Section topics: Going Green is going to hurt… a lot; Justin messing up grade school science; Alarmist exaggeration and hysteria; David Altheide on Creating Fear: News and the construction of crisis; Richard Lindzen on the “saturation” of the CO2 warming effect; The insane demonization and fear of CO2; The most basic of common shared values; Ideas and their impacts; End the curse of threat theology, both religious and environmental versions; Forget and repeat (apocalyptic millennial ideas in the mass-death movements of Marxism, Nazism, and now environmental alarmism; Blocking totalitarianism; Climate change agreement (basic assumptions in the climate debate).
Alarmist exaggeration and hysteria
Environmental alarmism exaggerates problems in life with speculation that is wildly beyond observed evidence. Alarmists focus on imperfections and natural changes in our world and exaggerate potential problems out to apocalyptic-scale and then prophesy that the end of the world is coming. That is stunningly irresponsible and dangerous fear-mongering with elements of pathological nihilism and anti-humanism (i.e. blame humanity for all problems).
Alarmism incites the worst of human emotions and responses. Alarmism burdens people with unnecessary fear, anxiety, and depression (i.e. majorities of the world population now believe that the world is getting worse). Alarmism irresponsibly arouses the survival impulse in populations and that overrides the rationality of many people. Alarmists then manipulate populations to embrace salvation schemes (i.e. “save the world”) that have far worse outcomes than the purported original problem.
The salvation schemes of alarmists advocate the need for “coercive purging” of some imagined threat. Alarmist salvationism argues for subverting normal democratic processes, banning dissent, silencing skeptics, and even criminalizing opponents to their apocalyptic movement. They advocate for the “instantaneous transformation” of society and life because the threat is always imminent and dire. There is no time for discussion debate, or disagreement. Dates must be legislated and enforced with state coercion because the alarmist’s apocalyptic vision is unquestionable dogma/truth.
The outcomes of alarmist terrorism have been horrifically destructive as evident in these examples: Rachel Carson’s apocalyptic narrative in Silent Spring influenced the ban on DDT that resulted in the unnecessary deaths of millions of people in following decades, many of them children (see The Excellent Powder by Tren and Roberts). The bio-fuels fiasco resulted in rising food prices for the poorest people and further deforestation for palm oil plantations. The anti-GM crops/foods activism resulted in the unnecessary deaths of millions of children denied Vitamin A in Golden Rice. The push for decarbonization has already harmed the poorest people with rising energy prices and will further devastate the populations of developing countries that are trying to escape poverty with the help of inexpensive fossil fuels.
Understand the background narratives- i.e. notably apocalyptic mythology- that fuel alarmist movements. This site probes the history and main themes of the apocalyptic complex of themes and their descent down through history- from primitive mythologies, to world religions, to the “secular” ideologies of our contemporary world (i.e. Declinism- the myth that life declines toward some great catastrophic collapse and ending).
Alarmist politicians, scientists, and news media across the world have embraced the “climate emergency/catastrophe” myth. This has become the latest eruption of apocalyptic hysteria and madness in the post-WW2 environmental alarmism movement. Alarmists tell us almost nothing about the true state of life, about the amazing improvement and progress of life toward an ever-better future. Instead, like raving prophets of past millennia they traumatize public consciousness with endless ‘end-of-days’ doom scenarios.
Consider just a few indicators of the improving conditions of life:
Decline in poverty worldwide. https://ourworldindata.org/extreme-poverty
Increasing life-expectancy and falling infant mortality rates. https://ourworldindata.org/life-expectancy#:~:text=Globally%20the%20life
Decline in violence across history- see Stephen Pinker’s ‘The Better Angels of Our Nature’.
Decline in extreme weather events and deaths related to nature. https://www.thegwpf.com/ipcc-report-extreme-weather-events-not-getting-worse/
Benefits of more CO2 and warming. http://www.co2science.org/education/book/2011/55BenefitsofCO2Pamphlet.pdf
Overall, the main features of life show ongoing improvement and progress. See Humanprogress.org, CO2coalition.org, and http://www.co2science.org/, among other sites.
There are numerous studies on the main features and trends of life, that affirm hope in the unstoppable rise and progress of life. These studies will transform your outlook on the actual state of life, providing a sound evidential basis for hope. Some of the better-known works are Julian Simon’s “Ultimate Resource”, Greg Easterbrook’s “A Moment On The Earth”, Bjorn Lomborg’s “Skeptical Environmentalist”, Ronald Bailey’s “The End of Doom”, Matt Ridley’s “Rational Optimist”, Desrocher and Szurmak’s “Population Bombed” (updating Simon’s work), Hans Rosling’s “Factfulness”, Indur Goklany’s “The Improving State of the World”, and others. “Ten Global Trends” by Bailey and Tupy is another recent study of the improvement evident throughout the major features and trends of life.
But instead of presenting this encouraging news, environmental alarmists, politicians, and news media are obsessed with inciting alarm (David Altheide- “Creating Fear: News and the construction of crisis”). They endlessly push apocalyptic narratives of decline and looming catastrophe that distort the true state of life.
My point here? The themes that we embrace shape our worldviews and influence how we view life, how we feel about life, what responses we will engage, what policies we will support, and thereby determine the shape of our societies. The theological material on this site engages some of the background themes of human worldviews, the more deeply embedded stuff. Many people appear to hold contemporary secular/scientific views of life and that apparent orientation to rational science would lead us to assume that they would embrace the overwhelming evidence that life is improving.
