He’s wasting a way…

Well, I’ve decided to do another fast. No grandiose mystical aspirations this time, although I wouldn’t be surprised to have something like that happen. You inevitably have psychological and spiritual side effects from depriving yourself to that degree, or examining your relationship to food and the emotional stimulation it provides.

It’s interesting to recall that after my first really profound mystical experience, the first thing I wanted to do was go eat something. It was so simple and grounded and elementary, even having all the emotional baggage of one’s life temporarily scrubbed away only enhanced the simple pleasure of eating.

Alas it’s not usually like that. Of late my addiction to sugar has gotten pretty out of hand. A bag of chips and slurpee everyday in the summer is fine when you’re 21, but 30 is pushing it. I found I was leaving the house specifically to buy bulk jube jubes at the grocery store.

Part of it is having a fairly fast metabolism. my skin feels almost searing hot to me, sometimes, and most people in a position to have noticed say I really throw a lot of heat. I’m sure the weight training only enhances the caloric demands. I can burn 250 to 300 calories on the cross country ski trainer, and then do maybe a half hour of heavy lifting maybe three times a week. Anyone who’s done that sort of thing can attest that you’re pretty much always hungry.

But that level of psychological dependence on junk food is troubling. Even on my regular fasts I was juicing and that’s like mainlining sugar, quite frankly. Sure I walk everywhere, and keep a steady weight on my admittedly fairly thick eastern european farming-stock body, but I cannot abide uncontrolled addiction.

In any case, the rules are simple. Drink water. that’s it.

I’m adding a colloidal mineral supplement to the water to keep my electrolytes and muscle strength at an acceptable level, since I still need to work without fainting, but no calories. Just 3-4 liters of water a day. I may introduce some green bentonite clay a little later as a detox measure, but that’s all. Hardly appetising.

In any case, no interminable podcasts this time, just one blog entry, but I’ll update it as we go.

Day 1: I find if stay busy I can cruise through the first half day of a fast pretty easily. It’s mostly mental. One thing that upset me and set me on this course was finding I was starting to get mild stomach cramps in the morning, along with a vague nausea until I ate something, presumably from sugar withdrawls . I got that today, but it was pretty mild. The first two thirds of the day were easy enough. I found myself fantasising about food rather a lot.

It’s pretty shocking how enjoyable it can be just to fantasise about food. The mind really does crave the textures and stimulation of eating. Myself in particular. I often eat things just for the tactile sensations, not so much the taste.

I’m not sure I got enough water today, as my lips are starting to dry a bit. Later in the day I was getting fairly strong bouts of spaciness and low blood sugar related weakness. This is hardly surprising , but still a bit odd considering your body is still digesting food in your intestine 2-3 days after you stop eating. It’s because most people are on a roller coaster of glycogen from the liver and are used to topping it up every 3 hours or so. When you quit doing that, everything slows right down. I felt like I was sitting in the bottom of a well, muttering up to people . This is all overwrought emotional content, but goes to show you how your moods are built around food.

Day 2: Ghastly. My body has felt weak and rubbery all day. I think constantly about pizza and jube jubes. I can hardly make it up the stairs without pausing. I can’t concentrate on anything for more than a few minutes. The water tastes horrible and metallic, despite filtering. I may have to buy some bottled.

I walked to the library to get some air and sunlight, and I was okay physically, so it’s clear I’m mostly just jonesing. My mouth has a coated chemical feeling, and my sweat smells even worse than a regular carnivore’s would. Did I mention Alaina was away for two weeks? Lucky her, ha ha. The tongue takes on a slightly grotesque film when you fast, something about eliminating toxin through the glands, skin and all. One way of knowing you’ve finished a detox-style fast is that your tongue goes back to being pink.

I do have to think about when to stop doing this, however. I have a few markers in mind. Two weeks is probably an outside limit, as I don’t know if I could hold up around Alaina and her fridge.

anyway:

1) as above, when I get some kind of body sign that the detox side has run it’s course.
usually this is when the skin is clear, the tongue is pink, and the eyes are especially white.

2) weight loss. according to some brief looks online, my target body weight is about 162 lbs, which seems ludicrous and arbitrary. I have a wide frame, a smooth, if not flat, abdomen, and a fair bit of muscle, especially through the legs and I weigh 180-184 at 5’9″ most of the time. My legs are a bit thick, and a little on my hips, but twenty pounds?hmmm…

One loses about a pound a day while fasting. I suspect I will drop it a bit faster, what with my metabolism and my regular activity level. On my juice fast I lost about ten pounds in a week. So… on water? God knows. But if I start to look gaunt, or go below 165, I’ll pull the plug. I suspect it’ll take maybe a week and a half to go that far.

3) Unacceptable levels of weakness or mental deterioration. Spaciness and weak spells from withdrawl is fine. total confusion or inability to work is not.

The evening has been better. The worst of the withdrawls and frantic desire to eat are gone. Voiding huge amounts of water, which makes sense. One of the ways your body sequesters toxins is to surround them with water. If you give your body a chance to drop everything else and eliminate this stuff, the excess water goes with it.

Day 3: Rough start so far. Disturbing dreams, trouble sleeping. Stomach cramps and headaches. Lots of water shedding in the night. Woke up this morning at 5 o clock. Worst of the hunger is gone, and some of the clarity and detachment of a good fast kicking in. It’s mostly just chemical cravings now. I suppose this is what cold turkey feels like.

Correction: this is exactly what cold turkey feels like.

Went for a walk again, to run some errands and weigh myself at the gym. Before I started, I think I was at 182, and averaging out on two scales I’m at 178 right now. So that’s 4 pounds in two days. Mostly undigested food, I’m sure, but that’s pretty much over with by now. I can start to see the top edges of my ‘six pack’, so I may stoke my vanity, at least.

Dull headache, stiff neck, and green and yellow film on my tongue. All that food coloring goes somewhere, my darlings. I’ll hear nothing to the contrary.

On the upside, my hunger is pretty much gone, just vague cravings. So I’ll be making a go of it. Yesterday, I wasn’t so sure

note to self: mineral water tastes even more vile than filtered tap water.

Too tired this evening to go to class. hard to concentrate on anything with little sleep and the constant subtle cravings for food. Oh well. My work is being cooperative this week. Nothing to do for a little while. Boring but probably neccesary.

I presume by tomorrow I will be in the groove and dropping a couple pounds a day. If that’s so, I’ll be quite slim in about a week. If my real body hunger comes back before then, or my detox finishes early, then I’ll pack it in.

