(1) Atmospheric physicist Richard Lindzen on “The absurdity of climate alarmism”;
(2) Summary of the benefits of CO2 by scientist and CO2 specialist Craig Idso of CO2science.org;
(3) Independent Glen Greenwald on “The greatest threat to freedom today” (Twitter files revelations)
(4) Cowardice and courage;
(5) The unconditional treatment of everyone, both good and bad (maintaining our humanity in the face of evil);
(6) Mantras based on false assumptions… and more.
Listen to scientists like atmospheric physicist Richard Lindzen on the physics of CO2. There is no need for a “Just Transition” away from fossil fuels to renewables (the irrational and dangerous obsession of Canada’s climate alarmism fanatic and decarbonization crusader- Justin Trudeau). His “Just Transition” will be very much a destruction of the energy sector in Canada with consequent electrical grid destabilization due to intermittent renewables. Keep an eye on Germany, Britain, and California rushing down the same Net Zero path. Add excessively rising energy costs to the mix of nasty outcomes from the decarbonization crusade.
Instead of demonizing CO2 as a threat to life, with CO2 expert Craig Idso we ought to celebrate rising CO2 in the atmosphere. CO2 is not “the main cause of climate change”. CO2 is not causing a “climate crisis or emergency”. To the contrary, more CO2- life’s basic food- has resulted in a 15% increase in green vegetation across the Earth since 1980. That is more food for animals and increased crop production for humanity. All from more plant food in a “CO2 starvation era” were CO2 levels have been at historic lows compared to paleoclimate history.
And the mild warming of the last 100 years- 1 degree C- has benefitted all life in a still too cold world where 10 times more people die from cold every year, than die from warmth. Wendell Krossa
There are no limits to human creative potential…
This is good from Humanprogress.org. It is why Julian Simon said that biologists get population and resources issues all wrong. They tend to view humans as just another species of insect or animal- dumb and subject to the mindless chaos, randomness, and uncaring patterns of nature.
But as Simon presented so profoundly in his book “Ultimate Resource”- we humans have minds, creative minds and compassionate human spirits and we solve problems and make life ever better over the long term. And the human resource of creative ideas is infinite, without limits. We can re-arrange molecules and atoms to create ever new resources. And we have not yet tapped into resources like dark energy and dark matter that are truly infinite (Futurist Arthur C. Clarke’s prediction that we would make such a discovery in this century).
Children should be taught this essential human goodness and creative potential from an early age and encouraged with evidence-based hope to go out and offer their unique contribution to making the world better. Too many children today have been beaten down with the anti-human narrative of environmental/climate alarmism- i.e. that people are destroyers and life is going to hell in a handbasket. Simon and others offer a potent antidote to the anti-science nonsense coming from the “profoundly religious” climate crusade.
Tell your children- We are always just getting started on our way to a better future.
“Jane Goodall is one of the world’s foremost experts on chimpanzees… and has written extensively about the similarities between primates and humans. But the similarities end when you realize that human beings create valuable resources and chimps don’t. Chimpanzees live in a fully Malthusian world, where resources are fixed by the natural world. When resources run out, chimp chaos ensues. Goodall believes that she can apply what she learned from chimp populations directly to human civilizations…
“In a 2019 Population Matters conference, Goodall noted, “It’s absurd really, to think that there can be unlimited economic development on a planet with finite natural resources, and the fact that human populations are still growing on this precious planet of ours is something that everyone should be aware of.”…
“(But) Human beings can transcend the finite atoms constraint because human beings innovate. Our resources are not limited by the number of atoms on the planet. We expand resources without limits because resources are created when you add knowledge to atoms….
“Goodall makes the same mistake that the Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich made when he compared the world of butterflies to the world of human beings. When you destroy people, you destroy all the individual bits of knowledge they possessed. When you limit population, you prevent potential knowledge from being discovered. If… Goodall understood that resources are not about atoms, but about knowledge, they would see human beings as our most valuable resource. They would see that it is human beings who can solve our problems, because human beings would use their power and influence to create more life, not less.”
