The following is tough love. It's not suitable for the closed-minded. Because I know we have a large following of the brightest minds on the planet (including 1000s of Rupert's disciples) I shall publish this and let history be its judge.
ULL TEXT OF MCR's ANNOUNCEMENT ON THE LIFEBOAT HOUR OF 12/29/13
(via Facebook 6/24/14)
There are three things which unequivocally and absolutely guarantee the Near Term Extinction of the human species and quite possibly all life on the planet. They are out on the table, acknowledged, repeatedly confirmed and corroborated and they are having direct, painful and tangible impacts on our lives this minute. And they all have direct bearing on each other.
The first of these is Global Warming and Climate Chaos caused by human industrial activity (infinite growth). Of a certainty a four to six degree Centigrade temperature increase is in the very-near future,and -- by what is now not an extreme calculation – the last of our species should be gone by 2030 because the ecosystem which we need to provide us food, water, air and habitable climates will have been destroyed, the web of life ripped to shreds.
It may very well happen much sooner than that.
According to Guy McPherson, the only thing which might have the slightest mitigating impact on Global Warming – over which humankind has any control – would be the immediate cessation of all industrial activity on a planetary level, immediately removing the ever-increasing release of carbon into the atmosphere, by a meme which runs us and owns us, rather than the other way around. It is a meme which must play itself out.
The second of these “causes of death” is radiation. By now we understand fully that the totally unresolved and uncontrolled disaster at Fukushima has for 33 months bombarded the entire Northern Hemisphere and Pacific Ocean with radiation. A lesser realized truth is that there are some 60 nuclear power plants around the United States that are boiling along long past their planned operating lives. They are rickety. They have fires. They have leaks. They have cooling system failures. They flood. There are also many nuclear storage facilities like Hanford and West Lake outside of St. Louis which in the case of Hanford are releasing or Westlake (in danger of releasing) additional enormous quantities of radiation into the air, the water tables, or the soil.
It takes 40 years, a lot of money (energy) and an enormous amount of fossil fuel to fully decommission a nuclear reactor. Absent industrial civilization it will never be possible to safely shut down all 450 operating nuclear reactors and recover or maintain control of perhaps thousands of nuclear waste facilities around the world. And our obligation is to provide safe and secure storage for all of that radioactive waste for one million years.
Mankind has yet to build a structure which will last 50,000 years, let alone a million.
Damned if we do. Damned if we don’t.
But there is a third element that triply seals our fate. It is called Exponential Growth… Just recently on Facebook a friend posted a great video from the late Professor Al Bartlett of Princeton who, throughout his career, was the Champion of sounding the alarm on what Exponential Growth means. He was a fabulous human being with a wicked sense of humor. It isn’t higher math. It’s actually simple arithmetic. If one starts with a square on a checkerboard and puts one grain of rice on that square, two on the next, four on the next, eight on the next,doubling for each square, by the time one reaches the last of 64 squares there will be an amount of rice greater than the annual output of most Asian nations combined.
Now let’s look at infinite growth as though it were taking place in a glass, or a Petri dish, or on a finite planet which -- when full and containing no more resources – spells the complete die off of whatever was growing inside due to resource exhaustion. It’s true for Caribou. It’s true for bacteria. It’s true for human beings. As the late Terrence McKenna warned as he predicted “the end of history” in the late 1990s, if the doubling takes place every minute, then just one minute before the inevitable population collapse, the Petri dish would only be half full. When McKenna sounded these warnings, roughly a decade before I started, human population was only 3.5 billion. Human population has since doubled in less than 20 years. With enough resources it would double again in less than 15. But we can clearly see that the Petri dish is full.
As we go live on the air tonight:
Fukushima’s ongoing deadly release of radiation has not been contained for 33 months. New records for radioactive emissions are announced weekly. The Japanese – as they have done continually for more than 30 months -- are incinerating tons of highly radioactive waste directly into the atmosphere. The International Atomic Energy Agency has granted TEPCO permission to release ALL of its radioactive water into the Pacific.
