The people in range of secret frequencies

“Fossil fuels are reaching up to pull us into their grave.”

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“We have to make the momentous choice between brief but true greatness and longer, continued mediocrity.” — William Stanley Jevons, The Coal Question (1866).

In his conference invocation, Neil Patterson opened with Ohen:ton Karihwatehkwen, “Words Before All Else,” the Haudenosaunee liturgy with a spoken refrain after each statement of truth, “and now we are of one mind.” In the Tuscarora language he shared with us the gifts of each of our relations, and then reminded us that everything we need is provided for us and all we have to remember is to give thanks.

“Dry heaves are just nature’s way of demonstrating negative marginal utility.” — Kent Klitgaard, Wells College

“I don’t know how you would teach the dinosaurs to be optimistic about the asteroid.” — Charles A.S. Hall

I am reminded of Col. Creighton S. Abrams famous words from the Battle of the Bulge, “They’ve got us surrounded again, the poor bastards.” Some of are trying to design some way for civilization to cope at a lower level of complexity, returning to nature’s all-wise fold, while others are trying to tweak the built environments and pedagogy of the colleges where they teach in hopes the problem will be solved by some kind of fairy dust invented by the next generation, or the one after that. Queue the economics lecture on discounting present value.

“Systemic overshoot can’t grow its way into sustainability.” — Kent Klitgaard

Brian Stewart reminded us of something Gloria Steinem said, “The truth will set you free but first it will piss you off.” We can see in numerous ways how finite the biosphere is and how humans have been pushing beyond natural boundaries in what seems to be 100 years of miracles of engineering until we suddenly recognize we have been burning the 400 million-year-old furniture all this time and now the house has caught fire.

“What we are seeing is just the outer bands of a shitstorm we are not prepared for.” — James Howard Kunstler

By diminishing the capacity of nature we have been steadily been decreasing our own resilience, our margin for error, placing our own species in the queue for extinction. We can hope to build adaptive capacity but ultimately are limited by factors we are powerless to change, like the ability of mammals with sweat glands to cool their bodies after the world average temperature exceeds 7 degrees of change. Some millions of years from now we will be that dark layer at the bottom of the waterfall: the Anthropocene shale.

Written by

Emergency Planetary Technician and Climate Science Wonk — using naturopathic remedies to recover the Holocene without geoengineering or ponzinomics.

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