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A Mother Swept Away by Climate Change


A Mother Swept Away by Climate Change

Frida Berrigan

Kids are taking over the streets in other countries, rallying and chanting and refusing to go to school one day a week.


Crosby Stills & Nash had a song called “Teach Your Children Well.”

Berrigan’s citations here all look reliable, her f’d conclusion warranted, and her honesty breathtaking. I have no authority, being childless, but I thnk it’s time to retire Santa Claus. Honestly, it was a severe intellectual trauma - I still don’t fully understand why my parents would lie to me. The most precious pearl I can hold in any relationship is my credibility. I don’t thoughtlessly cast it aside, especially not with children.

The impossible dilemma loving parents face is brilliantly sketched by Berrigan here. Little children need childhoods, it’s just natural to the way slowly-maturing primates develop. But how to protect that innocence under lowering clouds…

God help you, Frida. I love you, if that makes any difference.


Young kids like Frida’s are going to have a front row seat at something no human has ever seen: The terminal phases of an extinction event.

At age 39, staring this future in the face, she decided to have two kids. Just. Wow.


Hi Frida Berrigan: I liked this article—except for one thing. I don’t interpret people not caring enough to give $10—and only giving $1. as a negative. It’s that nowadays----a $9 dollar difference canner a big deal in surviving---- and even $10 a month is $120 a year.
The understanding of how that $9 really impacts so many people is what allows Bernie raise money so quickly. People love his ideas, and sometimes, they do have just $1 to share . I understood that $1 for $10 very well----it doesn’t mean people don’t care, it just means it’s getting harder for so many to live . : )


Hello, dear Frida. Before you talk to your children about global warming, please check out these 2 resources, which I believe you will then want to use for both information and INSPIRATION when you and your family begin learning about this issue together: 1) the book, Drawdown, edited by Paul Hawken, which demonstrates so very beautifully that it is possible to REVERSE global warming with knowledge that’s already available and scaling. A Look Inside feature is available on Amazon, and I encourage you to read the first few pages there for an intro and overview. See also Paul Hawken’s talk at the Garrison Institute about this project on YouTube as well. 2) Watch (and stay with) a presentation by Robin Wall Kimmerer PhD on YouTube, Marrying Indigenous Wisdom with Scientific Knowledge: Reimagining the Human Place in Nature. I believe you will find both inspiration and renewed courage from these two beautiful teachers, and I hope you’ll write about it.
With much love and support, from a fellow grandmother.


Yea - this is what it really looks like Frida Berrigan. -

Good to see Aleph Null here. (I have a fourteen year old son Aleph, but I mute my replies because I can’t stand the trolls and the anti-semitism here.)

It will be a minimum of 4 C I think - date uncertain and not important - this is an exercise in collective risk assessment for a collective future.

Extinction is simply Alex Honnold’s free solo of El Cap writ on the largest possible canvas - high consequence if we screw up, and we have been screwing up my whole life.

My God, this whole thing was clear enough in the 1950’s, when the Manhattan Project’s Gilbert N. Plass wrote “Carbon Dioxide and the Climate” for American Scientist in July of 1956, and “Carbon Dioxide and Climate” for Scientific American in July of 1959. I was actually given, and still have, a reprint of this later paper when I was studying geology at McGill University in 1970.

“The Limits to Growth” came out in 1972 (MIT Club of Rome report) - and still we didn’t listen or act.

“Planetary Boundaries” in 2009 in “Nature” by Johan Rockstrom of the Stockholm Resilience Institute - still nothing.

This goes back even further - Alexander von Humbolt saw much of this coming a hundred plus years previous - in muddier form.

Now people are popping up right and left, like Naomi Klein and now David Wallace-Wells, etc…

And still nothing.

Finally, the youngest adults are revolting, like Greta Thundberg.

Still nothing will be done - nothing substantive - not yet - not while clowns and mobsters infect all positions of power, from the Pope to the President of the USA to every large corporation on Earth.

You have to be mentally ill to even aspire to these positions, and certifiably insane to actually get there, again, from Pope to Imam to President to CEO.

We are headed for collapse - I see no way of avoiding it or or even softening the blow.

Welcome to the Anthropocene.


I am a substitute teacher in a rural school in the Southern Tier of N.Y. …I have brought up climate change S cENCE information plenty of times now…especially to the highschoolers…they KNKW me a a person to talk to about it …a few have done so…I ha e shown the pics of these protests to them…had an 8th grade class (science) yesterday …showed pics of one of the marches…thousands of people …they said…" Those are all people please??tryin to look closer…I said. Yes ,and explained how much this is happening .and why…


I’ve only seen isolated instances of anti-Semitism here.

Unless, of course, you’re equating criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism.


I agree- having no kids is the best thing anyone can do for the planet.


Well gee- you must have an awful life- let’s see- you are a scientist, you have shelter, own a computor, etc. If there is the smallest thing you can do- it is still a help. To use hopelessness as a model for your own kids is doing them a disservice.


Also, so anybody in a top position is mentally ill? How insulting. Obama was mentally ill? Justin Trudeau? I highly doubt it.


Thank you for the book list. Here is my solution. Like Amy Bach’s Measure 4 Justice we need to go county by county to fine justice, climate justice. Every library should have the books you mentioned. I had to get the ice educating documentary “Chasing Ice” from another library. Unexceptionable. The 3rd industrial revolution will only come about in a timely manner if we educate, share facts. Every Friday should be about the rapid climate change. Every school day Friday, every college day Friday, every office day Friday, every report from our representatives on Friday should be about your county’s water, air quality, waste management, food supply, transportation, etc. and recommending our country’s sustainability solutions. Let’s boycott weather reports that do not include factual information on our county’s climate problems and solutions. Greta Thunberg Friday protest is meant to be solution oriented.


Hi there, manysummits

Thanks for noticing me. Maybe a few of us old-timers can partially detweetify these threads with some persistence. Along with everything else, language and discourse seem to be going straight to hell in one of those clever human inventions for carrying things.

Since you mention your son’s name, I’ll mention my attachment to the handle AlephNull (forgive me if you’ve heard this before). The mathematician Georg Cantor established the symbol so named to connote the “countable infinity” of integers (as opposed to c, the continuum of real numbers). Particularly striking is Cantor’s diagonal-slash proof that rational numbers (fractions) can be put into a one-to-one correspondence with integers, and thus are also of order aleph-null, the smaller infinity.

A string of implications stretches backward and forward in mathematical history from Cantor’s wrestling with infinity to Godel’s succumbing to madness after his bout with systematic truth. There was an explosion of intellectual ferment in Vienna which got blown to the winds by the rise of fascism there in the 30’s. From that milieu, I found my current mathematical guru, Gottlob Frege (The Foundations of Arithmetic).

I am profoundly respectful of Judaism in my personal beliefs (my current Judaism guru is Dr J.H. Hertz) because:

  1. True poetry and narrative are essential to human survival.
  2. Apparently, the Jews essentially invented both. I was brought up with a Christian reading of the Hebrew Bible - which is frequently so devoid of coherence one suspects that retaining ludicrous explanations is part of Christian theological training. By contrast, when I am privileged to hear or read any Rabbinic opinion of scripture, I am invariably impressed with the incessant meaningfulness of the Hebrew Bible.

I hope you sense that I am as sincere as can be when I say that I deeply love Judaism. It is from this respect I have for Judaism that my dread of Zionism originates. No mistake could be more fatal for a religion than to merge its destiny with that of a predatory state.