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Messages - Randy C

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The Kitchen Sink / Re: Official Slow vs Fast Collapse Thread
« on: May 31, 2015, 04:50:56 AM »
I saw this piece on SHTF Plan the other day and my take on it is that the author is more focused on s political event that triggers a revolt by the populace as they realize that their rights are finally gone, not so much a collapse of the system.  Thus far, there has been no "big event" apart from 9/11 that really sent the US down the road to totalitarianism.  And what has been the result?  The sheep just get in line and the readers of SHTF Plan keep taking about how they are going to respond.  Yet, events like the Boston Marathon bombing (martial law drill), Sandy Hook (more gun control), TSA airport scanners, Snowden's revelations concerning NSA violations of the law just result in the public rolling over again and again.  As far as America goes, it is mostly a done deal when it comes to what has happened since 9/11.  Naomi Wolf has a presentation on Youtube from a speech she did in NH a couple years ago in which she outlines the ten steps to a totalitarian police state and in her view, we are on step 9, and the only thing holding them back is the large number of gun owners in the US.  One reason why we are still talking about these issues on this form and one reason we still have some liberty.  Gun confiscation is probably that last line in the sand that will really trigger a response from the public.  One of the reasons why the cops have been militarized and DHS is buying millions of hollow points.  I recommend being far away from that disaster before it gets going....

Podcasts / Re: Bond Market Collapse and the Banning of Cash
« on: May 23, 2015, 05:47:09 AM »
There are days you truly remind me of Strong Bad.... :emthup:

I love doing the Self-Parody shit, I find it HILARIOUS. LOL.  :icon_mrgreen:


Podcasts / Re: Bond Market Collapse and the Banning of Cash
« on: May 22, 2015, 06:17:35 PM »
ALREADY @ 143 Listens with 2 Hearts & 6 Downloads! :icon_sunny:

Also, got a New Follower, now @ 123 on Soundcloud.

Also, Total Diner Soundcloud Listens now at 99,919!  Only 81 to go for 6 Digits:icon_sunny: :icon_sunny: :icon_sunny:

RE Superstar of Doom

There are days you truly remind me of Strong Bad.... :emthup:

Environment / To the end of the Earth - Six Degrees
« on: May 16, 2015, 04:45:37 PM »
Credit to Robin of Seemorerocks blog for finding this fine piece of reporting from 15 years ago.

Talking about runaway climate change - in 2000
An article, dated November, 2000 (when it was still permissible to talk about this), clipped from the journal Nature

This is from the greatest of all sceptic publications, Murdoch's  'the Times'

Much of this scenario appears to be happening at .85C and 400 ppm CO2

To the end of the Earth - Six Degrees

Sunday Times
15 March 07


This is our future famous cities are submerged, a third of the world is desert, the rest struggling for food and fresh water. Richard Girling investigates the reality behind the science of climate change. Mark Lynas rummages through his filing cabinet like a badger raking out his bedstraw, much of the stuff so crumpled that he might have been sleeping on it for years. Eventually he finds what he is looking for four sheets of printed paper, stapled with a page of notes.

It is an article, dated November 2000, which he has clipped from the scientific journal Nature: "Acceleration of global warming due to carbon-cycle feedbacks in a coupled climate model". Even when they are mapping a short cut to Armageddon, scientists do not go in for red-top words like"crisis". If you speak the language, however, you get the message and the message, delivered by the UK Met Office's Hadley Centre for Climate Change, was cataclysmic.

"There should have been panic on the streets," says Lynas in his new book, Six Degrees," people shouting from the rooftops, statements to parliament and 24-hour news coverage."

In layman's language, Hadley's message was that newly discovered"positive feedbacks"would make nonsense of accepted global-warming estimates. It would not be a gradual, linear increase with nature slowly succumbing to human attrition. Nature itself was about to turn nasty. Instead of absorbing and retaining greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, the figures suggested, it would suddenly spew them out again billions of years' worth of carbon and methane, incontinently released in blazing surges that would drown or incinerate whole cities. Ice would melt in torrents, and the Earth's essential green lung, the Amazon rainforest, could be moribund as early as 2050. A vicious spiral would have begun which would threaten not just our way of life but the very existence of our own and every other species on Earth. Lynas's notes, still fixed to the report, have the dour humour of the gallows: "The end of the world is nigh, and it's already been published in Nature."

Next day's newspapers ignored the rescheduling of Armageddon the headlines were all about faulty counts in the US presidential election, Gordon Brown's fiddling with National Insurance and Lord Falconer's refusal to resign over"the Dome fiasco". Lynas, however, was energised like the hero of a disaster movie. Inconveniently, he had a book to write, but as soon as he'd finished it he pedalled from his Oxford home to the nearby Radcliffe Science Library. He did it every working day for a year: arriving at 10am and sitting till five in the afternoon, being served sheaves of paper by librarians who even though professionally attuned to world-class standards of eccentricity must have wondered at the power of the man's obsession.

Lynas wanted to see every scrap of paper the library held on global warming. Scanning at speed, he worked his way through two or three hundred every day, tens of thousands in all. Then as now, new pieces of research were emerging almost weekly as computer models were improved, new data collected and analysed. Then as now, there was no single, provable prediction of the future. Without knowing how much more fossil fuel will be burnt, the best science can offer is a range of plausible"scenarios". These vary so widely that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in its Third Assessment report in 2001, was able to suggest only that global average temperatures by the end of the 21st century will have risen between 1.4 and 5.8C above the average for 1990 an estimate which last month it pushed up to a possible maximum of 6.4C. It doesn't look much, but it could measure the difference between survival and the near-extinction of human life.

