I posted this response below to Michael Shellenberger’s latest article on Public- “Hatred, Brainwashing, And Mass Psychosis Behind Democrat’s War On Democracy: We have to break the hypnotic trance destroying our country”, Dec. 23, 2023
“Michael- Your material is much appreciated. And apply the same analysis of “brainwashing and mass psychosis… hypnotized by propaganda” to the climate crisis crusade which is just as great a threat to democracy with its push to control all aspects of life.
“Prof of economics Ross McKitrick, who helped expose Michael Mann’s hockey-stick fraud, recently noted the drive for central planning behind the climate crusade, and the populist revolt against that impulse to totalitarianism.
“Last year’s Nobel laureate in physics, John Clauser summed it best- “There is no climate crisis. Much as it may upset many people, my message is the planet is not in peril”.
See “It’s the narrative, stupid” by Bob Brinsmead at the bottom of this opening section. See also the article by Ross McKitrick re the global elites use of climate alarmism to validate their crusade for global central planning. Sterling Burnett affirms the same reveal made by McKitrick. As noted before on this site, beware the totalitarian’s formula- “Fear=control”.
See also below Michael Shellenberger, Matt Taibbi, and Walter Kirn’s latest on the Democratic party threat to US democracy… a threat that Democrats, with a stunning absence of self-awareness, project onto their opponents. This is about the protection of fundamental freedom, now threatened from within our societies by former liberals/democrats who have swung far-left into extremist Woke Progressivism.
Quote from below: Wendell Krossa
We humans live primarily by story, not solely by factual evidence. Hence, two people can look at, for example, climate and see entirely opposite realities. Why such opposite views? Because we look at life through the viewfinder of our narratives, our stories, our belief systems.
One looks, through the distorting lens of discredited climate models (“running too hot”), and sees the imminent end of the world, with a planet suffering apocalyptic collapse and ending, oceans “boiling”, planet on fire.
Another sees a century of slight warming (1 degree C) as Earth emerges naturally from the coldest period of our Holocene interglacial- the Little Ice Age of 1645-1715. A mild warming that saves far more lives every year from cold mortality than are lost to warming mortalities, in a world where 10 times more people still die from cold every year than die from warming.
Facts: There are 116,000 more heat deaths every year, but 283,000 fewer cold deaths. For a net of 166,000 fewer temperature-related deaths. Even more warming will benefit us with far less cold deaths. Net beneficial is what matters. PS: Where are media on this huge benefit from global warming?
Note on “archetypes”:
I do not embrace archetypes as some locked-in permanent feature of the human subconscious (“protected under the canopy of the sacred”). No. Understand any particular archetype, the bad effects associated with that archetype, and then change it for the better. Find a better alternative for that ancient inherited feature of our psyche. They are not immutable features.
What’s behind it all? Wendell Krossa
To understand the modern world, consider the big background picture of the meta-narrative themes that shape human thinking and outlook, human emotions and motivations, and then critically, human responses, behavior, and treatment of others.
Few of us actually see life as it is. We are all influenced by the ideas/beliefs that we pick up along the path of our life journey, ideas that we then incorporate to form our worldviews that then shape how we understand what we see, how we feel about it, and how we respond.
To do some shop-level worldview repair (renovation, change, improvement) start by understanding where we all went wrong.
Start any look at the big picture of today’s thought world with Arthur Herman’s “The Idea of Decline in Western History”. He presents the historical development of Declinism, and the contributing strains of thought, that have made Declinism the dominant ideology today- “(Declinism) became arguably the single most dominant and influential theme in culture and politics in the (modern world)”. Declinism is behind the many offspring branch ideologies that shape most people’s worldviews today, governing how most people think, feel, and then act.
Declinism presents a view of life that is entirely contrary to the actual improving trajectory of life, just as the sub-ideology of “Degeneration theory” (humanity degenerating in modern civilization) distorts the truth of human progress across the centuries. We- humanity- are a pretty good bunch of folks despite the pathologies of minorities among us.
Then consider the apocalyptic millennial scholars who confirm Herman’s big picture of Declinism dominating modern ideologies and consciousness. They all detail how the pathology of apocalyptic mythology has been “secularized” for our era and has continued to deform human narratives and thought, infecting the offspring ideologies of Marxism, Nazism, and environmentalism- notably, climate alarmism. Apocalyptic also continues its deformation of the narratives of the main world religions, both Western and Eastern.
These ideologies/religions present a false picture of life worsening that contradicts all evidence showing that life is actually improving toward something better than ever before. Humanity, as the driving force behind all other general improvement, is becoming something better not worse over the long haul. Note the improvement, for example, in terms of decreasing human violence across history (James Payne- “History of Force”, and Stephen Pinker- “Better Angels of Our Nature”).
Media, in the throes of its usual obsessive-compulsive denial of reality and life, constantly harangue the public with Declinism nonsense, beating into public consciousness a depressing distortion of reality, especially on climate, thereby further inciting and affirming the contemporary “madness of crowds eruption” of hysteria over a purported climate apocalypse.
The apocalyptic millennial sources above are some of the best for understanding why Declinism still dominates our meta-narratives and public consciousness (i.e. YouGov survey showing that most people believe the world is becoming worse).
I repeatedly recommend the research of the above historians because they detail the ideas, the core themes behind our public narratives and belief systems, the inherited religious ideas that still shape our narratives today, ideas that distort life and, most egregious, deform human personality with needless fear, anxiety, shame, guilt, despair and depression, and even incite violence between groups. The core themes dominating human narratives incite our ugliest impulses to tribalism, domination, and retaliatory destruction of others.
Further, our major public narratives also distort the real battle of life which takes place inside us. Our public narratives focus us, instead, on outer battles with other humans.
A good reform project will understand that the real battle in life is with the deforming ideas in our narratives, long embedded in human subconscious as archetypes that have always incited and validated our worst impulses.
If we want to do thorough problem solving for the long-term future, then understand the basic ideas/themes that shape our narratives and thinking, and how those themes impact human emotions, motivation, and responses to others. Then engage some true reformism. Embrace better alternatives ideas/themes that inspire our better impulses.
Added note: The feature of “decline” is central to apocalyptic millennial mythology. The larger context of such myth claims that there was an original paradise that was ruined by early corrupted people (“original sin” in religious belief systems). And after that “Fall”, or loss of paradise, life has been declining toward something worse. Life eventually worsens till there will be a great divine intervention to punish bad people with an fiery apocalypse and end it all (see Paul’s version of this in his Thessalonian letters- New Testament). The destruction of the world will be followed by a purging of the purported evil thing that ruined life (i.e. greedy people in industrial civilization) and then restoration of the lost paradise.
The basic psychology behind today’s ideological madness. “It’s the animal, stupid” (playing on Bill Clinton’s comment re economy), Wendell Krossa
Intro to the Jordan Peterson clip (The Rubin Report of his appearance on Bill Maher) and Michael Shellenberger article below:
Peterson notes that university students today are taught the simplistic dualism of “meta-Marxism”- i.e. “oppressor vs oppressed” or “victims versus victimizers” revealing that what is posed as “higher” or advanced education is too often nothing but a retreat to primitive mythology. That fundamental tribal dualism then shapes how you categorize all people. Individual diversity be damned.
Shellenberger then details how intelligence agencies now use, in their propagandizing of the public, a “framing” approach that plays on impulses like the tribal instinct. The propagandizers incite that base tribalism with smears of differing, dissenting others as “foreign…Russian… far right… outsiders… fascists… threats to democracy… etc.”. (Note the revived McCarthyism spewing from the US left/Democrats today with their incessant smears of differing others as somehow associated with Russia. Crazy, huh.)
This framing project noted by Shellenberger gets to a critical root element in what is wrong today across too many public issues. Young people in universities (most dominated by extreme leftism/liberalism that is no longer “liberal”) are taught this simplistic Marxist dualism of good versus evil, victim versus victimizers, a base form of dualism with which to view and mindlessly categorize all people, and that dualism resonates with the tribal impulse that we all have inherited from our animal past.
Marxist tribalism also plays on the hero’s quest- the natural desire to be on the good side, with the righteous, virtuous ones fighting a ‘noble cause’ battle against the evil ones on the other side, the enemies, the bad guys. The hero’s quest is deformed by this tribal outlook of us good, righteous ones against you bad, evil ones that differ from us. Oppressed against oppressors.
We counter primitive tribalism with the insights on human oneness that we take from varied sources, insights that affirm the fundamental oneness of the human family. Again, we derive oneness insights from the “Mitochondrial Eve” that is the mother of all humans on Earth today, from quantum entanglement, and from “spiritual” insights on oneness (i.e. notably from the NDE movement).
Ignore the dogmatic materialist types who dismiss any speculation on humanity’s oneness that is based on quantum mechanics as “Woo-woo” stuff. Hey, its fundamental reality. And as if they know anything final, more than the rest of us, eh.
