Section topics: Climate briefs; Notable features in human worldviews; Mendel on Vision and Violence; Narratives of despair; CO2 facts; and more…
Site project: Countering narratives of fear, narratives of despair, affirming hope/love based on good evidence of life improving on all fronts.
Galileo’s version of confirmation bias: “People tend to refuse to consider evidence, if what they might discover contradicts their beliefs.”
We are watching the eruption of obsessive-compulsive pessimism and nihilism on a world-wide scale today. Each new climate COP (Conference of the Parties) unleashes a renewed frenzy of beating apocalyptic into public consciousness with the same old prophesies of “last chance… final tipping point…”, with dates set for the “end-of-days”.
Climate alarmism has developed as another apocalyptic cult that zealously tries to panic populations toward ever new crescendos of unhinged hysteria. Every twitch in nature- e.g. too much heat/too much cold, too much rain/no rain, wildfires, and more- is obsessively seized upon as evidence to affirm the mind-emptying mantra of “human-caused climate change” that alarmists claim is becoming an “existential crisis and catastrophe”. Everything happening in nature that is divergent from normal patterns is proclaimed, with irrational exaggeration, as “the worst on record” and promoted as evidence of looming apocalypse.
Alarmist panic-mongering incessantly seeks reasons to overturn the industrial, technological civilization that has lifted billions out of the misery of poverty, improved the human condition immensely, and enabled humanity to better care for the natural world.
Climate briefs: Response to latest eruption of climate hysteria and COP26 (another in an endless series of “end-of-days” conferences)
Yes, climate is changing but the warming has been mild (about 0.5 degree C since 1975) and not “catastrophic”. The bigger threat is still cold that annually kills ten times more people than heat does. A few more degrees of warming will be further net beneficial in a still abnormally cold world that is 5-plus degrees C below long-term historical averages. During past warmer eras life flourished and civilizations thrived.
Yes, CO2 contributes to warming climate but it appears that its contribution is very small, has reached “saturation” (i.e. ability to absorb and re-emit infrared radiation), and is now declining rapidly (a logarithmic decline with increasing levels in the atmosphere). You cannot turn a CO2 knob and control climate. That is King Canute-like irrationality.
The benefits of more CO2 have been significant, notably in the 15% increase in green vegetation across the Earth over the past 40 years. That has meant more food for animal life and increased crop production for humans (crop production records are surpassed every year).
Overall, human life has been improved immensely thanks to fossil fuels and climate has not been harmed by fossil fuels.
There is no sound reason to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies, an irrational and irresponsible policy response that is harming the poorest people with rising energy costs, declining energy supplies, and electrical grids destabilized by unreliable renewables.
Understanding the true state of things
We get to the true state of something by looking at all the information, all the features/elements associated with that something. We should especially include those things that we don’t like, that make us uncomfortable because they may disprove beliefs that we hold. That is how we overcome our personal confirmation bias tendencies and get to a truer understanding of things.
An oft-repeated argument on this site is that contemporary secular, ideological, and even scientific systems/movements are often still profoundly religious. They are influenced and shaped by religious impulses and themes. These impulses and related themes have been deeply embedded in human narratives and consciousness across the millennia, till they are now hardwired as “archetypes” in the subconscious (my use of “archetypes” as inherited impulses and related ideas that validate such impulses).
Example: Note the inherited animal impulse that orients people to small bands that exclude and oppose/fight others. This small band orientation is affirmed/validated by primitive myths of gods as tribal deities that favor insiders and oppose enemies. People, due to the natural impulse to base behavior on ultimate ideals, then become just like the god or greater ideal/authority that they believe in.
Notable features in human psyches and worldviews/stories
(See the full versions of these primitive ideas in sections below- i.e. Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives)
1. The myth of a better past (original paradise world). This baseline myth orients the associated myths that follow to the meta-theme of life declining toward a worse future, toward disaster. Obviously, if life was once perfect but is now imperfect, then something went wrong. This has to be explained.
2. The myth that corrupted humanity ruined paradise (original and inherited sin mythology).
3. The belief that life is declining toward something worse- toward collapse and ending (apocalypse).
4. The belief that imperfect humanity deserves to be punished, even destroyed (self-loathing, anti-humanism).
5. The felt need to make a sacrifice, to pay for sin, to suffer for sin (e.g. give up the good life for the “morally superior simple life”).
6. The felt need for purification, purging of evil. The purging must be “instantaneous/immediate” because the threat is always imminent. Instantaneous transformation demands revolutionary violence. It cannot tolerate the gradualism of democratic processes that respects the freedom of others to differ (the respect of freedom that seeks compromise and cooperation with differing others).
7. The desire to engage a righteous battle against evil, to join one tribe in order to fight opposing tribes as “enemies”. This human embrace of dualism derives from meta-myths of cosmic dualism- i.e. life modelled on myths of a great good God engaged in warfare with a great evil power.
8. The felt need to engage a hero’s quest- i.e. to fight and conquer a monster/enemy.
9. The felt obligation to ensure that imperfect others are punished, even destroyed (i.e. to engage justice as punitive, not restorative).
10. The belief that if life is purged of sin/evil, and purified, then the lost paradise can be restored, and salvation accomplished.
