Sinners in the Hands of an Angry Gaia

Is Mother Nature punishing mankind with the Icelandic volcano?


Hundreds of years ago, before the birth of the science of volcanology in the 19th century, mankind looked upon volcanic eruptions as warnings or punishments from the gods. The gods were literally blowing their tops, spewing forth fire and rocks and ash to express their disgust or disappointment with we mere mortals and our habit of messing things up.

Now, remarkably, this backward outlook, this idea that volcanoes are somehow semi-sentient forces giving fiery lectures to mankind, is making a comeback thanks to the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland. The fact that ash from the volcano is spreading across Europe, leading to the grounding of flights and the closure of airports, is being interpreted—even celebrated—as evidence of Nature's awesome power and "fury" in contrast to weak, pathetic mankind.

In Britain, some of the supposedly most liberal and rationalist media outlets have found it hard to contain their glee at Mother Nature's volcanic vengeance. For The Observer, the eruption "provides a reminder of our status in relation to our planet over which we have arrogantly seized stewardship. We imagine ourselves its master and yet with one modest belch it hems us into our little island, sweeping instantly from the skies the aeroplane, which we consider to be an example of the irrepressible genius of our species."

This idea that the volcano has exposed how stupid mankind is to believe he can control nature with his "arrogance" and "genius" is becoming widespread amongst the opinion-forming classes. The British tabloid the Daily Mail, which has published dramatic photos of the volcanic eruption and invited readers to behold "the terrifying cauldron of lava and lightning that has brought chaos to our airports," celebrated the fact that even a relatively "modest rumbling" in the underworld is "enough to throw a gigantic spanner into the works of modern life." The volcano "reminds us that nature is the boss," said one Scottish writer, and also shows how deluded mankind must be to believe he is "sophisticated and clever enough to master nature."

A Guardian writer thinks the volcanic ash has unwittingly provided humanity with a real-world vision of the low-carbon, flight-free, clear-sky future that we must allegedly move towards. "Greens should celebrate this timely reminder of what the world might look like when the oil runs out," he said. Radio and TV shows have featured endless interviews with people saying how delighted they are to be able to look into the sky without seeing or hearing a plane. An economics correspondent for the BBC also says the volcano has given us a "glimpse of a post-carbon morning."

Where ancient communities imagined that volcanic eruptions were warnings from the gods to change their sinful behaviour, and would then try to reorganise society and morality accordingly, today's supposedly intelligent thinkers see volcanic eruptions as warnings about our sinful carbon emitting, and they use imagery of lava, ash, and deserted airports to terrify people into accepting the green argument for overhauling (that is, winding down) modernity.

In Canada, the Edmonton Journal ran an article headlined "Volcano exposes mankind's limits," arguing that Eyjafjallajökull's "belch" has exposed the "striking incapacity of human beings, however smugly sophisticated, to either predict such phenomena or do much about them." Once again, a so-called media report transforms swiftly into a morality tale, in which the volcano is cast as the boss and mankind plays a bit-part role as a ridiculous, insignificant force in need of some lava-filled re-education: "Much of humankind shares the conceit that we are somehow merely distant genetic relatives of our ancestors, virtually a new species living in another dimension given technological advances, able to transcend the elements," the Edmonton Journal declared—but the volcanic ash reveals that this is a "foolish and even dangerous presumption."

The truth about the volcano's impact on Europe is far more mundane—and political—than these modern volcano-worshippers would have us believe. I hate to complicate their assertions that "one modest belch" by Mother Nature has brought mankind's allegedly "genius" modern society to a standstill, but it is now becoming clear that the politics of risk-aversion played a greater role than Eyjafjallajökull in grounding flights over the past week.

More and more experts and aviation industry representatives are arguing that the historically long and punitive flight ban is the product of "over-caution" on the part of Europe's leaders—a familiar problem in the European Union, which on every issue from genetically modified crops to plastic in children's toys has become notorious for applying the precautionary principle (don't act if there is an unknown risk) rather than carrying out rational risk assessments and showing serious leadership. Test flights by British Airways and Lufthansa have encountered no problems with the volcanic ash. I'm sorry to burst the eco-misanthropes' bubble, but it wasn't so much an awesome natural force that brought Europe's skies to a standstill, as it was political cowardice—which is something we can predict, control, master, and change.

Many have used the volcanic eruption to argue that modern society is uniquely vulnerable to natural catastrophe. A BBC journalist said the volcanic chaos shows that "societies reliant on high technology and high development collapse really fast in the face of an overwhelming catastrophe." According to the Guardian's George Monbiot, where we imagined that "the miracle of modern flight [had] protected us from gravity, atmosphere, culture and geography," this volcanic eruption has shown that "we have not escaped from the physical world after all."

This is not only a perversely topsy-turvy and historically illiterate argument (history, right through to the recent Haiti earthquake, shows us that it is societies that lack high development which suffer the most when there is a natural disaster); it also reveals what lies behind the volcano-worshippers' outlook in general: a discomfort with modernity, with internationalism, with border-busting human interconnectedness. For them, the volcano should make us get back in touch with, in Monbiot's words, "gravity, atmosphere, culture and geography"—that is, to remain grounded, to stick with our own cultures, and to stop traversing the globe. To be imprisoned, in other words, by the limits imposed by nature.

