A central project on this site- Exposing the persistent embrace of primitive mythological themes to shape contemporary “secular/ideological” systems of belief, such as the climate alarmism narrative. And offer better alternatives for a new narrative.
New articles further below: This site will continue to tackle history’s most distorting and destructive belief systems- the pathological themes of the “apocalyptic millennial” or “lost paradise/redemption” narratives… Apocalyptic millennial ideas distort entirely the true state of the world, the actual long-term trajectory of life.
“True Woke: Tim Robbins had a real awakening (Russel Brand interview)“, see bottom of this opening section- (Woke recovery plan: Awakening to and affirming the fundamental principles of Classic Liberalism, or awakening to and affirming fundamental human love);
“The tribal impulse behind racism“;
“Affirming unconditional as the core of all reality“;
Good one on irresponsible panic-mongering- “With the ‘expert’ COVID view blown up, green terror must be next”, by New York Post Editorial Board;
Physicists Richard Lindzen, William Happer challenge Net Zero- “Challenging Net Zero with Science: Lindzen-Happer-CO2 Coalition Paper“;
Ira Glasser (former ACLU director) on Joe Rogan podcast: Defend free speech for all. The issue, says Glasser, is- “Who gets to decide what is ‘hate speech'”;
“I feel uncomfortable… threatened“- the new ‘authoritative’ standard to control the speech and behavior of all others;
“Hold a fundamental belief” (Something to center our spirits during the worst that life throws at us);
“The essential offensiveness of Historical Jesus:” Historical Jesus- A person entirely opposite to “Christian ‘Jesus Christ'”. Historical Jesus overturned traditional retaliatory, punitive justice that was affirmed by Paul’s Christ myth. But a qualifier, the breakthrough insight of Historical Jesus on theology- “a stunning new theology of a non-retaliatory God”- is not an advocacy for pacifism in an imperfect world. The importance of understanding the breakthrough central insight of Historical Jesus lies in the fact that this person who overturned entirely the very core of all conditional religion was then turned into the ultimate icon of highly conditional religion.
Further, Jesus’ anti-sacrifice protest at the Temple in Jerusalem, that was the immediate cause of his death, that protest against sacrifice was rejected by Paul who then turned him into the ultimate cosmic sacrifice (i.e. the sacrifice of the godman Christ for the sins of all humanity).
The comments above continue the project of this site to go to the root of alarmism narratives/crusades, whether religious or secular- to go after the deeply rooted themes/archetypes that fuel destructive alarmism crusades.
Apocalyptic-scale alarms (“life is declining to something worse… catastrophe is looming just ahead… the end is nigh”) are commonly used to incite fear in populations and render people subservient/susceptible to salvation schemes (“save the world”) that have an extensive track record of ruining societies. The essays below relate to the larger project of this site to tackle the fundamental themes in distorting narratives of alarmism (e.g. Declinism and its current offspring- climate alarmism) and offer insights to shape new narratives that more accurately represent reality and life.
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).
“Fear-mongering, or scare-mongering, is a form of manipulation that causes fear by using exaggerated rumors of impending danger.” (Wikipedia)
Alarmism crusades often exhibit features of cultic extremism (inciting people with “profoundly religious/mythical” themes). Alarmism crusades are highly irresponsible and damaging to societies. We have seen this repeatedly, notably across the last century in such episodes as Rachel Carson’s unscientific anti-chemical crusade that influenced the ban on DDT and consequently resulted in millions of unnecessary deaths of people denied protection from malaria, including many children. While caution in using chemicals is always common sense, excessive alarmism distorts the true state of things and causes unintended consequences that harm the most vulnerable (see, for example, “The Excellent Powder: DDT’s Political and Scientific History”, Richard Tren and Donald Roberts). Note also that Carson framed her crusade in terms of an apocalyptic or “lost paradise/redemption” narrative (i.e. “Silent Spring”‘s portrayal of an original paradisal village with “birdsong”, then fall and decline toward chemical apocalypse).
The historians of “apocalyptic millennialism” also detail the destructive outcomes of those alarmism narrative themes as they operated in Marxism, Nazism, and now in the environmental movement.
More on understanding the belief systems, ideologies, narratives of our modern world, Wendell Krossa
Consider “apocalyptic- the most violent and destructive idea in history” (Arthur Mendel, “Vision and Violence”) and ask yourself- Where does this pathological idea come from and why does it still dominate modern story telling? Why is apocalyptic still wreaking destruction in the modern world, particularly through the climate cult and its salvation scheme of Net Zero decarbonization?
(“Dominate modern story-telling”? Yes, see for example- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_apocalyptic_films. Note the increasing trend in apocalyptic-themed movies over past decades.)
There is a smattering of “science” scattered throughout the climate alarmism narrative, but its further informative to trace the core themes that shape that science. Like science anywhere, confirmation bias in climate alarmism picks and chooses which “facts” will support its beliefs and dismisses contrary evidence.
Its helpful when evaluating any science, or narrative that claims to be science, to probe the fundamental archetypes/themes that are shaping the overall narrative, such as that of the climate alarmism crusade.
Note also the element of psychological “projection” throughout climate alarmism- i.e. calling dissenters to the alarmist narrative on climate- “deniers” or “unbelievers” (“They don’t believe in climate change”).
The actual denial is more that of the alarmist denial of so much good evidence that climate is doing what climate always does naturally (James Lovelock), and there is no “climate crisis”. And where climate change is a problem, the best strategy is to adapt and not waste limited funds on irrational mitigation schemes like intermittent renewables that just don’t work to sustain modern electrical grids.
“Reverse engineering history”
Historians like Arthur Herman (The Idea of Decline in Western History) have traced the features of the Declinism ideology that has shaped modern environmental alarmism (see the apocalyptic millennial scholars noted below in “Sources”). Herman further outlines some of the ideas/myths that were incorporated into Declinism ideology- i.e. Christian themes such as “original paradise lost” (hence, life has been declining since), the demand for “violent purging of evil” (i.e. New Testament book of Revelation), and the promise of restored paradise, etc.
Declinism is very much the ideological descendent of Christian apocalyptic millennial mythology. It is a striking example of primitive mythology given “secular/ideological” expression for the modern era. Declinism has become the “most dominant and influential theme in the modern world”, the “secularized” version of primitive apocalyptic mythology and it now drives modern apocalyptic movements like climate change alarmism, making that very much a “profoundly religious movement”.
Why bother to probe this? Because apocalyptic profoundly distorts the true state of our world where life is improving over the long term. Apocalyptic presents an entirely false picture of life declining toward something worse. Apocalyptic, along with all “threat theology”, also deforms human minds and lives with unnecessary fear, anxiety, shame/guilt, fatalism/resignation, despair, depression, nihilism, and violence. (Again, Psychologist Harold Ellens in “The Destructive Power of Religion”, psychotherapist Zenon Lotufo in “Cruel God, Kind God”, among others.)
Apocalyptic has contributed to incalculable destruction over history as the researchers listed in Sources below note. The themes of apocalyptic millennialism incited the worst impulses of people to destroy “enemy” others in movements like Marxism and Nazism.
How the themes of Declinism work on human psyches:
Apocalyptic distortion (the exaggeration of threats) is used to manipulate populations with fear, inciting people’s natural survival impulse, and thereby rendering them susceptible to irrational salvation schemes that ruin societies, just as we are seeing today with rushed decarbonization (“to save the world”).
Add the element of tribal dualism, notable in Zoroastrian apocalyptic, that shaped the Western religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam as well as the ideological offspring of these belief systems. Apocalyptic dualism incites and validates the impulse to “fight a righteous battle against evil others who have been dehumanized as enemies”. We see this in the hatred of differing others who are believed to pose an “existential threat” to one’s own survival (i.e. the “unbelievers or deniers of the climate alarm narrative”).
H. L. Mencken’s point again: “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.
Distorting reality, deforming minds
To get some sense of how apocalyptic deforms human consciousness at personal and societal levels, note how apocalyptic narratives distort the true state of things in the world. Observe the irrational madness that has possessed populations, notably, the media-manufactured hysteria today over a slight warming (1 degree C over past century) in a still too cold world where 10 times more people die every year from cold than die from warmth. We have still not fully re-emerged out of the coldest period of our Holocene interglacial, the Little Ice Age of 1645-1715. A rationally scientific narrative would include such evidence to fill out the complete big picture of the true state of things.
For most of the history of life (i.e. the past 500 million years of the Phanerozoic era) average world temperatures were 3-6 degrees C warmer than today and during that time life emerged, developed, and flourished in that much warmer world. There was no ice at the poles for over 80% of the past 500 million years.
