Home | About | Donate

Talking About Our Future - The Haze That Envelopes Us All

Talking About Our Future - The Haze That Envelopes Us All

Gordon Clark

It’s time to dispel the haze.

Haze over Vermont

Personally, I believe the ‘haze’ Mr. Clark discusses has less to do with denial than with depression and despair. Even my very progressive friends, the ones who grow food and compost and don’t eat meat, are resistant to discussing the problem. Why? Because beyond our own humble attempts at reducing our individual footprints, we feel powerless in the face of concerted efforts by our government to make the problem worse than it is already.

I don’t think it would take much to light fires of enthusiasm under any of us if there were any indications that governments and TPTB were even remotely interested in solutions. Instead, they continue to HUGELY subsidize Big Oil, and they have taken away subsidies for solar and wind systems. And, of course, the MSM won’t discuss climate change at all.

We don’t talk about climate change because we are virtually powerless to stop it. We make our very best efforts not to be toxic contributors, but that alone will not get the job done. Without the political will (or even acknowledgement) to confront the issue, those conversations are depressing.


The cause is ignorance. The solution is knowledge. It is not hopeless.


i agree, and at the same time i strongly disagree. If we act, and act together, we have a huge impact, despite corporate and governmental lies and horrible strategy. We DO have power.

Here’s what i wrote on the Bob Koehler article - which was not about climate, but about the collapse of insect populations - two days ago:

"Where to start? In terms of material impact, two main areas of action:


Stop feeding the automobile / pavement / energy / war / industrial agriculture complex.

When the report on loss of animal life was published a couple years ago – with the assessment the Earth has LOST HALF OF ALL ANIMAL WILDLIFE in just five decades – the primary driver of this ecological devastation was identified NOT as climate change, but as LAND USE – primarily from agriculture, development, and transportation. Koehler also references industrial agriculture and pesticide use as the main cause of the sudden decline in insects.

Electric cars, batteries, and wind and solar power WILL NOT SOLVE this mass extinction. Only turning land back to nature, and to ecological agriculture, will do the trick."


I talk about climate change/climate chaos as frequently as I can. There is no reason that one shouldn’t talk about it to others if they are passionate about it. I am also pretty hopeless about the subject at times but still contemplate ways to solve it on personal and systemic levels. Those who deny climate change and other environmental problems and who profit from Earth-destroying activities would prefer that you and I remain quiet which we mustn’t be.


I really like this article by Gordon Clark ! Very down to Earth - no doubt his citation is accurate - a lifelong environmentalist.

We are all dealing with something much more difficult to grapple with than climate change and ocean acidification, global land-misuse - and the Sixth Extinction underway.

We are dealing with each other, in a fragmented way. Almost two hundred countries, even more languages and cultures, and most of us, as the author points out so well, just busy trying to get by, day to day.

We don’t appear to have evolved with the need to think about these truly global and highly complicated issues.

An Albert Einstein is a very rare sort of person, all things considered, as is a dedicated Zen Buddhist or Christian Pope, etc…

Since the pace of this article is conversational, allow me to adopt it.

I just watched again, a work of genius - Arthur C. Clarke’s and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, set to the music, with indescribably beautiful visuals, of Herbert von Karajan’s Berlin Philharmonic playing the also incomparable ‘Blue Danube’ by Johann Strauss.

First - every one of these men I would consider a genius in their respective callings.

Second - while we the people may lack the abilities of these men - we can, and have, ‘appreciated’ these works, often in great numbers. This is telling us something, I think - that ‘together’, genius and people - we can make the world a more beautiful place.

In the movie 2001 - the opening scenes are from four million years ago, and depict some pretty hairy ape-men and women and children. It struck me powerfully that there is not as much difference between our ancestors and us as we would like to believe.

I think that’s where we are, in point of fact. A very few have the gift, and it ‘dawns’ on them that perhaps they do not need to huddle in the dark in fear anymore - and can literally take on the world - be it a sabre-tooth cat or an enemy tribe, with new and effective weapons of our own making.

