IPCC* — straight talking

With thanks to Echoes from a Pale Blue Dot, whose post ‘Too important to ignore!’ explains more:

It’s good to see a message that makes it clear that mitigation and adaptation are complementary; though, personally, I would like to see more emphasis on the truth that mitigation must come first. The message is not (as those who seek business as usual would have us believe) “Adapt–or die”; it’s “Mitigate FAST, and adapt where we now absolutely must because we ignored wake-up calls for decades–or die”. It’s pretty much a Fundamental Split.

* ‘IPCC’ here refers to the ‘Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change‘ (established 1988), not the UK government’s ‘Independent Police Complaints Commission‘ (established 2004). And, yes, the conspiracy theorist in me feels that whomever it was who decided to name the latter so as to cause the clash of abbreviations was almost certainly a merchant of doubt who should be held to account for adding to the overall level of confusion (though, naturally, this will never happen).

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Water is life

In the wake of Earth Hour on Saturday, here’s an appropriate post for All Fools’ Day.

Although there are many things about which there is disagreement, there can be no argument that water is necessary for life. Humanity’s probes into the cosmos strongly suggest that life can only exist in the presence of water. In all our travels, we have found just one place where life exists: and that place is our home planet.

There is a lot of water on Eaarth. About 70% of the surface is covered by the stuff. But, as with so many things, how one looks at it can make all the difference.

Eaarth, showing available water as globules on the surface (a surprisingly small amount!)

Most of the water is in the oceans. It’s salt water — and that’s toxic to beings such as us. We need fresh water to survive; and only a tiny fraction of all the water on our planet is in that form (the smallest of the three blue bubbles in the image above).

It’s surprising how much water is needed to provide us with all our stuff. For instance, it took several hundred pints of water to make the four pints of beer I had down t’pub last night.

Unsurprisingly, one of the many thresholds humanity is approaching is peak water. And yet, instead of making the most of what we’ve got, we’re busily polluting what we have.

Homo fatuus brutus is really, really good at taking natural resources from our planet and using it. We destroy whole mountains to get at the minerals below. We eradicate entire forests to cook the bitumen underneath for (a very poor EROEI) oil  — and then argue the toss about whether we should build pipelines to shift the toxic stuff.

In the UK this past winter, we’ve suffered a record deluge that flooded huge tracts of land. Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe we ‘share’ there has been a high profile record drought.

So here’s a thought: instead of discussing how we’re going to fund the additional flood defences needed by rising seas and increased precipitation (not to mention continuing to argue, in the face of all scientific evidence, whether anthropogenic climate change is causing this), and whittering on about the need for dredging (which wouldn’t work anyway)…

… why, instead, aren’t we considering how to capture all that additional fresh life-sustaining water the heavens will deliver in the future, totally free of charge, and then shipping it off where it’s needed?

Stupid question. One that would only make sense if we were capable of thinking holistically instead of parochially.

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Depressive alarmism

I wouldn’t say that I’ve had my head in the sand in recent months, but I will admit that I’ve been less actively seeking to educate myself about the triple whammy threat of climate change, overpopulation and peak everything.

My new ‘partial ostrich’ strategy has, however, not been reducing the impact of the Black Dog on my life. Upon returning to my more usual hunting grounds, I have found that evidence has continued to firm up that we as a species (one that I maintain should be redesignated homo fatuus brutus) are not just heading for a precipice: we are all complicit in actively getting there as fast as we can.

When I was growing up, the schools I attended, and my early places of work, used to hold regular fire alarm drills. I haven’t moved that far from where I was born, and yet such drills are no longer usual practise in my neck of the woods. Perhaps the reason is that infrastructure has improved to the point that such drills are no longer necessary; I wonder, though, whether it might not be a symptom of complacency.

Is it ‘alarmism’ to shout “FIRE!” when smoke and flames rage through a building? I don’t think so. I’ve never, thankfully, been in that situation, but, if I were, were I to escape alive, I believe I would thank anyone who had raised the alarm.

And yet, just as the word ‘sustainable’ has been hijacked into the oxymoronic term ‘sustainable growth’, the word ‘alarmism’ has been similarly perverted such that when attempting to highlight various home truths one constantly flirts with social taboos and risks having someone point the alarmist finger. For instance: pregnancy, childbirth, becoming a parent/ grandparent/ great-(!)grandparent: these are causes for celebration, while infertility and the declining birth rate are ‘problems’. One butts up against all sorts of knee-jerk reactions, instilled over countless generations, if one dares try to suggest that perhaps we should be encouraging adoption of those unwanted mouths already alive on this planet instead of celebrating the addition of still more. The English language itself is in opposition: antonyms of ‘celebrate’ include ‘deny’, ‘ignore’, ‘criticize’, ‘denounce’, ‘humiliate’… and: ‘be sad’.

