The two best things happening on Earth today

Quote from below…

Alarmism is the exaggeration of real problems in life, exaggeration that speculates far beyond available evidence on the true state of problems. Alarmists exaggerate problems to apocalyptic-scale and even prophesy the end of the world. Note Senator AOC’s prophecy in 2018, regarding climate change, that we had only 12 years to the end of the world. Or the father of global warming alarmism, James Hansen, stating in 2008 that “Its all over in five years”. Steve Hawking gave us 100 years till the end.

That is stunningly irresponsible and dangerous fear-mongering with an element of pathological nihilism (Is there anything more nihilist than to prophesy the end of all, the end of the world?). Exaggerated alarmism distorts our ability to respond rationally to problems that we need to solve together. Alarmism undermines the hope that incentivizes our creative endeavor to engage life and make it ever better, something we have wildly succeeded at achieving over past centuries (see, for example, Humanprogress.org, or Julian Simon’s ‘Ultimate Resource’). Alarmism fosters fatalism, resignation, and dangerous tribal division among populations (blaming differing others as the great threat to life that must be crushed).

A rational scientific approach is critical to help us understand the true state of our world, the true state of the problems throughout life that we must responsibly and rationally solve. Unfortunately, scientific evidence by itself has not calmed or changed the minds of most alarmists. And that is a tip-off that they are guided more by emotional commitment to myth than by factual evidence.

This site probes related issues behind the repeated eruptions of alarmism, notably, the still widespread embrace of an apocalyptic perspective that has long been embedded at the core of human narratives. Apocalyptic mythology was present in the earliest human writing (i.e. the Sumerian Flood myth). Apocalyptic mythology was later embraced by the world religions and continues to dominate modern narratives, both religious and secular/ideological… (Continued below)

The two best things happening today– rising CO2 levels and the warming of Earth’s average surface temperatures have resulted in life flourishing and a much greener Earth.

Climate activists, news media, and politicians claim that rising CO2 levels and rising average temperatures are the two most threatening things happening on Earth today. I would argue to the contrary that they are the two best things happening on Earth today. How so?

Basic plant food

CO2 levels have been dangerously low over the past few million years of our ice-age era and this has stressed plant life. Over the past several hundred thousand years, CO2 levels have even dipped below 200 ppm, once down to 180 ppm. Plant life dies at 150 ppm. Normal and optimal levels of CO2 over the last 500 million years were in the multiple thousands of ppm. https://www.thegwpf.com/video-of-patrick-moores-gwpf-lecture-should-we-celebrate-co2/

During the Cambrian era life exploded with CO2 levels over 5000 ppm. There was no harm to life, or catastrophic collapse, with CO2 in multiple-thousands of ppm. Instead, life flourished.

“During the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods when our most useful plants evolved, CO2 levels were about five times higher than today… Our crop plants evolved about 400 million years ago, when CO2 in the atmosphere was about 5000 parts per million! Our evergreen trees and shrubs evolved about 360 million years ago, with CO2 levels at about 4,000 ppm. When our deciduous trees evolved about 160 million years ago, the CO2 level was about 2,200 ppm – still five times the current level”, (http://co2coalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Rising_CO2__Food-Security-2-21-19-1.pdf).

Contemporary plant response to more food

With the slight rise in CO2 levels from pre-industrial 285 ppm to the 400-plus ppm of today there has been a 14% increase in green vegetation across the Earth over the past 30 years. This is the equivalent to adding land covered in green vegetation twice the size of the mainland US. https://www.thegwpf.com/matt-ridley-rejoice-in-the-lush-global-greening/. Other studies note that there has been a “31 percent increase in global terrestrial gross primary production since 1900” (Matt Ridley “Against Environmental Pessimism” at PERC). In light of this incredible news on the massive greening of Earth, where are the celebrating Greens, the self-proclaimed advocates for a greener world?

A warming planet is a more optimal planet

There has been only a mild 1 degree Centigrade warming over the past century. This is part of the longer warming trend that began 300 years ago when Earth began to emerge out of the bitter cold of the Little Ice Age of 1645-1715. This longer warming trend is due to natural influences on climate, and that did not change during the past century (i.e. the same natural factors continue to overwhelmingly influence the present phase of this 300-year-long period of warming).

Our current world average surface temperature of 14.5 degrees Centigrade is still far below the normal and optimum 19.5 degrees C. average of the past hundreds of millions of years. For over 90% of the past 500 million years there has been no ice at the poles. That is a more normal and healthy Earth. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/01/03/earths-ice-ages/

With much higher average temperatures in the past there was no “climate catastrophe” or threat to life. To the contrary, life flourished.

A much warmer Earth will not “fry” because the planet has an efficient energy distribution system where heat rises at the tropics and is carried north and south toward the poles. In a warming world the Equator does not become excessively hotter but rather the colder regions warm more and that benefits all life with extended habitats and less severe storminess because of less severe gradients between warm and cold regions. https://scied.ucar.edu/learning-zone/how-weather-works/global-air-atmospheric-circulation. In a warmer world there is also less difference between seasonal temperatures and between night and day temperatures.

Note also that researchers have discovered tropical tree stumps in the Arctic from past warmer eras. The more recent discovery of tropical tree stumps in Antarctica further corroborates the evidence of tropical forests in the pole regions. That evidence affirms the much warmer world of most of the past 500 million years with average 19.5 degrees Centigrade world surface temperatures versus the average 14.5 degrees Centigrade of today’s much colder world. Again, a much warmer world means vastly extended habitats for life, not a “frying” world that destroys life.

Physicist Freeman Dyson summarizes this uneven distribution of warming in the following: “’Global warming’. This phrase is misleading because the warming caused by the greenhouse effect of increased carbon dioxide is not evenly distributed. In humid air, the effect of carbon dioxide on the transport of heat by radiation is less important, because it is outweighed by the much larger greenhouse effect of water vapor. The effect of carbon dioxide is more important where the air is dry and air is usually dry only where it is cold. The warming mainly occurs where air is cold and dry, mainly in the arctic rather than in the tropics, mainly in winter rather than in summer, and mainly at night rather than in daytime. The warming is real, but it is mostly making cold places warmer rather than making hot places hotter. To represent this local warming by a global average is misleading because the global average is only a fraction of a degree while the local warming at high latitudes is much larger” (The Scientist as Rebel).

Remember too that cold weather kills 10-20 times more people every year than heat does. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/12/20/moderate-cold-kills/, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150520193831.htm.

Some conclusions:

Plants, animals, and humans are benefiting immensely from this massive greening of our planet and the return to more normal and optimal conditions for all life. “Average increase of 46% of crop biomass owing to increased CO2 fertilization”, Gregory Whitestone on Craig Idso research. See http://www.co2science.org/data/plant_growth/plantgrowth.php

Further, the actual influence of CO2 on climate warming is still not settled because many other natural factors have shown a stronger influence on climate and stronger correlations to the climate change that we have seen over the past few centuries (i.e. cosmic ray/sun/cloud interaction, ocean/atmosphere relationship).

Fact: There is no good evidence to support fear of looming catastrophe (i.e. “climate crisis”) in a warmer planet with much higher levels of CO2. The benefits of more plant food and more warmth outweigh any potential negatives.

Consequent to this evidence, there is no good scientific reason for people to decrease their use of fossil fuels or to ban them. It is unscientific and irrational to “decarbonize” our societies or to embrace policies such as carbon taxes. CO2 is not a pollutant or poison that must be restrained. It is the most basic food of life and it has been in desperately short supply for millions of years. We should celebrate with all plant and animal life at the greening of our planet.

The above evidence affirms that there is no climate apocalypse on the horizon.

Notes

See also Global Warming Policy Forum report on natural variability: https://www.thegwpf.com/climate-models-no-warming-for-30-years-possibly/?utm_source=CCNet+Newsletter&utm_campaign=e017a905d6-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_07_15_12_09_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_fe4b2f45ef-e017a905d6-20139177&mc_cid=e017a905d6&mc_eid=bbd9cad85f

Insert: Craig Idso, scientist with the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, regarding the EPA Endangerment Finding for Greenhouse Gases (2009) and his petition to repeal the Finding:

“Multiple observations made over the past decade confirm the projected risks and adverse consequences of rising greenhouse gases are failing to materialize. The truth is, in stark contrast to the Endangerment Finding, CO2 emissions and fossil fuel use during the Modern Era have actually enhanced life and improved humanity’s standard of living. And they will likely continue to do so as more fossil fuels are utilized”.

“Multiple peer-reviewed scientific studies show (1) there is nothing unusual about Earth’s current warmth or rate of warming, (2) historic and modern records of atmospheric CO2 and temperature violate principles of causation, (3) model-based temperature projections since 1979 artificially inflate warming (compared to observations) by a factor of 3, invalidating the models and all their ancillary claims associated with greenhouse gas-induced warming, and that (4) key adverse effects of greenhouse gas-induced warming, including extreme weather events, temperature-induced mortality and sea level rise, are not occurring despite EPA predictions they would be worsening”.

“The petition also presents compelling evidence that CO2 emissions and fossil energy use provide critical benefits that act to enhance health and welfare for humanity and the natural world… ‘Without adequate supplies of low-cost centralized energy derived from fossil fuels, few, in any, of the major technological and innovative advancements of the past two centuries that have enhanced and prolonged human life could have occurred. Additionally, without the increased CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use over the past two centuries, Earth’s terrestrial biosphere would be nowhere near as vigorous or productive as it is today. Rather, it would be devoid of the growth-enhancing, water-saving, and stress-alleviating benefits it has reaped in managed and unmanaged ecosystems from rising levels of atmospheric CO2 since the Industrial Revolution began’”.

See also the hundreds of studies on CO2 at Idso’s site- co2science.org.

Note: “What is impossible to quantify is the actual percentage of warming that is attributable to increased anthropogenic (human-caused) CO2. There is no scientific evidence or method that can determine how much of the warming we’ve had since 1900 was directly caused by us and how much can be assigned to the continuing natural drivers of climate”, Gregory Whitestone.

“Let us dispel any notion that projected higher levels of CO2 will have a direct deleterious impact on humans… According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), ‘CO2 levels may reach 900 ppm’ by 2100, which is well below the minimum threshold for negative impact to humans. The United States Department of Agriculture has set a maximum exposure limit for workers at 5,000 ppm and states that even at levels of 10,000 ppm there are typically no ill effects”, Gregory Whitestone.

The 130 ppm increase since the early stages of the Industrial Revolution is not an “alarming increase”. There is no “climate crisis”.

See also some good scientific response to climate alarmism from atmospheric physicist Richard Lindzen (formerly of MIT) and Harvard scientist Willie Soon.

Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #416

BBC Asks Dr. Willie Soon to Respond to Climate Conspiracy Claims

Note on “consensus”: Almost 32,000 scientists, many of the best scientific minds on the planet, signed the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine Protest Petition which states, “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth”.

Environmental alarmism/climate alarmism has become the latest historical eruption of apocalyptic alarmism. These apocalyptic alarms are present in the earliest human writing- i.e. the Sumerian Flood myth, also in the Egyptian ‘Return to Chaos’ and ‘Destruction of Mankind’ myths. Little has changed across history. The same primitive themes have been repeated all across history and across all the cultures of the world. Today, environmental alarmism has taken up the apocalyptic themes to traumatize public consciousness with the same old, same old as ever before. Alarmist media thoughtlessly and obsessively push the endless “end of days” prophecies of environmentalism.

The great disconnects in CO2 alarmism:

Over the past hundreds of millions of years CO2 levels have often been very high, in the multiple thousands of ppm, while at the same time Earth’s temperature has been low. And when CO2 levels have been low over that time, Earth’s temperature has often been high. This undermines the hypothesis that CO2 drives temperature in climate change.

Note also that about 350,000 years ago CO2 levels dipped very low, below 200 ppm, going down to 180 ppm. Plant life dies when CO2 levels descend to 150 ppm. That would have been the real climate catastrophe, the apocalypse for all life.

Over the past 400,000 years another pattern undermines the claim that CO2 drives climate warming. Roughly following a pattern of 100,000 year cycles, climate on Earth first warmed, which then warmed the oceans over subsequent centuries, and those warming oceans then expelled CO2 which then rose in the atmosphere. It was not rising CO2 levels first driving the climate warming. There was a centuries-long lag with rising CO2 dependent on climate warming first. http://euanmearns.com/the-vostok-ice-core-and-the-14000-year-co2-time-lag/

Another disconnect: During the 1990s the sun entered a solar minimum that became extended. The climate warming trend that had began around the mid-70s then became an extended flat trend. But CO2 levels continued to rise during this time. https://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2013/03/Whitehouse-GT_Standstill.pdf

Where then is the claimed causal link of CO2 as the main driver of climate warming or climate change?

Point- Other natural factors drive climate change more than CO2. CO2 has a warming influence and is part of the complex of factors in the climate mix, but the CO2 influence on climate is repeatedly overwhelmed by other natural factors.

Conclusion? Don’t stress over our use of fossil fuels. There is no good scientific reason to restrict or ban fossil fuels. There is no “settled science” basis to support arguments for the decarbonization of our societies.

And to the contrary, there is good evidence that we are helping to save life by adding CO2 to the atmosphere. Starving plant life has responded to the rising food levels in the atmosphere with an immense increase in biomass that has greened the planet by 14% since 1982. There has been an increase of green vegetation on Earth, equal to twice the size of the continental US.

Rising CO2 levels (plant food levels) and rising temperatures (on an abnormally cold Earth) are the two best things happening on Earth today. Life is once again flourishing in response.

New material

A series of articles on alarmism reposted from sections below. The continued public promotion of climate alarmism, and associated irrational and harmful policy proposals, demands ongoing robust response. See below, for example, “The Two best things happening today”.

The greatest threat to hope, freedom, peace, and progress today? There are numerous threats. For instance, those abandoning the sense of the oneness of the human family for unhinged tribalism (tribalism based on ideology, race, nationality, religion, and other isolating/dividing identity markers). Or those abandoning respect for the freedom, diversity, and rights of others and opting instead for interfering manipulation and control of other’s lives (coercing others- via state law/regulation- to live as the dominating person believes they should be made to live). And those abandoning restorative love for punitive retaliation (shaming, banning, silencing, cancelling, criminalizing).

My candidate for greatest threat in the mix of other threats- alarmism, notably environmental alarmism. See notes below on “fear and social control”. Consider the climate alarmism movement in this regard and its advocacy for extremist policies such as rapid ‘decarbonization’ of societies. The outcomes of alarmist eruptions have always been destabilizing, harmful, and in worst cases have even resulted in mass-death outbreaks (i.e. Landes, Herman, Mendel, and Redles’ research noted in sections below).

Most egregious is the fact that alarmist narratives distort and deny the true state of life on Earth. Alarmism distorts and buries the fact that life has been on an overall long-term improving trajectory that has positively impacted all the main features of life. There is no evidence to affirm alarm over the state or future of life, and certainly no good evidence to affirm climate alarmism. Note the Matt Ridley summary- “Against Environmental Pessimism”- at this link: https://www.google.com/search q=PERC+against+environmental+pessimism&rlz=1C1SQJL_enCA879CA879&oq=
PERC&aqs=chrome.0.69i59j0l3j69i60l4.4287j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Note: Flawed climate models have exaggerated the potential for harmful warming, and also missed the warming “pause” over past decades: https://www.hoover.org/research/flawed-climate-models

Similarly flawed modelling has repeatedly incited exaggerated alarmism over the possible impact of disease outbreaks. https://statmodeling.stat.columbia.edu/2020/05/08/so-the-real-scandal-is-why-did-anyone-ever-listen-to-this-guy/

Alarmism is the exaggeration of real problems in life, exaggeration that speculates far beyond available evidence on the true state of problems. Alarmists exaggerate problems to apocalyptic-scale and even prophesy the end of the world. Note Senator AOC’s prophecy in 2018, regarding climate change, that we had only 12 years to the end of the world. Or the father of global warming alarmism, James Hansen, stating in 2008 that “Its all over in five years”. Steve Hawking gave us 100 years till the end.

That is stunningly irresponsible and dangerous fear-mongering with an element of pathological nihilism (Is there anything more nihilist than to prophesy the end of all, the end of the world?). Exaggerated alarmism distorts our ability to respond rationally to problems that we need to solve together. Alarmism undermines the hope that incentivizes our creative endeavor to engage life and make it ever better, something we have wildly succeeded at achieving over past centuries (see Humanprogress.org). Alarmism fosters fatalism, resignation, and dangerous tribal division among populations (blaming differing others as the great threat to life that must be crushed).

A rational scientific approach is critical to help us understand the true state of our world, the true state of the problems throughout life that we must responsibly and rationally solve. Unfortunately, scientific evidence by itself has not calmed or changed the minds of most alarmists. And that is a tip-off that they are guided more by emotional commitment to myth than by factual evidence.

This site probes related issues behind the repeated eruptions of alarmism, notably, the still widespread embrace of an apocalyptic perspective that has long been embedded at the core of human narratives. Apocalyptic mythology was present in the earliest human writing (i.e. the Sumerian Flood myth). Apocalyptic mythology was later embraced by the world religions and continues to dominate modern narratives, both religious and secular/ideological.

Varied sites document the prominence of the apocalyptic myth in modern story-telling as mediated, for example, via Hollywood movies. See https://fee.org/articles/hollywoods-apocalypse-obsession-ignores-reality/

Arthur Herman (The Idea of Decline In Western History) notes the ongoing prominence of apocalyptic in relation to the ideology of Declinism, stating that the idea of decline is the most dominant and influential theme in the world today. Decline is a central feature of apocalyptic mythology- i.e. the idea that life is declining toward something worse, toward a great collapse and ending.

The prominence of apocalyptic mythology across history has attuned populations to be receptive to the endless stream of end-of-days prophecies from alarmist prophets. The outcomes have been horrifically damaging.

Arthur Mendel in Vision and Violence states that apocalyptic has been “the most destructive idea in history”. How so? Apocalyptic-scale alarmism sets in motion a pattern of irrational herd response that has repeatedly led to mass-harm and even mass-death outcomes. The apocalyptic-millennial scholars Richard Landes, Arthur Mendel, and David Redles detail the outcomes of the Marxist apocalyptic narrative, the Nazi apocalyptic millennial movement, and now environmental apocalyptic. Note that Rachel Carson’s apocalyptic narrative in Silent Spring influenced the ban on DDT that resulted in the subsequent unnecessary deaths of millions of people, many children (See ‘The Excellent Powder: The science and history of DDT’ by Tren and Roberts).

Here is the critical response pattern to note in regard to apocalyptic alarmism and its salvationism solutions:

First, the exaggeration of problems to apocalyptic scale incites widespread fear in populations (i.e. “we’re all gonna die”, the end is nigh). That agitated survival fear then renders people susceptible to embracing alarmist salvation schemes that unleash and promote the totalitarian impulse.

Once alarmist solutions are embraced as necessary to “save the world”, then democratic processes are more readily brushed aside because the threat that is presented by alarmists is “imminent and dire”. Dates for the end are set are just years or decades ahead and are repeatedly reset as the end times never arrive. Alarmists argue that there is no time to waste with dangerous indulgence of skeptics so ban, silence, discredit with personal attack, cancel, and even criminalize them, as President Obama’s AG, Loretta Lynch, tried to do in 2016. See also https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/07/08/climate-activists-step-up-calls-for-imprisoning-climate-realists/

Further, the imminent threat of alarmist scenarios demands the “coercive purging” of the claimed threat to life (again- Landes, Mendel). Alarmist salvation schemes also demand the “instantaneous transformation” of societies because the gradualism of democratic processes will not save us in time or get us to the imagined utopia of alarmist millennialism.

We are watching this totalitarian salvationism play out today in environmental alarmism (e.g. climate change), with its anti-humanism. Humanity is blamed as the great threat to life, the virus or cancer on Earth that causes environmental disaster and this “population bomb” must be removed via population control and reduction programs.

Climate alarmism now promotes endless end-of-world prophesies and agitated pressure to shut down industrial, fossil fuels society, to rapidly decarbonize the world. This irrational response to the mild 1 degree Centigrade warming of the past century will cause unimaginable suffering mainly for the poorest people. Decarbonization schemes have already harmed many with exorbitant energy and electricity prices. See https://www.thegwpf.org/new-paper-decarbonisation-plans-fail-engineering-reality-check/ and also https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/07/10/democrats-climate-policy-follows-germanys-failed-plan/

Recommend: Counter alarmism with good scientific evidence but do not ignore the deeper issues of meaning behind alarmism- i.e. the deeply embedded beliefs such as the apocalyptic complex of ideas/mythology.

Approach every problem in life with caution and a healthy skepticism. The history of exaggerated alarms over the past 70 years should serve as a warning that some people have a hard-wired bent to exaggerate problems. Alarming populations is highly irresponsible. And most irresponsible are news media with their obsession over creating fear and assaulting the public with worst-case scenarios (see Sociologist David Altheide’s ‘Creating Fear: News and the Construction of Crisis’).