Most critical, we should recognize that the great “righteous battle” in human existence takes place inside each of us. It is not a battle against others that differ from us in terms of the common identity markers used so widely today to divide people from one another (race/ethnicity, nationality, religion, ideology, etc.). The fundamental battle in life is a war against the real enemy of us all, the only real monster in life- our animal inheritance of primitive impulses to tribalism, domination of others, and punitive destruction of differing others.
Such is my “evil triad” that expresses the deeply embedded archetypes of our subconscious. I define the archetypes as the ideas that we create to explain and validate our inherited impulses. The archetypes were originally expressed as mythical beliefs, then were later embraced by the world religions (still there today) and are now embraced in “secularized” versions for the modern “post religious” era. Primitive mythical ideas have been given protected status, whether as sacred or scientific, and now function as prototypes, standards, models to inspire, guide, and validate human behavior and lives.
The secularized versions reveal that most people have only tinkered around the periphery in the so-called shift from our mythical past to the modern secular, scientific narratives of our modern era. Most people continue to embrace the core themes of humanity’s primitive mythical past to shape contemporary narratives, notably, the 85% of humanity affiliated with a world religion, including most of the remaining 15% who claim status as “spiritual but not religious”, embracing “secular” gods like Gaia, Planet or Mother Earth, Universe, Karma, Self-Organizing Principle, and so on.
Hence, we find the same old themes shaping narratives in secular ideological versions, even in “scientific” versions like that of climate alarmism.
The meta-Marxism that Peterson refers to is just another contemporary secularized, ideological version of primitive mythological themes. The path from the past to the present was, again, from an origin in primitive mythology that then became world religions, then was wrapped in the 19th Century ideology of Declinism that then birthed Marxism, Nazism, and now environmental alarmism. All versions of the same old, same old themes summarized in sections below as the “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” complex of beliefs.
Marxist dualism of oppressed versus oppressor, good versus bad, touches base with our most primitive impulses. The Marxist narrative resonates with the most fundamental human impulses to tribalism- an inherited animal impulse. Marxists, along with the many other versions of the same tribal dualism, then bring in all the framing things that Shellenberger talks about, specific ideas to frame the other side as evil, as enemy, as foreign, as crazy, and dangerous. With such framing you then validate yourself as the righteous hero who goes forth to save the world from some existential, imminent threat that must be eliminated, or censored, silenced, banned, criminalized, cancelled. And that is dangerously delusional.
Its all so simple-minded and primitively animal and yet it continues to dominate narratives today both left and right, though mainly threatening democracy today from the left.
Woke leftism now dominates education- note the ratios of leftist educators to alternatives…
“We’re failing our youth by not denouncing their craziness: Younger generations are becoming increasingly lazy and illiberal”, Joel Kotkin, Dec. 19, 2023
“In today’s educational environment, where woke ideology reigns, promoting basic literacy and cognitive skills is increasingly passe. According to the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress, two thirds of American fourth graders lack basic proficiency in reading. A full 86 per cent of 15-year-olds are unable to tell the difference between opinion and fact. IQ and academic-test scores have all fallen in recent years….
“(This) empowers propagandists of the extremes to twist history for ideological purposes.
“Political pluralism has now been all but extinguished on many university campuses. Liberal-arts faculties at elite colleges are overwhelmingly left-leaning. Among professors, registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by 20 to one. In some fields, like sociology and English, this ratio is more than 40 to one. This is not just an American phenomenon. As David Goodhart notes in “The Road to Somewhere,” although half of British voters lean to the right, less than 12 per cent of academics do. Similar ratios are common across Europe and in Canada.
“With their ideas facing little pushback in this environment, young people are increasingly Manichean and authoritarian in their worldview. Pollster Nate Silver has found that support for free speech is all but disappearing among the young, especially among those who identify as liberal or left-wing.”
Add here that polls show 70% of US Democrats now favor censorship.
Balance this with the recognition that many liberals/Democrats recognize the shift of their party to far-left Woke Progressivism and they reject that extremism. Senator John Fetterman has recently angered fellow Democrats by stating that he is not progressive and supports Israel. Bill Maher is another outspoken liberal who regularly condemns the woke insanity on his side. So also many others, like independents Bari Weiss, Glen Greenwald, Michael Shellenberger, Matt Taibbi, and so on. For their exposure of the extremism on their side, they are smeared as “right wingers”. Sheesh, eh.
A clip from “The Rubin Report” on Jordan Peterson’s recent appearance on Bill Maher, “Jordan Peterson Corners Bill Maher with the Question No Democrat Will Answer”.
Just watch from minute 1:30 to about the 7-minute mark.
Here’s a post with my comment on this video clip that I sent to a discussion group:
“Jordan Peterson has been asking Democrats in the US about when does the left go too far, what happens when the Woke extremism takes over the liberal left. Here’s a clip from The Rubin Report. Peterson says that he has talked with 40 Democratic senators in the US over the past 5 years and asked all of them- Where is the line between moderate Democrats and the far left? and none of them would answer the question, not even RFK (Robert F. Kennedy). They would not draw a line against leftist extremism.
“The shine came off RFK for me when he had that onstage debate with Alex Epstein of “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels” and RFK looked amateurishly unprepared in his responses, almost falling back on ad hominem-like responses, exhibiting such poor understanding of the climate issue, only mouthing the memes of the alarmist narrative. Embarrassing and disappointing for a presidential candidate but typical of the left side of politics. Epstein made him look ridiculously silly and not at all the empirical science guy that he claimed to be and proved to be with Covid and vaccines.
“Peterson, as in the article of his that I recently sent you all, points out that university students today are taught this simplistic meta-Marxism thing about viewing all issues in terms of “oppressed versus oppressor” or “victims versus victimizers”. And if you are oppressed then you automatically claim virtue. And even all those who identify with you, they also can then claim virtue against the evil of oppressors. Virtue by association.
“This simplistic Marxist dualism is very much a form of base tribalism as even Shellenberger noted in how US military and intelligence agencies/media now propagandize the US population against “populism” with the four basic “frame” ideas, for example, using the frame of “foreign” to tap into primal ingroup/outgroup instincts. The military and intelligence agency propagandists use the smear of “Russian disinformation agent” to discredit any opponents along with other common frame smears- “far right… fascist… Nazi…. Racist…”.
“Shellenberger illustrates how that particular “framing idea” of “foreign” plays on the tribal impulse. It fits the meta-Marxist dualism between oppressed and oppressors, another frame that plays on tribalism.
“This is what we are facing today from the new totalitarianism, not from enemies without, but from within our societies, from the Left/Democrats/Liberals.
“Rubin adds his comments that this helps to understand the leftist/liberal students that are supporting the pro-Palestinian protests that praised Hamas for its savagery. Point? There is no evil that goes too far, that you can’t affirm and praise, because they view Hamas as the virtuous oppressed standing against the evil oppressors- Israel.
“This also explains the collectivist understanding and approach in terms of race- i.e. CRT (Critical Race Theory). You are either oppressed black or oppressor white. No unique individual differences permitted, just one tribe of the “virtuous” against the other “evil” tribe. This is the new “Woke Racism” that black scholar John McWhorter, Douglas Murray (“War on the West”), and others have spoken about. A denial of Martin Luther King’s dream that we should view one another as unique, diverse, and differing individuals, by our character, not by our color.” Wendell Krossa
Here is a fuller presentation of the Shellenberger post that I referred to just above…
Another stunning expose from Michael Shellenberger on the elite attack on populism– “Signs of Military Discipline Behind Counter-Populist Messaging: Over the last seven years, establishment voices have focused on framing their enemies as foreign, crazy, dangerous, and undemocratic”, Dec. 9, 2023.
This report illustrates how thoroughly we are propagandized, manipulated, and outright lied to on a daily basis. Note this especially in regard to the climate alarmism crusade and its salvation scheme of destructive decarbonization that climate cult fanatics push daily through mainstream media (MSN homepage gives me a daily dose).
“Over the last year, we and others have documented the leadership and participation of US military, intelligence, and law enforcement agencies in demanding greater censorship of legal speech online by social media platforms. Over the last two weeks, we have traced the creation of a mass, public-private censorship effort called Cyber Threat Intelligence League (CTIL) to two separate US Department of Defense organizations.
“Adding to this large and growing body of evidence is the fact that there appears to be a limited number of interpretive frameworks used by the US government, NATO, and their allies for characterizing their populist enemies. From the Russia hoax to the Covid lab leak to the recent riots in Ireland, the news media, governments, and leading NGOs have framed populists as foreign, crazy, harmful, and undemocratic.
“It might seem unextraordinary that one side of the political spectrum would frame its opponents around those four negatives. After all, people involved in political life, whether politicians, activists, or journalists, frequently simplify and focus their attacks to significant effect.
“But this limited number of “frames” displays, I believe, a level of message discipline that is uncharacteristic of genuinely grassroots political movements…
“Four Counter-populist Frames, 2016 – 2023
(One of the first images in Getty Images, the stock image company, under the word “populism.” The descriptor words include “racism,” “fake news,” and “alternative facts.”)
