Global warming saves far more lives than are harmed by warming

Notes… (understanding climate alarmism)

I am interested in a ‘mind revolution’ that goes to the core of human narratives, that reaches the human subconscious where deeply embedded “archetypes” (inherited impulses, associated ideas) shape how we view reality and life, and how we feel, respond and act. I believe you can change the nature of those embedded archetypes that have long been molded by primitive mythologies like apocalyptic. Our deepest impulses, and the ideas that we embrace to validate them, can be altered and humanized. Hence, my “Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives”. How we train ourselves to think shapes how we view life, how we feel, and how we consequently respond and behave. This project is about fully liberating human consciousness/subconscious.

Another…

The reposting here of “Old story myths, new story alternatives” below is to serve as a reminder of what is behind alarmist movements like climate alarmism- i.e. the deeply embedded themes that we have inherited from primitive mythical narratives, themes that have been embraced by contemporary ideologies like Declinism and its offspring environmental alarmism (part of the historical process of transforming primitive myth into contemporary “secular ideological” versions). Again, I urge visitors to read histories like Arthur Herman’s “The Idea of Decline in Western History” or Arthur Mendel’s “Vision and Violence” for historical detail.

Climate alarmism, despite its claims of representing science, is a profoundly religious movement.

Another

Concern over rising CO2 levels and the human contribution to this: We still don’t fully know how much of the modern rise of CO2 is human-caused or natural. Scientists have pointed out that the ‘perturbations’ (disturbance, deviation) in carbon cycles are larger than the human contribution through industrialization. Carbon cycles (i.e. land biomass/atmosphere, ocean/atmosphere) are not locked in some perfectly balanced exchange.

What we do know is that atmospheric levels of CO2 have been dangerously low over the recent past, dipping to 185 ppm just 20,000 years ago, almost the level at which all plant life dies (150 ppm). And we do know the current rise in CO2 levels has been immensely beneficial to all life with a massive greening of our planet- a 15% increase in green vegetation across the Earth over just the past 40 years. Life is once again flourishing with more of its basic plant food.

Also, the mild warming of the past- 1 degree C over the past century, with about 0.5 degree C of that occurring from 1975-1995. This has benefitted life also. But we need even more warming.

Why the endless panic-mongering and hysteria over this mild climate change? The answers appear to lie somewhat in the direction of stubbornly embedded mythological themes and related ideological dogmatism (politics). Patterns in human story also shed light on the real nature of climate alarmism- i.e. the natural human desire for heroic quest or journey, the felt need to engage a righteous battle against some evil or enemy (and to conquer or slay such), the felt need to embrace some form of salvation/redemption in order to achieve utopia or restore a lost paradise, etc.

So much goes into the mix of understanding these issues/problems and finding solutions to them.

Another

Keep the big picture in mind on this climate issue. New research again affirms that the previous warm periods of our interglacial (Holocene) were warmer than our Modern Warm Period. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/10/15/4-more-new-reconstructions-affirm-the-medieval-warm-period-was-warmer-than-today/

Our present Modern Warm Period is actually part of a long-term cooling trend now 5000 years and counting. Following the Holocene Optimum Warm Period of roughly 7000 to 5000 years ago, each successive warm period (i.e. Roman, Medieval, Modern) has been cooler than previous ones.

And while it warmed approximately 0.5 degrees C from 1975-95, since then the warming trend has been roughly flat. 1998 was a strong El Nino. Warming paused from 2003-15, then we had the strong El Nino of 2015-16, and since then warming has again paused over the past 6 years. See sites like Wattsupwiththat.com for detail.

Point? There is no “climate crisis”. Further, other scientists argue that we could be facing a cooling trend in coming decades. We will have to wait and see what happens. The mild warming that we have experienced is not a crisis but has been a net benefit to life.

The heat waves that we have suffered (e.g. Western North America this past summer), while harmful, are not as devastating as cold which causes far more fatalities. See Lomborg comments just below.

Another...

New research results again challenge the alarmist narrative of “climate crisis caused mainly by human use of fossil fuels and emissions of CO2”. This research affirms the role of cosmic rays on cloud cover and the counter role of solar explosions. This interaction between cosmic rays and solar explosions appears to overwhelm the influence of CO2. It demands a rethink of the climate alarm narrative on CO2 as “the main cause of climate change that will become catastrophic.”

See https://www.netzerowatch.com/sun-cosmic-ray-climate-connection-confirmed/

These major uncertainties ought to caution the hysterical demonization of CO2, and raise serious questions about the mad rush to eliminate fossil fuels and install systems based on unreliable renewables. Our best response, till we understand things better, is to adapt to climate change while continuing to use the in-expensive fossil fuels that have enabled billions to escape poverty, improve the human condition, and better care for nature.

I’ll say it again- there is no valid reason to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies.

Warming alarmists must be confronted with and made to respond to this critical fact- i.e. that cold weather kills around 5-10 times more people every year than warm weather does. Despite this evidence, alarmists continue to terrorize the public over a mild warming of only one degree C over the past century. This warming is a natural recovery from the bitter cold of the pre-industrial ‘Little Ice Age’ of 1450-1850. Humanity and all life will benefit further from more warming.

Bjorn Lomborg shows that global warming saves far more lives than are harmed by warming…

https://financialpost.com/opinion/bjorn-lomborg-climate-change-and-deaths-from-extreme-heat-and-cold

Lomborg notes that news media focus on deaths from heat waves and blame climate change but that is one-sided reporting that badly misinforms the public. What media and politicians ignore almost entirely is that global warming has the effect of reducing cold waves and cold deaths that are far more common than heat deaths.

Lomborg quotes from the above link

“What is almost entirely ignored by politicians and media, however, is that rising temperatures also have the effect of reducing cold waves and cold deaths. Cold restricts blood flow needed to keep our core warm, increasing blood pressure and killing through strokes, heart attacks, and respiratory diseases. But because they don’t fit the current climate narrative deaths from cold are rarely reported. If they were just a curiosity, the indifference might be justified, but they aren’t. Each year, more than 100,000 people die from cold in the U.S. and 13,000 in Canada — which is more than 40 cold deaths for every heat death…

“On a worldwide basis, cold deaths vastly outnumber heat deaths. This is not just true for cold countries like Canada but also warmer countries like the U.S., Spain and Brazil. Even in India, cold deaths outnumber heat deaths by seven to one. Globally, every year about 300,000 deaths are caused by heat, whereas almost 1.7 million people die of cold …

“A landmark study in Lancet shows that across every region climate change has brought a greater reduction in cold deaths over the past few decades than it has caused additional heat deaths. On average, it has avoided upwards of twice as many deaths, resulting in perhaps 200,000 fewer cold deaths each year…

“Heat deaths are generally declining in countries with good data, because heat deaths can be effectively tackled with more widely available air conditioning, heat alerts, open public pools and air-conditioned malls and by encouraging people to use fans and drink plenty of water. This is abundantly clear for the U.S., where hot days have increased since 1960, and have come to affect a much larger population. Yet the number of U.S. heat deaths has halved. The rest of the world needs access to the same simple technologies to drastically reduce heat deaths.

“Tackling cold deaths turns out to be much harder, because it requires well-heated homes over weeks and months. Moreover, strong climate policies will increase heating costs and make cold deaths even more prevalent. Researchers have looked at the natural experiment in the U.S. since 2010 as fracking has delivered a dramatic reduction in the cost of natural gas. This made gas-heated homes warmer and safer because poorer households, in particular, could afford better heating. The study estimated that these lower energy prices save about 11,000 Americans from dying every winter. That alone is four times the lives lost from all North American heat deaths…

“A climate policy that drives gas prices back up will mean fewer people will be able to afford to adequately heat their homes and as a consequence the death rate will go back up…

“But when it comes to tackling heat and cold deaths, current climate reporting leaves us badly informed. It makes us focus on the costliest and least effective way to help future victims of heat and cold. It even risks exacerbating cold deaths by raising heating costs. Moreover, it simply tells us a misleading story of heat deaths, ignoring the much greater number of avoided cold deaths. For now, global warming reduces more deaths than it causes, saving possibly 100,000 lives each year.”

“Bjorn Lomborg is president of the Copenhagen Consensus and visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His latest book is False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet.”

My conclusion: The continuing cold climate of our planet is a far greater threat to humanity than any warming. We could benefit immensely from a few more degrees of warming in our current “ice-age era” where average temperatures are 5-10 degrees below the more optimal averages of most past history. So once again, there is no good reason to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies.

And then- the Chicken Little gathering as climate alarmism reaches another crescendo of hysteria…

This month (October 2021) there will be another great gathering of apocalyptic alarmists- COP26 in Glasgow- trying to convince the world that the end is nigh (the year 2030 prophesied as the latest “end-of-days”). Think “Chicken Little” as you watch this event unfold because that is the level of rationality being expressed.

See this good summary of some of the best climate science “Nature, not human activity, rules the climate” at http://www.sepp.org/publications/nipcc_final.pdf

And this from Anthony Watts site: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/10/12/epa-u-s-heat-wave-heat-cold-death-rate-data-exposes-destroys-biden-democrats-extreme-heat-propaganda/

Notes…

We have had a mild 1 degree C of warming over the past century in our abnormally cold world. That 1 degree C was part of a natural recovery from the bitter cold of the pre-industrial Little Ice Age (1450-1850). Earth has responded to this warming and more basic plant food in the atmosphere (more CO2) with a stunning 15% increase in green vegetation across the planet over the past 40 years. More warmth means extended growing seasons for crops and extended habitats for life. All life would benefit further from more warmth and more plant food. Increasing warmth and rising CO2 will not lead to a “climate catastrophe” but will lead to life thriving even more.

See further details on climate science in articles and sources listed below. The best evidence on climate change affirms that there is no rational scientific reason to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies. In fact, such policies are causing a current energy shortage across the world with rising energy costs that harm the poorest people the most. Decarbonization (“Net Zero by 2050”) is a foolishly irresponsible salvation scheme of climate alarmists (“save the world”) in thrall to an insanely exaggerated climate apocalyptic narrative.

Narratives of despair

There is no darker expression of meaningless despair (nihilism) and cynical pessimism than to embrace the primitive myth of apocalyptic- the fallacy of a catastrophic collapse and final end of life. There is no greater denial of reality/truth than to ignore the amassed evidence on the improving state of life across the history of Earth, and particularly since the emergence and development of conscious humanity across past millennia. Lessening violence is a prime example of improvement: see James Payne’s “History of Force”.

Apocalyptic is arguably an expression of insanity, madness, and denialism of the worst kind. It leads to dangerous self-fulfilling prophecy outcomes, people willing to embrace “salvation” schemes that ruin societies because they are allowing themselves to be misled that they are involved in “saving the world from some existential catastrophe”. Remember the “madness of crowds” where many normally rational people allowed themselves to become caught up in the apocalyptic millennial movements of Marxism and Nazism last century. The mass-death outcomes were horrific.

Further, there is no greater insanity than the current demonization of CO2- the basic food of all life- as a “pollutant/poison” (e.g. Bill Maher).

What the world needs now are clear, undeterrable voices proclaiming the absolutely critical role of CO2 in sustaining and saving life. This miniscule (0.04% of the atmosphere) trace gas- CO2- is essential to life, health, and the well-being of all.

CO2 facts:

During the past millions of years of our current ice-age era, CO2 levels have been at historic lows, dangerous lows. Just 20,000 years ago CO2 levels declined to 185 ppm, barely above the level at which all life dies (150 ppm). We have had a slight recovery to 400-plus ppm and life is flourishing again with a 15% increase in green vegetation across the planet over just the last 40 years. Life will flourish a lot more if CO2 rises to the optimum levels of past history that were in the 1000-1500 ppm range and even much higher. With those past levels of CO2 in the multiple-thousands of ppm there was no climate catastrophe but, instead, life thrived.

Why the panic-mongering over the current mild rise in CO2?

CO2 levels are not harmful to people till well in excess of 5000 ppm and there is almost no possibility of CO2 levels rising that high. US submariners live with CO2 levels in the 2000-5000 range. The CDC says CO2 becomes life-threatening in the 50-100,000 ppm. Again, CO2 levels will not rise that high. See Patrick Moore’s detailed explanation of what happened to CO2 over past millions of years- i.e. its sequestration in carbonaceous rocks by marine life (“Fake Invisible Catastrophes and Threats of Doom”). The greater threat to life is not more CO2 but less CO2.

Increases above the current 415 ppm will not cause catastrophic heating of the Earth because CO2’s warming influence has already reached “saturation” in terms of its ability to absorb and re-emit the infrared radiation that warms climate (Note the research of climate physicists Richard Lindzen, William Happer, and others). An increase from 400 to 800 ppm “may” cause another degree or two of warming. May. Yes “may”, because the CO2 influence on climate is minor and is regularly overwhelmed by other natural factors that show stronger correlations to the climate change that we have experienced over past decades and centuries. CO2 is only a “bit player” in the climate mix. See, for example: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/08/10/the-diminishing-influence-of-increasing-carbon-dioxide-on-temperature/ or https://energycentral.com/c/um/no-evidence-support-carbon-dioxide-causing-global-warming

We are still in a “CO2 starvation era” and should hope that levels continue to rise to the healthier, optimal levels of past history.

Notable also, the Modern Warm Period that began around 1975 saw only about 0.5 degrees C of warming over subsequent decades. The warming then stopped mid-90s, and climate has basically flatlined since the early Oughts (2003) except for two strong El Nino years in 2015-16. Since then, the mid-70s to mid-90s warming trend has again flatlined/paused for the past 6 years (see climate reports at Wattsupwiththat.com). The climate models predicted 3-6 degrees C warming over these and coming decades, but actual observed climate warming has been much less and does not appear to be trending toward much more warming. Even the IPCC admits that its discredited climate models “were running too hot”. Some scientists have predicted that another cooling period may actually occur over the upcoming decades.

We should hope for further warming in our still abnormally cold world where average temperatures are 5-10 degrees C below optimal averages over the past history of life. Remember, cold kills far more people every year than warmth does. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150520193831.htm

Once, again there is no rational scientific reason to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies.

Countering madness narratives– scattered notes…

It is spitting into a storm to try to get a committed pessimist to view the amassed evidence on the improving state of life. A committed pessimist embraces alarmist scenarios because they resonate with and affirm his apocalyptic beliefs in life declining toward catastrophe and ending. The pessimist’s apocalyptic beliefs are inherited religious beliefs, long embedded in human narratives and consciousness/subconscious.

Another:

Progress is not guaranteed but is natural and the most likely continuing trajectory of life. All people naturally want a better life and will put in the hard work and creativity to achieve something better. This natural impulse of most people results in the overall improving trajectory of life. It takes some kind of busy-body elite intervention to fuck this natural trajectory up, this natural impulse to progress.

Another:

Watch the outcomes of the endless beating of narratives of despair into public consciousness (i.e. the climate apocalyptic narratives). Those narratives of despair orient people to expect the worst, to embrace wish fulfillment and even incite some people to engage activism to bring on the end times. We saw this in the extremism of ISIS where many young men tried to help God bring on the end of a corrupt world and restore a lost paradise across the Earth. That apocalyptic activism is also finding expression in the climate alarm movement, where alarmists are trying to impose a salvation scheme- decarbonization- in order to overturn industrial society. They are bent on achieving purification from a world they believe has been corrupted by fossil fuel industrial society. Just like ISIS they are seeking redemption, salvation, and new life in a restored paradise. Climate alarmism is a profoundly religious movement, cloaked in Declinist ideology, with a smattering of highly distorted “climate science”.

Steve Koonin’s responses to fact-checkers that claimed his book “Unsettled” was promoting misinformation on climate https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/10/10/steve-koonin-the-factcheckers/

Below are Koonin’s responses to fact-checkers like Kerry Emmanuel…

”The rate of sea-level rise has not accelerated.”

“… the acceleration seen over the past few decades is comparable to that seen around 1930, when human influences on the climate were much smaller…The IPCC has accepted that sea levels were rising at a similar level to now earlier in the 20thC, a fact which is evident from tide gauges.

”The extent of global fires has been trending significantly downward.”

“The fact checkers do not dispute the statement, which surprises most non-experts, who typically believe that human influences on the climate are the dominant cause of fires…

“The factchecks make no comment on the effects of decades of fire suppression and poor forest management which undoubtedly are a major factor now.

”Tornado frequency and severity are also not trending up; nor are the number and severity of droughts.”

“The statement is true, and the fact checkers do not dispute it, but rather give reasons why it is true and why it might not be true in the future. The second half of Unsettled’s Chapter 6 covers the points they raise, including the clustering and spatial shifts mentioned by Swain and Prein.

“Highlighting that there are no climatologically significant trends in tornadoes, as is true for many other severe weather phenomena, is a tonic to the widespread perception that “we’ve already broken the climate”. Emanuel’s claim of a strawman is then curious. Would he have scientists discuss only those severe weather phenomena that do show a deleterious trend? Doing that would alarmingly misinform non-experts.

“The criticism by Kerry Emmanuel is beyond absurd, given he and his colleagues routinely claim trends where no proper data exists.

“He is also completely wrong, as NOAA’s won data shows a marked decline the number of strong tornadoes.

http://web.archive.org/web/20200410134618/https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/climate-information/extreme-events/us-tornado-climatology/trends

”The number and severity of droughts are also not trending up.”

“Unsettled (pg 98) quotes the following from IPCC AR5 WGI Section 2.6.2.3

“. . . the IPCC expressed low confidence in a global-scale observed trend in drought or dryness (lack of rainfall) since the middle of the 20th century . . .

“Humans have had no detectable impact on hurricanes over the past century”

“Authors of 2019 paper that displayed and assessed hurricane trends extending back more than a century… the majority of the authors had only low confidence that any other observed tropical cyclone changes were beyond what could be attributed to natural variability.

”Global crop yields are rising, not falling.” “The fact checkers agree with the statement, which is another tonic to the notion that the world is suffering from climate devastation.

His conclusion: “These factcheckers have no interest in facts. Their only concern is that views are not expressed which run counter to their extremist outlook, which is not based on fact and hard data, but on models and prejudice.”

Note: The reposting here of “Old story myths, new story alternatives” is to serve as a reminder of what is behind alarmist movements like climate alarmism- i.e. the deeply embedded themes that we have inherited from primitive mythical narratives, themes that have been embraced by contemporary ideologies like Declinism and ifs offspring environmental alarmism. Again, I urge visitors to read histories like Arthur Herman’s The Idea of Decline in Western History. Countering the panic-mongering of climate alarmism, as with all eruptions of apocalyptic hysteria, will require going to the root of the problem- the ideas that alarmists employ to incite unnecessary fear in populations. Those ideas are profoundly religious in nature.

Short-form list of Old story myths, New story alternatives (revised)

A prominent set of myths has been repeated all across human history and across all the cultures of the world. These myths are primitive and profound distortions of reality and life. They do not express the true state of things. Nonetheless, they continue to dominate human narratives and consciousness today.

These ideas have long been the central beliefs of the world religions. They are now also embraced in “secular” ideological belief systems like Declinism, the belief that life is becoming worse and declining toward catastrophe and ending. They have even found expression in “scientific” versions. But at core they are the same old primitive pathologies as ever before.

I tackle these myths on this site because they have always deformed human consciousness and life with unnecessary fear, anxiety, shame/guilt, despair, depression, and violence. How we think (the ideas that we hold) shapes how we view life, how we feel about things, and how we respond and act. Example: If you believe God will judge, punish, and destroy your enemies (i.e. Hell) then you will treat them in the same manner (judging, condemning, excluding, punishing). We become just like the God/Ultimate Reality that we believe in.

Related conclusion: Climate alarmism, with its apocalyptic scenarios and salvation schemes, is a profoundly religious movement presented as secular ideology and even science.

Old story themes, new story alternatives, Wendell Krossa

1. Old story myth: The idea of deity as a judging, punishing, and destroying reality. Contemporary “secular” versions of judging, punishing deity include “Vengeful Gaia, angry Planet/Mother Earth, retributive Universe, and payback karma”.

Alternative: The new theology of deity as a stunningly no conditions reality (no conditions love). There is no threat from an unconditional God, no judgment, no exclusion of anyone, and no punishment or destruction.

2. Old story myth: The idea of a perfect beginning (Eden) and a God obsessed with perfection, enraged at the loss of perfection, and demanding punishment of imperfection.

Alternative: The world was purposefully created as originally imperfect in order to serve as an arena for human struggle, learning, and development. Deity has no problem with imperfection.

3. Old story myth: Humanity began as a more perfect species (the myth of noble primitive hunter gatherers, Adam/Eve) but became corrupted/sinful (i.e. the myth of the “Fall of mankind”).

Alternative: Humanity emerged from the brutality of animal reality to gradually become more humane across history (a long-term trajectory of rise/improvement, not fall and degeneration/decline).

4. Old story myth: The world began as an original paradise but after the “Fall” the overall trajectory of life has been declining, degenerating toward something worse.

Alternative: The long-term trajectory of life does not decline but overall rises/improves toward something ever better.

5. Old story myth: The belief that natural disasters, disease, human cruelty, and death are expressions of divine punishment.

Alternative: While there are natural consequences all through life, there is no punitive, destroying deity behind the imperfections of life.

6. Old story Myth: The belief that humanity has been rejected by the Creator and we must be reconciled via violent blood sacrifice.

Alternative: No one has ever been rejected by the unconditional Love at the core of reality. No one has ever been separated from God. Ultimate Love does not demand appeasement/payment/atonement.

7. Old story myth: The idea of a cosmic dualism between Good and Evil (i.e. God versus Satan) now expressed in human dualisms (tribes of righteous people versus unrighteous tribes/“enemies”).

Alternative: there is a fundamental Oneness at the core of all and we share that oneness. We all belong to the one human family and the ultimate Oneness that is God.

8. Old story myth: The belief in a looming apocalypse as the final judgment, ultimate punishment of wrong, and final destruction of all things.

Alternative: There are problems all through the world but there is no looming threat of final destruction and ending. Apocalypse is a great fraud and lie.

9. Old story myth: The always “imminent” element in apocalyptic demands urgent action to save something, even coercive violence to effect “instantaneous transformation”. (Arthur Mendel, in Vision and Violence, details the difference between the approaches of “instantaneous transformation” and “gradualism”.)

Alternative: There is no imminent “end of days” on the horizon, inciting urgency to “save the world”. Rather, life improves through gradual democratic processes as creative humanity cooperatively solves problems.

10. Old story myth: The demand for a salvation plan, a required sacrifice or atonement (debt payment, punishment).

Alternative: Unconditional deity does not demand sacrifice, atonement, payment, or punishment as required for appeasement. Deity loves unconditionally.

11. Old story myth: The belief that retribution or payback is true “justice” (i.e. eye for eye, hurt for hurt, humiliation for humiliation, punishment for punishment).

Alternative: Unconditional love keeps no record of wrongs, forgives freely and without limit. And yes, there are natural consequences to bad behavior in this world, but all justice should be restorative/rehabilitative in response to human failure.

12. Old story myth: The belief in after-life judgment, exclusion, punishment, and destruction (i.e. hell). This pathology adds unnecessary sting to the human fear of death.

Alternative: Unconditional love does not threaten ultimate judgment, exclusion, punishment, or destruction.

13. Old story myth: The idea of a “hero” messiah who will use superior force to overthrow enemies, purge the world of wrong, and install a promised utopia.

Alternative: A God of authentic love does not intervene with overwhelming force that overrides human freedom and choice. It is up to maturing humanity to make the world a better place through gradualism processes that respect the freedom of others that differ.

14. Old story myth: The fallacy of biblicism- the belief that religious holy books are more special and authoritative than ordinary human literature, and the related fallacy that people are obligated to live according to the holy book as the will, law, or specially inspired word of God.

Alternative: We evaluate all human writing according to basic criteria of right and wrong, good and bad, humane or inhumane. Holy books are not exempted from this basic process of discernment.

15. Old story myth: The idea of God as King, Ruler, Lord, or Judge. This myth promotes the idea that God relates to humanity in domination/submission forms of relating. This is based on the primitive idea that humans were “created to serve the gods”.

Alternative: There is no domination/subservience relationship of humanity to God. True greatness is to relate horizontally to all as equals.

16. Old story myth: The idea that humanity is obligated to know, serve, or have a relationship with an invisible reality (deity), that we are to give primary loyalty to something separate from and above people.

Alternative: Our primary loyalty is to love and serve people around us. Their needs, here and now, take priority in life. Loyalty to realities above people (laws, institutions, or higher authorities) have always resulted in the neglect or abuse of people.

17. Old story myth: The perception that God is silent or absent during the horrors of life (i.e. Where was God during the Holocaust?). This myth of absent deity is based on the primitive belief that God is a sky deity (dwelling in heaven), a deity that descends to intervene in life and change circumstances in order to save or protect people.

Alternative: There has never been a Sky God up above in some heaven. God has always been incarnated equally in all humanity and God has always been immediately present in all human suffering and is intimately present in all human raging and struggle against evil. God is inseparable from the human spirit in all of us and is expressed in all human action to prevent evil, to solve problems, and to improve life. We are the embodiments/incarnations of God in this world, and nothing saves us except our choices and actions to help one another.

18. Old story myth: The fallacy of “limited good” and the belief that too many people are consuming too much of Earth’s resources, and hence world resources are being exhausted.

Alternative: More people means more creative minds to solve problems. More consumption means more wealth to solve problems and enable us to make life better- i.e. enable us to improve the human condition and protect the natural world at the same time. Evidence affirms that human improvement and environmental improvement has been the outcome of more people on Earth. See “Population Bombed” by Desrochers and Szurmak, “Ultimate Resource” by Julian Simon, “Humanprogress.org”, and related studies.

Further, we are not exhausting Earth’s resources. With the emergence of some apparent resource scarcity, humanity through improving technology discovers more reserves of those scarce resources or shifts to alternative resources. There is a superabundance of resources in our world.

Add your own themes/ideas and alternatives.

Alarmism defined: The tendency to exaggerate some problem/threat to apocalyptic scale thereby terrorizing populations. Alarmist exaggeration distorts the true state of a problem. It does not help us to understand the real nature of a problem and how to rationally respond to it. Alarmism incites irrationality and the embrace of damaging salvation schemes like decarbonization.

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Eruptions, surges of apocalyptic hysteria/madness, and the destructive consequences of such irresponsibility

Here’s one from Wattsupwiththat.com… “One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool”, George Orwell.

Quotes from Richard Landes’ Introduction to Arthur Mendel’s “Vision and Violence”, on apocalyptic millennial movements. Point? Climate change alarmism has become the latest apocalyptic millennial movement.

Apocalyptic millennial movements foresee some catastrophic end to life, a necessary violent purging of some “evil” (CO2, greedy humanity in industrial society), before a new world (millennium, utopia) can be established or a lost paradise restored.

Landes’ comments…

“The Nazis were a millennial movement… millennial as a belief in a radically transformed future for all mankind… the secular is merely another clothing that millennialism has taken… and Nazism is as much a New Religious Movement as a new political one… Hitler was one of the most powerful and paranoid messiah figures that history has ever produced… the German response to him was a classic, if tragic, case of violent millennial enthusiasm… Democracy, Scientific Utopianism, Nationalism, Communism, Zionism, Nazism, Environmentalism are forms of millennial thinking, partly secular, partly still profoundly religious.”

“To the pessimists, the world and humans are so permeated by evil that terrible catastrophes must come to annihilate the evil at the dawn of the new world. Extremists of this school foresee immense violence and human destruction, they tend to view things dualistically, seeing everyone as part of the forces of “good” or “evil” with no middle ground… nothing can motivate more powerfully than apocalyptic beliefs”.

“We have reason to fear the apocalyptic believers- they believe we hate and want to destroy them, and their violence is, in their minds, purely self-protective, when it is not world saving…. Totalitarianism is the desperate effort of a millennial movement that has taken power to force the creation of the perfect world… millennialism can be the most violent and destructive force in history”.

Why do apocalyptic millennial believers continue to believe that the apocalypse will still happen despite the endless failures of their end-of-days predictions? Why does apocalyptic millennial madness continue?

“Once the prophecy is falsified, the nonsense should cease. But the cognitive dissonance of such a conclusion is unbearable to true apocalyptic believers. They have experienced too much truth- powerful, salvific, life-giving- in their millennial community to abandon it. The power of the apocalyptic community to transform its members with a sense of intimacy, purpose, and meaning, makes it particularly resilient to prophetic failure”.

“(Apocalyptic believers) cannot live with this world… so penetrated with evil that it failed to listen and repent. At one extreme of this spectrum lies suicide. At anther extreme, lies mass-murder. They combine in suicide murders… the time has come for the final, annihilating battle in which the true believer must fight with the forces of good… believers want to be martyred and will try to provoke and attack on them… (they) are moved to extreme behavior by a sense of imminence”.

“The historian Norman Cohn sought the origins of the two most devastating millennial movements of his day- Communism and Nazism- in a millennial impulse most historians had generally ignored…”

“Millennialism is not marginal, it is a widespread belief system shared by many people, especially in the monotheistic cultures, but also quite notable in Buddhism and Taoism… Millennialism was the essential idiom of Jewish apocalyptic thinking… Christianity emerges out of the Judaism of the first century CE… (around 1500 CE) there was a shift from religious to secular millennial projects and movements.

“Millennial phenomena survive all forms of secularization (Renaissance, Enlightenment, Atheism) not only undiminished but intensified… Millennial movements play a far greater role in the dynamics of modernity than most historians have imagined.”

First a qualifier: Let me affirm that renewables should be a part of a future mix of energy sources. But the motivation to explore and promote renewables should not be based on threats from hyper-exaggerated climate catastrophe narratives. We should experiment with alternatives to fossil fuels (renewables, nuclear, other) with the understanding that there is no “existential crisis” or “imminent catastrophe” obligating us to do so. Further, renewables should be financed more by private and not public money. Public funds are better spent on solving actual problems facing humanity and supporting pragmatic energy sources like fossil fuels.

Eruptions/surges of apocalyptic hysteria, Wendell Krossa

A renewed surge of apocalyptic madness has been sweeping across the planet- i.e. the climate change hysteria that exaggeratedly claims we are facing “climate catastrophe” if Earth warms a few more degrees. The climate crisis movement is not a science-based movement, though it incessantly nags us to “believe the science”. The themes that climate alarmism promotes reveal that it is another profoundly religious movement, strikingly similar to all previous eruptions of apocalyptic hysteria. Yes, there are elements of science in the mix- i.e. that we have experienced a mild warming over the past century (1 degree C), and that CO2 plays a small role in warming (“a bit player”).

