2017-03-31

The Empire Express, March 2017


A world in collapse, it turns out, is a busy place. One has a hard time keeping up with all the breaking news of mid-term and long-term significance. “May you live in interesting times!” is one famous Chinese curse that Westerners usually fail to understand. We are currently learning the hard way what it truly means. Though not consistently. Often times I want to cry out loud how the worst of desasters still pass us by as though they were scenes from the movies. And really, all that rapid change can just make you dizzy.
With my own writing, I can only cover a small spectrum of topics. At its foundation lies a worldview, or rather, an understanding, that expresses itself in essays whose contents get inspired by the overabundant information flowing in.

In this digest, I would like to present some of the more 'interesting' articles I came across recently. I recommend them for either their illustrative information on the state of affairs or their profound insight into what said information means.
Starting out as a monthly category, the frequency may change if needed.

Make careful choices on what you invite into your consciousness and take your time taking in, exploring further, and processing it.

Ongoing Assault


What if all I want is a mediocre life? - Krista O'Reilly Davi Digui, No Sidebar, 201703x
Is a simple life a good enough life?

Can democracy save us? – George Barrett, CounterPunch, 20170327
"Here in Germany there is a term for the (inadequate) proposals of the Green Party to change popular thinking about environmental issues: the Greens’ suggestion in the last national election that it would be a good thing for everyone to refrain from eating meat for one day every week was scorned as attempted “Öko-Diktatur” (Eco-Dictatorship). The Greens were lampooned mercilessly in the press for wanting to control the behavior of Germany’s allegedly politically conscious citizens, and sustained losses in the election as a result. That is the mentality faced by anyone who seriously believes democracy or dialogue can save the environment […] Of course, I am aware that this sounds like a plea for authoritarianism, and I suppose that it is, although I am fully aware that it will not win me many political allies. But I believe that a deluded optimism is far more dangerous than a clear view of a frightening future. In spite of my anarchist heart, I want life on this planet – not only human life, but especially plant and animal life, which it appears ever more likely we would destroy along with ourselves – to survive. And that means, as I see it, in fact, some kind of Eco-Dictatorship.”
Fukushima: government guilty of destroying Pacific Ocean -- Daniel Newton, NeonNettle, 20170327
The Maebashi district court ordered government and operator to pay some commpensation.
"Radioactive Debris from Fukushima approaching North America’s western coast. If that weren’t bad enough, Fukushima continues to leak an astounding 300 tons of radioactive waste into the Pacific Ocean every day. It will continue to do so indefinitely as the source of the leak cannot be sealed as it is inaccessible to both humans and robots due to extremely high temperatures. It should come as no surprise, then, that Fukushima has contaminated the entire Pacific Ocean in just five years. This could easily be the worst environmental disaster in human history" and "will likely continue affecting wildlife and humans for the next 250,000 years."
The nuclear disaster has contaminated the world’s largest ocean in only five years and it’s still leaking 300 tons of radioactive waste every day.

Read more at: http://www.neonnettle.com/news/2003-fukushima-japanese-government-guilty-of-destroying-pacific-ocean-
© Neon Nettle
The nuclear disaster has contaminated the world’s largest ocean in only five years and it’s still leaking 300 tons of radioactive waste every day.

Read more at: http://www.neonnettle.com/news/2003-fukushima-japanese-government-guilty-of-destroying-pacific-ocean-
© Neon Nettle
The nuclear disaster has contaminated the world’s largest ocean in only five years and it’s still leaking 300 tons of radioactive waste every day.

Read more at: http://www.neonnettle.com/news/2003-fukushima-japanese-government-guilty-of-destroying-pacific-ocean-
© Neon Nettle
The nuclear disaster has contaminated the world’s largest ocean in only five years and it’s still leaking 300 tons of radioactive waste every day.

Read more at: http://www.neonnettle.com/news/2003-fukushima-japanese-government-guilty-of-destroying-pacific-ocean-
© Neon Nettle
The nuclear disaster has contaminated the world’s largest ocean in only five years and it’s still leaking 300 tons of radioactive waste every day.