And with much warmer average temperatures, the already warm areas of Earth- i.e. the tropics- did not “fry”. Because the extra heat energy was carried by atmosphere and ocean convection currents (“meridional transport”) to the colder regions of Earth to “even out” temperatures across the planet (see “Sun-Climate Effect: Winter Gatekeeper hypothesis” reports in sections below). That evening-out of climate across Earth resulted in expanded habitats for more diverse life forms, just as the highest diversity of plants and animals are in the warmest areas of the world today. A much warmer world is an overall more optimal world for all life.
(Added note on tropical temperatures: Even when world climate averaged 10 degrees C warmer than today, during the Eocene era of some 55-33 million years ago, tropical temperatures only varied by a few degrees on average. This “equable climate” issue confounds alarmists and they have no explanation for it, as it points to strong negative feedbacks that keep temperatures within ranges suitable for life. Even over much warmer paleoclimate history, with CO2 levels in the multiple-thousands of ppm, there is no evidence of “tipping points to disaster” or “runaway climate change” resulting in catastrophe for life.)
And while accounting for the big paleoclimate picture on much warmer temperatures, try to make sense of the panic-mongering and hysteria over rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Why such panic over increases in the food of all life that has been in desperately short supply for the past millions of years (our current “CO2 starvation era”)? The dangerously low CO2 levels of our era took life almost to its actual death some 30-20,000 years ago when CO2 levels declined to 185 ppm, just above the 150 ppm where all plant life dies. Now that CO2 is returning to healthier levels, plant life is again flourishing with a 15% increase in green vegetation across the world just since 1980.
Where are the celebrating Greens who claim commitment to the greening of our planet?
Further, add the evidence that CO2, while having a warming influence, plays a minor role in climate change and is repeatedly overwhelmed by other natural factors that have much stronger influence on climate change (again, “meridional transport” as per the “Sun-climate effect” reports). Also note carefully the atmospheric physicists telling us that CO2 has already reached “saturation”, in physics terms, and will not contribute much more to any possible further warming.
Conclusion from these facts: Overall, more warming (even 3-6 degrees C more) and more CO2 (hundreds of ppm more) will continue to provide net benefits to all life.
But contrary to rational common sense, the life-affirming trace gas that is CO2 has been demonized as the great threat to life today (smeared as a “pollutant”, even “poison”- Bill Maher). The demonization of the food of all life is madness gone crazy.
Apocalyptic scale panic-mongering over climate change today distorts entirely the evidence showing that a much warmer world with much more of the basic food of plant life, is an overall more optimal world.
Sources: On apocalyptic more generally- Arthur Herman’s “The Idea of Decline”, Richard Landes’ “Heaven On Earth”, Arthur Mendel’s “Vision and Violence”, David Redles’ “Hitler’s Millennial Reich”, and others. Evidence on varied elements of climate change, see “Wattsupwiththat.com”, “co2coalition.org”, “co2science.org”, “Global Warming Policy Forum”, and related sites.
Point in this comment: Try to discern and draw out the fundamental set of themes that appear to shape any belief system, narrative, or movement. This is where good problem-solving functions at its best, in regard to thorough, long-term solutions- by detecting what archetypes, ideas, themes in any narrative are shaping the thinking, emotions, motivations, and response/behaviors of the adherents to the narrative.
This involves probing the deepest levels of human consciousness, even the subconscious. It involves understanding the past history of human construction of narratives to satisfy the primal impulse to meaning- i.e. how to understand and explain life. Mythology has long fulfilled this role and its earliest created themes were then embraced in later world religions, and more recently those same primitive themes have once again been embraced in the ideological, and even the “scientific” systems of the modern era.
This is a project to correct pathology that deforms human consciousness, personality, and societies (Again, psychologist Harold Ellens and psychotherapist Zenon Lotufo in “Cruel God, Kind God: How Images of God Shape Belief, Attitude, and Outlook”). This is a project to correct this problem of bad ideas deforming life at the most foundational level of meta-narrative themes.
“I feel uncomfortable”, Wendell Krossa (Attacks on fundamental freedom of speech)
“I am offended so you must shut up and not offend me. I demand it. My sensitivities, scruples, touchy feelings, and views are all that matter and must determine what is right for all others”.
Is this the demand of the immature two-year old spoiled brat? No, people in grown-up bodies- apparently adults- exhibit this hyper-sensitivity to purported offenses endlessly today. The hyper-touchiness has been fueling an out-of-control hissy fit of busybody intrusion into the lives of others, denying them their fundamental freedom to differing opinion, to dissent, and to free speech.
Today claims of “feeling offended, feeling outrage, feeling victimized” have become prevalent as determining values and standards that are used to authoritatively control others opinions, speech, actions. The claims of being offended are used to coercively censor, silence, ban, exclude, dominate, cancel, and even criminalize disagreeing others.
This exhibits the ugliness of the totalitarian impulse or spirit. That some believe that they alone know what is best and right for all others and demand that their hurt feelings toward diverse others should determine the speech and behavior of all others. And so they throw childish tantrums, with browbeating threats, to coerce others into backing off. Bullying gone mad, anyone?
And watch how media mindlessly quote these outraged mobs as authoritative sources, not to be challenged. Media will claim, for example, that “Twitter has erupted”, or something “sparked a backlash online”, and that is presented as unquestionable, unchallengeable authority. Really? But who “erupted” and how many? Was it just the usual “trolls” who spend their days searching for something to be offended by, something to explode with outrage over? (Add here the “troll farms” of foreign meddlers trying to influence Western societies.)
Such is often the level of “news” reporting today. Some news report or media article will refer to a few Twitter comments from outraged people, most commonly today from extremist Woke Progressives, and end of story. The gods have spoken.
But we ask- Are the Twitter eruptions statistically representative of any universe or population? Well, in our anti-science world it doesn’t seem to matter anymore. Just quote the outrage mobs, the bullies of today.
While both sides are guilty of these same pathological reactions and exhibitions of touchy outrage, comedian Bill Burr on a Rogan podcast years ago stated that, even though he was a “lefty”, he had to admit that the worst bullies were from his side, the liberal side of society (my home side for decades). Others note the Woke Progressive domination in education, in Hollywood, in mainstream media, and varied areas of science (climate science), and also affirm that the greater threat is from the liberal or left side today.
The bullying from Woke mobs is very much a pathology gone insane in a sort of “social contagion” manner, and it feeds the overall “madness of crowds” episode that we are living through today.
How to move away from this “offense, victim, outrage culture” and back to sanity?
Aside from the personal development of “thicker skin”… Love. Re-establish love as the supreme human ideal, your personal ideal. Embrace love as the thing that most defines us as truly human. Love in all its facets- as unlimited and endless forgiveness of the imperfections and failings of others, universal inclusion of all, affirmation of human diversity and the right to differ, respect for the freedom and self-determination of others, refusal to become a moral busybody interfering in the choices of others, especially refusing to use state coercion to dominate and control differing others. And more… Love as empathy- the determination to feel what the other is feeling, to suffer with the other. To understand why the other thinks and feels as they do. To give the benefit of the doubt to the other- i.e. acknowledge that some apparent careless and offensive comment may have come from an innocent place- misunderstanding, good intention, etc. Perhaps just joking. To give, not just second chances, but third, fourth, and more. To learn what restorative justice really means.
“Love is a many-splendored thing”. Compassion, mercy, kindness, generosity of spirit, and more… the better impulses of our human spirit.
“Your speech is hate and dangerous… your speech is harmful/violence, and I feel threatened…”. This claim is made regarding even the jokes of comedians (i.e. see Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special “The Closer”- a “love-letter” to Chappelle’s trans friend).
Further note on non-statistical “online” surveys:
The above noted appeal by news outlets to Twitter mob eruptions as final authority sources reminds me of something CNN used to do. They would quote one of their “Online surveys” as an authoritative representation of the American population. Wolf Blitzer did that once on a “news” report that he was making. He referred to an online CNN poll to support some Woke Progressive political opinion that he was affirming. He ended his report with a mild disclaimer that “This is not a scientific survey”.
But that closing qualifier did little to counter or give proper context to the overall tone of the previous comments that he had just made on that issue. He should have clarified further that their online surveys only represent their audience- the people who watch CNN. The CNN audience over the years has, arguably, become less and less representative of the US population in general (the “universe” that a good statistical survey will try to represent). Even many Democrats have left CNN for more balanced reporting on other media. Their audience may now represent more the extremist Woke Progressives that are a small part of the US population.
More on Woke sensitivities…
“The drive to change language in an effort to ensure that no snowflakes, anywhere in the world, could possibly be offended by anything they see or hear ranges from the mundane to the malign…
“In 2020, Dahl’s publisher, Puffin, hired an organization that works with children’s authors and publishers to ensure literature is “inclusive” (read: sanitized) and undertook a review of the author’s collected works…
“The censors looked for any term or phrase that even had the remotest possibility of offending the most fragile of sensibilities….
