“Lomborg is right that the Earth is not hurtling towards apocalypse due to climate change, rather, the data shows quite the opposite is true: things are getting better.” (see links to Lomborg articles and data below)
This from the New York Post: ‘Biden’s freeze on oil, gas leases threatens to bring Europe’s energy nightmare to America’
“Climate change simply isn’t the world-ending catastrophe the Left pretends. Alas, Biden is following Europe’s path- freezing leases, blocking infrastructure projects like the Keystone pipeline, and generally warring against fossil-fuel production. That is, he’s heading this country toward the same horrors Europe’s suffering now”.
More from Lomborg: “Supressing good news is scaring our kids witless: You might be hearing nothing but bad news but you aren’t hearing the full story”, Sept. 15, 2022, Financial Post
See “Three articles from Net Zero Watch newsletter” just below, presenting evidence that “there is no climate crisis”…
What an apocalyptic movement does to human societies
The relationship of decarbonization to the rapidly worsening situation in advanced societies.
Decarbonization policies include freezing leases, blocking oil/gas infrastructure projects like pipelines, and government discouraging new investment in oil-gas production with threats that such investment will become “stranded assets” in the near future. These policies are all part of a general war on fossil fuels that has resulted in limited supplies of what would naturally be an abundant and cheap resource with low energy prices for all.
The consequences of limiting fossil fuel energy supplies is rising energy/electricity costs and the related rise of fuel poverty among the poorest people who have been forced to make difficult choices between eating and staying warm. The further related increases in deaths from cold in developed countries is criminal.
Rising energy costs, as noted in the articles below, means rising costs in everything else. This is the self-inflicted suicide crusade that we are observing in some of the most highly developed societies today- i.e. Germany, Britain, California. Decarbonization has become a “madness of crowds” movement that is outdoing- in its destructive outcomes- all other similar madness episodes across history.
And some updates on “the most destructive idea in history”- apocalyptic (Arthur Mendel’s conclusion in “Vision and Violence”). Below are some articles on the outcomes in Western countries that are embracing the climate apocalypse narrative and its irrational salvation scheme of decarbonization… see the full New York Post article- quoted above- further below.
Farmers warn of winter food shortages in Europe, Financial Times, Sept. 9, 2022
“Price rises across wide range of products predicted as output is cut over surging energy costs
“Farmers and food producers in Europe have warned of seasonal shortages and significant price increases across a wide range of everyday products this winter, as they called for government support to offset surging energy costs….
“Energy is used throughout food production from fertiliser to harvesting to refrigeration. The dairy and bakery industries were particularly affected by rising prices, Pesonen explained, because pasteurisation and the process of creating milk powder were energy intensive.”
See full article at link above. And…
Europe pays and pays for Net Zero, The Wall Street Journal, Sept.9, 2022
“Prices and subsidies are both soaring thanks to foolish climate policy.
“New British Prime Minister Liz Truss on Thursday rolled out an energy-price subsidy plan that could cost £150 billion. Throw that on the pile with the tens upon tens of billions of dollars’ worth of subsidies other European governments are offering to take the sting out of energy prices this winter. It adds up to a stunning cost for Europe’s climate-change ambitions.
“The contours of Europe’s crisis are well-known by now. Governments across the Continent for decades concocted increasingly aggressive plans to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions in the name of arresting climate change. The effort is to meet a pledge to achieve “net-zero” emissions in the 2040s or 2050s.
“As a result, Europe has become ever more dependent on wind and solar—which are too unreliable to power advanced industrial economies—while perversely eschewing nuclear power. They burned natural gas, until Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine war sent prices haywire and deprived Europe of Russian gas.
“Now the cost of that folly is coming due, and it’s predictably enormous.”
See full article at link above. Also, the Global Warming Policy Forum posts many such articles daily in their Net Zero Watch newsletter that is free.
Three articles from Net Zero Watch newsletter… Evidence affirms there is no climate crisis
This from The Daily Skeptic, Sept. 14, 2022
“Climate emergency not supported by data, say four leading Italian scientists” (see full article at link)
Quotes from the article…
“Four leading Italian scientists have undertaken a major review of historical climate trends and concluded that declaring a ‘climate emergency’ is not supported by the data.
“Reviewing data from a wide range of weather phenomena, they say a ‘climate crisis’ of the kind people are becoming alarmed about “is not evident yet”.
“The scientists suggest that rather than burdening our children with anxiety about climate change, we should encourage them to think about issues like energy, food and health, and the challenges in each area, with a more “objective and constructive spirit” and not waste limited resources on “costly and ineffective solutions”.
“During the course of their work, the scientists found that rainfall intensity and frequency is stationary in many parts of the world. Tropical hurricanes and cyclones show little change over the long term, and the same is true of U.S. tornadoes. Other meteorological categories including natural disasters, floods, droughts and ecosystem productivity show no “clear positive trend of extreme events”. Regarding ecosystems, the scientists note a considerable “greening” of global plant biomass in recent decades caused by higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Satellite data show “greening” trends over most of the planet, increasing food yields and pushing back deserts.
“The four scientists are all highly qualified and include physics adjunct professor Gianluca Alimonti, agrometeorologist Luigi Mariani and physics professors Franco Prodi and Renato Angelo Ricci. The last two are signatories to the rapidly growing ‘World Climate Declaration’. This petition states that there is no climate emergency and calls for climate science to be more scientific. It also calls for liberation from the “naïve belief in immature climate models”. In future, it says, “climate research must give significantly more emphasis to empirical science”.
“‘Extreme’ weather events attributed by climate models – somehow – to anthropogenic global warming are now the main staple of the climate alarmist industry. As the Daily Sceptic reported on Monday, Sir David Attenborough used a U.K. Met Office model forecast in the first episode of Frozen Planet II to claim that summer Arctic sea ice could be gone within 12 years. But the likelihood of hardy swimming galas over the North Pole by 2035 seems somewhat remote, not least because Arctic sea ice has been growing in many summers since 2012. According to a recent report from the U.S.-based National Snow and Ice Data Center, at the end of August “sea ice extent is likely to remain higher than in recent years”.
“Hurricane and cyclones are favourite subjects for green alarmists… On May 27th, the Met Office predicted that the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June to November, would “most likely” be above average, with a “likelihood” of 18 named tropical storms including nine hurricanes and four major hurricanes. In fact, the current Atlantic hurricane season has had its slowest start for 30 years. At the end of August there have been no hurricanes, and only three named storms, none of which produced winds of 74mph or higher.
“There is plenty of evidence that hurricane and cyclone frequency and intensity has changed little over the recent historical record. “To date, global observations do not show any significant trends in both the number and the energy accumulated by hurricanes,” note the Italian scientists. The two graphs below demonstrate this…
“The scientists accept that there has been a recent increase in heatwaves, which they attribute to the 1°C rise in global temperatures, although they note global heatwave intensity trends “are not significant”. They also point out that only a limited number of weather stations have observed an increase in global rainfall.
“Corresponding evidence for increases in flooding remains elusive, they say, “and a long list of studies shows little or no evidence of increased flood magnitudes, with some studies finding more evidence of decreases than increases”. So far as drought is concerned, the scientists note the AR5 finding of the IPCC that “conclusions regarding global drought trends increasing since the 1970s are no longer supported”. Several studies are said to show no increase in the main indices regarding global droughts.
“In fact, a slightly warmer and wetter planet and a little extra CO2 seem to have done wonders for global crop yields. For the period 1961-2019, maize, rice, soyabean and wheat global average yields are reported to have grown every year by 3.3%, 2.4%, 2.6% and 3.8% respectively.
“Well-researched, fact-driven, credible scientific papers such as this are crucial in the battle to stop green activists and rentiers having a free run to catastrophise every bad weather event in the interest of promoting a command-and-control Net Zero agenda. Attempting to attribute single weather events to humans burning fossil fuels is the product of feverish imaginations and ‘garbage in, garbage out’ climate models. Rational, evidence-based science should be promoted at every opportunity.”
And this from Ars Technica, Sept. 11, 2022
“Seasonal (hurricane) activity is running 50 percent below normal levels.”
And this from “The European Physical Journal Plus”, Sept. 2022
“The most robust global changes in climate extremes are found in yearly values of heatwaves (number of days, maximum duration and cumulated heat), while global trends in heatwave intensity are not significant. Daily precipitation intensity and extreme precipitation frequency are stationary in the main part of the weather stations. Trend analysis of the time series of tropical cyclones show a substantial temporal invariance and the same is true for tornadoes in the USA. At the same time, the impact of warming on surface wind speed remains unclear. The analysis is then extended to some global response indicators of extreme meteorological events, namely natural disasters, floods, droughts, ecosystem productivity and yields of the four main crops (maize, rice, soybean and wheat). None of these response indicators show a clear positive trend of extreme events. In conclusion on the basis of observational data, the climate crisis that, according to many sources, we are experiencing today, is not evident yet…
“How the climate of the twenty-first century will play out is a topic of deep uncertainty. We need to increase our resiliency to whatever the future climate will present us.”
A bit further below… “Christianity got Jesus all wrong (on the most important features of his message and life)”. This is important research from Bob Brinsmead because the Christ myth of Paul has been mainly responsible for keeping the destructive fallacy of apocalypse alive in Western consciousness in both religious and “secular” versions, notably in the ideology of Declinism that dominates environmental/climate alarmism. Also below, comment on the fact that most people live by story or narrative, not so much by scientific fact. Hence, the ongoing dominance of “confirmation bias” in climate alarmism that ignores or dismisses evidence that is contrary to one’s beliefs, notably belief in the myth of climate apocalypse.
The comment below is a response that is motivated by the too-often cautious affirmation that many grant to the main assumptions of climate alarmism. Even Bjorn Lomborg (good as he is on most issues), along with many politicians on both sides of the ideological divide, has sometimes done this- affirming the basic assumption of climate alarmism that there is a “global warming crisis” and something must be done. Really?? Where is this “crisis”? Do you mean the mild one degree of warming over the past century in a still too cold world of “severe icehouse conditions” that is still emerging out of the bitter cold of the Little Ice Age of 1645-1715? (Note: In more recent comment Lomborg appears to back away from his earlier affirmations.)
