(1) Climate alarmists waging psychological warfare- using fear to manipulate populations. H. L. Mencken, “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary” (In Defense of Women).
(2) The single best book ever written: “Ultimate Resource”- evidence on the main resources in our world show the long-term improvement of life, not decline toward collapse and ending;
(3) The single most profound insight ever offered to humanity: Ultimate Reality or deity is stunningly inexpressible unconditional love. This insight overturns entirely all the conditions of religious traditions and ends the pathological mythology of divine threat (dominant in human narratives across history, in both religious and “secular/ideological” narratives). Threat theology has long deformed human personality and society;
(4) Comment on MAID (Medical Assistance In Dying): A further step in human freedom and self-determination, not a slippery slope to a “wretched future”;
(5) How to get to the true state of life: Julian Simon’s Ultimate Resource and his good science of presenting the complete big picture and longest-term trends associated with anything;
(6) Climate physicist Richard Lindzen on “the absurdity of the motivating narrative that demonizes CO2”;
(7) The real crisis facing humanity is not human-caused climate change but human-caused decarbonization and its destructive outcomes;
(8) Root ideas behind apocalyptic cults and crusades;
(9) The greatest religious contradiction ever foisted on humanity- Historical Jesus versus Christian Christ (two entirely opposite persons), and the breakthrough insight of Jesus that God was unconditional reality, contrary to Paul’s highly conditional Christ gospel;
(10) Tribal collectivism versus the common humanity of individual persons;
(11) The loss of general public support for social movements when extremists take over the movements;
(12) Tilak Doshi (Forbes) on “Turbocharged Renewables”- how high energy prices today are the result of government decarbonization policies, not the result of Russia’s war on Ukraine.
(13) Illustrations of Woke Progressive over-reaction to differing speech, and their demonization of differing others with extremist smears. Both sides engage this practise but because “highly illiberal” Woke Progressivism dominates public media and institutions, the threat to liberal democracy is currently coming more from the left/liberal side of society;
Site-splainin Contact: email@example.com
This site repeatedly presents the basic themes of apocalyptic mythology and its origins in the earliest human mythology (i.e. Sumerian, Egyptian), to make the point clear- this is primitive stuff from humanity’s childhood, from an infantile stage of early humanity that was shaped by irrational belief systems. Most important: Apocalyptic has no relation to reality. It gets life entirely wrong (i.e. the myth that life is declining toward something worse, toward disaster and ending).
We know better today. We have amassed evidence that life is not declining toward a worse future, but to the contrary, humanity has been improving life over the long-term, and most important, humanity itself has been improving in civilization (becoming more humane- note for example the evidence in James Payne’s “History of Force”).
We ought to grow up now, take a good look at our narratives, and abandon residual mythical ideas that have no relation to reality, that distort our understanding of the true state of life. Hint: Think environmental/climate alarmism terrorizing populations with its endless prophesies of the end-of-world. Alarmed populations, with their survival impulses incited by apocalyptic scenarios, are susceptible to political manipulation and ideological salvation schemes that destroy societies. We are watching this unfold today in the decarbonization crusade madness.
And this warning from Global Warming Policy Forum regarding fear-mongering:
“Stephen McMurray: The climate change cult and the war on the mind”
“A new paper from Net Zero Watch argues that climate alarmists are waging psychological warfare on the public.
“Author Stephen McMurray says that professional psychologists are using fear as a weapon to manipulate public behaviour. McMurray says:
“Psychologists are saying, quite openly, that telling people facts doesn’t work, and that psychological pressure should be brought to bear in other ways. Their professional bodies seem to have no interest in preventing this shameful and completely unethical behaviour.”
“McMurray says that the Government and Civil Service are also quite open about using psychological warfare against the population at large. Indeed, the view in Whitehall appears to be that fearmongering, as widely applied during the Covid pandemic, was a success, and should be seen as a model for use in the drive for Net Zero.
“Civil servants seem quite happy to treat the public as lab rats for them to experiment on as they see fit. They are out of control, and nobody in Government seems to have any interest in stopping them.”
Full report at…
Comment on the fear-mongering noted above- I try to understand the general practice of fear-mongering in its larger context, in relation to the primitive mythologies/theologies that have exacerbated primal human fears across history. This is a project to understand how human belief systems have deformed human consciousness, narratives, personalities, and societies with mythical themes that exaggerate threats and thereby intensify normal human fears. See, for example, Zenon Lotufo’s “Cruel God, Kind God” for illustrative detail on the psychological impact of bad theology. The theological themes he refers to, have been “secularized” and embraced in the supposedly ideological belief systems of our contemporary world, notably by Declinism and its offspring- environmental/climate alarmism.
Tracing the problem of contemporary environmental/climate alarmism to its historical roots is a project to do proper problem-solving by understanding the origins and nature of the themes in our narratives and how such themes impact our lives and societies. The foundational themes of climate alarmism are profoundly mythical or religious themes, not scientific, even though a smattering of science is used to validate the themes/narratives of climate apocalypse.
“The single best book ever written”? (I stated this in the article below- “How to get to the true state of life”, when referring to Julian Simon’s “Ultimate Resource”) Wendell Krossa
Yes. “Ultimate Resource”- My candidate for “single best book ever written”.
Simon offers an amassed body of evidence from the best data sources showing that, despite remaining imperfections and ongoing problems in our world, humanity has been wildly successful in working to improve life, most notably over the past few centuries. And the long-term trajectory of improvement is a sound basis for hope that the future will be ever better. As Simon said, if there is no convincing evidence that a trend will cease, then we may safely assume that it will continue. And evidence continues to affirm that assumption. Example: See “Humanprogress.org” for detail.
Simon’s research transforms our view of the world and life, orienting us away from fear and despair over life, to evidence-based hope. And, as he said about his personal experience, the evidence of our success in improving life will vanquish the depression that is often the consequence of environmental alarmism narratives. The facts on the true story of life free us to embrace a solid evidence-based hope.
Like Simon, I had formerly bought into the doom and gloom of environmental alarmism narratives- i.e. that too many people were consuming too much of Earth’s resources and we were supposedly ruining the natural world. Consequently, according to alarmists, life was declining toward disaster. This was the central message of apocalyptic prophet Bill Rees at UBC’s School of Community and Regional Planning in the early 90s (Rees was a co-creator of the “Ecological Footprint” model). Simon has shown that evidence on the big picture and long-term trends of life do not support the environmental doom and gloom narratives. In fact, those narratives are entirely wrong about life and its overall direction.
Simon researched the best data sources on the main indicators of life to discover for himself the “true state of life”. The main indicators of life include major world resources such as forests, land species, ocean species, soils, etc. Evidence on these indicators shows that, despite remaining problems, life is not declining toward some worse state, but due to basic human goodness, human creativity, and our growing ability to solve problems, life is improving toward a better future.
Apocalyptic gets this story of life all wrong with its myths of life declining toward something worse, toward disaster and ending. Simon’s evidence transforms our worldview to one that is oriented to hope, evidence-based hope. Simon’s research eliminated his own “clinical depression”, and as he stated, his depression never returned.
The “motivating narrative” that we embrace is critical to our own well being and our endeavors in life. The themes that we hold, and the facts they are based on, are important to properly understand and explain life. It is true that we all live by story, and it is critical that our stories are soundly evidence based.
The “single best book ever written” transforms our worldview entirely from despair to the liberating and life-affirming potency of hope. As Simon cautions- there are still many problems that need to be confronted and solved (i.e. downturns in trends, setbacks in the trajectory of life), but overall we (humanity) have done well, astoundingly well, and things are getting ever better, not worse.
A Christmas message: “The single most profound insight ever offered”, Wendell Krossa
Here is some venturing across barriers (i.e. the science/philosophy boundary) to speculate on other “metaphysical” realms, something science also does with its speculations on multi-verse theories, string theories, dark matter and dark energy, and multiple-adjacent realms (10, 11, 26, etc.). Endless speculation on unknown, invisible ultimate realities.
My point in this speculation is that we need to meet most people where they are in their understanding and outlooks, and not where we think they should be. Further, we ought to be cautious about dismissing outright the primal impulse to meaning as it has always related to the metaphysical or ultimate reality, which is to say as it relates to ultimate meaning and ideals. I refer to those invisible realities that are the apparent bulk of all reality (example- the 96% of the cosmos that we don’t see, and more-so the invisible creating Consciousness or Mind that is behind all other reality).
No one questions that scientific fact is essential to properly shape human narratives. And no one questions the importance of maintaining the boundary between science and philosophy/spirituality. But while maintaining that boundary, also recognize that the primal human impulse to meaning will always include speculation on ultimate reality/ultimate meaning.
In general, I would suggest that rather than outrightly dismiss the element of metaphysical speculation in the human venture to understand and explain reality and life, it would be more useful, and safer in terms of “the motivating power of narratives”, to focus on humanizing narratives with more humane themes, while maintaining the clear distinction between proven observed reality (science) and speculations on metaphysical realities (keeping both in their respective arenas and limited to their respective functions as much as possible, and recognizing the problems when such boundaries are crossed).
And this is not an assumption that the “spiritual” will eventually fade from humanity and we will become some form of entirely secularized or materialist human being. That is a philosophical belief, a dogmatic materialist belief. The “spiritual” will always be with us.
Continuing the Christmas message…
The single most important discovery ever made for human mental and emotional health, and overall well being.
My choice for “single most important insight” would be a metaphysical or theological insight. I argue this because across human history the elemental factor of metaphysical threat has always been foundational to human mental and emotional states (inciting fear, anxiety, despair, and depression). Metaphysical threat has long dominated human narratives and consciousness- notably in the primitive mythology of divine threat behind the nasty elements of life (i.e. the threat of harm through natural disaster, disease, and predatory cruelty- and the belief that such harm is “punishment for sin”). Add to this the magnitude greater threat of after-life harm (ultimate judgment, condemnation, and retaliatory payback/punishment in Hell).
Primitive myths of metaphysical threats continue in contemporary versions, both religious and “secular”. Myths of fundamental metaphysical threat have continued into the “secular” age, and even materialists/atheists embrace contemporary versions of metaphysical threats meted to humanity through varied forces/gods- i.e. vengeful Gaia, punitive Universe, angry Planet/Mother Earth, payback karma, or the cold carelessness of natural law and its random natural consequences, etc.
A further indicator of the ongoing influence of metaphysical threat: Note the prevalence of apocalyptic mythology in modern story-telling- i.e. the increasing obsession, over past decades, of Hollywood movies/TV stories focused on apocalyptic. Note this ever-increasing trend over the decades at sites like Wikipedia- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_apocalyptic_films. Apocalypse is the apex/pinnacle myth of divine threat to punish humanity for sin, and consequently end the world. Public consciousness is still endlessly battered with such threat, notably in its environmental versions like climate alarmism.
To the rescue… A potent counter to the age-old mythology of metaphysical threat
A modern “spiritual” movement (the Near-Death Experience- NDE) has offered a profound insight that counters the most fundamental of human fears. I refer to the unprecedented, unique, and astoundingly humane insight that deity is a stunningly inexpressible “unconditional love”. Meaning that there is no ultimate judgment of anyone, no ultimate separation or exclusion of anyone, and no ultimate punishment or destruction of anyone. All are safe in a future of no conditions love, inexpressibly wondrous bliss, peace, and beauty, and further ongoing creative development.
This insight is a re-affirmation of the old theological belief that “God is love”. However, this relatively newer NDE insight states that God is not just love as we have commonly known it, but rather, love of an exceedingly wondrous nature- “inexpressibly unconditional”. A transcendently better, more humane, form of love- beyond the best that we could ever imagine- unconditional as “absolutely no conditions. None. To infinity and beyond”. The “God is love” of religions like Christianity refers to a love that is couched in the larger context of endless religious conditions and threats.
The NDE insight on God as unconditional love overturns entirely the deities of all past mythology and religious traditions. It tells us that there has never been any reality that presents metaphysical threat. There is no such thing as tribal deities threatening exclusion and separation of anyone (i.e. “unbelievers” or outsiders excluded from a future “heavenly” realm, the realm of deity), no dominating lords/kings that must be served forever (i.e. the primitive myth that humans were “created to serve the gods”), and no threat of ultimate judgment, condemnation, punishment, or destruction (i.e. no apocalyptic destruction of the world and no after-life harm in hell).
