Deeper Climate Change Discussions III. Does Apocalypticism Affect Our Path Forward and If So, How?

So let’s go back to our discussion. Again, the point is not to change minds but to understand each other better. It turns out that many of us are in camps 4 and 5.

4. Humans are influencing the climate and we need to focus on reducing greenhouse gases, notably carbon and methane.
5. Humans are influencing the climate and if we don’t stop fossil fuels apocalyptic things will happen.

It is true that some folks here are not in 4 and 5. For the time, though, let’s leave that discussion. We don’t need to convince them, nor they us. As the English cleric and writer Charles Caleb Colton wrote: “The greatest friend of truth is Time, her greatest enemy is Prejudice, and her constant companion is Humility.” So we can leave them to their beliefs.. they may be correct but time will tell. It’s also possible that the way we propose to deal with decarbonization will have other advantages such that those folks may ultimately agree. For example, the way the authors of he 2009 Hartwell Paper framed the issue:

Therefore, in our view, the organising principle of our effort should be the raising up of human dignity and in that pursuit, our re-framed primary goals should be three:
1) to ensure that the basic needs, especially the energy demands, of the world’s growing population are adequately met. ‘Adequacy’ means energy that is simultaneously accessible, secure and low-cost.
2) to ensure that we develop in a manner that does not undermine the essential functioning of the Earth system, in recent years most commonly reflected in concerns about accumulating carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, but certainly not limited to that factor alone;
3) to ensure that our societies are adequately equipped to withstand the risks and dangers that come from all the vagaries of climate, whatever may be their cause.

So stand by, 1s,2s, and 3s, we may pick you back up somewhere along the way.

For now, I’d like to go back to 4s and 5s and look more deeply into where our different views could lead us in terms of efforts to decarbonize.

If I think about the differences between 4’s and 5’s, we all agree that decarbonizing is something that needs to be addressed. What we differ on (perhaps?) is urgency, what environmental, social justice, economic, national security trade-offs should be made, and what will work in physical reality. Then there’s scale, country or international. Should the US export more LNG to help other countries burn less coal? Should we tell Africa not to develop its resources? And there are so many values and scientific disciplines and practitioners involved in all the possibilities and trade-offs. This is a tough problem, because right now our world runs on fossil fuels- electricity, transport, chemicals and so on. We also know it’s difficult because states like California, and countries like Germany, have tried a bunch of things- some have worked better than others- and we have watched them struggle. If you follow Sammy Roth at the LA Times you can follow some of California’s twists and turns.

At the same time that states and countries are making efforts to decarbonize, the natural world (e.g., many aspects of wildfires); the human world (e.g., the War in the Ukraine); and interactions of both (e.g., the Covid pandemic) can change expectations and possibilities of any steps forward at any time. As does technological innovation for both mitigation (carbon capture, geothermal, small modular reactors, and so on) and for adaptation (wildfire suppression technology, CRISPR for plant breeding and so on).

So decarbonizing will be difficult in terms of new energy sources and building and buying new energy sources and physical infrastructure, it can’t physically happen as quickly as some might want, and care will have to be taken such that the transition doesn’t impose undue burdens on the non-wealthy/environmental justice/marginalized communities; AND we will have to be flexible as new information and natural, human and the interactions of those change through time. It seems like we should ask everyone to help row the boat. and we need to build a coalition that can maintain itself and be flexible through time and all kinds of internal and external trials. Including groups that want to hijack the issue to their own known or unknown ends. So what is the path to that coalition.. via old-fangled traits such as honesty, transparency, intentionally developing trust, and perhaps a healthy dose of humility?

So my question to 4s and 5s, do you see the situation the same way? If not, why not? And specifically for 5’s, do you think your view on the possibly apocalyptic nature of climate change affects your views on the above?

Thanks to all for your continued participation in this discussion.

76 thoughts on “Deeper Climate Change Discussions III. Does Apocalypticism Affect Our Path Forward and If So, How?”

    • A- A few times while reading it I thought I caught a glimmer of what the author was saying.. but then.. no. Any change you would like to summarize what you got out of it?

      • while it’s not the clearest, a few thoughts can be gleaned about how it highlights ideas that may help understand apocalypticism and the tendency for apocalypticism to be counterproductive. While climate change may indeed present existential threats, I read this as something that, though muddled in terms of overall message (and written with all the opacity of a professional philosopher) it had some useful principles and thoughts regarding what to potentially avoid, and what to potentially think about, in discussing existential risks. Those thoughts I got with some key quotes:

        1, the framing of problems of knowledge gaps, see top of page 2.

        “All real-life decisions have the decision-maker face some kind of knowledge gap. Therefore, an idea of precautionary decision-making needs to be able to guide decision-makers with regard to:(1) if the knowledge gap faced is to be tolerated, and a decision made in spite of it, or(2) if the decision should be delayed while attempting to close or narrow the gap,(3) and, if so, how much time, effort and resources should be spent on that endeavor.”

        Also “[a] challenge results when the problem of knowledge gaps is combined with the presence of what I for convenience sake will term an existential risk.”

        2, the base claim about existential risks and existential framing:

        “Accepting the idea that ultimate harms justify extraordinary reasons for pre-cautionary management of the knowledge gaps presented by existential risks, there seems to be no rationally justifiable end to the amount of resources and time that we should spend on trying to clarify an existential risk further. This is due to the very nature of the harms of being ultimate” (p.2 of 12).

        Also “The awesomeness of one threat of ultimate harm after another silences human ability to psychologically engage with the challenge; venturing into black holes is not an idea that entices us, it either paralyzes us or makes us act irrationally” (10 of 12)

        3, the notion of how existential threats should be weighed against the existence of other issues to be managed:

        “Despite the massiveness of ultimate harms, there is a limit to how much we should pay, mess up and give up in order to insure against them. We do not need to close down all other production and public services or abandon the management of more clearly identified and manageable large risks, such as the lack of access to clean drinking water or the effective prevention of further antibiotic resistance to secure functioning health-care systems, in order to put all we have into the eventual possibility of future interstellar human migration to insure against meteorite induced extinction or some such. The challenge still remains of determining what features determine the point at which our evidential situation is ‘good enough’ to make the call, but at least this type of strategy seems capable of producing some sort of limit that resists the black hole challenge” (8 of 12)

        and 4, a notion of pragmatic “satisficing” responses

        “the reason for the importance of formulating the end- and exit-points now is pragmatic–to make room for sensible precautionary response to existential risks within the limitations of human nature–and not ideal-theoretical, we may allow for some arbitrariness. The important thing is to have the end- and exit-points reasonably well-placed to do the job reasonably well, not to have them perfectly placed to guarantee having the job done nothing short of excellently”

        So, while not explicitly tied to climate, some principles that may apply:

        The difference between 4 and 5 may to some degree be some seen between those that are falling into the proverbial black hole.

        You could say, that as a 4 myself, the way I see it is that applying the principles from the quotes I selected is why I would be a 4, and not a 5. These, at least to some degree, relate to explaining my finding apocalyptic talk either unhelpful or irresponsible.

