August 5, 2020

How I Became a… Believer in Climate Change

From my series of posts a little over five years ago in my original “How I Became…” series, you might have thought that I embrace change quickly. After all, I have made a lot of theological changes in my life time. In fact, while I am willing to change my mind on things, it takes years or even decades for those changes to see fruition.

Climate change is no exception.

It was back in 2007 that my son Josh introduced me to “An Inconvenient Truth”. I said back then that I was not completely convinced, and that it would probably take another 5-10 years of data, for me to really make up my mind. Well, here it is 13 years later, and I am now truly convinced. A version of the two graphs presented here are what made me initially cautious, and have now convinced me.

I should note that I was never a climate change denier. Perhaps you could have called me a skeptic, but I think even that term is too strong. Cautious is probably the best way to describe my thoughts on the matter.

I am not a climate scientist. I have no opinion on the validity of climate models. I am however a qualified economist, and have made a living working with data and statistics.

Let me first tell you what you are seeing on the top graph.

In 1998, a drilling project in East Antartica extracted the deepest ice core ever, reaching down 2.2 miles (3.6 kilometers) into the frozen ice. This ice, through its yearly layers, and the gasses trapped therein, gave us a historical record of over 400,000 years of climate at that location. Through it scientists were able to determine levels of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and temperature at any point in time during that period.

So how did they determine the temperature?

Measuring the amount of Carbon Dioxide is easiest to understand. They simply took the amount of CO2 compared to all the gases and expressed it as parts per million (ppm). As for the temperature…

Oxygen has three naturally occurring isotopes: 16O, 17O, and 18O, where the 16, 17 and 18 refer to the atomic mass made up of 8 protons and 8 neutrons, 8 protons and 9 neutrons and 8 protons and 10 neutrons respectively. The most abundant of these isotopes is 16O, while a small percentage exist as 18O and an even smaller percentage as 17O.

Analysing the ratio between 18O and 16O can provide a way of determining [historical] temperature.

In short, the ratio of 18O and 16O in snow varies according to temperature. By examining the ratio of these gases trapped at various points in the ice core, they were able determine the temperature at the time that the snow fell.

So, as you can see from the graph above, temperatures over the past 400,000 years have varied from approximately 3 degrees above the 1961 average, to 9 degrees below. At the same time CO2 varied over the same time period from 180 parts per million (ppm) to 300 ppm.

You can see how closely the two lines are inter-related. There is a very high degree of correlation between temperature and carbon dioxide.

Then the industrial revolution happened. From 1800 to 1950 CO2 rose from 280 ppm to 310 ppm, reaching past the top of the historical band. From 1950 until now, CO2 has climbed up and up and up, so that in January it measured 413 ppm, over one hundred points higher than it had been at any time in nearly half a million years!

So why was I initially so cautious?

One of my initial thoughts was that, temperature wise, we are already close to a historical high. Perhaps adding CO2 to the atmosphere was what keeping our temperature from crashing as it had in past eras? Besides, as any statistician will tell you, correlation does not equal causation. Indeed a close look at the data will show that CO2 has historically followed temperature changes and not the other way around.

So what changed my mind?

Let’s look at the graph below and discuss further.

While I stated above that temperature has preceded CO2 changes, the high correlation and strong trends indicate that there is very likely to be a feedback mechanism. That is, while in the past an initial change in temperature led to a change in CO2, it is also very likely that change in CO2 led to a further change in temperature, and they proceeded in lock step until a minimum or maximum was reached, or until some cataclysmic event resulted in a shock to the trend.

What I see in the second graph is what troubles me most. The earth has had relatively stable temperatures for about 12,000 years. That corresponds with the timeline for the rise of agriculture among humans. The rise of civilizations only occurred about 5,000 years ago. In that entire 12,000 years the proportion of CO2 has been between 255 and 285 ppm. For 12,000 years we have had a variance of only 30 ppm. We are now 130 points higher than at any point in that 12,000 years!!!

One reason why it has taken me so long to become convinced is because temperature has been slow to respond to the carbon dioxide increases. From 1998 until 2012 there was no increasing trend in temperature, and it took until 2016 to beat the 1998 temperatures. But we are again hitting new temperature highs and I believe we will continue to do so.

As I said at the beginning of this post, I am not a climate scientist. I have no expertise in climate models. I have to trust those that are. However, I do now strongly believe that we face a very uncertain future with our current levels of CO2. Whether that involves a temperature spike, and then a temperature crash I do not know. What I do know is that civilization and the events that proceeded it have only been able to occur when CO2 was between a range of 250 and 285 ppm. With CO2 now at 413 ppm, I would argue that our entire civilization is at stake. Can any action be too drastic to return us to the safe levels of CO2?

Strong words, I realize. What do we do as Christians? As human beings? I am not going to comment further here, but will try and interact with your comments below. As always, your thoughts are welcome.

Update: I am deleting the abortion thread. It was getting way off topic and deteriorating into name calling.

Update 2: The Bernie thread is also now gone. It was irrelevant.

Comments

  1. Mike Bell, thanks for the overview. If nothing is too drastic than we allow nature take its course in illness and health and thin the herd. No vaccines to reduce the ravage of infectious disease, let the natural immune system be the main defense. Bulldoze the plants and factories that produce the problem and eliminate the transportation that requires some type of unnatural fuel, we go back to horses. We go back to substance farming with the majority of us working to produce enough to sustain us. According to Mike Bloomberg, this should not be to difficult. Basically we return to about a early 18th century world. Of course we can use our knowledge obtained for farming and other basic primary needs . Maybe even a few meccas of civilization with electric power and resources to preserve knowledge.

    If things are a bad as presented what other viable choice is there? India , China and the third world countries are not going to join in the effort to solve the problem. Many in the world still live in a close to 18 century world, we first world people just have to join them. Or in America we all become Amish.

    Let the people vote on it.

    • Michael Bell says

      Hi Dan, I updated my post slightly after your comment to turn my statement on action into a question. Not a cop out on my part but your answer did make me think that a question was more appropriate.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      > According to Mike Bloomberg, this should not be to difficult.

      Mr. Bloomberg is right in a away. Technologically it is not all that difficult – we do not need any technology we did not have 50 years ago to MASSIVELY reduce CO2 emissions.

      Mr. Bloomberg is being at least a bit dishonest in how possible that is politically; read “not”.

      I am not endorsing Mr. Bloomberg in any way. Yet it is worth pointing out that he does have the highest rated – by real people who know stuff – infrastructure and climate “plan” of anyone in the field. The principle author of that plan is Janette Sadik-Khan who is a preeminent figure in that realm

      Also, nobody in their right mind believes that plan would survive the process.

      > Basically we return to about a early 18th century world

      This is a ridiculous caricature; nothing says that.

    • Klasie Kraalogies says

      Dan, China Is creating solar power capacity faster than any other country. They also have a large nuclear capacity, 46 plants in operation, 11 under construction, and more planned. Air pollution related to especially coal firing power plants has become a health threat, nevermind a climate threat.

      And even if we ignore that, your argument is silly – it is the equivalent saying that it is fine to litter yourself because everyone else is.