What really has changed ?

Well, it has ‘dawned’ on a very few of us, in these present times, that reality is about to strike us a very hard blow - a devastating blow, possibly even one from which we shall not recover, or even survive, and we will take a lot of Earth’s current inhabitants with us into a long and very dark night - or even oblivion, and extinction.

I think that is precisely where we are.

We are hopefully in the process of changing leadership - from the ways that worked before - from our tribal days thru our civilizational days - to something new.

I was struck again by the ‘emotional impact’ - of 2001, and a movie I literally just came from with my wife and son, “Geostorm”, which points the way - Hollywood style - to that future. (worth a look see - very uplifting, amongst the doom and gloom nowadays - and hence more than merely useful or entertaining).

Perhaps we need to concentrate some, maybe a lot - on our emotional sides.

As the author and I have cited Albert Einstein, I will again, and remind myself that Albert

‘thought the logical mind a poor servant - compared to our emotional and intuitive ‘master’ selves’ (sorry - I can’t recall the exact quotation).

I appear to be in the process of re-inventing myself - once again.

Looking for a picture in my head of a viable future - one that satisfies me - and is consistent with a sustainable world.

This takes time, I think - a lot -

In our hustle and bustle, get ahead, zero sum society, where even a small business owner typically ‘gets ahead’ on the backs of employees who are most certainly not ‘getting ahead’ - and giant world-straddling, legally constituted corps are flush with cash and power, duty bound to increase their ‘investors’ take - well - figure it out - this is not the world that will lead to the future I am trying to construct in my mind - and the ‘pace’ is too rapid - too much ‘fast-track’ thinking - results yesterday type of thing.

I think we need to really slow down, perhaps even to a dead stop - and all go together to view the sunset, or sunrise, or some mountain peak - together - as groups.

To ~ s-l-o-w ~ d-o-w-n ~

Mountaineering was only a start for me, it appears. Seven years in a Zen-like state of living in the moment, death always present - and life thus more fully appreciated.

Now what - with a young son whose future I care for ?

The global commons - i.e., Common Dreams, for now.

Focus on each step - this is not a paved highway - and each step should be chosen with care.

There is a powerful emotional impact engendered doing this.

These ‘mindful’ steps will change the world - I think.


I disagree. Everyone knows. It is willful ignorance and denial perhaps but not ignorance.

Not only do I agree with your comments in regards to climate change, LadyK, but I would apply them to the myriad of issues challenging us as a global community.

I speak out at every opportunity about climate change, and other issues that concern me. I’ve written to elected officials, with a virtually identical, predicable response that essentially tells me I don’t know what I’m talking about, and they do, and are going to do what they’re paid to do by their deep-pocket controllers.

I consider myself to be despondent about these things. I ache for the changes we need, while I mourn their absence.


Good thoughts. I was pointing out logistical failures of the response to the Santa Rosa fire awhile back, in this same spirit: you’d think we could at least do our best to save lives in the face of lethal disasters.

On the other hand, the ongoing collapse of the global ecosystem forces one into the attitude “we either get serious about this, or else…” There’s no plan B because there’s no planet B. As a species, we may be in (or soon be in) the position of the terminal cancer patient, with the difficult choice between aggressive treatment or palliative care. It could be that the only meaningful choice remaining for human beings is whether or not to go out gracefully. A tragic choice, but still meaningful, and worth discussing.

1 Like

What to do right now is get your town or a local company, college, or organization to sign on the We Are Still In campaign which means showing that Americans still support the Paris Climate Agreement. Also, join in on the climate day of action on Nov 14 to show you as an American still support the agreement. The goal of the agreement is to stay below 2C while aspiring to stay under 1.5C.

