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Erm, check this out:


Ean Gray

Thought you might want to take a look at this, as well: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/coal/2012/11/clean_coal_technology_carbon_capture_and_sequestration_is_trapped_in_a_valley.html. It is a new (probably old, really) argument for "clean coal".

On the other hand, Dave I have to ask: What keeps you motivated to write this blog? Its kind of like a historian writing a history of the Earth right before the Sun is about to explode. I don't mean that as a joke, I truly am amazed at your ability to continue to care enough about this hopeless stuff enough to keep writing about it.

Dave Cohen


My motivations are complex. I would not say I "care" about this hopeless stuff. In fact, the key to writing this stuff every day is not caring!

If I truly cared, I wouldn't be able to continue. My heart was broken long ago. One adjusts.

I think it is important that somebody tell the humans the truth about themselves and their likely fate. The irony of doing so is that any person who does so will invariably be mostly ignored or marginalized.

On the other hand, that human behavior (the ignoring, the shunning etc.) is predictable, too.

So it goes.

-- Dave

John D

Running out of ways to say "we're fucked".

Dave Cohen

@John D

There's no need for an agent-less construct -- "we're fucked"

We can know exactly why we are fucked and who is doing the fucking ;-)

-- Dave

Robin Datta

The life forms affected by the environmental degradation and ecosystem disruption do not vote, make campaign contributions, sit on boards of directors and in legislative bodies, or have other such levers of political power within their reach. A very few have found themselves useful to humans. If success is measured in numbers, feedlot cattle, monoculture corn wheat and soy, factory-farmed chickens and the like might be counted among the successful, but only as long as humans can subsidise them.

Robert Colgan

Mark Twain's quote applies here most appropriately:

"I have been reading the morning paper. I do it every morning--knowing well that I shall find in it the usual depravities and basenesses and hypocrisies and cruelties that make up civilization, and cause me to put in the rest of the day pleading for the damnation of the human race. I cannot seem to get my prayers answered, yet I do not despair."
- (Letter to William Dean Howells, 2 April 1899)

since his prayers seem finally to have found a sympathetic God.

Not much good to say about a species that's clever enough to befoul its own nest to self-extinction and whose response to the travesty will probably be to engage in a large suicidal war.... except that they were ultimately undone by their stupidity.. . .
. ...THAT, can be said with certainty.

Brian M

Why is it that I seem to be inured to the constant damage we do to our own species, but continually depressed and saddened by what we do to every other living thing on the planet. :-(

Too. Fucking. Depressing.


I couldn't care less about the decline of any empire, Incan, Cretean, Ottoman, BIS, whatever. But the Decline of the Biosphere is truly tragic, in the sense that the comet that hit Yucatan was tragic - mindless and unavoidable.


Great article and I even liked the video until it got to the advertisement for the 'Techie Comes to the rescue' magic wand at the end. Dream on if you think that is the answer. By the time all of the carbon energy was used to switch to PV, etc, we would nor be able to swim in the oceans of the world because of the additional acidification the 'cure' created.

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