        • Thanks for taking the time to do this, this makes more sense to me. I think that this area- looking deeply into differences between 4 and 5 is rich terrain for further exploration. Thanks again!

        • One benefit of a precautionary response is that it should shift the burden of proof to the proponents of carbon-generating activities. At least for public lands, but ideally for any government regulated activity, the proponent should have to make the case that their intended activity that releases carbon would provide a net social benefit.

          Forest Service special use authorizations require the deciding official to determine whether the proposal would be in the public interest. I don’t know if that is also true of federal lands oil and gas leasing, but it should be, and it should take into account the climate impacts. Using a precautionary approach would weigh the uncertainty about impacts, costs and benefits against the proponent.

          This approach would be warranted when the consequences are potentially catastrophic.

          • Well, Jon, that’s what the whale people are saying.. that we should be precautionary about offshore wind.. Or did we used to be precautionary about critters and now disregard critters for carbon? According to many, we’re in a biodiversity as well as climate crisis. It’s nice to say that those two always line up, but they don’t in reality all the time. Trade-offs are the name of the game.

            • The precautionary principle should be biased against irreversible actions. Where action is needed to mitigate climate change, it puts a premium on the tradeoff analysis, including on alternative locations that trade off some energy efficiency/cost for species protection.

          • Dear Jon,

            The ‘Precautionary Principle’ only works when the costs are minor compared with the risks. Hence, we readily wear a seat belt while driving but do not forego auto travel altogether to avoid dying in an auto accident. In the world of risk analysis, we do a risk to benefit analysis to see how low we can get that ratio. Mobility is vastly important to us. And seat belts greatly reduce the risk.

            You completely miss the fact that carbon dioxide is vastly beneficial at the levels we are discussing. Adding more to the atmosphere has almost zero risk and vast benefits. We get energy from fossil fuels and considerably enhanced plant growth from 425 ppmv CO2 versus 350 ppmv. NASA has measured a 20% increase in leaf area planet-wide from this increase.

            All of the claims of “catastrophe” are total nonsense. Even scientists promoting concern say explicitly that there is no impending climate catastrophe. The former President of the US National Academy of Sciences and an ardent warmer, Dr. Ralph Cicerone, said “We don’t have that kind of evidence” when questioned by the BBC.

            You should be aware, but apparently are not, that the UN IPCC has completely dropped their RCP 8.5 scenario that has been vastly overused to argue for climate catastrophe. That is gone. And as a consequence, it should be gone from your comments as well, if you want to claim ANY scientific basis for your contributions.

            Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)
            Corbett, Oregon USA

            • “Adding more to the atmosphere has almost zero risk and vast benefits.” Your opinion, both points strenuously disagreed with by large majorities of credible experts. Whom to believe? Hmmmm…

              • Dear Jon,

                Are you now arguing ‘consensus,’ when I have taken apart your other arguments? That is one of the worst logical fallacies. Science is decided by logic and evidence, not by a vote of those you deem experts. You should at least know that much about science.

                But if you want to argue consensus, why don’t you discuss the UN IPCC dropping their RCP 8.5 climate scenario, from which all catastrophe is derived? I agree with them that RCP 8.5 was completely ridiculous.

                You seem completely unaware that “credible experts” differ primarily in the amount of warming to be expected from a doubling of atmospheric CO2 from 0.04% to 0.08%, if that increase were possible. (It is not for other reasons.)

                The almost universally accepted value is one degree C. Alarmists, like the 2021 Nobel Laureate in Physics Manabe then invoke a positive water vapor feedback to argue for twice the warming or two degrees C. Then the 2022 Nobel Laureate in Physics, John Clauser, argues that more water vapor means more clouds to reflect sunlight back to space and thereby keep us cool. He argues that clouds are a hundred times more powerful than CO2 and hence will dominate any such scenario.

                This is the real science that I would be happy to argue in any court of law where you may hang out. You argue consensus, and I will argue the facts.

                Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)
                Corbett, Oregon USA

              • Jon: A “large majority of credible experts” thought the world was flat at one time, and that heavier-than-air vehicles couldn’t fly until proven otherwise.

                Majority vote is how politics works, not science, which is a major reason why Democrats, for the most part, seem to think that “climate change” is an “existential threat,” while Republicans seem less concerned.

                Check out all of the morbid climate predictions that have been made by taxpayer-funded government modelers the past 35 years, and see how many have been accurate. Then note how they twist their words to compensate for these failures.

                • Dear Bob,

                  Speaking of bad predictions, those of Lord Kelvin have to among the best/worst:

                  1) “Man will never fly.”

                  2) “The motor car will never be practical.”

                  I wonder if he were alive today, would he predict a climate catastrophe from carbon dioxide? If he wanted to keep up his record of being remarkably wrong, he certainly would.


                  • Your facts have lost in court so far. In fact, I’m not sure they are even regarded as facts.

                    These comparisons are silly. (Unless you are arguing that technology that hasn’t been invented yet will save us.)

            • Geez, Gordy. Now you’re quoting NASA as a reputable source after decrying them elsewhere?

              According to NASA, the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in Earth’s atmosphere was about 416 parts per million (ppm) in April 2021. The preindustrial level of CO2—the amount in the air a few centuries ago, before humans began to burn CO2-producing fuels like coal and oil at an industrial scale—was about 280 ppm. What is clearly not ideal is the constantly rising level of CO2 we have today, which pushes the climate further away from the best conditions for us, our cities, and our societies. In 2016, a worldwide body of climate scientists2 said that a CO2 level of 430 ppm would push the world past its target for avoiding dangerous climate change.


  1. Hi Sharon,

    Can’t disagree much with your assessment. If you are in the camp of decarbonizing then yes it is a question of how and how long it will take, what will work, etc. I also think there are two issues: One to achieve carbon neutrality – not release more greenhouse gases above nature carbon cycle, and two, based on the level of greenhouse gases when we get to at neutrality, do we need to reverse the added greenhouse gases we have pumped into the cycle. We see changes to the climate today and as the levels of greenhouse gases increase more change will happen. (Also keep in mind that future events may happen as punctuated events, they happen fast and extreme.) We can/may/will mitigate some of those changes – some thru technology, some thru social change, some thru behavioral changes. At the time we get to neutrality what will the environment look like? Is it just a minor change, so requiring just a minor adaptation to our current modern civilization? Or? Time will tell. But I think some lose track of the fact that the extra greenhouse gases already emitted do not go away through natural processes.

    I do have an issue with the “apocalyptic” or at least using it to label people and their thought processes. First off using the strict definition – “describing or prophesying the complete destruction of the world” is a bit much. Could the build up of greenhouse gasses on earth get to a point like on Venus where all life as we know can not exist (due to our modern human activity?) Interesting question and the end point is apocalyptic, but I’m not sure what our knowledge base is for that kind of event. Earth history has be very dynamic, humans have evolved in a very narrow spectrum and very short period of time. Could we survive in all past time periods/climates, some yes, some no. We have seen mass extinction events, there are winners and losers, but so far the earth hasn’t been pushed to a single end point – a lifeless Venus’ twin sister or other extremes.