      We don’t have to bulldoze factories and farms etc etc- that’s silly talk. We can do what we do – but better. We can generate renewable and/or nuclear power. We can drive electric or hydrogen powered vehicles. We can switch to grass fed beef instead of feed lit beef which requires more energy input and generates more greenhouse gasses. And we ca make family planning available all over the world. One of the greatest tools for economic uplift on the developing world is empowering women – they start small businesses to support their families etc. And one very important way to enable that is to help them control their fertility cycles. This has clearly been demonstrated.

      Just because it is complicated and not an instant answer to a problem of our own creation, doesn’t mean that we should walk away from it.

      • Klasie Kraalogies says

        I was waiting for this. You know there is a lot of things that can.be done to plan pregnancy. You know, things that would eliminate the need for abortion by and large?

        • senecagriggs says

          Yea Klasie but how it actually translates [ versus the narrative ] is in abortions. But you know that.

          ________

          Do abortions lower the carbon footprint? Absolutely

          Would the extinction of all humans lower the carbon footprint? Absolutely
          _______

          This is the progressive nirvana – death to all humans [ other than me and my family – dryly ]

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            Would the extinction of all humans lower the carbon footprint? Absolutely
            _______
            This is the progressive nirvana – death to all humans [ other than me and my family

            That is yet another corollary to when a Cause becomes so Righteous it justifies any means whatsoever.

            (And I live in a More-Woke-Than-Thou Left Coast state where the above attitude IRL would not be a surprise. For The Cause!)

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        Christianese Keyword ABORTION card in play.
        Do you hear Pavlov’s Bell ringing?

      • Good sex education, understanding when a woman is & isn’t fertile, & easily available contraception is what is meant by family planning.

        Abortion is brought down by these measures, & is not generally thought of as a form of family planning, but as a failure of it.

        But I suppose facts aren’t allowed to get in the way of the political expedience of just yelling the abortion word as a way of controlling the masses.

        • senecagriggs says

          They keep killing babies, I keep talking about abortion/infanticide. There’s a connection there Beaker.

          Wouldn’t it be nice if I shut-up while they continue to murder the pre-born. That’s be uptopia – dryly.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            Your More-Christian-Than-Thou Christianese Credentials have been noted, Seneca.
            Over and over and over again.

            40+ years of Christian Pro-Life Culture War Activism and what do we have to show for it?
            Various Christian Pro-Life Organizations infighting each other to stalemate over whose way is The One True Way?
            GOP (until the Age of Trump) stringing us along 40 years with “just elect us and we’ll pack a Supreme Court to outlaw Abortion Forever”?
            Pro-life defined in Inerrant SCRIPTURE(TM) as STOP ABORTION and STOP ABORTION only? Neglecting them the instant they’re born?
            Accumulating all the baggage of the Dark Side of the Christianese Culture War Package? To the point it’s Lookit the Freak Show?

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        India and China are also engaged in massive reforestation programs, planting millions of trees to process the CO2 buildup.

        Whereas where I am “bare dirt with one small cactus” is the only Woke Landscaping to show your Concern for the Plaaaaanet.

        Nobody else seems to notice that the first Global Warming Activists to pile on the bandwagon (with some questionable early evidence) ended up discrediting their own Cause among all but the True Believer Elite.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        One of the greatest tools for economic uplift on the developing world is empowering women – they start small businesses to support their families etc.

        Does anyone know anything about a charity called FINCA which specializes in this exact sort of Third World microloans? As in how reputable it is?

        Increasing prosperity in Third World countries would also ease the immigration flood problem that’s encountering more and more resistance in First World countries, boosting Nativist movements into power.

        P.S. Empowering women (wish the Woke Activists hadn’t hijacked that word and Screwtaped the meaning) is a plus because in a lot of the “traditional societies” women do most of the work while the men above them have More Important Things to do like Political or Theological or Power Struggle infighting.

      • Echoing/emphasizing one of Klasie’s points–increasing utilization of nuclear power will be a must. Newer, safer, smaller unitized plants are now available, not to mention the capability to recycle nuclear waste.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          “But i-i-it’s NUCLEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          The KGB did its work well during the late Cold War, cultivating and encouraging anti-nuke hysteria in the US. Now we’re paralyzed with terror at even the mention of the word.

          Instead, all I hear from my Betters in the Woke-ocracy where I am is “WE HAVE TO CONSERVE! CONSERVE! CONSERVE!” (Anointed like themselves excepted, of course. The more us Lowborn conserve conserve conserve, the more there is for our Highborn Betters, Woke Priests of Mother Gaia. Just like Head Apostles vs pewpeons regarding sex & power in churches.)

          Literally “CONSERVE OUR WAY INTO THE FUTURE!”
          That is not going to sell. As Professor Gelertner put it contrasting the Zeitgeist of the 1930s with the 1990s in his 1939: Lost WOrld of the Fair, “We’ve become fusspot curators.” And fusspot curators obsessed with Conserving Conserving Conserving will live in the past to the point they have no future or present. People need futures. They need to dare great things. They need some idea of progress and betterment instead of Inevitable Doom and Hardship before Inevitable Doom It’s All Over But The Screaming, Am I Not Edgy?

          • Yeah, well, conserving will only take us so far. Electric cars need to be plugged in, so, when it comes to significant electrical output to meet increasing demand nuclear will HAVE to be a large part of the solution.

            Fuck the Woke-ocracy.

            • Headless Unicorn Guy says

              Has anyone heard anything about Bill Gates sponsoring and bankrolling the design for a next-generation nuclear reactor that either produces less waste or burns it up as secondary fuel?

              According to the story, he couldn’t interest anyone in it here in the West (“It’s NUCLEAR!!!!!!!”); the only ones interested was China. They were on the verge of starting a prototype with the Trump TradeWar hit and everything fell apart.

              We now return you to the wagging-finger scolding to “CONSERVE! CONSERVE! CONSERVE!”

    • Interesting reading, Mike. Excellent effort. Thanks, mate.

  2. Can any action be too drastic to return us to the safe levels of CO2?

    The answer to that must be yes, there are actions that would be too drastic, because morally unacceptable. Survival at any moral cost is not actually meaningful survival. The ends do not justify the means; means shape ends, leaving their moral imprint on them, and morally determining them. Part of the reason humanity has ended up in the environmental crisis it finds itself is because it did not heed moral limits in its exploitation of the human and nonhuman world; following a policy of climate survival at any cost would repeat that mistake, with analogous unintended consequences.

    • I have, in discussions about this very subject at work, likened the dilemma of climate change and fossil fuel use to a Greek tragedy. IF we had made significant but not impossible changes decades ago, when the problem was first discovered, things might have been different. But now, our entire culture and global economy – agriculture, transportation, infrastructure, the whole shebang – is founded on the profligate use of fossil fuels. If we don’t cut back, climate change will eventually wear down and collapse our civilization. But if we cut back enough on fossil fuels to mitigate climate change… that would also essentially collapse our civilization. At this stage, all that remains to us is to ” choose the form of the destructor”. And given the human tendency to inertia and choosing present benefits vs long-term benefits, I am pretty sure we’ll end up riding the train over the cliff.

      Which is why, right now, I’m concentrating my reading on what Christianity has to say, if anything, in the face of impending global catastrophe.

      • Adam Tauno Williams says

        > given the human tendency to inertia and choosing present benefits vs long-term benefits

        This. This. This.

        Give me a room full of people who 100% believe in Climate Change; not an Evangelical in sight.

