Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Atlantis Won't Sink, Experts Agree

If you’re like most Atlanteans these days, you’ve heard all sorts of unnerving claims about the future of our continent. Some people are even saying that recent earth tremors are harbingers of a cataclysm that will plunge Atlantis to the bottom of the sea. Those old prophecies from the sacred scrolls of the Sun Temple have had the dust blown off them again, adding to the stew of rumors.

So is there anything to it? Should you be worried about the future of Atlantis?

Not according to the experts. I visited some of the most widely respected hierarchs here in the City of the Golden Gates yesterday to ask them about the rumors, and they assured me that there’s no reason to take the latest round of alarmist claims at all seriously.
 
***
My first stop was the temple complex of black orichalcum just outside the Palace of the Ten Kings, where Nacil Buper, Grand Priestess of the Temple of Night, took time out of her busy schedule to meet with me. I asked her what she thought about the rumors of imminent catastrophe. “Complete and utter nonsense,” she replied briskly. “There are always people who want to insist that the end is nigh, and they can always find something to use to justify that sort of thing. Remember a few years ago, when everyone was running around insisting that the end of the Forty-First Grand Cycle of Time was going to bring the destruction of the world? This is more of the same silliness.”

Just at that moment, the floor shook beneath us, and I asked her about the earth tremors, pointing out that those seem to be more frequent than they were just a few years back.

“Atlantis has always had earthquakes,” the Grand Priestess reminded me, gesturing with her scepter of human bone.  “There are natural cycles affecting their frequency, and there’s no proof that they’re more frequent because of anything human beings are doing. In fact, I’m far from convinced that they’re any more frequent than they used to be. There are serious questions about whether the priests of the Sun Temple have been fiddling with their data, you know.”

“And the claim from those old prophecies that offering human sacrifices to Mu-Elortep, Lord of Evil, might have something to do with it?” I asked. 

“That’s the most outrageous kind of nonsense,” the Grand Priestess replied. “Atlanteans have been worshipping the Lord of Evil for more than a century and a half. It’s one of the foundations of our society and our way of life, and we should be increasing the number of offerings to Mu-Elortep as rapidly as we can, not listening to crazies from the fringe who insist that there’s something wrong with slaughtering people for the greater glory of the Lord of Evil. We can’t do without Mu-Elortep, not if we’re going to restore Atlantis to full prosperity and its rightful place in the world order, and if that means sacrifices have to be made—and it does—then sacrifices need to be made.”

She leaned forward confidentially, and her necklace of infant’s skulls rattled. “You know as well as I do that all this is just another attempt by the Priests of the Sun to dodge their responsibility for their own bad policies. Nobody would care in the least about all these crazy rumors of imminent doom if the Sun Priest Erogla hadn’t made such a fuss about the old prophecies in the scrolls of the Sun Temple a few years back. The Sun Temple’s the real problem we face. Fortunately, though, we of the Temple of Night have a majority in the Council of the Ten Kings now. We’re working on legislation right now to eradicate poverty in Atlantis by offering up the poor to Mu-Elortep in one grand bonfire. Once that’s done, I’m convinced, Atlantis will be on the road to a full recovery.”
 
***
After my conversation with the Grand Priestess, I went uphill to the foot of the Sacred Mountain, where the Sun Temple rises above the golden-roofed palaces of the Patricians of Atlantis. I had made an appointment to see Tarc Omed, the Hierophant of the Priests of the Sun; he met me in his private chamber, and had his servants pour us purple wine from Valusia as we talked.

“I know the kind of thing you must have heard from the Temple of Night,” the Hierophant said wearily. “It’s all our fault the economy’s in trouble. Everything’s our fault. That’s how they avoid responsibility for the consequences of the policies they’ve been pursuing for decades now.”

I asked him what he thought of Nacil Buper’s claim that offering up the poor as human sacrifices would solve all the problems Atlantis faces these days.

“Look,” he said, “everybody knows that we’ve got to wean ourselves off making human sacrifices to the Lord of Evil one of these days. There’s no way we can keep that up indefinitely, and it’s already causing measurable problems. That’s why we’re proposing increased funding for more sustainable forms of worship directed toward other deities, so we can move step by step to a society that doesn’t have to engage in human sacrifice or deal with Mu-Elortep at all.”

And the ground tremors? Do they have anything to do with the sacrifices?

“That’s a good question. It’s hard to say whether any particular burst of tremors is being caused by the prophesied curse, you know, but that’s no reason for complacency.”

A tremor shook the room, and we both steadied our golden goblets of wine on the table. “Doesn’t that lend support to the rumors that Atlantis might sink soon?” I asked.

Tarc Omed looked weary again, and leaned back in his great chair of gold and ivory. “We have to be realistic,” he said. “Right now, Atlantean society depends on human sacrifice, and transitioning away from that isn’t something we can do overnight. We need to get those more sustainable forms of worship up and running first, and that can’t be done without negotiated compromises and the support of as many stakeholders as possible. Alarmism doesn’t further that.”

I thought of one of the things Nacil Buper had said. “But aren’t the prophecies of doom we’re discussing right there in the sacred scrolls of the Sun Temple?”

“We don’t consider that relevant just now,” the Hierophant told me firmly. “What matters right at the moment is to build a coalition strong enough to take back a majority in the Council of the Ten Kings, stop the Temple of Night’s crazy plan to sacrifice all of the poor to Mu-Elortep, and make sure that human sacrifices are conducted in as painless and sanitary a fashion as possible and increased only at the rate that’s really necessary, while we work toward phasing out human sacrifice altogether. Of course we can’t continue on our current path, but I have faith that Atlanteans can and will work together to stop any sort of worst-case scenario from happening.”
 
***
From the Temple of the Sun I walked out of the patrician district, into one of the working class neighborhoods overlooking the Old Harbor. The ground shook beneath my feet a couple of times as I went. People working in the taverns and shops looked up at the Sacred Mountain each time, and then went back to their labor. It made me feel good to know that their confidence was shared by both the hierarchs I’d just interviewed.

I decided to do some person-in-the-street interviews for the sake of local color, and stepped into one of the taverns. Introducing myself to the patrons as a reporter, I asked what they thought about the rumors of disaster and the ongoing earth tremors.

“Oh, I’m sure the Priests of the Sun will think of something,” one patron said. I wrote that down on my wax tablet.

“Yeah,” agreed another. “How long have these prophecies been around? And Atlantis is still above water, isn’t it? I’m not worried.”

“I used to believe that stuff back in the day,” said a third patron. “You know, you buy into all kinds of silly things when you’re young and gullible, then grow out of it once it’s time to settle down and deal with the real world.  I sure did.”

That got nods and murmurs of approval all around. “I honestly think a lot of the people who are spreading these rumors actually want Atlantis to sink,” the third patron went on. “All this obsessing about those old prophecies and how awful human sacrifice is—I mean, can we get real, please?”

“You can say that again,” said the second patron. “I bet they do want Atlantis to sink. I bet they’re actually Lemurian sympathizers.”

The third patron turned to look at him.  “You know, that would make a lot of sense—”

Just then another tremor, a really strong one, shook the tavern. The whole room went dead silent for a moment. As the tremor died down, everybody started talking loudly all at once. I said my goodbyes and headed for the door.

As I stopped outside to put my wax tablet into the scribe’s case on my belt, one of the other patrons—a woman who hadn’t said anything—came through the door after me. “If you’re looking for a different point of view,” she told me, “you ought to go down to the Sea Temple. They’ll give you an earful.”

I thanked her, and started downhill toward the Old Harbor.
 
***
I’d never been to the Sea Temple before; I don’t think most Atlanteans ever go there, though it’s been right there next to the Old Harbor since time out of mind. When I got there, the big doors facing the harbor were wide open, but the place seemed empty; the only sounds were the flapping of the big blue banners above the temple and the cries of sea birds up overhead.

As another tremor rattled the city, I walked in through the open doors. I didn’t see anyone at first, but after a few moments a woman in the blue robes of a Sea Priestess came out of the sanctuary further inside and hurried toward me. She had a basket of scrolls in her arms.

I introduced myself, explained that I was a journalist, and asked if she minded answering some questions.

“Not if you don’t mind walking with me to the harbor,” she said. “I’m in a bit of a hurry.”

“Sure,” I told her. “So what do you think about all these scary rumors? Do you really think Atlantis could end up underwater?”

We left the temple and started across the plaza outside, toward the harbor. “Have you read the prophecies of Emor Fobulc?” she asked me.

“Can’t say I have.”

“They predicted everything that’s happened: the rise of the cult of Mu-Elortep, the sacrifices, the earth tremors, and now the Sign.”

“The what?”

“When’s the last time you looked at the top of the Sacred Mountain?”

I stopped and looked right then. There was a plume of smoke rising from the great rounded peak. After a moment, I hurried to catch up to her.

“That’s the Sign,” she told me. “It means that the fires of Under-Earth have awakened and Atlantis will soon be destroyed.”

“Seriously?”

“Seriously.”

I thought about it for a moment as we walked, and the ground shook beneath our feet. “There could be plenty of other explanations for that smoke, you know.”

The priestess looked at me for a long moment. “No doubt,” she said dryly. 

By then we were near the edge of the quay, and half a dozen people came hurrying down the gangplank from a ship that was tied up there, an old-fashioned sailing vessel with a single mast and the prow carved to look like a swan. One of them, a younger priestess, bowed, took the basket of scrolls, and hurried back on board the ship. Another, who was dressed like a mariner, bowed too, and said to the priestess I’d spoken with, “Is there anything else, Great Lady?”

“Nothing,” she said. “We should go.” She turned to me. “You may come with us if you wish.”

“I need to have this story back to the pressroom before things shut down this afternoon,” I told her. “Are you going to be coming back within two hours or so?”

I got another of her long silent looks. “No,” she said. “We’ll be much longer than that.”

“Sorry, then—I hate to turn down a cruise, but work is work.”

She didn’t have anything to say to that, and the others more or less bundled her up the gangplank onto the ship. A couple of sailors untied the cables holding the ship against the quay and then climbed on board before it drifted away. A few minutes later the ship was pulling out into the Old Harbor; I could hear the oarsmen belowdecks singing one of their chanteys while the sailors climbed aloft and got the sail unfurled and set to the breeze.

After a few more minutes, I turned and started back up the hill toward the middle of town. As I climbed the slope, I could see more and more of the City of the Golden Gates around me in the afternoon sun: the Palace of the Ten Kings with the Temple of Night beside it, the Sun Temple and the golden roofs of the patricians’ palaces higher up the slope. The ground was shaking pretty much nonstop, but I barely noticed it, I’d gotten so used to the tremors.

The view got better as I climbed. Below, the Old Harbor spread out to one side and the New Harbor to the other. Next to the New Harbor was the charnel ground of Elah-Slio, where smoke was rising from the altars and long lines of victims were being driven forward with whips to be offered up as sacrifices to Mu-Elortep; off the other way, beyond the Old Harbor, I spotted twenty or so sails in the middle distance, heading away from Atlantis, and the ship with the priestess on it hurrying to join them.

That’s when it occurred to me that the Sea Priestess couldn’t have been serious when she said that Atlantis would soon be destroyed. Surely, if the prophecies were true, the Sea Priestesses would have had more important things to do than go on some kind of long vacation cruise. I laughed at how gullible I’d been there for a moment, and kept climbing the hill into the sunlight.

Above the Sacred Mountain, the cloud of smoke had gotten much bigger, and it looked as though some kind of red glow was reflecting off the bottom of it. I wondered what that meant, but figured I’d find out from the news soon enough. It certainly made me feel good to know that there was no reason whatever to worry about the far-fetched notion that Atlantis might end up at the bottom of the sea.


(Note: due to a date-linked transtemporal anomaly, this week’s planned Archdruid Report post got switched with a passage from the Swenyliad, an Atlantean chronicle dating from 9613 BCE. We apologize for any inconvenience.)

153 comments:

MindfulEcologist said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you. This was the most welcome laugh-out-loud I had enjoyed in a while.

Would the Lord of Evil, Mu-Elortep, understand oily black humor?

urbanworkbench said...

