596 Comments

ever since 1970, we've had irrefutable data that climate disaster was headed our way. who had this data? EXXON! astonishingly, exxon scientists had the most incredibly accurate climate modelling data -- sometimes MORE accurate than what academic scientists had regarding climate change and its human causes. (this came from last weekend's WNYC programming if you want to learn more)

climate disaster is no secret. it's no lie. we've known about it and publicly commented on it since, literally, 1900 and even earlier. as a kid growing up in a small farming community on west coast amerikkka, i CERTAINLY knew about it because i clearly remember my nightmares from back then.

this lack of journalistic rigour and -- let's face it -- lack of journalistic HONESTY regarding the causes of california's floods is no different than the reasons that trump still roams free: lies that are paid for by elites and corporations. it's outrageous and shameful and inexcusable that anything but the unbastardized TRUTH about climate collapse is being reported anywhere in the world today. even steve forbes, the CEO of my publication, went on the record last week in a short opinion video making a series of muddled claims and science-free arguments that the planet was not in any danger from human overconsumption.

but journalistic honesty does not serve the elites nor corporations, whose only goal, it appears, is to accumulate more of everything (especially money), by ripping it out of the hands of the working class whom they've forced into modern slavery. they also place the burden squarely on the shoulders of the working class to solve this MASSIVE problem, ignoring the FACT that one elite white man emits hundreds of times more carbon in their quest for more More MORE than, sometimes, entire nations.

the 1% should be ashamed at their insane levels of greed and consumption and waste, but they aren't. this is a badge of honour -- to them. meanwhile, we burn and drown and watch the planet become completely depauperate of any and all living things that don't create huge profits for the slave masters.

Expand full comment
Jan 16, 2023·edited Jan 16, 2023

It has occurred to me that Musk's preoccupation with settling Mars was >always< a smoke screen. He's investigating means of "terraforming" an uninhabitable planet. Put a pin in that, for a moment. If not that, he's investigating how to devise self-contained, artificial environments to shelter those having enough cash to afford such a domicile. I understand he wants to build an orbiting mansion for himself. How about orbiting foundries & factories that rely on the human resources supplied by orbiting prisons? All that may seem a bit of a sci-fi proposition, but the technology is available and up there working >as I write about it<. It has yet to be developed to it's >full< nightmare dystopian potential - and Musk is on its vanguard. What's worse is that it's >history<. Can you say "Australia?" Just because it's an old plot in sci-fi doesn't mean someone hasn't read about it and considered it a good, money-making proposition that will garner a "certain kind" of political support. (How far do you trust Q-publicans with power over this nation's destiny?) After all, private sector prisons >are< a thing. At some point, such an indenture could be the only repose from the impending climate disaster, as well.

Meditate on that concept for a few minutes before you blow it off as rubbish. Just sayin'.

Expand full comment
Jan 16, 2023·edited Jan 16, 2023

I suspect ideas of a base for mining is at heart of returning to the moon as well.

It's probably only way NASA got any funding for Artemis.

I used to love space exploration, which it what it used to be, but when I started hearing about colonization and mining. I knew the corporate profit machine had seized control of this as well. 💔

Expand full comment

Agreed! The corporate profit machine is not content with just destroying this planet! Boundless greed.

Expand full comment

We need a paradigm shift toward the circular economy, in which everything is recycled. Mother Nature recycles everything, and so should we if we want to survive. Until our for-profit economic system is replaced by a circular system, history will repeat itself.

Expand full comment

and make // require - doubtful - the producers of the plastics et al pollutants

entering the total planetary environment - responsible for the clean up and

recycling and cessation of further production - But like I said - all of this is

highly doubtful - ref: cost effectiveness eating into mega prophets (misspelling intentional) -

Expand full comment

The job of government is to establish the rules for the playing field called The Economy, The Market. If and only if governments get in tune with Mother Nature will we survive.

Expand full comment

Including the military. Honolulu water issues come to mind.

Expand full comment

It strikes me that everything is circular, Stan. Nature recycles, and history works in cycles, as well. Perhaps....if we humans wreck our planet irreparably, we'll be recycled by Nature, and maybe our history will come full circle: we'll start at our most primitive beginning again. The whole process taking eons, of course.

Expand full comment

Denise, I've been reading about archaeological rediscorery of several ancient cultures = Troy, Greece, Egypt (my fav), Rome, in the Americas et al, & now Knossos on Crete. And all of them -

'was done in' by some natural catalysmic event OR human overpopulation exploiting to death the environments that - evolved - these cultures. So, YES, Nature DOES recycle virtually everything naturally. It's when dealing with the human concocted synthetics (plastics in all it's forms derived mostly from petroleum products) that Nature has difficulty in the recycling process, since most of those synthetics do NOT exist in the natural realm... Sigh ~~ ~

Expand full comment

Our environmental & societal collapse could, & likely will, happen in a very short time, & we may be a lot closer to that point than most people realize.

Expand full comment

Put the NASA mission in perspective with my comment elsewhere about its true, original mission. China's sniffin' 'round on the moon, and it'll wind up being a new "space race" - if you remember that old chestnut.

Expand full comment

Indeed! You clearly understand what I'm talking about.

Expand full comment

I just finished ready a series of sci-fi stories by a British writer E. C. Tubb: 'Earl Dumarest Saga' written from 1975 to about 1984 & 31 stories all sequential. It's set in the far far far future post apocolypse on Planet Earth // Terra, where Earl Dumarest, as a boy, has stowed away on a space ship, bound for - who knows where - and all the stories are about his future life and his quest of finding and returning to the planet of his birth.

Very engrossing, but I doubt more than a few episodes are currently available. I collected them from the beginning, having worked in the wholesale/retail book biz back then.

And, in my opinion, the story lines are a - forcaste - of how human behavior didn't/hasn't/won't change as a whole - for the better... And, in a very real sense we're

seeing that happen - now ~ ~ ~

Expand full comment

Anyone seen AVATAR 1 & 2 lately?

Expand full comment

DZK, Musk is a megalomaniac! He had a few ideas like his electric cars, but he doesn't have the wherewithall to see projects through and he treats workers so poorly they can't produce the quality products Musk claims to be making. He is addicted to attention and is into blaming everyone else for his "failures." He doesn't learn from his failures either except that he can use his money to cause all kinds of havoc and will still be covered by the media as though he is some kind of genius. I can see him drawing up the blueprints for prison factories in space, on earth too if he is permitted. We already have privatized prisons which is a start in that direction. Whoever came up with the idea of private prisons should be in one of them, say for a year. If someone is committed to prison for a crime, it is up to the state to see to the prison, not pay a bunch of money to a private corporation to run it. This is disgusting and needs to stop. The problem, most people don't care and Republicans like not having to take responsibility for imprisoning people for minor crimes while they are committing major ones. Ugh!

Expand full comment

Regarding Musk, a little research reveals he did NOT create Tesla, but was rather an INVESTOR. He was not getting the attention he craved and had an internal fight for control with the TRUE founders of the company. A settlement was reached by Musk where for $$$$, he would be able to title himself also as a "founder" and be the "face" of the company. Musk is VERY similar to Trump in his extreme narcissist disease and unending craving for attention. A carnival barker comes to mind, a habit of overpromising and underdelivering. (ex: operable Self-driving feature) The SAD part is that corporate media worships those with money and believes that if someone made enormous money in one thing, they must be great at EVERYTHING. The "journalists" never bothered to investigate the con man Musk for who he is and find out exactly HOW that wealth was made. Maybe his "modern day slaves", I mean his workers, had just a little to do with it. Imagine a "man" being angry and pouting because he wanted his slaves to continue working at his Fremont Tesla plant in the middle and worst part of the covid pandemic and the State of California said, because of the closeness of the workers and other health concerns, he would have to shut down for a period of time. He disobeyed the State orders and made his slaves work ANYWAY and many got covid. Then he closed the factory and moved it to Texas. Megalomaniacs with NO COMPASSION FOR HUMANITY HAVE NO PLACE CONTROLLING OR LEADING PEOPLE!!

Expand full comment

The equivalent comparison of EM to DT could be summed up like this-

Elon had just as many friends growing up that worked in his daddy's South African Diamond mine- As Donald had as many friends that lived in his daddy's slums in NYC...

Just sayin'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Expand full comment

Small correction. Emerald mine.

Expand full comment

Lonnie, that paints a powerful picture we should all pay attention to. Thanks!

Expand full comment

Thankfully we will see justice in our lifetimes and the oligarchs worldwide will learn what suffering is. There was a study released last year in Seattle by a billionaire Chip? Hanoyer?