“The push to alter language is metastasizing like a cancer throughout all facets of society…
“In science, precision matters, and abandoning terms that everyone understands for the sake of “inclusivity” will only serve to cause confusion. Yet it’s clear that when the woke talk about being “inclusive,” they no longer mean “accommodating people who have historically been excluded”; they mean ‘not subjecting people to any references to families or lifestyles that differ from their own’…
“The woke push to scrub common terms from the dictionary is generally carried out by people who feel they should be outraged on behalf of others….
“Perhaps it’s time for those who still have a modicum of common sense to push back by not adhering to the dictates of those who want to infuse science with ideology, and refusing to buy the censored works put out by today’s publishers.”
Interesting that notable public “liberals” today (the side I have long identified with) seem to not understand (or have abandoned) the basics of true liberalism (Classic Liberalism)- i.e. the inclusion of all as equals, protection of the freedom of all as equals, tolerance of diversity of views and speech, etc. Instead, liberals today are largely responsible for censoring, demonizing, dehumanizing, silencing, and banning differing others.
When you regularly smear and demonize the differing other as “racist, fascist, Nazi, threat to democracy, threat to life as in the climate alarm”, etc., then you have created validation to unleash the totalitarian impulse to coercively shut down such threats. Those dehumanized people are not worth protecting because, as you claim, they threaten all existence. You have exaggerated them even to the scale of “existential threats”. You have criminalized their dissent as “dangerous disinformation”, their speech as “violence”. Where does this end?
From Spectator Australia, “Climate change: short on proof, drowning in nonsense” by Alan Moran, Feb. 28, 2023
Note the graph that shows climate related deaths have fallen by 96% over the past century…
“Environmentalism, more particularly its prevalent global warming strain, dominates politics…
“Modern-day environmentalism has embraced forms of socialism – newly re-credited following its demise after the fall of the Soviet bloc – as well as having been reinforced by huckster self-interest in subsidies for politically correct energy supplies…
“Climate change is the harbinger for revolutionary change in economic management and political order. It is proving to be the justification for far-reaching intrusions in commerce and even in muting the freedom to express views.
“Climate alarmism, married with a resurrection of the legitimacy of socialist interventions, an acceptance of higher government spending and a toleration of increased debt has legitimised harmful energy and land-use policies. In Australia (and elsewhere) it has provided the rationale for policies that discriminate against fossil fuels and subsidise wind and solar-based electricity, raising energy costs 2-3 fold above those previously prevailing. Further such policies are planned and will drive additional cost increases and reductions in reliability.”
“UN Plan to kill free speech headlined by a president who was convicted of corruption”, Eric Worrall, Feb. 23, 2023
“UN bureaucrats and mostly left-wing politicians are pushing to rebuild a societal sense of “shared reality”, by shutting down climate skeptics and other online voices they deem to be “misinformation”.
“The article above does not explicitly mention climate change, though they mentioned “highly organised denial of scientific facts”. The UN has made it pretty clear they consider climate skepticism to be disinformation, so I think we’re pretty safe assuming climate skepticism is part of the set of free speech the UN wants shut down.
“The USA and Canada have also run their own attempts to shut down “disinformation”, like Biden’s short lived “Disinformation Governance Board”, and Canada’s Bill C-11, an ongoing legislative attempt to restrict online free speech.
“I’m actually encouraged by these frantic efforts by mostly left-wing politicians and UN bureaucrats to use coercion to regain control of the narrative, because I see it as evidence they are losing. Across the world people are increasingly doing their own research. Those who crave power over our lives don’t seem to like the conclusions empowered free people are drawing from the evidence.”
Ira Glasser on Joe Rogan’s podcast- the critical issue in free speech, Wendell Krossa
Here is a brief and clear explanation from Ira Glasser, former ACLU director, on the critical need to protect free speech, even hate speech, repugnant speech. The main issue, he says, is- “Who gets to decide what hate speech is?”. If your side bans the other side’s speech today as hate speech, then when the other side gains power in the future they will in turn ban your speech as hate speech. Everyone then suffers loss of freedom.
The only safe solution is to “duke things out in the public free speech arena”, countering other’s speech with your arguments and ideas. Protecting all speech, even repugnant speech, is the safest way to protect our own freedom of speech.
“Power is the antagonist”, says Glasser, and the great threat to civil liberties, and power must be restrained. No matter who has power. Both sides are equally dangerous with unrestrained power.
This is one of the best explanations and defenses of free speech offered anywhere. As Glasser says, freedom of speech is not intuitive but is a learned taste. He offers good illustrations of the issues involved.
Glen Greenwald again: “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”.
Similarly, physicist Lawrence Krause warns regarding the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the concern to teach AI “universal human values” so it will not pose a danger to humanity. Krause says, “This sounds good, in principle, until one tries to define universal human values, because it is difficult “to find consistent examples of logical, ethical, or moral behavior running across time and geography”. The problem, he says, “is the question of who gets to provide the guidance, and what their values are”. It is very much, says Krause, the coding problem of “junk in, junk out”.
Added note: Who said that the most dangerous people in society are those who assume that they know what is best for all others and will coerce others to embrace their view of things, “for their own good” of course, or “for the greater or common good” as they see it.
Wow, a stunning confession:
“Neil Winton worked as a journalist at Reuters for 32 years, including as global Science and Technology Correspondent
““When I became Reuters global Science and Technology Correspondent in the mid-1990s, the global warming story was top of my agenda. Already by then the BBC was scaring us saying we would all die unless humankind mended its selfish ways. Carbon dioxide (CO2) was the culprit and had to be tamed, then eliminated. I had no reason to think this wasn’t established fact. I was wrong.
“My Reuters credentials meant that I had easy access to the world’s finest climate scientists. To my amazement, none of these would say categorically that the link between CO2 and global warming, now known as climate change, was a proven scientific fact. Some said human production of CO2 was a probable cause, others that it might make some contribution; some said CO2 had no role at all. Everybody agreed that the climate had warmed over the last 10,000 years as the ice age retreated, but most weren’t really sure why. The sun’s radiation, which changes over time, was a favoured culprit….”
“When I first started writing about human-induced climate change (or global warming as it was then known) as Reuters’ Science & Technology Correspondent back in the mid-90s, I turned to a subject I knew from headlines rather than research.
“But I had expectations. After all, even then, the BBC was reporting as fact global warming was upon us, it was all our fault, and we’d all die soon if we didn’t listen to those that know best and act.
“Imagine my amazement when I started talking to the world’s top climate scientists and found a completely different story. The science wasn’t even close to being proven, and I had great difficulty finding anyone to say the link between excessive human-made carbon dioxide (CO2) and a changing climate was clear. There were many assumptions, but no proof. Yet the BBC and the mainstream media (MSM) constantly reported a proven doom scenario.”
And traumatizing a generation with climate apocalypse hysteria:
“Kids often worry about much different things than their parents do. One of the big ones is climate change. Research shows most youth are “extremely worried” about it, leading to a phenomenon called climate anxiety. Kids and young adults who struggle with this can perceive they have no future or that humanity is doomed.
““We see that a lot of young people are saying, I think my life will be worse than my parents’ lives,” said Dr. Sarah Schwartz, a professor of psychology at Suffolk University in Boston.
“A study published last year collected attitudes about climate change from 10,000 people across the world, aged 16-25….
“So, they know that the world is going to get to be a harder, darker, scarier place,” said Schwartz. “And imagining themselves in that world feels really scary for them….”
“Brainwashing the kids with climate fear is likely also leading to self destructive behaviours, like drug abuse….
“One day this period of our school system will be regarded with horror by historians, who will look back on this period as we look back on other evil periods in history when indoctrination displaced education.
“Future historians will wonder, will struggle to understand how so many of the teachers of our time could bring themselves to stand in classrooms day after day spreading misery and fear, crushing the hope and optimism from the hearts of the children in their care with relentless climate brainwashing, while somehow deluding themselves into thinking they are serving the best interests of the kids.”
Physicists Richard Lindzen, William Happer challenge Net Zero- “Challenging Net Zero with Science: Lindzen-Happer-CO2 Coalition Paper Released”
Full report available at:
From the “Executive Summary”:
“Governments around the globe are taking actions to implement fossil fuel-free or “Net Zero” energy systems without a thorough examination of the scientific basis for doing so. This paper undertakes that examination by reviewing the scientific support (or lack thereof) that has been used to justify this transition to Net Zero. No attempt is made to address the significant economic, societal or environmental consequences of a near-total reliance on renewable energy and the required battery-backup that is necessary to transition to a fossil fuel-free future.