This insight that deity is unconditional love, and of an inexpressibly wondrous and humane nature, goes to the deepest roots of primal human fears to liberate our consciousness from the primitive themes that have dominated human narratives across history, both religious and “secular”.
So yes, God as unconditional love is the single greatest insight ever offered to humanity because it counters entirely the single worst body of mythology ever created- that of threatening deity, the “monster gods” of religious traditions. Note also that God as unconditional reality was the main theme of Historical Jesus, a person whose theology was entirely opposite to the New Testament Christ- the threatening, conditional theology of Paul.
Insert note: I have previously stated here why I venture into this metaphysical or “spiritual” speculation. Because bad ideas were projected onto ultimate reality from the beginning and have plagued humanity from the very earliest emergence of human consciousness, from the earliest expressions of the human impulse to meaning- i.e. the primal impulse to understand and explain reality and life in early mythology. This impulse for meaning, notably for ultimate meaning, has not diminished in the modern secular/scientific era. This is evident in the fact that fully 85% of humanity that still affiliate with a major world religion and most of the remaining “unaffiliated” are still “spiritual but not religious”, meaning they hold beliefs such as payback karma or “punitive Universe”, etc. As Joseph Campbell has stated, the same primitive mythical themes have been believed all across history and across all the cultures of the world.
Even dogmatic materialists hold versions of metaphysical Forces that are similar to religious deities- for example, the “Self-Organizing Principle” in cosmology and biology, or Richard Dawkins’ “Natural Selection Is The Source Of All Enlightenment” (The God Delusion). And just for curiosity’s sake, Google a search of how scientists project god-like qualities onto Natural Selection in order to make sense of how life has developed. Varied scientists claim that Natural Selection “learns… wills… decides… creates… chooses…”, etc., all very godlike features necessary to explain the emergence and development of life.
My point- Most people still hold to the core themes of primitive mythologies, often subhuman ideas that distort ultimate realities with inhumane features. So at a minimum, rather than outright deny this impulse to meaning that relates to metaphysical realities, offer better, more humane alternatives.
Continuing… a few more qualifiers
Theology, or God theory, needs to re-orient itself to this new central feature of divinity- i.e. transcendently inexpressible unconditional love.
The central NDE discovery of deity as unconditional love overturns all religion, entirely. All historical religion has been most essentially about conditions, conditions, and more damn conditions. (1) Conditions of embracing the correct beliefs required to be an accepted insider (i.e. the “truth” as defined by your religion’s holy book), (2) conditions of fulfilling the proper rituals of your religion, (3) conditions of living the religious lifestyle that is the identity marker of a true believer, (4) conditions of demanded sacrifice/payment, and so on. Religion is, by its fundamental nature, about endless conditions to appease and please gods. There is no unconditional love in religious theories of deity.
Now I would suggest that deity may be re-assuring us via the personal experiences of many people today (i.e. NDEs) that the threats and burdensome conditions of conditional religions have been all wrong. There is no ultimate judgment (only the self-judgment or evaluation of the “life review”), no ultimate separation or exclusion (an unconditional God welcomes all, forgives all, includes all), no ultimate punishment or destruction (only the self-punishment for failures to live as human). No religion has ever communicated this wondrous unconditional nature of God to humanity. All religions, with their myriad conditions, distort and bury this central unconditional feature of God.
So, is the historically recent emergence of the NDE movement simply a new stage of human “spirituality” where God re-assuring us to not fear life and death? God telling us that no matter what we suffer here, we are all safe in the end. A kind of re-assurance to children to not be afraid, there are no ultimate monsters.
Again, another necessary qualifier- Unconditional in deity, as the ultimate ideal, does not diminish the obligation to be responsible for personal behavior in this world and to live by natural and social consequences of personal behavior. Hence, the existence and need for our justice and incarceration systems. What unconditional does is to prompt us to orient our justice systems to restorative justice, not punitive justice. By doing this, we maintain our own humanity in the midst of the hellishness that is too often experienced in this world. Unconditional deity presents a new ultimate ideal to potently shape human consciousness, emotion, motivation, and behavior in this world toward a more humane direction.
Further on good and evil: Is dualism, with its inevitable accompanying misery, just a feature of this space time world, the material realm? Do the opposites- i.e. good and evil- exist here to serve the purpose of providing a context of contrast for human experience and development? Philosophers have suggested that we only know good in contrast with evil (i.e. no moral good is possible without its opposite- authentic, uncoerced good only emerges/exists as a freely chosen response to evil).
Added note on the NDE
Bring all your personal criteria to evaluate NDEs. They are highly diverse experiences. And not all are good. Some appear to be quite loopy and are reframed or interpreted to affirm the experiencer’s worldview, notably those that try to affirm traditional conditional religions. I would suggest that the central discovery of the NDE is that God is unconditional love. This discovery does not affirm conditional religions (for example, the Christian condition that people must “believe in Jesus” in order to be saved from Hell, to be included, forgiven, and ultimately loved). The NDE insight on unconditional deity tells us there is no Hell, no need for salvation as there has been no separation of anyone from God, no one is “lost”, and there is no deity threatening exclusion, judgment, condemnation, or punitive destruction. There is no demand for payment/sacrifice in order to “get right with God”.
Again, the central discovery or insight of the NDE movement, that the Light/God is unconditional- that single feature overturns all religion, entirely. Think about it. If God is truly unconditional, then who needs the conditions of religion?
Merry Christmas to you all.
Keys to successful human experience and life: Wendell Krossa (Answering the question- What does it mean to be human our truly humane?)
(1) View and treat everyone as a free equal. Acknowledge the critical importance of personal/self-control and respect the self-determination of all others. Point- Understand the basic principles of the Classic Liberalism that has given us liberal democracies and all the benefits from this tradition (i.e. the protection of individual rights and freedoms as taking precedence over any collective). See for example, Daniel Hannan’s “Inventing Freedom” for the history of Classic Liberalism.
(2) Affirm human diversity- Do not just tolerate differences but celebrate complex diversity as vital to healthy human society. Develop the skill of interacting with diverse others with a toleration that treats everyone as intimate family, based on the fact that we are all equals in the one human family (i.e. the underlying oneness that many claim even quantum mechanics affirms).
(3) Forgive unconditionally the failures and offenses of imperfect others, recognizing our own imperfection and failures and our own desire for unconditional forgiveness and second/third/fourth and more chances. Remember that forgiveness often has more to do with one’s personal well-being (letting go of hate and bitterness and how that impacts others around us), whether it ever involves any contact with the offenders or not.
(4) Embrace restorative justice approaches to human failure, knowing that love is not about feeling mushy, fuzzy, or warm toward horrific offenders and their offenses, that rightly evoke outrage. Love is often the bare-bones intention to treat all humanely, while also holding all responsible for their behavior and its consequences, including incarceration for those unable or unwilling to self-control their worst impulses. The same applies to the responsibility to restrain the violence of attacking offenders, as in just wars. While appreciating the spirit and intent of pacifists, dogmatic pacifism is too often not common sense love.
The unconditional treatment of all others is primarily about maintaining our own humanity in the face of the hellishness that is too common in life.
The above features will liberate us most from the worst elements of animal existence- i.e. the impulses to tribal exclusion of differing others (small band existence), to domination of weaker others (alpha male/female), and to destruction of differing others. These above listed features get us closest to authentically human existence, to being fully humane.
This from National Post on Canada’s MAID legislation (Medical Assistance In Dying)- “Michael Higgins: Our veterans ask for help. They’re offered assisted death. The dark road we’re on is on the verge of turning pitch black”.
Michael Higgins begins his article with this exaggerated statement- “We are going down a very dark road. Just how dark and bleak and utterly wretched that road is remains to be seen, but the glimpses we are getting reveals it to be verging on the edge of pitch black….
I would counter that MAID is just another further and necessary advance in basic human freedom- the right to end your life story when and how you see best, given the proper agreed on cautions of “sober second thought” in cases of depression, etc.
Some have been pushing back against MAID with religious-like arguments that we must not “play God” but should let disease and consequent suffering play out naturally at the end of our lives. No. Medicine above all exists to alleviate human suffering, not extend it unnecessarily as it can often do today. MAID is just a further element in medicine’s arsenal to alleviate pain and suffering, especially where illness is serious and irremediable (no other solution exists).
Higgins’ alarmist language is another example of excessively exaggerated wording to distort the general policy of MAID and its outcomes.
He notes the very few cases where it appears that some have over-zealously offered MAID to suffering people. But we don’t know the full story in those incidents. Were the offering people well-intentioned but just incautious and not fully sensitive to the people that they offered MAID to? I would like to hear their side of the incidents before affirming Higgins’ views- i.e. the “dark and bleak and utterly wretched… edge of pitch black” conclusion that Higgins has made.
He then ends with “We are going down a very dark road. And we are going down it blindly.” That appears to be exaggerated panic-mongering over a few isolated incidents. Higgins appears to be trying to smear an otherwise essential element to full human freedom.
Another on living as authentically human (Again, answering the fundamental question of What does it mean to be human?):
Where do we place our primary loyalty? (a Brinsmead insight)
Never give your primary loyalty to some reality other than real people around you and their needs. Whenever primary loyalty is placed in institutions, ideologies, religions (even God), ethnic groups/nation states, then real people are often neglected and abused, even harmed. Well-known example- loyalty to a religious God who demands the punishment and destruction of “enemies”. We have illustrations of the barbaric outcomes of this perversion of human loyalty across the history of Christianity, Islam, and other religious groups. Another familiar example would be how people and their personal dreams were crushed by other’s loyalty to the institution of the monarchy as portrayed in the Netflix series on “The Crown”. Our primary loyalty ought to be given to meeting the real needs of people around us.
See the “human-caused crisis” below…
Rex Murphy at his most eloquent defending Alberta’s oil industry. Go Rex, go.
This supremely “reasonable” comment from
“Reasonable” Concessions to Climate Hysteria Lack Reason, by Gregory Wrightstone
“First, there is no climate emergency. Claims to the contrary are based on exaggerations of carbon dioxide’s warming effect and computer models that have proven unreliable.”
Wrightstone notes several Republican politicians who offer “solutions to reduce emissions” while still providing other energy supplies. Wrightstone correctly states that the “assumption that there is a need to decrease CO2 emissions is a delusion divorced from reality and unsubstantiated by science. This absurdity regularly is perpetuated by people wanting to sound reasonable in an atmosphere of hysteria and political chicanery.”
Wrightstone adds that he does not mean to pick on these Republican politicians but “Plenty of smart people with good intent similarly stumble only to find themselves in an awkward search of a solution for a nonexistent problem… (they wrongly) assume that the burning of fossil fuels must be balanced with the use of wind and solar to mitigate the atmospheric warming of carbon dioxide. Both are light-years from the truth. Energy sources are not equal, and carbon dioxide poses no threat to the planet.”
He states further- “Dr. William Happer, professor emeritus in the Department of Physics at Princeton University, has coauthored a paper that shows that the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide is limited to a narrow band of the electromagnetic spectrum and cannot cause dangerous heating of the planet.
““Carbon dioxide is completely natural,” (Happer) says. “Plants need it to grow. We all breathe out about two pounds of it every day. When people say that we need to remove carbon dioxide from the air, I can’t imagine what they are thinking because today there is not enough carbon dioxide compared to what plants would prefer. We are living in a time of a carbon dioxide famine in the context of geological history. We need more of it not less.
““The demonization of carbon dioxide is absurd. Widely accepted data, such as those from Antarctic ice cores, show that over geologic time almost never have carbon dioxide levels been as low as today. Over most of Earth’s history, levels have been four or five times what they are now.”
Additionally, says Wrightstone, “Dr. Indur Goklany finds that coal, oil and natural gas are the most beneficial based on their efficiencies and on the salutary effects of their emissions of carbon dioxide. These fuels have fostered unprecedented prosperity and human health.
“Their CO2 emissions have contributed to an overall greening of Earth and record crop harvests.
“The green lobby’s promotion of subsidies for wind and solar is exactly backward. Reason would dictate that fossil fuels — along with nuclear power — be favored because of their unmatched effectiveness in sustaining human life…
“We understand the desire to be “even-handed” or to “reach across the aisle.” However, conceding to false claims of a crisis and promoting foolish strategies as “solutions” is dangerous. It is a packaging of “reasonableness” without regard to reason.”