I do miss having enough spare blood sugar to run my brain at the usual speed. But it’s a double edged sword, as it feeds anxiety as well as ideation. Anyone who’s listened to my podcasts has an idea of the speed I talk and think. It’s nice to lift up the car and check underneath once and awhile, however.

Day 4: Fuck Me. A lifetime of careless eating is getting it’s revenge.

I dunno why it didn’t occur to me that putting some liquid clay into my stomach wouldn’t be a good idea, when your digestive tract has shut down.

Anyway, when I woke up this morning and starting moving around, I had the most profound urge to puke. As soon as I got to the toilet and passed the clay out the other end, I felt much better.

Ever felt so nauseous your hands were tingling? Oh, it’s a scene, man.

My tongue is now GREY, and for awhile I was too weak to stand up. I feel rather good now though. Mentally very calm and clear, no hunger to speak of. The idea of eating or drinking anything seems vaguely repulsive actually.

I am regenerating, getting stronger. Since I got out of high school, I was 185 pounds for about ten years. When I started hitting the gym, that got down to perhaps 175, and crept upward again as I added muscle stabalising at the 180 or so I started the fast with.

Which basically means that in a couple days, I will be thinner than I have ever been in my adult life. Rooting out those pockets of toxic fat and water is ample explanation for the way I’m feeling, and it will keep happening as I flush that shit away.

As horrible as it’s been thus far, I would nonetheless recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone. It is surely no fun, and maybe it’s just because I have one of those personalities that gravitates towards shamanic ordeal, but moving towards discomfort and the growth it signals is what makes us conscious, and human. I feel sure of that.

I don’t think I’m at all inherently special ( my mother sometimes half-jokingly claims I was tampered with by aliens in the womb, but that is another story) , and to the extent I might be, it’s simply choice and hard work. Overcoming these trials gives me hope for us all. If I can do it, then anyone can.

Which, I suppose, is the point.

…it’s now 1 o clock. After the horror show upon waking, things definitely took a suprising and profound turn.

With no particular warning, I was overcome with a deep sense of peace, happiness and energy. Almost euphoria. All cravings and nausea gone. Indeed, for awhile the very thought of eating anything junk acquired an almost gnostic aura of revulsion and terror.

I decided to walk to the gym again, and as soon as I started moving, I got the most powerful sense of tingling chi in my hara ( behind and slightly below the belly button) , and flowing down into my legs. It literally felt like an immense tingling coiled spring near the base of my spine. Great emotional release, happiness, and healing catharsis.

“I’ve been poisoning myself. I’ve been killing my body. KILLING IT. ”  But now it was awake, and healing, and I guess, thanking me for the favor. I felt immense sorrow for what I had done, and all kinds of body intelligence that was being suppressed came up. I was actually perceiving the world as a whole organism, not just a mind in a body. not quite sure how to expand on that.

At the gym, I saw my weight was down to 175, so that 3 pounds since yesterday. I feel pretty alert and energetic though. I figured I’d stretch at the gym and try some cardio, to test my energy levels.

To my surprise, I was able to go at nearly my normal resistance setting for 15 minutes. Could have gone longer but my heartrate spiked up to a maximum pretty quickly. Decided to forego any weights. A weak or faint spell on the bench would be ‘bad’, in the egon spengler/ghostbusters sense.

I’m really hungry right now, in the body sense, which is to be expected when I’m burning calories faster than I can break down fat. Should calm down soon enough. I wanted to test it out before kung fu tomorrow. If the hunger doesn’t go away, I might have to stop. I’m craving healthy stuff right now. At this rate, I’ll have to quit in maybe three days at the most, anyhow.

Almost done for today, just one more thing. I still feel pretty good.

But anyway: You would think that FOUR DAYS after you stop eating, that there’s nothing left in your digestive tract.

In my case however, you would be wrong. I will spare you the gory details, but suffice to say, if you knew how much stays in your body for how long after you stop eating, you’d be fucking shocked. And rightly so. No wonder I felt so sick, at times.

I swear, it’s one meal of raw vegitables a day for me, from now on… or as close as I can manage. Somewhere in the middle for sure. LOL.

Day 5: Getting a bit predictable now. Wake up, writhe around for an hour or two till I can start to move the toxins that build up while I sleep out of my system, and drink a bunch of water.

Started taking some digestive enzyme capsules yesterday, and another this morning. Along with the clay, they can kill off any parasites in the intestine, which is the cause of many allergies and auto-immune disorders in people. It’s known colorfully as ‘leaky gut syndrome’. Eventually your intestinal wall becomes so compromised in places that the poisonous waste products of parasites and god knows what else starts leaking back into your blood. Good times.

Of course getting rid of this stuff is almost as bad as not getting rid of it, at least for a while. Because when it’s situated somewhere in your muscle or fat tissue, or lodged in your intestinal wall, you don’t feel it directly, just the systemic effects.

When it passes out however, you get to experience the love all over again, to a frightening degree.

Keep in mind I’ve got a reasonably good diet these days: lots of fibre and minerals, no dairy, plenty of water, fresh air, sunlight and excercise.

I shudder to think what this might be like for an overweight smoker/drinker, who has done various drugs, prescription or not. You’d probably want to eat a bullet before long.

Kung fu later today, which ought to be fun. It seems I feel a lot better when the blood and lymph are moving around. Long as I don’t faint, puke, or start crying spontaneously, that is…

A bit later now. My tongue is starting to evidence signs of going back to normal color. It’s just a purpley-whiteish, with pink coming in from the edges. Yay.

Looks like no vigorous exercise tonight either. My teacher has food poisoning, it seems. I tell ya, the non-food kind of poisoning is bad enough.

On a more esoteric note, I cannot help but notice how events seem be conspiring to help me out on this. I planned it to line up with alaina’s trip, but the lack of work obligations, quiet emotional atmosphere, and tax refund cheques to soften the blow of no work, are all serendipity. Looks like the mojo is working, wherever it originates from…

I’m attempting just now what is called a ‘saltwater flush’ wherein one drinks 2 liters of warm water with a level tablespoon of sea salt dissolved in it. The salinity and specific gravity of saltwater makes it so your intestine can’t absorb the water into your blood, so it washes right through you. I’ve heard of it before and it’s a venerable technique of indian ayurveda, but these days it’s associated with the somewhat dubious master cleanse, which I did try once, minus the salt water. We’ll see how it goes. It should expedite the removal of any odious intestinal contents.