Read more at: http://www.neonnettle.com/news/2003-fukushima-japanese-government-guilty-of-destroying-pacific-ocean-
© Neon Nettle
The nuclear disaster has contaminated the world’s largest ocean in only five years and it’s still leaking 300 tons of radioactive waste every day.

Read more at: http://www.neonnettle.com/news/2003-fukushima-japanese-government-guilty-of-destroying-pacific-ocean-
© Neon Nettle
The nuclear disaster has contaminated the world’s largest ocean in only five years and it’s still leaking 300 tons of radioactive waste every day.

Read more at: http://www.neonnettle.com/news/2003-fukushima-japanese-government-guilty-of-destroying-pacific-ocean-
© Neon Nettle
Near Term Human Extinction has saved my life – DareToBeDifferent, 20170327
"This [Guy McPherson] lecture sent shock waves through me and of course sadness, numbness, but also validation. Validation because I could see how this war machine, deteriorating capitalistic, species slaughtering, ice cap reducing system was all leading to something […] The most important thing is now I am trying to live a life of excellence and I am definitely living here now. It’s changed my life completely and I feel like looking back on it all finding out about NTHE saved me.”

Why being realistic feels like doomsday thinking – Joe Brewer, Medium.com, 20170325
“To avoid the negative has a name in psychology — it is called denial. And far too many among us are in denial right now.”

[Regarding the discussion on climate change] – Charles Eisenstein, 20170324
Although I sometimes get the feeling that figures do not matter enough in Charles' perspective -- after all, without figures we couldn't state that there is more to the weird weather all over the globe than atmospheric hickups and freak occurances -- I absolutely support the points he makes about climate change (and all the rest of our huge pile of civilized trouble) not being physical events merely. There is an emotional dimension to it, a spiritual dimension, and elements that speak to us as biological, tribal beings. Having neglected those has played a huge part in getting us stranded in our predicament. Now, Charles means to say that, if there is a solution, it might be hidden within the neglected and the denied aspects of our lives. For certain, pursuing life not as a supposedly flawed machine but as the wholesome human being that I am, to me, is worth whatever it takes, regardless of outcome. And that is not at all as anthropocentric as it sounds at first. For us to live like humans, to feel human, and to be human does not require our cultural 'achievement' in the first place, but our embeddedness with the living planet. Even in its wrecked state there is nothing we can do to improve it.

"This year, NOAA [the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] predicts that a weak to moderate El Nino may form which would further exacerbate climate change driven water stresses in India.
These are tough conditions. But the worst may be yet to come for 2017.
April, May and June is the hottest, driest period for India. And the state is entering this season with almost a 150 million people already facing water stress. Moreover, the warming of Equatorial waters in the Pacific as another El Nino is again expected to emerge increases the risk that the 2017 monsoon could be delayed or weakened. So with a water crisis now ongoing in the south, conditions are likely set to worsen soon."
We may change to less water-intense crops, but those are not suitable for feeding everyone. The human population needs to go down. People need to understand that it is basically the amount of irrigation water that determines the amount of food available, and that, generally spoken, to reduce the amount of water used for farming results in the reduction of human food. Think about it.

“Climate change is out for the time being,” officials say.

Key issue of climate change: the not at all surprising state of affairs.

Failed government policy regarding electricity and a growing population wanting to eat are meeting changing climatic conditions that impact the Monsoon as the main provider of water.

A recently published study looked into how life recovered after the "Great Dying", the end-Permian extinction event during which more than "90% of all living creatures went kaput" and found interesting analogies to our current 6th mass extinction.
“This is what makes it so interesting,” Foster told me, “Because you have this huge volcanic eruption that releases all these gases, and then you look at what’s happening today [with climate change] and they’re all the same gases. They’re causing the same effects. So we can say, ‘This is what it did in the past and this is what we might be looking at for the future [...]
We don’t think we will reach the threshold we reached in the Great Dying,” Foster told me. “Or, we hope we won’t, anyway."
Well, one can hope, of course, but for hope to have a tangible efect we need to hope much harder than before, it seems. The article in The Atlantic in which the above-mentioned study was reported describes a few of the conditions we could have found back then -- and maybe again tomorrow -- if only we were able to survive them for longer than a few minutes.
Adrienne Lafrance did a fine job here because she doesn't come from that arrogant point of view that 'this can't happen to us'. She writes, "the story of life on our planet isn’t the story of a single species at the top of the food chain, but ultimately a tale of relentless adaptability."

