Political Climate Change

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I’ve followed the “global warming,” then the “climate change” controversy for a number of years and have a number of reservations about the terms being used, the focus on “greenhouse gases,” and the almost religious fervor “climate scientists” adopt when pushing their agenda.


I’m an amateur scientist, at best, a “life scientist,” who still believes observation is the best science there is.  I can’t deny the environment is changing, becoming de-vitalized, and I also believe mankind plays a significant role.  That and other transgressions against fellow man and nature have made me ashamed to be human. I look to my pets and nature to restore my belief that nature will survive, even if humans poison or nuke themselves out of existence.  It may take awhile, and the earth may generate a variety of mutant life forms, but nature will win in the end. Best to make a friend of her.


While I am no scientist, I’ve taken more undergraduate and post graduate science courses than most Americans have.  I’ve taken biology, botany, inorganic and organic chemistry, physics, biochemistry, and a variety of medical science courses. I’ve done published research, too.  The last showed me the limitations of the “scientific method,” which assumes cause and effect and must control for variables. The primary rule in Western scientific research is that you can have no more than one variable.  You begin with a hypothesis that you want to prove or disprove.  You “control” for variables, meaning you have a treatment group and a “control group.” In other words, you create artificial circumstances to suit your study design and outcome you want or expect.


Contrast this with the Oriental pattern-based approach, which embraces variables and looks for patterns among them.  The presumption is nature is composed of interactive processes that enhance or mitigate each other.  Everything is connected in a large, multi-dimensional web.


When it comes to the environment, it’s impossible to limit research to one variable and determine cause and effect.  We know what came before, and we use computer models to predict what will come next.  We want to attribute causes to “climate change,” and have focused on CO2 and other “greenhouse gases,” specifically methane/natural gas (CH4).


I contend this is too simplistic.  First we are technically at the end of an ice age, so planetary warming is at least partly natural.  Carbon is the basic building block of life, an element, that can combine with many other atoms to create a variety of molecules.  The difference between inorganic and organic chemistry is based on whether the substance under study has carbon.  Methane/natural gas is the simplest hydro-carbon there is.  It is part of the life-cycle, and every decaying life form produces it.  Cow farts (which have been blamed for adding to greenhouse gases) and human farts all contain methane, as do other life form farts.  It rises from the marsh and from landfill.


Carbon dioxide, CO2, the demonized poster child of the “climate science” religion, is the chief nutrient of plant photosynthesis, the process that combines carbon from the air with light to create food for the plant, and thus for every creature that eats plants.  Carbon dioxide comprises significantly less than one percent of the atmosphere.  By comparison, oxygen makes up 21 percent.  If carbon dioxide is the primary culprit in climate change, then overpopulation, with more people exhaling CO2 and farting methane, is a significant factor in the production of greenhouse gases CO2 and methane.


No one of the scientists has addressed the fact that burning one molecule of methane/natural gas (CH4) produces two molecules of water for every one of CO2. Apparently none of the computer models programmed to track carbon emissions and predict climate change factors in the enormous amount of water added to the environment with the burning of fossil fuels.  Water vapor is another “greenhouse gas” in fact, as anyone who has ever visited a greenhouse knows.  What is the effect of cloud cover on the earth below?  What is the effect of all the mass of buildings, highways, and parking lots?  These have replaced forests and fields, which played a role in keeping the earth cool and absorbing rainwater before it flooded.  Has anyone accounted for the thermals (vortexes of hot air rising from cities) creating fronts that change weather patterns all around?


The Industrial Revolution begun with the cheap abundance of coal and is intricately intertwined with its advance.  This closely followed major other changes in paradigms, specifically Isaac Newton’s discovery of gravity, and the subsequent mechanistic view of the universe.  The mechanistic paradigm brought “determinism,” which separated life (and god) from science.  The idea that the universe functions like a machine, with everything governed by knowable physical laws, contradicted the Biblical presumption of free will.