Watch these profoundly religious impulses/themes play out in contemporary “secular/ideological” versions, just as they played out in Marxism and Nazism last century. We are watching them play out today in environmental alarmism/climate alarmism.
It is critical to understand these core themes of alarmism movements because across history they have repeatedly led us into disastrous mass-death outcomes. Is not insanity the repeating of the same old mistakes?
“The world has gone mad”
Journalist Bari Weiss responding to Brian Stelter during a CNN interview…
“Where can I start? Well, when you have the chief reporter on the beat of COVID for The New York Times talking about how questioning or pursuing the question of the lab leak is racist, the world has gone mad. When you’re not able to say out loud and in public there are differences between men and women, the world has gone mad. When we’re not allowed to acknowledge that rioting is rioting and it is bad and that silence is not violence, but violence is violence, the world has gone mad,” Weiss said. “When you’re not able to say the Hunter Biden laptop is a story worth pursuing, the world has gone mad. When, in the name of progress, young school children, as young as kindergarten, are being separated in public schools because of their race, and that is called progress instead of segregation, the world has gone mad. There are dozens of examples.”
View Weiss/Stelter clip at-
Quotes from Campbell: One element in responding to the intensifying tribalism of today’s world (e.g. Left versus Right). This is from chapter 8 in “Myths To Live By”.
Joseph Campbell speaks of people loving others despite their imperfections, of hearts going out in compassion to others despite their failures. He then adds that such love will be tested, challenged- “Life, we can be sure, will provide every one of us with a test of our capacity for such love.”
He then adds some thought-provoking insights re the testing of love…
“And there is the saying of Heraclitus: ‘To God all things are fair and good and right; but men hold some things wrong and some right. Good and evil are one.
“There is a deep and terrible mystery here, which we perhaps cannot, or possible simply will not, comprehend; yet which will have to be assimilated if we are to meet such a test.
“For love is exactly as strong as life. And when life produces what the intellect names evil, we may enter into righteous battle… however, if the principle of love (Christ’s ‘love your enemies’) is lost thereby, our humanity too will be lost.
“’Man’, in the words of the American novelist Hawthorne, ‘must not disclaim his brotherhood even with the guiltiest.’”
Campbell speaks to a mystery that is hard for us to comprehend because we inhabit this world of dualisms where humanity has long been divided into tribal factions that have hated and destroyed one another across history. Tribal enmity is deeply embedded in human psyches. Campbell counters this tribal dualism by pointing to the great mystery of Oneness behind this material reality. He basically argues that we are all from one Source, and that, consequently, there is an essential oneness to humanity.
Some suggest that even quantum mechanics points to some form of greater oneness behind the visible material realm that we inhabit. Note Nobel winner Erwin Schrodinger’s observation that “quantum physics is compatible with the notion that there is indeed a basic oneness of the universe.”
Campbell notes the origin of dualism thinking in Zoroaster’s theology that later shaped the development of Christianity and Christian dualism, and hence, also shaped Western dualism thinking. (Earlier forms of mythical dualism predate Zoroaster’s religion.)
Zoroaster presented the mythology of the cosmic dualism of a good God- Ahura Mazda- that existed in opposition to an evil power of darkness- Angra Mainyu. Zoroaster added that there now exists an ongoing conflict between these two ultimate powers. Consequent to this cosmic-scale dualism, everyone must choose a side and “align himself with the powers of either goodness or evil in this world”. People must choose the good side and oppose/fight evil enemies.
Further to this cosmic dualism, Zoroaster developed the myth of a coming great battle and end-time catastrophe where an ultimate Savior (Saoshyant) would conquer the evil force, annihilate enemies, and bring salvation. The savior would restore paradise to the side that chose the good God. Sound familiar?
The insight on ultimate Oneness does not automatically argue the conclusion that we should dismiss or downplay evil in life and in others. It urges us to hold the understanding that above and beyond the unavoidable dualisms of this world there exists a greater Oneness and that we are all from that, part of that greater Oneness. That is ultimate Reality. Hence, we are all one, we are equal members of the one human family.
If we forget our ultimate or fundamental oneness as we engage “righteous battles against evil” in this world, then we will lose our humanity. We should not forget that “loving our enemies” is how we maintain our humanity in this realm of dualisms.
Note: The ethic to “love enemies” assumes the distinction of love as primarily intention to treat others humanely, despite what we may feel about their behavior. We are right to feel disgust and outrage at the horrific inhumanity of some people. Love in its highest expression is more than feeling fuzzy or warm toward offenders. At core love it is the intention to do the humane thing despite how one feels (i.e. choosing restorative justice over punitive justice as in treating prisoners of war and other offenders humanely).
We hear endlessly this mantra that if we quickly shift to “clean energy” (renewables) then we can “limit warming to 1.5 degrees C”. See for example…
“IEA’s annual World Energy Outlook warns clean energy and infrastructure need a $4 trillion a year investment.
“Such an outlay would mean the world could limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels, as agreed in Paris six years ago.”
This is an unscientific statement based on now discredited assumptions. You cannot turn a “CO2 knob” and control climate, a highly complex system that is influenced by an array of natural factors that overwhelm the CO2 influence on climate. CO2 is just a “bit player” in the mix of factors influencing climate.