That unequivocally stated that since the 1970’s- when the 0.1% began the onslaught of the middle class and all others- except themselves- that EVERY adult in the USA would have earned the equivalent of an additional $100,000 per year in income, had the tables not been turned through the Offshoring of industrial capabilities that have decimated the entire economy, except the most affluent people in America.

A self imposed imperialism- if you will.

Also, I had read Elon’s father had a diamond mine, if it was just gemstones… it’s synonymous with the wealth it takes to operate a mine that produces raw materials from the earth. Just ask Joe Manchin!

Expand full comment

As a manufactures rep in Silicon Valley, I had the pleasure of working with the true founder of Tesla at a number of companies before he displayed the courage and foresight to establish a new electric car company in Northern California. Thank you for bringing this fact to the attention of the members of this sub stack. We must defend ourselves from megalomaniacs that want to control our world. They very well could be the one's who will determine the future of AI. A scary thought.

Expand full comment

David, knowing there was a true genius involved with developing the Tesla and other electric vehicles gives me hope. I am guessing that genius doesn't whine, lie about everything, abuse workers, and throw his weight around for attention. What a relief that I don't have to worry about geniuses as much as I did when I thought Musk might be one.

Expand full comment

You are correct.

Expand full comment

Thank you for that correction, Jim. Like too many billionaires, Musk is given credit for things he never did, like Tesla. Musk is a leech (a blood sucking worm) the best definition I can think of for this parasitic loser. Some segment of America have become so addicted to celebrity they adulate the worst scumbags we produce. (Yes, I know he is South African by birth)

Expand full comment

Fay, yes, Musk is a scumbag no matter where he is from. It is just too bad we happen to have so many of them here right now. Why isn't the media bringing out the facts about Musk's "professional" life? I know, I know, money lets people hang in the shadows if they want, or rather since Musk wants to be in the limelight all the time, he just wants his background to remain in the shadows and people to think as I did that he is a genius. He's just another rich whiny white boy.

Expand full comment

Jim, thank you so much for the info about Musk. I did not do my homework and allowed myself to be persuaded by the media that Musk was a genius and I led me to believe he was the inventor of the Tesla car and the other things he was into. Wow! That is a good lesson, do my own research on all the figures the media puts forward. I usually do, but somehow, like a whole lot of people, I did believe Musk was a tech genius when he was just a rich guy? Oh lord! How did I miss that? That lowers him in my opinion a lot, to the point that I don't even have to think about him. How anyone who knew he was a jerk could have let him "pretend" to buy Twitter (he got investors so it is impossible at this point to know just how much he really did pay and to whom. Gag!

Expand full comment

Musk did make a lot of money with PayPal, an internet payment service, allowing him to invest in Tesla. But, even that story has unflattering dealings with his business partners. As I understand, Musk was partnered with others (sound familiar) pushing them to primarily focus on his invention, and the other investors were keener on theirs, known as PayPal. He eventually sold his shares in PayPal. Musk seems to have a history of difficulty working WITH people.

Expand full comment

When I worked at PayPal I never saw any code in the repository under Elon's name. The only co-founder who contributed code that I saw was Max Levchin. Maybe he posted under X Æ A-Xii Sr.?

Expand full comment

HAH! Even before I learned the truth from Jim, I felt there was something not legit about Musk. Never regarded him as anything but pond scum. Now I know why!

Expand full comment

Appreciate the info on Tesla's origins, Jim. Did not know those facts.

Expand full comment

Granted, Musk has likely shot his space plans in the foot with his massive ego. However, I'm almost certain someone far, far quieter, cleverer, and more antisocial is conniving a way to pick up where L'enfant terrible fell on his damn kisser.

Expand full comment

overt narcissism.

Expand full comment

Hi, Ruth, Little by little, the private sector has been buying out the government since Ronald Reagan (or before?). The buyout of prisons is one of the more alarming examples. When someone said they wanted to get the government down to the size of a corner Woolworth store . . .? Remember your downtown Woolworth's? They see the government as lost profit, and want to make it as powerless as possible (except for defense). Drown it in the bathtub. Abolish it, except for defense. Fascism is symbolized from the time of the middle ages, as reeds bound together with an ax blade sticking out from the side. When the corporations bind themselves to the government (and do what they want with it), you get fascism. Some say America has been fascist since the vice presidency of Dick Cheney. Maybe it began when Kennedy was elected, when J. Edgar Hoover was employed by the Federal government. When did America begin to become fascist? When Emma Goldman was asked to leave?

Expand full comment

Sandra, I suspect there have always been men in power who have a totalitarian bent. They think because they are physically strong it means they are intellectually strong and strong leaders too and deserve reverence from everyone. Those three very very rarely come in a package, but men insist it is all the time (check out Santos, and OK, Trump, McCarthy, . . . .). Andrew Jackson was a fascist who claimed to be a "man of the people" when the people he was courting were the other slave owners, those who would bring down the banks, and men who would kill and herd indigenous peoples away from their lands because gold had been found and white men wanted . . . . The robber barons/barrens were fascists too and hoped no one would notice. Some people did. Many men and a few women will do almost anything to force other people to be seen as inferior to them and act that way. Trump and Kump are all in this category.

These folks were trained to it from birth by predecessors who were also would-be fascists or something similar. Now they want their children not to be taught about people unlike themselves. I guess they no longer think their parenting to racism, white supremacy, misogyny, and the rest is insufficient to mold their little darlings the right way. Maybe we the People just need to demand schools teach all of our history, the good and bad and that those cute little white boys and girls are descendants of people who were not always very good people and that we hope they willl do better.

Expand full comment

Imagine the White fear going on when we begin to realize there might be reversal and repercussion as People of Color continue to achieve wealth and prominence. We all know the history. Imagine Black retribution. The problem comes down to this White fear. Some Euroamericans see this threat growing and they see only tribalism as their safe place. They can't imagine or accept a world where there's a White minority, after everything that has happened. I think this is why southern Whites want to obliterate history, so their kids might be safer from retributive forces in the future. I can understand their reasoning, even as I also want full equality for all, everywhere. That's the only possible way forward. Yes, thank you for scanning further back for examples of fascism. I'm rather "fascinated" by symbols, which tend to teach us the origins..

Expand full comment

andra, I appreciate your understanding of how white people's fear can spark tribalism. I believe a lot of the tribalism is created by public figures to make sure people who express sufficient anti-Black, anti-immigrant, anti-whoever else the "leaders" want maligned will feel they are part of the "in-crowd." People do need to belong and this is a warped sense of belonging because it is not built on community, caring, or gasp, love. It is born and nurtured in fear, hatred, stress about the other, and a history of successful maligning of those groups. The problem, the "public figures" want the people's ignorance too. Keep groups separate, scream about white women and Black men or some other configuration of race contamination. Hold events that encourage their white belongings to keep people other than white people from living in their neighborhoods. Make sure their white voters don't think about global warming and what it is doing to poor people of all backgrounds because they might summon some compassion, perhaps, god forbid, empathy for those people and want to do something about it, maybe change some habits, drive less, use less electricity, waste less food, take shorter showers, etc. Can't have that!

Expand full comment

There have always been fascists. Take a listen to Rachel Maddow's amazing podcast https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/id1647910854 I wondered what could be so important and pressing that she would cut down on her work at MSNBC. Then I discovered the podcast. She is absolutely right. What we are going through now has happened before and we all need to know this. It was not so long ago.

Expand full comment

Donna, yes, Rachel Maddow's "Ultra" was amazing. I remember hearing about "America First" in high school, but it was presented as though it were a minor blip on a radar (OK, there was no radar then). It turned out it was a pretty formidable group of public figures who participated, even a religious nut who had a massive radio audience. For a priest, he certainly did spew a lot of hatred. I noticed the Catholic Church did nothing significant to stop him for years. One can wonder why. Every American should see "Ultra." I can't wait to see the movie about it when it is made and comes out.

Expand full comment

Outer space is a very expensive location for the prison slave labor corporation industry.

There are now two full generations, adults and young adults now successfully engaged in an addictive prison of sociological disconnection where necessary human interactions consist of timeless actions by prisoners of tapping on the bars of a cell to signal another, yet rarely meeting the other in a human encounter.

Technology has imprisoned our humanity, our minds and our future by an intentional design of hand held mobile phones intended to platform the social media content most addictive, most profitable, and most controlling of facts, opinions and truths for the most profitable prison of all, social control by a near-total replacement of the physical commons and social meetings by video and text.