My comment is intended to directly counter the distorting misinformation of “climate emergencey” with clear evidence to the contrary from good sources on paleoclimate and the physics of CO2, etc.
Note especially the counter point regarding the “3-6 degree C” claim, an exaggerated prediction of the looming amount of warming from continued human emissions of CO2, a prediction derived from the discredited climate models, a prediction that has become a prominent claim in the climate apocalypse narrative. I would counter that… No- that number (3-6 C), if climate were ever to warm that much (highly unlikely), would not be disastrous but would be a return to “normal/optimal” for all life, as that was the range of average world temperatures throughout most of paleoclimate history when life emerged, developed, and flourished. Even much less credible are the threats that a further 1.5-2.0 degrees C of warming will be “a tipping point to climate catastrophe”.
Any such warming does not mean that already warm areas will be getting hotter as the tropics have remained relatively stable throughout the history of life. Further warming would be more the warming of cold areas (i.e. polar regions) as climate gradients evened out across the earth, and that would be a return to the normal state of Earth for most of the history of life (80% of that history)- i.e. an ice-free world with expanded habitats for life, and now with the added bonus of expanded agricultural areas for humanity. All life flourishes in a warmer world.
Additionally, this information points to the “equable climate” issue that alarmist narratives ignore (the stability of tropical temperatures and overall climate across life- i.e. no evidence of tipping points into disaster because of much higher CO2 levels or much warmer climate).
Due to the above evidence, I find the endless panic-mongering over melting polar ice or melting glaciers to be irrational hysteria over something natural and beneficial to all life.
An entirely ice-free world with much warmer polar regions would be a more natural, normal, and optimal world for all life. Some species might suffer but many more would benefit. “Might” suffer. Yes, do not discount the ability of cold region species to adapt just as polar bears have adapted to ice-free conditions during past much warmer interglacials like the Eemian of 130-115,000 years ago (3-5 degrees C warmer than our current Holocene interglacial). Nature/life is not fragile but is incredibly resilient, durable, and adaptable.
Lets be real clear (overturning the false narrative that drives climate alarmism madness)
Let me make this evidence-based point real clear (see the quotes just below from the six-part report series on the sun-climate relationship). 3-6 degrees C more warming would be a return to the normal and optimal climate of most of the past history of life (i.e. the 17-20 degree C average world temperatures of most of the 540 million years of the “Phanerozoic Eon”). Climate alarmists are creating panic over such warming and that just shows how out of touch they are with real world climate evidence (apocalyptic narrative trumping fact). Politicians, celebrities, many scientists, mainstream media, and others are mindlessly affirming the irrational “climate crisis” narrative without doing basic homework on climate science and history.
Add here the basic facts on the history of CO2 that show our current atmospheric levels of CO2 are still at “starvation levels” compared to the past eons of life when CO2 was often in the multiple-thousands of ppm and there was no “climate warming crisis”. Further, CO2 has already reached “saturation” in physics terms, meaning that its warming influence has declined logarithmically and further rises in CO2 will not contribute to much more warming, perhaps only a degree more and that would be beneficial in a still too cold world (the 14.5 degree C average temperature of Earth today) where up to 10 times more people die every year from cold than die from warmth.
We need to stop kowtowing- i.e. cautiously tiptoeing around the discredited assumptions of the alarmist narrative that ignore the larger paleoclimate context of life and thereby distort the true state of things (e.g. the endless claims of “hottest on record”, meaning often just the past few decades or century). We get to the true state of something by putting all evidence in the full larger context and longest-term trends.
(Note: The alarmist narrative of “climate emergency” is based on the discredited climate models that wrongly focused on CO2 as the “dominant influence driving climate change”- the “control knob theory”. The models ignored other natural factors that showed stronger correlations to climate change, such as the sun-climate relationship. The models have been exposed as “running too hot” when compared to the actual mild warming that has occurred. But alarmists continue to base their climate apocalypse predictions on the false assumptions of their models, proving that narrative/ideology trumps scientific fact.)
See updates on recent climate science reports at bottom of this section… “Are fossil fuels good or bad?” (benefits of CO2); Latest research on the Sun-climate effect as the dominant effect on climate change (links to 6-part series posted on Wattsupwiththat.com); Climate dogma versus skeptical science; Creating fear over naturally warm summer days (the alarmist “heat wave” narrative).
All to affirm on the best scientific/climate evidence- There is no “climate emergency or crisis”. There is no sound scientific basis for taxing carbon or decarbonizing our societies- a ruinous “profoundly religious” crusade that is devastating some of the most highly developed countries today with soaring energy costs and consequent fuel poverty and suffering for millions of the most vulnerable people (e.g. Germany, Britain). See the regular reports at “Net Zero Watch”, the newsletter of the Global Warming Policy Forum.
This from Financial Post by Henry Geraedts: “Our climate warriors forsake desperate Europe- Reality is a merciless mistress: remove hydrocarbons and net-zero energy magic vanishes” Sept. 8, 2022
Quotes from above link. See full article at the link…
“Europe’s structural dependence on inexpensive hydrocarbon energy from its now-hostile Russian neighbour has had two crucial outcomes. It has amplified and accelerated destabilizing dynamics already in play, bringing about a transformation of the international energy landscape. And it has starkly exposed the spectacular failure of Europe’s 30-year, market-distorting climate policies, in particular its delusions about a renewables-based net-zero energy transition….
“In a complex, advanced economy, energy costs ultimately affect all downstream socio-economic activity. That unavoidable reality and the outcomes of deeply misguided climate policies are now staring Europeans in the face — whether as households no longer able to afford their energy bills, as actors in key economic sectors facing structural impairment or as politicians aghast at civil disobedience and growing rebellion….
“Post-Brexit Britons are alone this year, facing a cumulative 400 per cent increase in their energy bills. In the Netherlands, energy costs are soaring as high as $1,300/month, while in Germany households face electricity prices of $1.00/KWh, compared to nine cents in Vancouver. That’s simply not sustainable: it effectively means that upwards of 40 of European households are being pushed into energy poverty, spending more than 10 per cent of their take-home pay on it. Even a 10 per cent increase in winter deaths, which few observers consider impossible, would mean 250,000 people.
“As the collapse of Europe’s energy structure begins to unfold it’s important to understand that its impact across the socio-economic landscape isn’t yet anywhere near full force….
“The true and overarching danger to Europe, however, is the accelerating threat to its industrial base and small businesses. Europe’s natural gas crisis is morphing into a genuine power emergency — a vicious circle in which the skyrocketing cost of natural gas steadily drives up industrial power costs, which in turn spurs a renewed surge in overall energy prices….
“The net result of all this is surging power prices and the prospect of small businesses from restaurants to retailers facing bankruptcy…
“Under normal circumstances, Europe’s crisis would serve as a sharp warning of the growing socio-economic threat to Canadians from the Liberals’ destructive climate and energy policies. In no other advanced economy has an ideologically blinded government so systematically undermined an indispensable hydrocarbon energy sector — most recently by adding agriculture as a new target of its obsessive climate crusade.
“For the prime minister of the world’s fourth largest gas exporter to say there is no business case for Canada’s LNG, as Justin Trudeau recently did with an exasperated German Chancellor Scholz looking on, was both preposterous and unconscionable — the incantations of someone perilously out of touch with reality.
“The Trudeau government ignores the European debacle and above all its underlying net-zero causes at the risk of rending Canada’s social and economic fabric. It was last winter’s groundswell of anti-government protests across Canada that showed Dutch farmers and other protesters throughout Europe how to escalate. Imagining the fury could not blow back across the ocean is dangerous wishful thinking.”
The six reports below on the sun-climate relationship with their detailed sources of evidence, argue that “Meridional Transport”, not CO2, is the main driver of climate change. Meridional Transport is part of the sun-climate relationship.
Quotes from the reports:
“Nearly all the energy that powers the climate system and life on Earth comes from the sun… the temperature of the Earth is always changing and the planet is never in energy balance… Earth’s average surface temperature is 14.5 C (severe icehouse conditions), but during the year it warms and cools by 3.8 C….
“Most energy enters the climate system in the tropics… Energy is moved from latitudes where there is a net gain of energy (energy source- tropics) to latitudes where there is net loss of energy (energy sink to space- poles) along the latitude temperature gradient by meridional transport… Meridional transport moves energy, among other things, from regions with an energy surplus to regions with an energy deficit along the gradient in temperature… Meridional transport moves a lot more energy towards the winter pole…
“Scotese defines the present (21st century) latitude temperature gradient and global temperature as “severe icehouse conditions” as demonstrated by the massive permanent ice sheets over Antarctica and Greenland…
“Tropical temperatures have not changed much over the course of the past 540 million years despite huge changes in average temperatures of the planet (9-30 C)… Currently the Earth is in a severe icehouse climate with a steep latitude temperature gradient…. Such cold or colder conditions as of today have been relative rare during the past 540 million years (less than 10% of the time). The early Eocene Earth had an average temperature estimated at 23.8 C… with temperatures at the North Pole above freezing all year round, as attested by the presence of frost-intolerant biota. These hothouse conditions have been even rarer. Over 80% of the Phanerozoic Eon the Earth had an average temperature of 17-20 C…
(Note: The Phanerozoic Eon covers the past 540 million years when plant and animal life emerged and flourished. And it flourished, without “climate catastrophe/crisis” when average temperatures were 3-6 C warmer than today.)
The authors note that modern climate theory cannot explain why for most of the history of life a much warmer climate has been “equable… (that is) compatible with complex life”.