        And then let’s bring up the idea of eliminating Parking Minimums in local land use policy (zoning) in order to reduce VMT (vehicle miles traveled) — (NOTE: DOING SO WORKS, there is NO QUESTION at all, and it has ZERO economic impact, sorry, look at lots of data) — and then you will witness first hand how the world ends.

        Yes, climate change is real existential threat, but “we have to be reasonable”: ‘I need to be able to ALWAYS park my car immediately in front of my ~1,800sq/ft home on its ~5,000sq/ft lot’.

        This is going to end in flames.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        I’m concentrating my reading on what Christianity has to say, if anything, in the face of impending global catastrophe.

        They’re too busy making The Rapture Bet:
        “CHRIST IS COMING SOON AND IT’S ALL GONNA BURN!”

        Or “SHOW ME SCRIPTURE(TM)!” total denial.
        “Science Falsely So-Called or WORD! OF! GAWD!”

        • Well, *obviously* I’m not looking at THOSE sources. And there are others. You have to dig… but they are there.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            Problem is, “Climate Change Denial” (or going End Times) has become another Litmus Test of whether You Are Really SAVED. Like Anti-Vaxx and Voting for Trump. (I’m waiting for Flat Earth to join the list…)

      • David Greene says

        “IF we had made significant but not impossible changes decades ago, when the problem was first discovered, things might have been different.”

        Ironically that reminds me of a decades old PP&M song “Give me the comforting glow of a wood fire But please take all of your atomic poison power away” only in reverse. If we had only known then what we know now but… “the times they are a-changin’.”

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      > The ends do not justify the means

      “The end may justify the means as long as there is something that justifies the end.” – Leon Trotsky

      The end in this case is a massive amount of death; due to famine, disease, flooding, fire, etc… Not massive amounts of death is a rather significant not-end.

      > Part of the reason humanity has ended up in the environmental crisis it finds itself is because it
      > did not heed moral limits in its exploitation of the human and nonhuman world;

      Partly, yes. For a very long time we also had no idea what we were doing. During that time of ignorance many many promises were made – explicitly and implicitly. Now that we do know the problem is principally in unwinding those promises – – – which is extremely hard.

      Much of this is the result of Jevon’s paradox [aka: induced demand]. This is a concept many people today struggle with; speaking as someone who has to try to explain “induced demand” to Baby Boomers on a regular basis. It is hard to understand because in the beginning the results are good – people get what they want, with no immediate cost signals, and then later on it is easy to believe SOMEONE ELSE [like: “traffic”] broke the good thing.

      Jevons Paradox: “””In 1865, the English economist William Stanley Jevons observed that technological improvements that increased the efficiency of coal-use led to the increased consumption of coal in a wide range of industries. He argued that, contrary to common intuition, technological progress could not be relied upon to reduce fuel consumption””” — wikipedia

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      The answer to that must be yes, there are actions that would be too drastic, because morally unacceptable.

      Beware the Cause so Righteous is justifies any evil/atrocity whatsoever to make it come to pass.
      Like Citizen Robespierre’s Republique of Perfect Virtue and Pol Pot’s Perfect Communist Agrarian State of Democratic Kampuchea.

      “So me and mine all have to lie down and die so you can have your Prefect World?”
      (Activist blinks in surprise) “Why… YES!”

      Survival at any moral cost is not actually meaningful survival.

      “Two weeks after Push Comes to Shove, the only food source left in our cities Will Be Human Flesh. Prepare to Do What Must Be Done to SURVIFE!”
      — Eighties Survivalist (Extreme Prepper) fringe, usually spoken with hyper-macho “tough guy”

  3. I’ve been studying the Old Testament Minor Prophets with a group of guys for a few months, it is eye opening to read about the environmental destruction going on in these books. From flooding to drought to earthquakes and locust swarms it’s eerily similar to reading things like this or just watching the news.

    • And as much as I don’t like the possible links back to dispensationalism when I read the bowl and trumpet judgments in Revelation… They look a hell of a lot like the ecological ramifications of runaway global warming.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        During the Age of Hal Lindsay “they looked a helluva lot like” the effects of Global Thermonuclear War. Each one Proven Chapter-and-Verse.

        • What part of “as much as I don’t like the possible links back to dispensationalism” did you miss? 😛

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            Just stating how Dispy keeps up with the times. Whatever extinction event looms on the horizon, the Dispys just open Revelation, start “reading plainly”, and finding Exact Prophetic Fulfillments in the headlines.

            They need a better contingency plan and response than “Wait for The Rapture (any minute now… any minute now…)”

            During my time in-country, Dispy WAS Inerrant SCRIPTURE straight from God’s Lips.

            • Not a Dispy by any stretch of the imagination. My thoughts on the Prophets, Revelation and even Jesus are that they are simply stating the natural outcomes of our actions or inactions.

              • I tend to agree, which is why the trumpet/bowl judgments – climate change parallels frighten me so much.

              • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                After decades of detoxing, I’ve come back to several conclusions about Revelation before I was indoctrinated in The Official Plain Reading of Revelation.

                I think Revelation shows and tells several recurring patterns in human society and of human history. In the words of a YouTube commenter re “Kali Yuga” (the Hindu End Times Decline Narrative), “It’s pre-scientific anthropology and sociology.”

                If we didn’t Over-Spiritualize SCRIPTURE(TM) and keep it in the real world like Judaism does, we could learn a lot. Minor examples from that Rabbi from Tarsus:
                * “Conscience seared with white-hot irons” — he’s describing a psychopath/sociopath. (And when you come down to it, Demons in the Christian tradition are basically Angelic Psychopaths.)
                * “For Satan himself can transform himself to appear as an Angel of Light” — how Successful sociopaths are Masters of Camouflaging what they are. (We only hear about the dumb ones who slipped up.) Like the media interviews of the family/freinds/neighbors of serial killers/serial rapists — “He Was Such a Nice Boy…” Including one recent serial killer (BTK) who was actually a very pious and respected Elder at his church.

  4. Klasie Kraalogies says

    Well written Mike! Succinct.

    As a non-climatologist but someone who works in a not unrelated sphere (geology), as well as someone for whom statistics is central, this is an excellent post.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      +1

    • Agree. Great post. But the conversation immediately went to straight to hell -or apocalypse. How are we ever going to have a rational public conversation about this issue and what can do about it?

      • It’s hard to have a rational conversation when one side is absolutely dedicated to having no such thing.

  5. senecagriggs says

    “…. Bloomberg Owns Fleet Of Private Jets, Choppers Billionaire Michael Bloomberg, worth an estimated $54 billion, enjoys his own fleet of private jets and helicopters stationed in New Jersey while describing himself as a “global leader” on the environment and climate change.”
    __________

    There might or might not be human caused climate change; but due to the sinful brokenness of humanity, the world ELITE ain’t going to fix this.

    You do know that don’t you?

    • Klasie Kraalogies says

      And he didn’t say that, mr red herring.

      • Adam Tauno Williams says

        +1

      • senecagriggs says

        No red herring my friend;

        rich people will continue the use of convenient petro-chemicals will insisting the hoi polloi do without.

        To the hoi polloi I say, don’t be a sucker.

        • Klasie Kraalogies says

          Wealth always use more resources than the poor. You know what could help? Some redistribution… 😉

          • senecagriggs says

            Klassie, the “weathy” will re-distribute to other “wealthy.” It’s the way it has always been. But they always sell it as helping the common man. It never does.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            You know what could help? Some redistribution… ?