Have We Been Denying Our Human Nature for Four Hundred Years? Eurocentric modernism has unhinged us from our human nature, argues Rajani Kanth in his new book – Lynn Parramore, Films for Action, 20170314
The article doesn't fully go to the root of our predicament, but it has some damn good points about how our culture does not work out – and where to look for solutions. A must-read.

Revolutions Are Bloody, But So Is Doing Nothing – Paul Craig Roberts, Institute for Political Economy, 20170314
I concur. Staying silent is a political act that supports the ravaging of the living planet.

The convergence of critical climatic tipping points in a brief overview, and the bleak outlook on near-term developments. 1.2C increase since 1880 baseline as mentioned in the article translates into 1.6C increase since 1750 (real) pre-industrial baseline. Beware of snow jobs.

Yemen and several African states across the continent are facing severe droughts. Early stages of abrupt climate change – 1.6C above pre-industrial baseline – and we already see the world burning.

Pearls Before Swine

Discoveries of older articles that - obviously - didn't change the world.

12 Life Lessons from a Man Who's Seen 12000 Deaths – Deepak Ramola, Uplift Connect, 20160621
You may have heard of Bronnie Ware, an Australian nurse who wrote about the top-10 regrets of the dying. Here is something similar from an Indian perspective. They share certain insights, but there is also a specifically South Asian understanding that Westerners can learn from, like, "Acceptance is liberation". Facing death consciously liberates from the all-pervasive background fear we often carry around all our lives, and so helps with experiencing life more intensely, more joyfully.

From the NonProfit Industrial Complex with Love – Cory Morningstar, The Art of Annihilation, home, 201703x
How the environmental movement has been hijacked by the mainstream and turned into the activist arm of industrial interests.

Sustainability is destroying the Earth – Kim, Stories of Creative Ecology, 20120828
Similar to Cory Morningstar's article, Kim shows how sustainability is an expression of the unwillingness to let go of our destructive culture.

Cartoon

The train of civilization
Economic Joyriders
(August 27, 1891 Statesville, North Carolina: A passenger train of the Western North Carolina Railroad derails upon entering Bostian's bridge, plunging to the creek below)

2017-03-24

Transcending sustainability


The second thing that came up was, The age of sustainability is over!
It was one of those talks when you expect to spend some time together playing with ideas, but then it explodes and the discussion carves deep into multiple layers of existence.
The other day an anthropology student working on her thesis interviewed me on my understanding of sustainability. I could tell her a bunch about what it is likely not and how we are fooling ourselves into believing we were living sustainably. Changing light bulbs does ring a bell, I guess. This, in itself, has the potential to upset your average conversation partner beyond reason, despite the fact that 'greenwashing' has long ago taken residence in every dictionary there is. Noticing she understood my point and was willing to ask the right questions in order to help the talk developing it was a real pleasure to discuss the actual party killer with her for an extended amount of time:
Not only is civilization as such an unsustainable model because it is based on separation and therefore on anthropocentrism and therefore on eternal expansion and therefore on violence and therefore on destruction (read "Endgame" and other works by Derrick Jensen for a more comprehensive explanation), but we have allowed ourselves to get trapped in a place literally beyond return.

Has that ever occurred to you? We could come up with the blueprint for a perfectly sustainable society, put it into practice tonight, and still get our plane crashed, because we have run out of jet fuel, the craft is already plummeting, and there are no parachutes on board... but we still have plenty of Coca-Cola available.

Being aware of the situation, what are we going to do? Do we ignore the steep decline which we can feel in our guts? Will we rattle the video screen, screaming at the top of our lungs that we want out? Or are we staying calm, trying to help our neighbour cope with the shock? As far as I'm concerned, the fact that we are all dead in a minute, with no one left to tell our story, doesn't mean a thing. It is no excuse for selfishness. It never was, even if we had a thousand years to live, and we simply need to do what feels right, be it against all odds.

