developing a Sustainable Living lifestyle, insofar as that is possible in a world with a rapidly changing climate.  It focuses on the positive, rather than the negative and it promotes <strong>ACTION</strong> on things you actually have control over in your own life and community.  The drivers for extinction go far beyond this, they are systemic and part of the biological flow, that repeats itself in cycles and likely will do so until the radiation output from the SUN☼ exceeds what eukaryotic organisms can withstand, estimated to be at max 500M years from present day.  Then after that in a few billion more years when the surface of the Earth is completely barren of life and the only remaining organisms are surviving around the sulfur vents at the bottom of the ocean the <strong>SUN☼</strong> will go Red Giant, boil off the Oceans and even those organisms will go Extinct too.  So Extinction is guaranteed here, and all you are quibbling over is the timeline for it and what caused it.
</p>
<p>
   In this case, the preponderance of evidence (although not all) supports the idea this particular Extinction Level Event is being caused by Homo Sap, and thus is in some way worse than prior events which came from "Natural Causes".  Asteroid Impacts and Super Volcanic Eruptions are "Forces of Nature".  But isn't Homo Sap a Force of Nature also?  We are just obeying the Laws of Nature as it was bred into us from the time we evolved.  Exploit the environment and procreate to the <strong>MAX</strong>.  That's how species become successful.  Some people believe that because we have "Wisdom" and "Sapience" we should be somehow different than the bacteria, the yeast and the reindeer, but in aggregate our network intelligence is no greater than theirs and we are subject to the same constraints and imperatives.
</p>
<p>
   Extinction will come when it will, as Death comes to all living creatures.  You need to reconcile yourself with the fact that death is an inevitability.  Life is precious while you have it, but nothing lasts forever.  In the grand scheme of the Universe, does it really make a big difference if we go extinct in 20 years, 100 or 1,000,000?  It's going to happen at some point.  In the meantime, you do the best you can to last as long as you can.  That is why I promote the use of the <strong>SUN☼</strong> Symbol rather than the Extinction Symbol in trying to raise awareness of the problems we face.  If you feel the Extinction Symbol will do the job better, then you should scribble that in chalk on the sidewalk as you cruise about town.  If like me you feel the <strong>SUN☼</strong> Symbol is the better choice, then scribble that.  Or scribble them both if you have the time.
</p>
<p>
   I of course will not be cruising around town scribbling either symbol, I do my scribbling over the internet here on the Doomstead Diner.  The legs don't work right for mosying around town to scribble on the sidewalk, and once I got down on my knees to scribble, I wouldn't be able to get back up again.  So here is where I will post the Symbols of <strong>LIFE</strong>, not <strong>DEATH</strong>.
</p>
<p style="text-align: center;">
   <a href="http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/SUN-logo-6.png" rel="" style="" target="" title=""><img alt="" class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-36790" height="704" src="http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/SUN-logo-6-1024x1005.png" style="" title="" width="717" srcset="http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/SUN-logo-6-1024x1005.png 1024w, http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/SUN-logo-6-300x294.png 300w, http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/SUN-logo-6-768x754.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 717px) 100vw, 717px" />[/url]
</p>
<p style="text-align: center;">
   <img alt="" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-36189" height="640" src="http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/SUN-Eclipse-logo-4-sm.png" width="665" srcset="http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/SUN-Eclipse-logo-4-sm.png 768w, http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/SUN-Eclipse-logo-4-sm-300x289.png 300w" sizes="(max-width: 665px) 100vw, 665px" />
</p>
<p style="text-align: center;">
   <img alt="" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-11150" height="469" src="http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/SunWebGraphic3.png" width="484" srcset="http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/SunWebGraphic3.png 484w, http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/SunWebGraphic3-300x290.png 300w" sizes="(max-width: 484px) 100vw, 484px" />
</p>
<p>
   I will leave it to Dr. McStinksion and his crew of Nihilists & Misanthropes on Nature Bats Last to post the Extinction Symbol there.</p>

Thank you for your positive message RE. Also, as someone new to blogging I appreciate your description of how the focus of the collapseblogosphere has changed over the past decade.

Also thanks for the Sun symbol-very uplifting. Especially in contrast to that hideous extinction symbol.

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Re: Symbolizing Life & Death
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2017, 07:19:01 AM »
Thanks guys!  :icon_sunny:

Critiques from Native Diners are the most important ones to me.

