Our ancestor’s struggle with imperfection led to the creation of bad mythology that still dominates human consciousness today;
Paul MacRae’s excellent article on the lost paradise of the much warmer paleoclimate era (3-6 degrees C warmer than today and life flourished);
Earth has been breaking records for the coolest years over long-term history;
Pres. Biden religiously predicting the “end-of-days” (“Mother Nature is revealing her wrath… a whole generation is damned”);
Patterns: The destructive outcomes of alarmism crusades;
Core themes of lost paradise/redemption mythologies;
Impulses and Ideas that dominate human consciousness and life;
Climate facts and more…
How did we get to where we are today? Wendell Krossa
The early human inability to understand/accept imperfection: That misunderstanding worked itself out in bad mythology, mythology that still widely shapes human thought, emotion, motivation, and response/behavior today:
Ancient logic (primitively mythical, irrational) found expression in the following myths, rooted in some distorting baseline assumptions.
It began with the belief in a deity that was obsessed with perfection and hence intent on punishing imperfection. An entire complex of related myths emerged from this baseline theology of a God that was angered by early humans ruining the original perfect world that they claimed he had created. The ancients reasoned that the upset deity then introduced illness and death as punishment for the “sinful” people who had ruined his original paradise world. Examples of this thinking- Enki made ill in the Sumerian “City of Dilmun” myth, and Adam/Eve cursed with suffering and death in the Hebrew “Eden” myth.
Death was subsequently viewed as an unnatural introduction into a previously death-free world. The ancients viewed death as punishment. (And sheesh, do I have to say this…. Note that fossil remains from the very beginning of life show that death, contrary to mythology, was present from the very beginning.)
Early myths of deity punishing people with illness and death for ruining paradise- that was the beginning of the subsequently still persistent and dominant belief (across all the world) that natural disaster, illness, and death are punishments from deity. Note that Paul burdened the Corinthian Christians with this belief in his first letter to them (1 Corinthians, particularly chapters 10-11 referring to God punishing the Hebrews).
The idea of an angry God punishing people through the natural world became one of the most damaging ideas to have ever cursed human consciousness. It has added a horrific psychic burden (i.e. additional unnecessary fear, anxiety, guilt, shame, despair/depression, and more) to already intolerable human physical suffering from natural disaster, accident, and disease. The added sense that any physical suffering is punishment for being bad- payback for our imperfections, justice as punitive/retaliatory. Like the Japanese woman after the 2011 tsunami rhetorically asking, “Are we being punished for enjoying the good life too much?”
And again, Nancy Pelosi pushing this “angry deity punishing people through nature” myth in 2020 regarding the California wildfires, stating- “Mother Earth is angry”.
President Biden joined this irresponsible cultic chorus recently, adding that- “’Mother Nature’ was angry at how humans have treated the earth, saying he’s seen more extreme weather and forest fires since he took office.
“’What happened was Mother Nature let her wrath be seen in the last two years,’ he said.
“’(A) whole generation is damned. That’s not hyperbole. Really truly in trouble,’ he claimed.” (see article and link below)
The ancients also “logically” concluded that if life had begun perfect, but was, at their time, so obviously imperfect, then the long-term trajectory of life was undoubtedly “declining toward something worse”. This view was probably affirmed by ancient people’s perception of the previous much warmer “Eemian interglacial” as a “past golden age” or original paradise. They then misread the sudden descent into the following glaciation as a decline from a better past to a worsening future, evidence that life was declining toward something worse. They did not have the modern advantage of understanding the long-term cyclical patterns in the natural world to give them a full context in which to properly evaluate things.
Ruminate a bit on the incalculable fear, anxiety, shame, guilt, despair, depression, and nihilism that have been caused by this pathology over the millennia- i.e. that life is worsening toward chaos, collapse, and then apocalyptic ending. And all because of human badness. The apocalypse itself has long been understood as the perfection-obsessed deity meting out world-ending destruction as the final judgment and horrific punishment, the final payback for humanity having ruined the original paradise.
And then, acknowledging their primal survival impulse, the ancestors came up with the hope of a promised salvation for true believers in a restoration of the lost paradise, or in a new utopia where lost perfection would be restored. But the hope for salvation was only possible if people met the associated demands for sacrifice/payment to appease the angered deity (histories of sacrifice note the prominent element of blood sacrifice to appease angered spirits).
Our ancestors also had to embrace the demand to “violently purge” the evil that had been introduced to life at the original ruin of paradise- at the “Fall”.
The myth of violent purging, as, for example, portrayed in the New Testament book of Revelation, would eventually mutate into the contemporary ideology of “instantaneous transformation” of the world by violent revolution to remove some purported “evil” such as industrial capitalist society (notable in Marxist narratives and movements).
The belief in “coercive/violent instantaneous transformation” also exhibits the escapism impulse of perfectionism mythology- the irresponsible human desire to escape the hard drudgery of slowly improving life in our imperfect world. (See Arthur Mendel’s good commentary on the human search for “instantaneous transformation” and accompanying rejection of the “gradualism” of actual history, in “Vision and Violence”.)
Additional mythology behind the escapism of instantaneous transformation ideology would include the early Greek beliefs that our present imperfect world is a prison that we must escape from (Note James Tabor’s research on this in “Paul’s Ascent to Paradise”). Improving this world is then viewed as a “lost cause” project. The belief in the eventual apocalyptic destruction of this world further re-enforces such thinking.
Hence, escapists believe that we must be liberated from this corrupt world, and liberated from our “corrupted human bodies”, to re-establish an imagined lost paradise, but somewhere else. Note how this escapism impulse is also expressed in contemporary story-telling (movies)- i.e. endless tales of abandoning this “defiled, corrupted” Earth for foreign paradisal planets or realms.
The movie “Interstellar” is an example of the escapism that Mendel commented on. Leave this “lost cause” world for some new paradise somewhere else. This world is believed to be a lost cause because of its inerasable imperfection. The imperfection of this world is further distorted by Declinism ideology and apocalyptic mythology that claims it is all becoming worse.
A good dose of Julian Simon (Ultimate Resource) will change anyone’s views on the “true state of life” in this world. Its not a lost cause. Overall, and across the long-term trajectory of life, things have been improving, not declining to something worse. As Simon says, thanks to essential human goodness and creativity we have done well in improving our wilderness world and making it something better.
So, how to understand the primitive mythical logic so evident in the complex of myths that have been handed down to us and are still so dominant today in both religious and “secular” versions (i.e. “apocalyptic millennialism”, “lost paradise/redemption” mythologies).
We have the framework of ideas to shape a much better story of reality and life today. We know that early Earth was never any paradise. Our world handed us a chaotic, wilderness past that threatened our very survival. Our predecessors had to struggle to solve many previously overwhelming problems and threats. Creative humanity has made endless improvements since and today we continue to take life toward an ever better future.
Human creativity is evident in helping us cope with natural disaster (i.e. the 95% decline in deaths from natural disaster over just the last century), in curing diseases (dramatically lessening infant mortality, extending the human life span), and in lessening predatory cruelty (the decline in violence over past millennia and centuries). We see human creativity in the ever-improving human condition, with drastically lessening poverty over the past century. Cheap, abundant energy has been critical to this ongoing improvement.
Many today want to reverse the great trajectory of improving life and progress (i.e. de-development and decarbonization crusades). They have embraced the irrational and life-distorting mythology of Declinism- the belief that life is declining toward something worse, toward apocalyptic ending. Declinism misreads entirely the true state of things, causing irrational fear of human progress in civilization and demanding that we “de-develop”- i.e. return to primitivism- in order to “save the world”. This form of salvationism is actually “save the world by destroying it”. Similar to all collectivist approaches before, whether intended or not.
Jason Hickel advocates his own “de-development” model as developed areas “reducing their consumption levels” so underdeveloped areas can “catch up”. Father of the Ecological Footprint model- Bill Rees- more bluntly argues for “actually reversing the economic development and consumption levels” of the modern Western world. He is advocating for a “return to primitivism”. Radical alarmist David Suzuki adds his own “de-development” ideas in urging the abandonment of modern agricultural technology for a return to using oxen and ploughs, like the Cubans do. Suzuki would also imprison energy company CEOs.
Both Arthur Herman (The Idea of Decline in Western History) and Arthur Mendel (Vision and Violence) note the feature of “violent purging” as a Christian idea that has been carried over into our world in advocacy for “revolutionary violence” to enact “instantaneous transformation” of society. This has been central to Marxism movements. Mendel notes this as a form of escapism that is prominent throughout modern movie story-telling. Even Elon Musk falls for this, in his belief that this world is heading toward an apocalypse so lets get escaping off to Mars.
Bob Brinsmead counters all this escapism by urging us to focus on making this world better. This, says Bob, is our promised land, the wilderness home that we ought to focus on making better, not escaping from.
This is worth a repeat from 2012- “Back to the Future: Paradise Lost, or Paradise Regained?” by Paul MacRae (posted on Anthony Watts site- Wattsupwiththat.com)
This article by Paul MacRae overturns today’s climate alarm narrative that tries to panic populations over a mild 1-2 degrees C more warming as portending catastrophe, when much higher temperatures in the past created a true paradise world. A paradise that we have lost in our current cold world where 10 times more people die every year from cold than die from warmth.
“In June, a NASA climate study announced that the warm middle Miocene era, about 16 million years ago, had carbon dioxide levels of 400 to 600 parts per million. The coasts of Antarctica were ice-free in summer, with summer temperatures 11° Celsius warmer than today. The study concluded that today’s CO2 level of 393 ppm was the highest, therefore, in millions of years, and could go to Miocene levels by the end of the century. It was implied, although not directly stated, that readers should react with horror.
“A UCLA team, writing in Science, had already pushed the Miocene button in 2009, claiming: “The last time carbon dioxide levels were apparently as high as they are today [15 million years ago, again the mid-Miocene]—and were sustained at those levels—global temperatures were 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit [2.7-5.5°C] higher than they are today, the sea level was approximately 75 to 120 feet higher than today, there was no permanent sea ice cap in the Arctic and very little ice on Antarctica and Greenland.” Back to the Miocene! Scary!
“James Hansen, the alarmist head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), regularly refers to past eras as a warning of the climate catastrophes that could occur today. For example, in 2011 Hansen warned: “[An increase of] two degrees Celsius is guaranteed disaster…. It is equivalent to the early Pliocene epoch [between 5.5 and 2.5 million years ago] when the sea level was 25m (75 feet) higher.” Back to the early Pliocene! Horror!
