I’ve poisoned and polluted myself by trying to post a few comments on some of the climate denial articles that have recently come out. I need a shower.
What is very, very clear to me is climate denialists have no grasp of the basic science that has measured global warming. Truly ridiculous and inane arguments are trotted out over and over. None make any sense at all, once you understand the basic science and how the entire “warming” arguments (and evidence) came about. Virtually all of their arguments have been soundly disproved over and over again, but they’re still being used as their defense against global warming.
There is also a very clear trend to ensure that such articles have a large number of comments. The trolls and deniers “feed” off of each other, injecting conjecture, straw arguments, logical fallacies, and attack the messenger type of commentary. They have no interest in logical arguments or scientific facts, research, evidence or even the scientific method. This is especially clear from the American comments found on most articles.
In a country that prides itself on being “informed”, “free” and even reasonably intelligent, I find no evidence of any of these three claims on any of these sites. The minds of these commentators are so terribly enslaved to such a degree that no amount of discussion, arguments or evidence will persuade them to change their minds.
Judith Curry, that long-standing “scientific” climate denier, has just resigned her position at the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech. I’m glad to be honest. I’ve read up on Curry, seen her arguments and claims and found her seriously lacking. Her position was indefensible and frankly, I think she is resigning in disgrace. Good riddance.
If you’ve kept up with the news, you are aware that Big Oil has been funding climate denial to the tune of millions of dollars per year. Exxon was recently exposed at hiding their own climate research results, which unequivocally stated that burning fossil fuels would change the climate of the planet. It is a common theme in America – pollute the actual narrative and interject your own. Oh, and make tons of money while doing it (which was always the real point).
Long-time readers will know that this is the same type of manipulation I’ve found on other websites too, and not just those that deal with climate change denialism. Prepper sites, survivalist sites, news sites, patriot sites, conspiracy sites, “alternative sites”. If the topic is controversial, it’s always a “dog pile” of ridiculous and inane “arguments” from the unintelligent American “right” who is astoundingly wrong about almost everything. And I’m not even a liberal!
This situation, whatever you may want to call it, is so bad now that it is hard to believe that it can get any worse. But that is my point – it is escalating on these sites.
I’m not alone in this observation, mentioned on the blog several times in the past. How climate scientists should explain the unacceptable risk of doing nothing on global warming mentions the following:
To the editor: Ben Santer, a scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, has an uphill battle to convince people that climate change is man-made. The controversy is promoted by groups that have something to lose. Education will work with some people, but too many make their decision based on political opinion. (“Can a federal government scientist in California convince Trump that climate change is real?” Dec. 30)
I propose that simple risk assessment be used to determine our course of action.
If climate change is not from human activities and we proceed with efforts to correct it, then some money is wasted and the fossil fuel industry will suffer. The green industry will prosper with jobs gained, we will probably get cleaner air to breath, and we will have less dependence on foreign oil.
If climate change is from human activities and we do nothing, the results could be devastating. The world could lose vast forests along with the watersheds. Grasslands could die off with new dust bowls. Our supplies of food and fresh water could be devastated. People in hardest-hit areas stand to be displaced. The next extinction could be humans.
To the editor: I love that Santer is leaving the sidelines and entering the public arena, but it’s telling that Donald Trump’s victory can still “shock” the scientists who study climate change. One would think that people who live with the problem daily and see American inaction would live in a state of shock, but they don’t.
I think everyone here well knows that America has once again, taken the wrong path. Far from being that “America is a shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere“, America has become more then a cesspool of violence, callousness and war-mongering – it has become an nation of imbeciles.
There are now so many imbeciles in America that it boggles my ability to try and estimate their number. It’s large number – very large. And their numbers are still growing.
I don’t know how much this is going to affect any efforts to deal with climate mitigation or climate adaption, but I don’t think climate science is going make much headway against this horde of consummate zombies, I really don’t. The Trump (s)Election will undoubtedly make things worse too. Trump has heavily staffed his cabinet with science-deniers, climate change deniers and industry executives.
Now to my point: Given the realities of this unfolding suicide, what happens next? American Stupid is growing, while climate change is getting worse. Denial and inaction is keeping pace with rising temperatures (maybe their related? Impaired brain function?). There’s been an uptick too in religious fervor and fundamentalism, never a good thing. It appears to me that a rising state of fascist fever is just ahead, less then a month or so away (give it a few weeks after the inauguration).