The best climate science (see sites like co2coalition.org, co2science.org, Wattsupwiththat.com, etc.) shows that we are not facing a “climate catastrophe”. Unfortunately, such evidence is overwhelmed by the primitive mythological themes that have shaped the exaggerated catastrophe narrative of the climate alarmism movement. Climate alarmism themes resonate with primitive mythical ideas that have long dominated human narratives across history, both religious and “secular/ideological” narratives.

Panic-mongering that uses apocalyptic-scale scenarios has always resulted in harm to people. Richard Landes was right to call apocalyptic “the most violent and destructive idea in history”. Today the consequences of the climate alarmist’s salvation scheme- decarbonization- are increasingly evident in (1) severely rising energy prices that hurt the poorest people the most (note recent reports on the energy problems in Britain, Europe, China, and elsewhere), (2) lack of fossil fuel reserves that threaten life as a cold winter approaches (15-20 times more people die across Earth every year from cold than die from warmth), (3) grid instability and shutdown due to increasing dependence on unreliable renewables, and more. See ‘Global Warming Policy Forum’ reports for detail. Note that contemporary climate alarmism has more to do with Chicken Little mythology than the true state of climate.

Once again, here are the primitive mythical themes and patterns that fuel apocalyptic exaggeration and hysteria:

1. The past was better than the present time (original paradise or golden age- a past wilderness world).

2. ”Fallen/corrupt” humans have ruined the original paradise (anti-humanism is central to all apocalyptic mythology- blame humanity).

3. Life is becoming worse and is now declining toward catastrophe and ending (apocalypse). The belief that life is declining/degenerating (narratives of despair) reveals an obsessive and relentless orientation to the thing that go wrong in life with no balancing context of the good things that are happening in life. Declinism denies the long-term and overall improvement of life.

4. The panic-mongering over an apocalyptic ending to life frightens people, arousing their survival impulse. Scared people then abandon rationality and are susceptible to the destructive salvation schemes of alarmists.

5. Apocalyptic salvation involves (1) the felt need to make some sacrifice (e.g. give up the good life for a “morally superior simple life”), (2) the felt need to suffer something (i.e. the felt need to pay for sin, to suffer punishment for being bad), and (3) the felt need to purge some “evil threat”, something that defiles life (purification). The purging of evil is often a violent process. Note, for example, Zoroaster’s vision of a fiery end-time purging of the world, or the similar final violent purging of an impure world as detailed in the New Testament book of Revelation. Again, these themes have been deeply embedded in human meta-narratives both religious and secular.

The purging of purported impurity in the world is necessary to prepare the way for the restoration of the lost paradise, the restoration of a previously “pure world” (Eden, Dilmun, past golden age). Today the purging of evil requires central state coercion. Further, we are told that purging must involve “instantaneous transformation” of society because the apocalyptic ending is always “imminent”. There is no time to waste. The “final tipping point… the end” is just ahead. We have no time left and must act “now”, according to apocalyptic alarmists. Damn the democratic processes that respect the freedom of others.

Note that the prophesied end never arrives because life continues to get better over the long term. Hence, the end-time dates must be endlessly reset further and further into the future.

6. When the salvation is scheme is fully enacted then the lost paradise can be restored.

Scientific fact, though critically important, releases few minds from the above themes because most people live by inherited narratives and the themes of these narratives relate to inherited impulses- i.e. the impulse to engage a hero’s quest, to fight a righteous battle against some evil/enemy (tribal dualism), to conquer a monster, to sacrifice and suffer in order to save something, and consequently to tower in stature as heroic. Climate apocalyptic resonates with these impulses.

I’m reposting some earlier comments on climate change because this apocalyptic movement is now surging to new heights of feverish hysteria over “the end-is-nigh”.

Reposted notes:

“The whole aim of practical politics (and news media) is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.” ― H.L. Mencken, In Defense Of Women

The climate alarm movement is the latest in an endless history of apocalyptic alarmism movements. Many of these movements were previously religiously-oriented but today they are often “secular/ideological” in orientation, as in environmental alarmism crusades. However, the same core themes- primitive mythical themes- dominate both religious and secular versions of apocalyptic movements.

Presentism

“… most people pay little attention to the study of history and the result is the ‘fallacy of presentism’: the tendency to assume that events of the present are larger, more important, or more shocking than events of the past”, James Payne in ‘A History of Force’.

The fallacy of “Presentism” in relation to climate: The belief that some extreme weather event or natural disaster is the worst ever because we experienced it firsthand. The larger context is critical for properly understanding weather events, natural disasters, and climate in general. Our current Modern Warm Period is the coolest of all the warm periods of our Holocene interglacial. Further, the extreme weather events of our present world (heat waves, cold spells) are no different from all past history. More surprising, extreme weather events (storms, droughts, floods, wildfires) are not becoming worse and in some cases are becoming less frequent and less severe (even the IPCC affirms this). Note sources like Wattsupwiththat.com for detail.

Consequences of persistent despair narratives, Wendell Krossa

“Pessimism turns to fatalism and the only option is resignation and withdrawal”, Arthur Herman in ‘The Idea of Decline in Western History’. Propagandized pessimism incites spreading hopelessness in populations. World surveys tell us that majorities of populations now believe “the world is getting worse”. And note the correlated trend of young couples refusing to have children in a world they believe will soon end. Or children suffering “eco-anxiety” and afraid they will die before reaching adulthood (so why attend school).

But worse than resignation and withdrawal is the potential of apocalyptic despair narratives to push populations toward a “self-fulfilling prophecy” mindset where alarmed people are increasingly susceptible to alarmist salvation schemes. Schemes intended to overturn industrial civilization, entirely. Human freedom will be the collateral damage of these schemes because Green policies, in their extremist versions, demand all-encompassing change and control of lives via centralized state coercion. Add the disturbing trends to silence, ban, and even criminalize skeptics to Green hysteria. Example: Obama’s AG, Loretta Lynch, tried to criminalize skeptical climate science in 2016. Remember- skepticism, questioning, falsification, contrary data, challenge- all are critical to good science on any issue. Skepticism will enable us to get to the true state of any issue.

Further essential to the Green revolution is the growing demand for “instantaneous transformation” of society because the apocalyptic prophets claim that the end-of-days is imminent, just years up ahead (2030 is the latest end-time date). There is no time to waste, according to the prophets, and objectors with their demands for open debate and democratic processes are endangering all life. They are “murderous” deniers, unbelievers of the despair narrative. Hence, the great Green transformation will require “coercive purging”, via state force, in order to “save the world” from the purported threat to life- i.e. greedy consumers in an industrial society based on fossil fuels.

These totalitarian apocalyptic approaches were tried last century and what was the outcome? We had the mass-death movements of Marxism (100 million deaths from the crusade against the “capitalist threat”) and Nazism (50-60 million deaths from the crusade against the “Jewish Bolshevik threat”). Environmental alarmism has now taken up the formerly Marxist crusade to overturn industrial civilization, with despair narratives no different from the other unhinged apocalyptic crusades of past history.

(Note: The above conclusions are not mine alone. Data and sources from many credible researchers are noted in articles and sections below.)

Prophets without shame, Wendell Krossa

Apocalyptic prophets have been prophesying the end-of-days at a fevered level for the past 70 years, with heightened eruptions of hysteria along the way. Notable among the sandwich-board crowd is Paul Ehrlich who claimed in the 1970s that the end was nigh for varied reasons- global cooling, mass starvation, exhausted resources. He set dates for the end around 1980. But nope. The end did not arrive because life, to the contrary, generally improved. So he, and related prophets, reset the date for the apocalypse another decade or so out. And nope again. Life and the world did not end then. So they repeated the fraud of apocalyptic exaggeration and reset the end of days again. And again. These prophets usually claim an end-times date about 10-15 years up ahead. The latest date for the end-of-days is 2030. John Kerry has become one of the main voices propagandizing this “final tipping point” mythology.

What drives this endless re-setting of the end-of-days? The apocalyptic mind denies the evidence that life overall continues to improve. Apocalyptic scenarios are irrational, irresponsible, unscientific lunacy. Is that too harsh a conclusion?

Many fundamental indicators of the true state of life show that we are living through the best of times in world history (see, for example, ‘Humanprogress.org’). And the future will be much better. The end-of-days scenarios pumped out repeatedly by apocalyptic prophets under the guise of science are fraudulent distortions of life. See sources in material below.

Articles on this site probe the mindset of the many people that continue to embrace the insanity that is apocalyptic mythology. Apocalypticism has to do with themes/ideas that have long dominated human worldviews, whether in religious versions or “secular/ideological/scientific” versions. This is deeply embedded ‘subconscious’ stuff, “archetypal” stuff.

The true state of life on Earth (a revised reposting) Wendell Krossa

While problems exist everywhere, they are solvable and humanity has done well in caring for and preserving world resources. For detailed research on the true status of world resources see Julian Simon’s ‘Ultimate Resource’, Bjorn Lomborg’s ‘Skeptical Environmentalist’, or ‘Population Bombed’ by Szurmak and Desrochers, among many similar studies. Below are some basic facts on the main resources of our world. They are the main indicators of the true state of life on our planet. They all show that life is not declining toward something worse. There is no looming environmental apocalypse.

Leading indicators for evaluating the true state of life:

(1) World forest cover in the 1950s was 3.8 billion hectares (FAO stats). World forest cover today is 4.1-plus billion hectares, despite the world population tripling from 2.4 billion people in the early 1950s to almost 8 billion today. Deforestation rates continue to decline and reforestation/afforestation projects continue to succeed. We are not destroying the world’s forests. http://www.fao.org/forestry/fra/52045/en/
and https://www.humanprogress.org/what-do-the-numbers-show-about-global-deforestation/

(2) Proven species extinctions. While any species extinction is unacceptable, we have dramatically improved our care of nature. Species extinctions are on a notably declining trend line and have decreased from about 5 per year in 1870 to about 0.5 per year today (see the IUCN Red List All Extinct Species by Decade on p.101 of Patrick Moore’s new book ‘Fake Invisible Catastrophes And Threats of Doom’). While nature has destroyed over 95% of all species over the span of life on this planet, compassionate humanity is now protecting species as never before.

See also Julian Simon’s chapter on the IUCN report on species loss (in Ultimate Resource and other books) and the discredited assumption/correlation between habitat loss and species extinctions. The wrong assumption was that with habitat loss of 90% some 50% of species would go extinct. Both the Northeastern US and Northeastern Brazil study areas disproved that assumption. The assumption did not understand the resiliency, adaptability, and toughness of life. There is no species holocaust occurring. Nature is not “fragile”.

(3) Climate change (the atmosphere as a main resource): There has been a mild 1 degree Centigrade of warming over the past century and a half. That slightly warmed our still abnormally cold world. We are still in an “ice-age era”. Average surface temperatures today are around 15 degrees Centigrade. That is 5-10 degrees Centigrade below the more optimal average surface temperatures of the past 500 million years. For over 90% of the past 500 million years there was no ice at the poles. That is a more normal and optimal world. And contrary to the falsified climate models, there is no settled evidence of much more warming occurring in the future. There is no “climate crisis” looming.

Also, most of our Holocene inter-glacial, that began around 11,000 years ago, has been warmer than today. The Holocene Climatic Optimum (roughly 10-5,000 years ago) was more than 1 degree C. warmer. The Roman Warm Period (250 BCE to 400 CE) and the Medieval Warm Period (950- 1,250 CE) were also warmer than today. Life overall and human civilization flourished during such warming periods. From about 5,000 years ago our interglacial began a long-term cooling trend (the “Neoglacial” period). Our current Modern Warm period is the coolest of the four warm periods of our interglacial.

We are also still in a “CO2 starvation era” where CO2 has declined to its lowest levels compared to most of past history. 20,000 years ago CO2 levels declined to 185 ppm, barely above the level at which all plant life dies (150 ppm). We have experienced a mild increase in atmospheric CO2 levels to 400-plus ppm today but this is still far below long-term historical averages (multiple-thousands of ppm) when life flourished with much more of its basic plant food.

(4) Ocean fisheries are not collapsing and aquaculture is meeting the growing human demand for fish. See Ray Hilborn reports and FAO summaries on fisheries. The world fisheries are not being decimated, though various species are over-fished and need more protection/better management. Wild fish consumption has peaked over past decades and aquaculture has been growing rapidly to meet the growing demand for fish. https://www.washington.edu/news/2020/01/13/fisheries-management-is-actually-working-global-analysis-shows/

(5) The overall agricultural land-base is not severely degrading. Also, any soil erosion must be understood in net terms, as related to new soil regeneration rates. Further, over the past century and more, we have returned several hundred million acres of agricultural land back to nature as hi-yield GM crops enable farmers to produce more crop on the same or less land. We have probably already passed “peak-agricultural land” use.

Thanks also to increasing levels of basic plant food in the atmosphere (i.e. CO2) there has been a 30% increase in green vegetation across the Earth over the past century. This aerial CO2 also contributes to remarkable increases in crop production (see CO2science.org). Humanity now produces 25% more food than we need. Hydroponics will also meet much of future food demands.

These, and other indicators, show that the overall long-term trajectory of life is improving, not worsening.

A note to our children: Do not fear the future of life on our planet. With continued wealth creation we will continue to solve the remaining world resource problems and life will continue to get ever better than before. Your personal contribution to making life better will add to humanity’s overall success. Do not let false alarmism narratives rob you of hope.

Other indicators of the state of life

These are some of the most important things in life and they tell us where life is heading. This is not to deny that serious problems remain in many areas of life, but to re-assure with hope that people are working to find solutions and our track record affirms that we have done well in solving problems and vastly improving life for most people. The best is yet to come.

Infant mortality rates
In 1800 one third of children (33%) died before reaching 5 years of age. The global rate today is 4.5% and much lower (well below 1%) in most of the more developed countries.
https://ourworldindata.org/child-mortality-global-overview

Human life span
In the pre-industrial era the average life expectancy was about 30 years. Today the world average is over 70 years and higher in many countries. See sources like Ourworldindata.org.

Human health
Over the past century major diseases have been conquered, others turned into long-term maladies. The current pandemic appears to have been caused by human action against better advice (i.e. continuing gain of function research despite a ban, and substandard lab safety measures). Hopefully, this outbreak will result in more pro-active vaccine research and other preventative measures that will lessen the chance of future similar outbreaks.

Decline in poverty
Poverty has declined rapidly over past decades and much of the world’s population is entering middle-class status. There is no reason this trend will not continue.

Human comfort and well-being
Ongoing technological advances have made human existence much less punishing with breakthroughs in transportation, communication, and general human comfort. Workplace safety has increased significantly. Deaths from natural disasters have declined by 96% over the past century.

Once more- Plant and animal life
With more basic plant food in the atmosphere (CO2) plant life has flourished with a 30% increase in green vegetation on Earth over the past century. Animals have benefitted with more food and humanity has benefitted with increased crop production from aerial fertilization. Also, GM crop breakthroughs have resulted in crop records being broken annually with more breakthroughs to come. We now produce significantly more food than humanity needs. And a warming climate (in an abnormally cold world) will further benefit animal and plant life with extended habitats.

Further, extinctions are at all time lows.

Committed pessimists ignore the many improvements to life and focus obsessively on remaining problems without locating them within the larger overall context of improving life. Alarmist types tend to exaggerate problems out to apocalyptic scale thereby distorting the overall big picture and long-term trajectory of life.

Beating a mantra into public consciousness, Wendell Krossa

We hear the repeated mantra in news media today that hot days or heat waves are the “hottest on record”. The alarmist mantra of “hottest on record” refers only to the formal record of the last 150 years. That brief snippet pulled out of the larger climate history permits alarmist distortion of the true state of climate. The hottest days and years of the last 150 years were actually during the 1930s (https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/07/15/the-deadly-heat-wave-of-july-1936-in-the-middle-of-arguably-the-hottest-decade-on-record-for-the-us/). But that hotter period was before CO2 could be blamed for climate change so it is ignored as it doesn’t suit the larger narrative point that climate alarmists are trying to make.

Why do we hear this particular mantra of “hottest on record” repeated endlessly by news media, politicians, and celebrities? Why are today’s hot days and heat waves not placed within the larger climate history to give the public a proper perspective on things?

The exaggerated slogan of heat threat (along with other extreme weather events) is repeated to affirm a larger background narrative- that climate is warming dangerously and will become catastrophic if it warms past another 1.5-2.0 degrees C. Further to the narrative, “hottest on record” affirms that any warming is evidence of a human-caused “existential crisis” (“manmade” climate change) because we are burning too much fossil fuel and causing atmospheric CO2 levels to rise. And the only permissible response, according to climate authoritarians, must be the immediate and radical decarbonization of our societies and a massive shift to renewables. This salvation scheme (to “save the world”) is already causing immense harm to the poorest people with rising energy costs.

This environmental apocalypse story of looming climate crisis (one of an endless series of environmental alarms over the past 70 years) is part of an even larger background political narrative that is anti-industrial civilization, anti-capitalism, and fundamentally anti-human. (See, for example, “Hubris: The troubling science, economics, and politics of climate change” by Michael Hart.)

This site challenges the narrative of looming disaster caused by humanity using fossil fuels. While there are elements of truth in the mix- i.e. that it is warming and CO2 contributes to the warming- good evidence from the best climate scientists on the planet does not support the alarmist exaggeration that (1) we are mostly responsible for rising CO2 levels, or that (2) CO2 is mainly responsible for climate warming, or that (3) the warming will become catastrophic. As noted often before on this site, there is no climate crisis and there is no scientifically sound reason to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies.

Nagging the public, Wendell Krossa

Politicians continue to bully the public to “believe in climate change”. “Its real”, they shout, and “we have to tackle it”. We have to act. Now.

Well yes, of course climate change is real. Unending change has always been the normal state of climate. There is no such thing as unchanging climate because climate is a complex, dynamic, and chaotic system and it is impossible for climate to be in stasis or to be static. It cannot but change.

So we all “know” that climate changes. It’s an established fact of our world. And yes, of course, when alarmist politicians argue for us to “believe” in climate change, they really mean believe their narrative of “manmade climate change” with the consequent alarmist mandate to cease using fossil fuels and shift immediately and entirely to renewables- i.e. decarbonization. We get this meaning behind their badgering.

And tackle climate change? If you mean mitigate, as in decarbonization, then you are engaging a King Canute-like project because we do not yet even understand all that influences climate. It is certain that CO2 is not the sole driver, not even the main driver of climate change. Good scientific research shows that CO2 is “a bit player” in a complex of factors influencing climate to change. The dominant players are factors like water vapor and that is part of a larger complex that includes the influence of cosmic rays increasing cloud cover, the sun interacting with cosmic rays to reduce cloud cover, and much more.

Add to the mix of climate change factors the significant influence of multi-decadal oscillations in ocean currents.

Certainly, we can experiment with alternatives to fossil fuels (renewables) to lower emissions but there is no “existential crisis” obligating us to do so. Because there is no evidence that the climate change that we have experienced over past decades is becoming “catastrophic”. That claim is unscientific alarmist nonsense. Pure apocalyptic exaggeration. And it irresponsibly alarms the public.

And act ‘now’? Well yes, just as humanity has reacted and acted in response to changing climate all across history. Adapting to climate change.

So enough already with the endless setting of dates for the end-of-days, terrorizing people with a false urgency based on a mild and beneficial one degree of warming over the past century. That mild warming has rescued us from the bitter pre-industrial cold of the Little Ice Age (1450-1850). We need still more warming and that will benefit life even more.

Challenging the alarm narrative, Wendell Krossa

Where is the promotion of basic science with its healthy skepticism, questioning, inclusion of contrary evidence, debate, and balancing falsification? (This comment is aimed mainly at politicians)

It is interesting to watch across the spectrum (Left to Right) politicians unquestioningly affirming the main unproven assumptions of the climate alarm movement. Those assumptions are not “settled, consensus science” by any respectable empirical measure. They are assumptions/exaggerations that have more to do with apocalyptic mythology than climate science.

Two prominent unproven assumptions of climate alarmists:

(1) That CO2 is mainly responsible for warming climate. This assumption ignores or dismisses the varied other natural factors that show much stronger correlations to the climate change that we have seen over past decades. Note, for example, the cosmic ray/sun/cloud interaction (See Henrik Svensmark’s ‘The Chilling Stars’), or the multi-decadal oscillations/shifts in ocean currents from cooling to warming phases, among others. These natural factors overwhelm the CO2 influence on climate.

(2) That warming will be “catastrophic” if it rises and passes another 1.5-2.0 degrees C.

First, we have had only a 1 degree C warming over the past century and that is part of the natural recovery from the earlier descent into the bitter cold of the Little Ice Age of AD 1450-1850. Who in their right mind would want to return to the pre-industrial cold and dangerously low levels of CO2?

Scenarios of another 3-6 degrees C. warming are based on discredited computer models. More to the point, a few degrees more warming would not be catastrophic but would be a return to the more normal, optimal averages of most of past history when all life flourished with much warmer average temperatures (i.e. 15-20 degrees Centigrade averages, versus the average 15 degrees C of today’s world). A much warmer world means extended habitats for life (i.e. no ice at the poles as was the state of the world for over 90% of world history), longer growing seasons, less severe gradients between the warm and cold areas that produce more severe storms, and more evaporation which means less drought, and more.

Add here that more basic plant food in the atmosphere- CO2- has resulted in a much greener world (a 15% increase in green vegetation since 1980) along with record crop production over recent years. All life is benefitting from more CO2 and more warmth. It is irrational madness to claim that more warming will devastate life when past history shows a much warmer world benefitted life immensely.

Remember also that the past warm periods of our interglacial (i.e. Holocene Optimum/Minoan, Roman, Medieval) were all warmer than our modern warm period and civilizations and all life flourished during those previous warm periods.

Big picture perspective on the true state of things, Wendell Krossa

Why the contemporary hysteria over ice melting at the North Pole, Greenland, and varied glacial regions? For over 90% of our planet’s history the Earth has been entirely ice-free. That is a more optimal, normal, and healthy state for life. Ongoing discoveries affirm that during those past eras when the polar regions were entirely ice free, diverse warm-climate flora and fauna inhabited both poles (e.g. the stumps of tropical trees have been discovered in the Arctic, along with the remains of camels and other warm-region flora and fauna). That means all life experienced vastly expanded habitats during those times. A good thing.

Note that the highest diversity of species today, both ocean and land species, are found in the tropical areas of Earth. Most life prefers warmth. Most people also prefer much more warmth and prove that by vacationing or migrating to live in the warmer areas of Earth.

More warming does not mean there will be catastrophic harm to life as already warm areas do not necessarily become hotter. More warmth is distributed, via ocean and atmospheric convection currents, to the colder regions of Earth (polar regions), to the colder seasons (winter), and to colder times of day (nighttime). Climate warming spreads to the entire world with beneficial outcomes for all life, not “catastrophe”.

Today we are still far below the much warmer average temperatures of most past history. Average temperatures across much of the history of life were up to 5-10 degrees C higher than today’s average of about 15 degrees C. And life thrived in that much warmer world. Again, there was no “climate catastrophe”.

Further, the previous three inter-glacial periods were all 3-5 degrees warmer than our current Holocene interglacial (i.e. Purfleet: 337-300,000 years ago, La Bouchet: 242-230,000 years ago, Eemian: 130-115,000 years ago).

What about our interglacial- the Holocene- now 11,000 years long? Over the past 5000 years we have been in a long-term cooling trend. Our current Modern Warm Period is the coolest of the five major warm periods of our interglacial. The previous warmer periods were the Holocene Optimum, Minoan, Roman, and Medieval periods. The larger context of our interglacial shows that we are now in a cooling trend and that ought to be our real concern as cooling climate means more droughts, more extinctions, and more human suffering.

It is irrational to be worried about melting ice and a few more degrees of average warmth when, in net terms, the benefits to all life from more warming far outweigh any negatives. Cooling is a far greater threat to life. We should value all further warming that we might get at this time in world history.

So again, why this endless media hysteria over melting ice in varied places of our world? Some species may suffer but many more others will benefit from warmer temperatures and an ice-free planet. Others have noted that polar bears have survived the much warmer past interglacial periods (i.e. complete melts of Arctic ice). The Eemian (130-115,000 years ago) was 2-4 degrees C warmer than today, so also the other previous interglacials.

End notes: Summer Arctic melting has benefitted polar bears immensely. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/09/15/still-waiting-for-two-thirds-of-polar-bears-worldwide-to-disappear-due-to-lack-of-summer-sea-ice/

Melting ice and sea level rise: It is natural for climate to warm and the ice of glacial periods to melt during interglacials and hence for sea levels to rise. Oceans have risen a total of 120 meters since our Holocene Interglacial began some 11,000 years ago. Oceans continue to rise at the slow rate of about 1.5-3.0 mm per year. Despite this mild rise, the total surface area of Pacific Ocean islands has increased and not decreased. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/08/31/new-study-62-km%c2%b2-6-net-expansion-in-100s-of-pacific-indian-ocean-island-shorelines-from-2000-2017/

Another: Heat events and wildfires are not worsening today. Wildfires have declined notably over the past century and extreme heat events are “weather events”, not necessarily related to larger climate patterns. There are many diverse factors contributing to local heat waves. See Wattsupwiththat.com for regular climate updates, also GWPF (Global Warming Policy Forum).

The tragedy of being carried away by “crowd madness”, Wendell Krossa

A sense of tragedy is evoked when the natural human desire to fight a heroic and righteous battle against some evil is misdirected into alarmist movements that ultimately cause harm to others. And yes, a generous view of this would grant that the harm is the result of unintended consequences from otherwise well-intentioned people. We saw misdirected heroism in the past century battles of Marxism against industrial/capitalist civilization. Today we are watching this misdirected zeal in the nihilist destruction of Antifa rioting. But we see its most dangerous eruptions in environmental crusades like decarbonization. Point? Make sure your monsters are real and the outcomes of your “righteous” cause are benefitting others, not harming them.

Examples: Rachel Carson was undoubtedly a well-intentioned lady. But her fear-mongering based on shoddy science arguably contributed to the subsequent deaths of many people, often children, due to the bans on DDT that were influenced by her alarmism. See “THE EXCELLENT POWDER: DDT’s Political and Scientific History” by Donald Roberts, Richard Tren.

Greenpeace alarmism over GM crops has also contributed to the unnecessary deaths of millions of children denied Vitamin A in crops like Golden Rice. https://nationalpost.com/opinion/bjorn-lomborg-trashing-rice-killing-children

Patterns in alarmism movements, Wendell Krossa (similar summaries have been posted before because the patterns and themes are important to note)

The overall long-term trajectory of life shows ongoing improvement in the main features of life. We see the improvement in indicators like declining violence, declining deaths from natural disasters, solutions to disease threats, and the improvements throughout the natural world (declining deforestation, protection of fish stocks, declining extinctions, the return of agricultural land to nature).

But there have been some disastrous disruptions to the trajectory of overall progress, notably the mass-death movements of the 20th Century. The factors that contributed to those horrors have re-emerged and are working through environmental alarmism today, notably in climate alarmism.

Note the following patterns of incitements and consequent responses…

Firsts, alarmists exaggerate problems with “end-of-days” prophesies, apocalyptic-scale scenarios, and that exaggerated panic-mongering distorts the true state of any problem making it hard to rationally approach a problem. More important, panic-mongering incites the survival impulse in populations. Frightened people abandon rational thinking and are susceptible to the salvation schemes of alarmists. Frightened people willingly embrace the alarmist obligation to purge some “evil” that purportedly threatens life, in order to “save the world”.

The widely declared evil to be purged today is the basic food of all life- CO2. That is irrational anti-science nonsense because we have long been in a “CO2 starvation era” where CO2 levels have been at historic lows that have threatened plant life. Further, science has shown that CO2 is not the main driver of climate change, and the mild natural climate change that we have experienced will not become “catastrophic” (i.e. one degree C of warming in a still abnormally cold world). Additionally, the benefits of more CO2 have been significant with a 15% addition of green vegetation across the Earth since 1980. That has meant more food for animal life, and increased crop production for humanity (see CO2science.org).

Projects to decarbonize our societies reveal the destructiveness of climate alarmism. Governments have over-invested in unreliable renewables, while defunding exploration and production of fossil fuel resources. The result has been fossil fuel shortages, skyrocketing energy prices, and destabilized electrical grids (blackouts).

Salvation (“save the world”) by decarbonization engenders a feeling of nobleness in true believers who feel called to make a sacrifice (i.e. give up the good life) and pay for their sins with some form of suffering. Also, many desire to embrace a hero’s quest and fight a righteous battle against “evil” and find that desire satisfied in the concocted/fabricated fight against greedy consumers in fossil fuel civilization. True believers in climate catastrophe are also offered the hope of salvation in a purified world (free of fossil fuels) and that more pure world will be the restoration of a lost paradise (i.e. the world before fallen humanity in industrial civilization, or even better, in extreme Green visions, a world without humanity). Climate alarmists present their crusade as an existential battle of good versus evil.

Critical to the alarmist scenarios are mandates for compelled salvationism- i.e. the demand for “instantaneous transformation” due to the imminence of the threat. Manufactured imminence keeps the panic pressure at high level, even hysterical levels. Imminence then demands coercive, even violent purging of the CO2 threat as the end-of-days is only a decade or so away (recent “end-of-days” dates range from 2030-2050). We are told that we cannot wait for normal democratic processes to function because infidels/skeptics to the cause (i.e. “unbelievers, deniers”), with their calls for open debate over the many uncertainties in data, are dangerously blocking efforts to save the world. The alarmist push is then for centralized state coercion to enact their program.

The same patterns above also operated in Marxism and Nazism. Marxist alarmists incited fear of the “capitalist threat” to the world that had to be coercively purged, while Nazis panicked Germans to coercively purge the “threat of Jewish Bolshevism”. Both alarmism movements produced mass-death outcomes. See the research of historians who have traced these and related alarmism patterns in Marxism, Nazism, and environmentalism: Arthur Herman (The Idea of Decline in Western History), Richard Landes (Heaven on Earth), Arthur Mendel (Vision and Violence), and David Redles (Hitler’s Millennial Reich).

Observe the same patterns operating today in climate alarmism with its salvation scheme of decarbonization.

Note: There has been intense hysteria over recent heat waves in Western North America (“hottest on record”) with media claiming those events as evidence of a looming catastrophic heat apocalypse. But heat waves are localized weather events common all throughout history, whether climate is warming or cooling. The hottest period of the last 150 years in North America was during the 1930s. Further, varied other areas of the planet now suffer more from cooling trends (e.g. Antarctica, Europe).