“And, in testimony to the U.S. government: “The Earth was much warmer than today in the early Cenozoic [which began 65 million years ago]. In fact, it was so warm that there were no ice sheets on the planet and sea level was about 75 meters (250 feet) higher.” Heavens! The planet could revert to the age of dinosaurs! (Hansen didn’t mention that sea levels today are 120 metres—almost 400 feet—higher than they were a mere 15,000 years ago, without creating a catastrophe.)
“If we don’t curb our carbon-emitting ways, the alarmists warn, we face “increasingly radical temperature changes, a worldwide upsurge in violent weather events, widespread drought, flooding, wildfires, famine, species extinction, rising sea levels, mass migration, and epidemic disease that will leave no country untouched.” The only catastrophe not mentioned here is “acidification” (i.e., a slight decrease in alkalinity) of the oceans.
“If a warmer, more CO2-rich world would be hell in the future, it logically must have been hell in the past, too, when global temperatures were much warmer and carbon dioxide levels much higher. How could anything live, for example, in those “acidified” oceans of the Miocene? At least, this is what alarmist climate scientists like Hansen want the public to believe.
“An Eocene ‘paradise’
“Curiously, while alarmists warn about the horrors of returning to the climate of millions of years ago, paleoclimatologists tell a different story. They more often see our earlier planet as a “paradise,” even “paradise lost.”
“In fact, “paradise lost” is the subtitle of a 1994 book on our planet 33 million years ago by veteran paleo-climatologist Donald A. Prothero—The Eocene-Oligocene Transition: Paradise Lost. The Eocene (55-33 million years ago) began what is sometimes called the Golden Age of Mammals. This geological age was at least 10°C warmer than today, free of ice caps, and with CO2 levels, Prothero suggests, of up to 3,000 parts per million, which is almost eight times today’s level of about 400 ppm. Yet Prothero calls the Eocene a “lush, tropical world.”
“At the end of the still very warm Oligocene (33-23 mya), Prothero puts CO2 levels at 1,600 ppm, or four times today’s levels. Prothero’s 1994 CO2 estimates may be a high, but no one—not even Hansen—denies that CO2 levels were several times higher than today’s in the Eocene and Oligocene and, indeed, right down to the Miocene (23-5 mya).
“For Prothero, the boundary between the Eocene and Oligocene was “paradise lost” because it was then, about 33 million years ago, that the planet began its slide from a “lush, tropical world” into its current ice age conditions (see Figure 1), with glaciations every 85,000 years interspersed with brief, 15,000-year warm interglacials.
“In fact, the planet is currently its coldest in almost 300 million years. Yet, for Hansen and others in the alarmist camp, our ice-age world is in danger of getting too hot—maybe even as hot as the Pliocene, or the Miocene, or the Oligocene, or even, heaven forbid, the Eocene.
“Many other writers on paleoclimate also use the term “paradise” to describe climate in the distant past. For example, in a history of evolution for younger readers, science writer Sara Stein paints the Eocene of 50 million years ago as follows:
““The world that all the little brown furry things [mammals] inherited from the dinosaurs was paradise. [emphasis added] The climate was so mild that redwoods, unable now to live much further north than California’s pleasant coast, grew in Alaska, Greenland, Sweden, and Siberia. There was no ice in the Arctic. Palm trees grew as far north as 50 degrees latitude, roughly the boundary between the United States and Canada. Below that subtropical zone—that was similar to Florida’s landscape today—was a broad band of tropical rain forest.”
“Sounds grim, doesn’t it?
“One of the most prominent climate alarmists, Tim Flannery, also uses the “p” word when he describes Eocene North America in his very readable The Eternal Frontier, on the geological and biological history of North America. Flannery writes:
“When Earth is warm (in greenhouse mode)—as it was around 50 million years ago—North America is a verdant and productive land. [emphasis added] Almost all of its 24 million square kilometers, from Ellesmere Island in the north to Panama in the south, is covered in luxuriant vegetation.
“Flannery titled the section of the book that deals with the “verdant and productive” Eocene as: “In Which America Becomes a Tropical Paradise.” Yet this was a time, it should be remembered, when temperatures and CO2 levels were much higher than today’s. Unfortunately, trapped in his alarmism, Flannery doesn’t see the irony.
“British paleontologist Richard Fortey describes the landscape of Australia 20-35 million years ago, during the Oligocene and Miocene, as being “as rich as Amazonia, green and moist, with trees and ferns in profusion.” Today much of Australia, an area the size of the continental United States, is desert and bush and supports only 22 million people compared to 300 million in the U.S.
“As recently as 125,000 years ago, the peak of the last interglacial, our planet was 3-5°C warmer than today at the poles according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) itself, with sea levels 4-6 metres (12-20 feet) higher than today’s interglacial so far. Even Britain was semi-tropical, with hippopotami gamboling in the Thames, apparently untroubled by extreme weather events, extreme droughts, extreme flooding, etc.
“A mere 7,000 years ago, during the Holocene Optimum period that was at least 1°C warmer than today, much of the Sahara Desert was green, as were many other regions that today are desert. Why? Because warmer temperatures mean less polar ice, making more water available for precipitation, and therefore promoting a greener planet.
“So, millions of years ago, during geological eras much warmer than ours, with much higher levels of carbon dioxide, the planet faced the same environmental hazards as today—volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis and the like. But it was not plagued by the extreme weather events, extreme droughts, extreme flooding, mass extinctions, or even the ocean “acidification” claimed by climate alarmists for the world of the future.
“Sea level ‘disaster’?
(Insert- Climate alarmist James Hansen repeatedly mentions that a 15 foot rise in sea level would inundate many large cities and he predicts such rise by the end of the 21st century.)
“However, most climate scientists—even alarmist scientists—know that Hansen’s predictions are hallucinations and accept that a sea level rise of this magnitude could only take place over centuries and millennia, just as sea levels today have taken 15,000 years to rise 120 metres (400 feet)….
“The ultra-alarmist site ‘de Smog Blog’ also joined the chorus against the Sierra Club’s absurd apocalyptism with a blog entitled “Sierra Club drowns in own climate catastrope” (the de Smog headline writer apparently could not spell “catastrophe”).
“In other words, in the real world (as opposed to Hansen’s world), sea-level rise of any magnitude will take centuries and even millennia. The current rate of sea-level increase is just over 2 mm a year, or about 20 cm per century. At this rate—and at the moment the rate shows no signs of increasing—sea levels would take 2,500 years to reach Hansen’s five metres. Based on several interglacials over the past 600,000 years, which at their peak had sea levels several metres higher than today’s levels according to the IPCC, the seas would rise five metres or more even if human beings didn’t emit carbon.
“Coping with sea-level rise
“Can humanity cope with rising sea levels, whatever those levels may be? If climate alarmists don’t cripple our carbon-based economy, even the IPCC predicts that both developed and developing countries will have all the prosperity they need to cope with rising sea levels, be it seawalls, landfill, or relocations to desert and polar areas that, thanks to warmer temperatures and greater precipitation, are now fit for settlement….
“A wetter, greener world
“And this still doesn’t take into account the positive effect of higher levels of CO2 in fertilizing plants. Physicist and biologist Sherwood B. Idso, who has specialized in charting the relationship between CO2 and plants, notes:
“A simple 330 to 660 ppm doubling of the air’s CO2 content will raise the productivity of all plants, in the mean, by about one-third. … As atmospheric CO2 concentrations more than double, plant water-use efficiencies more than double, with significant improvements occurring all the way out to CO2 concentrations of a thousand ppm or more.
“Think of what such a biological transformation will mean to the world of the future. Grasslands will flourish where deserts now lie barren. Shrubs will grow where only grasses grew before. And forests will make a dramatic comeback to reclaim many areas presently sustaining only brush and scattered shrubs.
“Sound utopian? Even the IPCC acknowledges that doubled CO2 levels can produce increases of up to 33 per cent in plant growth, while also making plants more drought resistant.
“Millions of years ago our planet was much warmer and wetter than today, with much higher levels of CO2. Alarmists like Hansen say a return to those temperatures and CO2 levels would be catastrophic. Yet our planet in earlier geological ages is almost always described as a tropical paradise, not a blasted, carbon-choked hell. Sea levels were higher, but a prosperous humanity can cope with higher sea levels….
“But if, as alarmists warn, we return to the Pliocene, or even the Miocene, would that be paradise lost? Or paradise regained?”
Paul MacRae is a former journalist who now teaches writing at the University of Victoria. He is the author of False Alarm: Global Warming—Facts Versus Fears (Spring Bay Press, 2010). His website is paulmacrae.com. The book is available at springbaypress.com.
Sources at link above…
Understanding the “true state of life”
Julian Simon said that to understand the true state of something, place that thing within its full big picture context (i.e. include all data that are related to that thing- even data that are contrary to one’s beliefs) and place that thing within the longest-term trends that are associated with it. With the issue of climate that means placing climate within the full Phanerozoic era of life- the emergence and development of life over the past 500-plus million years.
This from “co2science.org”…
“Earth records 600 millionth consecutive cooler-than-average month”. This data turns the global warming alarmism narrative entirely on its head. See the 600-million year historical reconstruction graph of paleoclimate at the link just below. Remember, Julian Simon (Ultimate Resource) taught us that good science looks at the fullest big picture, and longest-term trends, in order to get to the true state of life and the world.
Quotes from above link:
“The Earth just had its 600-millionth straight cooler-than-average month thanks to naturally-driven cooling.
“An historical reconstruction of the Earth’s temperature by Northwestern University Adjunct Professor Dr. Christopher Scotese provides an illuminating and surprising comparison of today’s temperatures to that of the past. And it’s not what you think.
“According to Dr. Scotese the Earth “has alternated between a frigid ‛Ice-House’, like today’s world, and a steaming ‛Hot House’, like the world of the dinosaurs.”
“That’s correct, he described today’s temperatures as frigid. It turns out that most of Earth’s history since the explosion of life in the Cambrian Period nearly 600 million years ago was hotter than our climate today — a lot hotter.”
Insert note (mine): Other research states that for over 80% of the past 500 million years average world temperatures were 17-20 degrees C, 3-6 degrees C warmer than today and there was no “climate crisis” but instead life emerged, developed, and flourished. See reports/links below on “Sun-climate effect” or “Winter Gatekeeper hypothesis” available at Wattsupwiththat.com.