Advice for dealing with the Black Dog includes embracing one’s problems. Quite frankly, I don’t see how that helps here. When constantly looking at your own culture and saying “OMG man that’s crazy,” your culture will look back at you and say you are crazy. A constant drip, drip, drip can be torture — and it is very, very, very hard to constantly resist.

Turn back, O Man: forswear thy foolish ways.

Earth might be fair and all men glad and wise.
age after age their tragic empires rise,
built while they dream, and in that dreaming weep:
would man but wake from out his haunted sleep,
earth might be fair and all men glad and wise.

If you read nothing else today, I strongly recommend that you read The Fateful Collision – Floods, Catastrophe And Climate Denial, which is what prompted me to write this. Media Lens suggests offering the 16-minute speech by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse entitled ‘Time to Wake Up: The Climate Denial Beast’ (which I think is a rather odd title… because it’s the sleeper that must awaken, not the beast). I note that this speech was published on YouTube on 4 February 2014, but has yet to breach a measly 6,000 views. That small number, to me, speaks volumes.

‘I have described Congress as surrounded by a barricade of lies. Today, I’ll be more specific. There isn’t just lying going on about climate change; there is a whole, carefully built apparatus of lies. This apparatus is big and artfully constructed: phoney-baloney organisations designed to look and sound like they’re real, messages honed by public relations experts to sound like they’re truthful, payrolled scientists whom polluters can trot out when they need them. And the whole thing big and complicated enough that when you see its parts you could be fooled into thinking that it’s not all the same beast. But it is. Just like the mythological Hydra – many heads, same beast.’

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Here’s a surprise!

Further to my ‘Power grab on the Pacific Rim‘ bloggling last month (which caused at least Mike of Damn the Matrix, Sue of Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary and Lucinda of eek.ology to sign the linked petition — thanks for caring, guys!)…

… here’s a surprise: SumOfUs tells me that it’s not just the Pacific Rim that’s at risk.

As well as the ‘Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)’, there’s also the ‘Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP)’ — so here’s another petition to sign, if you’re not fed up of them by now. I know I am.

Here’s some of what SumOfUs has to say about this:


Europe and the USA are in the midst of negotiating a huge trade deal — the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership or TTIP. The TTIP isn’t just a simple trade treaty, it’s actually a huge corporate power grab affecting literally millions of European and American citizens.

The EU is about to launch a big consultation across Europe asking organisations and everyday people for their views. There’s a real danger that the loudest voices could be coming from the very corporations that stand to benefit from such a system.

The consultation starts really soon, so we don’t have long to prove that it’s people power that counts, not corporate power.

Can you tell European leaders to reject secret courts in the TTIP?

Will we ever get ‘democratically elected’ leaders who work for the people, not just for their idealogies and their buddies?

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Power grab on the Pacific Rim

You may want to click on the image below for a better view.

I sincerely hope you do, rather than linger here.

Infographic depicting the effects of the Trans-Pacific Partnership if it's allowed to go ahead

“The largest corporate power grab you’ve never heard of”

If you haven’t yet followed the link to add your voice to object to the rug being pulled from beneath our feet, the text you will see there is as follows:

To: Governments of Brunei Darussalam, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, the USA and Vietnam

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will massively boost corporate power at the expense of our climate and environment, human and workers’ rights, sovereignty and democracy. We strongly urge you to publish the text of the TPP as it stands now, reject proposals that would undermine your regulatory power and oppose this corporate power-grab.

Why is this important?

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a highly secretive and expansive free trade agreement between the United States and twelve Pacific Rim countries, including Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and Australia. Leaked text reveals that the TPP would empower corporations to directly sue governments in private and non-transparent trade tribunals over laws and policies that corporations allege reduce their profits.

Legislation designed to address climate change, curb fossil fuel expansion and reduce air pollution could all be subject to attack by corporations as a result of TPP. Additionally, the deal could criminalize internet use, undermine workers’ and human rights, manipulate copyright laws, restrict government regulation of food labeling and adversely impact subsidized healthcare.

The movement we are building locally, nationally and globally to move beyond fossil fuels and create a safe climate future is growing by the day and the fossil fuel industry is getting scared of the uncertainty ahead. The TPP is a symptom of this fear – a massive bid to overthrow any restrictions we might throw at them. But we can stop this. The might of our movement is greater than their money or manipulation.