But most people also retain in their overall worldviews some of the more primitive themes from a mythical/religious past, themes long embedded in the collective memory/subconscious of humanity, themes that also shape their views, emotions, and responses to life. The subconscious is where the more primitive themes from humanity’s past still dominate, themes, for example, from the mythology of apocalyptic.
These older mythical themes in human worldviews and subconscious then overwhelm the more rational orientation of people, against good evidence to the contrary. And this helps to understand the endless apocalyptic hysteria in today’s world over nature, over the imperfections in nature, and the cyclical changes in nature (i.e. natural climate change). Particularly, the persistent embrace of apocalyptic mythology helps to understand the ongoing hysteria that has possessed much of the world’s population over a mild 1 degree C. of warming in a still sub-optimally cold world, where 16 times more people die annually from cold than from heat. Cold is a far greater threat to all life than heat.
We are watching many otherwise apparently rational scientists and politicians embracing and expressing apocalyptic narratives over climate. The effect of this alarmism on people? Surveys of the world population show that majorities believe that the world is getting worse, that life is declining toward some catastrophe. The belief in decline is an essential element in apocalyptic mythology.
And we wonder why depression is the world’s number one illness affecting over 320 million people?
Consequent to the irrational belief in looming disaster, frightened populations are now embracing salvation schemes- i.e. rapid decarbonization- that will devastate world economies and result in “the suicide of industrial civilization” (atmospheric physicist Richard Lindzen).
A closer look at the themes that environmental alarmists and many climate scientists have been promoting reveals a narrative almost identical to the primitive apocalyptic mythology from humanity’s ancient past.
This summary of new research…
“STUDY SUGGESTS NO MORE CO2 WARMING, OCTOBER 26, 2020, By David Wojick
“This astounding finding resolves a huge uncertainty that has plagued climate science for over a century
“Precision research by physicists William Happer and William van Wijngaarden has determined that the present levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and water vapor are almost completely saturated. In radiation physics the technical term “saturated” implies that adding more molecules will not cause more warming.
“In plain language this means that from now on our emissions from burning fossil fuels could have little or no further impact on global warming. There would be no climate emergency. No threat at all. We could emit as much CO2 as we like; with no effect.
“This astounding finding resolves a huge uncertainty that has plagued climate science for over a century. How should saturation be measured and what is its extent with regard to the primary greenhouse gases?
“In radiation physics the term “saturation” is nothing like the simple thing we call saturation in ordinary language, just as the greenhouse effect is nothing like how greenhouses work. Your paper towel is saturated when it won’t pick up any more spilled milk. In contrast greenhouse gases are saturated when there is no more milk left to pick up, as it were, but it is far more complex than this simple analogy suggests. See full report at…
Insert note: The steep decline in the warming influence of CO2 on climate. This quote from the October 31st, 2020 ‘Weekly Roundup’ report on Wattsupwiththat.com
“In the current atmosphere, with CO2 at about 400 parts per million (400 ppm), the influence of adding a molecule of CO2 is “suppressed by four orders of magnitude”, or about one-ten thousands that of the first molecules. Using the language common to those who study this field, both CO2 and water vapor are saturated; increasing these gases will not have a significant impact on the climate of the earth. Such an effect can be described by a logarithmic function, not its inverse, an exponential function which has been used in IPCC reports. Humanity’s addition of CO2 to the atmosphere is not causing a “climate crisis.”
“As stated by Richard Lindzen previously, doubling of CO2 will have little effect on the earth’s climate, a few percent (perhaps “a 2% perturbation”) of the total energy flowing onto the earth and out to space. Again, the exponential functions used by the IPCC are pure fantasy. Further, as will be discussed next week, cutting existing CO2 in half will have little effect and the residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere is not particularly meaningful. Carbon dioxide capture is of little or no value.”
MIT climate physicist Richard Lindzen’s summary presentations on climate and the minor role of CO2:
Quotes from “Climate Advice: Don’t worry, be Happer”.
Climate Advice: Don’t Worry, Be Happer
“Contrary to the predictions of most climate models there has been very little warming of the Earth’s surface over the last two decades… the discrepancy between models and observations is most likely due to (the exaggerated climate sensitivity to CO2 in the models)”.
“More CO2 in the atmosphere will be good for life on planet earth. Few realize that the world has been in a CO2 famine for millions of years… Over the past 550 million years… CO2 levels have averaged many thousands of parts per million (ppm), not today’s few hundred ppm, which is not that far above the minimum level, around 150 ppm, when many plants die of CO2 starvation”.
“All green plants grow faster with more atmospheric CO2… Of equal or greater importance, more CO2 in the atmosphere makes plants more drought-resistant…. More greening and greater agricultural yields can be expected as CO2 concentrations increase further.
“Summary: The Earth is in no danger from increasing levels of CO2. More CO2 will be a major benefit to the biosphere and to humanity… more atmospheric CO2 will substantially increase plant growth rates and drought resistance.
“Historians in the future will write learned papers on how it was possible for a seemingly enlightened civilization of the early 21st century to demonize CO2”.
From “Richard Lindzen lecture at GWPF: Global warming for the two cultures”. Richard Lindzen was the Professor of Meteorology at MIT until his retirement in 2013.
Lindzen presents the complex variables that influence climate change- i.e. ocean and atmosphere circulation patterns, energy transformations related to water vapor (water vapor and clouds being the most important greenhouse gases), among many others. As he notes, CO2 is a very minor variable in this complex mix and is not the dominant or sole driver of climate change.