“Two of the paper’s authors – Drs. William Happer and Richard Lindzen, professors emeriti at Princeton University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, respectively – have spent decades studying and writing about the physics of Earth’s atmosphere. The third, Gregory Wrightstone, a geologist of more than 40 years, has spent much of the last decade writing and speaking about the interplay of geology, history and climate.
“The authors find that Net Zero – the global movement to eliminate fossil fuels and its emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases – to be scientifically invalid and a threat to the lives of billions of people. Among the paper’s findings are:
“• Net Zero proponents regularly report that extreme weather is more severe and frequent because of climate change while the evidence shows no increase – and, in some cases, a decrease – in such events.
“• Computer models supporting every government Net Zero regulation and the trillions of dollars subsidizing renewables and electric cars, trucks, home heating, appliances and many other products do not work.
“• Scientific research and studies that do not support the “consensus” narrative of harmful man-made global warming are routinely censored and excluded from government reports such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the National Climate Assessment.
“• Conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that contradict the narrative of catastrophic global warming from fossil fuels are rewritten by government bureaucrats for public reports to support the false narrative of Net Zero.
“• The many benefits of modest warming and increasing carbon dioxide are routinely either eliminated or minimized in governmental reports.
“• Eliminating fossil fuels and implementing Net Zero policies and actions mean the elimination of fossil fuel-derived nitrogen fertilizers and pesticides that will result in about half the world’s population not having enough food to eat. Many would starve. (Note the recent Sri Lanka agricultural disaster)
“• The adoption of Net Zero is the rejection of overwhelming scientific evidence that there is no risk of catastrophic global warming caused by fossil fuels and CO2.
‘Net Zero, then, violates the tenets of the scientific method that for more than 300 years has underpinned the advancement of western civilization.”
More highlights from report:
These scientists carefully detail evidence showing, contrary to government agencies, and media reporting, that heat waves are not becoming more frequent or worse (the worst heatwaves were in the 1930s), hurricanes are not becoming worse (“no trends beyond natural variability in hurricane frequency, intensity, rainfall or storm surge flooding”), wildfires and area burned have been in “a significant and long-term decline since their peak in the 1920s and 1930s while CO2 has been increasing”. Data on the larger Northern Hemisphere show the same significant decline in wildfires over the last century and a half. Globally wildfires have also declined.
Conclusion: “There is no long trend of increased wildfires but, to the contrary, a long-term trend of decreasing wildfires”.
(Note: They refer frequently to the research of Steven Koonin in his book “Unsettled” where Koonin applies the scientific method to the facts of extreme weather. Much in the quotes below is from Koonin’s research.)
On sea-level rise they note the cherry picking of short periods of time that support their alarmist theory but the omission of contradictory data over a longer period (an increase from 1925-1940 that was similar to the increase from 1993-2013) which shows natural variability as the cause not human emissions of CO2.
They also show the data on tornadoes which in alarmist narratives appear to have increased but this is due to better radar over the past few decades and better reporting. The alarmist theory here omits contradictory data showing actual declining number of tornadoes over the last 60 years.
Overall, “storminess of all kinds is expected to decrease gently with warmer weather because it is differentials between temperatures that cause storms, and warming reduces those differentials… the strongest storms have become less frequent and US tornadoes have become more benign as the globe has warmed.. the facts show there is no risk of increased damage by tornadoes as a result of increased atmospheric CO2 from fossil fuels. Tornadoes will continue to cause damage, but the resulting increased financial losses will have nothing to do with increases in CO2 but will be due to upward inflationary pressure and increase in infrastructure in high-risk areas”. The same financial losses risk applies to hurricanes, sea-level rise, and other natural disaster issues.
“US data show only modest changes in US rainfall during the past century haven’t changed the average incidence of floods”.
On drought: “Multiple long-term studies of drought in the southwest confirm that there were periods of horrific drought significantly longer and worse than the southwest drought that just ended… this drought pales in comparison to an earlier period of elevated aridity and epic drought in AD 900-1300.”
“The data… demonstrate the peoples of the world and the US are much safer from extreme weather events today”. Much of the increase in alarmist accounts of natural disasters are due to increased reporting over past decades. With improved data reporting there has actually been a 10 percent decline in natural disasters.
“The Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters does a fine job of collecting data on natural disasters for the World Health Organization… according to their data, deaths from natural disasters have plunged more than 90 percent from a yearly average of 540,000 in the 1920s to 45,000 in the last decade”.
They conclude that official agencies repeatedly fabricated facts and omitted contradictory facts contrary to good science.
“The science says that most extreme weather events show no long-term trends that can be attributed to human influence on the climate… Observations extending back over a century indicate that most types of extreme weather events don’t show any significant change and some such events have actually become less common or severe, even as human influences on the climate grow..
Commenting on the IPCC reports and the Summaries for Policymakers (SPMs) they say “Unknown to most, two IPCC rules require that IPCC governments control what it reports as ‘scientific’ findings on CO2, fossil fuels, and manmade global warming, not scientists”.
This contradicts a basic rule of science as set forth by Richard Feynman- “No government has the right to decide on the truth of scientific principles”.
“Since governments control the SPMs, the SPMs are merely government opinions. Therefore, they have no value as reliable science.”
And further contrary to the ideologically shaped government opinions in the SPMs, the independent scientists involved in the IPCC reports concluded, “No study to date has positively attributed all or part of the climate warming observed to manmade causes… None of the studies cited… has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed climate changes to the specific cause of increases in greenhouse gases”. Stunning, eh.
And then, the authors state that alarmist narratives omit the “Extraordinary benefits of CO2 and fossil fuels…
Noting that CO2 is essential to food and to life on earth the authors say, “We owe our existence to green plants that, through photosynthesis convert CO2 and water to carbohydrates with the aid of sunlight, and release oxygen. Land plants get the carbon they need (all life being carbon based- made of carbon) from the CO2 in the air… Plants… grow better in air with several times higher CO2 concentrations than present”.
“Without CO2 there would be no photosynthesis, no food, and no human or other life… More CO2 means more food for people around the world”. They add that if Net Zero policies are implemented to stop CO2 from doubling from the current approximately 400 ppm to 800 ppm, then “the amount of food available to people worldwide would be 40-60% less, greatly increasing the possibility of massive human starvation”.
Other benefits include the role of CO2 in hindering the escape of thermal radiation to space thereby keeping temperature warm enough and moderate enough to sustain life on Earth. Without such gases we would freeze to death. Add the role of fossil fuels in the production of nitrogen fertilizer that supports half the world population. Eliminating CO2 and fossil fuels will have disastrous consequences in harming those in poverty and destroying the enormous benefits enjoyed worldwide.
The authors repeat that the “manmade climate crisis” alarm is not validated by science. “We are not aware of any reliable science that supports the National Climate Assessments or other’s theory that fossil fuels and CO2 will cause catastrophic global warming”.
The flaws in the climate alarm narrative include cherry picking short periods of time to support their theory, omitting millions of years of data that contradict their theory, and even fabricating data to validate charts showing sharp upward trends. In summary, the alarmist narrative leans on consensus, government opinion, models that don’t work, fabricated data, omitting contrary data, ideology, and politicized science. The alarmist narrative is not science. None of the above methods advocating climate crisis are science based and do not provide scientific knowledge, say the authors.
They then include some powerful paleoclimate data from the 600 million year history of life. Notably, that CO2 levels of today (419 ppm) are near a record low and are not dangerously high. Their report includes some important graphs of CO2 levels and temperatures over the Phanerozoic era (the past 600 million years).
Points: “Today’s 419 ppm is not far above the minimum level when plants die of CO2 starvation, around 150 ppm, when all human and other life would die from lack of food… CO2 levels were more than 1000 ppm for nearly all of the last 600 million years”.
And then some facts on the paleoclimate disconnects between temperatures and CO2 levels:
“For hundreds of millions of years, temperatures were low when CO2 levels were high, and temperatures were high when CO2 levels were low. When CO2 was at a record high at about 7000 ppm, temperatures were at a near-record low. CO2 levels were low when temperatures were at the highest they have ever been in about 60 million years. CO2 concentrations and temperatures are not correlated over the 600 million years. CO2 levels have been relatively low for the last 300 million years and have been declining from 2800 ppm to today’s 420 ppm over the last 145 million years. Temperatures have been higher than today over most of the 600 million years and life flourished.”
The climate alarm narrative omits this observed data to make its unscientific case that fossil fuels and CO2 will cause catastrophic global warming.
