Be maturely responsible. Don’t scare the kids. Approach every apparent problem in life with skepticism and a commitment to understand the true state of the issue under concern. Remain open to all evidence, even evidence that contradicts your beliefs and counters your own personal ‘confirmation bias’.
I am a father and from the earliest years of my children’s lives I have wanted to re-assure them that there is nothing to inordinately fear, no great monsters in life. Of course, there are the healthy fears of natural disaster, accident, disease, and human cruelty. But then there is the irresponsible and unnecessary fear that is incited by people exaggerating things, whether in the physical realm or by appealing to metaphysical threats.
Example: One day my oldest son, only about 5 years old, rushed into the room to tell me that he was scared for me because a religious lady had just told him that I was going to hell. I had left my Christian religion, and in her view, I was now an eternally-condemned unbeliever. Such is a distorting metaphysical threat. There is no such thing as hell.
And then there are the fears that come from distorting and exaggerating physical or natural things. Our world is awash in ongoing hysteria over the apocalyptic claims that the world is coming to an end. Example: Nancy Pelosi’s recent ‘metaphysical’ claim that “Mother Earth is angry” and trying to punish us evil people through natural disasters. That affirms other recent hysterical prophecies such as Greta Thunberg’s claims that the world is soon to end.
And this hysteria continues in the face of good contrary evidence that the disturbances and changes we are seeing (e.g. in climate) are natural and mild compared to past eras of more sudden and severe changes in nature. Exaggerating such things to apocalyptic-scale distorts the true state of things and is highly irresponsible and dangerous. See “Patterns and outcomes of alarmism movements” below.
Point? Re-assure your children that there are no real monsters out there, just the exaggerated bogey-men of hysterical alarmists whose minds are clouded by the pathology of apocalyptic myths.
Note this press release (Sept. 18/2020) from the Global Warming Policy Foundation: “Official US Climate Data Reveals No Cause For Alarm”
“A new paper published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation shows that U.S. climate has been changing very gradually, and mostly in a benign way.
“The paper, by British climate writer Paul Homewood, examines official US weather sources and finds almost nothing to justify alarm.
“The temperature has risen a little”, says Homewood, “but temperature extremes are still a long way off the levels seen in the 1930s. And there has been a reduction in cold spells and climate-related deaths, so in many ways, the US climate has become less extreme compared to previous ages.”
“It is the same story for rainfall. There has been an increase overall, but the wettest year on record was nearly 50 years ago. Droughts were mostly far worse in the 1930s.
“It’s hard to find anything in the records of recent weather in the US that should give anyone any cause for alarm” says Homewood.
“It’s mostly rather reassuring. From heat to cold to storms and tornadoes, there is no trend that is out of the ordinary.”
“Homewood’s paper, entitled The US Climate in 2019, can be downloaded here- https://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2020/09/US-Climate-2019.pdf?utm_source=CCNet+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4c6226b7d3-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_09_18_09_56_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_fe4b2f45ef-4c6226b7d3-20139177&mc_cid=4c6226b7d3&mc_eid=bbd9cad85f ”
“You may say that I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one”, John Lennon.
Site project: To deliver a death blow to humanity’s greatest monster and enemy. The monster/enemy is not some other person(s). Our great enemy/monster is embodied in the “cruel-God” features that have long been foundational to human God theories (i.e. ultimate reality/meaning beliefs). These features- e.g. judgment, retaliatory punishment, final destruction- promote unnecessary fear and bury the creating/sustaining Love that is at the core of reality. The darker features of divinities- humanity’s highest ideal and authority- have long incited the worst impulses in people to harshly judge imperfect others, to retaliate with punitive justice, and to destroy “enemy” others.
Punitive, destroying God theories anchor entire complexes of supporting bad ideas (see Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives below). This “threat theology” can also be traced behind contemporary alarmism movements like environmental alarmism. Note a recent example of threat theology from Nancy Pelosi (Sept. 2020), claiming that “Mother Earth is angry” and threatening to punish and destroy us bad people. Other contemporary versions of threat theology include vengeful Gaia, retributive Universe, angry Planet, and payback karma.
Threat theology is primitive mythology at its worst- the belief that there is some ultimate threat of punishment and destruction that is manifested through the natural world. These myths generate unnecessary fear, anxiety, guilt/shame, and even violence. Arthur Mendel was right that apocalyptic has been “the most violent and destructive idea in history” (Vision and Violence). How so? Apocalyptic threat incites the survival impulse in populations. It then arouses tribal hatred that is focused on some threatening other, some enemy that must be coercively and even violently purged in order to “save the world”. This alarmism becomes a direct assault on human freedom as frightened people believe that the threatening enemy must be silenced, banned, cancelled, and worse. See patterns and outcomes of alarmism movements in sections below.