We have made a quantum leap from Newtonian physics with Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity and quantum mechanics.  At the atomic and subatomic level, there is enormous variation and spontaneity within a larger order.  All of a sudden, free will becomes scientifically valid again, the experimenter does influence the experiment by expectation or desire, and cause-and-effect paradigms begin to lose relevance.


I’m more concerned about the effects of environmental toxins than the buildup of greenhouse gases.  The industrial revolution has led to unsustainable levels of toxic waste in air, water, and land, and we continue to dump poisons way worse than carbon dioxide into the world environment.  We are poisoning ourselves along with the insects, but insects reproduce faster and develop immunity quicker than human beings do.  Plastic, also containing hydrocarbon chains, release toxic chemicals, especially when heated, that Americans blithely drink in their bottled water.  We’re increasingly afraid of tap water because of contaminants in pipes and groundwater that we’re only beginning to recognize.


Yes, we are devitalizing and perhaps even killing the earth, but we need to broaden our scope to look at multi-factorial contributors.  It’s not a government problem to solve.  We should look to ourselves as individuals, a nation of excess and waste. Don’t depend too much on salaried scientists, whose primary obligation is to their government, university, and corporate employers.  They agree with each other in finding simple targets and ignoring the greater industrial pollution that continues as fast as it can generate profits on Wall Street.