Themes/ideas in alarmism movements, Wendell Krossa

Alarmism movements thrive and grow because they touch base with some of the most primitive mythical ideas from an ancient past. These ideas/themes have been beaten into human consciousness across the millennia to the point that they have become embedded as subconscious archetypes (mythical themes affirming inherited animal impulses). These themes still dominate the world religions and have been given updated expression in contemporary “secular” ideologies like Declinism and its offspring- environmental alarmism.

A partial list (see “Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives” for full version)

1. The past was better (life began in an original paradise/Eden).

2. Corrupted people ruined the original paradise and consequently humanity has been devalued as essentially bad, sinful, fallen- a “cancer/virus” on the Earth. Fallen, sinful humanity deserves to be punished.

3. After the “fall” (the loss of paradise and degeneration of humanity) life overall has been corrupted and has been on a declining trajectory toward something worse. World majorities now believe that the “world is getting worse”.

4. Life is heading toward some “catastrophe”, toward apocalyptic ending as the great final judgment and punishment of corrupt humanity.

5. Salvation is to be found by making some sacrifice, by embracing suffering as necessary to achieve something good (i.e. give up the good life in industrial civilization). Salvation also comes by purging the “evil” in life (i.e. greedy consumers in modern industrial society).

6. Tribally-divided people are obligated to fight a righteous battle against evil enemies. Once the enemy has been defeated (the evil purged) then there is hope that the lost paradise can be restored, or a new utopia installed.

7. Urgency is demanded because the threat from the evil enemy is always “imminent”, just up ahead a few years. Hence, the need for coercive, violent purging of threat via central state coercion. There must be “radical and instantaneous transformation” of societies. There is no time to lose as the apocalypse is looming just a few years up ahead.

A counter narrative: Humanity improves life gradually, by confronting problems with creative ingenuity, using repetitious hard work, embracing the gradualism and compromise of democratic processes, and through constant guard against the anti-human, anti-life forces that would derail improvement.

See the revised reposting of humanity’s most prominent ideas just below… ideas that render people susceptible to alarmism narratives and alarmist salvation schemes with their destructive outcomes. Panic-mongering incites irrationality in populations. The subsequent policy responses are never wise, and sometimes are outright ruinous. “Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives” offers alternative ideas for a new meta-narrative. I acknowledge that most people on the planet choose to embrace assumptions/beliefs in some form of “spiritual” reality as essential to their quest for meaning, while also embracing the unquestionable discoveries of science.

My point in the following briefs on climate is that many politicians and scientists seem too hesitant to present a clear alternative narrative to climate alarmism. There is too much kowtowing to the basic unproven assumptions of the climate alarm narrative. Some politicians will offer a whisper of hesitation and state that decarbonization may be a bit radical and rushed. But then, fearful of alarmist backlash, they quickly pivot to affirming the alarmism narrative, following-up with “Yes, warming is a real threat and we must do something”.

No. The mild warming that we have experienced (one degree C over the past century) is not a threat and there is no clear evidence of much more warming coming, contrary to the exaggerations of the discredited climate models. In fact, we are currently in another “warming pause” with indications of a possible cooling trend developing. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/02/03/the-new-pause-lengthens-from-5-years-4-months-to-5-years-6-months/

Conclusion: In response to “We must do something”- Yes. First, stop the exaggerated panic-mongering over a mild natural warming. Then promote open and free public discussion/debate on climate issues, including the entire body of diverse evidence from all sides of climate science. And then encourage populations to adapt as humanity always has adapted to changing climate. Rather than decarbonize we should be developing the fossil fuels resources that will enable us to survive better in a potentially cooling world. Fossil fuels have enabled the incredible success of industrial civilization with its immense benefits in improving the human condition and enabling humanity to better care for the planet. Further, the public needs to know the significant benefits of more CO2 and more warmth as contrasted with cold and low CO2 levels.

Why is the pubic being denied an honest presentation and open discussion of this evidence?

News notes: https://www.thegwpf.com/allysia-finley-climate-policy-meets-cold-reality-in-europe/

The cost of Net Zero: Carbon taxes & Europe’s energy crisis

The “crowd madness” element of decarbonization– Wendell Krossa

Apocalyptic prophets (climate alarmism is more a religious/political crusade than a scientific one) have panicked populations over a beneficial mild warming in an abnormally cold world. The hyper-exaggerated climate alarm narrative (“imminent catastrophe”, “existential crisis”, “final tipping point”, the “end-of-days” by 2030) has incited the survival impulse and subsequent irrationality has possessed entire populations. Frightened citizens have been rendered susceptible to the irrational salvation scheme of alarmist prophets- i.e. “save the world”, meaning decarbonize the world, now. The outcome has been sky-rocketing energy costs now harming the poorest people the most. The outcome of climate madness is already being felt intensely in Britain and Europe with unstable electrical grids and energy shortages (due to neglected development of fossil fuel resources, and public funds wasted on unreliable renewables).

Climate evidence contradicts the climate alarm narrative entirely:

Over the past millions of years CO2 has descended to historical lows, dangerous lows, dipping almost to the level at which all plant life dies, some 20,000 years ago (i.e. down to 185 ppm- plant life dies at 150 ppm).

Good science has shown that CO2 is not main driver of climate change but is only a “bit player” in a complex of natural factors that show much stronger correlations to the climate change that we are observing. Further, climate physicists note that the warming influence of CO2 declines dramatically (logarithmically) with rising atmospheric levels. CO2’s ability to absorb and re-emit radiation (trapping infrared heat- the greenhouse effect) has already reached “saturation” and more CO2 will contribute to very little more warming.

Further, there will be no catastrophic outcome from several more degrees of warming in our still abnormally cold world. For most of the past history of life on Earth, climate was much warmer (5-10 degrees C warmer on average) and life flourished with expanded habitats, including the presence of tropical flora and fauna in ice-free polar regions. Also, during the past warmer periods of our current interglacial human civilization flourished along with all life.

There are major benefits from more CO2- i.e. increased crop productivity from aerial fertilization, more food for animal life, and an overall greener world (note the 15% increase in green vegetation across Earth over the past 40 years from more basic plant food in the atmosphere). These benefits are ignored by alarmist scientists/politicians/media.

Conclusion: There is no sound scientific reason to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies.

Endless hysteria over melting polar ice. Huh? WTF? Wendell Krossa

(Note: Endless claims of “hottest on record” distorts the larger context of climate entirely.)

Once again- Why the ongoing distress over melting Arctic ice? For over 90% of the past 500 million years there was no ice at the poles. Researchers have discovered tropical flora and fauna at both poles that affirm the massively extended habitats of that warmer past history. Average world temperatures for most of that time were 5-10 degrees C higher than today’s 15 degrees C average.

That “hothouse Earth” did not necessarily mean more heat in already warm areas as convection currents (ocean and atmosphere) distribute more heat across the world. Increased warming impacts mostly colder seasons, colder regions, and colder times of day (i.e. night). But even in areas where it was warmer overall, there was no catastrophic impact on life. Life flourished just as it has during the warmer periods of our interglacial.

Will some species like polar bears suffer in an ice-free world? Perhaps, but they have survived much warmer past interglacial eras like the Eemian (130-115,000 years ago), the La Bouchet (242-230,000 years ago), and the Purfleet (337-300,000 years ago). Those were up to 3-5 degrees C warmer than our current Holocene interglacial. Polar bears have been around for over 300,000 years. Some researchers say millions of years. They will adapt and survive an ice-free world just as they have in the past.

And note that the highest species diversity today- plant and animal- is in the warmest parts of the world, the tropical regions. Life loves more heat. A warmer, ice-free world will mean that far more species will benefit than will suffer. Melting polar ice means extended habitats for far more diverse species than currently exist in the coldest areas. Further, note that cold climate causes more extinctions than warm climate does (Ian Plimer in ‘Heaven and Earth’).

Most people also prefer a warmer world as evident in the fact they vacation or migrate to the warmest areas of Earth. Also critical to remember is that 15-20 times more people die every year from cold than die from warmth. Cold, not warmth, is a far greater threat to all life. Add here that more warmth means extended crop seasons for humanity.

And research shows that our Modern Warm period is the coolest of the warm periods of our interglacial. The Holocene/Minoan Optimum, the Roman, and the Medieval warm periods were all warmer than today and life thrived during those periods. Evidence shows that over the past 5000 years we have been in a long-term cooling trend known as the “Neo-glacial period”.

Against all this evidence climate alarmists want us to return to pre-industrial cold and dangerously low levels of CO2 that almost extinguished all life some 20,000 years ago. Where is common sense in that?

Previous warm/cold periods of our Holocene interglacial

Holocene Optimum: 5000 to 3000 BCE (several degrees warmer than today)
Roman Warm period: 250 BCE to 400 CE (at least one degree warmer than today)
Medieval Warm period: 950 to 1250 CE (at least one degree warmer than today)
Little Ice Age: 1300 to 1850 CE

As we near the end of our interglacial, the long-term trend toward cooling is the greater threat.

Qualifier:

Following recent past eruptions of religious terrorism (i.e. ISIS), varied public commentators rightly noted that such eruptions would continue into the future unless we confronted the ideas/ideologies behind such violence. Go to the root ideologies, they said, and deal properly with that. Apply this “go to the root of the problem” to all alarmism/apocalyptic movements. There are common ideas/themes behind such movements, worldviews/narratives that incite people to destructive action. If we are to problem-solve thoroughly and for the long-term future, then we need to tackle the root ideas/themes behind alarmism movements and deal thoroughly with those root contributing factors.

Humanity’s most prominent ideas (a “mind revolution” project)

We all embrace a collection of ideas/themes that shape how we view reality, life, human society, others and ourselves. The ideas we embrace influence how we think, feel, respond, and how we act/behave in life. Just below is a list of the most common and dominant ideas that have shaped human thought across history. These ideas/themes, or indistinguishable variants of them, still dominate most people’s thinking today.

Bad themes/ideas in the mix have incited incalculable harm across history while good ideas have enabled people to counter wrong in life and to construct societies and an overall developing civilization that has progressed toward more humane conditions/outcomes over the long-term. Evaluating the core ideas/themes of our personal worldviews is critical because we have inherited some bad stuff and common human decency obligates us to find better alternatives. We engage this project to better our thinking because we want to contribute something good to life and not waste time in misguided or harmful ventures.

The themes below have been beaten into human consciousness for multiple millennia. They are now hardwired in human subconscious as “archetypes”. With the modern era shift to a more “scientific” worldview these themes were not abandoned but were given new “secular” expression in ideologies and in even sometimes in science. The terms of expression were changed but the core themes remained the same old mythology as ever before. Joseph Campbell was right that the same primitive mythical themes have been repeated all across history and across all the cultures of our world.

These themes continue to dominate most belief systems today, notably as apocalyptic in religious traditions or as ‘Declinism’ in ideological versions. Why do I offer counter-speculation in response to some of these ideas that have to do with the “metaphysical” or spiritual reality? Because bad ideas of the metaphysical already exist and continue to dominate most people’s speculation, so why not at least offer better alternatives? And I recognize that we cannot avoid speculating on a variety of these issues that have always been fundamental to the primal human impulse for meaning and purpose.

Preface to Old Story/New Story themes (revised, updated) Wendell Krossa

The belief/behavior relationship, or theology/ethics relationship, is as old as conscious humanity. People, driven/inspired by their primary impulse for meaning, have always tried to model their lives and societies according to some greater ideal or authority, most commonly according to views of deity. Plato did this with his argument that the ideal life and society should be molded according to the invisible Forms or perfect Ideals. The Hebrews followed this pattern in the Old Testament, shaping all aspects of their lives and society according to what they believed was the law, word, and will of their God. Anthropologist Clifford Geertz noted this practice among the Balinese of Indonesia who patterned their villages and homes according to what they believed was the divine model.

The fundamental role of belief in shaping human behavior and society (inspiring, guiding, validating human behavior) makes it critically important that our guiding ideals/authorities are fully humane, in line with humanity’s ever-advancing understanding of the authentically humane in all areas of life. And there has never been a higher ideal to guide human life than the ideal of deity. The subhuman features that our ancestors projected onto deity ought to concern all of us because of the correlated subhuman treatment of others across history in the name of deity (i.e. horrific outcomes as in religious violence).

The 18 “Old story themes” below focuses on some of the most dominant and influential ideas from history. Ideas that have shaped human consciousness via mythical and religious traditions. They continue to shape the worldviews of most moderns in “secular” or ideological versions.

The consequences from these subhuman ideas have been, and still are, significantly damaging, both personally and across wider societies. Evidence? On the personal level see psychotherapist Zenon Lotufo’s “Cruel God, Kind God”. Cruel God theologies include the pathological features of deity as a tribally exclusive (favoring true believers, antagonistic toward unbelievers/outsiders), retaliatory (divine payback), dominating (deity as Lord, King- validating domination of others), punitive (deity as harsh judge, justice as punitive), and deity as a destroying reality (apocalypse, hell). These themes have burdened human lives with unnecessary fear, anxiety, depression, despair, and violence. And the consequences in human behavior have been horrific because people “become just like the God that they believe in”.

See also the Millennial Studies historians noted in sections below- Richard Landes, Arthur Mendel, and David Redles. They have detailed how the ‘apocalyptic millennial’ complex of ideas contributed to the mass-death movements of the past century (Marxism, Nazism, environmental alarmism). Mendel (Vision and Violence) was right to conclude that “apocalyptic has been the most violent and destructive idea in history”. Further, Bob Brinsmead has often reminded us that “Men never do greater evil than when they do it in the name of God”.

The project to embrace better alternatives is about the full transformation and liberation of consciousness, and more humane outcomes in human life. The old ideas are no longer credible for defining or explaining reality and life. In many cases, they have long been too dangerous to inspire and guide human thought and behavior.

(Revised version) Old story themes, new story alternatives (rethinking 18 of the most fundamental ideas from across human history)

1. Old story theme: The myth of deity as a judging, punishing, and destroying reality that metes out final justice- rewarding the good, punishing the bad (i.e. threat theology). This myth continues as the cohering center of the world religions and is now also given expression in ‘secular’ versions such as vengeful Gaia, angry planet, pissed Mother Earth, retributive Universe, and payback karma- the new retaliatory, destroying gods of environmental alarmism, history’s latest apocalyptic movement.

The myth of God as a retaliating, punishing reality has long under-girded human justice systems as similarly retaliatory and punitive. From early human beginnings, belief in a punitive deity has incited and affirmed the demand for punitive response to human imperfection and failure.

The primitive view of deity as punitive, i.e. God as the Ultimate Destroyer (via apocalypse, hell), is the single most important “bad idea” to engage and correct. All other bad religious ideas are anchored to this foundational pathology in human thought.

New story alternative: The “stunning new theology” that God (Ultimate Consciousness, Mind, Intelligence, Source, Mystery) is an inexpressible “no conditions love”, a non-retaliatory Reality. The adjective “unconditional” points to our highest understanding of love. It is simply the best of being human and is therefore most critical for defining deity as transcendent “Goodness”. Takeaway? There is no ultimate judgment, no ultimate exclusion of anyone, no demand for payment or sacrifice to appease angry deity, no need for redemption or salvation, and no ultimate punishment or destruction of anyone (no such mind-perverting horror as “hell”).

Why bother with these speculative metaphysical corrections? Human well-being requires us to counter humanity’s “primal fear of after-life harm” that is the outcome of millennia of shaman/priests/pastors beating bad religious ideas into human consciousness/subconscious. Fear of after-life harm adds sting to the already unbearable fear of death that many people suffer. Also, we need to sever the age-old relationship of “bad beliefs validating bad behavior”. However you may try to affirm justice as punitive treatment of the failures of others, know that deity as unconditional reality does not validate such efforts. See “The Christian Contradiction” below (Historical Jesus versus Paul’s Christ myth).

None of the great world religions has ever presented the reality of an unconditional deity. All religion across history has been essentially about conditional reality- i.e. the required conditions to appease and please religious deities (conditions of right belief, proper religious rituals, religious lifestyle, demanded sacrifices/payment for wrong, etc.).

Further, the new theology of God as unconditional Love overturns the most psychologically damaging myth that has burdened and enslaved humanity from the beginning- the myth of divine retribution/punishment exhibited through the nastier features of life. While there are natural and social consequences to living in this world and to our choices and behavior, there is no punitive Force or Spirit behind natural world events and consequent suffering (i.e. natural disasters, disease, or the predatory cruelty of others). The myth of punitive deity behind such things, whether angry God, vengeful Gaia, angry Planet, retributive Universe, or payback karma, has long burdened people with unnecessary guilt, shame, fear, and anxiety. Like the distressed Japanese woman who asked after the 2011 tsunami, “Are we being punished for enjoying life too much?”

Paul used this primitive threat theology on the Corinthians, claiming that their sicknesses and deaths were punishment from God for their sins.

(Note the qualifiers in sections below on holding people accountable for their behavior, the need to restrain bad behavior, responsible human maturing and growth, and restorative justice approaches. All necessary for healthy human development, in this world.)

2. Old story theme: The myth of a “perfect beginning” and that God is obsessed with perfection in the world and life, that God creates perfection (e.g. Eden), that God is enraged at the subsequent loss of perfection, and now wants to punish imperfection. This idea of deity obsessed with perfection originated with the misunderstanding that any good and all-powerful deity would only create a perfect world, and if things are not perfect now then blame corrupt humanity for mucking things up that were once perfect. It can’t be God’s fault.

We- humanity- have always had difficulty understanding and embracing imperfection in life and in ourselves. Imperfection, and fear of divine rage at imperfection, has long deformed human consciousness with fear, anxiety, shame, guilt, and depression. We rightly struggle to improve ourselves and others, and to improve life in general, but we ought to do so without the added psychic burden of fear of angry deity or divine threat over our remaining imperfection. (Note: There are healthy forms of guilt over personal failure and additional unhealthy elements that arise from bad ideas.)

New story alternative: The world began in “chaotic imperfection” but has gradually evolved toward something more complex and organized. Life on this planet is never perfect, but with a lot of hard work humanity has discovered how to gradually improve life. Over history, humanity has created something better out of the original imperfect, wilderness world.

In this new story theme, God has no problem with imperfection but includes it in the original creation. Imperfection, in a new story, serves the important purpose of providing an arena where humanity struggles with a messy wilderness situation in order to learn to solve problems and create something better.

And, most critical, we learn the most important lessons of life in our struggle with our own imperfection. For example, we learn how to love in our struggle with the animal inheritance in ourselves, those base drives to tribally exclude, to dominate, to punish and destroy differing others. We learn what it means to be authentically humane in our “righteous struggle against evil” (Joseph Campbell), the battle against evil that runs through the center of every human heart (Alexander Solzhenitsyn).

Perfection, aside from being boring, does not bring forth the best of the human spirit. To the contrary, struggle with imperfection in life, and in others, brings forth the best in humanity. See Julian Simon’s argument (Ultimate Resource) that our struggle with problems in the world results in creative solutions that benefit others. See also the comment below on Joseph Campbell’s outline of human story and our struggle with a personal monster or enemy (i.e. some life problem that may be physical, mental/emotional, interpersonal, financial, social, etc.). That struggle is where we gain insights and learn lessons that can subsequently help others. Personal suffering also promotes the development of empathy with others that similarly suffer. Empathy is fundamental to being authentically human.

(Note: The use of the term “imperfection” is not meant to generalize and diminish the horror and trauma that people suffer from natural disaster, disease, and the cruelty of others. But ‘old story’ explanations of the imperfection of the world as a fall from original perfection due to human corruption/sin, and subsequent imperfection introduced as punishment for that original sin… such myths tend to affirm deity as cruel, punitive, and destructive- i.e. God as the great obsessive-compulsive Punisher of imperfection. That only adds unnecessary psychic suffering to already unbearable human suffering- i.e. the added burden of unnecessary mental, emotional suffering. We can do better and understand original imperfection in alternative ways. And this is the impulse to “theodicy”, as roughly the belief there is Ultimate Good/Love behind all. Add here the view that the world purposefully exists as an experience or learning arena.)

3. Old story theme (related to previous): The myth that humanity began as a more perfect species but then became corrupted/sinful (the “fall of man” myth). The idea of original human perfection, and subsequent human degeneration toward something worse today, is still common in the “noble savage” mythology that dominates throughout academia- i.e. the myth that original hunter/gatherer people were more pure, strong, and noble but humanity has degenerated in civilization. See, for instance, Arthur Herman’s ‘The Idea of Decline’, or Steven LeBlanc’s ‘Constant Battles’. Contemporary versions of “fallen humanity” mythology include Green religion’s belief that humanity is a “virus” or “cancer” on the Earth. These are pathologically anti-human views.

New story alternative: Humanity has emerged from the brutality of animal reality (original imperfection) but has gradually become less violent, more humane, and overall more civilized. See James Payne’s ‘History of Force’, and Stephen Pinker’s ‘The Better Angels of Our Nature’. Also, the amassed evidence on humanity improving life over the long-term affirms that “we are more creators than destroyers” (Julian Simon in Ultimate Resource).

A new alternative to “fallen humanity” myths will recognize that humanity, with human spirit and human consciousness, is intimately united with the greater Consciousness at the core of reality, a Consciousness that is Love. This “union with deity” is more than relationship. It is more about essential nature. This means that the same Love that is God, is also the essential nature of our human spirit or human self. We can then re-imagine ourselves as most essentially “beings of Love”. We are fundamentally good. This radically changes human self-imaging. We are not the “fallen humans possessing sinful natures” as we have long been taught by mythological and religious traditions.

The real issue is not how far humanity has fallen (the mythical perspective) but the real wonder is how far we have risen (the evidence-based perspective) from our brutal animal and primitive human past. Our improvement over history is evidence of the essential goodness of humanity naturally emerging over time.

(Note: How to explain continuing bad human behavior? We have inherited a core animal brain with its base impulses to tribalism and exclusion of differing others (small band mentality), to domination of others (alpha male/female), and to retaliatory and destructive response to others viewed as “enemies”. Our human consciousness/spirit, existing alongside our inherited animal side, explains the great “battle between good and evil that takes place in every human heart”, (Alexander Solzhenitsyn). The bad side in humanity is not “inherited sin” but is better understood in terms of the inherited animal in us. See Lyall Watson’s “Dark Nature”. Fortunately, to paraphrase Jeffrey Schwartz, “We are not our brains”.)

4. Old story theme: The myth that the world began as an original paradise and that ancient “golden age” has been lost and the trajectory of life is now “declining”, or degenerating, toward something worse (“Each present moment is a degeneration from previous moments”, Mircea Eliade).

The trajectory of life as a decline toward something worse is a core feature of apocalyptic mythology.

New story alternative: Life does not decline overall but the long-term trajectory of life shows that life actually “improves/rises” toward something ever better. Humanity, as essentially good and creative, is now responsible for the ongoing improvement of life and the world. (Note again Julian Simon’s conclusion that we- humanity- have become “more creators than destroyers”.)

Evidence of life improving over past millennia and strikingly so over recent centuries: Julian Simon’s Ultimate Resource, Greg Easterbrook’s A Moment on the Earth, Bjorn Lomborg’s Skeptical Environmentalist, Indur Goklany’s The Improving State of the World, Matt Ridley’s Rational Optimist, Ronald Bailey’s The End of Doom, Desrocher and Szurmak’s Population Bombed, Bailey and Tupy’s Ten Global Trends, Hans Rosling’s Factfulness, James Payne’s History of Force, Stephen Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature, and others.

Brian Green’s ‘The Universe Story’ and Harold Morowitz’s ‘The Emergence of Everything’ detail the longer “improving” trend of the overall cosmos from chaotic heat beginnings to a state that was amenable for carbon-based life to emerge. And over the long history of this planet, life has developed toward more complexity, organization, and suitability to mediate human consciousness . Further, even Darwin affirmed that evolution trended toward something more “perfect”.

This theme of long-term improvement, of a fundamental direction toward something better, is critical for countering apocalyptic nihilism/despair and affirming hopefulness.

5. Old story theme: The myth that natural disasters, disease, human cruelty, and death are expressions of divine punishment. This adds the unnecessary psychic burden of fear, anxiety, guilt, and shame to already unbearable physical suffering. Paul tormented the Corinthians with this argument that their sicknesses and deaths were punishment from God for their sins.

New story alternative: While there are natural and social consequences all through life, there is no punitive, destroying deity behind the imperfections of life. Ultimately there is only Love at the core of reality (see alternatives below on the relationship of Love to the elements of freedom and randomness in life).

6. Old story theme: The myth that humanity has been rejected by the Creator, that we are separated from our Source and we need to be reconciled, we need to restore the broken relationship with God, via a violent blood sacrifice.

New story alternative: No one has ever been separated from the unconditional Love at the core of reality. That Love has incarnated in all humanity as inseparable from the human spirit and consciousness. That Love is the essence of the human self or person, though its expression is often hindered and buried by the free choice of people to act inhumanely.

But be assured that no one has ever been separated from the indwelling love that is God, no matter their failure to live as human. God as love is always closer than our breath or atoms. God as love is inseparable from our common human spirit and consciousness.

Note: God incarnated in all humanity demands a radical rethink of theology or God theory. There has never been any such reality as a separate ‘Sky God’ up in some distant heaven. God has always been intensely and immediately present in all humanity and this is evident in the best of humanity, in all human goodness. Conclusion? The reality we call “God” is present in all human raging against evil and suffering. God is present in all human effort to make life better. There has never been any such thing as an absent or silent God. Just listen to and observe the goodness in people all around you.

Again, as stated similarly in number 3 above, this new alternative overturns entirely the historically persistent myths of “fallen”, “essentially sinful”, or “bad-to-the-bone” humanity.

Further, the idea of God incarnated equally in every person presents a new element for affirming equality among people, and equal respect for all. God incarnated in humanity offers a stunning new element to defining the essential core of being human- what we really are as human persons and that every human person ought to be highly esteemed as an embodiment of deity, no matter their failures to live as fully human. The Near-Death Experiences also repeatedly note this feature of the astounding human unity with deity- of inseparable oneness with the divine.

7. Old story theme: The myth of a cosmic dualism, a Good spirit in opposition to a bad spirit- a demonic entity or Satan. Deity is thereby portrayed as embracing an essentially dualistic tribal reality- a good God that wars against evil opponents, a God that favors believers and hates/punishes unbelievers. This idea of a fundamental cosmic dualism is embraced and exhibited through varied human dualisms- such as the tribal mindset of “us versus our enemies”, true believers versus unbelievers, or other racial, national, religious, or ideological divisions (include the use of gender as an oppositional divide). Dualism thinking deforms human identity and buries the fact of our essential oneness in the human family. Dualism mythology affirms the inherited animal impulse that orients people to small-band thinking and behavior (the tribal exclusion of differing others). Embracing dualism as a divine reality and ideal orients people to opposing, dominating, and fighting/destroying others as ‘enemies’.

New story alternative: We all come from the same Oneness and we are all equals in the one human family. We are not essentially defined by the tribal categories and divisions that we create to set ourselves apart from one another, to devalue one another. We are most essentially defined by our common human spirit and human consciousness. And the essential nature of our human spirit is universal or unconditional love. That love is the expression of our true core humanity.

Added note: Most modern story-telling (e.g. movies) continues to re-enforce the primitive themes of dualism and tribalism. Note the all-too-common movie theme of good guy versus bad guy, and ‘justice’ as the good guy beating and destroying the bad guy. There is nothing in such narratives affirming the oneness of the human family. To the contrary, only further affirmation of infantile tribalism and “justice” as retaliation toward offending others. The only dualism that we ought to be concerned about is that of “the battle-line between good and evil that runs through the heart of every person”, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. This is the dualism that exists between our true human spirit or self and our inherited animal brain impulses.

Caution: The above comment on essential oneness is not intended to diminish the urgency to fight evil and affirm good in this world. But some have suggested that dualism, and the apparent separation related to dualism- i.e. the division between good and bad- is only a temporal feature of this material realm. This world with its dualism provides an arena for us to live out our stories and engage our varied “righteous battles against evil”. Others have argued that we only experience and learn what good means in our struggle with the opposites of good- i.e. the bad in others, and in life. Bad/evil in this realm provides a contrasting context in which we experience and learn good. Joseph Campbell suggests that this dualistic realm is where “we act out our differing roles on God’s stage” (some playing bad guy, some playing good guy). But he and others suggest that the dualism between good and bad exists only here in this world. It is temporal and not part of any greater timeless reality. See also Natalie Sudman’s ‘The Application of Impossible Things’ for personal illustration of these things.

Further note on oneness: The oneness of all, along with the unconditional nature of deity, counters the myth of some people as especially chosen of God and favored by God more than others. There are no “elect people”, or special “children of God”. The people who see themselves as “true believers”, more so than others, are not closer to God than any other people. Essential oneness means that all humanity, that is every person, has God within them, equally. All people have equal access to the immediacy of God that is everywhere present as the sustaining Core or Source of all reality. Further, there are no special “holy places”- i.e. temples, churches- where limited religious groups gain more access to God than the ordinary lives and daily mundane spaces of all people. Essential oneness of all with deity is a more humane theological basis for human equality in all aspects.

8. Old story theme: The myth of a looming apocalypse as the final judgment, punishment, and destruction of all things. The myth of an apocalyptic ending embraces the pathological theology of God as the destroyer of all things. This ideal has incited endless destructive violence among the followers of such an ideal. Arthur Mendel called apocalyptic “the most violent and destructive idea in history” (Vision and Violence).

To embrace and advocate apocalyptic mythology is to embrace and advocate the epitome expression of nihilism- i.e. the complete and final destruction of life and the world.

Apocalyptic mythology still dominates much of modern story-telling, whether movies, TV, literature (the sub-genre of “post-apocalyptic”), and environmental alarmism or Green religion.

New story alternative: There are problems all through this imperfect world but there is no looming threat of a final destruction and ending (the religious understanding of apocalypse since Zoroaster). The apocalyptic alarmist exaggerates problems in the world out to “end of days” scenarios, thereby distorting the true state of things, and that promotes fear (the survival impulse) and even destructive violence in populations. The inciting of violence is evident in the consequent felt need of people to “coercively purge” what is believed to be some great threat. See the notes in other sections/articles on the Marxist, Nazi, and Green apocalyptic movements and their mass-harm and even mass-death outcomes.

In the new story alternative theme there is no destroying Force or Spirit behind the harsher elements of this world. Ultimately, there is only creating and sustaining Love. And again, the imperfection of this world serves the purpose of providing a learning arena for humanity to struggle with in order to create something ever better.

Further, the destructive elements in the cosmos and world exist as part of the ongoing creative process (i.e. death as entirely natural and serving the purpose of making room for new life), just as Second Law dissipation of energy is “virtuous waste” that serves the creation of more order (Huber and Mills in ‘Bottomless Well’). Again, the element of destruction in the natural world is not evidence of some punitive deity threatening a final punishment and ending of all things. (See also the notes below on “natural consequences”.)