What we effectively have here is an updated version of the Vulcan vs. Prometheus story. Vulcan, the god of volcanoes, punished Prometheus, the Titan, for stealing fire from the gods and giving it to mortals. In the telling of that story, Prometheus is normally seen as the hero, the cocky, bold, and cunning Titan who wanted to give a bit of godliness to mankind. Today, however, Vulcan (in this case Eyjafjallajokill) is held up as the conqueror of Prometheus (arrogant, aeroplane-flying mankind), as green-leaning thinkers rush to celebrate the volcanic taming of mankind.

In truth, this volcano has not tamed us—it has merely thrown up a practical problem, which, if we put our minds to it, we are more than capable of resolving.

Brendan O'Neill is editor of spiked in London.

NEXT: The Ultimate Thomas Friedman Lede

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. It’s sad that even so called “rationalist” papers think that anything supernatural is going on at all. To think that people consider Mother Nature as real anymore, it’s incredible how ridiculous people can get.

    On that note, the wind better not shift any ash this way, Europe can just have it all.

    1. It is indeed. How someone can come away thinking that they meant some sort of anthropomorphic deity, instead of a rational natural world (in the same way physicist use God) being a case in point.

    2. It’s nto ridiculous at all. Iseland is a place of enormous psychic energy and sits on top of several ley lines.
      http://www.newliving.com/issue…..s/mystical iceland.html

      Especially in the Thingvellir rift park, which lies on top of the rift where the techtonic pates move apart that estends under the Atlantic ocean. The energy in this spot can be felt by anyone with even modest psi awareness.

      1. Actually, Iwonder if the real reason the flights were grounded is because the psi energy that the volcano was spewing out from the interior of the earth was interfereing with the airplanes communications.

        There’s been a lot of UFO activity in iceland, maybe the ggovernments just didn’t want people seeing anything they weren’t supposed to.

        1. I wish you continued, incremental progress.

        2. Reason seems to have attracted some of Art Bell’s audience lately.

        3. The crazy is out in full. Splendid!

        4. Check out these videos of UFOs landing near the Icelanding volcano.


          Perhaps they are harvesting the energy?

          1. I’m more interested in remote viewing. Any videos of that? Thanks!

            1. Up next hour: Linda Moulton Howe on increasing cattle mutilations in Reykjav?k. And Richard Hoagland checks in regarding the alien bases inside Eyjafjallaj?kull. Stay tuned folks!

              1. Fuck you Art, it’s my show now!

          2. Oh look! It’s videos of bigfoot!

        5. Hey, OG, I want to believe. Could you explain this all to me over dinner? My treat, and yes we can go to a vegan-friendly place.

          Many of us guys here like hippie chicks (especially TallDave). Are you good looking?

        6. Organic Girl,

          You are mistaken. In fact those websites you sent us do not really exist. I was part of the alien team that abducted you, and I feel that you deserve to know the truth. In 1995 you were abducted by us, the first research team sent by the planet Xenon. We implanted the desire for you to spread the bogus notion that we fly around in UFOs as a way to give you a meaning in life, and spread disinformation so that the world would not know we truly fly around in giant rubber balls. Also, you should know that all vegens have been abducted by us at some point in the past. It’s just our way of knowing who we’ve taken already – sort of like the tracking collars you earthlings place on the animals you wish to study.

          God I’m bored.

        7. Organic Girl – You need to get in touch with Dave Matthews.

        8. Universe… you’ve done it again.

    3. I vote we just drop a nuke in the damn thing and be done with it.

      That’ll show that bitch Gaia who’s boss.

      1. From orbit?

        1. Only way to be sure

          1. +10 to you both

      2. Zenu already tried that.

  2. “evidence of Nature’s awesome power and “fury” in contrast to weak, pathetic mankind”…

    other other than the effects of global warming.

    1. +5

  3. Maybe if we tossed a virgin into the volcano…

    1. If I was the poor soul who had to toss her in she’d be slightly used

      1. Well, she’s obviously very gullible, probably would believe it’s all part of the ceremony.

    2. Yeah, “organic girl”. Two birds, one stone.

      1. +10

    3. What’s with the Judeo-Christian obsession with virginity, anyway?

      The pagans had a much better idea … . fertility rites!

      1. If it was “organic boy” i’m pretty sure he’d be a virgin… However I bet that Organic Girl gets laid… a lot

      2. Ghost of Schrodinger’s Cat said these organic chicks are good in the sack.

    4. We should toss Chad or Tony into the volcano. Time for them to give something back to that Society to which they claim everyone owes their asses.

  4. Of course, science has thus far failed to disprove the notion that “acts of God” are not indeed Acts of God…

    1. Science doesn’t have to – the burden of proof is on those who advance the proposition in the first place, numbnuts.

    2. Science doesn’t have to. The people making the claim that they’re “Acts of God” have to prove that they are, in fact, acts of god.

      1. Why is the burden of proof on us?

        1. Because you opened your yap first. Now put up or shut up.

          1. Well, the proof is in the pudding. God was pissed off, so he popped a volcano just like a few months back when he decided to teach the people of Haiti a lesson…

      2. god the dude or just the concept,can’t wait to see what volcanic glass does to transisterized tela-communications equipment

    3. Silence, little troll! The grown-ups are talking.

    4. With respect to “Acts of God”: If lightning strikes my house, which church/mosque/synagogue/temple should I sue?

      1. If you accept that God exists enough to sue Him, you could not. He would have the ultimate case for sovereign immunity.