I swear… the david fucking blaine of stupid personal development stunts…

hmm… well I choked down the two liters of salty water, which took about a half hour to do. I’m not sure where it went though. I suppose I must have been somewhat dehydrated. I know I probably haven’t been drinking enough of the vile filtered water.

salt is a funny thing. You need a little bit as an electrolyte so your body can assimilate water, but too much and it’ll make you sick, or give you the squirts, as anyone lost at sea finds out to their peril.

I saw a few different figures on how to mix a saltwater flush. One was as high as two table spoons to one liter of water. Insane!

That would be basically four times the concentration that I had. Nevertheless, I might have to give it a go tomorrow, as I seem to be peeing all this out right now, which means my intestine took it up into the blood. But it’s all to the good. Cycling water through is always helpfull in detox situations.

Did I mention I’m pretty hungry? I could use a plate of chicken wings right now, I’m telling you…

Day 6: Woke up at 2am this ‘morning’. I feel quite alert and full of energy. My eyes are a bit scratchy but they’ve been scratchy for a few days already. Otherwise, I’m good to go. I’ll probably get sleepy again in a couple hours but for now I couldn’t really sleep.

Partly I thought I was hungry, and it was keeping me awake, but now I think perhaps I was thirsty. Most people don’t distinguish between hunger and thirst very well, and I’m no exception. When I think about it, I’ve probably been depleting my body salts for about a week with all the plain water, and excercise related sweating, and it wasn’t untill yesterday I added some salt back in, ( unintentionally ).

So perhaps I’ve been mildly dehydrated, at least insofar as I need a lot more water than normal to flush everything out. Drank a couple glasses of water and felt better. I’m sure I’ve enough salt in my blood for a little while…

That said, I still want to try this saltwater flush again, and now is apparently the optimum time for it. Early in the morning, that is.

I think I might be coming up to the end of the water fast here. My tongue is going pink with a bit of white, My energy is way up, and my body hunger is getting stronger, to the point where I probably shouldn’t ignore it for too much longer.

I’m noticably thinner, but I haven’t weighed myself since thursday. I’m guessing maybe 170? There are a couple patches where the skin seems loose in a slightly unnerving way, but I’m sure it’ll tighten up. Skin is elastic after all. There are still some pockets of fat around my legs and hips, but I’m not sure how far I want to push that.

Anyway, I’m going to try and choke down some more warm saltwater without projectile vomitting. I mean, it would be sort of unfair to not puke at all through this whole thing, wouldn’t it?

Catch you on the flipside…

“Ah, I see” said the blind man… upon a bit of last minute research, I see that the salt has to be non-iodised. Well fuck me. I figured all sea salt was, but it seems I was wrong. So that’s deferred until I can hit the grocery store…in about 5 hours….

Passed out for another couple hours. Body feels like lead. This weakness is not so good. It’s starvation, not poisoning. So this is definitely the last day

things to do:

-buy some non-iodised sea salt, do the flush.
– go to the gym and weigh myself once more
– pick up some juice, fruits and vegitables to eat tomorrow. ( maybe even later today if this weakness doesn’t let up. )
– buy some good quality probiotics to replace whatever has starved or washed out in my gut.

– make it through the day without disaster.

…okay, so I walked about a little bit to get some apple juice, blueberries, and sugar peas for tomorrow. I couldn’t find sea salt anywhere, so I would have to wait till later to do the flush, and I don’t know that I want to.

I also feel stupidly weak. I can make myself lurch around on force of will, but I’m just burning myself up. This thing peaked a couple days ago, and from this point on, I’m just depleting stuff I need, along with the fat and toxins.

So I figure I’ll finish today on juice. Apple juice seems to have a flushing effect itself, in my experience, along with some malic acid that loosens fatty adhesions. People use apple juice for liver cleanses. The flushing effect probably has something to do with the density of apple juice relative to water, along with it’s sodium and vitamin c content.

So I’m working on a liter of apple juice now, very very slowly… you have no idea how good it tastes. My brain is waking up again. I may do another later, if need be, and tomorrow it’s fruit and veggies.

Evening now. I had a bit of scare when I saw myself in the mirror at work. Something about the light off my hollower than normal cheekbones and neck, made my blood run cold for minute.

Not exactly life threatening, but these things can creep up on you. I think I let myself go too hard on this, and believe me, I can feel it. Thankfully my body is resilient and knows how to fix itself, provided I quit battering it with MY WILL all the time.

Still haven’t weighed myself. I’m almost afraid to find out how much weight I managed to drop in a five day period. I did some kung fu in the park, with no hangups, and elected for a fruit smoothie to top me off for the day.

I still need to get some probiotics tomorrow, but other than that, it’s a done deal. I feel normal+ right now, like I just got rescued off an island in the pacific or something. Maybe a bit tired and haggard, but a full stomach, some regular sleep and a few vegitable stir fries will work wonders, I’m sure.

And in a couple days, some chicken wings. Oh yes… chicken wings…

Some wrap up and conclusions tomorrow.

Day 7: Epilougue.

Well I feel totally fine this morning. Good, sound sleep, Normal hunger pangs in the morning, no detox shit. A little bit of white film on the tonuge, but that’s pretty avergage and It’s not like I did the detox aspect all the way to the end.

Considering the amount of exercise I was doing, I was continually producing new lactic acid in the muscles and other metabolic waste products anyway. I smelled bloody awfull, I know that.

I’m peering through a window of clarity and detatchment right now. When you can let go of something as elemental as food, everything else gets the volume turned down, to borrow a phrase. I had some thoughts on releasing dualism, but I’ll save those for another time.

I’ll be eating some blueberries forthwith, and a stir fry of sugar peas and some garlic a bit later. Yum! Fiber is good. Yes.

I thought I would close with some tips, and advice for others who might want to try this. Also reminders for myself next time around.

– DO NOT over exert yourself. The level of energy you get is deceptive. If you go too hard it evaporates into weariness.
– consequently find things to do while fasting that don’t involve intense excercise, or long exertion.
-fasting is boring. or more accurately, it exposes how boring your life is when you’re not sticking something in your mouth every few hours to level out your mood. a bit sobering, and it makes you look at how you do things.
– do something to flush your digestion a soon as possible into the fast. otherwise you’re just absorbing and reabsorbing the waste products of what’s still in your body.

if you’re inclined towards colonics or enemas, by all means go ahead. the salt water flush looks like the most thurough, as it does the whole tract, not just the lower part, as colonics might.

yes it’s gross. deal with it.