The Earth receives about 340 watts of energy from the sun per square meter of surface. 140 watts are reflected back by clouds. The other 200 watts has to be emitted (radiated back out from the surface as infrared radiation) to re-establish balance, and the blockage of some of that amount is what warms the surface of our planet. Water vapor does most of the blocking of the radiation leaving the surface (“absorbing infrared radiation sufficiently to block radiation from the surface being transmitted directly to space”, from ‘On Climate Sensitivity’, CO2 Coalition). CO2 is another minor gas blocking the returning radiation but its effect is small. A doubling of CO2 would cause only a small 2% perturbation in these energy flows (i.e. the 200 watts per square meter that radiate back out) with clouds and other variables accounting for the rest.
To claim that the complex, multi-variable climate system can be summarized in just one variable- CO2- is irrational and unscientific. Lindzen says the claim that CO2 is the controlling variable borders on magical thinking. And humankind’s CO2 contributions are even smaller compared to the natural exchanges of CO2 between oceans and biosphere.
Lindzen’s point? Many are mindlessly joining the crusade to plan for the suicide of industrial society based on the shoddy and unsettled science that has been promoted by climate alarmists. The hysteria that has demonized CO2 is “backed by false evidence and repeated incessantly until it has become politically correct ‘knowledge’ that is being used to promote the overturn of industrial civilization” (i.e. the decarbonization of our societies and the entire control of all aspects of life and society- behavioral changes, new governance arrangements, new social values).
He adds that the mild 1 degree C warming since the end of the Little Ice Age some two centuries ago has been significantly beneficial, resulting in “the greatest increase in human welfare in history”. Further, there is no good evidence of much more warming coming. Lindzen says the outcome from a doubling of CO2 would be limited to about 1 degree C of warming, not the 1.5-4.5 degrees predicted by models. Again, that has been a beneficial amount of warming.
Going Green. Its going to hurt… a lot. Pushing too quickly toward Green utopia…
Green renewable energy policies have punished ordinary people with severely rising electricity prices in the countries that are agitating for a rapid ascension toward Green utopia. The resulting fuel poverty has deadly consequences for the poorest people (e.g. people choosing priorities other than heating just to survive and suffering from cold as a result). https://www.thegwpf.com/britains-deadly-energy-madness-excess-winter-deaths-in-england-and-wales-highest-since-1976/ and https://www.thegwpf.org/green-policies-threaten-poor-nations/
Citizens of the state of California, that has rushed into renewables without proper consideration of the outcomes and costs, now pay twice the electricity costs in the rest of the US. In Germany people pay three times as much for electricity as their counterparts in America.
Further, California now suffers unprecedented rolling blackouts. https://www.thegwpf.com/californias-blackout-warning/ England is facing the same dark future as their fossil fuel generation of electricity is being shut down to meet unworkable Green goals. Wind and solar are too intermittent and low density to make up for the loss of fossil fuel power generation.
Here is a sampling of outcomes in countries embracing Green policies…
And this recent notice (Dec. 12/2020) from the Global Warming Policy Foundation…
“Many of our activities and publications this year have focused on the EU’s and the UK’s radical Net Zero plans which come with astronomical costs, placing a painful burden on households already faced with the long-run impact of the Covid-19 crisis.
“According to our Net Zero cost estimates, compiled by some of Britain’s leading economists and experts, the final bill for decarbonising the UK economy alone may surpass £3 trillion by 2050 – the equivalent of £100,000 per household!
“As the unaffordability and infeasibility of these extreme plans become more apparent in the coming years, public discontent will only grow, while the irresponsibility of ministers and MPs is unlikely to be forgotten by voters.
“As you may also be aware, the European Union’s Green Deal risks deepening the economic crisis, with trade unions warning that it will put up to 11 million industrial jobs at risk.
“European countries find themselves between the goal of a rapid economic recovery and their climate agenda, with Net Zero targets threatening to burden consumers with astronomical costs, and millions of job losses in the automotive, aviation and energy-intensive industries.
“With the prospect of North America adopting the same regressive policies as the European Union, the battle for energy justice – the right for access to cheap and reliable energy, and thus for human wellbeing – is moving into a new, critical stage.
“However, for the UK and much of the Western world, the easy route of climate populism has run its course. The low-hanging fruit of decarbonisation has already been picked during the last ten years. Any further reduction in CO2 emissions will be technologically difficult and economically painful. This is likely to cause all sorts of social and political problems and will almost certainly trigger public discontent.
“It is therefore our mission to offer policy makers and the interested public diligent research and analysis based on empirical fact-checking, open debate and a vigorous defence of academic freedom.”
Recently (Dec. 11/2020), Justin Trudeau wrongly referred to CO2 as “pollution”. No, it is not a pollutant. I will repeat this grade school science- CO2 is the basic food of all life and for the past millions of years it has been at dangerously low levels that have stressed plant life. With the rise in CO2 over the past four decades, life has recovered and rebounded with a 14% increase in green vegetation across the Earth. This is the equivalent to adding land covered in green vegetation twice the size of the mainland US.
Other studies note that there has been a “31 percent increase in global terrestrial gross primary production since 1900” (Matt Ridley- “Against Environmental Pessimism” at PERC).