    5. Whether or not they are acts of god is not testable via the empirical method. Hence whether or not they are “acts of god” is a question that cannot be answered by science. To state you can scientifically prove or disprove the existence of god is to pervert science for your own ends.

      I find it absurd that atheists believe that science is on their side, and that they are the more “rational” of the bunch, especially in light of the fact they are the most “evangelical” lot you will find in modern society. The ONLY appropriate scientific position is agnosticism.

      1. I can’t prove there isn’t an individual invisible immaterial spirit in my backyard for each blade of grass telling it to grow, therefore I must declare myself agnostic as to their existence?

      2. Great point Vinny.

      3. Or maybe deism, ala Thomas Paine or Newton. He and many of his contemporaries saw the study of science and the discovery of the mechanics of the universe as a path to understanding a higher power. Not science, but, a different tact, nonetheless.

      4. It is possible to be an atheist about specific religions. It’s obvious that all of the major (and minor) religions are myths handed down through the generations. However, if you want to answer the big question of where the universe came from, then agnosticism is the only appropriate scientific position. The question will probably always be unanswerable, but to give up searching for answers and simply say “god did it” is intellectual laziness. The Bible, Torah, and Qur’an are all fairy tales. I’m ok saying I’m an atheist about those.

  5. This just shows the kind of crap that passes for intellect these days. Presumably these pieces of Eurotrash have forgotten 1816, the “year with a summer” caused by repeated eruptions of Mount Tambora in 1815. Ahh 1815-1816, we were really rockin’ with technology back then, weren’t we?

    1. That was simply a warning.

    2. I think he meant to write that 1816 was the “year withOUT a summer.”

      1. Absolutely. I am so upset over the shortage of volcano virgins that I can’t write well.

  6. TXLimey:

    Ya go any virgins handy?

    1. I’m sure “virgins handy” is some kind of salacious pun.

      1. Maybe a virgin’s handy is like a chubby girl’s BJ – good out of necessity.

        1. Band or bogus.

  7. evidence of Nature’s awesome power and “fury” in contrast to weak, pathetic mankind.

    George Carlin had a routine about this.


  8. These people really seem giddy at the prospect of the collapse of civilization. More evidence, as if any were needed, that modern day environmentalism is nothing but one of those millennial death cults that arise every few hundred years.

    1. These people really seem giddy at the prospect of the collapse of civilization.

      Leave the Teabaggers out of this.

      1. Leave Dave Matthews out of this.

    2. It’s not a death cult, it’s a life cult.

      As in human life, life on earth, all life. Instead of our dead soulless corporate-technological civilization which is doomed anyway.

      A real spiritually fulfilling human life is based on harmony with and respect for nature.

      1. Does that mean if we’re good little Gaia-ites it will rain pennies from heaven?

      2. I encourage you to go live without technology for a while. Have fun not being the top end of the food chain. Good luck with that.

        1. I take plenty of break from technology, with other of like mind. But we need to use certain kinds of technology to remain in communication and organize for the future.

          When the time comes, we’ll have to decide what technologies are necessary which we will keep around and which ones should be made obsolete. We will probably keep the internet, but get rid of most forms of energy production. If it can’t run on a windmill and a solar panel, then we don’t need it.

          1. Most of modern medical technology and certainly modern industry that gives us above a subsistence level cannot run on a windmill.

            I wish my grandparents were still alive and you could meet them. They lived on farm in Western Kansas their entire lives from 1907, long before electricity was available. They even had a wind charger back in the day when my mom was a kid.

            They would debase you of all of your desire to live under such conditions. That is after they got done laughing.

            1. So, we’ll live without modern medical technology. Who wants to live on in a walker half-blind and half-deaf and in a rest home cause your kids are too busy to take care of you, anyway.

              Old people were happier dying 20 years earlier with their extended family around them.

              But more importantly, the life of any individual is unimportant as long as the great cycle of life of the Earth as and organic whole continues. An extra 10-20 years for each tiny little worm that we are means nothing.

              1. You’ve been watching “Logan’s Run” and “Soylent Green” again, haven’t you?

              2. OG I have questions. If nature is all power and our attempts at controlling it are dangerous and misplaced, then why the push for solar and wind power – they’re modern technologies too? Aren’t modern technologies by definition evil? Wind turbines kill birds you know; thousands every year.

                Are not these chest thumping cries from the European press about our powerlessness in the face of nature pointing out that our coal burning and pollution spewing are nothing when compared to nature’s power. Is not the push to stop global warming, just more of humanity’s hubris? I mean we actually we believe we control the climate? As the Guardian and others are pointing out we are like fleas on a dog (thanks G. Carlin). And when it’s ready it will shake us off quite easily. Maybe we should be pumping more carbon so that our civilization collapses faster and the survivors can return to our more primitive, pristine roots.

                You, Dave Matthews and Co. should be cheering on temperature increases because the faster we die off the faster M. Gaia will begin the healing.

              3. organic girl, you apparently don’t realize you are a misanthrope and a closet fascist. get smart.

          2. Windmills and solar panels are much too high tech. The windmills block the natural breathing of Mother Gaia and the solar panels deprive her of the warmth she needs from her father, the Sun. It would be much better to just use human-powered treadmills instead.

