Published on The Doomstead Diner on February 5, 2017
Discuss this article at the Anniversary Table Inside the Diner
In my New Year's recap article I covered the recent accomplishments on the Diner in terms of growing the readership base, as well as other notable activities like the SUN Convocation held down in Inman, SC in conjunction with their Harvest Day Festival.
This month marks an even more notable date, it is the 5th Anniversary of the Doomstead Diner Blog & Forum. Keeping a blog going this long on the topics of collapse and trying to stay fresh with new material every day to read is something of a chore, although for me it has the benefit of keeping me bizzy and keeping my mind active.
Many of the other Bloggers I used to cross post are either not active at all anymore, or they post very rarely. For instance, the last blog from Tom Lewis of the Daily Impact was in October of 2016. The last blog Steve Ludlum published on Economic Undertow was a month ago in December 2016 (update: Steve just posted a blog!) and same for Jason Heppenstall of 22 Billion Energy Slaves. Ugo Bardi of Cassandra's Legacy still publishes regularly at least once a week and so does Albert Bates of Peak Surfer.
I also dropped some folks from the list of those I will cross post, either because of disagreements with them or simply because their posting has become so repetitive. The disagreements for the most part come over the question of Near Term Human Extinction, and the degree to which some bloggers have now joined with Guy McPherson of Nature Bats Last on the Hopelessness & Despair Bandwagon. There also are some bloggers as well as people in the commentariat who have become so obsessed with the Climate aspect of collapse it's all they will talk about to the exclusion of all other areas of collapse we have to deal with, most notably Economics, Energy and Geopolitics.
While the climate issue is no doubt quite bad and getting worse, in reality even with very rapid change accelerating up, it's not the proximal problem we have to face. Our economic system is so unstable at this point it could literally collapse any day, and the length of time it takes for it to go completely down the toilet could be measured in days or even hours. While climate may certainly be a more serious problem in 5 or 10 years, it's not that way right now.
Similarly, Geopolitical tensions are at an all time high as Nationalist (Fascist) politicians like Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen, Geert Wilders and Frauke Petry gain further power, and tensions between NATO and Russia and the FSoA and China become more extreme by the day. A Global Thermonuclear War is not out of the question as starting up any day either, particularly since there are some neo-con jackasses in the FSoA Goobermint who think such a thing is winnable. If they start pitching out the Nukes, Sea Level Rise is going to be among the last of your worries.
Looked at as a Health problem, it's like having 3 diseases all at the same time, you have a slowly developing cancer tumor, you have pneumonia and you have a faulty valve in your heart. The cancer will take a while to kill you, but the pneumonia will get you first if you don't get rid of it, and until you get rid of that you can't go in for the heart valve operation you need to keep your ticker working. Only once the two proximal problems are resolved is the cancer really an issue.
So here on the Diner in my own blogging, I still mainly focus on the Economic issues which are what brought me into blogging collapse in the first place. Surly mainly focuses on Geopolitical issues, as you can see in his Yearly recap article this year. We also have other Native Diner Bloggers such as Eddie, Monsta, Palloy, Geoff Chia and K-dog who have their own issues they focus on, from the Stock Market and Investment to Standing Rock, Cyber Security and Tiny Homes. In fact the one area we do not cover that regularly on the Blog is the Climate issue, because that issue is being beaten to death on so many other blogs. That is not to say that Climate is not a regular topic for discussion Inside the Diner on the Forum, it most certainly is.
Another issue with respect to Climate Change is really at this point there is not much the individual can do to prevent it. In fact it is unlikely even entire Goobermints could prevent it at this point, even if they all worked together in concert, and that's not going to happen. What the individual CAN DO though is to prepare for Climate Change, in general by moving away from neighborhoods most subject to the worst problems like Drought and regular Flooding events in coastal areas coming from the combination of sea level rise and more active and volatile weather systems. You can also work on becoming more food self sufficient, using techniques like Hydroponics and Aquaculture which are water and fertilizer conservative and more resistant to climate change than typical outdoor agriculture.
If you are a Religious Believer in Near Term Human Extinction, the tendency is toward inaction, because, why bother? In your mind, EVERYBODY is gonna DIE anyhow, and doing all these things at best only gets you a couple of extra years, and do you want to live when everyone around you is dieing?
First of all, without a Crystal Ball you can't really make an absolute prediction on how long it will take before the climate is so bad everywhere that ZERO Homo Saps can survive on the Planet. In the super rapid worst case scenarios of positive feedback loops that Guy McPherson pitches out, he's got everybody dead by 2025 now, which is HIGHLY unlikely. More reasonable fast extinction scenarios are in the 50-100 year range, and if it takes that long and you want to see a few extra sunrises, it's a wise idea to begin planning for this now.
