Section topics: Climate updates; Hollywood’s obsession with primitive apocalyptic mythology; Mulling/ruminating on theology; Creeping authoritarianism; The nature of core reality; No conditions at the core of reality changes everything; Humanity’s single most profound insight; Countering alarmism with evidence-based hope; Patterns/outcomes in alarmism movements; The shamefulness of being carried away by panic-mongering and crowd madness; Big picture perspective on the true state of things; Two prominent unproven assumptions of climate alarmism; The true state of life (main indicators); Eruptions/surges of apocalyptic hysteria; Consequences of persistent despair narratives…
more Section topics: Joe Rogan as freedom hero; And the Oscar goes to- Dicaprio’s validation of hysterical panic porn- “Don’t Look Up”; Optimism/Pessimism; Traumatizing children with climate apocalypse (the growing pathology of “eco-anxiety”); Research paper from physicist Ed Berry showing that natural sources (not human emissions) are behind the increase in CO2 over the past two centuries; Positive trends (cheer for the new year- the true state of life); Materialism/theism (a review of The Return of the God Hypothesis); Common sense from a geologist, and more…
The next four sections below now have reposted, revised versions of…
(1) “Humanity’s worst ideas, better alternatives”. The most dominant beliefs/ideas from across history with alternatives to transform human narratives, liberate minds. Bad ideas incite, guide, and validate bad behavior.
(2) “History’s single most profound insight buried by Paul’s Christ myth”. The Historical Jesus insight that deity was a stunning “no conditions love”, a reality that is entirely contrary to the highly conditional nature of all religion (i.e. religious conditions of right belief, demanded sacrifice/payment, required ritual and lifestyle, justice as punishment).
(3) “Speculating on the meaning of human life and experience”. Interacting with Joseph Campbell’s points on the “Hero’s journey” and how “no conditions love” enables us to “tower in stature as maturely human”. Unconditional/universal love is how we conquer our inner monster/enemy and maintain our humanity while we engage our “righteous battle against evil”.
(A necessary qualifier: Embracing an unconditional approach to imperfect humanity does not excuse anyone from the responsibility to hold all accountable for bad behavior, including the forcible restraint of uncontrolled bad behavior (i.e. the role of military/police and incarceration programs). An orientation to unconditional treatment of human failure (restorative/rehabilitative justice) is not an advocacy for pacifism in the face of evil. This needs to be said because of the too common ‘illiberal’ tendency to associate love with feeling warm and fuzzy toward offenders and for claiming that unconditional treatment of offenders means being soft or mushy toward offenses. This is more about love as thoughtful pre-determined intention to respond in a certain way, not love as predominantly “feeling”. More what is known as “agape love” in the Christian tradition. As noted before, (“Hear me once, hear me twice”) unconditional treatment of all others is how we maintain our own humanity while engaging our personal battles against evil.
Whenever we talk about any kind of love, we are talking about the best of being human, about what primarily defines us as human. And with no conditions love we are talking about the best of human response in the face of evil. But such response is never about abandoning common sense and the basic human responsibility to protect all from harm. Unfortunately, when discussing the ideal of unconditional you sometimes get those who swing extremist and chirp, “Oh you mean let the psychopaths go free”. No. No one means anything so foolishly void of common sense. It is about the humane way to treat human failure and offense. Again, what is the best of being human?)
(4) “The most good for the most people”. The two main approaches to organizing human societies across history- collectivism versus the orientation to the free individual. What approach has actually achieved the greater good for all most successfully?
And some quotes from climate physicist William Happer on climate alarmism as religious crusade:
“Climate frenzy is really heating up recently. On February 4th (2021) Senator Bernie Sanders, Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, and Congressman Earl Blumenauer introduced “legislation mandating the declaration of a national climate emergency. The National Climate Emergency Act directs the President of the United States to declare a national climate emergency and mobilize every resource at the country’s disposal to halt, reverse, mitigate and prepare for the consequences of this climate crisis.” (This is from Mr. Blumenauer’s website.) But this is utter nonsense. There is no climate crisis, and there will not be a climate crisis…
“… that’s the way crusades are. This is really not a question of science. This is a question of a secular religion for some. It is a question of money for others. It is a question of power for others. But whatever it is, it is not science…
“Climate fanatics don’t know or care any more about the science of climate than those medieval Inquisitors knew or cared about the teachings of Christ…
“So, let’s talk about CO2. Number one, it is not a pollutant at all…”, and much more on the physics of climate.
“The whole aim of practical politics (and news media) is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.” – H. L. Mencken.
The material below on theology concerns our primary impulse for meaning and the big ideas that we embrace that shape our worldviews (i.e. how we understand things), the ideas that influence how we feel about reality and the issues affecting our lives/societies, the ideas that guide our responses to all sorts of issues (i.e. policies/programs that we support), and the outcomes- both good and bad- for others.
Climate updates, Wendell Krossa
The link here on greenhouse gas saturation affirms why we do not need to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies. Add to this “saturation” of the warming influence of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, the fact that, contrary to the discredited climate models, climate is not warming toward a “catastrophic… existential crisis” of any kind. https://www.heartland.org/news-opinion/news/study-suggests-no-more-co2-warming.
See also https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/01/14/nearly-140-scientific-papers-detail-the-minuscule-effect-co2-has-on-earths-temperature/
We have had a mild 1 degree C of warming over the past century (0.5 degree C since the 1970s) as we have emerged out of the pre-Industrial era descent into the bitter cold of the Little Ice Age (1450-1850). But we still need several more degrees of warming as 10 times more people die every year from cold than die from warmth. With more warming the decrease in deaths from cold far exceeds any additional deaths from warmth. More warming is net beneficial to all life. https://www.wsj.com/articles/climate-change-heat-cold-deaths-medical-journal-health-risk-energy-cost-fossil-fuels-11631741045
And further warming does not necessarily make already warm areas warmer. Incoming heat is distributed by ocean and atmospheric convection currents to the colder regions of Earth (polar regions), to colder seasons (winter), and to colder times of day (night). https://www.econlib.org/archives/2007/08/freeman_dyson_o_1.html
And contrary to exaggerated and distorting alarmist demonization of CO2 as a “pollutant” and “poisonous gas” (Bill Maher), more of this basic plant food in the atmosphere has resulted in a 15% addition of green vegetation across the world since 1980 (30% more since 1900). That has meant more food for animal life and increased crop production for humanity. But CO2 levels are still far below the multiple-thousand ppm of past eras when all life flourished. https://fee.org/articles/rejoice-the-earth-is-becoming-greener/
Hollywood story-telling has embraced a renewed surge of apocalyptic lunacy that compliments the climate alarmism crusade (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_apocalyptic_films). Note the movie industry trend toward increasing number of apocalyptic movies over the decades. This trend rises in unison with surging apocalyptic hysteria over environmental issues across the same decades. Major religious traditions have long taken the lead in maintaining and promoting the primitive myth of apocalyptic. But today our supposedly advanced modern culture, more “secularized/scientific” than the primitive cultures of past centuries and millennia, is still obsessed with the great lie of apocalyptic mythology.
Apocalyptic-scale hysteria has always been fueled by myths of some great punitive, destroying Force or Spirit/deity. We see that in the earliest Sumerian and Egyptian mythology (i.e. “Sumerian Flood” myth, Egyptian “Destruction of Mankind” and “Return to Chaos” myths). Add here the related pathology that humanity deserves punishment for imperfection and is obligated to make some sacrifice/payment to appease the offended gods- whether religious or “secular” deities (i.e. “vengeful Gaia, angry Planet/Mother Earth, punitive Universe, payback karma”). These barbaric themes continue to dominate worldviews and public consciousness today, including the many who self-identify as “secular… materialist/atheist”. It is beyond confounding to observe populations still embracing such primitive mythology in the modern world.
The comment below (on theology) is about going to the heart of apocalyptic thinking to take down the core myth that incites that madness. The core myth of punitive, destroying Force or deity (“monster gods”) is humanity’s real monster and enemy.
Something more on the larger project of this site to counter fear/alarmism.
The material below on no conditions theology/deity is about going to the root of human fears across history, fears that have long been incited by myths of punitive, destroying forces or spirits behind the catastrophic experiences of life- i.e. behind disease, natural disaster, human cruelty. Re-defining Ultimate Reality or deity with the adjective “unconditional” is about reframing entirely the nature of the foundational, core reality that is believed to be behind life (i.e. creating, sustaining, influencing the development of life).
The age-old mythical and religious belief in punitive, destroying core reality continues today with new deities like “angry Mother Earth, payback karma, punishing Universe, or vengeful Gaia”. Materialist versions of ultimate or core reality are no better by positing ultimate meaninglessness at the core of all.
An unconditional core reality revolutionizes worldviews and consciousness from the center on out. This is about moving beyond tinkering at the periphery of thinking and radically reshaping the very heart of human belief systems, human thought, consciousness, and life.
This from John Eccles/Daniel Robinson’s “The Wonder of Being Human”:
“We have the strong belief that we have to be open to the future in the adventure of human personhood. This whole cosmos is not just running on and running down for no meaning. In the context of natural theology we come to the belief that we are creatures with some supernatural meaning that is as yet ill defined. We cannot think more than that we are all part of some great design. Each of us can have the belief of acting in some unimaginable supernatural drama. We should give all we can in order to play our part in this life on earth. Then we wait with serenity and joy for the future revelations of whatever is in store after bodily death”.
Insert on greater or ultimate reality as Mind/Consciousness.
Early quantum theorists like James Jeans concluded: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Jeans
“In an interview published in The Observer (London), when asked the question “Do you believe that life on this planet is the result of some sort of accident, or do you believe that it is a part of some great scheme?”, he replied:
“I incline to the idealistic theory that consciousness is fundamental, and that the material universe is derivative from consciousness, not consciousness from the material universe… In general the universe seems to me to be nearer to a great thought than to a great machine. It may well be, it seems to me, that each individual consciousness ought to be compared to a brain-cell in a universal mind.”
Mulling/ruminating on theology or the “spiritual” (chewing the cud), Wendell Krossa
I affirm what most people have intuitively understood across history- that we are part of a greater reality that is to be understood as something more than just energy, quantum fields, or natural laws. Most people across history have understood that greater creating/sustaining Reality has something to do with Consciousness, Mind, Intelligence, Self, or Spirit (in religious traditions). That early personification of what were formerly viewed as “forces” then became the full-on anthropomorphizing of deity- i.e. the projection of human features out to explain and define the gods.
I reject the dominant features that our ancestors projected out to flesh out mythical and religious gods over history. I reject subhuman/inhuman features like domination (gods as lords, kings, rulers, humanity “created to serve the gods”), judgment (God as supreme Judge), tribalism and exclusion of some people (gods favoring true believers, damning unbelievers), and retaliation (punishment and destruction in apocalypse or hell). To me, and many others, these features define “monster gods” (see Zenon Lotufo’s “Cruel God, Kind God”).
I acknowledge that deity, long venerated as humanity’s highest ideal and authority, still holds a major influence on human thought and life. Note that a world survey found that 85% of humanity still affiliate with a major world religion, with most of the remaining “unaffiliated” still holding “spiritual but not religious” beliefs (e.g. karma).
The concern here? From the beginning human beings have based their behavior on their beliefs. Consequently, the gods (the ultimate belief) have been used to incite/inspire, guide, and validate human behavior, both good and bad. Bad features projected onto gods have incited horrifically abusive treatment of others- i.e. the punishment and destruction of enemies/infidels in Councils, Crusades, Inquisitions, slaughter of heretics, etc.. Theologians have also noted that ideas of punitive deity have been used to validate harshly punitive justice systems.
People continue to create new gods, including the many “secular” versions of the modern era such as “vengeful Gaia… retributive Universe… angry Planet/Mother Earth… or payback karma”. The features of traditional deities (e.g. creating powers) are now projected onto “secular/scientific” versions of deity such as “Self-Organizing Principle”. Something with godlike powers is necessary to explain what creates, organizes, and sustains the material realm.
We cannot escape this rational line of thought- “the logical conclusion to the human process of reasoning is theism”. Of some kind, whether religious or “secularish”. Its our meaning impulse urging us to find those ultimate answers to ultimate questions, even if we have to transgress into the realm of speculation, which we all do. (E.g. Multi-verse is “scientific/scientism” speculation- see Jim Baggot’s Farewell to Reality)
I would advocate a new way of doing democratic theology that starts with humanity and then reasons out to ultimate reality or deity (thanks to Bob Brinsmead for input on this- and his reference to Alexander Pope’s “The proper study of mankind is man”). This new way of doing theology takes the best of being human and projects that out to deity, but to transcendent degree (i.e. better than the best that we can imagine). The very best that we have discovered is unconditional or no conditions love. We (humanity) have learned that unconditional love is the mature and supremely humane way to treat imperfect others. Unconditional takes our highest human ideal- love- to new heights of maturity and advance.