I will say that for what it is trying to do, it's a well-designed Symbol. It's best features are:

1- The "X" for "Extinction"
2- Turning the X into an hour glass to signify time is running out
3- The circle symbolizing the Earth
3- Simple and EZ to draw

If the whole topic did not draw to it such a depressing group of misanthropic people,  I can see situations in which I would use it.  Sadly,it's hard enough to keep these folks from trolling your website even without the symbol.  You can't have a positive thought or idea with them, then you live in "Delusistan".

Back on NBL, Pat used to always close his posts with the "Save the Planet. Kill Yourself" tag line.  To every one of them I responded "You first".

RE
SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

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Killing the Biosphere to Fast-track Human Extinction
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2017, 02:05:36 AM »
http://www.greanvillepost.com/2017/11/30/killing-the-biosphere-to-fast-track-human-extinction/

Killing the Biosphere to Fast-track Human Extinction

Killing the Biosphere to Fast-track Human Extinction

HELP ENLIGHTEN YOUR FELLOWS. BE SURE TO PASS THIS ON. BREAK THE EMPIRE'S STRANGLEHOLD ON INFORMATION.

By Robert J. Burrowes
 


Several years ago in Cameroon, a country in West Africa, a Western Black Rhinoceros was killed. It was the last of its kind on Earth. 

Hence, the Western Black Rhinoceros, the largest subspecies of rhinoceros which had lived for millions of years and was the second largest land mammal on Earth, no longer exists.

But while you have probably heard of the Western Black Rhinoceros, and may even have known of its extinction, did you know that on the same day that it became extinct, another 200 species of life on Earth also became extinct?

Western Black Rhinoceros: Stamped out almost by cavalier indifference to its fate.

This is because the sixth mass extinction event in Earth’s history is now accelerating at an unprecedented rate with 200 species of plants, birds, animals, fish, amphibians, insects and reptiles being driven to extinction on a daily basis. And the odds are high that you have never even heard of any of them. For example, have you heard of the Christmas Island Pipistrelle, recently declared extinct? See ‘Christmas Island:

Pipistrelle declared extinct by IUCN’.

[url=https://petermaas.nl/extinct/news/christmas-island-pipistrelle-declared-extinct-by-iucn/]https://petermaas.nl/extinct/news/christmas-island-pipistrelle-declared-extinct-by-iucn/[/url]

Apart from the 200 species extinctions each day however, and just to emphasize the catastrophic extent of this crisis, myriad local populations of many species are driven to extinction daily and millions of individual lifeforms are also killed. See ‘Biological annihilation via the ongoing sixth mass extinction signaled by vertebrate population losses and declines’. http://www.pnas.org/content/114/30/E6089.full

Christmas Island Pipistrelle: Also gone, along with many others most people never heard of and probably don’t care.

For a taste of the vast literature on this subject touching only on impacts in relation to insects, see ‘Death and Extinction of the Bees’, 

[url=https://www.globalresearch.ca/death-and-extinction-of-the-bees/5375684]https://www.globalresearch.ca/death-and-extinction-of-the-bees/5375684[/url]

‘Insectageddon: farming is more catastrophic than climate breakdown’

[url=https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/20/insectageddon-farming-catastrophe-climate-breakdown-insect-populations]https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/20/insectageddon-farming-catastrophe-climate-breakdown-insect-populations[/url]

and ‘”Decimated”: Germany’s birds disappear as insect abundance plummets 76%’.

[url=https://news.mongabay.com/2017/10/decimated-germanys-birds-disappear-as-insect-abundance-plummets-76/]https://news.mongabay.com/2017/10/decimated-germanys-birds-disappear-as-insect-abundance-plummets-76/[/url]

Is anything being done to end this omnicide (the destruction of all life)? Not really, although there is plenty of rhetoric and limited action in some contexts as all bar a few committed individuals and organizations ignore this onslaught while even fewer take action that addresses the underlying cause and/or fundamental drivers of this killing. Unfortunately, most effort is still wasted on lobbying elites. 

For example, in the latest example of the foolishness of lobbying elites to take action in our struggle to defend Earth’s biosphere, the European Union has again just renewed Monsanto’s licence to keep poisoning (and otherwise destroying) our world – see ‘German vote swings EU decision on 5-year glyphosate renewal’ [url=https://euobserver.com/environment/140042]https://euobserver.com/environment/140042[/url] –despite the already overwhelming evidence of the catastrophic consequences of doing so. See, for example, ‘Killing Us Softly –Glyphosate Herbicide or Genocide?’