            1. Pfft. Whatever. The Sun is not the “father” of Gaia. There you go with your patriarchal sexist Judeo-Christian crap.

              Gaia is the mother of all, the Sun is her son/consort.

              1. Looky here, Organ Bimbo, are you trying to say that the Great Aton is some kind of a mofo?

                1. Pretty much, yup. Love your mother!

                2. Wait till Helios hears this one. He’s gonna be pissed that he’s been carting around a literal motherf*cker.

              2. Son and consort? Ewwwwwwwww…..

              3. Just wait until old Sol goes senile, gets all fat and ruddy and eats Gaia up.

          3. I work fo a major utility (electricity / gas) and you are loopy.

          4. The problem with paradigm shifts is we can never predict the next one, since we’re trapped in the current one.

            So it always strikes me as arrogant for people to say they’ll pick and choose what technologies are allowed. Fine, what about the future “necessary” technologies you can’t possibly predict that might be derailed by your omniscient choices? If you’d made your decision 20-30 years ago, there wouldn’t be an internet, windmills or no windmills.

          5. “If it can’t run on a windmill and a solar panel, then we don’t need it.”

            Then you’re not keeping the internet.

          6. Uh… do you have any idea how much energy those internet servers suck? And the air conditioning necessary to keep them cool? The internet is not just your laptop connected to someone elses. There are massive server farms involved.

        2. I like meat and technology, and am apathetic about daylight. Where can I sign up for the Morlock camp?

          1. You’re already in it, dogface.

            1. organic girl, you’re a sad misfit

      3. All we have to do is liquidate 80% of the planets population. Finally a ‘real spiritually fulfilling human life’!

        Plus don’t the aliens have technology? are they not spiritually fulfilled?

        1. Nature will probably give us a mass culling through some GMO mutant disease. Or the CIA will.

          1. Then why are you opposed to GMOs?

            1. I want to keep living after the rest of humanity gets wiped out. So we can rebuild society as an ecologically friendly commune.

          2. So what exactly is your super power?

            And your position on the cape/no-cape argument?

            1. And your position on the cape/no-cape argument?

              No capes! They cause to many jet engine related fatalities!

          3. The flue virus and a bag of D20’s will eventually get you there.

            1. Holy Fuck my chimney’s got a virus!

      4. Oh, I finally get it.
        Organic Girl and Dave Matthews are the same troll.

        Organic/Dave, please don’t polute this site with your presence again. You get tiresome so quickly.

  9. I think I remember reading in a High Times article, shortly after the eruption of Mt St Helens, that volcano ash is great for growing weed.

  10. In Canada, the Edmonton Journal ran an article headlined “Volcano exposes mankind’s limits,” arguing that Eyjafjallaj?kull’s “belch” has exposed the “striking incapacity of human beings, however smugly sophisticated, to either predict such phenomena or do much about them.”

    Want to take any bet this maroon thinks that climate science knows within a thousandth of a degree what the temperature will be a century from now?

  11. A BBC journalist said the volcanic chaos shows that “societies reliant on high technology and high development collapse really fast in the face of an overwhelming catastrophe.”

    It must be like ‘Lord of the Flies’ over there by now. (but with better cell phone reception)

    Kent Brockman: Professor … would you say it’s time for our viewers to crack each other’s heads open and feast on the goo inside?

    1. …and feast on the goo inside?

      Mush, not “goo.”

    2. Unless they give me lots of money I’ll take away the sun.

  12. Hundreds of years ago, Today, mankind Iranian Clerics looked upon volcanic eruptions as warnings or punishments from the gods.



  13. BTW, Great job not feeding the Shit Facktory, folks. Great job.

    1. Who’s to know which one is the real Dan T. (a slippery concept at best) and who are the spoofs?

      The drivelcunt snotgargler behind the creature will just change its name and go on. It’s the nature of the blind, groping, maggot-ridden afterbirth that think it’s great fun to be griefers.

      1. A rose-hole, by any other name, still smells like shit.

      2. Ok, that made me snort my food and all my coworkers are wondering why I’m laughing. Well done Sugar.

        1. Sometimes the bile must be released.

  14. The volcano made me bald, for being gay.

    1. I am NOT Kanye West.

  15. Nature’s modest belches being enough to tell us arrogant humans that it’s not nice to fool around with Mother Nature, I guess we now know how potentially disastrous it would be to attempt to manipulate the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere, for fear we’d cause climate catastrophe. So, eliminate the IPCC, eh?

    1. I told Mother Nature to lay off the Volcano Burritos at Taco Bell…….

      1. Farting is natural and healthy.

        1. Yes, but it can cause relationship problems…

          I’m Sorry For Farting in Your Mouth


  16. Anyway, it’s not without scientific foundation that our abuse of the planet might have caused this eruption:


    Hugh Tuffen of Lancaster University in the United Kingdom thinks it might not be long before melting glaciers on volcanoes in places like the Andes mountains, North America’s Cascades, Alaska’s Aleutian Islands — and yes, even Iceland — could release enough pressure from supercharged magma chambers to increase the frequency and intensity of volcanic eruptions.

    1. Alternatively, it could be that the continued warming of the current inter-glacial period we’re in now is “releasing enough pressure”. Many of those volcanoes were under one hell of a lot more ice (and thus pressure) millenia ago.