“The atmosphere has the outstanding capacity of moving a great amount of energy, fast and efficiently, over the entire face of the Earth… Meridional transport is carried out mainly by the atmosphere…
“There is no evidence for the existence of such thresholds and tipping points… the general climate stability that has been life-compatible for the past 450 million years indicates that it is a system dominated by negative feedbacks…
“Meridional Transport is the true climate control knob and… it can explain the climate changes that have taken place on the planet from the early Eocene hothouse, 52 million years ago, to the present severe icehouse…
This good report by Linea Lueken on Bjorn Lomborg’s evidence-based optimism re climate change…
Quotes from article
“Contrary to alarmists’ claims regularly parroted by the corporate media, data demonstrates that life on Earth has become progressively easier for mankind amid modest warming.
“Bjorn Lomborg, Ph.D, president of the think tank Copenhagen Consensus Center, authored the New York Post article, “Climate gains are ‘inconvenient truth’- it’s not all bad news about the environment.” In the article Lomborg explains that wildfires are declining globally and neither heat waves nor storms are worsening, despite what the media often reports.
“We are incessantly told about disasters, whether it is the latest heatwave, flood, wildfire or storm,” writes Lomborg. “Yet the data overwhelmingly shows that over the past century, people have become much, much safer from all these weather events.”
“This is true. As Climate Realism discusses on a daily basis, the corporate media often treats isolated weather events, short-term weather patterns, and natural disasters, as if they were due to climate change. As explained… weather is not climate.
“… each of the falsely claimed climate disasters Lomborg discusses has been covered thoroughly in numerous individual Climate Realism posts, for example: wildfires; weather disasters; Great Barrier Reef health; the population and health of polar bears; improvements in human life expectancy; air pollution; and the substantial number of cold deaths compared to relatively few deaths from extreme heat. Lomborg correctly shows each of these claimed climate disaster stories are actually climate success stories. Practically across the board, conditions have never been better for human flourishing.
“To take one specific example from Lomborg’s article, he points out heat waves are far less of a problem than mainstream media coverage would lead one to believe. By comparison, the threat to human health and lives from cold temperatures are a much bigger issue, but the media hardly covers it. Lomborg writes that “almost everywhere, the cold quietly kills many more.” He goes on to say that cold deaths may actually rise due to “our incessant focus on climate change,” because “politicians have introduced green laws that make energy more expensive, meaning fewer people can afford to keep warm.”
“It is a fact that deaths due to suboptimal cold temperatures dramatically outnumber deaths due to suboptimal heat, as reported by Climate Realism,… for instance. A study in The Lancet found that cold weather kills almost ten times more people than heat does.…
“It is also a fact, as Lomborg says, that public policies attempting to ban or greatly limit fossil fuel use are destructive. They necessarily make energy costs skyrocket, endangering the health and lives of the poor and middle class—those who can least afford to pay more for energy, by making it unaffordable for them to heat their homes in the winter. This is true in the US and even more so in Europe, as their attempts to replace fossil fuels with renewables has failed, and led to rolling blackouts even before the current energy crisis.
“Lomborg is right that the Earth is not hurtling towards apocalypse due to climate change, rather, the data shows quite the opposite is true: things are getting better.”
Note on the sun-climate relationship- the most dominant influence on climate change:
The sun-climate relationship has undergone a history of contributing important information to our understanding of climate change, to being discredited, to finally being acknowledged as an important natural factor in climate change, the dominant influence on climate change. However, climate alarmists and their discredited models continue to ignore this important subfield of climate research.
These reports give some sense of how complex the climate system is and how much we still do not know. We should be very careful about making predictions of what will happen in the future when we know so little about the many natural factors that dominate the climate system. CO2 is just a “bit player” in this complexity and it has already reached “saturation” in physics terms in regard to its warming influence. It will contribute very little to any further warming and that warming will be beneficial.
Report number one
Report number two
Report number three
Report number four
Report number five
Report number six
Narrative themes and scientific facts
When observing a modern crusade like climate alarmism and its decarbonization policies, keep in mind the basic set of ideas that drive such crusades, and the better alternatives to such ideas. Bob Brinsmead is right that most people live by narrative or story. Wendell Krossa
At the most fundamental level the climate alarm crusade is driven by a narrative that is as old as humanity. The basic themes of the narrative can be found in the earliest human writings (Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian). Those “mythical” themes were passed down to the great world religions, and then were passed into the modern world through 19th century Declinism ideology (Arthur Herman, “The Idea of Decline in Western History”). In Declinism, primitive mythology became ideology for our contemporary era. Those primitive themes/ideas were even given affirmation from modern science.
Again, here is a brief outline of the basic narrative themes:
We have to tackle these ideas because scientific fact convinces very few people to abandon “profoundly religious” apocalyptic movements like climate change alarmism.
The past was better (an original paradise world, Eden). “Bad” people (“original sin” mythology) ruined paradise with their greed and sin. Now life is declining toward something worse, toward some prophesied collapse and ending (apocalypse). Bad people deserve such destruction, as punishment for their sins.
But apocalyptics offer the hope of salvation if people make some sacrifice/payment for their sins (to appease the angry deities). Threatened people must also purge the world of the corrupting thing that threatens life (the monster, the enemy). The “good people” in the “true religion” or crusade must fight the righteous battle against evil that will purge the threat to life, the monster or enemy. Then they can restore the lost paradise or install and a new millennial kingdom.
(Note: The base human tribal impulse finds expression in such “righteous battles against evil enemies”, just as these battles fulfill the hero’s impulse to gain salvation by conquering monsters.)
The climate crusade (as with Declinism in general) claims the original paradise was an earlier more wilderness world. Humanity in civilization, notably in modern industrial society, has ruined the past paradise of the wilderness world. And now apocalyptic alarmists have framed CO2 (the fossil fuels that support modern societies) as the modern-day monster to slay, the enemy in the righteous battle against the “evil” of capitalist/industrial society.
And climate science facts:
Good climate science (notably the physics of CO2) does not support the demonization of CO2, the basic food of all life. For the past millions of years, we have been in an ice-age era of dangerously low CO2 levels and cold temperatures. The modern-era rise in CO2 has benefitted life immensely with a massive greening of our planet. Over just the past 40 years, with more basic plant food- atmospheric CO2- Earth has added 15% more green vegetation (15% more biomass). That has meant more food for animal life and increased crop production for humanity.
And the modern warming of about 1 degree C over the past century has helped us recover from the bitter cold of the Little Ice Age of 1645-1715 that devasted large areas of Earth. But our planet is still too cold with 10 times more people dying every year from cold than die from warmth. News media obsessively harp on “heat waves” to buttress their commitment to the climate apocalypse narrative and ignore almost entirely the far greater threat from cold.
For 80% of the history of life over the past 540 million years, average temperatures on Earth have been around 17-20 degrees C, far above the subnormal “severe ice age” 14.5 degrees C of today’s world. And there was no “climate crisis” with such warm average temperatures. We could use another 3-6 degrees C of warming and all life would benefit.
More warmth does not mean that already warm areas become hotter as more heat energy is distributed by Earth’s great ocean and atmospheric convection currents to the colder regions like the poles, evening out temperatures across the globe. The warming of polar regions means extended habitats for much more diverse plants and animals and extended farmlands for humanity. All net beneficial. So please cease the hysterical panic-mongering over melting glaciers and polar ice. An ice-free world is normal in paleoclimate terms, more optimal and healthy for all life.
Christianity got Jesus all wrong (on the most important features of his message and life) Wendell Krossa
There is a growing awareness, recognition, and acceptance today, within even the Christian movement, that Christianity has gotten some fundamental things about Jesus wrong, entirely wrong in some cases. Like, for instance, his revolutionary new theology of a non-retaliatory God.
Jesus had said, “Do not engage eye for eye retaliatory justice against your offenders. But instead love your enemies because God does. God does not retaliate against God’s enemies but instead forgives, loves, and includes all equally. How so? God gives the good gifts of life- sun and rain- to both the righteous and unrighteous alike.” (See both Matthew 5:38-48 and Luke 6:27-36)
Jesus’ original message was a message of no conditions love and entirely free forgiveness of sin. See a further illustration of this unconditional message in the parable of the Prodigal and the Father’s free acceptance of the wasteful son without condition of prepayment or recompense of any kind.
Paul, the founder of the Christianity that we have inherited today rejected that non-retaliatory theology for a re-enforcement of the primitive theology of a retaliatory God who would mete out punitive, destructive justice (the Wrath of God) on faithless unbelievers. Paul stated his theology with an Old Testament quote: “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord”, (Romans 12:17-20).
The only escape from the punitive wrath of God was based on the condition of faith in the Christ myth of Paul (see Paul’s Romans letter), a Christ that had met the ultimate condition of dying to pay for the sin of the world. Additionally, people desiring salvation had to embrace a complex of related conditions exhibiting that one had real faith in the Christ- i.e. embracing the correct beliefs about the Christ, undergoing baptism and membership in a true Christian community, fulfilling Christian rituals, and embracing the Christian lifestyle- all necessary conditional “proofs” that one’s faith was legitimate. Paul’s gospel was, contrary to Jesus’ gospel, highly conditional.
(Insert note: What Christianity got right was to include the core Jesus material in its gospels though this material faced the “diamonds in dung” problem that Thomas Jefferson and Leo Tolstoy pointed to- i.e. the larger New Testament context of Paul’s Christ myth that distorted and buried the meaning of Jesus’ original message.)
Another critical reversal of the teaching of the original Historical Jesus is Paul’s denial of Jesus’ anti-sacrifice message for a portrayal of him as a Savior who came to Earth to become the ultimate cosmic blood sacrifice that fulfilled the Old Testament prophesies of a Messiah that would offer himself to suffer and die and thereby pay for the sins of the world. That message of demanded blood sacrifice to pay for sin has been the essence of the Christian gospel for two millennia now.
Paul’s atonement theology turned a Jewish wisdom sage that died for his protest against the sacrifice of animals (i.e. the overturning of tables in the Temple) as necessary to pay for sin and achieve forgiveness, into a Christ that would represent the message of ultimate blood sacrifice to required to pay for sin and thereby gain forgiveness.