List of recent alarms: “Over the past 70 years public consciousness has been repeatedly assaulted by apocalyptic-scale hysteria, via alarmism-oriented news media. There was the global cooling alarm of the 1970s. Then, prophesies of the end of minerals, oil, and resources in general. Also, population bomb explosion and mass famine. Apocalyptic plagues such as SARS, bird and swine flu, Ebola, AIDs, and mad cow disease. Environmental apocalypses in the form of the “disappearing lungs of the planet” (deforestation), species holocaust, soil erosion and the collapse of agriculture, ocean fisheries collapsing by 2048, ozone depletion, acid rain, chemical apocalypses (i.e. DDT and CFCs), and killer bees. Then technology-induced apocalypse via nuclear war, Artificial Intelligence, or Y2K. Then climate catastrophes and end-of-life scenarios via warming, rising oceans, extreme storms, mass climate migration and wars, and the myriad other apocalyptic-scale outcomes attributed to climate change.”

Reflexive skepticism (not denial)

I am a reflexive skeptic of every new alarm that erupts into public consciousness- i.e. whether political/economic, disease related, or environmental alarms. There are problems all through life that are real and must be responsibly confronted and solved. But they are too often presented to the public in hysterical and exaggerated terms that incite unnecessary fear in populations. Fear then promotes irrational thought, feeling, and response. Fear leads to herd support for what have repeatedly turned out to be harmful salvationist schemes. If “we’re all gonna die” then no measure is too extreme, so shut down the world to save us from the apocalypse.

We have been through an endless series of alarms just over the past 70 years that more rational follow-up evaluation eventually exposed as exaggerated scenarios. Most of the alarms turned out to be lesser-scale problems than originally portrayed by alarmists. The media have justifiably discredited themselves with the public for thoughtlessly presenting the alarms in exaggerated terms (“imminent crisis… looming catastrophe…. coming disaster” are favored media descriptions). Media unquestioningly parrot the alarmist scientists and others that incite the panics.

Media obsession with alarmism narratives and exaggeration has been analyzed well by sociologist David Altheide in “Creating Fear: News and the Construction of crisis”. Media are not the truth-tellers or fact-checkers that they like to present themselves as. They are entertainers competing with the rest of the entertainment industry for audience share. What dominates entertainment? Apocalyptic.

What drives these alarmist eruptions that have too often become episodes of mass-hysteria?

When considering any problem in life, why do so many people instinctively lock onto worst-case scenarios and frame problems in terms of potential worst-case outcomes, often in the face of contrary evidence? With our extensive historical record of falling for exaggerated alarms, we should have learned by now to hold a healthy skepticism toward the alarmist presentations of any problem or issue.

We need to embrace Julian Simon’s good scientific approach that helps us to get to the true state of any problem/issue. Simon taught us to look at (1) the complete big picture and (2) the longest-term trends associated with any problem/issue. That will help, from the start, to restrain the tendency of many in science and media to exaggerate problems beyond evidence and incite irresponsible and destructive alarmism movements.
See “The Two Best Things Happening Today” for the big picture paleo-climate context and the longest-term trends that relate to climate.

Alarmists have exhibited other troubling behaviors such as discrediting, dismissing, and even trying to outlaw skeptics to their alarmist scenarios. Remember Obama’s AG, Loretta Lynch, tried to criminalize skeptical climate science in 2016. Challenge an alarmist and you will quickly experience and understand “outrage culture” and “cancel culture” extremism.

Alarmists also exhibit what appears to be an anti-human zeal for an apocalyptic outcome, something that will ‘cull’ humanity- the “virus or cancer” on the planet. This anti-humanism feature ought to caution anyone re the motives of alarmists.

Inciting fear in populations unleashes the ugly tribal spirit- i.e. the mindset that we must fight some evil enemy that causes the imagined threat to life. The tribal spirit usually splits along ideological/political fault lines in our societies. Tribal fear also unleashes the totalitarian impulse to coerce and control others in order to save something that is believed to be under threat. And if you can present the threat in the most extreme terms then that justifies arguing for more severe measures to save something.

Unwarranted fear can become the greatest threat to the freedom and self-determination of people.

Fear and social control:

The element of “fear and social control” has been well-documented in social science research.

Sociologist David Altheide (Creating Fear: News and the Construction of Crisis) details the evidence of the expanding role of narratives of fear in public life, much due to news media focus, exaggeration, and distortion. He notes the “expansion of the discourse of fear into more attempts at social control”. He fingers especially mass media/news media for their central role in promoting fear by continually warning of some danger.

“Mass media and popular culture are the most important contributors to fear. The pervasive use of fear in public documents and discourse has helped create a perspective or framework for viewing the world in an entertaining way that is shared by many members of our society… (this major paradox exists)… we are living longer with more secure and comfortable lifestyles than at any other time in history… yet we have the most fear and uncertainty about life…”.

“My research indicates that more of our narratives involve fear. Fear appeared in more headlines and news reports in the mid-1990s than in the 1980s… For the majority of people, the mass media shape identities and narratives… Fear as a perspective is expanding in social life… Fear is more widely used because news organizations and news sources benefit from it…”

Altheide notes that news media work together with political leadership to promote social control of populations. “’Crises’ are simply certain events that are defined in a certain way and promoted to serve the political interests of leaders… ‘crisis’ is oriented to a decision-maker’s audience to allow the leader to take decisive action… Fear is used increasingly to define crises and to bump along those claims so that leaders can take political action against (enemies)”.

“The mass media, and especially the news media, are the main source and tool used to ‘soften up’ the audience” and prepare them to accept the justified action to save them from whatever crisis has been promoted. Fear is an essential part of social control, says Altheide.

“Directing fear in a society is tantamount to controlling that society. Every age has its fears, every ruler has his/her enemies, every sovereign places blame and every citizen learns about these as propaganda. The key is to recognize the process and not get captivated with the ‘bogey man’ of choice in any particular time”.

Others on fear and control: “The whole aim of practical politics”, wrote HL Mencken, “Is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary”. John Adams- “Fear is the foundation of most governments”.

And this from https://www.heartland.org/news-opinion/news/fear-the-best-tool-of-the-ruling-class

The above linked article includes these quotes from Michael Crichton: “I am leading to the notion of social control… To the requirement of every sovereign state to exert control over the behavior of its citizens, to keep them orderly and reasonably docile… To keep them paying taxes… and of course, we know that social control is best managed through fear.”

He continues: “In reality, (in recent decades) we have been under the control of an entirely new complex, far more powerful and far more pervasive. I call it the politico-legal-media complex. The PLM. And it is dedicated to promoting fear in the population, under the guise of promoting safety”.

The article continues, identifying “the role of experts and universities in the enshrinement of fear as a political tool: “Because they had a new role to play. They became the creators of new fears for the PLM. Universities today are factories of fear. They invent all the new terrors and new social anxieties… they produce a steady stream of new anxieties, dangers, and social terrors to be used by politicians, lawyers, and reporters.”

Note also the increasing desperation of alarmists to hysterically re-enforce their “end-of-world” narratives as skeptical scientists repeatedly prove their apocalyptic threats to be wildly overstated. Richard Landes details these patterns of apocalyptic-millennial movements in his excellent history- ‘Heaven On Earth’.

Most critical to watch in alarmist eruptions of fear-mongering is the demand for “coercive purging” of the imagined threat. That argues for setting aside democratic processes and respect for freedom because some threat is claimed to be imminent and dire (i.e. “the end of the world is nigh”).

Unfortunately, follow-up scientific research does not calm or change the minds of many people who have embraced the alarmist’s narratives. Science by itself does not appear to change the minds of alarmists regarding their claims of looming apocalypse. This is because there are fundamental issues of meaning behind alarmist movements. Humanity has long embraced a set of ideas/myths to explain the meaning of life on this imperfect world. Part of thorough and long-term problem-solving must include dealing with those primitive ideas that have long embodied people’s “primal fears” and understanding of ultimate meaning issues. We are more than just rational actors oriented solely to the empirical, as valuable as that has been for understanding life.

For multiple millennia humanity has been indoctrinated with the apocalyptic complex of myths. No wonder then, that even today our initial response to problems in life is to believe that the worst is coming. Apocalyptic has become hardwired in human consciousness over the millennia. It still dominates our meta-narratives today, both religious and secular/ideological.

The never-ending end times stuff (Another article reposted from below)

For over 5000 years apocalyptic mythology has been beaten into human consciousness as essential to defining the trajectory of life. Secular versions of apocalyptic mythology, notably the ideology of Declinism (i.e. life worsening toward some great disaster), still dominate public consciousness and narratives today. This is evident in the environmental alarmism movement and particularly in climate alarmism- the prophesies of looming, imminent climate catastrophe and the endless end of days scenarios presented to the public.

Remember AOC’s prophesy in 2018 that we had only 12 years to the end of the world or James Hansen’s prophesy in 2008 that “Its all over in five years”. In the last year of his life Stephen Hawking added his prophesy of apocalypse though he gave us some breathing room, declaring that we had 100 years till the apocalypse. Enough time for him to vacate the scene and avoid the humiliation that inevitably comes to all apocalyptic prophets. Life does not decline toward ending. Evidence shows that with creative human effort life rises toward an improving future.

Apocalyptic threat: Is this really how you “Teach your children well…” (Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young), traumatizing them with end of the world scenarios, causing the widespread pathology of “eco-anxiety” in children now frightened of growing up in a world that they are taught will soon end?

Apocalyptic-scale alarmism attunes populations to worst-case scenarios and renders them susceptible to the irrational salvation schemes of alarmists that have consistently proven destructive to humanity and to nature. Remember Rachel Carson’s apocalyptic narrative in Silent Spring that influenced the ban on DDT that subsequently resulted in the unnecessary deaths of millions of people from uncontrolled malaria. The biofuels alarm resulted in further deforestation for palm oil plantations. So also anti-GM crop activism (related to general environmental alarmism) prohibits farmers from getting higher-yield crops and inputs that produce more crop on the same land and consequently farmers have to cut more forest for cropland to feed growing populations. GM crops will save forests. Anti-GM activism has also resulted in millions of unnecessary deaths of children denied Vitamin A in Golden Rice.

The latest salvation scheme (i.e. “save the world”) is the demand to decarbonize our societies and shift to renewables. We are already seeing the harm from this in unnecessarily exorbitant electricity and energy prices that impact the poorest people the most. Add to this the direct harm from renewables as noted in ‘Planet of the Humans’ (ignore the documentary’s misinformation on “corrupt humanity exhausting world resources and destroying the planet”). Decarbonization is based on the “unsettled science” of climate alarmism. There is agreement on all sides that CO2 has a warming influence but no consensus that CO2 is the dominant influence on climate change. In fact, much good evidence shows other natural factors overwhelm the CO2 influence on climate. Point? There is no good scientific reason to diminish our use of fossil fuels. There is no rational reason to decarbonize.