The democratic element here is that this discovery comes from the experience and response of ordinary parents, spouses, and friends in the daily mundane interactions and situations of life. It is not a religious discovery or insight. It has not been handed down from priestly elites or gurus. It does not come from any religious holy book or revelation. It is something common to all humanity. Also, unconditional is self-validating as the highest and best of being human. We know nothing better. Hence, we logically conclude that Ultimate Good or God would be better than the best that we know.
No religion has ever communicated the no conditions nature of deity to humanity. All religions have, to the contrary, distorted and buried the unconditional love of God with endless conditions- i.e. conditions of right belief, correct rituals, demanded sacrifice/payment, and required religious lifestyle that identify people’s religious affiliation.
The Near-Death Experience movement (i.e. many of those accounts) has done the best in affirming God as inexpressible unconditional love. Again, that means no tribal division of people (believers versus unbelievers), no ultimate exclusion of anyone, no domination, and no ultimate punishment or destruction.
“Creeping authoritarianism”, Wendell Krossa
Another example of creeping authoritarianism erupted recently (Jan. 14, 2022) when some 200-plus doctors went after Joe Rogan for spreading “misinformation” re the Covid vaccines. The doctors present themselves as representatives of the dominant state narrative on vaccines (the “truth”) and do not tolerate disagreement, hence their call to silence Rogan.
I am not arguing the details of the disagreement but pointing to the response of the doctors to silence disagreement and the authoritarian spirit that exposes. The doctor’s response further illustrates the widespread lack of appreciation for the critical role of free speech in our societies.
If you feel someone is not giving what you believe to be the most helpful information on some issue, then explain why you feel that way. And counter what you believe to be less useful information with what you believe is more helpful information/evidence on that issue. But why try to silence those who disagree with you? This smells too much of the general authoritarianism that has been unleashed through Woke and cancel culture today. “Misinformation” and “disinformation” are the new pejoratives to silence disagreeing others, in addition to dehumanizing disagreeing others with terms like “racist” or “right-wing extremist”.
The calls to censor, ban, or silence are usually validated by claims that the disagreeing person is a threat to health and even life. Nonsense. Disagreement (i.e. skepticism, questioning, challenge, contrary information), on the way to learning more about any issue, is a good and healthy thing. Its about protecting and maintaining freedom of speech and permitting the robust debates that should characterize healthy science and vigorous democracy in general.
Some further theological musing for the new year, ultimate reality and ultimate meaning issues… another revised reposting from sections below…
The nature of core reality, Wendell Krossa
The great focus of human curiosity has long been- What is at the core of all reality (the foundations of the universe)? What is the creating and sustaining source of all? Historically, this was framed in terms of mythical and religious deity theories- i.e. gods.
While religious explanations are still with us, in the modern era the human curiosity about core creating/sustaining reality has also given us materialist versions of the “foundations of the universe”. Materialist science now searches for answers to the core nature of reality in things like the nature of mass (e.g. Jim Baggot, “Mass: The quest to understand matter”). And answers are posited in terms of realities like energy and quantum fields.
The creating Force in the mix of explanations is now commonly defined in terms of hypothesized entities like “Self-Organizing Principle”. But after several centuries of materialist probing of these things, the actual nature of material reality still remains a profound mystery.
A Baggot quote: “Although matter may be reducible to microscopic constituents, for a long time we believed that these would still be recognizable as matter- they would still possess the primary quality of mass. Modern physics teaches us something rather different, and deeply counter-intuitive. As we worked our way ever inwards… we lost sight of matter completely. Matter lost its tangibility. It lost its primacy as mass became a secondary quality, the result of interactions between intangible quantum fields. What we recognize as mass is a behavior of these quantum fields… Despite the fact that our physical world is filled with hard and heavy things, it is instead the energy of quantum fields that reigns supreme. Mass becomes simply a physical manifestation of that energy, rather than the other way around. This is conceptually quite shocking… The great unifying feature of the universe is the energy of quantum fields, not hard, impenetrable atoms.” And so on…
This Baggot quote illustrates one of the non-converging rails of science- to uncover ever more profound mystery about reality. Good luck to the promissory materialists. Daniel Dennett claims that because we know the brain down to the level of molecules and atoms, hence, we are on the cusp of explaining consciousness. Oh, really? Freeman Dyson, sitting beside him at a roundtable discussion replied to Dennett’s assumption with, “I don’t think so”.
Others (i.e. panpsychism theories) postulate Consciousness at the basis of all reality and that raises the question as to the nature of such consciousness. I would add, for instance, that consciousness/mind is meaningless without personhood. A question then: What (or who) is that creating Consciousness that collapses the cosmic level wave function and makes possible the whole enchilada of all material reality?
The best of spiritual traditions have stated generally that the nature of core reality/deity is love. However, in religious versions that love is conditional and therefore a limited, even subhuman, form of love. Religious love is something less than the more humane versions of love that ordinary people have discovered and practised (i.e. love as universal, unconditional).
One contrary voice from the past offered a uniquely new insight on the nature of ultimate reality or deity. Historical Jesus stated a “stunning new theology” that was entirely opposite to that of the Christian religion that eventually claimed to represent him. Jesus stated that the core reality/deity was “no conditions love” (see detail in “The Christian Contradiction” below). The God of Jesus broke with all past theology in that his God did not engage retaliatory justice as all other gods had over past history (i.e. gods were presented as ultimate judges meting out rewards and punishments). The non-judging, non-retaliating feature in Jesus’ new theology is evident in his statement “Do not engage eye for eye justice but instead love your enemy because God does”. That most fundamentally means no judgment, no punishment, and no destruction (as in apocalypse or hell myths).
Further, the God of Historical Jesus was indiscriminately inclusive of everyone (i.e. “sun and rain are given to both good and bad people without distinction”).
The God of Historical Jesus was entirely different from the rest of the New Testament that is dominated by Paul’s theology of a judging and retaliatory tribal deity that would destroy unbelievers in a world-ending apocalypse and eternal hell (see Romans 12:17-20, Thessalonian letters, Revelation, and other examples).
It is also noteworthy that most Near-Death Experiences claim to have encountered the same unconditional love in deity- i.e. a “Light” that they discovered to be an “inexpressible unconditional love”. That is the single most profound discovery and insight of the NDE movement.
Unconditional deity overturns religious traditions because all religions are essentially conditional. No religion has ever presented the wonder of a stunningly unconditional deity to people. All religions buttress their deity theories with conditions- i.e. conditions of right belief, demanded sacrifice/payment, correct rituals, and required religious lifestyle to identify one’s adherence/loyalty to a given religion. The core reality of all world religions (deity) has always been highly conditional- gods as judges meting out rewards and punishments, tribally dividing humanity between good and bad people, between insiders and outsiders, believers and unbelievers, with severe retributions for the unbelieving or “lost”.
And another reposting on theology…
No conditions at the core of reality profoundly changes everything, Wendell Krossa
The single most foundational question that many have pondered across history: What is ultimate reality? What is this material realm made of? What is the fundamental nature of material reality? The answer to this question would give us insight into the purpose of reality, into the meaning and purpose of our conscious existence and experience. It would answer our primal impulse for meaning. And it would also help us to understand death.
Some have offered what could be termed “the single most profound insight on ultimate reality”- i.e. that ultimate reality/deity is fundamentally love but love that is infinitely better than the best that we can imagine. Creating/sustaining deity is a love that is stunningly “no conditions”. That insight then provides insight on the foundational purpose of the cosmos and life- that this material realm was created as an arena where biological life would emerge and become the medium for the expression of human consciousness. And to plainly state the purpose of human life: We are here to learn, to experience, and to exhibit the same unconditional love that is our Source. And this is accomplished through the infinite diversity of human lives and experiences.
The insight that God is no conditions love also takes the sting out of death. Our ancestors, from the beginning, viewed death as a punishment from God for original sin (i.e. the myth of Adam and the loss of Eden, or the Sumerian myth of Enki sinning and ruining the paradise of Dilmun). An unconditional deity overturns the primitive myth of death as the consequence of early humans offending punitive gods. Mythical/religious views of death must then be entirely rethought. Insights from the NDE movement suggest that death is simply a transition back into the love that we originated from. It is a return to the safety of a home that is only love, stunningly inexpressible love.
Unconditional deity further relieves the primal fear of after-life harm that has always added sting to human fear of death. Again, unconditional deity means there is no judgment in the afterlife, no exclusion/separation of anyone, and no punishment or destruction. Those religious myths have always intensified the human fear of death.
Unconditional core reality transforms worldviews and consciousness entirely and liberates us from our worst fears.
Unconditional core reality also overturns one of the cruelest ideas that has burdened human consciousness across history- i.e. that natural disaster, disease, cruelty of others, and death were punishments from God for human failure.
The suffering from natural disaster, disease, and human cruelty in this life is better understood in terms of natural and social consequences and not as punishment from God. There is no angry God behind such things, meting out punitive justice on imperfect people.
And one more on theology…
Humanity’s single most profound insight, Wendell Krossa
Consider how important deity theories have been to humanity across the millennia of our existence, how important they have been to the human impulse for meaning, to our quest to understand Ultimate Reality and consequently ultimate purpose. Deity remains, arguably, humanity’s highest ideal and authority, as it has been from the beginning.
First, this bit from my essay on ‘The Christian Contradiction’:
“The Christ myth of Paul buried the ‘single most profound insight’ on Ultimate Reality/deity ever offered to humanity”. The insight had been offered by Historical Jesus, someone quite entirely different from Christian Jesus.
What was the insight? That deity was something wholly opposite to the gods of mythologies and religions that had dominated human consciousness across the previous millennia. Historical Jesus stated that God was a stunning no conditions love. That meant that God had nothing to do with the deity theories of previous mythologies and religions- i.e. deities that encompassed the features of judgment, condemnation, discriminatory exclusion of some people (i.e. unbelievers), domination of others (gods as kings, lords, rulers), punishment or destruction (i.e. apocalypse, hell).
Here is a paraphrase of the Jesus statement/insight on deity- “Do not practice eye for eye justice but instead love your enemy because God does. How so? God unconditionally gives sun and rain to all alike, to both good and bad people. God loves all, not expecting anything in return. Be unconditionally loving just as God is”. See the full statement of these themes in Luke 6:27-36 or Matthew 5:38-48.
The God of Historical Jesus was love and love that overwhelmed any human effort to express it fully. Hence, many who have subsequently grasped the insight have resignedly admitted that it is “inexpressible”- i.e. beyond words, categories, or definitions. But we continue to try and explain it because sages from past millennia gifted this profound insight to us, they entrusted us with it. And many in the present era are affirming the same insight, notably those in the NDE movement.
Single most profound insight/statement ever uttered? Yes. That ultimate reality/deity is something that is quite entirely opposite to all that human narratives have communicated to humanity over the millennia, whether mythological, religious, ideological, or scientific narratives.
I affirm that core statement of historical Jesus as probably the best expression of “the most profound insight on ultimate reality”. His statement has subsequently been affirmed by many NDE people and others. The Jesus statement affirms that there is no threatening deity behind reality or life- no God threatening tribal exclusion (favoring believers/damning unbelievers), no God threatening punishment or destruction. To the contrary, God is a stunning no conditions love. This is the “stunning new theology of Jesus”, what James Robinson termed “the stunning new theology of a non-retaliatory deity”. Paul buried this insight under his highly conditional Christ myth. In Paul’s religion, salvation depended on sacrifice, payment for sin, faith in his Christ, and adopting the Christian lifestyle. The love of Paul’s God was highly conditional and highly retaliatory toward unbelievers (see Romans 12:17-20 for example).
The stunning new theology of Jesus- that God is an unconditional reality- has profound implications for human life and behavior. Across history most people have based their behavior on what they believed was the divine model. People have long used humanity’s highest ideal and authority- deity- to inspire, guide, and validate their behavior and lives.
Note that Historical Jesus framed his stunning new theology of an unconditional God in terms of the behavior/belief relationship. He stated that our behavior should imitate God’s behavior (i.e. “be merciful as your Father is merciful… Love your enemies because God does”). We should base our behavior on divine reality. Similarly, the Old Testament Hebrews, and others across history, have modelled their lives according to what they believed the divine reality was (i.e. People should follow/obey the law, will, word of God).
Taking this human impulse to replicate the divine model into consideration, the ramifications of that stunning new theology of an unconditional deity are profound and wide. We ought to be spending more time probing the nature and impact of our highest ideals and authorities.
The profundity of the Jesus insight lies in its central feature of “no conditions or unconditional” which contrasts so profoundly with the highly conditional nature of all past mythology and religion. Religious deities have always been conditional- demanding right belief, correct rituals, required sacrifice/payment, and obligated religious lifestyle. Conditions, conditions, and more damn conditions. Then you get this “stunning” (no other adjective works better) insight that God has never been conditional but has always been the exact opposite- a love that is inexpressibly unconditional. The single adjective- unconditional- absolutely overturns all religious conditions. And that insight is just too much for most religious minds to engage and embrace. Too offensive. Too scandalous to conventional justice as conditional punitive payback.