– do everything possible to wean yourself off the addictive stuff before you start the fast full-on. a couple days off caffiene, white sugar, white flour and alcohol would make going cold turkey on all food a bit easier. My first few days were a trainspotting-esque horror show, and all I was doing was coming off refined sugar.

– get some clean water. look around for a really good filter or distiller. when you don’t eat, the taste of tapwater or poorly filtered water gets distracting to the point you might not drink enough. 3-4 liters a day for an average sized person is what you need.

-know when to stop. on a similar note, know when to slow down. the body does things on it’s schedule, not yours.

I’ll set down some observations later today when I see how I’m functioning.

end of the day review:

-got my probiotics. all seems well on the digestive front. after a few days of nothing but water and venting your bowels, you start to get worried that you can’t hold food anymore. but it’s actually fine. better than fine, actually.

– gym was good. went as hard as possible and held up perfectly. afterword, I curious to listen to my body and see what kind of things it was craving, so I waited as long as possible, instead of just rushing out for some juice or whathaveyou. I ended up having a bit of sugar in the form of some dates, but mostly protein, which i got from tofu, at the local vegitarian buffet, along with some excellent stir fried vegitables.

I do have to be carefull about not picking what i eat with my eyes though, if you know what i mean. a bit too much fat, at the end of it, but good fats, anyway.

-actually listening to my body seems to be the ticket. the mind has limits, the bones and muscles have limits, but we expect our stomachs to take whatever we throw at them, as long as we think it’s okay, or our tongue wants it. dangerous habit. a simple thing like that could prevent a lot of illness and obesity if we taught it to people young enough.

-all in all a satisfactory first attempt. I feel better, I look better, I have more energy, and my brain seems to be working better as well. What more can one ask from 5 days of water?

Over and out.

Some Convenient Bullshit: they blinded me with science

  Okay, lets go back and talk about this consensus of scientists for a minute.

So far I’ve mostly confined myself to a critique of the public image side of this whole thing, and poking some holes in the bubble of fake certitude that our erstwhile green priesthood are riding on.

However, that’s not to say there aren’t some grave and compelling flaws in the basic science, because there are. Try and follow along an understand that any errors are my misreading, and not errors in conclusions, which are not mine to begin with.

For starters, I’d be curious to know, of the ‘consensus’ of scientists that put their weight behind something like the IPCC, how exactly does that break down by field? How many chemists? How many computer modelers? How many biologists? How many oceanographers? How many climatologists?

But most of all… how many physicists? How many people trained in elementary physics are there who take this raving apocalyptic scenario seriously?

I’m wondering, because when you google ‘global warming physics’, much of what you get is middling credulity, bordering on outright scorn, for the whole thing. I have yet to see or hear of a climate catastrophist who had any real grounding in basic physcial principles.

One possible exception I know of, who is a vocal AGW agitator is Noam Mohr, who appears to confine himself mainly to the implications of vegitarianism/veganism on the climate. I saw one youtube video of him with a notable skeptic of global warming, and he was unable, or unwilling, to answer any of the raised points. At all. He seemed satisfied to trust that his colleagues had done their work properly, and that if you had a problem with it, you should ask them, or trust peer review to sort it out.

So I’m willing to bet that Mr Mohr’s attitude is typical of some segment of the scientific consensus. Which is too bad, because most physicists that I’m aware of have some pretty interesting things to say about the greenhouse effect.

In essence the global warming effect, when you get down to basic physical principles is about absorption and radiation.

The earth absorbs the sun’s radiation and re-radiates it back into space. The atmosphere stops a lot of this energy from striking the earth at all, including pretty much all the infra red ( heat) radiation. The outer layers absorb it completely and gradualy re-radiate it back into space.

The heat we experience down here comes from the more intense blue part of the spectrum that strikes the earth, and that the earth, once again, re-radiates as longer wave ‘black body’ heat. Greenhouse gasses like co2, water vapor and methane absorb that heat again and re-radiate at longer wavelengths yet, keeping it from going back into space. If it were not for this layer of insulation, earth would be about 33 degrees colder than it is now. The amount of co2 we happen to have now is responsible for about 3 degrees of this warming.

Which is all fine you might say, but what’s the point?

The point, as they say, is this: when you’re dealing with the physics of absorbing and trapping heat, changes in the balance of gasses do not have a linear effect. It’s logarithmic

What does that mean? It means that doubling (for instance) the co2 does not double the amount of heat the co2 is trapping.  Our atmosphere is already saturated enough to essentially trap nearly all the IR that can be trapped, in the spectra that co2 can affect. This is important to remember: co2 does not, indeed can not, trap all the heat radiated by the earth, no matter how much of it there is. As it is, much of the heat radiation passes through layers of co2 as if it isn’t even there. The interference spectra simply do not line up, any more than most minerals or gasses affect cosmic rays. All we might do is slow down the process of re-emmitting some of that heat into space, which would, in effect, bring the layers of heat slightly closer to the surface.

I invite you to investigate this and understand it better, but essentially, every time you add co2, the net increase in temperature is less than before. Eventually there is no more heat to absorb, regardless of how much co2 you add. If we were to actually double our atmospheric co2 the increase in temperature would be an estimated 1.5 to 2.5 degrees, proceeding from the baseline mathematics of the warming our atmosphere already does.

Depending on whom you talk to, that 3 degrees equals either something in line with the balmy medieval optimum, or,  according to James Hansen in vanity fair,  sea levels high enough to drown skyscrapers. History would seem to predispose us to the former. 

 Keep in mind that in the last 170 years humans accounted for ( at the most) about a 30% increase of atmospheric co2, by my glance at the numbers, and that increase seems to have been less than catastrophic, even assuming we caused all of it:

The twenty year smoothed Law Dome DE02 and DE02-2 ice cores show the levels of CO2 to have been 284 ppm in 1832.[10] As of January 2007, the measured atmospheric CO2 concentration at theMauna Loa observatory was about 383 ppm.[11] Of this 99 ppm rise in 175 years, 70 ppm of it has been in the last 47 years. (wikipedia)

Considering what we’ve already done, and our predicted peak in oil and coal use in the early to middle part of this century, our chances of actually doubling the content that exists is basically nil. About the only thing that might do that is a massive warming of the oceans, catastrophic volcanism, or the mass extinction of all organic life, and subsequent decay of carbon based life systems. The main reservior of co2 is the oceans, and they operate on a centuries long timetable so far as warming and cooling, and no climate theorist in his right mind thinks we can warm the oceans with the greenhouse effect (the reason is that IR only penetrates the top few microns of the ocean surface ) .