“For fully two-thirds of (the past 600 million years) the Earth experienced temperatures that were much warmer than today. During these periods of “Hot House” conditions there was no ice at either pole. We “only” entered our current “Ice-House” conditions about 50 million years ago. Using the average temperature of the Earth for the last 600 million years, we have experienced 50 million consecutive years of below average temperature….
“That is because the Earth’s temperature has been increasing for more than 300 years…
“The blessed rise of temperature that we are experiencing is lifting us out of the death-dealing cold of the horrific Little Ice Age, when half the population of Iceland perished. The beginning of this warming started in the late 1600s, long before man could have had any effect on temperature. In fact, the rate of warming over the first 40 years of the trend, extending into the early 1700s, was several times the rate of the 20th century warming and was 100 percent naturally driven.
“At least the first 150 years of our current warming were also entirely naturally-driven and contributed about the same amount of warming as the last 150 or so years…
“The real question is- Did the natural forces that were driving the temperature increase in the 17thcentury, or for that matter over the last hundreds of millions of years, suddenly stop for some reason in the 20th century? Of course not, but that is what the Ayatollahs of Alarmism want you to believe…
“So why the media firestorm and portrayal of the latest data as dangerous? H. L. Mencken warned us of imaginary “hobgoblins of alarm” that governments needed to create to frighten the population into accepting onerous regulations such as the Paris Climate Accords. Climate change today is one of those hobgoblins of alarm used to convince people that our current warming is “unusual and unprecedented” when it is neither…
“… the media are publicizing what is designed to best promote fear of catastrophic climate alarm. We have seen in the recent COVID-19 pandemic that fear is one of the most potent motivators of public action. Those promoting the economically destructive green policies will be using this and any other event deemed out of the ordinary to further the climate of fear that they need for public acceptance of these harmful policies.”
Severe weather not becoming worse: “No, NPR, Climate Change Isn’t… ‘Making the Weather More Severe’”, Anthony Watts
Quotes from Watts’ article:
“Rebecca Hersher recently produced an article for National Public Radio (NPR), titled “Climate change is making the weather more severe. Why don’t most forecasts mention it?” The article is just one more example of journalists acting as climatologists, making false claims based on other media reports rather than the actual known science….
“Real world data refutes Hersher’s false claim that Climate change is making the weather more severe.
“Climate science acknowledges that weather and climate operate on vastly different time scales, 30 years versus hours to days. By contrast and contrary to fact, the profession of journalism seems to really believe climate is equivalent to weather.
“One of the most common severe weather claims is that hurricanes are getting worse and more frequent due to climate change. Three lines of evidence: tropical storm accumulated energy, frequency, and research (see table 1 below) show this claim is false. Data show hurricanes have neither increased numbers or intensity during the recent period of modest warming.
“Same for tornadoes, there’s no increase. The list of extreme weather that has NOT increased due to the supposed influence of climate change is quite large and well documented….
“For example, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) AR6 report, Chapter 11, Weather and Climate Extreme Events in a Changing Climate, provides conclusions, summarized in Figure 1, illustrating the fact that changes in the number and intensity of severe weather events have not been detected, nor can any changes be attributed to human caused climate change:
(Watts includes the data graph from the IPCC at the link above)
“Clearly from the data and the research, no evidence exists that any specific weather event is directly driven (or enhanced) by so-called man-made climate change from increased carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere. The IPCC’s summary of the state of global climate science makes no such attribution. You’d think journalists could embrace this rather than writing falsehoods based on a belief system….
“Hersher simply didn’t do her job as a journalist. She chose to promote a connection to between supposed human caused climate change and weather events, when none exists. In the process, she ignored relevant facts which demonstrate no increasing trend in extreme weather.
“She chose advocacy over truthful reporting, a shameful breach of journalistic professionalism.”
More climate facts
The warming of the polar regions (melting ice) is a return to more normal and optimal conditions for all life, with extended habitats for more diverse warm-area species and extended crop regions for humanity, like the growing of grapes and other crops in Greenland that was made possible during the Medieval Warm Period that had warmer temperatures than today. The ice-free world of over 90% of the history of life is a more normal and optimal world.
We are in one of the coldest periods in Earth’s history…
Fear of more global warming is beyond irrational and incoherent. It is an absurd distortion of factual history and reality. It can only be understood as a “madness of crowds” episode due to the continuing embrace of primitive mythological themes like apocalyptic and viewing natural climate change through such mythical lenses.
The last interglacial- the Eemian- was 8 degrees C warmer than today and polar bears survived just fine.
This from Gregory Whitestone, Executive Director of the CO2 Coalition
“There is no climate crisis. There is no climate emergency. What we see and what I’ve seen from scientists who I work with at the CO2 Coalition — some of the top scientists in the world working on this — we see an earth and its eco systems that are thriving and prospering. The (growth of new) vegetation is greening the earth. Humanity and the human condition is improving by almost every metric you look at. Life in our ecosystems is getting better, not spiraling into some apocalyptic scenario.”
Climate comment further below: Further on “there is no climate crisis”. For over 80% of the history of life (the 500 million-year Phanerozoic era) average world temperatures were 17-20 degrees C, which is 3-6 degrees C warmer than today’s 14.5 degrees C average. And life emerged, developed, and flourished under those much warmer temperatures. There was no climate crisis. Note also that today far more people die every year from cold than from warmth. Data in articles further below.
An insert comment: Note the third graph down on the site in this link, the one showing paleoclimate temperatures and CO2 levels that for most of the history of life have been much higher than today and there was no climate crisis. Life emerged, developed, and flourished over the past in a much warmer world with much more of the basic food of plants- CO2.
Note also the disconnect between CO2 levels and warm temperatures. Sometimes when CO2 was high, temperatures were low, and vice versa.
Climate notes: 50 reasons why there is no “climate crisis”.
Good one on celebrating CO2 from environmental scientist Indur Goklany, author of The Improving State of the World
This below is important research to understand what is happening to a new generation (Gen Z) in terms of Woke Progressivism ideology, related spreading anxiety and depression, and other correlated elements- i.e. increasing sensitivity to “micro-aggressions”, etc. While initially attributing the problem to “Liberal girls”, the authors later extend it to Gen Z as an entirety.
This interesting article by Jon Haidt: “Why the Mental Health of Liberal Girls Sank First and Fastest: Evidence for Lukianoff’s reverse CBT hypothesis”
“We are a decade into the largest epidemic of adolescent mental illness ever recorded…
See a revised repeat posting below of “The impulses and ideas that dominate human consciousness and life (the “Lost paradise/redemption” complex of myths)”.
See also new article at bottom of this opening section: “The human hesitancy to understand and embrace imperfection” (how bad myths get started)
Climate change alarmism is a “profoundly religious movement.” You doubt this? Note these recent comments below from President Biden. The President needs to end his denial of basic climate facts and stop the irresponsible alarmism. Children are listening. Remember also that apocalyptic has always made fools of the brightest minds (think Chicken Little squawking about the sky falling).
Even “most intelligent man on Earth” Stephen Hawking fell for the irrational mythology of apocalyptic over the last two years of his life (2015- apocalypse in 1000 years or so, then 2016- apocalypse in 100 years). Nonetheless, he maintained his reputation for possessing the “brightest mind” on Earth and exhibited something of that brightness in his prophesying (2016) that the apocalypse would be 100 years in the future- giving him enough time to vacate the scene and avoid the embarrassment that all apocalyptic prophets suffer when their prophesies do not come to pass. So yes, he was “brightest” on that point of covering his butt with an extended due date for the apocalypse.
Apocalyptic prophets Paul Ehrlich and Al Gore should learn from Hawking and extend their “end-of-days” prophesies further into the future.
No matter how skillfully you try to infuse apocalyptic millennial mythology with a smattering of science, it is still a profound distortion of the true state of the world and the true trajectory of life. As some, abandoning Canadian nicety (“Sorry, sorry”), would say, “Its a fool’s errand”. But yes, many highly intelligent people have embraced the latest version of apocalyptic- the “secular/ideological” version known as Declinism, and its offspring “climate alarmism”. The historically repetitive embrace of primitive mythology by intelligent people happens because people’s rationality is overwhelmed by the deeply embedded (subconscious) archetypes of the “lost paradise/redemption” narrative which holds apocalypse as a central theme. Those archetypes have dominated human consciousness/subconscious for millennia. I stand by my contention that apocalypse still makes fools of the, otherwise, brightest people.
Here is another example of how predicting the apocalypse, like Chicken Little, makes you look so foolish. Poor Greta listened to a “scientist” who prophesied in 2018 that all humanity would be gone in five years. Her post: “A top scientist is warning that climate change will wipe out all of humanity unless we stop using fossil fuels over the next five years”.
President Obama’s top science advisor, John Holdren, prophesied there would be a billion deaths from global warming by 2020. Ah, the foolish prophesies from climate alarmists are too many to relist. Once again, remember that the children are listening.
This below from Kristine Parks:
“Biden warns climate change ‘damning’ entire generation: ‘Mother Nature let her wrath be seen.’”
“Biden argued that “Mother Nature” was angry at how humans have treated the earth, saying he’s seen more extreme weather and forest fires since he took office. (Insert: Not true. There has been no significant increase in extreme weather events. https://co2coalition.org/news/critical-review-confirms-ipcc-assessment-on-extreme-weather-no-sign-that-extreme-weather-events-are-getting-worse/)
“”What happened was Mother Nature let her wrath be seen in the last two years,” he said. “So people can’t deny it anymore.” (Insert: The “denial” is a projection thing going on here as the real denial of factual evidence is from Biden. See comments below.)
“The president warned younger generations would have no future to look forward to if we didn’t act on climate change. (Insert: And you wonder why anxiety- i.e. “eco-anxiety”, depression, and other mental/emotional pathologies are so widespread among young people today?)
“”If we don’t keep the temperature from going above 1.5 degrees Celsius, raised, then we’re in real trouble. That whole generation is damned. That’s not hyperbole. Really truly in trouble,” he claimed. (Insert: “Damned”?- See comment below on the mythical/religious themes that shape climate alarmism as just another “profoundly religious” movement.)
“Earlier this year, the Democratic president said climate change was a bigger threat to humanity than nuclear war. (Insert: Hysterical exaggeration is typical of apocalyptic movements.)