Climate notes: The failure of Green renewables
Wildfires not getting worse
See new quotes below from Mendel’s Vision and Violence on how violent transformation became central to apocalyptic thinking.
Check this link from YouTube: Jimmy Dore commenting re CNN lying that Joe Rogan took Ivermectin, a horse-deworm medicine. They lied about the fact that Ivermectin is a Nobel-prize winning medicine originally created for humans, widely and potently used against varied ailments.
This from Arthur Mendel: “The Apocalypse is a self-fulfilling prophecy. It promotes the suffering it predicts”.
Further Mendel quotes from “Vision and Violence” (ch.1- How violent purging and transformation became central to apocalyptic.)
Arthur Mendel traces the development of apocalyptic thinking in the Bible. Initially, the Bible presents two elements of development, (1) that of gradual improvement in life and (2) a vision of more catastrophically violent, apocalyptic transformation of life. Eventually, the vision of violent transformation dominates the biblical narrative.
The vision of a violent transformation of the world begins with Old Testament stories of divine violence against enemy nations (utter destruction of enemies). This destruction is necessary to clear the way for a pure and perfect Kingdom of God. In this theology there is a radical division between the sinners and the saved.
As apocalyptic develops further in later Jewish writing there is “a total rejection of the present world; absolute faith in the imminence of an ideal divine kingdom of the saved; certainty that a divinely sent Messiah will bring this salvation; and- the key feature generally missed in neo-Platonic and Gnostic works- emphasis on the terrible violence that will accomplish the miraculous transmutation.”.
Apocalyptic reaches its final form in the Christian gospels, Paul’s writings, and John’s Revelation. Central to apocalyptic is the belief that suffering is essential to salvation. Through suffering sin is punished, a corrupted world is purified, and salvation attained. And “since the harsher the suffering the sooner the salvation, the worse became the better.”
He continues, “It was through Christianity that the Apocalypse became a part of our culture… (and) this study argues, the initial religious model of apocalyptic transmutation became the pattern and inspiration for the later secular-revolutionary versions (i.e. Marxism, Nazism)… violently enforced by the authoritarian ‘remnant’ left in the wake of the successive apocalyptic upheavals.
“The potential for such violence inherent in the original version is most apparent in Revelation. Virtually the whole of that text is an account of the violence, devastation, suffering, and death necessary to purge the world and clear the way for the pure and perfect kingdom.”
Later: “Denunciation of the existing world and its sinners as too corrupt for repair and their condemnation to total destruction is the first principle of apocalyptic theory and practice. The second is an absolute certainty that this just retribution and accompanying world transmutation are imminent”.
Note: Zoroaster’s earlier version of apocalyptic (1500 BCE versus the 800-600 BCE dates of the Old Testament) also embraced a violent and fiery purging of a corrupt world. That earlier version shaped Jewish and Christian versions of violent purging/transformation.
The reposting of “Old Story Myths, New Story Alternatives” below is to serve as a reminder of what is behind alarmist movements like climate alarmism- i.e. the deeply embedded themes that we have inherited from primitive mythical narratives, themes that have been embraced by contemporary ideologies like Declinism and its offspring ‘environmental alarmism’. When tracing ideas/themes, you discover that there is a clear line of historical descent from primitive mythology to contemporary “secular ideology”, and even science. That is difficult for some people to acknowledge, especially those moderns who consider themselves fully secularized, scientific, materialist in orientation, and even atheist.
Again, I urge visitors to read histories like Arthur Herman’s “The Idea of Decline in Western History”, Richard Landes’ “Heaven On Earth”, or Arthur Mendel’s “Vision and Violence” for some understanding of how primitive mythical/religious themes continue to dominate modern consciousness. When you sketch out the core themes that many contemporary people embrace in their personal worldviews, you can see the comfortable fit with the same mythological themes that were embraced by ancient Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians, Egyptians, and on down through world religions and into the present.
Climate alarmism, despite its claims of representing science, is a profoundly religious movement.
Check this graph of the warm periods of our Holocene interglacial. Our current Modern Warm Period is the coolest of all the warm periods of the Holocene. We are on a long-term cooling trend and should value any further global warming that we might get.
Concern over rising CO2 levels and the human contribution to this: We still don’t fully know how much of the modern rise of CO2 is human-caused or natural. Scientists have pointed out that the ‘perturbations’ (disturbance, deviation) in carbon cycles are larger than the human contribution through industrialization. Carbon cycles (i.e. land biomass/atmosphere, ocean/atmosphere) are not locked in some perfectly balanced exchange.
What we do know is that atmospheric levels of CO2 have been dangerously low over the recent past, dipping to 185 ppm just 20,000 years ago, almost the level at which all plant life dies (150 ppm). And we do know the current rise in CO2 levels has been immensely beneficial to all life with a massive greening of our planet- a 15% increase in green vegetation across the Earth over just the past 40 years. Life is once again flourishing with more of its basic plant food.
Also, the mild warming of the past- 1 degree C over the past century, with about 0.5 degree C of that occurring from 1975-1995. This has benefitted life also. But we need even more warming.