And as repeated here often, a qualifier: Unconditional ultimate reality and taking an unconditional approach to imperfect others does not mean irresponsible pacifism in the face of offense and evil in this world. The primary responsibility of common-sense love is to protect the innocent and hold offenders responsible, including the incarceration of those unable or unwilling to self-control their worst impulses.
A British academic noted the trend: Leftist/Marxist extremists took over US universities decades ago (also in other countries). That produced a generation of Leftist Woke extremists now dominating news media, politics, Hollywood, and other public arenas. We are watching this Leftist extremism erupt all over now in the new totalitarianism that censors, bans, silences, cancels all who disagree including many Liberal moderates. Identity politics is part of this new Leftist extremism in that anybody disagreeing, including blacks, are labelled “racist”- the all-encompassing pejorative that tolerates no further argument or discussion but just condemns utterly. Even black politicians like Larry Elder and Winsome Sears who disagree with the new Leftist narrative are dismissed as “the face of white supremacy”. This is totalitarian insanity taking over our societies. Jordan is a prophetic voice warning us of what is happening right before our eyes. Russia and China observe this, encourage it (e.g. “Troll farms”), knowing this will eventually bring down Western civilization. Read Jordan’s comments here, be warned, and pass this on…
Some good listens
First, this podcast by Jimmy Dore on the media lying re the Joe Rogan Podcast with Dr. Robert Malone (inventor of mRNA vaccine) and the ongoing effort to censor Rogan and Malone…
And this with Jordan Peterson on the totalitarianism that has emerged with the pandemic response, with no end in sight. Much pandemic policy had little to do with science and more to do with partisan politics…
Countering alarmism with evidence-based hope: Facts to clear the mind and liberate the spirit, Wendell Krossa
I regularly hear and read people expressing anxiety, even fear, over varied issues in our shared world- whether the threat from Covid or disease in general, the intensified tribalism over the political/ideological divide in our societies, the purported threat from climate change and extreme weather events, and the general possibility that overall things are getting worse. Many appear to unquestioningly accept the endless media obsession with the dominant alarmist narratives on the varied problems that we face.
This site is committed to understanding “the true state of life”, and that involves getting to the true state of any given issue or problem. Too many, notably in hysteria-oriented and obsessively panic-mongering news media, are exaggerating the actual nature of varied problems and that distorts our understanding of such problems. That exaggeration, and the unnecessary alarm that it incites, then promotes public embrace of wrongheaded solutions that produce outcomes that are worse than the actual problem. Decarbonization in response to the purported “climate crisis” is one example.
Below is a reposting of previous comment (revised, updated) that counters the ongoing alarmism exaggeration and hysteria. The climate alarm today illustrates the common features and dangerous outcomes of all alarmism movements. We see the same patterns/outcomes that are operating in climate alarmism also operating in disease alarmism.
Too many are trying to appease alarmists with concessions to the basic points of the alarmist narrative- i.e. that yes, climate change is a crisis, and yes, humans are causing it. But evidence does not affirm these two basic assumptions of climate alarmism. Climate is always changing but is not a crisis today and does not show trending toward apocalyptic “catastrophe” as the discredited climate models have asserted. And the overwhelming influence of natural factors on climate has discredited the assumptions that climate change is “human-caused”. Natural factors have shown the strongest correlations to the climate change that we have observed over past decades and centuries.
My conclusion as always- There is no sound, scientifically-proven reason to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies. Fossil fuels are not a dangerous threat to life. Climate science affirms that adaptation strategies are the better option in the face of natural climate change, not wasteful and ineffective mitigation projects.
Life slings at us things that we ought to legitimately fear, whether in the areas of disease, natural disasters, human cruelty, or other. But too often public evaluation and presentation of such threats is accompanied by hysterical exaggeration of the actual threat, sometimes excessive exaggeration that we rightly term “alarmism”. Here follows some comment on this inclination to create existential monsters out of legitimate problems.
Patterns/outcomes in alarmism movements, Wendell Krossa
It is beyond soundly factual that the long-term trajectory of life affirms ongoing improvement on the main features of life. I have often referred to the volumes of amassed evidence from the research of Julian Simon (Ultimate Resource), Greg Easterbrook (A Moment On The Earth), Bjorn Lomborg (Skeptical Environmentalist), Matt Ridley (Rational Optimist), Indur Goklany (The Improving State of the World), Ronald Bailey (The End of Doom), Desrochers and Szurmak (Population Bombed), Hans Rosling (Factfulness), and others (i.e. Humanprogress.org). If people can read such evidence and still accept alarmism narratives then I suspect mythical and ideological elements, more than evidence, are shaping their perspectives.
We see the improvement of life in notable indicators like declining violence across the centuries and millennia, the 96% decline in deaths from weather/climate disasters over the past century, cures and eradication of disease threats, and the improvements throughout the natural world- i.e. declining rates of deforestation, increasing protection of fish stocks, historically very low rates of animal extinctions, and the return of agricultural land to nature due to increased crop production on less land (i.e. ongoing GM crop breakthroughs).
This evidence, and more, exposes apocalyptic-scale alarmism to be a great fraud and lie, and horrifically damaging to public consciousness and life.
But yes, there have been some disastrous disruptions to the trajectory of overall progress, notably the mass-death movements of the 20th Century- i.e. Marxism and Nazism. This will offend some, but the ideas/themes that contributed to those horrors have re-emerged and are working through environmental alarmism today, notably in the climate alarmism movement. Historians like Arthur Herman, Richard Landes, Arthur Mendel, and David Redles have all noted that the same themes have influenced Marxism, Nazism, and environmentalism. Alston Chase noted this also in his book “In A Dark Wood”. Others also traced the influence of Nazi environmental ideas on modern Western environmentalism.
The patterns of incitements and consequent responses…
Alarmists exaggerate problems with apocalyptic-scale scenarios, buttressed with end-of-days prophesies. This is the influence of primitive apocalyptic mythology working its always destructive influence on contemporary minds. Example: Climate alarmists have set 2030 as their most recent apocalyptic end-times date- “the final tipping point… the end of the world (AOC)… the last chance”. This exaggerated panic-mongering distorts the true state or nature of any problem, making it difficult to rationally understand and respond to problems.
The primary responsibility in the face of any problem (i.e. the project to get to “the true state of things”) is to note the full range of evidence related to that problem. This means that we should especially include the evidence (i.e. “skeptical” evidence) that may be contrary to the confirmation bias of experts involved, but is critical to fully and properly understand the true nature of the problem.
With regard to climate change, this means including the evidence of the many natural factors that influence climate change, factors that overwhelm the influence of CO2 and challenge the alarmist narrative that human emissions are the dominant influence on climate. And we should be asking why climate alarmists fear that contrary evidence so much.
Further, the long-term trends associated with climate show natural cycles of cooling/warming that have always dominated climate change. Long-term trends show, for example, that our Modern Warm Period is the coolest period of our Holocene interglacial. We have been on a 6000-year cooling trend since the Holocene Optimum of 10,000 to 6,000 years ago ended. That Optimum period was 3 degrees C warmer than today. The subsequent Roman and Medieval Warm Periods were also warmer than today. https://perhapsallnatural.blogspot.com/2022/01/how-sun-and-intertropical-convergence.html
We are in the coolest period of our interglacial.
Also, we challenge warming alarmism with the fact that up to 10 times more people die every year from cold than die from warmth (Lancet study). Cooling is the far greater threat to all life.
So the full range of evidence on any issue/problem must be included in order to properly understand and respond to a problem, to get to “the true state of things”.
Most dangerous in alarmism eruptions is that hysterical panic-mongering incites the survival impulse in populations. Frightened people then abandon rational thinking and are susceptible to the salvation schemes of alarmists. Frightened people will unquestioningly embrace alarmist calls to purge some “evil” that purportedly threatens life, in order to “save the world”.
The widely declared “evil” to be purged today, the “enemy” of all life, is the basic food of all life- CO2. CO2 is often referred to by alarmists as a “pollutant”, even a poison (Bill Maher). That is irrational anti-science nonsense and it illustrates the “madness of crowds” thinking that has possessed populations today.
More facts to clear the mind…
We have long been in a “CO2 starvation era” where CO2 levels have been at historic lows that have threatened plant life, and hence all life. Only 20,000 years ago CO2 levels declined to 185 ppm, just 35 ppm above the level at which all life dies (150 ppm). We are still far below the healthy CO2 levels of paleo-climate history (average 1500 ppm) when all life flourished (e.g. 5-6000 ppm during the Cambrian Explosion). There was no “climate crisis/catastrophe” during such times.
And affirming the benefits of rising CO2: In our Modern Warming Period there has been a significant 15% addition of green vegetation across the Earth just since 1980. More plant food in the atmosphere has increased plant production and that has meant more food for animal life, and increased crop production for humanity (see CO2science.org). Point? There is no such thing as “CO2 pollution”. The basic food of all life is not and cannot be a pollutant.
As noted above, good climate science has also shown that CO2 is not the main driver of climate change, and the mild natural climate warming that we have experienced will not become “catastrophic” (i.e. one degree C of warming over the past century in a still abnormally cold world). More warming will yet be net beneficial. Human civilization and all life flourished during the previous warmer periods of our interglacial. Again, the Holocene Optimum (10-6,000 years ago) was 3 degrees C warmer than today.
Policies and projects to decarbonize our societies are now exposing the destructiveness of climate alarmism. Governments have over-invested taxpayer money in unreliable renewables, while blocking funding for exploration and production of fossil fuel resources. The result has been fossil fuel shortages, skyrocketing energy prices and energy poverty affecting the most vulnerable people, and destabilized electrical grids (increasing blackouts).
Climate salvationism (“save the world”) by decarbonization engenders a feeling of nobleness in true believers who feel called to make a sacrifice (i.e. give up the good life) and pay for their sins with some form of suffering. Also, many desire to embrace a hero’s quest and fight a righteous battle against “evil” and they find that desire satisfied in the fabricated war against “greedy consumers in fossil fuel/industrial civilization”.
True believers in climate catastrophe are also offered the hope of salvation in a purified world, free of “polluting fossil fuels”. That purified world will be the restoration of the lost paradise of myth-oriented worldviews (i.e. the world before fallen humanity in industrial civilization, or aiming for the height of moral supremacy in extreme Green visions- “a world without humanity”). Climate alarmists present their crusade for salvation as an existential battle of good versus evil.
Essential to alarmist narratives are mandates for “compelled” salvation- i.e. the demand for “instantaneous transformation” due to the imminence of the threat (Arthur Mendel is good on this in “Vision and Violence”). Manufactured imminence keeps the panic pressure at high level, breaking forth to hysterical levels at times. Imminence then demands coercive, even violent purging of the CO2 threat as the end-of-days is usually only a decade or so away (recent “end-of-days” dates range from 2030-2050).
Alarmists tell us that we cannot wait for normal democratic processes to function because infidels/skeptics to the crusade (i.e. “unbelievers, deniers”), with their calls for open debate over the many uncertainties in data, are dangerously blocking efforts to save the world. Delay is murderous. So human freedom be damned. Totalitarian protocols are now presented as compulsory in order for humanity to “save the world”. And “unbelievers” are to be banned, censored, silenced, and even criminalized (Obama’s AG, Loretta Lynch tried to criminalize skeptical science in 2016). The alarmist push is then for centralized state coercion to enact the salvation program.
If you doubt the extremism noted above (i.e. calls for totalitarian responses to purported threats), check these sources…
Again, the same patterns presented here also operated in Marxism and Nazism. Marxist alarmists incited fear of the “capitalist threat” to the world that had to be coercively purged, while Nazis panicked Germans to coercively purge the “threat of Jewish Bolshevism”. Both alarmism movements produced mass-death outcomes. See the research of historians who have traced these and related alarmism patterns in Marxism, Nazism, and now environmentalism: Arthur Herman (The Idea of Decline in Western History), Richard Landes (Heaven on Earth), Arthur Mendel (Vision and Violence), and David Redles (Hitler’s Millennial Reich).
So yes, we are observing the same patterns operating today in climate alarmism with its salvation scheme of decarbonization.
Further notes on understanding and countering alarmism eruptions:
“… most people pay little attention to the study of history and the result is the ‘fallacy of presentism’: the tendency to assume that events of the present are larger, more important, or more shocking than events of the past”, James Payne in ‘A History of Force’.
The fallacy of “Presentism” in relation to climate: The belief that some extreme weather event or natural disaster is the worst ever because we have experienced it firsthand. The larger context is critical for properly understanding weather events, natural disasters, and climate in general. Our current Modern Warm Period is the coolest of all the warm periods of our Holocene interglacial. Further, the extreme weather events of our present world (heat waves, cold spells) are no different from all past history. More surprising, extreme weather events (storms, droughts, floods, wildfires) are not becoming worse and in some cases are becoming less frequent and less severe (even the IPCC affirms this). Note sources like Wattsupwiththat.com for detail.