Though very few share my alleged pessimism regarding our near-term survival some of us have at least understood the need for action. Unfortunately, all of the sustainability movement & most of environmental NGOs have been hijacked by Mother Culture. People like Cory Morningstar and platforms like Deep Green Resistance or Wrong Kind Of Green have described how well-meaning activists get soaked up by financial interests which make them believe that their actions have a beneficial effect on the natural world when all they are attempting is, to sustain the unsustainable set of living arrangements called industrial civilization. The colossal misguidedness is as tragic as it is typical of modern-day existence. I cannot help but wonder whether there is meaning in anything we do when it seems we are caught in a hopeless situation. I'll come back to this in a minute.

First let me repeat what many of my regular readers know already; I am not about stopping anyone from doing anything. In reaching out through my writing I attempt to shed a light on the insane thought patterns of our culture in order to raise the questions that actually matter. We need to see what is real. Only then is there a chance of us being able to make a difference.

Talking about sustainability, what is it exactly that we want to maintain? Our way of life? Or life as such? Ask yourself which one is more basic. The answer tells you something about goals worth pursuing and prices to be paid, and I do hold that, if we come from our deepest understanding of reality, we get a sense of a fundamental, innate kind of morality. When we allow that set of deep values to intuitively guide our actions we no longer let ourselves get stopped by petty arguments, nor do we rate success as highly as before. We eventually may fail to achieve what we wanted to happen; we may die in the process of pursuing our aspirations. The whole world may fall apart, which we may foresee or not, but we won't stop following the path of right action.

Raising awareness in ourselves and others is a necessary first step for inciting activism. We need to know the facts, we need to get our goals straight, we need to get connected. Yet no amount of words, and I must have spilled hundreds of thousands of them already, no amount of learned philosophizing nor new-age self-improvement talking-heads' workshops can replace walking the talk. It is only when thought, words, and action are in line with reality, with what is, that we have a chance at touching that which will last in one way or another. As over short or long none of us lasts, as even our whole species goes extinct sooner or later, sustainability requires us to transcend both our personal interests and the interests of the human race. This is why, as a person who foresees an impending calamity, I am more inclined to live actively than ever before, at times when I still believed in changing the world. In acting, I consciously manifest the understanding that wanting to change the world is rejecting what is and that this notion led us to the unsustainably complicated culture we hate to let go even as it kills us. To act sustainably, to me, means to live simple or, in its most radical form, to simply live. The age of sustainability, the bloody rule of civilized ways is over. Only existence is eternal. Whatever will be, will be.

2017-03-18

All the fools sail away


We bring you beautiful
We teach you sin
We can give you a piece of the universe
Or we will disappear
Never to return again

And all the fools sailed away...
– from the Dio album 'Dream Evil' (1987)

You may have noticed that I wrote recently that I am preparing for a collapse before 2020 and I wonder somehow what you made of it. The statement itself may appear confusing, even ludicrous, especially when you know me closer or followed my blogs: I'm not at all a prepper. I don't store canned food in the cellar, I don't build bunkers, I don't hide out in the mountains. When the time comes I'll just perish with the rest of the community of life, likely early on. This is not something I'm looking forward to. I didn't buy into a death cult. Life has become such a joy to me recently, but this was made possible with the emergence of the understanding only that living happens from moment to moment, with no guarantee there will ever be another. Preparing, to me, means that those moments of presence become the dominant, or the only, way of being, and that I'll be able to contribute to other people's wellbeing this way, especially when it matters most: in the end.

2020, yes, that's quite a risky prediction. It leaves very little time for coping with the bleakness of a no-future future. If I still broke my head over shallow moral issues I'd be afraid of whipping people into a – possibly unjustified – panic. But I don't, and people are denying the probability of extinction anyway, so there is no panic to be afraid of. The risk that I'm turning myself into a laughing stock is way more real, although I'm not afraid of this, either. If I were wrong, there'd be an off chance that, within the extra time, we curbed the worst consequences of our culture's destructiveness, yet it also meant the prolongation of trillionfold suffering until the time civilization had actually reached its limits. It meant that, instead of being grateful for getting to live another year, self-acclaimed skeptics could continue to spew their cynicist acid like they always used to, and yet another round of global exploitation would unfold. Doomer dude was wrong. How convenient.