The carnage that is human industrial civilization continues absolutely unabated and unrestrained. Tens of thousands of coal fired generating plants continue to operate around the world. Tens of thousands of natural gas fired plants using fracked gas continue to destroy water tables,cause earthquakes and add to the ever-increasing amounts of carbon released into the atmosphere. The plants themselves may not, but the extraction of the gas they burn is one of the most carbon intensive and destructive, toxic processes known. In Canada the tar sands are being voraciously mined with continuing release of carbon, environmental destruction, and rapacious ruination of fresh water supplies. In North Dakota, so-called “shale oil” production proceeds with ferocious intensity. Factories and corporations required to show “growth”and profit continue to churn out cars and TVs and cell phones and junk, all wrapped in plastic which will last about as long as radioactive waste. And because the cheap, easy energy is gone, every year industrial nations resort to more damaging, more desperate, more carbon-intensive means to get their hands on less and less energy, often expending more energy to obtain what they call fuel than they get from burning it.
Absolutely nothing has been – or is being – done about the things that are really killing us, and not just us, but every living thing on the planet. Just a lot of talk. Well I’ve been talking for 35 years and I’m almost done with it.
Every day, as more than 250,000 new humans arrive on the planet, more than 200 species go extinct… forever. Exponential growth of human population has never been addressed, in large part because the economic mandate for infinite growth has never been addressed. Thus the pressures to not do anything at all about the first two problems are ever greater. I call it“Catch 22 Cubed.” More people need more heat, more power, more food grown with fossil fuels… More, more, more.
This is the end of More.
As the Eschaton event emerges, and as we approach it with ever-increasing clarity about what “it” is I have noticed on Facebook-- where I have invested enormous energy in community building and consciousness raising -- a disappointing trend of late. Briefly summarized, it goes like this: The more clearly we see our imminent physical demise, the more people tend to talk about things that are irrelevant to it. They want to talk about Ed Snowden. They want to talk about disaster capitalism. They want to talk about Iran-Contra. They want to talk about whether a specific and alarming radiation reading, in Death Valley,or Idaho, or Colorado, or Washington actually came from Fukushima or not. They want to talk about who did or make a good reading somewhere. They want to talk which competing theory/hypothesis on the actual conditions at Fukushima is correct instead of abut the fact that we know what we are being told is an absolute lie. They want to talk about Albert Bartlett’s personality as opposed to the simple arithmetic he presented which they still refuse to see.
My sense of Facebook now is that people are using more and more intelligence and effort to find things to divert their attention away from, rather than towards a reality that is becoming more and more abundantly clear to millions, tens of millions, and soon to be billions of people on this deeply wounded planet. Well baby, if that’s your game… and I play it… Then all I’m doing is validating your game…
I have reached a point of diminishing marginal returns on Facebook and this week I pretty much exiled myself from the page. I do not need to read all these stories that get posted. I find about 90% of them irrelevant now. And I’m real confident that I’m doing some of the best work of my entire life right here on the Progressive Radio Network with you every Sunday.
My Facebook page is an amazingly useful, safe, well-crafted and productive space, free from disinformation. In my absence it will be cared for and protected by loyal friends and tribal members who have been there for the whole ride. I will check in from time to time and make announcements about upcoming shows or when something really serious happens.
But in the meantime reading anything – anything at all – that is not about industrial civilization ending, a reality-based approach to dealing with nuclear power actually underway, or an actual end to infinite growth is just wasting my time. I’m ready to almost strangle the next person who starts any sentence with, “We could…”
We know what’s here. We are beginning to understand what it means. And it’s high time we turned our full gaze and attention to it.This is the culminating event of all of what we have called history.
It’s here. It’s now. It’s what we came here to witness and be a part of. There’s no game left to play but to face it. Not facing it will produce what Terrence McKenna called “A fire in a madhouse.”
In upcoming shows I’ll be discussing more of the only thing that makes sense of it all – and is doing more so every week -- and of my own life’s long and arduous journey. I call it “The Safety Valve at the End of History”.
Hint: Terrence McKenna.
It’s time to sit back, put my feet up and focus on center stage because this is the finale and I don’t want to miss it. It’s what I came here for. So did you.