Further helpful here- In response to the theodicy question “Is this the best possible world?” some have made the argument that there are also beneficial outcomes from the destructive elements of nature. For example, the plate tectonic movement that generates destructive earthquakes also generates mountain-building, which creates differences in climate and that contributes to the development of diversity in emerging life (i.e. different environmental pressures on populations and the change that brings forth). Our project is to adapt to such things and we have done better over time. Our success is evident across history in the decreasing loss of life from natural disasters.

9. Old story theme: The urgency of “imminence” (key element- “instantaneous transformation” of life versus “gradualism” in the trajectory of history and life)

The always “imminent” element in apocalyptic proclamations (i.e. the “end is nigh”) demands urgent action to “save” something, to save the world or life. The exaggerated threat of looming apocalyptic ending then incites the survival/salvation impulse in people. They feel the need to take immediate and sometimes violent action to purge what is presented to them as the life-threatening thing. Alarmed populations are then more easily manipulated to embrace policies that will abandon the democratic process and instead will support “coercive purification” schemes directed at purported threats from opponents/enemies. ‘End-of-life’ or ‘end-of-world’ claims incite populations to embrace policies that will coercively and instantaneously install their version of salvation and security in some promised paradise.

Apocalyptic alarmism that exaggerates and distorts the true state of things has too often unleashed the totalitarian impulse across history.

We saw the violence of instantaneous transformation policies in the 100 million deaths that stemmed from Marxist urgency to coercively purge the world of the threat from “destructive capitalism”. Marxism pushed for “instantaneous transformation of societies”, to immediately install its vision of communal utopia. We also saw apocalyptic urgency and totalitarianism in the 50-60 million deaths from Nazi alarmism and consequent action to violently purge Germany of the imagined threat from “destructive Jewish Bolshevism”. Nazis then coercively pushed to establish the millennial paradise of the Third Reich. And we are seeing “coercive purification” again today in the environmental alarmist push to save the world from “destructive humanity in industrial civilization” and to restore the lost paradise of a more wilderness world (Arthur Mendel in ‘Vision and Violence’, and Arthur Herman in ‘The Idea of Decline’).

New story alternative: There is no “end of days” just over the horizon. Rather, life is improving gradually as creative humanity solves problems. The escapist desire for an instantly installed utopia misses the point of the human story as the struggle with imperfection throughout the world, a struggle that is gradually succeeding. Such struggle is essential to human development, learning, and growth. Mendel in Vision and Violence is good on this issue of “gradualism” versus the violence of “instantaneous transformation” movements. Humanity is learning to patiently improve life through democratic approaches that do not coercively overwhelm the freedom of differing others.

The search for instantaneous salvation comes from the irresponsible escapist mindset of apocalyptic types who cannot endure the struggle to gradually and democratically improve an imperfect world. Such people irresponsibly seek to escape to some instantly installed utopia, even if coercively and violently established.

10. Old story theme: The demand for a salvation plan- a required sacrifice or atonement (debt payment, punishment) as necessary to appease some great threat or threatening reality, whether a religious God or vengeful Gaia, angry planet, upset Mother Earth, punitive Universe, or payback karma.

New story alternative: In a stunning rejection of atonement mythology, Jesus rejected the payment of debt as the required demand of God. He advocated the highest form of love, or goodness, as giving to everyone without expecting any payment in return. He stated in Luke 6:30-36, “Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then… you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful”.

Jesus’ argument is that exhibiting ‘no conditions love’ (not expecting payment) would enable people to be like God who was similarly no conditions love. The argument of Matthew 5 and Luke 6 is that if we do this- give without expecting payment in return- then we will be like God who does not expect payment. God loves, gives, and does not expect anything in return. This statement of Jesus overthrows the age-old religious belief that God demands payment or punishment for wrongs, that God demands atonement or sacrifice in order for God to forgive and love. Read it again and again till the point being made is clear. It is a time-bomb waiting to explode the shackles of distorting mythology that enslave human consciousness.

The fundamental nature of God as unconditional love means absolutely no conditions. None. To affirm as pointedly as possible- there is no divine demand for ultimate payment, sacrifice, no conditions to fulfil. With ultimate safety secured, the only “salvation” that we need to engage in this life is the ongoing and gradual struggle to make life better in this world.

The reality of God as “no conditions Love” obligates us to make all the logical conclusions that arise from such a stunning new theology. Again, the critically important one is that an authentically unconditional God will not demand any conditions of payment or sacrifice. God does not demand a balancing response to goodness or love that has been initially shown. Jesus clearly argued this in his Matthew 5 and Luke 6 statements where he taught that an authentic universal love will not just love those who love in return (i.e. family, friends, or fellow tribe members). Unconditional love will also love those who do not love in return. Unconditional love will freely give to all and not demand any return payment. No payment of debt is required as necessary to earn forgiveness and love.

Unconditional love does good to everyone without expecting a similar response, without expecting any payback (include sacrifice here). This is how Jesus further defined a God that “loved enemies”.

In the above statements, Jesus rejected the principle of debt payment as a fundamental requirement of divine love. Again, this is clearly expressed in the statement to “give/love expecting nothing in return”. Keep in mind that in these passages (Matt.5 and Luke 6) he urged people to love in a new unconditional manner because that was how God loved. He was arguing for a new standard of love that would show what God was like, that would enable people to do just what God did, to be just like God (i.e. “Love your enemy because God does”).

Debt payment, or more generally the righting of wrongs, had long been the requirement before offering forgiveness. Payment or punishment of wrong had been the basis of atonement thinking from the beginning. That was based on the archaic belief that God, as holy, must punish all wrongs properly and fully, and must rectify all wrongs by demanding payment or retribution of some sort. God must right all wrong, rebalance the scales of justice in the cosmos. Wrong done had to be rebalanced by right done. God could not just forgive, accept, and love without first making all wrongs right. That was necessary to restore divine honor. The God of that old atonement/sacrifice mythology could not just “freely” forgive and love.

To modern sensibilities that old theology no longer makes sense because it argued that the love of God, based on prerequisite payment/punishment/atonement, was something less than the best of human love. We are expected to just forgive in an unlimited manner (“seventy times seven”), to accept all people universally, and to love without demanding prerequisite conditions or similar response. Again that statement- “give without expecting payment in return, love without expecting love in return”. Parents, spouses, and friends have all learned that no conditions love is the best and highest form of love for daily relationships. Surely God as Ultimate Goodness and Love would, at the least, love as well as we are expected to love- that is, unconditionally.

In his parables Jesus also further corrected the old religious belief that divine love was conditional and demanded full payment or punishment. His short stories illustrated the ‘no conditions’ love that defined his new theology. In his stories he stressed the point that divine love did not require the payment of debt, or more generally the righting of wrongs, before forgiving, accepting, and loving an offender. Note this element in his Prodigal Son story where the father does not demand a sacrifice, restitution, or repayment before forgiving and fully accepting/loving the wayward son. All such conditions were brushed aside by the father. No conditions love meant no conditions at all. This teaching is a stunning rejection of the long history of sacrifice/payment as required to appease demanding deity.

I reject, as Jesus appears to have done, the old theology that God as ultimate Goodness and Love is held to a lesser standard of love than we are held to. I reject the idea that God remembers all wrongs and can demand conditions before forgiving, while we are told that authentic love, for us, means “keeping no record of wrongs” for some future making-of-things-right. Our love is to be without condition because that is actually how God loves. And it is the unconditional nature of forgiveness and love that constitute the greatness and glory of these features, not the conditions of religious holiness or honor mythology with its prerequisite demands that offenders first make things right.

Unfortunately, Paul refused the new theology of Jesus and retreated back to the traditional conditional theology of a punitive God that demanded full payment for sin before forgiving anyone. We inherited Paul’s version of Christianity with its orientation toward punitive and conditional treatment of others. Note the clear New Testament statements that requisite payment is essential to the Christian gospel. The book of Hebrews (chapter 9), for example, states that “without the shedding of blood (sacrifice) there is no forgiveness”. The book of Romans (chapters 3-5) states that there is only salvation (“saved from wrath”) after the condition of a blood payment/sacrifice has been fulfilled.

And of course, in this life people should learn to be responsible for their behavior, to make amends for wrongs done, and to pay their debts. That is all part of normal human development and growth. This is never in question, but it has no part of the new unconditional theology of Jesus. It has no place in authentic love. Our love, just like God’s love, is not to be conditional on anything done, or not done, by others.

Note: The theology of Jesus is not a prescriptive model for economic/commercial relationships in this world. Jesus was speaking to ultimate realities and the atonement mythology of his era. Further, my reference to “Historical Jesus” is not an appeal to him as some special religious authority on these issues. I refer to him simply because he continues to be revered as a notable religious icon. The unconditional love being argued here is a “self-validating” reality. It is good in and of itself.

And I would emphasize the larger religious context to these themes- for example, the profound contradiction that exists between the core message of Historical Jesus in the “Q Wisdom Sayings gospel”, and Paul’s Christ myth (the oxymoronic Christian “Jesus Christ”). These two contrary gospels illustrate the profound contradiction between the themes of unconditional and conditional, non-retaliation and retaliation, non-punitive/non-destructive and punitive/destructive, among other contrasting features. See ‘The Christian Contradiction’ in sections below.

11. Old story theme: The belief that retribution or payback is true justice (i.e. eye for eye), based on the myth that God is a retributive reality that demands the reward of the good and the punishment of the bad. The myth that a retributive God demands full punishment of sin. This hurt for hurt theology, or pain returned for pain caused, still under-girds much thinking on justice today. It is often framed as the practical need to present the punishment of offenders as a warning to others, to serve as a deterrence example for the general public. Psychology now recognizes that such punitive approaches do not work with criminal offenders or children. Punitive response to human imperfection and failure “does not teach alternative humane behaviors”. Instead, punitive justice re-enforces retaliatory cycles.

New story alternative: Again, unconditional love keeps no record of wrongs, it does not obsess over imperfection, and it forgives all freely and without limit (“seventy times seven” which is to say- unlimited). But yes, there are natural and social consequences to bad behavior in this world. All of us are to be accountable and responsible for our choices and actions. This is essential to human development in this life. But all justice in response to human failure should be restorative or rehabilitative.

As Leo Tolstoy wrote regarding the criminal justice system, “The whole trouble is that people think there are circumstances when one may deal with human beings without love, but no such circumstances ever exist. Human beings cannot be handled without love. It cannot be otherwise, because mutual love is the fundamental law of human life.”

Added note: Yes, there is value in remembering past bad behavior, and the outcomes of such behavior, as a warning to others. The Holocaust is a signature example of this value. But we remember the bad behavior of others in a larger context of consciously forgiving, with an orientation to restorative justice that is victim-centered (i.e. fully deals with restitution issues). Simon Wiesenthal’s “Justice, Not Vengeance” illustrates the struggle for balance regarding these concerns.

12. Old story theme: The myth of future or “after-life” judgment, exclusion, punishment, and destruction (Hell). The fear of after-life harm is the “primal human fear” (Michael Grosso). Myths of after-life harm have added a magnitude of order intensification of fear to the already burdensome fear of death that many people carry.

(Insert: Why bother with speculation about such unknowable realities as after-life reality? Why not just dismiss or ignore these unprovable metaphysical issues? Well, because the speculation has already been done by major belief systems and religions across history and across all the cultures of the world. Pathology- bad mythology like the horrific myth of hell- already exists in human consciousness and ignoring it does nothing to solve the problems that the pathology causes- i.e. unnecessary fear, anxiety, guilt, shame. While all after-life theorizing may be considered speculative, we can at least offer more humane alternatives with healthier parameters that eliminate unnecessary worry regarding death, while also focusing human orientation toward full involvement with here and now reality.)

New story alternative: Again, remember the baseline ideal- that authentic love is unconditional and does not demand the fulfilment of conditions. Unconditional love does not threaten ultimate exclusion or punishment. It embraces everyone with the same scandalous mercy and unlimited generosity. It gives sun and rain to all, to both good and bad. All- both good and evil- are ultimately safe and included in the love of an unconditional God. Such love scandalizes the mind that is oriented to ultimate (or after-life) conditional payback justice, or “deserved” punishment.

Illustration: Note again the stories that Jesus told of good, moral people who were offended by the unconditional generosity and love that was shown by, for example, the vineyard owner and the father of the prodigal son. The all-day vineyard workers and the older brother in the prodigal story were upset because, in their view, such unconditional mercy and generosity was not “fair or moral”. It was not proper justice, in their eyes. Other “righteous” people were also offended and scandalized by Jesus when he invited local outcasts and scoundrels to meals with them. He did not respect the proper tribal boundaries between good and bad people, between true believers and unbelievers. He was too scandalously universal and unconditional.

The Jesus stories point to the conclusion that God is unconditional love and hence there will be no after-life harm. We all die as a return back into the stunning “no conditions Love” that is our origin and final home. We are all safe in that Love (i.e. again, sun and rain are indiscriminately and generously given to all alike, to both good and bad people). We are never separated from that Love, no matter what we experience or suffer in this life.

Insert: It helps to maintain the important distinction between Ultimate Reality and life in this imperfect world. We can recognize the ultimate reality of God as absolutely no conditions Love but not deny the reality of natural and social consequences in this life. The need to take personal responsibility for behavior is critical to human learning and development. Love here and now is responsible to restrain violence and to protect the innocent, even with force. But our embrace of the ideal of ultimate unconditional love will orient our treatment of human failure and offense away from punitive approaches and toward restorative approaches. An unconditional attitude will recognize that, no matter how it offends and scandalizes common views of required payback justice, all of us return safely to the same no conditions Love that birthed us and is our final home. We are all one family, and return safely to that Oneness, despite our diverse failures to live as fully human in this world.

Add here that self-judgment and self-punishment are the most devastating experiences that human persons can embrace and endure (Note: We recognize exceptions to this such as psychopathy which may result from genetic deformity). Most people do not need further threat of ultimate judgment and punishment from some greater reality.

13. Old story theme: The myth of a hero messiah that will use superior force (“coercive purification”) to overthrow enemies, to purge the world of evil, and to bring in a promised utopia. This myth provides the incitement and validation to abandon the historical process of gradual improvement (via creative human freedom and endeavor) and to opt for coercive totalitarian approaches. Hero messiah mythology affirms the demand for overwhelming revolutionary violence that seeks to instantly purge some “corrupt” entity that is viewed as the threat, and then re-install some lost paradise.

We saw this resort to “violent force against an enemy”, backed by appeal to an all-powerful warrior deity, recently with ISIS in Syria (i.e. the struggle to bring on the final annihilation/Armageddon battle and then in the name of God coercively spread the caliphate across the world). We have also seen the same violence in the name of a crusading hero God throughout Jewish history (Old Testament) and Christian history (Crusades, Inquisitions, persecution of heretics, all appealed to forceful, violent deity for affirmation).

The embrace of revolutionary violence in the name of God arises from the behavior/belief relationship- that people across history have based their behavior on their beliefs about deity. As Harold Ellens says, “If your God uses force, then so may you, to get your way against your ‘enemies’”.

Again, the great ideals that we embrace will shape our thinking, our feeling, and our responses/behavior. We become just like the God that we believe in. Bad myths like coercive, destroying deity have repeatedly incited people to violent, destructive action, to act as the agents of their violent, destructive God to destroy some enemy and save something that was believed to be under dire and imminent threat from that enemy. Far too often across history the belief in divine violent force has been misappropriated to validate unnecessary harshness and cruelty toward fellow human beings.

This idea of an intervening, over-powering deity is hard to dislodge from people’s minds. Even notable atheists fall back on this idea, as Larry King said to Norm MacDonald years ago, “I can no longer believe in God because of the horrible things that happen to innocent children and God is omnipotent, isn’t he?”. Meaning that God should have intervened with power to prevent such things (the “Why imperfection exists?” issue).

New story alternative (see also “16th bad idea” below): A God of authentic love does not intervene with overwhelming force that overrides human freedom and choice. Further, a non-intervening deity helps to understand the gradualism necessary for improving life. It is entirely up to humanity to make the world a better place, in all ways, and to do so while respecting the freedom of others to differ from us.

This is to say that there is no hero messiah, no tribal deity that will intervene with superior force to conquer some enemy of ours and grant us our vision of a paradise with our enemies excluded as per the vision of Revelation where unbelievers are cast out to suffer eternal rejection and punishment.

Note: This point recognizes the valid need at times for police/military to use legal force to restrain irrational violence. The legitimate use of force is to be distinguished from illegitimate uses of force based on inhumane mythology, notably the use of force by religious extremists. Examples include ISIS and the sorry history of Christian violence against fellow Christians that disagreed over theological issues, often very minor disagreements. Note, for example, the shameful incident of Calvin putting his fellow Christian theologian, Servetus, to death over the placement of an adjective in a sentence.

14. Old story theme: The fallacy of Biblicism, the myth that religious holy books are more special and authoritative than ordinary human literature, and that people are obligated to live according to the holy book as the will, law, or word of God. This myth argues that people must submit to divine conditions, or some heavenly model, as outlined by their holy book.

New story alternative: We evaluate all human thought and writing according to basic criteria of right and wrong, good and bad, or humane and inhumane, as agreed upon in common human rights codes, constitutions, or moral codes. Holy books are not exempted from this process of discernment between good and bad.

Further, our highest authority is our own personal consciousness of right and wrong as tuned by, again, common understanding of such things in widely adopted human rights codes and constitutions that are embraced by the entire human family.

15. Old story theme: The myth of God as King, Ruler, Lord, or Judge. The idea that God relates vertically to humanity in domination/submission forms of relating.

New story alternative: There is no domination/subservience relationship of humanity to God. Jesus expressed the divine ideal when he said, “Whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant”. True greatness is to serve the other and not to dominate or control others. The greatness of God is exhibited in serving, not existing above to rule or dominate. God is not “above” humanity but has incarnated in all people as equals. God relates horizontally to humanity.

Yes, this is another stunning correction to traditional God theories.

We see the presence of this street-level God in all daily, mundane human goodness and love expressed toward others, especially toward enemies, which is the highest expression of authentic love or goodness. When we love unconditionally, we tower in stature as maturely human. We become the hero of our story and conquer our real monster and enemy, the animal inheritance that is within each of us. See the story outline in sections below.

This portrayal of God as an egalitarian or equality advocate, and not a superior controlling entity, is more of the stunning new theology of Jesus. He is saying in effect, if you think that I am an incarnation of God, a son of God, then I will tell you just what God is like. God does not dominate people like a lord, king, or ruler. God relates to all as equals, serving others, and not lording over them. That is the true greatness of God, or anyone- to serve. As an equal.

This comment of Jesus overturns the entire history of human thinking on gods as dominating realities, lords, kings, rulers. One of the earliest and most primitive of all myths is that “humans were created to serve the gods”, to do their will and work, to provide food for them. Jesus overturned that primitive thinking that divine/human relationships were domination/subservience relationships. He said that type of thinking belongs to primitive people (“the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them”). But if you want to be a great human being, a hero, then you should not dominate or control others. That is the secret to true greatness. To respect/honor the freedom and self-determination of all others as true equals.

16. Old story theme: The idea that humanity is obligated to know, serve, and have some relationship with an invisible reality (deity), to give primary loyalty to something outside of and above people (i.e. a law, will, or word of God). This loyalty to something other than real people has often led to neglect and abuse of people.

New story alternative: Our primary loyalty is to love and serve people around us. Their needs, here and now, take priority in life.

A 17th Old Story theme: Absent deity (related to the earlier theme, in the list above, of a hero-messiah that will intervene to save)

One of humanity’s greatest frustrations has been the apparent “the silence of God” across history. The Holocaust is the iconic example of this traumatizing silence of God.

Where was God when natural disasters took hundreds of thousands of lives? Where was God when human cruelty went unhindered during mass-death movements? Such apparent absence should put to rest the common religious myth of a miraculously intervening God. The evidence has long been final that there never was any such thing as a supernaturally intervening deity that would, for example, violate natural law or overrule human choice and action, in order to protect or rescue people.

What then should we conclude? God is good but powerless to help humanity? Or the atheists are right that there is no God? No. I would offer that the evidence simply urges us to rethink the great question of how God relates to this world. Theologies like Panentheism (not Pantheism) are wrestling with this issue.

And some versions of the Deist’s alternative are not much better than atheism. God is not the absent Creator who starts the whole thing running and then disappears off to some far away heaven to wait and watch as natural law works throughout life.

A new theory or theology is emerging that argues that God has incarnated in all humanity. God did not incarnate only in special ‘holy’ persons like the Christian Jesus. Rather, God has incarnated in all humanity in an inseparable oneness with the common human spirit or human consciousness. The human spirit has gradually emerged and developed as more humane across history. This maturing of humanity is evident in the trends to decreasing violence, more democratic societies, and generally improved human well-being (the improvement of all areas of life).

And as Bob Brinsmead notes, the improvement in life has been a long, slow process of gradually developing understanding, growing problem-solving ability, and practical solutions. It has, for instance, taken millennia for us to understand disease and come up with medical cures. See the gradualism arguments in Arthur Mendel’s ‘Vision and Violence’.

We see this common human spirit, or God spirit, emerging and developing in all human goodness, whether expressed in commerce, art, sports, medicine, agriculture, entertainment, and all areas where people contribute to making life better and just having fun while doing so.

As some have stated, we are the voice, hands, and feet of God in this world.

Conclusion? God has never been silent or absent. There has never been a ‘Sky God’ up above the world in some heaven, above and outside of humanity, doing things to the world and to people from outside (the “yoyo God”, coming down to intervene in some way and then returning to heaven). To the contrary, God has always been within all things as the creating Sustainer of all reality, and especially within the human family. This means that God is evident in all human misery and raging against suffering and evil. God is always present in all human action to prevent evil, to solve problems, and to improve life. Just as God has always been present in humanity and expressed in all good and useful human endeavor. This means it has always been our responsibility to prevent wrong and to promote good/right in our world. Yes, it is up to us. We must stop looking to the heavens for what is right here and now, in us.

Add this feature to your theology- God is at our very core, as the human impulse to love, to be something better. God is inseparably united with the love that defines us at our best. God is at the core of the real or authentic human self and is evident in the human impulse to be more humane as expressed in all human goodness.

Conclusion? God has always been closer to us than our own breath or atoms. God has never been absent or silent when people have suffered from natural disaster or human cruelty. Religious mythology has never framed this immanent feature properly. The immanence of deity speaks to the fundamental “oneness” behind all things. Even quantum mechanics points to this foundational oneness feature of reality.

The confusion here over silent deity also has to do with the element of freedom or the inseparable relationship of love and freedom. God as love does not coercively overwhelm the independence, self-determination, and freedom of others. Better, God respects human freedom profoundly and influences with gentle, quiet impulses to do the right thing, what we feel is right (i.e. God “persuades” and does not coerce).

Part of the human confusion over how God relates to this world has to do with our inability to grasp that divine Love prizes freedom highly and will not overwhelm or violate it. Authentic moral goodness emerges only from authentic freedom of choice. Such love entails great risk as authentically free people may choose wrongly. The upside is that nothing in life is pre-planned or predestined. We are free to create our own unique story, to become the heroes of our own life adventure. And there is nothing more heroic than choosing no conditions love, for even the enemy, as the supreme height of human achievement. Then we tower in stature like a Nelson Mandela.

Note: The above comments relate to one of the options offered in Jewish “Protest Theology” that emerged after the Holocaust (i.e. the idea of God willing/choosing to not intervene in human freedom). Others have suggested that, as spirit, God cannot intervene in material reality, aside from gentle suasion on the human spirit and consciousness.

And of course, aside from these points, there are still the myriad unexplainable and fascinating “coincidences” scattered through personal human stories that we may either view as just random, or the work of Providence. Interesting that people tend to explain good coincidences as Providence, but not so much the bad ones.

Added discussion group post from Bob Brinsmead: “____, many thanks for sending the link to this great Wikipedia article on Process Theology. I would have to say that I agree with the main thrust of the thesis.

“To say that God could have stopped the Holocaust but refrained from stopping it is very unsatisfactory to me. I agree with the argument of the PROCESS theologians here. If God is committed to love, then God is committed to human freedom. God can use persuasion but not coercion of the human will. Love would not allow God to do something that was inhuman (interfere, coerce, etc.). If you look at history and daily experience, there is no other conclusion that seems to be either logically or ethically possible. It is also hard to see God acting contrary to the laws of nature or the laws of physics.”

18. One more Old Story Theme, New Story Alternative to add to the list below…

While human selfishness and greed are present in any approach to life, these features do not most essentially define industrial civilization and its outcomes. Collectivists have argued that the free individual model that developed over past centuries in England (i.e. the “Classic Liberalism” that protected the individual rights and freedom of all citizens, equally) orients populations to destructive selfishness, greed, disconnect from nature, and violence, among other pathology. But that is not generally true. More importantly, with the fundamental protection of private property rights, the free individual model has unleashed human creativity as never before to achieve unimaginable new heights in the improvement of all aspects of our lives, and the world in general (increased environmental improvement).

Now the Old story theme related to this: The myth of the moral and spiritual superiority of the simple lifestyle with low consumption (i.e. self-produced, using only local resources). This relates to “noble savage” mythology, the belief that primitive hunter/gatherers were more pure and environmentally conservative before humanity “fell” and became corrupted in developing civilization, falling even further in the last few centuries of industrial civilization with its ever-growing abundance. This myth fosters endless guilt and shame over consumption and the enjoyment of the good life. ‘Small is Beautiful’ by Schumacher was an affirmation of this mythology. Note that it is most often wealthy Western elites that advocate this “morally superior primitivism” lifestyle for poorer people in developing areas (more “Rules for thee but not for me”).

New story alternative: The search for a better life is the fundamental urge of love- to responsibly improve one’s life and the state of one’s family. And it is the free choice of people to enjoy what they wish to use and enjoy. The abundance that most people enjoy today, with an ever-increasing proportion of humanity moving into middle class status, is part of the larger trajectory of developing technological, industrial civilization that is also lessening environmental impacts while it increases human well-being.

For example, the trend of continuing world urbanization is concentrating more people in smaller and more efficient spaces- e.g. economies of scale- that lessen pressure on natural areas (see population expert Julian Simon’s ‘Ultimate Resource’ for detail). Industrial society further decreases per capita consumption of varied resources with ongoing technological development (the process of “de-materialization”). Thus, the general creation of wealth has also enabled more developed areas to better care for and improve their environments. This overturns the environmental alarmist argument that industrial society is “destroying the world”. See “Environmental transition” research, for example, by Indur Goklany. Also, Desrocher and Szurmak’s Population Bombed. Humanprogress.org is another good source of information.

Added note: There is no finalized consensus on how much of the natural world humans can engage, use, and change. We are a legitimate species and not an intruding “virus or cancer” as per the view of those who want a mostly untouched wilderness world. And from today’s progressing industrial civilization note the emerging trends like ‘peak agriculture’ and the return of agricultural lands to nature because with safe GM crop inputs, we produce more crops on the same or less land. Note also the improving status of world forests over the past seven decades (FAO reports on increasing world forest cover), and the strengthening of conservation and restoration trends in world fisheries (Ray Hilborn research, University of Washington). Further, there is no species holocaust occurring. It appears the “responsible stewardship” approach of the early 20th Century conservationists is working (see Alston Chase’s ‘In A Dark Wood’).

As Julian Simon said, “Evidence on the big picture and long-term trends of life shows that we are more creators than destroyers”.

Added notes: There is a long history of belief in the moral/spiritual superiority of the ascetic lifestyle and engendering guilt over enjoying the good life too much (the good life viewed in terms of selfishness, greed, the “base” obsession with materialism). Note past history’s cloistered mystics, wandering holy men, and sages, begging for their daily needs. Those “holiness exhibited in simple living” cults are found in Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and elsewhere.

Varied other beliefs play into the fear of consumption such as the fallacy of “limited good” that anthropology notes in hunter/gatherer societies where people believe that if some people in the group get more, then others must be getting less, as there are limited resources to go around. But the evidence, while at first seeming counter-intuitive, comes down on the side of ever-expanding human resources across history. “Cornucopians” like Julian Simon were right.

Simon (Ultimate Resource) has outlined the steps in the process that results in the expansion or increase in resource stocks: Within traditional production there may emerge an apparent scarcity of some resource. This leads to increasing prices for that resource. That prompts the search for more reserves of the resource, the search for technology that leads to more efficient production and use of the resource, or a search for alternatives to the resource (i.e. the shift from whale oil to fossil fuels). And ultimately there is a return to the trajectory of lowering the price of the resource. We saw the process above operating with the discovery of fracking technology and the opening of vast new sources of fossil fuels in the US.

Added note to Old Story themes: Holiness mythology

One of the most common responses from religious people to the idea of God as no conditions love is that God is also holy and just and therefore must punish all wrong. God’s honor is tarnished by the wrongdoing of people so he must be just (exhibit strict eye for eye retaliation) and punish all sin. God cannot just freely forgive and love. But this divine holiness myth is primitivism at its worst. How so? It is the very same reasoning that is behind practices like “honor killing”. People in varied cultures today still reason that, for example, a daughter embracing modern habits has dishonored her family and their traditional culture. So the dishonored males are required to punish the “evil” daughter in order to restore their tarnished honor. Holiness theology is embracing this very same primitive reasoning that wrongs must be punished thoroughly or justice and honor are not restored properly. I would counter that unconditional forgiveness and love is the true glory of God, the highest goodness and love. Authentic goodness and love will just forgive without demanding payment or righting of wrongs first.

The holiness feature in theology affirms the myth of God obsessed with perfection and punishing imperfection, hence the creation of a supporting complex of myths- i.e. original paradise/Eden (perfect creation), Fall of humanity and ruin of paradise (loss of perfection), and the subsequent need for an atonement (sacrifice/payment/punishment) in order to restore the lost perfection.

Added note to “Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives”

The alternative new story themes include a “spiritual” element. This simply affirms what most of humanity across history, and most people today, understand and embrace (the 85% of humanity affiliated with a world religion, with most of the remaining 15% claiming to be “unaffiliated” or “spiritual but not religious”). Humanity in general has always understood that greater or Ultimate Reality (Ultimate meaning) is about more than just energy, natural law, quantum fields, multiple-dimensions, or Self-Organizing Principle as the creating Force of philosophical materialism.