Quite simply, while we do indeed warm the earth with co2, it is already about as warmed by our activity as it can get, and for us to do much more is probably not in the realm of our abilties and timeframe . The main greenhouse gas is water vapour and we have no control over this whatsoever, and no clear understanding of how to influence it indirectly, or even model it, which is why climate scientists focus mainly on co2 and methane.

This is not some computer model with a bunch of poorly understood variables. This is pretty simple math, actually, and while our understanding of climate is basically nil ( we don’t even know how clouds form, for instance), the electromagnetic spectrum and gaseous radiation is pretty straighforward.

The projections for catastrophic global warming simply do not mesh with physics as we understand it. So do we overturn physics too, in our rush to ‘reduce our footprint’, or do we give our heads a shake and go back to the chalkboard?

Some Convenient Bullshit: Holes in the Dike

Okay, let’s jump into some data here.

Now from the outset, I want to say there are some really good sources for information on this subject, which I encourage anyone interested in the topic to avail themselves of, and that I will fold into the path here as we go. Just be careful not to get caught up in the mudslinging and ad hominem attacks.

But what I want to speak about first is probably the most obvious flaw in the proposal about human-caused climate change, at least the way it is being presented to the public.

Stop me if I’m wrong here, but if you take the average person on the street and ask them what the global warming argument is, they’ll say: ‘humans release co2 from burning fossil fuels and the extra co2 traps heat and that makes the earth warmer’.

And that’s probably being generous to the average person, but in any case, this is being pitched as a straightforward cause and effect: humans do (A) and then (B) occurs. This is the way it’s presented not only as historical fact, but as contemporary fact.

Except, historically speaking, it’s not true. At all. In fact, it’s exactly the reverse. Based on the historical data, the temperature goes up first, and then, sometimes hundreds of years later, the co2 follows.

There is actually no particular debate about on this, on either side of the fence. Even the graphs that Al Gore trots out in his movie show this, if you look hard enough. Although he neglects to mention this, to be charitable, or outright hides it, to be not so charitable.

It is, to the best of anyone’s knowledge, a plain historical fact that this simplistic cause and effect relationship does not exist. The climate system is simply too complex to parse things in simple linear cause and effect terms.

Now there are, to be fair, many possible explanations for why this might be, that still allow for humans affecting global warming with co2 emissions but all of them open up a realm of technical complexity that the average person has little hope of grasping. So it is not talked about, in the wider public debate. The amount of systems theory, chemistry and physics you need to grasp this situation the way it’s really being discussed is an insurmountable barrier for the media.

To me, personally, this starts to look like a bit of scrambling, on the part of anthropocentric global warming advocates, and no matter how hard anyone tries, that’s exactly what every attempt to ‘set the record straight’ degenerates into. They’ll happily let you keep believing the simple version of this science, even though it’s completely backwards, and when you question it, the whole thing spirals down into realms of technical ambiguity that no one is able to untangle satisfactorily. One argument depends on another depends on another. It’s turtles all the way down.

So it really is a kind of open secret, along with probably dozens of similar facts. Because you can’t make it go away, and as soon as you open that door, your simple public opinion slogan is exposed as some expedient obfuscation. An inconvenient truth, indeed.

Anyone with an ounce of interest can find this out, but from that point on it’s fingers in the dike time for the campaign of climate hysteria, and it starts to turn into something like a factual debate, not a reign of terror, and certainly not ‘solved science’. So the mouthpieces who would like to mobilize public opinion on this basis say nothing, because you can’t get public hysteria on the basis of a nuanced scientific assessment. I’d like to think I’m fairly smart, and I’ve put more than a little time into trying to sort this out. If I cannot resolve this to my satisfaction, then there’s essentially no chance that the public debate will ever be resolved on the basis of the science that exists right now.

So the solution, apparently, is not to resolve it on the science at all. Or perhaps as little as possible. But rather on scare tactics, ad hominem attacks, mob psychology and propaganda.

This is exactly the sort of cynical political demagoguery that I’d like to see shit canned. Al Gore’s movie is the best example, but not the only one. He has an hour and half to explain the facts and make his case. A real case, hopefully. You can probably assume that people who pay money to sit for a lecture want to know. But no, that’s not what he does. If he’s confident in his conclusions, then he should be confident that if he shows you the whole picture, you’ll probably come down on his side of the debate. But he doesn’t do that. It’s not education, it’s theater.

So let us put to rest the notion that he or anyone else who’s selling you this hellworld scenario, is simply a benevolent, objective, concerned citizen. He knows the argument has holes and he’s hiding them exactly the way any expert politician should do. It’s a bill of goods, and you’re being asked to accept it at face value. In fact, they’re counting on most of you to do exactly that, and walk out of the theater, or get up from the television, and be scared out of your wits.

But you’re being manipulated. Nothing is settled. Nothing is solved. Nothing is clear and unambiguous. Anyone who says differently is fucking lying to you. And chances are, the person who tells you this stuff knows that they are lying to you. They just hope you won’t call them on it. If they can stampede you into some sweeping social and economic policy agenda, that’s sufficient for their purposes. Whether you actually understand it or not is surplus to requirements. And if there’s a good chance that you might jump ship, (which there is) then it’s really in their interest to keep you in the dark.

Some Convenient Bullshit: a summary for policy makers

As long time readers and listeners will know, once in while, I go off on what can be called a bit of a rant.

I’m cautious about going on uncontrolled rampages of polemic, because in many cases the justifications for them are rather thin, and do more harm than good.

However, in certain cases, it’s useful to inject a little bit of the combative into things, especially in instances of important public interest. A society can only live or die on the strength of it’s dialogue.

And from the more alchemical/depth psychological point of view, adopting polar opposites in terms of views and understanding can open doors to deeper insight. Dialectics, quite simply.

In that spirit, I’m going to go off a little bit on the subject of global warming, or specifically, the theory of anthropocentric ( man-made) global warming.

Now, a bit of full disclosure here: I am no fan of fossil fuels. I don’t even own a car, let alone drive one. I walk pretty much everywhere, pretty much all the time. I don’t even ride the bus, if I can help it. I am no friend of the oil industry either, or big business oligarchs in general, as five minutes of research of this site will disclose in short order. So anyone who wants to accuse me of being on the payroll of shell or exxon-mobil can fuck right the hell off, quite frankly.