    For me the term catastrophic would be more appropriate – “involving or causing sudden great damage or suffering” or more narrowly “involving a sudden and large-scale alteration in state.” This to me this is real. As a species do we have the resources to mitigate catastrophes, yes. Is there a trajectory that we can not recover from? That is also a possibility in my mind.

    • Yes, that is very helpful, thanks, Carl. We should interrogate specific claims rather than putting them in a box. How bad is it? How bad could it be in the future? To what extent is it reversible?
      I agree, let’s use “catastrophic”. a) “involving or causing sudden great damage or suffering” or more narrowly b) “involving a sudden and large-scale alteration in state.”
      Of course if we think that say wildfires are caused/made worse by climate change, then we are already there in terms of great damage and suffering.

      Perhaps b, but maybe it wouldn’t have to be sudden, just unrecoverable. This seems like a good area to reflect on more deeply. And perhaps A and others have some literature they can point to.

    • Dear Carl,

      As an astrophysicist, I have to take issue with your comparison of Earth to Venus. Each of the planets in this solar system is vastly different from the others. A few are terrestrial in the sense of having a hard surface like Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. Others are gas giants with no solid surface like Jupiter.

      Venus is far hotter than Earth for many reasons. First, it is closer to the Sun at about .7 AU. That means it gets twice the insolation that Earth does. “Insolation” means “incoming solar radiation.” If Earth suddenly got twice the insolation, we would be in big trouble. Second, Venus has a surface pressure of about 90 bars compared with one bar on the Earth. That means that Venus has 90 times the atmosphere we do. Third, Venus has no water vapor cooling cycle like the Earth. That makes it much tougher for heat to escape from Venus.

      In other words, it is ridiculous to suggest that the Earth could ever become a Venus.

      As to de-carbonizing, why do you think that necessary or prudent? We are near the low for life to survive here and nowhere near the ideal. Yes, I see below that you think any mention of the benefits of carbon dioxide or the dangers of low levels is a “logical fallacy.” But that merely says that you do not understand what logical fallacies are. Aristotle understood these thousands of years ago.

      You have completely bought into the nonsense that carbon dioxide is dangerous, evil, or some sort of right wing conspiracy. Yet I am doing very well here in my office with the level at 672 ppmv, because I am here. Yes, I am exhaling 40,000 ppmv writing this comment. Am I on the verge of a climate catastrophe in my office? NO! All of this is completely normal.

      But you are worried about a climate catastrophe from an increase in atmospheric CO2 from 0.035% to 0.042%. Doesn’t that sound ridiculous, even to you? It should.

      Carbon dioxide does indeed keep us warmer than we would be without it. But it is already doing almost all it can, regardless of how much we put into the atmosphere. This is because the Raman scattering lines of CO2 are almost completely saturated.

      My suggestion is that you learn something about this subject before trying your best to stoke fear. Fearmongering is the danger, not carbon dioxide.

      Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)
      Corbett, Oregon USA

  2. We need a plan. Just don’t give it to the Forest Service, but give them a paper bag to play with in the corner.

    Seriously, if man-caused climate change is real. We need a plan.

    Maybe something along the lines of the Public Lands Commission in the 60’s.

    I am a skeptic about human caused climate change. BUT that does not negate the need for a plan.

    In Washington state, the Governor used the Growth Management Act to over-ride local zoning plans to ban Industrial Wind and Solar areas.

    Unfortunately, the Industrial Wind Areas have ONLY displaced county owned green electricity generated by county owned dams on the Columbia River. So much so, that the PUD’s are shifting to generating green hydrogen instead of electricity to send to western Washington, Oregon and California. Not sure that is good public policy.

    The Governor is poised to approve and overide local zoning a Industrial Solar Development of 5000 acres that includes removing TOPSOIL from the entire 5000 acres. Not sure that is good public policy. He will do this with the blessings of the environmental community, but I guess most of them do not remember the “Oh, my God” clearcut on the Bitteroot NF. Or maybe they just don’t care.

    We need a plan.

    I think a Commission should look at the various alternatives to lowering CO2 emissions. In Washington state, we have a cap and trade program that will raise gas prices to $9.00 per gallon in the next four years. That is the goal, to reduce transportation CO2 emissions by 20%. That’s fine but that is the same as implementing 55/45/25 as have the Europeans. Gas prices DECLINE as well as CO2 emissions.

    Put into a plan so the public can see what are the alternatives and who benefits and who pays.


    • Dear Vladimir,

      Why do you need a plan to combat a non-problem?

      I realize that you may not like the weather. Most people, including me, complain about it at one time or the other. But what can we do about it?

      Too many people are willing to support the complete nonsense that carbon dioxide is responsible for our weather, or for a significant portion of it, or all of it. The great variability of our weather comes from living on a planet with vast oceans and atmosphere that are NEVER in equilibrium.

      Since you have a Russian name, let me point out that the Russians have spent a large amount of money trying to change Russia’s harsh weather for the better. All of those efforts failed.

      Our climate continues to change, because of ocean cycles, cloud cycles, Milankovitch (planetary) cycles, and even solar cycles. Increasing atmospheric CO2 has such a tiny effect on temperature that it should be completely ignored.

      The 2022 Nobel Laureate in Physics, John Clauser, recently called the demonizing of carbon dioxide “pseudoscience.”

      Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)
      Corbett, Oregon USA

      • It is NOT a non-problem.

        You have the President of the United States that believes it is the most important issue facing humanity. You have Governor’s of more than half the states that believe the same.

        All these political leaders are implementing “individual actions” without any coherent approach to a non-problem or problem. BUT we are wasting HUGE economic resources and making very poor ecological decisions to what might be a “non-problem”.

        We might even be coming up with the WRONG solutions to the “non-problem”. We might even have a real problem with natural climate that we are not addressing.

        Preparing a plan helps define the problem and more importantly it lets everybody see ALL the proposed solutions at one time.

        For example, in Washington state we had a carbon fee implemented this year that raised gas prices by 50 cents a gallon so far. The goal is to reduce fossil fuel emissions of CO2 by 20%. That will require a gasoline price of $9.00 a gallon which will be implemented over the next five years. We can get the same reduction TOMORROW by implementing 55/45/25 which the Governor has authority to do on his OWN.

        Nobody is discussing 55/45/25 simply because there is NO FORUM for doing so. A plan would provide that forum and discussion of alternatives.

        I agree with you that climate change might be a “non-problem” but the only way to get society to agree to that conclusion is that have a “plan” in the process of preparation and get comments from all of society.

        Not Russian. My father was Ukrainian and my mother White Russian. My father was NOT a fan of the “Great Russians”. I on the other hand was born a Latino of European origin. Yeah, neither the Census or the Forest Service could deal with that concept.

        I paid my own way to visit the Soviet Union in 1976 and the Forest Service sent me to the Russian Far East (Vladivostock) in 1996 to help them save the Siberian Tiger. It must have been our great job on saving the Northern Spotted Owl that the Russians asked for our help. Both trips were very interesting.

        Russia is a amazing, dysfunctional country on so many levels. Attempting to change the climate was the least of their problems.

        • Dear Vladimir,

          I too have spent time in Russia, in my case at the United States Embassy in Moscow. I was there for the 75th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. That was an especially important event, because it was the end of such celebrations. I was there to assist preparations for President Reagan’s negotiations with Gorbachev to dismantle the Soviet Union peacefully.