Words of hope and optimism… wait, why are you still here?

Say no to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

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On the fragility of life


Planet Earth is 4,600 million years old.

If we condense this inconceivable time-span into an understandable concept, we can liken Earth to a person of 46 years of age. Nothing is known about the first seven years of this person’s life, and whilst only scattered information exists about the middle span, we know that only at the age of 42 did the Earth begin to flower.

Dinosaurs and the great reptiles did not appear until one year ago, when the planet was 45. Mammals arrived only eight months ago; in the middle of last week man-like apes evolved into ape-like men, and at the weekend the last ice age enveloped the Earth.

Modern man has been around for four hours.

During the last hour, Man discovered agriculture.

The industrial revolution began a minute ago. During those sixty seconds of biological time, Modern Man has made a rubbish tip of Paradise…

The text above is from the poster on the wall in front of me, entitled ‘Against All Odds’. The words are by Greenpeace, London (hat tip to ‘Pray For A Better World‘ for saving me the trouble of transcribing it!).

On this timescale, each human lifespan is a mere 18 seconds.

I feel like an incredibly old mayfly. Fifty-four ‘hundred million’ years old this coming Saturday — and yet, from another point of view, I have only a few more seconds left. Welcome to The Total Perspective Vortex.

I haven’t tried very hard — life’s too short! — to determine when ‘Against All Odds’ was first published. Some time prior to 1991 is the best I can manage by googling. Since these words were penned, the acceleration hasn’t eased up; in the story so far there’s one thing that doesn’t even get a mention — probably because it was just a fledgling at that point.

That thing is: the Internet.

  • When I was born, there were perhaps just a few dozen computers on the planet (and each of those was the size of a room and yet also nowhere near as capable as this machine I’m using at this moment).
  • As a teenager, I blew all my pocket money savings on a Sinclair Cambridge calculator. This was a valuable lesson in not being an early technology adopter, because the Sinclair Cambridge Scientific was released just a few short weeks later — and it cost less, too! I also spent a lot of my hard-earned cash on vinyl (such as the one shown in the video above). At the time, I never realised that ‘records’ would become obsolete so very, very quickly…
  • Also at this time, I was becoming concerned by what I was hearing about the short expected lifespan of fossil fuels as an energy source for civilisation (‘about 30 years’ is what I remember. I strongly suspect that the voice in my head telling me “it’s a trap” was distracted by dint of a Jedi mind-trick). Oooh, shiny!
  • On the way out of my teens, I used a Commodore PET computer at work. I was (briefly) sales administrator for the company’s line of computer games for the PET, on cassette tape — one of the first ever such roles, in an industry that’s now worth many billions world-wide. I should’a stuck with that one!
  • In my early twenties, I bought a ZX Spectrum computer, and played games on it until the wee hours. (Rebelstar Raiders, anyone?) And then I bought an Amstrad PCW. And then I bought a Commodore Amiga.
  • As I turned 30, I was studying for my bachelor’s degree in computer science. And I bought my first PC. It was based on a 486DX-33 CPU, with a massive 100Mb (yes, not a typo) hard disk drive. It cost me just over £2000 (!)
  • At about this time, someone at Greenpeace penned a piece called ‘Against All Odds’ (see above). Also at this time, the Internet began to leak out from its specialist beginnings into the wider world.
  • As my life began (at 40 — or so they say), I was surprised to find that I had started up, from scratch, a business making and selling these new-fangled ‘website’ things… and, among other things, trying to persuade people — who didn’t believe me — that FAX technology was obsolete.
  • At 50, the problem that hadn’t gone away began to raise its ugly head again…

Anyone born in the last fifteen years probably feels in their gut that the Internet has ‘always been around’, in the same way that I felt as though electric light was ‘perfectly natural’ when I were a lad. I strongly suspect that the term ‘pre-Internet’ to such folk has much the same feeling as does ‘gas-light’ to me.

Photo of the northern lights from Tromsø, Norway, on 09Jan2014 by photographer Harald Albrigtsen

The aurora borealis from Tromsø, Norway, on 09Jan2014. Credit: Harald Albrigtsen, Photographer

Meanwhile, back on planet Eaarth, just as we are becoming ever-increasingly reliant upon technowidgetry, our sun is behaving very strangely. It’s preparing to flip its magnetic poles, which happens once every 11 years or so; it’s not something that has ever troubled us humans before — but then we have never before been as dependent as we now are on electronic gadgets.