I believe that we should care for the environment. I think we should limit our use of fossil fuels, if for no other reason than efficiency. I think we need to develop a more sensitive and altogether more deep understanding of the natural system we live in. I think we should reign in habitat destruction and species extinction.

In short, I have pretty much all the green environmentalist street cred you could ask for. I even have a functioning vegetable garden in the back yard. So lets not have any nonsense on that score, please.

Not so long ago, I accepted the received wisdom on the subject of climate change. I saw ‘an inconvenient truth’ and walked out with a solemn sense of outrage, and a feeling of solidarity with AL GORE, of all people, the man who launched the cruise missile attack on kosovo…

but as was wont to happen sooner or later I got the yearning to dig a little deeper into this issue. I am, after all interested in such things as systems theory, and the simple notion that burning oil would eventually flood the earth was a bit unsatisfying to me.

Now, In later segments, I will go into the science in as much depth as I can manage. But for now, let me summarize what I found, after a few months of concerted inquiry.

Nobody knows. Full stop.

When you get past the layers of arguments, counter arguments, spurious comparisons, scare tactics, and invective, the simple truth is that there is not enough information to draw anything like a conclusion on the subject of whether or not human generated co2 emissions have any significant impact on the temperature of the earth.

When you get right to the bottom of what is available in terms of research, you have models which are one part assumption, one part observable truth, and one part pure conjecture, if not outright fabrication.

I will repeat: we just do not know enough about too many of the significant variables to even begin to say that we are causing any significant warming of the atmosphere.

Yes the earth is warming. Nobody is disputing that. The earth has warmed and cooled many times in the past. It oscillates within a range of temperatures and activity that we have only the barest inklings of. We have no idea what is ‘normal’ or not. What’s going on right now appears to be an anomaly to our eyes, but to go from that to some half baked greenhouse gas agenda on the strength of some pretty thin data is ludicrous.

Which raises the question: why is that data so thin? That’s simple: because for many many years the scientists involved have focused on the role of co2 in climate change almost to the exclusion of anything else. In many cases they proceed from the notion that co2 must be causing climate change, and the only question is how much, and how much of the world is going to end up swimming because of it.

This is the classic robert anton wilson dilemma: what the thinker thinks, the prover proves. If you start with what you’re trying to prove, then yeah, you can prove it. You cannot do otherwise, really.

If we spent the next twenty years, the same amount of money, and a similar set of assumptions studying the role of water vapor, the sun, variations in the earths orbit, cloud formation, or volcanoes, or any number of other things, on the climate of the earth, we would have a radically different picture of what’s going on here. But we haven’t done that.

Instead we have spent the better part of thirty years and billions of dollars studying what is, on the face of it, the least significant greenhouse gas. Which also assumes that you’re going to study greenhouse gasses, as your primary datum, which is debatable.

And why is this? Hard to say at this point, but I think it’s safe to say that this particular bias has grown out of an agenda on the part of the formative scientists in this field, and subsequent researchers have stood on their shoulders, and inherited their biases. And that’s fine. It happens. Every researcher has their blinders. This is part of why science has to have a process of independent verification. At any point previous conclusions can be subject to falsification.

But, and this is the crucial issue, a process of peer review and independent verification is not the same thing as ‘consensus’ and it certainly is not what is being called ‘settled science’. As I’ve said, the data is simply too thin to make conclusions sweeping enough to say what is really happening, and there have been no experiments yet sufficiently detailed to change that.

What we have are a series of models, and those models are inherently the product of the data you give them. If you cannot model the most significant variables in the real climate, you are left with guesses, and while guesses are perfectly fine for formulating new experimental injunctions, they DO NOT under any circumstances, give you the right to start making policy, or declaring that the process of inquiry is ‘settled’. If I came to you with a model of the world that was (charitably) one third presumption, one third pure speculation, and one third fact (and even those ‘facts’ are still open to interpretation and error), you’d be rightly hesitant to hand me the authority to make decisions on behalf of humanity on that basis, wouldn’t you?

How exactly an assemblage of ‘scientists’ who have presumably been schooled in scientific epistemology, and what constitutes a valid knowledge process, have allowed themselves to become attached to any platform that wants to end debate by decree and proclaim the new dogma, is a mystery to me.

There’s a good reason why science is supposed to stay apart from politics, and why ideology is supposed to stay out of the laboratory. The human mind is an instrument, and when you start introducing political and philosophical presuppositions into it, you begin to cloud the observed truths that science is supposed to categorise.

That what ought to be a debate of science, and observable truth has degenerated into zealotry, death threats, apocalyptic scare mongering, sloganeering, and attempts to close down honest inquiry, is nothing short of appalling. This is what happens when you reduce a complex system to a punchline, or a rock concert, or a movie. You end up making sweeping simplistic statements, and not surprisingly, those simplistic statements start to fall apart with any close inspection, as I will happily demonstrate before long. It doesn’t mean they’re wrong, mind you, but it does mean that what they say is cut and dried, is not at all this way.

Quite simply, what masquerades as an informed consensus on this issue is nothing of the sort. The vast majority of those who claim to be ‘informed’ operate on a superficial or compartmentalized understanding of the issues, including more than a few scientists. News flash: not all scientists study the same things. Ecologists might not know the infra red absorption spectrum of greenhouse gasses. A computer modeler might not know any number of things that might be relevant to their model. A chemist will not necessarily understand systems theory very well. A consensus of scientists is not necessarily worth any more than a consensus of people on the street. Like anyone else, they will operate on a set of assumptions and fall in line with their peers, more often than not. Like anyone else, they simply often do not have the time, and in many cases, the inclination, to get down to the source codes of these conclusions and test them.

So if anyone tells you that ‘most’ scientists, are in agreement, that doesn’t really mean much. Most scientists were in agreement that the sun went around the earth and that god created the world in seven days, at one time. Just because they think that, doesn’t mean they know.

I’ll say it again: Just because a lot of people think something, doesn’t mean they know. Any scientist will tell you how hard it is to come to a conclusion about the simplest experiments, let alone getting a group of scientists to agree on the outcome of those experiments. So when some ideologue comes on tv telling you that they’ve come to an consensus on something as complex as the earth’s ecosystem, you can be pretty sure they’re full of shit.

Why is this a big deal, you might ask? Aren’t they arguing for things that we should be doing anyway?