          As to Global Warming, the most important thing is to get the science correct. Supporting a scam is not the way to do anything. It just leads to more wasted money. And we are not talking about pennies. We are talking about trillions of dollars and vast environmental damage if we play along with the scam. We have spent a trillion on windmills and seen no reduction in ‘carbon footprint.’ (I could point out why. But that is another discussion.) We are spending a trillion on inferior Electric Vehicles, with no reduction in ‘carbon footprint.’ The net result will be a transfer of our auto industry to the Chinese. And the electricity for the EVs will still come from carbon sources. Is there no limit to the stupidity?

          Now, Sharon and others here want to spend a trillion on ‘carbon sequestration.’ That is more foolish than windmills and more dangerous in several ways.

          At what point do we recognize that we are being enormously foolish and not accomplishing anything? This is the definition of stupidity.

          Yes, we know about your Washington State carbon fee in Oregon, because it is showing up here too. Most of our petroleum products come from Washington State refineries.


          • Gordon, with all due respect, you keep calling people names. This is not an acceptable practice on The Smokey Wire. I think we’re pretty tolerant with new folks, hoping that they catch on to the spirit of the place, but you are going over the line. Please stop. PS I don’t think you are going to convince anyone who doesn’t already agree with you, so it’s probably not a good use of your time.

  3. Dear Sharon,

    As I write this comment on the 13th of the month, it occurs to me that you and most who comment here are fundamentally superstitious that carbon dioxide is problematical, dangerous, or downright apocalyptic. You are worried, very worried, or extremely worried. But you present no reasons for the worry, except perhaps that you have read something recently in the popular press that scares the daylights out of you. Perhaps it was unusually hot somewhere?

    Am I correct?

    Might I suggest that a careful study of the science should allay ALL of your fears? Carbon dioxide and water vapor are the two completely benign byproducts of our civilization.

    How do we know they are more than benign, more than beneficial, and absolutely essential? We are made primarily from carbon dioxide and water via photosynthesis and sunlight. If you start messing with those toward the negative side you threaten life itself.

    Thomas Jefferson noted the “Year Without a Summer” in 1816, after the explosion of Mt Tambora in 1815. That led to the greatest famine of the 19th century, because the ash cloud caused temperatures to plummet and frost to occur in the middle of summer in New England.

    Agriculture today DEPENDS on enhanced atmospheric carbon dioxide to be able to feed the world’s eight billion people. Less atmospheric CO2 will mean starvation for as many as a billion people. Is that what you want?

    You can do that experiment for yourself. Just setup a small space heater that vents into your house or greenhouse and watch how much better your plants grow. You can purchase natural gas or propane heaters that do this safely, without dangerous exhaust. You can purchase an inexpensive CO2 meter to tell you how much CO2 you have inside. My setup shows about 1500 ppm in my house when the heater is working. That is the level that farmers prefer when they grow food crops (like tomatoes) in greenhouses.

    The experiment that you cannot easily do is to reduce CO2 below the 200 ppm needed for plants to grow. But Mother Nature did that at the end of the last Ice Age. Ice core records show vast dust storms persisted for ten of thousands of years as plants were unable to hold onto the soil in high desert regions like the Gobi.

    Perhaps you are scared to death that rising CO2 levels will never stop rising? That is ridiculous, because we are already losing about half of the carbon dioxide we humans put in the atmosphere each year. In rough numbers, we burn about 10 GtC and Mother Nature removes 5 GtC in addition to the natural carbon cycle. The removed carbon goes into the enormous biosphere and oceans, eventually making it to the carbon graveyard at the bottom of the oceans. From carbon-14 measurements, we know that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has only a roughly 15-year residence time.

    As to an enhanced Greenhouse Effect, even those most alarmist who understand the physical sciences realize that carbon dioxide is such a small effect that it needs assistance from water vapor to produce any measurable thermal effect. The reason is that the absorption lines of CO2 are almost completely saturated already. But as soon as you argue for enhanced water vapor, you have enhanced clouds, negating the effects of water vapor and carbon dioxide. Clouds are a hundred times more powerful than CO2 at thermal control.

    There is no scientific basis for your superstitions. We do not need to sacrifice virgins or our economy to placate your superstitions. It is long past time to ditch the superstitions.

    Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)
    Corbett, Oregon USA

    • At what level of atmospheric CO2 do you think we would start to see a problem? I understand that you don’t think the current level or rate of additional is an issue but at what level would we start to see changes?

      • Dear Patrick,

        Thanks for responding.

        The easy way to understand what is an appropriate or safe level of atmospheric CO2 is to ask Mother Nature. What has she delivered for us before and what were the consequences.

        This graph shows the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere over the last 140 million years:

        Life thrived during this period. Hence, any concentration above our present level of about 425 ppmv up to 2,500 ppmv is perfectly acceptable. Plants do best at levels of at least 1500 ppmv. We are in a regime where a little more CO2 produces dramatic improvements. That is because we are near the minimum for plants to grow (200 ppmv). We can see in the ice core records where the earth suffered vast dust storms when the CO2 fell below 200 ppmv during the last Ice Age and plants holding the soil together died.

        We separately know that humans can tolerate levels up to about 10,000 ppmv, although US Navy nuclear submarines limit the CO2 concentration to 5,000 ppmv. We exhale about 40,000 ppmv, and the level in my office is 618 ppmv because I am working here.

        As I mentioned above, plants love CO2. That is an experiment you can do yourself. Or let Sherwood Inso show you how much faster trees grow with more CO2:

        Can we reach any of these levels to enjoy the benefits of more CO2? No, we are driving up CO2 levels by about 5GtC/year by burning 10 GtC/year. (GtC is gigatons of carbon) That means that Mother Nature is very actively sequestering 5 GtC in the biosphere and oceans. We can see the greening of the earth from NASA satellites. As we add more than 10 GtC/year, Mother Nature cranks up her removal processes, thereby severely limiting our ability to increase the atmospheric concentration further above the lower limit for life.

        However, you are probably worried about temperature changes as we drive the CO2 level up from 0.04 to 0.05 % (where 0.04% is the same as 400 ppmv) . We know that a doubling of CO2 from 0.04 to 0.08 % cannot cause more than about a one degree C warming without feedback. The 2021 Nobel Laureate in Physics, Manabe) argues that water vapor will double that to two degrees of warming for a doubling of carbon dioxide. But as soon as you invoke water vapor as a positive feedback, you have to acknowledge clouds as a strong negative feedback. Hence, the 2023 Nobel Laureate in Physics (Clauser) argues that clouds completely control the situation, leading to essentially no warming.

        In other words, adding a little CO2 to the atmosphere is completely beneficial.

        Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)
        Corbett, Oregon USA

    • Gordon, There are many things we don’t completely understand, including the atmosphere.. non-linear, many variables, etc. I know I don’t know. You seem sure that you know, and when I don’t agree, you say I’m “superstitious”.