[url=https://www.globalresearch.ca/killing-us-softly-glyphosate-herbicide-or-genocide/5617502]https://www.globalresearch.ca/killing-us-softly-glyphosate-herbicide-or-genocide/5617502[/url]

and ‘GM Food Crops Illegally Growing in India: The Criminal Plan to Change the Genetic Core of the Nation’s Food System’.

[url=https://www.globalresearch.ca/gm-food-crops-illegally-growing-in-india-the-criminal-plan-to-change-the-genetic-core-of-the-nations-food-system/5617473]https://www.globalresearch.ca/gm-food-crops-illegally-growing-in-india-the-criminal-plan-to-change-the-genetic-core-of-the-nations-food-system/5617473[/url]

Of course, massive poisoning of the biosphere is only one way to destroy it and while elites and their agents drive most of this destruction they nevertheless often rely on our complicity. To itemize just a few of these many techniques for destroying our biosphere in most of which we are complicit, consider the following. We destroy rainforests – see ‘Cycles of Wealth in Brazil’s Amazon: Gold, Lumber, Cattle and Now, Energy’

http://www.ipsnews.net/2017/10/cycles-wealth-brazils-amazon-gold-lumber-cattle-now-energy/

– we contaminate and privatize the fresh water – see ‘Groundwater drunk by BILLIONS of people may be contaminated by radioactive material spread across the world by nuclear testing in the 1950s’

[url=https://www.transcend.org/tms/2017/05/groundwater-drunk-by-billions-of-people-may-be-contaminated-by-radioactive-material-spread-across-the-world-by-nuclear-testing-in-the-1950s/]https://www.transcend.org/tms/2017/05/groundwater-drunk-by-billions-of-people-may-be-contaminated-by-radioactive-material-spread-across-the-world-by-nuclear-testing-in-the-1950s/[/url]

and ‘Nestlé CEO Denies That Water is an Essential Human Right’

[url=https://www.activistpost.com/2013/04/nestle-ceo-denies-that-water-is.html]https://www.activistpost.com/2013/04/nestle-ceo-denies-that-water-is.html[/url]

– we overfish and pollute the oceans – see ‘New UN report finds marine debris harming more than 800 species, costing countries millions’

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=55724#.WEdCk1yYrIV – we eat meat despite the devastating impact of animal agriculture on Earth’s biosphere – see ‘The True Environmental Cost of Eating Meat’

[url=https://inhabitat.com/infographic-the-true-environmental-cost-of-eating-meat/]https://inhabitat.com/infographic-the-true-environmental-cost-of-eating-meat/[/url]

– we destroy the soil – see ‘Only 60 Years of Farming Left If Soil Degradation Continues’

[url=https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/only-60-years-of-farming-left-if-soil-degradation-continues/]https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/only-60-years-of-farming-left-if-soil-degradation-continues/[/url]

– and we use our cars and air travel (along with our meat-eating) as key weapons in our destruction of Earth’s atmosphere and climate with atmospheric carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide levels all breaking new records in 2016. See ‘Greenhouse Gas Bulletin’.

[url=https://ane4bf-datap1.s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wmocms/s3fs-public/ckeditor/files/GHG_Bulletin_13_EN_final_1_1.pdf]https://ane4bf-datap1.s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wmocms/s3fs-public/ckeditor/files/GHG_Bulletin_13_EN_final_1_1.pdf[/url]

So, in essence, the problem is this: Human beings are destroying the biosphere and driving countless lifeforms, including ourselves, to extinction. And there is little strategic resistance to this onslaught.

But if you think that is bad enough, did you know about the out-of-control methane releases into the atmosphere that we have triggered – see ‘7,000 underground gas bubbles poised to “explode” in Arctic’

http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/news/n0905-7000-underground-gas-bubbles-poised-to-explode-in-arctic/?nf=News

and ‘Release of Arctic Methane “May Be Apocalyptic,” Study Warns’

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/39957-release-of-arctic-methane-may-be-apocalyptic-study-warns

– and did you know that scientists at the University of Leicester warn that we are destroying the Earth’s oxygen? See ‘Global warming disaster could suffocate life on planet Earth, research shows’

[url=https://phys.org/news/2015-12-global-disaster-suffocate-life-planet.html]https://phys.org/news/2015-12-global-disaster-suffocate-life-planet.html[/url]

and ‘The Extinction Event Gains Momentum’.