This is a stunning overturning of the message of a historical person to portray him as presenting an entirely opposite message (a shift from an anti-sacrifice gospel to an ultimate cosmic sacrifice gospel).
Bob Brinsmead has compiled a list of sources that uncover this stunning rejection and distortion, by early Gentile Christianity, of the original message of Jesus for the opposite gospel of Paul’s Christ. Some subtitles below are borrowed from Bob and all the quotes from sources are from Bob’s compilation. Bob’s one-sentence statements are summaries of what the quoted scholar says, and are not necessarily Bob’s views on the topics. Hopefully, readers will access the full compilation for a more complete picture of historical Jesus and the Christian distortion of his original message. (I will post the site of Bob Brinsmead when he puts his full version up)
This is the incredible story of how an ordinary, imperfect man, born of Jewish parents and who became a Jewish wisdom sage, was transformed into the cosmic Christ of Paul’s religion. That transformation was a stunning rejection and overturning of the original message of Jesus. As Maurice Casey says, an ordinary man, a Jewish prophet, was transformed into a Gentile, Hellenistic God that denied the actual message of the original man.
The search for the original message of Historical Jesus is a project that involves going to root ideas/themes, icons or archetypes, to clean out the primitive pagan and replace that with the fully humane, just as Jesus originally tried to do.
It is critical to engage this project of understanding the Christian distortion of Jesus, because the early Christian retreat to embrace Paul’s apocalyptic Christ gospel led to the ongoing influence of the Christ myth across two millennia. James Tabor said that Paul has been the most influential person in all history and that makes his Christ myth the most influential myth in all history. And the darker features of the Christ myth, such as the portrayal of a God using violence to destroy his enemies and the world in an apocalypse, have distorted and buried the profoundly human features of Jesus’ message. The Christ of Paul is largely responsible for the continuing dominance of such pagan themes as apocalyptic mythology in modern narratives and consciousness, including in “secular” versions of apocalypse such as environmental apocalypse.
Some critical points: (From sources below)
There were several significant movements in early Christianity, notably the Jewish Christian movement and Paul’s later Gentile Christian movement that would declare Jewish Christianity to be heretical.
James was the actual leader of the Jewish Christian movement, not Peter as portrayed in the New Testament gospels. Paul opposed the authority of James and that led to the eventual demise of Jewish Christianity. The authors of the gospels and other New Testament books all supported Paul’s views on the Christ myth. They were the only books included in the NT in support of Paul. They ignore and dismiss the role of James in leading the Jewish Christian branch of early Christianity.
Other traditions aside from the New Testament books affirm the role and message of James (i.e. the lost Gospel to the Hebrews, the Gospel of Thomas, Eusebius, that show that Jesus appointed his brother James to be the leader in his place).
When the rest of the NT was written much later James was marginalized or ignored. But other sources give some sense of what James was about and hence insight into what Jesus was really like and what he actually taught. “(James) is the key to the Historical Jesus… Who and whatever James was, so was Jesus”, Robert Eisenman, “James the Brother of Jesus”, p. 8, 963.
The Jewish Christians became known variously as Nazarites or Ebionites, among other titles. They viewed Jesus as a prophet who came to reform the law of Moses. They believed in following the Jewish law, they were vegetarian, and they rejected animal sacrifice. “The Ebionites are the best and most important representatives of early Jewish Christianity”, Keith Akers, “The Lost Religion of Jesus”, p.29-30.
Most critical: “The Ebionites unequivocally condemned one of the central aspects of Judaism, namely the practise of animal sacrifice”, p.33. They rejected Old Testament teaching on sacrifice as false material. “The Ebionites… claimed that the written tradition (Jewish scriptures) had been corrupted by false texts”, p.77-8. “The distinctive origin of Jewish Christianity lies to a large degree in its opposition to animal sacrifice”, p.101.
“It was the Jewish Christian Ebionites, and not the Gentile Christians, who most faithfully preserved the traditions handed down to them by Jesus”, p.33. Many scholars today agree that “the elaborate sacrificial cult was added to the law centuries after Moses”, p.34.
“John the Baptist offered water baptism to replace blood sacrifice” (Bob Brinsmead). “Baptism was an alternative to animal sacrifice”, Akers, p.43.
Further, “The original Ebionites rejected the idea of the virgin birth and thought that Jesus was the human offspring of Joseph and Mary”, p.48.
“The temple protest of Jesus was all about his opposition to the cult of sacrifice” (Brinsmead).
“Jesus’ ultimate concern in his temple protest was that forgiveness of sin is always freely available and needs no atoning sacrifice”, Bob Brinsmead (editorial insert).
“The priests want Jesus killed… they want to destroy his followers… Jesus’ objection to the practice of animal sacrifice itself, and that his actions during the volatile Passover week were the immediate and most important cause of his death”, Akers, p.119.
“If one tried to draw a true line of “apostolic succession” from Jesus to James and his successors, this line goes directly to the Ebionites… The Jewish Christians/Ebionites read the OT critically, rejecting ‘false texts’. They neither accepted the violent images of God in the Scripture, nor the texts which supported animal sacrifices”, p.178-80, 195-7.
The next source, Jeffrey Butz, “The Brother of Jesus and the Lost Teachings of Christianity”, notes that James was the most influential leader in the early church but the New Testament authors have all marginalized him. He then goes on to note the conflict between James and Paul. He then adds the most common characteristics of Jewish Christianity:
“Faithful adherence to the Law of Moses.
“The exaltation of James and denigration of Paul.
“A Christology of adoptionism- believing that Jesus was the natural born son of Joseph and Mary and was ‘adopted’ by God as his son by baptism,” p.131.
On the conflict between Paul and James and the Jerusalem church (the Jewish Christians):
“It could be said that the purpose of almost all of Paul’s letters was to counteract the authority, beliefs, and practices of James and the Jerusalem church… the (Jewish Christians) did not regard the death of Jesus as atoning for their sins”, p.149, 150.
“Paul’s teachings are being seen by a rapidly growing number of modern scholars and writers as a distortion of what Jesus taught, and the development of the Christian church as a travesty of the original Jewish beliefs and teachings of Jesus”, p.172.
Next- Barry Wilson, “How Jesus Became Christian”
“The Jesus movement was not the same as the Christ movement”, Bob Brinsmead.
“This Christ movement (the Hellenizers and Paul) came to cover up the original teachings of Jesus… the original message of Jesus and the Jesus Movement, Jesus’ earliest followers in Jerusalem became switched for a different religion… The Christ movement replaced the original Jesus movement… there was an important shift away from the teachings of Jesus to those about the Christ. That is, beliefs about the person of Jesus conceived of as a Christ came to obscure what he said and did. Thus, the religion of Jesus, the one Jesus taught and practiced, became transformed into a cult about the Christ…”
“Paul’s religion was not the religion of Jesus… the divine Gentile Christ was switched for the human Jewish Jesus. A religion about the Christ substituted for the teachings of Jesus… It was a huge switch- the Christ for Jesus, Paul’s religion for Jesus’, and the Christ movement for the Jesus movement, … simply put, Jesus got upstaged by Paul”, Wilson, p.2-6.
“As James, so Jesus… The best indication of what Jesus… actually taught is likely to be James. His brother, James, knew the man and what he stood for… James is the best clue we have today concerning the beliefs and practices of the Jesus of history”, p.98. (Note, James was well known as a righteous Jew, adhering faithfully to Jewish law).
“Christology replaced the teaching of Jesus (The cult of the person of Jesus as the Christ developed after his death)”, Bob Brinsmead.
“The image of Jesus changed dramatically over the course of about 100 years. Jesus became to be seen as a divine being holding cosmic importance… The image of Jesus changed radically, while his roots within Judaism were forgotten. By the mid-second century, Christian leaders were touting Jesus as an incarnate Savior who redeemed humanity by his death and resurrection… This represents a remarkable shift in emphasis- away from the religion of Jesus and toward a religion about Christ”, Wilson p.103-4.
“In reading Paul’s letters, it is surprising how little is made of anything the comes from the Jesus of history… (Paul) did not ground his own message in the teachings, observances, or sayings that come from the religion of Jesus. There are no parables, no Lord’s prayer, or no Sermon on the Mount…. There is just what Paul says he got mystically from the Christ whom he claims reveals himself to him. Devoid of linkage to the Jesus movement and to Judaism generally, Paul’s Christ movement would have appeared suspiciously like a Hellenistic mystery religion”, p.146.
“In linking the Christ movement to the Jesus movement, what the writer of Acts has succeeded in doing is fusing together two separate religions”, p.138.
“The Christ of Paul, revealed in private visions, replaced the historical Jesus”, Bob Brinsmead.
“The religion of Jesus and his earliest followers became upstaged as an imaginative and startlingly new religion entered the arena- Paul’s Christ movement. Shunning the Jesus movement leaders, he crafted his own cult. He took as his source of inspiration mythical communiques from the Christ- not the teachings of the Jesus of history or the practices of Jesus’ earliest followers in Jerusalem. He thought he enjoyed a separate and special pipeline to the divine, receiving different information and insights than others of his time. The mystical Christ, however, a dying and rising savior, shared many of the same characteristics as other figures well known withing the Roman world through the cults of Dionysus, Isis, and Mithras. Paul’s group was not a form of Judaism but a separate Hellenized religion that paid no attention to the teaching of Torah or Jesus”, Wilson, p.238.
“Paul built his view of Christ on models found outside Judaism, in the mystery religions of the time. The Christ is like Dionysus or Mithrus or many other figures- heroes who die and rise again to save humanity and whose followers can achieve salvation through participation in the hero’s life and death”, p247.
“The transformation brought about by the Christification process was so successful that the religion of the historical Jesus was replaced by the cult of the Christ. In so doing, the early church ‘killed off’ the historical Jesus, focusing instead, on the worship of the Christ. The myth of the Christ was so effective that it is very difficult now to reconstruct the contours of the authentic teachings, sayings, and doing of the historical Jesus”, p.248.
