Hurricane Harvey, Trump, USA Mental Health: We Are All Mad, 100%!

Hurricane Harvey from a NASA photo taken by a satellite.

Dear Year 2192 & Year 2017:

Can our two years talk? Let’s use our imaginations.

The Iroquois Native Americans wisely advised us all to think ahead seven generations. As Hurricane Harvey attacks the Houston area in this year 2017, seven generations ahead (each generation is now about 25 years) would be the year 2192.

Wow, you in the year 2192, that is the 700th anniversary of the invasion of this continent by us Europeans. I hope someone is there to read this message? Perhaps if we here in the year 2017 are effective and ignite a global revolution, we can ensure there will be people alive in 2192.

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New Game: What Are Your Four Truths (#4Truths) That You Feel Could Save the Planet?

Here in Eugene, brother Tony, worker Ian and love of my life Debra joined me for 2017 eclipse watching. Senior discount seating was available!

Over the years I have created a number of games that I mostly play in my own head. One of these has actually caught on a bit with some of my homecare workers: When you hear anyone, such as on the radio, say the word “normal” you howl. That is it. You can play!

On the right we made a party for watching the 2017 eclipse. My brother Tony chose the soundtrack.

Personally my current game that I play in my own head is named “4Truths.” All you need to do is provide four of your truths that you feel that if the world knew, it may save their bacon.

Here are my four truths: 

  1. What is the lag time between emitting carbon pollution, and hurting the environment? I have read that this is 40 years. In other words, a recent summer 2017 month was the hottest on record. The pollution that led to this was produced back when I was in college, and I graduated 1977.
  2. Why is there this major lag time? My understanding from scientific articles and documentaries, is that the ocean absorbs a lot of our pollution. About 93% of greenhouse gasses are gobbled up by the sea, so that the impact of climate chaos is not immediately visible. The ocean stays all blue and consistent. Right? Not forever.
  3. When is seven generations ahead? We often hear that phrase first put forth by Iroquois Native Americans. According to my search engine, the average generation is now about 25 years. That means that seven generations is about 175 years. From this year, 2017, that would be 2192, the 700th anniversary of the invasion of this continent by us Europeans. (We had tried before, such as with Viking settlements, but they did not last.)
  4. So what if there are a few lags between pollution and climate crisis? There are more than four “lag times” before the year 2192. Big deal? Yes! Science has gone through a quiet revolution. Ask any reputable scientist, from physics to sociology. They will tell you that if anyone triggers enough positive feedback loops, chaos can result. Think of shooting off a gun despite warnings of a pending avalanche. When the snow starts to tumble, it may be too late.

What are your four truths? 

I will be tweeting the short phrase #4Truths. Please post your tweet there, and/or here on my blog comment area. Thanks!

Buddhism has its “Four noble truths.” Let us hear yours!

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Call Me Loony, But Al Gore Gave Me Hope Today About Climate Crisis

Two loons against the climate crisis!

Two loons find each other and oppose the climate crisis!

My wife Debra insisted this morning that I load up and watch with her a TED (Technology Entertainment Design) Talk that Al Gore made earlier this year, February 2016. Al explains why he is optimistic about addressing the climate crisis, if we all jump on board right now. The last few years I have watched hundreds of documentaries, including countless TED Talks, however this one is indeed special.

So call me loony, but with Debra, I did watch Al Gore’s latest TED presentation, 25 minutes, and I gained positivity:

Are you optimistic or pessimistic about this crisis? Please leave your comment at the end of this blog entry.

Yes, I know that I have brought up on this blog the worst case scenario more than once, to try to do my part in waking up a seemingly-hypnotized public. This year’s TED Talk by Al starts off with the updated reality of the catastrophe, and how we need to mobilize immediately. After this frightening wake-up call, the next two points he brings up are very, very positive, and I hope everyone watches his explanation.

I need Al’s dose of accurate optimism. Two things I am most concerned about:

First, scientists have known for a while that there is a 40-year lag between dumping carbon in the atmosphere, and the end result. In other words, the increased heat we are experiencing now came from the carbon that was released in about 1976. The worst carbon pollution, from the past few decades, has not yet had a chance to have its hellish consequences. If you would like to read more about this lag see: http://www.skepticalscience.com/Climate-Change-The-40-Year-Delay-Between-Cause-and-Effect.html

But second, my biggest worry, is that most of the general public does not seem to understand what a revolution in the sciences. Unfortunately there is no one word that sums up this paradigm shift, but some of the words for it are: complexity theory, emergence, the Butterfly effect, systems theory, nonlinearity, self-organizing, feedback, chaos theory, fractals, etc.

Even Aristotle lectured about this idea. With the advent of computers, scientists gathered clear evidence that self-organizing feedback loops are extremely significant and influential. Inital conditions, even very slight ones, may have enormous consequences. Many of us have heard of the “Butterfly effect.” I hope that you know that the Butterfly effect is literally true and has been shown to be correct by the evidence. Yes, the flap of a butterfly wing in Brazil can eventually lead to changing when and where even a tornado arrives in Texas. Of course it is impossible to predict which butterfly may influence which tornado.