[url=https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/08/08/the-extinction-event-gains-momentum/]https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/08/08/the-extinction-event-gains-momentum/[/url]

 

In addition, relying on our ignorance and our complicity, elites kill vast areas of Earth’s biosphere through war and other military violence (without even considering the unique, and possibly life-ending, devastation if the recently and repeatedly threatened nuclear war eventuates) – see, for example, the Toxic Remnants of War Project

http://www.toxicremnantsofwar.info/ and the film ‘Scarred Lands & Wounded Lives’ http://www.scarredlandsfilm.com/ – subject it to uncontrolled releases of radioactive contamination – see ‘Fukushima Radiation Has Contaminated The Entire Pacific Ocean – And It’s Going To Get Worse’

http://www.trueactivist.com/fukushima-radiation-has-contaminated-the-entire-pacific-ocean-and-its-going-to-get-worse/

– and use geoengineering to wage war on its climate, environment and ultimately ourselves. See, for example, ‘Engineered Climate Cataclysm: Hurricane Harvey’,

http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/engineered-climate-cataclysm-hurricane-harvey/

‘Planetary Weapons and Military Weather Modification: Chemtrails, Atmospheric Geoengineering and Environmental Warfare’,

[url=https://www.globalresearch.ca/military-weather-modification-chemtrails-atmospheric-geoengineering-and-environmental-warfare/5356630]https://www.globalresearch.ca/military-weather-modification-chemtrails-atmospheric-geoengineering-and-environmental-warfare/5356630[/url]

‘Chemtrails: Aerosol and Electromagnetic Weapons in the Age of Nuclear War’

[url=https://www.globalresearch.ca/chemtrails-aerosol-and-electromagnetic-weapons-in-the-age-of-nuclear-war-4/5617879]https://www.globalresearch.ca/chemtrails-aerosol-and-electromagnetic-weapons-in-the-age-of-nuclear-war-4/5617879[/url]

and ‘The Ultimate Weapon of Mass Destruction: “Owning the Weather” for Military Use’.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-ultimate-weapon-of-mass-destruction-owning-the-weather-for-military-use-2/5306386

Of course, all of this is done at immediate cost to human beings, particularly indigenous peoples – see, for example, ‘Five ways climate change harms indigenous people’ [Not to mention animals, the most vulnerable creatures of all.]

http://www.climatechangenews.com/2014/07/28/five-ways-climate-change-harms-indigenous-people/

– and those who are in the worst position to resist – see ‘Global Poverty: How the Rich Eat the Poor and the World: The Big Lies’

[url=https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-davos-blind-eye-how-the-rich-eat-the-poor-and-the-world/5503273]https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-davos-blind-eye-how-the-rich-eat-the-poor-and-the-world/5503273[/url]

– but elites know they can ignore our lobbying and occasional, tokenistic and disorganized protests while relying on the fear and powerlessness of most of us to ensure that we do nothing strategic to fight back.

And given the unrelenting criminal onslaught of the insane global elite – see ‘The Global Elite is Insane’

http://www.pravdareport.com/opinion/columnists/06-02-2014/126767-global_elite-0/

– directed against Earth’s biosphere, together with the elite’s many sycophantic academic, bureaucratic, business, legal, media, military, political and scientific servants who deny science and threaten human survival in the interests of short-term personal privilege, corporate profit and social control, it is long past time when those of us who are genuinely concerned should be developing and implementing a strategy that recognises the elite and its many agents as opponents to be resisted with a careful and powerful strategy.

So, in essence, the problem is this: Human beings are destroying the biosphere and driving countless lifeforms, including ourselves, to extinction. And there is little strategic resistance to this onslaught.

There is, of course, an explanation for this and this explanation needs to be understood if we are to implement a strategy to successfully halt our omnicidal assault on Earth’s biosphere in time to save ourselves and as many other species as possible in a viable ecological setting. This is because if you want to solve a problem or resolve a conflict, then it is imperative to know and act on the truth. Otherwise you are simply acting on a delusion and whatever you do can have no desirable outcome for yourself, others, the Earth or its multitude of creatures.

