The Conversation — Part I

On Tuesday night, as I was responding to comments on my post titled This Is Not A Game!!!, about climate change and the recently-released NCA climate change report, I came across one comment that provided so much food for thought that I knew I could not do it justice in a single, quick response.  The commenter is our friend Maryplumbago, and she has covered almost every single topic that is relevant to our nation today.

I asked and received her permission to use her comment as a foundation for this post.  Mary poses so many ideas and questions, that I’m afraid I stepped onto my soapbox and didn’t know when to step down, so this is Part I of … either two or three parts, depending on when you guys start throwing rotten tomatoes at me and yelling for me to step down!  While I have not left out a single word of Mary’s, I have taken the liberty of rearranging the order of her points in order to be able to break this into more manageable parts.  Mary’s original comments are in normal text, my responses in blue.

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So many thoughts here …

I believe, as do reasonable people, that climate change is real and that we contribute to it and have been warned about it for many years now and it’s coming close to being too late.

The problem is reasonableness … most people are apathetic to it and care only for their own selfish lives and not beyond that. Others think it’s all a hoax and buy into trump’s idiocy and republican greed for profit at any cost.  

I think that certainly greed and profit play a huge roll, but when you drill down to the level of the individual, resistance to change and convenience are the two driving factors.  Try telling John Doe that he must trade in that big gas-guzzling SUV for a more environmentally friendly car with better fuel-economy.  Try telling his wife that she must recycle her trash, segregating plastics from paper from metal from glass.  Try telling them both that they should forgo their vacation to Florida this year, eat less meat, carpool to work, or turn down the thermostat and wear a sweater.  They will not be happy, for it is an inconvenience, and one they don’t feel they deserve. 

Then there are the fewer reasonable ones … but what can we do? I’m afraid the answer is nothing.

Well, we cannot sit back and accept that there is nothing we can do.  I don’t pretend to know the solution, but a couple of things come to mind.  First, people typically tend to wake up and change their attitude really quickly when they are personally and directly affected.  I think that the more we publicize such catastrophic events such as the hurricanes of the past two seasons, and the devastating wildfires in California for several years now, but especially this year and last, it must make people stop and think, “what if that was me?”  Education … repetition … keep hammering the message home.  And, of course, it would be greatly helpful if our federal government would tell the truth for a change and stop pandering to the wealthy fossil fuel barons.

When you see lines blocks long for a lotto ticket, crowds pushing and shoving on Black Friday in a Walmart, a racist winning a political race, hatred for immigrants, hatred for the “other” and on and on … do you really think things can get better? That people will change even after trump is gone? And this stuff is spreading to other countries.

There’s the quandary, isn’t it?  Trump is merely the manifestation of those things that have lain dormant, simmering just beneath the surface, apparently, while the majority of us had little or no idea.  The greed, the rudeness to get that last toy on Black Friday … are, I believe, all signs of people who are not satisfied with what they have, but always seek ‘more’.  The blame?  To some extent, I think the blame falls largely on advertisers who, in their efforts to promote their products, create the illusion of “need”.  This has always been the case, of course, but today it is magnified 1000-fold by the internet, by social media where viewers are bombarded by constant targeted ads.  If, for example, you’re just pondering, say, a new washer & dryer, so you go visit a few sites just to see what’s out there and at what cost.  The next day, you will be seeing ads for the latest and greatest in washing and drying machines on every website you visit, as well as your email box being filled with ads for the same.  Pretty soon, you’re convinced that your happiness depends on that new washer & dryer – the one with all the bells & whistles. There is truly no such thing as ‘internet privacy’, and the advertisers have free reign to troll you and then target you in their marketing plan.

The hatred for immigrants is based on fear.  I cannot explain that one well, other than to look back at the European settlers’ treatment of Native Americans centuries ago, and our treatment of African-Americans as slaves until 1865, both based on he fear of ‘other’.  That fear continued until … well, apparently it has never ended.  We thought we had made remarkable progress during the Civil Rights Era, and perhaps we had, but much of that progress has since been lost. 