Climate alarmists obsessively frame every extreme weather event as the “worst on record”, referring only to the record of the past few decades or century. But the extreme weather events of our modern era are no worse than extreme weather events of all past history. News media mindlessly repeat this false narrative of worst ever because they are committed to catastrophism messaging as necessary to gaining audience eyeballs and funding (see sociologist David Altheide’s research on media in “Creating Fear: News and the construction of crisis”).
And from climate expert Jim Steele, one among many other climate scientists making the same point: https://perhapsallnatural.blogspot.com/2022/01/how-sun-and-intertropical-convergence.html
“Natural weather disasters, much worse than those in recent times, have happened throughout history and will continue to happen regardless of any changes in human CO2 emissions.”
The shamefulness of being carried away by panic-mongering and “crowd madness”, Wendell Krossa
A sense of disgrace is evoked when the natural human desire to fight a heroic and righteous battle against some evil is misdirected into alarmist movements that ultimately cause harm to others. And yes, a generous view of this would grant that the harm is the result of unintended consequences from otherwise well-intentioned people. We saw misdirected and destructive heroism in the past century battles of Marxism against industrial/capitalist civilization that has lifted billions out of the misery of poverty while Socialist regimes have unfailingly immiserated billions.
Today we are watching this misdirected zeal in such things as the nihilist destruction of Antifa rioting. But we see its most dangerous eruptions in environmental crusades like decarbonization. Point? Make sure your monsters are real and the outcomes of your “righteous” cause are benefitting others, not harming them.
Examples: Rachel Carson- mother of modern environmentalism- was undoubtedly a well-intentioned lady. But her fear-mongering, based on shoddy science, arguably contributed to the subsequent deaths of many people, often children, due to the bans on DDT that were influenced by her alarmism. See “THE EXCELLENT POWDER: DDT’s Political and Scientific History” by Donald Roberts and Richard Tren.
Greenpeace alarmism over GM crops has also contributed to the unnecessary deaths of millions of children denied Vitamin A in crops like Golden Rice. https://nationalpost.com/opinion/bjorn-lomborg-trashing-rice-killing-children
Big picture perspective on the true state of things, Wendell Krossa
Why the contemporary hysteria over ice melting at the North Pole, Greenland, and varied other glacial regions? For over 90% of our planet’s history the Earth has been entirely ice-free. That is a more optimal, normal, and healthy state for life. Ongoing discoveries affirm that during those past eras when the polar regions were entirely ice free, diverse warm-climate flora and fauna inhabited both poles (e.g. the stumps of tropical trees have been discovered in the Arctic, along with the remains of camels and other warm-region flora and fauna). That means all life experienced vastly expanded habitats during those times. A good thing.
Note that the highest diversity of species today, both ocean and land species, are found in the warmer tropical areas of Earth. Most life prefers warmth. Most people also prefer much more warmth and prove that by vacationing or migrating to live in the warmer regions of Earth. Here in Canada, most of us crowd along the southern border hoping southern warmth may waft up to us once in a while.
More warming does not mean there will be catastrophic harm to life as already warm areas do not necessarily become hotter. More warmth is distributed, via ocean and atmospheric convection currents, to the colder regions of Earth (polar regions), to the colder seasons (winter), and to colder times of day (nighttime). Climate warming spreads to the entire world with beneficial outcomes for all life, not “catastrophe”.
Today we are still far below the much warmer average temperatures of most past history. Average temperatures across much of the history of life were up to 5-10 degrees C higher than today’s average of about 15 degrees C. And life thrived during those much warmer periods. Again, there was no “climate catastrophe”.
Further, the previous three inter-glacial periods were all 3-5 degrees warmer than our current Holocene interglacial (i.e. the Purfleet: 337-300,000 years ago, the La Bouchet: 242-230,000 years ago, the Eemian: 130-115,000 years ago).
What about our interglacial- the Holocene- now 11,000 years long? Over the past 5-6,000 years we have been in a long-term cooling trend. Our current Modern Warm Period is the coolest of the four major warm periods of our interglacial. The previous warmer periods were the Holocene Optimum, Roman, and Medieval periods. The larger context of our interglacial shows that we are now in a cooling trend and that ought to be our real concern as cooling climate means more droughts, more extinctions, and more human suffering.
It is irrational to be worried about melting ice and a few more degrees of average warmth when, in net terms, the benefits to all life from more warming far outweigh any negatives. Cooling is a far greater threat to life. We should value all further warming that we might get at this time in world history.
So again, why this endless media hysteria over melting ice in varied places of our world? Some species may suffer but many more others will benefit from warmer temperatures and an ice-free planet. Others have noted that polar bears have survived the much warmer past interglacial periods (i.e. complete melts of Arctic ice). The Eemian (130-115,000 years ago) was 2-4 degrees C warmer than today.
End notes: Summer Arctic melting has benefitted polar bears immensely. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/09/15/still-waiting-for-two-thirds-of-polar-bears-worldwide-to-disappear-due-to-lack-of-summer-sea-ice/
Melting ice and sea level rise: It is natural for climate to warm and the ice of glacial periods to melt during interglacial periods and hence for sea levels to rise. Oceans have risen a total of 120 meters since our Holocene Interglacial began some 11,000 years ago. Oceans continue to rise at the slow rate of about 1.5-3.0 mm per year. Despite this mild rise, the total surface area of Pacific Ocean islands has increased and not decreased. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/08/31/new-study-62-km%c2%b2-6-net-expansion-in-100s-of-pacific-indian-ocean-island-shorelines-from-2000-2017/
Another: Heat events and wildfires are not worsening today. Wildfires have declined notably over the past century and extreme heat events are “weather events”, not necessarily related to larger climate patterns. There are many diverse factors contributing to local heat waves. See Wattsupwiththat.com for regular climate updates, also GWPF (Global Warming Policy Forum).
Two prominent unproven assumptions of climate alarmists:
Assumption 1: That CO2 is mainly responsible for warming climate. This assumption ignores or dismisses the varied other natural factors that show much stronger correlations to the climate change that we have seen over past decades. Note, for example, the cosmic ray/sun/cloud interaction (See Henrik Svensmark’s ‘The Chilling Stars’), or the multi-decadal oscillations/shifts in ocean currents from cooling to warming phases, among others. These natural factors overwhelm the CO2 influence on climate.
Assumption 2: That warming will be “catastrophic” if it rises and passes another 1.5-2.0 degrees C.
First, we have had only a 1 degree C warming over the past century and that is part of the natural recovery from the earlier descent into the bitter cold of the Little Ice Age of AD 1450-1850. Who in their right mind would want to return to that pre-industrial cold and to past dangerously low levels of CO2?
Scenarios of another 3-6 degrees C. warming are based on discredited computer models. More to the point, a few degrees more warming would not be catastrophic but would be a return to the more normal, optimal averages of most of past history when all life flourished with much warmer average temperatures (i.e. 20 degrees Centigrade averages, versus the average 15 degrees C of today’s world). A much warmer world means extended habitats for life (i.e. ice free poles as was the state of the world for over 90% of world history), longer growing seasons, less severe gradients between the warm and cold areas that produce more severe storms, and more evaporation which means less drought, and more.
Add here that more basic plant food in the atmosphere- CO2- has resulted in a much greener world (a 15% increase in green vegetation since 1980) along with record crop production over recent years. All life is benefitting from more CO2 and more warmth. It is irrational distortion to claim that more warming will devastate life when past history shows a much warmer world benefitted life immensely.
Remember also that the past warm periods of our interglacial (i.e. Holocene Optimum/Minoan, Roman, Medieval) were all warmer than our modern warm period and civilizations and all life flourished during those previous warm periods.
The true state of life on Earth (a revised reposting) Wendell Krossa
While problems exist everywhere, they are solvable and humanity has done well in caring for and preserving world resources. For detailed research on the true status of world resources see Julian Simon’s ‘Ultimate Resource’, Bjorn Lomborg’s ‘Skeptical Environmentalist’, or ‘Population Bombed’ by Szurmak and Desrochers, among many similar studies. Below are some basic facts on the main resources of our world. They are the main indicators of the true state of life on our planet. They all show that life is not declining toward something worse. There is no looming environmental apocalypse.
Leading indicators for evaluating the true state of life:
(1) World forest cover in the 1950s was 3.8 billion hectares (FAO stats). World forest cover today is 4.1-plus billion hectares, despite the world population tripling from 2.4 billion people in the early 1950s to almost 8 billion today. Deforestation rates continue to decline and reforestation/afforestation projects continue to succeed. We are not destroying the world’s forests. http://www.fao.org/forestry/fra/52045/en/
(2) Proven species extinctions. While any species extinction is unacceptable, we have dramatically improved our care of nature. Species extinctions are on a notably declining trend line and have decreased from about 5 per year in 1870 to about 0.5 per year today (see the IUCN Red List All Extinct Species by Decade on p.101 of Patrick Moore’s new book ‘Fake Invisible Catastrophes And Threats of Doom’). While nature has destroyed over 95% of all species over the span of life on this planet, compassionate humanity is now protecting species as never before.
See also Julian Simon’s chapter on the IUCN report on species loss (in Ultimate Resource and other books) and the discredited assumption/correlation between habitat loss and species extinctions. The wrong assumption was that with habitat loss of 90% some 50% of species would go extinct. Both the Northeastern US and Northeastern Brazil study areas disproved that assumption. The assumption did not understand the resiliency, adaptability, and toughness of life. There is no species holocaust occurring. Nature is not “fragile”.
(3) Climate change (the atmosphere as a main resource): There has been a mild 1 degree Centigrade of warming over the past century and a half. That slightly warmed our still abnormally cold world. We are still in an “ice-age era”. Average surface temperatures today are around 15 degrees Centigrade. That is 5-10 degrees Centigrade below the more optimal average surface temperatures of the past 500 million years. For over 90% of the past 500 million years there was no ice at the poles. That is a more normal and optimal world. And contrary to the falsified climate models, there is no settled evidence of much more warming occurring in the future. There is no “climate crisis” looming.
Also, most of our Holocene inter-glacial, that began around 11,000 years ago, has been warmer than today. The Holocene Climatic Optimum (roughly 10-5,000 years ago) was more than 1 degree C. warmer. The Roman Warm Period (250 BCE to 400 CE) and the Medieval Warm Period (950- 1,250 CE) were also warmer than today. Life overall and human civilization flourished during such warming periods. From about 5,000 years ago our interglacial began a long-term cooling trend (the “Neoglacial” period). Our current Modern Warm period is the coolest of the four warm periods of our interglacial.
We are also still in a “CO2 starvation era” where CO2 has declined to its lowest levels compared to most of past history. 20,000 years ago CO2 levels declined to 185 ppm, barely above the level at which all plant life dies (150 ppm). We have experienced a mild increase in atmospheric CO2 levels to 400-plus ppm today but this is still far below long-term historical averages (multiple-thousands of ppm) when life flourished with much more of its basic plant food.
(4) Ocean fisheries are not collapsing and aquaculture is meeting the growing human demand for fish. See Ray Hilborn reports and FAO summaries on fisheries. The world fisheries are not being decimated, though various species are over-fished and need more protection/better management. Wild fish consumption has peaked over past decades and aquaculture has been growing rapidly to meet the growing demand for fish. https://www.washington.edu/news/2020/01/13/fisheries-management-is-actually-working-global-analysis-shows/
(5) The overall agricultural land-base is not severely degrading. Also, any soil erosion must be understood in net terms, as related to new soil regeneration rates. Further, over the past century and more, we have returned several hundred million acres of agricultural land back to nature as hi-yield GM crops enable farmers to produce more crop on the same or less land. We have probably already passed “peak-agricultural land” use.
Thanks also to increasing levels of basic plant food in the atmosphere (i.e. CO2) there has been a 30% increase in green vegetation across the Earth over the past century. This aerial CO2 also contributes to remarkable increases in crop production (see CO2science.org). Humanity now produces 25% more food than we need. Hydroponics will also meet much of future food demands.
These, and other indicators, show that the overall long-term trajectory of life is improving, not worsening.
A note to our children: Do not fear the future of life on our planet. With continued wealth creation we will continue to solve the remaining world resource problems and life will continue to get ever better than before. Your personal contribution to making life better will add to humanity’s overall success. Do not let false alarmism narratives rob you of hope.
Other indicators of the state of life
These are some of the most important things in life and they tell us where life is heading. This is not to deny that serious problems remain in many areas of life, but to re-assure with hope that people are working to find solutions and our track record affirms that we have done well in solving problems and vastly improving life for most people. The best is yet to come.
Infant mortality rates
In 1800 one third of children (33%) died before reaching 5 years of age. The global rate today is 4.5% and much lower (well below 1%) in most of the more developed countries.