You may read a quick summary of emergence theory: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergence

You may read a brief description of Butterfly effect here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_effect

A nice article about Edward Lorenz, the professor who developed the Butterfly effect: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/422809/when-the-butterfly-effect-took-flight/

The logic behind the Butterfly effect is that when a feedback loop is altered, even incrementally, this can cascade into major changes. One of the most pessimistic thinkers about the climate crisis, author Guy McPherson, has identified dozens of feedback self-reinforcing loops that can be triggered and make the climate crisis worse, in a non-linear and chaotic way. This is the so-called runaway climate crisis that we are sometimes warned about. McPherson famously believes that it is already too late to stop.

My impression is that because dealing with the climate crisis involves such a dispute with business leaders, that scientists have focused on what is highly likely to happen, such as the approximate increase of sea level rise in the next few decades, etc.

However, for me, the most scary part is that if humanity continues to insufficiently address the climate crisis, more and more positive feedback loops can be triggered. Think about driving late at night on a highway near a cliff. You spot what might be black ice on the road, and it would be wise to stop business as usual. Unfortunately, it is as if humanity has spotted black ice and seems to be driving even faster. If our imagined vehicle does hit black ice, and we begin to spin toward the cliff, then this chaotic feedback loop may become all too plain, but by then we may be learning too late.

There is such a thing as too late

Back in 2012, I climbed a little ladder for our cat, Bongo, who was playing in our loft in my writer’s studio. For some reason, these steps were the only ones I had not put tread on. I slipped, fell, broke my neck and now I am in a power chair. Because of pre-existing conditions, I even have a few more disabilities.

My point is, that many of us with extreme disabilities recognize how even a moment can lead to massive loss. Humanity looks like it is climbing up a slippery ladder, but Al Gore is warning folks about that step, and appears to also bring us hope about a revolution of solutions. The Butterfly effect can work to our advantage, too. Even small actions for our Earth may lead to massive good change, we do not have control over that exact outcome, but we must take those actions.

For example, for about three decades I have meditated. Obviously there are a lot of disputes about the unknown, spirituality, etc. I realize that even something as a good, mindful breath can have a positive effect. Hey, that means we can all be revolutionaries with every breath! And if we ever needed to be revolutionaries, and find other revolutionaries, it is now.

Earlier I mentioned that I had brought up the worst case scenario involving climate crisis. If you would like to read about that rather frightening horror, I even invented a new word for it: Normalgeddon! Click on that word to learn more.

But if you watch only one thing, please watch the Al Gore TED Talk from this year, he has made a great follow-up to that earlier TED Talk.

Thanks Debra! She said about the talk, “Positive, realistic, and not b.s. There are things that each of us can do to help. It gave me the courage and conviction to take action today!” Heck, her action even led to this blog entry. You could say Debra was the butterfly today. Debra has complained to me about how some climate activists dwell on the negative. While I respect Guy McPherson, the worst case scenario would rely on triggering chaotic, unpredictable feedback loops. In other words, it ain’t over yet, Guy!

Other folks believe that something like nuclear power or geoengineering will be the main solution. However, as Al points out, even if problems with nukes are addressed, they are only a small part of the answer. For me, I agree with Al that we need to build global will, and will is a renewable resource. One of my renewable sources of will is my community, especially Debra.

So here is a free, two-and-a-half minute video, about the call a loon, we can actually sound pretty beautiful as we locate other loons, as I did 33 years ago when I first met my wonderful Debra:

Eight years ago, Al Gore gave a TED Talk about new ways of thinking about the climate crisis. Thanks, Al, for re-visiting this topic and pointing out hopeful solutions. You may watch his earlier TED Talk from 2008 here:

During this past Summer, I reflected on who my actual audience is. While contemporary readers are welcome, thanks, I believe we need to all be creating for an audience seven generations ahead. Currently, an estimate of how long a generation is about 25 years. Then next year, 2017, seven generations ahead will be the year 2192. That will be a memorable year. That is also the 700th anniversary of the European invasion of this hemisphere.

Let us all take action now so that there is an audience in 2192! Thanks Al Gore for this optimism revolution, maybe there will indeed be an audience.

So are you positive or negative about our future? Will there be a healthy, positive generation in 2192? Leave your comment on this blog entry below, thanks!

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Normalgeddon: Your Landing Page About Having Fun & The Worst Case Scenario Of The Climate Crisis

This is a giant hole -- actually called End Of The World -- in Siberian permafrost that illustrates feedback loops involving methane release.

This is a giant hole — actually called End Of The World — in Siberian permafrost that illustrates feedback loops involving methane release.

Update 12/2015:

Several of us have visited Ninkasi Brewery because their Chief Financial Officer is the chair-elect for the local Chamber of Commerce. You may see the results and photo here.  

Updated 9/21/2015:

If you live in or near Eugene, Oregon, there is a very easy way to look on the web and see if your favorite business belongs to the local Chamber. If so, please ask the business owner to contact the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce and request that our local Chamber acknowledge that global warming exists, is caused by humans, and the US Chamber in Washington, DC, does not speak for us!