1 Like

No international climate agreement will turn back the ecological disasters we of primarily northern hemisphere are facing.
That we those northerners, are to a huge extent to blame for the shape our lands are in, if we could find even that point to carry in common. But all this B’S about climate change distracts US from the tens of thousands of other factors than wind rain and storm that are killing us.
The vast amounts of GMO products we ingest and the multiples of chemicals in the whole of food chain have not helped out one whit in making societys’health to be improved.
Did that sticker cure anyone that does not know that reason we kill BEEF at younger age is that “Mad Cow” does not show effects until animal is around 30 months old?
The scientific study folks know, and know well it is in our game animals as well, but they are paid to study problem , not end it.
Nations outside of US are banning GMO grains, fruits veggies and protein sources as fast as they can while we in US scarf em down daily.
The soils and grasses are poisonous to a degree throughout US from 100 +years of industrial chemical and nuclear contamination so where and what the he’ll does it mean when one says organic.
There are multiple organic farms in WA State that use chicken manure as fertilizers and raise BEEF upon lands where waste plant residues are spread, WHAT chemicals and hormones are in chicken shi… And human waste residue?
MANY bottled waters come right out of municipal water supplies, municipal water sources that nation wide have 3 days a month of below potable standards.
Do we help the environment by using plastic bottles?
What we need is a whole FN nation of preppies, preppies who think “Survivability”.
And we most likely should tell those scientist who do in fact work for those who want to keep the powerfull falsememe of status quo in effect, fire the SOzB’s they are the root cause of death to planet earth, especially the nuclear and military science employees.
How many billions are we of US expending on improving nuclear weapons and at same time we are told do not eat many fish caught in US Ocean or inland waters or it will kill you and your fetus?
At least the true not for profit prepped are thinking survival mode, and no they are not all gun worshipping du.b as rock malitias and red neck yahoos.
If some do not listen, As Gramps said, there are always village idiots and dumb assets you cannot talk seance into, so to he’ll with them.

As parents, we can do our children a big favor by helping them develop plans for survival. I taught my kids to live within their means (no debt chaining them to the rat wheel for the 1%), keep a small footprint (use only what you need and reduce waste), avoid possessions (mobility), and basic living off the land skills. I advised them to acquire a small cheap plot of unimproved land anywhere near fresh water so they have a piece of ground to make their stand, if the shit really hits the fan (low property taxes and you can still buy land for less than the price of a new car). Good scouts are prepared to survive. Perhaps the best survival tool is to question authority. If We the People had been doing that all along, we wouldn’t be taking survival measures today.

1 Like

It’s really nice to hear that at least some folks are envisioning the world they want to live in. It takes time breaking down all the barriers carefully built up by those in power to protect their power. But until we can all envision a world full of possibilities to lift up humanity, we will be stuck in defensive mode. We must collectively envision a future we want to live in and then set about getting it with intent–go on the offense for people over profits, instead of wasting time defending an ever-shrinking piece of colonial pie.

There’s a way to do it! Check out the Peoples Movement Assembly:


Before assuming that this is caused by man-made climate change, you need to investigate the fact that our government and governments all over the world have been actively spraying the atmosphere with chemtrails for decades.

We the people are not yet ready for revolution. This is not because we are lazy, it is partly because we know that police and military are brainwashed to support people who own tall buildings and big ranches.

When the police begin to see that their families will succumb to global climate collapse along with rich people, then there will be released boldness and freedom of thought.

Will it be too late? Will discovery of technology poison one more biosphere among the trillions of planets?

1 Like

Do you work for the fossil fuel industry? Sure sounds like it. Just for clarification, I was not endeavoring to do a ‘subsidy comparison’. I merely noted that the fossil fuel industry receives Billions in subsidies from global sources. At the same time, they make Billions in profits. As for wind, and particularly solar, our esteemed Congress critters are proposing to cut those subsidies in their current budget.

This article is about the rampant denial that climate change is an issue and the fact that we are NOT TALKING ABOUT IT. Your comments don’t address that, at all.

The most typical scientist’s criticism of “The Uninhabitable Earth” is this:

“While it is clear that ongoing warming of the global climate would eventually have very severe consequences, the concept of the Earth becoming uninhabitable within anywhere near the timescales suggested in the article is pure hyperbole. The author has clearly done very extensive research and addresses a number of climate threats that are indeed major issues, but generally the narrative ramps up the threat to go beyond the level that is supported by science.”

