The Palimpsest of Sawbones Surio

Pessimism of the Intellect, Optimism of the Will

The Hunter Gatherers and the Pirates – II

with 70 comments

Here’s the concluding part of Ted’s original, “The Hunter Gatherers and the Pirates – I”. Astute readers might recall Ted’s cliffhanger ending to introduce us to the Pirates in this concluding part of his very engaging post, and are eagerly awaiting the progress of the narrative arc. True to form, Ted has executed a coup de grace that I am sure, will go very well with the readers. Nice flourish, Ted. :-)


Part II the Pirates.

The Narrative so far:

As anatomically modern humans left Africa and hybridized with archaic homo sapiens, men took an evolutionary step backwards towards their big toothed, much more sexually dimorphic forbears, whereas women continued to develop culturally and socially. The big canines didn’t come back, but the aggressive behavior of intra male competition and polygamy that had been associated with big canines did. In the time since the canine teeth had been lost, there had been a lot of cultural development, leading to less sexual dimorphism and pair bonding and male parental investment and nurturing. I postulated that these things were driven by female to female cultural transmission that was indirectly passed onto males.

So when males began to move behaviorally back toward focusing energy on mating as opposed to child rearing, they still retained their tool using capability, this manifested in males fighting each other with weapons instead of their teeth, wheras the women used their brains to make baskets, build shelter, and cultivate gardens.

This caused relationships between men and women to become strained leading to imbalance. This was perhaps not all bad, because possibly it can be seen as rift or split that began to move toward unity at a higher level of organization.

For example the material culture amongst the San is very minimalist. There is no driver for cultural evolution so long as everyone is satisfied with it. It appears to be a very peaceful, fulfilling, satisfying way of life. This basic Forager culture only seems to change due to forces acting upon it from outside and the effect always seems to be more or less devastating. History can be viewed as one big long cultural genocide of the Foragers at the hands of agriculturalists. Foragers don’t usually adopt agriculture, in response to competition from neighbors but instead are supplanted by people practicing it, that invade their territory. Often the invaders kill the men and absorb the women. So you see the mitocondral DNA of foragers being preserved in the population with Y DNA from Farmers. The Y DNA of the foragers is lost forever.

In this rift between the sexes, what would bring them back together in creating lasting pair bonds and cooperation in nurturing the children, would be sexual equality or parity. Egalitarianism.

But what happened was more splits were created, as male and female culture pursued separate paths. Women got more and more adept at producing food by drawing nourishment out of the Earth. Men became more and more adept at killing each other and throwing big feasts, made up of all the wealth the women had produced.

So you have a basic economy here of women producing wealth, the men taking it from them and then fighting each other over it. The goal of healing this rift is “Holism”. Here is a quote from wikipedia’s page on it

“The term holism was introduced by the South African statesman Jan Smuts in his 1926 book, Holism and Evolution. Smuts defined holism as “The tendency in nature to form wholes that are greater than the sum of the parts through creative evolution.”

The idea has ancient roots. Examples of holism can be found throughout human history and in the most diverse socio-cultural contexts, as has been confirmed by many ethnological studies. The French Protestant missionary, Maurice Leenhardt coined the term cosmomorphism to indicate the state of perfect symbiosis with the surrounding environment which characterized the culture of the Melanesians of New Caledonia. For these people, an isolated individual is totally indeterminate, indistinct and featureless until he can find his position within the natural and social world in which he is inserted. The confines between the self and the world are annulled to the point that the material body itself is no guarantee of the sort of recognition of identity which is typical of our own culture.”
Women most likely invented Agriculture creating for a time a Matrilineal phase in Civilization. This can be looked at as a stage in a dialectic.

“However, for the “myth” of matriarchy to have had some validity, and in order for a Classical Greek theatre audience to accept the fact that women such as Helen, Clytemnestra, Antigone, Iphigenia, Hecuba, Andromache, Penelope, Medea, Alcestis, and Elektra (fully half of all extant 5th century plays have powerful women in leading roles) could indeed threaten patriarchal social order or alter the course of history, it must have had some basis in historical reality. The “historical” situation of the majority of the myths and legends is the Bronze Age, during or near the end of the Minoan civilization, and the “reality” may have been not matriarchy per se but rather matriliny.”

       ——– Source.

Agriculture led to a matrilineal culture because the women knew how to bake the bread. “Lord” derives in the German from “loaf ward” Lady…derives somehow from kneading the dough. The point is grain agriculture led to the establishment of elites.

Eventually some how, this matrilineal, matrilocal culture created the conditions for Patriarchy.

Its easy to loose the thread of the narrative here. So many things are a mystery. I believe a rift was created initially between male and female consciousness. But once Patriarchy was spawned, egocentric, “rational” binary thinking continued to create more splits as society became more complex. The original Warrior elite of the horticultural societies came to exploit entire classes of people, man and women.

Enough of this already! Where are the pirates?


Where are the pirates? The Pirates never showed up. They just sent their homunculi. The pirates in this story are ”The Great Pirates” that Buckminster Fuller spoke of. Their actions are illegible. They are the executives of a vast machine. The Borg.

They send their emmisaries on pirate missions. They always do. The pirates we see, the ones in the ships, are not the real pirates, but rather their zombies. Being undead they don’t engage in authentic acts, but only do the bidding of their Dark overlords, who have possessed their bodies with the memes of civilization. I was half joking about the bread, but I say this in all seriousness!

Here they are: As embedding of this video has been disabled, you’ll have to head over to YouTube to to watch the video (under 5 mins) and return back to the narrative, if you like.

None of the actions of the civilized people in this ship are in anyway authentic. First of all its not an Anthropological discovery mission, its simply a Junket. Some important people came to Greater Andaman, dignitaries, so they took them down to gawk at the natives and give them coconuts, like feeding bears at Yellowstone-in both instances, a dangerous thing to do, for the people as well as the bears. The bears become dependant and lose their natural dignity and they often maul the hand that feeds them.

But unlike the case with naïve tourists, the official gift giving campaigns of “civilized” people to “primitive” people is always disingenuous. Its designed to make the primitives dependant so that they can be absorbed into the Borg, into the machine, into the place where authentic human acts become impossible.

These Sentineli Warriors are real and alive. If you invade their island and threaten their families, their way of life, their world, They will kill you and bury your body in a shallow grave. This was the fate of two poaching fisherman that shipwrecked there in 2006. Though violent, this is a free and thus noble act.

Practically none of the violent acts on the part of civilized people perpetrated against primitive indigenous people, are free and noble acts. No one does anything in their own name. Its always soldiers “just doing their job” following directives from the state. Its poor settlers moving into an area in response to a government policy, to keep the exploited peasants from revolting. That’s how these conflicts happen. The exploited vs. the wild. The Pirates(the executives of the vast machine) never show up.

Indigenous people speak heart to heart, buy like the old canard from spaghetti westerns “white man speak with fork tongue.” Its true, but it has nothing to do with being a Northern European. It’s the machine that speaks through the white man. The machine first spoke through olive skinned Middle Easterners and Mediterranean’s, when the Europeans were dressing in animal’s skins stalking wild game through the forest.

There is a barnacle that invades the body of a crab and commandeers the totality of the organism and subverts it from being a crab toward using all its energy to produce more barnacles. The barnacle has “civilized” the crab. The crab has certain stereotypical behaviors that are subverted to the biological needs of the barnacle. The barnacle interferes with the hormones of male crabs and gets them to behave like females so that they will care for the eggs of the barnacle in the way in which a female crab would care for its own young.

We are subverted into reproducing not authentic human culture but rather the machine. Everything the Sentineli do is authentic. They hunt and fish in order to obtain food. Its not “their job.” When these men fish they aren’t selling their labor to the fishing company, who in turn gives them money so that they can buy food.

The indigenous way of life is characterized by raw unmediated experience. Every act is authentic and fulfills an immediate need. They thus have a low memetic parasite load.

Its like this: Everyone has a certain amount of energy in a given day. All human beings have a basic repertoire of behaviors. This energy and repertoire of behaviors are exploited by parasites. The crab has parental behavior that is exploited. It not only the body, that is being exploited by the parasite, but the behavior as well.

Human beings are social animals with a limited number of Archetypes. So the tendency is for the civilized people to treat the primitives as children. This is clearly what is happening here with the Jarawa, kissing cousins of the Sentineli but without the advantage of equal isolation.

Again, because of disabling of embedding, you’ll have to head over to YouTube to watch the video. This is a small part of a larger documentary, and slightly more involved and contains more commentary and interviews (15 mins).