Psychologist Martin Seligman (The Optimistic Child, Learned Optimism) said that throughout US academia pessimism became the response to post-WW2 “Boosterism”. Throughout the academic world pessimism was then considered “deep” while optimism was considered “shallow”. Factual evidence on the true state of life be damned.
So also Marian Tupy of Humanprogress.org says, “If you sell the apocalypse, people feel like you are deep and you care. But if you are selling rational optimism, you sound uncaring” (Twitter note on why people gravitate towards pessimism).
This from Wattsupwiththat.com- “The Week that Was” by Ken Haapala (SEPP)
“I think we live in an unscientific age in which almost all the buffeting of communications and television– words, books, and so on– are unscientific. As a result, there is a considerable amount of intellectual tyranny in the name of science.” —Richard Feynman in “What is Science” (1966).
And from the same link above… The absurdity of climate alarmism, atmospheric physicist Richard Lindzen
“The interview of Lindzen by Jordan Peterson begins with Lindzen discussing how misleading the claim of 97% agreement among climate scientists is. There is 100% agreement CO2 is a greenhouse gas and adding it to the atmosphere is increasing warming. The question is how much? Lindzen believes that the evidence shows it will increase by a little and claiming that it is an existential threat, a threat to the existence of humanity, is absurd. The issue is climate sensitivity (the impact on temperatures from a doubling of CO2) and there is little or no evidence that the climate is highly sensitive to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide today.”
Jordan Peterson interview of atmospheric physicist Richard Lindzen…
This from Wattsupwiththat.com on sea level rise:
“Sea Level Is Stable Around the World… The Good News the Media Don’t Want Us to Hear” by P. Gosselin
Sea Level Is Stable Around the World… The Good News the Media Don’t Want Us to Hear
And this excellent summary of the benefits of CO2 by Craig Idso of “CO2science.org” and “CEO of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change”
“Atmospheric carbon dioxide: you can’t see, hear, smell or taste it. But it’s there— all around us— and it’s crucial for life…. Ironically, far too many demonize and falsely label this important atmospheric trace gas a pollutant. Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead of being shunned like the plague, the ongoing rise in CO2 should be welcomed with open arms.”…
“So when the next summer heat wave arrives along with all the negative spin stories demonizing CO2 as its cause, I hope you will remember this post and the numerous scientific studies proving rising CO2 levels helps plants better withstand and recover from temperature-induced stresses. And when you do remember this, please share it with others!”…
“Atmospheric CO2 is not causing, nor will it ever cause, a direct threat to your health or cognitive performance. CO2 levels would need to increase some 36 times above the present concentration before they would even begin to pose a mild health concern.”…
“CO2 literally is the ‘food’ that sustains essentially all plants (and animals who consume plants, including humans) on the face of the Earth. And when that food supply is diminished, nature begins to diminish.”
Independent Glen Greenwald exposing the “greatest threat to freedom today”
Independent Glen Greenwald (“locals.com/feed”) continues to do excellent reporting and commentary on the greatest threat to democracy today, the greatest threat to freedom. And he probes and exposes the thinking behind leftist censorship as in the ongoing “Twitter files” revelations. This reporting is critically important to our futures and that of our children… this is about freedom at its most basic. Its about the fundamental nature of “liberal democracy” or “Classic Liberalism”. What does it mean? How do we protect it?
This from Greenwald’s “Monologue” of Feb. 8, 2023, on “Former Twitter Execs in the Hot Seat” (recent Congressional Committee). Greenwald is worth the subscription cost.
A few quotes from his monologue. Note at the bottom of the quotes that he also goes into the history of the claim that “you can’t shout fire in a crowded theater” and how censorship advocates today misuse that to justify their political censorship of opponents… Interesting…
“I regard the decision – and it wasn’t only by Twitter, but also by Facebook – to manipulate the ability of Americans to access critical reporting – not about Hunter Biden, but about Joe Biden right before the 2020 election – as probably the single gravest example of weaponizing censorship in order to manipulate the outcome of democratic elections, in at least the last several decades, if not ever….