“”If we don’t stay under 1.5 degrees Celsius, we’re going to have a real problem. It’s the single-most existential threat to humanity we’ve ever faced, including nuclear weapons,” Biden said during a Democratic National Committee fundraiser.” (Insert: “Single-most existential threat to humanity”? Aw, c’mon man. Joe, 1.5 degrees C more while we are still in the coldest period of our Holocene interglacial, where we have still not yet fully emerged from the destructive cold of the Little Ice Age of 1645-1715? Sheesh.)
My response to Biden’s exaggeration and distortions:
The president would do well to recognize these basic paleoclimate facts: Such as that during the Phanerozoic history of life (past 500 million years) when temperatures averaged 3-6 degrees C higher than today, life emerged, developed, and flourished. And the warm tropical areas of Earth did not “fry” during those much warmer periods because the extra incoming heat energy was distributed to the colder regions of Earth as atmospheric and ocean convection currents carried excess heat energy to the polar regions. Climate then “evened out” across the planet and that often means less difference in gradients between regions, which would result in less storminess- storms depending on more severe differences in temperature gradients. There was no “climate crisis” during that much warmer world with also much higher levels of CO2 (CO2 averaging multiple-thousands of ppm compared to the 400-plus ppm of today’s still “CO2 starvation era”).
That warming of colder regions was beneficial to all life with extended habitats (add today, the benefits to humanity with extended agricultural areas). The discovery of fossils of tropical plants and animals at both poles affirms the extended habitats for more diverse life forms (Note: The highest diversity of plants and animals are in warmer regions). Further, note the fact that for over 80% of the Phanerozoic history of life there was no ice at the poles- meaning a more normal and optimal world for all life as cold is far more destructive to life than warmth. (Note also that in today’s still too cold world, 10 times more people still die every year from cold than die from warmth).
Add here that tropical temperatures have remained “remarkably stable” when temperatures were up to 10 degrees C warmer than today during the Eocene (55-33 million years ago), the “golden age for mammals”. This “equable climate” issue (stable tropical temperatures) points to strong negative feedbacks in tropical regions that keep climate within ranges suitable for life.
And much more- See, for example, the reports on “Sun-Climate Effect: Winter Gatekeeper hypothesis” in sections below. The author of those reports argues that “meridional transport” is the main influence on climate change, not the miniscule influence of CO2, a trace greenhouse gas.
Conclusion: There is no “existential climate crisis” today, nor in the foreseeable future, even if average temperatures were to increase beyond 2-3 degrees C more warming, and even if CO2 rises much higher. Note here the research of atmospheric physicists Richard Lindzen, William Happer, and others, on CO2 and their conclusion that CO2’s warming influence has reached “saturation”- in physics terms- and even a doubling to 800 ppm will have very little further influence on climate warming.
Point? There is no need to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies. There is no need to continue panic-mongering over mild warming (1 degree C over the past century), no need to incite hysteria over increasing CO2 levels. There is no need for “we must do something to combat climate change” except to adapt as we have done in the past during natural climate cooling and warming periods. And successful adaptation requires the ongoing creation of wealth that depends on the human use of inexpensive fossil fuels.
Note: Fossil fuels would be inexpensive today if governments stopped hindering, with “Net Zero” decarbonization polices, the further exploration, development, and distribution of low-cost energy to people everywhere.
There is no rational scientific reason to limit or end human use of fossil fuels.
Some background assumptions, definitions, clarifications that are related to regular topics engaged on this site– i.e. “apocalyptic millennialism”, or “lost paradise/redemption” themes and how they influence human consciousness, emotion, motivation, and response/behavior, often to destructive outcomes…
Some of our most basic impulses are very animal-like, inherited from our origin in animal existence, our shared heritage with the animal realm. Notable here are the impulses to (1) tribal exclusion of differing others (small band orientation), (2) domination of weaker others (the alpha male/female thing), and (3) punitive destruction of competing others. These rank as the more “animalistic” of our inherited impulses. The do not belong in truly human societies/civilization.
Early humans created frameworks of ideas to explain and validate these impulses, among others. Why did they create the primitive myths that they did? They were responding to their primary human impulse to meaning- to understand, explain, and validate their existence. This impulse to meaning is fundamental to emerging, developing human consciousness and the human spirit.
The early mythical themes that they created became the “archetypes”- i.e. the models, ideals, originals, prototypes, patterns, standards, representatives, forerunners, or prime examples that would shape most subsequent human quest for meaning. Their early mythical ideas, became the narrative of “lost paradise/redemption”, and that meta-narrative subsequently shaped most people’s overall worldviews- how they understood and explained life. Those same ideas/themes then eventually shaped the great world religions that emerged across history, and have now shaped even our “secular/ideological” systems of belief in the modern world. Hence, today the same old primitive mythical themes are resonating as “true” with many people, in contemporary “lost paradise/redemption” movements like climate alarmism.
Remember also that those early ancestors created the ideas that they did because their mentality was still very animal-like, just as many features of their existence and societies were still very animal-like. They were still on their way to becoming more fully human. That has always been a “gradualism” process (Arthur Mendel in Vision and Violence).
We have the information and insights today to counter the destructive influence of this inherited mental pathology that still affirms some of out worst inherited impulses. We can correct the systems of beliefs that we have inherited by understanding exactly which ideas in the mix are subhuman/inhuman. Then with that subset of ideas/themes held clearly in mind, we can evaluate the true nature of the themes that shape our contemporary narratives (note that terms evolve and change over history but core themes remain the same).
With our criteria, our set of pathological ideas/myths, we can then identify the pathological ideas/themes in our narratives, intentionally reject the harmful ones as false, and then replace them with new ideas/information to shape new narratives, narratives that embrace more humane ideas that affirm our better impulses, our better human self.
This often involves the complete overhaul of worldviews, the thorough reshaping of the meta-narratives that still dominate our world.
To motivate others to engage this project, consider the endlessly destructive outcomes of the old mythical themes in terms of fear, anxiety, shame, guilt, despair, depression, nihilism, violence, and even mass-death (see, for example, psychotherapist Zenon Lotufo’s points in “Cruel God, Kind God: How Images of God Shape Belief, Attitude, and Outlook”).
The old narrative themes of apocalyptic millennialism, or lost paradise/redemption, are still dominant today in the widely embraced public narratives of world religions (i.e. the 85% that affiliate with a world religion, while the other 15% “unaffiliated” still hold to “spiritual but not religious” as in “payback karma, punitive Universe, vengeful Gaia, angry Planet/Mother Earth”, etc.). Add also the wide embrace of old narrative themes in much public story-telling (Hollywood movies), as well as in “secular/ideological” versions like climate alarmism.
The hesitancy to abandon “lost paradise/redemption” mythologies, helps to understand and explain why “good people” in the modern world have continued to embrace mass-harm and even mass-death movements. A few years back, a young lady working at a Holocaust remembrance agency wondered why “good Germans had become caught up in the Nazi evil”. She understood that those Germans were not mostly evil people.
I would have suggested to her that the narrative themes that Hitler employed (i.e. apocalyptic millennialism or lost paradise/redemption) resonated with the Christian consciousness, the worldview of many Germans. Those were themes of ruined and lost paradise, looming apocalypse, the need to make atonement, to purge some evil threat (“Jewish Bolsheviks” in Hitler’s version of the narrative), and thereby restore the lost German paradise in a new millennium (i.e. the restoration of lost original German purity and strength in the Third Reich). Hitler’s perverted use of fundamentally Christian themes resonated with the Christian consciousness of many Germans and consequently led to “good Germans” becoming caught up in the madness of Nazism. Hitler’s message subconsciously felt true and right to many Germans at that time, even “good”. Germans sincerely believed they were saving their society from an apocalyptic threat.
We are seeing this embrace of primitive and destructive themes again today, in movements like climate alarmism. The same old patterns are taking place using the same old themes that appeal to the same old impulses- i.e. panic-mongering over some purported threat to life, presenting an irrational salvation scheme that many unquestioningly embrace, urging people to embrace a heroic quest to engage a righteous battle against an evil enemy, demanding a sacrifice, challenging people to conquer an evil threat and save something (your world), and thereby restore lost order and install a paradise.
Also, add to the mix the inciting of the felt need to assuage guilt with suffering as redemptive, as in abandoning the good life for a return to primitivism. This particular element of “return to primitivism” is based on the belief/fallacy that early humans were “noble savages”- a more pure and strong people, more connected to nature, who viewed life mythically as they lived in paradisal wilderness, before the “fall of humanity” in “corrupting” civilization with its “distorting” rational science.
Once again, this mythological complex resonates with many “good people” today as true, right, and good.
But note carefully- The destructive outcome of embracing the primitive themes of “lost paradise/redemption” mythologies is, once again, becoming evident in the “self-suicide” of Western societies as they embrace Net Zero decarbonization.
This very appropriate (for today’s world) comment in David Redles’ history of how apocalyptic millennial themes shaped Nazism-
“For some millenarians, the signs of imminent apocalypse, and the promise of a coming, transformed, better world, is their signal to induce that apocalypse. Believing themselves chosen not only to witness the End-time, but also to help bring it to fruition, some true believers consciously or unconsciously induce the apocalypse, “forcing the end”, as the ancient Hebrews terms the actions of impatient messianic movements. These millenarians assume that, since the signs of the time tell them that now is the time and since they have been chosen for a special mission, then the apocalyptic event must occur in their lifetimes. The apocalyptic event is induced because the possibility that the prophesied apocalyptic event will fail to occur, means that the believer’s sense of being chosen, of having a special mission, of being immortal, indeed the whole new post-conversion identity, is illusory. This cannot be tolerated….
Also from Redles…
“The messiah/prophet (of apocalyptic millennialism) knows all truth, knows exactly what must be done to achieve salvation. He often is a warrior figure who will lead the righteous into battle against the minions of evil…” (David Redles in “Hitler’s Millennial Reich: Apocalyptic belief and the Search for Salvation”, p.6,5).
A contemporary example of a warrior figure leading true believers into righteous battle against evil enemies…
UN Secretary General says, “Battle against climate change calls for ‘war footing’”.
Patterns: Destructive outcomes from alarmism crusades
Apocalyptic millennial scholar Arthur Mendel (“Vision and Violence”) stated that apocalyptic was the most violent and destructive idea in history. Today we are living through a real-life episode of “human-induced apocalypse” in the destructiveness created by history’s latest apocalyptic movement- the climate alarmism movement and its “human-induced” crusade to destroy Western societies (i.e. decarbonization, Net Zero). Is climate alarmism exhibiting something of the pathology of “unconsciously inducing the apocalypse” through its “salvation” scheme of decarbonization?
