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So what's the next pie-in-the-sky escape for techno-optimists to cling to? Are we down to thorium bed nuclear reactors at this point?

Oh, right, ever cheaper solar PV is still a popular one.


Well Dave, seems all roads lead to guano loco.

"The algae are very beautiful. They come in blue or red, golden, green...
Algae are amazing little critters"
Joe Weissman

Check out Mark McHugh's review: "Douchebag proud of wasting 35 years"...


"Feeling good about doing bad. Welcome to your new normal, America"

oh, yeah...oh, yeah

Dave Cohen


Yes, "douchebag" is precisely the word we're looking for here.

-- Dave

John D

Supposedly man is an innovative thinker and great problem solver. However, it seems we have blinders on and never 'think outside the box'. Our answer to a problem is always more clever technology in keeping with the growth paradigm. We never come up with a really creative solution like, oh I don't know, stabilizing population,living simpler lives, eliminating wasteful consumption. Nah, too crazy.

Dave Cohen

@John D

Re: Supposedly man is an innovative thinker and great problem solver

Yes, that's what the humans will be happy to tell you.

And as I said yesterday, they almost always believe their own bullshit.

-- Dave


“What good is it to save the planet if humanity suffers?” Exxon-Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson

I think my mind was just blown.

Ken Barrows

Algae no good as substitute for oil? The techno mind scans through the Rolodex. Here it is: thermal depolymerization. Sounds great! /sarc.


...I could have saved Exxon 100 million dollars

Of course, we know what this really means - 100 million dollars in corporate tax write-offs. Bang goes another budget for welfare. Fuck the deserving poor.

Matt W.

Nice post Dave. Been meaning to chime in for a bit since your depression post to let you know I've been enjoying DOTE for a while now.

@Diogenes, thanks for the link, amazing...

Does anybody else openly blast these kinds of things on TV in front of family/neighbors and called "negative" and "Debbie Downer"? I'm notorious for that.

Dave Cohen


Thanks for letting me know you're there. Debbie Downer? I like that.


-- Dave

Jamieson G McPherson


This is off the current topic:

I have been following your posts for a long time now, possibly since near the beginning of your blog. I have never commented. With regards to your entreaties to those of us who read you but who do not comment, it may be that my experience and thoughts are like a number of others of us that follow you, but who typically remain silent, namely: WE AGREE - there is nothing to say except "WELL DONE". Why waste the pixels?

My guess is that you do not personally need gobs and gobs and gobs of personal affirmation to continue to believe what you believe, and to seek information, and try to spread your world view to others.

That said: I do not know what you mean by "Doomer". If you mean that the human race is a race of animals that follow an evolutionary mandate that is leading us (mediated by or mal-adaptive cultures) into oblivion, if we don't wake up, and that by our very animal natures, it is unlikely we will do so, then I am a "Doomer".

However, I do think there are people, who will survive, for awhile at least, carrying the some of the good parts of our culture into the future (mostly animal husbandry and agriculture) and I do envision less a Mad Max future, than a future sketched out by Greer and Kunstler, though a bit less romanticized than either of them.

You are correct that if we don't stop doing a great number of things we are doing, and don't stopping thinking like we think about the planet(as a species and don't stop, as a "culture", doing what we are doing we will ruin the oceans, the bees, pick a pressure point - and it will lead to catastrophe for our species, and all the others.) The earth will go on. It will change. As a human, I hope there is a place for us or whatever we evolve into a million years hence, and as a human - on a certain level who cares?

But what we are doing now is wrong. And I don't believe we are wise enough to stop it. I hope you don't block me for being domerish - but I don't have a lot of faith in humanity as a species, and that are way a lot of us on the planet now.


Jamieson G McPherson

PS to Dave

Another reason I don't comment is because I usually read at work. LOL


Most politicians have the reality insight equal to my four-year old granddaughter.


I keyword your past entries before commenting these days, and I see that you mentioned "Surviving Progress" on 5/10/2012:

Have you seen it yet? It's definitely worth the watch. Your mentioning Ventner here reminded me of the film. There are some really insane things he says in the movie (like "George Lucas thinks there are only two hopes for humans - going into space and genetic engineering.")

Here's another great quote from Ventner in it, talking about oil use and algae oil: "We use billions of gallons of oil a year." Okay, buddy.

But the film as a whole is excellent in that it does raise real questions about progress and the evolutionary underpinnings of the human condition (notions that the vast majority haven't probably ever considered).

A number of excellent (and not so excellent) thinkers are in there, too: Ronald Wright, Margaret Atwood, Jane Goodall, David Suzuki, Vaclav Smil (hyper optimist Dr. Peter Kelemen credits Smil as the foundation of his work), Robert Wright, and Michael Hudson. It also goes over what's going on in the Amazon, Third World debt, and a number of other issues.

It ends on the notion that we can "survive progress", of course. How could it not? Smil and "No Impact Man" say we should use less. Robert Wright says we have to improve our morality, and Ronald Wright echoes similar sentiments. Ronald Wright says that if we don't do these things, we won't survive.

On other movie reviews, I recently saw "Detropia". It's a fascinating "man on the street" documentary of what's going on there:


@Jim...good morning

I see my primary role as a commenter here and elsewhere is to point - typically with little embellishment. I really appreciate when others also point - it's a breadcrumb trails thing.

So I'm pointing...Surviving Progress is currently up on youtube - who knows for how long - it was up previously but then yanked...me, I learned to use a downloader


btw...wonder if you & I are the only ones to keyword Dave's posts. Gauguin's Questions is among my rather large list of my favorites and was fun to read again.


Tenney Naumer

Finally, a use for the agricultural land ruined by saltwater intrusion:


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