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As Heat Wave Boils Europe, Lackluster Bonn Talks Marred by US and Saudi-Led Obstruction of Climate Science

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/06/27/heat-wave-boils-europe-lackluster-bonn-talks-marred-us-and-saudi-led-obstruction

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I think we’ve got a much bigger problem than Saudi Arabia and the United States.

Something a poster here on Common Dreams wrote struck a chord the other day:

StardustBID remarked that the rich were probably ‘suffering’ too.

Profound insight.

So I found this new book on THE problem - maybe:

Climate: A New Story, by Charles Eisenstein

This all ties in for me - the remark by StardustBID, this new book, and the work of Gabor Mate on addiction…

Basically, we are too rational and quantitative - which isn’t adequately addressing the problem - obviously, as things are still getting worse.

Like an addict, who well knows the addiction is lethal, but just can’t stop - WHY ?

Because there is something missing -

As “The Power of Myth” by Joseph Campbell suggests, it is not meaning that we need, not really.

It is a way of life that is satisfying - ‘on the path’ in Zennish terms.

This means it feels right and good, and is essentially the reason for the much noted tendency for whites to go native as the North American continent was being overrun, but never the other way - for the Mountain Men, for my own journey, if that means anything to anyone but me…

In short, what’s needed is a substitute for our way of life - undoubtedly a tall order !

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Yes many, you are correct, as Campbell said, we need a new myth. We do live our lives through myths, our current one’s have grown old and bitter as Leonard Cohen might say. Let’s sing another song.

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We are “too rational?” Are you kidding me? Anything but, so add in the ‘going to heaven’ myths while you’re at it. Ready to Rapture sayeth Pompeo no problemo…

We aren’t special, not created by any of the 1.5 million gods invented by our species that anthropologists have cateloged. If we could drop the religious mythology along with the rest of the barbaric garbage myths we might then actually BECOME rational. As it is I give our species very little chance of survival. But then I got called an ‘intelligent cynic’ this weekend…

sealintheSelkirks

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Ireland has had very cool weather this Spring and early summer –
While Iceland has had much warmer weather due to high pressure systems
keeping it warm there –

Warmer weather is returning to Ireland –
but meanwhile Continental Europe is experiencing very severe hot weather –
94 to 118 degrees, with humidity.

And, it is everywhere in Spain, Portugal, France, Germany and further East.

re this from the article –

“Saudi Arabia is the main protagonist in this attack on science, although the U.S. has come to its aid,” Oxfam’s Jan Kowalzig told Deutsche Welle.

The oil-producing countries also fought the drafting of official documents including the IPCC’s findings that carbon emissions must be reduced by 45 percent by 2030.

Think it was sometime in the 1980’s, there was a very brief article in the NY Times
which stated that Saudi Arabia was saying that “because of Global Warming, when the
time came for them to stop oil production, they were hopeful of being subsidized for
their losses.”

This admin is killing us and too many of us won’t know it until we are already over the cliff.

You know what is totally bizarre? It was Muslims who developed the scientific method before the birth of Christ or Mohamed.

If Saudi Arabia gets nukes they may not have to worry about using them. If they did, and someone retaliated they could go unscathed. Tunneling and excavation is now a regular practice.
The size of Saudi Arabia could provide enough space for a complete underground country, and nuke proof.

Ah’ but they would probably have oil in their basements.

I think the point was that those trying to ‘solve the problem’ are using approaches that are too rational, by focusing say on scientific data and probabilistic predictions of outcomes.

You seem to be familiar with these same data sets, and have drawn your own pessimistic conclusions, which are entirely justified.

The reference to Joseph Campbell in many ways supports your view - people are not all that rational, being possessed of an extremely strong desire to feel alive, something which our hierarchical and specialist civilizations have always been afraid of in their top down approaches to almost everything.

And so - with this low boredom complex, we humans seek alternative ways to feel alive, and we drink and drive, maybe climb mountains or run marathons (if we are lucky), or engage in a whole host of other activities, only a few of which are healthy alternatives to hunting and gathering in small groups, which is our evolutionary history of several millions years, and is who we really are - group size 100.

Embedded in agricultural toil, or in cities, we are like fish out of water, and we flop around looking for air.

Religion - big topic.

I am with Thomas Jefferson on that one, and abhor the superstitious mind, but then I am one of those too rational ones in some ways, as you appear to be.