      You probably aren’t familiar with age-old religious disputes, but Catholics have been called “superstitious” since probably before the Puritans but certainly by the Puritans and later. This did not help harmonize relations, but maybe that wasn’t the point, even then.

      And for people more interested in that, try this post on Three Cheers for Superstitions

      • Dear Sharon,

        You are by definition “superstitious” when you present worries that have no scientific basis and argue for remedies that have no efficacy.

        But let’s say that you want to argue the scientific case for concern about catastrophe without being “superstitious.” How would you do it?

        You would argue the warming ability of greenhouse gases and give us a quantitative estimate of the warming expected from a doubling of atmospheric CO2 from 425 ppmv to 850 ppmv. That is about one degree C. Then you would point out that atmospheric CO2 is rising at about 2.5 ppmv per year, leading to a doubling in about two centuries, if you assume a continued linear rise in CO2. So you would conclude that we will be ONE degree C warmer by 2200.

        When I say “Big Deal” you could respond that the 2021 Nobel Laureate in Physics Manabe claims a positive feedback from water vapor that might double that warming to two degrees C. Then I will point out that John Clauser, the Nobel Laureate in Physics last year, says that clouds from that water vapor are 100 times more powerful at cooling than CO2 is at warming.

        This is the way we work through scientific discussions without invoking fear and throwing up our hands at the complexity. While there is no way we can predict future climate states with computer models (per the UN IPCC), because we live on a planet with vast oceans and atmosphere that are never in equilibrium, we can easily see that concerns about significant CO2 warming are complete nonsense.

        Here is the Merriam Webster definition of “superstitious:”

        “a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation”

        Let’s trust in logic and evidence, not “magic.”

        Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)
        Corbett, Oregon USA

          • Dear Larry,

            The final refuge for alarmists is to accuse real scientists of working for the Koch brothers or Exxon Mobil. That is more than wrong. It is libelous.

            I have the same financial relationship with the oil companies that you do: “Pay at the Pump.”

            You need to apologize.

            Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)
            Corbett, Oregon USA

    • For those interested in “a careful study of the science” I suggest starting with this link: “The Carbon Cycle” instead of the above comment. Then go from there.

      Then let have a discussion about the science, not calling people superstitious, sacrificing virgins or destroyers of our economy. Simplifying the issue down to a logical fallacy of “Life needs Carbon, Carbon is good, more carbon is better, don’t mess with carbon, “you” want to lower carbon levels below 200 ppm and kill a billion people” is a non productive discussion I wish not to have, better suited for the other echo chamber sites/groups.

      • Carl wrote–“For those interested in “a careful study of the science” I suggest starting with this link: “The Carbon Cycle” instead of the above comment. Then go from there.”

        Of course the problem with ALL NASA climate stuff is their tendency to mix lies with facts. For instance a few things jumped out at me as I briefly scanned the article:

        1. LIE: “Eventually, the land and oceans will take up most of the extra carbon dioxide, but as much as 20 percent may remain in the atmosphere for many thousands of years.”
        The end of atom bomb tests stopped emission of one carbon isotope, whose decay (half life) was measured at about 10 years, NOT “many thousands of years” Two half lives is about 25% not “many thousands of years”

        2. LACK OF CONTEXT: “With too many greenhouse gases, Earth would be like Venus, where the greenhouse atmosphere keeps temperatures around 400 degrees Celsius (750 Fahrenheit).”
        Venus is close to 100% CO2, not our 0.04%. There is NO WAY we will ever reach Venus levels of CO2.

        3. THIS TRUTH DEVASTATES THE CO2 SCAM: “Carbon dioxide causes about 20 percent of Earth’s greenhouse effect; water vapor accounts for about 50 percent; and clouds account for 25 percent.”
        Note that CO2 causes only 20% while water vapor causes 50%. But controlling H2O is not possible, so we concentrate on a 20% component of warming.
        IMPORTANT CONCLUSION: Note that their CO2 graphic shows about 6% of CO2 from man, so that means MAN’S CO2 is causing about 6% of that 20% of warming – 0.06 x 0.2 = 0.012 or about ONE PERCENT

        4. LIE: “Likewise, when carbon dioxide concentrations rise, air temperatures go up, and more water vapor evaporates into the atmosphere—which then amplifies greenhouse heating.
        LIE: “… scientists have found that carbon dioxide is the gas that sets the temperature. Carbon dioxide controls the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere and thus the size of the greenhouse effect.”
        This HAS NEVER BEEN SHOWN TO BE TRUE. It is pure speculation with ZERO evidence to support it.

        5. Lack of context: ” At the same time that greenhouse gases have been increasing, average global temperatures have risen 0.8 degrees Celsius (1.4 degrees Fahrenheit) since 1880.”
        a. 1880 was the end of the “little ice age” and history shows that CO2 rises after a cold spell.
        b. Correlation is NOT proof of causation.
        c. They also lied by NOT mentioning that the earth’s temperature started rising 200 years BEFORE Co2.

        6. LIE, CORRECTED IN THEIR 2ND SENTENCE: “Dissolving carbon dioxide in the ocean creates carbonic acid, which increases the acidity of the water. Or rather, a slightly alkaline ocean becomes a little less alkaline.
        Oceans are NOT ACIDIC – something cannot become more of that which it is not.
        LIE – the implication that the oceans might become acid. this is NOT POSSIBLE because of the multiple buffers.

        7. LIE: “Since 1750, the pH of the ocean’s surface has dropped by 0.1, a 30 percent change in acidity.”
        We have ZERO whole ocean data before the satellite era. The ONLY ocean measurements were along shipping routes and a few research expeditions. Thus this is pure speculation, probably from a few isolated measurements. Currently the PH of the ocean is found to vary with location.

        Additional NASA (and other’s) lies are debunked at
        In particular:

          • It isn’t lying per se…it is a printing only the “accepted” narrative.

            Here is the LA Times article on climate change dogma.


            Here is the “california-scientist” and his explanation on this works.


            As part of the Camp70 Foresters I wrote and submitted opinion editorials on the forest fire crises and burning of our public lands. I have had previous editorials published so expected that these would also be published.

            They were NOT. Instead the newspapers continued to publish opinion pieces by environmental lawyers in their 20’s, because it met their narrative. To be fair, I believe that most if not all of these journalists actually BELIEVE the narrative.

            That is fine. But as the Nature article shows it is not just scientifically illiterate journalists that believe the narrative, but scientists that are narrowly trained in their fields.

            For those scientists outside the natural resource agencies an ID Team approach to problem solving has been part of their education.

            They KNOW A LOT ABOUT A LITTLE.

            Our problem in society is that solutions are found by people that KNOW A LITTLE ABOUT A LOT.

            Oh well, as one my economics professors said “the discount rate takes care of future generations”. Oh wait, this has nothing to do with discount rates.

            Pour me another glass of wine. Being numb to today’s world might be the only solution.

          • Dear Jon,

            The simple answer is MONEY.

            You should read President Eisenhower’s Farewell Address to the nation where he warned about the “Military Industrial Complex.” Few realize that he went on to warn about what we know today as the Global Warming Scam:

            “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present — and is gravely to be regarded.

            Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

            –Dwight David Eisenhower

            Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)
            Corbett, Oregon USA

            • Hi Gordon: There are a few trolls (very few, thankfully) on this blog named “Anonymous” and/or “Anon” that apparently think that topical links to articles and editorials I’ve written are somehow proof of my perceived lack of scientific capability — possibly because they are written (and peer reviewed) for actual practitioners rather than for the academic press. There’s a reason the trolls don’t use their real names, so this link is just for them:

              • Dear Bob,

                You are correct that there is a lot of bad behavior on display here. Trolls using fictitious names are only part of the problem. Too many just want to spout off on subjects where they know little.

                Thank you for adding a little sanity.


            • Whose money is it that dwarfs the contributions of those who make their money from selling their carbon?

              It’s hard to make the leap from those who benefit from the military industrial complex to the save-the-earthers. I think the Eisenhower quote better supports the opposite need to fear the hydrocarbon industrial complex and its paid mouthpieces.

              • Jon: Please read the article. The Eisenhower quote does NOT say “fear the hydrocarbon industrial complex and its paid mouthpieces.” That is just you making things up and trumpeting your own biases.

                “An army runs on its stomach,” so we’re talking about agriculture at an important level. Hydrocarbon fits there okay, but then what “mouthpieces” are you talking about? Eisenhower was specific to government computers, funding, and and policies. Maybe you’d like to read first and then comment?

                • I read this article (which I don’t see cited in your article):

                  While there are different possible interpretations, I think his initial statement about the corrupting influence of money also underlies his concern for the misuse of science, and there is much more money in the hydrocarbon industrial complex than in environmental non-profits.

                  “The science adviser at the time, eminent chemist George Kistiakowsky, said in a later interview with Greenberg that when he questioned Eisenhower about the remarks, the president tried to distinguish between academic research, which he supported, and expanding research by industry and others with military implications that he felt was dangerous.

                  “I have no doubt that Eisenhower feared the ‘military-industrial complex,’” Greenberg said, “But I’m not sure that he intended a blanket indictment of science in his reference to the ‘scientific-technological elite’ or that he feared that federal research money would contaminate academic science.”

                  • Thanks Jon: Appreciate this insight. That Greenberg was “not sure” if Eisenhower intended to reference academic funding specifically or science in general is interesting. I chose to take Eisenhower at his word. Also, I wasn’t citing other sources because I didn’t read them, although I’ll probably follow up on this link. My opinion piece was based on my own opinion, not that of others.

      • Dear Carl,

        I see that you do not wish to have a discussion about the science, after completely misrepresenting what I said.

        If you know anything about agronomy, you have likely heard of Norman Borlaug, “the man who saved a billion people.” He developed improved varieties of wheat for countries on the brink of starvation, namely Mexico, Pakistan, and India. Here is the Nobel citation for his work:

        Borlaug’s successful “Green Revolution” was not only based on improved seeds but on greening of the earth from human emissions of atmospheric CO2. NASA satellite measurements show a marked improvement in leaf area across the globe from an increase in atmospheric CO2 from 350 to 425 ppmv. With all else equal, crop yields are up 20 %. That means that about 1.6 billion people are dependent on the present level of CO2 in our atmosphere.

        If the superstitious had their way and were able to reduce atmospheric CO2, more than a billion people would be in big trouble.

        Carbon is not a logical fallacy. Carbon is the basis of life. We are all carbon creatures made from carbon dioxide, water and, sunlight. Plants take those ingredients and make glucose (C6H12O6) from which all life is derived.

        Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)
        Corbett, Oregon USA

  4. Sharon asked–“So my question to 4s and 5s, do you see the situation the same way? If not, why not?”
    I do not because I cannot find any actual evidence that man’s CO2 (or other accused actions) have causes serious climate changes when compared to history:

    Our climate has occurred before, WITHOUT MAN’S CO2:
    5000 years ago, there was the Egyptian 1st Unified Kingdom warm period
    4400 years ago, there was the Egyptian old kingdom warm period.
    3000 years ago, there was the Minoan Warm period. It was warmer than now WITHOUT fossil fuels.
    Then 1000 years later, there was the Roman warm period. It was warmer than now WITHOUT fossil fuels.
    Then 1000 years later, there was the Medieval warm period. It was warmer than now WITHOUT fossil fuels.
    1000 years later, came our current warm period.
    Climate alarmists are claiming that whatever caused those earlier warm periods suddenly quit causing warm periods, only to be replaced by man’s CO2, perfectly in time for the cycle of warmth every 1000 years to stay on schedule. Not very believable.

    The entire climate scam crumbles on this one observation because it shows that there is nothing unusual about today’s temperature and thus CO2 is not causing warming or any unusual climate effects that are frequently blamed on warming.
    Evidence that those warm periods actually occurred:
    Evidence that the Roman & Medieval warm periods were global:

    Various facts show man’s CO2 is not causing serious global warming:
    1. Our current climate started warming 200 years BEFORE man’s CO2 emissions started to rise . NOT before.
    2. Previous Holocene warm periods were warmer than now.
    3. Solar fits climate better than CO2
    4. There is nothing unusual about today’s climate compared to before man emitted CO2.
    5. Recent warming is a same rate as the late 1800s but now with much more of man’s CO2. (More of a cause should cause more effect.)
    6. Man’s CO2 has never been proven to cause dangerous warming.
    7. Man emits only 5% of annual CO2. Plus CO2 only causes 9-26% of greenhouse effect.
    8. Human CO2 release warms the climate less than 0.03◦C
    See for evidence

    The IPCC debunks most popular claims of unusual climate events:
    1. The IPCC says the earth warmed less than 0.8 degree from 1850 up to 2012. See Pg. 209 of the IPCC WG1AR5_all_final.pdf
    2. Man only emits 6% of total annual CO2 emissions (Nature emits 94%). Add the numbers on the NASA diagram of the carbon cycle.
    3. CO2 only causes 26-32% of the greenhouse effect. (H2O is 60-75%) see wikipedia greenhouse_effect page and Table 3 of: Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society Vol. 78, No. 2, February 1997
    4. We do not have enough data to say that hurricanes have increased. pg 178 of WG1AR5_all_final.pdf
    5. We do not have enough data to say that storms have increased. pg 178 of WG1AR5_all_final.pdf
    6. Sea level has been rising for centuries, it HAS NOT RISEN FASTER recently. Page 306 WG1AR5_all_final.pdf
    7. There is little, if any, global scale changes in the magnitude or frequency of floods. pg 230 of WG1AR5_all_final.pdf
    8. Confidence is low for a global-scale observed trend in drought or dryness pg 178 of WG1AR5_all_final.pdf
    9. Long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. Page 774 of IPCC third Assessment Report (2001) Section
    In view of this, why does anyone think we have a climate problem?

    Here is the climate truth from genuine scientists:
    Will happer & Richard Lindzen:
    Their Report:

    Lindzen on hydrodynamics of climate:

    Also see

  5. The Heartland Institute is an arm of the far white wing of the Republican Party.

    This time we’re the asteroid according to University of Leicester geologist Colin Waters, who chaired the Anthropocene Working Group.