Dino Manalis Added Jun 19, 2017 - 2:47pm
We need to protect the environment by lessening pollution as much as possible, but not going bonkers over it, enjoy life!
Bill Kamps Added Jun 19, 2017 - 3:24pm
Katherine, even assuming the Earth's temp is warming, the question is what is the best thing to do about it?  We can spend money trying to mitigate the problems this will cause, or we can spend money trying to cool the Earth.  Is it likely we can cool the Earth?   If we were at the start of an Ice Age  instead of the end, would these same people advocate burning fossil fuels to warm the Earth?
Not only are we making assumptions about the  cause of the warming, we are making assumptions that we can cool the Earth.  As you point out, the Earth is a complex system, and man may not be able to affect the warming and cooling process.
Bill H. Added Jun 19, 2017 - 3:31pm
As long as we have the "I want it all for me, and I want it all now" attitudes that prevail, many will play-down or deny that there is any issues at all. This mindset is being played and pushed by Big Oil, along with the GMO farming industries.
All they want is to live life to the fullest right now an ignore the more than likely scenario of killing our planet later. If you even mention the word "Green" or "Conserve" to them, it sends shivers down their spines.
If we really want to fit into the machine of Earth that sustains our very lives (as do virtually all other species), we will need to make some sacrifices and changes very quickly. If not, the machine will soon end the infection of human life. It's our decision.
Bill Kamps Added Jun 19, 2017 - 4:12pm
Bill H, I would agree except.....  that in many cases the people wanting to conserve have self serving agendas just like the Big Oil people on the other side.   Al Gore puts himself in position to profit from a carbon exchange, then advocates a carbon exchange, while he lives in a mansion.  Price Charles talks about limiting our carbon footprint while having one of the largest carbon footprints on earth.   The list goes on an on.   So it is impossible to know who or what to trust.
On balance, we are doing much better than 50-60 years ago.  That doesnt mean survival is a given. 
Mike Haluska Added Jun 19, 2017 - 4:14pm
Katherine -
Let George Carlin offer some wisdom and reassurance on this subject:
Tamara Wilhite Added Jun 19, 2017 - 4:15pm
Climate change on Earth isn't human's fault. Wasting a trillion dollars for what we cannot control that could be used to feed, house, de-worm, educate and provide for the bottom billions is immoral and unfair, to condemn the poorest to poverty while pulling the top billion down through energy poverty all so the rich can feel good about what may not alter the climate and isn't humans' fault.
Scientists find evidence of
global warming on Mars
Mike Haluska Added Jun 19, 2017 - 4:22pm
Bill H - your comment:
"If we really want to fit into the machine of Earth that sustains our very lives (as do virtually all other species), we will need to make some sacrifices and changes very quickly. If not, the machine will soon end the infection of human life. It's our decision."
is puzzling.  Just how do the other "species" act nobly and sacrificially and take on the challenges of living together on our planet?  They pretty much eat whatever they want as soon as they catch it, poop and pee anywhere they want as often as they want, spread diseases and plagues without the slightest care or regret, kill endangered species just as easily as any other. 
Since we are the only "species" capable of modifying its behavior and making conscious intelligent decisions to affect life on Earth, I contend that until walruses or bunny rabbits start building "renewable" stuff that maybe you ought to cut us humans a little slack???
Bill H. Added Jun 19, 2017 - 5:57pm
Mike, at the moment humans are a negative impact to the planet in many ways. The planet is alive, just as we are. When we have a virus or bacterial infection, our body fights it.
The Earth will do the same.
Mike Haluska Added Jun 20, 2017 - 9:06am
Bill H - just because you say something doesn't mean it's true.  Species go extinct every day with no interference from humans.  Humans eradicated many deadly diseases that killed humans and animals alike.  Humans extinguish forest fires that would have caused a lot more damage if left alone. 
The "planet" is not alive - it is a big rock on which through some miracle life thrives on.  The Earth's crust isn't "alive", nor is its magma core. 
Leroy Added Jun 20, 2017 - 11:10am
"Mike, at the moment humans are a negative impact to the planet in many ways. The planet is alive, just as we are. When we have a virus or bacterial infection, our body fights it.
The Earth will do the same."
By what measure are humans having a negative impact?  What do you worry if the Earth takes care of its "infections"?
More species went extinct before the arrival of man.  Temperatures have been higher.  CO2 has been higher.  Life is more abundant because of CO2.  A higher temperature, assuming it happens, will help some species, hurt others.  What does the Earth care?  Pretty much whatever we extract from the Earth stays with the Earth.  We lack the ability to blow it to smithereens, so we can't destroy it.  Worse case is that we can alter the balance of life.  What does the Earth care?  If the planet were indeed alive and had a soul, it might have feelings about man, good or bad.   Perhaps you are an Earth-whisperer too.  Tell us what Mother Earth is saying because I hear nothing.