The effect of the web based social media app and handheld device enslaves in all directions of the human condition.

One is REQUIRED to possess presence on a minimum of 1 social media app for any serious consideration of employment, education or inclusion within the corporate defined confines of the technologic social construct we dwell within. Without presence in an electronic social platform one is defined by the addictive-behavior regime as anti-social and non-participatory. By the age of 12 a young pre-teen is defined by technologic social presence and little if at all by the character of the human presence.

Consider the absolute presence of control by the algorithmic, psychotic interference of social media upon every thought and idea from childhood to old age. We are a species rendered slaves to an addictive device which acts to divide the human presence to empower the will of one of a few entities controlling the monopolized industries of a planet hurtling to the profit-driven catastrophe of an irrelevant hubristic species devoted to addictive behaviors such as profiteering and an idea of corporate-extruded ‘individualism’ and personal power.

Slavery is real, slavery is behavioral, and slavery is the socially accepted insanity of the corporate technological instruments created to control, modify and punish the non-conformist to a prison planet.

When physical social spaces again become more important than the tap-tap-tapping on the prison bars of a handheld device keyboard, we may have a second chance at freedom. That importance cannot be of greater necessary now within the destruction by climate change and pandemic disease contagion which serves to imprison all and further imbed the technologic prison of social media control.

Expand full comment

You got it. Good analysis. It all began so innocently, as I recall, learning to use my 1986 CPT word processor. Totally improved my typing skills at the time. In the early days, the whole thing was like magic.

Expand full comment

Ah yes ; Remember Web TV ? It was fun, and still can be, as long as it does not become the addictive time bandit.

Expand full comment

Your comment piques my memory of a couple of items. At the close of the Peter Sellers movie "Being There" is a dark screen display of the phrase: "Life is a state of mind." Also, I've said for a long time the the "Star Treck Next Generation" episode "The Game" was prophetic: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Game_%28Star_Trek:_The_Next_Generation%29

Both fully support your view.

Expand full comment

This is pretty darned realistic thoughts that never occurred to me. Well in a way yes they did occurto me. . That we are addicted to the ping and pong of our devices calling to us. AND have lost attention span for anything longer than 5 minutes. Sigh.

Expand full comment
Jan 16, 2023·edited Jan 16, 2023

RON RODARTE ; There are still many people who are not on social media and who even thrive in this world. They read books and watch some podcasts and even get together in the flesh to meet and discuss history or even politics of the present time and listen to live music and dance. Not everyone who home schools their children is a white Christian Nationalist. Not everyone plays video games. Not everyone is addicted. I know people who do not even own a 'smart' phone. Just one of those rechargeable 'flip' phones for basic communication.

Expand full comment

I hope this is true. I'm one of the people you describe. I still have to use my computer because I can't possibly use my phone to type messages. I get angry every time I see the request: Password. It's encouraging to read your remarks and that I don't have to feel so left-behind by the world.

Expand full comment

Sandra B ; It's true, and I also hate passwords! every site requires them and I find it annoying to have to consult my password safe all the time. I wonder why anyone would want to hack my bill payment sites, for example. Are they going to pay my balance?

Expand full comment

Sadly, Laurie - there are fewer and fewer who eschew the easy addictive behavior or 'convenience' of electronic coms for in-person communications or the intellectual stimulation and enhancement of reading books and sharing one's thoughts.

It is a challenge taken up buy some high schoolers in Brooklyn who have initiated a rebellion on their own perceptions of this very real issue. The link is here: https://mailchi.mp/nader/teenage-iphone-rebellion-in-brooklyn-fjyobt81qw?e=5873c0d8a5

An article by Ralph Nader built upon a newspaper report of such teen rebellion - good trouble!

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/15/style/teens-social-media.html

Expand full comment

Awesome that high schoolers are thinking independently. We have some students involved in civics in our town , They actually participate in national competitions to test their knowledge of civics! It is a newer part of the curriculum in school , civics. Financial literacy too.

Expand full comment

Independent thinking with group participation is a key to human survival, throughout mankind's survival.

False constructs of a ruling class or priesthood have often led to the downfall of civilizations.

Personal technology devices are a false construct, touted as a convenience, yet used to addict youth and adult for behavioral modification.

The movement to private and chartered corporate schools to replace the public infrastructure has also been a false premise, resulting in religious and socio-political indoctrination centers funded in part by funding taken from public education & augmented by private tuition, affordable for the economic class of 'designated economic survivors', yet impossibly expensive for masses of the silenced and ignored who have been denied their economic future.

The most damaging aspects of these education policies is the development of the school-to-prison pipeline and the rise of the economic draft, created by the lack of employment and absence of publicly funded higher education which forces youth into a military service promising what was our right as citizens only a generation ago, now denied as subjects to a corporate-captured civilization.

It is indeed a good sign that human survival skills are in play, and that the youth in your vicinity has grasped how deeply the denial of civic and financial knowledge has affected policies and planet, which in the learning will prevent corporate economic enslavement of entire communities.

Add a false premise of personal handheld technology to the false premise of credit spending and the chains of social slavery become apparent.

False premise in policy & product offer indoctrination into oppression by personal consent, a major tool of the American form of capitalism.

Until education is again in public hands and individuals are allowed to meet in the public commons rather than virtually, the obfuscation of truths & personal knowledge which are the keys to freedom will be in the sole possession of the most predatory competitor to humankind, the corporations and its false legal construct of corporate personhood.

Expand full comment

It’s becoming fewer and fewer. Cell phones are everywhere. For better, but mostly for worse. Google offers everything at your fingertips. Most people don’t seem concerned that they’re being commercially tracked/targeted.

Especially now with the pandemic, when conversations occur over phone or FaceTime.

Expand full comment

Kevin ; I have a smartphone and am aware of the fact that I have 'cookies' following me everywhere I go. 'Google is your friend' my husband says. It can be useful. Sure , they follow us everywhere we go. I just remind myself that "just because you're paranoid doesn't mean you are not being followed." It's the world we live in. Very difficult to navigate without our phones, tablets etc. Sometimes I turn off my devices and avoid TV 'news' for a while. Feel better for it. But I know that even going to a doctor appointment now requires online accessibility.

Expand full comment

Instant gratification, catchy clickbait and a false sense of superiority. AI is already ingrained into the youth.

Expand full comment

I was in the generation that 'Turned on , tuned in and dropped out' from the consumer culture. We fought for clean air water and food. there are still many of us who are conscious and still learning. Life is a question of balance, for US, IMHO.

Expand full comment
Jan 16, 2023·edited Jan 16, 2023

At this juncture, I get the sense that that those who would have us believe climate change is a hoax >know< it's not. They're intentionally exacerbating it, in service to the vision I've outlined above.

Consider the kind of serfdom involved with serving in even an earth-bound estate, a totally enclosed "tube city," where the pay-rate is simple survival.

Expand full comment

I suspect that an earthbound plan for the super-rich to evade the effects of climate change is more the goal. At least that's far more realistic. It's not hard to imagine a future where the privileged few can remain comfortable in climate safe enclaves (in mountain areas, islands, greener and wetter places where crops grow best, etc), while the majority face the worst of what remains of the earth. Also, just as it has been throughout history, there has/will arise a class of lackeys who can see what's coming and who don't want to end up on the short end of the stick, so to speak, when things get really bad. We call those people Republicans and they inhabit Congress, governor's mansions, state legislatures, mayors offices, etc.

Expand full comment

>Exactly< my point, brought down to Earth.

Expand full comment
Jan 16, 2023·edited Jan 16, 2023

That's been happening for sometime, as working class people have been priced out of entire regions that have prime conditions. 😠

Expand full comment

“Don’t Look Up”!

Expand full comment

Reminds me of The Simpsons episode where they built two rocket ships. Lisa (a fantastic character), Marge and Maggie are on one heading for space whilst Homer and Bart are on the other rocket heading for the sun. There’s more to the story and The Simpsons have been a rock for me since they debuted on The Tracy Ullman Show.

Expand full comment

DZK, I am a fan of Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction, but I do not want to live those visions. I want to think that having forewarning, we can make those dystopias impossible. The problem when money is in charge of everything, those dystopias look great to the monied: they have all the money/resources, they can make others do whatever they want, and they are all-powerful, like comic book heroes or villains - it doesn't matter which. Those are the fantasies of toddler-men who think only of themselves, the toddlers who never learned to play well with others and to care about anyone but themselves. We keep giving them more power and excuses for their bad behavior while people die in disasters that we could work harder to prevent.