But civilization treats everyone as children. The machine itself, the State, is the parent. The archetype of the elder parent is the archetype that is exploited. It all comes down to parasites and relative immunity. These indigenous have no immunity to measles and influenza nor do they have immunity to the parasitically exploitative memes of civilization.

The Preconquest consciousness is destroyed from the assault of inauthentic human behavior. “Here I am your friend, have these gifts.” The civilized say, while taking their land, resources and destroying their way of life. But the pirates never show up. The settler means him no harm. The settler is not doing it out of hate. He has a lot of parasites to feed. He must pay taxes, he must sell what he has, his labor to people who hold back a profit. He must have money to buy goods from others who hold back a profit. His behavior is regulated by laws enacted by those with authority over him, laws designed to facilitate the order necessary for continued exploitation.

The pirates never show up.


Written by Surio

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Posted in Philosophy

70 Responses

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  1. This topic has always been something close to my heart as well. In fact in the embedded video the doctor says that most diseases the Jarawa get are actually inflicted by the tourists! :x!

    In an earlier post, I had embedded a Calvin and Hobbes strip that resonates well with this point you make.

    Indeed, this was something Bill Watterson felt very passionate about too. There was another time in the strip when Calvin and Hobbes visit Mars, then meet a Martian, have an epiphany that they’ll carry the “memes of earthlife” that’ll destroy Martian ways of life, so return back to Earth and report the same to Calvin’s father. That series would have nicely complimented your post. But I did not want to hijack your narrative – which was a beauty in its own right.

    Perhaps on a later date, I’ll carry that and pingback to this post :-)… Perhaps.

    Surio

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  2. I think Calvin recognizes himself as a Hunter Gatherer at some point. Not sure how it is in India, but in the US kids that resemble the character Calvin are diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed amphetamines, such as ritalin. Thom Hartmann developed the idea that what is happening is that these kids are expressing hunter gatherer traits from hunter gatheres that were absorbed into civilization.

    Hartmann called it the “Hunter in a Farmer’s world” theory.

    Ted

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  3. Would have hoped to have had more comments…Oh well.

    Ted

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  4. The part two was very interesting, and no, I was not aware of what caused barnacles. I would therefore imagine, that to the poor crab, the barnacle is their own form of the New World Order, aqua style. I learned something from the paragraph. Ted and Surio are both presenting themes in recent posts outlining “interference” with the status quo lifestyle of primitive peoples. Ted in his excellent post and Surio in his “Trade” series of posts. I am of the opinion that “interference” has been rampant since “God rested on the Seventh Day”. This thought would apply for those believing that God is indeed the Creator. I am one of those.
    Let me place a small example of “steering” which I consider a form of interference. This is steering by the US Government. Documents are available to be seen, dated in the 1800′s, whereby land was granted to citizens of the USA. This was called “Homesteading”. I have tracked back some of my own family who received 40, 80, or 100 or more acres of land by the process of homesteading. A surveyor from the US Government, working out of a regional land office, simply grants title to an amount of land turned in by the homesteader. Title is written and granted. That was all well and good for then. Let’s see you homestead part of Oklahoma or Kansas today!! The reason this was done was to encourage the enlargement of the USA, and populate the land and improve it. This, while might be considered a “boon” for the homesteader, was nothing more than interference by the US Government to accomplish their goal. The result is that nothing is now the same. “Go West Young Man”?
    So, interfering is a well established skill by the Pirate Masters. The Hunter-Gatherers would be the homesteaders, being deceived and steered and led.
    Good Article.

    HSpencer

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    • @HSpencer,

      I am quite glad this blog gives you some extra enjoyable moments in your life from time to time. We strive to please and accept payments in compliments ;-)

      Yes, you are very right. This blog and my “trade” series explore very similar threads. And in either case, we have tried to talk about cultures societies other than our own to prevent us from getting emotionally bound to the topic. I deliberately omitted talking about India and Ted omitted USA and focussed on India. But, the thread of exploration was the same in each case. :-)

      I am very happy about the posts as well. In fact, it was instant empathy for me and Ted and our creative synergy through out this post has also been quite good.

      Let’s hope we can get a few more collective thoughts out in the future.

      And thanks for leaving your thoughts.

      Surio

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  5. I have a lot of respect for the pioneers. If I could be one I would. There is a modern day homesteading movement where people seek to live as self sufficiently as possible. Ironically The Earlier pioneers were actually the reverse, the desire was not really for self sufficiency and simplicity for its own sake but as a means to wealth. I wonder if the wilderness lifestyle grew on them, or if they were happy to see booming cities in their old age where the wilderness once was?

    ted

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  6. Yes, more comments would have been nice, but IMO, the writing has likely overwhelmed the majority who have been raised to believe in post conquest consciousness! For them the ideas are very unpalatable. I am resigned to the fact we may be ignored deliberately. Because, the blog stats reveal that the article is getting a lot of clicks and is also getting emailed around, but just not getting commented upon here. But, you know how the saying goes:

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
    —— M. K. Gandhi

    You know, I definitely agree that much of post-conquest myths rest on very shaky ground. And Europeans were actually very insecure and acutely ashamed aware of themselves and narrownes of their ways of life when they first came upon Asiatic and Amerindian civilisations on their large scale looting missions.

    Look at this entry and this Wikipedia article on
    Iroquois Women

    And this point on
    Japan
    One of the things that amazed Europeans that arrived in Japan at the end of the Edo period was that the Japanese were very well educated. It is estimated that the literacy rate was already over 80% for men and somewhere in the 60s or 70s for women and much higher in cities like Edo and Osaka.

    Contrast this with how their own societies had approached education:
    “As the students had the legal status of clerics which, according to the Canon Law, could not be held by women, women were not admitted into universities”.

    Is it any wonder that every attempt was made (and actively being made everyday) to mangle any remnant of the last vestiges of pure unadulterated pre-conquest consciousness that all human beings inherit?

    Surio

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  7. I’m not sure what I think about Japan in regards to Conquest. Technicaly the critique of Civilization is towards all societies with Intensive Agriculture and Division of Labor-complex society. If a Society is based on Conquest and then gets conquered by another society based on Conquest I don’t see it as a tragedy as much as a free egalitarian society being conquered. I mean Samuri used to test out their swords on hapless peasants. It was a feudal Society. Feudalism is based on Conquest. Today Japan is a Westrnized Capitalistic Nation with all the environmental Problems as other Western Nations.

    But, I’m not a purist in that regard. Some people take the critique so far as to say that we would all be better off going back to the Stone Age. I think what Asian cultures have are intact cultural traditions that go back many millenia. I have great respect for those Wisdom traditions and Art and so forth. But I think all of us took a wrong turn at some point in ending up where we are at rigt now on a global scale. So a deep questioning of Power relationships is warranted on a broad scale.

    Ted

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    • I see your point about Japan and the “pre-conquest” term not applicable to them as a feudal society. It had skipped my mind. But the larger point I was making was on how the myth of Europoid cultural superiority shattered straight away on contact with these other civilisations that were different to them. The explorers had to then overtly psyche themselves and pump themselves up by invoking “Church”, “Monarch”, “for the greatness of our people” yada yada and resort to violent means of destruction and suppression. :-(

      Surio

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  8. But yeah I agree that Dominant Barbarian of the hour does not equal superior. But this has been going on for a long time, while Europeans were hunting reindeer and dressing in animal skins and possibly living in closer harmony with the Earth similair to the Native American’s prior to Columbus. Pretty much all these traditions have been destroyed. JRR Tolkein tried to reconstruct some mythology for the British, we have Viking Sagas and Celtic traditions, but to me it doesn’t go back far enough to a period before Agriculture. So it doesn’t go back to before conquest. So basically white Americans are the most completely colonized people on the planet. The colonization by the memes of civilization which has intensified and become global capitalism is the most complete with us. So in a sense we are exporting American Consumer culture, mass democracy etc. which is not a culture, really. Its an emptiness. But it makes sense that the very people so removed from any senblence of an intact tradition would be in the best position to do it. But also you see American’s and Europeans coming up with the most complete critiques of Civilization.

    Ted

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    • I like how you label consumer culture. No wonder we find very few commenters. More like we ought to count our blessing we don’t gather too many dissenters. :-D ;-)

      Yes. that is a good point you make about the critiquing. Members of the same kind making pro-con arguments of “Civilisation”. Something akin to a Yin-yang tug of war! Hmm. Good point. So the remnants of pre-conquest do remain, no matter how hard the elites try to wipe it off.