I'm going out of the limb here and suggest what you are really concerned about is the survival of mankind, because the Earth doesn't give a rat's derriere.  The human population is exploding.  Whatever man is doing seems to be a benefit to his survival.  I'd say anyone who thinks man is evil should prove it by self-aborting.
Katharine Otto Added Jun 20, 2017 - 1:20pm
Thanks for all the comments, folks.  I would like to emphasize that plants have a cooling effect.  They use the sun's light and carbon dioxide in photosynthesis and release oxygen.  Animals differ from humans in the way they interact with the environment.  They follow the food and water, don't take more than they need for survival, and have self-limiting populations, for the most part.  Of course there are exceptions, such as the squirrel gathering nuts for the winter.  Humans like to think we are at the top of the food chain, but we may exist to feed bacteria and mosquitoes, for all we know.
Mike Haluska Added Jun 20, 2017 - 2:38pm
It all depends on your perspective.
Do you know what a Chicken is?
An Egg's way of making another Egg! 
Bill H. Added Jun 20, 2017 - 3:02pm
I have always suspected that we exist to provide organic material for compost. At least that would give us a beneficial position of this Earth.
Bill H. Added Jun 20, 2017 - 3:06pm
Actually Mike, forest fires are beneficial to forests. This has been proven many times. Many species of conifers do not reproduce without the requirement of fire to open their seed pods and destroy pests and parasites.
So we actually end up making things worse by fighting these fires.
Autumn Cote Added Jun 21, 2017 - 5:35am
Please note, the personal comments you offer the more likely you'll receive follow-up comments and the more likely  your article will be commented upon.  As always, many thanks for your participation with Writer Beat!
Mike Haluska Added Jun 21, 2017 - 12:49pm
Bill H -
Have you ever asked yourself what is the source of your self-hatred of the human species?
mark henry smith Added Jun 21, 2017 - 1:54pm
Come one, come all to the show. Here we have the climate change Cassandra, the sky is falling. Wait, that's Chicken Little. And over here we have the climate change denier who belittles anyone who thinks what's happening is anything more than a natural phenomenon.
The difference between humanity and nature is simple. Humanity has economics to guide it and nature has nature. Economics is a made-up system of rewards and punishments to allocate the resources that humans find valuable. It has no moral component other than that. Nature is a system that incorporates all things that come into it without judging the merits of whether these things belong there or not. We err in two ways in this debate. One, we over and under estimate the ability of humankind to solve problems. Two, we imagine nature to be a delicate balance of life, when it is not delicate at all. The lives of individual species within nature may be delicately held, but nature takes out species all the time with consequences that nature doesn't appear to care about. You like polar bears? Then buy them a plane ticket to Antarctica, because they're fucked in the arctic no matter what we try to do about it.
Let's try and look at this problem from an economic viewpoint, not a naturalistic one, since all naturalistic views are inherently unreliable. Humans are changing the environment by our actions. The pesticides, herbicides, plastics, radiation, toxic and benign gases, waste, everything we do is problematic, fraught with unintended, or intended consequences. Climate deniers know this. They tend not to be total idiots. Maybe their argument isn't about nature, but about a more human and economic problem, liability, where the question of a man-made problem vs. a natural occurrence had real monetary value. Thanks Katherine et. al.         
Bill H. Added Jun 21, 2017 - 5:44pm
Mike - Not self hatred, I have simply lost faith in what many call the "superior life form" here on Earth.
As advanced as we are, we have lost any knowledge of our place in the system.
Mike Haluska Added Jun 22, 2017 - 11:06am
Bill H -
It is unfortunate that you have lost faith in your fellow human beings.  God granted Man dominion over the Earth - and yes we sometimes don't hold up our end.  But most of the time we do and when we fail we usually own up later and correct it.  There is a lot of good we currently have the capacity to perform, but lack the political will to do it.
Give us a couple more generations, with the exponential growth in science and technology we will solve the basic human needs problem worldwide.  The despots, dictators and tyrants days are numbered - their regimes will collapse under the weight of their own evil.  Just look at Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela, etc. - the seeds of their destruction were sewn into the fabric of their lies and are beginning to germinate.   
Bill H. Added Jun 22, 2017 - 11:14am
This "God granted Man dominion over the Earth" is total bullshit!
If this is the excuse people use to plunder the planet, then my statement above becomes even more true.