How to get to “the true state of life” Wendell Krossa
When dealing with apocalyptic narratives you are dealing with mythology that gets the state of life and the trajectory of life entirely wrong. Life is not declining toward disaster, as claimed by apocalyptic mythology.
The three great emergences and trajectories of reality all show direction toward improvement, toward something better. Whether the emergence and multi-billion-year trajectory of material reality itself (the cosmos), the emergence and overall trajectory of life, or the emergence and trajectory of humanity, notably in civilization.
The emergence and trajectories of reality and life show purposeful direction toward more complexity, toward more organization, toward something more suitable for conscious humanity to grow and develop within. Then the emergence and trajectory of humanity evidences purposeful progress as the essential goodness of humanity emerges and develops across our history. We see this in humanity over history working to create something better. This urge to create something better than what exists, is the fundamental impulse of essentially good people finding expression in solving problems and working to improve life for all.
Julian Simon showed us how to get to the true state of things, how to understand the true direction of the trajectory of life- by looking at the big picture evidence and the longest-term trends. In arguably the single best book ever written- i.e. Ultimate Resource– Simon affirmed that humanity was essentially good and creative and had shown the ability to solve all problems and to make life better. He concluded, that despite ongoing problems, life was improving overall, over the long term. Life was not declining toward apocalyptic collapse and ending.
Look closely at our historical record as set forth by Simon, and similarly by many others- Greg Easterbrook in “A Moment On the Earth”, Bjorn Lomborg in “Skeptical Environmentalist”, Ronald Bailey in “The End of Doom”, Indur Goklany in “The Improving State of the World”, Matt Ridley in “Rational Optimist”, Desrocher and Szurmak in “Population Bombed”, Hans Rosling in “Factfulness”, and so on. See also sites like Humanprogress.org.
Affirming the evidence on the true state of life inspires people that their efforts to make things better actually succeed. And contrarily, the apocalyptic narrative has promoted resignation, fatalism, despair, depression, and even nihilism and destructiveness in societies. Just as we are seeing today with the suicidal crusade of decarbonization. Apocalyptic movements are infected with the belief that corrupt humanity is destroying the world with its flourishing in industrial civilization and consequently the apocalypse is now imminent. Apocalyptic deforms human consciousness and does not permit people to see the true state of things- that life is actually getting better all the time.
This report from climate physicist Richard Lindzen
“MIT Climate Scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen rejects ‘climate change’ as a ‘quasi-religious movement predicated on an absurd ‘scientific narrative’”
My response to Dr. Lindzen- Climate alarmism is not just “quasi-religious” but, more pointedly, it is a “profoundly religious crusade”. It cloaks itself with science, but that science is shaped to affirm a narrative that is dominated by mythical/religious themes. The main driving themes of climate alarmism include core narrative themes from the earliest primitive human mythologies, the later world religions, and those themes have now been given expression in “secular/ideological” versions like Declinism and its offspring- climate alarmism.
The themes of apocalyptic/millennial mythology that dominate contemporary alarmist narratives and “science”:
The past was better, but essentially corrupt humans have ruined that original past paradise, life is now declining toward a worsening situation, toward collapse (i.e. the primitive myth of “return to chaos”) and toward the end of the world (i.e. apocalypse). But there is hope for salvation if humanity repents and makes a sacrifice- a sacrifice that includes the element of self-inflicted suffering (the impulse to “penance”, to “pay for sin”, to suffer and pay for human imperfection). Penance would include a return to primitivism, a return to the supposedly “morally superior” simple, low-consumption lifestyle.
And salvation also demands that humanity must purge the imagined great evil threat to life. Today the thing that presumably threatens life is too many people enjoying the good life. CO2 is the indicator of this threat- i.e. too many people consuming too many resources, notably fossil fuels. Once the evil thing- i.e. fossil fuel-based industrial civilization- has been purged then we can restore the lost, ruined paradise for the true believers.
This site probes the themes, origin, and nature of apocalyptic/millennial mythology. This mythology profoundly distorts the true state of life/the world and promotes destructive outcomes in societies. We saw such outcomes with the mass-death movements of Marxism and Nazism in the last century. And yes, they were also apocalyptic/millennial movements as per the research of historians- i.e. 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 in Western History”, among others. Wendell Krossa
Quotes from climate physicist Richard Lindzen:
“Dr. Richard Lindzen’s new paper: An Assessment of the Conventional Global Warming Narrative – Published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation – September 22, 2022: Climate change is “a quasi-religious movement predicated on an absurd ‘scientific’ narrative. The policies invoked on behalf of this movement have led to the US hobbling its energy system.” – “The Earth’s climate has, indeed, undergone major variations, but these offer no evidence of a causal role for CO₂.”
“Unless we wake up to the absurdity of the motivating narrative, this is likely only to be the beginning of the disasters that will follow from the current irrational demonization of CO₂.”
Paper available at…
Further Lindzen quotes:
“CO₂ is a particularly ridiculous choice for a ‘pollutant.’ Its primary role is as a fertiliser for plant life. Currently, almost all plants are starved of CO₂. Moreover, if we were to remove a bit more than 60% of current CO₂, the consequences would be dire: namely death by starvation for all animal life. It would not likely lead to a particularly cold world since such a reduction would only amount to a couple of percent change in the radiative budget. After all, a 30% reduction of solar radiation about 2.5 billion years ago did not lead to an Earth much colder than it is today, as we earlier noted in connection with the Early Faint Sun Paradox.
“The Earth’s climate has, indeed, undergone major variations, but these offer no evidence of a causal role for CO₂. For the glaciation cycles of the past 700 thousand years, the proxy data from the Vostok ice cores shows that cooling precedes decreases in CO₂ despite the very coarse temporal resolution (Jouzel et al.,1987, Gore, 2006). Higher temporal resolution is needed to show that warming preceded the increase in CO₂ as well (Caillon et al, 2003). For earlier variations, there is no suggestion of any correlation with carbon dioxide at all, as shown in Figure 9a, a commonly presented reconstruction of CO₂ levels and ‘temperature’ for the past 600 million years or so.
“This all leaves us with a quasi-religious movement predicated on an absurd ‘scientific’ narrative. The policies invoked on behalf of this movement have led to the US hobbling its energy system (a process that has played a prominent role in causing current inflation), while lifting sanctions for Russia’s Nordstream 2 pipeline, which was designed to bypass the existing pipeline through the Ukraine used to supply Germany. It has caused much of the European Union to ban exploitation of shale gas and other sources of fossil fuel, thus leaving it with much higher energy costs, increased energy poverty, and dependence on Russia, thus markedly reducing its ability to oppose Mr Putin’s aggressions. …
“Unless we wake up to the absurdity of the motivating narrative, this is likely only to be the beginning of the disasters that will follow from the current irrational demonization of CO₂. Changing course will be far from a simple task. As President Eisenhower noted in his farewell address in 1961: The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded. Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”
And this from “Meridional Transport: the most fundamental climate variable”
By Andy May
Note the facts in this big picture context below- the paleoclimate context. Climate has been much warmer for most of the history of life, and the polar regions were ice-free for most of the history of life. That much warmer past was a more natural, normal, and optimal state for all life. And life emerged, developed, and flourished under those much warmer conditions. 3-6 degrees C warmer on average, and sometimes 10 degrees C warmer- and there was no “climate crisis” during that much warmer world.
Quotes from the link above:
“Using Scotese’s definitions, the present (21st century) latitudinal temperature gradient is considered a “severe icehouse,” as shown in Figure 3. In the right-hand graph, we compare the current severe icehouse temperature gradient in blue, with the Early Eocene hothouse gradient from 52 million years ago. Notice that today, Greenland and Antarctica are covered in ice, shown in blue on the lower map and the poles are ice free in the upper map. An icehouse climate is characterized by year-round ice sheets at the poles.
“The climate during the Early Eocene hothouse was quite warm by today’s standards. The average global surface temperature reached 10 degrees C warmer than today. The so-called “burst of mammalian first appearances” occurred at this time. One of the mammals that first appeared during the Early Eocene was the first primate, our distant ancestor. Primates quickly spread around the world. Besides new mammals, many new genera of turtles, lizards, and plants evolved and thrived during this time. Some deep-water foraminifera went extinct, but most organisms did well and dispersed widely.
“The existence of very different past climates on Earth creates an insurmountable problem for modern “consensus” climatology. During the last glacial maximum, 20,000 years ago, the energy received from the sun was the same as now. Not only that, but the Milankovitch orbital parameters were also nearly the same. The distribution of solar energy over the Earth was nearly identical to now, yet the climate was very different. Energy input to the climate system must have been lower because the larger ice sheets reflected more solar energy and the greenhouse effect was lower. The lower greenhouse effect was due to less atmospheric CO2 and available water. Lower temperatures made CO2 more soluble in the oceans, removing it from the air. The very large continental ice sheets in the last glacial maximum removed a lot of water and water vapor and stored it in ice, removing it from the climate system.
“A lower energy input and a larger latitudinal temperature gradient ought to have drained the tropics of heat via stronger meridional transport, but that was not the case. There is still controversy about tropical temperatures during the last glacial maximum, but it appears that they were only 1-2 degrees C colder than present. This is consistent with evidence presented by Chris Scotese and colleagues that tropical temperatures have not changed much over the course of the past 540 million years despite huge changes in the average temperature of the planet (9–30°C). You will notice in Figure 3 that the very warm Early Eocene hothouse climate has a similar temperature at the equator to the present day, but the difference at the South Pole is 44°C and it is 23°C at the North Pole. Clearly, most of the warming occurs in the higher latitudes. (Mine: This counters the alarmist claim that in a warmer world some areas of the planet will “fry”.)
“If the last glacial maximum creates a problem for how meridional transport operates during a glacial period, the equable climate of the Early Eocene results in a paradox that modern consensus climatology cannot solve. Currently the Earth is in a severe icehouse climate with a very steep latitudinal temperature gradient as the right-hand graph in Figure 3 makes very clear. Currently, temperature falls by 0.6–1°C/°latitude from the equator to the winter pole. Such a cold environment has been relatively rare during the past 540 million years, existing less than 10% of the time. The Early Eocene Earth had an average temperature estimated at 24 to 25 degrees C, that Scotese describes as hothouse conditions. The Early Eocene latitudinal temperature gradient was very shallow, at 0.25–0.45°C/°latitude, with temperatures at the North Pole above freezing all year round, as attested to by the presence of frost-intolerant biota. These hothouse conditions have been even rarer. Over 60% of the Phanerozoic Eon the Earth had an average temperature of 19-20 degrees C. The average global surface temperature of the entire Phanerozoic—the past 540 million years—is a very pleasant 18°C, about 3.5°C warmer than today.
“The climate of the Early Eocene is defined as equable. It is characterized by a warm world with a low latitudinal temperature gradient, low seasonality, and fewer mid- and high-latitude storms than today. The failure of modern consensus climate theory to explain these periods has been termed the “equable climate problem.” To reproduce the Early Eocene warm continental interior temperatures and above freezing winter polar regions, models must raise CO2 levels to 4700 ppm, use an implausible climate sensitivity to CO2, and allow tropical temperatures to exceed 35°C. However, the best CO2 estimates for the Early Eocene climatic optimum place probable CO2 levels at 500-1000 ppm, and the highest estimates are less than 2,000.
“Further, it is unlikely that tropical temperatures above 30 degrees C are possible, due to the efficiency of heat removal through evaporation and deep convection (the convection of moist air to the upper troposphere) at that temperature. Also, mammals cannot survive above a wet-bulb temperature of 35 degrees C, where they become unable to lose heat. Yet, fossils show us that mammals thrived in the Early Eocene. The highest wet-bulb temperature on Earth today is 30°C, and there is no reason to think it has been higher at any time in the past at places where mammal fossils are found.”
This by Linea Lueken illustrates the endless media distortion of normal weather/climate events to affirm the climate apocalypse narrative.
“Contra Yahoo News, “Weather Whiplash” is not threatening autumn weather”, by Linnea Lueken
As Lueken suggests, when the larger paleo-climate record is consulted for the complete big picture evidence, diverse weather events are shown to be entirely natural, normal, and not unprecedented. But that evidence undermines the climate alarm narrative, hence such evidence is dismissed, ignored, or discredited.
Instead, we get the endless media distortion of every out-of-norm weather event as “the worst on record” and a sign of collapse and ending.
“Presentism” also feeds this alarmist mentality- “the fallacy of presentism: the tendency to assume that events of the present are larger, more important, or more shocking than events of the past” (James Payne in History of Force).