Expand full comment

Exactly the way I view them, Ms Sheets. If a sci-fi writer can come up with it, you can be certain that there's a recipe for Soylent Green - for example - is in someone's cookbook! Among the tales of heroism & sacrifice are a considerable number of cautionary tales.

Expand full comment
Jan 16, 2023·edited Jan 16, 2023

The thought of corporate colonizing other worlds, straifing their resources and polluting their pristine environments as they have done here turns my stomach. Humans' out of control population boom is another nausea inducer. 😠

Expand full comment
Jan 16, 2023·edited Jan 16, 2023

Colonizing space itself, within the Terra/Luna system is a far more feasible starting point, from which missions to the moons of the gas giants to mount. I'm figuring the Alpha Centuri system will be quite safe within in the probable timeframe that humans, as a species, eventual demise. I don't buy into ETs from distant star systems, either.

Expand full comment

A few years ago I got an image in my head of a dead planet surrounded in thousands of space contraptions, villages, homes, satellites (I don't recall mines and factories), but that's what we're describing today. Everything that still exists has to get up into the stratosphere in order to survive. (I always have to report these prophetic images, even if today's readers won't accept them. I should describe a few other things I've seen coming lately. Community is the way forward. Everyone knows that one. How about forced abortion? Not ready for that one yet?)

Expand full comment

Sandra, what a sad image, we have to leave the planet to survive when if we had put as much energy, time, and planning into taking care of our Earth, we could have saved it and moved into space because we wanted to explore. OMG! We do keep electing people with no vision. They are more blind than I am and that is scary since I only can't see. They can't see ahead, think clearly or care.

Expand full comment

Governments have forced sterilization on women for the last 200 years here. Native American women unfortunately were the first, if my recollection is correct.

Expand full comment

Maybe 35 years ago we attended a lecture from Carl Sagan, who predicted settlement of Mars via crating an artificial atmosphere and seeding...within our lifetimes.

When we lived in Maryland many of our neighbors were NASA scientists and contractors working on the Mars project.

Expand full comment
Jan 16, 2023·edited Jan 16, 2023

True enough. However, the asteroid cloud that sends material our way is more accessible for extracting raw materials - particularly "rare earths." All that's necessary is to establish a platform for extracting in. I >really do< appreciate NASA, but it was ice-water on my enthusiasm the day I found out that its primary mission was - and to some extent, still is and always will be - Cold War propaganda. To this day I temper my enthusiasm with the reality we live in. In the neighborhoods I lived in, my neighbors in VA were CIA, and in MD they were NSA. The TV series "The Americans" creeps me out!

Expand full comment

I've wondered whether mining heavy metal from astroids and taking it to Earth might not tip some balance in our rotation around the Sun, or send the Moon off somewhere else (?) Anyone?

Expand full comment

Why bring it to earth when what you're building is already where you're processing it?

Expand full comment

Carl was always ahead of his time.❤️

Expand full comment

Absolutely! When one obtains $1,000,000,000, one just naturally becomes "certifiably insane." Why WOULDN'T musk want floating prison colonies to power his floating mansion?!?

Expand full comment

Daniel, that's an interesting thought, have a billion dollars and that billionth dollar brings mental illness with it. It kinda seems that way. What does seem even more likely, a billion lets people think they can control things they should not have control of. People sometimes set up scholarships, trust funds, and other entities to "spread" their largess. It lets them decide who makes it and who doesn't, which company will get a start and which won't, which charities will get help and which won't, and for how long. That kind of power can go to a person's head and let them think they are better, smarter, more worthy than anyone else. It brings to mind the Gates Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, and so many others. That is not to say that these organizations don't do good things, but that they should have so much power and influence.

Expand full comment

Exactly right, Ms. Sheets! The "mental illness" I described comes from the knowing that they can manipulate the world to their whim with no negative repercussions. (Just look at disgraced former president Donald "Bunkerboy" Trump!)

Expand full comment

Daniel, yes, that billionaire mental illness is problematic, yet, people still look up to those people as though they are magical beings. It's nuts!

Expand full comment

Ruth Sheets ; Only those who are unaware of how Musk's and other obscenely wealthy have harmed the world will be sucked in to admire the 'sparkling ' powerful rich guys, and envy their 'toys' and 'power' to destroy. Those who know anything can clearly see the perils they threaten.

Expand full comment

Daniel H Laemmerhirt ; Incredibly he is still manipulating! Look at Congress, The 'Supreme' Court and our Democracy! I am encouraged that there is a push for ending the filibuster, the Electoral College, and getting our system of voting repaired! The Majority still rules overall!

Expand full comment

Laurie, I am encouraged too, now how do we get people to see that ditching the filibuster, the Electoral College, and the rest are worth paying attention to? I wish I knew that because one whole party wants to do none of that. They just want money and power.

Expand full comment

Now, Ruth, that you mention the Gates Foundation: it started in Bellevue WA near

Seattle a few decades ago. Bill and Melinda Gates with Melinda being in charge of setting up their Foundaiton (by building a 1/2 Billion dollar headquarters complex. They've since divorced but (as far as I know) Melinda is still heavily involved in their Foundation. Similar scenario with Jeff Bezos and his ex MacKenzie Scott. After their divorce she vowed to 'give away' a goodly part of her settlement fortune (billions I think I heard) and one of her efforts was to give to charity 2 of

her/their mansion properties, one of which sold for something like 37Million, but to whom ? ? ? I never heard... Such are the lives of the - fabulously wealthy ~ ahemmmmm ~

Expand full comment

The 2013 dystopian movie "Elysium" comes to mind.

Expand full comment

Musk believes he can terraform Mars because Arnold did it in a movie.

Expand full comment

The key is in understanding that learning how to create a livable environment under hostile conditions immediately translates to using what's learned in less hostile environments - like extreme climate change.

Expand full comment

Even worse - some approaching the wealth of Musk believe the universe was made in 6 days and a day of rest. They also believe that the world must end in fire to cleanse the 'sins of mankind'. That's also in a movie, and in a best seller, the Bible.

The war economy of American capitalism is the most dangerous instrument in the hands of the most dangerous group of humans ever to wield political power, as most of the assembly are servants to these 'believer' factions.

War and religiosity have a gruesome history of badly run violence, cruelty and destruction.

Expand full comment

Look at the current world conflicts. Ukraine vs The Russian Orthodox Church. The papacy and the crusades. The ongoing protests in Iran. But wait, there’s more. White right wing evangelical christians wanting to impose their (corrupted) beliefs in a nation founded on the separation of church and state.

Expand full comment

Today? That's not that far out DZK. But I wonder, with all this super, emerging technology, WHY CAN'T WE QUELL FOREST FIRES BY NOW? ....RIGHT at the beginning! We need our planet under us if we are to survive -- it's all we have right now and it can last. What mystifies me, has it not been learned that Mars been a defunct planet for how many millennium's???? Venus could well be what was our planet's beginnings?

Expand full comment

Well, all that would >justify< such "space exploration,," now, wouldn't it?

Expand full comment

Que up on YouTube: Zager and Evans song: 'In the Year 2525' played with the backdrop of

Fritz Lange's "Metropolis" (1927) and you'll get a glimpse of what our - future - could look like. : (

Expand full comment

Will check out. Know the song and recently rewatched Metropolis. In a weird way Motörhead’s song of the same name from 1979 seems relatable.

Expand full comment

Just wondering IF ? Motorhead's song is the original recording of this song. Haven't heard it if it's not. Or a cover recording of 'In the Year 2525'. Before OR after Zager & Evans ? ? ? don't know ~

Expand full comment

No. Motörhead’s song is one of a dystopian present. Think of the movie as a gritty inner city narrative. It’s from The New Wave of Heavy Metal movement from the late seventies through the early eighties. Primarily from the UK, spread through Europe and finally made its way to North and South America. A movement I was happy to be on the ground floor.

A proud punk and metal fan. Punk got me through the Reagan years.

Expand full comment

Thanks Kevin for this new - revelation - of that era. I was more into other genre of music, mostly classical, but heard of what you mentioned during those times. Thanks -

Expand full comment

That's a waaaay old song I remember from when it was first released. Thanks!

Expand full comment

DZK, I too heard this song - way back when - it originally came out. And when I came across it

again with the Metropolis backdrop I - saved it - to remember ! and add to my trepidation of 'What May Come'. (wasn't that the title of a 50's B grade sci-fi movie ? ? ?)

