8 billion disappeared

Seems all the snow crabs in Alaska have left the building. An estimated 8 billion. That sudden vacancy was not due to overfishing. It’s just a mystery, plain and simple.

That’s a prominent international headline. Admittedly it should be, but the fact that the state !%^%$# economy and the fishermen will suffer was the emphasized point of the story. That part is insane!

BC’s economy does not depend on the Dungeness crab but some of the locals do for a nice dinner now and then. They are gone, too. Disappeared. Nary a one. Alaskan snow crabs and southern Dungeness crabs gone. Our missing crabs won’t make the news. Not enough money in ’em. But, the bottom line (pun intended) is that the crabs are gone.

Twelve Nechako River sturgeon were just found dead. No apparent cause. Just dead. That never happens with Sturgeon. They live long lives as a rule. And, of course, another hundred or so whales washed up on some beach in New Zealand. On purpose, maybe. Dead.

Could TEOTWAWKI be manifesting in yet another way? I mean, ya got yer major droughts, yer whoppin’ hurricanes, yer unpredictable weather and your new records in temperatures, floods and rainfalls already…….. D’ya think this rapid die-off might be linked in some way?

I dunno. Who knows? Logic and reason suggest that is the case but, of course, logic and reason tempered with the economy denies it. Kinda like Covid, ya know?

The oil companies made record profits this past quarter. Exxon around $17 billion. Shell, around $11B. The last quarter! High gas prices at the pumps for no real reason. Food prices are off the charts, too. And the homeless are everywhere. They are piled up on the sidewalks like beached whales. I dunno….I kind of see a parallel, ya know?

Sal and I went to Victoria to see our lovely grandchildren. Couldn’t see ’em when scheduled. They came down ill – from pre-school, no less. So, we hung around for an extra day and spent an hour with ’em in the nearby park. It was good. But we were ‘in the city’ for five days. And the overwhelming visceral feeling of revulsion was surprising. It was one of seeing madness coupled with deceit and aggravated by pollution, crowding, expense and even more madness. And traffic. We entered a world we had previously been comfortable in and it felt like we were visiting an overcrowded asylum.

It is hard to explain succinctly so I’ll just boil it down to one simple observation: If I get up in the morning and want to do a chore, I have breakfast, walk to my shop, get some tools and materials and start. No fuss, delays or waiting-in-line. When we visit our grandchildren or Sal’s mother (94), we drive for 4 hours, buy over $100.00 worth of gas (one way), dive into thick traffic around a store and slowly get into a crowded parking lot. Sal gets out and, after shopping and standing in line to pay, returns to the car after 20 minutes or more. Then we drive through more traffic and repeat until the supplies for dinner are gathered. Not counting the long drive, it takes 90 minutes to three hours in traffic and stores to gather dinner ingredients, wine and whatnot, maybe longer. To my now-rural OTG mindset, that was three hours (not counting the long drive) of 100% wasted (and hellish) time. Totally frustrating, insanely expensive and really quite stupid overall.

“Why is it stupid?” A lot of time, machinery, gasoline and waste-of-time crappola to get dinner? And that doesn’t include the half of it – well, as seen through the eyes of a guy who is now so far out of it (in all ways).

I apologize for becoming repetitive to the point of annoyance on this topic. I really do. But each new exposure to the ‘urban’ on my increasingly ‘rural’ perspective is jarring. I think it is definitely worse each time but I also think I am increasingly sensitive or aware of it as well. It is so ugly in so many ways (and slowly getting uglier) that Sal and I swear each time. “Never again!”

One more irrelevant-to-you point to make: our two dogs are very, very well-behaved. They are gentle, sweet, kind and even considerate to the really old and the really young. Watching Gus and a newborn baby in the park was like something out of a Disney movie and both dogs give grandma respectful, considerate behaviour a notch above their typical puppy goofiness with us. But they are huge. Gus at 100 pounds, Daisy at 80. Keeping them housebound, car-contained, leash-controlled and boring the hell out of them for five days together with long car trips is clearly not the right thing to do. When they got home, they were ecstatic. They just frolicked and played and ran around for hours. And they spent the last 24 hours 100% outdoors.

Dogs out here are happy. Those same dogs in the city would NOT be. That, too, kinda tells ya something about life and how it should be lived.