Energy/Inflation article by Eric Worrall
“Claim: We must allow more inflation to address climate change”
Quotes from the above essay by Eric Worrall
“The Ukraine shock was only severe because there are not sufficient alternative sources of supply to absorb the disruption to the supply of Russian gas and petroleum. More investment in domestic fossil fuel resources could have fixed this – but that investment didn’t happen, because of European and Western regulatory hostility to fossil fuel….
“Inflation is worse than high interest rates. Inflation creates perverse incentives which can utterly wreck an economy, such as a perverse incentive to invest in unproductive assets like houses, instead of investing in productive assets like businesses. This leads to widespread economic damage, the stagnation of productive economic sectors like manufacturing, and the creation of enormous asset bubbles, which when they pop cause large scale wealth destruction.
“Of course, low interest rates and low inflation would be better than the painful stability of high interest rates, or the economic ruin of high inflation.
“Reducing the cost of energy is the path to low inflation and low interest rates. It is not just me saying the price of energy is the key. Australian Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe said last week, “One way of tackling inflation induced by supply-side shocks is to address the supply…”, though admittedly Lowe carefully steered around providing a prescription of how the government should reduce interest rates.
“The only short-term salvation for people who are struggling to hang on to their homes, or businesses struggling with energy bills, is to rapidly address the underlying problem, the cost of energy. And the only way the cost of energy can be sustainably addressed in the short term, is to unleash fossil fuel investment, by abandoning Net Zero, and massively deregulating investment in energy resources.”
Note more examples further below regarding the ongoing practice of extreme Woke Progressives/leftists to smear fellow leftists/liberals, moderate progressives, independents, as well as conservatives, with extremist labels in order to discredit them, usually for exposing corruption on the left. The smears include “far Right extremist… Right-winger/white supremacist… racist… fascist… Nazi/Hitler-like… threat to democracy… using speech that incites hate/violence…” and on and on.
Thoughtless, and too often intentionally malicious, tribal smearing is not the best way to respond to healthy human diversity of thought/opinion/speech. It is not the best way to encourage the flourishing of liberal democracy and its primary principles of full inclusion of diverse humanity (diversity of opinion/practise/lifestyles), equality of rights and freedoms (most critically equality in freedom of speech), generous forgiveness of offenses/failure (restorative justice approaches), and more that marks us as “towering in stature as maturely human” (Joseph Campbell on “the hero’s journey”).
The increasing danger here is the “creeping totalitarianism” that appears intent on silencing opposition (disagreement, dissent) with censorship, cancelling, and banning entirely from public forums. Too many (on both sides but today arguably mainly from the left, even in the opinion of many liberals/leftists) have embraced extremist tribal mindsets where they view themselves as heroes in righteous battles against intolerable “evil”, even criminal evil on the other side. Evil that must be stopped, even if with state coercion/force and other forms of violence. The “evil of the differing other” is too often something far less threatening than the exaggerated monstrosity that has been created by the extremist tribal mind (again, both sides guilty of such).
(Insert note: What happened to views of the underlying, fundamental oneness of the human family? And the primacy of that as our most basic identity marker?)
Moderates like leftist Jimmy Dore have argued well that both sides can find common ground for cooperation on important issues that they both agree on- i.e. economic prosperity for all, criminal justice reform and public safety, basic health care, etc. (And, as good as his commentary is on many issues, I am not with Jimmy on his climate alarmism.)
Gutfeld: Some of the best social commentary out there, done with humor. Even liberal/Democrat guest Harrold Ford agrees with fellow Democrat, Senator Ro Khanna, that government collaborating with social media companies to censor opposition is wrong, a serious issue for democracy…
This important new paper from climate physicist William Happer on the benefits of CO2 to all life. This is the most basic factual science on CO2 and it overturns the climate alarmism narrative entirely.
Conclusion? There is no sound scientific reason to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies. More CO2 and more warming are significant benefits to all life.
To all concerned about freedom, liberal democracy, Classic Liberalism, here is some good commentary from Rex Murphy on Canadian government censorship, also Canadian media censorship…
This from Bjorn Lomborg at…
“Each year, heat kills half a million people but cold kills 4.5 million people, nine times more. Yet, most reporting focuses on heat deaths because it fits the climate alarm narrative”.
This article illustrates the exaggerated twisting of other’s positions/speech in order to demonize wholesale the differing other. Wendell Krossa
In this article link just above, note how MSNBC anchor Ali Velshi distorts things by claiming the general free speech program promoted by Elon Musk equates with “a deluge of hate speech”. There are always lunatic extremists from both sides that will spout hate on public forums (e.g. White supremacist racists, Antifa fascists). But that hate speech is not what Musk is promoting. He is restoring free speech for all. And some nut cases will insert themselves into the mix, nutcases from both sides. But to state that Musk’s restoring of free speech for all is “a sudden deluge of hate speech” shows that Velshi is irresponsibly distorting Musk’s intentions and his essential project. Velshi has shamefully resorted to thoughtless tribal smearing.
This has become too common from the left today- to mischaracterize everything that they disagree with, using all-encompassing smears such as “racism… fascism… hate speech… Nazism… violent speech… threat to democracy…” and so on. The liberal media are losing control of the narrative that they want the public to believe and in response they have resorted to the above childish demonizing/smearing of others who dissent from their views.
This is widespread today- to frame some general thing that you don’t like with the non-distinguishing generalization as being entirely “evil”, and to demonize those involved in that thing that you disagree with as being “dangerous threats to (your view of) democracy”. Such distortion and exaggeration clouds things that ought to be distinguished and clarified. The careless, even often malicious, and intentional confusion of differing things reveals a tribal mentality that wants to smear and demonize differing others, that views itself in a righteous battle against evil enemies that must be destroyed. So try to smear, demonize, and then silence them as irredeemably bad, intolerantly evil. How much of what Velshi calls “hate speech” is just the differing opinion on the other side? Just general conservative difference of views.
Remember what happened with Biden’s laptop- how it was initially censored and condemned as “Russian disinformation” and then public media forums shut down reporting on that. They refused to permit any sharing of the story when it emerged. But then later, even most liberal media admitted that it was true (after their guy was safely in office). Also, the Wuhan lab theory was initially demonized as “racism” and that legitimate story was silenced on social media. But again later, media admitted that it was a credible theory. This authoritarian censorship has been exhibited repeatedly over past years, coming mainly from the left.
“As it stands, social media platforms like Twitter are free to limit as much or as little free speech as they want, barring a few exceptions. Ultimately, any limits imposed will be defined by the company’s own values and the sudden deluge of dangerous hate speech on Twitter arguably reflects the values of a new owner.
Here is another example of how Woke Progressives frame the harmless speech of differing others as “speech that causes violence”. This is extremist exaggeration to demonize and silence others from voicing their differing opinions…
Here is the summary of what is detailed in the article in the link below…
First… “Lisa Desmond, manager of the local Endicott Branch Library, wrote on Facebook earlier this month that its annual Christmas tree display had apparently been canceled to prevent offending people.
Her further comment- “When I asked, I was told ‘people’ were made uncomfortable last year looking at it. I’m sorry WHAT? In my 28 years at the Dedham Public Library, I have never heard a negative comment,” Desmond continued…”
Then this from the Woke lady who was outraged at someone expressing her opinion about the Christmas tree…
“Diane Loud, who was appointed to the Human Rights Commission in Dedham, Massachusetts, by the town’s Commission on Disability, reportedly called Desmond “a selfish f—ing b—-” in a subsequent Facebook post that accused her of endangering lives by raising the issue… (Loud continues) “For a tree? For a motherf—ing tree? You have put people’s lives in a lot of danger. A LOT of danger,” Loud wrote to Desmond. Loud added, “In closing, I would like to add a F— YOU, YOU PIECES OF TRASH. I hate each and every one of you and I do wish great suffering on you. You are terrible, terrible people. And you did it all because you didn’t get your way. You are despicable,” Loud concluded.”
Now who is inciting violence by her speech???
And another on the exaggerated demonization of the differing opinions of others as “threatening… hate speech…. speech that incites violence…” etc. Over past years we have seen the increasing trend to use exaggerated smears that characterize the expression of differing opinions as “racist… fascism…. Right-wing extremism… Nazism… using hate speech that incites violence…” and on and on.
“Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, asked about Musk’s tweets criticizing Fauci, called them “personal attacks” that are “incredibly dangerous.”
Here is further illustration of people on the left smearing others they disagree with in order to discredit them, even though both Taibbi and Weiss are both “left of center Progressives” who have become too independent (meaning extreme leftists don’t like their abandonment of the extreme Woke Progressive narrative). Here are some key quotes outlining what the left now constantly does to silence those it disagrees with. The point of such smears is to discredit the speaker while ignoring the content of what is communicated which is often some exposure of corruption on the left.
“The Washington Post was blasted for characterizing the center-left reporters behind the viral “Twitter Files” as being “conservative journalists.”
“Taibbi, a Substack writer who used to be a scribe for Rolling Stone magazine, and Weiss, the editor of The Free Press and host of the “Honestly” podcast who used to be the opinion page editor at The New York Times, are widely seen as being left of center, although they have become thorns in the sides of traditional liberal outlets since going independent.
“Despite their progressive views on a host of issues, the Post still labeled them “conservative.”
“Calling those two ‘conservative’ is so patently ridiculous. Wacky WaPo gaslighting like crazy,” Sky News host Rita Panahi exclaimed.
“It is rather insane that news publications are ascribing political ideologies to journalists that don’t remotely fit because they want to discredit the journalism being done,” conservative writer A.G. Hamilton tweeted.
“They are not interested in actually telling the truth. Everything is spin,” National Review contributor Pradheep J. Shanker wrote.
“‘Conservative’ is just a smear to the MSM. It has no other meaning except to brand someone as unworthy. To signal to its readership that such a person can be safely ignored,” journalist and author Abigail Shrier tweeted.
“We must understand how leftists and wokesters use words. They don’t care that calling Taibbi and Weiss conservatives is a lie. WaPo uses that word to signal to its NPC readers that Taibbi/Weiss are the evil out-group and therefore everything they say should be ignored,” The Federalist co-founder Sean Davis blasted the paper.
“There’s almost a medieval quality to a lot of political discourse. If you don’t agree with every mainstream liberal opinion, then you’re a conservative? They see the world in black and white,” The Intercept investigative reporter Lee Fang said.
Another illustration of excessively “Woke” reaction to differing speech- a lady criminalized (“criminal hate speech”) and threatened with 3 years in prison for stating her harmless, innocuous opinion?!? What the fuck? Who really is inciting harm/violence here? Lets end this Woke/cancel insanity. It emotes the strong whiff of harsh totalitarian intolerance.
“Common sense can no longer defuse absurd situations”, Greg Gutfeld referring to the Ontario schoolboard deferring to the shop teacher wearing grotesquely oversized fake breasts to class.
In this Norwegian situation- Common sense no longer shapes human views of differing others and their speech. Woke insanity/extremism dominates too many today.
Also along this line of comment:
There are those among us who believe that when a few people abuse something, then laws must be made to prohibit entirely the thing that has been abused by the few. Examples here include prohibition of alcohol in the last century, also many drugs, and “hate speech”. The prohibitions then limit the freedom of all people, even the majorities that use the prohibited things moderately and carefully, who do not abuse them at all.
The few will that abuse something will always be with us, but that is not reason to then shut down broadly and carefully used things entirely for all others. That is an illogical and irrational prohibition response. Much like alcohol prohibition in the last century for all, because a few abused that product.
Part of the prohibition response to problems is based on “slippery sliding slope” theory- that if laws are not made to criminalize things that are abused by the few then whole populations will slip downslope to hell in a handbasket.
See new comment below on “The loss of ‘general public’ support for social movements” when Woke elements pull movements toward extremist positions.
How’s this for a fact-check challenge to global warming alarmism?
And another from Robert Bradley- “Climate, CO2 Optimism”
The real crisis facing humanity/world, Wendell Krossa
There is a human-caused crisis spreading across the world, but it is not the supposed “climate crisis” that alarmist prophets have been terrorizing and traumatizing populations with. The human-caused crisis is the decarbonization crusade that is ruining societies and harming the poorest people the most, due to government policy (i.e. the Net Zero policies that block the development and use of fossil fuel resources). These policies are inflating energy costs, and thereby depriving many of the abundant and cheap energy that is vital to human success and flourishing.
