Connecting the Dots: from Methane to NTHE
Everyone wants to know how I connected the dots. Well, not to be cliché, but here is the truth: in 2011 I was heartbroken over the loss of a relationship that I was sure would last forever. In an attempt to numb the pain and focus on something else, I felt drawn to researching climate change. The trigger for this interest in climate change, believe it or not, was actually finding a novelty mug with the map of the Earth in a gift shop in Mill Valley, California. If you put hot water into the mug, the map of the Earth would melt away, and show the way the coastlines would change when the sea levels rose when the ice caps melted. Funny, right? Haha. 240 feet of potential sea level rise. Let’s just say I’m happy to be in Colorado at a mile high! I love researching ideas and following where they lead – it’s like sleuthing. I should have been a private eye – as a girl I loved all the Nancy Drew Mysteries, and Harriet the Spy and a Wrinkle in Time. So in 2006, having seen the result of 240 feet of sea level rise on the side of a novelty mug, I started researching the melting of the ice caps.
I would stay up until midnight most nights – good thing I work from home managing global IT teams, from India to Eastern Europe, and can go to the office in my pajamas! As part of the New Age community for most of my life, I had always felt, in some unconscious way, that we were living in some kind of pre-apocalyptic halcyon age. Like humanity was an unguided missile on the path to destruction, you might say. I found the Arctic News and started following it religiously, and kind of became a disciple of Sam Carana, who was so clear and unflinching in his analysis and data, and drawing conclusions from them. In July, 2012 there was a story about a 20 ton tractor in Greenland trying to repair a bridge – the melt flow was torrential, and then there was shocking video of the tractor being washed away, like a toy.
Greenland Climate Change – Kangerlussuaq 2012 – Watson River Glacial Melt – Summer tractor
In one of those odd coincidences, in August of 2012 I attended the London Olympics with my sister. She had won two tickets to attend the Closing Ceremony and invited me to come with her. It felt like we were sitting at the center of the universe at that moment – The Who were singing Talk About My Generation, and they said “Hope I die before I get old”, which is the myth of immortality, refusing to accept the inevitability of age and death.
We laugh now as they are all over 65, and we see how naïve they were then, and by extension, we are now. We were sitting right behind the Olympic Torch, which was a gorgeous sculpture of hundreds of lilies in flames. As the last hymn was sung, the torch began to die out, with each flower’s flame slowly fading, until finally the torch went dark and 80,000 people were silent.
On the way back to Denver, I requested a window seat on the right side of the plane, in case the weather was clear enough for me to see Greenland. I had my camera ready. By good luck, the flight path was diverted to a much more northerly route than normal. As I flew over the Greenland ice cap, I saw with my own eyes the dark black mountains towering out of the ocean at the edge of the island – and the glaciers flowing around them, and the entire ice cap was covered with countless blue lakes of melt water and snakes of blue rivers rushing into the depths of the icecap.
The bays and surrounding ocean were full of icebergs floating out to sea. I began to feel a sense of urgency building. Why wasn’t this obvious to everyone? I wished that I could somehow transmit this information into the consciousness of the people, as the story of the active melting was not being told in the media. All we ever read about melting was it “might”, and “could” and “by 2100” – so not very urgent a message, more of a boring nature documentary, if you believe the media.
I started to suspect that, if we simply extrapolated the data, in a closed system, this would mean extinction of all life, or at least the life on Earth as we know it. I started waking up at three in the morning with panic attacks, based on a feeling of doom and a conviction that mass extinction was imminent. At first it sounded crazy, but after doing more research I began to realize that it was real, and that I was not the only one who thought this.
The Boulder Deluge of September 2013 was an “atmospheric river” that dumped 18 inches of rain in 8 days. It was like standing under a shower constantly for days. The intensity was like being in a different country. It reminded me of my childhood when I lived in Southeast Asia, because the water was warm, having come up from a 3 hurricanes happening at that time in Mexico, 2 which were on the east coast in the Gulf of Mexico, and 1 on the Pacific side. It made me realize that we are in abrupt climate change, right now, and that tomorrow was not going to be like today.