Expand full comment

"Things to come," I believe is what you're thinking of.

Expand full comment

You are right : )

Thank You !

Expand full comment

It occurred to me earlier today that the decision by oil industry executives to deceive the public & bribe or blackmail the government about the climate disruption their products would cause was making the conscious sociopathic choice to make billions of extra money while letting the world go awry & billions of people (& countless animals & plants) die, making a bet that the money they gained would be enough to construct something that could protect them from the environmental destruction they knew would come.

Expand full comment

This seques into what has been built here in Seattle by Jeff Bezos and Amazon = The Amazon

spheres. Geodesic domes totally enclosed environments near downtown Seattle - to be - front and center to the general public to - ooh and ahh - over. Could this be the experimental precursor to extra-planetary colony structures ? ? ? And just how much Terran planetary resources were used to construct these - artificial - environments ? ? ?

Expand full comment

Yes Jaime, it is criminal that they deliberately chose huge wealth over the lives of potentially millions of people when they didn't release the report. I honestly don't understand such greed and callousness.

Expand full comment

Daniel, thank you for, as you always do, pulling up such relevant, interesting links. I didn't know this OR that the Saudi's were behind FOX news and have been such a destabilizing influence in the US. They have strengthened the ruling class and are achieving their goals. It is the plutocratic class getting richer on our climate disaster. And you are right about how numb Americans are to climate crisis, not a whimper of complaint.

Expand full comment

Claire, yep, not a peep about what happened in Alabama being related to global warming either. The people of the Southern states have suffered enormously, but they still keep putting into office racist, misogynistic, homo/transphobic people thinking somehow those people will care even about them, the white folks with roots in the deep south. Those white folks are also suffering but just can't get past the other baggage so they can see that their leaders are letting them pay the price for poor leadership while the storms keep coming. They mourn the loss of homes and livelihood, but don't hear this is global warming caused by humans, which needs to be stopped before even worse storms arrive. Voting against one's interests is still beyond my comprehension, no matter how much I read and hear about it. Personal hatreds over the truth, I just don't get it!

Expand full comment

Excellent commentary!

Expand full comment

Oh Girl Scientist, that was amazing! I don't say that lightly! Your identification of greed and the 1%'s addiction to accumulating and destroying is excellent. How is it we can't demand better journalism, better reporting? How is it the people most impacted by global warming in this nation will vote for candidates who still, after decades of evidence, even from Exxon as you note, claim global warming is not real or proven or some other such nonsense? I don't get it, but I suspect our media have something to do with it. Thanks for your comment!

Expand full comment

The journalism of today is a corporate for-profit industry which cannot insist on journalistic responsibility due to the profit and loss from deviating from the corporate requirement to support their actions and defend their associates.

No journalist with integrity survives the onslaught of defunding and de-platforming by 'mainstream' media. Mainstream is no longer a corporate presence, as seen in most of the commentary herein. 'Mainstream' readers have evacuated the bunkers of war-driven corporate American media giants to the less-corporate-influenced platforms as used here at Substack. Even the slightest corporate profit association to a media source can and will be used to twist the power of a journalist into a subjugated scribe, or cause the penury and silencing of the best journalistic minds - BECAUSE of an intelligence which cannot eschew the evidence or quell the deafening question begging to be asked.

If subscribed to a corporate media account, demand a full spectrum of journalism.

When the truth is present there is a path to intelligent design.

Sadly we have no truths to ascribe to in a corporate controlled and profiteering media insisting its power is sacrosanct while the viewers and subscribers evacuate ground zero of the lies and innuendo blown from their corporate offices.

Expand full comment

Overflowing rivers ever since I became cognizant (by 1960's) of these disasters were results of the huge demise of plants and trees that could accommodate NATURAL rainfall . They've long known this too. That is only one of California's problems; droughts, the fires leaving nothing to hold rainfall. Sucking the ground dry is another.

Expand full comment

Thank you GrrlScientist. I did read the article about the Exxon scientists findings and how it was squashed by the then CEO of Exxon and buried for more than 50 years. You are right to be angry. My only exception to your post is the use of the word "elite". The definition of elite is "a select group that is superior in terms of ability or qualities to the rest of a group or society" These people to whom you refer are as far from hat definition as can be found. Far from superior (except in their own minds) they are the greedy scum of the earth. Otherwise, great and accurate post.

Expand full comment

I have no idea as to what you're referring to. Sorry. Thanks for stopping by.

Expand full comment

Sorry Don, the post was intended to be under the main topic, not your comment. Oh well, cannot undo it now!

Expand full comment

No problem I just didn't want you to think I said something I didn't. LOL

Expand full comment

I would challenge you to at least consider the opinion of one of the original climatologists, a retired MIT scholar who specialized in atmospheric dynamics.

It cannot hurt to peruse a skeptical view once in a while, especially when you become certain that you are right.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LVSrTZDopM

Expand full comment

Ok. I did listen to the video clip. He centered on two things, the insignificance of CO2 and Hydrodynamics. I did take a class in organic chemistry, and I admit I did not enjoy it, it was one of the few classes where I only earned a B. I took no classes in meteorology. My undergraduate majors were chemistry and biology and MA in physiology, so I claim no expertise in climatology. Also as a scientist I am fully aware that any scientific statement is not taken as a matter of fact, but a measurement of what is known at that time and subject to change as more data comes in. I understand his skepticism based on his interest in physical hydraulics. However at no time did they discuss the breaking up of glaciers in either the Arctic or Antarctic, the melting of the Greenland ice sheet was simply mentioned in passing. However in the reality of January 2023, both these events continue at a rapidly increasing pace, There have also been recent articles on the result of thawing of permafrost in both North America and Russia (with negative effects) AND the ocean (all Earth's oceans are interconnected so rising in one area means rising in all) is rising. In science denying Florida, they have raised the level of the main north south highway. There has also been an increase and intensity in cyclones, hurricanes, and tornadoes in the last 100 years that we (humans) have been tracking them. While I understand the disagreements among certain scientists in the causes of climate change and models of these changes, only truly stupid people like the trumpster, and greedy individuals like the executives at Exxon can deny that the changes we are experiencing, don't exist.

Expand full comment

I think we see eye to eye on this comment:

"Also as a scientist I am fully aware that any scientific statement is not taken as a matter of fact, but a measurement of what is known at that time and subject to change as more data comes in."

I like to say that most of science is opinion. Some opinions are better supported than others. Very few should be treated as fact. In medicine, a good doctor will recommend a second "opinion", right?

Some branches of science can boast of greater precision than others. In my opinion, and that of Dr. Lindzen, climatology is not a "hard" science and very much subject to debate (in spite of what Al Gore thinks). Dr. Lindzen should know, he was one of the first climatologists, before climatology was cool.

Expand full comment

Thank you, and yes we do see eye to eye. People in the social sciences fields - especially politics, are always accusing people like Dr, Fauci of giving wrong information and I do attempt to explain that nothing is absolutely factual, especially viruses that change minute to minute. Humans seem to have always, since the evolved on Earth, to want exact answers for everything. I'm always so glad to meet someone who understands.

Expand full comment

It's less about chemistry than it is physics. Fluid motions are very difficult, if not impossible to model. As it turns out, the main cooling mechanism of our planet happens to be the motion of the atmosphere, and particularly the convection of warm air. Rising warm air creates thunderstorms (and tropical cyclones) which carry water vapor aloft where it radiates infrared energy. You have probably seen the infrared imagery of hurricanes and thunderstorms on weather programs. That shows the infrared being radiated into space and captured by satellites in space. Once the infrared leaves the atmosphere it does not return. That is a loss of heat and models cannot predict how much or how little of it will happen in the future. The fact that warming creates more convection is considered a negative feedback (heat loss) which tends to stabilize our temperature. It's like a thermostat.

As for the glaciers breaking up, you first have to gain a long term perspective. The planet has been warming for about 20,000 years, and glaciers have been retreating that whole time. Interestingly, that period of warming, melting, and greater precipitation has coincided with the entire period of human civilization. When glaciers reach the end of life, they will naturally tend to melt faster. There is much less cold thermal mass to resist local warming conditions. Greenland will still take 1000 years or more to melt completely at the current rate because it is not floating ice, and it is a very large thermal mass resistant to warming.

Before the current warming period humans were trapped near the equator and New York city was under hundreds of meters of ice. The climate was colder and much drier, there was less plant life, and we basically lived as beasts, struggling to survive. That cold period lasted around 200,000 years! We can credit this current warm period with every creature comfort we enjoy today, developed during a time when we did not have to struggle. We could rest, dream and invent things instead of struggling.