Human life span
In the pre-industrial era the average life expectancy was about 30 years. Today the world average is over 70 years and higher in many countries. See sources like Ourworldindata.org.
Over the past century major diseases have been conquered, others turned into long-term maladies. The current pandemic appears to have been caused by human action against better advice (i.e. continuing gain of function research despite a ban, and substandard lab safety measures). Hopefully, this outbreak will result in more pro-active vaccine research and other preventative measures that will lessen the chance of future similar outbreaks.
Decline in poverty
Poverty has declined rapidly over past decades and the majority of the world’s population is entering middle-class status. There is no reason this trend will not continue.
Human comfort and well-being
Ongoing technological advances have made human existence much less punishing with breakthroughs in transportation, communication, and general human comfort. Workplace safety has increased significantly. Deaths from natural disasters have declined by 96% over the past century.
Once more- Plant and animal life
With more basic plant food in the atmosphere (CO2) plant life has flourished with a 30% increase in green vegetation on Earth over the past century. Animals have benefitted with more food and humanity has benefitted with increased crop production from aerial fertilization. Also, GM crop breakthroughs have resulted in crop records being broken annually with more breakthroughs to come. We now produce significantly more food than humanity needs. And a warming climate (in an abnormally cold world) will further benefit animal and plant life with extended habitats.
Further, extinctions are at all time lows.
Committed pessimists ignore the many improvements to life and focus obsessively on remaining problems without locating them within the larger overall context of improving life. Alarmist types tend to exaggerate problems out to apocalyptic scale thereby distorting the overall big picture and long-term trajectory of life.
Eruptions/surges of apocalyptic hysteria, Wendell Krossa
A renewed surge of apocalyptic madness has been sweeping across the planet- i.e. the climate change hysteria that exaggeratedly claims we are facing “climate catastrophe” if Earth warms a few more degrees. The climate crisis movement is not a science-based movement, though it incessantly nags us to “believe the science”. The themes that climate alarmism promotes reveal that it is just another profoundly religious movement, strikingly similar to all previous eruptions of apocalyptic hysteria. Yes, there are elements of science in the mix- i.e. that we have experienced a mild warming over the past century (1 degree C), and that CO2 plays a small role in warming (“a bit player”).
The best climate science (see sites like co2coalition.org, co2science.org, Wattsupwiththat.com, etc.) shows that we are not facing a “climate catastrophe”. Unfortunately, such evidence is overwhelmed by the primitive mythological themes that have shaped the exaggerated catastrophe narrative of the climate alarmism movement. Climate alarmism themes resonate with primitive mythical ideas that have long dominated human narratives across history, both religious and “secular/ideological” narratives.
Panic-mongering that uses apocalyptic-scale scenarios has always resulted in harm to people. Richard Landes was right to call apocalyptic “the most violent and destructive idea in history”. Today the consequences of the climate alarmist’s salvation scheme- decarbonization- are increasingly evident in (1) severely rising energy prices that hurt the poorest people the most (note recent reports on the energy problems in Britain, Europe, China, and elsewhere), (2) lack of fossil fuel reserves that threaten life as a cold winter approaches (15-20 times more people die across Earth every year from cold than die from warmth), (3) grid instability and shutdown due to increasing dependence on unreliable renewables, and more. See ‘Global Warming Policy Forum’ reports for detail. Note that contemporary climate alarmism has more to do with Chicken Little mythology than the true state of climate.
Once again, here are the primitive mythical themes and patterns that fuel apocalyptic exaggeration and hysteria:
1. The past was better than the present time (original paradise or golden age- a past wilderness world).
2. ”Fallen/corrupt” humans have ruined the original paradise (anti-humanism is central to all apocalyptic mythology- blame humanity).
3. Life is becoming worse and is now declining toward catastrophe and ending (apocalypse). The belief that life is declining/degenerating (narratives of despair) reveals an obsessive and relentless orientation to the thing that go wrong in life with no balancing context of the good things that are happening in life. Declinism denies the long-term and overall improvement of life.
4. The panic-mongering over an apocalyptic ending to life frightens people, arousing their survival impulse. Scared people then abandon rationality and are susceptible to the destructive salvation schemes of alarmists.
5. Apocalyptic salvation involves (1) the felt need to make some sacrifice (e.g. give up the good life for a “morally superior simple life”), (2) the felt need to suffer something (i.e. the felt need to pay for sin, to suffer punishment for being bad), and (3) the felt need to purge some “evil threat”, something that defiles life (purification). The purging of evil is often a violent process. Note, for example, Zoroaster’s vision of a fiery end-time purging of the world, or the similar final violent purging of an impure world as detailed in the New Testament book of Revelation. Again, these themes have been deeply embedded in human meta-narratives both religious and secular.
The purging of purported impurity in the world is necessary to prepare the way for the restoration of the lost paradise, the restoration of a previously “pure world” (Eden, Dilmun, past golden age). Today the purging of evil requires central state coercion. Further, we are told that purging must involve “instantaneous transformation” of society because the apocalyptic ending is always “imminent”. There is no time to waste. The “final tipping point… the end” is just ahead. We have no time left and must act “now”, according to apocalyptic alarmists. Damn the democratic processes that respect the freedom of others.
Note that the prophesied end never arrives because life continues to get better over the long term. Hence, the end-time dates must be endlessly reset further and further into the future.
6. When the salvation is scheme is fully enacted then the lost paradise can be restored.
Scientific fact, though critically important, releases few minds from the above themes because most people live by inherited narratives and the themes of these narratives relate to inherited impulses- i.e. the impulse to engage a hero’s quest, to fight a righteous battle against some evil/enemy (tribal dualism), to conquer a monster, to sacrifice and suffer in order to save something, and consequently to tower in stature as heroic. Climate apocalyptic resonates with these impulses.
I’m reposting these earlier comments on climate change because this apocalyptic movement is now surging to new heights of feverish hysteria over “the end-is-nigh”.
The climate alarm movement is the latest in an endless history of apocalyptic alarmism movements. Many of these movements were previously religiously-oriented but today they are often “secular/ideological” in orientation, as in environmental alarmism crusades. However, the same core themes- primitive mythical themes- dominate both religious and secular versions of apocalyptic movements.
Consequences of persistent despair narratives, Wendell Krossa
“Pessimism turns to fatalism and the only option is resignation and withdrawal”, Arthur Herman in ‘The Idea of Decline in Western History’. Propagandized pessimism incites spreading hopelessness in populations. World surveys tell us that majorities of populations now believe “the world is getting worse”. And note the correlated trend of young couples refusing to have children in a world they believe will soon end. Or children suffering “eco-anxiety” and afraid they will die before reaching adulthood (so why attend school).
But worse than resignation and withdrawal is the potential of apocalyptic despair narratives to push populations toward a “self-fulfilling prophecy” mindset where alarmed people are increasingly susceptible to alarmist salvation schemes. Schemes intended to overturn industrial civilization, entirely. Human freedom will be the collateral damage of these schemes because Green policies, in their extremist versions, demand all-encompassing change and control of lives via centralized state coercion.
Add the disturbing trends to silence, ban, and even criminalize skeptics to Green hysteria. Example: Obama’s AG, Loretta Lynch, tried to criminalize skeptical climate science in 2016. Remember- skepticism, questioning, falsification, contrary data, challenge- all are critical to good science on any issue. Skepticism will enable us to get to the true state of any issue.
Further essential to the Green revolution is the growing demand for “instantaneous transformation” of society because the apocalyptic prophets claim that the end-of-days is imminent, just years up ahead (2030 is the latest end-time date). There is no time to waste, according to the prophets, and objectors with their demands for open debate and democratic processes are endangering all life. They are “murderous” deniers, unbelievers of the despair narrative. Hence, the great Green transformation will require “coercive purging”, via state force, in order to “save the world” from the purported threat to life- i.e. greedy consumers in an industrial society based on fossil fuels.
These totalitarian apocalyptic approaches were tried last century and what was the outcome? We had the mass-death movements of Marxism (100 million deaths from the crusade against the “capitalist threat”) and Nazism (50-60 million deaths from the crusade against the “Jewish Bolshevik threat”). Environmental alarmism has now taken up the formerly Marxist crusade to overturn industrial civilization, with despair narratives no different from the other unhinged apocalyptic crusades of past history.
(Note: The above conclusions are not mine alone. Data and sources from many credible researchers are noted in articles and sections below.)
Notes: Pushing for totalitarianism in the name of climate crisis action…
Contrary to the climate alarmism narrative, global weather and climate disasters are down 10% over the 2000-2021 period: Where is the “climate crisis”?
Weather/climate related deaths are down more than 96% over the past century. So yes, climate is changing just as it always has (it’s a dynamic, complex system), and CO2 contributes a bit to warming, but where is the “climate crisis”? And in our cold world where roughly 10 times more people die from cold every year than die from warmth (Lancet study) a few more degrees of warming would benefit all life.
Rogan on Spotify- an unlikely hero, Wendell Krossa
(Some “Classic Liberal… fiercely Independent” comment on free speech. If it seems that I am being tougher on the liberal side of the social/political equation, well yes a bit, because liberals are responsible for most of the censorship occurring today as they dominate public forums like social media platforms, news media, Hollywood, universities, and so on.)
Joe Rogan sometimes expresses wonder over why his podcast forum has become so popular (its free on Spotify- with some 200 million downloads a month). I would suggest that, among other things, his popularity has something to do with his advocacy for freedom, notably for freedom of speech. Listen, for example, to episode 1595 of ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’ with guest Ira Glasser, former director of the ACLU. The first hour of that episode is a brilliant explanation and defense of the critical importance of free speech. Today we are seeing censorship of political/ideological disagreement, social and scientific disagreement, and more.
As Rogan and Glasser note, if one ideological group bans another ideological group’s speech that they disagree with, then when the other group attains power the freedom of speech of the group that initiated banning will be under threat and may be banned in turn. Embracing censorship as a response to offensive speech threatens and harms everyone. Hence, the Classic Liberal maxim that “I may be offended by your speech but I will defend to the death your right to free speech, knowing that such defense of all groups is critical to protecting the freedom of all groups”, or something to that effect- (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evelyn_Beatrice_Hall).
Note also, as a related caution, that “Hate speech” prohibitions are sometimes misused to infringe on the free speech rights of others. While hate speech does exist, some people, intolerant of disagreement and easily offended, will misappropriate the claim to “hate speech” in order to shut down disagreeing others, what they personally deem “offensive” speech.
See further comments, cautions, and examples of this at: https://legaldictionary.net/hate-speech/
While projects to prevent hate speech are commendable, they also open the door to abuse and infringement of free speech rights. Again, rather than instituting prohibitions on speech, we do better to counter bad speech with good speech.
Rogan has been consistent with this free speech theme over past years, arguing against the banning of disagreeable speech, a practice that has become too widespread in social media platforms like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, as well as in mainstream news media. In this regard Rogan, a cage-fight commentator, comedian, and dope-smoking podcaster, has become a singularly unique voice for freedom in our world. Go Joe, go.
Adding to the confounding nature of the censorship of speech today is that the censorship/banning is mainly coming from people identifying as “liberals”, people we once assumed would courageously advocate for inclusion, freedom, and diversity of thought, opinion, and speech. Too many of today’s liberals have, to the contrary, become illiberal enthusiasts for a “creeping totalitarianism” that advocates censorship of alternative views. And the new totalitarianism is no longer “creeping” but has proliferated rapidly with unhindered malignancy throughout the main forums of our societies. It is stunning to observe the lack of concern from liberals as once shared freedoms are being abandoned across public forums.
As Rogan and others wisely argue, we do better to “counter what we consider as bad speech with better speech” (e.g. better alternative ideas and forms of expression). It also helps to embrace some self-awareness of our own “confirmation bias” tendencies in the mix and our tendency to frame our disagreements with others in excessively extremist terms- i.e. “me good, you ‘evil’ for disagreeing with me”.
A notable current example: The conservative riot at the Capitol (Jan.6/2021) was framed by US liberals as “the end of democracy… worse than 9/11”, while leftist/liberal riots of the same kind (i.e. in cities across the US, burning government buildings as in Portland, including the killing of police, along with exploding crime) were either ignored by liberal media or excused as “legitimate protests”… boys just being boys and letting off some steam.
Another note on the larger picture: The “woke/cancel culture” madness we are observing firsthand today gives us a taste of what totalitarianism is all about. Again, the totalitarian impulse is being most prominently expressed by so-called liberals who dominate public arenas like news media, universities, entertainment, and climate science. And it is unsettling how few moderate liberals are willing to courageously take a stand against this creeping totalitarianism and defend the critical social institution of free speech.
The slide into totalitarianism is facilitated by people who embrace the distorting perspective that those who disagree with them are no longer just ideological/social opponents but they have become dangerous “enemies”. And their opposition/disagreement is so evil that they are an “existential” threat to life and existence, they are advancing the destruction of democracy, of the society, and of life itself. Because the disagreeing others are so irredeemably evil, they must be stopped with force, and even purged from the world. They are “enemies” that do not deserve respect, civility, or even existence.