“What we have today in Christianity is largely Paulinity, a religion about the Gentile Christ that covers over the message of the Jewish Jesus of history… we need to recover the humanity and Jewishness of Jesus… we should endeavor to focus again on the message, not the messenger”, p.256.
“The gospels themselves were written after Paul… they too show evidence of Christification, especially the gospel of John. The Christification layering process is to be found within the pages of the New Testament itself, with Paul’s Christ superimposed on the Jesus of history… early Christian texts tended to cover over the involvement of Jesus’ family in his mission. This was due to the desire of the Christifiers to downplay the role of James and the Jesus movement in favor of Paul’s religion; James would have none of the Christ cult beliefs and practices… A human Jesus. This is not a modern invention. It is the original Jesus. That was precisely how his earliest followers- including his brother- understood him. It is only Paul, the Christifiers, and their successors who thought otherwise”, p.260-1.
James Tabor, “Paul and Jesus: How the apostle transformed Christianity”
“The source of Paul’s gospel was his independent visionary episodes”, Bob Brinsmead.
“The entire New Testament canon is largely a… pro-Paul production”, Tabor, p.18-19.
“Christianity is Paul and Paul is Christianity… the bulk of the New Testament is dominated by his theological vision”, p. 24.
“James association with the historical Jesus is superior to Paul’s Christ of visionary experience”, Bob Brinsmead.
“Although James has been all but written out of our New Testament records he nonetheless remains our best and most direct link to the historical Jesus… it is nonetheless a fact that what Paul preached was wholly based upon his own visionary experiences, whereas James and the original apostles had spent extensive time with Jesus during his lifetime… the difficulty… is that Paul’s influence within our New Testament is permeating and all pervasive”, Tabor, p.39.
“None of the gospels is an eyewitness account… None of them is writing history but all four can rightly be called theologians… (they) reveal a process of mythmaking that went on within decades of Jesus’ death”, p.71.
“Paul never quotes directly a single teaching of Jesus…”, p.132.
“Despite their diversity there seem to be four general ideas that Jewish-Christian groups agreed upon: the eternal validity of the Torah of Moses, the acceptance of only the gospel of Matthew in Hebrew (in which there was no virgin birth), the complete rejection of Paul as a heretic and apostate from the Torah, and the belief that Jesus was a human being, born of a mother and a father, chose by God but not divine. The best known group, the one that drew most fire from orthodox Pauline circles, were the Ebionites. They most likely got their names from the Q teaching of Jesus- ‘Blessed are you poor ones’”, p.234.
“Paul is sharply censored as one who put his own testimony based on visions over the certainty of the direct teachings that the original apostles had from Jesus”, p.234.
Patricia Williams, “Where Christianity Went Wrong”
“Paul evinces no interest in Jesus’ life, neither his deeds nor his sayings. This is because Paul believes he has his own, private revelations directly from the resurrected Jesus…”, p.42-3.
“John announces forgiveness of sins outside the Temple system, without requiring sacrifice”, p.46.
“If Jesus thinks sacrifice for sin unnecessary, Christianity has been arrogant to contradict him. This is another place where Christianity has gone wrong”, p.68.
“Jesus’ behavior angers and frightens the Temple authorities. They may well have already been angry because Jesus, like John the Baptist, proclaims forgiveness outside the Temple system”, p.111-12.
“Jesus does not anticipate his sacrificial death at the final supper. He does not die as a sacrifice for sins. He believes God has forgiven our sins already, without sacrifice”, p.115.
Williams says that Christianity goes wrong when after Jesus’ death his disciples equate him with the Messiah figure of David, and Gentile believers equate him as the true emperor who has ascended to the gods, equated with God. “When these concepts are attached to Jesus, they invert his message. They turn Jesus into the savior of the world and a sacrifice for sin. In stark contrast, Jesus’ message is that people do not need a savior, and salvation does not require a sacrifice”, p.147.
“Jesus famously overturns the tables of the moneychangers whose work made Temple sacrifice possible”, p.184-8.
Hans-Joachim Schoeps, “Jewish Christianity”
“Ebionites was the name given to Jewish Christians”, Bob Brinsmead.
“They acknowledged neither the divine sonship nor a pre-existence nor a virgin birth”, Schoeps, p.8.
“It is not Peter… but James the brother of Jesus who appears as head of the community. He is made bishop of Jerusalem by Jesus himself”, p.39-40.
“Jewish Christianity clearly knows as little of a supernatural birth as of soteriological interpretation of Jesus’ death on the cross, such as the view which regarded Jesus as a vicarious atoning sacrifice. Since they rejected bloody sacrifices altogether as crass paganism… the sinlessness of Jesus was not accepted by them, since their gospel allowed Jesus himself to admit unwilling sins or sins of ignorance”, p.62.
“Of primary importance to the Ebionites is the bloody animal sacrifice, abolished by Jesus… the real point of Jesus’ mission is the annulling of the sacrificial law… Animal sacrifice… Jesus abolished it and replaced the blood of sacrificial animals with the water of baptism… the Ebionites were actually orthodox pupils of Jesus who rejected the sacrificial cult so emphatically because their master had already done so… the Ebionites were bound to reject emphatically the Pauline soteriology, which conceived of Jesus’ death as a bloody, atoning sacrifice”, p.82-3.
“The Ebionites required abstinence from meat and this was apparently related to their rejection of the bloodshed involved in animal sacrifice”, p.99.
Maurice Casey, “From Jewish Prophet to Gentile God”
“Jesus does not apply the term ‘messiah’ (Christ) to himself… the early church applied it to him”, p.41-3.
“It took some 50 or 60 years to turn a Jewish prophet into a Gentile God… The deity of Jesus is a belief which could have developed only in a predominantly Gentile church”, p.169.
Geza Vermes, “The Authentic Gospel of Jesus”
“The Old Testament did not play an important role in the preaching of Jesus; he did not argue his doctrine from the Bible”, p.212.
“Bearing in mind that the crucifixion of Jesus was perhaps the greatest difficulty which the early church had to overcome in proclaiming him as the Messiah promised to the Jews, the absence of detailed biblical proof concerning this essential doctrine is astonishing”, p.215.
“The Synoptic Gospels in their present form consist of an adjusted, supplemented, and corrected version, a thoroughly revised edition of the original message of Jesus. The words, idioms, and images which a first century AD Galilean master addressed to his compatriots and co-religionists were rephrased in the Gospels to suit a totally different public, imbued with Hellenistic thought in the Greek-speaking part of the Roman empire. To cater for the requirements of this new audience and readership, ideas foreign to Jesus were introduced into the gospels. Consequently, it is up to us now to differentiate between the genuine and the accrued message”, p.372.
Geza Vermes, “The Changing Faces of Jesus”
“The fact that Jesus was admired, or suspected, as a potential Messiah started a complex process of theological speculation, which in the course of three centuries culminated in the elevation of the carpenter from Nazareth to the rank of the second person of the triune Godhead, the Holy Trinity”, p.257.
Geza Vermes, “The Religion of Jesus the Jew”
“The letters of Paul with their drama of a death, atonement, and resurrection… The Christ of Paul and John, on the way towards deification, overshadows and obscures the man of Galilee”, p.210.
Geza Vermes, “Jesus and the World of Judaism”
“Another historical consideration remains, involving the question of why the Judaeo-Christians, the first Jesus followers, withdrew so relatively fast from the main body of the church. Rarely confronted, this problem is nevertheless of methodological importance because the most likely reason was that the Ebionites became convinced that they were witnessing in the Hellenistic communities (Paul’s Gentile Christian movement) a fatal misrepresentation of Jesus, a betrayal of his ideals, and their replacement by alien concepts and aspirations”, p.26.
Other sources note that Jesus was not an apocalyptic prophet. He did not believe that God would engage ultimate violence to destroy the world and punish sinners. To the contrary, Christianity embraced the primitive apocalyptic mythology of its parent religions- Judaism and Zoroastrianism.
I would add my own point, affirming that Jesus was not apocalyptic because he clearly stated that he rejected the idea of a retaliatory God in his Math.5 and Luke 6 comments (same message just given different settings by different authors). Jesus rejected eye for eye retaliatory justice based on his view of a God that did not retaliate against offenders but instead loved enemies.
Summary of Mathew.5:38-48 and Luke 6: 27-36…
“Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love only those who love you, what credit is that to you? Everyone finds it easy to love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Everyone can do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Most will lend to others, expecting to be repaid in full. But do something more heroic, more humane. (Live on a higher plane of human experience). Do not retaliate against your offenders/enemies with ‘eye for eye’ justice. Instead, love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then you will be just like God, because God does not retaliate against God’s enemies. God does not mete out eye for eye justice. Instead, God is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. God causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Be unconditionally loving, just as your God is unconditionally loving”. (My paraphrase of Luke 6:32-36.)
In this central part of his message, Jesus presents nothing that would lead us to conclude that he believed in a retaliatory God using violence to destroy the world and punish enemies (i.e. apocalyptic destruction).
If, as Jesus claims, God did not retaliate against enemies but instead loved God’s enemies then God was not apocalyptic because apocalyptic is the ultimate act of retaliation against enemies, the supreme and final destruction and punishment of enemies.
Paul took the opposite stance to Jesus in embracing a retaliatory God. Paul states his retaliatory theology in Romans 12, quoting an Old Testament statement, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord”. His embrace of an apocalyptic deity is also expressed in his retaliatory Christ myth presented in his Thessalonian letters. He states that “Lord Jesus will return in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus”.
“Who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus”? He means his “Christ myth” gospel, not the message of the Historical Jesus.
Like many others I hold a fundamental ‘truth’ as my baseline belief, the insight that I use to orient my consciousness and emotions when enduring the too often harsh experiences that life presents. Wendell Krossa
My baseline insight/belief is that love is the ultimate core reality behind all other reality. And not just the familial or friendship love that most of us are familiar with, but the inclusive, universal love (love of even enemies) that we attribute to deity. A stunningly inexpressible love that the Near-Death Experience people tell us they experienced during their forays into other realms beyond the material.