We need to end the endless traumatizing of human consciousness with exaggerated fear-mongering about the looming end of all things. It is highly irresponsible and destructive in outcomes. Apocalyptic mythology distorts the true state of life.

The excessive fear-mongering over natural change and problems in our environment incites unnecessary anxiety over life. It contributes to despair over life and the future. No wonder depression is the world’s number one illness and children suffer from the new pathology of “eco-anxiety”.

The deeper roots of alarmism

The great narratives of humanity across history (our main belief systems) have always embraced the same basic complex of ideas/themes and those themes are profoundly wrong-headed. Most human systems of belief across history have been oriented to one notable core idea- i.e. that of some great punitive, destroying Force or Spirit (deity).

That core idea has been supported by a larger complex of related ideas- i.e. that we humans deserve to be punished because we are bad to the bone and have ruined an original paradise. We have sent life into decline toward some great disaster and ending. Therefore, we deserve judgment or justice as payback for our sins. Our salvation/solution? We must make a sacrifice to appease the upset deity, we must purge the evil that we have created, then we will be saved, and paradise will be restored, notably for the true believers in the apocalyptic narrative.

Science has helped to overturn the old narratives entirely. We know that life on Earth began in a brutally hostile environment but has improved across the entire trajectory of this planet. So also, we humans have developed and improved immensely over the history of human civilization (i.e. declining rates of homicide as a main indicator). Our becoming something better across time counters the essential anti-humanism of the old narratives- i.e. that we fell from some better past state (noble savages) to become something worse in the present. Our history shows that we are basically good and we have improved across history. Further, the improvement of life is via ‘gradualism’ and not through the coercive purging schemes of apocalyptic alarmists. See Arthur Mendel’s Vision and Violence.

I often illustrate the new narrative themes versus the old narrative themes with the Jesus/Paul contradiction. That profound contradiction points to the basic issue- i.e. the core bad idea that serves as the orienting center of the old narratives.

Historical Jesus broke entirely with the central bad idea in the old narratives- the idea of a punitive, destroying Force or Spirit. He pointed to a new core reality that was only love and nothing but love- a scandalously and inexpressibly wondrous ‘no conditions’ love that meant there was no ultimate threat behind life. That love was all about universal inclusion, unlimited forgiveness, and endless generosity, mercy and goodness.

But Paul rejected that new discovery of Jesus and retreated to the same old core theme of all past narratives- that the core Reality was punitive and destroying. He embedded this in his apocalyptic Christ myth- e.g. “Lord Jesus will return in flaming fire to punish and destroy all that do not believe my Christ myth” (Thessalonian letters). His myth then brought the old narrative themes into our modern world. Paul’s Christ is most responsible for the continuing dominance of the apocalyptic myth in our modern world, in both religious and secular versions.

The Jesus/Christ contradiction points to the core of the human problem- the lingering influence of the old narrative themes, and the liberating, humanizing influence of a new narrative. See Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives below.

To solve the alarmism problem thoroughly and for the long-term future, it is necessary to include this core meaning stuff that science does not deal with.

Summary: A main project on this site is to counter the curse of alarmism and expose its historical roots in apocalyptic mythology (“The most destructive idea in history”, Arthur Mendel in Vision and Violence). Alarmists exaggerate legitimate problems in life out to apocalyptic-scale, thereby distorting the true state of any given problem. For example, alarmists view the mild climate warming over the past century (a roughly one degree Centigrade average warming during an abnormally cold period on Earth) as portending a “climate crisis/catastrophe”, even the end of life or the end of the world according to Senator AOC and other alarmists (Father of global warming alarmism, James Hansen, stated in 2008, “Its all over in five years”).

That exaggerated alarmism, promoted with endless prophesies of the collapse of nature, looming destruction and death, then incites the primal survival impulse in populations. Agitated fear of survival then makes people susceptible to the salvation schemes of alarmists, schemes that have repeatedly caused far more harm than any original problem might have caused.

Example: Rachel Carson, the mother of modern environmentalism, was undoubtedly a well-intentioned person and her concerns regarding chemicals were legitimate. It is important to properly understand chemicals, their potential impacts, how to handle them safely, and the right applications and limits of varied chemicals. But Carson ignored the available science during her time, particularly the science on the chemical DDT. That science showed that DDT did not harm wildlife and did not cause cancer in humans. But she chose to create an apocalyptic narrative in Silent Spring- using a shoddy alarmist presentation, and often arguing from anecdotal situations to make general conclusions that were not backed with good evidence. She influenced the subsequent ideological/political campaign that exaggerated the danger of DDT, and thereby discredited a highly beneficial chemical that had saved hundreds of millions of lives. Her message, and that of related environmental agencies, was a terrible misrepresentation of DDT.

Carson’s apocalyptic narrative in Silent Spring influenced the growing ban on DDT that subsequently resulted in millions of further deaths from malaria, and many of those were children (see details in ‘The Excellent Powder: the science and history of DDT’ by Tren and Roberts).

Once again: The critical danger from alarmism eruptions

Alarmist response to problems argue for the ‘coercive purging’ of some imagined threat in order to “save the world” from an always ‘imminent’ threat to all life. The outcomes of such coercive approaches have repeatedly been eruptions of totalitarianism with the banning, silencing, and even criminalizing of skeptics to the alarmist narratives and salvationist responses. Taken to extremes, the outcomes of alarmism have repeatedly been eruptions of mass-harm, and even mass-death movements.

Alarmists- often well-intentioned- frighten populations to accept an alarmist vision of life as seriously threatened. Their solution? Embrace a low-consumption lifestyle that is basically a return to pre-industrial primitivism (i.e. the ‘moral superiority’ of the simple life). They claim that a severe reduction in consumption is necessary to save the world. Julian Simon presents evidence to the contrary in Ultimate Resource.

We are watching the alarmist pattern play out today with climate change. Climate change is always a legitimate concern as climate is always changing. But alarmists are exaggerating the danger of our mild warming to apocalyptic scale against good evidence that the mild warming of the past century and the increased levels of plant food (CO2) have immensely benefited life during the current ice age era that we are in (i.e. an abnormally cold world with abnormally low levels of CO2). Note the 14 % increase in green vegetation across the world since 1982. Plant life has been starving from historical low levels of CO2.

The salvationist solution to their exaggerated scenario of apocalyptic disaster? Radically decarbonize our societies. But that would devastate our civilization and harm the poorest people the most. Decarbonization approaches have already caused costly increases in energy prices that are impacting the poorest people.

This site probes the ideas behind alarmism culture, notably the still dominant myth of apocalyptic. I have traced here the historical route of that pathology into modern alarmism. It descended from primitive mythology (e.g. Sumerian Flood myth) into the great world religions (notably Christianity) and was then embraced in the 19th Century ideology of Declinism (the most influential theme in the modern world). Apocalyptic was then embraced by modern alarmism movements like Marxism, Nazism, and now environmental alarmism (see good research of historians Arthur Herman, Richard Landes, Arthur Mendel, David Redles).

The core idea in the apocalyptic complex is that of a great Force or Spirit that is punitive and destructive (threat theology). That idea anchors a complex of supporting ideas/myths. Threat theology is now expressed in contemporary gods such as vengeful Gaia, angry Planet, punishing Mother Earth, retributive Universe, or karma.

The supporting complex of ideas include- an original paradise that has been ruined and lost due to human greed and corruption, the subsequent decline of life toward a great collapse and ending, ultimate punishment, and deserved justice as vengeance and destruction (i.e. in an apocalypse and ultimately in some hell). Add tribal dualism and exclusion (good guys versus bad guys), demand for sacrifice and salvation, and the promise of restored paradise for true believers.

Science is critical for robust response to alarmism but scientific evidence convinces very few as the issue for many appears to include deeply embraced beliefs, and the human impulse for meaning that has long been shaped by ancient mythological themes, notably apocalyptic- i.e. lost paradise, human badness/guilt, and felt deserved punishment in looming apocalyptic ending.

As noted above, to counter alarmism most effectively (for thorough and long-term solution) we need to deal with primal human fears (ultimate or after-life threat and harm) and the fundamental human impulse for meaning as it relates to ultimate realities. I would argue to replace the core theme of past narratives (mythical, religious, ideological) with a potent alternative, i.e. humanity’s single greatest discovery/insight- that there is no punitive, destroying reality behind life. There is only no conditions love- unlimited, universal love. That radically changes everything, liberating consciousness to explore and embrace entirely new themes for a more humane narrative of life. No conditions love provides a new center around which to orient an entirely new complex of supporting ideas.

See Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives below.

A quote from… “We Disagree with You, So Shut Up” by David Kreutzer. See https://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/renewable/we-disagree-with-you-so-shut-up/

“For climate alarmists, it is not enough simply to argue a case against their opponents. The purveyors of a climate apocalypse do not tolerate dissent. For them, the too-frequent response is to deny their opponents any voice at all”.

Site Project: Probe the core themes in human meta-narratives, notably those “bad ideas” that have influenced people to exhibit inhuman behavior (i.e. the belief/behavior relationship where ideas inspire/incite, guide, and validate human behavior). Those themes/ideas have persisted across all history and across all the cultures of the world (Joseph Campbell). A notable complex of the worst ideas has descended from primitive mythologies, to world religions, and those ideas are now embraced in the ‘secular’ ideologies of our modern world. They are religious ideas that are now embraced even by atheists/materialists.

Note, for example, the primitive myth of apocalyptic. This myth still dominates the world religions and has influenced the “secular” ideologies/movements of Declinism and its offspring- i.e. Marxism, Nazism, and environmental alarmism. See the research of historians Richard Landes (Heaven on Earth), Arthur Herman (The Idea of Decline in Western History), Arthur Mendel (Vision and Violence), and David Redles (Hitler’s Millennial Reich). Apocalyptic still dominates modern story-telling and is central to the “end-of-the-world” prophesying of the environmental alarmism movement.

Note: The core idea in the apocalyptic complex of ideas is that of a great retaliating, punishing, and destroying Force or Spirit. Apocalyptic incites unnecessary fear with its exaggeration of real problems in life to apocalyptic-scale, accompanied by endless prophecies of the end of days. That exaggeration distorts the true state of things and frightens populations to embrace irrational salvation/survival responses that inevitably result in harm to many people. The above historians have detailed how apocalyptic millennial ideas have even resulted in mass-death outcomes.