Beautifully done. Thank you for a great read. I wonder what the Naid-Anac people and their sdnas lio will do when Atlantis is gone?

Robert Mathiesen said...

Mu-Elortep indeed! JMG, you are such a joy and a delight to read each week -- and you really do know how to use stories to encourage us in the present struggle. Stories and rituals, they are the programming language of the human bio-computer. Many, many thanks!

peakfuture said...

That. Was. Hilarious.

Well done, sir, well done!

Perfect for April Fool's Day, of course.

Sad that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet news isn't an April Fool's Day story.

dltrammel said...

(clap, clap, clap)

"Bravo, bravo!"

Catherine Trouth said...

This is the best thing I have read all day. It's definitely past time to book a cruise with the Sea temple...

Kaitain said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cherokee Organics said...

Hi JMG,

Run, unnamed reporter, run! hehe!

Excellent work. I was chuckling to myself the entire through the story. I did believe that the reporter was going to jump ship with the Priestesses so the ending was a complete surprise, but all the better for it.

I'm assuming that the human sacrifices were an analogy for resource usage in the face of an uncaring universe and that the religions represented the vested power in the current status quo and more broadly the economy in general? It was instructive how they were doubling down on past policies too in the face of evidence that it wasn’t working…

The part that I really liked in the story was how you introduced the concept that the people in power were so fixated on the human map, that they had simply forgotten to understand that the humans themselves exist in the greater environment that is nature – they’re certainly not separate from it. I see that all of the time in the general discourse in our society. How can that be?

Three cheers for the transdemensional anamoly!

Cheers

Chris

PS: My new blog post is up: Watching the detectives. There is also an mp3 of the blog and regular listeners will be happy to note that the audio quality has increased markedly from this week onwards. Apologies to fans of Elvis Costello too. Scritchy the boss dog has uncovered and communicated the location of the rats nest. The new wood shed excavations and construction have continued. There was a massive cook up with all sorts of stuff (JMG, please note the quinces which were gleaned! YUM!) jams, apple cider vinegar and quinces. Plus I reveal some secrets (well they're not secrets anymore, I guess). Lots of cool photos and interesting stuff from Down Under.

Zachary Braverman said...

I love that " increased only at the rate that’s really necessary" snuck in there so deviously!

dfr2010 said...

Ah, bravo! For anyone who didn't catch it, read a lot of the names backwards. Highly entertaining, as the rain finally starts to come down at the dead end of our dirt road in rural central Florida.

JimK said...

Wow, this really sounds like that Nacimera tribe I read about in an old anthropology text... but at a later stage of development.

Matthew Lindquist said...

I had just come back from a long, rainy bike ride, and this post was a delight to read while recharging one's energies- and "Lemurian sympathizers" almost made me snort homebrew out my nose.

mirela said...

Love it, love it, love it.

As an Officially Certified (but not currently practicing) member of the Priesthood of Ygolo Tamilc, I once held hope that in the battle between the Demon of the West, Lio Kaep, and the Arch Demon of Ultimate Ending, Egnahc Etamilc, the Western Demon would do sufficient damage to weaken the Arch Demon, depriving it of its power. There were those among us who imagined the minor gods Selbawener and Noitav Resnoc might then defeat both. Alas, I’m afraid the gods were too weak and ignored by those who should have sacrificed to them, the lesser demon has come too late to defeat the larger, and in the battle to come, Atlantis will be destroyed.

My boat is a small one, and I am rowing with all my might out of the harbor. I only hope I can get far enough away that I am not swamped when the mountain explodes.

Doctor Westchester said...

Just a reminder. Any Green Wizards and/or readers of JMG’s blog in the lower Hudson Valley of New York State or in and around New York City who might be interested in getting together and discussing things like what the view of our Sacred Mountain is like please send your email address and location to doctorwestchester42 at Google mail. The lower Hudson Valley can be considered starting in the Bronx and going just south of Albany, NY (around Hudson, NY). If you are in the Bronx, please note whether you want to be considered as NYC or LHV or both. People in the greater NYC metro areas on Long island and New Jersey are invited to be part of the NYC meetup. Depending on the response, meetings may be held in the LHV, NYC or both.

beetleswamp said...

I see what you did there. Interesting that The Club of Rome doesn't pull up any relative news results on a Google search.

HalFiore said...

It would have helped if Sun Priest Erogla hadn't built himself that fancy, state of the art sacrificial altar.

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi everyone,

Well done. Despite writing some relatively controversial things here over many years, I don't believe I've seen as much push back as on last week’s discussion about the whole drought thing before. I had to go back and re-read the rant just to make sure I hadn't really offended anyone, other than pointing out some unpalatable truths based on hard won experience and offering some useful suggestions (which were largely ignored). Those suggestions do work and one of my sources of respect for the Permaculture people is that they established a working productive property well below sea level in the Jordan valley. Compared to that place in Jordan I'm in a rainforest! I'm pretty certain there were other motives for establishing the property there, but all the same it is a very big challenge. All of the strategies that they use work pretty much anywhere it is hot and dry too. You don't need to do a course, just follow some common sense guidelines:

- Don't waste the water you do get from the sky. Either store it for later use or put it back into the ground. Don't bore me with stories saying how hard it is deal to legislators that are not based in the real world that people actually live in. Tell them that you'll personally ensure that you'll get rid of them or sue them or some such thing if that they don't get on board with what is actually a common sense proposal and costs no one anything except for those that choose to install a water tank. What do you reckon I do down here when I have problems with the legislators? It is easy to understand that.

- Build your top soil. Bring in any organic matter that you can get your hands on - even roadkill provides useful minerals for the soil. Manures and mulches are awesome. More top soil = more water in the ground all year round = healthier and hardier plants. It is easy to understand that.

- Shade your plants. Use artificial means at first if you have to, but then try to build up a solid, hardy over story of trees so that the more delicate plants underneath - which is a lot of the stuff that we eat - don't suffer so much heat stress. It is easy to understand that.

- Don't plough the soil. This should be obvious. All of the little creatures live in the soil, like the dark, cool and damp conditions. Expose them to the sun and they die. Plants then eat those minerals that get released from the dead critters and then we take those minerals off the farm. This is a strategy which humans have been pursuing for so long that we think of it as normal - but it has no shelf life of any length. If you have to dig the soil, repair it with mulches and manures because that is what nature does. It is easy to understand that.

- I'd have to suggest that your cities like Los Angeles are heat islands and they significantly affect the precipitation in the surrounding area. It is easy to understand that.

If you understand the above then you are so far ahead of industrial agriculture it is not funny. By all means gamble that they know what they're doing and in many cases they probably do, but from my perspective it is a very chancy gamble to expect them to cope with increasingly dry conditions.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi valekeeperx,

Many thanks and I sympathise with your situation. As a comparative with here, we fear droughts for good reason. That fear allows us to discuss unpalatable subjects surrounding water and restrictions are on the table and well enforced during severe droughts. Still, there are many areas that we do fall down on in relation to water allocation. Respect for the work that you do.

Hi Glenn,

Many thanks for the explanation. I read your initial reply and was going to myself: So? Moving water from one area to another is quite expensive so with all of those large proposed schemes it will be very instructive to see who will pay for the infrastructure and then the ongoing maintenance? The cynic in me says that those rivers were allowed to run to the ocean in the first place because it was not economically viable to obtain water from them. It is quite instructive looking at their paths on the maps.

Hi Heather,

Thank you for the consideration. The tone was intended to shock because no one seemed to want to discuss adaption or the acceptance of limits. Seriously it is not the end, unless we take both of those options off the table and pursue business as usual. But as I said before, relative to current production methods, it is uneconomic to switch to dry land farming methods. It costs a lot of money to establish and involves a serious lowering of expectations of yield for years before a farm can recover. I also understood exactly what was involved and wondered at how the "too big to fail" meme became applied to that industry. Nature cares not one way or the other.

Cheers

Chris

VIS said...

Come on JMG, this time its going to be different! The elections are just around the corner. . . its all peaches and cream here on out. My kids are going to love their new self-driving cars that I will be able to afford to buy them when they turn 16. . . This time we could really turn the ship around, make the human sacrifices obsolete, and avoid the whole extinction thing. Only paranoid, conspiracy-oriented, people-hating, luddite, pessimists would set sail under the dawning light of of the new golden age of prosperity, progress and perfection. Good riddence, no?

Nick said...

Not what I was expecting when I sat down for my weekly dose of JMG but what a treat. Though I'm set on preparing for what's coming, it can be quite easy to get caught up in generally chasing the next step in your career. I'm nearing a crossroads where I will have to choose between several career/life paths, all of which are quite varied in how well they position me for the the next 20-30 years. Thank you for consistently keeping me focused on what truly matters. Keep up the good work.

Stage6 said...

You are one revelc lived.

Shawn Aune said...

<3

Reminds me of a story I read about the Nacirema tribe.

fudoshindotcom said...

Kudos on an excellent April fools day post!

The joke of course will be on us as the Fools, seemingly, won't have it any other way.

Douglas Tingey said...

Moral of the story seems to be not to hang around until the last news cycle ends!

Jo said...

Took me at least half of this piece to get what you were doing with the names. Not so much Arch as Snarkydruid.. but I love it. As perfect a social comment as anything I have ever read on modern society.

Recently my thoughts about our modern lives have been running on these lines - even if Atlantis wasn't sinking, I would still be working out my exit plan. Because the model of society that Atlantis is predicated upon - human sacrifice- is just plain wrong.

And every one of our lives is being sacrificed in some way for something I just don't believe in. So currently I am working out my own way to live outside society. It's a bit tricky with three kids in the suburbs, but every time I try something new I get stronger.

And of course, keeping a weather eye out for those earth tremors isn't actually going to hurt either..

Pinku-Sensei said...

HAHAHAHAHA! You really have a talent for satire. How appropriate for April Fools Day. Of course, those being lampooned may not get the joke or if they do, denounce it angrily. In fact, the United States is due for another round of maniacs campaigning for President who will promise Americans that they can keep their McMansions, cars, and commutes (tip of the hat to Kunstler for that one). One of them has already declared and he began by denying climate change; when he campaigned for U.S. Senate three years ago, he ran against sustainable development, calling Agenda 21 a U.N. plot to take away golf courses. I'm sure he won't be alone. Expect a lot more "Green is the New Red" and "Agenda 21 is the new black helicopter" coming from the campaign trail until November of next year.

As for me, I'm one of the people telling the Cassandra truth. I'm showing "The End of Suburbia" to my students again this week. Other than the stats on natural gas, which have improved from the perspective of business as usual because of fracking, the movie has held up pretty well over the past decade since it came out. I'm sure they'll search for answers on the Internet. Here's to hoping they find my Guide to entries that contain answers to 'The End of Suburbia'; it will make things easier for them. As for whether they will get on the boats when the volcano erupts, only time will tell. I can't say that they weren't warned.

Graeme Bushell said...

Ha! Fantastic!!

As Chance would have it, I had at this very moment just finished reading one of the most recently discovered scroll of Emor Fobulc

Thanks for your work, and for the welcome dose of humour.

Cheers,
Graeme

jonathan said...

at least in the case of your atlanteans there was somewhere else to go. where is the safe harbor today? the defining element of the current predicament is the absence of any safe haven.

Erica H said...

Fantastic! I was laughing and then I thought about how frightfully accurate your story is, and how I hope my swan ship gets out of range of the Atlantean ash cloud in time...

Many thanks for a delightful read!

Janet D said...

Loved this post. I instantly starting looking for "the code" of how to decipher the hidden message of the story. Erogla was where I picked it up. Too funny!

@Kaitain, I can't help but roll my eyes when I see quotes from people like your Russian conservative Orthodox church blogger. So he thinks the Ayatollah was spot on? I suggest he try living in the U.S. and then trying living in Iran and seeing what each are like. I shudder to think what would happen to him in Iran (due to his religion), but if he's convinced the Ayatollah's spot-on, I encourage him to try it. I see the faults of my own country, but I'd still far, far rather live here than with the Ayatollahs and their ilk.

Nathan said...

