- Why We’re Underestimating the Risks to Human Civilization, by Umair Haque, Medium-- Eudaimonia
" We’re Not Taking The Challenges of the 21st Century Seriously Yet. We’d Better Begin, Now."
"I’m suggesting that a world splintered into nations that resemble a collapsed, fascist America — or maybe worse — each one bitterly contesting its share of dwindling resources, ready to do violence and commit atrocities, is going to be an age in which peace, progress, plenitude, and the survival of a whole lot of people grind to a screeching, lethal halt."
Mr. Haque seems to think that if we just try hard enough and soon enough we can go on progressing and prospering. I disagree--he's missing the "declining surplus energy" problem, for which there is no solution. But I do think that quite a few of us might manage to survive what's coming, if we actually got to work at it.
Responding to Collapse,
A Paradise built in Hell, The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster
I'm borrowing the title of Rebecca Solnit's book for this section of links. Human beings feel, in times of crises, a deep need to come together to take care of each other. Contrary to the horrific picture of typical reactions to disaster painted by the "disaster mythology", in fact communities often come together to help themselves in the most extraordinarily positive ways.
- C5 Defines The Adapters Movement- In Four Parts. Part I--Introduction, by Category 5, Dark Green Mountain Survival Research Centre
- C5 Defines The Adapters Movement- In Four Parts. Part II--Acceptance, by Category 5, Dark Green Mountain Survival Research Centre
- C5 Defines The Adapters Movement- In Four Parts. Part III--Make Food First Again, by Category 5, Dark Green Mountain Survival Research Centre
- C5 Defines The Adapters Movement- In Four Parts. Part IV--Triage, by Category 5, Dark Green Mountain Survival Research Centre
- Trump warns Saudi Arabia on oil prices as focus turns to re-election, by John Kemp, Reuters
- EXXONMOBIL U.S. OIL & GAS FINANCIAL TRAIN-WRECK: Producing Shale Is Destroying Its Bottom Line, by Steve St. Angelo, SRSrocco Report
- Shale Growth Is Nearing An Inflection Point, by Nick Cunningham, oilprice.com
- Florida is drowning. Condos are still being built. Can't humans see the writing on the wall?, by Megan Mayhew Bergman, The Guardian
"People tend to respond to immediate threats and financial consequences--and Florida’s coastal real estate may be on the cusp of delivering that harsh wake-up call."
- We're Overdue for a Sell-Everything/No-Fed-Rescue Recession, by Charles Hugh Smith, of two minds.com
- High fructose corn syrup--don’t be afraid, it’s just sugar, The Skeptical Raptor
Not only is HFCS "just sugar", it's chemical makeup is very similar to honey.
- There is a simple way to improve the world’s food systems , by Peter A Coclanis, Aeon
What he's talking about is reducing food waste. OK, but most proposals I hear to do this would means making our food systems even more complex than they already are. Usually not a good thing.
- A scientist on the myth of ugly produce and food waste, by Chavie Lieber, Vox
"Startups Misfits Market and Imperfect Produce say they’re rescuing food that would otherwise be wasted. Sarah Taber is calling bullshit."
I don't agree with everything in this article, but there definitely are some good points.
- This Is How the World’s High-Tax Countries Do It, by Justin Fox, Medium--Bloomberg View
"They don’t tax wealth much, their income taxes are high but not very progressive, and they rely a lot on consumption taxes"
Dancing on Graves
- Ronald Reagan: Setting the Record Straight, by Bob Burnett, Huffington Post
The Scientific Consensus
- How to make mountains, by Marcia Bjornerud, Aeon
"In living memory, geologists believed that the Earth was slowly shrivelling, little guessing how vibrantly alive it truly is."
Science Based Medicine
- The Risks And Benefits Of Vaccination, by Gid M-K; Health Nerd, Medium
And why we vacinate.
- The Science Behind the Roundup Lawsuit, by Steven Novella, Science Based Medicine
"A jury has awarded a man $289 million for allegedly contracting cancer from exposure to Roundup, but the science is not on their side."
- Glyphosate Isn’t Giving You Cancer, by Gid M-K; Health Nerd, Medium--Science
"Why RoundUp is probably fine for your health"
Lacking an Owner's Manual
- 5 Things Every Woman Needs From Her Husband, by Michelle Wuesthoff, from her blog"Live Life Beautifully"
We've been married for 41 (and a half) years and what Michelle is saying in this article and the one below certainly rings true to me. I had a close look around her website and yes, she is a Christian. But, in these two articles at least, she isn't letting that handicap her too much.
- 5 Things Every Man Needs From His Wife, by Michelle Wuesthoff, from her blog"Live Life Beautifully"
There is No God, and Thou Shall Have No Other Gods
I don't think I've made any secret of the fact that I am an atheist, but I may not have made it clear that I think any sort of worship is a bad thing and that believing in things is to be avoided whenever possible. Indeed, I do not believe in believe itself. That's what the "Thou shall have no other gods" is about--it's not enough to quit believing in whatever God or Gods you were raised to believe in, but also we must avoid other gods, including material wealth, power and fame.
- The Science of Miracles, by Barbara Bradley Hagerty, Medium--Science
Prayer studies are a "wild goose chase that violate everything we know about the universe," Richard Sloan, professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia University Medical Center and author of Blind Faith, told me: "There are no plausible mechanisms that account for how somebody’s thoughts or prayers can influence the health of another person. None."
"Consciousness is a product of brain function. Period." my comments: wishful thinking
- Why I Won’t Teach My Child to Believe in God, by Mateo Askaripour, Medium--Religion
"My journey from undoubting faith to disbelief, in four acts."
- Reasonable Dubt-- How I Lost God, by Kiley Bense, Medium--Religion
- Atheism Is Not Faith, It’s Reason, by Thor Benson, Medium
"Let’s not pretend there’s no reason to question if there’s a God"
- Atheism is not a belief, by Joe Nuxoll, Medium
- Unbeliever, by Joao Nascimento, Medium--Religion
" The never-ending war between believers and Atheists — the evildoers — must stop. I am nothing more than an unbeliever, but I am an Atheist. You are no more righteous than me. Believe in that."
Poverty, Homeless People, Minimum Wage, UBI, Health Care, Housing
- We Don’t Need Private Health Insurance, by Adam Gaffney, The Nation
" New single-payer plans don’t need to worry about carving out roles for health-care profiteers."
Sound like at least some people in the U.S. are catching on.
- Finding Home in a Parking Lot, by Sarah Holder, City Lab
"The number of unsheltered homeless living in their cars is growing. Safe Parking programs from San Diego to King County are here to help them."
- With Her Body, by Nicola Griffith
- So Lucky, by Nicola Griffith
- Alliance Rising, by C. J. Cherryh and Jane S. Fancher
- The Rise and Fall of DODO, by Neal Stepenson and Nicole Galland
- By Darkness Forged, by Nathan Lowell
- Breaking the Spell, by Daniel C. Dennett
- The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins
- God in Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, by Christopher Hitchens
- Did Man Create God?, by David E. Comings
February is a short month and while I have a couple of non-fiction books on the go, I didn't finish any of them this month. Maybe I was reading too much fiction... Anyway, here are some gems from my bookshelf, this time from the New Atheist section.