(Note: “Net Zero Watch” newsletters of the Global Warming Policy Forum daily update the devastation from decarbonization policies in European countries like Germany and Britain).
It needs to be probed: Is the destruction of Western societies perhaps more just an “unintended consequence” of the alarmist’s irrational salvation scheme? That is quite likely. I would grant that possibility in the mix of motivations. As Redles said above- “true believers (will) consciously or unconsciously induce the apocalypse”. So yes, “unintended” may be the more logical explanation in the mix. True believers in some crusade are often well-intentioned people, convinced by their narrative that they are heroically saving something, saving their world. I see that in Rachel Carson’s anti-chemical crusade, notably against DDT, and her sincere belief that she was saving life from an imagined chemical apocalypse. She did not imagine, nor intend, the mass-death that resulted from her influence (again, see “The Excellent Powder: DDT’s Political and Scientific History”, Richard Tren and Donald Roberts).
But there is a well-known historical pattern that operates with apocalyptic millennial narratives and crusades, and if we had learned anything from history we would not be ignorantly and irresponsibly repeating this destructive pattern once again today. So yes, while “unintended” may be behind the alarmist’s motivation, I would be careful to not fall back on that for an excuse as the destructiveness of apocalyptic millennialism once again unfolds. We ought to know better, what with the historical examples that have occurred even over our lifetimes.
First, you abandon your own sanity and rationality by embracing primitive apocalyptic millennial themes. These themes are still everywhere present in the major world religions, and are now also embraced by varied “secular/ideological” versions like Declinism and its direct historical offspring- climate alarmism, or overall environmental alarmism.
With apocalyptic millennialism (or similarly “lost paradise/redemption”) themes ensconced in your worldview, you then view life and its ever-present nasty elements (i.e. natural disaster, extreme weather events, disease, predatory cruelty) through that apocalyptic millennial lens. You also start to view yourself as some sort of enlightened insider who has seen the truth (true believer) and you then begin to feel responsible to go forth and heroically save yourself, your people and your world.
Then you start to terrorize others with your apocalyptic narrative and its exaggerated threat scenarios. Today, diverse apocalyptic prophets have been waging a crusade of panic-mongering over a very mild period of natural climate change (1 degree C warming over the past century). This panic-mongering exhibits the anti-science irrationality of alarmism crusades. Climate change has been very mild and beneficial in a still too cold world where 10 times more people die every year from cold than die from warmth. But such facts be damned. They get in the way of the apocalyptic narrative and its need to exaggerate every twitch in nature as something portending the imminent end of days.
Irresponsibly inciting fear in the wider public then results in the spreading abandonment of rationality and a willingness of many to further believe the most distorted scenarios of threat. Again, note the widespread practise of now viewing all extreme weather events (common all across past paleoclimate history) as ongoing affirmation of your hysterically exaggerated and irrational narrative. A narrative that is shaped by pathologically distorting mythical themes from the “lost paradise/redemption” or “apocalyptic millennialism” complex of myths. (“Pathologically distorting themes”? Yes, they distort entirely the true state of life and the actual trajectory of life across history. I repeatedly urge visitors to read the amassed evidence in studies like Julian Simon’s “Ultimate Resource”, and numerous similar follow-up studies. See also the good research of climate physicists Richard Lindzen, William Happer, and others listed below.)
(Insert note on the apocalyptic prophet’s exaggeration of contemporary mild climate change: See paleogeologist Ian Plimer’s graph (p. 33 of “Heaven and Earth”) of the past 55,000 years of climate change and note how massive the changes in climate were from roughly 55,000 to 20,000 years ago during the tail end of the Wisconsin glaciation (i.e. swings between cooling and warming periods of up to 25 degrees C). Then note how that previous severity in climate changes moderated significantly and became much milder with the beginning of our Holocene interglacial some 20,000 years ago. Subsequently, over our interglacial we have had swings between cooling and warming periods of only a few degrees. Nothing anywhere near a “climate crisis” scale of climate change. Point? To understand the “true state” of anything, put that thing in its full long-term context.)
Continuing with “human-induced destructive outcomes of alarmism crusades”…
Populations of normally rational people, with their survival impulse incited, are then rendered desperate to embrace the most irrational of salvation schemes to save themselves, to save their world. Even if those salvation schemes entail the “unintended” destruction of their way of life, the destruction of their well-being and societies.
The promised hope of salvation offered by apocalyptic millennial narratives, of some renewed paradise, also helps keep alarmed populations receptive and committed to apocalyptic millennial salvation schemes.
The apocalyptic millennial themes outlined above distort entirely the true state of life, of the world. The apocalyptic millennial, or “lost paradise/redemption” narrative, scares people into embracing salvation schemes that “save the world” by destroying it. We know apocalyptic millennialism in its secular version today- “Declinism” (i.e. life declining toward something worse, toward collapse and ending). Today, the direct offspring of Declinism is climate alarmism. See Arthur Herman’s “The Idea of Decline in Western History”.
The entirely false narrative of apocalyptic millennialism, in its contemporary Declinism incarnation, states that human industrial civilization has destroyed the former paradise of a wilderness world and we are now heading toward environmental collapse and even ending. This narrative of despair has deformed public consciousness and prevented people from recognizing the amazing capability of humanity to correct mistakes of the past, to learn from such mistakes, to engage new measures to protect the natural world, and the result has been an ongoing improvement of life. We are now living in the best of all times, historically.
Some authentically progressive facts (“progressive” in the sense of life progressing toward improvement over the long-term): The human lifespan has more than doubled over the past century. Deaths from climate-related disasters are down 95% over the past century. Major diseases have been eradicated. Species are protected and flourishing. There is more forest cover on Earth today than 70 years ago (with three times the population). Poverty has been undergoing a stunning decline across the world… and much more improvement of both the human condition and the natural world (see Humanprogress.org, Ultimate Resource, etc.).
Here is an example of “human-induced” catastrophe/”apocalypse”: These warnings keep coming…
“America’s Suppression of Fossil Fuels is Courting a National Security Disaster”, by Ronald Stein
“Virtually everything in our society is made from fossil fuels.
“The capacity of a modern economy to produce food and products for its citizens, and weapons and fuels for its military to project power, are the undeniable twin pillars of global power. Both depend on reasonably priced and readily available products made from the oil derivatives manufactured from crude oil. In other words, American literally runs and fights on products from fossil fuels.
“The renewables of wind and solar only generate occasional electricity, but manufacture nothing for society.
“Take for example the medical industry that did not exist just a few hundred years ago, that is now maintaining the health and well-being of the 8 billion now on this planet. Today, as an exercise in energy literacy, try to identify something, anything, in your doctor’s office, or the hospital, or the pharmacy, which was not made from the oil derivatives manufactured from crude oil.
“President Biden has been campaigning for years for the elimination of fossil fuels. But ridding the world of oil, without a replacement in mind, would be immoral and evil, as extreme shortages of the products manufactured from fossil fuels will result in billions of fatalities from diseases, malnutrition, and weather-related deaths. Shortages of fossil fuel products would necessitate lifestyles being mandated back to the horse and buggy days of the 1800’s, and could be the greatest threat to the planet’s eight billion residents.
“The ruling class in wealthy countries are not cognizant that the planet populated from 1 to 8 billion in less than two hundred years, and that population explosion began right after the discovery of oil. That growth in the population was not just based on crude oil by itself, as crude oil is useless until it can be manufactured into something useable. Today, through human ingenuity, we have more than 6,000 products currently benefiting society and fuels for the 50,000 jets moving people and products, and more than 50,000 merchant ships for global trade flows, and the military and space programs.
“Sadly, the U.S. is killing fossil fuel transport pipelines, curtailing permitting of refineries and natural gas export facilities, suppressing oil and gas leasing and drilling and, worst of all, stifling longer-term investment in the industry. Driven by an all-encompassing determination to limit CO2 emissions, Europe, and now America, have declared war on fossil fuels. Meanwhile, Russia and China burn oil, gas and coal and emit greenhouse gases at levels that dwarf the West’s….
“The world leaders are experiencing a “dangerous delusion” of a global transition to “just electricity” that eliminates the use of the fossil fuels that made society achieve so much in a few centuries….
“National economies and nations’ militaries still run on fossil fuels. There is no substitute for fossil fuel dominance, even on a longer-term horizon. To believe and act otherwise is suicidal. It’s the real “existential threat”.
“You cannot run households, businesses, hospitals, and the military on occasional electricity!
“By pursuing climate-driven elimination and suppression of fossil fuels, the United States and its Western allies are heading for national security/defense, global/geostrategic disasters. Economies and militaries run on fossil fuels and, more than any other nation, America’s military would be emasculated without fossil fuels. The climate change imperative gripping the West is self-imposed civilizational suicide.”
See full article at the link above.
Again, note this summary of atmospheric physicists Richard Lindzen and William Happer’s excellent report at
“Is net zero necessary? According to a recent paper produced by the CO2 Coalition, the answer to that question is not just no but hell, no! The paper was written by two prominent, multi-award-winning physicists, William Happer, Ph.D., professor emeritus at Princeton University, and Richard Lindzen, Ph.D., professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with geologist Gregory Wrightstone, executive director of the CO2 Coalition, each of whom presented on science and policy at ICCC-15.
“The remainder of this essay provides a lightly edited excerpt from “Challenging ‘Net Zero’ with Science,” plus quotes from its authors about the paper’s findings.
“Reliable scientiﬁc knowledge is determined by the scientiﬁc method, where theoretical predictions are validated by observations or rejected for failing to conform with reality. Agreement with observations is the measure of scientiﬁc truth. Scientiﬁc progress proceeds by the interplay of theory and observation. Theory explains observations and makes predictions of what will be observed in the future. Observations anchor understanding and weed out theories that don’t work.
“Yet 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.
“Net Zero—the global movement to eliminate fossil fuels and their emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases—is 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 manmade 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, which 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.
“Net Zero, then, violates the tenets of the scientific method that for more than 300 years has underpinned the advancement of western civilization.”
Reposting of revised comment:
The core themes of lost paradise/redemption mythology that dominate world religions and also dominate contemporary “secular/ideological” systems of belief like Declinism (the most dominant and influential theme today) and its offspring- climate alarmism. Wendell Krossa
A ‘quickie’ summary for visitors on the run.