Solar scientists suspect that we may be in for some exceptionally strong space weather in the coming months — and fragile electrical (and electronic) systems are prone to serious disruption by solar flares.

Recently, the sun has gone exceptionally quiet. Is this the calm before the storm?

If we don’t start asking ourselves some questions about what we’re doing, and considering whether we need more adhesive ducks, we may (not) live to regret it. Accidents happen: and I have a bad feeling that we’re sleepwalking into a big one.

For now: back to the records…

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Time to paint the town red?

Monty Python’s Life of Brian scene 9: Brian Learns to Conjugate.

I love the way Brian narrowly avoids heading off to an earlier crucifixion than the plot calls for because he initially gives what turns out to be the right answer (‘domum’) but for the wrong reason.

HT to Big M who seemed to think that this was a reasonable response to my recent list of decrees. I find myself oddly unable to disagree :)

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If I ruled the world

Many thanks for their invaluable feedback in development of this bloggling to my dear friend Pat, Dwight Towers from Dwight Towers, Wendy from The Igloo, Martin from Mum’s Womb (Not a Box), Martin from Lack of Environment, Jenn of That’s a Jenn Story — and special thanks to Paul Handover from Learning from Dogs for persuading me that I needed some form of introduction to this piece.

* cough *

I would ask you, Dear Reader, to imagine, if you will, that I have been declared King of our poor beleaguered planet. Laughable, isn’t it? Yes… no, it’s fine, don’t worry: I won’t have you subjected to the comfy chair for your impertinence. Not yet, anyway.

“Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.” ― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

As King of Planet Eaarth, I hereby decree:

  1. The ten current wealthiest folk on the planet shall smilingly donate one half of their total wealth into the Planetary Fund for Justice (PFJ[§]). (Reasoning: the wealth inequity obscenity.)
    1. When the PFJ needs more money: goto (1).
  2. The PFJ shall be used primarily for the following purposes:
    1. To provide facilities to soften the blow for anyone affected, directly or indirectly, by these decrees, including, where appropriate:
      1. counselling
      2. skills retraining
      3. rehousing/ relocation
    2. To educate the citizens of the planet in the realities facing us all, to wit:
      1. global human population explosion
      2. global resource depletion
      3. global anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD)
    3. To begin the task of eradicating injustice from our planet and bring real meaning to the term ‘human rights’ — for all humans; not just the lucky few selected by random chance according to their place of birth.
  3. The felling of any mature, healthy tree, anywhere, shall henceforth be a capital offence. Offenders’ corpses shall be ground up and used for tree food.
  4. If it should ever happen that Earth Overshoot Day (EOD) in any year is determined to occur later in the year than the previous year’s EOD, a global day of rejoicing shall be proclaimed on that day.
  5. Henceforth, ecocide is declared to be the Fifth Crime Against Peace.
  6. Any rights held by corporations that suggest they are ‘persons’ are rescinded forthwith. The law governing corporations shall be amended such that no corporation in future can be accused of having psychopathic tendencies (see for instance: The Corporation.)
  7. Long-term flood planning shall begin:
    1. All construction on flood plains shall cease forthwith.
    2. The practise of insuring structures on flood plains shall cease forthwith.
  8. All professional news media shall abide by the following until further notice:
    1. Fully one half of all publications shall be devoted to the task of publicising the realities of the current crises.
    2. All television programming shall alternate their normal scheduling with educational broadcasts of equal time.
    3. The lecture ‘Arithmetic, Population and Energy‘ shall be shown daily on every channel in the land.
  9. All those wishing to stand for public office must first demonstrate that they understand why Dr Albert A. Bartlett said “The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.”
  10. All those using the term ‘economic growth’ with a straight face shall be mercilessly pilloried for each offence. (Reasoning: Limits to Growth.)
    1. Persistent offenders shall be placed in stocks in high-traffic (pedestrian) areas for a period commensurate with their unwillingness to face reality.
    2. Passers-by will be offered free rotten fruit.
  11. Anyone implementing rules in the name of ‘government’ shall be subject to summary dismissal where their actions fly in the face of scientific evidence — in such situations any back pay owed, and all pension rights accrued, shall be redirected to the PFJ.
  12. ‘None Of The Above’ (NOTA) shall henceforth be a valid vote option in any democratic election process. If a vote for NOTA succeeds:
    1. The two runners-up shall form an interim coalition government whose primary task is mandated to determine:
      1. the reasons for a majority of the electorate to be dissatisfied with the candidate choices offered them
      2. what the candidates need to change about themselves to become more appealing to the electorate
      3. whether any changes need to be made to the electoral system to make NOTA a less likely result
    2. Further elections shall continue at the rate of no less than once every year until this pestilential flaw in the democratic process has been eradicated.
  13. Because it is vitally important to reduce our carbon emissions, all energy generation from fossil fuels shall cease as soon as possible:
    1. Any and all subsidies to fossil fuel industries shall cease forthwith.
    2. Any and all profits generated by these industries shall be paid to the PFJ.
    3. The price charged for energy derived from fossil fuels shall increase by 14% every year (ie these prices shall double every five years).
  14. The murder lottery known as ‘nuclear power’ shall be phased out:
    1. ‘Agreement WHA 12.40′ is rescinded forthwith. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) shall no longer have the power to muzzle the World Health Organization (WHO) in the field of ionizing radiation.
    2. Work on all development of nuclear power stations on ground below six metres above sea level shall cease forthwith.
    3. Planning to decommission all existing nuclear power stations on such ground shall begin forthwith. As the true costs of these decommissions become clear, this shall be used to inform the people as to the true cost of what was once billed as ‘energy too cheap to meter’.
    4. Studies shall be undertaken to determine whether six metres is an adequate safety margin to prevent such facilities being inundated by rising seas (or tsunamis) during their anticipated lifetimes.
  15. Those who become members of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (VHEMT) shall be entitled to enjoy an income tax rebate of 10% in every year during which they continue membership.
  16. Judges shall be encouraged to hand out Judicial Penny Fine (JPF[℮]) sentences.
    1. A JPF is one penny on the day of sentencing.
    2. Thereafter, the fine doubles for every day it remains unpaid.
    3. Should a recipient of a JPF be unable to pay the fine, he or she shall be required to watch ‘Arithmetic, Population and Energy‘ once a day for the rest of his or her natural life, or until the end of all life on Eaarth (whichever comes first).