“According to UC Berkeley linguist George Lakoff, “Framing is about getting language that fits your worldview. It is not just language. The ideas are primary, and the language carries those ideas, evokes those ideas.” Framing is thus about the broader envelope of meaning, even when the meaning of something is negated, or debunked. Lakoff explains ….
“The word is defined relative to that frame. When we negate a frame, we evoke the frame.
“Many Trump supporters, for example, wonder why so many people still believe Trump was a Russian agent, despite the findings of the Mueller report. Lakoff offers an answer: because the country spent years debating whether or not Trump was a Russian asset. Simply debating something is enough for many people to believe there is some truth in it….
“These interpretative frames come from moral stories. In his 1962 book Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes, Jacques Elull argued that propaganda tapped into pre-existing cultural narratives; the more influential the cultural narrative, the better the propaganda….
“Perhaps the most profound of all four of the counter-populist framings is “foreign.” It is deeply primitive, tapping into “in group/out group” instincts. The power of populism arises from its claim to be authentically of the people. If it can be shown that the “populism” is not genuine because it owes its power to a foreign influence, it loses its power….
“The most frequently used counter-populist frame is “conspiracy theory.…”
“To accuse someone of being a conspiracy theorist is to effectively call them crazy, delusional, and irrational….
“It may be that the establishment blob of military, intelligence, and security organizations concluded between 2016 and 2018 that counter-populism should focus on those four key framings for some other reason. Whatever the case, it’s notable that the four core attacks, foreign, crazy, harmful, and undemocratic are all emotive and distinctive and appeal to both liberal and conservative values and concerns.
“The trouble for the counter-populist framings is the rising success of populist politicians around the world….
“So counter-populists are putting pressure the news media and the social media platforms, particularly X, to censor more….
“In response to those nationalist and populist victories, the news media is labeling those candidates “far right,” and bombarding voters with the message that populist leaders, including and especially Trump, will turn their nations into dictatorships….
“The loss of credibility behind the Russia and conspiracy theory framings may explain why there has of late been greater emphasis by advocates of censorship on “hate speech” and proto-fascism among populist leaders… the Washington Post, New York Times, and every other major publication has recently begun a new cycle of stories claiming that Trump will end democracy as we know it if elected next year….
“There has been a cycle of stories in the news media over the last few weeks calling populist candidates “hard right,” as though that label will move people who weren’t moved by the label “far right” just two years ago…
“Counter-populists thus appear to be stuck on reverse euphemistic treadmill. They keep searching for harsher and meaner language, but it doesn’t work because they have lost the trust of much of the public, and they have exhausted themselves of believably harsh words…. You can only call your opponents racists and fascists so many times before people stop believing it.
“Change is coming. It will happen politically, over the next three years, and it will happen in many other ways, including in the culture, and in major societal institutions. We are overdue for that change, and for sweeping reforms, including ones that rid our military, intelligence, and law enforcement agencies of the individuals who took it upon themselves to impose mass censorship upon, and wage psychological warfare against, the American people.” (end of Shellenberger article)
Good commentary from Free Press today (Dec.11, 2023):
“How to Really Fix American Higher Education: Our universities must return to their original purpose- to seek the truth and give youths the knowledge they need to flourish. Here are four ways to do that”, Bari Weiss,
“The Things I Never Thought Possible- Until October 7: Axel Springer CEO Mathias Dopfner on the many illusions shattered by Hamas’ pogrom and the orgy of antisemitism it inspired”, Mathias Dopfner,
And “The Treason of the Intellectuals: Anyone who has a naïve belief in the power of higher education to instill morality has not studied the history of German universities in the Third Reich”, Niall Ferguson,
The never-dying dream of collectivist utopia, Wendell Krossa
Why does this socialist/Marxist stuff keep resurfacing and infecting public consciousness like a mind virus across our societies? A good history detailing the repetitive resurgence and then inevitable failure of socialism crusades is “Socialism: The failed idea that never dies” by Kristian Niemietz (Amazon blurb: Socialism is strangely impervious to refutation by real-world experience).
My take is that leftists who repeatedly embrace this destructive collectivist approach to shape societies actually believe that they hold the moral high ground because they frame their narrative with the simplistic dualism of “we stand for common or greater good versus the obvious evil of individualism as in Classic Liberalism”. Its an easy leap to distort individualism as being “evil”, all about selfishness and greed (playing on Adam Smith’s “self-interest”). The leftist distortion of “evil” individualism is contrasted against the “righteousness and virtue” of those who promote the greater or common good of all members of a society. Add to the distorting mix of ideas, the socialist’s embrace of the simple dualism of the “virtuous oppressed group versus the evil oppressor group”- a form of primitive tribalism propagandized today in terms of “ideology and history”.
Further, by demonizing the differing other as an existential threat or evil, you delude yourself with a distorted worldview where you can pose yourself as the righteous hero fighting a “noble cause” battle against an intolerable evil that threatens all good, all life, even the world. Add that “existential threat” has to be eliminated as critical to “save the world”. Oh, you are so good.
With bad ideas like the psychopathology of tribal dualism to frame your worldview, the hero’s quest is thereby deformed and produces horrifically destructive outcomes where people view and feel obligated to fight those who differ from their group or tribe, as life-endangering “enemies”.
Useful sources on socialism and the better approach of Classic Liberal protection of individual freedoms and rights- see William Bernstein’s “The Birth of Plenty”, Daniel Hannan’s “Inventing Freedom”, Joshua Muravchik’s “Heaven on Earth”, David Boaz’s “Libertarianism: A Primer”, and similar works.
Several centuries of outcomes have made clear that protecting individual freedom and rights (i.e. property, contracts) has resulted in stunning improvement of life for most people (greater/common good) while collectivist approaches have inevitably ruined greater or common good. Venezuela is the latest example in the history of socialist failures.
Utopian dreamers excuse each failure of socialism as “not true socialism” and claim they just need another chance to prove their approach is best for organizing human societies despite the historical record of an endless series of failures. As Niemietz says, socialists never state just how they would do things differently to actually make their system work.
The revival of a simple-minded tribal dualism in resurging Marxism (oppressed versus oppressor) incites the base tribal impulse in people. That is playing with a dangerous fire that has repeatedly ignited this most destructive impulse- the tribal impulse that is at the root of so much hate, division, vengeance, and violence against differing others.
How to counter the tribal impulse and related validating ideas? See comment below on the fundamental oneness of humanity (“Mitochondrial Eve” hypothesis), the fundamental oneness of quantum entanglement, and the oneness insights from spiritual traditions. Our oneness is more fundamental to our identity than any of the common tribal factors that many appeal to for shaping identity- race/ethnicity, nationality, religious, ideological, or other identity markers.
Insert: Here is a fascinating explanation of entropy from a physicist, “The most misunderstood concept in physics”, Veritasium. His explanation includes the fact that all the energy coming into our planet from the sun (solar) must eventually return back to space (this is essential to the climate issue). And then giving the positive spin to entropy- he notes how the sun’s energy when dispersed (entropy) and used by life- that “spreading out” of more “clumped” solar energy enables life to emerge, develop, and grow. Further, all energy from the sun is converted into thermal energy and then all radiates back to space.
Does a fundamental human ideal like forgiveness have any place in the wake of outbreaks of evil? Wendell Krossa
Certainly not at the beginning of recovery phases, right after eruptions of savagery against victims. And for some victims, forgiveness will never be a serious consideration as the trauma was just too intense and overwhelming. For others, they feel that they must wrestle with forgiveness eventually as fundamental to their worldviews and meaning. Like Holocaust survivor Simon Wiesenthal in “Justice, Not Vengeance” and “The Sunflower: On the possibilities and limits of forgiveness”.
Helpful points from varied sources:
Forgiveness is not so much about feelings toward offenders where outrage at evil is the natural response. Engaging some form of forgiveness is more for oneself- for one’s own sanity.
A mental gimmick? No, its something more than that.
Insights from others wrestling with forgiveness after suffering the horror of violence from offenders:
One example of forgiveness that burned into my consciousness was the mother in Bill Moyer’s documentary on the “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” in South Africa. The child of one African mother in the documentary had been shot in the back and killed when fleeing a demonstration. Police officers charged with that offense had to appear before the Commission and acknowledge responsibility if they wished to avoid imprisonment. The mother desperately wanted to hear the police officer involved in her child’s death admit some responsibility and remorse. But the officer did what the Nazis did at Nuremburg, stating that he had only been following the orders of superiors. On hearing that cowardly dodge, the disappointed mother turned to the camera at the back of the room and wailed loudly, “We know that God wants us to forgive. But its so hard”.
Another man, understanding that forgiveness was more about maintaining his own sanity and not about rapprochement with the offender, said after the trial for the man who brutally murdered his daughter, “I know my daughter is in a better place now and she would not want me to ruin the rest of my life with hate and bitterness and thereby ruin the lives of our other children. So I chose to forgive in order to free myself from darkness and to be something better for my family”.
Another mother of a murdered child said that she did not want the offender to receive the death sentence because that would only cause additional suffering to that offender’s mother. She did not want to add more misery to others in addition to what she had experienced from the loss of her son.