    2. Hit and Run comment boards, bringing the crazy back.

    3. This one’s a keeper! Gaia chicks are always crazy between the sheets. Don’t scare her off too soon.

      1. Yeah. If we have to keep house trolls, she is a lot better than Edward or Dan T.

      2. Hey, just remember that I asked her out first.

  17. Will all volcanoes now be required to sign onto the Kyoto Protocols?

  18. Eyjafjallajokill is actually written

    1. How do you spell asshole?

  19. I hope Organic Girl sticks around. She’s an unpredictable kind of crazy. Fun!

        1. ditto

          1. I wonder if her name is kelly


            1. Maybe she’ll show us her tits.

              1. Before or after she grooms her organic chest hair?

            2. I wonder if her name is kelly

              Did you notice the direction and placement of this notice? Apparently, when you can’t see her face you forget what her name is.

              And ditto liking the chick troll. Way better than Chony, MNG ect..

  20. Haven’t any of you seen 2012???

    The damm earth’s crust is starting to heat up, we are freaken doomed!

    1. oh boy…Koneborge…you pay way too much attention to Hollywood…or where you just being sarcastic?
      It’s sad that too many people think that the Mayan calendar ends in 12/21/2012…that will be just another day. That date is, believe it or not, part of a man-made modern invention called the Dreamspell, and is NOT the same as the Mayan Calendar.



      A biologist from sweden has a dissenting point of view from the new age community. It is worth noting.

  21. Whether ‘nature’ has a conciousness or not is besides the point. The point is that regardless of so-called human arrogance and genius, the earth always has the upper hand. No I don’t think nature is punishing us for anything. That’s not even the point. Nature is just nature, and our natural earth has absolute power over humankind, not out of revenge or for love or any new-agey, environmentalist save-the earth idea. Nature includes mankind, among its many species and lifeforms, not the other way around. Whether one thinks that mankind is the crown jewel of the planet is irrelevant. Apparently, all man made plans for travel and any other related human endeavor couldn’t sidestep the copious amounts of nature’s volcanic ash! Therefore, nature always has the upper hand, always has, always will.

    1. “Therefore, nature always has the upper hand, always has, always will.”

      Well that’s a relief…

      I guess now we can all stop worrying about humanity harming nature.

      1. +500

  22. Oh, and by the way, I do appreciate mankinds works and inventions as well, just in case anyone accuses me of being a man hater. I live in a house (manmade) and ride my manmade bike down a manmade street, protected my madmade streetlights from madmade automobiles running me over, that I may go to a manmade Whole Foods to eat some of mothernature’s made food in the man made produce section. Okay? Are ya happy with that???

    1. Whole Foods is a store for corporate whore posers. Didn’t you know John Mackey is a capitalist lackey? It’s inhuman the way Whole Foods employees are treated. Not as bad as Wal-Mart, but nearly. All those corporate chains are the same.

      Shop at a local co-op or, better yet, a farmer’s market. Or free cycle. You’d be amazed how much perfectly good food supermarkets throw away.

      This one time, some art students staying at the collective found several whole rotisserie chickens in the dumpster. We had a feast!

      1. You go girl. Kick Tony extra hard for us.

        1. aww, you hurt my feelings. aww.

      2. I don’t doubt you are right…I actually do get a nice deal on local co-ops, and I’m currently transitioning into a vegan style. Of course I know that John Mackey is a capitalist, I’m glad he’s not a socialist for sure. I’ve gotten the worst treatment from bosses who profess to be anti-capitalist, decrying the greed of capitalism while acting out their dark control issues within themselves.

        1. Geez Tony, three posts in a row. You sound utterly smitten with Organ(ic) Girl.

          And why am I totally unsurprised that you are ‘transitioning into a vegan style’?

          1. oh, ya know, just saying something that will help me hook up with Organ(ic) Girl…I like to talk bullshit just to pick up chicks on the Reason forum…I could care less about rhetoric, unlike you, who seem fully engaged in pure aristotelian logic (sarcasm). I’m just here for the chicks (more sarcasm). Especially for those ‘authentic save the earth chicks’ (even more sarcasm).

            Ya gotta do better than that Mr. ‘Crack’ Corn.

      3. I don’t doubt you are right…I actually do get a nice deal on local co-ops, and I’m currently transitioning into a vegan style. Of course I know that John Mackey is a capitalist, I’m glad he’s not a socialist for sure. I’ve gotten the worst treatment from bosses who profess to be anti-capitalist, decrying the greed of capitalism while acting out their dark control issues within themselves.

        1. You don’t sound like such a bad person. What are your views on past life regression? Perhaps we have met elsewhere. 😉

          1. Sorry, OG, Tony isn’t into chicks. Of course, if you have a dick he might be interested.

            1. Wroooong buddy baby!!! I’m not into dicks…I’m into assholes like you and yours…so open up little altar boy, CUZ HERE COMES THE PRIEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          2. Hey OG…apparently some folks here on these “Reason” forums love throwing nasty insults at me and you. I’ve been called everything from a ‘pretentious asshole’, a religious zealot, to Mr. Gill inferring that I’m a cocksucker (my favorite one…as I just love it when people call me names!)

            Please tell me Organic Girl, if you had ‘organic hairy breasts’ (as Mr. Turtle says) and a penis, do you think I’d suckle on them?