            Like was done in the USSR, Mao’s Great Leap Forward, Pol Pot’s Kampuchea, and the Kim Dynasty’s DPRK?

            Beware the Cosmic-level Righteous Cause that can justify anything. Nothing can so effectively sear the conscience of True Believers like a white-hot iron.

  6. senecagriggs says

    I LIKE NUCLEAR POWER – apparently for political reasons
    ___________

    When was the last nuclear plant built?

    The last new nuclear power plant project was the “River Bend” plant in Louisiana, which became operational in 1986. Its construction began more than 30 year ago, in March of 1977.

    Good luck getting modern nuclear plants built in the USA

    • Klasie Kraalogies says

      Google is your friend:

      Then in 2012, the NRC approved construction of four new reactors at existing nuclear plants. Construction of the Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Generating Station Units 2 and 3 began on March 9, 2013 but was abandoned on July 31, 2017 after the reactor supplier Westinghouse filed for bankruptcy protection on March 29, 2017.[10] On March 12, 2013 construction began on the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant Units 3 and 4, the target in-service date for Unit 3 is November 2021.[11] On October 19, 2016 TVA’s Unit-2 reactor at the Watts Bar Nuclear Generating Station became the first US reactor to enter commercial operation since 1996.[12]

      From Wikipedia

      • Adam Tauno Williams says

        Darn it, you with all your facts. 🙂

        • Klasie Kraalogies says

          They are inconvenient, aren’t they? 🙂

          • senecagriggs says

            Google continues to be my friend

            “As of September 2017, there are two new reactors under construction with a gross electrical capacity of 2,500 MW, while 34 reactors have been permanently shut down. The United States is the world’s largest producer of commercial nuclear power, and in 2013 generated 33% of the world’s nuclear electricity.”

            Go Nuclear Go

            I’d love one in my neighborhood.

    • Michael Bell says

      I like nuclear power too. In my area of Canada there is not a meaningful alternative for the intermediate term. The Green Party’s opposition to it, and the fact that they hid this from their election platform, was my primary reason for not supporting them in the last Canadian federal election. If the interest is there, I could tackle this in a future post.

      • Adam Tauno Williams says

        Meanwhile Japan is denuclearizing their energy sector and has plans to build 22 new coal fired power plants – once complete their denuclearized grid’s CO2 output may rival that of the United State’s total private vehicle transportation emissions.

        Very bad.

        I am pro-nuclear power. Yet at the same time if the prerequisite policy fight(s) – all the way down to the local level – plus the physical build out is a time-line of ~20 – 30 years . . . it is hard to feel it is worthwhile deployment of very limited civic energies.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          On my annual jaunts to the East Coast, I used to see a lot of “BRING BACK COAL!” billboards along the Pennsylvania Interstates.

          I think they’ve been replaced by “THANK YOU DONALD TRUMP”s.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          it is hard to feel it is worthwhile deployment of very limited civic energies.

          Still a better deployment than the One Universal Solution of my state’s Woke-ocracy:

          Wagging-finger scolding to “CONSERVE! CONSERVE! CONSERVE!” with accompanying “SHAME! SHAM! SHAME!” (and new Taxes to “PUNISH! PUNISH! PUNISH!”)

  7. It seems like with so many issues in US politics, we use the fact that there’s no way to fix a problem completely as an excuse to do nothing to ameliorate the problem at all.

    Gun violence is a good example – when common-sense policies are proposed that might each deaths by 10-20%, people say, “but it won’t stop all gun crimes, so what’s the point?”

    Abortion is another example – the main reason the pro-life movement failed in the 70s and 80s was that instead of working for incremental reduction in abortion (which is what progressive pro-lifers were advocating), conservative pro-lifers threw all their energy behind “magic bullet” solutions like the Human Life Amendment and attempts to overturn Roe v. Wade – neither of which had any real chance of success. Most of the actual success in reducing the abortion rate has therefore come from liberal policy changes, while conservatives have been spinning their wheels and achieving very little or even sometimes inadvertently increasing abortion rates (e.g. the Mexico City Policy).

    It’s the same way with climate change – there are changes we can make in terms of fuel standards, meat consumption, zero-carbon energy sources, efficient buildings, electric car infrastructure, home solar, etc. that each would make the situation a little better. We can’t do anything about China, but that’s no excuse to not do our part. Even if each change only translates into a fraction of a degree less warming, that fraction of a degree represents a lot of suffering avoided for a lot of people.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      > “but it won’t stop all gun crimes, so what’s the point?”

      It is the Nirvana Fallacy.

      > conservative pro-lifers threw all their energy behind “magic bullet”
      > solutions … neither of which had any real chance of success.

      It is a perverse incentive. Often having a problem is more **useful** than solving it – depending on one’s actual goals. 🙁

      > We can’t do anything about China,

      China is doing quite a lot.

      > but that’s no excuse to not do our part.

      Correct. An issue is that America is structured in such a way that doing ANYTHING essentially requires a consensus – thus doing anything is extremely difficult. There are a myriad ‘veto points’ in achieving any goal. 🙁

      • there’s ‘American consensus’ versus Moscow Mitch

        as things now stand, it’s a stand-off

        good luck getting ANYTHING DONE

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          Not a standoff.
          A fight between opposite Nirvana Fallacies/Perfect Solution Fallacies.
          Like the circular firing squad of the Dems going into 2020 Primary Season, fragmenting their party into blood-feuding One True Way factions.
          A type example of how the Universe Cannot Have Two Centers or Two One True Ways.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            P.S. And while the Great Houses kill each other for the Iron Throne, the White Walkers are still sweeping down from the North.

    • Klasie Kraalogies says

      Part of that are the insane levels of political and social tribalism. If one side extolled the virtues of giving the kids a heart breakfast before school, the other side is bound to start a “good learning on an empty stomach campaign”.

      • Yeah, that’s clearly what happened with the #MeToo movement – conservative Christians probably would have never dreamed that they’d become known for excusing and defending predators and attacking their victims, but then #MeToo came along and the liberals were supporting the movement, so the conservative knee-jerk reaction was to oppose it.

        Climate change is actually the same way – there’s nothing inherently conservative about denying it exists. I had an interesting conversation a while ago with some conservative black and Latino pastors who all took climate change as a given – as did their congregations – and they couldn’t wrap their heads around why white conservatives were climate change deniers.

        • Depends on what it is you are interested in “conserving”. If you are interested in conserving a livable planet for one’s descendants, then accepting climate change is no big problem. If you are interested in conserving your First World middle-or-upper class lifestyle predicated on fossil fuel use… well, there it is.

          • senecagriggs says

            Sorry Eeyore, beyond my granddaughter I have absolutely no interest in what the elites do following my families passing off the scene.

            I refuse to be a sucker.

            • Did it ever occur to you that God would rather have us be suckers than be stingy? NT references available upon request…

              • senecagriggs says

                Please print the references.
                Looking forward to reading them.

                • Luke 6:30 – Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.

                  I Cor 6:7 – Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? (and that is in the context of disputes between believers – how much moreso with nonbelievers!)