In all such accounts we see the exceptional courage that it takes (true heroism) to exhibit the mature humanity that will initiate a break in cycles of retaliatory vengeance and eye for eye violence. Like Mandela setting aside feelings of hatred as he left prison to work for an inclusive South Africa.
On such issues as forgiveness, the rest of us do well to shut up, keep our advice to ourselves, and listen to victims and their families. Forgiveness is a very nuanced and diverse thing.
The revolting hypocrisy of Net Zero elites and fanatics
“More than 90,000 flocked to Dubai to preach about climate change… But the truth is the race to Net Zero is slowing to a crawl” by Andrew Neil, Daily Mail, Dec. 9, 2023
And this from Bjorn Lomborg- I am not affirming Lomborg’s overall position that we must do something to lessen CO2 emissions as he believes they are responsible for climate change and that climate change is a threat that must be dealt with. Such is a weakness in his otherwise good points on policies and costs. He needs to go sit at the feet of Richard Lindzen, William Happer and other atmospheric physicists and get the physics of CO2 clear. That will help him to understand that there is no good scientific reason to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies because there is no climate crisis that must be responded to with ruinous decarbonization.
“Bjorn Lomborg: Net zero is not the answer to climate change”, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Dec. 8, 2023
“The spectacle of another annual climate conference is ongoing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) until Dec. 12. Like Kabuki theater, performative set pieces lead from one to the other: politicians and celebrities arrive by private jets; speakers predict imminent doom; hectoring nongovernmental organizations cast blame; political negotiations become fraught and inevitably go overtime; and finally: the signing of a new agreement that participants hope and pretend will make a difference…
“Almost every rich country preaches far more than it delivers… Meanwhile, almost every poor country understandably prioritizes prosperity, which means abundant, cheap, and reliable energy—which still means fossil fuels.
“Underpinning the climate summit farce is one big lie repeated over and over: that green energy is on the precipice of replacing fossil fuels in every aspect of our lives…
“The claim ignores the fact that any transition away from fossil fuels is occurring only with enormous taxpayer-funded subsidies…
“In most public conversations, climate change costs are vastly exaggerated. Just consider how every heat wave is depicted as an end-of-the-world, cataclysmic killer, while the far greater reductions in deaths from warmer winters pass without being remarked on. Yet the costs of climate policy are bizarrely ignored…
“Climate activists, who insist we should listen to the science, have consistently ignored this research and encouraged rich world leaders to make ever-greater climate promises. Many leaders have even gone so far as to promise net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
“Despite this likely being the single costliest policy ever promised by world leaders, it was made without a single peer-reviewed estimate of the full costs… By 2050, the annual costs of the policy range between $10 and $43 trillion. That’s 4 to 18 percent of global GDP.” (end of Lomborg article)
This from the best on climate science- atmospheric physicist Richard Lindzen in “Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup number 579, The Week That Was, 2023-12-09, The Science and Environment Policy Project,”
Quotes from linked article:
“Jan Jekielek of the Epoch Times begins his interview of atmospheric physicist Richard Lindzen by asking is the science settled? Lindzen response and the beginning follow up discussion: ‘Lindzen: “Of course not. The minute you hear that the science is settled, you know something is wrong, because science is never settled. When you claim it’s settled, you want to shut off all disagreement…
“Mr. Jekielek: You said that science is one of the few words that when you add the word, “the,” in front of it, it means the exact opposite.
“Mr. Lindzen: Science is a mode of inquiry. “The science,” is science as authority. Political figures, people not in science, have often noticed that science has a certain authority with the public and they want to co-opt it, so they bring in the term, the science, which is how they view science. But that isn’t what science is. Science is always open to questioning. Science depends on questions and depends on being wrong. When you say science cannot be wrong, you’ve choked off science….
“Mr. Lindzen: Climate is a complex subject. We treat it in the press as though it’s one number, and that’s what climate is. But before this issue, climate science was primarily to understand the Earth’s climate at present….
“We have dozens of climate regimes on the earth right now, not one, and they all behave somewhat differently. The notion that there is one number, a temperature of the earth that they all work in lockstep with, is absurd.
Lindzen then comments on the taking of temperature readings from stations all over the planet and the data from that.
“The data itself says that at any given point, almost as many stations are cooling as they are warming.
“That is saying that it’s not telling you about any place, which is consistent with the fact that we have many climates…. Then you smooth it out because you don’t want to show the wiggles each year. But if you don’t have the wiggles, you don’t know what’s called the variance, which is about 0.4 degrees, which means anytime the media bloviates about a 0.1-degree increase, they’re talking about an insignificant increase.
“The whole issue at that level depends on a public that is utterly innumerate [numerically illiterate] and cannot read a graph. Unfortunately, when it comes to most politicians, I think that’s correct. I’ve occasionally watched a Senate hearing and somebody comes, Al Gore was often doing this when he was in the Senate and shows a graph. I thought, “Maybe he’s trying to point something out because the graph didn’t look right.”
“No, he wasn’t doing that at all. He was showing his colleagues he had a graph as if to say, “Don’t screw around with me.” It wasn’t that this was information. Coupled with ad infinitum repetition, a la Goebbels, and coupled with the media repeating this, most people just can’t deal with it. They assume this can’t happen unless there’s really something there, but there isn’t….
“Mr. Lindzen: It is true there is a greenhouse effect. It is due primarily to water vapor and clouds. CO2, methane, and nitrous oxide are minor, minor constituents. Roughly speaking, if all other things are kept constant and you double CO2, you would get a little under one degree of warming….
“There’s the underlying assumption that nature will take whatever we do and make it worse. That is kind of an odd assumption, and there’s no basis for it…
“They said, “Three degrees could be something serious.” The trouble is with the change in the warming of the last 150 years or so, there’s no resemblance to the changes during the major change. What happened during the major changes was that the temperature difference between the tropics and the pole, in the case of the last glacial maximum, increased by 20 degrees Celsius [C]. During the warm period, it decreased by 20 degrees [C]. Today, it’s about 40. It [the difference between the tropics and the poles] was 20 during the warm and was about 60 during the glacial period. Of course, that gave a large change in the [statistical] mean.
“During those periods, the tropics remained almost constant….
“They forget that CO2 is essential. We’re treating it as a poison. Most people believe the narrative, and they also believe CO2 is dangerous. For instance, the concentration of CO2 in your mouth is about 40,000 parts per million, as opposed to 400 outside. 5,000 is permitted on a space station.
“It’s hardly a poison, but worse than that, it’s actually essential. If you could get rid of 60 percent of the CO2, we would all be dead. It is very strange to call it a pollutant. It’s essential for plant life, and it’s the basis for photosynthesis. Yet, because it is the inevitable product of fossil fuel burning and the energy sector, it is being attacked….
“In discussing Africa and parts of Asia Mr Jekielek asks.: “Are they suffering from policies forced on them by these large institutions that prevent them from developing reliable energy sources?” Lindzen responds:
“Sure, these are people who don’t have access to modern electricity. They are being told they should be frozen in that state. Over much of Africa, people are depending on burning dung for fuel, which is much more polluting. I was just shocked when the World Bank refused financing for a hospital in the Congo unless it used renewable energy. I was thinking, ‘Who of these idiots would want to be operated on in a hospital running on solar or wind?’”
“In discussing the subject of science, Lindzen states:
“I have neighbors here in Newton [Mass]. They are educated people and they’re not stupid. They have lawn signs saying, ‘We believe in science.’ Science isn’t a belief structure. It isn’t a cult, and it isn’t a religion. But they have that sign and they’re totally unaware of how stupid that sign is.
“I have one fairly eccentric view, which is that I object to science education in elementary school, because it is usually just facts about science. It starts kids off with the wrong idea of what science is. You have to be ready for science. The scientific revolution was a revolution. It is the notion that you confirm things with data and you check things. The whole notion that a theory could have 100 correct predictions, but if it has one incorrect one, there is something wrong with the theory, goes against a lot of human thinking. That theory required a certain discipline.”
(End of Lindzen interview)
The first honest common-sense comment to come out of the annual COP gatherings to vent apocalyptic lunacy.
COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber stated, “I am not in any way signing up to any discussion that is alarmist. There is no science out there, or no scenario out there, that says the phase-out of fossil fuel is what is going to achieve 1.5 C… Please help me, show me the roadmap for a phase-out of fossil fuel that will allow for sustainable socioeconomic development, unless you want to take the world back into caves”.
After an eruption of outrage from apocalyptic prophets at the gathering, Al Jaber tried to back away from his initial jabbering.
Again, to make the most basic conclusion re climate- There is no rational scientific evidence for taxing carbon or decarbonizing our societies. Decarbonization is the irrational salvation scheme in response to a life-distorting apocalyptic narrative. Decarbonization is the same old outcome of “destroy the world to save the world” that has been the result of all apocalyptic madness movements. Look at Sri Lanka for another recent example of such madness.