Enormous forces were being unleashed that were going to change everything. Colorado is a dry state, and we had never had precipitation like this, ever. My cousin living on Coal Creek Canyon had all the mountain roads washed out – huge torrents of water where the highway used to be. She managed to get out by driving three hours through a State Park to get down the mountain. She stayed with me for weeks until the road was eventually repaired and she could get home. So yes, this is a personal experience of a refugee from climate change, right there in my own house!
In March of 2014 I went to Bhutan with my friend and mentor, Venerable Lama Karma Rinpoche, who was going home for a holiday and invited four of us to come on a private tour of the secret and sacred shrines that are normally off-limits for tourists. We visited with his teacher, His Holiness Ngawang Tenzin Rinpoche, who lives on a mountaintop in the Himalayas.
I had met him before during his trip to the US on his 2011 tour. I had been fortunate to spend time with him then and had been anticipating meeting him again. So when he saw me at his house in Paro, he was delighted and laid his hands on my head and blessed me. He placed a white silk scarf around my neck and when he laid both his hands on my head, I felt a surge of loving and compassionate energy flowing through me. It was ecstatic, full of light, happiness and energy, like literally being high!
I had been a participant at CoreLight Forums, which were weekly online teleconferences for five-week courses on topics such as Apathy to Empathy, where I encountered Carolyn Baker’s work. I was fascinated by her writing, “Navigating the Coming Chaos”, which was the textbook for the course. The premise of that book is how to emotionally deal with this reality of the breakdown of civilization and begin to accept it and work with it.
Basically you have three choices on climate change: you can be like 99.9% of humanity and ignore it, you can accept it and hope it never happens, or you can accept it and use it as tool to raise your awareness of the interconnectedness of the planet and our lives and all creatures and plants living on it.
After I returned from Bhutan (ha! Wrote “retuned” there, maybe I was re-tuned!) in April 2014, the CoreLight “Tipping Point Forum” was just beginning. CoreLight is an international non-profit organization dedicated to the awakening of the global heart. They offer teachings that help people move beyond fear, negativity and egoic limitations and awaken them into their highest potential (Corelight.org).
The Forum for a Tipping Point was a live, recorded monthly call, for 12 months. It was international, about 75 people would call in from the US and countries including South Africa, England and France. People who were interested enough to spend 3 hours on the phone, and pay for it, to discuss the topic of dealing with current “tipping points”, such as population, food scarcity, peak oil, financial meltdown, climate change etc., that are happening on Earth right now.
It was a gathering of souls who feel a deep sense of urgency about helping the Earth at this pivotal moment in time. Humanity is facing a choice point, and we are at what is perhaps the most critical juncture in human evolution. It sounded great, and right what I wanted to focus on and learn more about. However, I began to get a bit frustrated after about 3 sessions, as some participants insisted on going off-topic and talking about their personal problems, more like a therapy session, like their family of origin issues in their childhood. I wanted to talk about processing the bigger issues, such as the “End of Life as We Know It”, so became dissatisfied with the group. I decided to quit.
Victoria More was the administrator of CoreLight forum, and is very dear and old friend of mine from the 1980s, who now runs her website Emanation of Presence. I called her and said that I was quitting the course, and why. She said, “Jennifer, why don’t you be part of the solution? We need to have a lecture about methane hydrate. You obviously know a lot about it and want to share your information.
How would you like to give a lecture to the forum next month?” I took up the challenge on the spur of the moment! Then of course I procrastinated in preparing the slides. 2 weeks before the presentation date, I went into overdrive and started assembling my presentation based mostly around the Arctic News. I contacted Sam Carana and had some email exchanges with him, and he gave me the blessing of the Arctic News, which made me so relieved and happy.
I started with a few slides, maybe 5 or 10. Then I began researching in earnest and before I knew it, I had assembled a collection of dozens of charts, graphs and maps. Most people reading this will have seen the presentation, so I don’t need to say what’s in it. The title of “The Arctic Methane Monster’s Rapid Rise”) came to me at the end. People seemed to like it, and it’s had upwards of 44,000 views so far, even though it is 100 PowerPoint slides narrated over 1 hour and 24 minutes, with only my voice, in a single take. Pretty 20th century!