            Maybe I am a earthcultist cocksucker with a fetish for organic hairy women! If I was, would you let me suck your dick as we watch mother nature engage coercive violation of the individual rights of Vinnie, Marshall Gill, Mister Turtle and ‘Crack’ Corn? I’d personally love to drain your hermaphrodite nuts dry while we enjoy the natural genocide in peace and harmony!!!!!!!!!

            We can even do it on top of Pele, ya know…for good luck! Say, how’dya like to go to Iceland with me!

            Alright, now, in all sincerity…how much Methamphetamine or Smack do you think these people do while posting these insults?
            I’d venture to say alot

            …and yeah, maybe I am smitten by you, let them engage in all the shitwhispering they want! For in the end, life is life, and love is love, but shit whispering is just…shit from the mouth to the ear, and it pollutes more than heavy industry and volcanic ash combined baby!!!

      4. “Shop at a local co-op or, better yet, a farmer’s market. Or free cycle. You’d be amazed how much perfectly good food supermarkets throw away”

        Would those be capitalists opressing the workers supermarkets?

      5. You should read “The Authenticity Hoax”

        Buying local produce and living a pretentious yet phony earth loving lifestyle does not make you more authentic or superior to someone that subsists on Burger King.

        Take your kooky religion elsewhere. This board is dedicated to “Reason” magazine. Religious zealotry is only a theme here in the context of ridicule.

        1. In your mind, what WOULD make someone more authentic or superior. Just asking.

          1. In your mind, what WOULD make someone more authentic or superior.

            Admitting that Self is most important and that leaving others to their own definition of Self, without coercion is therefore most important to all?

            See, you still don’t understand that your main motivation, whatever you claim, for “doing good” or “giving to others” is still primarily a reflection of the Self you desire to be.

            My Self likes to take a shit on pretentious assholes, such as yourself. It makes me feel good. You believe that stealing from others to give to those you define as “in need” makes you feel good.

            1. Opps meant to hit preview.

              So, since both our actions are based on our personal desire to achieve our view of our Self we would be morally equal except for one thing. My beliefs do not require any coercion from others, while yours are entirely based upon it.

          2. @Chad…I’m not sure what Vinny was thinking, (provided that he was even thinking at all). His argument is that those who eat BK or McD’s or KFC are on even par with Vegans.

            “Buying local produce and living a pretentious yet phony earth loving lifestyle does not make you more authentic or superior to someone that subsists on Burger King.

            Take your kooky religion elsewhere. This board is dedicated to “Reason” magazine. Religious zealotry is only a theme here in the context of ridicule.”

            So Vinnie – If this is “Reason” magazine, and you think you are being ‘reasonable’…then why the name calling (calling me a religious zealot), and saying that I should be ridiculed?

            Let’s not forget folks, that just because it’s posted on the ‘Reason’ forums doesn’t mean it is a reasonable argument. I hope that Reason readers take further lessons in proper rhetoric, because it’s apparent that a few of them are hard on the help, right Vinnie? Right Mr. ‘Crack’ Corn?

            If I am wrong, then you should actually try to argue against me…do not insult me or tell me I should read this or read that!

      6. The Manson Family really grokked dumpster food.

    2. oh, sorry, that’s man made…not madmade…well sometimes I really dont’ know the difference.

    3. “just in case anyone accuses me of being a man hater”

      Oh, we all know you’re a man lover.

      1. Pip, I love you too.

  23. I think you guys are missing the big picture.

    Which is that Iceland sits on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and it’s getting a little bit bigger every year. Not by much, but over the coming eons, Iceland will become a gigantic landmass, an enormous continent…

    The people of tomorrow will be teaching their children Icelandic. The future belongs to Iceland.

    1. Not if we annex it first.

    2. Not if Mother Gaia kills us all first.

    3. makes all that carry trade nonsense seem so irrelevant.

  24. Not wise to mistake caution for cowardice. I’m surprised at that accusation.

  25. An economics correspondent for the BBC also says the volcano has given us a “glimpse of a post-carbon morning.”

    On the contrary – it has given them a glimpse of a pre-carbon morning.

    1. Wise ash!

      1. That’s only eight letters. 😉

  26. It’s a warning from Thor.He doesn’t think that the new film about him will be any good.

  27. The problem of volcanic ash is simply one that doesn’t come around enough for anyone to have bothered considering it as a design factor in jet engines. Now that this has happened, wait for the FAA and international bodies to invent a new requirement that jet engines be “ash-proof” – saddling manufacturers will hundreds of millions of dollars of research and implementation costs for something that happens to 10% of the planet, 1% of the time.

    1. If you aren’t a U.N. delegate or relative of Nancy Pelosi you don’t need to fly anyway.


  28. I just hope Bjork is OK.

    1. Her warbling caused the volcano.

      Earth is trying to violently reject her.

  29. So you are trying to represent the UK as “Guardian, The Daily Mail and The Observer”? Charming. There are human beings living here too y’know.

    1. And they’re all on the dole.

      1. Britain’s government spending is close to 40% of GDP. As is that of the US. I think we have very negative perceptions of Britain because they have cameras in their restrooms and the only people who carry guns are criminals.

        Of course, Britain saves by letting many of its patients die rather than provide them with medical care, or even at times, water. Whereas in the US medicare must at least pretend it’s paying for the cost of medical care by making a pretense of responding to market realities. That will all change of course, now that the government can take your health care away at it’s pleasure.