On Lynas's laptop were six spreadsheets one for each degree of warming from one to six. As he worked, he would slot each paper into the appropriate file. Many of them included predictions from climate models, but there was more: "Some of the most interesting came from palaeoclimate studies investigations of how variations in temperature, calculated by analysis of soil strata and ancient ice- cores, affected the planet in prehistory."It was these that would give some of the most terrifying insights into what the future might be like. Which parts of the globe would be abandoned first? What was the precise mechanism that, eventually, would wipe us out?

The spreadsheets became the six core chapters of Lynas's book a detailed, carefully annotated, degree-by-degree guide not just to our grandchildren's futures but to our own.


Even if greenhouse emissions stopped overnight of which there is about as much chance as Tony Blair holidaying in Skegness the concentrations already in the atmosphere would still mean a global rise of between 0.5 and 1C. A shift of a single degree is barely perceptible to human skin, but it's not human skin we're talking about. It's the planet; and an average increase of one degree across its entire surface means huge changes in climatic extremes.

Six thousand years ago, when the world was one degree warmer than it is now, the American agricultural heartland around Nebraska was desert. It suffered a short reprise during the dust- bowl years of the 1930s, when the topsoil blew away and hundreds of thousands of refugees trailed through the dust to an uncertain welcome further west. The effect of one-degree warming, therefore, requires no great feat of imagination.

"The western United States once again could suffer perennial droughts, far worse than the 1930s. Deserts will reappear particularly in Nebraska, but also in eastern Montana, Wyoming and Arizona, northern Texas and Oklahoma. As dust and sandstorms turn day into night across thousands of miles of former prairie, farmsteads, roads and even entire towns will be engulfed by sand."

What's bad for America will be worse for poorer countries closer to the equator. The Hadley centre calculates that a one-degree increase would eliminate fresh water from a third of the world's land surface by 2100. Again we have seen what this means. Lynas describes an incident in the summer of 2005: "One tributary fell so low that miles of exposed riverbank dried out into sand dunes, with winds whipping up thick sandstorms. As desperate villagers looked out onto baking mud instead of flowing water, the army was drafted in to ferry precious drinking water up the river by helicopter, since most of the river was too low to be navigable by boat."The river in question was not some small, insignificant trickle in Sussex. It was the Amazon.

While tropical lands teeter on the brink, the Arctic already may have passed the point of no return. Warming near the pole is much faster than the global average, with the result that Arctic icecaps and glaciers have lost 400 cubic kilometres of ice in 40 years. Permafrost ground that has lain frozen for thousands of years is dissolving into mud and lakes," destabilising whole areas as the ground collapses beneath buildings, roads and pipelines". As polar bears and Inuits are being pushed off the top of the planet, previous predictions are starting to look optimistic."Earlier snowmelt," says Lynas," means more summer heat goes into the air and ground rather than into melting snow, raising temperatures in a positive feedback effect. More dark shrubs and forest on formerly bleak tundra means still more heat is absorbed by vegetation."

Out at sea the pace is even faster."Whilst snow-covered ice reflects more than 80% of the sun's heat, the darker ocean absorbs up to 95% of solar radiation. Once sea ice begins to melt, in other words, the process becomes self-reinforcing. More ocean surface is revealed, absorbing solar heat, raising temperatures and making it unlikelier that ice will re-form next winter. The disappearance of 720,000 square kilometres of supposedly permanent ice in a single year testifies to the rapidity of planetary change. If you have ever wondered what it will feel like when the Earth crosses a tipping point, savour the moment."

Mountains, too, are starting to come apart. In the Alps, most ground above 3,000 metres is stabilised by permafrost. In the summer of 2003, however, the melt zone climbed right up to 4,600 metres, higher than the summit of the Matterhorn and nearly as high as Mont Blanc. With the glue of millennia melting away, rocks showered down and 50 climbers died. As temperatures go on edging upwards, it won't just be mountaineers who flee."Whole towns and villages will be at risk," says Lynas."Some towns, like Pontresina in eastern Switzerland, have already begun building bulwarks against landslides."

At the opposite end of the scale, low-lying atoll countries such as the Maldives will be preparing for extinction as sea levels rise, and mainland coasts in particular the eastern US and Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean and Pacific islands and the Bay of Bengal will be hit by stronger and stronger hurricanes as the water warms. Hurricane Katrina, which in 2005 hit New Orleans with the combined impacts of earthquake and flood, was a nightmare precursor of what the future holds.

"Most striking of all," says Lynas," was seeing how people behaved once the veneer of civilisation had been torn away. Most victims were poor and black, left to fend for themselves as the police either joined in the looting or deserted the area. Four days into the crisis, survivors were packed into the city's Superdome, living next to overflowing toilets and rotting bodies as gangs of young men with guns seized the only food and water available. Perhaps the most memorable scene was a single military helicopter landing for just a few minutes, its crew flinging food parcels and water bottles out onto the ground before hurriedly taking off again as if from a war zone. In scenes more like a Third World refugee camp than an American urban centre, young men fought for the water as pregnant women and the elderly looked on with nothing. Don't blame them for behaving like this, I thought. It's what happens when people are desperate."

Chance of avoiding one degree of global warming: zero.


At this level, expected within 40 years, the hot European summer of 2003 will be the annual norm. Anything that could be called a heatwave thereafter will be of Saharan intensity. Even in average years, people will die of heat stress.

"The first symptoms," says Lynas," may be minor. A person will feel slightly nauseous, dizzy and irritable. It needn't be an emergency: an hour or so lying down in a cooler area, sipping water, will cure it. But in Paris, August 2003, there were no cooler areas, especially for elderly people.

"Once body temperature reaches 41C (104F) its thermoregulatory system begins to break down. Sweating ceases and breathing becomes shallow and rapid. The pulse quickens, and the victim may lapse into a coma. Unless drastic measures are taken to reduce the body's core temperature, the brain is starved of oxygen and vital organs begin to fail. Death will be only minutes away unless the emergency services can quickly get the victim into intensive care.