The rest of the world is waking up from the long sleep of American Empire. It won't be long before your predictions about new political parties start coming true.

will said...

Loved it, JMG. But wouldn't the Sea Priestess and her fleeing colleagues just have flown some vimanas out of town?

Nastarana said...

I heard tell of a landowner in WA state who was able to make a pond from a stream which ran across his land with no fees, permits or official disapproval of any kind. He imported himself a pair of beavers, a protected species which have the good sense to resemble cuddly toys.

Mickey Foley said...

For those in the Mpls./St. Paul metroplex, I invite you to join me this Sunday at 3pm for a discussion of the themes covered in The Archdruid Report. The meeting will take place at Bob's Java Hut in Uptown Mpls. Please RSVP at the group's page on Meetup or post a comment on my blog, Riding the Rubicon. Thanx, and hope to see ya there!

Andrew Crews said...

Cherokee,

People have been in denial about the relationship between rainfall and vegetation cover for a long time.

This 2008 paper explains the actual relationship in a very scientific way destroying accepted dogma. Fact is vegetation and forest cover creates rainfall, not the other way around.

http://news.mongabay.com/2012/0201-hance_interview_bioticpump.html

Much of the middle east, Turkey, the Sahara, Greece, and Mediterranean have broken their regions biotic pump due to erosion, soil depletion and deforestation. It is no coincidence anywhere a civilization pops up drought and desertification destroy it a few centuries later.

The best recent example is Sao Paolo, Brazil where Amazon deforestation has destroyed the hydrologic cycle leading to severe drought.

http://www.sfgate.com/news/world/article/Brazil-world-s-shower-champ-grapples-with-6129313.php

It may be controversial but most deserts on earth were create by humans.

John Michael Greer said...

Ecologist, I don't think he gets any other kind.

Workbench, good. Since they're also worshippers of Mu-Elortep, no doubt they'll just keep on sacrificing people until they run out.

Robert, thank you. Since very early childhood I've had the odd habit of being able to read backwards almost as easily as forwards, and when it yields a name that could pass for an evil god from a back issue of Weird Tales, how could I resist?

Peakfuture, er, did you scroll down to the bottom of Ugo Bardi's post, by any chance?

Dltrammel, thank you.

Catherine, your friendly Atlantean travel agent will be glad to help! ;-)

Kaitain, er, has it occurred to you that if a propagandistic moral dualism emanating from Washington DC and its media lapdogs is a bad thing, an equally propagandistic moral dualism emanating from Moscow and its media lapdogs may not necessarily be an improvement?

Cherokee, the human sacrifice thing was a borrowing from some of the old Atlantis lore I picked up in my misspent youth -- it made for a good parody of the equally (but not quite so obviously) immoral wrecking of our descendants' environment that's central to business as usual these days. Glad to hear the rats' headquarters has been uncovered -- was Scritchy possibly reading over your shoulder when you were taking in stories about The Shadow? Discovering the secret hideaway of the villains sounds like something Lamont Cranston would do...

Zachary, thank you.

Dfr, thank you also. Glad to hear you're getting some rain.

JimK, nah, the Nacirema were descended from Atlantean survivors. That's why they repeated the same trajectory so exactly!

Matthew, a dreadful fate for good homebrew! Good to hear that you forestalled it.

John Michael Greer said...

Mirela, the mistake was in thinking that the two demons would defeat each other. The prophecies of Emor Fobulc describe them as the twin jaws of the terrible monster Toohsrevo; what one leaves, the other devours. Which is to say, keep rowing!

Beetleswamp, of course not. Do you think a Google News search is going to tell you anything you actually need to know?

HalFiore, good! I'd have used that if I'd have thought of it.

VIS, I don't doubt for a moment that they were saying that in the tavern as the tremors got stronger and stronger, and the red glow from the top of the Sacred Mountain got ever harder to ignore...

Nick, you're welcome. Choose wisely!

Stage6, nah, just an ordinary diurdhcra. ;-)

Shawn, as I commented above to JimK, I'm quite sure the Nacirema are descended from Atlantean colonists!

Fudoshin, all the more reason to see if there's room on board the Sea Temple ships...

Douglas, a point could be made that that's good advice generally.

Jo, good. Of course that's the deeper point to it, behind the snark.

Pinku-sensei, thank you. Following on from a conversation on the other blog, I've been thinking quite a bit about the difference between the comic and the absurd, and that has some implications with regard to satire as well. Of course those being lampooned aren't going to get it -- and the Druid satire that once, according to Irish legend, could rhyme rats to death is still, alas, a lost art.

Graeme, well, there you go. Even in Atlantean times, the prophecies were easy to find and read if you wanted to look for them!

John Michael Greer said...

Jonathan, in the Atlantis lore I learned back in the day, no, there wasn't really a safe haven -- there were places that were utterly destroyed and places that were merely ravaged; many of the ships never made it to harbor, and those that did had to face the harsh task of making a new life in a world that was still reeling from the impacts of the Atlantean collapse. Not that different, all things considered, from what we face today.

Erica, in that case I'd encourage you to lend a hand at the oars!

Janet, good. It impressed me how easily his name turned into something suited to a bad fantasy story from the 1930s.

Nathan, maybe so. I don't expect what follows to be significantly better, though.

Will, funny. Atlantis legends from the 20th century tended to divide along that fault line -- did the Atlanteans have something like our technology, or was their society basically Chalcolithic (that is, Neolithic plus unsmelted metals) with a very heavy overlay of magic? The lessons I studied came from the latter side of the divide -- according to that version, the Atlanteans didn't have the wheel or the true arch, and used metals for decoration rather than technology. It always seemed a lot more plausible that way to me...

Nastarana, a fine bit of green wizardry!

squizzler said...

Funny, the predicament in your temporal April 1st blogger bug seems strangely current. But it's clearly its not an allegory of British society right now.

If that was the case, our reporter would never have wasted time on a trip to the sea temple. Rather he would have made sure he got round to the PIKU shrine, or just found the shamen down the tavern. We would hear that, when PIKU were running things, only the non-Atlantans in the community would be sacrificed to Mu-Elortep and somebody would be paid to arrange the deckchairs on the pleasure pier into regimented lines just like in the good old days.

Scotlyn said...

"More sustainable forms of worship" excellent phrase, excellent allegory...

I have to confess that engaging in the odd online debate with libertarians, neo-liberals & ancap types gives me some occasional entertainment (and mental exercise).

In one such last week, I was asked for a working definition of capitalism. Almost before thought, I had typed "the worship of Mammon." Then I thought and thought again, and realised I did not need to adjust that definition in any way, though I could easily have expanded by pointing out, as you have, the human sacrifice angle.

A dark faith indeed.

Radu Visan said...

This April Fools' Day - plot twist! - we are all the fools. I knew just from reading the title this was going to be a good one. It's especially funny and not really that surprising that the names feel very authentic. And like all good satire, it has really helped put things in a new light. I have been struggling, in the past few years of reading your blog, with giving up on the luxuries of modern life, but imagining myself holding an infant's skull every time I pick up my smartphone might just do it for me.

On a different note, there is this idea that I first got while reading your Dark Age America series: all the suffering, decay and destruction we are and will be experiencing are simply, at a civilization level, the symptoms of old age and that the best response is the same for an individual would do in that situation. That is, accept death as inevitable and age as gracefully as possible. But since this requires a level of self awareness we don't have today, even as individuals, I don't expect it to really happen. In fact, I'm giving it another five or six global civilizations before this becomes the norm.


Kaitain, gasp, you're a Lemurian sympathizer! But seriously, while I have no doubt the people of the future will see us as demons, I don't think they'll bother differentiating between the empires of our age. Especially since they all seem to hypocritically denounce each other for things they themselves do. It also helps to keep in mind that your orcs might not be our orcs. Your orcs might just be our elves, and vice versa. There are people in Europe that actually love America and hope for its continued existence.

Also, I know it's totally unreasonable of me to do this, but at this point I just assume that every Russian blogger on the Internet is an agent paid by the Kremlin to demonize the West (and China occasionally) and present Russia as the savior of the World and the solution to all our problems.

Finally, one minor, irrelevant gripe: Shouldn't it be Barad-Dur on the Potomac, since Mordor was the whole country?


dfr2010, I have been reading the names backwards and I'm really confused. Who's Niat Noum Dercas?

Phil Harris said...

All
Responding to comments on the Great Satan (Shaytân-e Bozorg ).

No need to spell this backwards!

I have some sympathy with the Russian conservative Orthodox Christian blogger (yikes…!) drawing on the wisdom (err…?) of Ruhollah Khomeini's speech on November 5, 1979.

But… query the fate of Christians in Iran? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_in_Iran
Look at the link, quote: “immigration to Iran … due to massacres and harassment in post-Saddam Iraq”.

In the scheme of things the fate of Christians in Iran appears sad, but does not compare with the nightmares unleashed by failed American policies in the region.

In UK, Asylum Seekers are more than politically inconvenient and are targeted with severe regulation – there are many claims of inhuman repatriation to countries of origin to face torture and etc.; but having said that, the following seems factual enough; quoted from UK Government guidance on Asylum Seekers; December 2014…

“Christianity is an officially accepted religion according to the [Iranian] constitution. However, Iran is an Islamic theocracy whose citizens do not enjoy religious freedom. […]

Members of Evangelical and house churches, and those who actively seek to evangelise others and engage in proselytising activities are at real risk of persecution in Iran and a grant of asylum is likely to be appropriate.

The right of Muslims to change their religion is not recognised under Sharia law. The religious conversion of Muslims is illegal in Iran. Christians who have converted from Islam are at real risk of persecution in Iran, and a grant of asylum is likely to be appropriate” end of quote

In my view, Geopolitics and the Great Game of Empires facing retraction after a failure of the Business Model , will sacrifice anything or anyone ! JMG has a point. Hang on to your religious freedoms while you can in the clueless tabernacles Under the Volcano!
best
Phil

jean-vivien said...

Hi everyone,
this is Neiviv-Neaj, writing from the remote city of Sipar, where the Earth is also shaking, but at a lesser rate since we have not been performing as many sacrifices as the Atlanteans have.

Here we are also wondering whether Atlantis will sink, or just be conquered by the Lemurians.
Our main concern as tribepeople of Ecnarf is as to how to create wealth for our Gods in the current religious climate... most of our sacrifices are being performed in Atlantis or Lemuria, and therefore we are watching those of our temples dedicated to Yrtsudni being consecrated anew to the cults of Gnisuoh and Secivres (Ecnarf decidedly loves unpronounceable names !).

In this climate of religious despair, some of the most educated adepts of the former gods are turning to newfound gods, like Noitavonni or Ygolonhcet, with various lesser deities claiming their shares as well (Ecnegilletni Liacifitra and H'cetonan having the strangest names, but they pale in comparison to RETI Noisuf Rotcaer). The problem with these newfound deities is, noone really knows what to sacrifice to them or what benefits they will bring us in return.

peacegarden said...

All right, I must thank you for the belly laughs so early Thursday morning, and only a half cup into my coffee at that! If only G nik-carf could be here; he could magically put off our current troubles! Back to finish this much needed screed.

Peace,

Gail

Ien in the Kootenays said...

Wonderful.

jean-vivien said...

And news from Atlantis travels fast, apparently the smoke has turned a darker shade of red lately :

http://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2015/04/02/completement-a-sec-la-californie-rationne-l-eau_4608016_3244.html

Leo Knight said...

I loved it. Mu Elortep sounds like a cousin of Nyarlathotep to me! For years I have considered many aspects of our society as veiled forms of human sacrifice. Coal mining springs to mind. "Sacrifices must be made." Priceless.

Nastarana said...

Kaitain,

Simple method to evaluate the sincerity of anti-American bloggers is to ask, 'Where does the person live?"

Turns out the Orthodox Russian blogger lives in Houston. One of his first posts is a lament about how he can't possibly return to Mother Russia because the Russian govt. won't subsidize a Return of its' diaspora, and beins as how he is "a Professional" he can't possibly be expected to pay upwards of 50% of his expected wages for housing in Moscow or a similar urban center. boo hoo. Impoverished Americans are doing just that in CA and elsewhere.

