The Tragic History of the West
After driving the Wyoming Centennial Scenic Byway, I spent a few days camped near the Grand Tetons and then drove back to Cody to spend one more night there. From there I was off to explore Eastern Montana and some of the Black Hills of South Dakota, I’ll tell you more about that in my next travel post. I left Cody and drove to Billings, Montana to do some serious shopping, then I went over to Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument to honor the fallen dead. It was a moving experience for me, and this post tells my story.
You can’t go anywhere out West without running into its history and that’s especially true of Wyoming; it has a long and varied history including:
- Native Americans
- Lewis and Clark
- The Mountain Men
- Pioneers and Settlers
- Ranchers and Cowboys.
All these groups have fired the imagination of Americans for a long time and any trip to Wyoming has to include the museums, monuments and battlefields that formed our collective Western history. For most Americans the heroes and villains of the story are easy to figure out, but it isn’t easy for me at all and the conclusions I reach are probably the opposite of most of yours.
To me, the history of the west comes down to this:
A group of People who Reverence the Earth as Sacred …
Battling to the Death…
A group of People who Hate the Earth.
Unfortunately, the wrong group won.
I want to specifically discuss two of the most grievous places that celebrate our sins against the Earth and the people who revere her: the Buffalo Bill Cody Museum of the West in Cody, Wyoming and Little Bighorn Battlefield National Historic Place in Montana.
The best comparison I can make is that as I walked through them, I felt like I think I would feel if I ever go to Europe and toured the Nazi Extermination Camps of Auschwitz, Buchenwald or Dachau. Those camps were developed because of a German national delusion of their racial superiority and inherent right to do whatever they needed to do to establish themselves as the “Master Race.” That’s exactly how Americans did and do look at Indians.
The Nazis also seemed to have a national pride that bordered on a doctrine of “Manifest Destiny” that said they were ordained to conquer their world–just like Americans had, and still have.
I believe that exactly describes Western Civilization generally and the American westward migration specifically. We were so far superior to the Native Americans that we would simply take their land and if they objected we would slaughter them until they were either exterminated or submitted to the Reservations–our form of concentration camps. The Reservations are our Warsaw Ghetto where we herded the lower races into holding areas like cattle. I don’t see any difference between our treatment of Native Americans in the Reservations and the way the Nazis herded the Jews into the Warsaw Ghetto. The difference is the Nazis lost their war and we won ours, so we still have our Warsaw Ghettos today, 140 years later.
The Native Americans, the beavers, the buffalo, the wolves and bears, the Earth itself were not sacred, they were garbage to be killed and destroyed and brought to extinction if we chose. We very nearly succeeded in our grand plan of “subduing the earth” as ordained by the god of the Bible and our horribly distorted doctrine of “Manifest Destiny.” Its pure luck that we didn’t.
Let’s look at these monuments to our hatred of the Earth and destruction of those who love the Earth:
Buffalo Bill Cody Museum
This large museum is actually five museums in one:
- Buffalo Bill Museum
- The Draper Museum of Natural History
- Whitney Western Art Museum
- Plains Indians Museum
- Cody Firearms Museum
I literally wept as I walked through it. It’s one big celebration of our hatred of the Earth. One wing is dedicated to the firearms that were used in our war on the creatures of the Earth like the beaver, buffalo, wolves and bears that once thrived here until we arrived. But it also displays the many military firearms uses to slaughter the people who loved the Earth and wanted to protect it and it’s animals.
The museum of the Plains Indians has no idea what to do with them so it’s a mealy-mouthed nothing. It can’t possibly discuss our treatment of the Indians so instead it’s filled with lots of examples of their bead-work, like that’s all they were. I was even disappointed by the fine arts museum, it all seemed mediocre at best.
Much of it is dedicated to Buffalo Bill Cody who made mass entertainment of the destruction of the buffalo and near extinction of the Indians. He brought his shows to people all over the world so they could enjoy and be thrilled by the extermination of anything that stood in the way of the advancement of “civilization”.