"These emergency services failed to save more than 10,000 French in the summer of 2003. Mortuaries ran out of space as hundreds of dead bodies were brought in each night."Across Europe as a whole, the heatwave is believed to have cost between 22,000 and 35,000 lives. Agriculture, too, was devastated. Farmers lost $12 billion worth of crops, and Portugal alone suffered $12 billion of forest-fire damage. The flows of the River Po in Italy, Rhine in Germany and Loire in France all shrank to historic lows. Barges ran aground, and there was not enough water for irrigation and hydroelectricity. Melt rates in the Alps, where some glaciers lost 10% of their mass, were not just a record they doubled the previous record of 1998. According to the Hadley centre, more than half the European summers by 2040 will be hotter than this. Extreme summers will take a much heavier toll of human life, with body counts likely to reach hundreds of thousands. Crops will bake in the fields, and forests will die off and burn. Even so, the short-term effects may not be the worst:

"From the beech forests of northern Europe to the evergreen oaks of the Mediterranean, plant growth across the whole landmass in 2003 slowed and then stopped. Instead of absorbing carbon dioxide, the stressed plants began to emit it. Around half a billion tonnes of carbon was added to the atmosphere from European plants, equivalent to a twelfth of global emissions from fossil fuels. This is a positive feedback of critical importance, because it suggests that, as temperatures rise, carbon emissions from forests and soils will also rise. If these land-based emissions are sustained over long periods, global warming could spiral out of control."

In the two-degree world, nobody will think of taking Mediterranean holidays."The movement of people from northern Europe to the Mediterranean is likely to reverse, switching eventually into a mass scramble as Saharan heatwaves sweep across the Med."People everywhere will think twice about moving to the coast. When temperatures were last between 1 and 2C higher than they are now, 125,000 years ago, sea levels were five or six metres higher too. All this"lost"water is in the polar ice that is now melting. Forecasters predict that the"tipping point"for Greenland won't arrive until average temperatures have risen by 2.7C. The snag is that Greenland is warming much faster than the rest of the world 2.2 times the global average."Divide one figure by the other," says Lynas," and the result should ring alarm bells across the world. Greenland will tip into irreversible melt once global temperatures rise past a mere 1.2C."The ensuing sea-level rise will be far more than the half-metre that the IPCC has predicted for the end of the century. Scientists point out that sea levels at the end of the last ice age shot up by a metre every 20 years for four centuries, and that Greenland's ice, in the words of one glaciologist, is now"thinning like mad and flowing much faster than [it] ought to". Its biggest outflow glacier, Jakobshavn Isbrae, has thinned by 15 metres every year since 1997, and its speed of flow has doubled."At this rate," says Lynas," the whole Greenland ice sheet would vanish within 140 years. Miami would disappear, as would most of Manhattan. Central London would be flooded. Bangkok, Bombay and Shanghai would lose most of their area. In all, half of humanity would have to move to higher ground."

Not only coastal communities will suffer. As mountains lose their glaciers, so people will lose their water supplies. The entire Indian subcontinent will be fighting for survival."As the glaciers disappear from all but the highest peaks, their runoff will cease to power the massive rivers that deliver vital freshwater to hundreds of millions. Water shortages and famine will be the result, destabilising the entire region. And this time the epicentre of the disaster won't be India, Nepal or Bangladesh, but nuclear-armed Pakistan."

Everywhere, ecosystems will unravel as species either migrate or fall out of synch with each other. By the time global temperatures reach two degrees of warming in 2050, more than a third of all living species will face extinction.

Chance of avoiding two degrees of global warming: 93%, but only if emissions of greenhouse gases are reduced by 60% over the next 10 years.


Up to this point, assuming that governments have planned carefully and farmers have converted to more appropriate crops, not too many people outside subtropical Africa need have starved. Beyond two degrees, however, preventing mass starvation will be as easy as halting the cycles of the moon."First millions, then billions, of people will face an increasingly tough battle to survive," says Lynas.

To find anything comparable we have to go back to the Pliocene last epoch of the Tertiary period, 3m years ago. There were no continental glaciers in the northern hemisphere (trees grew in the Arctic), and sea levels were 25 metres higher than today's. In this kind of heat, the death of the Amazon is as inevitable as the melting of Greenland. The paper spelling it out is the very one whose apocalyptic message so shocked Lynas in 2000. Scientists at the Hadley centre feared that earlier climate models, which showed global warming as a straightforward linear progression, were too simplistic in their assumption that land and the oceans would remain inert as their temperatures rose. Correctly as it would turn out, they predicted positive feedback.

"Warmer seas," explains Lynas," absorb less carbon dioxide, leaving more to accumulate in the atmosphere and intensify global warming. On land, matters would be even worse. Huge amounts of carbon are stored in the soil, the half-rotted remains of dead vegetation. The generally accepted estimate is that the soil carbon reservoir contains some 1600 gigatonnes, more than double the entire carbon content of the atmosphere. As soil warms, bacteria accelerate the breakdown of this stored carbon, releasing it into the atmosphere."

The Hadley team factored this new feedback into their climate model, with results that fully explain Lynas's black-comic note to himself: The end of the world is nigh. A three-degree increase in global temperature possible as early as 2050 would throw the carbon cycle into reverse."Instead of absorbing carbon dioxide," says Lynas," vegetation and soils start to release it. So much carbon pours into the atmosphere that it pumps up atmospheric concentrations by 250 parts per million by 2100, boosting global warming by another 1.5C. In other words, the Hadley team had discovered that carbon- cycle feedbacks could tip the planet into runaway global warming by the middle of this century much earlier than anyone had expected."