                  Matt 5:40-42 – And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

                  The entire parable of the Rich Fool (Luke 12:13-21)

                  James 2:15-16 – Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? (and if you want to know who Jesus would consider our brethren, look up the parable of the Good Samaritan)

                  And one that really hangs over my head like a Sword of Damocles…

                  Rev 11:18 – The nations were angry, and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name both great and small — *and for destroying those who destroy the earth*.

                  • Michael Bell says

                    And then there is this O.T. passage:

                    Ezekiel 16:
                    49 “‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.

                    • And there are many, MANY more where those came from, in both Testaments.

                    • senecagriggs says

                      Yes, we should think of and act for the good of the POOR. BUT the elites running things are NOT the POOR.

                      Love the verses; don’t really see a connection between them and “climate change.”

                    • Then you aren’t looking anywhere near hard enough.

            • Headless Unicorn Guy says

              Sorry Eeyore, beyond my granddaughter I have absolutely no interest in what the elites do following my families passing off the scene.

              This is actually called “Making the Death Bet”.
              As in “I’ll be Long Gone by then so THAT’S THEIR PROBLEM”.
              (I had that used on me by my family many years ago, except there it was “That’s YOUR Problem”. My parents really went downhill in attitude after they retired, and I’m trying to avoid the same. It’s one of the reasons I’m leery of AARP (which put me on their mailing list at 40); they seem to encourage that Generational Death Bet.)

              The Rapture Bet is a Christian equivalent.
              (Or at least a close analogue.)

              “I’ll be Gone,
              Yes I’ll be Gone
              In the twinkling of an eye…”

              • senecagriggs says

                Sorry Ken, I’m not going to worry about the future’s stupidity.

                What I’ve actually learned from history; the cultures never seem to learn from History.

                ___________

                To quote Solomon, “There truly is nothing new under the sun.”

                The sins of my generation will be repeated by the next generation;

            • Seneca, you’re already a “sucker” by your present stance.

        • Adam Tauno Williams says

          > there’s nothing inherently conservative about denying it exists

          Depends I suppose on what you mean by “conservative”.

          Political leanings / affiliation is extremely regional.

          And when people move – physically – into a different context . . . very often their politician leanings / affiliations shift over time to correspond to that prevalent in that new context.

          White Conservative leaders know that the quasi-urban and exurban constructs are currently their base. Conserving those constructs is critical to their preserving their station; especially as straight-up demographic profile moves further and further away.

          Exurban (far suburban) communities are going to take any meaningful climate change policy square on the chin. The smart people in those communities KNOW that (commissioners, mayors, etc…) – they do. This means denial is highly advantageous.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            White Conservative leaders know that the quasi-urban and exurban constructs are currently their base. Conserving those constructs is critical to their preserving their station; especially as straight-up demographic profile moves further and further away.

            And nowadays, “White Conservative leaders” = “Born-Again Bible-Believing Evangelical CHRISTIAN Leaders” = “GAWD SAITH!”

            “WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON – GAWD OR SATAN?????”

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            You’ve defined “exurban” in your comment, but what do you mean by “quasi-urban”?

            • Michael Bell says

              Near suburbs with an urban feel.

              In Canada you can’t get elected Nationally unless you win the “905”, that ring around Toronto that is suburban with an urban feel.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        Part of that are the insane levels of political and social tribalism. If one side extolled the virtues of giving the kids a heart breakfast before school, the other side is bound to start a “good learning on an empty stomach campaign”.

        The Enemy does X, so We Must Do Not-X.

        “If we stand at church only because Enemy Christians kneel, that is Protestantism taken to its most sterile extreme.”
        Evangelical Is Not Enough

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Gun violence is a good example – when common-sense policies are proposed that might each deaths by 10-20%, people say, “but it won’t stop all gun crimes, so what’s the point?”

      According to Strauss &Howe, this is characteristic of an Idealist Generation which grew up in a time of Prosperity and never known Hardship. Completely Boolean logic. Utter Perfect Perfection or Nothing.

      When an Idealist Gen (such as the Baby Boomers) age into Positions of Power, they demonstrate the hard way why the Universe Cannot Have Two Centers (or Two One True Ways). This thrashing-in-pace and extreme polarization — with side effects of “why bother?” discouragement outside the True Believers) lasts until the next Gen (such as the Xers) who grew up with (and survived) the fallout from this manages to get in there (usually when enough of the Idealist Gen dies off from age) and introduce some sanity into the system. This usually happens around the time of a global life-or-death crisis (Great Depression/World War Two level) that everything drifted into during the “unraveling” of Idealist Ascendance.

      And Idealist Gens are the most resistant to giving up Power. Like three-year-olds convinced everyone else is going to take away their toy.

    • +1

  8. https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/each-countrys-share-co2-emissions

    Well guys, I was taking it to the very simple level to start a real conversation based on the premise that is a dire crisis that requires immediate, draconian solutions. The chart shows the USA contributes 16 percent of the harmful emissions with the big contributor China who is building coal plants world wide as part of the Belt and Road plan to dominate. The Malthusiian Theory is still valid. , ugly but valid. So far we have gotten into race, conservative politics, abortion, Hal Lindsley?, Biblical end times warning, nuclear plants (I like but we killed them after 3 mile island BS) and Greek Tragedy. All this is interesting and there is a vast knowledge of info here But the question was what action can we take to solve the problem that is so dire the entire planet is at risk for habitation by humans.
    Over population is one of the major problems, there are 7.7 billion people in the world in 2020

    1. 1970 there were 3.7 billion people
    2. 1927 2 billion
    3. 1770 770000 million

    Pretty simple point. Our ability to produce food to feed billions , medical care and sanitary conditions have led to putting the planet at a tipping point. So if we are talking about really, I mean really, really doing something that will stop the threat by the 2050 or less critical tipping point , we must start now. Coronavirus let it run its natural course, stop immediately using the items that are causing the problem. Shift to a substance or barely below lifestyle such as they have in un developed Asia, Africa and parts of Central/South America. It is a realistic starting point.

    Or we do the best we can as the USA has, that now contributes 16 percent to the bad greenhouse gases. That is our Hobson’s choice.

    Look at the terrible examples of leadership by many like Al Gore, the jet setters who travel to climate events in individual private jets, the business types like Bloomberg and many others. The do as I say not as I do crowd who have made this into a money making and seem to be like the ole saying about taxes, tax man , tax man, don’s tax me, tax the man behind the tree.

    Basically what I proposed in way to simplistic but it is a starting point 1. Reduce population by natural means
    2. Return to economies who provide a basic living standard and again I will use the Amish in the USA as an example . 3. Make a realistic plan that is achievable , present it and get world wide approval or

    Accept reality and do the best we can , which is what the USA is doing now. As a total non scientist and a very shallow thinker it seems that it is inevitable that someday mankind will not be able to sustain themselves on a planet, would we call this evolution or what. Many factors affect evolution and perhaps man’s ability to tackle most problem will lead to this end where we cannot tackle the most threatening problem. I am waiting until Al Gore flies in on his jet to hear my ideas Big Foot if he is real, and I hope he is, has a very small carbon foot print but I think he is not real, too bad, we could live like hime

    • “Look at the terrible examples of leadership by many like Al Gore, the jet setters who travel to climate events in individual private jets, the business types like Bloomberg and many others.”

      True. But also look at the example of Greta Thunberg, who *sailed* from Europe to the US to make her presentations at last year’s climate summits… and she was STILL pilloried by a hostile press. Not to excuse wealthy liberal hypocrisy, but there is much more going on here than just that.