Further, “CO2 becomes a less effective greenhouse gas at higher concentrations because of what is called ‘saturation’. Each additional 100 ppm increase of CO2 in the atmosphere causes a smaller and smaller change in ‘radiative forcing’ or in temperature… This means that from now on our emissions from burning fossil fuels will have little effect on global warming. We could emit as much CO2 as we like with little warming effect. There is no climate emergency. No threat at all.
“Saturation also explain why temperatures were not catastrophically high over the hundreds of millions of year when CO2 levels were 10-20 time higher than they are today”.
“Saturation explains why reducing the use of fossil fuels to ‘Net Zero’ by 2050 would have trivial impact on climate… basic physics shows that doubling CO2 would result in a temperature increase of a trivial amount, less than 1 degree C… Accordingly, since CO2 at today’s level is ‘saturated’, for this reason alone there is no risk fossil fuels and even doubling CO2 will cause catastrophic global warming… there is no risk that fossil fuels and CO2 are causing or will cause catastrophic global warming. There is, however, a real risk that eliminating fossil fuels and CO2 emissions will cause massive starvation and other disastrous consequences”. And much more detail in the report.
Further quotes from co2coalition.org summary:
“Net Zero Plans Are Dangerous and Unsupported by Science and the Scientiﬁc Method
“Net Zero initiatives of governments and private organizations are scientiﬁcally invalid and will lead to worldwide impoverishment and starvation if implemented, according to a paper published by the CO2 Coalition.
“Governments around the globe are taking actions to implement fossil fuel-free or ‘Net Zero’ energy systems without a thorough examination of the scientific basis for doing so… No attempt is made to address the significant economic, societal, or environmental consequences of a near-total reliance on renewable energy and the required battery-backup that is necessary to transition to a fossil fuel-free future…
“The authors have spent decades studying and writing about the physics of the Earth’s atmosphere…
“The authors find Net Zero… to be scientifically invalid and a threat to the lives of billions of people…
“Net Zero proponents regularly report that extreme weather is more severe and frequent because of climate change… but evidence shows no increase, and in some cases, a decrease in such events…
“Computer models supporting Net Zero regulation and trillions of dollars subsidizing renewables and electric alternatives technology… do not work…
“Scientific research and studies that do not support the ‘consensus’ narrative of harmful man-made global warming are routinely censored and excluded from government reports such as the IPCC…
“Conclusions from the IPCC that contradict the narrative of catastrophic global warming from fossil fuels are rewritten by government bureaucrats to support the false narrative of Net Zero…
“The many benefits of modest warming and increasing CO2 are routinely eliminated or minimized in government reports…
“Eliminating fossil fuels and implementing Net Zero policies… mean the elimination of fossil fuel-derived nitrogen fertilizers and pesticides that will result in about half the world’s population not having enough food to eat. Many would starve.
“The adoption of Net Zero is the rejection of overwhelming scientific evidence that there is no.” risk of catastrophic global warming caused by fossil fuels and CO2.”
“The paper predicts global starvation if fossil fuels are eliminated. At risk in coming decades would be half of the world’s 8.5 billion to 10 billion people who are fed by crops grown with fertilizers derived from fossil fuels. Listed as an example of Net Zero’s potential consequences is the economic and social calamity of Sri Lanka which had banned the use of fertilizers and pesticides made from fossil fuels.
““The recent experience in Sri Lanka provides a red alert. The world has just witnessed the collapse of the once bountiful agricultural sector of Sri Lanka as a result of government restrictions on mineral fertilizer,” the paper says.
“The paper says that 600 million years of geological evidence shows that CO2 levels are near a record low and that atmospheric increases of the gas follow warming periods rather than precede them.
“These data “are good enough to demolish the argument that atmospheric CO2 concentrations control Earth’s climate and the theory that fossil fuels and CO2 will cause catastrophic global warming. They will not.”
“The paper’s authors are Dr. William Happer, Professor of Physics, Emeritus, Princeton University; Dr. Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Gregory Wrightstone, a geologist and executive director of the CO2 Coalition.”
Woke Progressivism today exhibits the cold humorlessness of the totalitarian spirit.
We see this in the harsh judgments so quickly rendered by some people toward the public comments made by differing others. The harshness is evident in that the Woke person will attribute the worst possible motivation as behind the other person’s comment (i.e. “racist, fascist, threat to democracy, hate speech, white supremacist”, etc.). Such harsh judgments are made without consideration or inquiry into the intention/motivation of the persons making the purportedly offensive comments. This is followed with the severest condemnation toward all who disagree with Woke orthodoxy. We see the danger of this humorlessness in the demonization of differing others as threats that must be censored, silenced, removed, banned, cancelled, even criminalized.
The humorless totalitarian demands severe punishment for the mildest dissent or disagreement, and even for jokes. The Wokester cannot allow laughter at their expense. Because humor is viewed as a threat to power. Humor puts power in its place as not to be taken seriously, just as with all the rest of life. The totalitarian cannot countenance lack of seriousness toward his/her demands for conformity by all.
This humorless totalitarian spirit makes it essential to support the free speech of comedians who play a critical role in maintaining free speech and freedom for all of us.
It would be interesting to probe/hear comment on the psychology of what this humorless totalitarianism is about. What mental/emotional pathology drives this?
Christopher Hitchens: “The people who must never have power are the humorless. To impossible certainties of rectitude, they ally tedium and uniformity.”
Slavoj Zizek: “Because the horror of Communism, Stalinism, is not that bad people do bad things — they always do. It’s that good people do horrible things thinking they are doing something great,” (Harper’s Magazine, Nov. 11, 2011).
Edward Abbey: “The distrust of wit is the beginning of tyranny”, Edward Abbey.
Greg Gutfeld: “Wokeism is an attack on fun”.
And this from C. S. Lewis:
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience”.
The tribal impulse behind racism, Wendell Krossa
The deeper impulse behind racism is tribalism, something that we inherited from our animal past- i.e. the small-band mentality where extended family groups were in constant battles with other small family groups. Note some history of this in, for example, Steven LeBlanc’s “Constant Battles: Why We Fight”- “The notion of the ‘noble savage’ living in peace with one another… is a fantasy”. See also Paul Seabright’s “In the Company of Strangers”.
The “tribal impulse behind racism” was also psychologist Jordan Peterson’s point when he said that because we are all tribal (we all possess the tribal impulse), therefore all of us are inherently racist, no matter our color, ethnicity, or other difference markers.
The primitive tribal impulse has long been re-enforced by mythologies of “cosmic dualism”- i.e. that there was a great Good God existing in eternal combat against an evil Force/Spirit. The Zoroastrian dualism that shaped Western religions and consciousness illustrates this cosmic dualism in the eternal opposition of Good (Ahura Mazda) against Evil (Angra Mainyu). That cosmic dualism has shaped the core beliefs of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and the subsequent thinking of most of humanity.
The origin of such myths can be attributed to the “primal human impulse for meaning” (Victor Frankl). This impulse led early people to create ideas/myths to help them understand and explain reality and life. Unfortunately, our early ancestors formed their first explanations during a time of primitive human existence, an era when humans still lived a very animal-like existence. Hence, their ideas affirmed and validated a more animal-like reality than human reality. Their ideas validated their existence in societies where animal drives like the impulse to tribalism were still dominant realities. While that is excusable due to their immaturity as early humans, we have no excuse today to continue embracing and validating such features in our religions, ideologies, and wider societies. We ought to have matured more as human by now.
The validation of the human tribalism impulse has resulted, across history, in the deforming of the hero’s quest where a hero goes forth to engage a righteous battle against some monster or enemy, to ultimately conquer that enemy. The human impulse to engage that laudable hero’s quest has resulted in endless battles against differing others who were demonized, dehumanized, and destroyed as “enemies”- i.e. differing others that were viewed as inferior, unworthy, less than us, inferior to our tribe.
Some counters to tribalism:
To counter this most violent and destructive impulse in history- the tribalism impulse- a good place to start would be to embrace ultimate oneness in the cosmos. Affirm that there is no ultimate dualism of good and evil. Affirm that there exists only ultimate Oneness as love.
Even Joseph Campbell has intimated something like this in his response to the dualism of this world. He suggests that the dualism here is part of this temporary material reality where we come to live out our stories, “as actors on God’s stage playing our differing roles”. But this-world dualism does not define ultimate metaphysical reality. Others note that even quantum mechanics affirms an ultimate oneness beyond our visible material world of duality.
I would add that we also counter dualism/tribalism, and its horrific outcomes, by affirming a fundamental oneness in humanity. You can inform this human oneness from varied things- such as our common lineage traced to our common African mother some 120,000 to 156,000 years ago…
Quote: “In human genetics, the Mitochondrial Eve (also mt-Eve, mt-MRCA) is the matrilineal most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of all living humans”.