[§] About the PFJ[¿]: Those lurkers who are fans of Monty Python’s ‘Life of Brian’ may be excused for misinterpreting the abbreviations ‘PFJ’ and ‘JPF’. My original name for the ‘Planetary Fund for Justice’ was ‘Planetary Rescue Fund’, but once I abbreviated that and saw that a small change could inject a little humour, I simply couldn’t resist…

[¿] [℮] Not to be confused with The PFJ. Nor the grumpy JPF (splitters).

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Time to do business

To: Poop John the First of the Church of the Holy Shitters
From: A. Defaecator

Your Holiness,

You may recall that I petitioned you some weeks ago for permission to reproduce your August newsletter, which had been the cause of some welcome belly laughs. At that time, Your Highly Esteemed Posterior most graciously acceded to my request, and I have been sorely remiss in failing to furnish my end.

When I came to attempt to transplant the doings, the material in question appeared to have been defaced. I suspected the cause to be the execrable malaise known as ‘linkrot‘. Perhaps this is in the nature of things; entropy always wins.

Happily, though, through perseverance (and a lucky — nay, divinely inspired — click), I eventually located a good copy. Regrettably, all my efforts to faithfully reproduce The Droppings of Your Magnificence have come to naught. While the fault is all mine, I still want to point an accusatory finger in the direction of that insidious scourge, featuritis. Had I a gaggle of scribes and a taskmaster’s whip, I might, given time, do better. In the meantime, all I can offer is the humble link above, and a simple transcription below that lacks the pungent impact of the art of your Holiness.

I remain, Sir,
unfit to wipe your arse,

A. Defaecator, Esq.

P.S. I have yet to get myself a bum gun, though I must do this.

The Holy Shitters News, August, 2013 – Vol. 6

If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit.

A secular environmental religion, scientifically based, with a focus on the psychology of it all. Our ego is the culprit when it comes to dealing with climate change. We cannot save the planet. We can only save ourselves. Our current egotistical self-perception makes that prospect a dubious one at best. Meekness, humility and a realization that our shit does stink, guides us on our path to true sustainable living and climate equilibrium.

Musings from Poop John the First

There is a new religion emerging.  It is not like religions of the past.  It does not require faith.  It does not purport to put man above the animal world.  It does not require the supernatural.  It does not promise life everlasting.  It does not require one to look up but requires one to look down.