2020. Few people pretend to know the schedule of future history; I certainly don't. I'll not assert I'm right while everyone else is wrong. I don't want to be right. Equally, I don't want to be wrong when I look at the ever increasing pollution of water, soil, and air, when I observe the steep decline in social coherence, social justice and social peace, when I hear the drums of war drown out all other utterances. Global debt rises exponentially; so does human population. I see boreal forests burn up, temperate forests dry out, tropical forests getting clearcut. I see record melting of ice caps at both poles, both on sea and land, sea currents changing directions, reefs bleaching, and overfished littered oceans turning acidic and deoxigenized. Temperatures soar all over the planet, breaking records, megadroughts devastating large parts of several continents. The destruction of the ecosphere, hundreds of animal mass death events per year, also hundreds of species extinctions – per day! – and all this goes on for day after day after day while politicians speak after business managers who claim that economic growth is more important than lives. This is also what most activists from the green movement promote when they are proposing ways how to make money from 'saving the world'. Shopping for good conscience we succumb to Hannah Arendt's banality of evil. We are so brainwashed, we will never even consider starting 'right now' with anything, certainly not anything that is radical in nature. At a time when everything develops 'faster than expected', lip service to concern has become the last nail in the coffin of mankind. That's why we're fracked is a done deal to me, and it doesn't really matter whether it happens tonight, or until 2020, or a couple of years later. I am talking near-term, I am talking inevitable. I am talking about mankind breaking everything including themselves, neither be willing nor able to stop the killing frenzy.

2020 is not a date to point at and say, 'You'll see!' Boy, I wish everybody would see already, though most of us never ever will. 2020 reflects my understanding that things have become so unsustainable, people have become so mentally sick, problems have become so numerous, conditions have become so dire that the breaking point seems to have arrived.

I'm flying!
Employing the well-matching shipwreck metaphor we are past the iceberg, with a capital leak in the hull through which sea water presses into numerous sections. Some of the crew who notice the damage are beginning to drill more holes into the hull – for the water to flow off again, they say. Others are trying to get the captain to slow down the ship a bit which would reduce the amount of water coming in, but the radio is blocked with gossip, and some public-relations employee is praising the insurmountable Rolls Royce engines, inviting all passengers to enjoy the phantastic convenience on board. The only valuable piece of information received is the fact that the complete emergency rescuers team has joined the plumbers, for fixing a broken toilet flusher in the King's Suite. The first mate, with the help of the purser, is plundering the safe while the staff are accusing each other of having stolen pencils from the chart table. The captain is sending a team of housecleaners around; they collect used tissues from recycle bins in each cabin to be stuffed into the fissure in the hull. Some people are still discussing where the annoying amounts of water are coming from and why it is so f***ing chilly. But most of us attribute our cold feet to a broken thermostate we believe we should fix somewhen soon. As the icy water quickly reaches our necks it is hard for me to imagine how the illusion of controlled normalcy could be upheld for much longer; certainly not until 2100. The sinking of a ship, like the decay of natural systems, is an exponential process that ends suddenly, cataclysmicly. Now you float, now you don't.

For the third class – the Third World – the race for life boats has already begun while the folks on the upper decks still discuss the weather over a glass of Martini. And don't you worry; even God couldn't sink this ship! Nevermind them building last resorts in New Zealand, underground bunkers in the Rockies, fortresses of solitude in the Arctic, seed banks in Scandinavia, and spaceships to Mars.
There is no running away from karma, though, and to be among the last of men alive will constitute the ultimate punishment for those who took it onto their shoulders to drive the boat into the berg.

2017-03-14

Letting go of control

Kelly Brogan, psychiatrist, on a trip to Rajasthan, India, collected impressions that resonate with my own sense of being (here). A lot of what she describes got already lost for many a native, due to the fast-progressing urbanisation, mechanisation, automisation, utilisation and exploding consumption, but it is still somehow present in rural areas and can be felt, especially when I perform one of those quick leaps back and forth to Germany.
In her article "Spirituality and Mental Illness", Kelly writes:

"They showed us the fact that loving creation allows them to love each other, and to love all that comes in their path. When the son asked me about my job, I seized up, certain that the notion of a psychiatrist would make no sense whatsoever to him. The idea that there are professionals trained to manage and alter the human experience through pharmaceutical drugs – to someone who has faith in all that comes, in the many ways that divinity can be expressed, and in the dividends of a commitment to integrity…to this person, Prozac would not compute. 
This is what India showed me.
It showed me what my American soul had forgotten…which is that there is something more beautiful, more sacred, more wondrous available when we live connected to our trust in something larger. Because this something larger lifts us up out of our limitations, our smallness, our distractions, and holds us in a web of the collective so that there is never something random, awful, and unlucky that can simply just happen. So that there is always meaning and ok-ness.”