Confirmation came from the land itself. Climate models are routinely tested against historical data. In this case, scientists checked 25 years' worth of soil samples from 6,000 sites across the UK. The result was another black joke."As temperatures gradually rose," says Lynas," the scientists found that huge amounts of carbon had been released naturally from the soils. They totted it all up and discovered irony of ironies that the 13m tonnes of carbon British soils were emitting annually was enough to wipe out all the country's efforts to comply with the Kyoto Protocol."All soils will be affected by the rising heat, but none as badly as the Amazon's."Catastrophe"is almost too small a word for the loss of the rainforest. Its 7m square kilometres produce 10% of the world's entire photosynthetic output from plants. Drought and heat will cripple it; fire will finish it off. In human terms, the effect on the planet will be like cutting off oxygen during an asthma attack.

In the US and Australia, people will curse the climate-denying governments of Bush and Howard. No matter what later administrations may do, it will not be enough to keep the mercury down. With new"super-hurricanes"growing from the warming sea, Houston could be destroyed by 2045, and Australia will be a death trap."Farming and food production will tip into irreversible decline. Salt water will creep up the stricken rivers, poisoning ground water. Higher temperatures mean greater evaporation, further drying out vegetation and soils, and causing huge losses from reservoirs."In state capitals, heat every year is likely to kill between 8,000 and 15,000 mainly elderly people.

It is all too easy to visualise what will happen in Africa. In Central America, too, tens of millions will have little to put on their tables. Even a moderate drought there in 2001 meant hundreds of thousands had to rely on food aid. This won't be an option when world supplies are stretched to breaking point (grain yields decline by 10% for every degree of heat above 30C, and at 40C they are zero). Nobody need look to the US, which will have problems of its own. As the mountains lose their snow, so cities and farms in the west will lose their water and dried-out forests and grasslands will perish at the first spark.

The Indian subcontinent meanwhile will be choking on dust."All of human history," says Lynas," shows that, given the choice between starving in situ and moving, people move. In the latter part of the century tens of millions of Pakistani citizens may be facing this choice. Pakistan may find itself joining the growing list of failed states, as civil administration collapses and armed gangs seize what little food is left."

As the land burns, so the sea will go on rising. Even by the most optimistic calculation, 80% of Arctic sea ice by now will be gone, and the rest will soon follow. New York will flood; the catastrophe that struck eastern England in 1953 will become an unremarkable regular event; and the map of the Netherlands will be torn up by the North Sea. Everywhere, starving people will be on the move from Central America into Mexico and the US, and from Africa into Europe, where resurgent fascist parties will win votes by promising to keep them out.

Chance of avoiding three degrees of global warming: poor if the rise reaches two degrees and triggers carbon-cycle feedbacks from soils and plants.


The stream of refugees will now include those fleeing from coasts to safer interiors millions at a time when storms hit. Where they persist, coastal cities will become fortified islands. The world economy, too, will be threadbare."As direct losses, social instability and insurance payouts cascade through the system, the funds to support displaced people will be increasingly scarce."Sea levels will be rampaging upwards in this temperature range, both poles are certain to melt, causing an eventual rise of 50 metres."I am not suggesting it would be instantaneous," says Lynas."In fact it would take centuries, and probably millennia, to melt all of the Antarctic's ice. But it could yield sea-level rises of a metre or so every 20 years far beyond our capacity to adapt."Oxford would sit on one of many coastlines in a UK reduced to an archipelago of tiny islands.

More immediately, China is on"a collision course with the planet". By 2030, if its people are consuming at the same rate as Americans, they will eat two-thirds of the entire global harvest and burn 100m barrels of oil a day, or 125% of current world output. That prospect alone contains all the ingredients of catastrophe. But it's worse than that: "By the latter third of the 21st century, if global temperatures are more than three degrees higher than now, China's agricultural production will crash. It will face the task of feeding 1.5bn much richer people 200m more than now on two thirds of current supplies."For people throughout much of the world, starvation will be a regular threat; but it will not be the only one.

"The summer will get longer still, as soaring temperatures reduce forests to tinderwood and cities to boiling morgues. Temperatures in the Home Counties could reach 45C the sort of climate experienced today in Marrakech. Droughts will put the south-east of England on the global list of water-stressed areas, with farmers competing against cities for dwindling supplies from rivers and reservoirs.

"Air-conditioning will be mandatory for anyone wanting to stay cool. This in turn will put ever more stress on energy systems, which could pour more greenhouse gases into the air if coal and gas-fired power stations ramp up their output, hydroelectric sources dwindle and renewables fail to take up the slack."The abandonment of the Mediterranean will send even more people north to"overcrowded refuges in the Baltic, Scandinavia and the British Isles".

Britain will have problems of its own."As flood plains are more regularly inundated, a general retreat out of high risk areas is likely. Millions of people will lose their lifetime investments in houses that become uninsurable and therefore unsaleable. The Lancashire/Humber corridor is expected to be among the worst affected regions, as are the Thames Valley, eastern Devon and towns around the already flood-prone Severn estuary like Monmouth and Bristol. The entire English coast from the Isle of Wight to Middlesbrough is classified as at 'very high' or 'extreme' risk, as is the whole of Cardigan Bay in Wales."

One of the most dangerous of all feedbacks will now be kicking in the runaway thaw of permafrost. Scientists believe at least 500 billion tonnes of carbon are waiting to be released from the Arctic ice, though none yet has put a figure on what it will add to global warming. One degree? Two? Three? The pointers are ominous.

"As with Amazon collapse and the carbon-cycle feedback in the three- degree world," says Lynas," stabilising global temperatures at four degrees above current levels may not be possible. If we reach three degrees, therefore, that leads inexorably to four degrees, which leads inexorably to five."

Chance of avoiding four degrees of global warming: poor if the rise reaches three degrees and triggers a runaway thaw of permafrost.