Why the endless panic-mongering and hysteria over this mild climate change? The answers appear to lie somewhat in the direction of stubbornly embedded mythological themes and related ideological dogmatism (politics). Patterns in human story also shed light on the real nature of climate alarmism- i.e. the natural human desire for heroic quest or journey, the felt need to engage a righteous battle against some evil or enemy (and to conquer or slay such), the felt need to embrace some form of salvation/redemption in order to achieve utopia or restore a lost paradise, etc.
So much goes into the mix of understanding these issues/problems and finding solutions to them.
Keep the big picture in mind on this climate issue. New research again affirms that the previous warm periods of our interglacial (Holocene) were warmer than our Modern Warm Period. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/10/15/4-more-new-reconstructions-affirm-the-medieval-warm-period-was-warmer-than-today/
Our present Modern Warm Period is actually part of a long-term cooling trend now 5000 years and counting. Following the Holocene Optimum Warm Period of roughly 7000 to 5000 years ago, each successive warm period (i.e. Roman, Medieval, Modern) has been cooler than previous ones.
And while it warmed approximately 0.5 degrees C from 1975-95, since then the warming trend has been roughly flat. 1998 was a strong El Nino. Warming paused from 2003-15, then we had the strong El Nino of 2015-16, and since then warming has again paused over the past 6 years. See sites like Wattsupwiththat.com for detail.
Point? There is no “climate crisis”. Further, other scientists argue that we could be facing a cooling trend in coming decades. We will have to wait and see what happens. The mild warming that we have experienced is not a crisis but has been a net benefit to life.
The heat waves that we have suffered (e.g. Western North America this past summer), while harmful, are not as devastating as cold which causes far more fatalities. See Lomborg comments just below.
New research results again challenge the alarmist narrative of “climate crisis caused mainly by human use of fossil fuels and emissions of CO2”. This research affirms the role of cosmic rays on cloud cover and the counter role of solar explosions. This interaction between cosmic rays and solar explosions appears to overwhelm the influence of CO2. It demands a rethink of the climate alarm narrative on CO2 as “the main cause of climate change that will become catastrophic.”
These major uncertainties ought to caution the hysterical demonization of CO2, and raise serious questions about the mad rush to eliminate fossil fuels and install systems based on unreliable renewables. Our best response, till we understand things better, is to adapt to climate change while continuing to use the in-expensive fossil fuels that have enabled billions to escape poverty, improve the human condition, and better care for nature.
I’ll say it again- there is no valid reason to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies.
The cosmic ray/sun interaction shows a strong correlation with the climate change that we have experienced over past decades. The cosmic ray/sun interaction works like this: Cosmic rays hit our atmosphere and cause water droplets and cloud to form, notably the 3000 meter and below cloud that is highly reflective of incoming heat from the sun. The result of such cloud cover over the Earth is climate cooling. But an active sun (solar explosions sending magnetised gas sweeping past the Earth) reduces the cosmic rays reaching us. This reduces cloud cover allowing more sunlight to reach the Earth’s surface and cause climate warming.
Cosmic rays = cloud = climate cooling
Active sun = less cloud = climate warming
For detail see Henrik Svensmark’s “The Chilling Stars”. Point? The climate change that we are experiencing shows strong correlation to natural factors (natural variation) and our response should be adaptation, not costly and ineffective mitigation policies that are harming the poorest people across the planet.
Warming alarmists must be confronted with and made to respond to this critical fact- i.e. that cold weather kills around 5-10 times more people every year than warm weather does. Despite this evidence, alarmists continue to terrorize the public over a mild warming of only one degree C over the past century. This warming is a natural recovery from the bitter cold of the pre-industrial ‘Little Ice Age’ of 1450-1850. Humanity and all life will benefit further from more warming.
Bjorn Lomborg makes the point that global warming saves far more lives than are harmed by warming…
Lomborg notes that news media focus on deaths from heat waves and blame climate change but that is one-sided reporting that badly misinforms the public. What media and politicians ignore almost entirely is that global warming has the effect of reducing cold waves and cold deaths that are far more common than heat deaths.
Lomborg quotes from the above link…
“What is almost entirely ignored by politicians and media, however, is that rising temperatures also have the effect of reducing cold waves and cold deaths. Cold restricts blood flow needed to keep our core warm, increasing blood pressure and killing through strokes, heart attacks, and respiratory diseases. But because they don’t fit the current climate narrative deaths from cold are rarely reported. If they were just a curiosity, the indifference might be justified, but they aren’t. Each year, more than 100,000 people die from cold in the U.S. and 13,000 in Canada — which is more than 40 cold deaths for every heat death…
“On a worldwide basis, cold deaths vastly outnumber heat deaths. This is not just true for cold countries like Canada but also warmer countries like the U.S., Spain and Brazil. Even in India, cold deaths outnumber heat deaths by seven to one. Globally, every year about 300,000 deaths are caused by heat, whereas almost 1.7 million people die of cold …
“A landmark study in Lancet shows that across every region climate change has brought a greater reduction in cold deaths over the past few decades than it has caused additional heat deaths. On average, it has avoided upwards of twice as many deaths, resulting in perhaps 200,000 fewer cold deaths each year…
“Heat deaths are generally declining in countries with good data, because heat deaths can be effectively tackled with more widely available air conditioning, heat alerts, open public pools and air-conditioned malls and by encouraging people to use fans and drink plenty of water. This is abundantly clear for the U.S., where hot days have increased since 1960, and have come to affect a much larger population. Yet the number of U.S. heat deaths has halved. The rest of the world needs access to the same simple technologies to drastically reduce heat deaths.