I used to think that yes, once Trump was gone we could set about un-doing the damage he had done and the ‘great divide’ would begin to heal.  I no longer think that, although I firmly believe he is exacerbating an already tragic situation, instilling fear, supporting white supremacists and attempting to isolate us from our allies.  That does not, however, mean that I don’t think things can improve — merely that I think it will take more than simply saying “bye-bye” to Mr. Trump.  Ideally, we need a true leader to emerge and begin to heal the illness in this nation.  We need another Martin Luther King, or John F. Kennedy, a person who is strong, intelligent, charismatic, and understands the divisiveness of today.  A person who will work with people to allay fears rather than to create them.

To be continued … Meanwhile, feel free to join in the conversation!

53 thoughts on “The Conversation — Part I

  1. That is an interesting article Mary. Eighteen years ago, I happened upon an article where the CEO of Nestle had said that he wanted to buy up the rights to all fresh water from rivers, etc, so that it could be bottled and sold to people (rather than receiving it at a relatively cheap price through their tap from the local authorities for each town).
    These companies will not stop the pursuit of making more profit, unless we punish them by going back to basics… Fresh produce from markets (or your garden, or community run allotments), homemade, whole foods, and reducing consumption of packaged, processed foods will hit these companies where it most hurts.
    People need to wise up, clean up their diets (it doesn’t have to be expensive but it does require more time than opening a package). What people don’t realise is that they are slaves to the system and buy products that are overpriced and bad for them in many cases. There are some very rich people at the top of these corporations. They are not motivated by your wellbeing, they are motivated by profit and will do just about anything to keep you buying (and working so you can buy, buy, buy). The corporations are only powerful because we let them con us into their philosophies. They produce biased (often false reports) to win over your support.
    For instance, did you know that the Eggs cannot be labelled as “healthy or nutritious?”
    The egg board gets around this with clever wordings, but the “the head of USDA’s Poultry Research and Promotion
    program” will not allow those two specific words to be used, because they are not!
    Companies con us into a lot of misconceptions about what we eat.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting back and forth between Colettebytes and Sha’Tara…good points, dire prophecies…

    Two questions really…
    1) is it really too late no matter what man does or the youth do in boycotts, protests etc. Apathy and poverty and ignorance will always win, I’m afraid.

    2) I recall Carl Sagan said something about the reason we don’t see evidence of aliens is because the nature of all civilizations is to eventually destroy themselves. It becomes too difficult too control technology, populations, food supplies, climate events etc. and the way of Mother Nature is to just to put a time limit on everything. If the planet itself survives us and the animal world recovers and forests begin to cleanse the atmosphere..then who knows. Maybe someday an alien race will come to live and do a much better job since the surviving alien civilizations will be few and far between. But this planet will still end in 5 billion years..

    Just rambling…I remember a series on the History Channel called Life without Man. It ultimately had a happy ending with man gone. You can still stream it on TV.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hmmm…. Those questions are tough ones Mary. Apathy does tend to attack people, when ‘putting ones head above the parapet, could end up with a bullet through the head!’ And so people take the safer option to not do anything at all, because we are all doomed no matter which way they go.

      But, there is also the paradigm of ‘safety in numbers,’ where we can achieve much, where as alone, we are ‘sitting ducks.’

      I suppose we have to make a choice. The kids did, and decided that it was worth the risk.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Now THAT’S and eye-opener!!! Who knew? Makes me want to just start growing all my own food, but I live in an apartment … I think they would frown on me having a cow and a few chickens around. Sigh.