Little Bighorn Battlefield National Historic Place
I was terribly torn by Custer’s Last Stand Battlefield. As an American, everything in my heart wants to honor the soldiers who defend our freedom and keep us safe. Right or wrong they were American soldiers defending the country. And yet when those men left their Forts, they did so with every intention to attack the Indian village at dawn and kill every warrior who opposed them, and then kill every old person, woman and child in camp. Their specific goal was to exterminate that village.
Of course some (but not all) of the Indians did the same thing, but under very different circumstances. For the most part, when the whites first arrived they were welcomed and allowed to pass through unharmed. Only when it became obvious they were there to steal their land and destroy their way of life did they declare full war on them and use terror on the whites. Terror was a cultural part of some tribe’s way of life and it was totally necessary because the invading armies were vastly larger and had tremendously greater weapons. For example, it’s estimated only 10% of the Indians at Custer’s Last Stand had firearms, the rest had traditional weapons like bows and spears. Plus, Custer had the option of bringing along artillery and Gattling guns, but he left them behind so he could travel faster. Had he brought them, and used a better battle plan, the result could have been the slaughter of up to 8000 Indians and he would have been a national hero in our war on the Earth. Instead he is a martyr, he died so you and I could do the maximum possible damage to the Earth.
Ultimately, I left with nothing but sorrow for both sides. For the troops that died I felt sorrow that they had been so horribly mislead and lied to by a civilization that was so vile it could send them off to kill and die for no other reason that they could expand their hatred and destruction of the Earth. For the Indians I only felt sorrow that while they had won this battle, in only a few years they would be largely slaughtered off and all would be forced into the American form of Warsaw Ghettos we call Reservations.
There they would be starved and their children taken from them until they submitted to be Christians, stopped speaking their language and following their culture. In other words, until they also were “civilized” and hated the Earth. If you’re interested in Native American culture, this is a book that had a tremendous impact on me and I highly recommend to you, get it from Amazon here: Neither Wolf nor Dog: On Forgotten Roads with an Indian Elder
The Indians were never to love the Earth again, instead they must dig into her skin and abuse her just like the whites did.
It’s a very sad tale filled with tragedy and horror. And yet nearly every American approves it and gives thanks for it because it was part of the march of “Progress” that ended up giving us Penicillin and iPads and lots more “stuff”. Those are the only things that really seem important to us.
But like the Indians at Custer’s last Stand, today we White Men are celebrating because we have won our every battle against the Earth as we subdued and attempted to destroy her. But just like those Indians were doomed to lose their war with the whites, we are doomed to lose our war with the Earth. Within a few years we will have confined ourselves to our own Ecological Warsaw Ghettos that we are so busily and happily creating right now. “Why should I change my life, it’s my great-great grandchildren who will pay the price?”
Then it will be our turn to starve and lose every part of the way of life we loved; and they will get the last laugh.
Why am I publishing such a controversial post? I rarely write like this because guilt and fear are very poor motivators, nearly all of us just push it out of our mind. Unfortunately, the days of being able to live like we hate the Earth, but pretending that we don’t are over. The lines are drawn in the sand and you are either destroying the earth by living a typical middle-class lifestyle, or you are radically changing your whole life to minimize your impact on the earth—to love Her with your actions and not words.
The good news I have for you is that if you will follow the simple advice laid out in this website, not only will you be living like you love the earth, you will minimize the harm you do to Her. But best of all, you’ll be happier than you have ever been! You will be better off in every way: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Humans were born to live in harmony with the Earth–it’s written into our DNA. Living otherwise only ends in a life of quiet desperation because of the ache in your heart for your lost love–the Earth.
I believe, somewhere, deep down in our heart we each love the Earth. Isn’t it time our actions line up with our heart?
In my next post, I’m going to offer you good news to offset the negative point of view found in this one.