      Surio

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  9. So in other words I am open to the possibility that these critiques go to far and why its easy to do among people so totally colonized.

    Ted

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    • I couldn’t catch this bit. Care to explain some more?

      Surio

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  10. Would you be open to another guest post as the the identity of the Pirates? They are very mysterious. They have to be reconstructed from the power relationships. They are quite “illegible” as Venkat would say.

    Exploitation is for the benefit of a certian global elite that have been operating for several hundred years. Quite literally they are pirates and they are amore salient a feature of Civilization than the dummy National Governments they have set up.

    Ted

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    • Man, go for it. I am happy to host the narrative arc up to the point where you think the loose ends are all fully tied up. Remember, we also wanted to do an ellipses when bouncing ideas about the part of women inventing agriculture. So, why not?

      As to using Venkat’s phraseology, I think our writings have evolved into a complete identity of its own, even though we set out with certain agreements to begin. To borrow another term from his blog, we are the “Evil Twins” now, with our own identity and path.

      Surio

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  11. @HSpencer, @Ted,
    My thoughts and feelings on the pioneers are very biased because of my readings of Howard Zinn’s writings on History at that epoch.

    So, I will pass up on commenting about the Pioneers.

    Surio

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  12. Like a good Catholic, I felt guilt for not commenting earlier. So, with contrition…

    Mostly, I am not certain I’ve processed Ted’s thesis fully yet. No question that it made me a little defensive. One of my former confreres, Bartolomeo de las Casas, was of course a great champion of the indignous people of South America in the aftermath of the Conquest. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartolomeo_de_Las_Casas
    So, not all men are devotees of the Guns, Germs and Steel forces of Patriarchy.

    But the idea that civilization is merely the vector for State-sponsored resource reallocation, , abetted by the infantilizing of the gatekeeper poplulace, is almost impossible to refute. In any encounter between one culture and another of marked differences in material and social development, either one or the other is going to be preferred and a heirarchy is going to be established. The argument that the pre-Conquest culture is to be preferred as more authentic hearkens back to Rousseau and the Romantic movement. But as history reveals, only a minority chose that preference. Raw unmediated experience may be sufficient to meet needs; but once one tastes the forbidden fruit of a luxury exceeding need, the desire impels an expanded effort to satisfy that new experience. Ultimately, resources contstraints are met and law must arise to allocate resources and adjudicate possessory interests. At that point, mediation enters in by definition.

    And I would argue that Pirates are those who respond to this mediation by forcefully disintermediating. No prescription of ownership will prevent a pirate from possessing that which he or she wants. Either the pirate gets the booty or the pirate goes to Davy Jone’s locker. Pirates are decidely not the agents of civilization. Indeed, they are barely capable of collaboration amongst themselves except for the sake of pillaging. As soon as steal from your mate as from the toff with the lace cravat.

    Anyway, these are just some half-formed ejaculations from an ardent missionary of Western civilization. I promise to devote some more rumination to the matter, if not to comment further.

    Maus

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  13. @ All

    Let us not forget that there is a certain period of the history of the world that we neither have data for, nor do we understand. (Some say these secrets are locked in vaults in the basement of the Vatican). I, like the majority of the populated world, have no idea of what actually transpired during these times. A series of secret contact with ET’s? A totally distinct and different collusion of hemispheres? A totally devastating earthquake? We simply don’t know. Maybe an undiscovered ice age?
    I would also like to point out that many believe the world existed a long, long time prior to Genesis 1, and that possibly there were cultures prior to that, and there was a total destruction of that world.
    There are just too many unknowns and too many questions.
    I can only deal with recorded history, and figure from there. I take it that by pre-conquest, your meaning prior to civilizations we know today as being actually in existence.

    HSpencer

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    • @Herb,
      Not really. The pre-conquest ones are those that used to live “Avatar Navi” style in Harmony with nature, before Europoid civilisations set foot. Again, Howard Zinn’s books or Charles C. Mann’s books are pretty good at describing thoroughly and critically how advanced and exhalted those indigenous cultures truly were.

      Oh, the vaults of the Vatican…. I know many would give an arm and a leg to verify that ;-)

      “possibly there were cultures prior to that, and there was a total destruction of that world.”
      I won’t dispute that. Some cultures overtly acknowledge that point. E.g., Hindu eschatology talks of time being cyclical, with creation and destruction of the World/civilisations once their cosmic role is fulfilled (in other words, once their time’s up).
      I don’t go very much for stand-up comedy due to the over-use of the profanity that goes with it, but I’ve often heard George Carlin being quoted for this point, “there is nothing wrong with the planet. Nothing wrong with the planet. The planet is fine. The PEOPLE are ****ed”

      Surio

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  14. @ Ted

    “Exploitation is for the benefit of a certian global elite that have been operating for several hundred years. Quite literally they are pirates and they are amore salient a feature of Civilization than the dummy National Governments they have set up.”

    Ted!!! You just became “my kind of guy”. And, I am “all ears” for this upcoming post”!!!!

    I literally can’t wait for the next one.

    HSpencer

    HSpencer

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  15. “My thoughts and feelings on the pioneers are very biased because of my readings of Howard Zinn’s writings on History at that epoch.”

    Surio, I would be very interested in hearing more on your disdain (?) for Howard Zinn’s writings. From my limited knowledge of his life work, he appeared to be a statesman.
    I personally have not found him too “out of sync”

    HSpencer

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    • Oh no, no disdain at all. Au contraire, I found him good, too good in fact. I have him to thank for improving my own readings of History with his book (People’s History). I became that much critical of the World in general and its shenanigans. Zinn also made me aware of society’s method of running, and its several failings… Verily the man’s in sync. Proof of it was in how much stick he got from establishment men!

      As to the pioneering/homesteading movement in the USA, my romanticism and illusion of this was totally shattered while I read his explanation of the politics, manipulation and skulduggery behind sending people off to the frontier to become pioneers (People’s History book)! Oh the horror!

      However, I wanted to say nothing about my own views because I read these remarks by the two of you:

      @Herb
      “I have tracked back some of my own family who received 40, 80, or 100 or more acres of land by the process of homesteading.”

      @Ted,
      “I have a lot of respect for the pioneers. If I could be one I would.”

      Since the topic has very close emotional meaning and association for the two of you, I chose to acknowledge my point, but decided to follow the tenet of this proverb :-)

      “It is good to know the truth, but sometimes it is better to speak of palm tres”
           - Arab Proverb

      Surio

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    • Stay tuned!

      Ted

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  16. @Maus,

    Thank you for leaving your thoughts. I am fully aware this type of writing makes makes people defensive and overwhelmed. I saw it firsthand in ribbonfarm, where I first encountered Ted, while he was deconstructing some of the “Guns, Germs, Steel” line of thinkings in the set of posts I linked in Part I. He was certainly raising the hackles of quite a few in the process. So, thank you once again, for coming forward with a nuanced comment despite your own personal misgivings on the subject.

    But as someone who has read some of the books Charles C. Mann was involved with and Wade Davis’ books on indigenous/ethnic cultures without consciously wearing my “civilised” lenses, I saw that a lot of Ted’s obervations come grounded in facts that were deliberately obfuscated for selfish reasons; most of us today are either unaware of this or choose to block it because it overwhelms us into questions the roots of our existence.

    These are some of the reasons, I felt that I would rather capture Ted’s thoughts as a coherent post rather than let it languish as disjointed pieces of comments with severe opposition, elsewhere.

    But, you can take comfort with the fact that there are enlightened souls like Brother Bartolomeo even in this day and age: Ivan Illich

    But as Jacob lamented in a recent post their numbers are seriously down and the World is getting that much poorer for it, without realising it of course.

    Hope to see more of your thoughts and your comments from time to time. :-) They are always welcome to me as I’ve always gained a lot from them.

    Surio

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  17. @Surio

    On pioneering, while an admirable endeavor, and in fact there were Spencers who engaged in it, I will point out my statement that it was encouraged by the US Government. Land, at that time, was of course, plentiful. The benefit to the government would be the development thereof, by the blood, sweat, and death of the pioneer family. In other words, human capital. In this case, it would have been human capital purging out other human capital.

    HSpencer

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    • I grasped the intent you had in making that point straight away and I also agree with it. Purging’s the only way to put it, though it sounds brutal!

      For me, the endeavour itself took a rather dark tone after I read Zinn’s writings. By his own admission, Zinn told the story from the perspective of the native American tribes whose ancestors lived in those lands that were being granted to the pioneers (*). And it was this point that makes me most uncomfortable about pioneering.