Regarding psychiatry, she quotes Charles Eisenstein who said, “The reason that conventional psychiatry – whether pharmaceutical or psychoanalytic – is powerless to substantially help the vast majority of patients is that it does not, and cannot, recognize the wrongness of the world we live in,” and I really couldn't agree more. Though, in some way, there is no wrong or right, there is just existence as such, on a certain level we are beings that need a framework to live within. Some frames work better than others, and some are utterly destructive because they are dysfunctional from the start:

“It has never been more clear to me that the Guild of Psychiatry is one of the greatest threats to a soul’s journey, perhaps simply because there is no acknowledgement of the soul. This is why I believe that avoiding and coming off of psychiatric medications is the greatest form of initiation to self that exists in the West today.”

An article worth reading, an author worth following.

2017-03-10

A bus and a truck: The multiple crises of civilization


Last December, I posted a concise explanation on the state of affairs regarding abrupt climate change – Deep into the spiral – and I concluded that the drastic rise in global average temperature might do homo sapiens in from this year on, due to the inability to grow enough food for our overshot world population. Plenty of research supports this statement. First signs of such a food crisis are failed crops in the US, Australia, Western Europe, India, and several African states within recent months. At the same time we see massive die-offs of sea animals big and small in all the oceans. As the perpetually rising temperatures and ever more numerous weird weather events might not allow for a return to normal, the ensuing mass starvation will wreck societies around the planet, thus leading to the collapse of global industrial civilization. With 435 nuclear reactors in operation and 1200 basins for cooling spent fuel rods, the loss of human capacity as well as the disappearence of the fossil-fuel-driven grid energy for maintaining these structures operational for another ten, or even hundreds of years, will result in desastrous nuclear explosions followed by catastrophic decline of all life on Earth.
Some governments might try and capture some vital resources beforehand, staking out their claims with ABC weapons. Needless to say that this would shorten humanity's lifetime even further.

One can regard humanity's multiple crises from many angles, social, environmental, cultural..., all of which point to cataclysmic events in the near future, certainly within my generation's lifetime. Based on a report by HSBC bank, investigative journalist Nafeez Ahmed wrote on 6 Jan. 2017 that we should Brace for the oil, food and financial crash of 2018 because, “80% of the world’s oil has peaked, and the resulting oil crunch will flatten the economy”. While he might have the date wrong, we should ask in the light of modern research when, almost fifty years after the Club of Rome's analysis, industrial civilization is going to hit the wall that the limits to growth posit. With the converging crises in mind, what is the timeframe we are talking about?

Recently I came across a study that described the thermodynamics of our culture's energy consumption and their interaction with financial and economic mechanisms. You need to know that there are no freebies. It takes a certain amount of energy to do what you do. It takes a certain amount of energy to extract oil from the ground. Conventional petroleum originally came at very low energy investment, and that left the lion's share of energy per barrel for industrial activities. As the world's industrial productivity increased over time, more inconvenient deposits with lesser and lesser energy yield have been drilled into, and we also saw the decline in conventional oil production happen from 2005/2006 on. More expensive unconventional sources with even lesser energy yield became attractive – speaking tar sands and fracking, among others – but since 2015 they seem to be in decline as well.

So a rising demand hits a declining production. With fossil energy getting sparser, prices should rise, yet the declining harvest of net energy per barrel reduces the value for the customer. Once the energy used for extracting, processing, and transporting equals the energy content of the extracted raw material, it will no longer make sense, both energetically and financially, to pump the stuff, no matter how much we would like to have it.