    • That is an interesting article Mary. Eighteen years ago, I happened upon an article where the CEO of Nestle had said that he wanted to buy up the rights to all fresh water from rivers, etc, so that it could be bottled and sold to people (rather than receiving it at a relatively cheap price through their tap from the local authorities for each town).
      These companies will not stop the pursuit of making more profit, unless we punish them by going back to basics… Fresh produce from markets (or your garden, or community run allotments), homemade, whole foods, and reducing consumption of packaged, processed foods will hit these companies where it most hurts.
      People need to wise up, clean up their diets (it doesn’t have to be expensive but it does require more time than opening a package). What people don’t realise is that they are slaves to the system and buy products that are overpriced and bad for them in many cases. There are some very rich people at the top of these corporations. They are not motivated by your wellbeing, they are motivated by profit and will do just about anything to keep you buying (and working so you can buy, buy, buy). The corporations are only powerful because we let them con us into their philosophies. They produce biased (often false reports) to win over your support.
      For instance, did you know that the Eggs cannot be labelled as “healthy or nutritious?”
      The egg board gets around this with clever wordings, but the “the head of USDA’s Poultry Research and Promotion
      program” will not allow those two specific words to be used, because they are not!
      Companies con us into a lot of misconceptions about what we eat.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: The Conversation — Part III (Conclusion) | Filosofa's Word

  4. Dear Jill and Friends,

    Let’s compare how President Obama and President Trump handled Central Americans seeking refuge. This may be hard to believe that under President Obama some refugees were gassed but these were rare events and for a short period of time Families were separated. The difference is that his own party was all over his administrations decrying these deeds. The numbers of refugees were arriving during Obama’s years were much higher than what President Trump’s administration has been experiencing. At no point did President Obama refer to refugees as criminals, rapists, Jihadists, full of diseases. At no point did he have detention centers for kids that are bigger than the biggest prison in NJ. Thousands of active military personnel were not deployed to the US Southern boarder for an event that has been a regular occurrence for years.

    President Trump is selling fear. That’s the difference and that con requires that the real problems, causes are never addressed like with comprehensive immigration reform that was passed on a bipartisan basis by the US Senate in 2013 but it was blocked in the US House from ever being voted on because there were some who need to push fear.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Obama had his feet held to the fire, he was held accountable for every minute detail, whereas Trump has no oversight … none at all. With all the problems this nation has … healthcare, climate change, poverty, education, tariffs, infrastructure, and more … what did he do this week? Decided to kill all the fish off the Atlantic seaboard, called for sending more troops to the southern border where none are needed, and made an ass of himself at the G-20. For the life of me, I cannot figure why he hasn’t been assassinated yet!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. In the end we must look at the really big picture, and that means learning from history (not something people are much good at, or want to do as also demonstrated by history). The big picture says that no matter what, what has been set in motion must go through its cycle. The “elites” carry the day and destroy society, leaving the devastated sheeple to survive in a devastated landscape of city and country. Today’s difference is that the devastation is going to be global instead of local. It won’t just be the US Hegemon, or empire, that will collapse and US society left to fend for itself, it will be man’s civilization. Worst case scenario: massive die back in billions, not millions. Untold and unheard-of horrors from mindless violence and the spread of famine giving rise to new and old diseases with no recourse since most of the technologically-driven medical system and scientific research will have collapsed, and etc., etc. We may not say it, but normal people sense it, hence the apathetic response: there is nothing I can do.
    Well, yes, we cannot stop the steam roller of decadence, but we can slow it down. In all the arguments, I still see the same basic and futile hope that a charismatic leader will arise to save us, never mind that such can be eliminated in a heartbeat, and would be. Hope in the youth? Tried in the Dark Ages, tried during the Vietnam war protests, worked for a few moments until some were shot down, some marginalized, some “bought back” into daddy’s business and many simply provided with the drugs they craved: end of “revolution” and Ronald Reagan rapidly undermines it all just as Trump is doing. Charismatic or youth leadership won’t work. Binder Dundat, my favourite non-hero. What then?
    People. When people are pushed down far enough they will begin to rise. It will be violent, chaotic, mindless, bloody and disorganized. It will have no intellectual, moral, spiritual or visionary goal. It will be the force of a storm against the landscape. It won’t solve anything, it will be reaction from the lid blowing off the pressure cooker and whatever was in the cooker spilling over the stove, burners, shorting everything out and leaving darkness. Afterwards, in the devastation, mere survival.
    Meanwhile, the most effective move we can make is NEVER mentioned in these arguments: boycott. Consumers continue to support and throw their money and resources at their exploiters and oppressors. Every decent person and her/his dog should be boycotting Amazon and raging against that machine on a daily basis. Every decent person should be boycotting Facebook and screaming against that machine. Every decent person should be boycotting box stores and fast food joints for the poisons that they spew. Every decent person should boycott the buying of all processed meat (well, all meat actually, since it is healthier to live without it). I’m must mentioning a few obvious I’m involved in or doing myself. But no, these are conveniences, traditions and tastes they won’t do without, so change cannot happen; the slowing down will not happen. Predictably then, the downfall must exacerbate… exponentially. Gird the loins and batten the hatches for the end draweth nigh, eh? Since people love to cast blame, who’s to blame here? People.