“Tackling cold deaths turns out to be much harder, because it requires well-heated homes over weeks and months. Moreover, strong climate policies will increase heating costs and make cold deaths even more prevalent. Researchers have looked at the natural experiment in the U.S. since 2010 as fracking has delivered a dramatic reduction in the cost of natural gas. This made gas-heated homes warmer and safer because poorer households, in particular, could afford better heating. The study estimated that these lower energy prices save about 11,000 Americans from dying every winter. That alone is four times the lives lost from all North American heat deaths…
“A climate policy that drives gas prices back up will mean fewer people will be able to afford to adequately heat their homes and as a consequence the death rate will go back up…
“But when it comes to tackling heat and cold deaths, current climate reporting leaves us badly informed. It makes us focus on the costliest and least effective way to help future victims of heat and cold. It even risks exacerbating cold deaths by raising heating costs. Moreover, it simply tells us a misleading story of heat deaths, ignoring the much greater number of avoided cold deaths. For now, global warming reduces more deaths than it causes, saving possibly 100,000 lives each year.”
“Bjorn Lomborg is president of the Copenhagen Consensus and visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His latest book is False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet.”
My conclusion: The continuing cold climate of our planet is a far greater threat to humanity than any warming. We could benefit immensely from a few more degrees of warming in our current “ice-age era” where average temperatures are 5-10 degrees below the more optimal averages of most past history. So once again, there is no good reason to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies.
And then- the Chicken Little gathering as climate alarmism reaches another crescendo of hysteria…
This month (October 2021) there will be another great gathering of apocalyptic alarmists- COP26 in Glasgow- trying to convince the world that the end is nigh (the year 2030 prophesied as the latest “end-of-days”). Think “Chicken Little” as you watch this event unfold because that is the level of rationality being expressed.
See this good summary of some of the best climate science “Nature, not human activity, rules the climate” at http://www.sepp.org/publications/nipcc_final.pdf
And this from Anthony Watts site: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/10/12/epa-u-s-heat-wave-heat-cold-death-rate-data-exposes-destroys-biden-democrats-extreme-heat-propaganda/
We have had a mild 1 degree C of warming over the past century in our abnormally cold world. That 1 degree C was part of a natural recovery from the bitter cold of the pre-industrial Little Ice Age (1450-1850). Earth has responded to this warming and more basic plant food in the atmosphere (more CO2) with a stunning 15% increase in green vegetation across the planet over the past 40 years. More warmth means extended growing seasons for crops and extended habitats for life. All life would benefit further from more warmth and more plant food. Increasing warmth and rising CO2 will not lead to a “climate catastrophe” but will lead to life thriving even more.
See further details on climate science in articles and sources listed below. The best evidence on climate change affirms that there is no rational scientific reason to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies. In fact, such policies are causing a current energy shortage across the world with rising energy costs that harm the poorest people the most. Decarbonization (“Net Zero by 2050”) is a foolishly irresponsible salvation scheme of climate alarmists (“save the world”) in thrall to an insanely exaggerated climate apocalyptic narrative.
Note (understanding climate alarmism)
I am interested in a ‘mind revolution’ that goes to the core of human narratives, that reaches the human subconscious where deeply embedded “archetypes” (inherited impulses, associated ideas) shape how we view reality and life, and how we feel, respond and act. I believe you can change the nature of those embedded archetypes that have long been molded by primitive mythologies like apocalyptic. Our deepest impulses, and the ideas that we embrace to validate them, can be altered and humanized. Hence, my “Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives”. How we train ourselves to think shapes how we view life, how we feel, and how we consequently respond and behave. This project is about fully liberating human consciousness/subconscious.
Narratives of despair
There is no darker expression of meaningless despair (nihilism) and cynical pessimism than to embrace the primitive myth of apocalyptic- the fallacy of a catastrophic collapse and final end of life. There is no greater denial of reality/truth than to ignore the amassed evidence on the improving state of life across the history of Earth, and particularly since the emergence and development of conscious humanity across past millennia. Lessening violence is a prime example of improvement: see James Payne’s “History of Force”.
Apocalyptic is arguably an expression of insanity, madness, and denialism of the worst kind. It leads to dangerous self-fulfilling prophecy outcomes, people willing to embrace “salvation” schemes that ruin societies because they are allowing themselves to be misled that they are involved in “saving the world from some existential catastrophe”. Remember the “madness of crowds” where many normally rational people allowed themselves to become caught up in the apocalyptic millennial movements of Marxism and Nazism last century. The mass-death outcomes were horrific.
Further, there is no greater insanity than the current demonization of CO2- the basic food of all life- as a “pollutant/poison” (e.g. Bill Maher).