Thanks for supporting this site by shopping at Amazon through these links! Even if you don’t buy these items, but buy something else, I’ll make a small percentage and it won’t cost you a thing:
Chief Joseph & the Flight of the Nez Perce
Neither Wolf nor Dog: On Forgotten Roads with an Indian Elder
The Wisdom of the Native Americans: a Book of Quotes
Thanks for this, Bob.
Thanks Al, I just had no choice but write it. I tried to talk myself out of it but it just had to be done.
The sad part our is government is on automatic pilot & run by apparatchiks who make rules that have the effect of laws.The law makers are doing to us what was done to the indians because we are now in the way,just good enough to be their milk cows.The education system has educated us to conform to a socialist system (giving w/one hand while taking away w/the other).We don’t believe it could happen again because we are enlightened & these are modern times.If we take up arms we will end up like the USSR so we would have been better off if we had learned to live side by side w/the native Americans.
Bob, have you read “Lies My Teacher Told Me” by James W. Loewen? It’s dense, but good stuff & very relevant to this post.
Lydia, I have not but I just order it for my Kindle. Now I’ve just got to find time to read it!?
BOB, U are right on the money, excellent posting !!
My regards, Lucy.
Thanks you Lucy!
I have and it’s great.
I loved that book, Lydia.
Well done BOB very good read. Stay safe out there my friend
Thank you so much molonwolf!
I couldn’t agree with you more!!!
The “White Man” has been raping the earth for generations. It is time for us citizens of the world to stop “living beyond our means”. Mother Earth cannot survive this onslaught of unbridled consumerism. It is absolutely absurb what the capitalists have done and make us believe.
Rich, I have been a conservative Republican and a huge fan of capitalism all of my life, but I’m afraid that’s all changed and I have to agree with you.
What the Republicans are doing in Congress today to harm the environment is incredible and history will revile them for it.
How can al gore take about climate change while flying in a private jet to all his functions on being green? I think a lot of politicians just say what a certain group wants to hear, not actually wanting to change things. republican and democrat are only the left and right hand of the same head.
I agree Douglas, that’s why I just listen to the scientists, they don’t have vested interest in getting something for themselves, just seeking the truth.
Hi Bob, just want to say that your an incredible thinker & writer and I really enjoy the blog. Without a doubt the rabbit hole goes much deeper, much darker, and insidious when it comes to how the West was won, very sad indeed….
Wow, Don that is very kind of you to say. Very, very sad!
You are spot on !! I applaude your insight and courage ! We need more Bob’s in this great land of ours. Safe travels my friend .
Thank you Road Champ! I’m just surprised by the positive response.
100% on target. I do not know who is running the government now but the good people are not. We have not learned from our past mistakes. With the patriot act we are condemned now just as the Indians were and still are. Thank you for the truth and the list of books.
Thank you Bill!
Memorial Day National Holiday Where We Remember Our Fallen troops. The Civil War where we know more men died than all other wars combined.
Our first weapon of mass destruction where we used germ warfare????? That would be where we gave blankets laden with germs from the Small Pox Epidemic to the Indians on the Rez!!!!
United States of America Veterans who died??? We killed more Indians than all other wars combined….. What conscience???
Sad, vera sad….
Bill, since Columbus landed on the Americas, the estimates are that 50 million native peoples have died, mostly from disease. Nearly all were unintentional, but that’s still a lot of blood on our heads.
Oliver stone recently made a series of films about the history of America. Kinda like Zinns book, only on film.
I am astounded that the planet has over 7B people and is growing. Seems like people are everywhere these days.
Cae, and it’s only getting worse every hour of every single day. By 025, the world population will reach 8.1 billion people and will climb to 9.6 billion by 2050.
We need to move to MARS, it’s been said there is water there, that can SAVE mother Earth, but what will save MARS once we colonize it ?? Just a thought !!
My regards, Lucy.
Lucy, there goes the neighborhood! Mars is doomed!
