Monday, October 27, 2014

I See Witches

I have been reminded again of how different my world is from the one most people inhabit.  Months after listing a spare bedroom on airbnb, I finally had my first guests stay over on Saturday, a delightful young couple from Ukraine with one enormous German Shephard, a tiny Pomeranian, and an even tinier infant in tow.  I didn't get much sleep with various forms of commotion, but it was fun anyway.
Over breakfast our talk turned to the life of an expat, and the husband mentioned he loves California and might one day like to move there.  So being the doomer I am, I laughed and said a far more likely scenario is that everyone will move out because of the drought.  He was genuinely curious because he had absolutely no idea how serious the lack of rainfall is, and clearly knew even less about glacial melt from climate change.  He was under the impression that there is abundant reserves of water in Lake Tahoe!  I feel so alone with the witches that I see, traversing a dying landscape...even they look despondent and resigned to the destruction.
From a different perspective, another reminder of how isolated I am in my apocalyptic abyss occurred this morning when I glanced at the Huffington Post and saw that Jim Carrey did a spoof of some sort of music video that I had never heard of, by a singer I never heard I looked it up and found to my astonishment that it has had over 265 MILLION views!  I bet my young Ukranian friends are familiar with it.  Some of the nicely nihilistic lyrics:

I'm gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier
I'm gonna live like tomorrow doesn't exist
Like it doesn't exist
I'm gonna fly like a bird through the night, feel my tears as they dry
I'm gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier

Meanwhile I wonder how many people will read Stolen Future, Broken Present: The Human Significance of Climate Change by David Collings.  Here is a little excerpt from Section 8.  ~ A Slow and Endless Horror:

"Climate change ushers us into a truly new era. Living with climate change throws us out of our familiar narratives: it tells us that we have not surpassed the violence of the past and that the apparent guarantees under which we live may be illusions. As we live in the shadow of future devastation, the bitter taste of what may eventually transpire invades our daily lives, giving us the uncanny sense that our ordinary actions are accompanied by the trauma to come."

And I wonder how many will watch this video, which would be chilling except it's about warming...what David Spratt in Climate Code Red describes as:  "Climate change with its non-linear events, tipping points and irreversible events –  such as mass extinctions, destruction of ecosystems, the loss of large ice sheets and the triggering of large-scale releases of greenhouse gases from carbon stores such as permafrost and methane clathrates – contains many possibilities for catastrophic failure."


  1. Thank you for relating your experience with your guests and especially for the bottom video from Peter Sinclair. (Sorry, I didn't watch the VEVO music-vid.) The information presented by Dr. Vaks is especially chilling(?!!) when taken in conjunction with "BBC Global Dimming Documentary About Geoengineering & Global Warming!" (hat tip to dairymandave on NBL) The combined content of just these 2 videos should make clear that the game of life on this planet is nearing its end. Not in a hundred years or a few decades but much, much sooner! Many people are forecasting a financial shock coming in the next year or 2 that will make the last one pale by comparison. Such an event would almost certainly curtail air-travel and many other forms of particulate-aerosol-producing activities then Dr. Vaks' assertions will be tested in real time.

    1. Fasten seat belts...

    2. ;D In the vernacular of that era, "You said a mouthful, sister!" (Bette D. had all the right lines!)

      Or as today's youth might interject, "Word!" ;)

      And my sincerest apologies for not providing you with the hat tip in my recent NBL comment. :( Punish (said with a long "u") me if you must! :)

  2. colinc: agreed - that economic collapse may well trigger the "big step down" the elevator shaft to the bottom in that we'll have the collapse of all our vaunted systems (medicine, police, government - all the social connections including the internet - and probably the electrical grid too) which will halt all the supply chains, meaning no food at the grocery after what's there disappears and maybe even the municipal taps will shut off (certainly they will if the grid goes down). In an ironic twist of fate, grid failure means all our waste backs up with no place to go and the Earth will shit on US for a change!

    Gail: thanks for another heart-felt post in our apocalyptic world. Surely we're rapidly approaching the "silent spring" - since the trees look so bad already, i can't imagine they're gonna stick around and grow for too many more years in the gas chamber we've created and maintain with our fossil fuel use. Everyone is making plans for a future that isn't going to be there.
    Like your guests dreaming of a non-existent California, too many are looking ahead with the proverbial rose-colored glasses and HALLUCINATING a future that will turn into the worst nightmare they ever endured, and way too many will wonder why as the chaos and violence begin in earnest.