Yes, hurricanes and tornadoes will increase with warming, but they will also increase with cooling. They respond to the difference between ocean temprerature and air temperature. When the air above is cool and the water is warm, there will be convective storms generated. We see this every year in the fall when cooler air drops down over warm Gulf and ocean waters near the tropics. The temperature difference generates storms which carry heat aloft and radiate it into space. It works like a thermostat. More heat, more convection. Less heat, less convection.

Check out this article, and in particular the graphic showing the 20,000 year period of receding glaciers (Laurentide ice sheet graphic). It's a great perspective, sort of a time lapse video which gives a clearer understanding of how the past has led up to today.

https://serc.carleton.edu/integrate/teaching_materials/coastlines/student_materials/907

Expand full comment

Thank you, Gandalf for this detailed explanation. As I said, I never took a class in meteorology so your post is very welcome. Most of the climate articles I have read have said that while this warming is a natural part of the cyclical nature of Earth's atmosphere since the recession of the ocean and the rising of land masses, the process has been speeded up by the activities of humans. Do you agree with that, or is there a different explanation?

Expand full comment

I'm not sure that there is even a valid metric of "global climate". I was taught that climate has more to do with local norms, such as the Sahara Desert being generally in the same place for thousands of years, but the fringes having migrated around due to long term weather cycles.

Warming as a singular metric is even difficult to measure. This was discussed in the interview of Dr. Lindzen. The weather stations have been subject to urbanization and yes, urban areas do tend to be warmer because of all the dark roofs, asphalt, and lack of trees. That has tended to cause weather stations to register warmer temperatures as urban areas encroached upon them.

I've seen data both ways, some show a general warming, others show none (surface versus satellites). The amount of measured warming is still rather insignificant compared with the changes I described over the 20,000 year warming trend. In a warming trend, one does expect some warming and continued sea level rise.

To answer your question, surely we have some impact, but I don't think it warrants emergency status.

I also believe that increasing the cost of fuel harms us all much more than any warming ever will. It especially hurts the poorest of the poor. Increasing fuel prices does not harm the fossil fuel industry in any way, it actually makes their net worth rise. It's not a solution to anything, and like so many of our government actions, the cure is probably worse than the disease.

Expand full comment

Thank you, again. Whatever source of energy we eventually use, we need an awful lot of work an new invention before we can begin to be rid of fossil fuels, if we ever do. Right now, the main problem seems to storage. No matter how much energy we produce from hydroelectric, solar, thermal, wind, etc. We can't use it immediately so we'll need storage "batteries" if I understand it correctly, and while we're working on it we lack the technology now. I dislike the use of coal for a different reason, the mining and burning of coal and coal dust, and methane produced have killed too many people over the years. (The Great Smog of London 1952, was one such event, black lung disease another)

Expand full comment

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Expand full comment

I'm sorry but someone has put out a thought that I made a comment on the climate when I did no such thing. LOL

Expand full comment

Sorry, accident.

Expand full comment

Girlscientist is right and right and right. Don't know what big corporation got their hands on the NY Times. Suffice it to say that ignoring the problem of climate change is tantamount to being an active participant in its worsening. And I, I only speak for myself here think that the Times is quiet about Climate and also Wealth Inequality. Tell the people who could only afford basement appartments in NYC and lost love ones in the flood that climate change doesnt exist and that the reason they couldnt afford above ground apartments wasnt the radical wealth inequality and gentrification of the city. Thd truth needs to be told. Not saying what it is, is hiding it.

Expand full comment

Bill your explanation was quite good. You tied the global warming issue to inequalities, both of which are obvious but are not tied together as neatly as they should be. One can't help but wonder why "The New York Times" can't seem to connect the dots with any skill. Could that be the monied influences getting to them too?

Expand full comment

So well said!

Expand full comment

Donald Hodgins

2 min ago

After the waters have subsided, take a leisurely stroll along the banks of some random winding river and see if the mystique of Sutter's Mill hasn't revisited California, in our time. Make sure you bring along a wheel barrel and a shovel.

Expand full comment

You write, "(T)he 1% should be ashamed at their insane levels of greed and consumption and waste, but they aren't."

For perspective, a recent Daily Mail article noted that an income of $34,000 (USD) places one in the Global Top 1%. The median US individual income was $35,855 in 2020, so it appears that we Median Americans the ones who should be ashamed?

Expand full comment

Miss Anne, just because our median income is above the world's does not mean we should be ashamed. Whether we like it or not, life is more expensive here than in many parts of the world. Instead of shame, We the People need to work to help people around the world have a better life. Things have improved over the past 50 years or so, but not enough, and global warming is going to set us all back unless we get a handle on it quickly. The other elephant in the room that we rarely even mention is population. We are now over 8 billion people and 2 countries have over a third of that population. We have white legislators with lots of money wanting to ban abortion, birth control, and any other means of controlling population while they and their rich folks use enormous amounts of the world's resources just for themselves. We need to be talking about this more and helping people here and around the world to more effectively plan their families, stop child marriages and teen pregnancy. This is just one piece of the global warming puzzle that needs to be examined and put into place.

Expand full comment

I didn't mean to suggest that we should be ashamed of our median income which is a factor of our cost of living. My point is that, based on our income, we are part of the Global 1% who are responsible for the vast amount of resource consumption.

However, we should be ashamed that, according to the LLNL, we WASTE 2/3 of the Overall Energy we produce, 2/3 of the Electricity, nearly 80% of our Transportation Energy. We waste 40-50% of our FOOD, for goodness' sake! I find that to be shameful - especially since we could slash our resource use/waste if we wanted to.

20% of global rich folks consume 80% of global resources, including the fossil fuels that, when burned, create the GHGs that are befouling our atmosphere and are driving our Climate Disaster. The areas where most population growth occurs - Asia, the ME, the Indian subcontinent, sub-Saharan Africa - consume very little and add little to the global impacts of Climate Disaster. There is little we can do to control their population growth.

However, if we care enough to do so, we CAN, and must, control our own consumption and waste of all resources, including the GHG-creating GHGs. WE are the GHG-creating climate destroyers, not the poverty-stricken citizens of, say, Bangladesh.

Expand full comment

in most places in amerikkka, $34K isn't enough to live on.

Expand full comment

Righto! It's not. Yet it remains our median income, which explains our unconscionable poverty rates.

Expand full comment

It >certainly< gives one pause, don'it ‽

Expand full comment

Surely you are aware that civilization developed during the current trend of warming which began a mere 20,000 years ago. In evolutionary terms that is the blink of an eye.

Prior to this we were trapped near the equator by glacial advance and the colder drier conditions that dominated the planet. We were every bit as intelligent as today, but the struggle for survival dominated our days.

Warmer and wetter climate is short lived, and a new glacial wave is likely to return soon. When it does, we will wonder in amazement why people were so afraid of ideal conditions.

Expand full comment

We have CO2 levels going back 800,000 years based on ice coring to before the last ice age. The highest levels back then were 300ppm. In the short span of industrialization weve gone up to 900ppm and climbing. This has led to more water in the sky, radical storms and flooding and altered wheather patterns causing the drying of forrests and forest fires. In effect we are a frog in the tub slowly boiling ourselves to death. I don't want to be boiled.

Expand full comment

Your facts are wrong. We are not at 900ppm. Nor is global temperature rising at the rate you describe.

Boiling frogs? Too much scifi in the diet.

Expand full comment

No evidence for return of glaciation. In fact. pure BS.

Human activity has to any reasonable degree of probability accelerated and exacerbated warming.

Expand full comment

Daniel,

Or, perhaps we have delayed cooling. There really is not any appreciable warming. It's not measurable with earth based devices beyond the error bars. Satellites say it's flat or cooling.

Anyhow, even if it were warming, that is to be expected at the tail end of a 20,000 year warming trend.

When it goes the other way, now that's when it's time to stock up on firewood.

Expand full comment

That is the theory, but the data has not supported the theory. Climate models cannot adequately model the action of clouds, and this is stated in all the available literature. That may sound rather innoccuous to you, but the actiin of clouds is likely the largest single means of regulating the global temperature. That is why the models are consistently wrong in their projections, and always on the high side.

If I wanted to create a climate model which predicts rising temperatures, I too would leave off the action of water vapor as a heat transport mechanism.

The drying of the Mississippi River and the rains in California could indeed be indicative of the beginning of the next glacial advance.