My project may seem Quixotic, as in Don Quixote running his lance at windmills. But the monster is real. My intention is to promote liberation from primal fears of divine punishment through the natural world and from the primal human fear of after-life harm. This pathology has long buried the truth of a stunning no conditions Love at the core of reality, a love that is also our essential nature as human persons. We are not the fallen creatures of religious mythology that deserve divine punishment or destruction (i.e. apocalypse, hell). We are most essentially beings of love and light, inseparable from the great Love and Light at the core of reality.
This is a “go-to-the-ultimate-root” project that deals with the most fundamental pathology of all.
The most severe swings of climate change occurred from 50-20,000 years ago. The climate changes since the beginning of our inter-glacial some 20,000 years ago have been mild in comparison. You get periodic swings between warming and cooling periods like the severe cold of the Little Ice Age from 1645-1715, a cold period that we are still recovering from. Nature throws all sorts of nasties at us like periods of extended drought, severe hurricanes and of course wildfires. But all such events must be placed in context in order to be properly understood. And all the factors involved in such events must be included in order for us to understand the actual root causes and true state of something and how to rationally respond.
Over the past three decades apocalyptic types have pushed a distorting narrative with hysterical exaggeration that focuses on only one element to the neglect of all others (i.e. CO2 as largely or solely responsible for climate change). They claim that the destructive events we are experiencing are due to an angry nature punishing bad people for their abuse of nature and they frame that almost solely in terms of our use of fossil fuels as the great evil to be banished.
As Nancy Pelosi claimed recently (Sept. 2020), “Mother Earth is angry” and then promised to enact policies to eliminate fossil fuels. This is mythology at its distorting worst. Credible scientists have noted that poor forest management is largely responsible for the severity of the California wildfire season, not the worst on record by far. See reports at Wattsupwiththat.com, notably, Richard Lindzen’s research on the minor role of CO2 in climate change.
Point? There is no “settled science” or “consensus” that CO2 is the dominant driver of climate change. Conclusion? There is no good scientific reason to decarbonize our societies and abandon fossil fuels.
Our struggle with imperfection and its influence on the early creation of mythology
The earliest human mythology reveals our struggle to understand and explain imperfection in our world and in our lives. Look at one of the earliest myths of the Sumerian city of Dilmun. These original perfection myths (original golden age or paradise, Eden) are found all across the world. They are stories of the ancient belief in original perfection and then the blaming of humanity for the ruin of that perfection (our ancestors commit an original error or sin) and therefore we deserve subsequent punishment with suffering in life- illness and thorns and death are all introduced to make our lives miserable, as punishment for our ancestor’s original sin.
In the Dilmun story: the early man Enki eats the original forbidden 8 plants and then becomes ill. Paradise is ruined.
Over subsequent millennia, Jewish and Christian theologians affirmed the belief in original perfection. Christian theologians, for example, were stunned, after the telescope was invented, with the discovery that the orbits of planets were elliptical (not “perfectly” circular as the Greeks had imagined) and the planets were pock-marked with craters. They had believed that the cosmos was created perfect, as was the earth. And they had long affirmed that the ruin of our originally perfect world was due to an original human sin.
This primitive mythology continues to dominate human consciousness today- i.e. the more general belief that the past was better (the pristine paradise of a wilderness world) but corrupt, greedy people have ruined that with industrial civilization. The ruin of the better past is due to our wanting a better life. The Japanese lady summed this belief after the 2011 tsunami, asking rhetorically, “Are we being punished for enjoying the good life too much?”
Much distorting mythology has resulted from our struggle to understand and explain imperfection in our world and our lives. This struggle with imperfection has been one of the central driving motives behind the creation of mythology and religion.
Science has now shown us that there was no original imperfection. But many still accept the core reasoning of primitive mythology (core themes) and continue to blame humanity for fucking things up, or more politely, for ruining things. Surely, we deserve punishment. Example: Nancy Pelosi re-affirmed this recently with her comments on the California wildfires, claiming that “Mother Nature is angry” and was punishing us for ruining things. The past was better (original paradise), we have ruined it (our bad), so we deserve punishment. We are subjected to endless browbeating with this primitive thinking.
I outright reject this distorting narrative. We are born imperfect in an imperfect reality, and imperfection was “built-in” originally for some overall higher reason. We struggle with our imperfection and to become something better. We struggle against imperfection all through life. But we must learn to do so without excessive guilt and shame and not beating ourselves up over remaining imperfection. There is a healthy recognition of our failures, and endeavor to become better, and an unhealthy shame and guilt that goes too far in self-recrimination.