“And there are all sorts of reasons why this ended up being such a serious matter. In part, because it’s illustrative of broader trends to attempt to change the Internet, the promise of which early on was that it would liberate all of us from centralized state and corporate control and would enable us to communicate freely with one another without the need to have this arbiter or this mediator being centralized in corporate and state power in between us. Instead, it has become probably the most potent weapon yet for propagandizing a population, because instead of allowing this free and open inquiry that the Internet was supposed to empower, it’s now being used to censor any kind of views that are designed to challenge the establishment of orthodoxies. This one-way battering ram of messaging perfectly aligns virtually always with the U.S. government, generally, the U.S. Security State specifically….
“… this fourth person was kind of a caricature, even more so than Yoel Roth, a pro-censorship block that’s looking at free speech as violence, believing that free speech constantly has to be weighed against safety – all of these new liberal doctrines have been invented in order to justify increasing control over the Internet….
“There were at least three new members of the Democratic Party who were on this committee, and all three of them rose in defense of censorship, arguing that censorship of political views is justifiable. I keep saying this. I feel like sometimes people think I’m being hyperbolic deliberately when I do, but I’m not. I’m just being literal. A major plank of the Democratic Party is to increase the amount of censorship Big Tech does in order to prevent voices the Democratic Party dislikes or viewpoints the Democratic Party dislikes from being heard. That is a major tactic of theirs. It should be surprising to hear members of Congress explicitly defend censorship. But it’s not anymore. They really don’t believe in the First Amendment. They don’t believe in the value of free speech. They’re not bothered to hear that the government is trying to intervene with Big Tech’s censorship decision….
“So, whenever you hear anyone using that example (“shouting fire in crowded theater”), that is a hallmark of somebody who doesn’t know what they’re talking about. The entire hearing today revealed not just that the Security State attempted to influence Twitter’s decisions, that Twitter had a systematic regime of censoring conservative voices because the people running Twitter under Jack Dorsey were all left-liberal caricatures. But it also revealed, most importantly, I think, that this version of the Democratic Party believes in censorship, wants more of it, and intends on an ongoing basis to use their union with the corporate media and with the U.S. Security State to demand greater and greater levels of Internet censorship. That’s what they want, they’re saying all day: we don’t think Twitter’s problem was that it centered too much. Twitter’s problem is that it didn’t censor enough.”
Also good from Greenwald on when free speech really matters…. This is from his latest comment regarding the outrage at Joe Rogan for his joke about Jews and money that has enraged a lot of people (taken out of context and distorted, as usual)…
“I often talk about this when it comes to free speech, that the reason I seek out the most repugnant ideas to defend from a free speech perspective is because it’s very easy to defend free speech when the views that are being censored are views that you like and agree with. Your defense of free speech only matters if you’re defending the free speech rights of people who not just disagree with you, but who expressed views you find repugnant.”
Cowardice and Courage- Comments and Examples Wendell Krossa
(Note: Most of us will not be called to exhibit courage in one of history’s great military battles. But we will have opportunity to exhibit courage in an infinite variety of the “micro-battles” of ordinary daily life. Battles that matter in a multitude of ways to larger issues.)
Jordan Peterson, in his latest interview on Joe Rogan (Episode 1933 on Spotify), stated that average citizens needed to speak out courageously against the Woke culture madness that has spread throughout our societies, cancelling people for just voicing differing opinions to those of elitist Woke Progressive orthodoxy. Peterson called on average people to show courage and stand against the threats to freedom today that have erupted across our societies from this version of ideological extremism.
He noted the case of a Canadian nurse- Amy Hamm- being disciplined and possibly fired for expressing support for J. K. Rowling and her comments on gender issues. Peterson argued that it was necessary for average people to face the risk of speaking truthfully as critical to affirming their own humanity and life story. And he warned that we should prepare for the consequences of cancelling, whether being fired from a job or some other harsh outcome. Such courage from average folks was critical to stop the Woke and other forms of crowd madness that are sweeping across our societies (i.e. add here the madness of demonizing the basic food of life- CO2, and the consequent destructive decarbonization crusade, etc.).