The big brain asks why we are here - so far no good answers - religions themselves are an attempt to calm those big brains and order societies. The results are mixed, but have certainly never stopped us from proliferation - and now we fill the Earth, like a petri dish of bacteria - and the petri dish is over half full - extinction in the offing (I was a Sea Cadet for awhile there - offing).

So the main point is this:

Intelligent discussion of the problem is not working very well - because people are addicted to their brain chemicals, and want to feel good, or failing that - feel something, which strange behaviors enable, but which do nothing to solve the existential fix we’re in.

Half the people in the US and Canada don’t believe climate change is man-made, for example.

To solve the extinction problem - those in charge need to change the rules of the game, as Greta Thindberg has realized, and that is ‘the tall order’ i.e., inventing on the fly a new way of supporting seven and half billion going higher, while getting off fossil fuels, ending the Sixth Extinction, and finding something fulfilling to do other than working for Walmart and company.

Ergo - being pessimistic is fully justified.

That’s why there has always been the need for real leaders in times of crisis.

This is such a time - writ large - very large indeed.

Greta Thundberg is such a leader - way out in front - by herself - and no real prospect of success.

We all have roles to play.

Hopefully someone strong will take it upon themselves to protect our young and vulnerable Greta Thundberg from harm - because in standing up - she has become a target - like JFK, like Abraham Lincoln, and on and on.

And what is your role, SealintheSelkirks - and what is mine - manysummits in Calgary ?

I would call you a “realist” - somewhat like myself. And now this:

While they pioneered the inductive experimental method and made many other impressive advances before destroying themselves with religion, we have Aristotle and Epicurus to thank for the scientific method.

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Exactly what we must do.
Write a New Cultural Story for humanity.
Start from the guiding principle of Oneness .

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Science is merely and only observation of Nature –

and I imagine that has been discovered and rediscovered many times
since the earth began turning in the sky –

THAT is not to detract in any way from the scholarship of the Muslims –
and there is very much concern as to what knowledge is being destroyed
in the Middle East – not only incidental to US war there, but purposefully.

I think the point being made is that the “spiritual” connection to the land is lost. Our first Nations peoples still have this connection. The underlying problem is that the rational human has broken that connection to the land in the belief that they separate from it.

This is very much repeated in the Western Religions where mankind is deemed to have dominion over the all. Now if one looks at ancient Greek Myth , or that of other nations, there a repeating theme of an antagonist acting against nature (Violating a sacred stream or wood , killing a sacred beast and the like) wherein they were punished for it by the gods or the spirits . This not to suggest they all necessarily believed in such but that they wanted to teach that there would be consequences.

Just as an example that you might be familiar with. There was a Golden Spruce growing on an Island off BCs western coast. The First Nations peoples had an elaborate myth around that spruce and it was deemed “sacred” if you would. A white male came around and chopped it down and indicated it was just a tree.

I kind of prefer the view it was sacred. ( I tend to seprate Religion from Spirituality)

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The consequences of warming and the changes that occur to the Climate and weather systems affect far more then being reported on, such as this growth in the Dead Zone of the Gulf of Mexico.

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I believe it was also the Arabs who invented zero, making the decimal system possible.

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Hi Ditton !

Yes indeed, but the devil is in the details, methinks.

SuspiraDeProfundis has commented here, and reflects on our lost connection to the land, and the indigenous peoples’ still deep respect for the sacred nature of that connection.

Of course, in its own way science sees that same deep connection, and increasingly, some scientists see this connection as something akin to ‘sacred’.

‘What goes around comes around’ seems to capture the essence here, as self-interest is most dependable.

Once most people see that clearly, we will turn the corner so to speak, if we are lucky enough to turn that corner before the Earth System says ‘enough is enough’ and simply eliminates us and half the lifeforms on Earth.

But really, Greta Thundberg is showing the way, as all true leaders do, by example and courage, by action and word.

PS: Is that picture of the escarpment on your website the Llano Estacado, the staked plain ?

Thank You…I keep stressing that…all of our shadows are the same…

Editor - you should point out that an all-time temperature record was set yesterday was 45.8C (114.4F) in the south of France. And yes - it can be 100 percent attributed to global heating as can be seen in the data below - where in records going back to 1870.

15 of the last 20 heat records for France were set since 1980, and none were before 1947.

But in contrast, only 4 out of the last 40 record cold temperatures were set since 1980, with the 19th and early 20th century heavily represented in the records.