What the world needs now are clear, undeterrable voices proclaiming the absolutely critical role of CO2 in sustaining and saving life. This miniscule (0.04% of the atmosphere) trace gas- CO2- is essential to life, health, and the well-being of all.
During the past millions of years of our current ice-age era, CO2 levels have been at historic lows, dangerous lows. Just 20,000 years ago CO2 levels declined to 185 ppm, barely above the level at which all life dies (150 ppm). We have had a slight recovery to 400-plus ppm and life is flourishing again with a 15% increase in green vegetation across the planet over just the last 40 years. Life will flourish a lot more if CO2 rises to the optimum levels of past history that were in the 1000-1500 ppm range and even much higher. With those past levels of CO2 in the multiple-thousands of ppm there was no climate catastrophe but, instead, life thrived.
Why the panic-mongering over the current mild rise in CO2?
CO2 levels are not harmful to people till well in excess of 5000 ppm and there is almost no possibility of CO2 levels rising that high. US submariners live with CO2 levels in the 2000-5000 range. The CDC says CO2 becomes life-threatening in the 50-100,000 ppm. Again, CO2 levels will not rise that high. See Patrick Moore’s detailed explanation of what happened to CO2 over past millions of years- i.e. its sequestration in carbonaceous rocks by marine life (“Fake Invisible Catastrophes and Threats of Doom”). The greater threat to life is not more CO2 but less CO2.
Increases above the current 415 ppm will not cause catastrophic heating of the Earth because CO2’s warming influence has already reached “saturation” in terms of its ability to absorb and re-emit the infrared radiation that warms climate (Note the research of climate physicists Richard Lindzen, William Happer, and others). An increase from 400 to 800 ppm “may” cause another degree or two of warming. May. Yes “may”, because the CO2 influence on climate is minor and is regularly overwhelmed by other natural factors that show stronger correlations to the climate change that we have experienced over past decades and centuries. CO2 is only a “bit player” in the climate mix. See, for example: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/08/10/the-diminishing-influence-of-increasing-carbon-dioxide-on-temperature/ or https://energycentral.com/c/um/no-evidence-support-carbon-dioxide-causing-global-warming
We are still in a “CO2 starvation era” and should hope that levels continue to rise to the healthier, optimal levels of past history.
Notable also, the Modern Warm Period that began around 1975 saw only about 0.5 degrees C of warming over subsequent decades. The warming then stopped mid-90s, and climate has basically flatlined since the early Oughts (2003) except for two strong El Nino years in 2015-16. Since then, the mid-70s to mid-90s warming trend has again flatlined/paused for the past 6 years (see climate reports at Wattsupwiththat.com). The climate models predicted 3-6 degrees C warming over these and coming decades, but actual observed climate warming has been much less and does not appear to be trending toward much more warming. Even the IPCC admits that its discredited climate models “were running too hot”. Some scientists have predicted that another cooling period may actually occur over the upcoming decades.
We should hope for further warming in our still abnormally cold world where average temperatures are 5-10 degrees C below optimal averages over the past history of life. Remember, cold kills far more people every year than warmth does. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150520193831.htm
Once, again there is no rational scientific reason to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies.
Countering madness narratives– scattered notes…
It is spitting into a storm to try to get a committed pessimist to view the amassed evidence on the improving state of life. A committed pessimist embraces alarmist scenarios because they resonate with and affirm his apocalyptic beliefs in life declining toward catastrophe and ending. The pessimist’s apocalyptic beliefs are inherited religious beliefs, long embedded in human narratives and consciousness/subconscious.
Progress is not guaranteed but is natural and the most likely continuing trajectory of life. All people naturally want a better life and will put in the hard work and creativity to achieve something better. This natural impulse of most people results in the overall improving trajectory of life. It takes some kind of busy-body elite intervention to fuck this natural trajectory up, this natural impulse to progress.
Watch the outcomes of the endless beating of narratives of despair into public consciousness (i.e. the climate apocalyptic narratives). Those narratives of despair orient people to expect the worst, to embrace wish fulfillment and even incite some people to engage activism to bring on the end times. We saw this in the extremism of ISIS where many young men tried to help God bring on the end of a corrupt world and restore a lost paradise across the Earth. That apocalyptic activism is also finding expression in the climate alarm movement, where alarmists are trying to impose a salvation scheme- decarbonization- in order to overturn industrial society. They are bent on achieving purification from a world they believe has been corrupted by fossil fuel industrial society. Just like ISIS they are seeking redemption, salvation, and new life in a restored paradise. Climate alarmism is a profoundly religious movement, cloaked in Declinist ideology, with a smattering of highly distorted “climate science”.
Steve Koonin’s responses to fact-checkers that claimed his book “Unsettled” was promoting misinformation on climate https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/10/10/steve-koonin-the-factcheckers/
Below are Koonin’s responses to fact-checkers like Kerry Emmanuel…
”The rate of sea-level rise has not accelerated.”
“… the acceleration seen over the past few decades is comparable to that seen around 1930, when human influences on the climate were much smaller…The IPCC has accepted that sea levels were rising at a similar level to now earlier in the 20thC, a fact which is evident from tide gauges.
”The extent of global fires has been trending significantly downward.”