        1. The sound intelligent when they fudge climate data though.

          1. Or when they use the correct pronoun.

            1. Or when they become typo nazis.

              Besides, we all know there’s no people in the UK; just cameras and the occasional Austin Allegro.

        2. You are right on today, Vinny, keep it up.

  30. linked to on Fark.com.

    Jeebus the sheer idiocy over there is maddening.

    ne2d 2010-04-21 01:52:51 PM

    I agree that the whole “we should be humbled by natural disasters” is a tired journalistic cliche, but of course Reason manages to take a somewhat valid point and turn it into an embarrassing piece of sh*t essay.
    IgG4 2010-04-21 01:54:56 PM

    albo: /subby

    Is that a quote from an environmentalist or the author hyperbolizing. I don’t give Reason clicks on general principle.

    make me some tea 2010-04-21 03:23:51 PM

    Oh lord, the comment thread on that one is trolltastic.

    ctrl-f “organic”

    I believe that a “true” libertarian can’t be racist (now, a true scotsman…). That being said, I think I’m prejudiced against dumb people.

  31. does anyone else here wonder if all those geothermal plants we’re erecting are causing thermal depletion of the crust, contraction, a feedback loop, and thus increased earthquakes, in Iran, haiti, california, and volcanoes in fiji, iceland, etc??

    1. No. No one.

    2. Plenty of people are wondering it.

      Plenty of people are also wondering what happens when you start melting gigatons of ice, and release the stress on the land underneath. See my post below to find out.

      1. Um…right. The sixth great extinction and all that. So you’ve mentioned.

        1. That’s an entirely different problem. And a big one. I suppose your plan is to party like it is 1999 and stick your kids with the bill, correct?

          1. Christ! I have the 6th big whack AND this new grief you’re peddling? We’ve got the Huns in power…..you make a strong case for partying on.

            1. go ahead and party…just make sure you pick up your own garbage later.

  32. I’m reminded of the article “Prometheus Bound and Gagged” by L. Neil Smith, in which he observes that liberals oppose, in some form or another, everything fire has brought to humanity: meat-eating, firearms, most energy sources, etc.

    1. Humans were too eating meat long before fire. Just look at our GI tract. Plus, fire makes some veggies taste much better.

      1. …were not!

  33. Leave it to libertarians to write a headline article on something, and not even bother to reference the hot-off-the-presses, last SCIENCE on the matter.


    Got any more sharks to jump, folks?

    1. Yes, but you’ve fudged the data.

    2. Chad – from your link: “Top scientists call for research on climate link to volcanoes, earthquakes, landslides and tsunamis”.

      What a surprise. These top scientists need some more funding from the world’s governments.

      These guys requests for funding on the slightest pretext make Jesse Jackson look like a piker.

      1. Billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars thrown at foreign “research” in the creation of the AGW fraud alone. Indeed, Jackson is 4th rate con-artist by comparison.

        Of course the countless billions are meaningless, we all know Exxon-Mobile threw a few million around (sarcasm).

  34. Funny that one should blather about the “power” that nature holds over us and things like aircraft, when we, along with the aircraft and all of our creations, are in fact part of nature!

    1. synthetic,oo,?

    2. The misanthropes of the environmental religion preach that man is separate from nature and his activities are un-natural. A bigger lie could not be possible.

      Man can not be separated from nature, therefore man is not capable of an activity which is not natural.

      1. so what you’re saying is that mans ability to throw a lot of food in the garbage in this country while other nations full of people starve to death is natural?

        nuclear weapons are natural too.

        so are RFID chips and an increased staff at the IRS to brutally collect more funds from taxpayers. This is natural? I won’t argue on that point.

        American people can also pretend that they don’t have to feel compassion for peoples suffering in third world countries. Numbing yourself to other peoples miserable existence in order for you to profit in your stock market is natural.

        Wow, what a view of nature…if man cannot do anything ‘unnatural’, then I’d rather be unnatural.

        Keep in mind that your argument leaves room for ‘nature made me do it’. The genocides that Hitler, Stalin, Mao and others committed to can be seen as acts of nature from that point of view.

        Nature doesn’t force fire squad soldiers to shoot bullets into innocent men women and children, nor are the dictators forced by instinct from mother nature to give their soldiers orders to kill.

        Men and women are responsible for their actions…NOT nature. The error of your logic is that, since mankind is not ‘separate’ from nature, therefore every murder and every Valdez oil spill that kills baby seals and sea life is natural.

        Man is not separate from nature…he is an exaggeratedly distinct part of nature, and tries with total desperation to make himself ‘higher’ than nature. He has done quite well too, in that regard, until the ground underneath him rocks him to the core, threatening to swallow him up. And the only thing he says is…mankind didn’t know how to build a better, stronger slab of concrete. Now I’ve learned the hard way. I’ll make my streets sooo strong that no earthquake will get the best of us.

        Hey, ya know, never suspecting who has the upper hand is natural too. Even the emperors new cloths, like the man behind the curtain, is a part of nature too! And since the internet is seen as an extension of nature, I’ll agree with that too…just remember that the web is always, and always will be, the home of the spider. Will you feed that spider alcohol (man made), or psilocybin mushrooms (natural)?
        It all depends on what kind of web you’d like to see the spider spin!