The human-caused decarbonization crisis is driven by ideas and supporting “facts” that are not scientific but have been properly identified as being more mythological/cultic in nature, and some of the most primitive of mythical themes like apocalyptic (i.e. the endless prophecies of the looming “end of days”- “climate catastrophe… species holocaust… existential crisis…” etc.).
The “scientific facts” that are regularly used to affirm the climate crisis are the products of confirmation bias distortion. We see this in the media obsession with every severe weather event that is presented by alarmists as more proof of “catastrophic climate change” becoming worse day by day. This is the alarmist obsession with exaggerating historically common weather events to apocalyptic scale (“the worst on record”) and claiming that they are evidence of the imminent climate apocalypse. But fact-checking research, by credible climate scientists, shows that the weather events of our era are no different from the past- no worse, and no more frequent. Most weather events are more correctly attributed to natural local factors and not overall climate.
Note also the reports by Jim Steele on Wattsupwiththat.com, for example…
The insanity of the decarbonization crusade has now become evident in the mounting damage to societies from anti-fossil fuel policies that have resulted in energy scarcity that is causing rising energy prices and general inflation (i.e. the 6000 basic products that are derived from or dependent on fossil fuels). The consequent human suffering from decarbonization is especially egregious because there is no good evidence that human use of fossil fuels, and related CO2 emissions, causes climate change (see Senator Malcolm Roberts “Submission to Australian government” in the section below). The trace greenhouse gas CO2 is not the control knob for climate change.
Further, there is no evidence of any dangerous warming occurring. Our world has experienced only a mild and beneficial 1 degree C of warming over the past century. There is no evidence of worsening storms, floods, droughts, fires, or other supposed climate disasters from this mild warming (even the IPCC, in its more rational assessments, acknowledges this).
Basic climate science affirms that CO2 is not the main influence on climate change as other natural factors show stronger correlations to the climate change that we have seen over past decades, centuries, and millennia. Further, climate physicists (Richard Lindzen, William Happer, and others) have shown that the warming effect of CO2 has already become “saturated” and is now declining logarithmically. Meaning that increasing CO2 levels will not contribute much to any possible further warming.
The fact remains- We need several more degrees of warming in our still too cold world where 10 times more people die every year from cold than die from warmth. More warming will save far more lives from cold mortality than the possible additional lives lost to more warming. And more CO2 will continue to green the planet more, thus providing more food for animals and increased crop production for humanity. All beneficial outcomes, and not a threat to life. Further warming will mean a return to more normal and optimal conditions for all life because for over 80% of the Phanerozoic history of life (past 500 million years) climate has been 3-6 degrees warmer than today’s world. And all life flourished in that much warmer world.
Insert note: The fact that deaths from climate-related disasters have fallen 98% over the past century, and the fact that far fewer people die from heat than die from cold, shows that people can adapt and survive more warming better than we can survive cold.
The climate alarmism crusade has revealed itself as an apocalyptic cult that has embraced the same old themes of past similarly religious apocalyptic crusades. Historians have written books detailing the similarities between mythical/religious and ideological apocalyptic movements (Arthur Herman, Richard Landes, Arthur Mendel, Dave Redles, among others).
This site looks at the basic themes of apocalyptic cults and their destructive outcomes. This site probes the origins and descent of the apocalyptic complex of ideas/themes down through history- beginning with the original primitive mythologies, then to the world religions, and now to “secular/ideological” movements like 19th Century Declinism that dominates today’s world.
Awareness of the root issues related to a problem is a first step to finding solutions. Note in this regard Julian Simon’s autobiographical testimony that he had formerly embraced environmental alarmism narratives and was consequently a “clinically depressed” man. Then he researched for himself the key indicators on the true state of the world and found that alarmist narratives were all wrong. Yes, there were problems everywhere that needed attention and solving, but, he discovered, humanity was doing well in solving the problems and caring for the world. He said that after finding out the true state of the world, his depression left him and never returned. Good evidence revealed that the exaggerations and distortions of environmental alarmists were wrong.
This site also recognizes that most people live more by story than by scientific fact. And the themes that shape human stories are often residual pathologies from an ancient past, an inheritance of beliefs that profoundly distort reality and life.
Julian Simon re-evaluated the apocalyptic themes that he had embraced from environmental alarmism and then changed his personal narrative with factual evidence to better express the true state of life. He rejected the doom and gloom narrative of environmental alarmism. His new narrative transformed his mind, emotions, and overall outlook on life. This site argues for the same re-evaluation of personal narratives to detect residual pathologies of apocalyptic/millennial themes and then expunge them for better ideas that get us closer to the true state of things.
The apocalyptic/millennial complex of themes that has long deformed human narratives and consciousness: Here are the main myths/themes, the basic framework of apocalyptic millennial salvationism…
(1) The world was originally a paradise, but (2) human corruption/sin ruined paradise, and (3) life then declined toward something worse, and eventually (4) will degenerate to an apocalyptic ending. The hope for salvation demands that humanity (5) must purge the “evil” threat to life (the “sin”), (6) make a sacrifice to appease some upset Force/deity, and (7) then paradise can be restored.
In contemporary environmental alarmism, these apocalyptic millennial themes are presented in the “secular/ideological” Declinist narrative which states that (1) the past wilderness world was the original paradise, (2) corrupt people in industrial civilization have ruined that paradise world, (3) now life is declining and will end in (4) environmental/climate apocalypse. Salvation demands (5) that humanity purge the thing that threatens life- i.e. today the great evil threat to life is supposedly fossil fuels/CO2. The sacrifice that humanity must make to appease the angry deities of today is (6) to abandon the good life in modern civilization and return to a simple low-consumption lifestyle, and (7) then paradise can be restored, according to the alarmist prophets.
The threat of apocalypse incites survival fear in populations and consequent irrationality. People then become susceptible to irrational salvation schemes like decarbonization, even when the salvation plan so obviously ruins society. This is the insanity of apocalyptic movements, the “madness of crowds” that embrace- “destroy the world to save it”.
Sites of interest affirming there is “no climate crisis”:
The body of evidence on climate has now become overwhelming (i.e. the “unknowns/uncertainties” and the better knowns) yet this evidence is still denied by alarmists who base their climate apocalypse narrative on discredited models (“running too hot”). This means that the charge of “climate change denier” (used constantly by climate alarmists to smear those who disagree with their apocalyptic narrative) is a case of “psychological projection”. The alarmists are the real deniers of the good science showing that there is no climate crisis, not the skeptics of their apocalyptic-scale exaggeration.
Alarmist projection is much like the Leftist/Woke Progressive claim that all their opponents are “threats to democracy” when the actual censorship on social media, the banning of dissenting opinion and speech, the distortion of dissent as “misinformation/disinformation”, and the cancelling of careers, even endeavor to criminalize dissent (e.g. Pres. Obama’s AG, Loretta Lynch, in 2016), etc.- all such authoritarian, anti-democratic crackdown has been mainly coming from the Woke Left over the past decade. That creeping totalitarianism from the Left has been the real threat to democracy. Yet these people claim that the other side is the threat to democracy- even claiming that Elon Musk’s advocacy for free speech is a threat. What an upside down, topsy turvy world, eh.
Some related comment from Glen Greenwald on the media hysteria over the left’s loss of censorship powers and restoration of free speech for all.
“The media’s deranged hysteria over Elon Musk’s promised restoration of free speech”, Glen Greenwald
“It was easy to predict that there would be an all-out war from Western power centers if Musk sought to mildly reduce censorship on Twitter. Still, the media outdid itself.
“It is hard to overstate how manic, primal and unhinged is the reaction of corporate media employees to the mere prospect that new Twitter owner Elon Musk may restore a modicum of greater free speech to that platform. It was easy to predict— back when Musk was merely toying with the idea of buying Twitter and loosening some of its censorship restrictions — that there would be an all-out attack from Western power centers if he tried. Online censorship has become one of the most potent propaganda weapons they possess, and there is no way they will allow anyone to dilute it even mildly without attempting to destroy them. Even with that expectation in place of what was to come, the liberal sector of the corporate media (by far the most dominant media sector) really outdid itself when it came to group-think panic, rhetorical excess, and reckless and shrill accusations.
“In unison, these media outlets decreed that not only would greater free speech on Twitter usher in the usual parade of horribles they trot out when demanding censorship — disinformation, hate speech, attacks on the “marginalized,” etc. etc. — but this time they severely escalated their rhetorical hysteria by claiming that Musk would literally cause mass murder by permitting a broader range of political opinion to be aired. The Washington Post’s Taylor Lorenz even warned of supernatural demons that would be unleashed by these new free speech policies, as she talked to a handful of obviously neurotic pro-censorship “experts” and then wrote about these thinly disguised therapy sessions with those neurotics under this headline: “‘Opening the gates of hell’: Musk says he will revive banned accounts.”
“But the self-evident absurdity of this laughable meltdown and the ease of mocking it should not obscure that there are lurking within these episodes some genuinely insidious and serious dangers. These preposterous media employees are just the sideshow. But what they are doing, unwittingly or otherwise, is laying the groundwork for far less frivolous and more serious people to use the attacks on Musk to further fortify the regime of censorship they have been constructing: the limitlessly demonizing language heaped on him, the success they have already had in driving away many if not most corporate advertisers from Twitter, the threats to once again abuse the monopoly power of Google and Apple to destroy Twitter or at least cripple it if Musk does not comply with their censorship orders (as they succeeded in doing last year to the free speech site Parler when it became the most-downloaded app in the country and refused to censor on demand).
“To examine the media tactics being invoked, and to highlight the underlying conflicts among power centers at stake in this battle, we devoted our monologue to this topic as part of Friday night’s episode of the pre-launch test-runs we are airing of our new live SYSTEM UPDATE program, soon to debut nightly on Rumble.”
And this addition from another post:
“Elon Musk caused a flurry on social media after the tech CEO posted a meme mocking CNN’s concerns about free speech on Twitter.
“Musk posted a picture of CNN’s Don Lemon on Monday, alongside a satirical chyron that read “Elon Musk could threaten free speech on Twitter by allowing people to speak freely.””
The root ideas behind apocalyptic cults/crusades, Wendell Krossa
Here is more on this site’s project of going to root ideas to probe inhumane themes that distort human narratives and deform human consciousness and life, notably, how the themes of primitive mythologies continue to dominate contemporary “secular/ideological” narratives. This site presents the apocalyptic/millennial ideas from primitive mythologies that were passed down to world religions and then embraced by “secular” ideologies like Declinism and its offspring- climate alarmism.
Next: A summary of the core teaching of Historical Jesus, based in part on “Q Wisdom Sayings” gospel research. This material is critical to solving the problem of apocalyptic in today’s “secular/ideological” narratives because the Christ myth of Paul has been the main factor in keeping apocalyptic pathology alive in Western and world consciousness and narratives.
The core message of Jesus:
“Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love only those who love you, what credit is that to you? Everyone finds it easy to love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Everyone can do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Most will lend to others, expecting to be repaid in full. But do something more heroic, more humane. (Live on a higher plane of human experience). Do not retaliate against your offenders/enemies with ‘eye for eye’ justice. Instead, love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then you will be just like God because God does not retaliate against God’s enemies. God does not mete out eye for eye justice. Instead, God is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. God causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Be unconditionally loving, just as your God is unconditionally loving”. (My paraphrase of Luke 6:32-36 or Matthew 5:38-48.)
The greatest religious contradiction ever foisted on humanity (or “My position on Historical Jesus versus the Christian Christ myth”), Wendell Krossa
I basically accept the outcomes of the now almost three-century long “search for the Historical Jesus”. The latest stage of that search has been the Jesus Seminar, organized in 1985. It is widely affirmed now that Jesus existed but what he actually taught was only a small portion of what the New Testament (NT) attributes to him. Much of what the gospels claim that he said and did contradicts entirely his central theme and message. The closest that we get to what Jesus actually taught would be the “Q Wisdom Sayings” gospel material presented by scholars like James Robinson and John Kloppenborg, among others.
Note, for example, Jesus’ statement recorded in Matthew 5:38-48 to “love your enemies”. A statement of supreme love. Then a few chapters later Matthew claims that Jesus stated that those hamlets that rejected his miracles and message would be damned to hell (“cast into outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth”). To state that unbelievers would be damned is a statement of utmost hatred for others that cannot be reconciled with the previous statement of supreme love for even enemies. Those entirely contradictory statements do not come from the same person.