Also tackle the mythical psychopathology in climate alarmism- the primitive themes of “lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption” that shape the climate alarmism narrative. That pathology includes the primitive myths of (1) a better past, (2) bad humans ruined the paradise so they must be punished with an apocalypse, and (3) life is declining toward something worse since the ruin of paradise. Now (4) humanity must make a sacrifice (decarbonize) and purge some evil threat (CO2 is the assigned marker for human corruption in industrial society). Then the “saved true believers” can regain their lost paradise or install a new collectivist utopia. The same old pathology as ever before.
Another illustration of how the alarmist’s schemes to “save the world” destroy the world, Wendell Krossa (much like Sri Lanka’s destruction of its agriculture and economy, and similar projects proposed for Ireland’s cattle, Dutch farms, and Canadian agriculture)
The panicked hysteria of apocalyptic movements has caused repeated episodes of destruction. Fear-possessed minds quickly succumb to irrationality and that often descends into full-frontal lunacy and affirms Mendel’s statement that apocalyptic is the most violent and destructive idea in history. Below is Worral’s response to a very dim idea…
“The Deadly Geo-engineering Idea which Refuses to Die”, Essay by Eric Worrall Dec. 7, 2023
“According to a 2018 study any benefits of solar engineering would be cancelled by the harm caused to plants by reduced sunlight.
“Greens seem to have an obsession with dimming the sun, otherwise known as starving plants of sunlight and stripping away our disease resistance.
Worral first offers the report of the dimsters…
“Why dimming the Sun would be an effective tool in the fight against climate change”, Peter Irvine Lecturer in Earth Sciences, UCL
“It’s becoming increasingly clear that we will fail to meet our climate goals. We were already at 1.26 degree C of warming in 2022 and are on track to blow through 1.5 degree C in the mid-2030s. Research even suggests that current climate policy will lead to more than 2.5 degree C of warming by the end of this century.
“Warming of this magnitude would devastate vulnerable communities and ecosystems around the world. It’s time we consider something radically new that could stop climate change in its tracks.
“After powerful volcanic eruptions, like Tambora (Indonesia) in 1815 and Pinatubo (Philippines) in 1991, global temperatures dip for a few years. Major eruptions create a hazy layer of microscopic particles in the upper atmosphere that last for several years, dimming the Sun temporarily. We could copy this effect to fight climate change.” (end of dimmer’s report)
“I don’t get how educated people can convince themselves deliberately dimming the sun is a good idea, when there is an abundance of evidence that it would be a very bad idea.
“Last time the sun was dimmed significantly by a series of major volcanic eruptions, the Eastern Roman Empire almost failed. The dimming of the sun during the dark ages had multiple severe adverse consequences for human health.”
Worral includes this research report…
“Volcanic dust veils from sixth century tree-ring isotopes linked to reduced irradiance, primary production and human health: Varied authors, Scientific Reports volume 8, Article number: 1339 (2018):
“The large volcanic eruptions of AD 536 and 540 led to climate cooling and contributed to hardships of Late Antiquity societies throughout Eurasia, and triggered a major environmental event in the historical Roman Empire. Our set of stable carbon isotope records from subfossil tree rings demonstrates a strong negative excursion in AD 536 and 541–544. Modern data from these sites show that carbon isotope variations are driven by solar radiation. A model based on sixth century isotopes reconstruct an irradiance anomaly for AD 536 and 541–544 of nearly three standard deviations below the mean value based on modern data.
“This anomaly can be explained by a volcanic dust veil reducing solar radiation and thus primary production threatening food security over a multitude of years. We offer a hypothesis that persistently low irradiance contributed to remarkably simultaneous outbreaks of famine and Justinian plague in the eastern Roman Empire with adverse effects on crop production and photosynthesis of the vitamin D in human skin and thus, collectively, human health. Our results provide a hitherto unstudied proxy for exploring the mechanisms of ‘volcanic summers’ to demonstrate the post-eruption deficiencies in sunlight and to explain the human consequences during such calamity years. (end of report)
“Quite apart from the starvation caused by reduced crop yields, reduced metabolic availability of Vitamin D in today’s world would be a big problem. Vitamin D is a major contributor to immune resistance to influenza and Covid, people who don’t receive enough Vitamin D are more likely to require emergency medical assistance.”
He then includes another report…
“Does vitamin D deficiency increase the severity of COVID-19
“The severity of coronavirus 2019 infection (COVID-19) is determined by the presence of pneumonia, severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (SARS-CoV-2), myocarditis, microvascular thrombosis and/or cytokine storms, all of which involve underlying inflammation. A principal defence against uncontrolled inflammation, and against viral infection in general, is provided by T regulatory lymphocytes (Tregs). Treg levels have been reported to be low in many COVID-19 patients and can be increased by vitamin D supplementation.
“Low vitamin D levels have been associated with an increase in inflammatory cytokines and a significantly increased risk of pneumonia and viral upper respiratory tract infections. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increase in thrombotic episodes, which are frequently observed in COVID-19. Vitamin D deficiency has been found to occur more frequently in patients with obesity and diabetes. These conditions are reported to carry a higher mortality in COVID-19. If vitamin D does in fact reduce the severity of COVID-19 in regard to pneumonia/ARDS, inflammation, inflammatory cytokines and thrombosis, it is our opinion that supplements would offer a relatively easy option to decrease the impact of the pandemic.” (end of report)
“We also have evidence from modern times that volcanic eruptions impact crop yields. He includes another report…
“Estimating global agricultural effects of geoengineering using volcanic eruptions
“Solar radiation management is increasingly considered to be an option for managing global temperatures, yet the economic effects of ameliorating climatic changes by scattering sunlight back to space remain largely unknown. Although solar radiation management may increase crop yields by reducing heat stress4, the effects of concomitant changes in available sunlight have never been empirically estimated. Here we use the volcanic eruptions that inspired modern solar radiation management proposals as natural experiments to provide the first estimates, to our knowledge, of how the stratospheric sulfate aerosols created by the eruptions of El Chichón and Mount Pinatubo altered the quantity and quality of global sunlight, and how these changes in sunlight affected global crop yields.
“We find that the sunlight-mediated effect of stratospheric sulfate aerosols on yields is negative for both C4 (maize) and C3 (soy, rice, and wheat) crops. Applying our yield model to a solar radiation management scenario based on stratospheric sulfate aerosols, we find that projected mid-twenty-first century damages due to scattering sunlight caused by solar radiation management are roughly equal in magnitude to benefits from cooling. This suggests that solar radiation management—if deployed using stratospheric sulfate aerosols similar to those emitted by the volcanic eruptions it seeks to mimic—would, on net, attenuate little of the global agricultural damage from climate change. Our approach could be extended to study the effects of solar radiation management on other global systems, such as human health or ecosystem function.” (end of report)
“Why do learned people keep cheerleading this crazy geoengineering idea, when the risks so obviously outweigh any possible benefits?
“The rationale for geoengineering is that a few degrees of warming will have adverse consequences on food availability, which would justify taking these kinds of risks.
“But farming is simply not that sensitive to temperature.
“Take Maine potatoes. Potatoes are grown in Maine, a place not known for its tropical weather, but they also grow well in subtropical Bundaberg, a major food producing region in Australia. The only adjustment Aussie farmers applied to grow cold weather food crops in a tropical climate like Bundaberg, is extreme early planting – they plant the potatoes in Fall. The potatoes don’t know our mild tropical winters are actually winter, so they grow vigorously throughout the winter months, and are ready to harvest by Spring, before the tropical Summer heat withers and kills them.
“My point is very few plants have such a narrow range that a few degrees of warming would impact yields. Cooling can be a problem, in marginal Northern agricultural regions cooler weather can shorten the growing season to such an extent that crops do not mature in time, but warming is much easier to accommodate. If the climate warms, farmers will simply plant their crops a little earlier in the season, maintaining the optimal temperature range for their growing cycle, or they will switch to other crops if the warming is sufficient that new and more profitable crops become viable.
“Global warming, even if it continues, will not negatively impact food availability.
“The abundance of evidence that solar geoengineering on any kind of scale would have dire health consequences, and is not justified by any genuine risk to our food supply, should rule out this foolish idea for vandalising our global climate.” (end of Worral article)
Glen Greenwald and others have noted that AI is programmed with a built-in bias toward climate alarmism and other Progressive ideological positions and against contrary information. So also the algorithms of Google, and the other big Tech and Social media forums share the same bias. Here Charles Rotter tries to hold ChatGPT to some neutrality on how much humans actually contribute to annual CO2 emissions.
Cornering ChatGPT into an Honest Answer on the Carbon Cycle Dec.6, 2023, Charles Rotter
One of our readers, Christian, sent this message.
“Various sources (including WUWT) claim that the human emission of CO2 amounts to only 4%. The resting 96% coming from nature itself.
“I must admit that I found it hard to believe. In my opinion this would be a complete bombshell blow to the “normal” climate science.
“So, I asked our good friend AI (ChatGPT) about that. He/She/it responded forcefully NO. It claimed that we humans were responsible for 75%.” Christian
“(Rotter) I wrote a response explaining the issue.