    Global warming has been accelerating since humans began setting fires to clear habitat, as a weapon or just for amusement and even protohumans tamed fire long before Homo sapiens did. About 200,000 years ago Neanderthal learned to make fire with flint and pyrite by sprinkling manganese dioxide onto woody debris but they had cleared much of Southern Europe’s forests shortly after their arrival there as long ago as 800,000 years.

    Fast forward to European settlement and the Industrial Revolution where in the New World settlers took hardwoods for charcoal then humans allowed fast-growing conifers to replace lost forests. Humans are sixth on historian Christopher Lloyd’s list of 100 important species because of anthropogenic climate change and for no other attribute.

    This planetary boundaries framework update finds that six of the nine boundaries are transgressed, suggesting that Earth is now well outside of the safe operating space for humanity. Ocean acidification is close to being breached, while aerosol loading regionally exceeds the boundary. Stratospheric ozone levels have slightly recovered. The transgression level has increased for all boundaries earlier identified as overstepped. As primary production drives Earth system biosphere functions, human appropriation of net primary production is proposed as a control variable for functional biosphere integrity. This boundary is also transgressed. Earth system modeling of different levels of the transgression of the climate and land system change boundaries illustrates that these anthropogenic impacts on Earth system must be considered in a systemic context. [Earth beyond six of nine planetary boundaries]

    • Dear Larry,

      “The Heartland Institute is an arm of the far white wing of the Republican Party.”

      That is pure political nonsense, completely without scientific value.

      I am one of the Directors of the CO2 Coalition, along with the 2022 Nobel Laureate in Physics John Clauser. We are a nonpartisan group of about 125 distinguished scientists and economists opposed to the climate nonsense.

      The Heartland Institute has sponsored quite a number of very successful climate conferences. We have assisted them in recent years.

      Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)
      Corbett, Oregon USA

  6. One of the things that always raises a red flag for me is when someone speaks about complex systems in black and white terms and expresses certainty in their “facts.” I keep on digging into the clear “facts” put out by Gordon and Jim K. and keep running into mud. For example, increased CO2 will benefit plants. It doesn’t appear to be that simple as this article points out:

    Or the point that Nobel Laureate Clauser – who won the prize for his “experiments with entangled photons, establishing the violation of Bell inequalities and pioneering quantum information science,” – hypothesizing that cloud cover will increase and thus negate the impact of rising CO2. This article also indicates it isn’t quite that simple:

    I also want to point out that one of the strategies of misinformation – an area I have spent many, many hours studying – is to state the misinformation over and over again with certainty. Additionally, it helps to make longs lists “debunking” other information (because it seemingly adds credibility to the misinformation and who is going to dig into all that stuff) and, of course, calling people names who don’t agree with you.

    I would recommend that people who have the time and interest to do a little digging into their points as there seems to be a lot of scientist who disagree with them. In my mind, it’s just not that simple regardless of whether you are an anthropogenic climate change (ACC) believer or skeptic. There are a lot of unanswered questions and certainly there will be surprises over the next few decades/centuries.

    Lastly, I try look at ACC through a risk analysis lens. What’s the worst that can happen if we continue down our current path of adding CO2 and other “greenhouse” gases (it’s not just about CO2) to the atmosphere vs what is the worst that can happen if we reduce those outputs and prepare for a warmer and, in some areas, drier future.

    • Dear Mike,

      You are certainly correct that most of the commenters here see things in black and white without delving into any of the science. Basically, they conclude that increasing atmospheric CO2 is bad or catastrophic. Might that be a bit of an overstatement, even for you?

      But you want to sign on to reducing human emissions of carbon dioxide as a precaution, whatever the real science and whatever the real cost. That says you too are superstitious about carbon dioxide. A recent study of those alarmed about CO2 found that alarm goes hand-in-hand with lack of understanding of the science. Hence my recommendation is to learn something about the science, not from a propaganda website but from real scientists.

      Even my astrophysicist counterpart on the alarmist side, James Hansen, will give you a far better synopsis than one of the propaganda sites. He and I found agreement on several issues.

      Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)
      Corbett, Oregon USA

      P.S. The CO2 level in my office is 744 ppmv right now. Am I doomed?

      • Yes, Gordon, you are doomed. It’s more of a biology thing than 744 ppm, but CO2 is — and will be — involved. It’s been good knowing you,

      • Dear Gordon, You underestimate my scientific literacy. I’m one of those people who click on the links to the studies (like many do who follow TSW) in the articles written in plain language by more mainstream media to both understand at a deeper level and to see how accurately the writer reported on the study. I’ve also dug into several of the slides on the CO2 Coalition website and found many issues. And, yes, I’m familiar with James Hansen and have read a variety of things he has written including one of his books.

        But here is the thing Gordon, besides having an education and background in natural sciences, I also have an education and background in education/communication/human behavior. Among the many topics I communicated to the public through various methods was critical thinking and misinformation. You use classic techniques for pushing propaganda, such as how you frame information, how you tell partial information, how you misapply simple studies to complex systems and how you put down people who don’t agree with you. Your comment directed towards me, “might that be an overstatement, even for you?” is a perfect example of gaslighting. Calling me superstitious is your attempt to elevate your views above mine.

        I think you will have a tough time convincing very many people of your views using the techniques you are currently employing on this site; there are a lot of scientifically literate people on this forum.

        • Dear Mike,

          Thanks for your reply.

          As a physicist, my first duty is to the integrity of science, not to one conclusion or the other. That means supporting constructive conversations about the real science. No one supporting climate alarmism here, you included, has demonstrated the slightest ability to or interest in discussing the science with someone who qualifies as an expert. You just accuse me of nefarious motives for trying to teach people something. That is very wrong.

          Should you blindly accept what I say? Absolutely not. You should try to learn something from what an expert tells you and then think for yourself. The British Royal Society got it precisely right in 1660, when they chose “Nullius in verba” as their motto. That means, “Take no one’s word for it.” It expressed the determination of the Fellows to avoid the domination of authority and to make decisions based on experiments.

          Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)
          Corbett, Oregon USA

  7. In 1991 after the Soviet Union fell Republicans began their war on the environment substituting a new Green Scare for the old Red Scare.

    In 2008, Bidder 70 Tim DeChristopher crashed a US Bureau of Land Management oil and gas leasing auction to prevent greater harm to the planet then drove up the prices of some of the bids and won more than a dozen parcels valued at some $1.8 million. But in 2011 a federal jury in Salt Lake City declared him guilty of two federal felonies and sent him to prison.

    About the time he was released environmental lawyer and activist, Robert Kennedy, Jr. wondered in The Nation why DeChristopher was incarcerated but Massey Energy Earth hater, Don Blankenship remained free.

    Don Blankenship was ultimately convicted of misdemeanor conspiracy for willfully violating federal mine safety standards and spent a little time in jail himself after an explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine killed 29 people in 2010.

    Tim DeChristopher founded the Climate Disobedience Center and is actively raising awareness of climate necessity defense.

    Today, putting the country on the path of protecting at least 30 percent of our land and 30 percent of our ocean areas by 2030 (30×30) is imperative to preserving public lands especially now as the worst megadrought in at least 1200 years is driving desertification in much of the western United States. A supermajority of registered voters in the Mountain West agrees according to bipartisan polling conducted by the Colorado College State of the Rockies project. Only 3 percent of the Earth’s surface remains untouched by human development and a sixth mass extinction is underway.