My position- Historical Jesus is not the same person as the Christ of Paul that is presented all through the New Testament. The Christ myth of Paul, that dominates the rest of the New Testament, profoundly distorts the message and life of Jesus.
Additionally, I don’t “believe in Jesus”. But I do recognize and appreciate that the historical person offered an insight on theology that was unprecedented in human history.
The core teaching of Historical Jesus is the “diamonds/pearls”, that Thomas Jefferson and Leo Tolstoy referred to, that are buried in the “dung, slime, muck, garbage” that is the surrounding New Testament context. Harsh words, eh. But they express something of the stunning contradiction between Jesus’ actual core message and the other NT teaching that has been attributed to him.
Historical Jesus, in his main teaching, offered a brilliantly new and unique insight into theology, a “diamond” insight that was entirely original in the history of human mythology, religion, or spirituality. To present his new insight, Jesus employed the ancient practice of relating a human behavior to a similar theological belief. His basic argument: Do this because God is like this. He based an ethic on a similar theological insight or belief. He appealed to a particular feature of God to validate similar human behavior.
I am referring to the behavior/belief relationship that people have used all across history. Note how the Hebrews (Old Testament) did the same centuries earlier when they claimed that all the details of their lives were modelled after the divine word/will/law of God that they believed was revealed to them. They were following the divine pattern even down to details like where the 12 tribes were to be located around the temple during the camping stops on the journey from Egypt to Palestine. They validated their behavior/lives with appeal to a divine model or pattern- what they believed to be the word/law/will of God.
Jesus also used this behavior/belief relationship when he stated his core teaching (repeated again here- note especially the highlighted sections of his core message), “Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love only those who love you, what credit is that to you? Everyone finds it easy to love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Everyone can do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Most will lend to others, expecting to be repaid in full. But do something more heroic, more humane. (Live on a higher plane of human experience). Do not retaliate against your offenders/enemies with ‘eye for eye’ justice. Instead, love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then you will be just like God because God does not retaliate against God’s enemies. God does not mete out eye for eye justice. Instead, God is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. God causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Be unconditionally loving, just as your God is unconditionally loving”. (My paraphrase of Luke 6:32-36 or Matthew 5:38-48.)
On Jesus’ “stunning new” breakthrough insight regarding deity:
James Robinson says that Jesus was the first to introduce the “stunning new theology of a non-retaliatory God”. No one before Jesus had ever presented such a view of deity anywhere in human history. Others had preceded Jesus in advocating for a non-retaliatory behavioral response to enemies. Like the Akkadian Father some 2200 years before Jesus who told his son, “Do not return evil to your adversary; requite with kindness the one who does evil to you, maintain justice for your enemy, be friendly to your enemy. Give food to eat, beer to drink, grant what is requested, provide for and treat with honor”.
But that Father had then added, “Make sacrifice to your god”, meaning- appease your threatening and retaliatory deity. The Akkadian Father did not base the non-retaliatory behavior on a similar non-retaliatory theology as the validation for the behavior. He still embraced the same old views of gods as retaliatory, punitive monsters that needed appeasement with blood sacrifice.
It took further millennia, until Jesus, before non-retaliatory behavior was finally based on an entirely new theology of a non-retaliatory God, an unconditionally loving God. That was the brilliant new theological discovery, the uniquely humane insight of Historical Jesus.
Flesh out fully what Jesus was actually stating in the full context of his message. He said that God does not retaliate with eye for eye justice but instead loves enemies, meaning that there is no retributive, judging, punishing God. And that means, fundamentally, that there is no need for atonement- i.e. no need for a blood sacrifice to appease an angry, retaliatory deity, and thereby gain forgiveness and acceptance. Jesus’ statement further means that there is no separation of humanity from God, a sundered relationship that needs to be reconciled. And ultimately no future punishment in hell- the ultimate form of divine retaliation.
Jesus was the first person that we know of to state this new theology. See Matthew 5 and the better version of the same message in Luke 6. Matthew, obsessed with righteousness, ends the chapter 5:38-48 section with “Be perfect as your Father is perfect” and thereby misses Jesus’ overall unconditional point. Luke expresses the unconditional spirit of Jesus better by concluding that same Jesus’ message with- “Be unconditionally merciful just as your Father is unconditionally merciful” (my paraphrase).
A God who loved enemies is a statement that argues for a love that includes all, forgives all, loves all the same. Again, take this new feature of unconditional divine love to its full conclusions: There will be no ultimate judgment by God, no ultimate exclusion of anyone, and no ultimate punitive destruction of anyone, whether in apocalypse or hell. This is an entirely new God theory- that of an unconditionally loving God. And it sets forth an entirely new ultimate ideal of how to love offenders/enemies in this world. It is an entirely new and fully humane ideal to validate similarly humane behavior and life.
An unconditional deity is not a call to abandon common sense in an imperfect world with violent people and pathologies like psychopathy. Unconditional deity is not a call to feel mushy, fuzzy, or warm toward offenders and offenses that rightly evoke rage as the normal human response. It is not a call to free violent people from incarceration, people who cannot or will not control their worst impulses to harm others. It is not a call to dogmatic pacifism- i.e. to back down (“turn the other cheek”) in the face of larger movements of aggression or violence, as in wars started by totalitarian dictators. No. It means none of that.
But it is a call to maintain one’s own humanity in the face of evil by holding the intention to treat all humanely with restorative and not punitive justice. It argues for the intention to love (as response, action), no matter how one feels about the offenders and their offenses.
The need for such common sense in a violent and imperfect world does not change the theological insight made by Jesus that God was non-retaliatory (no more eye for eye), that God was unconditional love (love even your enemy, “sun and rain given to righteous and unrighteous alike”). Keep the theology clear and grant others the freedom to respond to that ultimate ideal as they choose- i.e. the choice to give to those who will not repay, to be good to those who are not good in return, or to not choose such “love your enemy” responses. That is all part of human freedom to wrestle with a theological insight that is profoundly liberating.
Treating all people unconditionally, both good and bad, liberates us from the animal-like impulse to retaliate with eye for eye or punitive responses. It liberates us to engage the supremely human impulses that include all people equally- both believers and unbelievers, both good people and bad people. It liberates us to forgive all, knowing that there will be no ultimate separation of anyone from God, no ultimate judgment, and no ultimate punishment or destruction of anyone.
But the question remains: Why then does evil exist in this world? Some suggest that dualism- notably, the dualism between good and evil- is a reality that is limited to this physical world (Joseph Campbell, for one, made this point). But there is no ultimate metaphysical dualism as in myths of a cosmic dualism between God versus Satan. So then, we wrestle with why dualism exists here. Perhaps dualism is only a temporary element of material reality, useful for living a story here and now, something that enables us to experience the freedom to choose good from evil and thereby grow and develop as human. Perhaps dualism exists here to provide a contrast with good so that we may fully understand and experience good as contrasted with its opposite? Philosophers of evil suggest that dualism between good and evil is necessary for authentic moral good to occur. They suggest that true moral good is only known and experienced when we struggle with its opposite and freely choose for good against its opposite- evil.
Whatever our conclusions on such things, the struggle with evil here does not change the core theological insight, the ultimate ideal in that brilliant insight of Historical Jesus- i.e. that God is a non-retaliatory reality, an ultimate Reality that is unconditional love toward all, toward both good and bad people. The responsibility to use common sense in the “here and now” world does not change the nature of ultimate reality and the ultimate ideal of a non-retaliatory, unconditional God. That ultimate reality serves to inspire and validate behavior based on a similar belief- “be like this (non-retaliatory) because God is like this (non-retaliatory)”. “Love your enemy because God does”. That is the single most profound insight ever spoken and does more to liberate human consciousness and transform human existence, than anything else. There is limitless potential for an unconditional ultimate ideal to take humanity into a better future.
None of the above diminishes the need to fight evil in this life/world. It does not diminish the responsibility of all for their behavior and the consequences of behavior. Even in restorative justice approaches toward offenders there must be proper restitution to victims. All such responsibility is part of “growing the fuck up” and becoming maturely human.
Historical Jesus was a common man just like any other human being across history. He was not specially incarnated by God in any manner that is different than the rest of us who share the common human spirit that he possessed. He was clearly imperfect as seen, for example, in his nasty treatment of his mother and siblings who arrived outside a house and just wanted to talk to him (Luke 8: 20-21). He responded to their visit and concern for him with callous irresponsibility, stating that he had devoted himself to God and could not be bothered to treat his family with common human decency. That was an episode of embarrassingly petty and inhuman behavior from Jesus.
Further, scholars suggest that it was likely that Jesus was the child of a rape by Roman soldiers as noted in gospel comments made by Jesus’ detractors- i.e. “Who is his father?” https://www.reuters.com/article/us-verhoeven-idUSN2334241120080423
But nonetheless, the man offered this great insight on non-retaliatory, unconditional theology, and his stunning insight has been widely affirmed by the NDE movement- i.e. that God is an inexpressibly wondrous unconditional love. Meaning, as some NDErs conclude: “My Christian beliefs are all wrong. There is no angry God, no judgment, no hell, only a stunningly inexpressible unconditional love and light”.
And they add the further discovery/insight that we are all one with that ultimate reality. As the Hindus say, “We (atman- human selves) are that (Brahman or deity- the greater “All”)”.
Jesus died protesting sacrifice and the need for atonement. Paul ignored that central point of Jesus message and life and perverted Jesus entirely by claiming that he represented an ultimate cosmic sacrifice and the need for blood atonement made to God. Paul’s Christ myth is simply the greatest contradiction in all history- the greatest perversion of a historical figure to claim that the person represented the very opposite of what he had taught.
And this site repeatedly notes that the Christ myth has been mainly responsible for keeping pathologies like apocalyptic alive in Western consciousness over subsequent millennia. Look at the ongoing damage from such mythology even today in climate apocalyptic and decarbonization. Historians have traced out the historical shifts from ancient mythology to contemporary “secular ideology” and the consequent damaging influence from continuing to embrace primitive myths like apocalyptic, the consequent mass-death that is the outcome of apocalyptic movements like Marxism, Nazism, and alarmist environmentalism.
Mendel- “apocalyptic has been the most violent and destructive idea in history”. Nuff said, eh.
And another note:
I would add my own point to arguments over whether Jesus was apocalyptic or not, affirming that Jesus was not apocalyptic because he clearly stated that he rejected the idea of a retaliatory God in his Math.5 and Luke 6 comments (both versions are the same message but just given different settings by different authors). Jesus rejected eye for eye retaliatory justice based on his view of a God that did not retaliate against offenders but instead loved enemies.
If, as Jesus claimed, God did not retaliate against enemies but instead loved God’s enemies, then God was not apocalyptic because apocalyptic is the ultimate act of retaliation against enemies, the supreme and final destruction and punishment of enemies.
In the central part of his message (i.e. the first version of Q Wisdom Sayings gospel), Jesus presents nothing that would lead us to conclude that he believed in a retaliatory God using violence to destroy the world and punish enemies (i.e. apocalyptic destruction). Later versions of the Q Wisdom Sayings gospel were apparently edited to include an apocalyptic element that changed entirely the original message of Jesus.
Paul took the opposite stance to Jesus and embraced a retaliatory God that would destroy God’s enemies. Paul states his retaliatory theology in Romans 12, quoting an Old Testament statement, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord”. His embrace of an apocalyptic deity is also expressed in his retaliatory/apocalyptic Christ myth presented in his Thessalonian letters. He states that “Lord Jesus will return in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus”.
Paul’s retaliatory Christ myth, and his retaliatory theology/God, is entirely contrary to the non-retaliatory theology of Jesus. Paul’s apocalyptic theology is entirely contrary to the non-apocalyptic message of Jesus.
This site is all about an adventure, a quest.
This site goes after monsters with the dream of conquering, slaying those monsters (perhaps a bit like Don Quixote? Or John Lennon?). This site argues that the greatest monsters are embedded in human narratives from where they have wreaked incalculable destruction across history- mental, emotional, motivational, behavioral damage. I refer, notably, to the theological monsters/gods that are the most dominant ideas that validate all other features of our narratives.