Nurse being investigated by College of Nurses for her gender critical views
Quote from above link re Amy Hamm- “In response to the tempest over Ms. Rowling, nurse Amy Hamm co-sponsored the installation of a Vancouver billboard ad in Sept. 2020, which simply proclaimed ‘I love JK Rowling’. Ms. Hamm’s sponsorship of the billboard was referenced in a CBC article in which she was quoted as saying, ‘Women’s rights are important and we need to stand up for them and its not transphobic to do so’”.
In contrast to the courage of Peterson (i.e. his own battles against cancelling), Rowling, Hamm, and others, we all know stories of cowardice in life. People who acted shamefully and cowardly when it mattered to stand courageously for right against some wrong. One particular example has long echoed around in my memory, that of Mr. D.
As someone said, we all offer either stories of inspiration to one another, or warnings to one another. People like Mr. D stand forth as more a warning than an inspiration.
This snippet on Mr. D is from my autobiographical essays at the top of this page. It has to do with my former experience while in Evangelicalism (Disclosure: I long ago left my family’s Evangelical religion).
“After Sunday school we children would boisterously climb the stairs to the main auditorium for the morning 11 AM service. The teenagers and adults were already hanging around the front entranceway talking and laughing. We especially noticed Mr. D, the leading adult Sunday school teacher, standing front and center at the entrance to the main church auditorium.
“More than any other person, Mr. D embodied the uglier side of church life for us young people. He represented the sleazier element of humanity which too often hides under cover of God and religion.
“Years later, as we grew into young men, he was even more consciously there at the top of the stairs- broadly smiling, loud and friendly, and wanting to touch. He would continue to grip our hands too long after finishing a handshake. We would try to pull away, but Mr. D had a strong grip.
“He would also follow us young boys into the side cloakroom where we hung our coats, smiling cheerfully, talking nonstop, and wanting to touch us. It made us feel very uncomfortable, but he was a respected church leader and we felt obligated to acknowledge him.
“The young guys began circulating stories that he was ‘queer’, a ‘faggot’ (1950s terms). That made us even more uncomfortable with his attention. As young men we were growing very conscious of developing into macho males and we did not want to associate with anyone considered queer.
“Once, while I was walking along a side street on the way to school with my best friend A, Mr. D drove up in his old work pickup and offered us a ride. I nudged A to get in first to sit in the middle beside him. As soon as we pulled away from the curb, Mr. D’s hand went to A’s knee and started to move up his thigh. A was so embarrassingly blunt and even while the cheery Mr. D chatted, A turned to grin at me, roll his eyes toward Mr. D, and snicker. A rested his own hand strategically on his upper thigh to prevent Mr. D’s hand from moving too close to his crotch. I tried to stay politely silent and look straight ahead, pretending not to notice A’s disrespectful snicker.
“There was the proof. As soon as we got out at our destination, even before Mr. D pulled away, A laughed wildly- “I told you he was a fucking queer”. I turned quickly and started to walk away, embarrassed as Mr. D could hear him.
“As a young boy, I remember the intense discomfort of his attention at the church, of wanting to get away from his attention and his far too-long tightly-gripping handshakes but feeling obligated to be polite to a respected businessman and church leader. Children in the 1950s were not yet taught to assertively resist discomfort caused by adults, and especially to resist the wandering hands of adult authority figures.
“Years later, many of us felt that Mr. D’s perverted behavior probably explained why his son T ended up in prison, a very messed up young man. As a child, T had often exhibited strangely self-destructive behaviors. He would carelessly fall out of trees, bang his head, or get cut. He did not seem to be quite all there. But who knew what was happening behind the closed doors of their home?
“Years later the son T went on a national Christian broadcast (100 Huntley Street) to reveal that his Dad had horrifically sexually abused him and his sister. That explained a lot in their later lives.
“And then Mr. D did one of the more cowardly things that I have ever known any person do. He had moved to Alberta to pastor a church there and no doubt find new victims for his uncontrolled lusts. Then, at the end of his life as he was dying, he slipped into unconscious for a while. When he subsequently regained consciousness, the first thing that he asked his wife was, “Did I say anything? Did I reveal anything?” His dying concern was to avoid exposing anything of his despicable abuse of others, including his own children. Such cowardice.