      (*) Very similar to the Jarawa tribe in the Andaman islands being ethnically destroyed by that malingering scoundrel of an Indian Government who encourage ‘development’ by shipping other peasants who might foment revolts elsewhere!

      Surio

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      • Yeah I would say that is what is going on in Brazil also in the present time.

        Ted

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  18. It happened very gradually. And initially it wasn’t known if the Native Americans were going to join the economy of their own accord. Also their culture was a bit more complex than that of the Jarawa. They had Chiefs and Political Organization. Most of the Eastern tribes had a gift economy. Which is not as altruistic as it sounds it was a competitive thing among aspiring chiefs. So when the whites began their gift giving campaigns to get them hooked on western goods it was constantly misinterpreted. It took them a long time to understand the concept of money. The Natives were very noble and shunned occupations that weren’t befitting an aristocrat. The only respectable occupations for men were hunting and Warfare so they ended up having an economy based on fur trading and being mercenaries playing different white groups against each other. At times supporting the French, now the British, other times the Spanish etc. They weren’t politically so naive as some hunting and gathering tribes. The result was that since hunting and fur trapping was the only way to obtain western goods that they over time became dependent on, the land became denuded of wildlife as the Europeans increased in number. So the Natives became impoverished and also lost some of the skills that had given them independence. It is at this point that the whites bought their land for a pittance and they agreed to move west. This of course put them in conflict with Western tribes. But this cycle continued again and again, until things came to a head on the great plains. The Plains Indians were fierce mounted warriors and they weren’t going to give up their land. So that was when the Buffalo were deliberately slaughtered. But for the most part the land was bought from the Indians.

    The only outright genocide was in the Appalachian Mountains with the Scots Irish. The bellicose, and low caste Scots Irish were imported pretty much to fight Indians.

    So my point is it was a gradual thing that happened over 300+ years. As it was playing out in real time among everyday people it may not have seemed like outright genocide and the first settlers in an area “The mountain men” were on good terms with the natives initially and adopted Indian ways and dress and took Indian wives. Because of this a lot of Americans of European descent have Indian blood myself included.

    Ted

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  19. The memes of civilization appear to intensify over time so that late stage civilized people have a more instantaneously devastating effect on Primitive people nowadays. Things are moving so fast. The further you go back in history the slower it took place. For example Europeans were once very much like the Native Americans in relation to the Romans.

    Things played out the same way but slower. The Germanic tribes slowly adopted Agriculture and transitioned away from hunting and Gathering but mainly they were mercenaries for the Romans and eventually overthrew them. This could have happened among the Plains Indians if they had more time. But what happened was the Industrial Revolution and the Railroad. Civilization over took them too fast.

    Ted

    - at ....

  20. The thing that almost never happens is that the primitive people agree to become peasants or manual laborers. They always see it as beneath them. Because to be Primitive is to be proud and independent. It is easier for them to become Conquerors than slaves. To do this they have to transition through a barbarian phase.

    This is why upper class people are often barbaric and atavistic, and so into horses and archery and things like that because they hearken back to barbarians.

    Ted

    - at ....

  21. One thing on the “Mountain men” to me the “Mountain Men” were throwbacks to an earlier type of European when the Europeans were more like Native Americans and hunted in the forest and wore animal skins and were free.

    Because really what we are talking about with civilization is human domestication. In domesticated animals you from time to time get throwback that hearken back to the wild type. Often they are culled. Its not so easy with people, so often they were encouraged to move west. Robert Service wrote about this type in a Romantic way, “The men who can’t keep still” Charles Darwin in a Scientific way. as “Throw backs to Barbarians”

    A lot of these types became more or less Indians themselves. They preferred Indian Society to white society. But they unwittingly acted as the advanced guard to civilization. Still, they weren’t always happy about it and many of them continued to move west. This type continued up until about 1970 when it was still possible to Homestead. John McPhee wrote about these people in his excellent book “Coming into the Country” They were hippy “back to the Landers” that once again adopted Indian ways and befriended Indian elders and learned to trap and hunt and raise sled dogs and catch salmon and once again inter married with the natives. But now there is no more frontier. So what to do with throwbacks like me?

    Ted

    - at ....

  22. “this is why upper class people are often barbaric and atavistic, and so into horses and archery and things like that because they hearken back to barbarians.”

    @Ted
    Amazing!! I had never thought of that. It certainly showed in the Germans during the Third Reich.

    More Please!!

    HSpencer

    - at ....

    • There is actually Old Growth Forest, the last remaining patch of the Primordial Forest that once covered Europe, still standing today on the border of Poland and Belarus thanks to the Nazis and before them Aristocrats and European Monarchs. Sad but true. It was preserved as a Hunting ground. This is the premise of Veblen’s book, the 19th century Sociologist that wrote “A theory of the Leisure class” The idea that the liesure class are just a bunch of barbarians.

      History seems to work like this. Barbarians enslave others and make them work the land turning them into slaves. The barbarians live of the wealth the slaves create by transforming the Earth. This gives the barbarians the liesure time to pursue art and higher culture. Slaves evolve into peasants and merchants and then free farmers, hard work gets in their blood, they begin to see the power they have to create wealth and transform the Earth, but they also have developed a taste for increasing wealth and comfort as they seek to emulate the upper classes, eventually they have revolutions over throw the aristocrats and create democracies. This is when the environmental destruction begins in earnest. When large numbers of people more or less autonomously set about exploiting natural resources to create wealth. The cycle continues in a type of Hegelian dialectic when the Barbarians gain the upper hand again by conglomerating businesses into large corporations and more or less forcing everyone to be wage slaves. Next step: Poplation reduction to get the big hunting reserves going again. Things aren’t as they seem.

      Ted

      - at ....

  23. Whoa! Cool it brothers…. We are neck deep in conspiracy theories now!

    We don’t want to end up on the agency’s hit list :-P

    Surio

    - at ....

    • Its really not a theory. WWF was started by European and British Royalty. If you look up the board of directors of a Large Corporation and get a list of names, the list is not Theoretical just because it may not be commonly known and talked about.

      But maybe this is a palm tree situation :)

      Ted

      - at ....

      • :-D Ha ha ha…. :-D Palm tree situation eh? :-P

        See, I’m not interested in saying “we are wrong” or “we are right” here. All I’m saying is that we can change ourselves and our lives to the full, but definitely not the World (which mostly behaves like that Cipher character in The Matrix movie).

        So, it is best to leave the elites to their skulduggery and find the best way to (mostly) get off their radar, and get on with rebuilding our lives to our terms and conditions. That’s all.

        Surio

        - at ....

  24. Crap!!!

    Now I am going to have to wait for Ted’s book to come out?
    Hope it’s on Amazon Dot CON!!!!! Probably listed right next to the David Icke books.

    I can understand Surio not wanting a target painted on his blog however.

    HSpencer

    - at ....

    • :-D HaHa Ha! :-D
      That made me LOL!

      But Herb, I am not too worried about targets on the blog…. I am only concerned that the importance of the message we are discussing will be hijacked and branded into ‘crackpot’ territory just because of the presence of those distractions.

      I saw a headline, “The human-induced global warming agenda” on that link page Ted attached. I mean, come on :x! I am going to treat that page with caution despite its overarching cautionary message, when it resorts to mangling science to gain some additional points! :-P

      I actually have a link on my site links area on Climate Change/AGW
      http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2008/07/how_to_talk_to_a_sceptic.php

      Surio

      - at ....

      • You only read things that confirm you prejudices? Everything else is viewed “with caution?”

        Its all just based on projecting perceived trends. In the 1990′s the temperature went up a degree. If the trend were to continue it was predicted that in ten or twenty years we would all be underwater and being baked by the sun and everything would be dead.

        I lost 5 lbs recently. Should I be concerned? If I continue to lose weight at this rate in a few short years I will disappear!

        These doomsday scenarios never played out as predicted but they proved useful in furthering certain agendas such as preventing development in third world countries, favoring large corporations through regulation, etc.

        If I write the Pirate article its only going to be about the people discussed in the link and what they were doing 200 years ago. The historical distance makes people more comfortable discussing them. But they are still around and operating in the same way. There have been powerful interests in the North Atlantic that transcended national boundaries organizing trade networks, forming corporations, exploiting resources for some time now. Basically that is what Civilization is. They operated in the past and they operate today. They created the EU. Its Empire.