The idea of an ultimate punitive, destroying Force or Spirit has been given modern expression in myths of “angry Planet/Mother Earth”, “vengeful Gaia”, “retributive Universe”, or karma. People make the unscientific and irrational claim that these entities punish humanity through disease, accidents, or natural disasters.

Note on material below: Any discussion of ‘no conditions love’ needs the immediate qualifier that we are not talking about some version of pacifism, with the related assumptions of weakness, softness, or timidity in the face of evil. To the contrary, the choice to forgive, include, and love an enemy involves a courage that few ever attain to in life. See the movies Forgiveness, The Railway Man, or To End All Wars. Note especially the main people in these true stories, the horrific torture, suffering, and loss that they endured, the intense struggle with natural impulses for vengeance, and then their choice to forgive/love their tormentors. Now tell us where you see weakness or softness in those people.

Most contemporary story-telling (movies, TV) affirms vengeance as “getting justice” and therefore as right, good, manly, and even heroic. But retaliation is more animal than human.

Retaliation is natural. Non-retaliation is supernatural. Superhuman. God-like. That’s why we admire the Nelson Mandelas of the world. We intuitively know that they point us all to a better, more humane future. They show us what it means to be authentically human, to “tower in stature as maturely human when we orient our lives to universal love” (Joseph Campbell). Non-retaliatory love makes us the heroes of our stories. That love helps us to maintain our humanity in our “righteous battles against evil”, when we remember our oneness with all others, and that even our ‘enemies’ are still our family.

Note on the forgiveness element in the mix: Many have made the point that forgiveness is not about trying to feel good toward human brutality or to feel warm toward the people committing cruelty against others. That is not what “love your enemy” means. The horrific things that people do to one another rightly evoke our disgust and rage. But forgiveness is more about freedom for the victims, freedom from subsequent responses that darken and sour life with subhuman impulses such as the impulse for vengeance, and related hate and bitterness. Forgiveness is about maintaining our own humanity in the face of evil by choosing to do the more humane thing in response to horrific human failure and abuse.

Overturning threat theology- the heart of apocalyptic

Intro notes: Paul’s Christ is the supreme icon of highly conditional reality- i.e. representing the divine demand for a cosmic payment/sacrifice for human imperfection. Paul’s Christ also epitomizes threat theology- i.e. the threat that emanates from highly conditional reality, threat of ultimate loss, exclusion, punishment, and destruction. Such statements on the nature of the Christ are scattered all through Paul’s letters and the rest of the New Testament.

Paul’s Christ illustrates the great difference between conditional and unconditional realities. All religion across history has been about conditions, communicating to humanity a highly conditional reality as the ultimate human ideal and authority- i.e. divine conditions for right belief, proper ritual (offerings, sacrifices), and required lifestyle to appease and please deity.

Religious realities that are conditional, punitive and destroying in nature have influenced/shaped human relationships toward similar values, ideals, and outcomes, toward conditional relating, and have oriented human justice systems to be punitive in treatment of human imperfection and failure.

None of the world religions has ever properly communicated the true nature of deity as stunningly and inexpressibly unconditional. That would liberate human consciousness from unnecessary threat and fear, and from subjection to religious authority. It would spell the end of all conditional religion and religious domination.

While embracing many great human ideals such as mercy, love, and forgiveness, all the great world religions continue to hold some of the worst ideas and features of our primitive past- i.e. the divine threat behind the natural world, affirming the primal fear of ultimate judgment, exclusion (rejection of unbelievers), punishment and destruction (i.e. hell). Most religion embraces some form of divine demand for ultimate payment/sacrifice. Conditional religion has saddled humanity with unnecessary psychic burdens.

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Common features of human story. The Campbell framework.

Section topics: The two main approaches to organizing human societies (the orientation to the individual or the orientation to the collective, the benefits of Classic Liberalism).

Scattered comment: Jim Baggott on “Mass” (quantum research and conclusions); Materialism/atheism or religion (and other alternatives for the human meaning impulse); Gradualism in human progress versus the violence of “instantaneous transformation” movements; Eruptions of public hatred (tribalism, outrage and cancel culture); Defending an unconditional approach to imperfect humanity (not pacifism but restorative justice); A framework for understanding human story.

The Two Main Approaches to Organizing Human Societies

Daniel Hannan in “Inventing Freedom”

Hannan on the Western contribution to the world: Personal property rights, personal liberty, and representative government. “There are three irreducible elements… The rule of law… the government of the day doesn’t get to set the rules… they are interpreted by independent magistrates… the law is not an instrument of state control but a mechanism open to any individual seeking redress…

“Personal liberty… freedom to say what you like, to assemble in any configuration you choose with your fellow citizens, to buy and sell without hindrance, to dispose as you wish of your assets, to work for whom you please, and to hire and fire as you will…”

“Representative government… Laws should not be passed, nor taxes levied, except by elected legislators who are answerable to the rest of us…”

“… the individual should be as free as possible from state coercion… (wars for freedom in the last century were between countries that elevated the state over individuals and countries that elevated the individual over the state) …”

Left/Right (and the immense benefits of Classic Liberalism)

The comment below comes from a “fiercely Independent” viewpoint. Kinda like Goldilocks- not too far Left, not too far Right. Sort of Libertarianish or Classic Liberalism. Just floating like a butterfly, free to alight wherever, enjoy the nectar, and then move on. A self that is free in an open process and not fixed rigidly on any object (i.e. not finding identity in some fixed ideology, religion, nationality, race/ethnicity, or other objects of human identity) as per The Mutable Self of Louis Zurcher. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Combating alarmism and its totalitarian, destructive outcomes.

See the “holy shit” posting below (my reaction) on Michael Shellenberger’s apology for promoting climate alarmism over the past 30 years. Also, see “The Great Christian Contradiction” re the Christ myth that has been primarily responsible for re-enforcing the primitive myth of apocalyptic in Western consciousness, belief systems, and ideologies over the past 2000 years. Apocalyptic continues to deform human consciousness with fear, anxiety, depression, and nihilism. It is the “most violent and destructive idea in history”, (Arthur Mendel).

Also, “Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives” further below. The persistent core pathologies in our grand narratives (religious and “secular”) and the alternatives for a new worldview or meta-narrative. See just below “The Two best things happening today– rising CO2 levels and the warming of Earth’s average surface temperatures”.

Up from the basement… see also the latest GWPF newsletter: “We are facing a tsunami of censorship”, https://www.thegwpf.com/?s=we+are+facing+a+tsunami+of+censorship

The never-ending end times stuff (Reposted from below)

For over 5000 years apocalyptic mythology has been beaten into human consciousness as essential to defining the trajectory of life. Secular versions of apocalyptic mythology, notably the ideology of Declinism (i.e. life worsening toward some great disaster), still dominate public consciousness and narratives today. This is evident in the environmental alarmism movement and particularly in climate alarmism- the prophesies of looming, imminent climate catastrophe and the endless end of days scenarios presented to the public.

Remember AOC’s prophesy in 2018 that we had only 12 years to the end of the world or James Hansen’s prophesy in 2008 that “Its all over in five years”. In the last year of his life Stephen Hawking added his prophesy of apocalypse though he gave us some breathing room, declaring that we had 100 years till the apocalypse. Enough time for him to vacate the scene and avoid the humiliation that inevitably comes to all apocalyptic prophets. Life does not decline toward ending. Evidence shows that with creative human effort life rises toward an improving future. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Responding to alarmism with hope based on good evidence.

An important point below: Overturn the alarmist’s distorting apocalyptic narrative with the good evidence that the two best things happening on Earth today are (1) the increase in basic plant food (more atmospheric CO2 has greened the Earth by 14% since 1980), and (2) the benefits of more warmth in an abnormally cold ice-age era (e.g. expanding habitats for many life forms).

Comment in this section: Never-ending end time prophesying (environmental alarmism); Non-violent Crisis Intervention- techniques for de-escalating violence; Campbell’s advice on responding to injustice- maintain your humanity; The wonder of being human; Countering alarmism (responding to irresponsible and dangerous eruptions of fear-mongering); World Resource Updates- the improving state of world forests, soils, ocean fisheries, land species, and atmosphere; Two best things happening- more plant food in a dangerously low CO2 era and more warmth in an abnormally cold ice-age era; Outcomes of alarmism- unleashing the totalitarian impulse (silencing, banning, and criminalizing skeptical science); Deeper roots of alarmism in apocalyptic mythology; The Jesus versus Christ contradiction (history’s greatest scandal- Christianity buried Jesus, and his non-retaliatory theology, under its Christ myth).

The primacy of Forgiveness in maintaining our humanity

The great question in the face of injustice, wrong, and violence is- How do we maintain our humanity in our response? Forgiveness is a critical stance to a fully human response. And that does not mean feeling mushy, warm, or fuzzy toward inhumanity. It is not a call to pacifism or inaction in the face of wrong.

Psychologists have made this point that forgiveness is very much about one’s own equilibrium when wronged. We can choose to let bitterness and resentment fester, holding grudges that darken consciousness with hate, and seek retaliation in kind (i.e. eye for eye cycles- hate for hate, humiliation for humiliation, hurt for hurt, punishment for punishment). But that leads to personal enslavement to the worst of our inherited impulses. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Alarmism eruptions, ‘Two best things’, and ‘Slapping down a straw god’ (ultimate threat and primal fear)

This site presents the evidence that life on our planet is not declining toward an apocalypse but over the long-term life has gradually been improving toward a better future, due to human compassion, creativity, and hard work. Reasoning from that good evidence, this site is anti-fear (anti-apocalyptic) and pro-hope. Evidence sources: 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, Ronald Bailey’s The End of Doom, Desrocher and Szurmak’s Population Bombed, James Payne’s The History of Force, among others.

Arthur Herman’s said regarding Declinism (i.e. life becoming worse, declining toward some disastrous collapse and ending): “The theme of decline is the most dominant and influential theme in the modern world”.

“British historian and statesman Thomas Babington Macaulay wrote in 1830: “In every age everybody knows that up to his own time, progressive improvement has been taking place; nobody seems to reckon on any improvement in the next generation. We cannot absolutely prove that those are in error who say society has reached a turning point – that we have seen our best days. But so said all who came before us and with just as much apparent reason. … On what principle is it that with nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us?”

See “Two best things happening on Earth today (more atmospheric CO2, warmer average temperatures)” just below, regarding the two main claims of climate alarmism. And, “Slapping down a straw god”- comment on punitive deity myths (threat theology) that add an unnecessary psychic burden to already unbearable physical suffering.

Alarmism: The exaggeration of problems to apocalyptic-scale that distorts the true nature of problems, incites the survival impulse in populations, and renders people susceptible to the totalitarian salvation schemes of alarmists, schemes that often cause more harm than the original problem.