So yes, to summarize this in plain language- we are all descendants of a black African mother, even those of us with more recent lines of historical descent from northern European regions, following the general human exodus out of Africa. Some of us trace more recent descent from farther north regions of Earth where people’s melanocytes (melanin producing organs in skin) became inactive across the millennia due to less sunlight. Melanocyte differences are a peripheral feature on the human genome that, according to one scientist, “amount to nothing of more importance than a sunburn”. All humans- black and white- have the same amount of melanocytes in their skin but just differ in degrees of active versus inactive melanocytes (again, nothing of more importance than a sunburn). So go easy on Rachel Dolezal who made her case, with good biological and historical evidence on BBC, that we should all affirm our ultimate African heritage (i.e. our ultimate human identity in the same one family).
I would add some speculation from “spiritual” insights to further affirm human oneness- i.e. that God did not just incarnate in special “holy” people like historical Jesus, but has incarnated in all humanity equally as indistinguishable from the human spirit. All human beings are fundamentally equal in this most important sense.
Others affirm an essential human “oneness with God”, again making us all members of one ultimate reality, as well as being members of one human family here on planet Earth. Our core human self and its oneness with God offers a better basis for our core identity, better than ethnic, racial, national, religious/ideological, or other more peripheral bases of human identity (“more peripheral” in terms of importance on the human genome).
And the common human spirit that all humans possess, common human consciousness, the human mind or self, all offer a better basis for affirming human equality (i.e. something akin to Martin Luther King urging that we focus on and evaluate one another by our human character not skin color).
I would conclude that the hero’s quest that we all engage in life is not primarily about engaging righteous battles against enemy others as in human enemies (i.e. the great historical battles between people). The real hero’s quest is to engage the righteous battle against the enemy or monster that is inside each of us- i.e. our inherited animal impulses such as the primitive tribal impulse. Solzhenitsyn was right that the real battle of good against evil runs down the center of every human heart.
And note again Campbell’s good point that when we orient our lives to universal love then “we tower in stature as maturely human”, we become the hero of our story when we conquer “the animal passions” such as the tribalism impulse.
And to counter today’s Woke Racism (John McWhorter) I would affirm again, as noted above, Martin Luther King’s dream of a future where we stop viewing one another in terms of our skin color and instead view one another as individuals, in terms of our unique individual character (Its interesting, as some note, how this relates to the larger ideological battles between the collectivist views of Marxism and the individualism of Classic Liberalism).
Affirming unconditional as the essential core of everything (more metaphysical or “spiritual” speculation), Wendell Krossa
Intro note: With my “basic beliefs” below I go to the root of what has traumatized humanity over multiple millennia- i.e. mythical and religious versions of “threat theologies” that have added an unnecessary extra burden of psychic fear to already unbearable human fears of natural world threats. I would counter that source of added fear in the most potent way that I can- with entire opposite ideas/speculations.
Threat theologies- i.e. the retaliatory, punitive, destroying gods that have long been the cohering centers of human narratives- such deity myths have long caused incalculable fear, anxiety, shame/guilt, depression, nihilism, and violence among people with their images of angry Gods threatening retaliation, punishment, and destruction (retributive justice). This lineage of mythical/religious deities continues in today’s “secular” versions of “vengeful Gaia, punitive Universe, angry Mother Earth/Planet, and payback karma”.
Hold something fundamental:
We all hold onto some basic ideas/values/beliefs that we believe to be fundamental to making sense of life and the world/reality. These are the beliefs that help us suffer through the worst that life throws at us. And, just as most people have done across history, our beliefs include speculation on the “metaphysical or spiritual” reality where we locate our ultimate ideals and meaning, our ultimate purpose. Philosophical materialists do this also- i.e. speculate beyond the known visible realm in order to find ultimate explanations for the world that we see.
Note, for example, the materialist’s speculation on unproven “multi-verse theory” to affirm the random, meaningless emergence of all- i.e. given infinite tries, the trillions of typing monkeys are bound to eventually create a Shakespearian sonnet. Or from the eternal birthing of infinite trillions of universes, this infinitely impossible and finely-balanced universe (Martin Rees’ “Just Six Numbers”) was bound to randomly and meaninglessly emerge. Or how about the godlike properties attributed to another “secular” creating deity- i.e. “Self-Organizing Principle”? (And yes, self-organization works in certain limited contexts- i.e. the formation of crystals.)
Here is my list of fundamental beliefs:
1. I have hope in ultimate love. That what the Near-Death Experience people (NDE) tell us about the nature of deity is true- that God is an inexpressibly wondrous unconditional love, stunningly unconditional. And they say this love is the very substance of the light that is God- i.e. God’s very “atoms” are this love. This means the Ultimate Consciousness that creates and sustains all other reality is love. Love is the essence of everything- immaterial/metaphysical and material.
Deity as unconditional love is also the core theme in the teaching of Historical Jesus.
Jesus pointed to this in the story of the Prodigal Father who did not demand sacrifice but freely forgave and loved unconditionally. Jesus expressed it in the central theme of his basic teaching that there should be no retaliation (no eye for eye) but instead we should love our enemies “because God did” (because that was what God was like). God included and loved both good and bad people the same (i.e. God “gave sun and rain to all” without discrimination).
The non-retaliatory, unconditional nature of God points to conclusions that offend traditional justice. Non-retaliatory, unconditional deity means that there is no ultimate exclusion of anyone, no ultimate punishment, and no ultimate destruction. We are all safe in the end, even though we suffer wildly diverse experiences in this world.
The core nature of Creating Reality as unconditional gives meaning to all else, it defines human purpose, and it offers the most humane ultimate ideal to guide all else.
(Note: I refer to Historical Jesus as someone entirely different from the New Testament Christ of Paul. Contrary to Historical Jesus, Paul affirmed a retaliatory, highly conditional God, similar to all previous mythical/religious theologies.)
2. Further, I believe that unconditional love is also our core nature, the essence of our true self, because of our essential oneness with God. None of us has ever been separated from God who has incarnated in each of us as the human spirit, or human consciousness. This means that, contrary to mythology and religious teaching, we are not “fallen, sinful” beings, but we are most essentially good. Yes, we do have the freedom to choose to engage our inherited animal impulses, but those impulses do not define our essential human self- who we really are as conscious selves. We can recognize with Jeffrey Schwartz that “we are not our inherited animal brains”. We can choose to reject animal impulses and live as human.
3. And I see the evidence of fundamental human goodness in how we have made life better over the long-term. Note our success in solving diseases, protecting ourselves from natural disasters (deaths from natural or climate disasters are down 95% over just the past century), creating the technology to feed humanity, reducing violence across our history, and generally improving the human condition in so many ways, while also protecting the natural world at the same time.
The improvement of life on Earth over the long-term is irrefutable evidence of fundamental human compassion and goodness conquering evil.
The fundamental love at the core of humanity and at the core of reality, at the core of everything, has always been true whether we are aware of it, whether we feel it or not. It is the fundamental reality and truth of existence.
Love- notably unconditional love- is the highest human ideal and value, and it defines us as authentically human more than anything else. It is the light in darkness.
My three basic beliefs above are my “cognitive therapy” response to counter the widespread fear, anxiety, depression, and related pathologies that are consequent to the persistent battering of public consciousness that comes from traditional narratives that life is declining toward something worse, even toward catastrophic ending (apocalypse). Life declining toward disaster is a central myth in the “lost paradise/redemption” complex that dominates religions, and now also dominates “secular/ideological” systems of belief like environmental alarmism/climate crisis mythology.
My defining of ultimate reality as the light of unconditional love is to counter contemporary mythologies that present images of dark, threatening Forces/spirits behind life, whether vengeful Gaia, punitive Universe, angry Mother Earth/planet, or payback karma. It is also to counter images of the after-life as a dark, shadowy realm of ghostly beings, widely believed in Hellenistic/Greek mythologies and now embraced in contemporary story-telling. (For an interesting history of Western mythological views of the after-life, i.e. the Hellenistic traditions, see James Tabor’s “Paul’s Ascent to Paradise”)
The essential offensiveness of Historical Jesus, Wendell Krossa (Or, Do you want to feel offended? Well, do ya? Think Clint Eastwood.)
Historical Jesus (a person entirely opposite to Christian “Jesus Christ”) repeatedly scandalized/offended good religious people with his unlimited inclusivity, non-retaliation toward offenders, universal love, and unconditional generosity. His advocating such behaviors was based on his belief that God was an unconditional reality, a God who did not demand sacrifice/payment to obtain forgiveness. Note the expression of his belief in an unconditional God in the Prodigal father story, his own unconditional welcome of societal outcasts at meals, and, more so, in his central statement on these things in Luke 6:27-36, and Matthew 5:38-48.