…Richard Betts, Professor, Met Office Hadley Centre & University of Exeter

So the main criticism from the scientists is the time frame involved. Sure, in the life span of people alive today, absent actions whose prospect look pretty dim right now, New York’s climate will become like South Carolina. But the kind of things humans are setting in motion are geologic in scale, and on geologic time scales even “instantaneous” still means a thousand years or more due to inertia in the systems. So, while there are really catastrophic climate and earth-ocean systems consequences of our current actions - and some of them are happening in some locations (notably in the poorest parts of the world) today, the stuff in Wallace-well’s article will hit far-future generations, not us. Unfortunately, such a perspective is not be a good one for action either - it seems that everyone today are little Louis XIV’s: “Apres Moi, Le Deluge”. The challenge here is to get poeple to think in deep time and care about the far future generations who we are screwing today.

The haze is in the water too, for those of us old enough to remember what crystal clear oceans, lakes and rivers were like.

But why stress about those things when you can put on a fishtank video?

1 Like

Your accusation of Mr. Swanee “working for the fossil fuel industry” is an attack that has no place in a civil discussion.

I work for MSHA, and so I presume that you will accuse me of being a shill for the coal industry, but nonetheless, in fact, renewable electric generation IS more subsidized than fossil electric generation. But, we are not supposed to be doctrinaire Ayn Randite/Chicago school capitalists here on Commondreams - so we should fully support heavy public subsidies for renewable electric generation - becasue of the non-market-captured public benefits the subsidies produce!

I’ve looked over your bottommost link - thanks for that !

And I have just bought a new book, Yanis Varoufakis’ “Adults in the Room”

This is a book I can ill afford, like all the other ones - but what is the alternative ?

I’ve decided to strengthen my knowledge of conventional economics. I have read half of Piketty;s “Capital in the Twenty First Century”, and being a stockbroker for one year, and a small business owner, and having taken some economic courses in University, I do understand something about modern economics - principally that it is mis-named. It is more ‘chrematistics’ from the Greek, as is ‘economics’ (‘oikonomia’).

Nevertheless, one needs a working knowledge of what now passes for economics, and Yanis Varoufakis is just the man to give me this, and apparently unparralelled view into the European Union and the US deep state at one and the same time - highly recommwend this to youself and others.

JFK struggled to learn modern economics, feeling that a necessary thing to do - I’ll go with that !

Diem25 is te name of Yanis’ movement - I wonder if you are familiar with it ?

I think too we’ve got to get beyond words - there are so many - too many - here on CD.

Looking over my library and peer-reviewed papers this morning, I realized again how overwhelming this attempt to understand our predicament is - and how much this impeded real change for the better.

Just today I was reading an srticle in The Epoch Times about Vladimir Putin’s concern that Russia is about to go Artificail Intelligence and even human DNA modification of essentially robotic soldiers - and he is very afraid of this - deeming this development more dangerous that nuclear weapons - whic is saying something !!!

I agree - T2 is here - effectively as we speak - with good intentions everywhere, such as Ray Kurzweil at Google.

But the cautionary voices are here too - Elon Musk - Stephen Hawking, Carlo Rovelli, Martin Rees …

But the audience is not present - preaching to the choir is what we have now - but it will have to do for now I think.

I’ve been looking at faces a lot recently. As a mountaineer lead climber I used to do that routinely - to see who could be counted on, and who could not.

I have to tell you what I see is pretty scary - shock, PTSD and Moral Injusry predominate, and an almost complete scientific ignorance, just to make matters worse.

But the real problem are the first two PTSD and Moral Injury, which prevent most from even engaging with the few who do have an idea of what is going on - of knowing who to believe, i other words, and who can blame them - with professional liers in all postions of power and influence - for most if not all of our lives, and assasinations immediately of those few in positions of power on whom the light dawned, such as JFK and RFK and Martin Luther King…

Best of luck with your organization - I will be following other paths I think.