This massive greening of our planet (more food for animal life and increased food for humanity seen in recent record-breaking crop harvests across the world) should be making Greens delirious with joy. But no. Embracing the mythology of apocalyptic overrides the rationality that should be tied to clear evidence. https://www.thegwpf.com/ignore-climate-hysteria-world-grain-crop-set-to-break-record/ and https://www.thegwpf.com/world-records-largest-corn-harvest-in-history/
Justin, the children of Canada are listening so please stop terrorizing and traumatizing them with this nonsense about an “existential threat” with regard to climate. Most of us Canadians are huddled within 100 kilometers of the southern border, hoping some more warmth will flow up from the South and end our suffering from cold. Remember, 16 times more people die annually from cold than from heat.
The mild one Degree Centigrade of warming over the past century has done little to thaw our frozen country. During past warmer eras, tropical forests extended all the way to the Arctic, as the discovery of tropical tree stumps there has revealed. That is a more optimal and normal world. For over 90 percent of the past 500 million years there has been no ice at both poles and average world temperatures were close to 20 degrees C, not the suboptimal 14.5 C average of today’s world. Life overall flourished during the much warmer past eras.
And great civilizations have flourished during the higher average temperatures experienced earlier in our inter-glacial. The Egyptian civilization emerged and prospered during the Holocene Optimum when average temperatures were several degrees C. warmer than today. The Roman warming period was 2 degrees C. warmer than today and enabled that civilization to prosper. https://www.thegwpf.com/roman-warm-period-was-2c-warmer-than-today-new-study/
The Medieval Warm period was also several degrees warmer than our mild warm period today and that benefitted people of that era with extended growing ranges and seasons, https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/02/07/study-shows-that-vikings-enjoyed-a-warmer-greenland/).
Our current warm period is still the coldest of these four inter-glacial climate warmings.
See more detail on CO2 in sections below, notably, the research of climate physicists on the decreasing “warming effect” of CO2 with rising atmospheric levels. The CO2 warming effect has reached “saturation” and will not contribute much more to warming climate.
More CO2 is not a threat to be feared. To the contrary, rising levels of CO2 have overall been a great benefit to life. There is no looming “climate crisis”. And we do not need to decarbonize our societies and thereby ruin the progress of the past few centuries.
Note on world average temperatures being closer to 20 degrees C. over the past 500 million years, much higher than the suboptimal and cold average 14.5 degrees C. of today’s ice-age era world. That five degrees warmer past world was not “on fire” (Joe Biden irresponsibly claimed this regarding the mild one-degree warming in our world). The world does not go up in flames and fry life as scaremongers like the ‘anti-science guy’, Bill Nye, illustrates with his blow-torching of a classroom globe. Such irresponsible exaggeration and distortion is embarrassing to watch. And it terrifies children.
Why does a warmer world not fry life? Because the Earth has built-in feedback responses and heat-distribution mechanisms. Consider that heat at the equator rises in great convection currents that carry the heat energy to both poles, distributing heat mainly to colder areas. A warmer world will mean more warmth in the colder regions and not excessive overheating of tropical areas (see physicist Freeman Dyson’s comment on this ‘The Scientist As Rebel’, p. 58-59).
A warmer world also means more warmth in winter and more warmth at night. That means a decreasing of gradients between hot and cold areas/seasons and that results in less storminess. Tornadoes, for example, depend on steep gradients between cold and warm air masses to generate their destructive power. The recent mild warming over the past century has already resulted in a notable historical decline in tornadoes over the past few decades.
Quotes from David Atheide’s ‘Creating Fear: News and the Construction of Crisis’. Altheide notes that we are confronted with an increase in narratives of fear, much due to news media focus, exaggeration, and distortion.
“The mass media and popular culture are the most important contributors to fear. The pervasive use of fear in public documents and discourse has helped create a perspective or frame for viewing the world in an entertaining way that is shared by many members of our society… (this major paradox exists)… we are living longer with more secure and comfortable lifestyles than at any other time in history… yet we have the most fear and uncertainty about life…
“My research indicates that more of our narratives involve fear. Fear appeared in more headlines and news reports in the mid-1990s than in the 1980s… For the majority of people, the mass media shape identities and narratives… Fear as a perspective is expanding in social life… Fear is more widely used because news organizations and news sources benefit from it…
“News sources, and especially social control agencies (e.g. government) have adjusted their messages to comply with the media logic and entertainment format criteria of news organizations. Consequently, news reports and social control work have become joined through mass communication organizations…
“Murray Edelman, argued that ‘crises’ are simply certain events that are defined in a certain way and promoted to serve the political interests of leaders… ‘crisis’ is oriented to a decisionmaker’s audience and to convince the audience to allow the leader to take decisive action. Fear is used increasingly to define crises and to bump along those claims so that leaders can take political action against ‘external enemies’ or ‘internal enemies’….
“The mass media, and especially the news media, are the main source and tool used to ‘soften up’ the audience, to prepare them to accept the justificatory account of the coming action… Fear is part of social control… Directing fear in a society is tantamount to controlling that society. Every age has its fears, every ruler has his/her enemies, every sovereign places blame and every citizen learns about these as propaganda. The key is to recognize the process and not get captivated with the ‘bogeyman’ of choice in any particular time.”
Note these central themes in the apocalyptic complex of ideas:
(1) The past was better (original paradise or Eden). (2) Humanity has ruined the original paradise and life is now declining toward a great collapse and ending. (3) An angry deity will soon punish humanity with apocalyptic destruction. (4) We must make a sacrifice to appease the angered deity (now viewed as vengeful Gaia, angry Planet/Mother Earth, retributive Universe, or payback karma). (5) We must give up the good life and return to the “moral superiority” of primitivism (i.e. the low consumption lifestyles of the “degrowth” movement).
Joseph Campbell was right that the same mythical themes repeat across all history and across all the cultures of the world. Those are deeply embedded themes, subconscious themes. See Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives below.