    • There are no leaders Sha’Tara. Only us. The individuals on the receiving end. We are going to have to change it ourselves.
      Have you noted the rise of ‘Anonymous,’ The Extinction Rebellion,’ and the sudden and dramatic rise of school kids leaving their classrooms to protest on the streets? The latter most notably held in 5 major Australian cities last week, causing outrage in the Australian parliament that these kids were not stopped from walking out of school. The events were huge… Organised by teenagers for their own peer groups because “Adults aren’t doing anything!”
      No, there won’t be a leader, but there will be anarchy!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Anarchy is certainly preferable to the sheepleness of the 80’s, 90’s, 2000’s and to this day. About 50 years of zombieism. About time that crap comes to an end and nice if it came to an end, however that end is. The easiest to undertake is total boycott of churches, governments, social media and the destructive consumerism of box stores and fast-food poison serving. To every commercial, every political promise, every sermon, every school chant, a collective responding yell: “F**k you and the horse you rode in on!” with the appropriate raised fingers. Then the walk out or the sit-in. It’s not yet too late, at least for the mass protests, even if it’s too late to save the planet and civilization (which musn’t be saved in any case). If we “killed” our decadent and utterly corrupt civilization, we may just, just, save the planet, but we won’t have both, of that I am sure.

        Liked by 1 person

          • OK, I read the article. I’m not holding my breath, just as I did not with the US anti-NRA gun protests. When the government authorized mass killings start and the protests only grow in size, then I will be moved. Songs and smiles and roars, easy that, but what were their “solutions” I be wondrin’?

            Liked by 1 person

            • Yes, but Sha’Tara, these are very young children. This is different. They are inspired by Greta Thunberg, a 15 Yr old activist who spend two weeks outside of the Swedish parliament, refusing to go to school because it was pointless as the government had destroyed her future by not addressing climate change.
              These kids are not afraid to disrupt the system because they can see that adults are ineffective. It makes them bold and outspoken. It is unlikely that Governments will arrest them, tear gas them, or try to disperse them for fear of parent reaction. They just hope that the kids will forget and just go meekly back to school. I don’t think they see the power that these kids hold over them… These kids can break the mould. They can see that they are being educated in the same dogma that has destroyed the environment. They are not yet tax payers, or wage earners, so there is little that governments can do to punish them without exposing the mechanisms that all people would see a a form of slavery to the system. Anarchy from the young scares governments.

              Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m flattered Jill, that you used my comments in your post. Thank you.

    I do feel very strongly and concerned about all this. Yesterday gave me a little hope with all that’s going on with Cohen and the walls hopefully closing in on trump.

    We can expect more outlandish and hostile statements from trump and his cult will be foaming at the mouth like a wild pack of dogs!

    Liked by 5 people

    • Your comments were insightful and opened so many doors on so many issues that I couldn’t just give you a short answer, and these are topics we all need to be thinking about.

      The walls are closing in on Trump, but don’t get your hopes up for him being removed from office … he is the master at wiggling out of tight spots. Oh yes, an ugly time is coming, I fear.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Well, ‘fear’ is the primary tactic for control of people.