How stupid we are if we actually believe that a "God" gave us permission to just use up and plunder the resources without giving some thought as to how we live in harmony with everything else on this planet (as do other species).
Don't worry, cause "God" will fix everything for us if we screw it up, right?
Katharine Otto Added Jun 22, 2017 - 12:19pm
For me, it's not a matter of who caused the problem, but one of understanding there is a problem, but it's not just due to greenhouse gases.  The idea that people would rather fight about it than appreciate what we do have is symptomatic of the poisons that are contaminating earth, air, water, and minds. 
mark henry smith Added Jun 22, 2017 - 12:30pm
Well stated, Katherine. To the point. What can we do now, today, to make the situation better, not worse? Walk if you can. Pick up trash, if you can. Live with a small footprint, if you can. Think about the costs and benefits from as many perspectives as you have the intellect to fathom. 
Bill H. Added Jun 22, 2017 - 12:39pm
As long as we have people running around actually convinced that "God" says it's OK to plunder, than we are doomed.
Mike Haluska Added Jun 22, 2017 - 2:11pm
Bill H -
There is a big difference between given responsibility as caretaker of the Earth and "plunderer" of the Earth.  And stop with the "other creatures live in harmony on the planet" silliness.  If you believe that you're watching too many Disney Animated Movies.  Creatures in the natural world are in a constant struggle to get food, avoid predators, breed, etc.  They don't all gather around some rock in the Serengeti and hold peace conferences and pledge to live in harmony.  Animals see each other as food, a competitor for food or animal that sees them as food. 
JJ Montagnier Added Jun 26, 2017 - 7:55am
Katharine, thanks for this piece - I share your concern. I am relatively well travelled and I agree with you that one can sense and see how the environment is losing its vitality.
I've been looking into reasons for all of this as it greatly worries me - and I'll confess that sometimes I need to disengage and just try to enjoy life, otherwise it preoccupies my mind too much.
But, it's difficult to not conclude that we are self-destructing. One of the reason I managed to discover, is that we are at the end of a very long energetic growth period (I will post an article about that) and that we are due for a major contraction. 
In the meantime we are well aware that we are taking ourselves down as a species (and all the other species with us - we are already dee into the 6th mass extinction), mainly through contamination and over-exploitation - yet we keep on going! 
In terms of global warming and methane gas - this video really put things in perspective for me:
Perhaps there will be a turning point when oil supplies dwindle to the extent that the industrial world has to revert back to more basic ways of functioning - and the warming effects will reduce sufficiently and in time. (We will need such an external event to alter the current trajectory). I truly hope so and I prefer to hold out some hope! 
Katharine Otto Added Jun 26, 2017 - 11:26am
JJ, Thanks for your supportive comments.  I agree that we're due for a major contraction, but it doesn't have to be bad.  It might be good for us to relax, take some deep breaths, and appreciate what we have.  Also, we could turn our inventiveness toward making waste profitable, such as the waste-to-energy plants in Germany or the technology that captures and uses methane from landfill.
More and more people are waking up, thank goodness. I just started reading "Plastic Ocean" by Capt. Charles Moore, a lifelong sailor, who discovered by accident that the North Pacific Subtropical gyre was full of plastic.  This prompted him to begin crusading about the toxic accumulations of plastic in the oceans.  Other people, other places, are picking up the beat.  Plastic, of course, is a petroleum product.
I could go on and on about how the US government has contributed to the problems and still does, favoring monolithic corporations over individual citizens.  The ethanol mandate is a case in point, but only a symptom of the more insidious disease. Another post, another time.
mark henry smith Added Jun 27, 2017 - 12:56pm
And let's not forget all the pesticides, herbicides, all the poisons that we as a society encourage people to use to make lawns look less weedy, to keep mosquitoes from getting us. Is Zika really a problem that requires mosquito eradication? Or is it just another scare like killer bees and vicious ants, another attempt by an industry to create more demand for it's products?
I am less concerned about the effects of global warming than the way these chemicals appear to be affecting insect life and the animals that feed on them. We spray our lawns with this crap and put up little flags that say, stay off the grass. Maybe we need to spend some of our precious profits teaching the birds and the bees, the flowers and the trees, and all of the other animals we poison everyday, to read.
Thanks Katherine, JJ, all. Don't just get angry, get motivated. 
JJ Montagnier Added Jun 27, 2017 - 3:01pm
Catharine, I agree that it does not have to be all bad - at all, It all depends on our attitude to reaching the inevitable Limits to Growth (Club of Rome). We have known since the 1970's that a day will come when we will start running out of resources. Serious energy analysts are projecting that we will see shortages of fuel within a decade - and this could potentially explain some or most of the events in the M.E. 