The insane demonization and fear of CO2- the basic food of all life.
Atmospheric CO2 in our time has been at dangerously low levels compared to the longer history of life. Plant life has been suffering from “CO2 starvation” over the past few million years. CO2 levels even dropped dangerously to 180 ppm some 18,000 years ago. Plant life dies when CO2 falls to 150 ppm. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/06/20/greenpeace-co-founder-pens-treatise-on-the-positive-effects-of-co2-says-there-is-no-crisis/
Plant life prefers CO2 in the 1000-1500 ppm range and has flourished with such levels across past history. For most of the last 500 million years CO2 has been above 1000 ppm. Today, with the slight rise from estimated pre-industrial levels of 285 ppm, to the 400 plus ppm of the present, there has been a 14% increase in green vegetation across the world just since 1980. The Earth is greener today than just four decades ago because plant life is getting more of its basic food- CO2.
Obsession over one small variable in the complex climate system
The human input to CO2 levels is small compared to other natural inputs to Carbon cycles (i.e. the plant/atmosphere exchange, the ocean/atmosphere exchange, and submarine volcanic inputs). Further, CO2 is not the dominant variable causing the climate change that we are observing. Climate change over the past few centuries has not been primarily or dominantly “manmade”. Natural factors have consistently shown stronger correlations to the climate change occurring today (e.g. the cosmic ray/sun/cloud interaction, and the ocean oscillations/atmosphere interaction, among others). Point? You cannot control climate by adjusting a CO2 knob.
Important new studies by climate physicists have revealed that the CO2 warming influence has reached “saturation” and adding more CO2 will not cause much more warming (perhaps 1 degree C more). https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/10/26/study-suggests-no-more-co2-warming/
There is no sound scientific reason to fear more CO2 in the atmosphere. There is no need to ‘decarbonize’ our societies with destructive green policies. The astounding benefits of more atmospheric CO2 far outweigh any assumed possible negative effects.
There is no “climate emergency”.
Climate change agreement
What is agreed on in the climate science debate.
We all agree (way more than 97% of us) that climate change is occurring just as it has throughout history. Climate is never static. Climate is always warming or cooling. Over our interglacial (just to simplify for clarity) there have been roughly four major warming periods- the Holocene Optimum, the Roman Warming Period, the Medieval Warm Period, and our current warming that began three centuries ago with the ending of the Little Ice Age in the 18th Century (roughly 1715).
Ours is still the coolest of these warming periods (i.e. the latest on a long-term downward trend line across our inter-glacial toward a cooling future). The past warm periods were all several degrees warmer. And previous paleo-climate eras were warmer by many more degrees, and life prospered during such eras.
Here is the challenge to “manmade climate change”. The basic assumptions of the alarmist narrative are not “settled science” with “consensus” support.
Note the actual effect of CO2 on climate change. The CO2 influence is undeniably there but is repeatedly overwhelmed by other natural factors. Most important, climate physicists argue that the CO2 warming effect has reached “saturation” and that warming effect now declines significantly with the addition of more atmospheric CO2. Richard Lindzen notes that a doubling of CO2 to 800 ppm may produce further benign warming of only 1-2 degrees (a 2% “perturbation” in the energy flow that returns the sun’s heat back to space). That is, if warming continues. Huge “if”. Also, CO2 is not the dominant variable affecting climate. Water vapor is.
Other challenges to claims that climate change is now “manmade”.
How much have we actually contributed to the rise in CO2 over the past few centuries? Other sources of CO2 overwhelm the human contribution- i.e. the ocean/atmosphere exchange, the land biomass/atmosphere exchange, and the submarine volcanic contribution (over a million submarine volcanoes).
Note that with the significant drop in human CO2 emissions during the Covid outbreak, CO2 levels continued to rise- obviously, from natural sources. Further on the weak correlation of CO2 to climate change- even with the continued rise in CO2 over past decades there has been a pause in warming (since late 90s).
Conclusion? There is no evidence of looming “climate catastrophe” but, to the contrary, there have been mostly beneficial outcomes over the past- i.e. the immense greening of our planet (a 30% increase in plant biomass over past 50 years- Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt), and a pleasant warming of 1 degree C. in a sub-optimally cold world. There has also been the expansion of habitats for animal life just as occurred during paleo-climate eras (i.e. both poles have revealed evidence of past tropical climate as extra heat energy was distributed all across the planet).
The current hysteria over hot days/spells does not tell the story of longer-term climate trends. The hottest days/spells of the modern era were early in the past century. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/11/24/alarmists-will-not-like-this-part-of-the-recently-published-u-s-climate-science-special-report/
Also, hurricanes are not more frequent but have been at historical lows, as are tornadoes. Such extreme events depend on more severe gradients between warm and cold fronts and that difference lessens in a warmer world.
Here is an excellent presentation by sociologist Frank Furedi on the fear spread by climate alarmists and what it means for our societies…
“The whole aim of practical politics”, wrote HL Mencken, “Is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary. John Adams, “Fear is the foundation of most governments”.
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience”, C. S. Lewis.
A Christmas treat: Site splainin’- two prominent repeats
There is no threatening Force or Spirit/deity behind reality or life. There is no punitive, destroying God, whether religious or “secular”. Secular versions include “vengeful Gaia… angry Planet/Mother Earth… retributive Universe… and payback karma”. End the fear-inciting nonsense of this primitive ‘threat theology’.