        Its not space aliens.

        Ted

        - at ....

      • “How to talk to people with an opposing viewpoint without actually having a two way discussion because that would be too threatening and possibly call some of my other beliefs into question and I can’t deal with that”

        Would be a better title. I mean no offense but that’s what it is. Its better to be like Socrates. Begin from ignorance not from assertion. What is being accomplished from all this climate change talk? Why is it no longer being called Global Warming? Who has the most to gain from this? Why is this research funded by elite think tanks and powerful endowments?

        Ted

        - at ....

  25. @Surio,

    I actually agree. You can’t change the world. All you can do is change yourself.

    Ted

    - at ....

  26. @Ted,
    You misunderstand. I am not condemning the post or the points it makes as you seem to have understood it. Let me try and explain in detail:

    Let me first say this: Climate change is much more than just temperatures going up or down. It will be too easy to run away with just that argument alone (which Al Gore, as an excellent figurehead did and he was rightly called up on some of the points)

    That link I placed there is more comprehensive and you may read it in leisure if you like.

    However, in my view, the link you provided set off very admirably but then proceeded to dilute its cause by wedging this “global warming” agenda into an otherwise well-flowing article.

    I had spent some time trying to understand the AGW aspect in full, in the same way you have devoted time and energy trying to grasp these geo-machinations.

    Therefore, I cautioned that referring to this as a source will leave us open to allegations about the ‘credibility’ of the source. I honestly wish the writer had kept this global warning tie-in as a separate page. If not anything, the piece would be more ironclad about the arguments it makes.

    Surio

    - at ....

  27. > Why is this research funded by
    > elite think tanks and powerful
    > endowments?
    Actually, I don’t know of a single research (both good and bad) that hasn’t been funded by an elite (*), so I don’t think that is a good line of argument to take ‘against’ something.

    (*) An elite being someone who has gamed the system successfully and become super wealthy, successfully joined the barbarian gentry club and now wants to give something back to the proles.

    But the roots of preservation and conservation was not always elitist in nature…

    What do you think of John Muir or even Aldo Leopold?

    Surio

    - at ....

    • Environmentalism is often employed as a back door way of promoting elite Euro centric Pirate agendas.

      For example these Parks in places like Kenya are for great white hunters. The “poachers” are often the native blacks trying to eke out a living where they have always lived. Understanding these issues requires some subtlety. It not simply cut and dried. Market hunting is obviously not a sustainable practice, but the local people have to live some how and they have not that many options. Its easy to gloss over this stuff.

      There is a lot of divide and conquer going on setting one faction against the other, obfuscating the issues. There are a lot of holes in Climate Change theory and lots of money poring into academic researchers saying the “right Things” and 0 money in being skeptical. Skepticism is hardly the enemy of Science.

      The main point I feel that I am seeing that not may others are is that once you have a Monopoly you are free to change the game. No point in playing the same game. You can now play a different game. Rich Bankers and Powerful Industrialists using industry as a means to gaining nearly absolute power aren’t attached to Industry itself. They don’t simply just love dirty factories as a thing in itself. So they are shutting it down in such away as to stay in power and closing the door to anyone else seeking to gain wealth and power by similar means. The rest of the so called developing world can continue to be Colonies with nice parks and fewer people. That’s the plan.

      Maybe it should be supported. I have problems with it. But I think to find better alternative its needed to see the situation clearly. That’s all I’m interested in. I don’t think the World is better off being run by one big Western Corporation controlling the Globe.

      Ted

      - at ....

    • This is more or less who the Pirates are:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_India_Company

  28. So, me being a little slow, finally click over to Ted’s blog. The first thing I see is a video on the Bilderbergs. Delving into the blog, I see “NWO” and other appealing acros.
    So, Ted, when is your book due out?

    OK enough jovial verbage, I promise to be good from here on.

    Surio, nice remodeling!!!!!

    HSpencer

    - at ....

    • > finally click over to Ted’s blog
      Ha, :o
      Is that right? And I thought you were egging him on *after* you realised you both had similar tastes. ;-)

      > Surio, nice remodeling
      Hope you aren’t being sarky there? :-|

      I really meant what I wrote to Ted. I can actually see some parallels in what Ted pointed about Royalty and Gentry being the first to try and preserve vast swathes (their reasons may differ, but it is typically them that rush to these causes).

      In India our conservation movement (i.e., anti-hunting and re-wilding of big game preserves) were actually promoted by Indian Royalty. See Billy Arjan Singh, Fateh Singh Rathore and the guy who ran WWF India was the scion of the Godrej business empire who set up mangrove forests

      So, I saw consistency in the link that Ted placed, and agreed on those points. But I have serious reservations about climate change falling into that category (see response to Ted below) and said so there.

      Surio

      - at ....

  29. Ted,
    I see you have a very different idea of Climate change to what I’ve heard so far. But, a couple of things.

    This wildlife management vs. people is quite a vexing problem in India too, and after decades of listening to both parties, I’ve decided that my sympathies lie firmly with the animals (elite conspiracy or otherwise). There are far too many of us and we breed worse than pigs and take it upon us as a God-given to go anywhere and hunt and eat and decimate anything we see! Perhaps the animism aspect of my Religion rubbed off a litte, I don’t know.

    Next, Climate change is defintely a problem and a very serious one too. It is happening in places that are out of sight and therefore out of mind like Carteret Islands for instance anf the massive drought in the Amazon (2005 followied by 2010).

    Retreat of the glaciers since 1850, and the phenomenal increase in CO2 since rapid industrialisation is all hard science and not some conspiracy.

    Even if it is a conspiracy, I *will* support studies and fundings to understand and mitigate it for some reasons stated below:
    1. There will be indiscriminate and massive die-offs of all kinds of species that fill ecological niches if this is allowed to continue unmitigated. There is simply no trade-off here… The stakes are too bloody high.
    2. As always the poor of the World living along the coastal regions, all over the World will be most affected by the ill-effects. So, for their sake at least.
    3. Animals that used to fill different ecological niches are forced to come into contact (pizzly bear?) This has devastating consequences for both species. I don’t want them dying because the World must contnue to produce some stupid doo-daa for our elevation!
    4.The World has very much become a cheap and imitation carbon copy of the same memes, the same lifestyles, the same junk… Damn, even the nomadic and colourful masai mara use plastic containers for water storage and use cell phones! What you wrote in your comment i.e., “they are shutting it down in such away as to stay in power and closing the door to anyone else seeking to gain wealth and power by similar means.” is just an outlandish notion that is not going to happen. Everyone, everywhere in this World already has access to replicate and locally adopt the same silly patterns of life. :-(

    I agree with your points on elites forming various cliques from time to time to keep the sheeple on the tether…. No questions there.

    But your suggestions of climate change as part of the cliques’ grand plan just doesn’t hold any water because of all the other evidences I pointed out — There’s a lot of science I can get into on this topic, but I don’t intend to show off or bamboozle you. I hope those commonly verifiable points ought to suffice. . My request is for you to leave this idea of climate change as an elite-floated conspiracy out of your argument scope, You will only undermine your own cause on account of wading into this topic which is very much hard-science territory now. If you wish to dig your heels on this matter, there’s nothing I can do about it. At least I tried sincerely to point it out.

    I’ve even pointed out to other illuminaries of conservation and preservation such as John Muir and Aldo Leopold… Why, there is even Masanobu Fukuoka who antagonised the Govt. officials in Japan over intensive farming, mechanised agri, chemicals, nuclear…. And I suppoes Fukuoka-san is laughing the last laugh, wherever he is now by looking at what happened in Japan recently :-(

    Best,
    Surio.

    Surio

    - at ....

    • Any time the climate appears to change its proof of anthropocentric climate change. See those Glaciers calving? “proof of anthropocentric climate change.(even though glaciers calve when they are growing) See how cold it is today?-proof of anthropocentric climate change-see how hot it is today….you get the point.

      Its “just so” story and a tautology. Its not a conspiracy, its just proof how susceptible people are to suggestion.

      The politics comes in with the mileage various interests seek to gain from it. Generally their solutions are prior to the problems. That’s what I look for.

      If you can’t explain it to me in a few words you don’t really understand it. That’s my opinion. Supposedly all this water vapor was going to accumulate in the upper atmosphere because of CO2 and create warming. It never happened, but what did happen is that Global Warming created a good idea to mobilize around. Its the perfect cause. the perfect enemy to get people on board with. I mean who could be against protecting the Earth from disaster?

      I pay more attention to peoples solutions. The solutions are the point.