    It is interesting to note that the very worst things in society are promoted as the things that will keep you ‘safe.’

    The lies we hear (just a few of them).

    1. Other countries are taking advantage of us, taking our industry, and have an unfair advantage over us.

    2. Climate change is caused by something, or someone else, not us. We give you the cleanest air and water in the world.

    3. People from other places only want to rob and hurt you. We will build walls, borders, protection to keep them from you.

    4. Wild animals are dangerous, kill our livestock, and invade our farms and should be hunted or culled to protect food production and you.

    5. It is our right to use all the resources we have to provide a good standard of living and keep the economy producing new things so that you can buy them. Don’t worry if you go into debt, we will let you pay us over time for a very small extra fee. Many resources are renewable.

    6. The food that we manufacture for you, is better than you can grow, is cheaper, and provides lots of jobs so that you can keep buying stuff, to keep the economy going.

    7. The climate might be shifting a bit, but don’t worry, it will shift back again, it always does.

    8. New technology is there to protect you and keep your information safe. We only track you so that we can give you better service, assist you with menial tasks, and save you time so that you can play instead of work.

    9. Your politicians are working really hard with corporate executives to be sure that you are getting the best products, the best medicines, the best
    guidelines, the best living spaces to keep you safe.

    10. Occasionally, you’ll hear that some people have infiltrated one of our safe systems for giving you a good life. It might be a farm, or perhaps a food plant, or a medical facility. They scare you with their stories of unsafe or corrupt practices. Rest assured. These people will be dealt with. You do not have to worry. We will take care of you, our faithful voters and followers, forever (or until you die).

    Sounds rather like a distopian Brave New World with Big Brother at the helm, doesn’t it?
    It is!

    Liked by 5 people

    • Watch the movie, “V for Vendetta” – it is essentially based on every one of your comments here. It does end with a “blast” of hope for ordinary people, as as Jill mentions, in “V” they found their leader to give them their voice and their courage.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Sha’Tara, I looked at a few clips from V for Vendetta. While it points out where social injustices control the masses (via governments), I cannot agree with a violent solution to ending social injustice… It simply mirrors the evils that persist in the world.
        The only solutions will come from non violent, compassionate sources.

        Yes, we have been fooled into believing a lot of the lies, corruption and controls advertised as for our own good. But we solve them peacefully, without blood she’d, without hatred, without negativity (as much as possible), and using our brains to think up better solutions.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Nicely done Colette. The ugly truths we still are not dealing with that are also problems are 1) the significant percentage of food that gets thrown away because it is not perfect and/ or it takes too much money to send to lower priced supermarkets or food distributors and 2) the amount of plastic and recyclables that end up in the ocean which will get worse with China no longer taking our recyclable waste. If we could cut down on these numbers, some other good things could happen. Then, there is climate change and water shortage, etc. Keith

      Liked by 3 people

      • Keith, we people (everywhere) not just in America, are being conned. There is no excuse for ignoring these big problems. I watched a well advertised panel discussion on what to do about plastic waste (in the UK), held at the Royal Geographical Society on 29th November. It was live streamed on YouTube.
        Sadly, only just over 1,000 views have been recorded.

        Here is the link!…

        Scroll into about 1 hr into the recording to see the panel discussion. It has the same thought processes needed in other countries as well as Britain. Sadly, our political elites do not take notice. Liz Bonnin (in the red dress) is a TV presenter. Her summer released, 1-1/2 hr BBC1 documentary, ‘Drowning in Plastic,’ garnered a lot of attention from very shocked ‘prime time’ viewers in the UK. It has kick started a new awareness that has hit major supermarkets. Some have started to change things in the single use plastics market.

        One snippet from the discussion panel, mentioned one of the largest producers in the world – Unilever. They revealed that they produce 59 billion plastic packages a year. 47 billion of those packages are single use sachet type packages that go into the Asian markets (where the plastic waste in rivers an oceans is staggering). These are the same countries that accept plastic waste from Western countries (supposedly for recycling) and then dump it illegally as recently exposed in Malaysia. The discussion for solutions is well worth watching.