The suffering that is the outcome of living in an imperfect world (i.e. natural disaster, disease, human cruelty) is a “natural consequence” and not the effects of some deity mediating punishment through nature. Even Paul taught this nonsense to the Corinthians, claiming that their illness and death were punishments from God.
To counter the persistent myth of threat theology, embrace a potent alternative theology- the wonder of “no conditions Love” at the core of reality. Latch, especially, onto the adjective “unconditional” and let that insight transform and liberate human consciousness. And unconditional ‘Ultimate Reality’ frees our minds from primal human fears such as the age-old fear of divine retribution through the natural world (e.g. Nancy Pelosi recently- Sept. 2020- expressed this primitive myth in her comment that “Mother Earth is angry” and was punishing us through the California wildfires).
Further, consider the related insight that we are one with that core reality that is no conditions love (the ultimate oneness of all reality). Takeaway? Each of us embodies that same love at the core of our human spirit. Each of us is a unique incarnation of the God that is no conditions love. We are not the fallen, corrupt/sinful beings of religious mythology (i.e. the anti-humanism of such mythology). Our real self- our true essential nature- is love. Consider how this will counter the anti-humanism of apocalyptic mythology (i.e. that we are essentially corrupt and fallen beings that deserve punishment and destruction).
I repeat for emphasis: We are the embodiments of that ultimate love due to our oneness with deity. Our human spirit is the presence of the love that is God in all humanity. This love is our true core nature, the defining feature of our humanity.
Let your mind toy with these insights on the unconditional nature of Ultimate Reality, and the core unconditional nature of a human being, and consider how they may transform worldviews entirely. They especially have the potential to liberate humanity from the enslaving grip of primitive apocalyptic mythology, still dominant in so much of contemporary story-telling.
A long-term goal of this site is to bring down humanity’s greatest monster and enemy- the threat theology features that continue to dominate the God theories of our religious traditions and have now been embraced by “secular” movements like environmental alarmism. These features have distorted entirely humanity’s highest ideal and authority- deity. A project here is to re-orient consciousness to the nature of Ultimate Reality as love- stunning no conditions love.
The primitive myth of punitive, destroying deity is the single greatest fraud and lie in all history. That myth has tormented and traumatized uncounted billions of people. It has enabled priesthoods and other powerholders to manipulate and control populations with fear. Its way past time that we all ‘grow the fuck up’ and put aside such infantile and cruel myths.
One of the founders of Germany’s environmental movement, Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt, comes out against alarmist exaggeration and fear-mongering.
Quotes from the interview:
“I am not denying the need for action or climate change itself- I am just coming to different conclusions about the scale or pace of it. I believe that it is not only humans who are responsible for climate change, but that natural factors are also at work. So we have more time than is often said…
“We have achieved a lot… but we must not send society into disaster by taking incorrect or exaggerated measures. Today we live in a climate of fear…
“In the last 100 years, neither the frequency of droughts not heavy precipitation has increased globally. However, due to warming and increasing CO2, the area of foliage worldwide is growing by the size of the Federal Republic of Germany every year. Over the past 50 years plant biomass has increased by 30 percent. And because of the increase in CO2 the yields of wheat, rice and other fruits have grown by 15 percent, and the world’s food situation has been significantly improved….
“If we phase out coal and nuclear power… it will mean a dramatic loss of prosperity in Germany. We cannot sustain a highly developed industrial society with wind and sun. We are threatened with deindustrialization and loss of prosperity…
“Why are we refusing to look at new nuclear energy technologies with an open mind? Even the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change considers them to be an alternative. But we in Germany wear blinkers…
“The little people will now be punished with a CO2 tax from January onwards. In the first year this will cost the average household Euro 270 (Can. $417), and this amount is set to rise steadily to over Euro 600 (Can. $926)…
“If a hurricane rages somewhere in the world today, many people see it as evidence of climate change but hurricanes have not increased in number for decades. We had a heatwave in Siberia in summer, which was a big issue everywhere. At the same time, Brazil was the coldest in 50 years, yet nobody spoke about it. We have a selective perception…. The number of hurricanes, heavy rainfall events or droughts has not increased. In fact, they have levelled out…”
Long-term site project: End the curse of threat theology
A main project on this site is to liberate consciousness from irrational fears, notably subconsciously rooted fears, ancient fears. These are the most deeply embedded fears from across history and they have long been oriented to fear of forces/spirits that would harm people through the natural world (i.e. natural disasters, disease), or fears of after-life harm.
Threat theology first emerged in prehistory and then became the single greatest lie and fraud in all history. Ever since it has tormented and traumatized uncountable billions of people across history. Threat theology has enabled priesthoods and other powerholders to manipulate and control populations with mental/emotional terror. Metaphysically-oriented threat deforms human personality with fear, anxiety, guilt/shame, despair/depression, and violence (psychotherapist Zenon Lotufo in Cruel God, Kind God).
As Campbell said, the core themes of threat theology have remained the same across history and across all the cultures of the world. Here is a basic complex of the worst themes:
(1) Myths of an original perfection/paradise (the more primitive past was better, God created perfection)
(2) Corrupt people have ruined paradise and caused life to decline toward something worse.
(3) Now humanity faces threat from an angered deity that will punish people with some great disaster and even the ending of life- i.e. the apocalyptic destruction of life (and after-life punishment in hell).
(4) But the threatening entity offers the possibility of salvation if people make some sacrifice to appease the angered deity and purge the evil from the world. Then the lost paradise can be restored for true believers.