I do think that if Mr. Putin wants to directly address the American people, he could begin by encouraging and facilitating the repatriation of Russian citizens who are currently resident in the USA without benefit of passports, visas or other identity documents.

weedananda said...

Thanks Jo for naming JMG's shallow alter ego...all hail the Grand Snarkdruid! Deeper points notwithstanding, good riddance to those frackin' Atlanteans...the most pernicious race of odious little vermin ever suffered to crawl upon the face of the earth (Swift).

escapefromwisconsin said...

In other news, emperor Diocletian has dismissed rumors of decline as "negativity" in a speech to the Roman senate on Mars Day. "The empire is expanding and living standards are rising," he declared, flanked by Praetorians, prominent senators, and members of the tetrarchy. Diocletian took credit for his recent series of edicts, which he claimed were "working as intended." He saluted the troops now stationed in over 150 provinces, whom he declared "the heroes." In his speech he also decried the influence of the growing Christian cult on Roman morale, and warned over the attempts by the Parthians to acquire weapons of mass destruction. "The Roman Dream has never been more open to anyone," he declared. "Yes, we have serious problems right now, but the Roman empire is eternal, and I firmly believe that the empire's best days lay ahead of us," he said to a round of applause from the assembled wealthy patricians. "May Jupiter bless you, and may Jupiter bless Rome!"

David said...

After putting in all the effort writing your planned Report, it must be frustrating to lose it to one of those pesky date-linked transtemporal anomalies - I hope you're not too broken up about it.

About this, “…beyond the Old Harbor, I spotted twenty or so sails in the middle distance, heading away from Atlantis, and the ship with the priestess on it hurrying to join them.”

I was struck by how well the reporter painted the picture. In his eyes, those ships seemed so small, insignificant, and easily dismissed.

When it comes to gardening, living with LESS, developing an allergy to debt, or what have you, it seems the forces of Conventional Wisdom are just as dismissive today as our dear reporter was then.

I also get the feeling that our reporter will hardly give those receding boats a second thought - ever. As things progress, he will instead turn further into the world in which he is already familiar. For blame and solutions he’ll only listen to what the Hierophants, the Tarc Omed’s, and the Nacil Buper’s have to say. And good luck with those “solutions!”

This same dismissive attitude, and this blindness, is what Conventional Wisdom holds today, and it has lead into our current predicament. All I am seeing from here is nothing but digging-in-of-heels as we go forward. I just wonder, and fear, how much more difficult this will make it for those hurriedly setting sail today.

fudoshindotcom said...

I would be in line early for the ships.......... except, I'm not convinced there would be anywhere to go.

The joke will be on all of us, those who see it coming as well as those who don't.

That said, instead of an oar, I think I'll grab the sacred tools of permaculture and bio-remediation. After all, we only have one Atlantis, and sailing to the far distant shores of Sram seems an undertaking equally as unproductive as blindly continued sacrifice to Mu-Elortep.

Someone once wrote," Accept your Demons, take responsibility for them, command them to be nothing, and They become nothing."

For lack of anything better to do, I think I'll put that theory to the test.

FiftyNiner said...

JMG,
Bee-utiful! I was half through the delightful jaunt before I realized it was April 1!

Last weeks blog and this one have had me thinking about "security" and how a psychological sense of well-being figures in to all human desires of the present and future. In my world, I am a well fed somewhat lazy Hobbit living smack in the center of Middle Earth with no travel adventures pending to any place and no "real" dragons to engage, except for the very real one of protecting the ecology of Middle Earth and to feed myself and my family in the gentlest way possible. What follows is about "water" and how it figures into my environment and how that relates to being able to feed myself, and indeed all people.

From my primary and secondary schooling I learned that Alabama is one of the truly blessed places on earth, especially when it comes to soil and water.

As to water, Alabama has more miles of navigable waterways than any other state. There is adequate rainfall in most years, but we have periodic droughts also. I remember one of the most jolting moments of my early adult life was the realization one year back in the 1980's when we went through the entire month of June without a single drop of rain! My point being, however, that I cannot imagine being in the precarious position of all Californians at present when it comes to water! (to be cont'd)

patriciaormsby said...

Several people in the tavern probably also explained confidently that, in fact, the form the tremors were taking itself constituted scientific proof that the prophesy had been mistaken, and that far from sinking, Atlantis would raised aloft in glory and provided with new lands to exploit, enabling more sacrifices to Mu-Elortep.
They were right, sort of. It got raised so high, it was several years before the stratosphere was cleared of it.
[Oh gosh, I should be careful. I hope this part does not happen though the priests of the night temple seem downright eager to bring it on.]

peakfuture said...

JMG - I know the ice isn't collapsing *now*, I was more referring to the general news of the West Antarctic ice sheet, which is looking pretty shaky.

My readings weren't from Ugo's site, but from a few days before April Fool's (w.sciencemag.org/content/early/2015/03/31/science.aaa0940.abstract)




Patricia Mathews said...

First reaction (pardon the txt-speak) - LMAO & STC. Meaning "Laughing my (rear-end) off and scaring the cats."

Leo Knight said...

A weird synchronicity: while I read this story, the Today Show's weather priest, Rekor-La, reported on unprecedented drought in the western province of Ain-Rofilac, drought not seen in 500 to 1000 years. I blame the Lemurians!

Anna said...

I'm wondering if I'm the only one who actually found this more sad than funny! Perhaps it's because I'm just wrapping up a course I've been teaching on "Post-Carbon Fiction." If it's any consolation, there are 24 more young people who are aware of the problem--or in some cases just more aware than they were--and who are also thoughtful, mindful, purposeful, and remarkably intelligent. They are not turning their faces away from the future. I'm hoping I've given them some tools for imagining it in ways that are realistic, but not catastrophizing.

If I may shamelessly mimic (and thereby flatter) Doctor Westchester, if there are any Green Wizards or devotees of the Temple of the Sea on Vancouver Island (somewhere near Nanaimo) and want to get together, I'd love to hear from y'all: singingstories at g mail etc. . .

Eric S. said...

I was wondering if you'd put something special together with April Fools falling on a Wednesday this year. I'm not disappointed :-). On a more serious note, I still have some trouble really internalizing the Atlantis metaphor for our own age mainly because, at face value, it touches on a few memes that are pretty harmful and already far too prevalent in our society. The biggest difference between us and Atlantis is that we have nowhere else to go. We can't just get on a boat and sail away, and the problem is many people faced with the predicament of our age will suggest exactly that as a response. The truth is, whatever Lemurian Quartz may have been able to do in the misty reaches of occult (and its continuation into New Age) legend, these days it may be nifty for enchanting but it's not much good for powering a starship. I know in a deeper level Atlantis is a metaphor for the institutions and niceties of our civilization not for the planet as a whole, though even taken to that level it can all to easily get twisted to fit the fantasies of "escaping" from the Atlantis of our civilization into the hunter-gatherer tribes of neoprimitivism, or intentional villages and communes which also don't do much to address the crises of our age. In a lot of ways, I feel like we're more like the reporter than anyone else... looking at the unscrupulous corporate cheerleaders on one end, the greenwashed proponents of business as usual disguised as "sustainable growth" on the other, and the people clinging to apocalyptic lifeboat mythology skirting the fringes. Is there a fourth temple that is neither a proponent of business as usual nor a cargo cult?

Mark said...

I vaguely reading about the Acirema tribe in some textbook many years ago. They were worshippers not only of the old god Mu-elortep, but also of a new god Ko-obecaf. Members of this new sect carried a crystalline tablet called an Enophi, which allowed them receive mind-control messages directly from Ko-obecaf. So absorbed were the worshippers in these messages that they never noticed the signs of the impending cataclysm.

Edward said...

Now we know what happened to Atlantis! Their council of 10 kings was too easily deadlocked. They should have had an odd number of kings!

HalFiore said...

John Michael, you are certainly free to use it if you ever decide to expand it for wider use. Be sure to explain that the new altar uses 20% fewer victims per hour, and is designed to be run 12 hours a day instead of the usual 8.

N Tash Cropper said...

The eruption of Mount Tamboran in Indonesia caused the Year Without a Summer: global crop failure, floods, and blizzards.

Just as a reminder that even the Sea Priestess can look forward to a tough Winter without the respite of Spring.

No one's 'escaping', but we can survive.

Lynford1933 said...

GMJ thanks: Here in the high Nevada desert after several above average temperature days and peach and plum blossoms we have a couple nights of 23 degrees F. Yet another year of buying soft fruit. Like the Sea Princess, we knew it was coming but no viable ship to warmer climates. Under the leaves the small plants and critters are OK.

ando said...

JMG, a fine tale! Still, if we did get aboard the Sea Temple ship, in this day and age, where would we go??

LewisLucanBooks said...

Archdruid - A wonderful, slightly ghastly and macabre entry into your corpus.

I know you don't think much of the old Star Trek, but I noticed after a binge of watching a season, that it seemed like most of their problems were the result of "temporal anomalies" of one sort or another. After awhile, it seemed like they would have caught on. "Oh, the bogs backed up. Must be one of those pesky temporal anomalies." :-). Lew

streamfortyseven said...

Atlantis will happen in real time, all over the world - and here in the US, especially along the Gulf of Mexico and the Eastern Seaboard. Miami and New Orleans are finished even now, no volcanoes needed, just sea level rise and storm surge from intensified hurricanes. The end result of Business As Usual, when the arctic oil gets drilled (see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/11507488/Barack-Obama-gives-Shell-go-ahead-to-drill-for-oil-in-Alaskan-Arctic.html), and burned - all 166 billion barrels - atmospheric CO2 increases - the oceans rise, and Baton Rouge is now oceanfront property, Miami is a chain of islands, Tampa, St Petersburg, and Sarasota sink below the waves ... http://greentransportation.info/life-cycle/oceans/ocean-apocalypse.html

streamfortyseven said...

Here's one of Jeremy Jackson's papers which appeared in Transactions of the Royal Society on the same topic as my earlier posting: http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/royptb/365/1558/3765.full.pdf
"Major macroevolutionary events in the history of the oceans are linked to changes in oceanographic
conditions and environments on regional to global scales. Even small changes in climate and pro-
ductivity, such as those that occurred after the rise of the Isthmus of Panama, caused major
changes in Caribbean coastal ecosystems and mass extinctions of major taxa. In contrast, massive
influxes of carbon at the end of the Palaeocene caused intense global warming, ocean acidification,
mass extinction throughout the deep sea and the worldwide disappearance of coral reefs. Today,
overfishing, pollution and increases in greenhouse gases are causing comparably great changes to
ocean environments and ecosystems. Some of these changes are potentially reversible on very
short time scales, but warming and ocean acidification will intensify before they decline even
with immediate reduction in emissions. There is an urgent need for immediate and decisive conser-
vation action. Otherwise, another great mass extinction affecting all ocean ecosystems and
comparable to the upheavals of the geological past appears inevitable."

Patricia Mathews said...

P.S. "The Swenyliad", while I know what it is, sounds like an epic poem about an Irish madman called Sweeney! Hmmmmm... would that be our reporter's editor, now?

Carlo said...

That was fun!

Ed-M said...

Hi JMG,

Erogla, indeed! HAHAHA.

I bet one reason why no one listens to him, besides that fancy altar, is that he lives in a 36-room palace in the district of Eessennet. This is in spite of the fact that the port of Snaelrowen was flooded after suffering a subsidence / earthquake or a lithosphere collapse on Saint Anirtak's Day.

And now the Atlanteans get to suffer not only a volcanic explosion, but also the Mother Of All Lithosphere Collapses!

Tidlösa said...

Oh, *now* I get it. It´s an April Fools Joke. It was already April 2 here in Sweden when you´re satire was posted. I mean, it *is* a joke, right...? ;-)

Thor of Oakland, OR said...

Wow, the human sacrifice analogy really puts things in their proper perspective, it really does make things so very clear. I will never again be able to think of K Street and the DC think tanks, and their global counterparts, as little Temples of the Night...