Of course, most people are content to live in delusion: it averts the need to courageously, intelligently and conscientiously analyse what is truly happening and respond to it powerfully. In short: it makes life ‘easier’ (that is, less frightening) even if problems keep recurring and conflicts are suppressed, to flare up periodically, rather than resolved.

And, of course, this is how elites want it. They do not want powerful individuals or organizations interfering with their scheme to (now rapidly) consolidate their militarized control over the world’s populations and resources. This is why, for example, elites love ‘democracy’: it ensures disempowerment of the population. How so? you might ask. The fundamental flaw of democracy is that people have been deceived into surrendering their personal power to act responsibly – in relation to the important social, political, economic, environment and climate issues of the day – to elected ‘representatives’ in government who then fearfully represent the elites who actually control them (whether through financial incentives, electoral support or other means), assuming they aren’t members of the elite themselves and simply represent elite priorities out of shared interest (as does Donald Trump).

And because we delegate responsibility to those powerless politicians who fearfully (or out of shared interest) act in response to elite bidding, the best scientific information in relation to the state of the Earth is simply ignored or rejected while conservative ‘scientific warnings’ advocating ‘strategies’ that must fail are widely circulated. See, for example, ‘World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice’.

[url=https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/article/doi/10.1093/biosci/bix125/4605229]https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/article/doi/10.1093/biosci/bix125/4605229[/url]

So this widespread failure to respond thoughtfully and powerfully is a fundamental reason that we are killing the biosphere and destroying life on Earth. Too few humans are willing to accept personal responsibility to understand why the violence is occurring and to participate in a carefully designed strategy to avert our own extinction, let alone save countless other species from premature entry into the fossil record. It is easier to leave responsibility to others. See ‘The Delusion “I Am Not Responsible”‘.

[url=https://www.thenigerianvoice.com/news/222631/the-delusion-i-am-not-responsible.html]https://www.thenigerianvoice.com/news/222631/the-delusion-i-am-not-responsible.html[/url]

And, clearly, time is running out, unless you are gullible enough to believe the elite-sponsored delusion that promotes inaction, and maximizes corporate profits in the meantime, because we are supposed to have until ‘the end of the century’. Far from it, however. As some courageous scientists, invariably denied access to mainstream news outlets, explain it: near-term human extinction is now the most likely outcome.

One of these scientists is Professor Guy McPherson [url=https://guymcpherson.com/]https://guymcpherson.com/[/url] who offers compelling evidence that human beings will be extinct by 2030. For a summary of the evidence of this, which emphasizes the usually neglected synergistic impacts of many of these destructive trends (some of which are noted above) and cites many references, listen to the lecture by Professor McPherson on ‘Climate Collapse and Near Term Human Extinction’.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/guy-mcpherson-on-climate-collapse-and-near-term-human-extinction/5386102

Why 2030? Because, according to McPherson, the ‘perfect storm’ of environmental assaults that we are now inflicting on the Earth, including the 28 self-reinforcing climate feedback loops that have already been triggered, is so far beyond the Earth’s capacity to absorb, that there will be an ongoing succession of terminal breakdowns of key ecological systems and processes – that is, habitat loss – over the next decade that it will precipitate the demise of homo sapiens sapiens. In relation to the climate alone, another scientist, Professor Kevin Anderson, who is Deputy Director of the UK’s premier climate modelling institution, the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research,

http://www.tyndall.ac.uk/ has warned that emissions are now out of control and we are heading for a world that is 6 degrees hotter; he pointed out that even the International Energy Agency, and conservative organisations like it, are warning that we are on track for a 4 degree increase (on the pre-industrial level) by 2040. He also accused too many climate scientists of keeping quiet about the unrealistic assessments put out by governments. See ‘What They Won’t Tell You About Climate Catastrophe’.

http://www.ecoshock.info/2012/11/kevin-anderson-what-they-wont-tell-you.html

So be wary of putting any credence on ‘official’ explanations, targets and ‘action-plans’ in relation to the climate that are approved by large gatherings, whether governmental or scientific. Few people have the courage to tell the truth when it guarantees unpopularity and can readily manifest as career-extinction and social and scientific marginalization.