Most notably, environmental alarmists today have taken up the crusade to arouse unnecessary fear with their rehash of these same old threat theology themes but in new more “secular/ideological” contexts like the environmental alarmism movement. They promote the same primitive narrative themes that life began as more perfect (the better past or original paradise) but corrupted humanity has ruined the original paradise and now an “angry Mother Earth” (or angry Planet, vengeful Gaia, payback karma) is threatening to punish humanity for its sin, with the threat of looming apocalyptic collapse and ending as the final judgment and punishment. Today’s apocalyptic prophets, under the guise of science, set dates for the end of days just as all shaman/priests have done before. Examples: James Hansen stated in 2008, “Its all over in five years”. Congresswoman AOC said in 2018 that the world would end in 12 years (2030).
This complex of threat theology themes arouses the primal human survival impulse (fear of disaster and death), making populations amenable to demands for a sacrifice to appease the angered deities, and open to embrace policies to purge some stated “evil” that has been sanctioned by today’s priesthoods (today’s evil- CO2, fossil fuels, industrial civilization). These are the same core mythical themes as ever before across history. The same primitive ideas generating the same irrational fears.
This primitive mythology of ultimate metaphysical threat, still the foundational belief of the world religions, buries the “no conditions love” that has always been the core of reality. See Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives below. That love would liberate human consciousness from such age-old terror lodged deeply at the core of human consciousness/subconscious. Unconditional transforms and liberates human worldviews and consciousness/life as nothing else can.
There are varied legitimate things to fear in life, legitimate problems to solve, but people do not need the added element of some threatening divinity that will punish them through the imperfections of the natural world, as payback for their sins. That is exaggeration and distortion that deforms human consciousness with unnecessary anxiety, fear, guilt/shame, and despair/depression. Its time we all grew the fuck up and ended the great lie and fraud of threat theology. Re-assure people that they are all safe in the end, safe in love. As a sage said, “We come from love. We exist in love. And we return to love in the end”. Love is all.
Ideas and impacts
Themes/ideas that are often deeply embedded in our subconscious shape our understanding and orient us to confirmation bias. The ideas/beliefs that we hold influence what evidence we accept as affirming our truth. We may not even be fully aware of the themes that influence us so powerfully.
The ideas that we embrace and hold in our worldview then shape how we view reality and life. The ideas shape how we feel, our responses and behavior, the policies that we will support, and hence the shape of our societies. Some ideas that people still widely embrace today are direct descendants of the primitive mythologies of our ancestors far back in prehistory. Joseph Campbell rightly stated that the same mythical themes repeat across all history and across all the cultures of our world. They are the same old, same old themes whether ensconced in mythology, religion, “secular ideology”, and even science.
One of life’s projects is to sort through the mess of ideas that we encounter across our lives, and to distinguish the good from the bad, and then discard the bad and hold on to the better.
Forget and repeat
In their valuable work the apocalyptic millennial scholars cover the influence of apocalyptic-millennial ideas on the mass death movements of the past century. I refer to Richard Landes’ “Heaven On Earth”, Arthur Mendel’s “Vision and Violence”, and David Redles’ “Hitler’s Millennial Reich”. They cover a news story that should take precedence over all others for the potent lessons offered.
As Richard Landes stated at the end of his chapter on Hitler (my paraphrase): If you dismiss Hitler as just another madman then you have missed the critical lesson from Nazism- how a society of basically good people can be caught up in such madness that led to such horror. You have not understood how millennial ideas can carry a society toward mass death and you will repeat their error. Our bad- we have not been carefully watching the influence of those ideas, even though they are common to the great world religions. We have not learned the lesson and now we are repeating that same progression of stages that resulted in so much unnecessary suffering last century. We are watching populations of good people once again embrace an apocalyptic narrative (climate alarmism) with the promise of restored millennial utopia if we embrace the salvation scheme that has been offered. The death outcomes are staggering.
The apocalyptic millennial movements of Marxism (100 million deaths) and Nazism (50-60 million deaths) were influenced by the myths of a better past that was ruined by corrupt people and their industrial civilization (i.e. capitalists in Marxist apocalyptic, Jewish Bolsheviks in Nazi apocalyptic). Marxists and Nazis convinced populations that life was declining toward looming catastrophe and ending. That incited the survival impulse and frightened people who then looked to the proffered salvation scheme that involved coercive and violent purging of the threat/evil, and the making of a sacrifice in order to avoid the apocalyptic threat and restore the lost paradise. Marxists promised communal utopia, Nazis promised the utopia of the Third Reich.
As the apocalyptic millennial scholars note, those very ideas and related responses are playing out once again in environmental alarmism. We see the same themes/beliefs being preached that the past was better (original paradise of the wilderness world), but corrupt and greedy consumers have ruined that paradise and life is now declining toward catastrophe and ending. Frightened people now look for salvation in the coercive and violent purging of industrial society (via decarbonization), and in making the sacrifice of abandoning the modern good life and returning to a form of primitivism (i.e. the “moral superiority of the low consumption lifestyle”) that will help us avoid the apocalypse and restore the lost paradise. Soon-arriving dates are set to pressure societies to accept the required “instantaneous transformation” necessary to restore paradise. “Instantaneous transformation” is necessary because the apocalypse is always imminent, and there is no time for normal democratic processes (e.g. skepticism, debate, disagreement, or open discussion).