Your work and that of Mr. Orlov, beginning in Fall 2009, launched me towards what I call my cultural psychotic break/doomer initiation period of 2009-2011, but I have come through the other side now. I have learned the hard way not to dicuss this stuff with friends and family, but every Thursday lunch hour when I read your lovely essays, and the comments, it's like all of a sudden I'm no longer so alone in this world. But even there, and thanks once again to your inspiration, even that is getting better these days, as I make new friends with the squirrels and sweet gums and chickadees. Bless you, my brother. ;)

JML said...

Good one, JMG. I just got finished speaking with someone who claimed that peak oil is a scam and that crude oil is abiogenic.

Shane Wilson said...

Anyone notice the furore over the Indiana law, particularly the "Christian" pizzeria? Hmm, the slideshows to keep the atlanteans from noticing they're sinking.

Sven said...

One of the best April Fools Day posts I have seen in a while, but so true! Time to head down to the harbor as the ice sheets melt and the priests and priestesses of the Sea Temple shove off from the wharf. Just hope I can find a ship that hasn't yet sailed and make myself useful since there won't be much room for idle hands at sea in the midst of all those storms and other perils...

dragonfly said...

Eris S. asked:
"Is there a fourth temple that is neither a proponent of business as usual nor a cargo cult?"

I think there is. This temple appears at first small and unassuming, thus easily overlooked in today's age. The walls are simply adorned with images of The Seed and The Tree, and the altar is all but lost within layers of downy moss.

The Temple of Night and The Temple of the Sun offer glamorous promises of More ! and Bigger ! They are, however, beginning to look a bit shabby.

In contrast, the fourth temple only whispers LESS, and 'smaller' - buoyed by a shimmering chorus of birdsong and crickets. No glamour here - only a feeling of welcome, of belonging, and a growing sense of connected-ness.

At least, that is the temple I feel most at home in.

The other Tom said...

Hi JMG
You really had me going for a minute! The post seemed so out of character I wondered if it was a guest post and thought "oh no, what's happened to the Archdruid?" But then I recognized your distinctive writing and realized it was April 1.
Last night I took my tablet to the tavern where I read the ADR, not expecting to be laughing myself silly, and had to explain to my friends what this was all about.
I think you'll be flattered to know, Archdruid, that a pint of Guinness went neglected until I had finished reading, so absorbed was I in this tale.

McDave's Handyman said...

Honestly JMG, the part about this that I cannot stop thinking about, and it's no fun at all, is the human sacrifice stuff. It's just too much exactly what's happening. Gaaahh!

SLClaire said...

Like Anna, I didn't laugh, and it wasn't because I didn't get who was being referred to or the larger point of the piece. (I didn't even realize the backwards-name game was in play. I just thought you were dredging up names from some sci-fi or fantasy story I'd never heard of, or maybe names of some obscure mythological beings. But the satire was so well aimed I knew exactly who your targets were from the context. And BTW, the infant skull necklace was a particularly well-aimed arrow, especially after re-reading "A Christmas Speculation" in Collapse Now and Avoid the Rush.)

I think the sadness is a form of mourning. Sometimes I enjoy the challenges of sailing. Seeing the night sky full of stars, testing my wits against the storms, learning I can do much more than I ever thought possible, working with the others on board and in the other ships we can see and those we have to send signals to via homing pigeon ... all that creates deep satisfaction. But sometimes I miss everything and everyone we left behind - and even more, those who fall overboard because the voyage is a difficult one. It can be very lonely out here. Right now I'm feeling the grief and the loneliness more than the joy of the challenge.

John Michael Greer said...

Squizzler, no doubt, but there's only so much I can fit into a single week's post!

Scotlyn, "worship of Mammon" is a perfectly good definition of capitalism, and has quite a bit to say to the pseudoconservatives who claim to be Christian but praise capitalism to the skies. Hmm, who was it who made that comment about trying to serve God and Mammon at the same time?

Radu, people have been getting old and dying for a very long time, and yet there are still people who can't deal with it. (Admittedly, mostly in America.) I hope we get to the point at which civilizations deal sanely with their own mortality before our species goes extinct...

Neiviv-Neaj, is it just me, or does Secivres look like an actual French town name?

Peacegarden, I considered Gnikcarf, but it's too obviously a word spelled backwards; the others can almost pass.

Ien, thank you.

Jean-Vivien, say hello to the combination Dust Bowl and Rust Belt of the 21st century. The decline of California (Ain Rofilac?) will not be pretty.

Leo, that's what inspired the whole project. Mu-Elortep sounds to me like a kissin' cousin of Yog-Sothoth, Nyarlathotep, et al. -- a perfect Weird Tales sort of name.

Escape, nice. When it comes to satire, today's world is perhaps the ultimate target-rich environment.

David, exactly. I could name the bloggers, pundits, and public figures on whom I modeled the anonymous reporter of the post, but that would be invidious -- there are so many others who are babbling the same malarkey these days.

Fudoshin, of course. Ships were the appropriate response to that catastrophe; different tools will be needed to respond to this one.

FiftyNiner, as long as you're well above sea level, most places east of the Mississippi have a fair number of things going for them. That said, if Alabama works for you, glad to hear it.

Varun Bhaskar said...

Archdruid,

By the end of it, where he was talking to the high-priestess of the water temple, I was laughing pretty hard. The only thought going through my head was, "get on the boat dude, just get on the boat." Good piece.

I'm almost done with "Twilights Last Gleaming," having trouble cracking the last bit. It got a little too emotional for me with the dissolution of the states pending. Think the end may call for a beer.

Regards,

Varun

John Michael Greer said...

Patricia, excellent! If I ever find a reason to expand on this little jeu d'esprit, I'll be sure to include that.

Peakfuture, okay, got it. No argument there; for what it's worth, I expect ice sheet collapse and sea level rise to take place a good deal faster than current estimates -- in sudden warm spikes during the last Ice Age, some marine transgressions happened at a pretty lively pace, and I see that as a valid model for our situation.

Patricia, thank you -- would that be "thx" in textspeak?

Leo, it's got to be the Lemurians. It certainly can't be our ongoing sacrifices to Mu-Elortep!

Anna, of course there's sadness in the story. Thus the edgy humor; we laugh most deeply at the things that trouble us most.

Eric, as I noted in response to another such comment, ships are tools relevant to some catastrophes, and not to others. We don't face the sudden cataclysmic submergence of North America; we get a different kind of debacle, and so of course the appropriate technology (so to speak!) is different.

Mark, good. Yes, I think I remember that field report too...

Edward, no doubt!

Hal, funny! I'll certainly keep that in mind.

Tash, exactly. By all accounts it was no holiday cruise.

Ando, ships aren't appropriate technology for the particular predicament we face. Your theme for meditation this week is to contemplate which tools would be suited for the present mess!

Lewis, thank you. I always figured that toilets in the Star Trek future were little transporter beam devices, and all the poop in Star Fleet was being dumped on an assortment of Third Quadrant worlds...

jeffinwa said...

Humor with a sharp edge JMG; laugh and cry at the same time. Well done and thanks for sharing.

FWIW Searching with duckduckgo.com gives many hits for The Club of Rome (Emor Fobulc) search.

They also don't keep track of your searches and they don't advertise to you after using them. Frack google; they are so yesterday.

MawKernewek said...

Another important thing to consider if forests have a dramatic effect on climate is the effect of megafauna extinctions, for example in Australia formerly giant kangaroos and other megafauna increased soil fertility via their dung, and browsing ground level vegetation reduced vulnerability to fire. The megafauna goes extinct around the same time the first humans arrive.
Most of the debate about the megafauna extinction has been around whether it was human hunting, or climate change, but perhaps cause-effect could actually be the other way round.

Bright City said...

I have just spent a weekend on the coast near the City of the Golden Gate. The weather was warm and perfect, as it is every day here in the land of Ain-Rofilac. The ocean was calm and blue. In the evening, my friends and I spoke of drought, climate change, technology, and the future. I ventured to talk about some of the things I have learned in my several years of reading this blog. I said that we live on a planet with physical limitations; that we are scraping the bottom of the oil barrel; that no other fuel we know of has the same bang for the buck; that things are going to change; and so on. As if they too had taken their lines from JMG's writings, my friends said, "But there has always been progress." And "They'll think of something." And "Our technology is so advanced--they'll find a way to make things out of thin air!" And "Well, you can believe we're all doomed, but I prefer to have hope." It was eerie. It was upsetting. Your story of Atlantis feels so very right on.

Unknown said...

(Deborah Bender)

@streamfortyseven--Shell needs a West Coast harbor from which to base its Alaska drilling rigs. The Port of Seattle recently signed a contract with Shell. When the citizens of Seattle heard about this, they started organizing to have the contract rescinded. Pressure has to be indirect: voters to city council to Port, which is an independent entity. Early days yet.

If Shell Oil can't use Seattle as a base, they probably can't drill the Arctic at all. It's a sufficiently shaky proposition that the other majors have given up. Portland is forewarned. It is highly unlikely that San Francisco, Oakland or Richmond, CA would allow their ports to be used. Shell would have to travel at least as far as Stockton, which needs the money, but may be too distant from the Arctic to be useful. This could be a situation where citizen activism can slow things down until they stop.

Unknown said...

It took me a while to figure it out too :-) It made me smile and think - as good stories do.
Just got home from our church Good Friday gathering. The Vicar called it Bus Stations of the Cross. Our little congregation and (to our happy surprise) quite a few people we'd never met before, trekked around town on the bus to places where people in our town had stood up for their beliefs and paid the price. In most cases there was a gap of many years before the community acknowledged that they were wrong and the people protesting against war, discrimination, environmental issues and the like had been on the right track. Most of the protestors are, of course, long gone and I think that we too will be compost before our children and grandchildren may be able to say that they are proud that we didn't drink get sucked in. That we talked and sang and wrote and painted and tinkered and taught what we could while we could.
What a wonderful community we have here in the comments section, creative, questioning, etc. Thank you for taking your turn at holding the centre Mr Greer :-)

patriciaormsby said...

@Fudoshin,
I boarded a small ship more than a decade ago (in the form of a High-Ace van loaded with furniture), and left the fair city of Oykot, faithful partner to Not-Gnihsaw, after it became clear that the dogged efforts of the priesthoods of the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Wind (monuments to the latter sparsely adorn hilltops, talismans of the former adorn rooftops everywhere), far from having any positive effect, were exacerbating the situation, because they were based on a deep faith in the goddess Ssegorp, and thus involved lots of concessions to the ten kings and their allies, as our reporter from the distant past has well described. Life in Oykot itself seemed to be part of the problem, rather than a solution.
I keep the ship maintained out back in case my choice of landing appears to be not quite far enough. As a mid-level priestess of the Cult of Joy, the Sea and International Commerce (check out "Kompira"), I try to inspire post-Atlantian hope in anyone willing to hear the bad news first, and offer a life boat to our followers who feel they must remain in Oykot despite their awareness of the worsening situation.
@Everyone
Having been brought up as a Buddhist in Salt Lake City, I know from experience that once someone is deemed "evil," every act of kindness he or she performs is "evil," anything he or she likes is tainted, and anyone who extends a hand of friendship is committing an act of "evil." The latest meme seems to be that everyone posting positive views on Russia is a paid troll. I cannot even get a reply from the busy Mr. Putin, forget about a salary!
I do not know the man personally. All I know is that the lives of my friends in Russia have improved somewhat since he took office, though they have been forced into the capitalist mold to some extent. I've noted over the past decade that every time Mr. Putin did something to help average sorts of people internationally, negative press would appear in diverse media thereafter and stand unchallenged, because it was small, and anyone who knew Russia could see through it.
I now see the same incipient demonization of Japan starting up in the same way, with a negative Hollywood characterization. It is tiny enough to be dismissed, but constitutes a real threat in case Japan steps out of line. It takes just a few years of little cuts to cultivate a negative image. Even when people know better, it is natural to assume that "where there is smoke there is fire" when presented with an overwhelming barrage of disinformation. Thus I do not consider people writing negatively about Russia to be trolls. I am just grateful not to be living in a place with such a steady, one-sided drumbeat.
@JMG, I did not even consider turning the names around! It was fun reading through your story once more. The necklace of skulls--what a touch! In my world, "Mu" might be the Zen "nothing that is not even nothing," our ultimate hope in death...