This is dangerous extremism thinking shaping the tribalism of today.
Note also that both sides openly practice the dehumanizing of those who disagree with them. How so? Progressives/liberals portray their opponents as less than human by framing them as “Nazis, racists, white supremacists”, etc. And yes, the mirror fringe on the Right are guilty of the same dehumanizing of opponents with pejorative categories/terms. The conservative side engages the same tribal demonization of the opposing side- i.e. as “Commies, Left-wing crazies, Woke extremists, etc.”.
A balancing caution for the Right: Conservatives need to carefully guard against the urge to vent their own totalitarian impulse in regard to varied social issues like gay rights or women’s freedom of choice over their bodies. Libertarian David Boaz was right to state that both sides need to respect freedom more in regard to their areas of disagreement. Regarding the US situation, Boaz said that Republicans need to embrace more freedom on social issues while Democrats need to embrace more freedom on economic issues.
And where are the majority moderates on both sides (surveys of US show majorities on both sides claim moderate status) willing to cooperate to bring us all back from this eruption of extremist insanity and hysteria that has dominated so much of public discourse over the past few years? “(Moderates) of the world, unite”.
This letter to the editor below responds to a Jan. 3, 2022 article by Tara Henley on “Why I quit the CBC” (Canada’s taxpayer-funded leftist/liberal state radio station)
Henley said, “To work at the CBC in the current climate is to embrace cognitive dissonance and to abandon journalistic integrity… It is to sign on, enthusiastically, to a radical political agenda that originated on Ivy League campuses in the United States and spread through American social media platforms that monetize outrage and stoke societal divisions. It is to pretend that the “woke” worldview is near universal — even if it is far from popular with those you know, and speak to, and interview, and read.
“To work at the CBC now is to accept the idea that race is the most significant thing about a person, and that some races are more relevant to the public conversation than others.”
The letter writer responded with: “The problem with the CBC”
Re: Why I quit the CBC, Tara Henley, Jan. 3
“To succinctly answer Tara Henley’s questions about what has gone wrong with liberalism in the West, the core problem has simply been that the left has gone too far, and the bulk of the blame lies at the feet of moderate or classic liberals and independents who have failed to push back against this extremism while their fellow citizens of the right were being censored, de-platformed and discriminated against. Moderate liberals have begun to push back but it is high time in Canada that they make their voices and their actions heard … and loudly.”
Jack Shore, Toronto
Another example of advocacy for censorship from the liberal side:
A bit more on hate speech and violent suppression of opponents
While some speech seems to clearly qualify as hate speech- i.e. the direct incitement to violence against another group- which perspective (conservative or liberal) may take authority position in setting the defining boundaries or the line where people cross over into hate speech? Is fair balance between differing ideologies possible on this issue? And what about the issue of justifying violence against differing others?
Example: Some years ago, a Democratic spokesperson responded to reported episodes of street violence against Trump supporters, arguing that Democratic violence against Republicans/Conservatives was legitimate use of force because all who voted for Trump were akin to Nazis/White Supremacists, hence Democratic violence was the same as the Allies in WW2 using “just force” to stop “Nazi evil”. His argument went beyond suppressing Republican speech to suppressing Republicans with force.
That spokesperson was humorlessly serious as he argued that on TV. Do we want people with perhaps similar perspectives determining hate speech issues and use-of-defensive-force issues for all the rest?
And on the other side, Right extremists will argue that if the “Commies” are coming to destroy democracy then it is legitimate to use force to protect society and defend freedom from that “enemy”.
Some noted difficulties with hate speech laws…
Good one on the basic issues/problems with socialism…
Optimism? Pessimism? Wendell Krossa
I don’t believe in optimism because being cheery is better than being gloomy. No. I believe that overwhelming evidence affirms that life has improved across the centuries because motivated and free individuals have always tried to create something better for themselves and others, and to protect the natural world while doing so. Progress is the result of a lot of hard work. But holding a narrative that is based on sound evidence (i.e. the true state of life) is also critical to human motivation to work hard, knowing that your work output will be successful.
A real threat to the trajectory of improving life comes from minds oriented to apocalyptic mythology that distorts the true state of life. Apocalyptic true believers are obsessed with ending the rising trajectory of life by traumatizing people with narratives of fear that then incite frightened populations to adopt alarmist salvation schemes that undermine human progress. We are watching this “self-fulfilling prophecy” process play out today in the alarmist crusade to decarbonize our societies.
Plentiful and inexpensive fossil fuels have been essential to the progress of civilization over the past century or so. And there is no sound evidence that human emissions of CO2 are causing “catastrophic climate change” that will bring about the end of life.
This site, as with many others, offers detailed reports on climate research that shows natural factors are responsible for the climate change that we are observing. See, for example, the article by physicist Ed Berry below, that goes to the heart of the climate change issue (i.e. the actual role of CO2 in climate change, notably the human input to CO2 cycles and reservoirs).
Further, good evidence affirms that climate change is not becoming “catastrophic” but is simply doing what climate always does- changing from cooling to warming periods, and back again, in endless cyclical patterns, mainly in response to natural influences.
Our wisest response should be what it has always been- to adapt to such change. Inexpensive fossil fuels empower us to create the wealth that enable us to adapt.
There is no sound scientific reason to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies.
(Insert: Extreme weather events are not becoming “the worst on record”. That repeated distortion often frames things only within the record of the last few decades, or the past century. Step back and look at the longer-term historical record to get a proper perspective on “the true state of things”.)
Over past decades the world’s prominent story-telling forum– i.e. the Hollywood movie industry- has become increasingly obsessed with the primitive mythology of apocalyptic:
Panic-porn- “Don’t Look Up” Wendell Krossa
I just watched the Netflix movie ‘Don’t Look Up’ starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Its a tale of the world ending via a large meteorite collision. Remember, DiCaprio is the actor who filmed ‘Revenant’ in Alberta during the bitter cold of winter (2015). While filming, a chinook blew in one day and DiCaprio panicked, telling others that was what the end of the world would be like. Huh?
You are freezing to death and warmth arrives and you panic? What the fuck? Have you lost your mind? But DiCaprio has invested everything in climate alarmism and he exhibits the feverish intensity of his belief in apocalypse mythology in ‘Don’t Look Up’. This film is basically an affirmation of alarmism- a project to validate terrorizing and traumatizing people. The inferences to global warming alarmism are obvious all through the movie.
Skeptics to the apocalypse are portrayed as delusional, deniers of truth, enslaved to material comforts (i.e. desiring the continuation of the good life and refusing to make some sacrifice), and criminally responsible for the mass-murder ending.
Yes, I wasted two hours watching this lunacy.
I lived in Alberta during the early 1970s, a period of global cooling where minus-40 F air temperature (also minus-40 C) was not uncommon. For winter exercise we jogged in minus-20 F, running on the country roads that outlined two sections of land (1280 acres)- 2 miles down, 1 mile across, 2 miles back up, and 1 final mile home. We wore face masks to prevent freezing damage to our lungs. A jogging friend did not properly cover his wrist one time (a small gap between his glove and the arm of his coat) and suffered frostbite.
The warm season of year is far too short here in Canada, only a couple of summer months. And the winters are too long and bitterly cold. More warming would be a great benefit to all life in this cold country.
Thinking of the long term- we are nearing the end of our Holocene interglacial. During the last glacial period, the Wisconsin glaciation, Canada was entirely covered in ice- up to several kilometers of ice. There was no nature, just massive glaciers grinding over rock.
Let’s hope more global warming extends our interglacial for now and into the future. 5-10 times more people die every year from cold than die from warmth.
Added comment from a discussion group re the DiCaprio movie ‘Don’t Look Up’:
“DiCaprio was the guy who filmed Revenant in Alberta and when a chinook blew in, he thought it was the end of the world and all were gonna die. He is one of the kings of panic-porn and this movie exalts that apocalyptic madness with a two hour affirmation of terrorizing people as good. A justification for absolute hysteria over the “end of days”.
“Ah, its crazy beyond nutty.”
“I sent this earlier to others… the point of ‘Don’t Look Up’ was how apocalyptic true believers become desperate when no one believes them so they resort to extremist terrorizing and this movie is basically a justification of their terrorizing people as a good thing. After all, its about “saving the world” from looming catastrophe.
“Richard Landes spoke to this raging apocalyptic hysteria in “Heaven On Earth” (the stages of apocalyptic millennial movements). When the apocalyptic movement appears to be entering the stage where it will fail, well, the apocalypse advocates become even more extremist and desperate, according to Landes.
“Watch the movie and note how DiCaprio is actually expressing his own true feelings re his real life crusade for climate apocalyptic. Its not a stretch for DiCaprio to act so incensed (i.e. like the character he portrays in Don’t Look Up) because those are his true feelings in real life about climate apocalypse.”
Jim Steele on Colorado fire– It was weather not climate change…
A counter to the political/media distortion– “They don’t believe in climate change” (Meaning- they don’t believe the exaggerated apocalyptic version of “human-caused climate change”).
We all (both alarmists and skeptics) believe in climate change. We know that the complex, dynamic system that is climate is always changing, whether warming or cooling. And we believe that CO2 has a warming influence.
But evidence does not affirm that humanity is responsible for climate change when natural factors overwhelm any human influence (see physicist Ed Berry’s research report below). And evidence does not affirm that climate change is becoming “catastrophic” when the slight warming of the past century (1 degree C) has been significantly beneficial in our abnormally cold world where 5-10 times more people die every year from cold than die from warmth.
Further, the rise in CO2 has been massively beneficial (i.e. more basic plant food) in our “CO2 starvation” era. More basic plant food in the atmosphere has revived all life with a 14% increase in green vegetation across the world since 1980. This means more food for animal life and increased crop production for humanity.
We will benefit further from still more warming and more plant food. There is no good scientific reason to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies.
Note the horrific damage (link just below) that unhinged irrational climate alarmism has done to an entire generation of young people. That traumatizing of children with panic-mongering is disgustingly irresponsible. And no, kids- the right response to climate alarmism is not to pressure governments to act on decarbonization. The right response is to understand that true state of climate by including all the evidence (i.e. the entire skeptical side of the debate) and by placing all climate issues within the long-term trends that affirm the climate change we are observing today is mainly natural, not “human-caused”. Point? There is no need to tax carbon (i.e. “have a war on carbon”) or to decarbonize our societies.
Ed Berry research paper at https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/12/25/physicist-dr-ed-berry-rips-un-ipccs-climate-fiction-explains-why-the-ipcc-is-wrong/
This reply from Ed Berry goes to the heart of the climate change issue: How much has human use of fossil fuels contributed to rising atmospheric CO2 levels? Physicist Berry shows that evidence affirms that most of the rise in CO2 over the past few centuries has been from natural sources, not from human emissions.
Add here that rising CO2 is not causing “catastrophic climate change”. Extreme weather events are not becoming worse or more frequent. Hence, there is no reason to panic over climate change. And on the benefit side- more CO2 has meant more basic food for plants, resulting in the 14% increase in green vegetation across the world over the past 40 years. Further, the slight warming (1 degree C over the past century) means that fewer people will die from cold (5-10 times more people die from cold every year than die from warmth). All life will benefit from more warming.
Conclusion from this evidence? There is no scientific reason to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies.
“Climate science prevails over politics”, Ed Berry
“This is my reply to an opinion letter by Monica Tranel, Montana Democrat candidate for Congress, in Montana’s Daily Inter Lake. This is my attempt to make the argument as simple as possible in 570 words for public reading.
“This letter does not criticize Monica Tranel, but focuses on her letter of Dec 19, 2021, about climate change. The journal Science of Climate Change published my landmark paper on this subject on December 14, 2021.
“Mrs. Tranel’s letter makes the following invalid assumptions.
“First, her letter assumes the definition of “climate change” is that human emissions cause it. However, “climate change” means that climate simply changes whatever the cause.
“Second, her letter incorrectly assumes events prove their cause, writing “the impact of climate change is hitting hard… We already see its effects in Montana.” My book Climate Miracle shows why this assumption is invalid even in legal trials.
“Third, her letter assumes we should believe the COP26 attendees who say, “the climate crisis will never be averted without international agreements and concerted action.”
“The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defines climate change science. But the IPCC bases its conclusions on one big invalid assumption, namely, that natural CO2 stayed constant since 1750 and human CO2 caused all the CO2 increase. All climate laws, regulations, treaties, and taxes are based on this invalid assumption.
“My paper uses IPCC’s own data to prove this assumption is false and shows natural CO2, not human CO2, dominates the CO2 increase. Other scientists have checked my calculations and proved them correct.
“Here are some simple reasons to help you understand why the IPCC is wrong.