PS: Scientists now believe that the Pacific Ocean warmed too much and by doing that, the cold areas that Snow crabs prefer got smaller and smaller. Those smaller areas with a then-concentrated Snow crab population did not have enough food and so the crabs cannibalized themselves.

32 thoughts on “8 billion disappeared

  1. With the exception of grandkids and particular names one could easily exchange your names with those of myself and Amy and your story could fit… perfectly. Yesterday I spent a few hours just across the strait at the car park – truck trouble and the wife doing a wee small town run – and we couldn’t wait to get Home! It just seems crazy out there, and crazy immense Our love of Home.
    Another perfectly fitting tale JD, Thank You for pointing it out so well.
    Take good care. David.


    • I know…weird, isn’t it? Ya gotta wonder: is it us or is it them? I think it is both. We are more and more loving this way of life (18 years and counting) and they (urbanites) are having to live more and more THAT way. Our perception of a normal, healthy, good life is becoming increasingly different. To me, the urbanites are the apocryphal frog in a pot of water on the stove…it just gets hotter and hotter and the frog keeps adjusting…until it becomes Frog soup.


  2. Let me give you my opinion as NON-OTG’er!
    First of all, as Dave knows very well, I would like very much to be OTG and out of this (almost) boiling pot of water
    Secondly, it is as Dave says, as a frog, you feel the water getting hotter, but is goes gradually, so the perception is “well, it is a little warmer then last month, but we will manage”….until we don’t and we are boiled
    But living on grid does not leave you the time to take a step back, reflect and then take appropriate actions
    We see traffic jams getting worse year by year, but we get used to it, untill we spend hours just commuting to work, and then we might go looking for a job nearer to home
    But I agree, living here is not healthy (pollution, stress, unhealthy food, not enough exercise,….)
    So as afrog in the pot, I know what it feels like, I am even aware that I should GET OUT, but still “things” are holding me back (work, kids, wife, job, financial,….). Fortunately, I would LOVE living OTG and I am sure we would survive and cope.
    As for the crabs, I think it is a clear signal of nature that we have passed the point of no return, and to be honest, the forces of nature are so huge we will not win the coming climate battle. Nature has it way of rectifying the situation when things get out of hand
    Damn…I used to have a more positive attitude!


    • Seeing reality is still positive. Barely. But still positive. It is called mind-fullness, consciousness, awareness and all those other buzzwords for seeing what is real. No rose-coloured glasses. No will-full blindness. No fantasy. But here’s a hint: you are seeing only what is in your basic sphere of living and your sphere of living is lying to you. It is worse than just traffic and shortages and expenses. It is species extermination. It is climate change. It is epidemics and war. It is Trump/Fascism. We used to live in a world of 80/20 good-to-evil. That ratio has worsened. You really have to look at the biggest of pictures to even get a hint.


  3. Billions of missing crabs……
    Not to worry.
    Canada’s thousands of bureaucrats at Fisheries and (dying) Oceans will burn through 10’s of thousands of hours……., meeting, discussing, emailing, phoning, texting to hammer out the ways in which they will investigate the problem.
    They will then spend years upon years to investigate before writing a 500 page report that no one . Especially the Minister of Fisheries and (dying) Oceans…will read.

    I was on the Island for a few days this week.
    Drove from Victoria to Courtney
    Very dry…everywhere.
    And yes, traffic in Victoria and Nanaimo was a sh!tshow.
    Do even get me started on Vancouver.


    • I really have a critical view of DFO. I hate ’em. I hate them because their stated mission is manage the fisheries for the greatest economic benefit. They do not do squat just for the sake of nature, life, fish-of-all-kinds and the like. They do what they do for the fish-based industries.
      It’s all about money. AND, the head office of DFO is in Ottawa, miles from any ocean. Makes me crazy.


  4. 8 billion you say? Well, I read that the world population of people will hit 8 billion next month.

    So, maybe Mother Nature has dispatched all the crabs for their contumelious conduct in getting to be too many. When they got to be 8 billion, she said enough is enough. So, maybe, we too will all perish next month when we hit the 8 billion mark. That’s Mother Nature’s tolerance limit.

    Now, as for crazy traffic in places like Victoria and Nanaimo, those places are like rural backwaters compared to places I have lived before moving off grid in 2007. I was born in Vancouver, grew up in Toronto and returned to Vancouver after university. I have seen both places expand, a lot. But tame compared to Los Angeles where I lived for 3 years and Manila, where I spent another 3.