John Michael Greer said...

Stream, yes, and I've talked about that at length in previous posts here. I'm curious as to why you feel the need to drag the conversation back to that, and away from the points central to this week's post.

Patricia, funny! I was pleasantly surprised by "Swenyliad" -- it really does sound like the name of an epic, with or without crazy Irishmen involved.

Carlo, thank you.

Ed-M, when I wrote my book on the Atlantis legend a while back, I plopped for simple sea level rise, amplified by tsunamis, as the modality of the sinking. If I were going to do it again -- or if I ever get around to writing that novel set in the last days of Atlantis -- I'll definitely want to use a supervolcano eruption, with a very large caldera collapse doing the deed. It's just better drama, all things considered!

Tidlösa, sorry about that -- I haven't yet been able to work out the necessary transtemporal anomaly to get my posts to appear worldwide at the same local time everywhere. ;-)

Thor, thank you. I know the feeling -- after all those years feeling like the only person on the planet who remembered that a sphere can only contain a finite volume of anything, when the first stirrings of the peak oil scene got under way, it was a real source of reassurance.

JML, i.e., "The power of Mu-Elortep is infinite and eternal, and if you disagree with me, you must be a Lemurian sympathizer!" Yes, I'm familiar with the cant.

Shane, "Did you hear the one about the Christian pizzeria?" reminds me way too much of bad middle school jokes...

Sven, if you can haul on an oar, I'm pretty sure they can find a place on a bench for you.

Other Tom, thank you -- that's very high praise!

Handyman, I know. One of the gifts of satire is that it allows the satirist to talk openly about the unmentionable.

SLClaire, thank you. Yes, it can be a lonely voyage.

John Michael Greer said...

Varun, thank you. By all means finish Twilight's Last Gleaming with a beer; pour an imaginary one for Tommy McGaffney while you're at it.

Jeff, thank you. The word "sarcasm" comes from an ancient Greek word that literally means "tearing of flesh," and -- partly in response -- I've always thought that a good satire should draw blood.

MawKernewek, if I write the Atlantis novel I've mentioned, the extiction of the woolly mammoth is going to play a part in it.

Bright City, I know. Even though I've seen it happen so many times I've lost count, it's still spooky to watch people who can reason about other subjects suddenly start robotically spouting thoughtstoppers when you stray outside the limits of permitted thought.

Unknown, you're most welcome. Thank you for taking part in the conversation.

Aron Blue said...

Haha, this was awesome and I loved it. Tarc Omed was pitch-perfect. I'm pretty sure he's about to ditch the Sun Temple altogether and just take a floor or two at the Temple of Night.

Kutamun said...

I suppose it all depends how you interpret the word " apocalypse " and what you think a " flood is " .
As a vassal state being militarily occupied by one decrepit empire and resource plundered by another , ( as well as being hammered from pillar to post by climate change ) for some folks dunnunda , the end sure is nigh .
If you are a farmer in western queensland who hasnt seen rain for three years and watched the herd get sold off or perish , the end is nigh . If you are a 10 year old kid , whose parents are unemployed and addicted to crystal meth , mate you are breathing through a straw . ( maybe)

A patchwork of unconnected events that taken together over several decades severely reduces human standard of living and population - i guess that is certainly underway , the bit open for discussion centres around the concept of Time . Perhaps to the casual observer in another outer spiral arm in the universe the milky way is obviously being sucked into a black hole , earth included , and they are standing there saying to each other " owing to the effects of gravity resulting from that galaxy collapsing in on itself, time is really slow there but would appear normal to the beings on those planets "- whew

By some combination of good looks , superb intellect , a certain amount of ruthlessness and greed i am still in a position where Mammon wants to ride me while i worship God , but many out there are not so (un?)fortunate . Was it you dear Archdruid who noted that " while a rising tide lifts all boats , a receding one reveals who has been swimming naked ? " .., ha ha
See you in R'lyeh !

Nick ZZ said...

Yes Bright City, I can relate....


A couple years ago a co-worker/friend of mine comforted me by saying that after we run
out of gas there will be something else to replace it. He assured me in this manner:
"I don't know what it'll be, but it'll be .. something."


* * *

Also Spooky: Most good parents, when they learn that their child has a serious
life threatening illness, will turn the ship around and redirect all their energy
and wealth to spare the poor child. When the same parents learn that every child
on earth is under the same or a similar threat, they shrug it off and go about their
lives unaffected.


* * *

My father was born in 1919, joined the Navy an 18 year old Catholic and was at
Pearl Harbor on Dec 7th, 1941. His ship, the Destroyer U.S.S. Downes, was demolished
in the attack while he was on it. He left the Navy an atheist in 1944 and married my mom.

The house I grew up in, in Portland, OR, had a concrete encased room in the basement
that we called 'the cold room', because it was where my mom stored canned preserves.
My father would tell us kids that it used to be a 'bomb shelter'. He'd explain how
after WWII, everybody had a bomb shelter constructed at their homes, or bought a home with
one already in place. After a time when it became known the U.S. and the Soviets had
so many missles things suddenly changed. Nobody would survive the next word war, or if
they did, would not want to live in the aftermath where all their friends were dead.
He'd finish with a chuckle and a big exhale from his cigarette, "everybody gave up
the idea of having a bomb shelter".

heather said...

My reaction is a bit like SLClaire's- I'm sad for the children of Atlantis, and the people who are already struggling so hard for their daily survival that they couldn't make their way to the docks no matter how much they sensed the ground shaking, and those I love who won't see it or who can't make it in time. I don't let the grief stop the daily work, but sometimes the horror of seeing all those people go under just won't recede. It's hard to laugh sometimes.
Back to lifting baskets for the ship-
--Heather in CA

Yif said...

Many years ago I was a little annoyed with myself when I finished reading one of Stanislaw Lem's story storys in his, Memoirs of a Space Traveler: Further Reminiscences of Ijon Tichy book.
The protagonist was visiting a alien(Phools) technological planet whereupon they extincted themselves via A.I.
When the A.I. offered to do the same to the protagonist he replied, "What do you take me for, a Phool ?"

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for the link. It seems like common sense too doesn't it? Interestingly too, the difference in ground level air temperature between a paddock and a shaded forest around this part of the world is massive. The world is a fragile place.

Yes, I've been following the goings on in Sao Paulo in relation to the water supply and it isn't good.

Plant a broad leaf shade giving tree!

Cheers

Chris

hereward said...

Great, loved it!

I was waiting for another humorous link in the form of upping the production rate of poor sacrficial victims using suitable adaptations of the "Drill, baby, drill!" slogan and the term "fracking", but, ahem, I can understand why you didn't want to go there ;)

More seriously, I am constantly faced with the kind of reaction to bad news so clearly portrayed in the story. Now the price of oil has gone down and there's the one graph indicating no increase in global air temperatures for the last 15+ years, none of my friends want even to hear any more of my 'doom-mongering'.

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi JMG,

Scritchy is a bit overwhelmed by the sudden surge in her popularity but certainly she would approve of the work of the Shadow. What a creation for the times too. It is interesting that Lamont is of the same class that he is seeking to undo - or would "counter balance" be the correct descriptive? Dunno.

Of course human sacrifices are actually happening now they may just involve people not born yet. What a legacy of mess we will leave to the future.

I thought that you might find this article an interesting development: Cabinet approves Australia signing on to China led Asia infrastructure investment bank

What a spineless pack of dweebs we have for a government. What did it take for the approval:

Deliberate over supply of oil and a subsequent price crash - check

Tariffs on our two main exports to China (Coal and Iron Ore) - check

A local currency devaluation - check

And that seemed to about do it. It really didn't take that much effort over what is an embarrassingly short period of time.

It is like getting into bed with a new lady friend a day after the divorce and oh yeah, the divorce papers haven't come through yet. Shameful.

Cheers

Chris

Eric S. said...

"As I noted in response to another such comment, ships are tools relevant to some catastrophes, and not to others."

Very much agreed. At the same time, one of the things that seems to shut down almost every conversation I have with people on the subject these days is that there are far too many people right now who think this is a ship catastrophe. These days there's a subset of the sun temple who uses the gravity of the crises of our times as ammunition for their campaign to double down on our space program now no matter what the cost so the exodus can commence before we all die. Not sure what the parallel in the Atlantis metaphor is. I know reading this piece most of those people would obviously identify themselves with the Sea temple which they obviously aren't. Hmm... maybe there's an archmage of the sun temple named Nosyt Essårg E'dlêin suggesting that the only way to solve the crisis, end the earthquakes, and stop the human sacrifices and the evil influence of the Mu-Elortep is to perform one massive ritual of human sacrifice, summon an army of demons, and storm the heavens slaying Mu-Elortep and all the other gods so the sun priests of Atlantis can rule the cosmos from on high for all eternity.

Allie said...

That was a very funny and enjoyable post to read. Thanks for writing it.

I saw this pathetic article yesterday and knew I had to share with you and your readers. It was published on April first so at first I thought it was an April fools joke. Sadly it is serious and deserves to be filed in the vaporware folder...

Could Future Cars Be Powered By Corncobs And Straw?
http://modernfarmer.com/2015/04/could-future-cars-be-powered-by-corncobs-and-straw/

Ed-M said...

Thanks, JMG!

The history of Pompeii and Herculaneum would be a good source to borrow some events in your rewritten novel, I think. Plus, did you know that at one time the Roman port of Puteoli suffered subsidence around the time of one of Vesuvius' several eruptions? Caesarea Maritima in Israel has also suffered subsidence, although without the aid of a nearby lava spewer.

kimberlysteele said...

That was definitely a Weird Tales-worthy yarn! Maybe I'm too much of a misanthrope these days but I found it difficult to feel sorry. Perhaps the top brass Atlanteans should have tried sacrificing the rich.

I wrote a story called Gretel and Hansel for submission to the upcoming JMG futuristic anthology. I hope Archdruidians will enjoy it. It's a meaty retelling of Grimm's fable, Gretel and Hansel.

http://www.kimberlysteele.net/short-stories/gretel-and-hansel/

valekeeperx said...

JMG,
What? No Shrine or servants of S’serg Orp? Did I miss something?

Cherokee Chris,
Yes, we don’t respect climate or natural systems enough here. Well, at least not enough of us anyway. Some are waking up. Though, seems we believe we can just throw money and technology at the issue and then just drive to the gym for our treadmill workout. We’ll see how the response to the governor’s executive order plays out.

Always comes back to belief systems, though, as JMG has said so many times. And, I don’t sense any real deep or meaningful changes to those beliefs, not for a long time. We believe we can control the biosphere and bend it to our will; have our planet and eat it too. Besides, people are just not into that environmental thing. As if it is some sort of fashion or décor option. “Yes, I’ll have the granite counter tops, the laminated wood floors, but I’ll pass on that ecological thingey. Hubris feels more homey to me.” Sigh.

I don’t know. Maybe people are just really bored or nihilistic; deep down they want the drama of running into the brick wall.

Cheers and respect across the bigger pond. ;-)

Bike Trog said...

Sometimes I hear two televisions on the same channel but some distance apart. The slight difference in timing makes an eerie and ominous effect. If I listen closely I might hear "Run away. Run now. Mu-Elortep is hungry."

Shane Wilson said...

This is what the Altlanteans are doing as Atlantis sinks. https://www.yahoo.com/tech/memories-pizza-vs-gay-rights-the-fight-that-ate-115340513559.html

Cathy McGuire said...

Love the satire! Yes, the "high priests" of our society are blind and arrogant.

Just a note to say I'm not at home to post the next chapter in my novel, and my laptop crashed here, so my Plan B also failed - I can't even log onto my blog from NJ - thank you Google! I will post the next chapter as soon as I get home!

I'm so glad I can read this blog and the comments while I'm stuck doing family stuff... :-}

Michael McG said...