Examples of the destructive outcomes of apocalyptic millennialism:
Rachel Carson’s apocalyptic narrative in Silent Spring influenced the ban on DDT and that resulted in millions of unnecessary deaths in following decades. Anti-GM crops activism prevented many developing country children from getting access to Vitamin A in Golden Rice. The consequence, as Bjorn Lomborg showed, was the unnecessary deaths of some 8 million children over a recent 12-year span. Add here the bio-fuels fiasco and rising basic food prices that harmfully impacted the poorest people, and also resulted in more deforestation for palm oil plantations. The anti-fossil fuel crusade and rapid shift to intermittent and subsidized renewables impacts the poorest people also by making energy more costly (fuel poverty). In colder countries this has resulted in sharply increased mortality from cold weather. And in developing nations anti-fossil fuel activism denies poor people access to the ladder of development out of poverty that depends on inexpensive fuels.
Some suggest the death totals from environmental alarmism may outstrip the death totals of last century’s other mass-death movements. These apocalyptic millennial movements are anti-human, anti-freedom, and anti-nature. They further deny the amazing greening of our planet with increased crop production that comes from adding more basic plant food- i.e. CO2- to the atmosphere.
A bit of “lighten the mood” for the new year…
Boy comes up to his father, all angry, “Dad, you remember how you told me to put a potato in my swimming trunks? How you said it would impress the girls?”
Father looks up, smiling, “Yeah, did it work?”
The boy screams, “You could have mentioned that the potato goes in the front.”
What’s the one thing snipers can’t tell their wives?
I missed you this morning.
The guy who gives out food at the prison canteen asks: “Eat here or take away?”
The prisoner frowns: “Not funny, Marlon! Not funny at all.”
Teacher: “Who do you think invented dancing, children?”
Little Johnny: “My guess is a big Irish family with just one bathroom.”
Some fun with accents… And to pre-empt cancel culture advocates, before they ‘get the vapors’, let me preface that I worked for 11 years in Asia. I am actually an Asian spirit but just born in the wrong place to the wrong people. I enjoyed being the butt of accent jokes because of my limited phonetic abilities, mangling other’s languages with my North American nasality. So this is not intended to hurt anyone’s feelings but just to enjoy the diversity that is being human.
Asian lady goes to money exchange regularly and one day asks the money guy, “Why do rate change?”
Money guy responds, “Market fluctuations”.
Asian lady repeatedly asks the same question day after day. “Why do rate change?”
Finally, one day money guy, exasperated at the repeats, snaps back with a shout, “Fluctuations”.
Asian lady, offended, then snaps also, “Well, fluck you white people too”.
The most basic of “common shared values”
We inherit from our animal past some nasty impulses and the real battle of life is with this internal complex of impulses that we have inherited. This is the real enemy and monster to overcome. We (modern humanity) have learned of more humane responses to replace the base animal-like responses of our animal past. There is no downside or negative outcomes to the more humane responses. They provide a safer way to navigate life.
(1) We inherit the impulse to tribalism and the exclusion of differing others, often viewed in terms of us as good against others as bad/evil. We overcome that with an orientation to inclusion based on the fundamental reality of our oneness, that we are one family. Further, the highest expression of our greatest defining ideal- love- is to “love our enemy”. That is the height of mature humanity or humaneness.
(2) We inherit the impulse to domination of others (alpha male/female), to intervene/meddle and control others. We overcome that with a new orientation to respect the freedom, autonomy, and self-determination of all others. To view every person as a true equal deserving full freedom. Where there is no such freedom there is no love.
(3) We inherit the impulse to punish and destroy the differing other as an enemy. We overcome that by embracing restorative, rehabilitative justice. No matter the offense of the imperfect other, we are obligated to treat all humanely. Punitive, destructive justice (hurt returned for initial hurt caused) has no place in a humane future. Forgiveness is the higher road to take even if it is necessary to restrain those who cannot control their worst impulses. Love is not always about liking some offending other but it is about treating all humanely no matter their failures to live as human.
Effectively blocking totalitarianism
Over the last few centuries we have discovered how to check totalitarianism by dispersing power among individuals (English parliament/law, market system), that is, protecting the rights and freedom of all citizens under the same political/law systems. On the other hand, Collectivist approaches centralize power in governing state elites and that too often unleashes the totalitarian impulse (meddling, coercing, controlling others).
The orientation to protecting individual freedom and rights has unleashed human creativity as never before in history and has given us all that we value in the modern world. People can work hard and their achievements will be rewarded and protected. That protects the impulse to improve oneself and one’s family (“Self-interest”? Or better, the most basic form of love).
Collectivist approaches, to the contrary, reject private property as an evil to be eliminated and try to coercively redistribute too much.
Yes, we all agree to some contribution to the collective good- i.e. our share of public infrastructure, and shared programs, also help for less fortunate citizens.
There is an ongoing tug between these two approaches to organizing human societies (i.e. the orientation to the collective vs the orientation to the individual).
If societies trend too much toward collectivism then power becomes concentrated in state elites, there is loss of freedom (via too much taxation and regulation), and the totalitarian impulse is more easily unleashed and then all suffer. Last century gave us a wealth of evidence from the back-and-forth experience with these two approaches. See Arthur Herman’s ‘The Cave And The Light’ for the long-term history of this tussle between Collectivism and the individual.
Most of us continue to opt for some combination of the two approaches, that protects individual freedom while also contributing to collective concerns. Bernstein in ‘The Birth of Plenty’ notes the battle lines over this, roughly stated as- “At what level should we limit the state as a share of GDP?”
Daniel Hannan’s ‘The Invention of Freedom’ is an excellent history of the emergence and development of the individual freedom approach to organizing society. This highlights the critical elements of the Western contribution to humanity.