There is a repeating pattern of 200,000 year glaciations and 20,000 year interglacials such as we enjoy today. This is well known and established geologic record. So we are due for the beginning of the next cycle of glacial advance.

Expand full comment

What’s happening is the glaciers are melting, evaporating, and dropping down on us right now. This creates temporary cooling during an overall warning trend. Clouds are no help in your transport cycle as clouds trap heat while much solar radiation gets through. See Venus.

Expand full comment

Clouds are formed in convective storms and carry heat aloft, above the densest layers of greenhouse gases. IR radiated at high altitude tends to end up in space because the gases above are less saturated and those below are more saturated.

The energy vector at the top of storms is dominantly outward. This is how the planet maintains a modest range of temperature. Venus does not enjoy the cooling effect of water in liquid and gaseous states.

Expand full comment

Describing how weather patterns NORMALLY form leaves out all forms of human-centric interference including adding CO2 and Methane, to the atmosphere, loss of plankton (CO2 sequestration) coral reefs (acidity). Decimating the forests. While your clouds are taking some heat out into space (not fast enough) the oceans will soon be close to their threshold as a carbon sink. Meanwhile as we lose glaciers more land is exposed releasing more CO2 and methane in a vicious cycle. All of this has been proven to magnify any underlying natural cycles. The effects have been MORE extreme than conservative climate models have predicted. Galciers disappearing faster. MORE large and frequent hurricanes. WORSE wildfires. A faster sea level rise. Etc. Not only are you wrong, but farmers know you are wrong and the auto industry knows your wrong as they commit to green vehicles. This is all fixable (as we fixed the Ozone problem through world policy concerning aerosols). But people like you can and do present a monkey wrench to progress in this area.

Expand full comment

Nice dodge.

Expand full comment

I bow to a master, GrrlScientist. You've expressed your comment much better than I did mine.

Expand full comment

I only wish I deserved the accolade.

Expand full comment

I agree with much of your post but the fact that this has been public knowledge since 1900 kind of refutes Robert’s argument that the media has been silent and perhaps you owe your nightmares to the message they’ve been repeating loud and clear. The blame rests with corporate greed, government interest and public apathy.

Expand full comment

But to paraphrase some old "polit-speak:" but what have they said about it lately? I think that's his point.

Expand full comment

So I looked up on WAPO and they even have “climate” as a category with 11 stories in the last week focused on world and local response to climate change.

Expand full comment

Carl, I am glad to hear there were 7 climate-related articles in the past week, but it is helping to connect the dots for ordinary people who are swamped with life that is important. ?That is what is not happening now at an acceptable rate.

Expand full comment

Not sure what more the media can do for you. And unfortunately ordinary people can’t do much more than exercise green habits and vote!

Expand full comment

Carl, I know you were not suggesting that the situation we are in related to the media is not complex, but there are so many factors, the three you mentioned plus people with no moral compass who want nothing done so they can enjoy their lifestyle fully until they die. There are a bunch of those folks, I suspect a significant number in Congress and heading major corporations. If they lie about global warming to people who believe what they say, they can keep getting elected while their constituents elect and reelect them and do nothing because they believe "the great man." The media not mentioning the significance of global warming related to the storms in California and the tornados in Alabama is beyond unacceptable. It is one of those "omissions" that leads to the apathy you speak of, and when it is "respected" media who do it, I consider it almost criminal. People have died and will die because of media inaction and poor reporting. Not reporting something as significant or hiding it far down in an article are deceptions.

Expand full comment
Comment removed
Expand full comment

Oh Ted, grow up. We have enough toddler-men already.

Expand full comment

Does "the truth" about the climate "non-crisis" mention anything about 8 billion humans, and growing exponentially - https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/ - along with the rest of mammalian life simply >exhaling< CO2?

Expand full comment

It’s also a failure to not talk about the influence of advertisers on news content. Capitalism is a corrupt system not random. The news wields tremendous persuasion and propaganda power powered only by billions of dollars.

Expand full comment

although i hate capitalism as a system, it's the concentration of POWER AND WEALTH in a few hands DUE TO GREED that are the great corrupters. you cannot, for example, convince me that russia is any less corrupt than amerikkka is.

Expand full comment

Could a progressive tax system be a cure for concentration of power and wealth?

Expand full comment

Yes and we need to tax the rich corporations and rich ppl! You know the ones that are screwing their communities they live in! Thinking you shouldn’t pay taxes just because you have millions of dollars...huh! That’s why I think they are mentally ill! Or little babies...it’s mine you can’t have it!

Expand full comment

Marj, I vote that the very rich people and corporations are toddlers, not the cute ones that are learning to be a full person, but the ones who get stuck at age 3 and can't manage to get past the "me me me me" and "gimme gimme gimme" stage. Maybe that is required for people to accumulate the kind of money and lack of accountability we have permitted people and corporations to have while they pay little or nothing in taxes to support the nation that lets them live in the style they have become accustomed to. We the People need to be the adults in the room, but alas, an entire political party has embraced the toddlerism of the rich and lives in that whiny me-centered stage.

Expand full comment

What a perfect description of donald j trump!

Expand full comment
Jan 16, 2023·edited Jan 16, 2023

This is what Senator Warren campaigned for endlessly during her 2020 presidential bid and still presses for today.

Expand full comment
Jan 16, 2023·edited Jan 16, 2023

And concerning what Frankom says about progressive taxes: we also need regulatory agencies with actual teeth that cannot be "captured" by the very industries that are being regulated. At a minimum.

Expand full comment

With the world's most corrupt leader at helm, Russia is worst.

Expand full comment

AMEN!

Expand full comment

The media is owned by right wing, very rich, mentally ill rePUGliCON’s. Mic drop! Many Americans watch so called news as if it’s the ‘truth’. Over the years it’s become propaganda, there are only a few shows that talk a little about it but that’s what the right wing, very rich, mentally ill rePUGliCON’s want!

Expand full comment

You are absolutely correct, I don't get why Robert is asking these questions. He has to know they are run by magas.

Expand full comment

It's a rhetorical question.

Expand full comment

It would seem so, but we all know the answer. They are paid to keep quiet.

Expand full comment

At least Robert is not quiet. He makes sure we get the knowledge we need.

Expand full comment

He IS a great service. ...then we All should be a service. ....not be quiet.

Expand full comment

Fox News, Murdock were financed by Saudis during the 1970s oil crisis and beyond. Propaganda arm of the Saudi government. Climate denial coupled with OPEC policies aimed to undermine our economy.

Expand full comment

Daniel, yes, the Murdochs are tapping into the oil powers. They needed/wanted money and they got it and in exchange had to work to destroy the economy and democracy they now depend on. Murdoch is proof that our immigration system is really messed up. Rupert got American citizenship so he can bring down our democracy while the DACA folks are still waiting for a path to citizenship and they have actually worked to build up our democracy. Clearly money can get one anything even when it is a chance to help kill a democracy. Unbelievable!

Expand full comment
Jan 16, 2023·edited Jan 17, 2023

Thank St. Ronnie Raygun for Rupert Murdoch's speedy and painless acquisition of American citizenship. He couldn't make enough money to satisfy his greed in Australia, so he emigrated to the UK and took over some their biggest of their newspapers (Murdoch's bloated company used to be called News International; now known as News Corp, and Murdoch owns 'the Times', 'the Sunday Times', 'the Sun' and the 'Times Literary Supplement'...used to include 'News of the World', 'Today' and a couple of smaller papers, as well) and then set his eyes on the rich pickings in the U.S.'s lucrative market. Murdoch is a blood-sucking parasite with the rich man's disease--"greed is good".

Expand full comment

Steve, thanks for the reminder. Advertisers do impact nearly everything that happens. I have even seen ads on local news programs that contain lies (this supplement will . . . . for you - when there is no evidence for it and maybe some against it) while we are supposed to be seeing the truth as presented by the newscasters. Do they need the money that badly? I guess so.

Expand full comment

Agree, Steve. In almost 20 years working in news/tech publishing, I saw that much of the content that was produced---especially in the news journal for which I worked---was geared toward pulling in the most advertising. In fact, whole special sections were invented just to rope in advertisers. When I started there, ad sales reps weren't allowed to have anything to do with the news reporters. At the end, the sales manager was largely dictating much of the the what and when of news coverage.

Expand full comment

Denise, how sad for the publishing industry. You would have thought they would have fought harder to keep the two realms: news and advertising separate as they should be, but alas, even journalists end up often in the pockets of advertisers, even if they are getting nothing directly from those advertisers. The threats, the need publications have for advertisers, and weak management can lead to that. There should be regulations about that, but hey, it is supposed to be free market and free speech, right? It's just pathetic that the money nearly always wins out.