Climate scientist are already alarmed. They’ve been frantically copying their data over the concern that their research may be compromised. Budgets, staff, funding and involvement of their activities in climate science have already been examined by the Trump team. Some have expressed feelings that an axe is coming, cleaving the scientific research community apart.
I hope that does not happen. Humans NEED to know what is happening within the biosphere. Denial does not make any of these events go away. It just makes us more stupid then ever while continuing to make things worse and worse. But that is exactly what appears to be on the rise, a new form of American Stupid.
The effects of this new ‘era of stupid’ will be profound throughout the entire world. Many countries follow the lead of the United States. Many look to the US for direction, policy, support and of course, trade. All of this activity has a direct impact upon climate contributions – the greenhouse gases that are created, the amount of resources traded and consumed and the respective governments and industry directions taken. Oil and gas, in particular, will see a boom in development, which is going to be very bad (catastrophic) for the climate. Since CO₂ is very long lived in the atmosphere, what we do today will be ‘remembered’ in the climate impacts for thousands of years from now.
Obviously, Trump doesn’t understand any of this or accept it, and neither do any of his supporters or any of the climate deniers. So we’ve also entered into an age of intense indifference. Not one of these people express any concern for a habitable future, only the hear and now, the immediate gratification and satiated feeling of ‘progress’ is desired.
It will be bad, bad time for the Earth and all of its inhabitants. To be honest here, I do not think we will survive these excesses. I never did, but it will all speed up now. Trump policies, combined with the growing levels of stupid will certainly kill any possibility for restorative efforts and salvaging a livable biosphere. And the astounding part of all this is none of these humans even care. They don’t believe any of it. I don’t think they ever will, even when their homes are flooded, destroyed or the supermarkets are empty of food. The delusion they’ve embraced is so pervasive that no new level of reality will change that.
Therefore – what do “we” do? Among the humans of the Earth, there are a lot of us that do care, but we remain ineffective and powerless. In many ways, we are now the “deer in the headlights” being run over by the freight train of rising stupid. So far, our efforts to get off these tracks have completely failed, but not for lack of information, but for lack of intelligent people. The capacity for change is there, but the desire, willingness and ideology is not. There is also a severe lack of intelligence and understanding.
There have been many efforts already made to change this, to raise intelligence, awareness, understanding and effect even ideology, but this too is failing. The rise of ISIS is similar to the rise of religious fundamentalism in America, or the rise of fascism, white supremacism and every other “ism” that has raised its ugly head in recent years. I believe that this is all a sign of desperation and dissatisfaction and loss of power and control by the institutions involved, but knowing this doesn’t help solve it. In a declining world of resource and escalating competition for survival, I doubt that it is solvable. It is most probably the logical outcome of human behavior – to turn against itself and devour from within while utterly destroying everything without.
So returning again to the question – what do “we” do, leads me to believe that we can only try to endure, outwit and outlast these nitwits and hope that this ‘strategy’ will be better then head-on engagement and targeted assassinations of us and them. Education and discourse also being desirable of course, but the trend is pretty clear enough as it is – they’re simply not interested.
Hollywood is a lousy source for real instruction, but surviving these zombies is a strategy that Hollywood might have gotten right. You’ll need to fortify yourselves, harden both your minds and your hearts and fortify your “fortress” where you live to endure the age of stupid that is now unfolding. This is a defensive-only tactic, which in warfare does not “win” any battles. You endure the battle. I admit that it is not the best advice, but frankly, I’m not allowed to write the best advice and put it into print. And I know people, we will always choose the easier path anyway.
If you can – pick out “a few” whom show an interest or capacity for change. Share with them what you know. They might yet come around. As for the rest – turn your backs upon them. That’s what I am doing. It may not be the best advice either, but I’m more then fed up with their bullshit. The way I see it, it’s occupied France all over again and it’s time to build up a resistance. The Nazi’s have invaded, their fascism and stupidity, indifference, callousness and crimes are on the rise and I for one, do not want to help them in any way. They’ve declared themselves, by virtue of their stated beliefs, actions and intentions, the enemy of life. I simply cannot go along with that.
So decide for yourselves what your strategy will be. Until I learn otherwise, this is what I intend to do.