Enjoying a weekly Druid check in with my meager Internet time before I go to the park for some archery practice. BTW there is a huge resurgence in traditional archery here by young people in the area. Don’t know what to make of it but am happy to provide pointers on form and technique to those interested. TY in kind to JMG for providing good example to those of us new to writing fiction. On Wednesday while working on my story for the anthology a surprise storylet popped out by accident amazingly synchronized with the Atlantian story in terms of both artifacts (boats) and themes of direction of spiritual energy through fears and complacency. If you see fit, please post my first fiction storylet through the filter.

Whatever the case, another tip in thanks of my Donegal tam to you Archdruid.

Title: Two - Franticality in the devils hand basket.

Following a foreseeable Ocean vessel accident, people on a life boat are sailing for haven.

A rain squall hits, water in the boat is rising. Some grab buckets and begin to bail.

Rain continues into the boat, bailing has stabilized the rise.

Someone on the boat starts screaming “We are all going to die! ” (A true enough statement as ever was). The screamer follows with justifiable reinforcing hysteria directives.

“ Quick, quick we MUST start chopping holes in the boat to let all the rain water out NOW! We are all going to DIE!”

Happy to have something to do and quell the screaming, anxious onlookers grab axes, and commence to chop holes in the hull.

Satisfied, the screamer stops.

Water rises faster in the boat, the screamer restarts.

”It’s raining more, chop Harder Faster, Harder, Faster! We are all going to die!”

Chopping proceeds with gusto.

The squall and chopping ends as the life boat sinks.

Standing on submerged gunnels those left hear one last prophetic scream cut short; “We are all going too!”

The screamer is picked up by a rescue helicopter, everyone else is lost.

P.S. The screamer helicopter runs out of fuel on the way back to land, the screamer dies.

In the devils hand basket, reality is a constant.

Some boats sink by chopping holes in the hull, others by different means.

Yes. WE are ALL going to DIE.
What to do?

Cheers! Michael

Erik Buitenhuis said...

LOL

MindfulEcologist said...

Hi John,
I just finished After Progress and really want to congratulate you on a work well done. Your words clarified a number of things for which I am very, very grateful.

The Vajrayana is my earth centered path. We place prayer flags on mountaintops, I am sure there are similar practices on your path as well. Might you have a book to recommended that communicates such things well to the modern sensibility? How might we talk about the dwellers in the sacred places without it sounding as goofy as, well, as that just did?

I am convinced a deep love of earth is the balm for the hard times we are in. Transmitting that love involves these ancient ways of approaching her, at least for me and those who walk with me. I am puzzled about the form the communication should take... stick to poetry?

It is not only Mu-Elortep, Lord of Evil or H.P.'s blind, gibbering, idiot god waiting out there / in there ;-)

Myriad said...

What sense does it make to worry about sinking to the bottom of the ocean, when there are thousands of meters of untapped altitude right there over our heads?

(Yeah, I hear a lot about being surrounded by "untapped" energy of various forms, usually followed by something like "all we need is the political will" as though that's easy to come by.)

This also reminds me of a different metaphor I've used. This is an imagined quote from a random cell in the body of a person who just died moments before: "Yes, it's become more difficult to acquire oxygen than it was a minute or two ago, but there's still oxygen all around; the water molecules are loaded with it, and there's plenty in proteins too. With so many changes going on, who's to say a solution won't be found? Maybe there's something even better than oxygen we should be using, and this will give us the kick we need to go find it. I'll admit, the neurons are having a hard time of it and have mostly died off, but the anaerobic bacteria are flourishing more than ever, and there are some exciting new kinds of spores showing up on the mucus membranes that seem to have very promising futures."

A few items of old business:

No response as yet from Global Population Speak Out about the water decontamination project proposal.

Belated congratulations to last week's squirrel case winners! That was some tough competition.

And speaking of tough competition, writing realistic fiction set a thousand years or more in the future is no common or easy task. To any who may just be discovering this: It should be no surprise that our host is willing to throw us in the deep end. It's actually rather flattering. Stick with it. With the talent and vision here, I see a potential for AO4:TFDS to be a breakthrough for the deindustrial genre.

Unknown said...

(Leknarf Redneb Harobed)

In Robert Graves' fantasy novel Watch the Northwind Rise, one of the characters says "Yrac Mam", which turns out to be an invocation to Mother Carey, and a huge storm at sea springs up instantly.

So watch out with those reversed names :-)

Happy full moon, eclipse, and Erev Pesach (which looks like it's spelled backwards, and is, from a particular point of view).

Martin B said...

Weep not for fair Atlantis,
Now immersed in fluid;
Transtemporal, its final hours
Revealed by our Druid.

Tribute to Mu-Elortep,
Paid full and by the rules,
Meant naught when Gaia claimed her own
One April Day of Fools.

Scotlyn said...

If you will permit the interjection, JMG, may I ask Michael McG if he is (as I am) based in Donegal? Or if any readers here are Irish and interested in a meetup. If so, I'm happy to be contacted directly at Scotlyn dot s at gmail etc to arrange.

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi valekeeperx,

Words could not explain better than what I saw as a youngster than these photos: 1983 dust storm photos of Melbourne.

Then just after that day, Ash Wednesday ripped through this area.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi JMG and everyone,

Why all the long faces? For if we understood history better we would understand that all endings are simply another beginning. Life is an adventure and who knows where it will end?

Buck up little campers!

Chris

dfr2010 said...

valekeeperx: "people are just not into that environmental thing. As if it is some sort of fashion or décor option."

I think a lot of people treat it that way. I tend to be mystified by some of the glossy magazines I see in Hobby Lobby: Flea Market Style is one that really left me scratching my head. Buying older stuff from flea markets is a *style*? It reminds me a bit of the hipster idea, which I never could wrap my head around. My son, then in high school, reassured me that I will never be a hipster, "because you're already what hipsters think they want to be when they grow up." He then said that was a good thing; it meant I was the real deal and not just playing at a fad.

So yes, it seems to be a fad or passing fancy with quite a few. Wasn't there a glossy magazine called Simple Living? It looked pretty expensive and trendy to me, so I never bought it.

dltrammel said...

Here is one more brick in the upcoming oil wall

"Stop Propping Up Zombie Oil Companies"

Looks like October is the redline, that's the next point where most companies need to refinance their debt: (from page 3)

A director of oil and gas financing at a big bank in Houston told me last week that he and his peers are currently in the throes of some ugly borrowing base redeterminations. Obviously, how much money an oil company can borrow against reserves depends upon the value of those reserves. With prices collapsed, a lot of tight oil now isn’t worth drilling at all — it’s worthless. Companies are busting the terms of their bonds and bank loans left and right — it’s common for borrowing covenants to require a company to keep their total indebtedness to within four times their annual EBITDA. But banks are waiving that requirement, for now. “We don’t know how to run an oil company; we don’t want to run an oil company,” says the banker. “Hopefully oil prices come back up this summer.” If not, by the time the next set of borrowing base determinations come around in October, there will be blood in the streets as many zombie companies will finally have no choice but to give up.

The next paragraph in the article about egos is priceless too. A loss isn't a real loss until you admit it.

One hand on the mast at all times.

Mister Roboto said...

All I really have to say this week is that I could relate to this post and its Atlantis comparison, because I have been thinking a lot lately how much we are a society that has lost its way. And now the only way back is for that society to completely fall apart and maybe, hopefully be reborn as something entirely different.

Michael McG said...

Chris,
Thanks for sharing the dust storm pics, no long face here, bucking up is a good, better yet if you can get into the long view historical context and use it as a creative medium in the real world. (it appears your doing this)
We have had similar things to dust storms on the upright part of the planet.
Some years back, I stopped off at Toms sporting goods store in Emily Minnesota to pick up some shiners and leeches (Fishing bait) for a Washburn Lake fishing opener.
On the wall were photos from the late 1800s showing nothing but tree stumps as far as the eye could see.
I met some Old folks in the area who remembered being able to easily see from the town of Emily to the town of Outing (about 35 Kilometers ) when they were tykes, A moonscape of stumps for as far as they eye could see.

The story goes, anywhere there was water (rivers and lakes) to move lumber to Market via the Mississippi River the wood was taken.
Thus the White Pine forests of the Great North were removed.

I attest per direct observation of this once barren place, there is still water everywhere in that neck of the woods and the once denuded landscape has re-grown complete with lots of critters of old as well as what appears to be an uncountable number of multi million dollar summer home mansions and boats that may put space rockets to shame in terms of size and technology.
I'm with you bro, venture on with courage!

Scotlyn, My hat is from Donegal and kinfolk from Ireland and Lithuania Kinda Daracula ala Leperachaun. With a little luck I may be in Ireland June and July 2016. Drop a line if you ever come to Minnesota, I would be pleased to meet you in person.
Michael

Patricia Mathews said...

The Sun Temple in full cry - of screaming outrage - at us.

http://www.danablankenhorn.com/

Most egregious comment: 'Liberals seek to keep science inside safe bounds, and march against genetically modified foods. They reject vaccines, and seek to impose a moralistic, ever-shrinking solution on the future in order to “save the planet.”' That part, I think, is Tyson. But Blankenhorn chimes in ... "Rejecting science means rejecting progress. Rejecting progress means rejecting civilization. Rejecting civilization means rejecting everything that makes us human. And it’s this rejection that is the great threat to America today. America is losing its lead in science, as Tyson noted, to East Asia, to Europe, and even to Brazil, because Americans no longer value what made our country great."

There you have it, Greenies and Gaians ... we are a threat to "everything that makes us human." Brrrrr.....

And Blankenhorn once seemed to be (in a Sun Templish way) on the side of, at least, solar and wind energy.

kimberlysteele said...

The only issue I have with this story is I don't think the Sea Priestess and her gang would have waited quite so long to set sail. Also, I hope Blogger makes it possible to Like some of these comments someday... so many of them are total WINS.

Jo said...

Michael McG, the upsurge in the interest in archery amongst the young people of your area can no doubt be traced to the popularity of The Hunger Games trilogy, dystopian novels set several hundred years in the future in the US, and now made into movies. The protagonist survives because she is an excellent archer and has inspired lots of teenagers to take up archery, BUT what is interesting for Archdruid Report readers is that it is actually a fable for our times, with its central Capital draining all the resources from the districts, which remain in poverty, and are kept pacified with Ancient Rome-style gladitorial circuses.

I have had a number of interesting conversation with my teenagers on the subject of externalities, social justice and the likely future of the human race based on these novels, and recommend any readers with teenagers take the opportunity to do the same. The book is no doubt already on their book shelf (or electronic device), or at the very least they will have seen the movies, and they may as well take something away from the stories, other than an interest in archery - which is an excellent outcome as well. In fact my own 14yo daughter has expressed an interest:)

Thomas Prentice said...

"When the time comes to list the ways in which the United States gradually sunk into the quicksand, slowly metamorphosing into a Third-World state, Washington’s campaign of 2014-15 to convince the world that Russia had repeatedly invaded Ukraine will deserve to be near the top of the list."

CounterPunch, William Blum, Cold War Parts 1, 2 and 3, 3-5 April 2015ce

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/04/03/cold-war-2-0/

Thomas Prentice said...

In the spirit of The Archdruid Report being a "good read", here's a "good view" ...

“Imperial Decay” by Class War Films (8:50 minutes)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLG5Hx1eceY

The film was made in 2014 which makes the repeated photos of Obama, Hillary, Kerry et al more compelling -- no pulling of punches on behalf of a "lesser evil" in an election year.

I would suggest adding images of Jeb, Scott, Ted, Rick, Chris and the Senate 47 Netanyahu caucus were the film to be made today, April 2015ce.

Neveretheless, the film makes that point especially well without naming them.

Donald Hargraves said...

Interesting note: In a report talking about rising US oil production, it has been noted that production has peaked and is beginning to fall:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-us-oil-boom-is-moving-to-a-level-not-seen-in-45-years-2015-04-03?siteid=yhoof2

Anne Patterson said...

Things not looking so great for Mu-Elortep http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Creditors-Pulling-The-Rug-From-Under-U.S.-Shale-Sector.html

Sven Eriksen said...

Oh man, this really stung. Had to struggle not to choke on my morning coffee when I got to the part about Elah-Slio. I could clearly imagine them being led to the pit of doom, eyes empty, chanting “Gnih-Temos Fokniht Ll-Yeht! Gnih-Temos Fokniht Ll-Yeht!” in perfect unison...