We are looking now at an entirely different planet. Ice sheets have vanished from both poles; rainforests have burnt up and turned to desert; the dry and lifeless Alps resemble the High Atlas; rising seas are scouring deep into continental interiors. One temptation may be to shift populations from dry areas to the newly thawed regions of the far north, in Canada and Siberia. Even here, though, summers may be too hot for crops to be grown away from the coasts; and there is no guarantee that northern governments will admit southern refugees. Lynas recalls James Lovelock's suspicion that Siberia and Canada would be invaded by China and the US, each hammering another nail into humanity's coffin."Any armed conflict, particularly involving nuclear weapons, would of course further increase the planetary surface area uninhabitable for humans."

When temperatures were at a similar level 55m years ago, following a very sudden burst of global warming in the early Eocene, alligators and other subtropical species were living high in the Arctic. What had caused the climate to flip? Suspicion rests on methane hydrate "an ice-like combination of methane and water that forms under the intense cold and pressure of the deep sea", and which escapes with explosive force when tapped. Evidence of a submarine landslide off Florida, and of huge volcanic eruptions under the North Atlantic, raises the possibility of trapped methane a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide being released in a giant belch that, as Lynas puts it," pushed global temperatures through the roof".

"Summer heatwaves scorched the vegetation out of continental Spain, leaving a desert terrain which was heavily eroded by winter rainstorms. Palm mangroves grew as far north as England and Belgium, and the Arctic Ocean was so warm that Mediterranean algae thrived. In short, it was a world much like the one we are heading into this century."Although the total amount of carbon in the atmosphere during the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum, or PETM, as scientists call it, was more than today's, the rate of increase in the 21st century may be 30 times faster. It may well be the fastest increase the world has ever seen faster even than the episodes that caused catastrophic mass extinctions.

Globalism in the five-degree world will break down into something more like parochialism. Customers will have nothing to buy because producers will have nothing to sell. With no possibility of international aid, migrants will have to force their way into the few remaining habitable enclaves and fight for survival.

"Where no refuge is available," says Lynas," civil war and a collapse into racial or communal conflict seems the likely outcome."Isolated survivalism, however, may be as impracticable as dialling for room service."How many of us could really trap or kill enough game to feed a family? Even if large numbers of people did successfully manage to fan out into the countryside, wildlife populations would quickly dwindle under the pressure. Supporting a hunter-gatherer lifestyle takes 10 to 100 times the land per person that a settled agricultural community needs. A large-scale resort to survivalism would turn into a further disaster for biodiversity as hungry humans killed and ate anything that moved."Including, perhaps, each other."Invaders," says Lynas," do not take kindly to residents denying them food. History suggests that if a stockpile is discovered, the householder and his family may be tortured and killed. Look for comparison to the experience of present-day Somalia, Sudan or Burundi, where conflicts over scarce land and food are at the root of lingering tribal wars and state collapse."

Chance of avoiding five degrees of global warming: negligible if the rise reaches four degrees and releases trapped methane from the sea bed.


Although warming on this scale lies within the IPCC's officially endorsed range of 21st-century possibilities, climate models have little to say about what Lynas, echoing Dante, describes as"the Sixth Circle of Hell". To see the most recent climatic lookalike, we have to turn the geological clock back between 144m and 65m years, to the Cretaceous, which ended with the extinction of the dinosaurs. There was an even closer fit at the end of the Permian, 251m years ago, when global temperatures rose by yes six degrees, and 95% of species were wiped out.

"That episode," says Lynas," was the worst ever endured by life on Earth, the closest the planet has come to ending up a dead and desolate rock in space."On land, the only winners were fungi that flourished on dying trees and shrubs. At sea there were only losers."Warm water is a killer. Less oxygen can dissolve, so conditions become stagnant and anoxic. Oxygen-breathing water- dwellers all the higher forms of life from plankton to sharks face suffocation. Warm water also expands, and sea levels rose by 20 metres."The resulting"super-hurricanes"hitting the coasts would have"triggered flash floods that no living thing could have survived".

There are aspects of the so-called"end-Permian extinction"that are unlikely to recur most importantly, the vast volcanic eruption in Siberia that spread magma hundreds of metres thick over an area bigger than western Europe and shot billions of tonnes of CO' into the atmosphere. That is small comfort, however, for beneath the oceans, another monster stirred the same that would bring a devastating end to the Palaeocene nearly 200m years later, and that still lies in wait today. Methane hydrate.

Lynas describes what happens when warming water releases pent-up gas from the sea bed."First, a small disturbance drives a gas-saturated parcel of water upwards. As it rises, bubbles begin to appear, as dissolved gas fizzles out with reducing pressure just as a bottle of lemonade overflows if the top is taken off too quickly. These bubbles make the parcel of water still more buoyant, accelerating its rise through the water. As it surges upwards, reaching explosive force, it drags surrounding water up with it. At the surface, water is shot hundreds of metres into the air as the released gas blasts into the atmosphere. Shockwaves propagate outwards in all directions, triggering more eruptions nearby."

The eruption is more than just another positive feedback in the quickening process of global warming. Unlike CO', methane is flammable."Even in air-methane concentrations as low as 5%," says Lynas," the mixture could ignite from lightning or some other spark and send fireballs tearing across the sky."The effect would be much like that of the fuel-air explosives used by the US and Russian armies so-called"vacuum bombs"that ignite fuel droplets above a target. According to the CIA," Those near the ignition point are obliterated. Those at the fringes are likely to suffer many internal injuries, including burst eardrums, severe concussion, ruptured lungs and internal organs, and possibly blindness."Such tactical weapons, however, are squibs when set against methane-air clouds from oceanic eruptions. Scientists calculate that they could"destroy terrestrial life almost entirely" (251m years ago, only one large land animal, the pig-like lystrosaurus, survived). It has been estimated that a large eruption in future could release energy equivalent to 108 megatonnes of TNT 100,000 times more than the world's entire stockpile of nuclear weapons. Not even Lynas, for all his scientific propriety, can avoid the Hollywood ending."It is not too difficult to imagine the ultimate nightmare, with oceanic methane eruptions near large population centres wiping out billions of people perhaps in days. Imagine a 'fuel-air explosive' fireball racing towards a city London, say, or Tokyo the blast wave spreading out from the explosive centre with the speed and force of an atomic bomb. Buildings are flattened, people are incinerated where they stand, or left blind and deaf by the force of the explosion. Mix Hiroshima with post-Katrina New Orleans to get some idea of what such a catastrophe might look like: burnt survivors battling over food, wandering far and wide from empty cities."