“IPCC admits natural CO2 emissions are 20 times human CO2 emissions. So, to the first approximation, because CO2 that flows into the atmosphere flows out, like water flows through a lake, human CO2 is only 5 percent of today’s atmospheric CO2, not 30 percent as IPCC incorrectly assumes.
“More accurately, my paper calculates the flow of human CO2 back into the atmosphere, which shows human CO2 is 8 percent while natural CO2 is 92 percent.
“The IPCC counters that human CO2 stays in the atmosphere longer than natural CO2 causing the human portion to be 30 percent. Thus, the IPCC digs its own grave. This IPCC claim is absurd because human and natural CO2 molecules are identical, so they flow out of the atmosphere at the same rate.
“IPCC’s story would require a magic demon in the atmosphere to separate human from natural CO2 molecules, and then detain the human molecules. IPCC’s climate fiction is so absurd that it proves the IPCC did not just error but committed a fraud of global proportions.
“Even the 2021 emissions reduction due to COVID did not stop the inevitable CO2 increase caused by natural CO2, further proving climate treaties and green energy are useless because they ignore that unstoppable nature is the dominant cause of the CO2 increase. Carbon-14 data independently prove nature dominates the CO2 increase.
“My paper shows if human CO2 emissions were to stop, the small human-caused increase would quickly fall, meaning there is no scientific basis to claim there is a climate emergency or worry about our grandkids.
“My paper overturns IPCC’s climate fraud with a clarity that can win in a court of law. Good high school students can understand my paper. Now, we need lawyers willing to overturn climate laws, regulations, and taxes.
“Honest people from all political parties should accept science truth. Renewable energy should compete on a level playing field with other energy sources without climate change concerns.
“To read my scientific paper, go to https://edberry.com and press the “My Paper” button.”
Edwin X Berry, PhD, Physics
My game plan is kind of like that of a wild boar digging for roots. I know- sheesh, what a horrible metaphor. But I have this thing about going after root contributing factors in regard to some issue under discussion. I refer to the common and deeply embedded themes in worldviews that orient human consciousness to bad ideas and their related bad outcomes. Add here the concern over the self-fulfilling prophesy thing. People believe a bad idea like apocalyptic and that incites fatalism, resignation, and nihilistic action that can result in fulfilling the belief, in taking action to achieve the expected outcome. We are observing this very process in the irrational embrace of decarbonization to “save the world” from the purported threat that is CO2.
Further on roots, remember the recommended responses to past ISIS violence. Military experts stated that we must not just respond militarily to terrorists but we should also deal with the underlying ideology/ideas that contribute to those ongoing eruptions of religious violence. That was good advice, and it applies also to climate change hysteria and the damaging outcomes of this similarly apocalyptic movement. The same complex of themes has contributed to all such movements- i.e. the “apocalyptic millennial” complex of themes.
Don’t take my word for this- note the research of the apocalyptic historians listed below (Landes and Co.).
Site project: Fighting fear, Wendell Krossa
Ongoing site project: To counter unwarranted fear, notably the fear of the “end-of-days” that is endlessly disseminated by contemporary apocalyptic prophets. The latest historical eruption of apocalyptic madness is being spread through the panic-mongering from the “climate change” alarm movement. This site traces the full complex of inherited bad ideas that incite apocalyptic hysteria. While good contemporary scientific evidence is always critical to counter the exaggerations and distortions of climate apocalyptics, there are more deeply embedded themes in human worldviews (both religious and secular) that must also be challenged and corrected in order to properly and fully counter the endless eruptions of the same old apocalyptic insanity.
Apocalyptic-scale scenarios, accompanied by the repetitive setting of end-time dates, arouses the human survival impulse and renders populations susceptible to irrational salvation schemes like decarbonization that will devastate societies. Decarbonization policies have already brought widespread misery, mainly for the poorest people, with obstructed development of fossil fuel resources, soaring energy costs, and destabilized electrical grids too dependent on unreliable renewables.
Apocalyptic movements have never ended well as the apocalyptic historians have shown us. The outcomes from apocalyptic narratives in the past century were the mass-death movements of Marxism and Nazism. And yes, “apocalyptic millennialism” played a significant role in both those movements, just as that primitive mythology dominates today in the environmental/climate alarmism movement. Historians have traced the influence and outcomes of apocalyptic ideas over the last century: See, for example, Arthur Herman (The Idea of Decline in Western History), Richard Landes (Heaven on Earth), Arthur Mendel (Vision and Violence), and David Redles (Hitler’s Millennial Reich).
My dispute with contemporary climate apocalyptic narratives has to do with the fact that the best evidence on the true state of life today affirms an entirely opposite narrative- i.e. that things have never been better. We ought to be celebrating the progress of humanity and the environmental improvement that has been achieved over past decades. But instead, we are being traumatized with endless panic-mongering and end-of-days scenarios (2030 being the most recent date for the end times- i.e. “final tipping point, point of no return”).
(Note: Weather has been doing what weather always does, spewing forth extreme events whether hot or cold, dry or wet. But such events are not becoming “the worst on record” unless you limit your “record” to a few years or decades, which then distorts the larger picture of climate and weather.)
Just below is a sample of the good evidence on varied improving trends over the past decades and centuries. Julian Simon offered evidence on many more trends in his book “Its Getting Better All The Time: 100 Greatest trends of the last 100 years”, along with his brilliant “Ultimate Resource”. Add to Simon’s detailed data the many other volumes of amassed evidence, notably Bjorn Lomborg’s “Skeptical Environmentalist”, Greg Easterbrook’s “A Moment On The Earth”, Ronald Bailey’s “The End of Doom”, Indur Goklany’s “The Improving State of the World”, Desrochers and Szurmak’s “Population Bombed”, Hans Rosling’s “Factfulness: Ten reasons we’re wrong about the world and why things are better than you think”, Matt Ridley’s “Rational Optimist”, and others.
I would urge people to stand back further to take in the even bigger picture of the story of our cosmos that began in a fiery heat singularity then expanded and cooled toward the more complex and organized realm of today’s cosmos with galaxies, stars, and solar systems that produced the conditions suitable for life. And then look at the progress and development of life on this planet- from brutally chaotic early beginnings to the more complex organization of our modern world, again suitable for the emergence of conscious life. And finally, look at the progress and development of human civilization from barbaric early conditions to the growing complexity and developing decency of modern humanity. All major trajectories evidence improvement toward something better.
But most critical to hope and human meaning is the even larger background picture that includes the metaphysical reality that birthed this material cosmos and life. I refer to the stunning new theology of a no conditions deity at the core of all- the insight that the creating Consciousness/Mind behind all is an inexpressible no conditions love.
Added note: Without denying the persistent imperfections/problems of life, we can fill in the larger background with many positive features that affirm the overall, long-term improvement of life and thereby keep evidence-based hope alive. And add that it is helpful to also recognize the profound media distortion of the true state of life. Media survival and success demands obsession with bad news and exaggeration/distortion of most everything. Sociologist David Altheide exposed the driving agenda of news media in his “Creating Fear: News and the construction of crisis”.
Positive trends (some cheer for the New Year), Wendell Krossa
Julian Simon said that past long-term trends are our best indicators of what will happen in the future. If there is no good contrary evidence that past long-term trends will end or change, then we can rationally assume that the trends will continue. Also, in all trends there are short-term setbacks or downturns, usually about 3-5 years in length (Bjorn Lomborg in Skeptical Environmentalist). But then the overall long-term trends continue. https://www.humanprogress.org/things-are-getting-better/
Some important positive long-term trends over past decades/centuries:
Lengthening life spans https://www.humanprogress.org/life-expectancy-up-around-the-world/
Declining violence https://www.humanprogress.org/human-progress-reviews-steven-pinkers-new-book-enlightenment-now/
Increasing wealth, declining poverty https://www.humanprogress.org/the-great-decline-in-poverty-over-time/
The slight warming trend over the past century (1 degree C) in our abnormally cold world has been a positive trend. 5-10 times more people die annually from cold than die from warmth. More warming in the present is important because we have been on a longer-term cooling trend, the Neo-Glacial Period, now some 5000 years long. Our current Modern Warm Period is the coolest of the warm periods of our Holocene interglacial. A few more degrees of warming would be a major benefit to all life as we continue to emerge from the bitter cold of the Little Ice Age of roughly 1350-1850 https://co2coalition.org/facts/temperatures-have-changed-for-800000-years-it-wasnt-us/
Another positive trend: The greening of the Earth with more basic plant food- a 14% increase in green vegetation across the world over just the past 40 years due to more CO2 in the atmosphere. This means more food for animal life and increased crop production for humanity.
There is a lot more to be hopeful about, based on good evidence. See sites like Humanprogress.org and co2coalition.org for detail on climate trends and other issues.
As Simon concluded, we ought to hold a party to outdo all parties because we have done so well in caring for life. We are more creators than destroyers.
Materialism/theism, Wendell Krossa (Dealing with the primal human impulse for meaning/purpose)
Too much debate between scientific and religious explanations of the natural world (i.e. the origin of material reality, the origin of life/DNA) runs aground in misunderstanding because of the apparent dogmatic assumptions on both sides that we are obligated to embrace the more extreme either/or conclusions of each side. The issue is often framed as a choice between either religious understanding of reality (i.e. created by a religious deity) or materialist scientific conclusions (atheism). We are more creative than that and we can come up with better alternatives. What about the creating reality as a transcendent Mind/Consciousness/Intelligence that has nothing to do with religious versions?
I’ve just read Stephen Meyer’s “The Return of the God Hypothesis”. It presents some interesting interaction with scientific discoveries and materialist explanations of the origin of the cosmos and life on this planet (notably DNA). Meyers offers convincingly logical conclusions that are contrary to materialist understanding of the origins of material reality, and the origin of life.
Unfortunately, Meyer makes the leap of assumption in his concluding chapters that his God hypothesis means faith in the Judeo-Christian God, though stated rather moderately. Most materialist scientists will rightly react to that alternative as just not credible. The concluding chapters weaken Meyer’s overall argument, although throughout the book he seemed at times to limit his argument to making the point that he is only referring to a more general “intelligence” behind the creation of material reality and life. (Insert note re Meyer’s work and Philip Goff’s “Galileo’s Error”: It may be wiser to maintain the science/philosophy boundary. And recognize that science has a limited mandate- to describe how material reality functions/behaves, i.e. describe the working of natural law. Keep consciousness and intelligence in a separate arena of research.)
Also, throughout the book Meyer further weakened his otherwise common sense lines of argument with references to materialist depreciation of religious belief, leaving the assumption he meant that science was wrongly discrediting Christian beliefs.
While Meyer offers the more reasonable conclusion that intelligence is the most obvious causal factor of the complex, functioning information of DNA (“functionally specified”), his line of reasoning rouses antagonism in most materialists who appear to conclude that admitting that intelligence was involved in creating matter and life then obligates the admission of theism, which then necessarily means admitting religious gods like the Christian God. I would disagree with this line of assumptions. Religious theism is not the logically necessary conclusion that one is directed toward.
I have often wondered: If the most logical conclusion from the evidence is that some form of intelligence created this material universe and life, then why the materialist fear/hesitation to acknowledge this? I suspect the hesitation is due to the wrongheaded assumption by materialists that acknowledging creating intelligence automatically obligates one to accept religious versions of ultimate Intelligence.
I would offer that Meyer’s overall hypothesis is a more reasonable conclusion to origin questions- i.e. that some form of intelligence is involved, but I would argue that it is not theism as we have historically understood it in terms of the gods that the world religions have presented to us. I would opt, instead, for some creating Mind/Consciousness that has nothing to do with religious versions. Something defined at core by “no conditions” (contrary to the highly conditional nature of all religious theology).
Why define Ultimate Intelligence or Mind/Consciousness as no conditions love? Here’s a dab of theology on the nature of the Intelligence that we are talking about and in keeping with “cheer for the New Year”… Because no conditions love is the highest and best thing that we have discovered as to the nature of being truly and fully human (what enables us to “tower in stature as maturely human”). The discovery that unconditional is the highest and best of being human comes from ordinary people in the mundane situations and interactions with others in daily life. It is not a religious revelation. Unconditional is self-validating as the highest and best good and therefore essential to Ultimate Good/deity. Good theology projects the best of being human out to define deity but it understands deity to be of a transcendent nature, inexpressibly better than the best that we can imagine or describe.
No conditions love gives ultimate meaning to everything.
(Note: There is no such thing as intelligence without personhood or personality. So that raises the question- What kind of person? I add the feature of unconditional to counter the subhuman features of much religious theology or God theory from across history.)
Just to add: I would highly recommend Meyer’s book. For its detailed engagement of origin theories and evidence, notably, things like the improbabilities of DNA emerging from unguided, random natural processes (i.e. DNA subunits assembling according to natural chemical laws, random mutational processes, etc.). To dismiss the obvious involvement of intelligence requires materialist leaps of assumption that are just too irrational, incoherent, and even absurd. Good overall work, Stephan Meyers. You have affirmed the argument that the logical, rational conclusion to the human process of reasoning is “theism” (or, more preferable for others- “Mind, Consciousness, Intelligence” of a transcendent form). Meyers in YouTube videos applies the same detailed reasoning with the unfolding/folding of cellular proteins.