“Yes, humans only perturb the carbon cycle by 4%. Or emit 4% compared to natural emissions. The consensus believes that without human contribution, the system was in balance of emissions and sinks, and would have remained stable. The claim is that the extra 4% has accumulated over the years.
“Annually, human activities emit over 30 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.
“Natural Emissions: The natural carbon cycle involves the absorption and release of CO2 by oceans, plants, soil, and animals.
“Natural sources of CO2 include things like respiration, decomposition, and ocean release.
Natural sinks, which absorb CO2, include plant growth and ocean absorption.”
ChatGPT persistently tried to exaggerate the size of the human contribution to Earth’s carbon cycle.
Rotter pushed ChatGPT to be honest about the size of the human contribution to the carbon cycle:
ChatGPT eventually admitted- “Anthropogenic emissions account for about 3.9% of the total CO2 moving through the carbon cycle each year (29 Gt out of 750 Gt). The remaining 96.1% is related to the natural carbon cycle.”
As the writer Christian said- This is a complete blow to the climate alarmism narrative. (end of Rotter article)
Arguments for banishing the “evil triad” from human narratives and existence, Wendell Krossa
This site argues that an “evil triad” of impulses and ideas are at the very root of some of the most serious problems of humanity. This site further argues that the evil triad ideas are fundamentally mythical/religious themes.
Main themes of the triad:
(1) Gods as tribal deities, (2) Gods as lords, kings, rulers, and (3) Gods as ultimate judges meting out punitive destruction of offenders/enemies. These features were projected onto and embedded in early deities that, revered as ultimate realities and authorities, consequently epitomized such ideals in human consciousness. Those ultimate ideals then validated the related impulses in people to tribalism, domination, and punitive destruction of differing others. That sums up much of the “human problem” right there- i.e. bad ideas influencing human thought, emotion, motivation, and response/behavior toward bad outcomes.
The evil triad wrapped itself in the larger complex of “lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption” mythologies.
The evil triad and its larger complex of validating ideas then descended down through history following the route from primitive mythology to become embedded in the great world religions. Those themes were then transformed into Declinism ideology in the 19th Century to continue infecting and deforming modern narratives and consciousness. The same themes continue to dominate today in diverse “secular/ideological” versions, even “scientific” versions. And they continue to wreak horrific damage as in the salvation/redemption scheme (“save the world”) of “Net Zero decarbonization” as well as in never-ending eruptions of more obviously religiously-motivated violence (ISIS/Hamas).
How to counter and correct this triad of evil? First, confront and transform the God at the core of the mess. Throw away the old deity that embodies the triad, throw him out as irredeemable. No salvation plan for him. And then put a new God in the place of that old deity, an entirely new one. A God defined by one essential and narrative-transforming feature- unconditional love. That changes everything else in the buttressing complexes of ideas. And unconditional deity also consequently transforms the ethics that are based on the idea. The behavior that is based on the belief.
Again- overturning and transforming God theory (theology) with the cohering central feature of unconditional potently transforms human consciousness, emotions, motivations, and consequent responses/behavior, entirely.
The ethical outcomes from the new ideal are best expressed via Classic Liberal ideals, institutions, principles, and practises. Sources: Daniel Hannan’s “Inventing Freedom”, William Bernstein’s “Birth of Plenty”, and similar accounts that present the fundamental ideas and practises of Western civilization that have best enabled people to express the human creativity, compassion, and innovation that has resulted in the highly improved human condition of our world today.
First, unconditional as the ultimate ideal, the cohering center of a new narrative, acts potently to counter tribalism by orienting us toward the mature humanity of the Classic Liberal inclusion of all, the recognition of the universal equality of all people that is based on fundamental realities like the shared oneness of all humanity (i.e. the fact that all humans on Earth today have descended from the same mother- “Mitochondrial Eve”).
The affirmation of humanity’s oneness means there should be no discriminating exclusion of anyone. All get the same protected rights and freedoms, protected by laws and institutions oriented to affirming human oneness against the simplistic exclusionary tribal dualism of Marxist “oppressed versus oppressors”.
An unconditional ideal also expresses in no totalitarian domination or control of others. It urges, rather, the respect and protection of the freedom of all to self-determination as in freedom of diverse opinions and speech, freedom to live diverse and unique life stories, and similar related individual freedoms. This is about freedoms and rights as against the ever-lusting impulse of collectivist elites to dominate others.
And unconditional will encourage us to reshape our relations with imperfect people all around us by engaging restorative justice approaches to human failure, not responding with the punitive retaliatory punishment of human failure that only perpetuates endless :eye for eye” cycles (harm for harm, hurt for hurt, punishment for punishment).
With unconditional ideals and related behaviors, we are embracing true liberation in authentic liberalism. Liberation from the worst of bad ideas that have dominated our narratives and deformed our consciousness for millennia, both in their religious and secular versions. And with that liberation of thought, that liberation from bad ideas or ideals, you then get liberation from the impulses that those bad ideas have incited and validated. Liberation from the impulses to tribalism, domination, and punitive destruction.
That’s a really big deal at the personal and societal levels.
A small village of farmers transforms China from disastrous collectivism to private property success
“Xiaogang: How a Village Went Forward While China Went Back, Paul Meany, Dec. 8, 2023 at Libertarianism.org
“Mao’s “Great Leap Forward” caused widespread famines. The small village of Xiaogang had suffered enough under communist principles, so residents decided to implement private property—and the results of this experiment changed the whole nation of China.
“In 1981, 88 percent of the Chinese population lived in extreme poverty. Today, this figure is less than one percent. In a country composed of nearly 1.5 billion people, that means hundreds of millions of people became more prosperous than ever over about four decades…
“Classical liberals and libertarians have observed throughout history that cities are disproportionately the centers of technological and economic development. However, for every rule, there is an exception. The rural village of Xiaogang in China, though small, is that exception: one that transformed not only China’s economy but, inadvertently, the whole globe’s.
“The Great Leap Forward and Mass Starvation
“A devout advocate of communism, Mao Zedong implemented a state-run economy. Bureaucrats decided what workers produced, who to hire or lay off, how much to invest, and what workers were paid. State-owned enterprises, where the only “enterprise” to be found was in the name, were dead weight on the economy and chronically underperformed….
“The Great Leap Forward was a large-scale social and economic campaign initiated by the Chinese Communist Party in 1958 to rapidly transform China from an agrarian to a socialist society through industrialization and subsequent collectivization… Historians estimate tens of millions died from starvation through mismanagement by the state during this period.
“… Xiaogang’s villagers drafted the blueprints for China’s meteoric rise.
“Xiaogang Goes Rogue…
“In the winter of 1978, in the province of Anhui, the impoverished villagers of Xiaogang gathered together for a group meeting about their future survival. Recent harvests under collectivization were yielding worse and worse results. The villagers decided that rather than farming as a collective, each family would tend to their own plot of land, keeping the fruits of their labor…
“With villagers now autonomous, and responsible for their individual profits and losses, Xiaogang quickly became successful, producing a greatly increased crop only a year after the secret agreement was made. Understanding the plight of farmers, local state officials stayed quiet and allowed Xiaogang to continue. Though kept a secret, the example of Xiaogang spread, and other villages encountered similar successes. The peripheries of China were experimenting with the cornerstone of the future market economy: private property.
“…. Private property proved to be an economic tonic worth every drop. State officials began to notice marked improvements from what were formerly the poorest areas. The Chinese government softened its policy, admitting that markets and private property would be necessary to a prosperous, modernized China.
“….. Villages like Xiaogang rediscovered the benefits of private property. Farmers could make their own decisions and for the first time in decades their potential was unleashed….
“Xiaogang is evidence that prosperity does not come from state action, but rather arises out of the humble efforts of everyday people to make the world a better place. World history is shaped by great political leaders and powers but Xiaogang also shows us how unlikely people can find themselves at the head of a quiet revolution.” (end of article)
Another good update on the struggle against the new emerging totalitarianism, the attack on freedom coming from within our societies- “Censorship Industrial Complex leaders were also behind Trump-Russia Collusion hoax: We’ve identified multiple connections between the people in CTIL censorship initiative and those who promoted counter-populist conspiracy theories”, Alex Gutentag on Public at Substack, Dec.15, 2023
It’s the Narrative, Stupid! Robert D. Brinsmead (11/12/2023)
Movements which bind large numbers of humans together in support of a common cause are based on a narrative that captures the human imagination (See Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens – A Brief History of Humankind).
The Climate Emergency movement is an illustration of the power of a narrative. The mass of people caught up into believing there is a climate emergency are not driven by any clear understanding of the complexities, much less the uncertainties of climate science. They are driven by a very basic narrative that goes something like this: Human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) – mostly caused by burning fossil fuel – are a pollutant which is overheating the earth and causing a climate emergency.