Yes, up to a point. I agree that we should start to lower our consumption of fossil fuels, but I have the a strong feeling that we’re going to be lowering them regardless or what anyone wants, so I’m not too worried about that.

What I am worried about is what the net effect of this policy mobilization ultimately is: the developed nations have already demonstrated their willingness to blithely ignore targets for reducing emissions, so really the only people who stand to take the hit on carbon emissions are the less developed countries, who will, if they fall in line behind this reduced carbon footprint idea never ‘develop’ in any sense that we would think of it.

Because let’s be clear: with our current understanding of how to produce energy, carbon emissions parallel our use of energy. Our use of energy parallels our growth in population, our production of food, our ability to maintain or improve standards of living. As it stands, a decrease in carbon emissions equals a decrease in energy use. And the people who will actually suffer from that are people who didn’t have much to begin with.

That is the net effect, in the real world, of your greenhouse zealotry: poor people who get to stay poor, starving people who continue to starve, sick people who get to go to hospitals without lights and refrigeration because they have to use solar panels and windmills instead of natural gas. It may well be that these people would remain in their wretched predicament, regulation or no, and it may well be that we should reduce our energy consumption as a global population anyway, but the point is that neither you nor I, nor anyone else, has the right to decide that for them.

Meanwhile you get to keep your light and heat and your hybrid car, and your lavishly energy intensive diet, while you watch Al Gore mug for the Live Earth concert. You rave to your friends over a cappuccino made from fair trade coffee beans, about how the oil companies will see us all under 20 feet of water, and we’ll all die of malaria.

You surrender your critical thinking to a group of climate scientists who are being thrust into the role of some kind of priestly moral arbiters of what is good and proper in human society, which isn’t doing them or yourself any favors, unless you have some hidden fondness for the pattern of social relations that we dispensed with at the end of the dark ages.

So the next time you want to call someone who disagrees with your interpretation of what are, at the end of the day some pretty thin scientific conclusions, a Nazi, or a Flat Earther, think on this:

Who in fact is trying to shut down inquiry? Who, in fact, is party to genocide? Who, in fact, is talking about population control? Who, in fact, is living in the lap of luxury, while poorer people pay the price for your fashionable ideas?

Do yourself, and the world, a favor, and inform yourself. If you’re so fucking concerned for the world, start growing your own food and sell that car. Plant some trees. Encourage some actual debate on the facts. Start agitating for some intelligent reforms in our energy infrastructure. Do something to restore the credibility of science, because at the rate this is going, there isn’t going to be much of that left, and we’ve got enough real problems to deal with without wrecking the reputation of climate science for a whole generation over the biases of a few people.

where the rubber meets the road

So, I’m sure by now you’re going ‘okay zac..16 possible futures…gee that’s great. Before, I only had to pick between two or three. Thanks asshole. ‘

But fear not. I wouldn’t leave you in such a dismal condition. From this point it’s just matter of which one you think is the most likely, or fits the evidence best, right?

So, I’ll condescend to predict a little more, but I’ll add one more wrinkle of complexity first.

Because, you see, it’s entirely possible and even likely that just one scenario won’t cover it. we could get the best and the worst, and indeed, all I can really do is attempt to draw a line down the middle and speculate on which side of the line we might skew towards.

To add a little more veracity we can introduce time periods into this; short mid and long terms to be precise.

If we deem that things are fluid enough to reverse completely from short to mid terms, and from mid to long terms that means that we have not 16 but rather 16x16x16=4,096 possible through lines for our future, arising from just four main variables. I will spare you all four thousand of them.

Given all that, lets weed it down and pick which we’ll lay our money on.

In the short term:

we’re enjoying the bloom of some real climate hysteria, so even if it turns out that the anthropocentric greenhouse effect was a fat load of horeshit, it won’t matter because we have adopted it as an operating premise. Another katrina-like catastrophe, even if it turns out to be totally natural and unavoidable, will cinch that.

Based on the best scientific studies going, we’re much too late and much too clueless to prevent, at the very least, a major liquid fuels crisis that will mean a major economic crisis that will probably take a decade or two at the very least to mitigate or begin to recover from. This will have reverberations in everything from food distribution to geopolitcs. So that means worst case energy, in short.

Unless someone busts out the bioweapons, or nuclear bunker busters in short order, it looks like we’re still on the good side of the technology equation, for a little while anyway. wireless and peer to peer technologies continue to incubate the promise of a new form of social organization that may well realize itself sooner than later. There’s not much chance we’ll have a real upgrade in transport, manufacturing or medicine, but you never know. In any case something big like that wouldn’t penetrate the mainstream for a few years at least. So it’s a soft best case for technology.

While population continues to grow at a small but potentially disastrous rate, it’s not likely that this will take over as a real issue for anyone right now. The words ‘carrying capacity’ will be met with blank stares for a while yet. So while we’re living in the seeds of a worst case, we’re treating it as non-case, or even a best case. Depends on where you live, mind you.

All that adds up to neonate form of world #12: continued resource war, malthusian/green backlash against ‘business as usual’, and advanced technology mostly channeled into conservation of energy and efficiency measures.

Al Gore or someone like him convinces the great unwashed to tighten their belts and conserve, as we shift phases into a more blatantly energy influenced foreign policy. venzuela, mexico, and iran in the crosshairs. 70’s style oil shocks, leading into major recession. Back to the land hysteria. Futile flailing for stupid alternative energy ‘sources’ like ethanol, or coal-gas. All this is potential set up for some kind of hitler figure, while tough times sweat all the idealism and airy fairy abstractions out of us.

Noble leaders will suffer a sad fate unless they can get their head around the full scope of all the problems and somehow communicate that to the public. In other words, fat fucking chance. Expect a chain of martyrs for, in no particular order: 5$ a gallon gas , losing the war in iraq, lack of air conditioning, empty shelves at the safeway, the stink of manure in your neighborhood, and every other piece of reality that we’re been trained to not want to hear about. Maybe jimmy carter will do us a favor and take another one for the team.

Mid term:

Eventually things will get hard and scary enough it terms of resource shortage that any high minded ideas of reducing our carbon footprint will be quietly dispensed with/ The first genius to realize that because we’ve peaked in fossil fuel use, that we don’t need to take any special measures to steadily reduce our emissions, gets a free term in office. Things warm up to a certain point and no further. Weird climate shit will keep happening, but we will eventually realize that weird climate shit has always been happening, so fuck it. Get a helmet and move on. Meaning, we flip into into a best case climate scenario. The vocal greens will be hiding in their solar mansions and issuing increasingly irrelevant proclamations to the mob, who are preoccupied with something besides melting ice, and couldn’t care less. Turns out co2 is pretty harmless after all. Plants even, like, breathe it, and stuff.