Here are the main ideas in the “lost paradise/redemption” complex of myths. These themes are evident in the earliest human writing (Sumerian) and have subsequently dominated human narratives across history in varied religious traditions and are now found in the modern world in “secular/ideological” versions. The core themes of human narratives vary little across history. We repeatedly get the “same old, same old” world without end. Young moderns self-identifying as “materialist”, even atheist, also mouth these very same themes, notably in “profoundly religious” movements like climate alarmism. This lost paradise/redemption complex of ideas are the basic themes of Declinism, the “most influential and dominant theme in the modern world” (i.e. life declining toward something worse, toward collapse and ending).
Get this point that primitive myths have been given new “secular/ideological” expression for the modern era. The terms may change but the core idea/theme remains the same. Campbell nailed it in stating that “the same primitive mythical themes have been believed all across history and across all the culture of the world”. This speaks to the issue of deeply embedded “archetypes”, subconscious things that keep re-emerging in meta-narratives generation after generation. It helps understand why people keep falling for the same old scams again and again, despite the horrifically destructive outcomes.
It is worth evaluating our personal worldviews to see if they are really as “scientific” as we assume, or perhaps they contain more primitive mythology than we like to admit. And remember how these deeply embedded archetypes work on human minds- orienting us to ‘confirmation bias’- i.e. the tendency to select data that affirms our personal beliefs and ignore or discredit contrary data. The “lost paradise/redemption” or “apocalyptic millennial” complexes give some comparative ideas against which to evaluate things.
Also worthwhile is the project to try to understand why we hold certain themes in our personal narratives. What, perhaps, “emotional” needs do our beliefs meet? What fears are we responding to and what incites those fears? What sense of guilt are we trying to assuage, and what is that guilt actually based on?
Here is the brief summary of the “lost paradise/redemption” complex that is more detailed further below:
There was a better past (i.e. original wilderness paradise world), but early people “sinned” (degenerated into something worse) and ruined paradise. Life- now cursed by God- then began to decline toward something worse, toward collapse and ending, even toward the catastrophe of apocalypse. That threat of collapse and ending is punishment for human sins. A sacrifice must now be made to pay for sin, and suffering must be embraced as “redemptive”. Self-punitive suffering today will involve giving up the good life for a return to the “morally superior” simple life, a return to primitivism. This general felt need to embrace self-punishment as payment for personal failure is more common than many imagine.
There must also be a violent purging of some purported evil threat to life (i.e. CO2 has been demonized as the threat to life today- a “pollutant/poison”). Further, people must heroically engage a righteous battle against the evil, and more generally, industrial civilization has been demonized as the “evil” that destroys the paradise wilderness world (CO2 is the identity marker of the larger evil threat). With atonement and purging accomplished, people are then offered the hope of salvation in the restoration of the lost paradise, or the installation of a new utopia/millennium (a “fossil fuel-free” world).
The above ideas are not my thinking and research alone. Good historians have traced these themes in past apocalyptic movements like Marxism and Nazism, and also show their presence now in environmental alarmism (see, for example, Arthur Herman’s “The Idea of Decline in Western History”, Richard Landes’ “Heaven On Earth”, Arthur Mendel’s “Vision and Violence”, and David Redles’ “Hitler’s Millennial Reich”, among others).
One book alone overturns entirely the above complex of themes (many others offer the same evidence)- i.e. Julian Simon’s “Ultimate Resource”. Just as the one main insight of Historical Jesus on non-retaliatory, unconditional deity overturns the Christian version of the above complex (i.e. overturns Paul’s Christ myth).
We know today that there was no original paradise and life is not declining toward something worse, but, due to the input from creative human minds, life has been rising toward something ever better than before. So, no sacrifice is necessary to appease some metaphysical threat. And no violent purging is required, but rather, we all just need to contribute to the “gradualism” of improving life (Mendel in Vision and Violence). That is the only “salvation” that we need to embrace. We never attain utopia but we can make life ever better over the long term.
The impulses and ideas that dominate human consciousness and life (a revised, updated reposting of the longer version of the “Lost paradise/redemption” complex of myths). Wendell Krossa
Subtitle: How to understand human thinking, feeling, motivation, response, and behavior today. The dominant themes of our narratives/worldviews and how they influence us.
(Archetype- model, ideal, original, pilot, prototype, pattern, standard, classic exemplar, classic, representative, forerunner, epitome, prime example, etc.)
And a prominent example to illustrate where I am going with this…
Climate alarmism is a “profoundly religious movement” with a consequent salvation crusade that is proving highly destructive of Western societies (i.e. Net Zero decarbonization). The “save the world” program of climate alarmism is being dogmatically and zealously pushed by elites (politicians, scientists, celebrities, others)- the people who control public narratives and consequently use state coercion to push policy applications that impact all of us, and consequently harm the poorest people the most.
Enlightened elites have always believed that they know what is best for all others and the outcomes of such arrogance have cost hundreds of millions of the lives. Remember the hundred million who died last century due to the forced collectivization of societies under the enlightened guidance of Socialist elites in China and Russia, and elsewhere. The same outcomes are becoming evident again today with the resurgence of the collectivism that is being exhibited through the environmental movement and its attacks on industrial civilization.
Back to the “impulses and ideas” theme of this article…
All mythological/religious movements have embraced a similar complex of ideas/themes and this is evident in the earliest human writing. Very little changes across human history as these themes have become hardwired in human subconscious as “archetypes”. And today, the most primitive of past ideas have now been given expression, not just in the world religions, but also in the dominant secular/ideological systems of our world like Declinism and its offspring- environmental alarmism/climate alarmism. (Source: Arthur Herman- “The Idea of Decline in Western History”)
The line of historical descent, or inheritance, runs from primitive mythology to world religions to ideological belief systems, and even to the “scientific” belief systems of the modern world. Its always the same old, same old. As Joseph Campbell stated, the same primitive myths have been embraced all across history and across all the cultures of the world.
I repeatedly post these themes on this site because they are most fundamental to what is wrong in our world. And we have good alternatives now to take human consciousness and life in a better direction, toward a more rational and humane future. We do not have to continue suffering under the old that has caused/contributed to so much misery across history in unnecessary additional fear, anxiety, shame, guilt, resignation, fatalism, despair, depression, nihilism, and violence. We can now embrace the ultimate human liberation- freedom from ideas that have long distorted reality and life and that have long incited our worst impulses. We have alternatives that inspire the better angels of our nature, that inspire our better impulses to live as authentically human.
Consider these most basic ideas/themes and their outcomes, whether at the individual level or at larger societal scale:
The core themes (mental pathologies) that have dominated human consciousness across history… the “lost paradise/redemption” narrative:
(1) The myth that a perfection-obsessed deity created a better past or original paradise (i.e. Sumerian Dilmun or Jewish Eden). This is the baseline bad myth. It sets the stage for all the rest. If the past was better, and the present is so obviously worse, then logically- What went wrong? The obsession with blaming humanity (i.e. “fallen/sinful”) arises out of this original error of a better past.
The initial mistake of early people was to blame themselves for committing some original sin and thereby ruining an imagined primeval paradise. Their “original sin”, or mistake, was actually their wrong assumption that the past was paradise and humans had committed a primordial sin and thereby ruined that original perfection. That wrong assumption cemented the baseline idea for a complex of related pathological myths that subsequently blamed humanity for all that was wrong in life. That original bad myth then “logically” (logical to myth-oriented minds) led to the demand for punishment and sacrifice to pay for the initial sin, and further, the requirement that to make things better again you had to purge some evil threat to life. And so emerged all the rest of the lost paradise/redemption complex of bad myths.
We need a complete re-orientation of consciousness to fundamentally different themes in a new narrative of reality and life.
Start with this one… the baseline bad myth.
There was never any better past or original paradise, and the overall trajectory of life has never declined from a better past toward a worsening future. Any history of our world shows this- i.e. the horrific conditions of early Earth. And, since that early uninhabitable world, there has been a long-term trajectory of improvement toward a more habitable planet for life (e.g. the emergence and development of an atmosphere suitable for life). The history of our world shows long-term improvement in features like increasing complexity, and an overall world more conducive to life, not decline.
Biologists like E. O. Wilson and Darwin both affirmed the overall, long-term “improving” trend of life (more complexity, more organization, etc.).
An alternative narrative (including metaphysical or “spiritual” speculations) would suggest that deity created the cosmos and world as originally “imperfect” and there is some reason for that. So, with other philosophers and theologians, explore this possibility- that, for example, an imperfect world exists as in an arena for human experience, struggle, learning, and development. And that we only learn the better things in life when they are contrasted with the worst elements of life. Also, that problems and consequent suffering inspires our struggle to make life better, and brings out the best in people. For example, through suffering we learn compassion with suffering others (i.e. empathy as fundamental to being human). Much human creativity has arisen out of compassion for suffering others. Julian Simon added that our problems bring out the best in us- i.e. creative endeavor to solve problems and find solutions that benefit ourselves and others.
The myth of a better past dominates the Declinism ideology of today as in the environmental Declinism that states the past wilderness world was paradise and humanity in civilization, notably in industrial capitalist society, has ruined that paradise and life is now heading toward collapse and catastrophe. CO2 has been demonized as the latest primary indicator of the evil of too many people consuming too much of Earth’s “limited” resources and thereby destroying the world. This primitive apocalyptic millennial nonsense still dominates the thinking of many people today.
(2) (Related to number 1) The myth that the earliest humans committed an original fault/error and subsequently “fell” or become “sinful/corrupted” beings who then ruined the original paradise. Again, this “original sin” myth is the root of all “blame humanity”, all anti-humanism. The Sumerians gave us the first examples of this pathology in the Sumerian Flood myth (Gilgamesh epic) with fuller versions coming later in subsequent Babylonian mythology. In the Sumerian Flood myth, Enlil, the waterworks god, was pissed at too many humans making too much noise- the original human “sin” of that era and place. Imagine: People just being sociable and having fun becomes an original sin. That is as petty as Adam bringing a curse on all humanity for just enjoying a taste of good fruit and curious to learn something new (access “knowledge of good and evil’). Sheesh, eh.
To get some sense of the petty and unbalanced nature of these primitive mythologies, with their ideas of deities that are obsessed with human imperfection and mistakes, note the Biblical lists of sins that incite God’s wrath and consequent intention to torture people in an eternal lake of fire. The lists include “sins” like “boasting, gossiping, coveting, sensuality, impurity, fits of anger, rivalry, dissension, drunkenness, greed, gluttony, slander, lying, pride, foolishness, loving money, disobedient to parents, loving oneself, loving pleasure (watch out you wankers), ungrateful, and reckless (i.e. adrenaline junkies in extreme sports), etc, etc.” Talk about punishment not fitting the crime, eh.