Most human beings across history have intuitively understood that greater Reality has to do with Mind, Consciousness, Self/Personhood, Spirit, or Intelligence. Note that you do not have Consciousness or Mind without personality. Further, the early quantum theorists recognized the foundational Consciousness/Mind element also in their conclusion that their new science pointed to the universe as more “a great Thought than a machine”.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Eruptions, surges of apocalyptic hysteria/madness, and the destructive consequences of such irresponsibility

Get the story of life right

Contact: wkrossa@shaw.ca While this site is copyrighted material, feel free to copy and share.

Important climate fact: 15- 20 times more people die every year from cold than die from warmth: (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150520193831.htm or https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673614621140?via%3Dihub) And you are afraid of more warming? A couple of more degrees warming in a still abnormally cold world will not be “catastrophic warming” but will benefit all life.

The arguments in the comment below are not intended to downplay the obligation to care for and use resources responsibly, conserving them for future generations. The comment is intended to counter the irresponsible fear-mongering over population growth and environmental issues. My comment is a counter to doom narratives that ignore the human success in caring for world resources and creatively finding alternatives to scarce resources. The true state of life is a narrative of hope.

A counter narrative to the great fallacy of too few resources, too many people– Wendell Krossa

A dark meta-narrative dominates much public consciousness today. It is doom-oriented and has a darkening and debilitating influence on the human spirit. It claims that too many people exist on Earth today, and they are greedily consuming Earth’s limited resources to the point of exhaustion, and thereby destroying the planet. Hence, the doom narrative claims that overall “life is getting worse” (YouGov survey in Ten Global Trends). (PS- And you wonder why so many people, including many children, suffer from anxiety and depression today? Irresponsible alarmist exaggeration has a potent harmful impact on people.)

Proponents of this gloomy narrative look for negative incidents/events and iconic images that affirm the doom message. We have all seen the starving polar bear on the ice floe accompanied by the entirely wrong claim that polar bears were going extinct when in fact their populations are thriving. Media have repeatedly shown us burning patches of forest or piles of garbage somewhere followed by the misleading propaganda that such anomalies illustrate the decline of life toward disastrous ending. And no, I am not dismissing the problems of wildfires, deforestation, or careless disposal of waste. But those media portrayals (often anecdotal incidents/images) do not communicate the true state of those issues.

Additionally, negative anomalies (e.g. downturns in long-term trends) do not affirm the decline of life toward disastrous ending.

Remember when oil prices rose in the mid-Oughts. Immediately, media were awash with renewed claims that we had reached “peak oil” and the final decline of that resource was then beginning. The “end” was nigh, once again. Numerous claims have been made by prophets of doom over past decades that varied resources would become exhausted and mass-death would result.

Note these predictions made around 1970: https://www.aei.org/carpe-diem/18-spectacularly-wrong-predictions-made-around-the-time-of-first-earth-day-in-1970-expect-more-this-year-3/

Harvard biologist George Wald said in 1970- “Civilization will end within 15-30 years”.

At that time Paul Ehrlich stated- “The death rate will increase at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years (1970-80)”. And “(between 1980 and 1989) some 4 billion people… would perish in the Great Die-Off”.

Peter Gunter said in 1970 that famine would cover the entire world except Western Europe, North America, and Australia. In 1970 Life magazine reported that scientists had evidence that city dwellers would have to wear gas masks to survive.

Ehrlich also claimed that life expectancy would decline to 42 years by 1980. Kenneth Watt declared that by 2000 there would be no more crude oil. Harrison Brown predicted that humanity would run out of key metals by 1990 (Ehrlich affirmed the same). Senator Gaylord Nelson claimed that by the mid-90s between 75-80 percent of all species of animals would be extinct. And on and on the doom predictions went. These apocalyptic prophets affirmed their message by endlessly and repeatedly setting the dates for the ‘end-of-days’.

This doom narrative distorts entirely the true state of life. It is a message of despair that incites fear and fortifies a sense of tribal exclusion and stinginess, even hoarding. It tells people that nature is stingy, resources are limited, and there are too many people clamoring for those limited resources, so fight for your own survival/success and that of your tribe. The doom narrative promotes the “limited good” fallacy of primitive societies- that if some are getting more then others must be losing out. The fallacy of limited resources generates fear, envy, resentment, desperation, and collectivist activism that views the only solution to the problems of life as confiscating the resources of successful people and redistributing them.

And on the other hand…

The true state of life affirms an entirely different narrative. All the main indicators of resources on Earth show stunning abundance in the natural world, even superabundance, and natural generosity that continues to amaze us (Marion Tupy of Humanprogress.org is preparing to publish a book on ‘Superabundance’). With more people arriving on Earth we find endless new exhibitions of creative action to solve problems and find solutions that benefit all. More people continue to produce inventive new technologies (goods and services) to improve the human condition and nature. The result has been ongoing improvement in all the major features of life. Consequently, there has been no limit to the resources that humanity needs.

Joanna Szurmak and Pierre Desrochers (Population Bombed) detail some of the main indicators of the real state of the world and life.

They note that people live longer and healthier lives and are wealthier and better educated. Reserves of oil are more abundant than ever, air and water quality are better, and forest cover has expanded significantly over recent decades. Critical to note in their book- “economic prosperity and a cleaner environment are the direct results of both population growth and humanity’s increased use of fossil fuels” (p.xvi).

They add further, taking cues from the earlier research of Julian Simon, that more people are more hands to work and more brains to innovate. Also, people are able to decouple from local limits through trade. They conclude that the pessimist narrative has been proven entirely wrong. Two centuries of evidence has disproven the pessimist narrative on population growth and resources. More people on Earth has resulted in economies of scale, more efficiency and productivity, and progressively less damaging ways of doing things (i.e. better outputs with fewer inputs).

We see the evidence of this widespread improvement of life in the fact that with billions more people there has not been mass starvation as the prophets of doom claimed but, instead, a stunning and ongoing increase in crop production with no limits in sight. More people, means more Norman Borlaugs to invent hi-yield crops and feed far more people, while saving more forest as hi-yield crops mean more agricultural product on the same or less land. And more people contributing to more human creativity and technological improvement feeds into ongoing trends like “de-materialization” which is the declining per capita use of material resources.

Others (i.e. Julian Simon) note the historical evidence of a process that kicks in to solve apparent resource scarcities if people are left free to solve problems. When there is a shortage of some resource, prices rise and that incentivizes people to discover more reserves of that resource, or to find/create alternatives. We saw this process operate in the 19th Century transition from whale oil to fossil fuels, in the discovery of fracking that opened massive new reserves of fossil fuels, and we are now watching this process operate in the ongoing discoveries regarding portable nuclear and fusion technologies (e.g. https://www.wsj.com/articles/mini-nuclear-reactors-offer-promise-of-cheaper-clean-power-11613055608). And what about futurist Arthur Clarke predicting that we would tap into dark energy in this century, giving us an infinitely unlimited source of energy?

Who knows what human creativity will break open for the future. Past long-term trends (our track record) affirm the hope that we will continue to solve problems, invent new technologies that cannot even be imagined yet, and ultimately create a better world and future. As Julian Simon said, we (humanity) have been more creators than destroyers. And we have done well in making life ever better.

Further, observe the natural beneficence of nature. As Bob Brinsmead oft reminds us, “Think of the sunshine that radiates the earth with abundance that never runs out. Think of the prodigious world of nature- how plants do not merely reproduce but reproduce an overflow from which all creatures feed. The generosity of nature is such that the harvest tends to be far greater than the sowing.”

An example of this profligate generosity of nature: One seed of corn will produce 2-4 new cobs of corn, each with 600-800 seeds. That is 1 seed of corn producing roughly 2000 new seeds of corn. And nature does most of the work once the seed is planted, with sun and rain provided freely for growth.

It is incontrovertible that there is a superabundance and generosity built into life, and with the addition of conscious human creativity and innovation tapping into that abundance, the result is endless improvement over the long term. The human mind introduces the limitless element into the mix because human freedom and creative thought opens infinite potential in all directions (Freeman Dyson).

This narrative of superabundance and ongoing improvement of life inspires hope, love, generosity, and should encourage the affirmation of human freedom to innovate, invent, and create. The narrative of hope undermines the stingy tribal reaction that views others as threats to one’s survival and incites the hoarding of resources from others. The narrative of unlimited generosity encourages more freedom to share the abundance of the world.

For extensive detail and data sources that affirm that more people are a benefit to life, and that human creativity transcends limits on resources, see the research of Julian Simon (Ultimate Resource) and Desrocher and Szurmak in Population Bombed, among others.

Doom narratives fail to grasp and present the true state of life because they ignore the fundamental goodness of people and they dismiss the unlimited creative potential of human minds.

Note: Feel free to toy with the idea that the generosity of nature speaks to the stunning generosity of metaphysical reality behind nature.

Note: The themes of doom narratives are currently manifest in the hysteria eruption over “natural climate change”.

Further note: Its the story that matters:

Varied scientists have bemoaned the fact that detailed scientific evidence, critical as it is, does not change the minds of those trapped in doom narratives. This is because there are subconscious factors involved- i.e. deeply embedded themes and impulses that intuitively orient people to embrace apocalyptic doom narratives. Those deeply embedded mythical themes, primitive ideas, still dominate the world religions and are widely embraced in the “secular” ideologies of today, and even in science.

Here is a partial list of archetypical themes of apocalyptic-like narratives (see full lists below- “Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives”)

(1) There was a better past but (2) corrupt people (i.e. fallen humanity, original sin) ruined the original paradise world. (3) Life is now declining toward something worse, toward collapse and ending/apocalypse. Hence, (4) the need for salvation and redemption and (5) the obligation to purge the evil threat to life in order to save the world. Then (6) paradise can be restored. (7) Dualism is also a prominent feature of doom narratives and that feature incites the tribal impulse in people. People are called to courageously fight for their tribe in a “righteous battle” against their “evil” enemies.

I have noted elsewhere on this site, that scientific detail does not move many people because most people live by story and story themes. Hence, the need for a counter narrative/story to the doom narrative. A story with an authentic hero’s journey and quest. A story that offers something to conquer and make right. Something to engage the human spirit and its dreaming impulse, its imagination, and its desires for heroic conquest. But a story based on empirical reality, affirmed with good evidence on the true state of life.

The doom narrative abuses the human spirit and distorts the basic features of human story by appeal to the dark side with threat and fear. Yes, it also offers a righteous battle and salvation scheme but it is tribally-oriented righteousness framed by the base feature of primitive dualism.

The key differences between doom and hope narratives have to do with features like the evaluation of humanity. In doom narratives people are considered essentially corrupt/evil and deserving of punishment. Consequently, humanity is threatened with destruction/apocalypse- with the ending of life in disaster. Doom narratives are stories of nihilist meaninglessness.

The hope narrative affirms humanity as fundamentally good, not deserving punishment, but instead, deserving of the generous bounty of this world. And the heroic struggle of humanity (the righteous battle) is to make this imperfect world something better, to contribute something to make life more beautiful. That is the true “salvation” of our world. Humanity’s true quest is to conquer problems/imperfections and take life into an open and infinitely better future. The authentic hero’s journey is making some unique personal contribution to this overall human quest of improving life. And the best evidence affirms that we are doing this successfully.

Decline or rise: What is the actual trajectory of life on Earth? (Getting the true narrative of life right) Wendell Krossa

For most of human history, including today, the human understanding of life of Earth has been dominated by the myth of decline- that life has degenerated from an original golden age and has become worse and will eventually end in disaster, apocalypse.

The common belief in life becoming worse and ending in apocalypse was already present in the earliest human writing/mythology- i.e. Sumerian Flood myth, Egyptian myths of The Destruction of Mankind and Return to Chaos, the great Hindu cycles of rise and then decline to disastrous ending, and even Buddhist beliefs in the decreasing human life-span (Mircea Eliade in History of Religious Ideas).

Life declining toward disastrous ending was formalized in the theology of the Persian sage Zoroaster/Zarathustra. His apocalyptic religion then structured the core themes of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam with the same declinist perspective.

Christian apocalyptic (i.e. Paul’s apocalyptic Christ myth- Thessalonian letters) eventually shaped 19th Century Declinism and in that belief system we saw primitive mythology transformed into “secular ideology” for the modern world. The same themes of primitive mythologies were given new “secular” expression in an ideology. But at its core Declinism was still the same old profoundly religious belief system as ever before.

Declinism promoted the narrative that once pure and strong people (hunter/gatherers, rural man connected more to nature) had become corrupted and were degenerating in human civilization, notably in industrial/commercial civilization.

Declinism then subsequently shaped Marxism, Nazism, and now shapes environmentalism in projects like climate alarmism with its repetitious apocalyptic scenarios. (Note: The end-of-days never arrives in an ever-improving world so prophets must endlessly reset the end-times dates, usually about 10-15 years in the future.)

Overwhelming evidence affirms that the long-term trajectory of life has been a trend of improvement and life becoming ever better, a story of life and civilization rising toward something ever better. If there is a “bending arc of history” it is not toward the alarmist vision of a worsening world that ends in apocalyptic catastrophe. The arc of history rises toward more improvement over the long-term. And yes, in any long-term trajectory there are downturns and setbacks along the way but it is the direction of the overall long-term trend that tells us what is the true state of life and where life is heading.

An over-abundance of good evidence affirms the trend of improvement across history. I have repeatedly listed here the best sources of data that support such a hopeful vision of the future- James Payne’s History of Force, Stephen Pinker’s Better Angels of Our Nature, Julian Simon’s Ultimate Resource, Greg Easterbrook’s A Moment On The Earth, Bjorn Lomborg’s Skeptical Environmentalist, Ronald Bailey’s The End of Doom, Indur Goklany’s The Improving State of the World, Matt Ridley’s Rational Optimist, Desrochers and Szurmak’s Population Bombed, Hans Rosling’s Factfulness, Bailey and Tupy’s Ten Global Trends, and others.

Further comment on the mythology/ideology of Declinism Wendell Krossa

I mention Declinism regularly here because it is a dominant theme in the worldviews of many people (see YouGov survey noting that a majority of the world population believe “the world is getting worse”, in Ten Global Trends by Tupy and Bailey).

A main element in Declinism is the belief in the inevitable decline of humanity from an original power and purity in pre-civilization existence to decadence, weakness, and degeneration in modern civilization. Declinism also affirms the inevitable decline of human civilization and the decline of life overall, i.e. the ultimate ascendancy of the Second Law/entropy.

Others raise the contrary point that life has emerged and become more complex and advanced against the fact of entropy. Physicists Huber and Mills (Bottomless Well) argue that the use and dissipation of energy is “virtuous” and necessary for creating more order, and higher forms of order.

Many continue to embrace Declinism as the dominant/defining feature of reality despite overwhelming evidence of ongoing improvement, over the long-term, in all the main features and trends of life. See, for example, the varied studies at Humanprogress.org. Also the research of Simon, Lomborg, Bailey, Goklany, Desrochers and Szurmak, and many others.

If you want to understand why so many still believe that things are getting worse when life overall is improving, then check out Arthur Herman’s “The Idea of Decline in Western History”. Herman details the historical development of the 19th Century Declinist narrative that humanity degenerates in industrial civilization, that humanity degenerates from a previous noble state where people had a strong connection with nature in more rural societies. Declinist ideology states that people have become weakened and corrupted by the good life in the modern world. Declinism claims that civilization overall declines toward some disastrous ending.

Giving in to my “reverse engineering” impulse, I ask myself- Where do these declinist ideas come from? They have long dominated world religions like Christianity which still perpetuates myths of an original paradise where pure humans (Adam, Eve) were untainted by sin or death. A subsequent “Fall” ruined the original paradise and sent life declining toward eventual collapse and ending in the apocalypse of Revelation. These Declinism ideas trace even further back to the Persian narrative of life degenerating toward disastrous ending in Zoroastrian apocalypse. And the very same proto-Declinist ideas are found in the earlier mythologies of Sumeria, Egypt, and other ancient cultures.

It is irresponsible to continue to deny factual evidence and propagate these primitive declinist ideas when we have overwhelming evidence of ongoing improvement on all the main features of life. Note, for example, the improvement in the decline of violence across human history (James Payne- History of Force, Stephen Pinker- Better Angels of Our Nature). And note particularly the almost-exponential uptick in the human condition over past centuries as infant mortality has undergone a striking decline, human lifespans and health continue to improve, poverty continues to decline and most people across the planet are now joining the middle class, modern technology brings relief from hard labor and numerous other comforts and securities to life, deaths from natural disasters have declined 96% over the past century, and there is environmental improvement across the main resources of our world. The list of improving features of life is long and soundly hope-affirming.

Conclusion: The long-term trajectory of life is not declining toward something worse but is rising toward something ever better. The actual “decline” is that bad things in life (i.e. disease, violence, physical hardship and suffering) are falling off trending charts while good things are experiencing rising trend lines. Again, see sources like Humanprogress.org.

Herman, though it was not his stated intention, has shown how primitive mythology was transformed into modern “secular” ideology in Declinism. Despite that project to give Declinism intellectual respectability, Declinism ideology is merely repeating the same old themes of primitive apocalyptic mythology. Declinism misrepresents the true state of life entirely.

We never solve the alarmism curse while the main world belief systems continue to promote the basic themes of Declinism and perpetuate those in public consciousness.

Modern Declinism is a profoundly religious system at core, perpetuating the most primitive of mythical themes, despite its use of contemporary secular and scientific terminology.

Now a revised reposting…

Note on comments just below: My own positions are scattered across the political/social spectrum- Classic Liberal on economic issues, Classic liberal on social issues- liberal as in sort of “Libertarianish” but not dogmatically affiliated with any particular ideological position.

Many of us grew up favorably associating “liberal” with tolerance, inclusiveness, empathy, and generally human compassion. But a great inversion has occurred today. Liberal has become more associated with intolerance, tribal exclusion, contempt of disagreeing others, hyper-sensitive outrage over differences, quickness to condemn, mercilessness in trying to punish and destroy “enemies” for perceived failures, and even exhibiting outright hysterical hatred and vilification of opponents. While both sides of our societies (Right and Left) exhibit these embarrassing behaviors at times, the liberal side appears to be dominating public displays of such bad behavior today as it controls mainstream media, Hollywood (public story-telling forums), university campuses, the climate debate, and more.

A great transmutation of modern Liberalism has occurred that has left many of us wondering what the fuck happened? And more generally, what happened to common human decency, to forgiveness and generosity of spirit that understands and accepts human imperfection on all sides, and patiently offers second, third, or more chances for others to learn, grow, gradually become better, and mature? We all want to be treated with such compassion and should exhibit the same generosity toward others.

Nelson Mandela taught us some priceless lessons in this regard, that forgiveness and love toward opponents/enemies “brings out the best in others and turns enemies into friends”. It is the proven route to peace and stability in society.

Resurging Collectivism

The centralizing of power and control in governing elites is always dangerous as it unleashes the ever-present busy-body impulse to meddle in other’s lives, to coerce others with state law/force, denying them the freedom for self-governance, for self-determination, and freedom of choice. Remember, self-control, as in free personal choice, is vital to human well-being. Independence feeds the creative urge to improve oneself and one’s family and to benefit from the personal growth and maturing that brings. Encouraging this freedom in populations lifts entire societies, as we have seen in the outcomes of the spread of democratic freedom/free markets across the world over past centuries. We saw the opposite in societies that opted for highly centralized control of their citizens.

Free individuals working hard and gaining reward is not mainly about greed and selfishness as in the distorting narrative of collectivist ideology. The track record of humanity shows that free people, out of common human goodness, also freely choose to cooperate and contribute to greater good. We see this, for example, in the widely accepted ‘social contract’ where most citizens accept that some income should be taxed to contribute to common or shared goods like infrastructure. Unfortunately, central control types try to push this agreed sharing too far with excessive taxation and regulation- what we know as the meddling control by authoritarian bureaucrats and governing elites.

(Note: Greed exists in all political/social systems but interesting that many of the worst outbreaks occurred in central control systems where freedom to criticize, expose, and challenge the selfishness/greed of governing elites was banned.)

Why do collectivists or central-control types (one and the same) push for more government control of other’s lives?

Collectivists struggle to acknowledge the fundamental benefit of individual freedom to human society. They have difficulty accepting too much individual freedom because they have long framed the orientation to individualism in terms of “selfishness/greed”. Further, they do not trust average people to choose or do the right thing (the anti-human view of most people as “fallen, corrupt, inherently sinful”). Collectivists claim that too much individual freedom subjects people to the temptation to greed (i.e. seeking too much personal gain- “too much” in the estimation of the “small is beautiful” narrative of the collectivist).

Hence, collectivists frame socialist central control as a battle of “greater good versus selfish, greedy individualism”. This distorts entirely the true state of things. But it gives the collectivist a sense of moral superiority over opponents, the sense they are on the right side of a righteous battle against an “evil” that is threatening societies. Framed as a battle of good versus evil, Marxist/socialist approaches maintain ongoing appeal despite their persistent track record of dismal failure, of ruining greater good in societies, along with the environmental ruin that results from central planning of resource use.

This simple-minded narrative of a “good versus evil struggle” distorts reality in human societies.

Collectivists ignore one of the main failures of their approach- that centralized control of societies has inevitably unleashed the darker impulses of totalitarianism. Fortunately, over the past few centuries we have learned to counter totalitarianism by decentralizing power/control among competing persons/entities (the checks and balances of separated and distributed power/control). We further counter totalitarianism by affirming the ideal that those in positions of power must “serve the people” (common citizens being the true locus of authority in societies). Government should exist to protect the freedom and rights of citizen from elite domination and control. See Daniel Hannan’s treatment of these issues in “Inventing Freedom”.

The individual freedom approach (protected individual freedom) has been wildly successful in lifting entire societies. It honors the incentive to work and reap reward, to freely create and contribute to life. It has lifted billions out of the misery of poverty. And most people naturally want to contribute to a greater good of all. The best way to do so is by protecting the free choice of individuals to do so voluntarily, not by central state coercion.

Insert note: Research has noted that self-control, in the sense of personal choice on things that impact a person’s life, is critical to human well-being. Israeli studies have shown that those in higher positions in hierarchies, who have more choice, also have higher levels of well-being, while those in lower positions in hierarchies suffer from loss of choice.

Now to the main points…

The anti-liberalism of modern Liberalism, Many in contemporary Liberalism have abandoned Classic liberal principles, Wendell Krossa

Significant elements of modern Liberalism, notably in the US and Europe, have mutated to become advocates of highly illiberal crusades. Various public “Lefties” (i.e. people like Bill Burr, Jimmy Dore, Joe Rogan, and others) have acknowledged the contemporary abandonment of Classic Liberalism by groups of people self-identifying as Liberal, or now more commonly as Progressive or Woke.

Notably over the past decade or so, we have watched many in contemporary Liberalism outrightly rejecting the fundamental principles of Classic Liberalism- i.e. principles/practices like inclusion, tolerance, equality, and freedom for diversity of opinion and speech.

Most disconcerting in Liberalism (e.g. notably in North America) is the continuing eruption of an unapologetically authoritarian spirit, leaning totalitarian at times. The Liberal sector of society now openly censors and silences dissent and disagreement via social media platforms. For decades we have watched this crusade against freedom to question or dissent in the climate debate. We are now also witnessing this anti-freedom crusade promoted by public Liberals in politics, mainstream media/social media, and entertainment, who frequently engage in calls to de-platform, silence, ban, and cancel their opponents. One common stratagem employed by social media companies is to discredit those they disagree with as dangerous advocates of “misinformation”.

Significant segments of contemporary Liberalism appear to have been deluded by the moral superiority appeals of a resurging collectivism (“climate justice… social justice… equality… save the world”). Liberals have been agitating for more central control through state law and state coercion and that shows a disconcerting affiliation for classic collectivism/Marxism, where the state/government is venerated as the representative of the greater or common good (Hegel’s state as deity and “true freedom” as subjection to the state). Collectivist central control is then located in the state as the enforcer of elite views, interests, and laws. Consequent to such centralized control of populations, there is no longer toleration of inclusive diversity, equality, and freedom- central ideals of Classic Liberalism.

It used to be conventional wisdom that Liberalism would stand above all for tolerance. But increasingly, many Liberals openly exhibit an easily offended and enraged intolerance, breaking hysterical at times, toward differing others. We see these disturbing features in movements like Wokism, Progressivism in general, and in environmental alarmism.

Add here the strengthening dualist and tribal elements in the worldview of modern Liberals that seeks to exclude and discredit the differing other as criminal and intolerably dangerous to public good. Remember that President Obama’s AG, Loretta Lynch, tried to criminalize skeptical science that contradicted, with sound evidence, the “manmade climate catastrophe” narrative of Liberals.

Contemporary Liberalism has forgotten basic Classic Liberal precepts like “I may be offended by what you believe and say but I will protect, to the death, your right to believe and say what you choose”. Such tolerance understood that protecting the diverse/different other would also ensure the protection of one’s own freedom if and when the other side attained governing power.

The collectivist strain emerging in modern Liberalism repeatedly argues that individual freedom and rights must be subjected to the concerns of the larger group, the “greater or common good”. The greater good must take precedence over individual freedom and rights. This was the central error of Marxist collectivism that resulted in the mass-death movements of last century (100 million deaths).

Individual freedom is the foundational issue at play here. We best counter the dangerous collectivist centralizing of power, and the inevitable unleashing of the totalitarian impulse that accompanies centralized societal control, by dispersing power among diverse and competing individuals/entities.

Collectivism centralizes power under the control of “enlightened vanguards”, based on the collectivist principle that some elite has to define and run the collective or greater good for all others (i.e. for the good of the masses- the “intolerables”- that are too ignorant to know what is best for them). Who said that the most dangerous people are those who believe they know what is best for all others and will coerce others to embrace their elite-defined “good”.

The counter approach, oriented to protecting the freedom and rights of individuals, was a foundational principle from Magna Carta on down- that all members of a society would be assured equal rights, responsibilities, protections, and freedoms under law. Again, see Daniel Hannan’s great history of the development of the individual freedom approach (“Inventing Freedom”). Also, Arthur Herman’s treatment of the history of the two main approaches to organizing human societies (the free individual versus collectivism approaches) in “The Cave and the Light”.

We ought to be careful of embracing ideological positions that permit us to meddle in and control others, taking away their freedom and self-determination. Controlling types dismiss freedom by claiming that their “enemies” pose a dangerous threat to the greater whole (i.e. imminent threat of catastrophic harm) hence they must be constrained and stopped by state force in order to save a greater good. Climate apocalypse narratives push this story line. They claim their activism is a righteous battle against evil and vital to “save the world”. They imagine they are on a heroic quest of utmost importance and can brook no dissent as the stakes are the very future of life on Earth. They are crusaders against what they claim is the inevitable and looming apocalypse. Convincing themselves with this false narrative they have locked themselves into inescapably harmful solutions as the only way to “save the world”. Additionally, they repeatedly set dates for the “end-of-days” because it endlessly recedes away into the future as real life denies their apocalyptic vision and continues to improve over the long term.

End notes: David Boaz (Libertarianism) pointed out that both sides in the US situation fail on the issue of respecting the freedom of differing others. Boaz said that Republicans need to embrace more freedom regarding social issues (i.e. gay rights, women’s freedom of choice, ending the drug war) and Democrats need to embrace more freedom in relation to economic issues (i.e. less taxation and redistribution of other’s income, less regulation of other’s businesses). His comments also apply to other countries as the same Liberal/Conservative divide is common today.

Further note: Conservatives feel they must meddle in and control the lives of others for a “greater good”. This busy-body impulse is based on the religious belief that if some in a society “sin” then God will punish all members of that society. So, to “save the nation” they must prevent others from “sinning”, as necessary to protect themselves also.

Liberals also feel they must meddle in and control the lives of others for a greater good. They base this need for meddling intervention on their myth of looming apocalypse from climate change, that all will die if they do not stop others from using fossil fuels.

Intro notes:

“The whole aim of practical politics (and news media) is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.” ― H.L. Mencken, In Defense Of Women

The climate alarm movement is the latest in an endless history of apocalyptic alarmism movements. Many of these movements were previously religiously-oriented but today they are often “secular/ideological” in orientation, as in environmental alarmism crusades. However, the same core themes- primitive mythical themes- dominate both versions of apocalyptic movements.

Presentism

“… most people pay little attention to the study of history and the result is the ‘fallacy of presentism’: the tendency to assume that events of the present are larger, more important, or more shocking than events of the past”, James Payne in ‘A History of Force’.

The fallacy of “Presentism” in relation to climate: The belief that some extreme weather event or natural disaster is the worst ever because we experienced it firsthand. The larger context is critical for properly understanding weather events, natural disasters, and climate in general.

Section comments: Nagging the public to believe (i.e. climate change is real but not manmade or catastrophic); Big picture perspective (our present Earth is much colder than normal with much lower levels of CO2 than were normal for most of past history); Decline or Rise- the actual trajectory of life; Comment on the ideology of Declinism (the belief that the world is getting worse when all the main indicators show improvement); Hold a fundamental belief; The tragedy of being carried away by “crowd madness”; Themes and features of alarmism movements; The anti-liberalism of modern Liberalism (abandoning Classic Liberal principles): A counter narrative to the fallacy of too many people, too few resources; The true state of life on Earth; Stop the irrational, irresponsible panic-mongering; and more.

Consequences of persistent despair narratives, Wendell Krossa

“Pessimism turns to fatalism and the only option is resignation and withdrawal”, Arthur Herman in ‘The Idea of Decline in Western History’. Propagandized pessimism incites spreading hopelessness in populations. World surveys tell us that majorities of populations now believe “the world is getting worse”. And note the correlated trend of young couples refusing to have children in a world they believe will soon end. Or children suffering “eco-anxiety” and afraid they will die before reaching adulthood (so why attend school).

But worse than resignation and withdrawal is the potential of apocalyptic despair narratives to push populations toward a “self-fulfilling prophecy” situation where alarmed people are increasingly susceptible to alarmist salvation schemes. Schemes intended to overturn industrial civilization, entirely. Freedom will be the collateral damage of these schemes because Green policies, in their extremist versions, demand all-encompassing change and control of lives. Add the disturbing trends to silence, ban, and even criminalize skeptics to Green hysteria. Example: Obama’s AG, Loretta Lynch, tried to criminalize skeptical climate science in 2016.

Further essential to the Green revolution is the growing demand for “instantaneous transformation” of society because the apocalyptic prophets claim the end-of-days is imminent, just years up ahead. There is no time to waste, according to the prophets, and objectors with their demands for open debate and democratic processes are endangering all life. They are “murderous” deniers, unbelievers of the despair narrative. Hence, the great Green transformation will require “coercive purging”, via state force, in order to “save the world” from the purported threat to life- i.e. greedy consumers in an industrial society based on fossil fuels.