Areas of disagreement remain, Wendell Krossa
The basic areas of disagreement in the climate debate remain unsettled still. We do not know that humanity is “mainly responsible for the increase in CO2 levels over the past century”. We do not know that CO2 plays a dominant role in climate change when other natural factors show stronger correlation to the change that we have observed over past decades. And we do not know that climate change will become “catastrophic” as has been predicted by the discredited climate models that exaggerated the role of CO2.
We do know that the slight warming of 1 degree C over the past century has been beneficial in a world where 5-10 times more people die every year from cold than die from warmth. Several more degrees of warmth would be further net beneficial to all life. And we do know that increasing levels of CO2 have been beneficial in this “CO2 starvation era” where CO2 levels have been abnormally low compared to past long-term history. With more basic food for plant life there has been a 14% increase in green vegetation across the Earth over just the last 40 years. More warming and more CO2 will continue to be net beneficial to all life.
As stated often here, there is no sound scientific reason to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies.
“Two prevalent myths are damaging our economy and hurting the less fortunate: 1) greenhouse gases, chiefly carbon dioxide, are causing dangerous global warming; and 2) wind and solar can easily replace fossil fuels, nuclear, and hydro in electricity generation. Both are false, yet widely accepted. We continue to contest these myths, and others, with physical evidence.”
“recognize that human behavior has little influence on global warming or climate change and what little it has is beneficial”.
As climate alarmism continues its latest surge of hysteria across the world this site will continue to present the underlying complex of primitive ideas/myths that attune populations to be receptive to eruptions of apocalyptic madness and susceptible to the destructive salvation schemes of alarmists (i.e. “save the world” through decarbonization). Allowing a complex of primitive themes to continue to dominate contemporary worldviews (in both religious and “secular” versions) renders people vulnerable to the endless “end-of-days” proclamations of apocalyptic prophets.
Recommended histories (helpful to understand apocalyptic movements): Arthur Herman’s “The Idea of Decline in Western History”, Richard Landes’ “Heaven On Earth”, Arthur Mendel’s “Vision and Violence”, David Redles’ “Hitler’s Millennial Reich”, and more.
Common sense from a geologist at https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/12/21/energy-and-environmental-review-december-20-2021/
“Fossil fuels are not to blame for world’s climate issues” The Daily Record December 16, 2021,
“As a 35-year geologist, listening to climate alarmists is very troubling.
“We know carbon dioxide has increased somewhat during the last century, but it is not all due to fossil fuels and certainly not at alarming levels.
“We know that weather related deaths are down substantially over the past century (mostly due to efficient fossil fuels that have provided the amazing machinery and technology that protect us).
“We know that there is some warming and some impact, but not catastrophic as we are led to believe. We know Earth’s climate is cyclical in nature and has repeatedly warmed and cooled long before humans had any influence.
“Climate is not a pristine entity that humans make dangerous, rather climate is a naturally dangerous entity from which humans must be protected.
“The United Nations and IPPC have been claiming crisis for at least four decades yet have been wrong on every count.
“These organizations have misrepresented the work of many good scientists to tout a political and quasi-religious message. This distortion is derived from biased selection of worst-case scenarios from over 40 climate models which have proven consistently inaccurate. They entirely ignore the immense, positive benefits of low-cost, reliable, global scale energy from fossil fuels.
“To completely disregard how natural resources have lifted billions of people out of poverty and provided humans the ability to prosper is senseless.
“I am not opposed to utilizing alternate energy sources as supplements, but to promote whole scale transition to unreliable, less efficient energy completely ignores the detrimental impact on human flourishing.
“The high energy density of the physical chemistry of hydrocarbons is unique and well understood, as is the science underlying the low energy density inherent in surface sunlight, wind volumes and velocity.
“Scientists have yet to discover, and entrepreneurs have yet to invent, anything as remarkable as hydrocarbons in terms of the combination of low-cost, high-energy density, stability, safety, and portability.
“We are not in crisis, and we must be able to factor in negative AND positive impacts of energy consumption”. Steven P. Zody, Wooster
Irrational King Canute-like claims that “the rise of the seas begins to stop now” (with the Green anti-carbon crusade).
You cannot, as many irrationally claim, “limit global warming to 1.5 degree C” by cutting fossil fuel use (i.e. control climate by “turning a CO2 knob”). Such claims assume that humans are mostly responsible for the rise in CO2 levels when good science shows that natural CO2/carbon cycles overwhelm the human contribution (i.e. “perturbations/changes” in such cycles are larger than the annual human contribution). We do not know the differing proportions that the varied factors are contributing to rising CO2 levels. We cannot blame humanity as “mainly responsible”.
And good science shows that other natural factors overwhelm the CO2 influence on climate. Also, note for example, the research of climate physicists Richard Lindzen and William Happer on “CO2 saturation”- i.e. the evidence that as CO2 increases in the atmosphere its warming influence decreases logarithmically. We cannot blame CO2 for all the warming of the past few centuries, and we do not know that more warming will be “catastrophic” when the models making such apocalyptic claims have been discredited by actual observed evidence on climate change.
The heatwaves and other extreme weather events of the past few decades (droughts, floods, cold spells, storms) are not more severe or more frequent than past long-term history. Even the IPCC acknowledges this.
Also, with 10 times more people dying every year from cold than die from warmth, a few more degrees of warming would be net beneficial to all life. Also, more of life’s basic food (atmospheric CO2) is immensely beneficial to all life as the slight rise in CO2 over the past 40 years has resulted in a massive 14% increase in green vegetation across the world. That is more food for animals and increased crop production for humanity (see CO2science.org, Wattsupwiththat.com, and related sites).
The great question today: Why such hysterical demonization and fear of CO2 when evidence affirms that we ought to be celebrating its benefits to all life?
More on human story
Additional material to an interesting feature in Campbell’s outline of human story (the “Hero’s Journey”). This point relates notably to the shamanic experience of disintegration and then re-integration. That experience of breakdown and recovery illustrates a general pattern in our overall life stories. A pattern that is commonly expressed in the general narratives that much story-telling also follows.
Note the following features common to movie narratives:
1. First there is the setup or setting for the story. This involves a situation of stasis, peace/calm, normalcy. Characters and their life situations are introduced.
2. Then a protagonist/offender is introduced that causes complication or disruption/breakdown. The offender introduces conflict and confrontation.
3. Consequently, there is struggle toward resolution and the end of conflict, usually through justice as payback/revenge. Rarely is there a presentation of justice as forgiveness and rehabilitation (i.e. restorative justice as in stories like The Forgiven, Invictus, or The Railway Man).
Our personal stories are also shaped by the larger stories/histories of our cultures (meta-narratives).
Additional comment on the site project:
The project here is very much about going after history’s greatest monsters, the monster deities that have long incited the primal fears of people across the millennia (see, for example, Zenon Lotufo’s “Cruel God, Kind God”). The fears incited by monster gods include the survival fears related to the belief that the gods were punishing people through natural disaster, disease, and animal/human predatory cruelty. Survival fear is most intensely aroused by myths of the gods bringing about the end of life or the end of the world (i.e. the fear of apocalypse), also by fears of after-life harm (i.e. divine judgment, punishment, and destruction in hell).
Monster gods have incited our worst inherited instincts by validating the impulses to tribal exclusion, domination of others, and punitive treatment of other’s failures (justice as eye for eye retaliation- harm for harm, hurt for hurt). Monster gods, as humanity’s highest ideals and authorities, produce monstrous treatment of others. We become just like the god that we believe in.
We can do much better. We can fully humanize our God theories with more humane features. See essays below.
New Year’s projects: Posting material that speaks to the concerns of the 85% of humanity that are affiliated with a world religion, as well as to the concerns of the 15% that are “unaffiliated”, most who claim to be “spiritual but not religious”. The “unaffiliated” also include those that identify as “atheist/materialist”.
This site regularly offers metaphysical or “spiritual/theological” insights based on the recognition that materialist science cannot properly and fully respond to humanity’s more primal impulses for meaning. And science should not respond to such concerns because it has been wildly successful by focusing on its area of expertise- discovering and explaining how material reality behaves (i.e. natural laws). Because science has a limited mandate it cannot tell us what this material realm is actually made of (i.e. the consciousness at the foundation of reality), why this material realm exists, or what its purpose might be.
Material on this site probes the nature/character of the creating Consciousness, and what that means for human life.
Not beating around the bush- among the many useful insights from the human search for meaning across history, none compare to the insight that states there is only love behind reality and life, referring to the essential nature or character of the creating/sustaining Source of all reality- the ultimate creating Mind or Consciousness.
But that ultimate Love is not love as we commonly know it from our experience. It is love of a “stunning no conditions” quality, love so transcendently wondrous that people who have had some experience of it claim that it is overwhelmingly “inexpressible”. As one Catholic lady said, after having a Near-Death Experience, “There was only unconditional love. There was no judgment, no threat of punishment, no Hell… only an inexpressible unconditional love”. She returned to life acknowledging that the fundamental beliefs of her Christian religion were all wrong.
That admission would apply to all religions. No religion has ever communicated the reality of deity as a stunning no conditions love. All religions propose conditions, endless conditions as necessary for full inclusion in ultimate love- i.e. conditions of right belief, demanded sacrifice/payment, required rituals and religious lifestyles. Conditions, conditions, and more damn conditions.
An unconditional deity means that all are safe in the end, that all of us return safely to the love from which we have all originated. It means there will be no exclusion of anyone, no judgment of anyone, and no punishment or destruction of anyone. Unconditional means no conditions, absolutely none.
This stunning new theology spells the overturning and end of conditional religion.
The project to post spiritual insights on this site (notably regarding the love at the core of reality) aligns with the overall anti-fear orientation of this site. The metaphysical insights offered here are oriented to countering fear and affirming hope at a deeper level than just offering evidence on the main indicators of physical life (i.e. the true state of species, forests, fisheries, soils, climate, and the overall long-term trajectory of life). Including the spiritual is about going to the heart of human narratives, beliefs, emotions, and desires and engaging our most primal impulses for meaning. The anti-fear project here is about confronting and transforming inherited “archetypes” (inner impulses and the ideas that validate them, the subconscious stuff).
In the New Year (2022) this site is reposting revised versions of the ‘Four Main Essays’- (1) short and long versions of “Humanity’s worst ideas, better alternatives” (the most foundational human ideas from across history), (2) “The Christian Contradiction” (Paul’s Christ myth buried the most profound insight ever offered to humanity- i.e. that there is a stunning no conditions love at the core of reality), (3) “Basic Features/Experiences of Human Life” (interacting with Campbell’s points on the Hero’s Journey), and (4) “Two Fundamental ways of Organizing Human Societies” (collectivism and the free individual).
Further notes on meaning
This article from a National Post series on Capitalism notes the failure of capitalism to speak to issues of human meaning. https://nationalpost.com/opinion/the-capitalist-manifesto-free-markets-won-in-the-cold-war-but-threats-like-wokeism-are-rising
Others have noted the same with regard to science- acknowledging that science has been critical to human progress but it is not suited or tasked to deal with larger meaning issues such as the great “Why” questions. Science tells us how the physical realm functions/behaves, not why the cosmos exists, or what might be the purpose of our existence (See, for example, Philip Goff’s “Galileo’s Error”).
Responding to the big questions of the human meaning impulse has traditionally been the province of mythology, religion, and philosophy. But those traditions have too often failed in terms of the horrifically barbaric themes they have embraced and communicated to people.
The failure to respond fully to the human impulse for meaning has left a blank space in many human lives that in part drives the contemporary retreat to the same old primitive themes of past mythology and religion. We can do better. We can find better alternatives to what we have inherited.
The project to respond to human meaning has never been about either/or choices- i.e. either religion or science. Both can contribute valuable insights and we are a more creative species than to just opt for simple opposing polar choices. Additionally, it should be understood that religious or spiritual beliefs that violate affirmed scientific discoveries have no credible place contributing to human understanding (while also acknowledging the limits of science/scientism to explain reality).
This site probes and proposes viable alternatives to traditional mythical/religious insights on reality and life, alternatives oriented to more humane forms of spirituality/theology, more attuned to contemporary human sensibilities on what it means to be truly human.
We are observing today an episode of psychological mass-projection where the actual “deniers” in the climate debate are the alarmists who deny the overwhelming evidence that natural factors show stronger correlations to the climate change that we have experienced over the past century or so. Alarmists base their apocalyptic scenarios on discredited computer models that have exaggerated the role of CO2 in warming and falsely produced apocalyptic-scale outcomes that have not occurred in the real world of climate. So who’s your denier now? (a play on “Who’s your daddy now”? for you slower types)