(3) The vengeful deity of primitive imaginations, thoroughly pissed at human imperfection, then cursed the world and life began declining toward something worse, eventually toward complete corruption, collapse, and final ending via apocalypse.
(4) The great creating Force/Spirit behind life, still obsessed with lost perfection, and obsessed with punishing imperfection, then demanded a sacrifice to pay for the sins of corrupted humanity, to restore his offended honor and rebalance justice in the cosmos. (Note: Offended holiness in Judea-Christian theology is on the same spectrum as Islamic “honor killing” to restore an offended sense of righteousness).
(5) The upset deity also demanded suffering as further punishment, “suffering as redemptive”. Humanity has long embraced this pathology in self-flagellation or self-punishment to assuage guilt/shame over being bad. Today, one form of self-inflicted punishment involves giving up the good life for a return to the “morally superior” simple life, for a retreat to the primitive status of original “noble savages”- i.e. early people who were believed to be stronger and purer humans more in tune with nature, living low-consumption lifestyles (hunter gatherer) before the “fall of humanity in civilization…the degeneration of humanity in the abundance of industrial civilization”.
The “lost paradise/redemption” narrative has been beaten into humanity for multiple-millennia now and the outcome is a deeply-rooted guilt and shame over being imperfectly human. Most people across history have subsequently felt a desperate need for absolution from their sin. They long to be told how to make atonement, and in response, priesthoods across history have offered people the solution of blood sacrifice, or other forms of sacrifice/payment/punishment to assuage their guilt.
(6) The punitive Force/Spirit behind life also demands “the violent purging” of some great threat to life, some threatening “enemy”. This involves embracing the hero’s quest, to heroically engage “a righteous battle against evil”, the quest to conquer an enemy, to slay a monster. These ideas are validated by the myth of cosmic dualism- i.e. that there exists a great cosmic battle of a good Spirit against some evil Force or Spirit. That “cosmic-level” dualism is to be replicated in “this-world” dualisms among humanity. Cosmic dualism myths have long validated human tribalisms (tribalism based on race/ethnicity, nationality, religion, ideology, etc.).
Think of the historical outcomes of this myth alone- i.e. cosmic dualism (ultimate Good against ultimate Evil). How much horrific damage has been caused across history by inciting the impulse to view the differing other as an “enemy”, accompanied by the felt need to engage a righteous battle against such enemies, to conquer and destroy them as threats to one’s own tribe. This is among the most damaging of all primitive ideas.
It is critical to understand these primitive archetypes and how they continue to influence human consciousness, emotion, motivation, and response/behavior. We ought to recognize that we have much better alternatives today that work to inspire our better human impulses. Notably, the recognition of the fundamental oneness that inspires us to view others as family and to embrace restorative justice toward human failure.
Note again in this regard Campbell’s speech on embracing “universal love” and viewing enemies as family and thereby maintaining our humanity:
“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).
Further, religious mythologies teach that the ultimate violent purging takes place in the apocalyptic punishment and destruction of the present “corrupted world”, a necessary destruction in order to make way for the new (see the New Testament book of Revelation for detail). “Violent purging of evil” myths also validated the revolutionary purging that was central to Marxism and Nazism (Arthur Herman in “The Idea of Decline In Western History”).
(7) With atonement and purging accomplished, the threatening deity then promises salvation for true believers, salvation in the restoration of the lost paradise, or in the installation of a new utopia/millennial kingdom.
(Sources: Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian, and Zoroastrian mythologies. Also, Jewish-Christian history and belief systems. Add further, Eastern religious belief systems, such as Hinduism.)
Such is the complex of pathological “lost paradise/redemption” myths. Note the intense anti-human orientation of these old myths. They emphasize the fallacy that humanity has “fallen” or degenerated from an imagined original perfection. That distortion buries the entirely opposite truth that the real story of humanity is how amazingly we have improved over history, compared to our original barbaric animal-like existence. (James Payne in “History of Force” and Stephen Pinker in “The Better Angels of Our Nature” both detail the historical trajectory of improving humanity, though I don’t think Pinker’s “evolutionary biology/psychology” fully explains all the causal factors behind the ongoing improvement. While our animal past goes some way to explaining our present makeup, the human spirit and human consciousness are something uniquely human and cannot be fully explained in terms of the animal. I side more with neuroscientist John Eccles on such things.)
These “lost paradise/redemption” myths constitute the “mythical/spiritual” substrate- the archetypes- that undergird most human belief systems or narratives, whether religious or “secular/ideological” narratives, and even scientific ones. These themes are deeply embedded in human consciousness/subconscious- hardwired in human minds from millennia of tight interaction with some of our most basic impulses. This complex of primitive themes continues to dominate human narratives today.
Where and how it all went wrong…
Early people, unfortunately, created ideas/myths to validate some of the worst of the animal drives that humanity inherited from millions of years in animal existence. They were following their primal impulse for meaning- to understand and explain their conscious existence in this world. And when they first started doing that- i.e. creating ideas/myths to explain things- they were still living as more animal than human, still very primitive in their thinking. Consequently, they created very primitive ideas/myths to validate their still very primitive behavior and existence.
Those earliest myths, along with the human hesitancy to challenge the sacred, were eventually embraced by the great religious traditions and became religious dogma, and then, latterly, even infected modern-era ideological systems of belief.
But now, it is entirely inexcusable for us moderns to continue to hold those same themes of our primitive ancestors when we have far better insights today, far better alternative explanations to satisfy our primal impulse for meaning and purpose. Note the “better alternative explanations” in “New narrative series (1): Old story themes, better alternatives”, just below on this site.
Some of the more prominent of our darker inherited animal impulses, along with their related validating myths, would include (1) the impulses to small band existence or tribalism (given expression in human societies in such divides as those between true believers versus unbelievers, as in religious and ideological systems), (2) the impulse to alpha domination given expression in myths of dominating gods and the validation of powerholding human kings/lords/priests as representatives of the dominating gods, and (3) the impulse to the destruction of competing others (myths of enemies/unbelievers that should be eliminated in this life, or cast into religious hells).
Advocates of contemporary “lost paradise/redemption” narratives, such as in the climate alarmism crusade, voice the same themes as those listed above and those themes still resonate powerfully with many people today. The core “lost paradise/redemption” themes resonate with deeply embedded archetypes, lodged even at a subconscious level. (Again, “archetype” meaning- prototype, representative, pattern, model, standard, exemplar, ideal, etc.)
An example of the primitive “lost paradise/redemption” myths resonating in modern minds with devastating outcomes:
Remember that Hitler, initially a fringe lunatic madman, embittered by his WW1 experience, and largely ignored by most people, eventually began to resonate more widely with the German Christian public. With the Weimar era collapse of the German economy due to the Great Depression, his formerly ignored message of “decline toward looming apocalypse and promise of salvation (i.e. creation of the millennial Third Reich)”- that message then began to resonate more widely with those same archetypical themes that dominated the belief systems and consciousness of most Christian Germans. Hitler was then able to persuade many ordinarily good Germans to join, or at least not oppose, his mass-death crusade.
The message of “decline toward disaster” incites primal fears of some punitive spirit or force behind the natural world that is justly punishing us “bad” people for ruining originally pure nature. We feel intuitively that we deserve such punishment coming at us through natural disaster, disease, accidents, predatory cruelty from “enemies”, and other misfortunes common to life. Remember that Japanese lady after the 2011 tsunami asking, “Are we being punished for enjoying the good life too much?” She illustrated this very intuitive human sense that natural disasters are expressions of some angry god punishing people for their sins. Similarly, Nancy Pelosi claimed (Sept. 2020) that the forest fires of California were evidence that “Mother Earth is angry” with humans enjoying too much fossil fuel energy and causing the “climate crisis”. Bad people were being punished by an angry deity seeking retribution. Ah, its all just the same old, same old primitive as ever before.
The belief in some great threat to life then incites the human survival impulse. The panic-mongering over such threat then pushes many to abandon rationality, out of their desperation to survive. Hence, many people will then heed the craziest exaggerations of the apocalyptic prophets of their time (think of the prophesies of Paul Ehrlich as a contemporary example, also Al Gore and others). Alarmed populations will then support the most irrational salvation schemes, to “save the world”, even when the evidence mounts that those schemes are so obviously destroying societies as in the outcomes of the Net Zero mania that is currently devastating Germany and Britain.
The contemporary climate alarmism crusade and its destructive decarbonization salvation scheme is just another repeat of past similar apocalyptic millennial eruptions that have repeatedly destroyed societies across history. Remember again the irrational Xhosa cattle slaughter of 1860, and on larger scales, the horrific destruction of the Marxist and Nazi “lost paradise/redemption” crusades.
As Richard Landes warned in “Heaven On Earth” regarding the Nazi madness, if you don’t understand how apocalyptic millennial themes can lead to mass-death in societies then you have learned nothing from past history. We are watching this same “lost paradise/redemption” pattern play out again today- the same old themes of “better past, sinful humanity ruining paradise, sacrifice and violent purging necessary to “save the world” and restore the lost paradise, etc.”
These profoundly religious themes undergird the cult of climate alarmism. We see them in the claims that a better past existed in the earlier more wilderness world. We see these myths in the beliefs that life is declining/worsening due to human industrial civilization. We see them in the demonization of the basic food of all life- i.e. CO2- as the great threat to life that must be purged. And we see them in the endless media hysteria that a climate apocalypse is imminent. They are also evident in the consequent irrational decarbonization madness as the only way of salvation so the lost paradise can be restored. The outcomes will not be good if we continue to let this myth-based madness shape public policy as in the elimination of fossil fuels.
Insert on irrationality:
Marinate a bit on the scale of irrationality in the widespread public acceptance of the demonization of the basic food of all life- CO2- as the great threat to life. And consider- CO2 levels over the past millions of years of our “ice age era” have been at “starvation” levels, just in the hundreds of ppm. Plant life prefers CO2 in the multiple thousands of ppm and thrives when it is that high. Over paleoclimate history, when, with CO2 levels 5 to 10 times higher than today, life was a “paradise… a golden age for mammals”. And with CO2 in the multiple-thousands of ppm over past history, there was no “climate crisis”, no “world on fire”.