Remember, these totalitarian apocalyptic approaches were tried last century and what was the outcome? We had the mass-death movements of Marxism (100 million deaths from the crusade against the “capitalist threat”) and Nazism (50-60 million deaths from the crusade against the “Jewish Bolshevik threat”). Environmental alarmism has now taken up the formerly Marxist crusade to overturn industrial civilization, with despair narratives no different from the other unhinged apocalyptic crusades of past history. (Note: The above comments are not my conclusions alone. Data sources from many credible researchers are noted in articles and sections below.)

Prophets without shame, Wendell Krossa

Apocalyptic prophets have been prophesying the end-of-days at a fevered level for the past 70 years. Notable among the sandwich-board crowd is Paul Ehrlich who claimed in the 70s that the end was nigh for varied reasons- global cooling, mass starvation, exhausted resources. He set dates for the end around 1980. But nope. The end did not arrive because life, to the contrary, generally improved. So he, and related prophets, reset the date for the apocalypse another decade or so out. And nope again. Life and the world did not end then. So they repeated the fraud of apocalyptic mythology and reset the end of days again. And again. These prophets usually claim an end-times date about 10-15 years up ahead. The latest date for the end-of-days is 2030. John Kerry has become one of the main voices of this “final tipping point” mythology.

What drives this endless re-setting of the end-of-days? The apocalyptic mind denies the evidence that life overall continues to improve. Apocalyptic scenarios are irrational, irresponsible, unscientific lunacy. Is that too harsh a conclusion?

Many fundamental indicators of the true state of life show that we are living through the best of times in world history (see, for example, ‘Humanprogress.org’). And the future will be much better. The end-of-days scenarios pumped out repeatedly by apocalyptic prophets under the guise of science are fraudulent distortions of life. See sources in articles below.

Articles on this site probe the mindset of the many people that continue to embrace the insanity that is apocalyptic mythology. It has to do with themes/ideas that have long dominated human worldviews, whether in religious versions or “secular/ideological/scientific” versions. This is deeply embedded ‘subconscious’ stuff.

The true state of life on Earth (a revised reposting) Wendell Krossa

While problems exist everywhere, they are solvable and humanity has done well in caring for and preserving world resources. For detailed research on the true status of world resources see Julian Simon’s ‘Ultimate Resource’, Bjorn Lomborg’s ‘Skeptical Environmentalist’, or ‘Population Bombed’ by Szurmak and Desrochers, among many similar studies. Below are some basic facts on the main resources of our world. They are the main indicators of the true state of life on our planet. They all show that life is not declining toward something worse. There is no looming environmental apocalypse.

Leading indicators for evaluating the true state of life:

(1) World forest cover in the 1950s was 3.8 billion hectares (FAO stats). World forest cover today is 4.1-plus billion hectares, despite the world population tripling from 2.4 billion people in the early 1950s to almost 8 billion today. Deforestation rates continue to decline and reforestation/afforestation projects continue to succeed. We are not destroying the world’s forests. http://www.fao.org/forestry/fra/52045/en/
and https://www.humanprogress.org/what-do-the-numbers-show-about-global-deforestation/

(2) Proven species extinctions. While any species extinction is unacceptable, we have dramatically improved our care of nature. Species extinctions are on a notably declining trend line and have decreased from about 5 per year in 1870 to about 0.5 per year today (see the IUCN Red List All Extinct Species by Decade on p.101 of Patrick Moore’s new book ‘Fake Invisible Catastrophes And Threats of Doom’). While nature has destroyed over 95% of all species over the span of life on this planet, compassionate humanity is now protecting species as never before.

See Julian Simon’s chapter on the IUCN report on species loss (in Ultimate Resource and other books) and the discredited assumption/correlation between habitat loss and species extinctions. The wrong assumption was that with habitat loss of 90% some 50% of species would go extinct. Both the Northeastern US and Northeastern Brazil study areas disproved that assumption. The assumption did not understand the resiliency, adaptability, and toughness of life. There is no species holocaust occurring. Nature is not “fragile”.

(3) Climate change (the atmosphere as a main resource): There has been a mild one degree Centigrade of warming over the past century and a half. That slightly warmed our still abnormally cold world. We are in an “ice-age era”. Average surface temperatures today are around 15 degrees Centigrade. That is 5-10 degrees Centigrade below the more optimal average surface temperatures of the past 500 million years. For over 90% of the past 500 million years there was no ice at the poles. That is a more normal and optimal world. And contrary to the falsified climate models, there is no settled evidence of much more warming occurring in the future. There is no “climate crisis” looming.

Also, most of our Holocene inter-glacial, that began around 11,000 years ago, has been warmer than today. The Holocene Climatic Optimum (roughly 10-5,000 years ago) was about 1 degree C. warmer. The Roman Warm Period (250 BCE to 400 CE) and the Medieval Warm Period (950- 1,250 CE)- were also warmer than today. Life overall and human civilization have flourished during such warming periods. From about 5,000 years ago our interglacial began a long-term cooling trend (the “Neoglacial” period). Our current Modern Warm period is the coolest of the four warm periods of our interglacial.

We are also in a “CO2 starvation era” where CO2 has declined to its lowest levels compared to most of past history. 20,000 years ago CO2 declined to 185 ppm, barely above the level at which all plant life dies (150 ppm). We have experienced a mild increase in atmospheric CO2 levels to 400-plus ppm today but are still far below long-term historical averages (multiple-thousands of ppm) when life flourished with much more of its basic plant food.

(4) Ocean fisheries are not collapsing and aquaculture is meeting the growing human demand for fish. See Ray Hilborn reports and FAO summaries on fisheries. The world fisheries are not being decimated though various species are over-fished and need more protection/better management. Wild fish consumption has peaked over past decades and aquaculture has been growing rapidly to meet the growing demand for fish. https://www.washington.edu/news/2020/01/13/fisheries-management-is-actually-working-global-analysis-shows/

(5) The overall agricultural land-base is not severely degrading. Also, any soil erosion must be understood in net terms, as related to new soil regeneration rates. Further, over the past century and more, we have returned several hundred million acres of agricultural land back to nature as hi-yield GM crops enable farmers to produce more crop on the same or less land. We have probably already passed “peak-agricultural land” use.

Thanks also to increasing levels of basic plant food in the atmosphere (i.e. CO2) there has been a 30% increase in green vegetation across the Earth over the past century. This aerial CO2 also contributes to remarkable increases in crop production (see CO2science.org). Humanity now produces 25% more food than we need. Hydroponics will also meet much of future food demands.

These, and other indicators, show that the overall long-term trajectory of life is improving, not worsening.

A note to our children: Do not fear the future of life on our planet. With continued wealth creation we will continue to solve the remaining world resource problems and life will continue to get ever better than before. Your personal contribution to making life better will add to humanity’s overall success. Do not let false alarmism narratives rob you of hope.

Other indicators of the state of life

These are some of the most important things in life and they tell us where life is heading. This is not to deny that serious problems remain in many areas of life, but to re-assure with hope that people are working to find solutions and our track record affirms that we have done well in solving problems and vastly improving life for most people. The best is yet to come.

Infant mortality rates

In 1800 one third of children (33%) died before reaching 5 years of age. The global rate today is 4.5% and much lower (well below 1%) in most of the more developed countries.

https://ourworldindata.org/child-mortality-global-overview

Human life span

In the pre-industrial era the average life expectancy was about 30 years. Today the world average is over 70 years and higher in many countries. See sources like Ourworldindata.org.

Human health

Over the past century major diseases have been conquered, others turned into long-term maladies. The current pandemic appears to have been caused by human action against better advice (i.e. continuing gain of function research despite a ban, and substandard lab safety measures). Hopefully, this outbreak will result in more pro-active vaccine research and other preventative measures that will lessen the chance of future similar outbreaks.

Decline in poverty

Poverty has declined rapidly over past decades and much of the world’s population is entering middle-class status. There is no reason this trend will not continue.

Human comfort and well-being

Ongoing technological advances have made human existence much less punishing with breakthroughs in transportation, communication, and general human comfort. Workplace safety has increased significantly.

Plant and animal life

With more basic plant food in the atmosphere (CO2) plant life has flourished with a 30% increase in green vegetation on Earth over the past century. Animals have benefitted with more food and humanity has benefitted with increased crop production from aerial fertilization. Also, GM crop breakthroughs have resulted in crop records being broken annually with more breakthroughs to come. We now produce significantly more food than humanity needs. And a warming climate (in an abnormally cold world) will further benefit animal and plant life with extended habitats.

Further, extinctions are at all time lows.

Committed pessimists ignore the many improvements to life and focus obsessively on remaining problems without locating them within the larger overall context of improving life. Alarmist types tend to exaggerate problems out to apocalyptic scale thereby distorting the overall big picture and long-term trajectory of life.

Beating a mantra into public consciousness Wendell Krossa

We hear the repeated mantra in news media today that hot days or heat waves are the “hottest on record”. The alarmist mantra of “hottest on record” refers only to the formal record of the last 150 years. That brief snippet pulled out of the larger climate history permits alarmist distortion of the true state of climate. The hottest days and years of the last 150 years were actually during the 1930s (https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/07/15/the-deadly-heat-wave-of-july-1936-in-the-middle-of-arguably-the-hottest-decade-on-record-for-the-us/). But that hotter period was before CO2 could be blamed for climate change so it is ignored as it doesn’t suit the larger narrative point that climate alarmists are trying to make.

Why do we hear this particular mantra of “hottest on record” repeated endlessly by news media, politicians, and celebrities? Why are today’s hot days and heat waves not placed within the larger climate history to give the public a proper perspective on things?

The exaggerated slogan of heat threat (along with other extreme weather events) is repeated to affirm a larger background narrative- that climate is warming dangerously and will become catastrophic if it warms past another 1.5-2.0 degrees C. Further to the narrative, “hottest on record” affirms that any warming is evidence of a human-caused “existential crisis” (“manmade” climate change) because we are burning too much fossil fuel and causing atmospheric CO2 levels to rise. And the only permissible response, according to climate authoritarians, must be the immediate and radical decarbonization of our societies and a massive shift to renewables. This salvation scheme (to “save the world”) is already causing immense harm to the poorest people with rising energy costs.

This environmental apocalypse story of looming climate crisis (one of an endless series of environmental alarms over the past 70 years) is part of an even larger background political narrative that is anti-industrial civilization, anti-capitalism, and fundamentally anti-human. (See, for example, “Hubris: The troubling science, economics, and politics of climate change” by Michael Hart.)

This site challenges the narrative of looming disaster caused by humanity using fossil fuels. While there are elements of truth in the mix- i.e. that it is warming and CO2 contributes to the warming- good evidence from the best climate scientists on the planet does not support the alarmist exaggeration that we are mostly responsible for rising CO2 levels, or that CO2 is mainly responsible for climate warming, or that the warming will become catastrophic. As noted often before on this site, there is no climate crisis and there is no scientifically sound reason to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies.

Nagging the public, Wendell Krossa

Politicians continue to bully the public to “believe in climate change”. “Its real”, they shout, and “we have to tackle it”. We have to act. Now.

Well yes, of course climate change is real. Unending change has always been the normal state of climate. There is no such thing as unchanging climate because climate is a complex, dynamic, and chaotic system and it is impossible for climate to be in stasis or to be static. It cannot but change.

So we all “know” that climate changes. It’s an established fact of our world. And yes, of course, when alarmist politicians argue for us to “believe” in climate change, they really mean believe their narrative of “manmade climate change” with the consequent alarmist mandate to cease using fossil fuels and shift immediately and entirely to renewables- i.e. decarbonization. We get this meaning behind their badgering.

And tackle climate change? If you mean mitigate, as in decarbonization, then you are engaging a King Canute-like project because we do not yet even understand all that influences climate. It is certain that CO2 is not the sole driver, not even the main driver of climate change. Good scientific research shows that CO2 is “a bit player” in a complex of factors influencing climate to change. The dominant players are factors like water vapor and that is part of a larger complex that includes the influence of cosmic rays increasing cloud cover, the sun interacting with cosmic rays to reduce cloud cover, and much more.

Add to the mix of climate change factors the significant influence of multi-decadal oscillations in ocean currents.

Certainly, we can experiment with alternatives to fossil fuels (renewables) to lower emissions but there is no “existential crisis” obligating us to do so. Because there is no evidence that the climate change that we have experienced over past decades is becoming “catastrophic”. That claim is unscientific alarmist nonsense. Pure apocalyptic exaggeration. And it irresponsibly alarms the public.

And act ‘now’? Well yes, just as humanity has reacted and acted in response to changing climate all across history. Adapting to climate change.

So enough already with the endless setting of dates for the end-of-days, terrorizing people with a false urgency based on a mild and beneficial one degree of warming over the past century. That mild warming has rescued us from the bitter pre-industrial cold of the Little Ice Age (1450-1850). We need still more warming and that will benefit life even more.

Challenging the alarm narrative, Wendell Krossa

Where is the promotion of basic science with its healthy skepticism, questioning, inclusion of contrary evidence, debate, and balancing falsification? (This comment is aimed mainly at politicians)

It is interesting to watch across the spectrum (Left to Right) politicians unquestioningly affirming the main unproven assumptions of the climate alarm movement. Those assumptions are not “settled, consensus science” by any respectable empirical measure. They are assumptions/exaggerations that have more to do with apocalyptic mythology than climate science.

Two prominent unproven assumptions:

(1) That CO2 is mainly responsible for warming climate. This assumption ignores or dismisses the varied other natural factors that show much stronger correlations to the climate change that we have seen over past decades. Note, for example, the cosmic ray/sun/cloud interaction (See Henrik Svensmark’s ‘The Chilling Stars’), or the multi-decadal oscillations/shifts in ocean currents from cooling to warming phases, among others. These natural factors overwhelm the CO2 influence on climate.

(2) That warming will be “catastrophic” if it rises and passes another 1.5-2.0 degrees C.

First, we have had only a 1 degree C warming over the past century and that is part of the natural recovery from the earlier descent into the bitter cold of the Little Ice Age of AD 1450-1850. Who in their right mind would want to return to the pre-industrial cold and dangerously low levels of CO2?

Scenarios of another 3-6 degrees C. warming are based on discredited computer models. More to the point, a few degrees more warming would not be catastrophic but would be a return to the more normal, optimal averages of most of past history when all life flourished with much warmer average temperatures (i.e. 20 degrees Centigrade-plus, versus the average 15 degrees C of today’s world). A much warmer world means extended habitats for life (i.e. no ice at the poles as was the state of the world for over 90% of world history), longer growing seasons, less severe gradients between the warm and cold areas that produce more severe storms, and more evaporation which means less drought, and more.

Add here that more basic plant food in the atmosphere- CO2- has resulted in a much greener world (a 15% increase in green vegetation since 1980) along with record crop production over recent years. All life is benefitting from more CO2 and more warmth. It is irrational madness to claim that more warming will devastate life when past history shows a much warmer world benefitted life immensely.

Remember also that the past warm periods of our interglacial (i.e. Holocene Optimum/Minoan, Roman, Medieval) were all warmer than our modern warm period and civilizations and all life flourished during those previous warm periods.

Big picture perspective on the true state of things, Wendell Krossa

Why the contemporary hysteria over ice melting at the North Pole, Greenland, and varied glacial regions? For over 90% of our planet’s history the Earth has been entirely ice-free. That is a more optimal, normal, and healthy state for life. Ongoing discoveries affirm that during those past eras when the polar regions were entirely ice free, diverse warm-climate flora and fauna inhabited both poles (e.g. the stumps of tropical trees have been discovered in the Arctic, along with the remains of camels and other warm-region flora and fauna). That means all life experienced vastly expanded habitats during those times. A good thing.

Note that the highest diversity of species today, both ocean and land species, are found in the tropical areas of Earth. Most life prefers warmth. Most people also prefer much more warmth and prove that by vacationing or migrating to live in the warmer areas of Earth.

More warming does not mean there will be catastrophic harm to life as already warm areas do not necessarily become hotter. More warmth is distributed, via ocean and atmospheric convection currents, to the colder regions of Earth (polar regions), to the colder seasons (winter), and to colder times of day (nighttime). Climate warming spreads to the entire world with beneficial outcomes for all life, not “catastrophe”.

Today we are still far below the much warmer average temperatures of most past history. Average temperatures across much of the history of life were up to 5-10 degrees C higher than today’s average of about 15 degrees C. And life thrived in that much warmer world. Again, there was no “climate catastrophe”.

Further, the previous three inter-glacial periods were all warmer than our current Holocene interglacial (i.e. Purfleet: 337-300,000 years ago, La Bouchet: 242-230,000 years ago, Eemian: 130-115,000 years ago).

What about our interglacial- the Holocene- now 11,000 years long? Over the past 5000 years we have been in a long-term cooling trend. Our current Modern Warm Period is the coolest of the five major warm periods of our interglacial. The previous warmer periods were the Holocene Optimum, Minoan, Roman, and Medieval periods. The larger context of our interglacial shows that we are now in a cooling trend and that ought to be our real concern as cooling climate means more droughts, more extinctions, and more human suffering.

It is irrational to be worried about melting ice and a few more degrees of average warmth when, in net terms, the benefits to all life from more warming far outweigh any negatives. Cooling is a far greater threat to life. We should value all further warming that we might get at this time in world history.

So again, why this endless media hysteria over melting ice in varied places of our world? Some species may suffer but many more others will benefit from warmer temperatures and an ice-free planet. Others have noted that polar bears have survived the much warmer past interglacial periods (i.e. complete melts of Arctic ice). The Eemian (130-115,000 years ago) was 2-4 degrees C warmer than today, so also the other previous interglacials.

End notes: Summer Arctic melting has benefitted polar bears immensely. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/09/15/still-waiting-for-two-thirds-of-polar-bears-worldwide-to-disappear-due-to-lack-of-summer-sea-ice/

Melting ice and sea level rise: It is natural for climate to warm and the ice of glacial periods to melt during interglacials and hence for sea levels to rise. Oceans have risen a total of 120 meters since our Holocene Interglacial began some 11,000 years ago. Oceans continue to rise at the slow rate of about 1.5-3.0 mm per year. Despite this mild rise, the total surface area of Pacific ocean islands has increased and not decreased. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/08/31/new-study-62-km%c2%b2-6-net-expansion-in-100s-of-pacific-indian-ocean-island-shorelines-from-2000-2017/

Another: Heat events and wildfires are not worsening today. Wildfires have declined notably over the past century and extreme heat events are “weather events”, not necessarily related to larger climate patterns. There are many diverse factors contributing to local heat waves. See Wattsupwiththat.com for regular climate updates, also GWPF (Global Warming Policy Forum).

The tragedy of being carried away by “crowd madness”, Wendell Krossa

A sense of tragedy is evoked when the natural human desire to fight a heroic and righteous battle against some evil is misdirected into alarmist movements that ultimately cause harm to others. And yes, a generous view of this would grant that the harm is the result of unintended consequences from otherwise well-intentioned people. We saw misdirected heroism in the past century battles of Marxism against industrial/capitalist civilization. Today we are watching this misdirected zeal in the nihilist destruction of Antifa rioting. But we see its most dangerous eruptions in environmental crusades like decarbonization. Point? Make sure your monsters are real and the outcomes of your “righteous” cause are benefitting others, not harming them.

Examples: Rachel Carson was undoubtedly a well-intentioned lady. But her fear-mongering based on shoddy science arguably contributed to the subsequent deaths of many people, often children, due to the bans on DDT that were influenced by her alarmism. See THE EXCELLENT POWDER: DDT’s Political and Scientific History by Donald Roberts, Richard Tren.

Greenpeace alarmism over GM crops has also contributed to the unnecessary deaths of millions of children denied Vitamin A in crops like Golden Rice. https://nationalpost.com/opinion/bjorn-lomborg-trashing-rice-killing-children

News bits: As Europe heads into another cold winter it faces threatening consequences due to a lack of affordable energy, skyrocketing energy prices, the failure of Green renewables, and consequent electric grid instability (blackouts). Europeans face the real threat of freezing because they have been wrongly alarmed over a mild warming. Remember, cold is 20 times more life-threatening to humans than warmth.

Energy crisis goes from bad to worse: Gas prices soar 16pc as Russia keeps taps closed

“Pessimism turns to fatalism and the only option is resignation and withdrawal”, Arthur Herman in The Idea of Decline.

There are menacing forces working against hope and freedom today. The narrative of looming “climate catastrophe” (based largely on discredited computer models) has incited the survival impulse in populations. Fear spawns irrationality in people, making them susceptible to ‘crowd madness’ and the destructive salvation schemes of alarmists. None is more damaging than decarbonization, a salvation scheme (“save the world”) that alarmists are compelling most of the world to embrace. Decarbonization is a project to overturn industrial civilization and push intrusive government control into every aspect of human society and life. It foreshadows a potential intrusion into society and control of life more all-encompassing than any previous totalitarianism in world history.

The tragedy is that the decarbonization project is based on a distorted view of CO2 as the main/sole cause of the modern industrial era warming (1 degree C over the past century), and the unsupported claim that more warming will become “catastrophic”. This apocalyptic-scale exaggeration has reached hysterical levels among populations with the help of crisis-oriented media that thrive on panic-mongering. See David Altheide’s ‘Creating Fear: News and the construction of crisis’.

Sweating the small stuff Wendell Krossa

(Note: This comment is not intended to diminish the horrific suffering from the current pandemic or any other serious problem. It is to understand and counter the tendency to exaggerate problems and panic-monger, so common to the climate alarm movement. Also, it appears that this pandemic was the result of human intervention to pursue “gain of function” research that had been previously banned and to do so in a substandard lab with lax safety protocols. See Josh Rogin’s “Chaos Under Heaven”)

Humanity has largely solved the big threats of the past like mass-deaths from natural disasters. Deaths from natural disasters have decreased by 96% over just the past century. With no great threats to worry over, many today have turned their focus to micro-threats, such as micro-levels of potential poisons, the “invisible” threats. Others counter this worry over micro-threats by pointing to the medical research on “hormesis”, where smaller doses of varied substances are healthy but become poisonous at larger doses (i.e. “the poison is in the dose”).

Some have suggested that this trend to exaggerate the small is a consequence of the fact that people have become increasingly “risk averse”. An entirely risk-free existence is an impossible state to achieve as some level of risk is unavoidably present in an imperfect world. Most people accept varied levels of risk in their daily lives- i.e. while driving, in sickness and death from widely accepted habits like smoking and drinking, in public exposure to communicable diseases (annual deaths from flu, etc.), and in our acceptance of the natural world threats where we live- whether earthquakes, storms, or flooding.

Another possible element in the focus on smaller threats, and magnifying them to catastrophic-level hazards, has to do with the latent human impulse to fight great battles (i.e. the “hero’s journey”). Do some exaggerate otherwise manageable problems to apocalyptic scale in order to meet such felt needs to heroically “save the world”? Or what about the “worry-wort” syndrome. Some people simply cannot accept that humanity has done so well in making life much safer today and will rummage endlessly to find something wrong and worry about. Worry-worts are never satisfied with good news.

Add here psychologist Martin Seligman’s comments that during the past century pessimism became “cool” while optimism was considered shallow.

Is there also in the mix of threat-exaggeration and threat-mongering an element of “imposter syndrome”. We have done well in solving many formerly major problems but we are still uncomfortable with embracing our success, so we continue to conjure up the threats as worse than they really are to affirm the deeply embedded sense that we deserve punishment/harm of some form.

Threat exaggeration is most common today in the climate alarm movement where every anomaly/twitch in nature is used to affirm the narrative of looming “catastrophic climate crisis” as the deserved punishment for humanity enjoying the good life in industrial civilization. Climate alarmists whip up terror and incite panic over every out-of-the-norm event today, events that have been common all across history- i.e. heat waves/wildfires, storms, floods. These common events continue, and are serious concerns, but are often over-exaggerated and misused to affirm the apocalyptic narrative of alarmists today. Apocalypticism gone hysterical.

Good research on extreme weather events show there is no worsening trend. https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/despite-what-youve-heard-global-warming-isnt-making-weather-more-extreme/

Qualifier to comment below on holding a fundamental belief (“No conditions” or “unconditional love”)

Holding “no conditions” as an ultimate ideal (as the primary feature of deity and a the supreme ideal for ethics) does not then correlate directly with denying consequences for behavior in this life. There are natural and social consequences to all human actions and such consequences are vital to human learning, development, and maturing. For example, people unable or unwilling to restrain their worst impulses should be restrained (i.e. incarcerated) till they are able to do so, and if they are not able to control themselves, as in cases of psychopathology, then they must remain imprisoned for the protection and freedom of others.

Law, police, military, and justice/penal systems exist for good reason. But a ‘no conditions’ ideal argues that these institutions must be oriented to restorative, not punitive, justice approaches. Punitive justice does not advance human development and security. See, for example, Karl Menninger’s “The Crime of Punishment”.

Leo Tolstoy: “The whole trouble lies in that people think that there are conditions excluding the necessity of love in their intercourse with man, but such conditions do not exist. Things may be treated without love; one may chop wood, make bricks, forge iron without love, but one can no more deal with people without love than one can handle bees without care.”

Unconditional is the ethical ideal that points us to the safest route through life. Unconditional love as an ideal motivates us to do the least harm to others. Further, unconditional as the defining feature of God counters the long history of people using barbaric theological ideas to inspire, guide, and validate bad behavior toward others. Too many across history have used in humane features of deity to validate inhumanity toward others. Notable features in this regard include deity as tribally exclusive (favoring true believers, excluding/destroying unbelievers), deity as retaliatory, dominating, punitive, and ultimate world destroyer (apocalypse).

Now a bit of theology for any interested: This comment tackles the very core of human fears, (1) the primal fear of divine harm through the natural world- i.e. Forces/spirits harming people via natural disaster, disease, or animal/human predation. Harmful Forces/spirits would include punitive God, vengeful Gaia, angry Planet/Mother Earth, retributive Universe, or karma. And (2) the fear of after-life harm (myths of ultimate divine judgment and hell).

Hold something fundamental Wendell Krossa

We all hold some fundamental belief, something that we know to be true or at least more ‘truthish’ than alternatives. While there may be many things that we speculate on throughout our lives, there are a few things that we hold more tightly because they fulfil some important emotional impulse or need, or they seem more rational/reasonable. Sometimes its just about hope and faith helping us through the too often horrific imperfections of life.

I hold one thing as most true of all- that at the core of reality there is love, a stunning no conditions love. I believe that is where all reality originated. It is where all exists right now (surrounded by, interpenetrated by that love). And all returns safely to that love in the end.

And I hold to a view of our “pre-existence” as the most coherent explanation of all. That we come from the ultimate Oneness/deity that is love. We come into this realm of dualisms in order to have a human experience, to experience imperfection and opposites, to fight some righteous battle against evil, to conquer some monster/problem, to learn lessons from our struggles, and to benefit others by making some contribution to improving life.

I reason to my fundamental belief, using speculation, intuition, assumption, and other “soft” or “subjective” things, not afraid of emotion in the mix also. Because this is what we are as human beings- conscious, intuitive, feeling persons.

I reason, for example, that love is the one thing that most defines us as human. It is our highest ideal and most humane state. Love includes the essential component features of forgiveness, inclusion, toleration, the treatment of all as free equals, the enjoyment of the success of others, and more.

And I understand that the highest form of love that we have discovered is “no conditions” love. Unconditional love. This discovery arises from the daily mundane experience of average, ordinary people. It has not come from theologians or other religious/philosophical specialists.

And then I project this insight regarding unconditional love out to define Ultimate reality or the ultimate Good that humanity has long considered “deity” or the “divine”. Additionally, I understand that an Ultimate reality would get unconditional much better than we do and it would exhibit such love in an infinitely better, transcendently better manner. Love infinitely beyond the love that we know and experience here.

No religion has ever communicated the truth of no conditions love at the core of reality. To the contrary, all religion has always communicated Ultimate reality as a highly conditional reality- i.e. gods demanding right beliefs, required sacrifices/payments, proper religious rituals, correct religious lifestyle, and threatening ultimate judgment and punishment for not meeting religious conditions. Religion has always been about conditions, conditions, and more damn conditions.

This is the great contradiction of religion. Conditional religion has always buried the unconditional reality that is God. Yet religion claims to represent God to humanity. It has failed utterly.

Embracing the view of unconditional love as the core reality then leads me to reject all that is lesser than such love- things like (1) punitive retaliation as a response to human imperfection (contrasted with restorative justice), (2) exclusion of differing others, (3) meddling in the freedom and self-determination of others (control), (4) relating vertically to others (not respecting the equality of others), and so on.

My foundational belief also obliges me to rationally and reasonably reject outright the horrible myths of punitive forces/realities behind nature, or future retribution/payback (i.e. the still all-too-common mythology of future judgment or hell). So yes, I reject most religious beliefs from across history, beliefs that are still prominent in the world religions.

But I do not reject the common and universal intuition of people across history that we are part of some greater reality that is of the nature of Mind, Consciousness, Self, or Intelligence. Where I part with most people has to do with the religious versions of deity that perpetuate primitive ideas of gods as Rulers, Kings, dominating Lords, or Judges that mete out final justice as punishment/reward.

I see my basic belief as pointing to the safest route through life. It provides no incentive to harm others. In fact, viewing all as deserving unconditional treatment is the option that is least likely to incite harm toward others. Again, taking that approach to all others is not inconsistent with maintaining justice as responsibility for your actions here- i.e. natural and social consequences. But all justice ought to be restorative in nature, not punitive.

So unconditional core reality satisfies my meaning impulse and informs all else in life, shaping my positions on many things.

End notes: Regarding the long-held mythology of deity as some form of “sky god”- i.e. up above in some heaven, remote from here and now. I would offer the alternative idea that the reality we call God has, from the beginning, been incarnated in all humanity as something inseparable from the human spirit and consciousness. That intimately present ultimate love expresses itself in individual human stories/lives. The divine reality is closer than our own breath or atoms and this affirms our inseparable oneness with deity.

The love that is God is our most essential self, or most essential nature, as human. Hence, we are never abandoned or alone in our suffering in this world.

Another: The experience of a stunningly inexpressible love at the core of reality is the single most common and important discovery in the Near-Death Experience movement. Such Ultimate reality appears to be entirely non-religious.

Another: This dualistic realm with the features of punitive justice, good versus evil, and even natural consequences, is just temporary a temporary realm for human experience/learning.

Personal conclusion: If ultimate reality is not the “unconditional love” of an absolutely stunning and wondrous nature, and entirely non-religious, then please blink me out of existence altogether. I don’t want to exist in a reality that is less than inexpressible love. Not for a moment. An eternal religious reality (i.e. religious heaven) would be my vision of hell.