The reasoning for this quest to bring down monstrous ideas is that the ideas/ideals of our narratives incite/inspire human thought, perception, emotion, motivation, and consequent response/behavior. Human god theories play the dominant role here. We become just like the God (the ultimate ideal) that we believe in. Monstrous gods have always incited and validated monstrous behavior by the followers of such gods.
While the earliest monster gods were created at the very beginning, little has changed across subsequent history, except the forms of expression. The earliest gods had already been fully shaped by our ancestors who projected onto them features that were subhuman, inhuman, more animal-like than human.
I have repeatedly summarized those base features in the triad of- (1) tribal exclusion, (2) domination, and (3) punitive destruction of differing others. If you engage and practise these three, they will identify you as more animal-like than human. And engaging/practising the opposites of these three will take you to authentically human existence- i.e. (1) including all as free equals (embracing and celebrating human diversity), (2) non-dominating relating (again, respect and treatment of all as free equals), and (3) non-punitive justice (holding all responsible for behavior, restraining the worst behavior but treating offenders with restorative justice).
The earliest monster deities became the prototypes, archetypes for many prominent human ideals that followed down through history. Those early deities were embraced by the great world religions, and then in the modern era they were embraced by “secular/ideological” systems, even scientific thinking. I have suggested before that there was an element of apocalyptic belief in the formerly dominant idea that the 2nd Law of thermodynamics dominated the direction of the cosmos. A kind of declinism that is fundamental to apocalyptic mythology.
We see the old threatening monsters again today in contemporary deities like “vengeful Gaia, angry Mother Earth/Planet, punitive Universe, and payback karma”. These threatening deities have wreaked incalculable psychic misery on billions of people across history by stating that the physical suffering people experienced through natural disaster, disease, and predatory cruelty was punishment from gods for human “sin/imperfection”. This added psychic burden of fear, anxiety, shame, guilt has deformed human personality and life with despair, depression, fatalism/resignation, and violence. See good treatments of how bad theology deforms human life in books like Zenon Lotufo’s “Cruel God, Kind God”, or Harold Ellens’ “The Destructive Power of Religion: Violence in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam”.
You will never fully liberate human consciousness and transform life for the better until you go to these root monsters (monstrous ideas/themes) and purge them from our narratives, whether religious or ideological.
This site offers the feature of unconditional as a foundational theme for transforming narratives from the core on out- i.e. the “stunning new theology” of a God that is inexpressibly transcendent “no conditions love”. This feature more than any other liberates consciousness from our most primal fears of this-life harm and after-life harm. Whatever happens to us in life we can be sure there is no God behind life that is trying to punish us for our imperfections. And there will be no future judgment (only self-evaluation as in the NDE life review), no future exclusion of anyone, no eternal servitude to dominating lords, and no punitive destruction of anyone.
Projecting base animal features onto deity, was a profound distortion of deity at the very beginning that has enslaved human consciousness far too long. It is far past time to slay those monsters once and for all. And enter the real kingdom of God in this life- an existence free of mythologically-based fear of divine monsters. Unconditional deity affirms that we are surrounded and interpenetrated by a stunningly inexpressible love. We are one with the Ultimate Consciousness/Reality that is that profound love (closer than our own atoms, our breath). That love is also our essential nature, our true self. Chew on that for a while, eh. Wendell Krossa
Another post from me (Wendell Krossa) responding to a post from Bob Brinsmead to our discussion group:
There is no way you can gussy up (i.e. put lipstick on a pig) what sacrifice/atonement has been about over history and across the world. While accompanied by so much hocus pocus looney ritual features, the brutality of human sacrifice is beyond disgusting and it is all based on such primitive distortions in thought/perception- i.e. that there are angry deities threatening people with disease, disaster, death mainly via the natural world. So placate/appease the monsters with blood. Get a grip on the essential barbarity of all this and don’t waste time trying to defend it, or gussy it up as something else than what it essentially is about. And the Christian version is just the same in its basic elements. Again, I refer all to Nigel Davies’ “Human sacrifice: In history and today”.
This from Bob:
“Yes, and one has put it, “the (Christ myth) is the most compelling myth in the history of man”. It was such because Paul brought all those basic myths- i.e. combat myths, apocalyptic myths especially set out by Zarathustra, all those dying and rising divinities (i.e. Osiris in Egypt), the spilling of royal and divine blood for salvation, and shortly following Paul to his logical end, all those virgin born godmen and heroes- Paul was able to meld all of the ancient myths– yes, I nearly forgot– including the myths about sacrifice- and he brought them all together as the most compelling myth in the history of man because he wrapped up and embodied all those myths in the history of man in his one brilliant Christ myth. Greco-Roman civilization was ready to embrace such a myth because in its cultural genes it already embodied all those myths– and even Celcus, the great pagan critic of the Christian religion, as well as Justin the first great Christian apologist, recognized that all those old myths were absorbed into Christianity. No wonder the so-called Jewish Christians were appalled by the way that their Jesus had been hijacked by Paul’s Gentile version of Jesus.”
Tribal collectivism versus the common humanity of individual persons, Wendell Krossa
There is too much focus today on the peripheral identity markers of people, namely skin color. Scientists have noted that skin color is a very peripheral thing on human DNA. As one scientist said, it amounts to nothing of more importance on the genome than a “sun burn”. Actually, it is just about “active versus inactive melanocytes”- the tiny organs in our skin that produce melanin and color skin. Some people with ancestry in high sunlight areas (tropical regions) will still have active melanocytes and hence more color in their skin (the prized “well tanned” people that look healthier). Others from low sunlight areas will have inherited less active melanocytes and hence less color in their skin (the paler ones).
But again, this is all very peripheral on the human genome. Something of very little importance genetically in defining what a human person is. This is why some argue that race is more of a social construct than a biological reality. And to focus on such peripheral things as active/inactive melanocytes is to detract from the essence of being human- i.e. that we all possess human consciousness, human minds, and are unique human selves or persons.
Martin Luther King pointed to this emphasis on the individual in his Washington mall speech where he urged us to view one another in terms of our individual character or personhood, not in terms of our skin color. That is the world that we ought to be moving toward.
Others have noted that the contemporary focus on skin color (race) is part of a re-emerging collectivism and classism, as related to Marxism. The unique individual is ignored or downplayed for a focus on a collective such as all people of some skin color who are viewed as an entire group and defined by some feature that dehumanizes or demonizes that group- i.e. all whites as “oppressors”. This is the new “Woke Racism” noted by scholar John McWhorter, or Douglas Murray in “The War on the West”.
Classic Liberalism re-affirmed that the individual should take precedence over collectives. Classic Liberalism was created to protect the rights and freedoms of individuals (society organized around free individuals, not collectives). The protection of individual rights and freedoms was understood as the best preventative against the inevitable totalitarianism of collectivism. Collectivism inevitably breeds totalitarianism because it centralizes power and control in some “enlightened elite/vanguard” that must run the collective for the good of all, for what they call the “common or greater good”. Individuals are then subjected to the collective and, notably, individual property rights are banned as an evil (the outcome of “selfish/greedy” individualism). As the World Economic Forum (WEF) statement of purpose says, “You will own nothing and you will be happy”. Because we tell you so.
We have better identity markers than just active/inactive melanocytes, notably, that we are all equals in the one human family, the ultimate collective that really matters. Our oneness in that greater reality is a most basic fact that provides a more credible basis for human identity, not some peripheral tribal difference- whether skin color, or ethnic/national/ideological/religious membership.
The focus on peripheral, minor features like skin color is what tribal-oriented minds like to focus on. But that distorts our true nature as unique individual human persons that are most fundamentally the same because of we all possess common human consciousness, human mind, and a unique human personality or self. Our individual character, as Martin Luther King argued, should take prominent position in our evaluation of one another.
This link on the destructive outcomes from decarbonization, and the related “insanity and hypocrisy” of the eco-fanatics. Wendell Krossa
The world has immense supplies of fossil fuels and they would be inexpensive if it were not for the intentional policies to block their development, policies that have now limited fossil fuel supplies in an era of growing demand, and hence the consequent rise in energy prices that cause inflation across a wide range of goods (i.e. the 6000 basic products of our societies that are derived or related to fossil fuels).
As Australian Senator Malcolm Roberts states- there is no evidence to show that humanity should cease using fossil fuels. The climate physicists- Lindzen and Happer among others- add evidence from the physics of CO2 and other greenhouse gases to affirm that there is no good scientific reason to limit the human use of fossil fuels. The warming effect of CO2 has already reached “saturation” in physics terms and that warming effect is now declining “logarithmically”, and hence CO2 will add very little to any further warming.
Climate is always changing and has warmed mildly over the past century (1 degree C) and this warming has been beneficial in a world where 10 times more people die every year from cold than die from warming. Further, rising levels of CO2 have benefitted all life with a 15% increase in green vegetation across the world since 1980 (more food for animals, increased crop production for humanity). There is no evidence of looming “climate crisis” from more warming. And hence, there is no need to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies.
The eco-hysteria created by discredited climate models drives decarbonization policies that are ruining societies by blocking fossil fuel exploration, development, and supply.
Yes, explore alternative energy supplies- nuclear, renewables, and others- but on private not public dime. The subsidies from government for renewables are an unnecessary extra tax burden on average citizens. Besides, mitigation policies (curbing human use of fossil fuels) will not work because CO2 is not mainly responsible for global warming. CO2 is not the “control knob” for climate. Other natural factors are mainly responsible for climate change and any further warming will not be catastrophic but beneficial to all life in our still abnormally cold world.
On the eruption of political/ideological tribalism
The eruption of hatred for the other side over recent years has been unsettling to watch. But then, when you demonize your opponents as “threats to democracy… Hitler or Nazis…. Fascists… racists…” and so on, then you have convinced yourself that you are in a righteous battle against intolerable evil, a “battle for democracy”, and even for survival, against a threat so terrible that it must be censored, criminalized, banned, and shut down entirely. The undisguised hatred driving this sense of righteous cause is stunning in its intensity and constancy. Fortunately, some on both sides are aware that the boundaries of common decency have been overstepped and they are trying to pull themselves back to more moderation and common decency toward opponents.
Others have noted the uninhibited hatred toward differing others (the tribalism of today) as it is expressed, for example, in late night comedy shows. In the past, comedians like Johnny Carson treated both sides equally as objects of comedic targeting. But today’s light night comedians, to the contrary, have come out as highly partisan defenders and propagandists for one side (the Left), and their comedy is often maliciously intended to humiliate and demean opponents. There is little humor in such hate-fueled dehumanization of differing others.
This is very much part of a larger phenomenon- where former liberalism in the US has become highly illiberal (no longer Classic Liberalism) and embraces more of what we know as extremist Woke Progressivism. What was once all about toleration, inclusiveness, protection of rights and freedoms- has now become highly intolerant of difference of opinion and speech (calling differing speech “hate speech… words as violence and threat”), highly exclusive (banning, cancelling differing others), and it refuses to defend the rights and freedoms of differing others but in very authoritarian ways denies those basic rights and freedoms to others. In other words- “creeping totalitarianism”.
And of course, the Right side of society has similar tribal demons to guard against and control. Wendell Krossa
Intro note to extremist takeover of social movements: While the pathology noted below happens on both sides, it is more prominent today coming from the Left, liberal, or Woke Progressive side of things. And it may be more the pathology of a tiny, but very vocal, minority on the Left. Unfortunately, such extremism gets major public attention as Woke liberal media obsessively favor it.
The loss of “general public” support for social movements: Wendell Krossa
In varied social movements that have emerged over past decades, there has often been a core concern in the movements that all citizens- i.e. the “general public”- can initially identify with and support wholeheartedly. Note, for example, the past movements and general public support for gay rights, for MeToo, for racial/Black Lives Matter (BLM) rights, for hate speech concerns, for disinformation/misinformation, for hate speech concerns, etc.
But then fringe types involved in these movements have repeatedly taken these movements toward more extremist positions and that has resulted in a loss of support from moderate “general public” majorities. We saw this with MeToo developing a more hateful anti-male tone and categorizing varied male misdemeanors across the spectrum of offenses in extremist terms as all indistinguishably part of the same unforgiveable career and life-cancelling crimes. This was evident in the loss of perspective on differing degrees of criminality and the refusal to grant due process.
Even notable female public figures spoke out against such extremist perversion- e.g. Sharon Stone, Margaret Atwood, and others.