I hold to that most foundational reality and then I am obligated to understand and explain the dark horrors that so many experience in their lives, the “hell” that life has brought to many people across history.
Horrors? Yes, whether from the apparent randomness of natural disasters that destroy the lives of both good and bad people alike or the unfathomable cruelty that some people have unleashed on their fellow human beings over history.
And what does the horror of human misery and suffering all mean? Is it about learning something from suffering? Some, for example, have suggested that we only know and experience love in contrast with its opposite- hate. The horrific opposites to good are necessary to experience and know the good. Good would not exist without its opposite, the argument goes.
We need the opposite to struggle against, and in that struggle we gain insights and develop goodness in contrast with the wrong we struggle against.
But there appear to be so many exceptions to the argument that human suffering leads to learning or development. Like the young lady in Somalia who was gang-raped by local men as she walked along a rural trail to visit her grandmother. After the attack, she went to the local authorities to protest. But they turned on her, accusing her of adultery, and then called some 30 local men to bring her to a local stadium where she was buried up to her neck and then stoned to death. What could she possibly have learned during those last terrifying hours of her life? Just the experience of horror?
Others suggest that divine love cannot prevent evil because love and freedom are inseparable realities. Divine love will not override the freedom of others because freedom of choice is essential to good being authentic good, that is, arising from a free choice. Coerced good is not authentic good.
And this explanation counters the common belief that deity intervenes in life to protect the righteous and punish the unrighteous. When deity does not intervene, as during the Holocaust, then many are led to conclude that God is absent or does not care about human suffering. The Jewish people developed “protest theology” from their experience of the Holocaust- that in the future they would hold God in judgment for his apparent failure to prevent that devastating period.
Others counter- No. God is present and incarnate in every human person during their suffering. And God is therefore evident in all human rage against evil, all human action to prevent evil, to make life better. Each on of us is an embodiment of God and we express the present God through our feelings and actions. God is present not in coercive overriding of free choice but in silent persuasion, urges, feelings, that arouse our rage at wrong and inspire us to take action for good.
We are the embodiments of invisible deity and therefore we alone are responsible for fighting evil and promoting good in life.
These are all efforts at “theodicy”- the endeavor to defend the belief that ultimately there is love at the core of reality despite the horrors that life on this planet present to many people. See more in the section below on Campbell’s outline of the hero’s quest.
There are thousands of books (one author’s estimate) written over the past century or so offering explanations for the presence of disaster, evil, and consequent suffering in life. No single approach will satisfy everyone and each of us must find the answers/explanations that work best for us.
“Near-Death Experience” (NDE) movement- A new “spiritual” tradition Wendell Krossa
Across history the human impulse for meaning has produced an endless succession of human endeavors to understand and explain reality, life, human existence. First in the earliest mythology and then later in more organized religious traditions, and the great world religions.
I view the NDE movement as one of the latest such endeavors of humanity to reveal what greater or Ultimate Reality is about. A complaint would be that these experiences are unprovable, in the scientific sense, personal experiences. Yes. Just as all the great religious traditions were based on the personal spiritual experiences of the founders- Sumerian characters, Zoroaster’s experiences, Buddha’s tree revelation, Moses’ mountain top experience (Hebrew religion), Paul’s Damascus Road and other revelations (Christian religion), Mohammad’s cave revelations (Islam), and so on. Personal experience is the foundation of most religious understanding and explanation of reality.
The scientific movement of the modern era has largely relegated subjective personal experience to the unprovable, irrational, and hence of no value in understanding or explaining reality and its meaning.
But conscious human experience continues to dominate all human endeavor even in science with the inseparable relation between observed reality and observers. With scientists still uncertain as to what material reality is in its essence and scientists themselves constantly crossing the philosophy/science boundary to explain reality with speculations and assumptions that are unprovable (i.e. multi-verse theory, String theory). The impulse for meaning, for ultimate understanding, continues to take us beyond just the proven material to speculation on greater issues of what is most critical and fundamental.
This is not to question physical science in the realm that it is designed to understand and explain and its great successes there. But that is a limited project and does not even answer the questions of so-called material reality- i.e. What is reality? What is the essential nature of material reality? And- What is consciousness and the role of consciousness? Human consciousness remains the most real thing that we know and is perhaps the most foundational reality of all.
And then those even greater questions- What does it all mean? What is the point of it all? Physical science, especially in its dogmatic materialist versions, has no way of beginning to understand and explain/answer such things.
So all to say, I take human experience seriously as it is the most real thing that we know and perhaps the most real and fundamental reality of all in the cosmos.
I approach the NDE movement with this view, as well as other criteria for evaluating those experiences.
Notable in the NDE movement is the discovery of unconditional love as the essence of divinity. And this makes the NDE movement quite unlike all mythical and religious traditions that are all highly conditional. Highly conditional with their conditions of right belief, correct rituals, demanded sacrifices/payments for wrong, and religious lifestyle for membership/acceptance in a tradition. The NDE movement when taking unconditional love seriously, is entirely non-religious. A truly “spiritual but not religious” tradition.
And as the NDE movement has discovered love, a stunningly inexpressible form of love, at the core of all, well, that resonates as “true” and real. Love is the absolute highest and best thing that we have discovered over our history. It defines us as human as nothing else can.
Approach the NDE movement with an open mind for some surprises. Good books have been written on the movement. While most of us may never experience what the NDE people have experienced, we can still benefit from their experiences in helping to alleviate our own fear of death.
I touch base with insights from NDEs because they remind us of what is most real, most important- i.e. love. And the highest and best form of love that we know- unconditional.
A persistent complaint re science is that while it has been wildly successful in telling us how the natural world works (i.e. natural law), there is the dogmatic tendency of the “philosophical materialism” that dominates science to deny other ways of knowing (i.e. the “spiritual”), to deny the primal impulses to purpose and meaning that are so critical to most people. Yet, with cognitive dissonance, hard-core materialist scientists themselves consistently cross the “science/philosophy” boundary to speculate on ultimate meaning/purpose issues that have no observed basis in any reality (see for example Sabine Hossenfelder’s “Lost in Math”, or Jim Baggott’s “Farewell to Reality” and “Mass”).
Science has also rightly reframed human significance in some important ways (i.e. common descendance with the animal world, across vast eras of geological time- billions of years), but has over-stepped its limited mandate in dismissing/downplaying other critical factors in the mix that profoundly affirm human significance- i.e. the reality of conscious human selves as perhaps the most real thing we know, perhaps the only “real” thing in the cosmos, and with consciousness, most fundamental to all other reality.
Further note: My own position in regard to the mind/brain and consciousness debates is somewhat similar to John Eccles “dualist interactionism”- that a conscious human self interacts with or uses the material brain for its life experience in this material realm. There is not a shred of sound evidence that the meat in our heads produces the wonder of mind or the conscious human self (see the humorous take in this “They-re made of meat” available online). So in response to Susan Blackmore- No, dualism is not “dead”. The human self does not die with the death of the material brain.
Andy May, “Are fossil-fuel CO2 emissions good or bad?”
First, May offers a quote from climate physicist William Happer…
“There is no scientific evidence that global greenhouse gas emissions will have a harmful effect on climate. Quite the contrary, there is very good evidence that the modest increase in atmospheric CO2 since the start of the Industrial age has already been good for the Earth and that more will be better.”
Then May continues with some important “paleoclimate” facts (the ‘big picture’ perspective that shows how distorting alarmist claims of “worst on record” have been)…
“So, it appears likely that Northern Hemisphere temperatures of the Holocene Climatic Optimum (roughly 9000BC to 4200BC) were more than three degrees warmer than those in the pre-industrial period, also known as the Little Ice Age…
“If we add 1.5 degrees to today’s temperature, we reach 9.2°C, this is roughly the same temperature in the Indonesian Throughflow, that was seen during the Roman Warm Period, labeled as RWP, or the temperature when Plato lived and taught. It is well over one-degree cooler than during the Holocene Climatic Optimum when human civilization and human agriculture were invented. We see no evidence in this reconstruction that 1.5, or even 2°C of warming were a problem in the past….”
After detailing the devastating impacts of cold climate during the pre-industrial era (Little Ice Age), May then concludes…
“In summary, currently we have observed no negative effects from rising CO2 or global warming. In fact, if anything, the world is better now than during the pre-industrial period. We have fewer weather and climate related problems, agricultural productivity is higher, and there are credible models that ascribe these improvements to rising levels of CO2 and warmer weather…
“Current realistic projections say we might see 2.5 to 3°C of warming in 2100. What is the fuss? More than 6000 years ago, temperatures were at least three degrees warmer than today in the Northern Hemisphere when civilization began.”
Update on climate science research, noting the solar-climate effect…
The sun-climate relationship has undergone a history of contributing important information to our understanding of climate change, to being discredited, to finally being acknowledged as an important natural factor in climate change. However, climate alarmists and their models continue to ignore this important subfield of climate research.
Report number one:
Report number two:
Report number three:
Report number four:
Report number five:
Report number six
And a review of a supposed “fact-check” that tries to dismiss the “World climate declaration” facts.
“How the West’s “Green Agenda” incentivized and empowered Putin’s attack on Ukraine”
Kyiv Post, 28 August 2022
By Jaroslw Martyniuk
“Climate orthodoxy vs. climate skeptics…
“For a generation, we have been told that the science regarding global warming has been “settled” and that it is anthropogenic, i.e., manmade. The mainstream media and environmental activists alleged that to save the planet, we must take drastic measures to limit greenhouse gas emissions, because we are on the brink of extinction and have only until 2030 to do something about it. Short of that, it would make our planet uninhabitable.
“Fighting climate change, therefore, had become an obsession; moreover, a threat to national security overriding geopolitical threats posed by Russia and other bad actors.