    On that topic. When I first went to Philippines in 1995, the population was 69 million. Today, it’s 115 million. All on a land mass less than one third the size of British Columbia. Yet, strangely, the Pope – who is by no means innocent in the whole debacle – has not been tried as tantamount to a war criminal.

    When we first moved to Dave and Sal’s neck of the woods (much to the dismay of the locals, I dare say), we used to go back to Vancouver periodically for a dose of civilization. We would stay in a downtown hotel and walk to Chinatown, the Granville Island Public Market, Robson St., etc. But, after a few years, we stopped going. We realized that the best part of our trips to Vancouver was getting out.

    Anyway, I have said enough. More than enough for this genteel place on the web. I seem to have an uncanny knack for putting an end to replies to David on the odd occasion when I say something. My inane comments usually put a prophylactic on the polite discourse that is the hallmark of this site.


    • Au contraire, mon ami! Your erudite opinions, observations and comments are like flowers and pearls cast before swine. And we oink in gratitude. I actually wallow. It is just that it takes awhile sometimes to traipse through it. Always worth the slog, tho.
      My constant sermonizing on the topic, repetitive as it is, is much more of a downer than I want it to be, I must admit. It is just that the words flow out, ya know? Plus I want the folks I have come to know on this blog to save themselves some grief. And grief is looming like a big wave in the distance. And I know of no other way than heading for higher ground to save ourselves.


      • Thank you for those charitable words.

        On the off chance that I am right about TEOTWAWKI next month, be sure to leave extra rations out for Gus and Daisy, to ease the transition. I am sure they will be allowed to remain in situ. It will be a case of the world going to the dogs. They will likely manage things better once the humans have been purged.


        • I could leave them about 100 lbs of kibble….that should last ’em a couple of weeks. Maybe not if it was all in one big box with easy access. The world may be better managed by dogs but I can assure you that kibble consumption will remain at high levels. When Gus stands on his hind legs, we are eye-to-eye. And he is only just ten months old! The breeders lied to us!
          Still, they are really great dogs to have out here. In the back seat of a car?…..not so much.


          • Well.
            If we are all to become Stardust and Gus and Daisy are the last sentient beings to survive before the “great annihilation” for a few million years…….
            Lets hope they “feed the fishes”…….
            Perhaps in 10 million years or so, some large Land Crab being will look at our ancient housing sites with wonder.


  5. Its good to see that most that come here have come to the same conclusion, that time is exponentially running out for this current version of life on Earth. Not good that our time is running out, but that different minds are seeing it. I travel the north half of the island 4-6 times per year always take the old road back in the morning, nice drive being able to see the water and not rush. There is a very nice rest stop just south of Stories Beach where I stop to “walk the dog”, always clean and open, I was shocked to see the parking lot full of homeless people in cars, vans, campers, all the way to class A motorhomes. One car was surrounded by junk and garbage 10 feet wide. This happened in just a few months, its like everyone just quit, whats the point in trying kind of feeling. Is it the constant social media (they say that to much social media promotes feelings of inadequate in many), or bad news in the world. US cities have 100’s of miles of tent people on their sidewalks, nobody cares anymore. But then again my dad was predicting the end of civilization all of my life and at that point when he died, he was wrong. But seeing whats now endemic in most of the world’s cultures, I can’t claim he was wrong. Hug your friends and hunker down, it won’t work for long but we will feel better.


    • You are right. I am right. DWLnolonger is right and so is Wim. We have a similar view. And, strangely, that view is not so much dismal and bleak as the topic that prompts it. The biggest reaction we have is one of surprise. So many, so quickly, so obviously in what? Three years? The Covid years? How did Langford, the practically ‘brand new’ town west of Victoria get so many homeless? And further perplexing me; Covid ain’t over and prices are rising. It is like we are hell-bent on making more of ’em. The Zombie Apocalypse is, perhaps, becomong the Homeless Apocalypse.