@ (the other) Sven (with no surname)
Dude, two Svens in one Archdruid's discussion forum? That's indeed notable. That said, I believe I too shall lend a hand with them oars...

Walter Bazzini said...

Choice, JMG.

Yif said...

Rolling with the idea, when someone next tells me to, "have a nice day" I'll reply, "see you in lleh" ...

dltrammel said...

You don't hear much about coal, with the focus on fraking and shale oil production but there's trouble in the mines as well.

Appalachia Miners Wiped Out by Coal Glut That They Can't Reverse

While the laws requiring the companies to requires companies to reclaim closed mine sites, that includes restoring grasslands, removing waste water and sealing the mine shafts are environmentally wise, I wonder who foots the bill if the company runs itself into bancruptcy?

latefall said...

I really liked the story and the comments. It gave me the vision of a big greasy drummer who would regulate the rowers, with a harsh guttural snarl:
PUUUURLLLL! [pause] PUUUURLLLL! [...]
And after 3-5 strokes he would switch to a FOX News announcer's voice and recite short quotes from some of the links posted here. Each "announcement" would end with the jingle: "Gnih-Temos Fokniht Ll-Yeht!" followed by grunting, moaning, hissing, and creaking from below as strained knuckles and burning eyes force their little kinetics against thermodynamics.

I made interesting observations a few days ago when I spent a day in the shrubbery with family. There were lots of plastic bag pieces caught in the shrubs and really diminished the scenery (it is next to a bad place of town). As I have worked with/for plastics for a while I and felt a little restless I thought it would be a good idea to pick some of them up. You could see them for a long distance, and most probably for a few years minimum. It did not take me long at all to get a large bag full of shreds and clear perhaps about a square km (0.4 sq miles) on the way back. In a seriously energy constrained environment I would not expect such plastic trash to last very long (where accessible to humans). On the other hand plastic bags seemed to be able to catch and hold some rain water quite well, so maybe they'll end up becoming part of a catchment system in some places?
When I was nearing town again I saw a couple where he also had his hands full of plastic bags. I grinned and offered to stuff his shreds in my bags. As I came closer I saw she did not carry any plastic and both weren't "dressed for the shrub". Then I understood she was the parole officer and he was doing punitive community service. I may have been as well, I guess.

Virgil said...

Hey JMG. This was hilarious! Have you by any chance read William Mistele's screenplay Fall of Atlantis? I think you would really enjoy it. In it, he expands upon the idea that the origin of Atlantis's troubles come from a a failure to understand the Divine Feminine, which forms the essence of the magnetic fluid and the water element,
http://www.williammistele.com/screenplayb.htm

Mark Rice said...

Off this weeks topic. .Asperger's in the Silicon Vally as reported by the Washington Post.

Scotlyn said...

Michal McG, "Dracula meets Leprechaun" = Bram Stoker? :) Anyway, if you make it here in 2016 ur welcome! As for me, long range travel is already an unreachable, so as I accept the limits already closing in, I also walk ahead to take on other limits of my choosing.

Shane Wilson said...

Somewhat unrelated, except sacrifices to Mu-elortep, but I went back and read Carter's "malaise" speech, remembering it being panned at the time for being negative, but, reading it, it seemed nothing of the kind. If anything, it was uplifting, a call to action.

Thomas Prentice said...

gratitude, Archdruid, gratitude hey didjur story get published? lol

sgage said...

@ Shane Wilson said...

'Somewhat unrelated, except sacrifices to Mu-elortep, but I went back and read Carter's "malaise" speech, remembering it being panned at the time for being negative, but, reading it, it seemed nothing of the kind. If anything, it was uplifting, a call to action.'

I remember that speech very well. Those were weird times. You have to remember that at that time, the very suggestion of any need whatsoever for any action or change at all was considered negative, if not down right anti-American. It's part of what got Reagan elected (along with the whole Iranian hostage thing, the resolution of which has a sordid history of its own).

I also remember the 1980 US Presidential election very well. When I heard that Reagan had won, I sort of went numb for a while. I knew that my country had flinched in the face of reality. Looked into the abyss of reality, stuck its collective fingers in its ears, and did the whole 'la la la I can't hear you' thing. 'Morning in America', and all that. In my judgemet, we stopped being a reality-based nation right then.

IMO, we've never recovered from the Reagan years.

mr_geronimo said...

Atlantis sinking? The solution is revolution: Glorious Sorceror's Paradise will float in the air as a sky-city and all will have personal demons to do the chores.

Shane Wilson said...

@sgage,
If you look at the policy prescriptions in the speech, and contemplate if they'd been enacted, you really do see the missed opportunity JMG has discussed. Carter really was our last chance to stand down empire and exit the stage in a controlled fashion and avoid collapse

Gloucon X said...

@Shane Wilson, sgage

Carter's "malaise" speech is also known as the crisis of confidence speech. His poll numbers actually went up after the speech, but they were very low to begin with. His energy policies were not unpopular, but most of everything else he was doing was. Energy was not the most important issue to most Americans, it was the economy, and that’s why Carter lost in 1980. Plus, the social and political trends had been moving to the right for years.

For a quick and easy read on the politico-cultural history of the time I recommend: “Mad as Hell: The Crisis of the 1970s and the Rise of the Populist Right” by Dominic Sandbrook. If your library doesn’t have it ask them to do an interlibrary loan. I was there in the ‘70’s and I think this book is a pretty accurate take on the era.

Shane Wilson said...

http://news.yahoo.com/oregon-governor-expands-drought-declaration-003529645.html
Even the northwest is having problems

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi JMG,

Was it Sherlock Holmes - the fictional detective - who was quoted as saying: "How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"

I reckon - and this is just a guess - we may be seeing the reverse policy of 1974 being implemented. For our suppliers are a cartel and they can charge pretty much whatever they choose - that fact has already been proven way back in 1974. Maybe they got sick of accepting worthless IOU's so took the unusual course of action by accepting as many of them as possible and calling the great bluff in the process? Dunno, it is just a hunch...

Hi Michael McG,

Thanks. I remember the 1983 dust storm as a child. It was pretty awe inspiring and I'll tell you a funny thing too. The recent film Interstellar had dust storms as a apocalyptic event and I was going to myself through the film, mate that already happened here a long time ago.

The same thing happened with the forests here too. I've got photos from the late 19th century and this mountain range was full of paddocks. People’s memories are very short.

Cheers

Chris

Shane Wilson said...

@Glaucon
You're missing a major point that's discussed repeatedly on this blog: systems theory and the connection between energy use and the economy, and how they're economically tied. If Carter was asking Americans to cut oil use and consumption, then by definition, he was asking them to sacrifice economically, since there's no way to have an exponentially growing economy with corresponding growth in energy use. By definition, then, he was asking Americans to sacrifice economically for future security/well being.

Ed-M said...

@ sgage,

I remember the Reagan years! After the 1984 campaign "Morning in America" nonsense and Fritz Mondale, the only reality-based candidate in the room (the others not allowed in!), got clobbered by the masses because he represented to them a return to the Carter era and the theme of sacrificing for the future. I had gotten very downbeat in my mood back then. Well after the eighties were over, I got ahold of a book called The Clothes Have No Emperor. It was a very good read and the book's title was a very apt description of the years 1980 through 1988, all the way to Poppy Bush's inauguration and Ole Tremble Chin's departure.

one gun said...

Thanks for the story. Sort of a Atlantis version of Monty Python story.
For some reason it reminded me about the sweep of history. If only we could look at it with 20/20 foresight instead of hindsight.
The priests made me think of Jimmy Swaggert, Al Gore and all the priests of the environment we follow.
Without the benefit of 20/20 sight I wonder if we are making wise decisions or just staring at a high stakes game of Three Card Monte?
It's not that I doubt my ability to make wise decisions. I don't want the current well meaning priests to decide for me that I need to do the very things that will make my children die of malnutrition long before the earthquake does us in.

Thomas Prentice said...

Has the IMF been reading the Archdruid Report?:

Exhausted world stuck in permanent stagnation warns IMF

The global economy is acutely vulnerable to a fresh recession with debt ratios at record highs. The authorities have already used up most of their ammunition

"The global economy is caught in a low-growth trap as innovation withers and the population ages across the Northern Hemisphere. It will not regain its lost dynamism in the foreseeable future, the International Monetary Fund has warned.

"The IMF said the world as a whole has seen a “persistent reduction” in its growth rate since the Great Recession and shows no sign of returning to normal, marking a fundamental break in historical patterns.

"This exposes the global economic system to a host of pathologies that may be hard to combat, and leaves it acutely vulnerable to a fresh recession. It is unclear what the authorities could do next to fight off a slump given that debt ratios are already at record highs and central banks are running out of ammunition.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11520098/Exhausted-world-stuck-in-permanent-stagnation-warns-IMF.html

Piter W said...

Congratulations, this is very fun read. Sea Temple had really, really their heads on their shoulders when they left as soon as Sign showed.

Pity that currently there is no other land than Atlantis. Only Atlantis for other "lands" were sacrificed so ... we are in interesting situation. Like Chinese saying goes.

With that said, thank you very much Mr Grear.

Raymond Duckling said...

@Piter W.

Your comment - "Pity that currently there is no other land than Atlantis..." - is something I have seen a few people mentioning, so I think I might as well comment.

My interpretation is not that the Sea Temple are trying to save themselves and escape to a pristine new land. Instead, they are seed bearers. The High priestess had ordered copies made of their cornerstone sacred scrolls. Once the Sign comes in sight, she put one adept - no matter how novice or under-qualified - in a different boat, with a set of foundational copies, and a bunch of other important documents that were not copied due to time/resources limitations.

So, each one sails in a different direction, in the hope that at least a few will reach a relatively safe harbor. Once preservation is no longer an issue, eventual reconstruction will ensue - though most likely it will be in the hands of other peoples not directly linked to Atlantean culture.

The point was never to save themselves, it was to preserve their lore and their living traditions for the future generations. Of course, a humble sailor in the row bench is entitled to care little about those precious scrolls, as long as he keeps rowing hard and fast. And perhaps even the High priestess will prefer to not get swallowed by the waves - maybe more than what she likes to admit to herself. But I don't picture anyone there as motivated to reach some fantasy promised land where they will get forever after to merrily mock the ones that stayed behind.

latheChuck said...

Sailing for a distant shore? Two stories come to mind. There's the old story of Noah, recently made into a movie, which I saw very recently. If you've seen it, did you notice that the infant girl Noah's family rescued grows into womanhood WHILE they're building the Ark? Noah, in this version, pursues his vision of destruction for a decade or so, with very little encouragement. The sea does not creep up on them to hurry them along. We, too, may have years of diligent preparation ahead.

The second story is "The Foundation Trilogy" of Isaac Asimov. In the face of impeding chaos, the farsighted Hari Seldon establishes an "encyclopedia foundation" on the edge of the galaxy. They cannot flee their galaxy, but they can find a quiet backwater to settle. And then the second foundation is also established right in the heart of the old empire. They don't go anywhere... but fly under the radar of their times.

ivar laegreid said...

the correct term isn't; "psychology of previous investment". it is called; "sunk cost". and, not coined by JHC.

gildone84 said...

Your comments about the internet remind me about what is happening to the US highway system. With gas tax revenues declining as total vehicle miles traveled declines and people have purchased more efficient cars, the Federal Highway Trust Fund went bankrupt a few years ago and state DOT's are going bankrupt as well. Meanwhile, attempts to implement more toll roads are being thwarted by people's desire to continue believing in the charade that highways magically pay for themselves and the cost of driving consists solely of the cost of gasoline per trip. Reality be damned. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-31/toll-battles-mount-as-u-s-states-seek-cash-for-ailing-highways

gildone84 said...

JMG... I forgot I also wanted to chime in on your comment that people are returning/will return to previous technologies when they find the new ones aren't as useful as they thought... independent bookstores are making a comeback. Lots of articles online, here's one:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kevin-okelly/indie-bookstores-arent-de_b_5884584.html
There are also plenty of references to flat e-book sales too.