“The fact checkers do not dispute the statement, which surprises most non-experts, who typically believe that human influences on the climate are the dominant cause of fires…
“The factchecks make no comment on the effects of decades of fire suppression and poor forest management which undoubtedly are a major factor now.
”Tornado frequency and severity are also not trending up; nor are the number and severity of droughts.”
“The statement is true, and the fact checkers do not dispute it, but rather give reasons why it is true and why it might not be true in the future. The second half of Unsettled’s Chapter 6 covers the points they raise, including the clustering and spatial shifts mentioned by Swain and Prein.
“Highlighting that there are no climatologically significant trends in tornadoes, as is true for many other severe weather phenomena, is a tonic to the widespread perception that “we’ve already broken the climate”. Emanuel’s claim of a strawman is then curious. Would he have scientists discuss only those severe weather phenomena that do show a deleterious trend? Doing that would alarmingly misinform non-experts.
“The criticism by Kerry Emmanuel is beyond absurd, given he and his colleagues routinely claim trends where no proper data exists.
“He is also completely wrong, as NOAA’s won data shows a marked decline the number of strong tornadoes.
”The number and severity of droughts are also not trending up.”
“Unsettled (pg 98) quotes the following from IPCC AR5 WGI Section 188.8.131.52
“. . . the IPCC expressed low confidence in a global-scale observed trend in drought or dryness (lack of rainfall) since the middle of the 20th century . . .
“Humans have had no detectable impact on hurricanes over the past century”
“Authors of 2019 paper that displayed and assessed hurricane trends extending back more than a century… the majority of the authors had only low confidence that any other observed tropical cyclone changes were beyond what could be attributed to natural variability.
”Global crop yields are rising, not falling.” “The fact checkers agree with the statement, which is another tonic to the notion that the world is suffering from climate devastation.
His conclusion: “These factcheckers have no interest in facts. Their only concern is that views are not expressed which run counter to their extremist outlook, which is not based on fact and hard data, but on models and prejudice.”
Note: The reposting here of “Old story myths, new story alternatives” is to serve as a reminder of what is behind alarmist movements like climate alarmism- i.e. the deeply embedded themes that we have inherited from primitive mythical narratives, themes that have been embraced by contemporary ideologies like Declinism and ifs offspring environmental alarmism. Again, I urge visitors to read histories like Arthur Herman’s The Idea of Decline in Western History. Countering the panic-mongering of climate alarmism, as with all eruptions of apocalyptic hysteria, will require going to the root of the problem- the ideas that alarmists employ to incite unnecessary fear in populations. Those ideas are profoundly religious in nature.
Short-form list of Old story myths, New story alternatives (revised)
A prominent set of myths has been repeated all across human history and across all the cultures of the world. These myths are primitive and profound distortions of reality and life. They do not express the true state of things. Nonetheless, they continue to dominate human narratives and consciousness today.
These ideas have long been the central beliefs of the world religions. They are now also embraced in “secular” ideological belief systems like Declinism, the belief that life is becoming worse and declining toward catastrophe and ending. They have even found expression in “scientific” versions. But at core they are the same old primitive pathologies as ever before.
I tackle these myths on this site because they have always deformed human consciousness and life with unnecessary fear, anxiety, shame/guilt, despair, depression, and violence. How we think (the ideas that we hold) shapes how we view life, how we feel about things, and how we respond and act. Example: If you believe God will judge, punish, and destroy your enemies (i.e. Hell) then you will treat them in the same manner (judging, condemning, excluding, punishing). We become just like the God/Ultimate Reality that we believe in.
Related conclusion: Climate alarmism, with its apocalyptic scenarios and salvation schemes, is a profoundly religious movement presented as secular ideology and even science.
Old story themes, new story alternatives, Wendell Krossa
1. Old story myth: The idea of deity as a judging, punishing, and destroying reality. Contemporary “secular” versions of judging, punishing deity include “Vengeful Gaia, angry Planet/Mother Earth, retributive Universe, and payback karma”.
Alternative: The new theology of deity as a stunningly no conditions reality (no conditions love). There is no threat from an unconditional God, no judgment, no exclusion of anyone, and no punishment or destruction.
2. Old story myth: The idea of a perfect beginning (Eden) and a God obsessed with perfection, enraged at the loss of perfection, and demanding punishment of imperfection.
Alternative: The world was purposefully created as originally imperfect in order to serve as an arena for human struggle, learning, and development. Deity has no problem with imperfection.
3. Old story myth: Humanity began as a more perfect species (the myth of noble primitive hunter gatherers, Adam/Eve) but became corrupted/sinful (i.e. the myth of the “Fall of mankind”).
Alternative: Humanity emerged from the brutality of animal reality to gradually become more humane across history (a long-term trajectory of rise/improvement, not fall and degeneration/decline).
4. Old story myth: The world began as an original paradise but after the “Fall” the overall trajectory of life has been declining, degenerating toward something worse.
Alternative: The long-term trajectory of life does not decline but overall rises/improves toward something ever better.
5. Old story myth: The belief that natural disasters, disease, human cruelty, and death are expressions of divine punishment.
Alternative: While there are natural consequences all through life, there is no punitive, destroying deity behind the imperfections of life.