        Liked by 1 person

        • People in general are their own worst enemies.
          A client, today. “How did you get all that cardboard in your van?” she asked. (I had hauled out a room full of cardboard boxes and made them “disappear” in my service vehicle.)
          “Well, simple. I opened all the boxes, flattened them, and cut the larger pieces down to size and bundled the cardboard as required for recycling.”
          “Oh, well, I don’t have the patience to do that.”
          I saw a dozen eggs on the kitchen counter. They were packed in a clear PLASTIC container. I asked her, what’s with the plastic egg container?
          “That’s the way they come at Super Store now.”
          “Wouldn’t you rather buy from local farmers, from free range chickens and recycle the carton containers?”
          “I suppose, but I can’t be bothered.”
          There you have it. You can also be sure that these plastic egg containers will NOT be recycled, unless the city begins to police what is put in the garbage. Of note: this person does not work for a living and spends most of her time driving about ‘shopping’ and not much else. Is she typical? Yes, for this area.
          I’m an observer. I watch, see, note, comment. I don’t do the wishful thinking because I do know “human nature” and that only through disasters and catastrophes do they TEMPORARILY seem to change. Then it’s just back to business and same old. As a general rule, people are lazy, ignorant and utterly uncaring of whatever goes on outside of their tiny myopic vision. They don’t watch “the news” for information but for entertainment and in many cases they are more taken by the commercials than the news.

          Liked by 2 people

            • OK Colette, but why should the manufacturers change except for the worst? They’re in it for one thing only: exponential financial profit, case closed. If they do anything environmentally friendly, it’s to create some credibility for their commercials, nothing else. 42.5 years I worked for Coca Cola. Now there’s a place to learn all about a corporation’s environmental conscience… It’s a major environmental and health disaster for mankind and yet how often does its track record tickle the environmental news? If there ever was a corporation that became a master at presenting the wolf in sheep’s clothing… followed closely by Disney I would assume.
              Manufacturers are caught in their own gears: they have to please their major share holders with higher earnings or lose them. If they lose them, there is nothing under these ponzi scheme investments so the entire house of cards comes a tumbling down. They are all, bar none, houses of cards, pushing numbers across banks of computers. Our governments facilitate the laundering and plundering.
              No Colette, I don’t need to watch and listen to another panel discussing the obvious and telling me that “someone” needs to bell the cat. Maybe your youths can muster up enough crazy, carefree courage to finally lay across the railway tracks as the train of “progress” comes charging down, pedal to the metal. Some of them must die… lots of them must die, before even an impression is made; before their blood drowns out the fake news makers and fills the mouth of the hegemon’s talking heads. You want real change? Then you’re advocating mass bloodshed. Without bloodshed there will be no real change. Even with their martyrdom, if they quit before destroying civilization and all the evils it stands for, it will be for naught. I doubt that they know this… I remember the Sixties and our protests and sit-ins and how it was all neatly orchestrated to an end, partly with drugs, partly with a few shootings at Kent State and partly with pretend change. Well, we’re at the end of the pretend change now. How serious are the change makers who will risk all to tackle the cat and hang the bell on its neck?

              Liked by 1 person

              • Well the Vegan movement has got the meat and dairy industry rattled. Tyson foods have started a vegan section to their traditional meat industry because they can see change coming fast.
                It won’t be an easy ride, but like the tobacco industry, we will see slowly see declines on unhealthy industries (including Coca Cola). I have to keep some hope of that in my heart Sha’Tara. If I take on your negative view, I will just give up. And I don’t want to do that. Humanity deserves a better deal., another chance. The alternative is extinction.

                Liked by 2 people

                • I understand. I’m made of “tougher” stuff and I do possess a much longer-term view of things. We are heading into a mutation, not an extinction. But I also see the interim, the horror, the social costs, the devastation. There is no smooth transition possible, we’ve pushed the planet, nature and our arrogant science too far now. These protests are possibly the beginning of the end, but as I said before, I won’t hold my breath. If they are bought out with fear or inducements, then it’s all for naught once again. I’m a Cassandra, not a Pollyanna, sorry.