If you are not offended by his scandalous inclusion of all, non-retaliation toward offenders, and universal love, then you have not really understood the original person and the true nature of his unconditional message and how that message overturns conventional views of justice as some form of retribution, punishment, payback, rebalancing the scales of cosmic justice, or making wrongs right by giving offenders “what they deserve” as in pain meted out for pain caused, harm for harm, etc..
Unlike traditional religious systems, the Near-Death Experience (NDE) movement gets closest to the image of deity that was the core theme in the teaching of Historical Jesus. The NDE, in its central discovery, similarly affirms that God is a stunningly inexpressible no conditions love and consequently, there is no ultimate judgment, no exclusion of anyone, and no ultimate punishment/destruction.
No religious tradition, or historical mythology, has ever communicated this defining feature of deity as an unconditional reality. With Mark Fox, I wonder why theologians and philosophers have largely ignored the NDE movement (“Religion, Spirituality, and the Near-Death Experience”). Could it be because an unconditional God overturns the very nature of religious gods as highly conditional realities that undergird the conditions of religious traditions- i.e. conditions of correct beliefs, demanded sacrifice/payment, required rituals and religious lifestyle that identify people as a true believers in a given religion? Could it be that theologians recognize that an unconditional God spells the end of all religion?
So ask yourself- Do you find the unconditional message and behavior of Jesus offensive to your sense of justice as some form of proper retribution, righteous payback, correction of wrongs in this life, and ultimate reckoning and punishment? Justice as making things ultimately right. Good. Your sense of offended justice means that you are getting close to understanding the original message and life of Historical Jesus, the real scandal of Jesus.
When confronting Jesus’ teaching on an unconditional God, and his advocacy for the unconditional treatment of others, many respond with- “That is too impractical, too mushy a response to evil”. And what about proper justice? What about victim’s feelings?
And of course, we need to make the usual qualifiers- I do not take Historical Jesus’ insights on unconditional reality or life as prescriptions for running a business (i.e. “give to everyone who asks… give without expecting payment in return”), or for running a general economy. And I would not take his teaching to define criminal justice systems according to pacifist principles (i.e. “turn the other cheek”).
Criminal justice systems must never abandon common sense in an imperfect world. Violent people must be restrained for public safety. Jesus’ unconditional approach has more to do with the free choice of victims in how they freely choose to respond to their offenders, and in shaping criminal justice according to restorative approaches, as in the Danish criminal justice approach.
The Jesus insights on unconditional deity have more to do with defining new narratives with more humane archetypes and how such meta-narratives, centered on an unconditional ultimate reality (i.e. the image of the divine), then influence human thought, emotion, motivation, and response overall. Note these issues as dealt with in the good work of psychotherapist Zenon Lotufo and psychologist Harold Ellens (“Cruel God, Kind God”- how iconic images of the divine influence human personality and society).
Whatever your views on these things, don’t negate/invalidate or subvert/sabotage the core message of Jesus. Understand its essential offensiveness to traditional views of deity as divine judge ensuring justice as some form of payback, retribution, and rebalancing the upset scales of the cosmos with punishment for wrongs done. Historical Jesus overturned the retaliatory deity that had long shaped human justice and ethical systems with a punitive, retaliatory orientation.
A non-retaliatory, unconditional deity profoundly changes the ultimate image that influences human thought, emotion, motivation, and response/behavior, the ultimate ideal and authority- i.e. the human image of God. How that applies to human life and society is up to free individuals. At a minimum though, don’t invalidate or overturn the fundamental new insight made by Historical Jesus on the true nature of God as unconditional reality.
The core theme in the message of Historical Jesus- i.e. God is an unconditional, non-retaliatory deity- overturns the entire history of religious theology and related religious conditions. No religion has ever communicated that central insight of Jesus to people- “the stunning new theology of a non-retaliatory, unconditional God” (James Robinson).
Let the offensiveness (i.e. scandal to traditional views of punitive justice) of that central Jesus insight, bite.
Good one on irresponsible panic-mongering– “With the ‘expert’ COVID view blown up, green terror must be next”, by New York Post Editorial Board, March 4, 2023
“With the demolition of the “expert” views on COVID — mask mandates are useless; vaccines fail to stop transmission; the virus most likely came from that Wuhan lab — it’s time to take a very hard look at another major “settled science” pseudo-consensus: climate doom-saying.
“Climate change is real… But the exact mechanics aren’t remotely as well understood as received wisdom has it — and the terror-campaign hysteria about how to address it, from Greta Thunberg and Al Gore all the way to Joe Biden, Kathy Hochul and most of the media, is utterly anti-science.
“Carbon fuels and the technologies that depend up them are essential to modern society: Pretending that governments can simply mandate them away, ordering replacements into existence, is out-and-out magical thinking — and policy based on unicorns and magic crystals can only bring disaster and suffering…
“Yes, the hysterics also point to disasters and suffering. Here just a few:
“At the 2021 Glasgow UN climate summit, John Kerry said we had only nine years left to stop global warming. That followed Prince (now King) Charles’ 2019 claim that we had only 18 months. Which conflicted with AOC’s claim that same year that we had only 12 years left. Which cut against the 2004 claim from British greens that climate change would destroy all human civilization by 2020. That timeline undermined the 1989 UN prediction that we had only three years left to win the climate fight — a major fail, after the same body said in 1972 that only a decade remained before time ran out.
“Consider, too, the climate refugees, i.e., people supposedly sure to be driven from their homes by climate change. The Institute for Economics and Peace predicts as many as 1.2 billion climate refugees by 2050; but the big brains have as bad a record here as they do on the date of doomsday. The United Nations not so long ago foresaw 50 million such refugees by 2010, a massive migration flow that utterly failed to materialize.
“On individual extreme weather events, the record of “experts” is just as miserable. Despite endless predictions of raging wildfires and city-drowning floods, the overall death toll from such events is down drastically, from about 500,000 worldwide in the 1920s to about 18,000 from 2012 to 2022.
“Don’t forget the helpless critters greens love to hype up. Remember the vanishing polar bear, a keystone of Al Gore’s moral-panic masterpiece “An Inconvenient Truth”? Turns out their numbers are up from 2.5 to five times since the ’60s. The allegedly dying coral of the Great Barrier Reef now holds more coral than at any time since record-keeping began.
“Green fanatics, the numbers show, are just as much in the dark about the climate situation as Anthony Fauci et al were about COVID. Their “solutions” — ban gas stoves! mandate Teslas! eat mealworms! — are equally nonsensical…
“It’s time we stopped listening to them, for good.”
From Wattsupwiththat.com by P. Gosselin
“Despite what we hear from the media and climate activists, hard scientific findings show that Pacific and Indian Ocean island nations are doing just fine…not at all sinking away”.
Tim Robbins had a real awakening (Russel Brand interview), Wendell Krossa (Awakening to and affirming the fundamental principles of Classic Liberalism, or awakening to and affirming fundamental human love)
Keep in mind here, the attitudes of two of the most famous leftists- Marx and Mao and the interesting biographical data that reveals they both despised peasants, the common people that they viewed as deluded by religious belief, superstition, and overall ignorance. In contrast to the ignorant masses, Mao and Marx viewed themselves as “enlightened elites” who knew what was best for all others, and they believed their understanding of what was best should be coercively pushed on others by state force.
My own journey has tracked from “not much thought about anything”, to early 1970s conservative Evangelicalism, to 1980s leftist/socialist liberalism, then finally (later 1980s) to Classic Liberalism/Libertarianism of a strongly independent nature.
Now the argument re true awakening…
True wokeness should exhibit in people affirming the bedrock Classic Liberal values of (1) advocating/affirming human diversity and the right to differ (2) tolerance of differing views and speech (not censoring, silencing, banning, cancelling, criminalizing differing others), (3) the universal inclusion of all as equals, affirming the equality of all, and (4) respect for and zealous protection of the freedom of all to self-determine their lives (not being dominated, controlled by others, especially not through state intervention and coercion), and more.
Add here- True wokeness, or common human decency, should express in the treatment of all others with equal respect as members of the one human family, despite all our diversity and differences. And how about the self-restraint of true wokeness as in the refusal to become a moral busybody interfering in the choices of others, especially refusing to use state coercion to dominate and control differing others. Add also wokeness in the profoundly human feature of unlimited and endless forgiveness of the imperfections and failings of others, the generosity of spirit that judges others mercifully, attributing the intentions and motivations of others as likely not coming from an evil place. But where other’s comments are suspect as to potential offensiveness, Woke mercifulness will consider that perhaps the other is just being unintentionally careless, or even joking. And so much more of true Wokeness as exhibiting the better impulses of our human spirits.