      • senecagriggs says

        Some of Greta’s crew was flown to their destination and the yacht is built from petro chemicals.
        But forget the details; petro – chemicals made this all possible.
        _________

        It always looks so easy on paper but the devil is in the details.

        • True, it is impossible to live life today without SOME use of fossil fuels, as I noted above. But she made a good-faith effort to address the concerns leveled against most climate activists. What more do the critics want? (Besides her shutting up, of course, which is NOT going to happen…)

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            But she made a good-faith effort to address the concerns leveled against most climate activists. What more do the critics want?

            Utter Complete Practice-What-You-Preach Perfection.
            (Plus Proper Tone Policing?)

            (Recognize the pattern? Holier-Than-Thou Perfectionism or Nothing.)

          • Yeah, & that was something that Greta herself voiced, that it was shocking that she couldn’t (no-one can) travel in a totally fossil fuel free way, & that this should not be so.

            I do find the perfection-or-nothing trope very tiring – it is often those who do least who criticise those who do most, & that should be called out.

            • Headless Unicorn Guy says

              Look up NIrvana Fallacy and Perfect Solution Fallacy.

              And remember The Universe Cannot Have Two Centers. Or More Than One Perfect Solution.

    • Overpopulation is actually less of a problem than people thought it was half a century ago. Right now the world seems to be on track to level out at a population of 11 billion or so. That’s significantly more than the current ~8 billion, but it’s a much lower growth rate (and therefore less disruptive) than the population growth over the 20th century.

    • Klasie Kraalogies says

      [moderated]

      Earlier you gave 3 options. Literally no one here, and only a few nutters elsewhere like option 1 or 2. Virtually every climatologist, other scientist, concerned politician etc are pushing option 3. So just lay off with the red herrings/dead cats.

      Lots of people in the US are doing lots of wonderful work. You can follow Katherine Hayhoe for instance – climatologist and outspoken Christian who connects her faith to her climate work. You also won’t believe how many threats she gets.

      Practical action – lots is happening. More solar power, more wind turbines, better electric vehicles, production hydrogen vehicles (Toyota Mirai, look it up), etc. Even while knuckle dragging idiots like some individuals in the Wyoming house of representatives wanted to penalize utilities using renewable energy (the bill failed earlier this month, thankfully).

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        Practical action – lots is happening. More solar power, more wind turbines, better electric vehicles, production hydrogen vehicles (Toyota Mirai, look it up), etc.

        What do you think was one of Elon Musk’s goals behind Tesla Motors?
        To make practical electric cars (with the needed support systems), establishing industry standards by open-sourcing and bringing the price down (enlarging the market) with each generation.
        (I’ve heard that UPS and maybe FedEx are approaching Tesla about electrifying their delivery-truck fleets.)

        And Solar City?
        Again, making practical solar power installations (with Backup Batteries — IMPORTANT!), including scaling down to individual house size. In rural areas (along major highways) Tesla charging stations go off-grid whenever possible using Solar City photoelectric farms and PowerWalls.

        Even while knuckle dragging idiots like some individuals in the Wyoming house of representatives wanted to penalize utilities using renewable energy

        I didn’t know Wyoming was a major coal or oil producer.
        “BRING BACK COAL! MAGA!” (with or without “DEUS VULT!”)

        • Klasie Kraalogies says

          Tesla is at the forefront, but there is a wave of electric vehicles coming. Tesla went for the upper end of the market. Many others will take up the rest of the market.

          Then there is the hydrogen powered vehicles. I am particularly interested in these.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            Hydrogen is the cleanest-burning chemical fuel (NO carbon whatsoever), but there are problems with storage. Any hydrogen tank will have a slow leak; the hydrogen molecules are so small they literally squeeze through subatomic-level gaps in the molecules of whatever the hydrogen tank is made from.

            And (other than skimming Jupiter’s atom) do you get those amounts of free hydrogen? Making it from water takes more energy than it will release when burning.

  9. Oh , I forgot the evangelicals who appear to be at the very root of the problem. Really? If we can change the behavior of the evangelicals and other tribes we can solve this. We can start with Cleveland Indian fans. I want to be part of the tribe that gets casino money. Let us convince the evangelicals God wants them to farm and use no electricity as it is not mentioned in the Bible. This will be a workable plan but then what about the rest of the world?

    • Dan you’re in all the way, aren’t you man? Total commitment. You know your cause is just and you never blink. The best to you my friend. There are some hard days ahead.

      • Stephen , I have no cause,. I gave my opinion on how radical and how serious the actions might have to be following the crux of M. Bell article about solving a dire crisis that must be done by 2050 at the latest. It was a starting point to show how bleak and how hard our actions will be or we can pretend and talk about it until 2050. This country has cut down it harmful emissions but that leave 84 percent of the problem . At my age this is an abstract issue in some sense but I am on board if we as a world community is serious. If not I would like to join Al Gore and share his spartan lifestyle. Would the USA leave a better carbon footprint if we were all Amish?. Most of the other comments are not even addressing the issue but blaming groups or pushing personal pet agendas. The major contributor to greenhouse gases are evangelicals and all the other side issue meanderings . At least my thoughts would address the issue that M. Bell article brought attention to. Too many soap boxes and personal agendas that dodge M. Bell’s challenging question. So we all get electric cars, eat all vegs, get solar power on our roof by 2050? That is about as workable for the majority of the world as my turn Amish plan. Thinking our of the box does not mean putting others in your box. I was trying to suggest that we take the pain pill of truth that the first and second world people will have to lower their standard of living as most of the third world cannot not. As an individual due to age and financial status my hard days will be somewhat limited but I do care about future generations. My hard days are in the past.

        • “Most of the other comments are not even addressing the issue but blaming groups or pushing personal pet agendas.”

          What, like more nuclear power? Living more simply? Acknowledging scientific truths? What other nefarious agendas did I miss?

          “The major contributor to greenhouse gases are evangelicals and all the other side issue meanderings.”

          The major contribution of evangelicals is their almost unanimous and largely uncritical backing of politicians and policies of a denialist nature.

  10. “ As a total non scientist and a very shallow thinker it seems that it is inevitable that someday mankind will not be able to sustain themselves on a planet…”

    There’s order to Life.
    The “planet” is alive. . . .

    Who cares for whom and why?
    Does mankind ever “sustain themselves”?

    Are you writing outside mankind and outside the planet’s care?

    “Take care of what is directly in front of you”.

    Ummm.. if you’re ready this, that would be me. How do you think that’s going to happen if The Word is jailed by people of one’s and zeros and thought only as an idea, map or plan to sustain self?!!

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      Yep.

      Here is a chilling couple of lines from a recent JP Morgan Chase Risk Analysis report [’cause trust me, that crowd not a bunch of hippie leftists]: “””Although precise predictions are not possible, it is clear that the earth is on an unsustainable trajectory. Something will have to change at some point if the human race is going to survive.”””

      Read that line a few times. That is the actuaries of JP Morgan Chase.

      The is-it-isn’t-it nature of the public Climate Change debates is so meta-exhausting. There is no debate among the adults in the room.

  11. https://www.sbs.com.au/news/labor-commits-to-net-zero-emissions-by-2050-but-can-t-tell-you-what-it-costs

    This will be interesting and informative to see how Australia votes on this. With the fires on the front burner of the news, it is ripe for Australia to take drastic action.