  35. Lemme get this straight – “Gaia” [snicker] is punishing mankind for spewing carbon dioxide and various toxins about by spewing carbon dioxide and various toxins about. Your god is an idiot.

    1. Maybe she just wants to join in?

    2. or the melting of axial aka polar ice banks into the greater equatorial belt at large,oo,how much does an inch of water weigh,all part of the “underworld “(intellageint design) plan,hmm ?

    3. or the melting of axial aka polar ice banks into the greater equatorial belt at large,oo,how much does an inch of water weigh,all part of the “underworld “(intellageint design) plan,hmm ?

  36. anyone have a link to the original version of maybe the earth needs us to make plastic? thanks

  37. Chad, did you feed and brush Throbber after school today? No you did not, and this is getting to be a regular thing. When your father and I agreed to let you have a unicorn you promised you’d be the one caring for it. You’re more than happy to ride him everyday and to put him away all lathered up and un-cared for. If this continues we will have to put him up for sale. We should have known better than to believe you could be honest for once. You’ve been such a disappointing son in so many ways.


  38. I don’t understand why you would reference Gaia and then not explain anything about Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis? There is a diverse range of Gaia theorists, and very few would believe that the Earth is a sentient being that would deliberately cause a volcanic event that creates chaos for human beings. Think about it, this event is only chaotic based on an anthropocentric time scale. To other species that have much longer life spans such as hard wood trees, this isn’t a big deal. That’s pretty poor reporting, especially since the author criticizes other “morality tales”.

    More info on the Gaia hypothesis:

  39. The idea that the earth and it’s inhabitants is a living organism, albeit of a different sort than we’re used to considering, is in my view correct. This isn’t a new idea at all, and ancient ideas are sometimes – well, quite profound.
    I think that in time (long from now unfortunately), this idea of the earth being an organism will become common knowledge. The knowledge I think will come in part from a scientific methodology (as it already is being demonstrated – quantum physics, etc), but moreso from other much more powerful means of ‘knowing’. Until then, we’ll go about thinking wrongly that we’re not related to the earth, separated, and in a rather cold and mechanistic universe.
    So, is the volcano protesting in some way to us? I don’t know, and neither do the other posters here. We can say what we think – and that’s all.
    What did Buck Fuller say? – ‘the sum total of all that we (humans) know is approximately – nothing’. Humbling idea.

  40. Ummm…re: Tony’s rather extended rant above.

    Why do you make the sloppy and unexamined assumption that if something is “natural” it is moral and therefore “okay”.

    Remove that assumption and your rant is nothing but weak piss. Meaningless piss, at that, placing the quality of your discourse below that of Serrano.

    A bad place to be.

    1. @trollifucis – you read what I said entirely out of context…that was a response to this…

      “?|4.21.10 @ 11:21PM|#
      The misanthropes of the environmental religion preach that man is separate from nature and his activities are un-natural. A bigger lie could not be possible.

      Man can not be separated from nature, therefore man is not capable of an activity which is not natural.”

      Pie was the one who said that since man is part of nature, there is no such thing as man doing anything as ‘unnatural’. It wasn’t me who said that anything that man does is ‘moral’. I was in fact arguing that, just because everything he does is ‘natural’ doesn’t mean it is good. So please kindly allow yourself to stand corrected.

  41. Okay, read Chad’s lameass “science” link:

    How are these recent geological activities NOT like forest fires?? And by that, I mean, how are they not periodically unavoidable and necessary?

    Do disciples of Big Warming REALLY mean to imply that by, say, taking automobiles from the little people and reducing the unconscionably comfortable lifestyle of Americans to a more “acceptable” level we can forever avoid any and all climate change and the geological activity (that may be) triggered by it?


    I think it would better for humans to learn some basic survival skills, starting with Lesson 1: not freaking completely the fuck out every time something happens.

  42. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/44994

    “In France, there was only
    limited impact from the lack of domestic flights because the high speed train
    service drove air links between most major cities out of business long ago.”


    Can Libertarians prevent Obama’s high speed rail plans before he inflicts this hellishly sleek and convenient vision on America??

    1. …and expensive and highly uneffective mode of transportation for a country multiple times the size of France?

  43. You are mistaken. In fact those websites you sent us do not really exist. I was part of the alien team that abducted you, and I feel that you deserve to know the truth.

  44. I think that in time (long from now unfortunately), this idea of the earth being an organism will become common knowledge. | ran ??? |

  45. I need some time to think about this!

  46. Gotta love engineers 😉

  47. The faculty of reason, rationality, or the faculty of discursive reason

  48. The reasoning for the black box is to document what exactly happens in a crash.

  49. I agree with most of what you wrote down below

  50. Reason is committed to a pluralistic approach, promoting …

  51. do you wanna be my leader ?

  52. si on ne m?lange pas les torchons et les serviettes

  53. Join us now to get access to all our features.

  54. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics

  55. You don’t need to add your email if you are already subscribed by email to Reason

  56. Something like this may be what you’re looking for

  57. get your own private messenger, and so, so much more

  58. It’s also quick and totally free

  59. so what are you waiting for?

  60. There are lots of links on reason

  61. I think the volcanos are trying to tell us something, we should probably listen.

  62. I think the volcanoes are trying to tell us something, maybe we should listen?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.