“The whole aim of practical politics”, wrote HL Mencken, “is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.” And John Adams, one of the founding fathers of America, echoed this sentiment, writing “Fear is the foundation of most governments”.

Dangerous patterns

An endless series of alarmist scenarios have assaulted public consciousness over just the past 70 years (see list below). These alarms have been accompanied by the troubling features of exaggerated outcomes (worst-case scenarios of apocalyptic-scale disaster) and over-reaction responses or salvation plans that have resulted in more harmful outcomes than any potential harm caused by the original problem. Unquestionably, most alarms arise out of authentic problems/threats that have to be confronted and resolved in order to protect populations.

This site probes the larger narratives that are embraced by populations and the persistence of pathological ideas that lead many people to view life’s problems with excessive fear and to then embrace the exaggeration and thereby distortion of problems that comes with viewing life through the lens of an apocalyptic viewpoint. We have experienced this repeatedly over the past 70 years.

This site explores the apocalyptic complex of myths that are still the dominant ideas in major world belief systems, in both religious and secular/ideological versions (i.e. Declinism). Thorough problem-solving must include all contributing factors. The ongoing influence of apocalyptic mythology has attuned populations around the world to believe the worst is coming, despite overwhelming evidence that life does not decline toward disaster but improves toward a better future. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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A “climate crisis”, or “Celebrating CO2”? Apocalypse, or life improving?

Contact: wkrossa@shaw.ca

Section topics: The apocalyptic complex of themes and coercive purging movements (unleashing the totalitarian impulse); A counter narrative to the imminent catastrophe narrative; Basic Climate Facts Project; Fear of change in nature; The fallacy of ‘presentism’; Dawkins on Joe Rogan; Love and justice issues (punitive/restorative justice approaches); A brief on human story, and more.

Video of Patrick Moore’s lecture to GWPF https://www.thegwpf.com/video-of-patrick-moores-gwpf-lecture-should-we-celebrate-co2/

“We are watching another apocalyptic movement play out today in the climate alarm”.

Introductory summary

We are all responsible for the ideas/themes that we promote and their outcomes in life.

Three mass-death movements erupted in the last century- Marxism, Nazism, and environmental alarmism. If the inclusion of environmental alarmism in the ‘triad of death’ seems extreme, consider that Rachel Carson’s apocalyptic narrative in Silent Spring contributed to the tens of millions of deaths in the wake of the ban on DDT (see The Excellent Powder for the science and history of DDT). So also activism against Golden Rice (anti-GM foods alarmism) has resulted in the deaths of 8 million children over a recent 12-year period. https://nationalpost.com/opinion/bjorn-lomborg-trashing-rice-killing-children

The “decarbonization” of our societies is already trending toward another potential mass-death movement. The harmful effects of the current anti-CO2 alarmism are now evident in the suffering from fuel poverty and increased mortality in countries like Britain, Germany, and even the US (see GWPF reports on rising energy costs, fuel poverty, and rising mortality rates). For example: https://www.thegwpf.com/britains-deadly-energy-madness-excess-winter-deaths-in-england-and-wales-highest-since-1976/ and https://www.thegwpf.org/green-policies-threaten-poor-nations/

Some stunning research has shown that all three mass-death movements have been influenced by the same complex of apocalyptic myths: (1) The myth of original paradise or better past, (2) the myth of corrupt humanity ruining paradise and deserving punishment, (3) the myth of life declining toward collapse and ending (apocalypse), (4) the urgent demand for a salvation scheme (i.e. sacrifice of the good life, and coercive purging of some evil threat), and (5) the promise of restored paradise/utopia. These have long been and still are the “most violent and dangerous ideas in history”. The outcomes of these ideas are well-documented. (see research of Richard Landes in Heaven On Earth, Arthur Mendel in Vision and Violence, David Redles in Hitler’s Millennial Reich, and Arthur Herman in The Idea of Decline).

The apocalyptic complex of myths distorts entirely the true narrative of humanity and life. This site offers an alternative set of themes more aligned with our contemporary evidence on the true story of life as an overall improving trajectory toward a better future, not declining toward collapse or ending. These alternative themes orient consciousness to the essential goodness and creativity of humanity and to evidence-based hope. See Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives below. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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There will be no apocalypse (climate or other).

Topics below: “The influence of the apocalyptic myth on mass-death movements”; “Bill Maher on Joe Rogan’s podcast” (picking a few bones in an otherwise good discussion); “A brief on human story” (my struggle with the defects in the Christian God and Paul’s Christ myth); “Facebook post” (the central discovery of the Near-Death Experience- i.e. the core Reality is a stunning ‘no conditions love’); “Slay the Beast… or stick a stake in it” (go to the core of human systems of meaning- i.e. deity ideas- and bring down the sub-human features long embedded there)…

Further topics… “Paleo-climate facts” (Don’t fear more warmth and more plant food. We are in an abnormal and sub-optimal cold era on Earth with life’s basic food- CO2- at dangerously low levels); “Auto-bio stuff”- leaving my religion; “Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives”; “History’s greatest religious contradiction”- the difference between Jesus-ianity and Christ-ianity, or the unconditional theology of Historical Jesus versus the highly conditional theology of Paul/Christianity; “Apocalyptic alarmism, salvation through ‘coercive purging’, and mass-death outcomes”, and more…

Across all history and across all the cultures of our world, in both religious and ideological narratives, one of the foundational themes has been that of punitive, destroying Force or deity at the core of reality. A new fundamental theme for truly humane meta-narratives would embrace the idea of a stunning ‘no conditions’ Love at the core of reality and life. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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New Story Alternatives to Declinist/Apocalyptic mythology

Fighting Declinist despair and apocalyptic nihilism

“The idea of decline (that things are getting worse, that life is declining toward some great collapse and ending) is the most dominant and influential theme in (society) today”, Historian Arthur Herman in ‘The Idea of Decline in Western History’. World surveys in recent years have affirmed this widespread pessimism in varied countries that the future will get worse and there might be an end to civilization and even life itself. Declinism is a modern version of primitive apocalyptic mythology.

Stephen Hawking fell for this Chicken Little myth in the final two years of his life, offering his own prophesies of the end-of-days and setting dates just like apocalyptic prophets have done across history. He initially announced the end in a thousand or so years (caused by AI or aliens), then finally settled on the end of days in just 100 years, caused by environmental catastrophe. 100 years reserved enough time for him to vacate the planet and avoid the embarrassment that all apocalyptics eventually face. Smart man. Apocalyptic prophesying has a 100% failure rate.

Add here that many believe that humanity, as essentially corrupt and bad-to-the-bone (i.e. the anti-human myth of “inherited sinful nature”), is the cause of the imagined worsening trajectory of life. People believe that we deserve some horrible future outcome as punishment for our “sins” of corrupting nature by developing industrial civilization, and for our greed- i.e. for enjoying the good life too much. The Japanese lady (post-2011 tsunami) summarized this outlook, affirming the common belief that harmful things from nature are expressions of punitive forces/deities. She asked, “Are we being punished for enjoying life too much?”

Contrary to Declinism ideology, amassed evidence has consistently shown improvement, not degeneration or decline, on all the main features of life. Our creation of industrial civilization has enabled us to create the wealth that enables us to, not only immensely improve the human condition, but to also better care for the natural world. We have done well as Julian Simon said, proving ourselves “to be more creators than destroyers”. For detail on the improving trajectory of life see Simon’s Ultimate Resource, Greg Easterbrook’s A Moment on the Earth, Bjorn Lomborg’s Skeptical Environmentalist, Ronald Bailey’s The End of Doom, Desrocher and Szurmak’s Population Bombed, Indur Goklany’s The Improving State of the World, among others. See also the ‘Ecological Kuznets Curve’ research, or ‘Environmental Transition’ research (Google Indur Goklany on this).

The result of embracing Declinism has been widespread fear of some horrific collapse of life, often environmental collapse scenarios, and the outcome of such alarm is the incited urgency to “save the world”, to purge the world of some imagined threat to life. Today alarmists have isolated the threat as the “curse of fossil fuels” that are the main engine of industrial society, lasering in on the CO2 byproduct.

Note the profound distortion of basic reality here- that the basic food of all life is now widely viewed as a pollutant and poison that threatens life. Also note that there is no “climate emergency”. This quote from a recent GWPF newsletter, “Only last week, a declaration by more than 700 scientists and researchers was presented in the European Parliament, showing that global warming is happening, but is far more gradual and far less detrimental to the wellbeing of people and societies than activists have been claiming.” Further, few point out the many beneficial outcomes of more CO2 and warmer temperatures (i.e. increased plant growth and crop production, expanded habitats, less mortality from cold… overall, more of “life flourishing”).

Further, few point out the many beneficial outcomes of more atmospheric CO2 and warmer average temperatures (see, for example, Patrick Moore’s “Celebrating CO2” on Youtube).

Apocalyptic has always been a dangerous idea- “the most violent and destructive idea in history” (Arthur Mendel in Vision and Violence). The danger is that of populations being frightened into self-fulfilling prophesy outcomes. As Julian Simon warned, environmental alarmism creates fatalism and resignation in populations. Worse still, alarmed populations will embrace salvation schemes that involve the “coercive purging” of some threat to life that the apocalyptic prophets have advocated against (i.e. “save the world from the threat of CO2”). This has already led to outbreaks of the totalitarian impulse- i.e. projects to criminalize the skeptics of alarmist ideology (e.g. Obama’s AG, Loretta Lynch trying to criminalize skeptical science), and to silence contrary evidence (see the Climategate emails- https://principia-scientific.org/climate-science-proves-scams-dont-die-from-exposure/). These fear-driven projects have been a direct assault on freedom and democracy.

The most dangerous outcome yet of alarmism is the insane push to “decarbonise” societies and the economic collapse that this threatens.

It is an irrational ‘denial’ of good science to claim that CO2 is the dominant variable that influences climate change. CO2, making up 0.04% of the atmosphere, plays a small role but that tiny influence is repeatedly overwhelmed by other natural factors that influence climate change. See, for example, the role of the cosmic ray/sun/cloud interaction on climate in Henrik Svensmark’s ‘The Chilling Stars’. Point? You cannot coercively push public policies to “decarbonise” entire societies, and consequently threaten widespread economic collapse, based on the complex and still unsettled climate science that does not affirm your beliefs or ideology. The harmful outcomes of such policies- i.e. rising energy costs that impact the poorest people, increased death rates from fuel poverty- are already being felt in countries like Germany, England, and even the US (see Global Warming Policy Forum reports).