    1. Thanks, Tom, especially for your last sentence! :) It reminded me of the good old days when orange barrel, purple haze and window pane were always readily obtainable! I'm starting to wish I still had those connections and would even be content with some 'shrooms!! :)) Those substances may make some of the coming days a little less stressful.

    2. I'm not sure what (if anything) it means, but when I first I watched the video this article debunks I thought rapturously, YES! - that is what our brains see on acid hallucinations - just brilliant! untrue. Heh.

    3. I finally(?) watched the music-vid, on YouTube (and read some of the comments there), and I have no idea what the song is about or what relevance the young dancer (she appears rather spastic) is supposed to have!! Judging from the few comments I read, I'm not the only one who is confused! Moreover, I never had any hallucinations that annoying.

      Regardless, thank you for the Slate link. The video and music are nicely done and I can see where the uninitiated (i.e., ignoramuses) could be suckered-in to believe that tripe. I'm not much of a fan of Phil, I've seen him make too many mistakes in other places, and his rebuttal to that video/theory was a bit tedious to read but I can relate as I, too, used to be(?!) that impatient with that degree of charlatanism. At least he managed to get to the two obvious and salient points that constitute all the evidence one should require to know that the video's hypothesis is utter hokum. First, anyone with a telescope and a modicum of knowledge regarding astronomy can WATCH the other planets, both inner and outer, go behind the Sun from our perspective which would be impossible if the video were, in fact, correct... which it is not. Second, we have sent satellites to other planets, some in permanent orbit and others just whizzing past, and if the heliocentric model were incorrect the calculations required for those satellites would have been completely different than those that were used or they would have missed their targets by millions, if not billions, of miles. So, in essence, what we should really observe by all this is how abject belief can, and far too often does, obviate facts in the wee-minded.

  3. After re-reading your post, Gail, I realized there's at least two questions and a couple of points I should have asked/made. First, you mention that "talk turned to the life of an expat" and I am wondering if that is someone you know or someone your guests know. Are you free/able to disclose the current location (in very general terms, of course) of that person and any impressions or caveats s/he may have regarding that relocation?

    Additionally, since I spent about 5 years at the north end of Lake TooHigh, oops, Tahoe, in the late '70s early '80s, I found it amusing that anyone believes the water in that lake supplies anyone in CA, other than residents along the west shore. The Truckee River is the ONLY waterway that flows OUT of the lake and, while it meanders some to the northwest, it actually winds up in NV outside of Reno! Lastly, in case anyone is interested, my initial typo of the lake's name is actually how most year-round residents there refer to it... at least some of the time. It derives that moniker first due to its elevation above sea-level, approx 6220 ft (1000 ft higher than Denver), but perhaps foremost due to the fact, at least then, despite getting 20+ft of snowfall annually (I once saw 8 ft fall in less than 72 hrs), it actually snowed more INSIDE than it did outside!

    1. I asked them about living in the US being Ukranian - whether they got homesick and so forth. Since THEY are expats. And they LOVE America. They seem to be doing very well financially, he is importing Russian cosmetics craved by the many immigrants who are swimming in cash, whether that is because Russia is oil-rich or being run by a mafia-type cabal, I don't know...but apparently the ex-pats want all their comfort brands of shampoo and other toiletries just like they had at home so for the moment, everything is swimming for them and they plan to get more dogs, more kids, and a place in the country outside NY. When I was young I spent some time in a Truckee cabin north of Tahoe, very primitive conditions with no heat, steaming in a hot spring naked. That was pretty neat.

    2. Thank you for clarifying that your guest were the expats in question. I'll venture a guess that they are fleecing more people than just other Russian immigrants. It will be interesting to see(?) how all expats, regardless of origin or relocation, fare as international relations continue to unravel.

      I knew about the hot-springs in Truckee but never made a visit, I knew too many people along the north shore of the lake (I lived in Tahoe City) who had hot-tubs on a deck, usually with a view of the lake. During my 5-year working vacation there I spent more than a few hours in them, usually with some form of alcoholic beverage (often Mumms, White Star or Stoli), always sans clothing of any kind and frequently coed! Moreover, it often was after a day's skiing at Alpine or Squaw and we would be nice and toasty (in several ways) watching the snow fall, or the brilliant stars above. Those are some of my fondest memories. :)

  4. Gail, you are certainly not alone. I find it more and more difficult to 'shoot the breeze' with folks who are ignorant of our plight. Such attempts invariably lead to me making some comment that doesn't fit in the other's worldview, and that sparks off a discussion that almost inevitably leads to the other looking at *me* as though I'm the one who is living in a fantasy world. /eyeroll

    1. I, too, can relate to that experience and it often led to my being ridiculed and ostracized. So now, I'll occasionally ask others what their perspective is of AGW/climate destabilization and nod/smile. If they ask for MY perspective, which is exceedingly rare, I'll only reply that it's much, much worse than you've been led to believe then I walk away as quickly as possible.