Welcome to Normalgeddon!

I invented the word Normalgeddon to describe the risk of ending not only civilization as we know it, but ending life on Earth over the next few decades. Yes, I realize that things like sea-level rise and hurricanes are more certain, even currently-existing, outcomes of global warming. But there is an uncertain and real chance of “run-away” global warming, when positive feedback loops bring our chaotic climate system into uncharted waters. In this case, a tipping point of no-return could be reached and a very different and unlivable environment unfolds. I call this phenomenon Normalgeddon because it is our collective complacency and adherence to so-called Normality that are driving us toward catastrophe.

For example, one of the most famous scientists, Stephen Hawking, said: “I am afraid the atmosphere might get hotter and hotter until it will be like Venus with boiling sulfuric acid.”

I like to think that by acting urgently and based on our highest principles, we have a chance of turning things around.

Here is a brief list of resources both on this blog and in the web about preventing Normalgeddon.

Links to my blog entries:

1. My latest blog entry about the Chamber of Commerce and Global Warming:

April 2015 Update: We visit the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce, and now you can see both a four-minute and 44-minute videos by David Zupan and Jana Thrift about our protest here:

PsychoQuad & Friends Visit Eugene Area Chamber of Silence About Climate Crisis

We visited Ninkasi Brewery, which is a member of the Eugene Area Chamber of commerce. Their Chief Financial Officer is the chair-elect. So far they have not responded to our concerns. You may see our public note and photo of our visit here:

Here is a previous post about the campaign to encourage our local chamber in Eugene to speak out about global warming:

http://138.68.254.83/global-warming-normalgeddon-mental-wellness-chamber-of-commerce

Here is an earlier post about the local chamber:

http://138.68.254.83/eugene-area-chamber-global-warming

2. Other blog entries about this topic, please read them one after another here:

http://138.68.254.83/category/normalgeddon

Here are a few other resources about runaway global warming risk:

1. A google search for videos on this topic that you should check out:

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=runaway+climate+change&tbm=vid

2. If you are ready to hear from someone who is respected but apparently is a bit more pessimistic than me about the future, please read about Guy R. McPherson, author of the book Going Dark, here:

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=mcpherson+going+dark

Thriving despite the risk of Normalgeddon:

Readers of my blog know that I am informed as an amateur about the science of emergence, or as I like to call it “the butterfly effect.” In other words, if we all act from our best values of unity, activism, and love of Earth, then we may have unexpected great results — a Climate Miracle! So remember that hope involves taking action without knowing exactly what the outcome may be.

Everyone ought to be familiar with this revolution in the sciences sometimes called systems sciences or complexity theory. You may read about this here:

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

Books such as Web of Life, by physicist Fritjof Capra, apply this type of thinking to living systems.

By coincidence, earlier this year I spent a whole session with my great counselor, psychologist John Bundy, about this very topic because I found I was losing a lot of sleep as I did research. After all, this may be the end of human life. I like to think that we all act together and save life. But I know this topic can be very upsetting.

May I suggest that we use the power of peer support, and I plan to do a lot of protesting and speaking out about this topic. I sure hope we work together now about this, no matter what the results, and hopefully we will celebrate later on!

There is an ancient Persian saying: No one is tired on Victory Day!

This page will change as more material arrives. Speaking of which, the great leader for connecting our movement to his career of mental health counselor, Ron Unger, sent me the following:

Ron provided one of the main links about a worst case scenario that one of the main climate crisis scientists brought up in 2013:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2311699/Could-Earth-barren-Venus-Climate-change-scientist-warns-planet-ice-free-human-free.html#ixzz3StLDobcd

Ron said, “Nice expression – a ‘human free’ planet.  It sounds kind of pristine!”

 

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Hello World! 5 Reasons We Must Say ‘No’ to Normality & Psychiatry

Updated 21 September 2015:

If you live on Earth and breathe, then you must overthrow what is mistakenly called “normal” and the mental health industry. Why?

Jillian sticks out her tongue and holds a cat.

Homecare worker Jillian sticks out her tongue while hugging the cat, Bongo. Emergency Rooms look for this sign of distress and name it the Qsign (the tongue looks like the tail of the letter Q)!

Today, our planet is faced with an unprecedented emergency, according to the vast majority of scientists, wise people and just about everybody else. Smart folks tell us that we have the technology, smarts, and economy to address these urgent crises, but do we have the will? It seems that the general public is paralyzed, and as our leaders continue to procrastinate, we are collectively entering into the beginning of chaos.

As my friend “the real” Patch Adams, MD has explained to me for 23 years, one of the most effective ways to reach people is their sense of humor. Yes, the feature movie in 1998 about Patch is a bit syrupy-sweet, but you have to admit the power of wearing a red nose! Seriously, laughter is of course powerful. And we may need a touch of comedy to even look at the absurd reality around us now. That is why some folks are sticking out their tongues (see the photo here of Jillian for example); jokingly, maybe our leaders are waiting for us all to show some signs of distress such as the Qsign!

(rest of entry below)

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