Then would come hydrogen sulphide from the stagnant oceans."It would be a silent killer: imagine the scene at Bhopal following the Union Carbide gas release in 1984, replayed first at coastal settlements, then continental interiors across the world. At the same time, as the ozone layer came under assault, we would feel the sun's rays burning into our skin, and the first cell mutations would be triggering outbreaks of cancer among anyone who survived. Dante's hell was a place of judgment, where humanity was for ever punished for its sins. With all the remaining forests burning, and the corpses of people, livestock and wildlife piling up in every continent, the six-degree world would be a harsh penalty indeed for the mundane crime of burning fossil energy."


If global warming continues at the current rate, we could be facing extinction. So what exactly is going to happen as the Earth heats up? Here is a degree-by-degree guide

1c Increase

Ice-free sea absorbs more heat and accelerates global warming; fresh water lost from a third of the world's surface; low-lying coastlines flooded

2c Increase

Europeans dying of heatstroke; forests ravaged by fire; stressed plants beginning to emit carbon rather than absorbing it; a third of all species face extinction

3c Increase

Carbon release from vegetation and soils speeds global warming; death of the Amazon rainforest; super-hurricanes hit coastal cities; starvation in Africa

4c Increase

Runaway thaw of permafrost makes global warming unstoppable; much of Britain made uninhabitable by severe flooding; Mediterranean region abandoned

5c Increase

Methane from ocean floor accelerates global warming; ice gone from both poles; humans migrate in search of food and try vainly to live like animals off the land

6c Increase

Life on Earth ends with apocalyptic storms, flash floods, hydrogen sulphide gas and methane fireballs racing across the globe with the power of atomic bombs; only fungi survive

Chance of avoiding six degrees of global warming: zero if the rise passes five degrees, by which time all feedbacks will be running out of control

To the end of the Earth - Six Degrees

Geopolitics / Re: Big anouncement from The Kremlin, Vlads MIA
« on: March 16, 2015, 07:22:19 AM »
I still say they've been playing war games, working on their chain-of-command, their nuclear readiness drills, and so forth.

Not because they are the aggressors AG, but because they feel backed into a corner.

The Russians are being backed into a corner by the FSA and its NATO partners.  Russia started readiness drills today in the western and northern military districts.  This is an important signal that they are not happy with what is going on.  I take this very seriously....

Geopolitics / Re: Putin Eats Babies
« on: March 16, 2015, 04:29:30 AM »
A little saying I remember from graduate school:  If you can't attack the conclusions, attack the data, if you can't attack the data, attack the methodology, if you can't attack the methodology attack the analyst/scientist.  Yes, that's it. Your fat, wear silly clothing and ride an old bike to work!   ;)  Oh, and your wife is ugly too!   :D

I too went off to school searching for unbiased truth as well.  That led to a career in government.  I learned government didn't care about truth, only managed perceptions of truth (that's true of lots of various organizations), and that people who do tell the truth (9/11, Iraq WMD) will not fair well.

I also learned that idealistic people go to Washington to die.

Works like a charm.   :P

Podcasts / Re: Do it for Denmark
« on: March 15, 2015, 07:06:28 PM »

Animals have a much better blood gut barrier than humans do and that is why they can eat/drink all kinds of crap (water out of the floor drain in the milking parlor by way of example) without dying.  Humans on the other hand, not so much.  Strain the water through a cloth filter and then boil it and let it cool off will make it safe to drink.  I would still boil my stream water though I do drink the spring water without treating it because it is from a closed spring box.  Also, being a farmer, I've been exposed to a lot more bacteria than most city people.  The milk inspector called it farmers gut.  That's why I can't use myself as an example for why my milk is safe.  I can drink it raw but others may not be able to.  Now that said, I have been taking donations for raw milk since the summer of 2010 and have not had any complaints about people getting sick, though there was a case of some people getting sick in Northern VA due to raw milk, but there could have been other problems as well meaning it was not the milk or the milk was contaminated with e-coli or something along those lines.

Podcasts / Re: Do it for Denmark
« on: March 13, 2015, 04:18:22 AM »
Two thirds of the American population is obese and won't be going anywhere without fuel.  As to how far people get once the fun starts, that depends on how fast things unfold and the time of year.  As you know, it doesn't take much to plug up the road system, a little snow and lots of panic shut down I-95 south bound back in Feb 2001 with a 131 vehicle pile up.  (I missed out on sitting in that one all night by not leaving work until 3 pm and then going south on US 301 through Maryland across the Nice Bridge into VA, then west to Fredericksburg)  As to walking, most people can't cover 20-30 miles per day unless they are runners or hikers.  I could do about half that and I walk a lot.  Topography is also a factor, US 221, coming up Bent Mountain west of Roanoke, is a series of long and sometimes steep switchbacks.  All the roads out here are mountain roads, slow going and with the constant risk of attack from the locals, that will slow people down.