So, once the shortages start - if all nations accept that we have to revert back to simple living, because we simply have no choice, we stand a chance of solving several problems - such as reducing emissions, pollutions and contamination when we "de-industrialise" (so to say) - although even suggesting that is probably considered sacrilege or a taboo. We may end up adjusting to de-growth oriented localised economies. Simple living and a slower life may also allow us to get closer to nature and the seasonal cycles again - and most likely we would get deeper meaning from life and more traditional values may return.
However, there is also the possibility that some nations may insist on retaining their standard of life - even when resources become really scarce - and this could complicate things a lot in terms of a natural transition. 
Thank you for mentioning "Plastic Ocean" by Capt. Charles Moore - I will look into it! 
The Burghal Hidage Added Jul 8, 2017 - 4:01am
Amen Katherine
Bill H. Added Jul 8, 2017 - 11:30am
Just as expected, Mike!
Katharine Otto Added Jul 8, 2017 - 2:08pm
Mark Henry Smith,
Like you, I'm very concerned with all the poisons we are dumping in our collective nest.  I'm also suspicious of all these scare tactics used to sell products.  The Zika virus is apparently so rare that it's not covered in my infectious disease medical text.  
The flu vaccine, so heavily promoted by everyone, including the CDC and public health departments, must be re-invented every year because the flu virus mutates that fast.  By the time the vaccine reaches the public, the flu season is over. Additionally, flu is a relatively mild disease in those who have natural resistance, which is most people.  And, the vaccines themselves can cause problems.  But Merck makes a lot of money from producing the vaccine and getting government agencies to buy and market it for them.
Katharine Otto Added Jul 8, 2017 - 2:20pm
I'm not sure the rest of the world will ever become as oil-dependent as Americans have, nor will they want to. There is a glut now, and demand is going down.  By being leaders in the industry, we are also also the first to see the effects of toxic accumulations of waste from the Industrial Revolution.  If we are smart (an arguable notion), we will look to house-cleaning enterprises for fun and profit.  
Simple living and slower life are soul-deepening, I believe, but the concept doesn't sell on Wall Street or with Madison Avenue advertisers.  I suspect the immense popularity of social media comes from people's unacknowledged inner loneliness, people who are uncomfortable being alone with their thoughts so need constant stimulation to feel alive.
opher goodwin Added Jul 8, 2017 - 3:14pm
Katharine - you certainly highlight a lot of the issues and problems. I do think you underestimate both the scientific practice and sophistication of investigations in looking at climate change, pollution, extinctions and drop in vertebrate and invertebrate numbers (both have halved since 1970). I have been teaching science for thirty six years and involved in science. My own research was based on observation of eutrophication following the last ice-age.
On a planetary scale we are going through cycles of ice-ages and tropical ages (neither of which are good for us). At the start of the industrial revolution we were cooling. The river Thames would freeze and they held fairs on it. It looked as if we were heading for another ice-age, not warming up. That trend was, fortunately, reversed and now we are looking at a definite warming due to greenhouse gasses.
While water can trap heat the formation of more clouds creates a cooling effect as heat is reflected back into space. As you rightly point out there is a complex set of factors involved. But scientists have been looking at these. Not all research is carried out in such a narrow fashion with just one variable. There are many ways of observing changes and analysing what is going on.
Global warming is one of many factors that are presently causing major devastation - pollution, habitat destruction, hunting, pesticides, over-fishing, deforestation............ the list goes on. My contention is that the activities of 8 billion people is causing immense damage and causing mass extinctions. We have to reduce that number, reduce our pollutants, respect life and protect habitats. If we do not then we will wipe out nature. The level of our destruction is frightening. It is increasing in speed. The indicators are appalling.
One reason scientists simplify things for the population is because most people are not very well versed in science, turn off if it becomes complex and are amazingly complacent in the face of evidence.
opher goodwin Added Jul 8, 2017 - 3:17pm
Trump is a fool. Fossil fuel technology has had its day. The future is already moving on to alternative efficient non-polluting technologies. The USA will be left behind.
Oil and gas have put money in the hands of people funding terrorism. It's time we starved them of money and that's another good reason for dumping oil.
Jeff Michka Added Jul 8, 2017 - 3:49pm