“The alarmist nature of Green movements in the U.S. and Europe has taken on the religious fervor of an apocalyptic cult. Its core belief has been that man’s activities, notably the burning of fossil fuels and, more recently, the release of bovine methane, are causing global warming.
“To counter this view, a spate of books and scientific papers have challenged the climate change orthodoxy and the assumption that warming temperatures are the result of man. They argue that the adverse effects of global warming have been vastly exaggerated and, importantly, that other non-human factors, over which we have no control, may be at play.
“One of the most influential works questioning the conventional wisdom on climate change has been written by Stephen Koonin, the former Chief Scientist in the Obama Administration and a singularly credible source. In “Unsettled” (2021), Koonin notes that climate alarmism has come to dominate U.S. politics and has become increasingly divorced from science.
“Earlier this year, Bjorn Lomborg published “False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions.” Like Koonin, Lomborg states, “the rhetoric on climate change has become ever more extreme and irrational and less moored to the actual science.” The establishment scientists, media, and politicians with an agenda have fanned a panic beyond what can be explained by good sense. Lomborg notes that while “climate change may be real, it is not apocalyptic.” Media headlines such as “Climate Change Could End Human Civilization by 2050” are outrageously over the top and contribute to the panic.
“Both scientists, in effect, accuse the establishment of creating a hoax. In the same vein, Bruce Bunker’s “The Mythology of Climate Change” (2019) noted that we don’t have reliable data to claim with any degree of certainty that there is a climate crisis. These scientists argue that climate is a cyclical phenomenon that has been changing for millennia. More significantly, other factors beyond our control may be contributing to global warming.
“Earlier this year the Global Climate Intelligence Group (Clintel), composed of 1,100 scientists and professionals from 25 counties, issued a declaration entitled “There is no Climate Emergency,” essentially substantiating the arguments of authors cited above.” They maintain that:
Natural as well as anthropogenic factors cause planetary warming and that it’s happening far slower than predicted;
“Climate models have serious shortcomings that cast doubt on their reliability;
“Global warming has not increased natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods and droughts;
“Climate policies must respect scientific and economic policies.
“Climate change politics and the war in Ukraine
“Although the link may not appear obvious at first, it is clear that the pursuit of net zero policies (and similar) have had the unintended consequence of weakening the West’s hand to counter Russian aggression. It has been “a self-inflicted disaster years in the making,” opined the Wall Street Journal in Oct. 2021. The editorial concluded that Europe’s willingness to harm itself in the name of unachievable climate goals was one of the greatest acts of self-sabotage in history.
“The pledge of net zero gas emissions by 2050 had led to the closing of coal power plants while at the same time pouring billions into dubious solar and wind projects, renewable sources of energy that would meet only a small fraction of Europe’s energy needs. Erratic cloud cover, unpredictable wind conditions, and the intractable problem of storing the energy they produce, pose insurmountable obstacles that make these projects of marginal value. Others put it bluntly: the belief that renewables will replace fossil fuels is wishful thinking verging on insanity.
“Is global warming anthropogenic?
“On this issue, experts are divided. One side maintains that global warming is due entirely to human activity, and anyone challenging that belief is labeled a “climate denier,” a stigma comparable to a “Holocaust denier.”
“Questioning such orthodoxy has become as dangerous as Galileo maintaining that the Earth revolved around the sun, for which he was tried, forced to repent, and spent the last eight years of his life under house arrest. A latter-day Galileo, Michael Griffin, former head of NASA, merely stated “global warming may be a long-term problem” and “not one we must wrestle with today.” For that he was forced to resign.
“Another group of scientists maintain that global climate is a connected system of sun, earth and oceans; wind, rain and snow; forests, deserts and savannas; and everything people do. They conclude that that CO2 emissions at most contribute marginally to global warming.
“It is beyond the scope of this article to fully elaborate on the natural non-human factors that impact on global warming. They are numerous and complex, but ignoring them, Kooney writes, casts severe doubts on the science of climate change. However, to appreciate their significance they need to be mentioned, if only briefly:
“Changes in the sun’s intensity linked to sunspot activity have correlated closely with heating and cooling periods since 1900;
“The energy produced by the sun is not constant.
“Currently, the Earth is experiencing the high-temperature end of the latest Ice Age cycle associated with long-term solar cycles;
“Periodic changes in Earth’s orbit and the tilt of its axis influence how much sunlight the Earth’s poles receive from the sun and how it is distributed;
“Variations in Earth’s magnetic field can cause shifts in Earth’s north and south poles, while even a slight tilt in Earth’s axis will cause huge changes in our weather;
“The position of Earth’s magnetic north pole, first located in 1831, has drifted by more than 600 miles (1000 kilometers) to the northwest;
“El Niño oscillations have an inordinate effect on global changes in temperature and rainfall. El Niños, however, have been around since Incas observed them, if not longer.
“Hardly any of the climate models reflect these factors in their calculations. Thus, even if emissions of greenhouse gases exact a warming influence on the planet, it is practically impossible to disentangle them from other parts of the climate system.
“Worse, governments in pursuit of “green energy” and “net zero” emissions policies are doubling down on their war on fossil fuels as if the real world did not exist. In mid-August, the U.S. Congress passed the grotesquely misnamed $740 billion Inflation Reduction package, $370 billion of which is dedicated to green energy programs.
“The cost of green energy policies can now be counted in the trillions.”
See full article at https://www.kyivpost.com/article/opinion/op-ed/how-wests-green-agenda-incentivized-and-empowered-putins-attack-on-ukraine.html?mc_cid=f77079d1aa&mc_eid=bbd9cad85f
“Jaroslaw Martyniuk is a former energy and environmental economist with the International Energy Agency (IEA)/Organization for Economic Cooperation and Developed Countries (OECD) in Paris. He is also a retired researcher associated with Radio Liberty in Munich and Washington D.C., and the author of “Monte Rosa: Memoir of an Accidental Spy.”
Beating climate alarmism into public consciousness– Creating hysteria over warm summer days…
“Germany’s DWD Weather Service Redefines “Heat Wave”: Now 3 Days of Warm Weather!
By P. Gosselin Aug.29, 2022
“Like the WHO changed the definition of a “pandemic”, the DWD has changed the definition of a “heat wave”…all to falsely generate the sense of a crisis?
“Repeat a lie often enough, and in no time the masses start believing it’s true. Probably few institutions know this better than Germany’s DWD national weather service.
“In order to get people to believe more in runaway warming, they have to be led to believe that “heat waves” are occurring ever more often. Even though it’s been not an unusually hot summer here in Germany (yes, it’s been hot at times), all we hear on the media are news about heat wave after heat wave.
“To allow this, it seems the DWD changed it’s definition of “heat wave” so that now any brief period of warm temperatures qualifies as one. What used to be defined as a period of 5 consecutive days with highs over 30°C, has been changed to a period of just three(!) consecutive days – with a high of 28°C or more. That’s all it takes, folks! It’s truly baffling that Florida could be so popular among retirees.”
See full article at link above.
Further on hysteria over warm summer days...
This from Bjorn Lomborg on the disastrous outcomes, and looming chaos, from the elite obsession with climate change alarmism…
The material just below goes to the historical roots of one of history’s most damaging mythologies- apocalyptic millennialism. Apocalyptic millennialism includes the beliefs that life began in a paradisal state but human sinfulness then ruined paradise (Enki in Dilmun, Adam/Eve in Eden), and life is now declining toward a worse future and will end in a great apocalyptic destruction of the world.
Apocalyptic millennialism adds the themes of a divine demand for a sacrifice/payment to appease a deity that threatens to violently destroy humanity and the world, a salvation plan that will purge the imagined evil threat from life (i.e. corrupt, greedy humanity), and that violent purging will then permit the restoration of the lost paradise or the installation of a new millennial paradise. (“Appease a deity”?- Yes, both religious deities and “secular” versions like vengeful Gaia, angry Mother Earth or Planet, punitive Universe, or payback karma.)
This pagan mythology that began with the earliest recorded mythologies (Sumerian apocalyptic Flood myth), was later embraced by Zoroastrian apocalyptic that then shaped the Western traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Christianity in particular embraced Paul’s apocalyptic Christ myth (see Thessalonian letters for example) that has most powerfully shaped Western thinking and “secular” mythologies like environmental apocalyptic/climate apocalyptic.
If we are to thoroughly free human consciousness from such primitive and damaging mythologies then we have to go to the root influences that keep such myths alive in modern consciousness.
Arthur Mendel (Vision and Violence) concluded that apocalyptic has been “the most violent and destructive idea in history”. Destructive? How so? Watch the “profoundly religious” apocalyptic movement of climate alarmism. Its embrace of the salvation scheme of decarbonization (Net Zero) is severely damaging societies, notably in Europe (Germany, Britain). Other societies like the US, Australia, and Canada are also embracing the same madness. So yes, “most destructive idea in history”.
Apocalyptic, with its fallacy of life declining toward something worse, toward some great catastrophe, is so entirely opposite to the actual long-term trajectory of life that shows ongoing improvement. The overall improvement of life across the millennia, and especially over recent centuries, affirms hope in the basic goodness and creative ability of humanity to make life better (see, for example, sources like “Humanprogress.org”). Apocalyptic is a great fraud and lie that has burdened and deformed human consciousness far too long.
See the detailed treatment of apocalyptic millennialism, and its destructive impacts on societies, in the research of historians 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). They point also to environmental alarmism’s embrace of this destructive mythology. As they note, apocalyptic millennial themes, derived from Christianity, had previously shaped Marxism and Nazism and their horrifically destructive outcomes over the twentieth century (Stalin’s 20 million deaths, Mao’s 70 million deaths, Hitler’s 50 million deaths, along with others).
A quote from Landes’ “Heaven On Earth”:
“The study of Nazism’s appeal, of Hitler’s charisma, belong to the field of millennial studies… Only then can we identify the key problems… (Hitler) is not so much the measure of the unthinkably, the impossibly evil, as he is the measure of how, with modern technology and an only partially developed civil polity, a nation, a people, seized by, ridden by a millennial passion, can become one of the great dealers of death in human history” (p. 388, Genocidal Millennialism: Millennial hopes, apocalyptic time, and Hitler’s success).