As an aside, it is perhaps worth mentioning that most people have long forgotten that a decade ago (when the global temperature was .8 degrees above the pre-industrial level) it had been suggested that a decrease in global temperature to not more than .5 degrees above the pre-industrial level was actually necessary to achieve a safe climate, with the Arctic intact (although there was no clear feasible method for humans to reduce the global temperature to this level with any speed). Sadly we have made little progress in the past decade apart from to keep raising the ‘acceptable’ limit (whether to 2 degrees or ‘only’ 1.5). Most humans love to delude themselves to avoid dealing with the truth. Hence, for those of us committed to responding powerfully to this crisis, the fundamental question is this: Why, precisely, are human beings destroying life on Earth? Without an accurate answer to this question, any strategy to address this crisis must be based on either guesswork or ideology.

So let us briefly consider some possible answers to this question. Some people argue that it is genetic: human beings are innately violent and, hence, destructive behaviors towards themselves, others and the Earth are ‘built-in’ to the human organism; for that reason, violence cannot be prevented or controlled and humans must endlessly destroy.

However, any argument that human beings are genetically-predisposed to inflict violence is easily refuted by the overwhelming evidence of human cooperation throughout the millennia and there are endless examples, ranging from the interpersonal to the international, of humans cooperating to resolve conflict without violence, even when these conflicts involve complex issues and powerful vested interests. There are also plentiful examples of humans, particularly indigenous communities, living in harmony with, rather than destroying, nature.

Other analysts argue that human violence and destructiveness are manifestations of political, economic and/or social structures – such as patriarchy, capitalism and the state, depending on the perspective – and while I agree that (massive) structural violence actually occurs, I do not believe that these structures, by themselves, constitute an adequate explanation of the cause of violence.

This is simply because any structural explanation cannot account for violence in all contexts (including the violence that led to creation of the structure in the first place) or explain why it doesn’t happen in some contexts where a particular perspective indicates that it should. So is there another plausible explanation for human violence? And can we do anything about it? Let me offer an explanation and a way forward that also takes advantage of the insights of those traditions that have critiqued structural violence in its many forms.

I have been researching why human beings are violent since 1966 and the evidence has convinced me that the origin of all human violence is the violence inflicted by adults on children under the guise of what sociologists call ‘socialization’. This violence takes many forms – what I call ‘visible’, ‘invisible’ and ‘utterly invisible’ violence – and it  creates enormously damaged individuals who then personally inflict violence on themselves, those around them (including their own children) and the Earth, while creating, participating in, defending and/or benefiting from structures of violence and exploitation. For a full explanation of this point, see ‘Why Violence?’

http://tinyurl.com/whyviolence and ‘Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and Practice’.

http://anitamckone.wordpress.com/articles-2/fearless-and-fearful-psychology/

Hence, in my view, the evidence is overwhelming that if we want to end human violence, whether inflicted on ourselves, others or the Earth, then the central feature of our strategy must be to end adult violence against children. See ‘My Promise to Children’. 

[url=https://feelingsfirstblog.wordpress.com/my-promise-to-children/]https://feelingsfirstblog.wordpress.com/my-promise-to-children/[/url] I claim that this must be ‘the central feature of our strategy’ for the simple reason that each damaged child grows up to become a willing and active perpetrator of violence when, if they were not so damaged, they would be powerful agents of peace, justice and sustainability committed to resisting violence and exploitation in all contexts until it is eliminated.

This profound evolutionary inheritance – to be an individual of integrity who consciously chooses and lives out their own unique, powerful and nonviolent life path – has been denied to virtually all of us because humans endlessly terrorize their children into mindless obedience and social conformity, leaving them powerless to access and live out their conscience.

And this makes it very easy for elites: By then using a combination of our existing fear, indoctrination (via the education system, corporate media and religion) and intimidation (via the police, legal and prison systems), sometimes sweetened with a few toys and trinkets, national elites maintain social control and maximize corporate profits by coercing the rest of us to waste our lives doing meaningless work, in

denial of our Selfhood, in the corporate-controlled economy. As I implied above, however, we need not be content with just working to end violence against children. We can also work to end all other manifestations of violence – including violence against women, indigenous peoples, people of color, Islamic and working class people, and violence against the Earth and its natural creatures– but recognize that if we tackle this violence without simultaneously tackling violence at its source, we fundamentally undermine our effort to tackle these other manifestations of violence too. Moreover, tackling structural violence (such as capitalism) by using direct violence cannot work either. Because violence always feeds off fear it will always proliferate and remanifest, whether as direct, structural, cultural or ecological violence, however beneficial any short-term outcome may appear.