Thanks, Bob. As you know, I share your feelings and beliefs about the advance of “civilization.” We need not worry about humans winning their war on the Earth. It will never happen. The idea that we can own our Mother and use her as we please is total folly.
I do not know when or how we will pay for our genocide in the Americas. I believe it will happen because I believe karma is a force that applies to societies as well as individuals.
Two more books that have influenced me on this topic are “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee,” by Dee Brown and “Black Elk Speaks,” by John G. Neihart. Brown is more confrontational; Black Elk seems the wiser to me.
Bill, the germ warfare goes way back. The history of New England includes smallpox-infested blankets traded to the tribes there.
Calvin, those are both very good books! I also agree about the Karma, who we are and what we do gets into the Earth itself and cries out for justice.
Thank you for the post. Knowledge is power and these things are NOT taught in our schools.
Thanks Terry, I appreciate knowing others agree!
I agree to a point. Our past is sometimes good and sometimes bad. We are human and we all make mistakes and bad decisions. I just do the best I can.
There is no way any human can possibly tell me what the temperature will be in 100 years. They can’t even tell me what it will be in 12 hrs sometimes. I remember in the middle 70’s the next big threat was another ice age. I don’t buy into the climate change mantra, I believe it is just a marketing tool to make more money.
I believe nature will finally get tired of us and wipe us out without even breaking a sweat. The earth will still be here long after we’re gone.
George, the very best minds at NASA (and every single science institution on the planet) are all agreed about man-caused climate change and the general thrust of the next 100 year. All of their predictions about climate change have come true, except faster than they had predicted.
We think the scientists at NASA are pretty smart when they put men on the moon, many missions to Mars and a probe right beside Pluto. When they say we are causing a climate catastrophe on the planet in the next 100 years we say they are greedy liars controlled by the government and corporations. That just doesn’t make sense to me. http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/
We’ll just have to agree to disagree.
We put a man on the moon??? Hmm the Van Allen belt comes to mind. Estimates of 6 feet of steel to get thru it, we used a overly thick tin can of a space ship and went thru twice! Now that’s engineering! Sorry but a little humorous sarcasm is a good thing.
Bill n Sadie plus Mic
Thanks Bill, almost humor is always a good thing.
Scientists have known about Human caused climate change for many, many years. Seed companies began developing strains of seeds that will grow under warmer temperatures in the 60’s.
The ice age you spoke of was because of a thermonuclear war, which could still happen. Global climate change is happening as we speak. The unbiased statistics are true and by the time your descendants come to grips with it, it will be to late.
To say it is just a marketing tool to make more money, I challenge you to show who is making the money? The oil companies on the other hand have every damn reason in the world to defeat the efforts to cut back on polluting fossil fuels with marketing tools to make more money.
I don’t know where you live or what you do, but I assure you that within a couple of decades the lifestyle surrounding it will be very, very different. Wanna hear some facts? Melting glaciers all over the world. Much of the Asian continent has benefited from glaciers in the Himalaya’s. Nearly 3 Billion Humans rely on that water provided by the glaciers. They are melting and not being replenished yearly, something that has gone on for millions and millions of years. As the Ice pack over the North pole melts the sea there will absorb heat and further affect the atmosphere and our climate. These are facts of science. If any of them are proved wrong scientists change their theorems, that is how science works. But the climate change deniers on the other hand have it all made up and concluded and won’t change their beliefs. I’m not even started, but the question remains: Who, if you say there is a climate change mantra to make money, who is making the money? Change your paradigm,change your source of news, that is my suggestion. (Sorry if I went on to long Bob, but lies and facts don’t mix well.
Thanks for a great post. I sometimes feel very sad when I listen to the news, because the current political conversation is so far from where it needs to be. Presidential candidates, members of Congress, and news anchors watched by millions of people are arguing about whether abortion and birth control should be legal! The conversation we should be having right now is how many thousands of dollars we are willing to pay a teenager who starts using a long-term birth control method!