The climate apocalyptic movement (Yes, you heard me right- it is a “profoundly religious” apocalyptic movement), like all other similar apocalyptic movements across history, the contemporary one is inevitably a movement of self-destruction. It is driven by profoundly damaging religious themes, again similar to all past movements. It is not a scientific movement even though it repeatedly claims to “follow the science”.
As skeptical scientists rightly bemoan (i.e. skeptical of the alarmist exaggeration of “crisis”), it appears that scientific fact is not changing many minds about the prophesied looming “climate catastrophe”. A looming catastrophe (“existential threat”) that actual observation of the natural world shows does not exist. The crisis has been manufactured from discredited climate models that have been fed alarmist assumptions that produce results that are “running too hot”, way too hot. Again, contrary to actual observed climate evidence.
The manufactured hysteria over climate crisis continues to fuel the “madness of crowds” response where populations are now supporting the irrational salvation scheme of decarbonization that is already ruining advanced societies like Germany and Britain. Leaders there continue their “blind faith” that unreliable intermittent renewables will save them, against all contrary evidence that warns them on a daily basis to stop the mad pursuit of Net Zero. They refuse the warnings of collapse all around as they blindly pursue their irrational salvation scheme.
“Self-destruction”? “(Apocalyptics with their) active cataclysmic apocalyptic vision… seek to ‘save the world by destroying it’”, Richard Landes, p.59, Heaven on Earth.
Landes notes the self-destruction that Germany engaged under the Nazis as the German population embraced apocalyptic millennial ideas during the Weimar years. Landes also recounts that self-destruction in South Africa under another apocalyptic millennial movement (the “Xhosa cattle slaying” of 1856-7). I personally observed such self-destruction among Manobo tribal groups in Mindanao (1970s, 80s), possessed with similar apocalyptic millennial themes. Leaving crops to rot, consuming all domestic animals (if the “end is nigh” then to hell with survival needs today), and then the disillusioned return to sanity as the movement failed just as all such apocalyptic movements fail- that 100% failure rate across history.
Comment on this and that…
Across human history the great mythologies and religions of our ancestors have stirred our imagination and spirits with narrative themes of gods and heroes going forth in great ventures to fight monsters and enemies, to engage righteous battles of good versus evil, ventures of conquest and victory, and achieving heroic salvation.
Such narratives were buttressed by myths of a greater reality of cosmic dualism- a Good God versus a Satanic spirit, and of ultimate judgment and damnation in hell for deniers of some “true religion”.
Today we can continue to hold to many of the above themes of great ventures in righteous battles against evil, of fighting monsters and enemies, but with an entirely new background affirmation that there is no ultimate cosmic dualism (no ultimate Satanic opposition behind life). We can affirm that there is only ultimate light and love behind reality, a stunningly inexpressible love. Meaning: No matter what route one’s story takes here through life, all are safe in the end- there is no ultimate judgment, no ultimate exclusion of anyone, or threat of after-life harm. The sense of ultimate safety changes everything in our experience here. It sustains hope through the worst elements of life.
And now our monsters and enemies are within us, not without in the form of other people. Yes, we do fight others in necessary battles of right against wrong in this life, but the others involved in such battles are not ultimate “enemies” but intimate human family. Just taking opposing roles as “actors on God’s stage”.
The righteous battle of good against evil is more the battle of our human spirit against the animal inheritance in each of us (i.e. the animal impulses to tribal exclusion and enmity, to domination of weaker others, to destruction of competing others). We begin the struggle against evil in life, within ourselves, conquering the monster/enemy within, before fighting the battles without.
“They call me a dreamer but I’m not the only one”, John Lennon
I ground/base my “dreaming” re a better world/future on the best evidence that I can find regarding the “true state of life” on Earth. Evidence such as that marshalled by researchers like Julian Simon, Bjorn Lomborg, and many similar projects that tackled the true state of life by looking at the best sources on the main indicators of life- i.e. data on the indicators of forests, soils, ocean fisheries, species, climate, the human condition, and more.
My dreaming is then vented in my personal project to alleviate unnecessary fear, the false fears incited by exaggerated apocalyptic narratives such as climate alarmism. My personal quest is to promote hope regarding the overall state of life in this world based on sound evidence on the main indicators of the true state of life. I have repeatedly presented those data sources here- Julian Simon (Ultimate Resource), Greg Easterbrook (A Moment On The Earth), Bjorn Lomborg (Skeptical Environmentalist, also False Alarm), Matt Ridley (Rational Optimist), Indur Goklany (The Improving State of the World), Ronald Bailey (The End of Doom), Marian Tupy and Ronald Bailey (Ten Global Trends), Stephen Pinker (The Better Angels of Our Nature, James Payne (The History of Force), Hans Rosling (Factfulness), and many others. Read this evidence and discover liberation from the prevailing gloom today about life. Discover a revival of hope based on good evidence.
A project this site repeatedly engages is to promote evidence-based hope because hope is vital to encouraging a spirit of generosity and love in populations. Panic-mongering on the other hand, as in the climate apocalypse narrative, incites a spirit of despair, tribal stinginess, and even self-destructive nihilism as in the irrational salvation scheme of decarbonization (to “save the world”) that is causing immense harm to societies like Britain and Germany (related- a similar decarbonization of Sri Lanka’s agriculture sector devasted that country recently). California is following the same self-destructive path.
One evidence-based boost to hope is the recent release of Marian Tupy and Gale Pooley’s book “Superabundance: The story of Population Growth, Innovation, and Human Flourishing on an Infinitely Bountiful Planet”. I do not affirm Tupy’s agreement that there is a “climate crisis” that needs some sort of mitigation response (adaptation- yes). But most of the other material that his Humanprogress.org site presents is among the best of good evidence on the human success in improving life (See, for example, his book 10 Global Trends).
Everything on this site comes from an intention to alleviate unnecessary fear and promote hope. All the material here is to say- Don’t fear life or the future. We will adapt to whatever life presents us, just as we have successfully decreased the human deaths from climate/weather related disasters some 99% over the past century. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/01/02/inconvenient-truth-climate-related-death-risk-down-99-6-over-100-years/
It is futile to try to “mitigate” climate by trying to turn a “CO2 knob” because the human contribution to Earth’s carbon cycle is far too small. Human emissions are a “bit player” in the mix of natural factors that influence climate. And CO2 in general (from human and natural sources) has already reached “saturation” in physics terms, meaning that its warming influence will contribute very little to any further warming and that further warming will continue to be net beneficial to all life.
The free speech project of humanity
The great moral project of humanity can be framed as diminishing/eliminating hatred and promoting the alternative of love in all its diverse expressions in unique individual human stories. I tie this directly to the great ongoing battle against tyranny and for freedom that is reaching a new crescendo in our era in regard to free speech and related issues.
Why freedom? Because where there is no freedom there is no love. Freedom and love are sides of the same one coin. Inseparable twins. Intrusive, coercive control that violates the self-determination and free choice of others is not love. Such intrusion is tyranny on whatever level it occurs, whether personal interaction or in more broad public arenas. Such tyranny denies basic respect for the self-determination and free choices of other individuals, and that respect (protection of individual rights and freedoms) is the basis of equality in society (not material or monetary outcomes but, again, protection of individual rights and freedoms).
This project is critical because we face a relentless assault from the totalitarian impulse under the guise of someone’s “righteous battle against evil”- the term “evil” now commonly used to define those who disagree with the one believing they are on the “righteous” side of things (“evil” along with similar demonizing terms- “threats to democracy… dangerous… fascists… terrorists”).
All over today, the new would-be totalitarians are demanding state coercion (bills, laws) to determine and control what all others can say. These new totalitarians are misconstruing the free expression of other’s speech as “hatred” and “threats of violence” against them when it is not. It is often just differing speech, the free speech of others. Such freedom of speech reflects healthy diversity and difference of opinion on varied issues and that is critical to a healthy, diverse, and inclusive society.
Let me add that today’s radical leftists (i.e. Woke Progressives) pushing the new totalitarianism are not bad people. They are just giving way to a bad impulse, a dangerous impulse to control and coerce others, denying them their individual freedom. They are pushing a new collectivism, a centralizing of power in today’s “enlightened elites” who claim to know what is best for all others and will coerce all others to submit to the “vanguard’s” control. It is the same old failed Leftism/Collectivism of the last century.
Missing Jordan’s point
Jordan Peterson decided to oppose a parliamentary bill (Bill C-16) that tried to criminalize certain speech. His intention arose out of a much wider concern- i.e. his study of past totalitarian movements (Nazism, Marxism) and how they emerged and developed by criminalizing differing opinions and speech, opinions and speech that differed from that of the totalitarians.
Peterson, taking this to a more local issue at his university, did not want to be coerced to speak about trans people using the pronouns that they stated they wanted all others to use (this was related to the parliamentary bill he opposed). He stated this as a free speech issue. They claimed, distorting his point, that he was “anti-trans, transphobic, and promoting hate speech”. They missed his point entirely that the real issue was about freedom of expression, freedom to differ in opinion and speech.
They claimed, again intentionally distorting his points, that he was denying their existence, which he did not deny. This sort of refusal to listen and understand the real issue that someone is presenting does nothing to further progress in mutual understanding and peaceful existence in a diverse society.
His radical left opponents endlessly try to discredit him with today’s go-to smears- “Alt-right… pandering to white supremacists… Nazi…” and so on.
See the documentary “The Rise of Jordan Peterson” on Prime Video.
“Life is suffering… but love is the desire to see unnecessary suffering ameliorated… Truth is the handmaiden of love… Dialogue is the pathway to truth so speech must be untrammelled, so dialogue can take place, so that we can all humbly learn, so that truth can serve love, so that suffering can be ameliorated, so that we can all stumble forward towards the kingdom of God”, Jordan Peterson.