      • Ted,
        I am not able to follow your line of thought. But some things from me based on whatever I could pick up.

        First, click those links and read them, please, pretty please! Especially that island and the bear! I’ve told you it extends beyond just heat and cold and therefore is not a tautology or a postulate or an axiom. It is a lengthy theorem derivation. You’ve got to follow the theorem’s reasoning. If you hit the library next, look for Bill Catton’s Overshoot and spend some time with it alone, all by yourself. Surely if you can pick up all this, you can pick up this one too.

        > If you can’t explain it to me in a few words you don’t really understand it.
        You’re being unfair. I am engaging you in simple terms with concepts that both of us identify. In the link I gave you there is no discussion of “Glaciers calving while growing” :-| OK, now will you please click the link on glacier retreat and look at the three pictures of the “Puncak Jaya” glacier. Do you think it is growing (along with all those others that are disappearing)?

        Just spend some time with those links. We will continue the chat later (Happens to be quite late here :-)).

        Surio

        - at ....

    • I think environmental destruction is caused by Banks. I think its debt that causes people to destroy the environment. The IMF and the World Bank are the big culprits.

  30. I kind of prefer how debates went In Socrates day, when people would actually explain their position. Telling people to read a long list of things never really promotes discussion it just shuts it down.

    I tend not to simply “pick a team” when it comes to issues. I am more skeptical than most people.

    Have you read much contrary to your position? Have you ever read things by intelligent writers with contrary positions to yours? I am not convinced of climate change the way its presented. I have no contrary assertion I just don’t buy into the doomsday scenarios.

    I just assume everyone is trying to manipulate me with propaganda. That’s the point if doom and gloom scenarios. History seems to bear this out. This Cassandra stuff is really old. But I will humor you. It takes more to make a “true believer” out of me though.

  31. So you have a big long convoluted assertion that CO2 is a “green house gas” and that it is being produced by Industrialization and that this will warm the Earth and cause unimaginable Environmental destruction.

    How do we test this?

    Is this a falsifiable hypothesis?

    How do we know there are not balancing mechanisms already in place in the Biosphere? Is looking at everything as simple linear cause and effect the best way to look at this? I mean like I said earlier I lost 5 lbs last month if I continue to lose weight at this rate in 4 short years I will disappear. Should I be concerned?

    Do you know what exactly all the various mechanisms are that create the equilibrium that support life?

    Has there been any history of Hubris in the past where people thought they could “fix” some “problem” in the environment and ended up instead creating all these unintended effects instead? Should we go ahead and scrub the atmosphere of CO2?

  32. One last comment now that you are no doubt fast asleep Ha ha!

    I hate dirty factories and cars and noisy streets and industrial chemicals and pollution and noise. Do I buy into climate change? No. Its just a vehicle for laws and regulations that transcend national borders. This is how things happen. You have a think tank, serving the elite interests of these NATO countries, the same interests behind the British East India Company. Same group same dynamic just modern day. They always want to extend their control.

    Its hard to have international law, because each country likes to think it makes its own laws and that the average citizen has control over this.

    So these think tanks throw around this different ideas and some seem to “have legs” and some don’t. The Global warming thing has legs because its easy to build a consensus around it and creates a good excuse for countries to give up their national sovereignty. Because the environment affects everyone. So it paves the way for rule by a global technocracy. The thing is Pirates know how to control scientists and get them to say what they want.

    But I guess you can look at it as the work of noble altruistic scientists striving to save the planet. Its a more pleasant narrative. I just don’t think its the best narrative in terms of reflecting the motivation behind it. Maybe the third world would be better off not developing. I tend to prefer lions and tigers to shanty towns. But to be fair its not just poor people having too many kids that causes destruction. Its colonization and exploitation by the West. Rainforests being cut down to make room for export crops to the West for money to pay off debt to the World Bank.

    I predict these environmental regulations won’t really increase biodiversity. But I could be wrong. I guess I just have philosophical problems with “the noble lie” more than anything else.

  33. Recalling a bit backward: 2009, a devastating ice storm, not seen here in many years. Still in 2009, much more summer days of 100 plus F, a bit unusual but not worrisome. 2010 brought 20 degree lower than normal F temps in the winter months. More of that could have begun to effect some water systems that here, are only buried 28 – 36″ deep. Periods in 2010 of abnormal drought. Tornado season began in 2011, on New Years day with an F4 hitting about 15 miles from my house. After that, we had 24″ snows back to back, making us southerners even think about snow blowers. Surio remembers my post on that on ERE.
    After the snow and ice we rushed into a series of thunderstorms, several spawning tornados, and then tornado season itself.
    One day after tornado season (currently) we are in high pressure with 95 plus F temps and NO rain in sight.
    My point? This is very changed from normal. Be El Nino~ or whatever, things are evolving in the weather. It is either just different weather patterns or (ooops Surio) it could be HAARP.

    HSpencer

    - at ....

  34. @Ted,
    I think it is time to draw a line on this thread of discussion. Since you have asked a few questions, it is only fair that I provide a brief response to them. By no means is this a “getting a last word on the topic” from my perspective.

    > kind of prefer how debates went In Socrates day, when people
    > would actually explain their position.

    But I did! Points 1-4 on my first post? Since you missed it, here’s my position on Climate Change repeated for your benefit.

    Even if it is a conspiracy, I *will* support studies and fundings to understand and mitigate it for some reasons stated below:
    1. There will be indiscriminate and massive die-offs of all kinds of species that fill ecological niches if this is allowed to continue unmitigated. There is simply no trade-off here… The stakes are too bloody high.
    2. As always the poor of the World living along the coastal regions, all over the World will be most affected by the ill-effects. So, for their sake at least.
    3. Animals that used to fill different ecological niches are forced to come into contact (pizzly bear?) This has devastating consequences for both species. I don’t want them dying because the World must contnue to produce some stupid doo-daa for our elevation!
    4.The World has very much become a cheap and imitation carbon copy of the same memes, the same lifestyles, the same junk… Damn, even the nomadic and colourful masai mara use plastic containers for water storage and use cell phones! What you wrote in your comment i.e., “they are shutting it down in such away as to stay in power and closing the door to anyone else seeking to gain wealth and power by similar means.” is just an outlandish notion that is not going to happen. Everyone, everywhere in this World already has access to replicate and locally adopt the same silly patterns of life.

    It is impossible to set out why I believe in each of those points in the time we have at our disposal and space provided for comments; which is why I had pointed you to some accessible resources.

    > Have you read much contrary to your position?
    > Have you ever read things by intelligent writers with
    > contrary positions to yours?

    Yes I have. FYI, when Bjorn Lomborg’s book came out, as a matter of fact. There’s another book I know of, by Ian Plimer (I keep track of the opposing point of view just as much — which is a time sink at times). He had a famous televised debate with pro-environmental leftist, George Monbiot.
    I also read many of the works by Vaclav Smil who is also a big time sceptic. BTW, He was a great proponent of the “fracking” process which has been called out as having adverse impacts on the ecology in a documentary
    But I subsequently came to know that Bjorn Lomborg has since switched sides (or he “picked another team”, in your words) and joined the pro-climate change brigade (YaY!).
    I disagree a lot with Thomas Freidman! I fundamentally disagree starting with his stupid metaphors “Lexus and Olive tree”, “Flat” etc… but it seems he and I agree on climate change problem, and I still disagree with his choice of title.

    > So you have a big long convoluted assertion that CO2 is
    > a “green house gas” [etc ... etc ...]

    Greenhouse Effect is a process by which thermal radiation from a planetary surface is absorbed by atmospheric greenhouse gases, and is re-radiated in all directions. Since part of this re-radiation is back towards the surface, energy is transferred to the surface and the lower atmosphere. As a result, the temperature there is higher than it would be if direct heating by solar radiation were the only warming mechanism.

    > How do we test this?
    The greenhouse effect was discovered by Joseph Fourier in 1824, first reliably experimented on by John Tyndall in 1858, and first reported quantitatively by Svante Arrhenius in 1896. (from above link)

    > Is this a falsifiable hypothesis?
    CO2 is produced by fossil fuel burning and other activities such as cement production and tropical deforestation. The current observed amount of CO2 exceeds the geological record maxima (~300 ppm) from ice core data. Over the past 800,000 years, ice core data shows unambiguously that carbon dioxide has varied from values as low as 180 parts per million (ppm) to the pre-industrial level of 270ppm.
    Also see Callendar Effect for proof about why CO2 is a “green house gas”

    > [...] they could “fix” some “problem” in the environment.
    I don’t think it can be fixed, nor do I think people are talking of “fixing” anything. Sure there are some ‘fixers’, but the overall scientific community are talking only mitigation!

