There's something I've got to say, and I've got to say it really clear. So, take notes. This is the only place I'm going to say it. There are 3 things which unequivocally and absolutely guarantee near-term extinction of the human species and quite possibly all life on the planet. They are out on the table, they are acknowledged, repeatedly confirmed and corroborated and they are having direct painful and tangible impacts on our lives, this minute. And they're all directly bearing on each other. The first of these is global warming and climate chaos caused by human industrial activity, a.k.a. infinite growth. Of a certainty of 4 to 6 degrees 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 would 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 and mitigating impact on global warming, over which human kind has any control, would be the immediate cessation of all industrial activity on a planetary level; immediately, removing the ever increasing release of carbon in the atmosphere, by a MEME, which RUNS US, and OWNS US, rather than the other way around, and it is a meme which must play itself out to the end. 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 sixty nuclear power plants around the United States that are boiling along long past their operating lines; they're wreckady, they have fires, they have leaks they have pooling system failures, they flood, there are also many nuclear storage facilities like Hanford and West Lake, outside of Saint-Louis, which in the case of Hanford are releasing.
.. or West Lake, are in serious danger of releasing enormous quantities of radiation into the air, water tables and 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 that radioactive waste for a million years. Mankind has still to build a structure which will last 50 thousand years, let alone a million. Damned if we do, damned if we don't. But there is third element that triply seals our faith, it's 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, man, he was the champion of sounding the alarm on what exponential growth means.
He is a fabulous human being, has a wicket sense of humour, so much fun to be with. This isn't higher mathematics, it's actually simple arithmetic. If one starts with a square of a checker board and puts one grain of rice on that square, 2 on the next, 4 on the next, 8 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 lets look at infinite growth as though it's taking place on a glass or petri dish, or on a finite planet which when full and containing no more resources, spills 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 Terence McKenna warned as he predicted the end of history, in the late 1990s, if the doubling takes place every minute than 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.
That's in the 90s, late 80s-90s. Clinton was president. Human population has since doubled in less than 20 years. With enough resources it will double again in less than 15, but we can clearly see that the petri dish is full! Look around! As we go live on the air, that 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 continuously for more than 30 months, are incinerating TONS of highly radioactive waste directly into the atmosphere every day. The International Atomic Energy Agency has granted TEPCO permission to release ALL of it's radioactive water in the Pacific Ocean. The carnage that is human industrial civilization continues unabated and unrestrained. Tens of thousands of coal fire generating plants continue to operate around the world.
Tens of thousands of natural gas fire plants, using frac gas, continue to destroy water tables, cause earth-quakes and add to the ever increasing amounts of carbon being 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 the so called "Shell-Oil production" proceeds with ferocious intensity. Factories and corporations required to show growth and profit continue to turn out cars and TVs and cell-phones and junk, all wrapped in plastic which will last about as long as the 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 off and 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 more than 250 thousand 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 pressure is to not do anything at all about radiation, and global warming is even greater; I call it "Catch-22³". More people need more heat, more power, more food growing with fossil fuels, more and more and more…This is the end of "more". As the eschaton of it 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 wanna talk about Ed. Snowden, they wanna talk about disaster capitalism, they wanna talk about Iran-Contra, they wanna 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 wanna talk about who did or did not make a good reading somewhere. They wanna talk which competing theory or hypothesis on the actual condition of Fukushima is correct instead of talking about the fact that we know that what we are being told is an absolute lie. They wanna talk about Al Bartlett's personality as opposed to the simple arithmetic he presented, which they still refuse to see. I sense that Facebook, as the people are using it, the 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, and I continue to play it, then all I'm doing is validating your game.
I reached a point of diminishing marginal returns, and this week I pretty much exiled myself from Facebook. It's incredibly useful, it's safe, it's well-crafted, and it's been a great try handling it, its free from disinformation and in my absence it will be cared for and protected and it's gonna be a very vibrant safe place where the people who are at the cutting edge of this can gather, and I encourage you to do that but I am checking out, basically. But in the mean time, reading anything, anything at all! If its not about industrial civilization ending, the reality-based approach duelling with the nuclear power under way or an actual end to infinite growth, you're wast… unless it has to do with those three things, you're 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 a culminating event of all of what we have called "History". It's here, it's now, it's what we have 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 Terence McKenna called "a fire in a mad house".
On upcoming shows I'll be discussing more of the only thing that makes sense of it all, and doing so – more of that every week – from my own life's long and arduous journey, the stuff making sense, closing the circle of my story… I call it the "safety valve" at the end of history; that's all we'll be focusing. So it's time to sit back, put my feet up, focus on center-stage, because this is the finale, and I don't wanna miss it; it's what I'm here for and so are you..