As carbon is an irreplacable raw material that is needed for packaging, insulation, pesticides, jet fuel, powering of mining machinery, lightweight mechanical parts etc etc, the end of affordable oil will bring industrial activities to a sudden halt. Even so-called renewables and alternative energy sources are depending on oil for parts.

Read the details in, End of the “Oilocene”: The Demise of the Global Oil Industry and of the Global Economic System as we know it. 22 Jan. 2017 by FEASTA, the Foundation for Economics of Sustainability.

The bottom line is, energetically, 2021 is very likely the year we hit the wall, and again, political mistakes and military acts of desparation might both shorten the remaining time and worsen the consequences.

While I can follow the line of argument of the study it is hard for me to check the validity of the math. Whether the authors have nailed the date, or not, isn't so much the point here as the fact that the multitude of crises converging on us are an unmistakable sign that our culture, global industrial civilization, is coming to its end, and soon. It is not like we had an awful lot of time to waste. From my understanding, it is late in life, and regardless of what you are intending to do – starting to push back the power of corporations, enjoying your time, or proceeding on the path to awakening – you need to do it right now. Unless we get run over by a bus and a truck, the collapse of civilization is for us to witness, front row & popcorn.

As mentioned above and in previous blog posts, our species is likely to exit the planet shortly after civilization collapses. This is not a question of which countermeasures we employ, which social systems we adopt, or which side in the eternal battle of Good vs Evil you and me are on. We cannot survive without all those species that create oxygen, purify the water, build up soil, and constitute the food chain we depend upon, yet we are utterly destroying those not only directly but by exposing them to an abrupt climatic change that unfolds tenthousand times faster than biological evolution. This is the singularity the techno freaks and futurologists have been talking about, but it's coming at us from an unexpected angle.

You cannot live in a future that never arrives. Every day, every hour and minute counts. That I personally prepare for collapse before 2020 does not mean I had absolute proof from the data, yet combining all the information I have makes it highly probable to me that impact is imminent. I might be wrong on this account, yet it is an undeniable fact that lifetimes are limited. The recent passing of a beloved one only emphasized the understanding that all we have is just the moment, and that the one thing worth filling it with is love.

So the question remains, what are we going to do with the short time that is left to us? Are we living with urgency? Does it matter to us what we do today – the people we meet, the relationship we have with them, the joy of being alive we feel?
Or are we still working a job we don't care about, meeting people we despise, and worrying about bills we have to pay? If so –Why?

2017-03-01

Maa, Geißle ; __ ;

It has been a long Monday that started with the passing of you, my precious goat kid. There is so much that I would like to say, but words fail to describe what I feel for you. Your sweet presence is no more around us, your smell, your touch, your cry, your sight. How can such a tiny creature leave such a gaping hole amidst adult goats and milk cows? I was out of station when you were born, missing the first four weeks of your life, yet we became close within next to no time. You used to walk up to me when I entered the gate and I would lift you to my shoulder to show you the world from above. When the herd left you behind while foraging I used to call you, crowing, 'Maa, Geißle!' More often than not you were too confused to locate us, though sometimes you hopped and leapt joyfully in our direction - so beautiful!

Remember when your mom, Brownie, was sick last week? I took her to my home to look after her and you would refuse to sleep in, standing by her side all night long. On Saturday night I had you on my lap when you were afraid of the fireworks they lit for the Kali festival, though soon enough you would stop trembling and join the herd again, and on Sunday we spent the day together on the pasture. Monday morning at five your cry woke me up. I hurried to you and found you on the ground, weak and cold. I took you in my arms where you died less than two hours later, at the sound of one of the last songs played at the festival, praising the love of amma. I couldn't stop crying all day; I felt so lost when the veterinary arrived who was supposed to examine you the day before; and your funeral, with the family kneeling around that tiny grave in the pasture where we used to sit - it just broke my heart.

That last, pleading look of yours follows me everywhere. I ask myself what I could have done to save your life, but I know that all things must pass, so I am very glad we made the best of every single day you had been given to live. One hundred years or just eleven weeks, it would always have seemed rather short. I surrender to fate, and I do miss you so horribly. If grief is any measure for it, our love was one of a kind. Thank you so much for this marvellous time together.

Maa, Geißle, maa! Come back as a flower.

20.12.2016 - 27.2.2017