Another good author on this subject is John Michael Greer. I certainly don’t agree with everything he says, but he is putting some serious consideration into the necessary transition, which is more than most authors are doing. Even some environmentalists have been misled into thinking that it will be possible to have both economic growth and a sustainable economy. Mainstream economists have unfortunately been at the forefront of leading us down the primrose path here. Herman Daly’s views on the steady-state economy are sadly still very much a minority viewpoint.
Paula, sad to say, radical changes that are going to be required are just too much for most people to even consider so we will do next to nothing until we just have no choice. Even then it will be too little too late.
Things are going to get much, much worse, and then in 10,000 years they’ll start to get better.
People have been manipulated, history spun and rewritten. View controlled by intentionally polarizing politics and varying ‘religions’ to cause hatred and divisions.
The very rich, at the top of their ladder, seem to care little about anything except plundering and profit and they appear to posses only parasitical tendencies with little empathy for anything. The lives of the Natives, or any – including you and me, matter little to them – except for further pocket-lining.
It’s as though this planet (and the people on it) were viewed as just (an) object(s) to rape, pillage and conquer. If you look at a lot of history and such in that light, things make a whole lot of sense. The extermination of the Natives does, they were ‘in the way’ of profit and a threat to greed and mass control.
The Natives got absolutely shafted. As I observe, many of the rest of us are also getting shafted now too, especially if you don’t follow popular consensus. We should be with the Natives and not against one another as far as anyone finding your post inflammatory. We should be adult enough to know to not project the criticism of someone else’s identity onto our own selves just because just one small aspect (be it race or whatever) of it is similar.
With the recent release of the newest Apple gadget in the news and it’s ‘record-breaking sales!’, I was thinking about planned obsolescence just last week. It’s pretty sickening. They design things specifically to break or quit working after a set amount of time, forcing people to discard vast amounts of trash, dumping it everywhere, destroying natural resources, wetlands, waters, you name it. A large portion of electronic waste and plastic cabinetry is dumped in Ghana. The premise is greed and selling more, of course. Too many people buy what they’re sold blindly hook, line and sinker. Few even seem to question the poor quality of things much, it seems to be a given. They just dutifully buy. buy more.
It makes me incredibly angry, because how much less trash, misery and overall damage would exist were this deliberate, poor-quality greed-driven nonsense not so.
You make a lot of good points Magicwolf.
Chief Joseph’s Surrender Speech – October 5th, 1877
“Tell General Howard I know his heart. What he told me before, I have it in my heart. I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed; Looking Glass is dead, Too-hul-hul-sote is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led on the young men is dead. It is cold, and we have no blankets; the little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are, perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.”
Marie, Chief Joseph was an Amazing man. By contrast every word that General Howard said was a lie and he knew it was a lie and every promise he made was broken.
To this day, none of them were ever kept.
In the last 10,000 years it has been warmer and colder than it is now.
For the last few million years the earth has cycled between an ice age (100,000- 250,000+ years long) followed by a 10,000 year (about) inter glacial period, we are in one now.
“People” through out history have left a long line of displaced/dead/enslaved peoples when they wanted what the others had.
We are at the end of an interglacial period & the world has a huge number of people these days, an unprecedented number (as you noted).
I visited the Little Big Horn site 52 years ago, it left me with a bad feeling that I can remember.
What does this all have to do with anything? Not much, it’s just how I see the world.
Rob, studying the science behind climate and climate change is a hobby of mine, and based on my research I am 100% convinced that in this century, we are going to see catastrophic consequences of man-made climate change. I’m also convinced that there is still a very small window of time when we can substantially reduce the tremendous damage heading our way. I’m equally convinced we will continue down the road with our heads in the sand and not make the changes necessary.
Of course I’m nobody and my opinions on science mean nothing. What does mean something is that 97% of climate scientists agree with my assessment and the only reason I believe it is because of all their work.