5 thoughts on “American Stupid”
“free falling” without brakes or even awareness can never end well. At what point in a crash scenario do you just close your eyes and thank the universe you had an opportunity to experience – even if it was fkn morons crowding out reality? Deek and I have been laughing for a long time now that Right now, this very moment, is a ‘good’ as it ever can/will be again. And this has been true every moment since well before I was born if not also since primates first climbed out of the trees to stand upright ( aka kill shit on the ground, followed by the entire Earth. Bad bad monkeys, No banana, No Twinkie, No iTampon. it’s ‘just’ lie-arrhea ‘all the way down’.
It’s actually a fair question. I’m glad for the opportunity to have existed, but once I’m gone, I’ll never ‘remember’ anything. So my gladness and appreciation is temporary and ultimately, illusionary, a purely human-centric fleeting moment in the great span of time.
I do not mean to be morbid, but ‘life’ is not fair, it is cruel, even unusual punishment. Everything we desire, build, love and share is stolen away from us at death, literally ‘forever’. That’s cruel. It’s even unusual when you consider that life is only here.
Everything else (as far as we know) is non-life, non-feeling, non-sentient. Cold, dark, lifeless. No consciousness, no ‘spark’, no emotion, just cold dark space and matter.
Which is ultimately what we turn back into.
So yes, I appreciate what I have, while I have it. Not too happy about what is coming when it is all stolen away from me. But even this thought is purely human, purely centric and ultimately even meaningless.
It is hard to let go. To watch all life be destroyed and die. To witness and even be a unwilling participant to such callous disregard.
I can’t change that, but I wish I could.
Sadly I must agree with what you have written.
Over 50 years of living off the almost-free energy delivered by American oil has completely addled the brains of most Americans.
The few Americans who have talked sense, going back to M. King Hubbert in 1956 and Admiral Rickover in 1957, have been ignored.
Rickover was wrong in promoting nuclear but was right in saying that the high life would be temporary and that the energy that was available should be used to decouple from fossil fuels.
‘With high energy consumption goes a high standard of living. Thus the enormous fossil energy which we in this country control feeds machines which make each of us master of an army of mechanical slaves. Man’s muscle power is rated at 35 watts continuously, or one-twentieth horsepower. Machines therefore furnish every American industrial worker with energy equivalent to that of 244 men, while at least 2,000 men push his automobile along the road, and his family is supplied with 33 faithful household helpers. Each locomotive engineer controls energy equivalent to that of 100,000 men; each jet pilot of 700,000 men. Truly, the humblest American enjoys the services of more slaves than were once owned by the richest nobles, and lives better than most ancient kings. In retrospect, and despite wars, revolutions, and disasters, the hundred years just gone by may well seem like a Golden Age……
For it is an unpleasant fact that according to our best estimates, total fossil fuel reserves recoverable at not over twice today’s unit cost, are likely to run out at some time between the years 2000 and 2050, if present standards of living and population growth rates are taken into account. Oil and natural gas will disappear first, coal last. There will be coal left in the earth, of course. But it will be so difficult to mine that energy costs would rise to economically intolerable heights, so that it would then become necessary either to discover new energy sources or to lower standards of living drastically.’
Of course at the time of Hubbert and Rickover, modern climate science was just in its infancy (Keeling began measuring atmospheric CO2 around then) and world population was only just over 2 billion.
Good write-up on the destabilizing AMOC (Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation): The Atlantic Ocean and an Actual Debate in Climate Science
Not so long ago, I remember Real Climate pissing on anyone who dared mention this ‘acceleration’. So did Scribbler. Both were wrong.
James Hansen has this to say: “You can’t fix the climate model simulation via ‘bias removal’—you should fix what is wrong with the model physics,” he said in an email. “They are doubling CO2, letting that change the temperature, rainfall, etc. and seeing what that does to the AMOC in their model. It’s been more than 35 million years since we had that much CO2 in the air, and sea level was more than 200 feet higher then. If we (humanity) are so stupid as to double CO2, you can count on the AMOC to shut down much faster than 300 years.”
There is constant revisions occurring on models, understanding and ongoing measurements. Always (so far) pointing to worse and worse (as far habitat / survival is concerned). Never have I seen where anything is ‘improving’. I don’t expect to either.
just HAD to share this – perfect description