Expand full comment

Agree on all points, Ruth.

I might mention that the "real" journalists I worked with deeply resented it when the company started pushing the "higher revenue at any cost" mantra. They privately joked about all the special, flagrantly pandering sections added to the journal, but most of them were old enough that they couldn't easily switch jobs, so they were stuck, unfortunately.

And advertisers did rule. One very large national account dictated the type of subject matter that could/couldn't appear adjacent to their ads. Not an uncommon situation.

Expand full comment

History of "yellow journalism." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_journalism

Worst offenders: Hearst, Murdoch.

Expand full comment

Yeah Daniel, yellow journalism. It just shows us all that what is happening now is not new, just more pervasive, therefore more potentially destructive.

Expand full comment
Jan 16, 2023Liked by Robert Reich

Thank you. This is by far the most important threat we face, even greater than the global threats to democracy. We are existentially threatened by global warming caused by human activity, and the sixth global mass extinction is underway, no matter what we do or don't do. The fact that all of our general news media regularly ignore this threat and prioritize coverage of a royal family in England or athletic contests illustrates the absurdity of our times. I really can't imagine people in other centuries reacting to news of this kind with such indifference. To paraphrase Voltaire, if Greta Thunberg did not exist, we would have invented her.

Expand full comment
Jan 16, 2023·edited Jan 16, 2023

Kerry ; Distraction is the point. Those who determine news content are working for the 'rulers'. They want to control the narrative that keeps them in power. When arable land and potable water are getting scarcer, guess who will keep filling their swimming pools? Who do you think will get good food sources? enjoy beaches? Have access to skiing, solitude in National parks, access to football and other popular team sports arenas? Who enjoys all the power? It's happening now! The fact that we have people like MTG, Gosar, Jordan and Matt Gaetz running the 'people's house' is telling. The big dollars put 'em there! Another distraction! The hot button abortion rights issue! They are throwing everything they can at US to distract, anger and depress us! Pass the ERA so the more than half of US who are being treated like cattle for breeding can thrive and fight. Martin Luther King was right. All the real people should unite! "A slave who cannot be beaten is half free!"

Expand full comment

"I really can't imagine people in other centuries reacting to news of this kind with such indifference."

History. IMHO disasters would invoke pogroms, the Spanish Inquisition, recrimination against other perceived demons, Fascism. In the Soviet Union famine led to the murder of Kulaks. In Cuba, during the "special period" WE were demonized.

The "masses" are distracted by gas stoves, the war against Christmas and seek their Pied Piper -- like Donald J Trump.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8-I2nK0qRQ

Expand full comment

yes every age is absurd.but it never mattered like it does today

Expand full comment

The masses are maggots! (rePUGliCON’s) I know lots of ppl concerned with their health. If it’s dangerous let’s use our critical thinking skills and fix it!

Expand full comment

Famine in Ukraine was Stalin’s primary means of murdering Kulaks.

Expand full comment

Speaking of dear, brave Greta, here is something we can all do today: Sign Avaaz.org's petition about getting attention about this court case: "6 brave kids are about to do something historic: they’re taking 33 governments to court over their lack of action on climate change. If they win, the impact is hard to overstate: the ruling would legally bind all the countries to immediately increase their climate action. Let’s make sure the court feels the eyes of citizens and journalists watching them by requesting a livestream that will allow everyone to follow the hearing as it happens. Sign now!"

Expand full comment

Kerry, I suspect the people of the past would be doing just exactly as those in power today are doing. They liked sensation, ignored the facts, and let rich people have power they didn't deserve, which let them destroy everything they could get their hands on as soon as they got everything they could from it. Beavers, for example have sculpted the North American and European landscapes for millions of years, but for their fur, men hunted them nearly to extinction and our lands and the many animals that inhabit them suffered. That was in the 18th and 19th centuries. Fish, whales, and so many other creatures suffered a similar fate if people didn't care or even know because they thought those animals they hunted were forever and any protests were silenced or ignored. The problem is letting men have power who think they are superior to everyone else whether they have leadership abilities or not and whether they are leading people into directions that will benefit more people than themselves. It might be helpful if researchers could help us identify characteristics of candidates who should never gain office. However, that would be seen as unamerican or something. I guess it is since we have the myth that anyone can be president. We found out over time that this is a poor myth and We the People suffer because of it, but it will go on and people will continue to vote for child-men who just can't seem to think of anyone but themselves and people like them to support.

Expand full comment

Sadly the media has been bought by the 1%. It must be frustrating being a journalist these days and being told what you can and cannot do. Who loses? All of us.

Expand full comment

To all Constitutional Americans:

Every one of us have multiple sources available to verify everything we are being told by our government, by the mainstream media, social media and friends and neighbors. DON’T ALLOW ONE SOURCE TO CLOUD YOUR JUDGMENT! Gaslighting has become the norm by some of our elected officials. We need to hold them accountable. After all we are their employers. THEY WORK FOR US! We all need to vet what we are being told.

There are many other sources available where we can fact check whether or not we are being gaslighted. If you find 10 sources and 9 of them give you the same story it’s probably true! If only one or two of them give you the same story it’s probably BS.

The Mainstream Media can no longer be counted on to give us truthful information in an unbiased way. We have to get the facts ourselves through other sources.

Expand full comment

tragically, the mainstream media is trained to lie. it's a subtle thing, but they are trained to "report both sides" of any issue they report about as if BOTH SIDES are equal (in science) when CLEARLY, to any rational, thinking person, "both sides" (in science) are NOT equivalent.

[EDIT -- ADDED IN CUZ I ONLY THOUGHT OF IT AFTER CLICKING "PUBLISH"]

have we learned NOTHING from the "report both sides" of the evolution "debate" nor the "vaxx debate" as if mindless lunatics know as much as scientists who have devoted every waking hour of their lives to their work?

[/EDIT]

every time i hear this insipid mantra, "report both sides", i hear the death knell of the science journalism profession.

(edited to add "in science".)

Expand full comment

Mostly they omit, rather than lie. It's what they *don't* talk about that enables people to think everything is rosy.

Expand full comment

part of that problem comes from a lack of scientific knowledge. journalists almost never are trained scientists, and few have ANY scientific background at all. getting a deep understanding of science is not a trivial matter and communicating science in an understandable way (as well as communicating the sheer UNCERTAINTY of science) is usually extremely difficult.

some of this is driven by the public's lack of scientific knowledge too: most people want simple answers, not "wishy washy science" (never realising that scientists are nearly always dealing with interpreting and communicating incomplete data -- scientists do not and cannot know everything, but nevertheless, we must still draw useful conclusions from incomplete data so we can get funding to do more research, design experiments to fill in the gaps of what we don't know, invent new technologies or improve existing technologies to help fill in these informational gaps, and come to some sort of conclusion that funding agencies and journalists and the public can understand.)

so it seems this is a perfect confluence of the public's lack of education in and knowledge about science and maths, compounded by most journalists' same ignorances, fed by scientists' inability to propose a definite simple "answer" with one or maybe two simple solutions to this maddeningly massive, complex, subtle and overarching problem.

Expand full comment
Jan 16, 2023·edited Jan 16, 2023

GrrlScientist ; Yes, you nailed it. It's as complicated as it is irrefutable. Look at the massive destruction and death caused by climate disaster! It's easier to 'investgate ' a guy like Dr. Fauci and give their angry stupid base some red meat entertainment than it is to be intelligent enough to know that the more that is known in science, the more scientists realize that more needs to be known, intelligent solutions still need to be developed as we learn. That is true progress.

Expand full comment

That’s a good point - People getting whipped into a froth over the mortal peril of vaccines or suddenly developing a scientific interest in viruses while conveniently ignoring the carbon dioxide increase in our atmosphere, or pretending that warming is a good thing, as some extremely repugnant manipulators suggest.

Expand full comment
Jan 17, 2023·edited Jan 17, 2023

Kerry ; At least we don't have the former guy saying these storms are related to Californians' not raking the under brush in the forests, or raking it, and then it absorbs water, causing dams to form, the buildup causing floods... or something ridiculous like that, and totally besides the point and completely blitzo.

Expand full comment
founding

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has a Knight Fellowship to educate reporters in science. For those who don't know it, there is a publication,

Science News, which celebrated it's 100th anniversary last year. Founded by the newspaper publisher Scripps it was designed to educate the general public, Read it and learn

Expand full comment