      • I was in Buckley Bay this week doing a repair.
        I travelled back to Parksville to meet with some friends for the evening.
        I got to Parksville after dark and went to find a hotel.
        I usually stay at the Travellodge.
        I pulled in to their parking lot.
        No cars but in front of every room were shopping carts, lawnchairs, junk, garbage and “homeless” sitting outside smoking and aimlessly walking in circles.
        They all stared at my company van like it was a blood bag to a vampire.
        I turned around and drove to another hotel.
        Crackheads in Parksville?
        Is Vancouver sending them by bus to rural Vancouver Island?


        • Wouldn’t be the first time Human Resources gave welfare recipients bus tickets ‘home’. We did it in the 70’s. The practice is weird, tho. Stay there and be homeless or get on the bus and be homeless back where you came from. And this is just the tip of the wave. The Economist is predicting a 5 to 15% mortgage failure rate pending. They see Canada as especially vulnerable and it seems Australia is already experiencing 15% drops in market value. And China is so bad that they cannot get a grasp on the severity of it. Gut reaction: more and more homeless by about 1000%. Where they all gonna hang out? In temperate climates, of course. Most temperate climate in Canada? Gulf of Georgia.


          • Yup.
            The homeless encampments are going to explode next year.
            “Trudeau-villes” in stead of Hoover-villes?
            The incidents of random violence are going to explode.
            The cop that was stabbed to death in Burnaby is just the beginning.
            Apparently the guy who stabbed her was a well respected film maker a few years ago.
            He was accused of sexual assault in Toronto and fought the accusations for 3 years until the charges were dropped.
            He was untouchable in the film industry after that and spiralled down down down until he was living in the streets in Burnaby.
            Homeless, unemployed, paranoid, angry and ready to explode.
            An Asian female police officer ordering an Asian man to do something he doesnt want to has a lot of cultural ramifications that go deeper than cop vs criminal.
            One wonders if his violent reaction would have been the same with a male police officer.
            37 years old and his life is also over.
            He wont be homeless now.


          • Yeah, and there is another ‘force’ at work there – the ascendance of women’s power and influence. 60+ % of the workforce is female. We are still celebrating women in politics (as if it is a new thing) and men can be forced into ruin by a woman’s allegations. Those are hard forces to adjust to if you are steamrolled or excluded from your dreams because of it. Does that mean that women should not have made change? Of course not. Much of what they complained about is true. Men can be obnoxiously in pursuit of mating, men can be chauvinistic, sexist and all the evils they have been accused of. But part of that ‘bad package’ was inherited in the genes, part was well-instilled in our culture and much of it was under attack and being changed faster than many could adjust to. The Women’s movement was a just one that, in the process, created a subset of injustices. Maybe all change comes with pain and struggle. I dunno.


  6. I just about blew a breaker when I read that Farnworth said Tuesday the female officer “sacrificed her life in the course of duty,” !!! She was murdered by a homeless, drug addled person, one of many that the local governments have decided not to arrest and or hold for treatment. I agree with noncom that it is just the beginning.


  7. A nice historic ‘spin’ on what could just as easily have been: “She died hassling the mentally deranged and the drug-addled. In effect, we should be sued for creating this mess and for depending on ill-trained police officers to deal with it. But, oh, well…..”


    • I may be unpopular for saying this but here it goes.

      If a social worker is stabbed to death by a deranged street person during an interaction, it is shocking and unfortunate and somewhat unexpected.
      If a game warden is eaten by a bear it is shocking and somewhat unexpected.
      It a citizen is stabbed to death ( 16 people on a Saskatchewan Reserve come to mind) it is shocking and unexpected.
      But a police officer killed in the line of duty?
      While sad and tragic to someone so young.
      Is it entirely unexpected?
      When someone signs up to be a police officer they are given a gun…because the job is dangerous.

      Sending a 3 year veteran during a boring, routine daytime call, to an open, sunny, park, to evict a single transient was probably one of the more boring calls that day.
      Until the transient went full on berserker with a knife.
      ( Apparently the entire incident was captured on Security video from the Burnaby school board admin building next to the park and the police have said it WILL be used for training other police officers to avoid similar situations.)

      We are going to see more of this type of random violence, but I think innocent, unarmed civilians will bare the brunt of the attacks.
      There isnt a policeman on every corner and people dont want a policeman on every corner.
      And the Liberals have just made private, legal, firearm ownership , more difficult in Canada.

      This inept, populist, pathetic minority federal govt needs to go.