    In 2020 Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison sued ExxonMobil, Koch Industries and the American Petroleum Institute for lying to residents of that state about emissions levels. NorthWestern Energy owns 23.4% of the Big Stone Power Plant in northeastern South Dakota — a monster that consumes 3,500 tons of filthy sub-bituminous coal every hour then spews heavy metal oxides and carbon dioxide over Minnesota.

    Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd) is the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome and in part because of WNS the US Fish and Wildlife Service extended Endangered Species Act protection in 2016 for the northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) despite protestations from Republicans. In January of this year the US Fish and Wildlife Service extended the date to the end of March for reclassification of the northern long-eared bat from threatened to endangered. Insects coated with industrial chemicals and pharmaceuticals in water supplies are weakening immune systems spreading WNS to bats as part of Earth’s anthropogenic-driven sixth mass extinction.

    Kill off apex predators like grizzlies, wolves and cougars, spray atrazine, neonicotinoids and glyphosate on everything then wonder why cervids like deer and wapiti contract a prion contagion like chronic wasting disease?

    CWD is surging in Midwest states like Iowa and Minnesota but Wyoming and Colorado are seeing spikes, too. According to Wyoming Game and Fish, the disease, which occurs mainly in male cervids like wapiti, moose and deer, is found in 34 of the state’s 37 mule deer herds and in 15 of the state’s 36 elk herd units. In parts of Canada 85% of male mule deer and 35% of females are infected. Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s mandatory testing revealed increases in CWD in three of the state’s mule deer herds.

    A warming climate is blamed for part of increased transmission rates but researchers say the federal government’s feeding of elk, especially in Wyoming, in close proximity is also a factor. Hay fed to those animals is likely contaminated with Roundup® and other pesticides. Scavengers like American crows can move the disease from gut pile to gut pile and can remain in soils for years.

    The Snake River through Idaho, Oregon and Washington that was dammed to deny Indigenous salmon fishing is now the 4th most endangered as drought seizes the region. The US Army Corps of Engineers counts almost 90,000 dams in its database. The Eel River in California is also at risk to dams belonging to the Pacific Gas and Electric’s Potter Valley Hydroelectric Project but nitrates in water supplies threaten rivers and millions of people, too.

    Herr Trump’s first Interior secretary blamed wildfires in the West on those he called “radical environmentalists” despite most acres burned occur on private ranch land in Republican counties. On the final day of Trump’s presidency his last Interior secretary even restored a grazing permit to the Hammond Ranch whose prescriptive burn escaped onto federal land. Only a tiny fraction of public lands offered by the Trump Organization to the extractive industries were even leased yet Republicans see the Biden White House as hostile to their causes especially after the Hammonds’ grazing permits were again rescinded.

    James Wesley Rawles coined the phrase American Redoubt in 2011. From his he supposes Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, eastern Oregon and Washington are survivalist havens for the white christian nationalist movement. Now, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the FBI, US Marshalls Service and state officials are warning of white christianic zealots telegraphing pending violence against law enforcement especially in Oregon and Idaho.

  8. The state of California has filed a sweeping climate lawsuit against Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP, ConocoPhillips, and Chevron, as well as the domestic oil industry’s biggest lobby, the American Petroleum Institute.

    The suit, filed on Friday in San Francisco Superior Court, claims that the companies misled the public for decades about climate change and the dangers of fossil fuels. It demands the companies help fund recovery efforts related to California’s extreme weather events, from rising sea levels to drought and wildfires, that have been supercharged by human-caused climate change.

  9. Comanche coal power plant, still sending 6.6 million tons of carbon dioxide skyward, annually. Pueblo cement plant, nearly 740,000 tons of carbon. Steel plant, more than 290,000 tons of carbon. Airport power plant, nearly 600,000 tons of carbon. Ray Nixon coal power plant near Fountain, 1.3 million tons of carbon. Fountain Valley gas power plant, just under 70,000 tons of carbon. Portland cement plant in Florence, another 680,000 tons of carbon.

    • Kurtz, only one part of your allegation is correct: Gordon and his group were indeed shut down, but it was because the organizers of the event didn’t want participants exposed to real science, not the pseudo science of climate alarmists like yourself. Why don’t you try debating Dr. Fulks on the merits of his argument instead of casting aspersions?

    • As one of Gordy’s Group who was actually at the convention in Atlanta, I can say unequivocally that we were kicked out not because of anything we said about CO2, but rather because we challenged these two parts of the NSTA’s position: 1) reliance on “consensus” science and a rejection of critical thinking skills and the scientific method and 2) NSTA’s embrace of the hypothesis of “harmful man-made warming” despite its basis in flawed science and government opinions and its rejection of all contradictory science. We were told to leave after we started handing out our document challenging their position, but not before we had handed out lesson plans and over 3000 books to teachers who were excited to receive them. You can read our document here:

      • This reminds me of books that teach how slaves learned useful skills. I suppose teachers might be “excited” to receive free books (since they often have to pay for their own materials), but teachers also tend to be trained in critical thinking, and should recognize propaganda, so whether or how they actually use those books …..?

  10. Hi Larry: As a member of “Gordy’s Group” (CO2 Coalition), and particularly its education committee, you are peddling nonsense (a “lie”) about why the organization was ejected from the NSTA convention. Think “politics.” That misinformation on your part draws into question the validity of the remainder of your goofy and long-winded conspiracy theories. Better to remain silent and considered a fool . . .

    • Jeez, Larry: It looks like you are reinforcing my point that this is a political issue and has very little to do with actual science. Not sure who you are calling a “Republican,” but this is certainly not a good look for the Democrats, whom you seem to be representing. So much for any shot at credibility.

      Name-calling, rightfully, is usually seen as a bottom-of-the-barrel response from anyone losing an argument. Don’t be a loser, Larry. Or at least please confine this stuff to another forum.

    • Kurtz, you are clearly incapable of rational argument. Perhaps that is why you resort to invective and scurrilous attacks when you have no factual or scientific basis for your statements. Republicans as Earth haters? Give me a break. You are the only one in this discussion who has attempted to turn a scientific debate into a personal and political diatribe.

  11. The CO2 Coalition, established by William Happer, a senior director with the White House National Security Council, has received more than $1 million from energy executives and conservative foundations that fight regulations since it was founded four years ago. The group is stacked with researchers who cast doubt on climate science. Other members have spent years fighting regulations that would reduce fossil fuel consumption. The largest donation — $170,000 — came from the Mercer Family Foundation, a top donor to President Trump. The Mercers have also contributed more than $7 million to the Heartland Institute, which attacks climate science. The Charles Koch Institute provided $33,283 to the CO2 Coalition, while the Wisconsin-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation donated $50,000. The Sarah Scaife Foundation contributed $135,000, and the Florida-based Thomas W. Smith Foundation gave $75,000. EOG Resources Inc., an oil and gas company spun off from Enron Corp., gave $5,000. The Randolph Foundation in New York provided $40,000.


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