My computer crashed moments before the presentation to the Forum, which was a moment of sheer panic! I got rebooted minutes before the live feed, after I literally had thrown the computer across the office in frustration! Then out of the corner of my eye, I noticed it had rebooted and come back to life, while sitting on a leather armchair. I hooked it up and brought up the presentation and dialed in to the call. We had a little meditation, then I launched into the presentation. I was really stressed and just concentrated on getting through the lecture.
CoreLight recorded the teleconference live feed of “The Arctic Methane Monster’s Rapid Rise” and posted it on August 5, 2014 on YouTube.
Sam Carana ran it in the Arctic News on August 8th with a link to the YouTube posting. By October it had about 4,000 hits – which I thought was amazing. I was invited to speak on the “Nature Bats Last” radio show by Guy McPherson on September 9th. It was a live interview from his place in New Mexico with a little studio audience, to my home in Boulder. Guy asked me to cite my references for all the slides, but I had not kept precise notes of all the various graphs and screen grabs that I had used to make my points, since it was a private lecture and not intended for publication.
I kept checking Google and noticed the presentation had gone viral and propagated itself, independent of the YouTube posting, copying over to other websites in Asia, Russia, Ukraine, Iran, Poland, France, England, Vietnam, Japan, Mexico, China, basically everywhere. It was such a weird sensation, as I am a very private person and here were my most intimate thoughts.
At the end of the presentation my voice breaks, in sorrow at the demise of life on Earth, our beautiful and precious home, and thousands of people had heard me! I can’t put the genie back in the bottle; I never wanted to be in the public arena, but circumstances have dictated otherwise. Guy McPherson, who lectures on NTHE, has very kindly given me a “shout out”, along with many others, including Noam Chomsky and Marianne Williamson, all whom accept Near Term Human Extinction. Illustrious company indeed.
Guy requested an updated presentation with the 2015 information on climate data, which I did, this time with all the correct sources cited and linked. I presented it on August 30th to Victoria More, Leslie Temple-Thurston and Brad Laughlin, the co-heads of CoreLight. Malathy Drew loved the new version. Malathy is a NTHE emotional processor, who works with people who have accepted NTHE and need to work with it emotionally and process the impact of those emotions. I agreed that she could post it to YouTube under her own channel, WE Uplift Us, over Labor Day Weekend 2015. It is called “Methane Monster II – Demise of the Arctic”
In the last four months, it is up to 17,000 views on that YouTube link, but has also propagated. It is even longer, with a run time of 2 hours 40 minutes, just with me talking over the slides in a single take, with only two breaks for a drink.
Feedback has been positive, I was booked on Carolyn Baker’s radio show, the Lifeboat Hour, and was interviewed by Extinction Radio on the launch day. They played the introductory music from 2001 A Space Odyssey, which I thought showed a great sense of humor!
Grateful thanks to David Korn who has created my web presence, coached me, encouraged me, and has been tireless in his work on the NTHE front. He had contacted me on January 1, 2015, and we have been working together throughout this year. He has gotten me organized on line, and has continued to serve as friend and mentor.
I will be travelling to New Zealand in late January 2016 to speak at a community meeting about abrupt climate change, in Auckland. Kevin Hester, the organizer and impetus for global education on abrupt climate change and the dangers of global warming.
Professor Guy McPherson had certainly hoped to be here–I was very excited at the prospect of meeting both leaders and whistle-blowers in person at once–but it will be the delight of Kevin only, this time! Guy regrettably could not come and sure he would have joined us, if could, were it possible. Sorry about the carbon footprint, everyone!
Issues that concern me most in the near term are over-population, resource scarcity and crop failure due to climate change. I also fear societal breakdown once this information is finally accepted by the public, as it is certain to do once denial is shown to be foolish. The climate deniers will be the ones who suffer most, as their belief that we will all somehow “be saved” will be shown to be false, and their belief system crashes. They too will need our support.
Where does that leave us? All I can say is that I hope that we are all wrong. But even if we are, and somehow the ice caps all freeze again, and people stop having babies, and the weather becomes calm and seasonal, and the seas stop rising and the temperature drops…! Even then, having done all this work brings its own rewards: the knowledge that the preciousness of each day on Earth is a gift, appreciating the wonder of nature brings us joy, and the certain knowledge of our own mortality helps us live each day to the fullest.