“On your very death bed, facing what you, as a Christian, believe will be your divine Judge, and you still try to hide your shameful deeds from others? Why not exhibit a smidgen of human courage to express some regret and try to alleviate the horrible trauma that you caused others throughout your life? Why sneak out of life like a pitiful coward, leaving a mess behind you for others to try to recover from, over their subsequent tortured lives?”
Another example of cowardice involved the now-deceased president of an Evangelical Bible college- L. E. Maxwell. Maxwell had spent his life railing against human sinfulness, and preaching a wrathful, judging God who would punish sinners in hell. Maxwell also had a unique obsession with the New Testament “Great White Throne Judgment” (Revelation 20), a judgment that was limited to Christians. L.E. threatened Christian believers with the loss of after-life rewards if they failed to confess their sins during this life; if they failed to “get right and stay right with God”.
Throughout the decades of his ministry, L.E. had remained too fearful to emphasize the grace and mercy of God to Christians because he felt that they might then become lax, start sinning, and thereby lose their salvation. His response to his own fears of such “backsliding” was to keep people unbalanced about their salvation, to keep them running the treadmill of confessing sin daily just to make sure they were “confessed up to date” and ready to face the great after-life Judge. In his preaching he kept the sword of divine threat hanging over people’s heads. His teaching emphasized what is known as “Cruel God” theology (see Zenon Lotufo’s “Cruel God, Kind God” for detail).
Near the end of his life, something broke through into his consciousness and he came to his senses. He realized that he had been far too harsh in not telling people more about grace and mercy- the nicer and kinder side of deity. Subsequently, he once broke down crying to a group of men (including my father), telling them, “I have been such a harsh law man”. But then he did not go further and publicly express that failure of his to the many former students who had suffered under his harsh emphasis on wrath, judgment, and hellfire. When I heard of that confession, without a public follow-through, I thought- Well, you coward. Why didn’t you tell us that you had been so profoundly wrong in what you had emphasized throughout your life.
Matt kneeling when standing mattered…
(An insert note: With many movements (i.e. Me Too, BLM, etc.) there is a core concern that most people on both sides, whether liberal or conservative, can all affirm and support. But what then sometimes happens to these initially acceptable and broadly-supported movements- extremist types emerge and start pulling the movements toward excessive Wokeness activism, toward directions that then turn many initial supporters away.)
Another example of cowardice (my view) happened just a few years back as the MeToo movement was heating up, a movement that most of us initially supported. But then, as happens with many movements, extremist voices associated with the movement emerged and demanded the harshest response toward all men who had failed in some degree with inappropriate sexual comments or minor forms of sexual misconduct, even though not anywhere near the damaging degree of the assaults committed by Harvey Weinstein or Jeffrey Epstein. That excessive harshness from the extremists sparked some to respond, such as Matt Damon who cautiously asserted that not all failures were the same and not all failing males deserved the same harsh treatment.
Matt Damon on Harvey Weinstein and Al Franken: Not All Sexual Misconduct ‘Belongs in the Same Category’
“Matt Damon on Harvey Weinstein and Al Franken: Not all Sexual Misconduct ‘Belongs in the Same Category’”.
Damon’s innocuous comments incited some of the more extremist types affiliated with MeToo and they demanded that he repent and apologize.
Matt Damon’s Ex Minnie Driver, Alyssa Milano Slam Him for Sexual Misconduct Comments
It offered Damon a moment to show courage and stand by his common-sense comments. But disappointingly (again, my view), Damon caved and gave the knee to the screaming mob of extremists, apologizing for his “sins”. He missed an opportunity to exhibit courage in the face of a mob, to stand by his common-sense remarks that had cautioned against out-of-control condemnation, the abandonment of due process, and demands for excessive punishment.
Matt Damon forced to grovel after pointing out that not all sexual misconduct is the same
Damon illustrated what similar others have done in varied public situations. Patton Oswalt is another who gave the knee and apologized to the mob, just for posting a picture with his friend Dave Chappelle who many were claiming had offended trans people. I felt that was cowardly of Oswalt. Anyone who has actually watched the Chappelle comedy special “The Closer” will know that it is far from “transphobic”. It is a love-letter to a trans friend of Dave’s who committed suicide after being bullied by the LGBT community. I wonder if Oswalt had actually watched “The Closer” before commenting that Chappelle was “transphobic” and then apologizing for being seen with him.