Declinism is just another Johnny-come-lately version of the same old, same old apocalyptic mythology, one of the earliest and most pathological of all human myths. The earliest versions were expressed in the Sumerian Flood myth, and Egyptian myths of The Destruction of Mankind and Return to Chaos. Zoroaster later embraced apocalyptic in his formal religion that shaped the subsequent Hebrew/Jewish, Christian, and Muslim versions of apocalyptic religion. Apocalyptic decline was also embraced by Hinduism (i.e. great historical cycles of rise and then decline toward disastrous ending) and Buddhism (i.e. the belief that the human life-span was decreasing over time- see Mircea Eliade’s History of Religious Ideas).

We- humanity- have had a hard time letting go of this pathology of apocalyptic, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. It continues to dominate public story-telling in movies, TV, and literature.

This nihilistic idea of apocalyptic is based on the core theological pathology of God as ultimate punisher and destroyer. The latest fad versions of this retributive and apocalyptic deity myth include vengeful Gaia, angry Planet, pissed Mother Earth, retributive Universe, and payback karma. All versions of punitive, destroying Forces/deity at the core of reality and life. These later versions are part of the modern “secularization of primitive mythology” (i.e. giving ancient ideas/themes new “secular” or ideological expression) that has occurred over the past few centuries. Joseph Campbell was right that the same mythical ideas are repeated all across history and across all the cultures of the world.

I would argue that science by itself won’t correct the problem of Declinism. You also have to go to the root ideas in human meta-narratives and deal with the theological pathology at the core of our great belief systems/religious traditions if you want to thoroughly correct the problem of bad ideas that still dominate the wider public consciousness. This is necessary to fully and properly deal with the primal human impulse for meaning. And of course, science is also vital to the project of transforming public consciousness.

This site probes the root ideas behind things like apocalyptic Declinism and offers alternatives to affirm hope, alternatives that are based on our contemporary understanding of reality and life. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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The 16 fundamental themes of our human story… and the alternatives.

“The same mythical themes repeat across all history and across all the cultures of the world”, Joseph Campbell. They repeat in ancient mythologies, in world religions, and in the “secular/ideological” versions of the modern world.

The mythical or meaning element in alarm over nature.

Waves of alarm repeatedly surge through world media, often related to environmental issues. Over recent decades these surges of alarm have been mainly related to climate change. What drives this endless hysteria that natural world events/changes portend the end of the world? Here (the link just below) is one scientist’s comment on the political element in the mix. But as this author notes, there is something deeper going on, something religious- i.e. the “meaning” thing. He does not elaborate on the real nature of this meaning element. That is the project of this site.

See…

Understanding the climate movement: the impotence of science.

This site probes the mythical or meaning roots of human fear, anxiety, and despair, notably in relation to nature and the harsher outcomes of the natural world (e.g. natural disaster, disease, violence- the “imperfections” of our world). Alarm over nature is much more than just an ideological or scientific issue and that is why scientific fact alone, as vital as that is to all areas of life, will not correct the madness of environmental alarmism thoroughly and for the long term future.

Many people continue to embrace the pathology of some ultimate threat behind the natural world- i.e. the belief that harmful natural events are the work of destroying deity and are punishment for human sin. And yes, this myth of punitive, destroying deity is now given “secular” or ideological expression in versions like “vengeful Gaia… angry Planet/pissed Mother Earth… retributive Universe… and karma”.

But the natural world only presents us with ‘natural consequences’. For example, if you do not wash your hands before eating you will likely ingest some virus from something you touched earlier in the day. Consequence? A cold or worse. Or live in an earthquake zone and you may experience the damage from that natural world feature. But such things are not punishment from deity for being bad.

See the 16 fundamental ideas below that embody and express our primal human fears and concerns.

Quote: “Are we being punished for enjoying life too much?”, Japanese lady in the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami.

Site project: Liberate people from unnecessary fear and anxiety over the harmful elements of our world. How? Eliminate the sense of threat behind life- i.e. the great pathology of apocalyptic.

Note: There will be no apocalypse- environmental or other- because there is no God of apocalypse. How so? Here is one line of argument from a major world belief system. Historical Jesus in his most basic message of the Q Wisdom Sayings gospel (Matthew 5:38-48, Luke 6: 27-36) urged that there should be no more eye for eye retaliation but instead love for enemies. He argued that we should do so because God does that. God does not retaliate against the bad but generously forgives and includes all, giving the beneficial and fundamental gifts of life- i.e. sun and rain- to both good and bad people. In that statement Jesus offered the stunning new theology of an unconditionally loving God, inclusive of all, non-punitive, and non-destructive.

The point here? A God that does not retaliate is a non-apocalyptic God because apocalyptic is a great final act of eye for eye retaliation against enemies/evil. Apocalypse is an act of ultimate punishment and destruction. See the New Testament book of Revelation for detail.

Paul, contradicting Jesus, embraced a God of retaliation and apocalypse. He accepted the God of Zoroastrian and Jewish apocalyptic. Note that he quoted the Old Testament to affirm his retaliatory theology, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord” (Romans 12:17-20). And in his first letters (i.e. Thessalonians) he affirmed apocalypse: “Lord Jesus will return in blazing fire to punish/destroy all who do not believe my gospel”. Paul’s retaliatory/apocalyptic God became the Christian God in direct contradiction to the main non-retaliatory theme/theology of Historical Jesus.

This is the foundational contradiction of Christianity- i.e. the entirely opposite theologies of Jesus and Paul. This is about the fundamental and irreconcilable themes of non-retaliation vs retaliation, non-violent versus violent deity or non-destructive vs destructive deity, tribal exclusion vs universal inclusion, punitive justice vs restorative justice, and stunningly unconditional love vs highly conditional love.

And yes, Christian apocalyptic is mainly responsible for embedding the apocalyptic myth in Western consciousness. That then shaped 19th Century Declinism (“The Idea of Decline in Western History”, Arthur Herman) and birthed its offspring- contemporary environmental alarmism.

Main site topics:

16 themes for a new meta-narrative centered on the stunning new theology of unconditional deity.

Environmental alarmism as contemporary apocalyptic mythology (the offspring of Declinism). The endlessly destructive pathology of alarmism.

Campbell’s outline of the main features of human story and the meaning of life (i.e. universal love as mature humanity- see sections below).

The profound contradiction between Historical Jesus and Paul’s Christ myth. Jesus rejected Christ/messiah mythology. (also further below). Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Climate alarmism and apocalyptic hysteria over change (change in nature alarmism).

We are not facing a “climate emergency”.

Section topics: Stasis versus change in nature (fear of change); The core climate issue (i.e. the prominence, or not, of CO2); Irresponsible and destructive apocalyptic alarmism; The origin and pathology of alarmism (original fear of nature; destructive nature as the expression of punitive, destroying deity; the continuing pathology of nature alarmism today); Climate facts; Countering the alarmist narrative (go to the root ideas behind the mythology).

Post from discussion group (this relates to the apocalyptic mythology that is regularly tackled on this site)

“Note, in today’s environmental alarmism, the promotion of endless fear over any “change” in nature. Climate physicist/meteorologist Richard Lindzen said regarding change, “we are scanning for small changes… we are talking about tenths of a degree… and viewing them as ominous signs of something…” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJwayalLpYY). Change itself has become the feared thing. This relates to what Alston Chase noted in his book ‘In A Dark Wood’, that many people believe there should be stasis in nature, at some optimal state. But there is no such stasis anywhere in nature and our past millions of years in this ‘ice-age era’ affirm the constancy of change. We exist in a world where there are massive swings between cold and hot periods on our planet, and many minor swings are constantly occurring between the big ones (see Ian Plimer’s graph of climate changes over the past 55,000 years in ‘Heaven And Earth’).

“But fear of change itself, even minor perturbations, is now reason for alarmists to argue that the apocalypse is coming. This is insanity gone insane. Every hiccup in weather or shift in an animal population is used as justification to bleat, or cluck with Chicken Little, that the apocalypse is coming. I would counter that while the constant change in nature means that we cannot maintain life at some optimal state, some states are more optimal for life- notably, warmer temperatures and with higher levels of CO2. Paleo-climate studies affirm that such states enable life to “flourish” (Ian Plimer).

“Plimer has a graph on page 33 of his book showing the changes in surface temperatures over the past 50,000 years. From 50,000 years ago to around 30,000 years ago there were major swings in averages from minus 10 degrees Centigrade to plus 15 degrees Centigrade. Then those wild swings levelled off when we entered our current inter-glacial with temperature changes of only a few degrees over the last 20,000 years. (Note at bottom of graph: “The amount of temperature and rate of temperature change over the last 50,000 years, showing wild swings in temperature during glaciations and far more stable temperatures during the current interglacial.”)”

Point: The climate change during our current interglacial has been mild compared to the last 30,000 years of the previous glaciation. There has been no climate crisis, and will be no climate crisis, according to the evidence of the past 20,000 years, the “historical record” of most importance.

The core climate issue

While media and politicians continue to get the vapors over every hiccup in nature (any change), keep your eye on the core issue in the climate debate- how prominent is the role of CO2 in the climate change that we are experiencing over these decades?

(Note: We are not experiencing any rise toward “catastrophic climate change” as predicted in the now falsified climate models. The actual change that we have experienced has been only in the tenths of a degree (see Youtube videos on Richard Lindzen- climate physicist). The warming over the roughly 1975-95 period was about 0.3 degree Centigrade. The temperature trend since has been flat, not rising toward some 3-6 degrees warming as per the models. So we are not facing a “climate emergency” as the politicians hysterically exaggerate (all apocalyptic claims are are irresponsible and distorting anti-science exaggeration). And as Lindzen says, we experience temperature differences every day that are 30-40 times the minor change that was experienced over the 1975-95 warming.) Read the rest of the opening comment here

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The pathology of apocalyptic (i.e. punitive, destroying God mythology)

Section topics

See “Religion represents God to humanity???” (highly conditional institutions cannot present unconditional reality), “Rethinking 16 Fundamental Ideas” (Old story themes, new story alternatives), “History’s single greatest contradiction (the central non-apocalyptic message of Jesus versus the contrary apocalyptic message of Paul)”, “Eye for eye cycles”, “Qualifier: unconditional is not warm and fuzzy pacifism”, and “Rethink Paul’s Christ myth” (Historical Jesus is not Christ; he was anti-Christology)- all just below. Also below- “Framework for human story”, “The persistence of the spiritual (the primary impulse to meaning) in secular society”, and “Love- not the Higgs- defines reality” (Brian Cox on Joe Rogan podcast). Also, “Decline or Rise: The long-term trajectory of life (forestry facts, fish facts…)”.