  5. hi gail, It used to be that you would post every other day or at least a couple times a week. nowadays, when I venture on witsend to see if you posted, and happen to see a new message, i am filled with an inexpressible sentiment of gratitude. this is one of my only links to the world (and what a link!!!)
    I do not know how I still manage to thrive, but I do!
    I am basically watching the baseline going down. there is an ominous beauty in the new skies, always veiled, but wearing myriad different veils that did not exist 5 years ago. in part because of the added particles that reflect the sunlight in so many different ways. il feel the dimming in my bones.

    I do not know what others think. I walk in the streets, I stand in the bus, and look at people wondering; what do they know? what do they see? what do they feel? for the human beings I know personnally, they feel, more than they know, and they all take anti-depressants.


  6. some firmly beleive in "recovery". until the next time. or the next.
    I guess millions upon millions are already in full PTSD in the already worst affected regions of the world.

  7. Thanks Michele - even though there is always more in the news about ozone, I feel that I have made the case more than enough times. And everything looks so incredibly grim. There is an article up on Grist about "pre-traumatic stress disorder" quoting a scientist: "“It’s gotten to be so depressing that I’m not sure I’m going to go back to this particular site again,” she says, referring to an ocean reef she has studied since 2002, “because I just know I’m going to see more and more of it dead, and bleached, and covered with brown algae.” which is so pathetic since the trees on land are just as bad as the coral reefs under water, but far fewer people are aware of it. Then there is the minor annoyance that supposedly some psychiatrist "coined" the term when I have been describing my sufferings that way for some time as I posted in comments here:

    I think we can expect much more of both pre- and post- and probably more than a few fervent religious cults.

  8. Hey everyone! Yeah, i'm back from being too depressed to talk about anything meaningful. Happens every now and again, then I just wonder why i'm wasting the precious time remaining wrapped up in a funk when I'm still alive and snap out of it. The college kids I teach think i'm hilarious; little do they know i'm just nuts.

    colinc: Hey, it actually HELPS! see:


    Tripping on magic mushrooms may actually free the mind, a new study says. The compounds in the (illegal) mushrooms change the way the brain works.

    New research suggests that psilocybin, the main psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms, sprouts new links across previously disconnected brain regions, temporarily altering the brain's entire organizational framework.

    These new connections are likely what allow users to experience things like seeing sounds or hearing colors. And they could also be responsible for giving magic mushrooms some of their antidepressant qualities. [my middle son wants us to go to Peru for the Ayahuasca experience]

    Michele: keep on keepin' on girl! You're an inspiration to me with your continued comments under tremendous stress, depression and seeing reality for what it is. Thanks for stayin' in touch.

    The little girl in the music video is very nimble and lithe, though I too had no idea what she was going on about.

    Right now i'm listening to WPRB's 4 hour tribute to the music of Jack Bruce. Dude was incredibly talented - playing a host of instruments beside bass, including harmonica, cello, and piano; he wrote a lot, was classically trained and jazz inspired - and he sang well too!

    Looking forward to your next post Gail. You always have riveting, well researched content and write so well I keep coming back for more! The topics are always informative - even when you take trips to FL - and I appreciate your perspective. You dropped a big one on NBL the other day - enough to fill up two pages of responses from both sides - that I snickered at, but wouldn't comment on (not feelin' it). Amazing. Your concise statement that some would see as a no-brainer turned into this whole battle royal about some tiny aspect of our overshot population that made no sense whatsoever to me, in light of where we are now. Sheesh - some people . ..!

    1. Thank you very kindly for that link, Tom(?), but truth be told, nothing new to me. I used to tell [some] people, "I didn't experiment with drugs, I was into full scale research!" By research I mean not only via experience (and this ditty still speaks to/for me) but ALSO perusing all the "literature" I could find (from c.'71 onward)! I could write volumes myself especially regarding how the vast majority of what many people believe (there's THAT word again) about "drugs," both legal and otherwise, is utter horse-shit! Alas, I now know no means to acquire anything! :( Did you happen to see the Lisa Ling program on the "Ayahuasca experience" which aired on CNN a few nights ago? I found it, um, interesting, but personally I'd prefer the substances with which I'm already familiar.