Patton Oswalt Apologizes For Posting Photo With Longtime Friend Dave Chappelle
One wonders how much cowardice is being incited today by the tsunami of Woke culture threat that has washed across our societies. Threats of censorship, banning, firing, cancelling entirely, even death threats as in J.K. Rowling’s case. Others have commented that the fear of Woke activists has resulted in widespread “self-censorship” which George Orwell called the worst form of totalitarian censorship- when people are afraid to express their opinions. That then spells the death of free speech, the most fundamental freedom of all.
Peterson is right that now is an especially critical time for average people to exhibit courage and stand against such threats to freedom as exist today.
Fessing up…. Some micro examples of cowardice scattered throughout life:
I hold some personal examples of my own failures to show courage in situations where it mattered, and the personal shame of living with those failures.
An example: A group of us, as 16 to 18 year-old teens, worked as forest fire fighters in Hope BC around 1966. There were several alpha males that jockeyed for dominance among our group. The group also included one young man who too desperately and openly sought acceptancy by the group. His desperation was exhibited in his tendency to tell exaggerated stories of his accomplishments, stories just too unbelievable to be true. A boaster-type teen, exhibiting too much braggadocio, and that evoked mockery from one of the alpha males.
That teen was working down slope one day and the alpha male who had previously mocked him was upslope and holding the fire hose. Alpha-guy then turned the high-volume stream of water from the hose on the downslope bragger who was almost knocked off his feet by the force of the water stream. It was an act of bullying meant to embarrass and alienate the bragger. From upslope where most of the rest of the group stood, I watched the pained look take form on the face of that young man at being so humiliated by one of the males that he desperately wanted acceptance from. Others affirmed the bullying by laughing at the act of the dominant male. I felt intensely the bullied young man’s shame at being rejected by the group. I saw it in his facial expression of humiliated hurt.
Though I did not join the group laughter, I did nothing to protest or step in and help that rejected young man. An opportunity presented… but a failure of courage on my part. I knew I was in the wrong. I felt it. Cowardice when it mattered, fearful standing back in the face of subhuman crowd behavior.
Decades ago, a group of us had taken part in a candidates evaluation seminar to join an organization. At one point the organization invited a psychologist to do some evaluation of the group as a whole. During one session the psychologist asked us to describe the person sitting next to us, using some animal as a descriptor of that person’s personality. Sensing the possibility of abuse or embarrassment, a petite lady beside me erupted with- “No. That is wrong. What if someone describes the one beside them with some example of an animal that is humiliating to the person being described. We won’t do this”.
The psychologist, stunned at the intensity of her protest, leaned back in his chair, and then re-oriented himself to a new direction and moved on. But her protest was right, and the psychologist moved the discussion along to more innocuous topics.
It struck me as an example of courage in the face of potential abuse, even though just another micro-episode in life. Such is what life is made of, in offering us numerous opportunities to act courageously, to express human maturity, to “tower in stature” as the heroes of our stories, or conversely, to remain silent/inactive, to stand back in a spirit of cowardice.
Life gives all of us such experiences and the opportunity to exhibit either courage or cowardice, whether in the face of mob madness, or individual bullying. Such experiences grant us opportunity to exhibit our fibre as human beings. And where we initiate and exhibit courage, our example can function to incite similar courage in others being cowed by mobs or individuals.
Joseph Campbell (Myths to Live By), taking the larger view, said that history provides us with opportunities to fight great battles against evil, opportunities to exhibit courage in the face of wrong. I would identify some of the great public battles against wrong today as, for example, the madness of anti-CO2 decarbonization. This battle offers many opportunities to courageously present the masses of evidence showing that CO2 is not harming life and is not causing a “climate crisis”. Evidence to the contrary, that shows this basic food of all life has been greening the Earth at an immense scale- i.e. promoting the growth of an additional 15% more green vegetation just since 1980. That means more food for animals and increased crop production for a growing population of humans.
