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'This Scares Me,' Says Bill McKibben as Arctic Hits 100.4°F—Hottest Temperature on Record

Thanks for your response to my post Bebek.

I may have come off a bit strong---- “anti-enlightenment” I realize can be linked to right wing, anti science wackos! And I am not anti science----far from it.

My strong concern regarding the Enlightenment is the impact it had on the very real and damaging disconnect between humans and the natural world.

I appreciate science and data but my biggest concern on this earth is human’s abuse and objectification of nonhuman life. If the Enlightenment had anything to do with a shift to human domination over nature----I believe that needs to be called out in spite of the positive things the Enlightenment brought forth.

If we continue to turn everything into a commodity I do not believe life will survive on this planet whether we have scientists, data or not.

There are others that feel the Enlightenment played a role in the dire predicament we are in. I do not believe science can save us. Or technology.
It is what we do with the science and how we live---- if our living is one of compassion for all of life—this is what I feel matters.

Quote from William Rees (h-ttp://williamrees.org/biography/): "the Enlightenment rooted as it is in Cartesian dualism has resulted in a techno-industrial society that sees itself as somehow separate from the biophysical world. This dualism and its expansionary worldview are the basis of many of the environmental problems facing humankind.”

And this:

"The Enlightenment brought with it feelings of domination over nature. Descartes advanced the philosophy that human minds and bodies were separate. Other forces in play made it a relatively short logical link to the idea that humans were separate from nature and dominant over it. With the increasing focus on a scientific and empirical approach to nature came developments in science and technology. Many of these discoveries further enhanced people’s abilities to control or transform nature into the pristine gardens present in the biblical story of Adam and Eve. In a review of this notion, Merchant (1996, 137) wrote that “The controlling image of Enlightenment is the transformation from desert wilderness to cultivated garden.”


I cannot give proper credit to this author as it is pulled form my journals and I neglected to write down their name (!) but I agree with these thoughts:

"We cannot hope to combat climate change without deeper and more fundamental changes in the way in which we view nature.

Nature must be seen not as something to be used up and discarded or as something which can be conquered by man but as a force that we must seek to live with within its means.

This requires a fundamental change in philosophical attitudes towards the environment which often seem counter-intuitive to our post-Enlightenment logic.

Whether this can be achieved in a culture in which enlightenment ideas of freedom have morphed into an individualist culture of consumption and vast economic growth remains doubtful but we cannot begin the process properly until we realise how deeply rooted into the philosophy of our society the problem is."

Lastly and very important to consider:

The Enlightenment’s Dark Side

How the Enlightenment created modern race thinking, and why we should confront it.


Disaster capitalism exploits those suffering like a medical care system defined as Your money or your life, or like successful treatment comes after draining your savings account.

point taken. mine is simply that this planet will not abdicate its role as the generator of life in our absence. there will be more. maybe something spectacular she hasn’t yet whipped up in her lab.

whatever that life will be, it’s unlikely to be us. we have to be the most disappointing child the mother has ever produced. except for maybe the wasp.


I’m going to go with that drone. Well said, thanks for getting back with me with something that I see as positive!
It really is incredibly difficult to grapple with being part of this species that as you say is:

I ventured into town today (for curbside of food) and it was absolutely packed with tourists, no masks of course. Streets, bars, restaurants filled with people. I dread the 4th of July and better stop now before I get started on a 4th of July rant about fireworks and general stupidity of humans.
p.s. my “curbside pickup of food” looks ridiculous here, I think I’m the only one still opting for that!


Thank you for your response. I didn’t realise that ‘anti enlightenment thinking could be linked to right wing anti science wackos, so I apologise for any inference.
You raise a number of points which I hope reply with brevity:
I am unable to respond to the referenced texts. However you make reference to Descartes (17C) whereas I am thinking more of Scottish Enlightenment(18C): inductive and not deductive: Hume, Blair, Adam Smith etc.
The Sottish Enlightenment types were ‘systems’ thinkers based on applyiing the laws of the natural world to human behaviour. In my opinion racial discriminatin, or any discrimination and exploitation of one person or group of persons against another or others has an economic basis which results in, and supported by, an idealogical justification that is not rooted in the Enlightenment thinkers, who incidentally, would have been around at the time of the |French Revolution, and the writting of the American Constition , flawed as it is
You mention the ’ in spite of the positive things that the Enlightenment brought forth’ The Enlightenment was an historically specific analysis of that time. The analysis was not what ‘ought’ to be, but rather what ‘is’.
I note, and correct me if I am wrong, that Gair similarly view the world as a ‘system’ :tending towards equalibrium and so forth as Enlightenment thinking also does.
At the moment the world is in a virus pandemic. The State involvement in solving that may well inform us of how to do something about the 38C anomalies we see in Siberia., which is what this article is about.

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You are correct. The GNP of the US is heavily dependent on the arms industry.

Here is my solution which would at least get us working on a plan rather than just sitting on our hands while the fossil fuel industry and its rich owners continues to fleece us.