It's also not guaranteed that NOBODY can survive ANYWHERE, even with a Global Average Temperature rise of 10C, which is about as hot as it ever gets on Earth no matter how much CO2 is up in the atmosphere. In all the prior 5 Extinction Level Events not ALL forms of life were killed off, if they were we would not be here today and I would not be keyboarding out this blog post. lol. Who is to say that some Homo Sap cannot survive a higher AGT regime, particularly if they move to higher latitudes and altitudes? Granted, it may not be many, but it's still not extinction until every last member of the species is DEAD.
On other 5 Year Anniversary topics, the Diner has seen many changes and ups and downs over the years, with the first Peak Readership coming in 2014, but now beginning to grow again. The membership of regular Diners also fluctuates quite a bit, with various Diners taking periodic "Walkabouts" when they get too fed up with other Diners or discussing Collapse on a daily basis gets too depressing for them. I don't have the luxury of going Walkabout, since besides blogging I do most of the daily management tasks on the Diner and I also pay the Diner bills. So when I lose patience with other Diners I basically just gotta deal with it, as long as I want to keep this chronicle of the Collapse of Industrial Civilization going anyhow.
Which leads to the question of DO I want to do that? There have been a couple of times in the last year I really became completely fed up with nonsense being pitched out across the forum pages and the behavior of some Diners. I ended up Banning a Diner permanently, something I never hoped I would have to do. I had other Diners I value as friends both in cyberspace and IRL getting pissed off at ME for stuff I said and opinions I hold. There's a lot of fatigue involved here, and besides that just about everything has been discussed, analyzed and talked to death over a 5 year timespan. I have 100s of blogs up and detailed my economic theories at great length. I can usually still find things to write about though, I started a Collapse Novel How I Survived the Collapse as one means to have more to write each week. Fiction is inexhaustible, as long as you have a decent imagination anyhow.
A couple of months ago after one disagreement I determined that I would close down the Diner Forum on the 5th Anniversary, and just run the Blog to publish the HISC Novel, and maybe any non-fiction of late breaking Collapse Newz that was big enough to merit attention. These days, there's only around 10-15 regular Diners posting up on the forum and it's never been that huge, even at the peak of Diner Readership in 2014. Forums appear to have been supplanted by Social Media like Facepalm and Twitshit as the Go-To places for people to chat with friends and not so friends interested in similar topics to themselves. I don't like either one of those platforms, so I wouldn't switch over to them in any case.
So if I did shut down the forum, I really would not have any place to go chat about collapse and write my own little diary of stuff that happens to me but really isn't worthy of a full blog. Like my recent problems with my car batteries and with the heat going out in my digs (although that might actually be worthy of a full blog). For the Diners who still do participate on the forum also, it becomes kind of habitual to see what's up, and we trade Newz Links all the time on the newz channels, although not nearly as much anymore as we used to when we had some prolific Newz Linkers like Knarf, the Buddhist Monk participating. Still, the newz articles that are dropped on are usually very well selected and not ones I may have run across during my own web surfing time. So I get additional information and perspectives on collapse this way.
For Newz Links now I also run the r/globalcollapse Sub-Reddit, and I participate regularly on the larger collapse sub, r/collapse. However, as discussion platforms go, Reddit isn't much better than Facepalm, and it's definitely no substitute for the kind of intelligent and in depth discussion we still occassionally engage in Inside the Diner on the Forum.
So after considering all of this, I changed my mind and I will keep the Diner Forum running along with the Blog. For the Diners who still do drop in regularly, it's still a great place to catch up on the latest Collapse Events and to do some bickering. lol.
5 Years is a pretty good run for a blog, especially one where you try to have something new up each day and write yourself at least once a week. In the old days, TV Series used to have an average lifespan of around 3-5 years, although you got a few like Gunsmoke and MASH that ran for 20 years. On the Daily level, it's more like a Soap Opera, which had to be a real grind for both the writers and the actors. Days of Our Lives has run continuously nearly every day since 1965! That's over a half a century!
The Diner of course is unlikely to last 45 more years. I definitely won't last 45 more years anyhow, and the Internet itself unlikely to last 45 more years. In the meantime though, Collapse Days of Our Lives is renewed for another season at the URL DoomsteadDiner.net.
The Diner Show Must Go On!
Thanks again to all the Diners who have helped make the Diner what it is…
#1 for Doom on the Net! 🙂
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