    > No. Its just a vehicle for laws and regulations that
    > transcend national borders. [...] Its hard to have
    > international law, because each country likes to think
    > it makes its own laws and that the average citizen has
    > control over this.
    It is a trade-off. Burma has a ‘military ruling junta’ but a sizeable tiger population. Trade-off: people living in repressed times. In India in the name of democracy where citizens have the right to make their own rules, we’ve managed to hit the elephants between the eyes. Trade-off? Go Haathi, go!

    Something of the significance of global climate change transcends all of this and goes beyond our ability to shoot ourselves in the foot. No one decided to ask the Elephants or the Polar bears or the IUCN Red list member animals before engaging in all sorts of natural resources plunder in the name of democracy and national sovereignty up to this date! So, we’ve reached a time when we have to accede to larger global interest of self-preservation rather than local, regional and national and get ourselves a saddle and a harness in the form of environment control.

    > look at it as the work of noble altruistic scientists
    > striving to save the planet. Its a more pleasant narrative

    This is not a story happening in a parallel Universe. It is a fact that affects our existence in case you still haven’t (or simply don’t profess to have) realised.

    > its just proof how susceptible people are to suggestion.

    Let me explain the difference between a “suggestion” and a *hard* fact to you.
    A. My teacher explained electromagnetism “theory” to me today
    B. I went ahead and touched a pair of live electric cables because electromagnetism is after all, only a “theory”!

    A. I can never see the force of gravity. It is only a theory used in Physics to solve some mindless problems!
    B. So, I accept it and throw myself from the 10th storey of a building, because gravity is just a “theory”

    In each case, a “suggestion” made in [A] met its real, hard manifestation based on forces and law of nature [B]! You are in real danger of viewing hard scientific facts and physical phenomena in this superficial and potentially dangerous manner. IMO, a plain wrong position to take.

    We’ll simply agree to disagree on this climate change topic and move on to something we can both find an agreement on.

    Surio

    - at ....

  35. I still think its a belief system you have. By reality testing, I don’t mean references to more scientific literature (the way other people might quote the Bible) but rather ways regular people can test it themselves. I have been hearing for 15 years now how its gets going to keep getting hotter and hotter and that the sea levels are going to rise, and its not getting hotter and hotter and the sea levels aren’t appearing to rise. That’s how I test reality. Maybe I just don’t have enough faith to see things otherwise.

    • I suppose reality is a “belief system” if you want to look at it that way, but it’s a pretty good one as far as belief systems go. The point of scientific literature is not to quote authority like some religious script but for you to read the literature yourself, think the arguments through for yourself and try the experiments for yourself. This is how science works; it’s just that most people don’t bother (because it’s a lot of work). It may be you know nothing about atmospheric physics and so would be at a disadvantage. However, the literature contains references which will eventually lead you to introductory textbooks. If you really want to know you can spend some time getting to know the subject. However, don’t just discard it because you won’t bother to learn it. It’s like saying that “Japan is a belief system” because you won’t bother booking a ticket to Japan to verify its existence. It’s hard to take serious.

      It IS getting hotter and hotter on a global scale, the last decade was the hottest on record and 2005 and 2010 are the warmest years on record. Sea levels have risen 20 centimeters over the past 140 years. We’re talking climate change on a global scale, not what’s going on in your backyard or what you may have gathered from a summer vacation at the beach.

      • Its a fictional narrative you are constructing here. A myth. You obviously don’t see it that way. You are “educated” about the issue, others who don’t share your view are simply “ignorant” its also kind of a class issue by which people make invidious distinctions about others. Roughly its a “red state” “blue state” state thing. You can say that you began from a position of complete objectivity, researched it and came to a conclusion. Possibly that is what you did. But if you were to trace your thoughts on it, probably people you respected took a position on it and you adopted it and others you disagree with on other issues raised objections to it and it confirmed it for you. Basically red neckish republicany type people disagreed so obviously its unassailable. Al Gore et al must be right.

        But really there is more going on. There is this unintelligible morass of phenomena happening all around us and onto this we impose a narrative structure that we find meaningful. Since all human beings have similar genetics and possibly share a collective unconscious these narrative structures are often very similar.

        I find apocalyptic narratives to all be remarkably similar. So yes we are all bad sinners/polluters/over consumers and because of this we will all be judged with Hellfire and Brimstone/Global Warming and rising sea levels. This is the basic narrative structure so then various people use the narrative to further various agendas they have. Get people afraid and anxious and then offer your solution. Join my church, buy my Green product. Get on board with my legislation.

        The Superior narrative takes other narratives into account. I can fit my narrative into your narrative. The superior narrative offers the broadest perspective. What weights should be given to what phenomena? How do you make the best sense of the facts? What are the most salient features?

        The implications people jump to (which are then channeled into various goals), when presented with this Global Warming narrative are prior to the narrative. That’s the kind of thing I am interested in tracing. As far as the World going to Hell in a hand basket thats a given. Its always been that way.

        So sure I have all these dust mites in my house and other nasty stuff. I am breathing it in. Its negatively impacting my health. OK. So I should buy a $2000 vacuum cleaner when some guy comes to my door and tells me this. Its just a matter of being educated on the facts. I can face the facts (and cough up the dough) or I can remain in my ignorance.

        The salient feature here is a person is trying to sell me something. If I don’t buy it doesn’t mean I don’t think dust mites exist. Its not “simply” a matter of education and “facts.”

      • Looked at from another angle: Obviously all these different factors constantly threatening to converge and destroy life as we know it. It always been that way. Yet the world continues, seemingly miraculously to persist.

        So obviously you have a lot of scientific credentials. I just think that means you have certain tendencies and prejudices that predispose you to look at things a certain way.

        A lot of people with your background like to explain away this miraculous persistence of the Universe with the multiverse theory. Its stressful to scientific materialists to be in awe of anything. There is no proof for that theory. Its taken on faith over and above other theories that are associated with ideas materialists don’t like..

        OK so the Universe is not unique. Their are billions and billions of them, we just happen to be in once with a lot of coincidences that make life possible. But its just statistical probability. Given a nearly infinite supply of universes its predictable that there would be one as seemingly miraculous as ours and we just happen to be in it.

        So you are saying that life in this Universe just so happens to be threatened with climate change. Through sheer statistical probability we ended up in one of countless billions of universes that hasn’t been wiped out by any myriad of possible disasters. But this is the one disaster that will finally wipe us out.

        I remain skeptical.

      • Repeat after me: No More Post Modernism! Postmodernism may work for intellectuals who are mainly confined to their comfy offices where they spend most of their lives writing reviews of each others reviews. In such an environment I can see why one review or story doesn’t matter more than any other story and since it’s basically self-referential why nobody cares about whether the stuff is true. However, outside of that mentality, there’s reality. The design of an airplane wing is not a random narrative… or if you will, there’s only one narrative that actually makes the damn plane fly. That narrative is found through a process called science. Science does not work like the liberal arts because all claims positively need to stand up to and explain reality. While magic elves may be a valid concept in the Department of Metaphysics to describe everything in the sense of “why did this happen–well, magic elves did it”, it is not a valid concept in the Department of Physics or the faculty of science in general.
        Similarly, there are narratives that tell you when to put the seeds in the ground and when to harvest them. If you’re in the business of making a living (literally) based on the success of your narrative, you can’t just go all postmodernistic and say, well, I feel that it’s true to sow the seeds during the first winter freeze. This is my truth because I feel it’s right, and it’s as good as any truth because nobody can know the “true truth”. If you do that, you’re going to starve. Also, just because you don’t know or haven’t bothered to know, it doesn’t mean that someone else doesn’t know—I think this fact escapes postmodern philosophy. Postmodernism fits well within a greater narrative—yep, my explanation is sui generis, which means mine is bigger than yours :-D —namely that science has made society rich enough for a substantial number of people to be wholly ignorant of science and technology. Food comes from the supermarket, money comes out of a slit in the wall after inserting a plastic card, and food is then cooked by magic microwaves after pressing a few buttons through a process than 95% of the population probably can’t explain. And yet it works. It’s easy to forget how much work and thought has gone into this understanding. It’s simply taken for granted and so we have people who can afford to say … well, I don’t believe in climate change (not their concern anyway, because they don’t need to understand farming and when to put the seeds in the ground (the timing of which climate change is changing; just compare old charts of hardiness zones with newer charts) to be paid to write journal papers … or well, I don’t believe in evolution, but please put me on antibiotics. Those people should be really really thankful that there are other people who do “believe in science” and has created a world which is safe enough for most people to ignore reality and even to the point of being able to question the relevance of reality.