I’m not accountable for what the Romans did to their slaves, as an American I am accountable for what America did and is still doing.
I also have a hobby of studying climate and climate change. Even if we deny the human role in this event (I don’t), other factors matter more. The short answer to Rob is that this time the changes are happening much faster than ever before. Rob discusses cycles lasting at least 10,000 years. The current changes have taken less than 50 years. Neither humans nor the rest of the planet have time to adapt. The fact that the changes are not extreme from one season or year to the next means nothing on this scale.
Bob, we will surely take measures in regard to climate change, but we have not avoided disasters such as the increase in severe storms and the tendency to more extreme weather events. They are already here. Another hobby of mine is history, and that’s what really scares me in this discussion. Leaders, whether kings, Congresses, or local chiefs, almost always respond poorly and late to any gradual change. The status quo works for them and they do not want change. This is the history of empires, among other things. The Roman, Spanish, and British empires all ended, and historians can point out causes they think should have been obvious to the rulers and preventable. These climate changes are far slower, hence less obvious. The US and China, probably the two biggest human forces, are distracted by politics and by economics. We may expect late responses that will be either too drastic or not nearly enough and will likely misdirected to traditional economic interests as well. These changes will dramatically affect human life for many generations, and far fewer of us will continue in a century or two.
Calvin, that is a very good concise explanation of time scale of the changes occurring! Very well said!
This year in Paris is a very large and important UN meeting addressing climate change and every country in the world are making pledges on what they will do to reduce greenhouse emissions. Much of the news is very good! Surprisingly good, an amazing number of world leaders are taking it very seriously and pledging substantial cuts.
China is actually pledging huge changes in their carbon output. They can actually see the damage we are doing to our environment right in front of them and they are taking a long-term view. Oddly, Canada and Australia our making the worst pledges and sticking to business as usual.
But, it will still be too little too late. We’ve already unleashed forces that can’t be pulled back and the changes we’re pledging will be phased in slowly and still not enough.
But it is remarkable how much of the world is taking it seriously.
When you have climate models that if you go back 75 years, plug the known data in & you don’t get today I have to wonder.
Historical records of growing seasons, types of crops and where the ice was ice show the climate has varied widely in just the last few thousand years.
When reality does not follow the model (the lack of current warming)& the data is changed to fit the model (sea water temps just this year, ‘they’ determined they temps had been taken wrong and the data was changed) something is not right.
I see the “man made” climate change as a modern religion, with models that do not work, data changed and history ignored there is a lot that has to be taken on faith.
I cannot help you with your guilt for what happened before you were born, I will point out that you can only do today what you think is right. Trying to change what you cannot will just drive you crazy.
The Serenity Prayer helps me….
Rob, I’m well aware of all your points about climate change and have researched them extensively, the science is all there, it all lines up and is 100% undeniable as far as I can tell. I’m not taking any of it on faith, I’ve done the research and it’s conclusive to me.
I’m responsible for how I live my life and every day I make decisions about how I live that will affect not just myself but every other person on the planet now and in the future–that’s why I do the research, so I can make wise, fully informed decisions.
The Iroquois People had a rule that every decision had to be made considering how it would impact the people in the future down to the Seventh Generation. Of course we destroyed them because civilization is so far superior an as a country we make all of our decision based only on ourselves. I’m trying to change that in my life and think of the impact my decisions will have on my great, great, great grandchildren. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_generation_sustainability.
I’m just egotistical enough to think that’s an idea I would like to encourage others to follow and that’s my goal. By remembering the past, maybe we can not repeat it in the future. Maybe we can learn something from our vanquished inferiors about living sustainability.
A quote from that page explaining the graph:
One of the most common misunderstandings amongst climate contrarians is the difference between short-term noise and long-term signal. This animation shows how the same temperature data (green) that is used to determine the long-term global surface air warming trend of 0.16°C per decade (red) can be used inappropriately to “cherrypick” short time periods that show a cooling trend simply because the endpoints are carefully chosen and the trend is dominated by short-term noise in the data (blue steps).