I'm not trying to argue that no one will make it out here, on the contrary, the meanest, nastiest SOBs will be the ones who do make it out here, and given that the average person can't really carry a lot (80 lbs max) that means they will need to find food almost every day and a lot of the weight these people will be carrying will be in weapons and ammo (rifle or shotgun and hand gun).  Throw in a tent, sleeping bag, cook kit, extra clothing, socks, some basic tools, (saw, axe, multi-tool) water, rain suit and some food, they will be moving a bit slower than if they were just out on a day hike, not to mention that movement will be slowed by the locals trying to repulse the invaders.  Yes, it will be a mess when the food system collapses.

Yes, once this place sells we will be coming west looking at other living arrangements and AK is still on my list.  Best to try to get ahead of the crowd.  Once they figure out the abrupt climate change is here to stay the migrations will start, assuming there is fuel for their vehicle....  :o

Podcasts / Re: Do it for Denmark
« on: March 12, 2015, 05:35:59 PM »
The population density around here is 42 per sq mile or 640 acres.  In my neighborhood, there are about that many people.  Most of them are over 60 and are not very mobile without their cars/trucks so I don't expect too much trouble early on from the locals.  It will take a bit longer for those who are more than a mile away to start filtering in having consumed the larger beef, sheep and dairy herds in the county.  In fact, there are several people within a mile that also have milk cows and calves/steers on hands as well as chickens and pigs, so I am not the only target.

Though, RE, your points are not lost on me. Two and 1/2 years ago when we made the decision to sell one of the many reasons was that we were known locally and as far away as Blacksburg, VA (40 miles) as a local food producer.  It is hard to have a business and produce an income while hiding from your buyers, unless all you do is farmers market and you never tell any of your buyers where you are.  That is okay with most people, but some, like me, want to see where things are produced and refusing to show your place off can have some repercussions as word gets around the market that you won't show off your farm.  Eventually, even the market manager is going to demand a visit just to make sure you really are producing the food and not just reselling, a big no no at the Blacksburg, VA farmers market.

Anyone with an improved road and incoming power lines will likely have uninvited visitors once food supplies come under threat and that certainly does include me and mine.  Again, one of the many reasons I decided that this paradigm just would not stand the test of time and began looking at other options including a mix of primitive living as well as pre-draft horse farming.  Tales From The Green Valley (BBC production) is a good example of 1600 farmings in England.

Another showing this weekend.  I insisted that the realtor make sure that these people are per-approved and can actually make the purchase.  They raise sheep and liked our four foot woven wire fencing.  Makes me glad I spent the money to have it put in my a professional fence builder.

Podcasts / Re: Do it for Denmark
« on: March 12, 2015, 02:30:34 PM »
In addition to climate change, fresh water depletion and energy depletion, one often not talked about factor in our system coming apart is soil depletion.  All you need to do is go visit the Mississippi gulf coast when the tide is out to see the dunes of top soil sitting on the bottom of the gulf to know that the soil has been blowing out of the Midwest and Great Plains and going down the Mississippi River for about 120 years now and about half of that was done with draft horses.

Back when I was a kid, my cousins, who owned a farm in northeastern Iowa, told me there was about seven feet of top soil there.  That was a long time ago when the road network was laid out the fields were at the same level as the roads and the ditches were classic Iowa 7 foot deep ditches.  Ask anyone who has ever slid into one of those ditches what that is like!  Now, the fields are level with the bottom of the ditches.  It is a bit shocking to look back at old photos and see just how much lower the fields are today than they were 50 years ago.

It takes at least six inches of top soil to grow food, about nine remains on average in the breadbasket of the US.  Once that next four inches is gone, large scale mechanized farming will be coming to an end, regardless of how much oil is in the ground.  It takes a lot of capital to grow crops every year, and that capital comes from banks and those banks require crop insurance and it won't take very many failed seasons to not only break the bank as it were, but to starve the population as well as there is only about seven or eight months of food on hand in the US if the next harvest fails.

This is one of the reasons why I am such a believer and practitioner of small scale farming because not only do I like to eat good quality non-GMO food but I also like to be able to afford food.  With meat and dairy going through the roof, keeping a cow and some calves that grow into steers around is not only a good idea it is becoming a necessity.  And the reality is that most parts of the eastern US don't have enough wild food to begin to support the population as it stands now.  There probably isn't enough domestic food as well and as California and the High Plains dry out and blow away we will really get to see some serious shit!   :icon_mrgreen:

The Diner Pantry / Re: The Big Churasco
« on: March 08, 2015, 11:27:25 AM »
So, no moose or bear on the menu?  That would be my first choice on last great frontier.  A Remington 400 chambered in 30.06 should do the job nicely.  Or if the budget it tight for rifles, a Mosin only costs about $110 down here in SW VA.  I would think they are not too expensive up your way.  I've been watching a program called "Life below Zero," that chronicles the lives of a selected number of Alaskans.  One of them is named Agnes Hailstone and she hunts with a Mosin without a scope.  I'm rather impressed with that gal, she took a running wolf at 300 yards with that rifle.  Took three shots but she got it....

The only way we can afford beef is to grow it ourselves or buy old cows and cut them up ourselves.

Podcasts / Re: Smokin' Economista Crack
« on: March 07, 2015, 06:18:38 AM »
Wolf of Wall Street....

Doomsteading / Re: Boomer Doomers
« on: March 05, 2015, 10:32:34 AM »
Okay, I'm still trying to figure out how to do the imbedding comments along with quotes.....

Doomsteading / Re: Boomer Doomers
« on: March 05, 2015, 08:14:55 AM »
"Certainly good to practice farming during current times of largess, plenty and abundance than when it might REALLY matter."

Anyone who thinks they can just walk out of the a large city and into my world with no prior experience and survive in it more than a few months is deluded.

But of course. My comment relates to exactly what you did instead...starting off with a large nest egg. As your quote from Nicole implies, you started early and therefore had access to the stored abundance you had accumulated, as compared to some city folk thinking they can make a go of becoming joe-farmer somewhere.