Bill H sez: "God" says it's OK to plunder, than we are doomed. - Yup, Mikey HaHaHaluska said so.- Animals see each other as food, a competitor for food or animal that sees them as food.- Mikey sees things this way, too.
Katharine Otto Added Jul 9, 2017 - 9:20am
We agree on many things, but you can't convince me science and scientific techniques are all that sophisticated.  I've seen too much about how "science" is manipulated to suit institutional agendas. I think the public is suspicious, too, thus the "climate change deniers."  
In purely practical terms, the idea of climate change may be too abstract for the general public, because it leaves regular people at a loss for what to do about it. No one can prove extinction is the result of climate change or other factors, such as loss of habitat, food supply, pollution, or environmental toxins.  It is most likely a combination of many things, some we can't even guess.  
It's a complex, interrelated problem, but I believe educating the public about, say, the connection between plastic waste and endocrine changes might encourage people to reduce consumption of single-use packaging, for instance.  Also, knowing that plastic is a petroleum product--which surprisingly few people know--helps raise awareness.
I've found "science" can be just as dogmatic as religion, and this reduces its credibility.  On the other hand, it is to be credited for some amazing, genuine discoveries.  I recently read some Japanese scientists have discovered a way to generate electricity from plant photosynthesis.  Now, that's a scientific breakthrough, according to me.  What people choose to do with the information, though, is beyond prediction.
Katharine Otto Added Jul 9, 2017 - 9:24am
Jeff M,
All food ultimately comes from plants, and animals don't take more than they need to survive.  Nature does, indeed, balance itself, sooner or later.  Death is a part of life, and those creatures who give themselves up for food are thereby supplementing life in a different form.
The Burghal Hidage Added Jul 9, 2017 - 5:38pm
You know this is probably going to provoke some, but what the hell?
For all of the eco-warriors out there claiming that human beings are killing everything and destroying the planet it's rather curious that they want to convince us that somehow human beings can correct the problem. I may have arrived at a solution, though. For those of you who cling to the gospel of human beings destroying the planet there is one simple thing that all of you can do that might make a difference: you could all just kill yourselves.
No? Yeah, I didnt think youd go for that one. Well it was a thought...
Katharine Otto Added Jul 10, 2017 - 11:10am
They'd rather kill each other, doncha know, and therein lies the crux of the problem.  With all this fussing and fighting, nothing useful gets done.  For me, it comes down to disrespect, for self, others, and the earth itself. Consumerist brain-washing, with the idea that competition is good, wealth for its own sake is the main determinant of success, and acquisitiveness without regard to waste is desirable, leads to a chronically dissatisfied and unhappy society.  
I can't speak for other countries, but I sense Americans are chronically frenzied, distracted, and don't have time to appreciate what they do have.  They are willing to go into debt to have more than they can reasonably manage--or to enjoy it--so feel habitually rushed.
Relax, I want to say.  We're not dead yet.  We still have time to enjoy what we have.  Perhaps that in itself will create a happier tomorrow.
The Burghal Hidage Added Jul 10, 2017 - 11:32am
I am completely with you Katherine. I have for some time now embraced the simpler life. I am not opposed to doing things that minimize negative impact on the environment and practice many of these. It is best to lead by example. What I object to with the "enviro-nazis", if you'll permit me that term, is their slavish, fanatical, cult like adherence to this notion of the man-made apocalypse. These seem to largely be the same people who want to take the same central planning approach to climate control as they do for everything else. They want a world government authority to mandate and enforce the policies that they have concocted within their own little cabal. Why, I can't imagine where that could go wrong, can you?
These are the same people who constantly decry corporate tyranny, yet when confronted with their own hypocrisy they fall into denial. Then they lash out at the one who expose their fallibility. It is born of a mindset which presumes human primacy. I do not adhere to these beliefs. We are but ants on the back of an elephant. We've just somehow tried to convince ourselves that we are so damned important.
Katharine Otto Added Jul 10, 2017 - 9:57pm
Yes, I preach what I practice, as much as possible.  I agree about central planning and control.  I'm a grass roots kind of person, and believe the so-called "leaders" are the last to know.  They are like the lead duck in a migration.  When the rest of the flock starts flying in a different direction, the lead duck rushes to get in front again.
Also, there does seem to be a whole contingent of people who wish for an apocalypse, who claim it will be God's deserved punishment for sinners.  Other, non-religious people, insist things must get significantly worse (such as nuclear war) before they get better.