                  Liked by 2 people

        • I will watch this later, although it will upset me and I already know the damage, but I found this little ray of hope. I don’t know where this project stands at present or how feasible it is, but it does show young people getting serious about this.
          But again if we can’t change politics and corporate greed, it will ever amount to much.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Mary, this is a lovely video (and a Ray of hope). This young man was featured on the BBC documentary ‘Drowning in Plastic,’ and his wandering ocean plastic cleanup boom has attracted the attention of many nations. This young man is overwhelmed by the response and his invention is likely to be bought by many nations in the coming years.
            This is the power of people who refuse to see problems that can’t be solved. They just go out and do it. 😉

            Liked by 2 people

  8. Pingback: The Conversation — Part II | Filosofa's Word

  9. Hi Jill, Mary, et al,
    Nothing new, but we have to look at white privilege (for those who feel it.). Even the poorest white folk believe they deserve more than the richest people of colour, even when they know they can’t have it. They “resent” those coloured folk who have more than them, simply because they are white. White is right! White is might!
    And there is no doubt the climate is changing, but no matter what you are told, it is not easy to believe. In most places the change is not visible yet. And, of course, it doesn’t affect me, what do I care? Especially for someone with a high school education or less, it’s easier to believe Trump than it is some scientist you’ve never heard of.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great discussion and excellent points all around. Regarding efforts to mitigate climate change and the resistance to it posed by human nature, here are my thoughts:

    Climate change mitigation is already happening through market forces as financial investments are moving from fossil fuels to clean energy; however, it is not happening fast enough to avoid catastrophe. The only way to increase the rate of mitigation is through coordinated government action, and this is where the resistance posed by human nature – i.e. the consensus weight of public opinion – is critically important.

    We humans are creatures of habit. We do pretty much the same things day after day. We like it that way. It makes us feel comfortable. Anything that makes us feel uncomfortable, such as getting laid-off from our coal mining job, makes us angry and resentful. However, we are also very adaptive to new situations. Business advertising has known for a very long time that people will buy new goods and services if they have an incentive to do so. Unfortunately, government has generally failed to utilize this crucial aspect of human nature. Government simply cannot ignore that laid-off coal miner. It must provide him with either another viable economic opportunity, or it must compensate him in some concrete manner. Simply telling him “sorry, tough luck” is both negligent and socially destabilizing.

    The need here is to get Joe Blow to feel like he’s part of the solution. This is how public opinion can be shifted in a positive direction which can then reinforce governmental action through the democratic process.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Robert! Your thoughts are extremely astute and you’ve made an observation that I never considered before: We need to make Joe Blow feel like he is part of the solution. Brilliant! If we can find a way to do that, all the Joe Blows will hold the government accountable for doing their part. I’m so disappointed in the U.S. (read Trump) right now, after pulling out of the Paris Accord and reversing all the protections that were in place, just because he wants to erase Obama’s legacy. Climate change and preservation of the planet are far too important to allow it to become a pawn in a game of personal vendetta. I like your ideas … now, how to implement them despite the madman in the Oval Office?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Priority #1: The madman in the Oval Office must go. Fortunately, his blatant and rampant corruption is making that a very real possibility before 2020.

        Now for the bad news. Mitigating climate change sufficiently to avoid a terrible catastrophe, which could result in the collapse of modern civilization, would be the most difficult endeavor ever attempted by us humans. First of all, it would be the most expensive and transitional thing we’ve ever done. Since we can’t get blood from a turnip (i.e. money from the impoverished and working poor), wealthy individuals and corporations would have to pay the lion’s share of the costs. Obviously, they would resist. Secondly, such a massive endeavor would require structural reforms to our political and economic systems. For example, minimizing the corrupting influence of money in politics and shifting the profit-at-all-cost mentality of business towards a more socially responsible mindset. Again, such dramatic changes are unlikely to be realized within the short time available to sufficiently mitigate climate change.