    Timely article

  12. When the planet’s oceans have had their salinity reduced by polar ice-cap melt and can no longer retain the heat they once had, what then?

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      The Rapture, of course.
      “Look up, for thy Redemption draweth nigh.”
      (And don’t forget the History Written in Advance of “It’s All Gonna Burn”…)

      • Norma Cenva says

        It was a fair question.
        Would it not mean the start of a new Ice Age?

        • Unlikely. The overwhelming factor is the amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The last time CO2 levels were this high was in the Eocene. There were palm trees in the Arctic latitudes back then.

  13. There is no one solution but many. Switching to LED light bulbs, changing eating habits, recycling, carbon offsetting, transitioning to hybrid, then electric and hydrogen vehicles etc. will each have a benefit. None of those things are draconian. Some of them I do or I’ve made progress on and some I haven’t but would like to do better. Once everyone gets on board and the creative juices start flowing it will get even better. If we do it right, it will create new business and help the economy. It may even be fun. Seems to me.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      My condo is now fully LED (except for a couple compact fluorescent fixtures), and when I retire to a Red State (and get a REAL house) in a couple years, I’m budgeting for solarization with possible EV charging. All-electic house, solar roof, co-generation deal with the grid, and EV in the garage (with private charging station) make a whole lot of sense on both sides of the aisle. Only problem is price; the price needs to keep coming down for more and more people to afford the same.

      Still makes sense to keep one fuelburner in a household, though. Preferably a classic SUV or pickup with some rough-terrain and hauling capacity where needed. Just it wouldn’t be the primary vehicle, but special-purpose.

      Problem is today we have All-or-Nothing Idealist factions going at each others’ throats (like the half-white and half-black aliens in that one Star Trek TOS episode) while the vast majority watch, shrug, connect, and resolve to have NOTHING to do with any of them or their Sacred Causes. “Yeah… Whatever…”

      • One of the bigger stores near me now carries/sells 99% LED lights. I was looking for a “normal” bulb there the other day, without luck.

        • Good luck with that. At first I was uncomfortable with which LEDs to buy. There was a learning curve to it. But the ball is rolling now. They are getting continually better at creating LEDs that can mimic quite well in shape and output the incandescents that it replaces.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            And when a big EMP (either high-altitude nuke or solar superstorm) takes out all the LEDs and Electronics?

            I always keep a couple older incandescents as emergency backup. 19th Century incandescent technology is a lot simpler and harder to gimmick. The more elaborate, the more things in the chain there are to break down.

            Also, there was a media dust-up a couple years ago how all our lightbulbs are Made In China and that there was no domestic lightbulb production or industry. We have to depend on the kindness of the (pre-coronavirus) People’s Republic of China for most everything. “They don’t need to invade us; they only need to foreclose on us.”

      • Sounds like a good plan. I think I might be able to afford an electric vehicle for my next one. I realize that I will have to keep it quite a while before it results in a net decrease in CO2.

  14. For climate change, I always like to use the good old Josh McDowell line “Evidence that demands a verdict.” Evidence seems to be pretty strong.

    But even without the scientific evidence (some which Mike the Bell points to), there’s the evidence I can see and experience every single change of season these past few years. Like…

    – Having to mow my lawn on February 2nd this year (this is in Seattle!) because the mild temperatures have already caused my grass to grow.

    – The past THREE years, mowing my lawn as late as November 30th—while wearing SHORTS—because it was so mild.

    – Flooding here, there, and everywhere. In fact, here in rainy Seattle, we had a MONTH’S worth of rain come in two days last month.

    So all my climate change deniers can continue to stick their collective heads in the sand and say, Bay, Humbug, but they’re just not looking at facts OR what’s going on around them.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Oh, they’re looking at facts.
      “Alternative Facts(TM).”
      What you call “facts” is all LIES! FAKE NEWS! THE LIBRULS! WHAT “THEY” WANT US TO THINK!

      (Trumpism just provided a focal point for existing attitudes and currents and Conspiracy-a-Go-Go is a pandemic.)

      • I have a “Trump Uber Alles” friend who is constantly spouting the line, “Fake News!”

        My retort to anything he says now — even his cries of “Fake News” — is, of course: “Fake News!”

        So whenever I hear him say, “That’s fake news,” I just say, “No, THAT’S fake news.”

    • David Greene says

      “– Having to mow my lawn on February 2nd this year (this is in Seattle!) because the mild temperatures have already caused my grass to grow”

      Plus all that rain we had for 30 days in a row.

  15. Perhaps the most drastic action that is needed is for our society to somehow pivot from a narrative of despair to a narrative of hope. And that’s where we as people of faith ought to be leading the way, rather than giving in to the voices of fear and scarcity and division.

    • Klasie Kraalogies says

      Strongly support this. Hope can drive the fear out.

    • Sometimes, “hope” (as in “it’s all gonna be OK”) is NOT warranted. What would we, as people of faith, have to say in *that* circumstance?

      • Adam Tauno Williams says

        Right. I don’t see what Hope accomplishes; as I do not see any substantive basis for any.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          “Then we may as well all hold hands and walk into a chopper blade.”
          — Dr Hawkeye Pierce, 4077th M*A*S*H

        • –> ” I don’t see what Hope accomplishes; as I do not see any substantive basis for any.”

          Seriously? I mean… if it eases a person’s fear, that’s substantive! Or maybe you haven’t seen fear take ahold of people like I have.

          • “Adults keep saying: “We owe it to the young people to give them hope.” But I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.

            I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.”

            – Greta Thunberg

            • Will fear actually motivate people to work together toward the common goal of climate change amelioration? A degree of fear may be salutary in producing motivation, but panic never helps resolve any situation. Panic leads to irrationality — you can’t come together to fix the problem if everybody’s running around in a state of unreasoning panic.

              • “And when I say that I want you to panic I mean that we need to treat the crisis as a crisis. When your house is on fire you don’t sit down and talk about how nice you can rebuild it once you put out the fire. If your house is on fire you run outside and make sure that everyone is out while you call the fire department. That requires some level of panic.” – Greta Thunberg

                • We are the fire department. Once we put on our firefighter’s helmets, there can be no room for panic. Firefighters die when there’s panic.

                • I don’t want to argue with Greta. I admire her and what she’s doing. I just don’t think panic is ever a good idea, it’s only one remove from manic.

                  • she’s one voice among many,
                    but she has been easy to pick on for trump and his ilk . . . .

                    I don’t she cares about the bullies . . . she is seeing too far ahead for that

                  • She is speaking the language of urgency, and I refuse to criticize her for it.

                    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                      Problem with “speaking the language of urgency”.
                      We’ve been hearing URGENCY URGENCY URGENCY on a continuous basis since The Sixties(TM), much of it contradicting the next URGENT GLOBAL EMERGENCY replacing it in a week or two.

                      As Strauss & How put it in their 13th Gen, Another Urgent Emergency That Will Kill Us All added to the prior 5,827 Urgent Emergencies We Must Do Something About NOW!”