Importantly then, apart from understanding and addressing the fundamental cause of this crisis, we must implement a comprehensive strategy that takes into account and addresses each and every component of it. There is no point working to achieve a single objective that might address one problem no matter how important that particular problem might be. The crisis is too far advanced to settle for piecemeal action.

Hence, if you wish to tackle all of this violence simultaneously, you might consider joining those participating in the comprehensive strategy simply explained in ‘The Flame Tree Project to Save Life on Earth’.

http://tinyurl.com/flametree If you wish to tackle violence in a particular context, direct, structural or otherwise, consider using the strategic approach outlined in Nonviolent Campaign Strategy [url=https://nonviolentstrategy.wordpress.com/]https://nonviolentstrategy.wordpress.com/[/url] or Nonviolent

Defense/Liberation Strategy.

[url=https://nonviolentliberationstrategy.wordpress.com/]https://nonviolentliberationstrategy.wordpress.com/[/url]

And if you would like to publicly commit yourself to participate in the effort to end all human violence, you can do so by signing the online pledge of ‘The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World’.

http://thepeoplesnonviolencecharter.wordpress.com

Killing the biosphere is the most effective way to destroy life on Earth because it destroys the ecological foundation – the vast array of incredibly diverse and interrelated habitats – on which organisms depend for their survival. And we are now very good at this killing which is why averting human extinction is already going to be extraordinarily difficult.

Hence, unless and until you make a conscious personal decision to participate strategically in the struggle to save life on Earth, you will be one of those individuals who kills the biosphere as a byproduct of living without awareness and commitment: A person who simply over-consumes their way to extinction.

So next time you ponder the fate of humanity, which is inextricably tied to the fate of the Earth, it might be worth considering the unparalleled beauty of what Earth has generated. See, for example, ‘Two White Giraffes Seen in Kenyan Conservation Area’.

[url=https://www.rainforesttrust.org/news/two-white-giraffes-seen-kenyan-conservation-area/]https://www.rainforesttrust.org/news/two-white-giraffes-seen-kenyan-conservation-area/[/url]

And as you do this, ask yourself how hard you are willing to fight to save life on Earth. 

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 Robert J. Burrowes has a lifetime commitment to understanding and ending human violence. He has done extensive research since 1966 in an effort to understand why human beings are violent and has been a nonviolent activist since 1981. He is the author of ‘Why Violence?’ http://tinyurl.com/whyviolence His email address is flametree@riseup.net and his website is here. http://robertjburrowes.wordpress.com 
SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

Offline agelbert

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RE: Killing the Biosphere to Fast-track Human Extinction
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2017, 11:46:37 AM »


 

Excellent collection of references!

They all add up to indisputable evidence of our devastating Mammon worshipping, multi-species extinction trajectory. :(  Bertrand Russell was right.


Quote
Organic life, we are told, has developed gradually from the protozoon to the philosopher, and this development, we are assured, is indubitably an advance. Unfortunately it is the philosopher, not the protozoon, who gives us this assurance.  Bertrand Russell



The Annihilation of Nature : Human Extinction of Birds and Mammals

By (author)  Gerardo Ceballos , By (author)  Anne H. Ehrlich , By (author)  Paul R. Ehrlich
 
Gerardo Ceballos, Anne H. Ehrlich, and Paul R. Ehrlich serve as witnesses in this trial of human neglect, where the charge is the massive and escalating assault on living things. Nature is being annihilated, not only because of the human population explosion, but also as a result of massive commercial endeavors and public apathy.

Despite the well-intentioned work of conservation organizations and governments, the authors warn us that not enough is being done and time is short for the most vulnerable of the world's wild birds and mammals. Thousands of populations have already disappeared, other populations are dwindling daily, and soon our descendants may live in a world containing but a minuscule fraction of the birds and mammals we know today.

The Annihilation of Nature is a clarion call for engagement and action. These outspoken scientists urge everyone who cares about nature to become personally connected to the victims of our inadequate conservation efforts and demand that restoration replace destruction. Only then will we have any hope of preventing the worst-case scenario of the sixth mass extinction.

https://www.bookdepository.com/Annihilation-Nature-Gerardo-Ceballos/9781421417189


Leges         Sine    Moribus      Vanae   
Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

 

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