We saw extremist distortion in BLM at times when it promoted its own version of racism with claims that all whites were “evil oppressors” (“There is no form of being white that is good”, Robin DiAngelo in White Fragility, also Doug Murray in War on the West, John McWhorter in Woke Racism). Others in the movement tended to ignore actual progress in equality rights and instead claimed that structural racism still existed everywhere.
And we have seen extremist distortion in the ongoing leftist exaggeration and demonization of the political/ideological disagreement of their opponents as “hate speech… disinformation/misinformation… threats to democracy”, etc.
The extremists reject the original goals of the movements that had wide public support and push the movements in directions that distort the original concerns/goals. The result is that many in the general public can no longer support the now “off-the-rails” directions that extremists have taken the varied movements toward.
Further, the extremists frame legitimate dissent to their positions, the dissent of those opting for more moderate views or positions, such dissent in its entirety is demonized as intolerable “evil”.
We have watched this occur in the emergence and spread of the Woke faction of contemporary US liberalism, an element that commentators on both sides say now dominates the liberal side in much of academia, politics, and news media (including Hollywood).
A notable trick of the Woke extremists is to focus on the tiny minority of actual criminal acts engaged by extremists on the other side (for example, actual incidents of extremist hate speech or violence by White Supremacists) and then make the distorting claim that all the differing positions/speech/actions on that other side are also to be similarly categorized as criminal- as threats to democracy, as hate speech, misinformation/disinformation, racism, fascism, and so on. Even the once-honored principle of free speech itself has now been included in the demonization drive of Woke extremists.
The extremists then present themselves as heroes in righteous battles against evil from which there can be no backing down. After all, as Woke extremists have framed the issue- it’s “a battle for democracy, to save democracy” from the differing other side that “will destroy democracy”.
The Woke extremism now dominating much of US liberalism/Progressivism exhibits a shocking loss of perspective, a loss of self-awareness, a loss of common-sense moderation, and a resurgence of intensely antagonistic tribalism. The hatred for differing others (the “enemies”) and the self-righteous glee in the cancellation/destruction of careers and lives is unsettling to watch in these movements like Woke Progressivism.
And again, not to ignore- similar elements of extremist distortion and tribal animosity are also evident on the other side of this social divide- the Right. But due to the dominance of the Woke Left in academia, news media, Big Tech, and Hollywood- Woke extremism poses the greater threat today to freedom.
Most confounding in the above Woke Progressive extremism is the lack of awareness of Classic Liberal principles that Western liberal democracies are founded on and that have brought such freedom and benefit to billions. What we once considered, over previous decades, as the liberal side of society has now become “highly illiberal” (Jimmy Dore). Former liberal inclusion has shifted to become antagonistic exclusion. Former liberal tolerance has become highly intolerant of diversity of opinion and speech. Former liberal advocacy for freedom has become an all-out attack on freedom.
Fortunately, moderates from both sides are pushing for a re-engagement/re-enforcement of Classic Liberal principles that have done an amazing job in protecting us all against past totalitarian infringements from collectivism, a collectivism that is now re-emerging in Woke Progressivism.
Added note: Keep an eye on the Democrat/liberal crusade against Elon Musk- the liberal effort to demonize Musk as a threat to democracy. Woke liberals are demonizing a heroic man who is restoring free speech to Twitter. This is notable public example of the left’s distortion of those trying to do good today and restore Classic Liberal principles.
Post from discussion group re a Gutfeld show on the liberal reaction to Elon Musk restoring free speech on Twitter:
“Note the video clips included here (around 4 minute mark) from MSNBC, CNN, etc. showing them demonizing Musk and the concept of freedom (“Libertarian nonsense”?!?!- which is basically saying- Classic Liberal nonsense). It is insane how authoritarian Democrats/liberals have become, that they now believe freedom for all is a threat (i.e. a threat to them and their control of public narratives).
“Leftist/Democrat Jimmy Dore was right that US liberals have become “highly illiberal”. They have abandoned the principles of Classic Liberalism that Western democracies are founded on. They appear to have no understanding of how critical free speech is to all freedom. As others have noted- they regularly demonize differing opinion/speech as “hate speech… violence-inciting…” etc.
“Gutfeld correctly notes this is what happens “when one defines disagreement as hate speech, and then as a crime. Then free speech becomes a crime for allowing disagreement.” What a twisted, distorting narrative liberals have created and locked themselves into.”
“As one guest says, it is stunning how a political party in a great democracy is making their opponents and their opponent’s opinions and positions “illegal” for disagreeing. These people criminalizing differing opinions and speech claim that their opponents are “threats to democracy”, which is actually a projection of what they are doing to the other side.
“Musk and Twitter are the latest focal points in an ongoing struggle for freedom and democracy now playing out in our societies.”
“Tyrus makes a good point that instead of owning their corruption that has now been exposed, they are demonizing Musk for exposing them, notably on things like the censoring of the Hunter Biden laptop that would have cost them the election if voters had known. They are demonizing Musk, says Tyrus, not because he is making Twitter a “Right or Republican” forum, but just for opening it up to all to speak freely.”
“Much of what was once known as Liberalism in the US (i.e. Democratic party) appears to have been pulled increasingly toward Woke Progressive extremism, leftist extremism. And many on that side who would identify as more “moderate” may be moving now toward “independent” positions/status, no longer comfortable with the extreme Woke Progressivism that we see now in much of liberal media and politics.
“You see this shifting of moderates away from the Woke extremism in things like the surveys that have shown that most Democrats wanted the same end to political correctness that Trump voters wanted in 2016 (this was noted by Bill Maher on a Chris Cuomo interview years ago). The shift of moderates away from Woke extremism, is also seen in surveys showing that more Democrats were watching news shows like Tucker Carlson than watched CNN and other liberal media. It has also been noted in the one million Democrats who switched parties in 2021. And in Gutfeld’s rocketing to number one slot for late night comedy, surpassing all the others.
“Hopefully, the fed-up-ness with the corruption and distortion on the left will lead to further corrective abandonment by more liberals.” A healthy liberal democracy needs at least two opposing, but moderate parties to keep one another balanced.
Related note from The Telegraph:
This article expresses something of the intolerant extremism of Woke/cancel culture, also termed “outrage culture” and its totalitarian demands and retributive responses. Referring to the attack on Salmon Rushdie, the author speaks of the “unconscionable barbarism” that has terrorized many into self-censorship out of fear of voicing their beliefs and facing “a terrible online backlash of ‘ugly personal insults, putting addresses of homes and children’s schools online, trying to make people lose their jobs’”…
“It is a virtual vigilante action whose aim is not just to silence the person who has spoken but to create a vengeful atmosphere that deters others from speaking. There is something honest about an authoritarianism that recognises itself to be what it is.
“Such a system is easier to challenge because the battle lines are clear. But this new social censure demands consensus while being wilfully blind to its own tyranny. I think it portends the death of curiosity, the death of learning and the death of creativity”.
How do you replace the 6,000 basic products from fossil fuels?
“COP 27 has no back-up plan to replace products from oil” by Ronald Stein, Nov. 29, 2022
“Renewables cannot manufacture any of the products that come from oil, which are supporting eight billion now on this planet.”
This from Forbes by Tilak Doshi on latest IEA report pushing “Turbocharged” renewables
Just a note regarding the points made in this article below- Government decarbonization policies are an irrational response to the climate alarmism that is based on discredited climate models (“running way to hot”). Climate alarmism denies the good science on the physics of CO2 that show (1) CO2 is not the main cause of climate change (other natural factors are the main cause) and (2) show that climate change is not becoming “catastrophic… an existential crisis”. To the contrary, more CO2 and mild warming have been significant benefits to all life.
Government decarbonization policies have blocked fossil fuel exploration and development in a time of growing energy demand and the outcome has been rising energy costs. Increased energy costs directly impact general inflation as some 6,000 basic products in our societies are derived from or dependent on fossil fuels.
The consequences of these destructive anti-fossil fuel policies have been devastating to the most vulnerable/poorest people (e.g. increased mortality among the elderly facing “fuel poverty” as in Britain and elsewhere).
The article’s main theme: How high energy prices today are the result of government decarbonization policies, not the result of Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Quotes (note the cause and effect linkages in this article):
”’Turbocharged’ Renewables. The IEA hawking its wares again” by Tilak Doshi, Forbes Dec. 13, 2022
“The glowing forecasts for renewable energy presented by the IEA seem free of the laws of physics and written to promote an agenda. The IEA’s descent into advocacy and shoddy analysis for the Green cause is complete.
“Along with the mainstream media, the IEA lays the blame for the energy crisis afflicting the world — the EU region in particular— on the war in Ukraine. This is myopic and dishonest. Between June 2021 and January 2022 prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine which commenced in late February, Dutch TTF natural gas prices almost quadrupled, South African coal export prices increased by 50% and Dated Brent crude oil prices by 17%. Crude oil prices had begun their ascent earlier as the global economy recovered from the covid lockdowns leading to a recovery in oil demand while supply remained constricted.
“Brent crude more than doubled in price in January this year from its $40 per barrel level in October 2020.
“Surging energy prices weren’t merely a result of the Russian invasion which accentuated the price shock. The spikes in fuel prices were a cumulative result of government policies in the West that focused exclusively on speculative model-based forecasts of the climate impacts of carbon emissions.
“These policies starved the oil, gas and coal sectors of capital investments and diverted trillions of dollars of public funds to subsidize intermittent wind and solar technologies which could not replace fossil fuels. Last month, Jeff Currie, Goldman Sachs’ Head of Commodities Research, pointed out in an interview that at end 2021, fossil fuels accounted for 81% of global energy consumption, down from 82% a decade previously. The cost for this marginal change? A cool $3.8 trillion!
“The German example is illustrative. The country’s hugely expensive Energiewende (“energy transition”) strategy was adopted in 2010, aiming for a rapid transition away from fossil fuels towards reliance on renewables for the country’s energy needs. Germany shut down most of its coal and nuclear plants in short order and expected solar and wind energy to replace its dependence on fossil fuels. What transpired in fact was that its Green Party-driven imperatives to “save the planet” by replacing fossil fuels led to an over-dependence on imports of Russian fossil fuels. On the eve of Russian invasion of Ukraine, the country imported 60% of its natural gas, 50% of its coal and 35% of its oil from Russia. One looks in vain for these facts in the IEA’s report.
“In what can only be described as a case of utter moral depravity, the EU which did all it could to force a moratorium on fossil fuel investments in Africa now calls for such investments to be encouraged provided that the fossil fuel products are exported to Europe. Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni called this situation “a truly perverse twist” and “the purest hypocrisy.”
“In the UK — which leads even Germany in its zeal to replace fossil fuels — Bloomberg journalist Javier Blass tweeted two days ago that the “UK wholesale day-ahead electricity prices surge to a record high as cold, dry and calm weather cripples wind production and sends demand soaring”. While the baseload price of electricity on Monday cleared at £674 per MWh, the evening peak load cleared at a shocking price above £2,000 per MWh. As large swathes of Britain were blanketed in snow with the cold snap that descended on Monday, natural gas was producing more than half of the country’s power supply.
“Intermittent wind power failed to make an appearance in calm cold weather that Germans call the “dark doldrums”.
“In a further paradox, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak re-introduced the ban on fracking gas in the UK — which was discarded previously by the short-lived government of Liz Truss — while agreeing to import fracked gas from the US at far greater expense. The “security benefits” of renewable energy indeed….
“Intermittent sources of electricity such as wind and solar are parasitical in the true sense of the word. They impose costs on the electricity grid since they need back-up from coal or gas-generated sources whenever solar and wind power fail to deliver needed energy. The costs of integrating fluctuating sources of power into an electricity grid are substantial. By destabilizing the grid with intermittency, unreliable renewable energy imposes costs borne by ratepayers ….
“The glowing forecasts for renewable energy presented by the IEA seem free of the laws of physics and written to promote an agenda. The descent of the once leading organization — devoted to rigorous analysis of energy economics and its policy consequences for its OECD member countries — into advocacy and shoddy analysis for the Green cause is complete….
“Fixated on spurious models that allegedly link carbon dioxide emissions to apocalyptic forecasts of global warming, the IEA couldn’t care less about the intolerable financial burdens imposed on ordinary people that need affordable food, heating (or cooling), lighting and mobility. Worse still, it is intent on imposing its climate change predilections on the vast majority of the world’s population that live in developing countries. But people are connecting the dots between the West’s incoherent ideological energy policies and the adverse impacts on their livelihoods.”