  36. Here is an article about how climate scientists claimed the sea levels would rise by up to 80 cm by 2100 and now they have decided they don’t know, but it might be more like 15 cm.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/21/sea-level-geoscience-retract-siddall

    I am not overawed by these prophets. At the end of the day like you said in your guest post everyone has their own little sphere of concern. I can’t prevent everything from collapsing, but I can pursue truth and beauty in my own life. We can agree on that. If the fear of Climate change inspires people to pursue truth and beauty then its all good. Less garbage and pollution in the world can only be good. I prefer the carrot to the stick, but the result is the same. The world can be suddenly destroyed at any time no matter what anyone does so each day is a blessing.

  37. Its not a post modernist. But we are talking about BS here not facts. Its NOT like building building an airplane. You just would like it to be that cut and dried. People always like their belief system to be based on “facts” when its not. But when talking about people choosing a belief system and accepting it on faith its proper to analyze it similar to how post modernists analyze things.

    OK, so you think you have a belief system that you believe allows you to predict the future because you think cyclical trends are going to behave in a linear way. It gives you an illusion of control. Its more comfortable for you to think you know the future. It will get hotter and hotter and the seas will rise and kill everyone because we have all been bad sinners and we need to be punished. Even though it sounds really bad people prefer that narrative to not knowing,or admitting how little they know. Plus there is the added value of feeling like you are in a special set that is “In the know” as opposed to others that are outside.

    The fact is weather is really complex. There are too many variables. The predictions aren’t coming true. To accurately predict the future you need absolute knowledge. Humans are so far from that its not even funny. So when people make assertions that that can predict the future I conclude its most likely delusion. The seas aren’t rising, Most of the last decade was cooler globally than the previous one, especially ocean temperatures. Its obvious that this has been used to push through a certain agenda.

    Another distinction I want to make is there is the data and there are all these implications people make. First of all the data has been cooked in cases. That has come out. But assuming much of it is accurate, there is still huge leaps in logic and then it gets into the area of belief system.

    Could be partly anthropocentric from industrialization, but also it cyclical. There are complex cycles. There are also ways people can use technology to affect the weather deliberately. Billions of dollars have gone into such research.

    You can say “OH, I’m a Jehovah witness…I don’t believe in Science yada yada yada. It just proves its a belief system for you that you are highly emotionally invested in.

    • Its interesting that you conflate apocalyptic global warming trends that are explained as being completely linear with seasonal weather and planting crops. Utter straw man and once more proves my point that you can’t discuss this rationally because you are so emotionally invested. Yes You are on the side of the four seasons and I am taking a counter position that everything is so meaningless I wouldn’t know when to plant corn. nice try.

  38. Would have hoped to have had more comments…Oh well…..>

    Hummm, 66 ain’t bad! You guys are really drumming it out here. So this whole Global Warming subject raises that much concern? I can’t say if it will be a devastating factor in the out years or not. I can recall my parents and grandparents relating the “flood of 43″ or the “blizzard of 75″. Now I am old enough to recall my own bad seasons, hard winters, and dry springs.
    I live in Arkansas and the saying is “if you don’t like the weather hang around 24 hours, it will change”. That saying holds pretty true. The heat and humidity here is horrible in summer. The winters are mostly mild, Planting a spring garden anytime during is a real gamble. This year already has seen an increase in tornadoes, and deaths from those. Normal? No, not normal. I have been around long enough to see weather patterns change a lot. I am of the opinion that since the start of 2009, many people who were rocking along in a focused mode, have begun to rethink the future of this country and the world. We all know the reasons for that thinking change. Unemployment and other failures of the great American Dream have played out. Yes, science has made tremendous strides in the last 50 years. One of those technologies is weather forecasting. That has become invaluable. We understand weather much more now than in the past. This has life saving means through warnings in enough time to prepare. We can fly into the middle of a hurricane and plot it’s force and path. Our knowledge will increase day by day. It evokes at least a consideration that we are in the learning stage, we haven’t all the answers. It is of vital importance that is our science confirms that our actions are detrimental to our future, we take caution to make adjustments. In the mid 1970′s there was a huge endeavor to “cut” energy use. Everyone made a big paperwork exercise out of that. As soon as the glorious 80′s arrived and the Bee Gee’s took over the world, all that faded. I still remember the “Turn off lights when room is unoccupied” stickers we put over all the office switches. Some of them may still be there unless the rooms have been painted, or the paneling was ripped off and upgraded to something else. My point, that is out of focus now. We been there done that.
    So we must all be concerned about the future. Let’s by a new Hummer or Suburban. That’s the common thinking until we run out of money, or fuel. Bigger is better, screw the oil well. That’s the way of resource management. Science can’t change the greed of humanity until there is NO more oil or whatever humanity demands. So is Global Warming science or is it a scam?
    Well, for both sides of the coin, that is, and will remain, to be seen.

  39. I guess the best summary of my position is that I am a “Climate Realist” vs. “Climate Alarmist”

    “There is a difference between global warming theory and alarmist global warming theory. Global warming theory holds that certain atmospheric gases warm the earth. Unless other factors intervene, adding more of these gases will tend to warm the atmosphere. This is well accepted across the scientific community. Alarmist global warming theory entails the additional assertion that the earth’s sensitivity to even very modest changes in atmospheric gases is extremely high. This is in sharp scientific dispute and has been repeatedly contradicted by real-world climate conditions.”

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=7825&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ClimaterealistsNewsBlog+%28ClimateRealists+News+Blog%29

  40. Thank you Herb for an excellent round-up on the current topic. Man, you’re one swell gentleman for stepping up to play moderator on this debate, I agree that with 68 comments and rising, we’ve milked this digression for all its worth. And perhaps it is time as you suggest, to draw a line on it and move on.

    @Ted,
    As Jacob has pointed out (and quite correctly too), climate-change is a sui-generis argument. And that is very valid.
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php
    See point no. 23 along with others on that list. Also, read “One straw revolution” if you haven’t already done so, to understand the nuances of finding everything meaningless, but knowing when’s the right season to plant rice ;-) Like every learning curve that one must go through in life, whether it is a hunter-gatherer or a farmer, you will need to spend time on the science behind our planet as well.

    Also, a belief in climate change hasn’t made me toe the think-tanks’ line, the official party-line or hold up signs and march in peace rallies nor to get petition campaigns going to push and lobby for “control” legislation. I always maintain that self-change is the only best change.

    In my case, I have individually reduced my carbon footprint, drastically re-invented my own life to stop supporting a wasteful and planet harming consumerist lifestyle. Individual action as you can see, which I try and explain in many of my posts.

    Whatever an individual’s position on climate change might be, its consequences will be felt planetwide. For example, remember the Krakatoa Volcano eruption in Indonesia? Let’s look at some salient features of that eruption.

    Krakatoa is a volcanic island between the islands of Java and Sumatra in Indonesia. The island exploded in 1883, killing approximately 40,000 people, although some estimates put the death toll much higher.

       1. The explosion is still considered to be the loudest sound ever heard, with reports of it being heard nearly 3,000 miles (4,800 km) from its point of origin.
       2. The shock wave from the explosion was recorded on barographs around the globe.
       3. The explosion was distinctly heard in Perth in Western Australia, about 1,930 miles (3,110 km) away, and near Mauritius, about 3,000 miles (5,000 km) away.
       4. Average global temperatures fell by as much as 1.2 deg.C in the year following the eruption.
       5. Weather patterns continued to be chaotic for years and temperatures did not return to normal until 1888
       6. Numerous documented reports of human skeletons floating across the Indian Ocean on rafts of volcanic pumice and washing up on the east coast of Africa, up to a year after the eruption.
       7. The eruption darkened the sky worldwide for years afterwards, and produced spectacular sunsets throughout the world for many months.
       8. Read that link for more horrors.

    So, please treat Nature and Earth and climate change over any reason (cyclical, man-made, etc…) very seriously. George Carlin summed it up succinctly. “The planet’s not going anywhere. We are”; unless we all decide to change our ways. My blog is simply about what I practise as a result of my “belief (I prefer the word value) system” around climate change. I don’t offer no other solution or hope or anything else.

    Surio

    - at ....

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