But know that if you present the positive benefits of increasing CO2 levels, you will likely be smeared as a “climate change denier” and subject to harassment and shaming, or worse. People, notably in academia, have lost university positions or funding for expressing skepticism of the climate apocalypse narrative. Courage is costly in this battle arena.
Another public battle involves the Woke crusade to censor, ban, and cancel all who disagree with extreme Leftist Progressivism which appears to be fronting a resurgence of authoritarian collectivism or Marxism today (i.e. centralizing control of societies under “enlightened elites” who believe that they know what is best for the rest of us ignorant, deluded masses). The cancel crusaders are zealously active in this arena and it takes some steel-spine courage to stand against this activist mob pushing a new authoritarianism that repeatedly crosses to totalitarian control of others.
Freedom in human societies is the responsibility of all of us, not just public figures like Peterson.
The unconditional treatment of everyone, good and bad Wendell Krossa
The advocacy here for the unconditional treatment of everyone, including enemies, has never been an advocacy for some form of pacifism, some form of mushy, fuzzy, spineless response to human evil (i.e. “turn the other cheek”).
The advocacy for an unconditional approach toward all people has always been about maintaining our own humanity in the face of the evil that we experience throughout life. Some good comment along this line…
Joseph Campbell: “For love is exactly as strong as life. And when life produces what the intellect names evil, we may enter into righteous battle, contending ‘from loyalty of heart’: however, if the principle of love (Christ’s “Love your enemies”) is lost thereby, our humanity too will be lost. ‘Man’, in the words of the American novelist Hawthorne, ‘must not disclaim his brotherhood even with the guiltiest’” (Myths To Live By).
Similarly, the Chinese sage Laotzi counselled- You must go to war (defensively) when your enemy attacks. But when you have defeated your enemy, then do not triumphally gloat over him and humiliate your enemy. Treat him humanely, and do not engage triumphalism.
Laotzi speaks to the way the US treated Japan and Germany after the Second World War, welcoming those former enemies back into the community of nations and assisting their rehabilitation. Some of the leaders and more notable offenders in the attacking nations were punished as examples, but many others were not. And it may help the populations of the victimized nations to distinguish between the citizens of the attacking nations (often deceived by their leadership) and the thugs in leadership that initiated the aggression against others.
Apply the same humane approach to criminal offenders. Yes, violent offenders must be restrained and our criminal justice system exists to deal with such people. But once restrained (incarcerated) we are then obligated to treat offenders with restorative justice, not punitive. This is how we maintain our own humanity in the face of human evil.
For offenders: All of us have to learn that there are natural and social consequences to all behavior and taking responsibility for our behavior (e.g. restitution) is vital to human learning, development, and maturing.
Unconditional is the highest and best ideal that we have discovered to orient our thinking, emotions, motivations, and responses to the humane treatment of enemies/offenders. An unconditional approach is not about how we feel toward the horrific offenses of others, where outrage is often the most natural and healthy response. It is about our intention, no matter how we feel, to then treat offenders humanely and thereby maintain our own humanity in response to whatever offenses or evil that life throws at us.
We have amassed testimony from Historical Jesus and the Near-Death Experience movement that ultimate reality or deity is a stunningly inexpressible no conditions love. But while the nature of God as an ultimate ideal is an inspiring goal for ethics and justice in this life, at the same time we do not abandon common sense and the priority responsibility of protecting innocent people first and foremost in this life.
Mantras based on false assumptions Wendell Krossa
An oft-repeated public mantra from politicians, and others, is that we need to speed up the transition to renewables in order “to slow climate change”. Here is a sample of such advocacy to speed up decarbonization so as to “save the world”…
Quote from link:
“If we’re going to save our future, we need a transition away from dirty, expensive and deadly fossil fuels, and we need to be speeding up — not slowing down,” Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass.
The repeated calls to speed up the transition to renewables and quickly end fossil fuel use is based on the still unproven and now soundly contradicted assumption that CO2 is the control knob for climate change, notably for global warming.