A clip of the Robbins interview by Brand…
Robbins’ awakening mirrors something of my own, on some features, notably his reaction to the element of partisan, tribal hatred toward differing others, the despising and vilifying of the differing other. Reflecting on Robbins’ points, I see issues of fundamental fairness, equality, and the critical need to understand and affirm the fundamental nature of liberal democracy or Classic Liberalism (“critical”- to a peaceful future where opposing sides in societal divides learn to “just get along”).
I left any shred of our family’s Christian conservatism back in the late 70s on my way out of Evangelicalism. For certain around 1980 I had flown the coop entirely. I could not clearly verbalize it at the time, but I was finally affirming my innate sense of Classic Liberalism in the sense of the equally protected rights and freedoms of all individuals (sort of Libertarianish). I held that sense of things many years before but around the late 1970s I finally found my footing in consciously affirming Classic Liberalism, thanks in large part to Bob Brinsmead’s writing (Verdict magazine, personal exchanges).
Some of my ‘Bona Fides’ in relation to the individual freedom and equality of Western liberalism- I embraced 1980s liberal positions on varied social issues. Affirming full equal rights for gays (e.g. legitimizing gay marriage), freedom of individual choice for women over their bodies and reproductive issues (i.e. no criminalization of abortion, no state intervention in that private choice), ending the drug wars (ending criminalization, prohibition), and on and on. What were then “liberal” positions in our societies- positions that affirmed tolerance, inclusion, equality, and freedom for all. Positions, in the eyes of conservative Evangelicals, of those who have “gone over to the dark side, to the Devil, and are on their way to Hell”. Yes, there is a cost to abandoning one’s previous worldview and positions to move elsewhere that appears threatening to former colleagues.
But then over subsequent decades I found myself becoming increasingly uncomfortable with things that I was hearing from the liberal side of US and Canadian society- an intensifying biased, partisan vilifying of the other side in public media. That tribal vilifying was expressed more subtly over past decades but has now become the unleashed hysterical tribalism of today (and yes- both sides are exhibiting this now more unleashed tribal extremism).
For years I had shared the liberal side’s perception of things- i.e. viewing conservative-types as generally fringe nutcases, dangerous threats, and so on. But personally knowing people on that side of the social divide- conservatives- the intensifying liberal vilification did not seem balanced. It often seemed more than a bit exaggerated. Unfair, excessive, distorting, even becoming unhinged hateful.
And worse, I found quite unsettling the growing intolerance of difference coming from the liberal side of society where I had long established my home. I sensed more and more a “creeping authoritarianism” that was evident in the hysterical public demonization of differing others, with calls for exclusion as evident in the growing liberal censoring, banning, and cancelling of differing others. Over the past decade especially, this fed a sense of growing unfairness and inequality, a concern over the denial of full and equal freedom for all, and this authoritarianism was being pushed by my side (“my side”- ah, the tribal element). All an abandonment of Classic Liberal principles.
The increasingly tribal, partisan approach that was being exhibited toward differing others, who were being demonized as dangerous “enemies”, that has now become, arguably, more dominantly a threat from the left side in our societies. Many (notably, including many liberals) have noted this regarding US “liberalism”- that it has shifted toward extremist “Woke Progressivism”. This Woke Progressivism dominates the main story-telling forum of Hollywood (Ben Stein- “Hollywood is a one-party state”). It dominates higher education and is now penetrating education at all levels, down to elementary schools. It dominates mainstream media, and it dominates much of politics, social policy, and even science (climate science).
The threat of an unleashed totalitarian impulse, that had come mainly from the Right side during the early 1950s McCarthyism, and then from Jerry Falwell’s 1980s Moral Majority, that threat has receded and the totalitarian impulse is now coming mainly from the Left or liberal side of society. Again, this feeds the sense of unfair or unequal treatment in the public arena.
Further, in late night comedy and other venues, as Tim Robbins noted, there was growing hysteria and animosity toward the positions and expressions of the other side. That appeared to be an abandonment of basic compassion. Comedy became more the vilification and humiliation of the differing other, and it began to smell more like even hatred of the differing other. This all blew up with the unhinged hysteria of the past six or so years when “liberals” came out of the closet as “highly illiberal” in the evaluation of leftist commentator Jimmy Dore (Dore claims that he is “to the left of Bernie Sanders, to the left of AOC”).
Liberals/Democrats/Progressives began calling for outright censorship of those who differed from Woke Progressive beliefs and policies, for banning (de-platforming, de-monetizing on social media), cancelling, and even criminalizing the differing other (e.g. Obama’s AG, Loretta Lynch, calling for the criminalizing of skeptical climate science). And there appeared to be a stunning lack of awareness on the liberal side of how dangerous this intolerance was becoming in terms of undermining the very foundations of liberal democracy and freedom.
Add here the intensifying trend to smearing of differing others with dehumanizing slander as “racists… fascists….Nazis… threats to democracy…”, etc. The most extreme smears to discredit the differing other. Even African Americans in the political arena were smeared as “the face of white supremacy” just for disagreeing with the dominant Woke Progressive narratives (e.g. Larry Elder, Winsome Sears). And the most insane conspiracy theories were circulated to discredit people, stories that later fact-checking exposed as outright false. But mainstream media kept pushing all this stuff into public consciousness. It went beyond healthy difference and robust debate over disagreement toward an ugly hatred and vilification of the differing other.
Comedian Rob Schneider expressed it well when noting, in particular, how his arena of comedy was no longer truly funny- referring specifically to Alex Baldwin’s impression of Trump that was more vilification than humor. True comedy, said Schneider, was, for example, when Johnny Carson went after both sides the same, not vilifying either side. In real comedy, said Schneider, your opponent, the one you poke fun at, should be able to laugh with you. Like Chevy Chase in his falling skits having fun with Gerald Ford’s tripping in public. Gerald Ford joined Chase once for a skit on that “fallacy” of his.
But what Stephen Colbert did in his bit on Trump being “Putin’s cock holster”, well, that was no longer comedy but more just ugly dehumanization and effort to humiliate the other. Schneider, a comedian, nailed the problem, expressing what liberals like Tim Robbins were also becoming aware of and reacting to- the endless stepping across lines of common compassion and decency to vilify the differing other, with now unmasked hatred.
So like Robbins, I found myself recoiling from the “lack of compassion… even hate” and feeling with Robbins that “this was becoming dangerous”. Robbins had especially concluded this in regard to the liberal condemnation of “anti-vaxxers” and the calls to deny them hospital treatment if they became sick, to just let them die. He said that, comparatively, we don’t do that when drug addicts overdose. We still have compassion and help them.
Robbins was concluding that the biased tribalism had gone too far, becoming unfair, excessive, and now dangerous in its lack of compassion for opponents. Liberalism was becoming intolerant, exclusive, and domineering- all so opposite to our past understanding of true liberalism or liberal democracy. Again, “highly illiberal” as Dore said.
Others were warning that the growing sense of unfairness in society, unfair treatment in dominant public arenas and forums, was a dangerously destabilizing thing.
And one way I personally countered the partisan tendency to hate and vilify, was to start listening again to those on “the other side”- i.e. conservatives, independents, moderates, etc. Trying to see points of agreement and what the real concerns of the differing others were about. It was a pleasant revelation to find, among valid differences, much common sense coming from conservatives that I had previously been led to view with suspicion as extremist nut cases.
Notes: Watch today how both sides use extremist smears to discredit differing “others”, to dehumanize and thereby validate the felt need to take extreme measures to censor, silence, ban, and cancel the differing others in order to save society from dangerous “threats to democracy”. The dehumanization, and exaggeration of threat from others, comes in the form of repeated public smears of the differing others as “right-wing… fascist… Nazi…”, etc. All for just disagreeing with the dominant Woke Progressive narrative that is pushed by mainstream media and the Democratic Party now gone extreme Woke leftist.
Other examples of distorted smearing:
Independent Glen Greenwald notes that mainstream media repeatedly smear him, Matt Taibbi, Rachel Weiss, Michael Shellenberger, Joe Rogan, and many other independents/liberals as “Right wingers… Alt-Right…”. Just for exposing the corruption on the Democratic or left side. They, along with many similar others, are subject to smear and cancel campaigns for not kowtowing to the dominant narrative of the left today. So also, cancellers similarly smear Tim Dillion and varied other liberal commentators.
Add to this still emerging leftist authoritarianism- Jordan Peterson and Rex Murphy’s point that Canadian mainstream media are now doing the same as US mainstream media- propagandizing for one side- Woke Progressivism- as in the climate alarmism debate (very much a US Democratic/liberal position). Only presenting one side as truth and denying exposure to the positions of the other side. In this censoring, and silencing of free and open debate, where is fairness and true science as openness to all data on any issue?
Thanks, liberal/Democrat Tim, for sharing your awakening.