We probably hit rock bottom in energy about now. Rolling blackouts, fuel rationing, growing your own food in the backyard, etc. It’s not as bad as it sounds. Turns out we’re social animals and we actually like having a connection to the real world and each other more than we thought we would. It’s actually a lot nicer to work at home and walk everywhere than the shit we used to do. Your neighbors are a lot less scary then they looked a few years ago. Most services are going for shit, but the reduced stress and slower pace make it quite tolerable. A lot of things can actually be handled by you, believe it or not.

On the other hand, by this point we’re in the awkward infancy of things like advanced bioenegineering, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence. It’s more likely than not someone is gonna get the idea to turn them to destructive uses. We are, after all, at the bottom of a resource war without end, and weapons technology is always the first place new shit gets used. It’s getting a bit hard to find gas for tanks and planes, and stuff, so those targeted bioweapons are starting to look good. There’s not much point worrying about it, because it’s not the sort of thing you’re going to survive. You’re either a target or you’re not. Work on not being a potential target.

The very simplest forms of this are penetrating the mainstream and so you can change your hair and eye color, correct most genetic disorders and disease proclivities, rebuild damaged nerve tissue or bone, play in virtual words, and conduct mostly convincing relationships with simulated persons. Computers are embedded in everything, and privacy is becoming a sort of quaint anachronism.

So, a soft worse case for technology, because dying in a engineered plague sort of outweighs virtual sex, but not by much, I guess. The nerds out there are a lot happier and more productive, if nothing else.

By this point, it’s getting noticeable that we’ve a shit load of people, and not enough food. Partly because of the natural gas crisis that torpedoed fertiliser production a couple decades back, and partly the sheer weight of numbers. Things get a bit too crowded and squalid for anyone’s liking. Some nimrod probably gets the idea to create a virus that sterilises indiscriminately. That’s right, worst case population, too…

So this is equivalent to world#8: resource war without end, minus the green pretensions of a little ways back. Pragmatism will trump aesthetics, and the world takes a gut check. We get a nice close look at the end of everything. When you’re not jacked into virtual moneyshot vol12, or something, that is…

Long term:

By this point we’ve well understood what’s really going on with the climate, and we’ve got enough knowledge of genetics and nanotech to start to fix the shit we broke on this planet. The big issue ends up being toxification of various kinds, and programmes to remediate the soil, water and air go into effect.

Eventually we figure out a way to get plentiful electricity, and leverage that to make liquid fuels again in large quantites. With enough free electricity, say from nano-engineered solar, you could make a limitless amount of hydrogen out of seawater, even if it’s a shitty fuel storage method, we’ll eventually make it usable, or else have some engineered fungus that breaks cellulose into biodiesel with near perfect efficiency.

All the promise of advanced technology begins to pay off, as we get near total ability to manipulate matter from the molecular level up. You can look how you want, feel how you want and go where you want, real or otherwise. You can find out how other people think and feel pretty easily, and swap experiences. Anything you want to know about anything is pretty much available instantly, if you have a connection to the wireless network. Which you pretty much always do.

Lastly, our population probably keeps growing, but we have the means to provide everything except (real)space for free. Conflict is a bit less of an issue, but the narcissism of minor differences will never go away for many people, no matter how many minds you share. Everything comes down to the war of ideas, in the end.

and what happened to the resource war, you say? Pretty simple. Eventually people realize that they don’t have to participate in that shit anymore, and with free energy, free food, and free information, they just don’t. Near perfect telepathy means near perfect democracy. Which, yeah does in fact mean the lowest common denominator, but it’s the lowest common denominator amongst nearly immortal superhuman intellgences.

So, world#3: the transhuman diaspora, as we seek more room to express our minor (and not so minor) differences. Space, the oceans, maybe even time and other dimensions. Different minds, and different bodies. Life is restless, forever and ever. Amen.

Futures on the Pivot

 

Okay. So these last six are what you get when half the variables are good, and the rest bad, which will make them composites of the characteristics and relationships we’ve seen so far.

World #11 Best case technology and energy, worst case climate and population:

Similar to world #3 but the drive to colonize new territories is enhanced by climate collapse. Things likely take on a more green-tribalist flavor as well, along with the tribalism that evolves out of population conflict.  A great divergence of posthumanity in many directions

World#12 Best case technology and population, worst case energy and climate:

Somewhere between the primitivist jihad of world 7, and the internalized technology  of world #5. Global warming and peak oil catastrophe drive a backlash against ‘civilisation’ but a resource war scenario forces those who remain to merge with low-energy technology. Cyber primitives with a chip on their shoulder.

World#13 Best case technology and climate, worst case energy and population.

Very similar to world#10, with it’s tension between shrinking energy and expanding population, and still mitigated by advanced technology.

A more stable climate makes this outcome less dire, and we can adapt more slowly and the end state is likely to be less radical. Imagine a world where most of us spend most of our time in a kind of hibernation, enjoying an infinite virtual world, where we can rotate into some kind of tour of duty in the ‘real world’ to help maintain the infrastructure that keeps 15 billion of us on sleeping life support. Kind of like the ‘matrix’ but more voluntary.

World #14 Best case energy and population, worst case technology and climate.

Once again, negative technology with no energy constraints sucks ass. And in this case a falling population is probably more of a mass die off.

Suppose in the face of climate catastrophe, we get an engineered plague that knocks us back down to a billion people, with ferocious genetically engineered predators to keep mankind in line, orchestrated by the environmental priesthood.  12 monkeys meets jurrassic park.

World #15 Best case energy and climate, worst case technology and population.

As in world#9 where we mutate into viral space locusts,  but as the earth remains more stable, it’s likely we’ll see more a split between those who remain on earth, and the faction who exile themselves, or are forced, into the solar system. We eventually become several subspecies, continuously at war with each other with horrific technology, over building materials and living space, and the earth itself remaining the big prize.

World#16 Best case climate and population, worst case energy and technology.

After a long resource war and plunge into energy scarcity we embrace a renunciation of technology and probably put taboos on the horrors of fossil fuels, agriculture, and metallurgy. Every so often a genetic boogeyman or AI shows up to remind everyone how scared they are. Welcome to planet amish.