The latest and best climate evidence shows that CO2 is a minor factor in climate change and its warming influence is repeatedly overwhelmed by many other more dominant influences like “meridional transport” (see reports on “Sun-Climate effect: Winter Gatekeeper hypothesis” linked in sections below and available at Wattsupwiththat.com).
The mantra of “CO2 as climate change control knob” has so long been beaten into public consciousness by news media, politicians, and celebrities, that it will be hard for many to now consider alternative evidence. Oft-repeated story lines are eventually viewed by true believers as indisputable truth. And when people have been told that their very survival depends on embracing the alarmist narrative and salvation crusade, such people are not open to rational debate over their belief system.
Blocking fossil fuel development is a main cause of inflation– The state-created scarcity of fossil fuels results in rising energy prices and that impacts the 6000 other basic products derived from or dependent on fossil fuels, inflating costs all over that range of products.
“A rush to green energy policies, both at the state and federal level, has curtailed reliable energy and infrastructure, resulting in everything from blackouts to spiking prices,” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers.
And on “the world getting worse”…
“… hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, or floods are not increasing in frequency or magnitude”, Chris Wright.
And the lie that renewables will be cheaper- Francis Menton in the Manhattan Contrarian of Feb. 8, 2023, “We must demand a demonstration project of a mainly renewables-based electrical grid”.
A quote from Biden’s State of the Union speech:
“Look, the Inflation Reduction Act is also the most significant investment ever to tackle the climate crisis. Lowering utility bills, creating American jobs, and leading the world to a clean energy future.”
Menton’s response: “It’s so spectacularly contrary to reality that it doesn’t nearly do it justice to call it just a “lie.” In Germany and the UK, energy transition fantasies have led to electricity bills three times and more the U.S. average, and continuing to increase, and millions of ratepayers thrown into energy poverty. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why the costs explode. They can build thousands of wind turbines and solar panels, but they can’t get rid of any of the dispatchable power plants because they are all needed for backup. So now they are paying for two duplicative systems. Then they must pay the dispatchable plants enough to cover their capital costs at half time usage. Then they must buy the fossil fuels for backup on spot markets where production has been suppressed by, for example, banning fracking”.
Principles/institutions of successful societies Wendell Krossa
Freedom- Successful societies protect the freedoms and rights of individuals, and notably, they protect basic individual rights like that of private property and legal systems that protect private contracts between people. Protected freedom and property is critical to unleashing the basic human motivation to improve oneself and one’s family. Protected freedom and rights of individuals ensures the unleashing of the human creativity impulse- the impulse to solve problems that benefit oneself and others. Such principles are the basis of successful societies.
Further, protecting the primacy of individual freedoms and rights is a potent societal mechanism for dispersing power among competing individuals, making it the best preventative against the totalitarianism that has always emerged from centralizing power in governing elites (“enlightened elites” who believe they know what is best for all others).
What institutions ensure that we maintain the primacy of the individual over centralizing collectives? The English have demonstrated how to do this with their critical contribution to Western civilization- i.e. a representative parliament that truly maintains equality among all citizens, and common law that does the same.
Sources: “The Birth of Plenty”, William Bernstein, “The Invention of Freedom”, Daniel Hannan.
Single best book ever written Wendell Krossa
No. Its not the Christian Bible. But rather, Julian Simon’s “Ultimate Resource”.
The Bible, while also containing a lot of good insight from ancient systems of belief, is essentially anti-human, declaring people to be inherently bad, “sinful”, and deserving punishment for ruining paradise and corrupting life. And the Bible ends on a note of doom- i.e. the apocalypse of Revelation- the destruction of what it declares to be a fallen, corrupted, and irredeemable world. Yes, there is hope in the mix but only for the elect true believers after the majority of humanity- the “goats” on the left side at the great judgment- are cast into the lake of fire for their eternal punishment.
To the contrary, Simon in Ultimate Resource declares people to be inherently good and creative solvers of problems. And he ends on a note of hope- that we have done well in caring for the world and the evidence is overwhelming that life is improving over the long term. His densely evidence-based approach tells us “the true state of the world” and it is quite contrary to the Bible record.