Added note on the fact that in the during the Eocene era some 55-33 million years ago, average temperatures were 10 degrees C warmer than today (25 degrees C average versus todays world average of 14.5 degrees C) and that was the “Golden Age of mammals” when our ancestors flourished.
It needs repeating- That over the entire 500 million years of the Phanerozoic era life, temperatures averaged 3-10 degrees C higher than today, and along with much higher CO2 levels- life thrived. Just as plant life is once again beginning to flourish with the restoration of more optimal levels of CO2 today- notable in the addition of 15% more green vegetation to the Earth since 1980. Sources: Wattsupwiththat.com, co2coalition.org, co2science.org, among others.
Added note on my claim that the myth of a better past or original paradise is the foundational or baseline myth of the “lost paradise/redemption” complex of myths. Wendell Krossa
The belief in an originally more perfect world may have arisen from early humanity’s experience of decline in the natural world. John Pfeiffer (“The Creative Explosion: An Inquiry into the Origins of Art and Religion”) suggests that the belief in an original “golden age” may have emerged over 100,000 years ago. I took a closer look at how that belief may have arisen in early human minds.
The previous interglacial- i.e. the Eemian- occurred between 130-115,000 years ago. That blissfully warm interglacial (some 3-5 degrees C warmer than our current interglacial) may have ended quite suddenly, over just centuries or even decades. Life then descended from previous life-affirming warmth into the devastating cold of the following ice age or glaciation (the “Wisconsin” in North America). Early conscious people would have remembered that better past compared with what became more miserable conditions in a colder world. That would have given rise to their speculation that the past was more perfect, and their present reality was a decline toward something worse.
That is true at all times across history: If you believe that the past was better or perfect, and then compare that better past with the obviously imperfect present world that you inhabit, then you can “logically” conclude that life is declining toward something worse. You have created a reasonable baseline argument for your belief in apocalypse- i.e. life declining toward something worse, even toward life ending. People have done that across history.
Add here that traditions of sacrifice have been around for a long time also. People have long offered sacrifices to appease what they believe were angry, punitive spirits or gods. The ancients believed that gods expressed their anger at “sinful” people through the destructiveness of the natural world- i.e. through natural disasters, disease, accidents, and predatory cruelty.
All such primitive beliefs would contribute to the fallacious mythology of “Lost paradise/redemption” that we have inherited from those ancestors. It is inexcusable that many people today continue to hold to contemporary versions of such primitive thinking, contemporary versions as in the major world religious traditions, along with many “secular/ideological” and even scientific versions (notably, in the “profoundly religious” or cultic climate alarmism crusade).
“Facebook: Extending its Legacy of Science Denial” by geologist Gregory Wrightstone (Executive Director of CO2 Coalition). Full article with graphs at…
“To no one’s surprise, Facebook continues to reject any and all scientific data that does not support their “consensus” narrative of man-made catastrophic warming by rejecting an ad placed by the CO2 Coalition, Arlington, Virginia.
“The ad is based on well documented and widely used satellite data published by the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) as part of a project with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)….
““Since the beginning of the satellite era of temperature measurements (1979), there were two very large spikes in temperature. Both were associated with very strong El Niños.
““Between each of these, little to no warming was observed, yet CO2 continued increasing in a nearly linear fashion. This stepwise increase in warming was not predicted nor has it been explained by those promoting the theory that CO2 is the primary driver of modern warming.
““We are currently in a cool La Niña phase that is expected to end soon. It will likely be followed by another El Niño that will be used by the Climate Industrial Complex to promote more unfounded fear of runaway CO2-driven warming.”
“So, the ad displayed publicly available data from government sources and suggested an interpretation of the information. Readers are free to dispute our analysis. However, to be denied access to it is contrary to the founding principles of the United States of America – mainly the freedom of speech and thought.
“Nonetheless, Facebook, an American creation and a subsidiary of Meta with a market capitalization of more than $500 billion, found that the ad “does not comply with our Advertising Policies.”
“Well, this humble geologist finds Facebook’s policies anathema to everything noble about 3,500 years of western civilization. That puts us on the side of people as diverse as Socrates, John Locke, Adam Smith, Thomas Jefferson, William Blake, Mark Twain, Ayn Rand, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Martin Luther King and Winston Churchill.
“This isn’t our first encounter with censorship. Last summer, I was permanently banned by Linkedin. The offending material were two charts: One showed that carbon dioxide levels were nearly 6,000 parts per million (ppm) 600 million years ago when many animal life forms first appeared in the Cambrian Era. Another illustrated a 140-million-year decline of CO2 levels — from 2,500 parts per million (ppm) to the current 420 ppm.
“The target of these assaults is our communications countering the false narrative of a climate emergency rooted in the warming effect of carbon dioxide, which in fact is a beneficial gas, essential to life on Earth.
“One of the two principles of natural justice recognized in the law of the English-speaking countries is Audiatur et altera pars— “Let both sides be fairly heard”. Given that on this, as on many issues, Facebook and their allies in the media no longer allow the skeptical side of the case to be heard, fact-based information like that provided in this post will continue to be censored.
“Attacks on those standing for honest scientific inquiry into climate issues have become so common that one might be inclined to shrug them off. However, the purveyors of climate doom are not likely to go away on their own as might some pesky gnats. Whether their motivations are money, power or some perverted, religious regard for Earth untouched by humanity, the climate cult’s ambitions are too much of a threat to our way of life – and lives – to dismiss.”
The human hesitancy to understand and embrace imperfection (how bad myths get started)
From the earliest emergence of human consciousness people have struggled to understand, explain, and embrace the imperfection of the world, life, and themselves. Hence, reacting to the imperfection all around them, early people created myths that God had created all things originally perfect (city of Dilmun, garden of Eden) but their ancestors had “sinned” (committed some primal error and “fell into imperfection”) and thereby ruined paradise, sending life into decline toward a worsening state. “Blame humanity” got its running legs at the very beginning.
When telescopes were first invented, Medieval Christian theologians could not initially believe the imperfection of planetary orbits (not perfect circles) and the pock-marked surfaces of the moon and planets. And hence the long history of “theodicy” continued- i.e. the long and winding endeavor to understand and explain the presence of imperfection, or “evil”, in this world.
This has long been a fundamental human belief- that a perfect God created a perfect world but we humans fucked it all up. So yes, blame humanity. And thereby continue to affirm the pathological “lost paradise/redemption” meta-narrative to explain life.
Any basic history of Earth will show how horrifically imperfect this world has been from the very beginning and that the Earth has “improved” across history, in the sense of becoming more habitable for life with an increasingly stable and breathable atmosphere, increasing biological complexity (emergence and development of multi-cellular organisms), and greater overall organization (increasingly complex ecosystems), all creating more suitable conditions for eventual conscious human experience.
Another notable feature that affirms life is improving, is the improvement of humanity across the millennia in terms of decreasing violence (James Payne- History of Force, Stephen Pinker- Better Angels of Our Nature). Additional evidence of the improving trajectory of life is the stunning improvement of the human condition and all life over the past few centuries. This trend of overall improvement will continue as no good evidence has emerged that it will end (i.e. Julian Simon’s point in “Ultimate Resource” on long term trends as indicators of the true state of life).
This actual story of life is entirely contrary to religious/mythical narratives of life being originally perfect but now declining toward something worse, such as in “lost paradise/redemption” narratives. We had nothing to do with the mess that was original, early Earth.
My point? We should embrace the imperfection of our world as natural, and also our personal imperfection, and find alternative ways of understanding and explaining this imperfection. This is not to advocate surrender to imperfection/evil. No. We have a fundamental responsibility/obligation to improve our world, and ourselves, to conquer our worst impulses and to affirm our better angels. That is the essence of the “hero’s quest”. Our socialization in human civilization exists for this purpose- to teach us and help us to become good productive citizens. And where we fail more seriously, we have criminal justice systems that exist to restrain us, to get us back on track, or to protect the public where some refuse to improve themselves, or can’t improve themselves (e.g. psychopathy).
But no matter how much progress we make, we never attain perfection and at some level we simply have to accept imperfection all around us, and also our own personal imperfection and understand why it is “normal” to human life/experience.
A good starting point to “accepting” imperfection in ourselves, is to recognize that we will not be punished by some angry, retaliatory deity for being imperfectly human. This was something of what reformer Martin Luther meant with his urging people to “Sin boldly”- meaning that ultimate divine grace, forgiveness, and acceptance was our birthright despite our experience of imperfection in this imperfect world.
All to affirm- there has never been any such monster as a perfection-obsessed deity, enraged at imperfection, pissed that imperfect people ruined an original paradise that he supposedly created, and that since the “Fall” he has cursed humanity with suffering in a worsening world, and now he is scheming how to get even with humanity by punishing and destroying people in an apocalypse and subsequent hellfire. A whole lotta people still believe narratives of this primitive mythology in both religious and “secular” versions.
So start by rejecting outright that consciousness-deforming mythology of divine punishment of human imperfection that has long promoted the unnecessary added psychic burden of fear, anxiety, guilt, shame, and has been an instigator of unnecessary despair/depression, nihilism, and worse. There is no ultimate punitive deity, no threat of ultimate separation or exclusion, no destruction in some hell. Get rid of all that deforming threat theology as a starting point for understanding the existence of imperfection. And again- this is not advocacy for resignation in the face of human evil. There are still “righteous battles against evil” to fight.
Rejecting threat theology will liberate us to better engage the quest to become the heroes of our personal stories by conquering the real enemy and monsters in life- the inherited animal impulses inside each of us, notably the impulses to (1) tribal exclusion of differing others, to (2) domination of others, and to (3) punitively destroy the competing other. Conquering these dark animal-like impulses within ourselves is the real “righteous battle against evil”, and this battle “runs down the center of every human heart” (Solzhenitsyn).
And rather than wallowing in misery over imperfection, and beating ourselves up over remaining imperfection, we ought to celebrate the overall long-term improvement of humanity as an entirety, and all human personal success as in individual lives/stories, individuals conquering their worst impulses in order to live as truly human. As someone said, the real story of life is not how far humanity has fallen, but how high we have risen from a worse past. And as Julian Simon urged, we ought to celebrate how well we have done in improving life overall in this world.
Added note: There are helpful speculations from many others as to why this world was created imperfect- i.e. as an arena for human experience, for human struggle, learning, development, and growth. Also, how the struggle with imperfection (to create something better) brings out the best in humanity. That the contrast with imperfection/evil has always been essential to how we understand, learn, and experience good.