Added note: How did we get the gods of world religions that have been handed down to us? Ancient people projected human features out to describe and define ultimate reality. They “anthropomorphized” the Mystery behind physical reality and life. That was the natural response to their impulse for meaning, the primal human urge to understand and explain reality to themselves.

And while doing so, they projected some of the worst features of primitive humanity onto deity. Features like tribal exclusion (favoring insiders/true believers, damning outsiders/unbelievers), domination and subservience (gods as kings, lords- humanity as the servant of deity), and punitive retaliation against enemies (judgment, hell). The ancient human creation of the template for all following deity theories was a very human and very fallible process. There was nothing “divine” about it. Those subhuman/inhuman features continue to define the deities of world religions today. Its way past time to fully humanize deity theories and bring the gods up to date with the features that modern sensibility understands as authentically humane (i.e. inclusion, equality, non-punitive restorative justice, etc.).

Ancient people also deified the experiences of varied people. Moses’ bush and mountain top experiences (receiving the Ten Commandments) became the authoritative truth for Judaism. Paul’s Damascus Road seizure/vision became his gospel of the Christ and the core of Christianity. Muhammad’s cave seizures and visions became the Quran and Islam. The Buddha’s tree experience shaped Buddhism. All were personal experiences of ancient people that informed the doctrines and authoritative scriptures of those religions. Think about that- Billions of subsequent followers across history have looked to someone’s long-ago personal experience as the authoritative revelation of truth and the nature of deity for all time afterward.

My point: Personal experiences today are often much more humane than those of past history when humanity was still in its infancy, and human thought and life was more primitive and barbaric (subhuman). By way of contrast, for example, note the Near-Death Experiences of today that point to a stunning unconditional Love and Light at the core of reality. This is light years more humane than anything from the ancient past.

Unfortunately, because those past experiences were deified, and accompanied with threats of severe punishment for questioning venerated tradition, many are hesitant to rethink what they have inherited. Many fear the religious threats associated with “heresy/blasphemy” and being condemned/excommunicated for “losing one’s faith”. But opening oneself to the stunning alternative of a core no conditions love can be an experience of liberation at a whole new level- liberation of mind and spirit that no religion can offer.

We must limit climate change. Huh!?! Wendell Krossa

There are elements of irrationality, illogic, and even insanity in the public claims that we must limit climate warming to 1.5 degrees C. And that we can do so by limiting human use of fossil fuels and consequent CO2 emissions. The belief behind these claims is that CO2 is the dominant driver of climate change. But there is no conclusive science this is true when other natural factors have shown stronger correlations to the climate change that we have seen and the role of CO2 is regularly overwhelmed by those other natural factors. CO2 is a “bit player” in climate change. You cannot control climate by turning a CO2 knob.

And further, there is no evidence that the very mild warming that we have experienced will become “catastrophic” (i.e. 1 degree C over the past century in a very cold world). We still need more warming and more CO2. Both will benefit life immensely as average world temperatures are still far below optimal levels of most past history, and CO2 levels are also still far below optimal levels of most past history.

Conclusion: There is no rational reason to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies.

Climate catastrophe?

“Critics agree with the IPCC that human emissions contribute to climate change but argue that it is difficult to separate out the human influence from natural influences on climate. Critics note that on larger geologic timescales the late 20th Century warming was exceedingly small and not different from natural fluctuations in climate. The issue is how sensitive is climate to the exceedingly small changes in greenhouse gases, notably to the tiny fraction of the atmosphere made of CO2, and its rise from 0.03 to 0.04 percent since the Industrial Revolution. Add the major inconvenient fact that following the strong 1997-98 El Nino (and the 2015-16 El Nino) there has been little further warming.

“Skeptics of the alarmist narrative challenge the exaggerated prophesies of “climate crisis” and the lack of attention paid to natural factors, other than CO2, that show stronger correlations with climate change. Climate alarmism is grounded in discredited computer models that exaggerate the role of CO2 and exaggerate the potential warming far beyond actual observed warming. Climate alarmists have also tried to shut down open scientific debate and demonized their opponents as deniers or shills for big oil.” (Paraphrased from Michael Hart’s comments in Hubris: The Troubling Science, Economics, and Politics of Climate Change, p.20-24)

What themes are driving alarmism today? Wendell Krossa

I look at climate alarmism today and I see the same themes that have dominated the larger environmental alarmism movement over the past 70 years. Behind the environmental alarmism movement I detect the themes of the 19th Century ideology of Declinism. And Arthur Herman, in his brilliant history of Declinism (The Idea of Decline in Western History) acknowledges the presence of varied Christian ideas in this ideology- i.e. the myth of “an original paradise that was lost” (Eden) and the need for a “violent purging” of some evil that threatens life (as in the violent purging detailed in the book of Revelation, viewed as necessary before restoring the lost original paradise).

These ideas are part of the larger complex of primitive myths known as the “apocalyptic millennial” complex of themes that have been detailed in the good histories of Richard Landes (Heaven on Earth), Arthur Mendel (Vision and Violence), and David Redles (Hitler’s Millennial Reich). These authors have shown how varied religious ideas shaped the mass-death movements of Marxism and Nazism, and are now influencing environmentalism.

I trace these ideas further back thru history (reverse engineering) and I find the outline of Paul’s apocalyptic Christ myth that brought the apocalyptic millennial complex into Western thinking, deeply embedding apocalyptic mythology in Western consciousness and civilization.

And then I trace those apocalyptic themes back right to their origin in Zoroaster’s apocalyptic theology and then further to the earliest mythologies of Sumeria (Sumerian Flood myth) and Egypt (Destruction of Mankind and Return to Chaos myths).

Joseph Campbell was right- the same core mythical themes have been repeated across all history and across all the cultures of the world. Identify those ideas and you have got to the root of the problem of alarmism- the ideas that feed apocalyptic alarmist hysteria in generation after generation. Apocalyptic millennialism descends down from ancient mythology, to world religions, to the ideology of Declinism, and down to present day alarmism as in the environmental movement, and even to “scientific” versions of alarmism.

Understanding the origin and historical descent of such themes helps to understand the ongoing curse of alarmism- why people still respond to alarmist narratives and exaggerations. Alarmist ideas resonate with deeply embedded themes, perceptions, and impulses. Some call them subconscious archetypes.

It is vital to change the fundamental narrative themes in order to change outcomes in human societies (i.e. to prevent unnecessarily alarmed people from endlessly embracing destructive alarmism salvation schemes like decarbonization).

A new narrative based on real world facts, not primitive mythological themes, is critical to alleviate irrational fear and counter the human tendency to intuitively embrace destructive apocalyptic narrative themes and salvation schemes.

I have summarized the themes/ideas of apocalyptic millennialism in ‘Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives’, in sections below.

Watching a madness movement in real time, Wendell Krossa

Future generations will look back on the contemporary demonization of CO2 as a “pollutant… poison” and shake their heads in stunned disbelief. CO2 is the main food of all life. Over the past millions of years of our “ice-age era” CO2 levels have declined to dangerous lows, approaching the die-off point of all life some 20,000 years ago. CO2 had descended to 185 ppm, and all plant life dies at 150 ppm. We have experienced some recovery today (a “mild” increase to 400-plus ppm) and plant life is once again thriving with a 15% increase in green vegetation across the earth over just the past 40 years (30% over the past century). Earth is still far below the optimal, healthy levels of most past history. CO2 often averaged in the multiple-thousands of ppm and life flourished. There was no “climate crisis”.

What has prompted the mass fear and hysteria over CO2? Could it be that fossil fuels are the life blood of capitalist society, the inexpensive driving force of industrial civilization that has lifted billions out of the misery of poverty? Industrial, capitalist civilization is hated by those under the spell of Declinism ideology. That narrative of nihilist despair embraces the myth that humans will continue to degenerate and their civilization will consequently collapse and end.

Declinism argues that humans in industrial civilization have degenerated and are destroying the natural world, despite overwhelming evidence that the wealth creation of industrial society has enabled humanity to, not only vastly improve the human condition, but also to care for nature as never before. The evidence is clear in the improving condition of all the main resources of the world (See “The true state of life on earth” just below).

Attacking and demonizing CO2 has been an effective approach used by declinists. The demonization of CO2 is a direct attack on the life blood of the hated industrial society. But CO2 demonization is anti-science, anti-human, anti-nature, and anti-life lunacy. Future generations will judge this mass insanity harshly and rightly so.

Other good reads- Michael Hart’s Hubris: The Troubling Science, Economics, and Politics of Climate Change.

Features of alarmism movements, Wendell Krossa

Alarmism is commonly used by people seeking power and meddling control of others. Prehistorian John Pfeiffer noted the early human use of fear/alarm to control others in “Explosion: An inquiry into the origins of art and religion”. He suggested that the ancient cave art in places like Lascaux France revealed the effort of shaman/priests to take others into disorienting darkness and frighten them with anamorphic art (figures appearing to move in flickering candlelight). The intention of the shaman was to attain power over others with claims of knowing the secrets to the invisible realms. After terrorizing people with metaphysical threats, the priests/shaman would them tell them what sacrifices they had to make to appease the threatening spirits.

Additionally, alarmism is used to gain resources. In early ‘central temple’ versions of religion the priests took the best cuts of meat for themselves, along with the other produce that was obligatorily brought to the temples. Today, the same use of alarmism to gain resources is manifest in jockeying for cuts of the massive funding made available for green projects. Climate alarmism has become the new “big business” where those who do best at panic-mongering gain the most funding.

Alarmism also plays with and incites the tribal impulse in people (i.e. the felt need to take action against threatening “enemies”). Both sides in social/ideological divides engage alarmism crusades against their opponents.

We are observing a major alarmism movement today in relation to climate change. Though climate alarmism is often presented in “secular” language, even scientific language and terms, it is a profoundly religious-like movement embracing the same complex of primitive themes and protocols as all past apocalyptic movements, with the same archetypal religious divide between true believers and unbelievers (i.e. “deniers… they don’t believe in climate change”).

Other notable correlations and actions/responses in alarmism movements.

First, my rough definition: Alarmism is the exaggeration of problems in life to apocalyptic scale thereby distorting the true state of problems/issues in the world and irresponsibly frightening people.

Alarmism is a form of mental and emotional terrorism. Persistent alarmism pushes people into an agitated state of fear. The fear generated by alarmism narratives eventually creates panic among people and that promotes the spread of irrationality. The hysterical panic-mongering of alarmist-type people (“we’re all gonna die”, existential catastrophe is just up ahead on the horizon) arouses the survival impulse in populations and renders people susceptible to unscientific, illogical, and irrational salvation schemes.

Frightened people are then willing/open to embrace the destructive salvation schemes that are often responses to problems that can cause more damage than the original problem purportedly posed.

A striking example of a response that is more harmful than the purported threat is the climate alarm salvation scheme of ‘decarbonization’ which is an irrational and destructive response to the mild climate warming of past decades. There have been immense benefits from the mild 1 degree C warming over the past century. But this mild warming has been exaggerated as the onset of an “existential crisis” that will soon catastrophically damage and even destroy life. In response, climate alarmists are agitating for a fundamental transformation of industrial civilization that involves abandoning the inexpensive fossil fuels that have lifted humanity out of poverty and into the improved human condition of our modern world. Remember, we get some 5000-plus products from fossil fuels, many of them essential to human well-being.

Another example is the all-encompassing and harsh lockdown responses to Covid that has caused immense (and largely unreported) damage among populations (i.e. loss of businesses, unemployment, depression and other social maladies, neglected treatment of other diseases, etc.). While Covid is a serious problem, the lockdown responses have often been excessive and harmful. We know now that it was more important to protect vulnerable sectors of the population, while others could cautiously maintain normal patterns of life.

Additionally, alarmism salvation schemes often demand “instantaneous transformation” of societies based on the alarmist claim that the apocalypse is always imminent (i.e. the end is nigh, we are approaching “the last tipping point” or “point of no return”, or there are just a few years left to save the world, with dates repeatedly set for the “end of days”).

Alarmists then unleash the totalitarian impulse with claims that freedom and normal democratic processes (i.e. skepticism, questioning, free and open discussion/debate, freedom of choice) are too obstructionist to save the world in time. Further, demands for “instantaneous transformation” are usually accompanied by demands for “coercive purging” of threats/evil (i.e. silencing, banning, de-platforming, even criminalizing opponents). Efforts to coercively purge “obstructionist” opposition can lead to state-authorized force/violence by alarmists, and that force may evoke reactionary defensive force from people who realize that their rights and freedoms are being taken from them by their political opponents.

Other recent historical examples of alarmist crusades unleashing terror on populations- the Marxist alarmism over the claimed threat of capitalism, the Nazi panic-mongering against Jewish Bolshevism, along with today’s environmental alarmism movements promoting activism against industrial civilization. Again, across history both Left and Right have been guilty of using alarmist approaches though today the Left is doing so more prominently.

Emotions associated with alarmism movements- anxiety (i.e. eco-anxiety in children), despair, resignation/fatalism, hopelessness, depression. Fatalism/resignation? Note the response of young couples refusing to have children out of fear of bringing them into a world facing an apocalyptic future, or children losing interest in school because they have been indoctrinated that they may die before reaching adulthood.

Remember, exaggeration of looming apocalyptic catastrophe has always been the great lie that distorts the true state of life entirely. There has never been a better time to be alive on Earth and all the major indicators of life show amazing improvement with much more to come. We need more courageous voices to challenge the irrational, insane, and irresponsible alarmism over environmental issues and states.

Useful sources on themes and patterns in alarmism movements: Arthur Herman’s The Idea of Decline in Western History, Richard Landes’ Heaven On Earth, Arthur Mendel’s Vision and Violence, David Redles’ Hitler’s Millennial Reich, and David Altheide’s Creating Fear: News and the construction of Crisis.

Now more on climate alarmism because of its high visibility on the alarm movement landscape…

More climate facts…

Deaths from climate and natural disasters are down 96% over the past century. There is no increase in hurricane frequency or intensity. Wildfires have declined notably across the past century. Sea level rise continues at the slow and mild rate of about 1.5-3.0 mm per year. Sea levels have risen steadily since the onset of our interglacial, the Holocene. There has been 120 meters of sea level rise so far (over 10,000 years).

Extreme weather events (heat waves, cold snaps) are common all through warm and cold periods. They are weather events, influenced by varied other factors than climate.

One more: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/29/the-medieval-warm-period-a-global-phenonmena-unprecedented-warming-or-unprecedented-data-manipulation/

Keep the big picture in view

The climate change that we have experienced is exceedingly mild compared to past climate change. Note the graph on page 33 of Professor Ian Plimer’s paleo-climate history in “Heaven and Earth”. The changes in climate over the last 30,000 years of the last glaciation (50,000 to 20,000 BCE) were swings of up to 20 degrees C between cool and warm period averages. The climate changes over the 20,000 years of our interglacial have been swings of only a few degrees and so Plimer concludes, there have been “far more stable temperatures during the current interglacial”.

And over the past 5000 years of our interglacial we have been on a long-term cooling trend with each warm period cooler than the previous ones. Our current Modern Warm Period is the coolest of the last four warm periods (i.e. the Minoan, Roman, Medieval, and Modern). We are heading toward a possibly cooler future and a few more degrees of warming would be a beneficial respite from cooling which is far more destructive to all life. We should welcome more warming.

Climate warming alarmists have the true state of long-term climate trends all wrong. We ought to be more concerned about cooling than warming.

The basic issues of the climate debate Wendell Krossa

Yes, climate change is occurring. We all agree on this. But no, it is not a “crisis” or “catastrophic”.

Yes, CO2 plays a role in warming climate. But it is only a “bit player” because other natural factors play a much larger role. CO2 is not the main cause of climate change (see new report and sources below). So a “no” here as it is not scientifically correct to claim that climate change is “manmade”.

Yes, we need to “do something about climate change”. But adaptation strategies are better than mitigation policies that will devastate our societies with costly and ineffective approaches like renewables.

And our primary concern should be the current cold status of many areas of our planet (see comments just below), not more warmth.

Because CO2 is a bit player in climate change, and hence, human use of fossil fuels and emissions of CO2 are not the main cause of climate change, we do not need to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies. Plentiful and cheap fossil fuels are critical for lifting people out of poverty, for creating the wealth that enables us to improve the human condition and properly care for the natural world.

The climate alarmism narrative is wrong on many of its main claims.

Climate has always changed, and always will change. It is a complex, dynamic system that is never static. And a multitude of natural factors influence climate change. The human influence is minor and is overwhelmed by other natural factors (“natural variability”).

Add the fact that warmer climate periods are more beneficial than colder climate states because colder climate conditions produce more droughts (less evaporation), more extinctions, and more severe storminess due to more severe differences (gradients) between cold and warm fronts meeting.

There are many other variables that could be brought into climate discussions- for example, the fact that there are many places across the world that are experiencing climate cooling just as there are areas experiencing climate warming. Or that “perturbations” in carbon cycles (i.e. the land biomass/atmosphere exchange, the ocean/atmosphere exchange and the differences in such exchanges), such perturbations overwhelm the human emissions of CO2, thereby raising questions about what is really causing the modern era rise in atmospheric CO2 levels- humanity or nature? And, of course, the strong correlations of natural factors to climate change, correlations that are stronger than the human emissions correlation to climate change. Notable natural factors include the cosmic ray/cloud/sun interaction, or the multi-decadal oscillations in ocean currents like the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, and so on.

Further, there is the concern among some scientists that significant evidence points to possible cooling becoming the trend over coming decades https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/02/03/the-new-pause-lengthens-from-5-years-4-months-to-5-years-6-months/

And https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/09/13/prof-bob-carter-warns-of-unpreparedness-for-global-cooling/

Aside from notable El Ninos (1998, 2015/16) we have also experienced long-term pauses in warming over past decades and climate has also been subjected to the influence of extended solar minimums. The world is currently in another extended warming pause- https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/09/01/the-new-pause-lengthens-yet-again/

Climate is a very complex, dynamic system and CO2 is not the controlling variable in climate change. It is a “bit player” and trying to turn a CO2 knob and control climate is as futile as King Canute trying to prevent the rising tide. Remember President Obama’s Canute-like moment when he claimed right after his election- “This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow”. Good one, Prez.

Among all the complexity that we continue to discover regarding climate variables it is manifestly premature speculation to claim that the exceedingly minor trace greenhouse gas- CO2- is mainly responsible for climate change. With the high levels of uncertainty around so many variables influencing climate, it is foolish to dogmatically focus on that one minor variable in the mix and then commit to shutting down fossil fuels that have been so critical to the success of industrial civilization. Fossil fuels have been vital to improving the human condition and enabling humanity to create the wealth that helps us to properly care for our world.

You’re afraid of global warming? That is misplaced fear.

“Cold weather kills far more people than hot weather” at https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150520193831.htm

“Cold weather kills 20 times as many people as hot weather, according to an international study analyzing over 74 million deaths in 384 locations across 13 countries. The findings published in The Lancet also reveal that deaths due to moderately hot or cold weather substantially exceed those resulting from extreme heat waves or cold spells.”

My conclusion from this study: Global warming will save far more lives from cold mortality than will be lost to warming.

And then…

Anthony Watts site offers some of the best reporting on climate and other environmental issues. https://wattsupwiththat.com/

Wildfire and climate expert Jim Steele regularly posts on Watts’ site. A recent example: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/08/11/national-public-radios-misinformation-on-wildfires-and-climate-part-2/

And data showing wildfires were much worse in the past. There has been a notable decline in wildfires over the past century:

CAUGHT: ‘Inconvenient’ U.S. Wildfire Data Has Been ‘Disappeared’ by National Interagency Fire Center @NIFC_Fire

Where Is The “Climate Emergency”?

Further, this new report “Challenging the UN, Study Finds Sun—not CO2—May Be Behind Global Warming”. The report states that natural factors, not human emissions of CO2, may be responsible for warming over coming decades. From- https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/08/16/climate-scientists-accuse-the-ipcc-of-cherrypicking-datasets-which-support-their-alarmist-narrative/

Quote from the report: “The sun and not human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) may be the main cause of warmer temperatures in recent decades, according to a new study with findings that sharply contradict the conclusions of the United Nations (UN) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

“The peer-reviewed paper, produced by a team of almost two dozen scientists from around the world, concluded that previous studies did not adequately consider the role of solar energy in explaining increased temperatures.

“The new study was released just as the UN released its sixth “Assessment Report,” known as AR6, that once again argued in favor of the view that man-kind’s emissions of CO2 were to blame for global warming. The report said human responsibility was “unequivocal.”

“But the new study casts serious doubt on the hypothesis.

“Calling the blaming of CO2 by the IPCC “premature,” the climate scientists and solar physicists argued in the new paper that the UN IPCC’s conclusions blaming human emissions were based on “narrow and incomplete data about the Sun’s total irradiance.”

Stop the irrational, irresponsible panic-mongering, Wendell Krossa

Again, the Lancet study- 20 times more people die every year from cold than die from warmth. 20 times more. With the slight 1 degree C of warming over the past century, deaths from cold are declining more than deaths from warming are rising. See Bjorn Lomborg’s comments on this evidence at https://www.theaustralian.com.au/inquirer/climate-change-is-actually-saving-lives/news-story/3e85efcacd10118331de4f92cb6cdfe9

Global warming has been a net benefit to humanity because more people are alive now due to the mild warming of recent past decades. And yet we are still significantly below the more beneficial temperature averages of past warm periods of our Holocene interglacial (i.e. Holocene Optimum, Minoan, Roman, Medieval) and the past interglacial, the Eemian, was 3-5 degrees C warmer than our interglacial. Life flourished during those much warmer periods. Further, our modern era temperatures are still far below most of the past 500 million years that averaged 5-10 degrees C warmer than today. Again, life flourished during those much warmer eras and there was no “climate crisis”. For over 90 percent of the past 500 million years there was no ice at the poles and that meant extended habitats for plants and animals. The irrational fear of ice melting in today’s world expresses ignorance of what has been the normal, healthy state of life on our planet for most of life’s history.

Note: More heat energy entering our world does not necessarily mean more warmth in already warm areas- i.e. tropics- as heat is distributed via ocean and atmospheric convection currents to colder regions, colder seasons, and colder times of day (i.e. night).

Alarmists need to stop the hysterical panic-mongering over the mild climate warming of the past century. Four centuries ago (around 1645) the world descended into the bitter cold of the ‘Little Ice Age’ that devastated Europe with missed summers, crop failures, and starvation. Over the past three centuries we have been recovering from that descent into cold and life is now doing better. But world average temperatures today (about 15 degrees C.) are still abnormally cold compared to most of past paleo-climate history.

Further, good climate science shows that natural factors, not humanity, are most likely more responsible for this mild warming of the modern era.

A couple of degrees additional warming would benefit life immensely in net terms. Why do panic-oriented media ignore such things? Because it does not support their hysterical fear-mongering over the widely believe myth of looming apocalypse (see also “Creating Fear: News and the construction of crisis” by David Altheide). Warming that benefits all life does not affirm the ideological biases behind environmental alarmism.

Even more concerning, over the past millions of years atmospheric levels of CO2 have been declining dangerously, leaving us in a “CO2 starvation era”. Plant life has suffered from such low levels of basic plant food. With the mild recovery of CO2 over the last century, from pre-industrial levels of 285 ppm to 400-plus ppm today, plant life is now again thriving with a 15% increase in green vegetation across the Earth just since 1980. That has benefitted animal life with more food and humanity with increased crop production. We now produce 25% more food than we need, and crop production records continue to be broken yearly.

We ought to be celebrating CO2 for the net benefits that it has provided to life.

Climate change is a valid concern in any era, but there is no clear evidence that we are facing a “climate crisis”, contrary to the exaggerated claims of the IPCC’s recent ideologically-shaped “Summary for Policy Makers 2021”. Instead of radical and costly mitigation policies, we should adapt to whatever change occurs just as people have adapted across past history. It is insanity to be embracing mitigation policies to decarbonize our societies when cheap fossil fuels enable us to create the wealth that helps us adapt to climate changes. It is especially irresponsible to decarbonize when the evidence does not show that fossil fuels are the main cause of the climate change that we have observed. The public mantra of “climate change crisis” is more the expression of hysterical apocalyptic fever than climate science fact. And blaming humanity for climate change (i.e. “manmade climate change”) is too often the expression of anti-human, anti-industrial civilization, and anti-market ideologies.

No rational reason to go green

This site has repeatedly challenged the push for renewables as an unnecessary energy source given that we have plentiful cheap fossil fuel resources. This is not to say that renewables may not play a role in future energy supplies especially if they are financed on private and not public dime which harms the poorest people the most as energy costs are a larger factor in their budgets. My argument for pulling back on renewables is that fundamental climate science evidence does not affirm the claim that CO2 is mainly responsible for climate change. And aside from discredited climate models, there is no evidence that climate change will be catastrophic. Further, other natural factors consistently show stronger correlations to the climate change that we are observing.

The climate models have been consistently proven wrong in their exaggerated projections of warming, hence, alarmists are wrong in claiming that further warming will be “catastrophic” to life. We have observed evidence that warming in our abnormally cold ice-age era has been very beneficial and more warming will continue to be beneficial in net terms. Note the decline in cold deaths that far exceed the mortality from warmth. And note the massive increase in green vegetation from more atmospheric CO2 and how that has benefitted animal life with more food and humanity with increased crop production.

Add to the above comment on renewables the problems of intermittency, energy storage, energy density, and major unreported costs issues that renewables have not tackled or solved.

More on celebrating CO2

Future generations will look back at the contemporary demonization of CO as a pollutant, even poison (Bill Maher), and consider this one of the looniest episodes of irrational mass insanity in human history. Familiarize yourself again with this basic component of all life- read some articles on CO2 and the wonder of photosynthesis (for example- https://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/photosynthetic-cells-14025371/). Then recognize that over the past millions of years of our ice-age era, CO2 levels have been precipitously declining as never before in world history. CO2 levels recently (20-30,000 years ago) declined to 185 ppm, almost to the level (150 ppm) that would have ended all plant life. All plant life dies at 150 ppm.

Fortunately, we have been experiencing a slight recovery in CO2 levels but are still far below the healthier levels of the past that were in the multiple-thousands of ppm (e.g. 6000 ppm during the Cambrian Explosion). Life flourished during such times. Today, with just the little recovery to 400-plus ppm, starving plant life is once again flourishing with a 15% addition of green vegetation since 1980. Animal and human life benefits immensely with more food. More CO2 also enhances crop production (see “CO2science.org” for detailed studies on crop enhancement from aerial CO2 fertilization).

Confusing weather events with climate

A new article at Wattsupwiththat.com explains the difference between weather and climate, a difference repeatedly distorted by alarmist media trying to capitalize on extreme weather events to affirm their “manmade climate crisis” narrative. See full article at https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/08/17/does-climate-change-cause-extreme-weather-now-heres-a-scorcher-of-a-reality-check/

The June heatwave in the Pacific Northwest illustrates how alarmist groups use extreme weather events to push their apocalyptic narrative and demand political action, costly action that will devastate our societies. Media like the New York Times (along with CNN, TIME, CNBC, Washington Post, USA Today, and others) pronounced the heatwave as proof that climate was changing catastrophically. Others stated the heat “was virtually impossible without human-caused climate change”.

But an atmospheric scientist, Cliff Mass, running weather models, had predicted the heatwave. He rejected the claim that global warming was to blame. “With or without climate change, Mass wrote, the region ‘still would have experienced the most severe heat wave of the past century’”. Mass said that “the heatwave was the result of natural variability”.

Mass, and others, have affirmed the fundamental rule when considering extreme temperature events. “Weather… refers to conditions during a short time in a limited area, climate (describes) longer-term atmospheric patterns over large areas… There is a fundamental difference in scale between what weather is and what climate is. ‘What’s going on in one small corner of the world at a given moment does not reflect what’s going on with the climate’”.

Despite this fundamental rule of difference between climate and weather, surveys show that most people have been swayed by media alarmism and admit their views about climate change are shaped by extreme weather events. This suits alarmist goals for mobilizing political action even though it misrepresents science and distorts the difference between local natural variability and larger climate change.

Mass concludes that global warming alarmism has become a religion with true believers and infidels/unbelievers (“deniers”). Skeptics, while accepting global warming is occurring, do not accept the exaggerated catastrophism of alarmists.

And a bit on human oneness

On race https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jun/09/human-genome-genes-genetic-code

One conclusion from the Human Genome Project was that “’race’ is a social construct not rooted in biology: there is much more genetic variation within conventional racial groupings than between them”.

A good exposure of the fallacy of “climate crisis” from https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/08/24/heres-why-climate-alarmists-are-ignoring-all-time-record-crop-production-in-india/

“Here’s Why Climate Alarmists Are Ignoring All-Time Record Crop Production in India”

From THE WESTERN JOURNAL, By Vijay Jayaraj August 21, 2021

“All-time record crop production in India belies the doomsday narrative of climate alarmists. To no great surprise, the U.N. and media ignore the remarkable achievement of this country of 1.4 billion people because it contradicts a political agenda pursued with religious fervor.

“Even as the world’s largest democracy enhances global food security, the media spread news of the U.N.’s “code red” for humanity over August’s specious report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that rising temperatures threaten the earth.

“In fact, India’s record food production contradicts claims about adverse climatic effects on crops.

“Countries across the globe are experiencing improved environmental health: Pollution levels are down in the developed world and nations are increasingly using their financial wealth for reforestation and betterment of ecosystems, including that of the agricultural sector.

“India has outperformed the previous year’s crop production by an incredible 3.7 percent — 308 million tons for 2020-21 compared to a previous 297 million tons.

“The agricultural ministry noted that all major crops — including wheat, maize and oilseeds — registered record output this year. India has also had its highest-ever horticulture production in 2021, which includes fruits, vegetables, aromatic and medicinal plants, spices and plantation crops.

“Several factors have contributed to the massive crop output that is a welcome departure from continual famines of the 1950s and ’60s stemming from insufficient food grains.

“In the 1970s, India’s agricultural sector entered the Green Revolution spawned by Norman Borlaug’s improved, gene-edited crop varieties. With the economic liberalization of the 1990s, the country further opened doors for its agricultural sector to flourish so that today it is one of the world’s top producers.

“Also important to note is that this remarkable success in food production would not have been possible without an environment favorable to crops. What the media call a curse — increased levels of carbon dioxide and greater warmth — has been a blessing to farmers and consumers.

“Yields of food crops — in India and worldwide — have benefited from the fertilization effect of carbon dioxide and the longer growing seasons resulting from natural increases in temperature. Overall, agriculture certainly has not been hurt by weather; otherwise, such record harvests likely would have been impossible.