The reason why this climate alarmist movement has been so successful is because its proponents take every opportunity to repeat this narrative and remind the public of the urgent need to reduce its carbon emissions. Some highly credentialled scientists now express the view that this narrative embodies the greatest scientific delusion in human history. If the central thesis of this narrative is a Goebel-size Big Lie, it has become widely believed on account of its being endlessly repeated.
One fact is certain: if a government is needed to control carbon emissions, it will have to be a centralised regime that controls almost every aspect of human existence – what we can eat, what we can drive, how much we can travel, and in the end, what we can think or say on social platforms.
The only way to effectively counter this narrative is to propose a better one. A mass of scientific data and arguments will not change the public perception that CO2 is a dangerous pollutant. What is required in this battle for the mind is a clear and convincing narrative about the benefits of having more CO2 rather than less.
This counter narrative is suggested by the basic facts of photosynthesis. Plants draw in CO2 from the atmosphere, breathe out the oxygen, then in a process using sunlight, plants use the carbon as food to grow and flourish. In this way, plants use CO2 to green the earth and to provide food for all creatures great and small.
Before CO2 began to be demonized as a pollutant, these basic facts about photosynthesis used to be taught to children at school.
The facts about photosynthesis suggest a counter narrative along these lines: CO2 is the food plants use to green the earth and give us food to eat as well as oxygen to breathe. More CO2 means a greener earth and more food for humans as well as beasts. CO2 is therefore vital for the health and well-being of the earth.
Such a narrative, based on the facts of photosynthesis, was the substance of the 1998 Oregon Petition drawn up by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine and signed by 32,000 scientists to protest the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. Unfortunately, the Oregon Petition was never seriously considered, but was buried by an avalanche of ad hominin attacks, misinformation, de-platforming, and threats to the reputation and academic careers of anyone who dared support it.
Not to be silenced, Freeman Dyson (1923 – 2020) was a Princeton physicist who never ceased to champion the narrative that more CO2 would far outweigh any possible harmful effects. Being a scientist of legendary stature, Dyson was impossible to silence. He lived to see a group of highly credentialled scientists form the CO2 Coalition to challenge the narrative which demonises CO2 as a dangerous pollutant. The group included such names as Richard Lindzen PhD. (Atmospheric Physicist), William Happer PhD. (Physicist), Gregory Wrightstone PhD. (Geologist), Patrick Moore PhD. (Ecologist) and John Clauser PhD (winner of the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics).
As its name indicates, the CO2 Coalition publishes papers and articles to defend CO2 as a natural, non-toxic gas which is highly beneficial. Among other things, the coalition has delved into the geological record of the earth to show that in past ages, such as the Cambrian and Jurassic periods, atmospheric CO2 levels were many times higher than they are today, yet life proliferated and the earth flourished when CO2 levels were so much higher than they are now. Rather than the present CO2 levels being too high, the geological record indicates that CO2 levels are now at levels where plants are impoverished.
This is now being proved every day by horticulturists who raise the CO2 levels in their indoor greenhouses 2.5 times and raise plant productivity by 40%. The CO2 Coalition reports on hundreds of other experiments which prove that raising CO2 levels raises the growth and productivity of plants. More CO2 also means that plants can survive with less water and endure harsher conditions. These are enormous environmental advantages. (see also “co2science.org” for hundreds of studies on CO2)
The CO2 Coalition keeps its narrative about the benefits of more CO2 out front and central even when it reviews complex scientific data. Greg Wrightstone’s book, Inconvenient Facts, deserves its ranking as an Amazon top seller in the climate debate. In all the detail of his 145-page book, this author succeeds in keeping the basic facts understandable and the narrative about the benefits of more CO2 central.
This good news narrative about the benefits of CO2 means that there is no need to reduce our standard of living, turn off our air conditioners, cease travelling by plane, stop eating meat or putting up with a government controlling almost every aspect of our existence under the pretext of controlling carbon.
There has never been a time on earth when so many people have lived longer, been better fed, housed, educated, entertained, or enjoyed the bounties of earth as much as now. Are we ready to trade all this in for massive government meddling to reduce our CO2 emissions that don’t need reducing? If CO2 levels were reduced to pre-industrial levels of 280 ppm, that would decrease world food production by around 15% – enough to starve a billion people.
As the great optimist Julian Simon put it when the dark clouds of climate alarmism were beginning to gather some 40 years ago: “We – humanity – should be throwing ourselves the party to outdo all the parties, a combination graduation-wedding-birthday-all rites-of passage party, to mark our emergence from a death-dominated world of raw-material scarcity. Sing, dance, be merry – and work. But instead, we see gloomy faces. They are spoilsports, and they have bad effects. The spoilsports accuse our generations of having a party – at the expense of generations to come. But it is those who use the government to their own advantage who are having a party at the expense of others – the bureaucrats, the grants-grabbers, the subsidy-looters. Don’t let them spoil our merry day,” The Ultimate Resource, page 408.
Unfortunately, there are those who reject any climate emergency, but they are not yet ready to embrace the liberating narrative about the benefits of more CO2. They still think that present CO2 levels are a problem which needs to be addressed, but in ways that will neither damage our standard of living nor hurt the environment. This finds them stuck between a rock and a hard place. They still have one foot firmly stuck in the camp which demonizes the gas of life which enables plants to feed the world and green the earth. To say with the CO2 Coalition, “We need more CO2 rather than less,” is a step too far them. This leaves them without a winning narrative. (End of Brinsmead article)
It’s the narrative, Stupid!
Bob Brinsmead is an Australian horticulturist and freelance writer.
My added points to Bob’s argument:
CO2 is not a danger to life but is the very basis of life and currently in our ice age era CO2 has been in short supply. When CO2 was in the thousands of ppm over the past, life flourished. Just 30,000 years ago plant life was gasping for CO2 and almost died when CO2 levels dipped to 185 ppm, just above the 150 ppm where all plant life dies. CO2 levels have now recovered slightly but are still far too short of optimal conditions for plant life.
Add here the fact that with today’s healthier levels of CO2 (i.e. 420 ppm) Earth has grown 15% more green vegetation just since 1980 (about 30% more since 1900).
And there is no danger from CO2’s warming influence as that influence has already become “saturated” (a physics term) and more CO2 won’t contribute much more to any possible further warming. We need much more warming in a world where 10 times more people die every year from cold than die from warmth (Lancet study).
We need the 3-6 degrees C more warming that was the more optimal temperature over the past Phanerozoic history of life (“The mammalian paradise”). Not to worry with such warmer temperatures as the tropical oceans won’t boil because the incoming heat is distributed to the colder areas of the world to bring life-saving warmth and give more diverse life forms extended habitats. Just as the warmer tropics have the greatest diversity of life now. Most life prefers warmer climate just as most people vacation in warmer areas, not colder areas.
Much more CO2 and much warmer temperatures would be a major net benefit to all life. Evidence at good sources affirms these facts.
Sources- co2coalition.org, Wattsupwiththat.com, etc.
We humans live primarily by story not by factual evidence. Hence, two people can look at, for example, climate and see entirely opposite realities. Why such opposite views? Because we look at life through the viewfinder of our narratives, our stories.
One looks, through the lens of climate models, and sees the end of the world, with a planet suffering apocalyptic collapse and ending, oceans “boiling”, planet on fire.
Another sees a century of slight warming as Earth emerges naturally from the coldest period of our Holocene interglacial- the Little Ice Age of 1645-1715. Warming that saves far more lives every year from cold mortality than lives that are lost to warming mortalities in a world where still 10 times more people die from cold every year than die from warmth.
Facts: 116,000 more heat deaths every year, but 283,000 fewer cold deaths. For 166,000 fewer temperature-related deaths. So even more warming will benefit us with far less cold deaths. Net beneficial is what matters. Where are media on this huge benefit from global warming?
Good one from Zaid Jilani and Alex Gutentag at Public on Substack, “Years of Planning Behind Democrats’ Turn Against Democracy”, Dec. 20, 2023
“War on Trump shows that the most dangerous people are often those who consider themselves incapable of evil”
“The Colorado Supreme Court has ruled that former president Donald J. Trump cannot be on the 2024 primary ballot in the state….
“Public has extensively reported on Democrat-supported efforts to censor political dissent under the guise of protecting democracy leading up to the 2020 election….
“TIP also anticipated that unrest in the event of a Trump win would help Biden, and suggested in parts of the exercise that the Biden campaign should organize protests across the country and should take advantage of Black Lives Matter protests….
“This exercise generated plans to prevent Trump from taking office, and revealed Democrats’ willingness to subvert the democratic process. Their constant accusations against Trump and his supporters, arguing that they are a threat to democracy, is really largely projection. While there are many reasons to oppose Trump’s politics and character, it is the Democrats who currently pose the greatest threat to democratic institutions….
“Democrats’ illiberal turn is a result of their belief that they need to prevent Trump from gaining power by any means necessary. They are blind to their own violations of democratic norms because they view these violations as a righteous preservation of democracy. Democrats see themselves as the “children of light” described by Rheinhold Niebur in his 1944 book The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness…
“Democrats have convinced themselves that their own attacks on free and fair elections through censorship, influence operations, and legal inference are entirely noble. Political dissent, they believe, is tantamount to criminal activity. But their attempts to imprison their main political opponent, and now even remove him from the ballot, may be a step too far….