6. Old story Myth: The belief that humanity has been rejected by the Creator and we must be reconciled via violent blood sacrifice.
Alternative: No one has ever been rejected by the unconditional Love at the core of reality. No one has ever been separated from God. Ultimate Love does not demand appeasement/payment/atonement.
7. Old story myth: The idea of a cosmic dualism between Good and Evil (i.e. God versus Satan) now expressed in human dualisms (tribes of righteous people versus unrighteous tribes/“enemies”).
Alternative: there is a fundamental Oneness at the core of all and we share that oneness. We all belong to the one human family and the ultimate Oneness that is God.
8. Old story myth: The belief in a looming apocalypse as the final judgment, ultimate punishment of wrong, and final destruction of all things.
Alternative: There are problems all through the world but there is no looming threat of final destruction and ending. Apocalypse is a great fraud and lie.
9. Old story myth: The always “imminent” element in apocalyptic demands urgent action to save something, even coercive violence to effect “instantaneous transformation”. (Arthur Mendel, in Vision and Violence, details the difference between the approaches of “instantaneous transformation” and “gradualism”.)
Alternative: There is no imminent “end of days” on the horizon, inciting urgency to “save the world”. Rather, life improves through gradual democratic processes as creative humanity cooperatively solves problems.
10. Old story myth: The demand for a salvation plan, a required sacrifice or atonement (debt payment, punishment).
Alternative: Unconditional deity does not demand sacrifice, atonement, payment, or punishment as required for appeasement. Deity loves unconditionally.
11. Old story myth: The belief that retribution or payback is true “justice” (i.e. eye for eye, hurt for hurt, humiliation for humiliation, punishment for punishment).
Alternative: Unconditional love keeps no record of wrongs, forgives freely and without limit. And yes, there are natural consequences to bad behavior in this world, but all justice should be restorative/rehabilitative in response to human failure.
12. Old story myth: The belief in after-life judgment, exclusion, punishment, and destruction (i.e. hell). This pathology adds unnecessary sting to the human fear of death.
Alternative: Unconditional love does not threaten ultimate judgment, exclusion, punishment, or destruction.
13. Old story myth: The idea of a “hero” messiah who will use superior force to overthrow enemies, purge the world of wrong, and install a promised utopia.
Alternative: A God of authentic love does not intervene with overwhelming force that overrides human freedom and choice. It is up to maturing humanity to make the world a better place through gradualism processes that respect the freedom of others that differ.
14. Old story myth: The fallacy of biblicism- the belief that religious holy books are more special and authoritative than ordinary human literature, and the related fallacy that people are obligated to live according to the holy book as the will, law, or specially inspired word of God.
Alternative: We evaluate all human writing according to basic criteria of right and wrong, good and bad, humane or inhumane. Holy books are not exempted from this basic process of discernment.
15. Old story myth: The idea of God as King, Ruler, Lord, or Judge. This myth promotes the idea that God relates to humanity in domination/submission forms of relating. This is based on the primitive idea that humans were “created to serve the gods”.
Alternative: There is no domination/subservience relationship of humanity to God. True greatness is to relate horizontally to all as equals.
16. Old story myth: The idea that humanity is obligated to know, serve, or have a relationship with an invisible reality (deity), that we are to give primary loyalty to something separate from and above people.
Alternative: Our primary loyalty is to love and serve people around us. Their needs, here and now, take priority in life. Loyalty to realities above people (laws, institutions, or higher authorities) have always resulted in the neglect or abuse of people.
17. Old story myth: The perception that God is silent or absent during the horrors of life (i.e. Where was God during the Holocaust?). This myth of absent deity is based on the primitive belief that God is a sky deity (dwelling in heaven), a deity that descends to intervene in life and change circumstances in order to save or protect people.
Alternative: There has never been a Sky God up above in some heaven. God has always been incarnated equally in all humanity and God has always been immediately present in all human suffering and is intimately present in all human raging and struggle against evil. God is inseparable from the human spirit in all of us and is expressed in all human action to prevent evil, to solve problems, and to improve life. We are the embodiments/incarnations of God in this world, and nothing saves us except our choices and actions to help one another.
18. Old story myth: The fallacy of “limited good” and the belief that too many people are consuming too much of Earth’s resources, and hence world resources are being exhausted.
Alternative: More people means more creative minds to solve problems. More consumption means more wealth to solve problems and enable us to make life better- i.e. enable us to improve the human condition and protect the natural world at the same time. Evidence affirms that human improvement and environmental improvement has been the outcome of more people on Earth. See “Population Bombed” by Desrochers and Szurmak, “Ultimate Resource” by Julian Simon, “Humanprogress.org”, and related studies.
Further, we are not exhausting Earth’s resources. With the emergence of some apparent resource scarcity, humanity through improving technology discovers more reserves of those scarce resources or shifts to alternative resources. There is a superabundance of resources in our world.
Add your own themes/ideas and alternatives.
Alarmism defined: The tendency to exaggerate some problem/threat to apocalyptic scale thereby terrorizing populations. Alarmist exaggeration distorts the true state of a problem. It does not help us to understand the real nature of a problem and how to rationally respond to it. Alarmism incites irrationality and the embrace of damaging salvation schemes like decarbonization.