      However, yet more of my thanks to you is due to BI's "suggestion" to read...

      A Virus Found In Lakes May Be Literally Changing The Way People Think

      "A virus was living in the mouths and throats of a good portion of the people in the study, a virus that the researchers didn't think was capable of infecting humans. Worse still, it seemed to be slowing some of the subjects' mental abilities, especially their ability to process visual information.

      The surprising part about this for researchers was that a microscopic organism that we thought could infect only algae — plants — was living in about 40% of the small number of people tested.
      "Here's the most interesting part (for most of us): Since the original study included cognitive tests, the scientists compared the data and saw that people with the virus living in their throats processed visual information about 10% slower than people without the virus — and this difference couldn't be explained by other factors like age, sex, race, socioeconomic status, education, place of birth, or smoking status."

      Paraphrasing another well known scientific observation, it seems we know more about "outer space" than we do about "inner space," that which exists in our own bodies! How very sad that "we" do not have the time to learn enough. Sadder still, the legions of our "fellow" human beings who seem to be averse to, or incapable of, learning anything! :(

  9. Ha thanks Tom it's always wonderful to hear from you. I'll have to check the reactions at NBL - haven't been back since I was informed that if I post any more anti-civ "judgmental bullshit" I will be banned. Well what's one more, heh?

    1. " I'll have to check the reactions at NBL..."

      You can if you want but I'm sure you can find better uses for your time. ;) Personally, my tolerance for the incessant display of the Dunning-Kruger effect, cognitive dissonance, absence of reading comprehension and anosognosia has pretty much reached its saturation point! There is no more reason there than is displayed nearly anywhere else. In fact, it's become reminiscent of the comment threads on ZH... utterly useless.

      However, on a more resonant note, perhaps, I thought you (and maybe Tom) would be interested in...

      Humanity: The Able but Unwilling Species
      Miracles, Human Nature, and Beneficent Behavior

      I exchanged a couple of emails with the author 5 or 6 years ago but he was more optimistic then and was a bit put off by my perspective which, it would appear, he has now adopted! Go figure!

  10. colinc: yep, me too (on "dabbling") - somehow i'm starting to feel like the entire 60's zeitgeist (remember the Whole Earth Catalogue?) was sidelined by drugs as a CIA op to keep the status quo on track to "a new world order" (to which the TPP, decimation of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and the whole worlds spying mentality have brought us ever-closer).
    I got to know my inner self real well and began my inspection of climate change (it wasn't even on the radar yet and the term didn't even exist) as a result of my experiences.

    Gail: wait, you mean GUY said that?


    1. quote unquote

      I think maybe it had less to do with my comments at NBL, and more to do with this question I posted on facebook a few days earlier:

      I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't get back to sleep, being bothered by a logical inconsistency (such is the fragile condition of my psyche!).
      Here it is:
      1. There are those who advocate dismantling industrial civilization in order to increase the odds that other species will survive the 6th mass extinction. [I don't agree with this premise, because I think that even without modern agriculture and transport 7 billion people will demolish everything that is left alive, climate change is already irreversible.]
      2. Some of the advocates of 1, above, also state that one possible route to near term human extinction is the inevitable meltdown of the world's nuclear power plants absent the ability to cool them which can only be provided by a functioning industrial civilization. [I have never seen any scientific evidence that the meltdown of nuclear power plants would extend beyond regional catastrophes, but this is the claim.]
      So, if NTHE can be caused by nuclear power plant meltdowns, surely that would also mean the extinction of everything else - humans are not uniquely susceptible to radiation. And if it means the extinction of everything else anyway (except maybe a few radiation-loving fungi) why would you want to hasten the collapse of industrial civilization? At the very least, the primary focus should be on keeping it going long enough to shut down the nuclear power plants - shouldn't it?
      ....any thoughts, folks?
      "When the world’s 442 nuclear power plants melt down catastrophically, we’ve entered an extinction event. Think clusterfukushima, times 400. Ionizing radiation could, and probably will, destroy every terrestrial organism and, therefore, every marine and freshwater organism. That, by the way, includes the most unique, special, intelligent animal on Earth."

      quote from:


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