This is the religion of the Church of the Holy Shitters.  Our religion is not a passing fad or a form of cynicism or satire.  Our whole belief system is of a consistent pattern that promises an advanced lower reasoning, more human community and a new and liberated individual.  Its ultimate creation will be a new and enduring relationship of each of us to ourselves, to other living creatures and to nature.  Our religion makes sense as a holistic and consistent philosophy.  It is both necessary and desirable.

The practices and beliefs of our religion must be seen against a background of what has gone before.  It must be seen in light of the betrayal and disconnect of other religions in dealing with modern life.  It must be seen in light of the Corporate State and the way in which the State dominates, exploits, and ultimately destroys both nature and humans.  Its sanity and rationality must be measured against the insanity of existing “reason”.  Its beliefs must be seen from the perspective that humans have lost control of the machinery of their society, and only new values, a new way of thinking and a new culture can restore control.

Our religion is a movement to bring our thinking, our society, and our lives in harmony with the revolution of technology and science that has already taken place.  It demands of us a new mind—a lower transcendent reason–able to plug our species into its rightful place in nature.  It demands that each of us assume a new responsibility for nature and all its living creatures.  It promises a life that is more liberated, healthier and more beautiful than anything mankind has known if we only have the courage and the meekness to seize that life.

Meditation of the Month

There is a gun with which to play
It represents the Holy Shitters’ way.

Do your business and then take aim
If you’re not clean you only have yourself to blame.

We wash our cars and take our showers
Yet we go around with dirty assholes for hours.

Use the bum gun every day
Use it after to blow your shit away.

Wiping your butt is not the way
Cause it leaves things dirty for most of the day.


Other religions wear relics from religious figures or medals of saints around their necks.  We believe they convey the wrong message. We instead prefer to wear amushits made from the dung of various animals.

Featured Amushit of the Month
Bullshit: Worn to inhibit untrue statements from coming out of the person’s mouth.  It also serves to shield the wearer from the lies of others.

Upcoming Church Holidays
Celebrated on the First Thursday of the Month
August:  Hot Air Awareness Day – A day to remind ourselves of the problems associated with climate change and how important our religion is to solving them.

The Holy Shitters Ten Commandments

Our 5th of 10

If thou hast nothing constructive to say then don’t say shit.

Recent Posts

China present and Taiwan Past

Sometimes you come across an article and your reaction is to say “Holy Shit!” That was the reaction I had reading this. It brought back memories and the daunting challenges we face in confronting the global environmental crisis we call climate change. Going from the present to the past I am encouraged and ready to shit in my pants …

Taking the Piss out of You!

As Poop John the First I am called on to look at things from an ass-forward, bottoms up, waste-end first perspective. Consequently, I tend to see things a little differently than most people and reach some different conclusions as a result.

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Homo fatuus brutus in the age of stupid

I woke up this morning…

[ cue blues riff ]

Rain. Grey clouds outside.

“Good,” thought I, “it’s nice to see wintry weather in England for a change, instead of these perpetual California blue clear skies.”

Then I went to watch ‘The Age of Stupid‘ once again. It mentions (in connection with ‘C&C’, a term that, by now, ought to be ubiquitous — and yet I’m buggered if I can recall what it actually stands for*) that our global emissions need to peak before 2015 (“in seven years’ time” when that clip was filmed, 2008) to avoid reaching the internationally ‘agreed’ (sic) absolute upper limit of 2°C global warming above pre-industrial times.

Yes: not a typo. Things have moved on since The Age of Stupid was put together. We’re now talking about the very next time we next ‘celebrate’ (sic) ‘happy (sic) new year’.

Then I switched back to ‘normal’ (sic) programming. Flipped past Pri’Minister’s Question Time in Parliament (as usual: what point listening to a bunch of egotistical self-congratulatory growthmaniac airheads?) — then flicked back to it, Just In Case they were actually saying something important. Needless to say, they weren’t. They were going on and on interminably about jobs and growth and ‘the recovery’ amid lots of raucous ‘hear, hear’s like a flock of nesting seagulls.

Then I looked out the window again. Ah! Blue sky, back again. The only ‘cloud’ in sight: a contrail from a high-flying passenger plane, full of hopeful people who believe that they’re going somewhere.

In an earlier life (say, fifteen years ago) I would have felt good, this morning.

* Is there any point in continuing to care? ‘Democracy’ suggests not: the will of the people is perfectly clear.

[edit 22Jan2014]
Since there are far many more ways to interpret the abbreviation ‘C&C’ than there are to interpret, say, ‘IPCC’; just on the off-chance you’re wondering, Dear Reader, the ‘C&C’ I’m waffling on about above is ‘contraction and convergence‘.

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