My Energy Ideas:
Here are some ideas I have re climate change and how we can start a plan to hopefully begin real action to save ‘ourselves’ from what is certainly going to be a bleak future for our children. Thanks, Skip

I would like to see a platform, win or lose, that includes closing at least half of all overseas military bases and out posts along with a credible reduction of the MIC budget and that money spent on repairing our long neglected infrastructure and, secondly, using any remaining funds on a public healthcare for all plan. Next, a significant tax on all incomes of over (you set the amount) of in the neighborhood of 70+%, money to be used for social programs. And, most importantly, the Nationalization of all fossil fuel and uranium resources, profits from the sale of which would go directly towards renewable energy R & D; and, an additional tax on the profits from all energy producing industries which would go towards subsidizing the installation of renewable engery distribution and installation on homes and businesses. In addition there would be a progressive tax placed on all end users of fossil fuel produced energy, including personal and commercial transportation. The resources I mention belong to the people of our country and should be used to try and overcome the fast approaching climate disaster which will affect the entire world instead of further enriching already rich people; rich beyond the imaginations of most. A part of “our” platform must also include a wholehearted message that we will do our very best to include all climate scientists in a coordinated effort and scientific program to work on yet to be discovered ways to produce non-polluting energy. Climate is the world’s number one problem and endless wars are stealing our ability to come together as one people in order to save ourselves and all other life on Earth!
I hope this can somehow make it’s way to those in positions of leadership to assist in using in their own ideas.

Skip Edwards
590 Chipeta Dr
Ridgway, CO 81432

End note: We must also put in that list a ‘progressive’ tax on all fossil fuel use by individuals, ie, heating homes, etc, transportation, ie, cars, boats, yachts, etc (fuel coupons rationed as in WWII and with below certain incomes receiving coupons similar to food stamps), etc. There are ways to do this where everyone will chip in and be a part of the effort. But this will require laws and a unified leadership. We don’t have time to try and vote in this type of change. We lost that time years ago when the warnings first started. We must force that change on the people in the government we have. Europeans are in the streets, kids are striking and walking out of schools; meanwhile, where are the American adults?

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Just had to show you this Brian:


No worry. The rockets to another planet will be ready soon enough for the few thousand UHNWIs to be safely moved to their new homes.

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I lived in SE Alaska (Wrangle, Petersburg, Sitka) when I was a much younger man, it was a beautiful place. I’ve seen the changes on numerous more recent trips to more northern reaches, but my heart keeps me from visiting my old stomping grounds, I don’t think I could take seeing the conditions in the areas that my younger eyes perceived as wondrous and glorious. I’m currently splitting most of my time between southern Oregon and northern California, but I’ve got some land up near the Canadian border that we’ve been preparing for our full retirement to sometime in the next 5 years (sooner if the Dem-wits manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory once again).

There simply isn’t enough time, if we had taken the issue seriously and acted with dedicated determination back in the '70s, it would have been a relatively easy, smooth (and even profitable) venture. Even in the eighties and nineties, the task would have been more costly and certainly less profitable, but it still would have been much easier (if a significantly less comfortable) to accomplish. By the turn of the century, the best we were realistically looking at was adaptation and a low level climate overshoot as we clawed back that which we could not prevent, but, all thoughts turning a profit while learning from our mistakes were gone, this was now a quite expensive prospect with the best case scenario involving massive destruction and limited survival opportunities. Within the last 4 years the prospect of our species surviving our own arrogant ignorance, has virtually disappeared. Perhaps enough survivors will adapt enough to cling to life, but that is increasingly unlikely as our emissions continue to increase even as our viable future survival potential vanishes.

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Thanks for your reply. What is so insidious to me is how global warming is accelerating in Alaska, especially true in Arctic, Alaska.


The Enlightenment helped fuel the concept of Dominionism. It sort of like the steam engine. The concept of the steam engine dates way back further then the Industrial Revolution but it was the Industrial revolution that saw steam as power spread across the world.

The single largest issue I have with Western Science that grew out of the Enlightenment is that it too focused on breaking everything down looking for a singular cause and effect rather then understanding that things work holistically. It very much parallels the concept of individual human rights over collective rights. It the thing behind “private property rights” as opposed to the concept of “the Commons”.

For at least a decade now scientists have been constantly surprised and falling behind by how quickly change has been coming and accelerating at exponential rates. Combine that with an event like this, 100.4 F, it strongly suggests at least to me that a collapse is coming and humans will be totally caught off guard and miss it until after it’s already too late.

Also, fyi see MJ article: We Just Found the Most Terrifying GIF on the Internet



Heres the future:

Yes, it looks scary as hell! Siberia and Alaska share much of the Arctic circle. Thanks.

Are you kidding? That is just astonishing. It must be the altitude.

I think the most shocking statistic from this article is the fact that the temperatures we are currently seeing at the arctic were expected to not happen till 2100. Climate collapse isn’t just coming. It is already hear. I would say that humanity already has one foot in the grave but at this point I think all that is left is to fill the grave up with dirt.


That is part of it We get 100F when Palm Springs and Phoenix hit around 110. But this is odd by nearly 10F.

“Thermal anomaly” ?