                      And these Dire Predictions almost never come to pass with the Activists’ Promised Severity, resulting in 5,827-and-counting cries of “THIS IS IT! WOLF! WOLF! WOLF!”
                      * Remember The Population Bomb circa 1970, how Overpopulation was Going To Crash Civilization and Kill Us All before The Year 2000?
                      * Remember how The Coming Ice Age (“GLOBAL COOLING!”) was going to kill us all in the Seventies? “WOLF! WOLF! WOLF””
                      * Remember how The Ozone Hole was going to spread all over the world and kill us all? “WOLF! WOLF! WOLF!” (This one had more substance than usual, but what tricked down to us Lowborn was how the new Ozone-friendly non-CFC replacements were much more expensive, inflating prices and leading to muttering of how it was all a scam to gouge the rest of us.)
                      * Remember how Y2K was going to destroy all electronics on 01/01/00, auto-launch all the nukes, crash the entire power and transporation grids and ALL technology, and Kill Us All? “WOLF! WOLF! WOLF!”

                      And now we have Climate Change, first taken up by the same Professional Activists. “THIS IS IT! REALLY! WOLF! WOLF! WOLF!”

                      After the past 60 years of crying “WOLF! WOLF! WOLF!” have killed any credibility to the cry. Result? Everyone tunes it out as just another Crying Wolf.

                    • This one has a vast majority of front-line scientists behind it, and not just a couple of publicity-seeking populizers. In fact, many climate scientists are starting to develop chronic depression and anxiety issues based on what they’re finding.

                    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                      Remember the point of the fable:

                      The boy had cried “WOLF! WOLF! WOLF!” so many times with no results that when the Wolf REALLY came calling nobody believed his cry. Nobody.

                    • David Greene says

                      “Remember the point of the fable: The boy had cried “WOLF! WOLF! WOLF!” so many times with no results that when the Wolf REALLY came calling nobody believed his cry. Nobody.”

                      This is just crazy talk. The Ozone Hole really was the wolf and we hunted it down and killed it. Acid rain was a wolf and we hunted it down and killed it.

                      Don’t even get me going on “The Coming Ice Age” canard (oh wait, you did) – Time and Newsweek covers are not, repeat not, peer reviewed scientific literature. In the 70’s worming papers greatly outnumbered a few cooling papers. And the cooling papers were not predicting an Ice Age, they were studies of cooling mechanisms – there are both warming and cooling mechanisms going on, the warming are dominant but it is legitimate to study both. The one that triggered Time and Newsweek spoke of the cooling effect of sulfate aresols. Time and Newsweek ran with alarmist BS ‘cuz they wanted to sell magazines.

          • Adam Tauno Williams says

            > if it eases a person’s fear, that’s substantive!

            Not really. It depends on the person. If you preach Hope to comfortably affluent people what you will get is exactly nothing at all. They will say “oh, it’s cool then?” and they will roll over and go back to sleep.

            > Or maybe you haven’t seen fear take ahold of people like I have.

            I don’t see gripping fear related to Climate Change; really anywhere.

            I’m not in panic, I don’t advocate panic. it is more resigned-despair. Hope seems silly; and again, in the hands of the affluent Hope is a sedentary notion.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Perhaps the most drastic action that is needed is for our society to somehow pivot from a narrative of despair to a narrative of hope.

      But Despair is SOOOOOOO Delicious!
      Woe! Woe! Woe!
      Angst! Angst! Angst!

      And that’s where we as people of faith ought to be leading the way, rather than giving in to the voices of fear and scarcity and division.

      Instead, they’re leading the way in Despair. That scares ’em into the Kingdom, walks them down the aisle, puts tithing butts in the pews.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        P.S.
        And creates a fanatical political base to offer to Caesar quid pro quo.

        (The two Archetypes of Antichrist work very well as a tag team — the Fanatic Persecutor provides the Threat to Flee, and the Slick Deceiver offers the Refuge from that Threat, for a price of course. Draw what parallels you may.)

      • we can’t stop the increase in the pace of the ice/snow melting in Antarctica . . . it is accelerating

        our world is ‘changing’ faster and faster and faster . . . .

        and we watch this as we watch the destruction of American democracy, with an apathy unmatched for even our own time

        time-warp?

        make another pot of coffee, make a list . . . another list of ‘things to do’ . . . . shower up, and begin and do not let that which we cannot control define us utterly

    • time for people to take another look at “Integrity of Life”, Damaris Zehner’s wonderful blog . . . there is much we CAN do that makes sense now, but we need to BEGIN while we still can, because in past centuries when things were terrifying for people, they kept trying, which means to me that we humans are ‘saved by hope’ in more ways than one

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8atiWAMjoY&feature=youtu.be

  16. senecagriggs says

    I do believe, one hundred percent, in weather change.

  17. time for people to take another look at “Integrity of Life”, Damaris Zehner’s wonderful blog . . . there is much we CAN do that makes sense now, but we need to BEGIN while we still can, because in past centuries when things were terrifying for people, they kept trying, which means to me that we humans are ‘saved by hope’ in more ways than one

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8atiWAMjoY&feature=youtu.be

  18. Unfortunately, I think the world will be too busy handling a coronavirus pandemic to care or do much about anthropogenic climate change over the next few years. God help us all.

    • I’m not worried so much about a Spanish Flu-level die off as I am the economic disruptions.

      • senecagriggs says

        Me too

      • Not Spanish Flu level maybe, but 2% mortality, combined with another 10% of infected needing intensive care to survive (that is actually a conservative estimate of the need for intensive care, which may be as high as 15% of infected, or so I’ve been reading), and you quickly have health system overload, even in developed, affluent countries.

      • A dozen towns in northern Italy on lock down after a cluster of coronavirus cases — apparently without direct connection to Chinese outbreak — and two resultant deaths reported.

        • Michael Bell says

          A friend of one of the victims had been to China.

          • I read that there is strong evidence that carriers may be asymptomatic, and may transmit the virus to numerous others while not developing illness themselves. That is a very bad news.

            • Do you have a link, Robert F ?

              my brother and the family went to China for my nephew’s wedding to a Chinese girl that he met at university, and they returned ‘unscathed’ and are home, thank God. . . . but your comment makes me fearful as my brother is a practicing physician . . . . yep, this is concerning

              I guess we have much to learn about this virus, but I had hoped my family escaped contamination.

              • I hope and pray that your brother and his family are okay, Christiane. And I pray for successful containment of the novel coronavirus and a quick end to this crisis.

                • as far as I know, all is well with my family . . . but the worry doesn’t end if there are ‘delayed’ symptoms or the virus can have ‘carriers’ who are not themselves afflicted

                  wow, wake up call for me . . . thanks for link

                  • The evidence for the existence of asymptomatic carriers is still not conclusive, but has grown over the last couple weeks,especially with this latest case. A lot is still unknown about the way this virus works.

  19. senecagriggs says

    Speaking of the Russians/Putin’
    instead of helping Trump get re-elected they’ve been trying to help Bernie. I guess they prefer Bernie’s policies.

  20. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    Does anyone remember some Big Climate Change Conference or something held in Sicily some time last year?

    Including the news items that so may of the Important and Celebrity Attendees flew there in their Private Jets that there was NO ground parking space left at any airport in Sicily? Had to start stashing the latecoming Private Jets at mainland airports and those were filling up?

    When I heard that on morning drive-time, by first thought was WRONG MESSAGE TO SEND!

  21. Hello, you used to write excellent, but the last several posts have been kinda boring?
    I miss your super writings. Past several posts are just a little out of track!
    come on!