“India’s experience, for example, has allayed fears about the region not receiving enough rainfall due to climate change.

“Data of rainfall for the last 100 years reveal that there has been no declining trend in the monsoon, with the rainfall pattern largely being typically unpredictable except for few short periods of consistency.

“Cold weather — what climate doomsayers seem desperate to have — is the bane of crops.

“In 2021, 80-90 percent of vineyards and orchards in parts of France died during a cold wave that a government official called the “greatest agricultural disaster” in recent memory. Likewise, in Brazil and Paraguay, cold waves in June and July reduced crop yields in many regions. Citrus fruits, sugarcane and coffee were most affected.

“Today’s global average temperature contrasts favorably to that of the 17th century’s Little Ice Age, when cold temperatures caused widespread death of plants and people. The gradual increase in warmth since the 18th century has ensured improved environmental conditions for flora.

“So media stories of a warming climate endangering global food security are absurd. Real-world data reveal that the modern climate has been a boon to crops.

“There is no climate emergency. Earth and its people are in fact flourishing in a time of relative warmth and plenty.” (End of article)

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Site project: Countering alarmism hysteria, whether religious or secular

Topics below:

Summary list of ‘Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives’ (full version in sections further below)
Main points of the climate debate- evidence versus alarm (Conclusion: There is no “climate crisis”)
Meat creating mind? How? And evidence, please.
The single most profound statement ever made takes us to the height of being human (i.e. “Love your enemy”)
Changing meta-narrative themes
“Heat or cold? Which is worse? (the Northwest heatwave of June 2021)
Nature knows best? Then why does it become trapped in dead ends?
Also a reposting of “The true state of life on Earth” and “Patterns in alarmism movements” further below.
At the bottom of this section- Pushing past tribalism, re-affirming cooperation, and “Presentism” as the fallacy that contemporary events (e.g. extreme weather events) are the worst in history because we experience them firsthand.

Ideas

A prominent complex of ideas/themes has been repeated all across human history and across all the cultures of the world. These ideas/themes are primitive mythical creations that do not express the true state of things but profoundly distort reality and life. Nonetheless, they continue to dominate human consciousness and narratives.

These themes have long dominated mythical/religious systems of belief. They are now also embraced in “secular” ideological belief systems and are even found in “scientific” versions. But at core they are the same old primitive ideas as ever before.

They are tackled on this site because they have long deformed human consciousness and life with unnecessary fear, anxiety, shame/guilt, despair, depression, and violence.

Old story themes, new story alternatives, Wendell Krossa

1. The myth of deity as a judging, punishing, and destroying reality. Contemporary “secular” versions of judging, punishing deity include “Vengeful Gaia… angry Planet/Mother Earth… retributive Universe… and karma”.

Alternative: The new theology of deity as a stunningly no conditions reality (no conditions love).

2. The myth of a perfect beginning (Eden) and a God obsessed with perfection, enraged at the loss of perfection, and demanding punishment of imperfection.

Alternative: The world was purposefully created as originally imperfect in order to serve as an arena for human struggle, learning, and development. Deity has no problem with imperfection. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Love as ultimate reality, ultimate meaning

Section topics: Notes on theology; Love as ultimate reality, ultimate meaning; Climate updates; An anti-fear project; Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives, and more…

A further explanation on humanizing deity theories:

Just a note on why I include the feature of “domination” (i.e. God as Lord, King) among the barbaric features that must be eliminated from a truly humane God theory (theory of ultimate reality, theory of ultimate meaning/purpose). Domination/subjection forms of relating are common to brutal animal existence. Animals relate in domination/submission relationships, usually with weaker animals subjected to an alpha male or female. Religious traditions have embraced such forms of relating as fundamental to their ultimate ideals and authorities- their gods. See, for example, Alex Garcia’s book ‘Alpha God’.

In addition, one of the first mental creations of early humans was the myth that people were created to do the work of the gods, to serve the gods. That early myth enforced the perception that humans were to be subject to the gods, to be subservient to deity.

Critical to emerging human development was our eventual understanding that enlightened, mature people would relate to one another as equals, not as superiors to inferiors. We now understand that true human greatness is about treating all as equals, and not intervening, overwhelming, controlling, or dominating others. Not violating the freedom and self-determination of others.

Historical Jesus got this right when he reasoned with his followers who wanted positions of authority over others. His response: “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.” True greatness and glory was in serving, not ruling. This humane principle used to be the understood and accepted mandate of politicians in democratic societies.

Consequent to understanding the nature of truly humane forms of relating, we can reason that a truly humane God, a truly loving deity, will relate to all as equals, not as inferiors, subjects, or servants. A fully humane God will relate horizontally to humanity, not vertically as a superior. Relating vertically as a dominating superior would be inhumane and unloving.

Add here Charles Templeton’s point that someone demanding dominance, and attention and praise on pain of death for refusal, would be an Idi Amin-type character (see his book “Farewell to God”). Yet we project such nonsense onto the ultimate Good and Love that is God???

A side note: While life is replete with hierarchical organizations, it is possible to relate within such structures as authentic humans. Those in supervisory positions can express equality with others in the way that they relate to and treat others in lower positions. For example, by honoring the input of others on decisions that impact them. This is important because self-control and self-determination are critical to human health.

Putting something before or above people

I have just watched “The Crown” (Netflix) on British royalty. It reminded me of an old insight that Bob Brinsmead shared with us decades ago- that whenever we put loyalty to something else above people, to something other than people, whether loyalty to law, to a religion or belief system, to God, to an institution, to a nation state or an ideology, to an ethnic group or race, then people tend to be ignored or abused.

People that were loyal, first and foremost, to the monarchy and its archaic traditions/protocols/rituals, people that put the monarchy first, then crushed and destroyed real people around them. Such loyalty led superiors to stifle the diverse personalities, emotions, and expressions of inferiors.

Our primary loyalty, our only loyalty, must always be first to real people and their individual needs, not to something above people that takes priority over them and their needs.

Bob Brinsmead

“There are some things Love (agape) cannot do. Therefore, there are some things God cannot do. “It is impossible for God to lie” is an example. In personal relationships there are some things that Love, along with its corollaries of wisdom and justice, that one cannot do. God cannot build Rome in a day because Rome implies a human culture, the formation of a collective character, the development of a language etc. God has entered a partnership, a covenant with his creation and therefore God is limited by the principles of freedom involved in that relationship. So God is not going to intervene as we might want him or even expect him to intervene. I could tease this out, but I suggest the propositions you repeat are not a watertight logic as those who advance these either/or propositions think they are.”

“It comes down to a question of whether love is worthwhile. Life is about the receiving and giving of love. The truth is discovered by getting involved and doing it. It’s a precious gift that took a long time to make and is very precious. Creation (not yet finished) has been a labour of love, and not without pain and suffering. No such thing as the Creator bringing creation to pass without a lot of time and effort. The Creation science wants us to believe God did it in the blink of an eye – easy stuff! The narrative functions with the image of an absolute Dictator Deity using unfettered omnipotent, omniscient, etc. powers, and based on a very wrong concept of God having dominion and requiring of all absolute unquestioning obedience – as the old Calvinists used to say, ‘perfect obedience to every decree to the utmost degree.’ Sounds like the ultimate subjection of the subjects to me.”

Love as Ultimate Reality, ultimate meaning Wendell Krossa

I embrace the view that there is an inexpressibly wondrous love at the core of reality and behind all life. And that love is the meaning and purpose of the cosmos, the world, and conscious human life. We are here to learn love, to exhibit love, to experience love in all the diversity of human stories and experiences. Love is all.

I base my conclusions on several points of reason:

1. Love is our highest and most meaningful ideal. It is the fundamental defining feature of what it means to be human. It is the best and highest thing that we know.

2. Historical Jesus argued that God was love of an unconditional nature. That central insight is expressed in his statement: “Do not engage eye for eye response to offenders, but instead love your enemy because God does, giving sun and rain to all alike” (Matthew 5:38-48, Luke 6:27-36). God was unconditional love. That was Historical Jesus’ greatest contribution to the history of human spiritual insights. (Note: Hist. Jesus appears to point to deity as unconditional reality. Whether he actually does or not, matters little. I do not regard him as some final authority. It is my conclusion.)

Unfortunately, the New Testament authors, shaped by Paul’s thinking, then distorted and buried that unconditional insight with a retreat to the highly conditional and retaliatory Christ of Paul (i.e. “Lord Jesus will return in blazing fire to punish and destroy all who do not believe” Paul’s gospel). The religion of Paul’s Christ myth was created as just another conditional tradition with correct beliefs to be an included insider/true believer, proper rituals, demanded sacrifice/payment, and righteous lifestyle necessary to identify oneself as a “saved” insider of the religion (versus “damned” outsiders).

All such religious conditions were backed with severe threats to those refusing to embrace the conditions- notably, temporal and eternal punishment and destruction. See Paul’s warning to the Corinthian Christians that God was punishing them with sickness and death as retribution for their sins. It would get worse as Paul warned in Romans 12:17-20. Ultimate and eternal vengeance was coming.

3. God as unconditional love is the central discovery of a modern spiritual experience movement- the “Near-Death Experience”. Many of those accounts detail an encounter with a Being of love/light so stunningly unconditional that it is inexpressible in its infinite transcendence and wonder. With that love there is no judgment, no condemnation, no exclusion of anyone, no demanded sacrifice or payment, no punishment or destruction. No conditions at all. None. That means no religion too.

Hence, my conclusion that all are safe in that love, in the end. All are included in that love.

(Note: Any advocacy for no conditions deity raises questions regarding how order and morality can be maintained with such an ultimate ideal. Hence, the following qualifier.)

Qualifier: Ultimate safety and inclusion for all does not mean excusing bad behavior here and now. There are social and natural consequences in this world and that is critical to healthy human development. All of us must learn to be fully responsible for our choices and actions and the consequences for others. People unable or unwilling to control their worst impulses should and will be restrained and even locked up. But that criminal justice response must always be restorative/rehabilitative, as much as possible.

Leo Tolstoy- “The whole trouble lies in that people think that there are circumstances/conditions when they may treat their fellow beings without love, but no such circumstances ever exist.” Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Alleviating fear of death

Section topics: Speculation on death; Monstrous ideas; Two basic approaches to organizing human societies (collectivism and the individual approach); Pushback against panic-porn; The profound contradiction between Jesus and Paul’s Christ myth; Why I reject panic over rising CO2 levels; and more…

Who said that to live life properly and fully each of us has to personally resolve the issue of death and our natural fear of death? The comment below continues the general anti-fear tone of this site as this applies to all facets of human life.

Speculating on the “unknowable” (countering the ultimate fear- death) Wendell Krossa

(Note: There is unhealthy speculation, and there is healthier speculation, more humane forms of speculation. But we all speculate in varied ways, especially in regard to the great questions that are related to our fundamental impulse for meaning/purpose.)

Recently, I have been hearing people making the comment that “we don’t know what happens to us when we die”. Yes, in some sense that is true. Or maybe not.

It depends on how much credit we give to first-hand witness testimony. Certainly, it appears more rational to state that we have no idea what happens at the point of death. But is contemporary rational (as too often defined by materialist dogmatism) the only approach that gets us to what is most true, especially in regard to the great questions that science has no way of answering? While I affirm rationalism/empiricism generally as the most important stance to take in regard to most issues in life, with regard to the death issue it may be helpful to remain open to other approaches to getting answers, notably being open to the insights from our fellow human beings, insights from personal experience. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Sorry, eh. But…

“Apocalyptic mythology has always made fools of normally bright people”.

Fascinating report on the possible origin of Covid:

https://nicholaswade.medium.com/origin-of-covid-following-the-clues-6f03564c038

Note: Martin Seligman in ‘Learned Optimism’ noted the post-WW2 reaction in US academia to “Boosterism”- the enthusiastic promotion of something. Academics came to believe that pessimism was deep, while optimism was shallow.

Science facts: Keep the larger paleo-climate context in mind in order to understand the “true state of things.” Wendell Krossa

Some interesting research has shown that the previous interglacial, the Eemian of some 130-115,000 years ago, was at least 1 degree C. warmer than our current Holocene interglacial. Others, like Patrick Moore, say the Eemian was 2-4 degrees C warmer. Both of the previous two interglacials were warmer than our Holocene interglacial. We are on a long-term cooling trend.

Add here that the warmer interglacials that punctuate glaciations also experience repeated episodes of warming and cooling periods. There is no such thing as stasis in climate. There are numerous natural shifts in climate that occur in cyclical patterns over decades, centuries, and millennia. Before blaming humanity, we ought to educate ourselves regarding these facts.

Over the 10,000 years of our interglacial there has been a long-term cooling trend with regard to the warm periods of our interglacial. The Holocene Optimum (roughly 7000 to 3000 BCE) was at least 1 degree warmer than our current modern warm period. Some say the Holocene Optimum was 3 degrees C warmer but that may refer to different local situations during that time. And the Roman (250 BCE to 400 CE) and Medieval (950 to 1250 CE) warm periods were at least 1 degree C warmer than today.

Over the last 5000 years since the Holocene Optimum ended, we have been on a long-term cooling trend, the “Neo-Glacial Period”. Each warm period is now cooler than previous ones. We are on a long-term climate trend that is declining toward a cooler future, not warmer. Cooling, not warming, ought to be our greater concern. After all, 15-20 times more people die from cold every year, than die from warmth.

Qualifier: Being a polite Canadian (“Sorry, eh”) I am conflicted over using potentially offense-inciting terms like “insanity, lunacy, craziness”. But how else to describe what is happening with climate alarmism today? Sorry, eh. But…

Stand back and observe...

Stand back for a moment and survey the public scene today, notably the alarmist movement that hysterically claims we face an existential “climate crisis”. Try to get some sense of the profound irrationality that has possessed so many people, irrationality that stems from the apocalyptic-porn narratives that now dominate the worldviews of many scientists, celebrities, politicians, and members of news media. A daily outpouring of madness.

The very basic food of all life- CO2- has been in historically short supply, at dangerously low levels in the pre-industrial era. Some 20,000 years ago it even dipped below 200 ppm, down to 185 ppm, just 35 ppm above the level at which all plant life dies- 150 ppm. Life on Earth was suffering from a long-term “CO2 starvation era”. See Patrick Moore’s excellent treatment of this paleo-climate history in his latest book “Fake Invisible Catastrophes and Threats of Doom” and his excellent essay on the same topic at-

http://ecosense.me/ecosense-wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/CO2-Emissions.pdf

Now that CO2 has slightly recovered to 400-plus ppm, the planet has greened immensely, adding green vegetation equal to twice the size of the continental US over the past 40 years. However, CO2 is still far below the healthier levels of most of past history when CO2 was in the multiple-thousands of ppm. Life thrived during such eras. CO2 was at 7000 ppm during the Cambrian Explosion when the proto-forms of all modern life emerged. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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A false narrative of life, a true story of life

Section topics: The two fundamental narratives of life- old and new; The true state of life on Earth (main indicators); Celebrating CO2; Messing with politics, again; Messing with religion, again; Patterns in alarmism movements; Short list of Old Narrative Themes, New Story Alternatives; Science and speculation (human spirituality).

Quote from “Messing with religion, again” below in this section: “‘Love your enemy because God does’. The single most profound statement? Yes, because it takes us to the absolute height of being authentically human or humane. It takes us to unconditional love.”

Site projects: Wendell Krossa

This site responds to the absurdly exaggerated narrative of “climate crisis” and the destructive policy responses crafted by alarmists to save the world from that imagined apocalypse.

Yes, climate change is occurring. But the increased warmth (1 degree C. over the past century) has been beneficial to all life in our abnormally cold world where 15-20 times more people die from cold every year, than die from warmth.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2015/05/20/cold-weather-deaths/27657269/

Quote from above link: “The study — published in the British journal The Lancet — analyzed data on more than 74 million deaths in 13 countries between 1985 and 2012. Of those, 5.4 million deaths were related to cold, while 311,000 were related to heat.”

The further predicted 1-2 degrees C of warming will also be beneficial to life. For over 90% of the past 500 million years our world has been entirely ice free and life has flourished during such times where average temperatures were around 19.5 degrees Centigrade, not the average 14.5 degrees C of today’s ice-age era.

This site joins the challenge to the insane policy responses that are being pushed through by governments to solve the non-existent climate crisis. No policy has been more destructive than “decarbonization” that has already harmed the poorest people the most with rising energy/electricity costs. The worst is yet to come. Watch the rolling blackouts in California and unstable grids in Germany and Britain. These jurisdictions burden consumers with much higher electricity costs compared to other areas (e.g. Germans pay three times as much as Americans, Californians pay twice as much as other states).

This site also probes the mythology that still dominates human narratives today, narratives like climate alarmism, which has become more and more oriented to primitive apocalyptic themes. You see the eruption of this apocalyptic nonsense when climate alarmists repeatedly set dates for the end-of-days. The end never arrives because the narrative of “existential crisis” is anti-science and false. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Creating exaggerated fear

Section topics: Science and theology (climate alarmism and the Green movement in general are “profoundly religious movements” and must be responded to at that level); Climate complexity; Panic-porn; Excerpts on the radiative influence of CO2; Good fear, bad fear; Patrick Moore on the Agenda of fear; Bill Rees still pushing limits fear, and more…

Below is a reposting as climate alarmists continue to stir hysteria over natural climate change…

A brief summary of the basic issues of the climate debate (list of alarmist claims/facts just below)

These cover areas of disagreement between alarmists and skeptics.

Skeptics do not deny climate change but know that credible evidence challenges the extent of the ‘manmade’ element. Good evidence shows that we contribute very little to Earth’s Carbon cycles and that CO2 contributes very little to climate change in general (“A bit player”). Further, more warming and more CO2 will not be catastrophic to life but will be mostly beneficial, as increasing CO2 levels have already resulted in a significant greening of the planet with a 10-15% increase in green vegetation over just the past 4 decades. The outcome of this greening has been much more food for animal populations and increased crop production for humanity.

The climate issue concerns the future of our children and our civilization. Climate alarmism has become an apocalyptic movement that demonizes the basic food of all life- CO2- and wants to diminish that food supply with a destructive ‘salvation’ plan- “save the world” by decarbonization. That will be “The suicide of industrial civilization”, according to Richard Lindzen, atmospheric physicist and former MIT professor.

Posts on climate- evidence versus alarm

The following points are taken mainly from the “alarmist claim rebuttal update” posted at Wattsupwiththat.com Jan.14, 2021 https://thsresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/02/ef-cpp-alarmist-claim-rebuttal-overview-021118.pdf. Other sources are from ‘Everythingclimate.org’ and other sites.

1. Alarmist claim: We have just experienced the hottest years on record.

Fact: For most of the past 10,000 years it has been hotter than today (i.e. Holocene Optimum, Roman Warm Period, Medieval Warm Period). The hottest years of the past century were in the 1920s and 1930s. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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The contemporary embrace of primitive mythology

Topics below: Climate basics; Courage in the face of crowd madness; Secular? Scientific? (the basic themes of primitive apocalyptic have been embraced in contemporary environmental alarmism); Analyzing an issue, solving a problem- more on the primitive apocalyptic mythology behind Green religion/climate alarmism; Buried Jesus and the ongoing domination of apocalyptic mythology in Western consciousness; The prominent features of apocalyptic; Baggot on Mass (materialism and the nature of physical reality); Main features of human story.

Note: The ‘climate change’ alarm is a tangled mix of climate science, politics, economics, and religion/mythology. Confronting and solving the issue involves embracing all these elements.

Another: Embracing the primitive myth of apocalypse in today’s dominant ideology of Declinism is not progressive thinking. Declinism is the belief/ideology that life is declining toward something worse, toward some great collapse and ending. Apocalyptic declinism is a regression toward primitive mythical/religious thought at its worst and is a close-minded denial of the evidence on the amazing progress that life is making on all fronts (see, for example, Julian Simon’s Ultimate Resource, Humanprogress.org, and many similar sources).

Secular? Scientific?

A repeated argument on this site is that environmental alarmism is a profoundly religious movement, and a very primitive form of religious extremism and crowd madness, though its advocates/proponents may present themselves as modern, scientific, and even secular/atheist.

The basic themes that drive contemporary alarmism are mythical themes that differ very little from the ancient and primitive expressions that we find in early apocalyptic mythology. Those ancient themes have been given new expression with contemporary definitions, categories, and terminology. But the core ideas are just the same old, same old primitive thinking of past millennia.

Note these similarities between ancient mythology and contemporary “secular” alarmist ideology:

1. Ancient myth: There was an original paradise or perfection (Sumerian city of Dilmun, Eden).

Modern secular version: The past wilderness world was better, an earlier paradise world.

2. Ancient myth: Fallen, sinful people ruined the original paradise (Enki in Dilmun, Adam in Eden).

Modern secular version: Corrupt, greedy humanity has ruined the original paradise of a past wilderness world.

3. Ancient myth: After the “Fall”, life became corrupted and was heading toward apocalyptic disaster (e.g. the Zoroastrian vision of a corrupted world heading toward looming apocalypse, a vision that has shaped the Western religions).

Modern secular version: Life has become worse and is heading toward looming collapse and catastrophic ending (Arthur Herman in “The Idea of Decline in Western History”).

4. Ancient myth: The threat of apocalypse demands the violent purging of the threat to life (the “evil” corrupting thing in the world) in order to save the world. This also relates to the felt need to make a sacrifice to appease angered deity.

Modern secular version: We must save life from the corrupting threat that is industrial civilization (“population bomb”, too many longer-living people indulging over-consumption, enjoying the good life and modern technology too much). Today the coercive purging of an evil threat is seen in the push for rapid decarbonization (i.e. purging the “evil” pollution that is CO2). This is the “secular” sacrifice of moderns, giving up the good life in industrial civilization out of a felt need to appease for wrongs done.

5. Ancient myth: After the apocalyptic purging of the world, the lost paradise will be restored, or a new perfect world created.

Modern secular version: By limiting human population and purging the world of destructive industrial civilization, then we may restore the lost wilderness world, and install a new millennial paradise. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Same old patterns: Exaggerated fear… manipulation by apocalyptic prophets… incited survival response… widespread embrace of harmful “salvation” policies.

Same old patterns: There is a direct line from correlated causal factors to related responses. Apocalyptic-scale alarms incite survival fear in populations. Exaggerated fear leads to irrational acceptance of mythical apocalyptic scenarios and embrace of related harmful salvation schemes. The feature of “imminence” in apocalyptic scenarios, with dates repeatedly set just years or decades ahead, heightens fear and pushes populations to abandon democratic processes and embrace totalitarian solutions. Nothing is too crazy when you are told that you must help “save the world”… or else “we are all going to die” because the end is nigh.

Note on the true state of life: End-time dates are repeatedly set, and then reset again and again (goal posts repeatedly moved back), because the end never arrives. The rising and improving trajectory of life and human civilization refuse to cooperate with apocalyptic madness. Life is never perfect, and many problems remain to be solved, but over-all there is improvement across history, progress toward something better and not decline toward something worse. Human goodness and creativity continues to make life on this planet ever better. See ‘Humanprogress.org’ among other sources.

Good news update: https://notrickszone.com/2021/02/24/nasa-vegetation-index-globe-continues-rapid-greening-trend-sahara-alone-shrinks-700000-sq-km/?mc_cid=f8831d8b9b&mc_eid=bbd9cad85f.

Question: Why are the Greens not celebrating the massive greening of our planet? During this “CO2 starvation era”, with a small rise in basic plant food over the past century (increased atmospheric CO2), plant life is once again flourishing. And so animal and human life also benefits and flourishes. However, as was more common over most of past history, plants prefer CO2 levels in the 1000-1500 ppm. Those are more optimal and healthy levels.

Section topics:
– Super-predator gods
– Human story in Campbell’s “Hero’s journey” framework
– Illustrating madness movements in Manoboland
– Indur Goklany- there is no climate emergency.
– Rethinking drugs and addiction.
– Madness movements.
– The paleo-climate big picture for understanding climate issues.
– A list of Alarmist claims versus facts.
– There is a logarithmic decline in the warming influence of CO2 with increasing atmospheric levels (overturns the alarm over rising CO2 levels).
– 18 prominent myths and alternatives in theology/spirituality (the larger mythical background of contemporary alarmism movements like environmental alarmism).
– “Both-sideism” or Independent status.
– Bill Maher and self-awareness

More re site Project: Countering fear, exaggerated and unnecessary fear, notably, the fear some great metaphysical threat behind life, most commonly expressed through myths like apocalypse.

There is an ultimate meaning issue behind much human fear over history. It has to do with how early people, moved by their primary impulse for meaning, understood reality and life and explained that via their myths (systems of belief/meaning). The ancients struggled to understand and explain the obvious imperfections of the world (natural disasters, disease, animal predation and human cruelty) and the consequent suffering from that imperfection. Their solution was the creation of a complex of ideas that have continued to shape human understanding into the present in both religious and “secular” versions. And many of these primitive themes continue to incite unnecessary alarm in populations.

The central theme of early human narratives, the single most prominent pathology that has dominated human consciousness across history, has been the myth of some greater punitive, destroying Force or Spirit that punishes humanity through the natural world. This anti-human myth has deformed human consciousness with fear, anxiety, shame/guilt, and despair.

Bette Midler (Feb. 2021) offered a recent example of this still common belief in divine retaliation through nature- https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/bette-midler-texas-outages-god-punishing-ted-cruz-john-cornyn. She may have been joking somewhat, with only a smidgeon of truthiness, but her comment voiced, once again, the oldest and most destructive religious belief in our history- that of angry, vengeful gods punishing imperfect humanity. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Understanding apocalyptic alarmism and its anti-science mythology.

My own definition: Alarmism exaggerates legitimate problems out to apocalyptic scale with ‘end-of-days’ scenarios (i.e. apocalypse), speculating far beyond credible evidence, thereby distorting the true state of things.

From Wikipedia: “Alarmism is excessive or exaggerated alarm about a real or imagined threat. In the news media, alarmism can be a form of yellow journalism where reports sensationalise a story to exaggerate small risks.”

Another definition… “What is a alarmist person? Noun- a person who tends to raise alarms, especially without sufficient reason, as by exaggerating dangers or prophesying calamities.”

“Alarmist/alarmism” are not used as pejoratives but to distinguish an extremist fringe movement from the general environmental concern that all of us share.

Joe Biden, 2020, “The world is on fire!”

What is the true state of life on Earth? (a brief summary view)

While problems exist everywhere, they are solvable and humanity has done well in caring for and preserving world resources. See, for example, Julian Simon’s ‘Ultimate Resource’ or ‘Population Bombed’ by Szurmak and Desrochers. Below are the main resources of our world. They are the main indicators of the true state of life on our planet. They all show that life is not declining toward something worse. There is no looming environmental apocalypse.

(1) World forest cover in the 1950s was 3.8 billion hectares (FAO stats). World forest cover today is 4.1-plus billion hectares, despite the world population tripling from 2.4 billion people in the early 1950s to almost 8 billion today. Deforestation rates continue to decline and reforestation/afforestation projects continue to succeed. We are not destroying the world’s forests. http://www.fao.org/forestry/fra/52045/en/

(2) Proven species extinctions. While any species extinction is unacceptable we have dramatically improved our care of nature. Species extinctions are on a notably declining trend line and have decreased from about 5 per year in 1870 to about 0.5 per year today (see the IUCN Red List All Extinct Species by Decade on p.101 of Patrick Moore’s new book ‘Fake Invisible Catastrophes And Threats of Doom’). While nature has destroyed over 95% of all species over the span of life on this planet, compassionate humanity is now protecting species as never before. See Julian Simon’s chapter on the IUCN report on species loss (in Ultimate Resource and other books) and the discredited assumption/correlation between habitat loss and species extinctions. The wrong assumption was that with habitat loss of 90% some 50% of species would go extinct. The assumption did not understand the resiliency, adaptability, and toughness of life. There is no species holocaust occurring.

(3) Climate change (the atmosphere as a main resource): There has been a mild one degree Centigrade of warming over the past century and a half. That slightly warmed our still abnormally cold world. We are in an “ice-age era”. Average surface temperatures today are around 14.5 degrees Centigrade. That is 5 degrees Centigrade below the more optimal average surface temperatures of the past 500 million years (19.5 degrees Centigrade). For over 90% of the past 500 million years there was no ice at the poles. That is a more normal and optimal world. And contrary to the falsified climate models, there is no settled evidence of much more warming occurring in the future. There is no “climate crisis” looming.

Also, most of our Holocene inter-glacial, that began around 11,000 years ago, has been warmer than today. The Holocene Climatic Optimum (roughly 10-5,000 years ago) was about 1 degree C. warmer. From about 5,000 years ago our interglacial began a long-term cooling trend (the “Neoglacial” period). However, two warm periods- The Roman Warm Period (250 BCE to 400 CE) and The Medieval Warm Period (950- 1,250 CE)- were warmer than today. Life overall and human civilization has flourished during such warming periods. (Correction: Previous comments re earlier Holocene temperatures 2-4 degrees C higher were references to localized situations and not global averages.)

(4) Ocean fisheries are not collapsing and aquaculture is meeting the growing human demand for fish. See Ray Hilborn reports and FAO summaries on fisheries. The world fisheries are not being decimated. https://www.washington.edu/news/2020/01/13/fisheries-management-is-actually-working-global-analysis-shows/

(5) The overall agricultural land-base is not severely degrading. Also, any soil erosion must be understood in net terms, as related to new soil regeneration rates. Further, over the past century and more, we have returned hundreds of millions of hectares of agricultural land back to nature as hi-yield GM crops enable farmers to produce more crop on the same or less land. We have probably already passed “peak-agricultural land” use. Humanity now produces 25% more food than we need. Hydroponics will also meet much of future food demands.

These, and other indicators, show that the overall long-term trajectory of life is improving, not worsening.

And a note to all of our children: Do not fear the future on our planet. With continued wealth creation we will continue to solve the remaining world resource problems and life will continue to get ever better than before. Your personal contribution to making life better will add to humanity’s overall success.

Section topics: Two best things happening today- the increase in basic plant food (rising CO2 levels) and the slight warming of an abnormally cold world; Dangerous patterns and outcomes in alarmism movements; Always the same old, same old (the same complex of primitive themes/myths have repeated across all history and across all the cultures of the world and still dominate world religions and contemporary ideologies like environmental alarmism; Two stories of life- decline and progress. Both cannot be true; Climate denialism/skepticism, alarmism, and good science; The death issue- arguments for why the conscious self does not die but transitions to an infinitely better existence; Resurging tribalism and the pettiness of retaliation cycles (eye for eye ethics); Fundamental shared values. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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