Our personal experience of imperfection should be an empathy-generator and ought to make us more merciful toward the imperfection of others.
A new narrative will overturn these old themes and primitive reasoning and will embrace original imperfection as part of an original creation and the recognition that imperfection exists for some good purpose (i.e. providing an arena for human struggle and development, to bring forth the best of the human spirit). See Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives.
Looming climate catastrophe? 16 times more people die annually from cold than from warmth. With the mild one degree Centigrade of warming over the past century, animal life has benefitted with expanded seasons and habitat.
Also, the world is much greener today thanks to the small increase in basic plant food (i.e. more CO2 has resulted in adding green vegetation across the world equivalent to twice the size of the continental US). Small increase in CO2? Yes, from the pre-industrial 285 ppm to the 400 plus ppm of today. This is small compared to the multiple thousands of ppm of atmospheric CO2 that existed over much of the past 500 million years with little effect on world temperatures https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/09/15/cooling-the-hothouse/
The increase in plant food has resulted in increased crop productivity, more plant food for animals, overall a return to more optimal conditions for all life. More warmth and more plant food has resulted in net benefits for all life.
So yes, 97% of us agree climate change has been occurring. But so what? The outcomes have been largely beneficial, not “catastrophic” as the apocalyptics claim. Hence, there is no scientific basis for reducing human use of fossil fuels.
A central project here is to contribute to widespread endeavors to disarm contemporary alarmism (e.g. climate alarmism) with evidence on the true state of life as overall improving across the long-term. The intent is to affirm a rational basis for hope in the future. This site probes the root ideas behind alarmism- i.e. the persistent embrace of apocalyptic mythology in contemporary worldviews, both religious and “secular”. This site traces the historical roots of this pathology and locates the origin of apocalyptic in Western history in Paul’s Christ myth (see “The great Christian Contradiction”).
The project here is about responding to primal fears, primal impulses for meaning/purpose, and offering more humane alternatives than those offered by either religious traditions or materialism. This is about finding new ways forward to a more humane future. It is about probing the creation of more humane meta-ideals which is to say, for one, more humane God theories. Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives offers examples of more humane features for a new narrative of hope.
On the flip side: A central project here has been the endeavor to bring down the real monster and enemy in life- i.e. the monster gods of the past and present such as the punitive, destroying deities of religious traditions, and the contemporary versions of deity such as vengeful Gaia, angry Planet, punitive Universe, pissed Mother Earth, and payback karma. These larger Forces/Spirits are the cohering centers for entire sets of bad ideas. They continue to dominate human belief systems, both religious and “secular”, which is to say, they dominate the consciousness of most of humanity (the 85% affiliated with a world religion and the 15% that are still “spiritual but not religious”).
Freeing minds from “threat theology” is about liberating human consciousness from unnecessary fears. There is enough to fear in life, what with natural disaster, disease, accident, and human cruelty. We don’t need the added burden of mythically-based fear that there are angry gods or punitive forces behind the destructive elements of the natural world. Alarmists (modern apocalyptic prophets) take the harsher elements of our world to proclaim the final end of all things, endlessly setting end-of-days dates (the latest being 2030), and shamelessly claim that their apocalyptic scenarios are “science”. The costs of alarmism have been horrific, mostly for the poorest people in our societies (see Bjorn Lomborg’s False Alarm).
Further note: Apocalyptic with its punitive, destroying deity has been the most violent and destructive idea in history. The outcomes of apocalyptic have been traced in modern mass-death movements. The pattern in apocalyptic movements is as follows: The prophesying of the apocalypse incites the survival response populations and pushes people to embrace the apocalyptic salvation schemes that cause more harm because they demand “coercive purging” of some imagined threat- capitalist society in Marxist apocalyptic, Jewish Bolshevism in Nazi apocalyptic, and now in environmental apocalyptic the great threat to be purged is industrial, fossil fuel civilization. Apocalyptic movements also urge the abandoning of democratic processes with the silencing and banning of skeptics and shutting down open debate. Alarmism does not tolerate dissent and is a direct assault on freedom.
Also common to alarmist revolutions like Marxism, Nazism, and now environmentalism, is the push for the “instantaneous transformation” of society (e.g. rapid decarbonization), the total restructuring of societies in order to “save the world” from the always “imminent threat” and to restore some imagined lost paradise. Decarbonization will devastate societies with higher energy costs.
A further project: Focusing on the real enemy in life and the real battle in life- the one inside us all, the battle of our human spirit against our inherited animal brain and its dark impulses. See “Framework for human story”.