Contact: wkrossa@shaw.ca (site is copyrighted material)

This site traces the line of historical descent of apocalyptic across history… from its earliest expression in myths like the Sumerian Flood myth, or the Egyptian Destruction of Mankind and Return to Chaos myths, down to Zoroaster’s apocalyptic theology that shaped Jewish religion, Christianity, and Islam as apocalyptic religions. Primitive apocalyptic mythology (via Paul’s apocalyptic Christ myth) was then given “secular” expression in 19th Century Declinism which became one of the dominant ideologies of our modern world, the ideology of today’s environmental alarmism. At the core of all this mythology is the belief in a great punitive, destroying Force or Spirit/God (or vengeful Gaia, angry Planet/Mother Earth, retributive Universe, karma).

This site counters this primal fear of humanity (some ultimate punitive, destroying reality) with the most potent discovery ever- that deity is unconditional Love and does not ultimately punish or destroy anyone (sun and rain are given to all alike, to both good and bad). This is about transformation of worldviews/belief systems and liberation of consciousness at the deepest levels. It is all about conquering humanity’s greatest monster and enemy.

Critical point: The foundational pathology in human thought…

Apocalyptic mythology embraces the original and foundational error of our ancestors- i.e. that there were spirits behind all the elements of nature, and if nature was destructive (storm/flood, sun/drought, earthquake/tsunami) then the gods must be angry and were punishing people for their sins. That error then defined deity as punitive and destructive and that theological error became the foundational theme in human worldviews. It was embedded in the theologies (God theories) of subsequent world religions, and has now descended into the ideologies of the modern world (i.e. Declinism- a “secular” or ideological version of apocalyptic).

The supreme expression of divine anger and punitive destruction would be a life-ending, world-ending apocalypse.

Punitive deity theories (threat theology) have long been associated with demands for sacrifice/payment/appeasement, hence the salvation industry across history. The dark side of this apocalyptic mythology has been alarmed populations embracing salvation schemes that demand the coercive purging of some imagined threat, in order to save something believed to be under threat. The outcomes of apocalyptic salvationism have been devastating for many people and for nature- e.g. the bio-fuels fiasco and consequent deforestation, or Rachel Carson’s apocalyptic narrative in Silent Spring that contributed to the ban on DDT and subsequent deaths of tens of millions of people. Arthur Mendel was right that apocalyptic has been the most violent and destructive idea in history.

We have the potent corrective to this foundational error of punitive, threatening deity- the insight that deity is an inexpressible no conditions Love. This insight overturns the original error of the ancients and puts a stake through the heart of the apocalyptic fraud and the terrorizing God at the center of that fraud- humanity’s greatest monster and enemy.

Note: Any advocacy for non-punitive deity will have to explain the imperfection of this world (i.e. natural disaster, accident, disease) and the consequent suffering that humanity has long viewed as divine punishment. This requires the reframing of human meta-narratives with new insights on the purpose of conscious human existence in this imperfect world- e.g. imperfection in life is essential to the world as a learning arena for human development. But suffering is not punishment for sin as the world religions have long claimed (see ‘Framework for human story’, below).

Quotes from below...

“The same mythical themes have been repeated endlessly across history and across all the cultures of the world” (Joseph Campbell). Today, these primitive “old story themes” continue to shape the worldviews of the majority of humanity (85%) that is affiliated with one of the main world religions. These mythical themes also shape the thinking of many moderns that consider themselves secular and even materialist/atheist. Over the past few centuries these old themes have been given new expression in our ideologies and even in science.

(Note: This site affirms the varied good ideals in the mythological/religious mix but notes that the better ideals in religious traditions are often distorted by contexts containing “bad religious ideas”. For example, love in religious holy books is often a ‘tribal’ love that is limited to fellow true believers but ultimately excludes unbelievers. That is not authentic love.)

But the old story themes represent a worldview that does not present the true state of life on Earth or the truly humane nature of ultimate reality. Further, the “old story themes” have caused immense damage across history, inciting and validating the worst impulses of people to harm others. (Note: Historians, e.g. Arthur Herman, Richard Landes, Arthur Mendel, David Redles, among others, have traced the role of these ideas behind the history of religious violence- notably the ideas of apocalyptic millennialism- and also their role in the mass-death movements of Marxism, Nazism, and now environmental alarmism.)

The “new story alternatives” are derived from contemporary science and the best of contemporary spiritual insight. They point more correctly to the true state of life and to a more humane view of Ultimate Reality or deity.

Also, the new alternatives potently overturn the ‘apocalyptic millennial’ complex of myths, the complex of themes that support the foundational mental pathology of belief in a retaliatory, punitive Force or God. A central project of this site is to bring down this greatest monster and enemy of humanity (i.e. Ultimate Reality/deity as retaliatory, punitive, exclusionary, dominating, and destructive).

These new alternative themes are also my response to the apocalyptic element in today’s climate change alarmism. I would urge people to probe the deeply embedded themes that continue to dominate contemporary public consciousness and worldviews. This will help to understand the confirmation bias of alarmists that, despite evidence to the contrary, endlessly claim that the “end of days” is looming just up ahead (i.e. the endless setting of end-time dates).

“Love your enemy… because God does”

This statement is from the Matthew 5 and Luke 6 summaries of the central message of Historical Jesus (the Q Wisdom Sayings Gospel). It is my paraphrase of that material: “Love your enemy… because God does”. It is the single most profound statement on love anywhere in human literature. It takes us to the height of humane ethics and humane theology. It is simply the finest statement anywhere on the meaning of authentic love- i.e. as universal (includes all, sun and rain on both good and bad), unlimited, and unconditional. It tells us what it means to be truly human. It is the best example of the behavior/belief relationship that is central to the human quest for meaning- i.e. to base our behavior/lives on a validating (inspiring, guiding) ideal.

The above statement is the single most important statement anywhere on the essential nature of deity. It tells us what God is like- a transcendently unconditional Reality. No religion has ever communicated this to humanity. As Thomas Jefferson and Leo Tolstoy concluded- this diamond of Jesus has been buried in highly conditional Christianity.

Note: The Christ myth of Paul is primarily responsible for affirming and embedding the destructive theme of apocalyptic in Western consciousness (see James Tabor quotes in next section below). Arthur Herman (The Idea of Decline) also notes several features from the Christian tradition that formed the ideology of Declinism, a “secular” version of apocalyptic mythology- i.e. the Christian belief in the loss of an original paradise and the need for violent purging (an apocalypse) in order to cleanse the world and restore the lost paradise. Herman states that “Declinism is the most influential and dominant theme in modern society”. Declinism is the ideology of environmental alarmism or Green religion (Note: This site differentiates between the environmental concern that we all share and the alarmism that exaggerates environmental problems to apocalyptic scale, thereby distorting the true state of things- the endless prophesying of the end of days).

The project of this site is to go to root ideas/themes in human meta-narratives/worldviews and make fundamental corrections there (see “Old Narrative Themes, New Story Alternatives” below).

History’s single greatest contradiction? My candidate: The contradiction between the central message of Historical Jesus, and the central meaning and message of Paul’s Christ myth (his Christology theory). Or, “How history’s single most profound insight was subsequently buried in a major religious tradition”.

A side consideration: Think of the liberation that could have been promoted over the last two millennia if some movement had taken Jesus seriously (i.e. liberation from the unnecessary fear, anxiety, guilt, and shame that come from harsh and threatening God theories- Zenon Lotufo). But no one, not even his closest companions, took his scandalous and offensive insights seriously.

The contradiction at the core of Christianity has to do with the following profound opposites- i.e. non-retaliatory behavior versus retaliation, the non-punitive treatment of offenders versus a punitive approach, no conditions versus supreme condition (sacrifice, Salvationism), unlimited love versus limited tribal love, the universal embrace of humanity versus the restricted inclusion of only true believers, and non-apocalyptic versus total apocalyptic destruction. You can’t get more contrary or contradictory than these entirely opposite realities.

Psychotherapist Zenon Lotufo (Cruel God, Kind God), and others, point to the “cognitive dissonance” that arises when you try to hold opposites in some merger.

“Greatest contradiction?” How so? Because of the historical and current world-wide influence of the Christian religion, and notably the influence of Paul’s Christ myth. This myth has shaped the version of Christianity that has descended down to our contemporary world (compared, for instance, to the prominent Jewish Christianity of the first century CE).

And also “greatest” due to the very nature of the contradiction itself. It is hard to find a more stark contrast between entirely opposite realities than that between the main message of Jesus and the contrary Christ message of Paul. I use the term “the main message of Jesus” in reference to the Q Wisdom Sayings Gospel, specifically the Q1 version, and the most important statement in that gospel as now found in Matthew 5:38-48 and Luke 6:27-36.

Historical Jesus stated that, for him, the era of “eye for eye justice” was over. He rejected retaliatory justice and, instead, he promoted the restorative justice of “love your enemies” (Matthew 5). Why? Because that was what God did. It was what God was. The God of Jesus was love of a stunning new variety never before seen in the long history of God theories. His God did not retaliate with eye for eye justice but loved God’s enemies. And the evidence? Jesus illustrated his point with the main features of the natural world. God gave the good gifts of life- i.e. sun and rain for crops- to all, to both good and bad people. There was no discrimination and no exclusion of anyone.

God’s love and generosity was inclusive, universal, and unconditional. Jesus used a behavior/belief pairing to make this point. “Do this… because God does it”. He based his behavior on a similar validating belief. Do this- treat all others with unconditional love- and you will be just like God (you will be acting like the children of God) who treats all with unconditional love.

The God of Jesus was non-retaliatory, non-vengeful, non-punitive, non-excluding, non-destroying and therefore non-apocalyptic. Non-apocalyptic? Yes, because a non-retaliatory God is not an apocalyptic God. Apocalyptic is the ultimate act of eye for eye retaliation, vengeance, punishment and total destruction. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Religion as condition. And the most fundamental human need- love. That is… no conditions love.

Site project: Conquer/Slay the Monster

Joseph Campbell outlines human story as going out into life, confronting and struggling/fighting with some monster or problem, learning lessons/gaining insights from that struggle, getting wounded in the struggle, receiving a sword from a wise man to slay the monster, becoming a hero of one’s story in the process of conquering the monster or problem, and then returning to bless others with the lessons that we have learned.

I’ve identified my monster and I have spent a lifetime struggling, fighting with that monster, trying to slay it. And yes, I have been wounded by my monster (Zenon Lotufo- Cruel God theory deforms human personality with fear, anxiety, depression, and despair). I have also received sharp weapons from wise men to help me slay my monster.

My monster is one that is common to all humanity- and it is a two-headed beast. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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