      • Above you commented: “37 years old and his life is also over.
        He wont be homeless now.”

        Maybe not. I am guessing you will be thinking he’ll get a life sentence for murder. For first degree murder, he would get a so-called “life” sentence of 25 years with no parole. But, no way first degree will even be charged. Second degree, at most. In that case, the parole ineligibility period will be 10 years. Yes, the court can increase that. In this case, unlikely, given the lack of mental capacity. In fact, the case can probably be plea bargained to manslaughter with a sentence of less than 10 years. However, given that a cop was killed, that kind of plea bargain is unlikely. But then, we don’t know all the relevant facts.

        Another possibility, which I am sure David is familiar with, due to his past work experience, is a plea of NCRMD – not criminally responsible by reason of mental disorder. He could then be released when considered “cured” of the mental disorder. There are risks attendant upon such a plea and, again, with a cop victim, the Crown might not agree to such a plea. If the defence wanted to raise it, it could apply to the court for a forensic psychiatric assessment of fitness to stand trial.

        There are other possibilities, but, in brief compass, these are a few of the most likely.


        • I believe when a Police Officer in Canada is murdered an automatic “First Degree” murder charge is laid by the Crown.
          A new Law on the books for police killers?
          Probably intended for bank robbers, gang members and the like.
          I agree that the charge will probably be reduced at some point to NCRMD.
          The defendant sounds like he was as nutty as a fruitcake.
          A complete waste of two lives.


  8. “Prices are rising”….but why?? A few years ago, a barrel of oil cost 90 dollars. I paid 1.40€/liter gasoline. Today, a barrel of oil is again 90 dollars….but now I pay 2.20€/liter gasoline. Where is the logic in that? And we, the consumers, just sigh and pay the bill. meanwhile, oil companies make huge profits and sheik Muhammed of SA wants to build a city of 200kilometers long that will take 50 years to build


  9. prices of real estate are stil rising in Belgium, despite the rise in intrest rate….why…young people see this as the only way out for the rising rent prices, and they get loans with a 30 year repayment scheme. Soon we will have another house bubble bursting and another financial bank cisis like 2008 on top of everything else. And guess who has to save the banks again?Us….the poor taxpayer


    • It is that kind of greed, that kind of corruption and that kind of callous disregard for the people that has helped undermine our ‘faith in the system’ . We kind of rely on the system but we are more and more realizing that we are just the fodder for the rich to get richer. In a parallel, the Russian conscripts realized that they are NOT fighting for their country like they might have had it been defending but they are, instead, the expendables’ in war created by the upper class. Realizing the truth of a situation is step one. Step two is usually just more suffering. When the poor cannot eat (or take drugs?), a leader emerges. We’ll see.


      • I watched an interview with a retired American general a few weeks ago.
        He commented that a corrupt system cannot fight a war effectively.
        The Russian politicians are corrupt , the Russian generals are corrupt, the lower officers are corrupt.
        It feeds upon itself until no soldier wants to follow any orders from above to support corrupt leaders
        Threats and intimidation only work for so long before the proletariat revolt.
        No Ukrainian forces have crossed into Russia so Putin can’t use the “Save the Motherland” excuse…yet.
        Russian blood spilled in the Donbas doesn’t have the same panache to “liberators” that were lied to by their own people.
        When they arrive in Ukraine they are shocked when the citizens are cursing them as invaders not liberators.
        Putin’s mess and he’s going to earn everything that’s coming his way.
        Trapped in Russia with his stolen billions and no other country (Iran or China perhaps?) will take him.
        He should be hanging upside down from a lamppost outside the Kremlin where Russian mothers of dead soldiers can pelt him with turnips and potato’s..


        • Putin hanging from a lamppost does not a revolution make. Change has to happen all throughout the system. Hanging Putin just leaves a space at the top for another Vlad. But their rot is even deeper than ours and the US. All the leading countries have this ‘rot’ and how to clean it out is the big question…and with whom? A bigger question even MIGHT be: “With what do we replace it?” Real Capitalism is way, way better than this corrupted Capitalism but NATURAL CAPITALISM (published by the Rocky Mountain Institute) is the only one that has sustainability and limited growth dialed in.


  10. I did not know about the snow crab but we are certainly noticing an absence of dungeness crabs and other changes. Hoping these can be reversed in the coming years.


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