“So candidates now have to run on fear. “If you don’t vote for me, the other side will destroy the country.” In the case of the Republicans, that fear is pointed at the elite. In the case of Democrats, it’s pointed at the public. While both sides resort to histrionics, as we’ve seen in countless ways, Americans really do have something to fear from the elite.
“As columnist Jason Wilick pointed out, while every justice on the Colorado Supreme Court was appointed by Democrats, the divide among the justices was not the party who appointed them, but where they attended law school. The justices who ruled in favor of removing Trump all attended elite and Ivy League law schools, while the justices who opposed all received their law degrees from the University of Denver. This divide is emblematic of a larger pushback against an elite who are fixated on trying to restrict democracy in the name of saving it.”
This is what Glen Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, and Michael Shellenberger have been warning about– its no longer left versus right but average people versus elites. And the “populism” demonized by elites is just the will and desires of average citizens to be free. This totalitarianism from elites is just another resurgence of Marxist collectivism, again. And it comes today from Woke Progressivism and all its varied strains of contributing ideology- CRT, ESG, DEI, and on and on…
Ross McKitrick: The only thing wrong with the globalist climate agenda — the people won’t have it
Phasing out fossil fuels is going to cost way more than ordinary people will accept. Delegates to COP28 clearly didn’t understand that, Published Dec 20, 2023
“It’s tempting to dismiss the outcome of COP28, the recent United Nations climate change conference in the United Arab Emirates, as mere verbiage, especially the “historic” UAE Consensus about transitioning away from fossil fuels…
“We should not overlook the real meaning of the UAE Consensus… it’s a manifesto for global central planning. In their own words, some 90,000 government functionaries aspire to oversee and micromanage agriculture, finance, energy, manufacturing, gender relations, health care, air conditioning, building design and countless other economic and social decisions. It’s all supposedly in the name of fighting climate change, but that’s just the pretext. Take climate away and they’d likely appeal to something else….
“Two facts stand out: the consensus document announced plans that would cause enormous economic harm if implemented, and it was approved unanimously — yes, by everyone in the room…
“Such fuels are of course essential for our economic standard of living, and 30 years of economic analysis has consistently shown that, even taking account of emissions, phasing out fuels would do humanity far more harm than good. The Consensus statement ignores this, even while claiming to be guided by “the science”….
“All representatives of all governments worldwide endorsed policies that will, if implemented, do extraordinary harm to their own people. Where governments have made even small attempts to take these radical steps, the public has rebelled….
“The UAE Consensus is the latest indication that the real fault line in contemporary society is not right versus left, it’s the people versus (for lack of a better word) the globalists…. the most apt descriptor of a permanent transnational bureaucracy that aspires to run everything, even to the public’s detriment, while insulating themselves from democratic limits….
“On both COVID-19 and climate change, the same elite has invoked “the science,” not in support of good decision-making, but as a talisman to justify everything they do, including censoring public debate…. Critics are attacked as purveyors of “misinformation” and “disinformation.” Any opposition to government plans therefore proves the need to suppress free speech.
“Eventually, however, the people get the last word. And despite nonstop fear-mongering about an alleged climate crisis, the people tolerate climate policy only insofar as it costs almost nothing….
“Globalists have co-opted the climate issue to try to sell a grotesque central planning agenda that the public has repeatedly rejected.
“Financial Post, Ross McKitrick, professor of economics at the University of Guelph, is a senior fellow at the Fraser Institute.”
Also affirming what Ross McKitrick said above– Its all about centralized control by Globalist elites…. Here Burnett notes the socialist element in the climate alarmism crusade…
“Climate Change Weekly #491: The Ugly Truth Is Out: Climate Scientists Want Power”, H. Sterling Burnett, December 15, 2023
“The Guardian reports U.N. climate scientists are finally saying the quiet part out loud: they want the authority to prescribe specific climate policies and the ability to track or monitor the compliance of the 195 nations that are signatories to the Paris climate agreement with those prescriptions or mandates…
“Five lead authors of IPCC reports told the Guardian that scientists should be given the right to make policy prescriptions and, potentially, to oversee their implementation by the 195 states signed up to the UN framework convention on climate change (UNFCCC).
“Sonia Seneviratne, an IPCC vice-chair and coordinating lead author since 2012, said: “At some point we need to say that if you want to achieve this aim set by policymakers then certain policies need to be implemented. …”
“The honesty of these scientists is refreshing. In truth, the IPCC process has never been truly about preventing climate change, which is a process humans cannot control, but always about aggregating more power to bureaucrats and the governments that employ and empower them. This is not the first time U.N. spokespersons, and other would-be climate tyrants, honestly admitted that preventing climate change was a pretext for a government reset of the economy and governing systems. For example, in 2015, Christiana Figueres, then the executive secretary of U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted that climate policies are not about saving the planet or the environment but about the power to remake society into a socialist paradise (as if there has been or ever could be such a thing).
““This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution,” Figueres said.
“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, admitted the same thing concerning her Green New Deal, saying, “[t]he interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all. We really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.”
“And, in February 2021, Massachusetts Undersecretary for Climate Change David Ismay said at a climate conference in Vermont that in the Northeast there were no more big climate “offenders” to break, now it was time to “break” the people.
“In the end, authoritarians will always try to cloak their ambitions in paternalistic terms—“we must do this for the good of, ‘the people,’ ‘the proletariat,’ ‘the volk,’ ‘society,’ ‘the planet.’” Pick your term from the appropriate region and time period, but it is in reality all about increasing their own power and aggrandizing themselves, necessarily at the expense of average people.
“The truth should be an absolute defense against climate authoritarians’ ambitions. In particular, the truth spoken by Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, head of Dubai’s state oil and renewable energy companies and the host of COP 28. During a presentation prior to the conference, he stated:
““There is no science out there, or no scenario out there, that says the phase-out of fossil fuel is what’s going to achieve 1.5. You are asking for a phase out of fossil fuels, please help me, show me, the roadmap for a phase out of fossil fuels that will allow … for sustainable socio-economic development. Unless you want to take the world back into caves.”
“Al Jaber’s assessment is a sober and accurate description of reality. Thankfully, as detailed at Climate at a Glance and Climate Realism, there is no need for a premature phase out or shutdown of fossil fuels. Extreme weather is not worsening and deaths from weather events have declined by more than 98 percent. In addition, as the Earth has modestly warmed crop production and yields have dramatically increased with a corresponding decline in hunger and starvation, and deaths attributable to non-optimum temperatures have substantially fallen.
“There is absolutely no demonstrated need to eschew the benefits of modern society that fossil fuel use makes possible. Also, there is certainly no justification for giving up essential liberty or economic progress to climate czars in a vain effort to control future weather.”
Read this carefully. This man did not vote for Trump. He is a former Democrat, now political independent, and perhaps the leading voice today for freedom. He will not vote for Trump. But he understands clearly the threat to US democracy from Democrats.
“Hatred, Brainwashing, And Mass Psychosis Behind Democrats’ War On Democracy: We have to break the hypnotic trance destroying our country”, Michael Shellenberger, Dec. 23, 2023 on Public at Substack.
“You no doubt saw the news that the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that Trump cannot be on the ballot because he attempted insurrection on January 6…
“But we should all pay attention, no matter your feelings about Trump, because what is at stake is nothing less than our democracy itself….
“It’s shocking to me that so many people think it’s okay to prevent their fellow citizens from voting for the candidate of their choice.
“I believe many good people support trying to keep Trump off the ballot because they have allowed themselves to be hypnotized by propaganda about January 6.
“January 6 was a travesty. It is inexcusable for so many protesters to have behaved as they did. And it’s wrong that Trump denied the results of the election.
“But January 6 was an effort to stop the certification of the election, not overthrow the government. And while election denialism is wrong, it’s also the case that the election denialism of Hillary Clinton and Stacey Abrams was different only in degree, not in kind, from what Trump did.
“Calling people up and demanding vote re-counts, and misrepresenting the election, are Constitutionally-protected forms of speech. And the Supreme Court has given the highest protection of speech about social and political issues, including and especially elections.
“Again, I believe what Trump did was wrong. But a riot is a far cry from an insurrection…
“But it’s impossible to square Trump’s call on the protesters to be peaceful with the claim that it was an effort to overthrow the government through insurrection….
“To call January 6 an insurrection is thus a kind of rhetorical flourish that has now morphed into a legal argument….
“Election denialism and a protest gone bad are not a high enough bar for anyone, not the Colorado Supreme Court, the United States Supreme Court, or anyone else, to prevent people from exercising their fundamental right to choose their leader.
“Please, don’t let them brainwash you into destroying our democracy in the name of saving it.”
A followup to Shellenberger’s report above:
Similarly, Matt Taibbi and Walter Kirn warn of the stunning corruption of democracy by US Democrats…