Yes, this is true, having a nest egg to start out with is generally a requirement to engage in small scale, for profit farming.  That is why there are lots of young people who want to do this but can't because they don't have money to rent/buy land, buy equipment/seeds/plants/livestock.  The problem for us oldsters is that by the time you have the money your ability to do the work comes into question.  It is easy to sit at your desk in D.C. and day dream of farming but after eight years of farming I can tell you that I am worn out and it probably has more to do with all the years of sitting on my butt in college/graduate school, commuting to work and sitting in the office all takes it toll on ones body.

Practicing and doing while the world is still spinning with no nukes being dropped is superior to doing it when trying to fend off the legions of starving I imagine.

Absolutely true.  Even just trying to do a modern "homestead" requires some semblance of normalcy.  Most of us would have a tough time making a go of it by just walking out into the Alaskan bush or the boreal forests of Canada and be able to survive there.  I guess it is just a question of your exceptions.  If you can be happy living that way and have some idea what you are doing, then a guy might be able to just pick up and go once the fun really starts provided that they are near enough to their destination to be able to make it.

The problem with this scheme is that if you had stayed all in during the ramp up out of 2009, you would have even MORE capital now to make a go out of it, and the learning, from a superior reinforced position. And then the question becomes, at what point do any of us choose to cut and run for high ground, be it retirement and just counting on BAU trudging along as it has since the last time people were worried about nuclear war.

Well, that is an assumption that can now be looked via looking into the past.  In 2009 looking forward it was not clear what was coming, I didn't know that the Fed would bail out the banks to the tune of $16 trillion and it was possible that the credit system could have seize up and that would be that.  Others argued that if the TBTJ banks had been dealt with right there and then things would be improving.  Again, it doesn't matter, that is not what was done and we have to live with the actions not the "what ifs".

Another point is that I am now six years older than I was in 2009 and I was not getting any younger and I was not going to stay in that hell hole called DHS.  I did spend about a year trying to find a new position while I was on my rotation to NCTC but I was not successful.  My problem was simple, the USGOV was really the only one who would employ me with my skill set, either as a contractor or a civil servant and I really had no where else to go.  I wanted out and that was that.  More money?  Well, at the end of the day, we are good a wasting it and much better making good decisions when we don't have so much of it, at least that has been my experience.  So the more money argument really doesn't do much for me.  Take a look at the book, "The Moneyless Manifesto" for a taste of my feelings on that subject.

Now for most older people near retirement, it probably makes sense to have some preps and improved skill sets and then to wait until they retire before leaving, for those who have retired, they can stay were they are or move out into the mountains.  Again, it is all a matter of what you feel you can do and how you can deal with reality as it comes.  All of the doom stuff is just nonsense until it isn't.  Life was just fine in France until the Germans came pouring across the boarder and then that was that.  Or in my case, there are about 16 dams west of here managed by the TVA/Army Corps of Engineers.  Below them are lots of industry (Eastman Chemical in Kingsport is an example) and then six nuclear power plants.  These dams were built in the 1930s/40s for flood control and hydro power.  They are about 75 years old.  They are built on rock that may be unstable (Boone dam) and if the big ones were to fail (the Cherokee dam) six nuclear power reactors just might get washed out and then burn.  Now, again, it is all foolishness, nothing to worry about... but if they fail and the nukes burn, then I either pick up and leave or suffer the consequences.  Again, it is all foolishness until that "Oh shit!" moment arrives.  Oh, did I mention that the same people who managed the levies in New Orleans are the same ones working with the TVA?  Naw, can't possibly be a problem....

Nuclear war being a far more reasonable scenario for doom than some of the economic trash talking from amateurs that appears far more popular, IMHO.

At this point in time, I agree, but I also see the two intertwined.  How does more debt solve Greece's problems?  How does the EU grow out of this as a deflationary depression sets in?  The same can be said for the US.  I just don't see how the system rights itself by adding more debt.  Maybe I'm just being silly again.... :laugh:

 I have been gardening since I was five and have about 13 years experience with livestock and I am always learning.  And despite all I know I am still vulnerable to failure without the system like everyone else is.

Sure. Good thing you got all this practice in though while the sun was shining, system still working, plenty of oil and resources around then, right? I am of an age that the decision point has almost reached the "fuck it" inflection point. Not enough years left in life to worry about trying to squeeze survival out of becoming Amish because of some oft predicted, dreamy doom scenario, as opposed to kicking back and watch the entire mess do whatever it is that it wants to do, and enjoying the ride right up to the moment of impact. I suppose I worry about the kids more than I do myself, and haven't yet figured out how to help them across the span of their lives, beyond making them solid, critical thinking younglings without the habit of falling for whatever they read on some blog or whatever their friends think is cool and popular.

Well, if it were so simple as riding a jet into the ground.  Sudden is fine, but there is no guarantee that sudden will be it.  I don't want to starve/freeze or be tortured to death or die of radiological poisoning.  I don't want to face a situation where I have to say, "oh crap, I could have done something." I do get your point on hitting the "fuck it" inflection point.  I have come to call it the "fuck it 50s." and I think it is true for most of us.  "Please.... I just want to retire and enjoy what is left of my life!!!"

My goal now is to see to it that my son has the best path forward possible.  I don't expect to see my federal retirement/SS, I would just be happy if I could check out of this system and enjoy what is left regardless of how things unfold.  I would also like pick a place and a group of people where the damage could be mitigated and the suffering minimized.

And that's how I see things on the cold rainy day in Floyd County, VA....

Randy-- I went into your message and edited the BBCode to make the conversation more readable. Wanted to flag this because we NEVER edit people's posts otherwise. Just wanted to let you know. -Surly1

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