        From a practical standpoint, we should continue to make the case for climate change mitigation and hope that the public wakes up before its too late. We’ve surprised ourselves before, so it still remains possible for us to avoid a catastrophe.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I agree that it is still possible, but … the odds aren’t looking very good, are they? There is still such strong resistance in this country and every new bit of scientific data is countered by Trump’s calls of it being a ‘hoax’ that people just aren’t waking up. You are spot on when you say it will be very costly and require socio-economic changes that will almost certainly be strongly resisted. There are bits of encouraging news in the areas of renewable energy and some of the things that some states and industries are doing, but my fear is it’s a case of ‘too little, too late’. Still, I keep hoping. Thanks for all your insight here, Robert!

          Liked by 1 person

  11. Unfortunately this approach is replicated in the UK. Sell politics on the basis of fear rather than hope. Immigration stories make the front page of the newspapers, climate change makes somewhere in the middle. The hope has to be that the younger generations. Study after study shows that they get climate change. They get the need for cooperation.

    Liked by 3 people

    • It is the same here … our young people seem to be more attuned to the importance of certain issues like climate change. And a problem that you guys don’t have but it is a huge problem here: guns. After Parkland earlier this year, the young people are coming out in favour of gun control, which I think is fantastic. Our future is in the hands of our youth … we need to make sure to nurture and educate them.


  12. Jill, what is interesting is the man sells off fear, but overstates some while ignoring others. Illegal immigration is a concern, but it is vastly overblown. He has made it worse with his DACA change, but fortunately a court blocked it. Otherwise, a very real problem he created would be underway.

    As for climate change, his opinion does not account for much. He just has a bigger platform. But, he also is conning folks. While saying it was a hoax on the record a couple of years ago, at the same time, his golf course in Ireland was seeking written permission to gain funding help on a sea wall to hold back rising sea levels due to, you guessed it, climate change.

    When will his followers understand that they should take everything he says with a grain of salt. He had no business promising people he would save their jobs. Market forces dictate that. He also continues to lie about his involvement with Russia, now calling Michael Cohen, his attorney, a low-life and liar since he said he lied to Congress about Trump’s conversation about building a tower in Russia.

    Have you noticed everyone is lying, but Donald Trump, per Donald Trump?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, his ‘fear’ of immigrants is blown far out of proportion and is causing a humanitarian crisis in this nation, especially at our southern border at present. I read something this morning that referenced FDR’s famous speech about the only thing we have to fear being fear itself, which started me thinking about our current situation. Fear such as Trump promotes is debilitating and causes us to make some really stupid choices.

      I don’t think his followers will realize how inept and dishonest he is until … it hits them directly, likely in the pocketbook or bank account. They’ve had ample evidence presented to them, and yet they still rant and carry on, still support him blindly. One day when they drive to work, only to find that they no longer have a job, then they lose their home for they cannot pay the mortgage, and their kids cannot afford to go to college, so they work at McDonald’s and continue to live with mommy and daddy, then perhaps they will see that he really didn’t make things much better, and then maybe they will also realize that things weren’t all that bad to start with. And yes, I have noticed that. Everybody is either “crooked” or a “liar”.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks. Even today, the master Teflon man is trying to tell everyone “what is wrong with me trying to make a buck in Russia?” If he was not running for office and became President, there is nothing wrong. But, it looks very much like what it is – the carrot part of the equation to curry favor. Plus, he has consistently lied about his financial relationship with Russia – why? If this was on the up and up, why lie?

        Liked by 1 person

        • I know — I read that and felt like just going back to bed. His “me-ism” is so tiresome, so mind-numbing. It’s as if he has a recording in his head with about 15 different phrases, sort of like those dolls you pull the string in the back and they say one of a few things. Whoever programmed him should be throttled. Why did he lie? Good question, especially since he says it was “all very legal, all very cool” or some such drivel. If he believed that and still lied, then he is truly a person who is incapable of telling the truth.


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