Isn’t it strange how six periods of cooling can add up to a clear warming trend over the last 4 decades?
Several factors can have a large impact on short-term temperatures, such as oceanic cycles like the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) or the 11-year solar cycle. These short-term cycles don’t have long-term effects on the Earth’s temperature, unlike the continuing upward trend caused by global warming from human greenhouse gas emissions.
“Short-term noise” and “long-term signal”? That graph is only 45 years!
45 years is not even a drop in the bucket of the time/temps since the ice sheets retreated.
We are talking of a cycle that goes at least 10,000 years (interglacial) and rightfully ought to be a lot longer than that.
Here is a graph a bit longer than 45 years.
We disagree -shrug-
Rob, you said that the warming had stopped and my graph was to show you that it had not.
The issue is not whether or not it had ever been hotter than it is now, that’s totally irrelevant to our discussion. The question is what will the impact be if the man-made warming continues without us doing something about it.
Today its a virtual certainty that southern Florida will be uninhabitable within 100 years ( http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/editorials/article22639026.html ). 10,000 years ago, no one would care, the tribe would just move inland. Today millions of people will have to leave their homes and billions of dollars worth of cities will have to be be abandoned.
Hunter-gatherers were extremely adaptable and they just rolled with the climate punches. Civilized people are totally inflexible and it will mean the end of civilization as we know it.
Here is a response to the graph and point you are making from this website: http://www.skepticalscience.com/10000-years-warmer.htm
The graph you linked too is for one place on the planet, Greenland, and the author has made the classic mistake and said the temperatures of one place are representative of the globe. That’s wrong and is not a valid study. NOAA did a study except they gathered ancient data from 73 locations around the earth and this is the graph they put out from this site:
Some quotes from that page:
It’s the extreme speed of the current climate change which is the problem, there is nothing else like it in the record and it’s very clearly man-made.
Rob, that is how science works. If some data is found to be incorrect the theory is adjusted. That is how it works. No scientist would say it’s all finished now, this is exactly how it is.
You are right. Nastiness lives.
Your very correct Bob, it does.
And in me as well.
This article may contain sex, drugs, violence or (gasp!) honesty. I loved your warning and your article, as always. So true! Not to negate your viewpoint, as I am very much aligned with you, I wanted to throw another slant on the subject. During my naturalist training I read a very interesting, though quite out there for many, book called PLANT INTELLIGENCE and the IMAGINAL REALM. One of the notions that resonated with me was that Mother Earth will be fine. We’re killing ourselves. She, in her wisdom, will always rejuvenate and thrive again. Which, of course, is not to say we should continue on this rampage of destruction, but it does give me reason to smile and know that all will be well in the end, even if we have annihilated our species, others will live on.
Thanks always, Bob………..your thoughtfulness and caring is appreciated and felt, esp. by Mother Nature.
Thanks Elizabeth! You’re right of course, we can’t kill the earth, in fact it’s nearly universally assumed humans will survive what we are doing and go on.
I just hope the future generations always remember this 10,000 year moment of insanity we called civilization and never repeat it.
I really enjoy your writing and always eagerly read your posts. No argument here. You are right on as usual. I’m working hard to reduce my impact on global warming althought I’m sure it’s not enough. Keep up the good work.
Thanks jonathon, I appreciate hearing that.
Right on Bob, couldn’t agree with you more. Sadly though, most everyone is just concerned with their own little world and just getting by.
I’m afraid we are doomed, I think the ship has already sailed ecologically.
I have to agree Fred. I read an article that discussed the climate scientists who are learning all these things and how it’s affecting them. Emotions are forbidden in science, and if you let them in, your work will be discredited. But behind the scenes, the scientist who is watching the Greenland ice cap melt away before his very eyes knows what the results will be in just a few decades and the incredible human suffering it will bring.
But they can’t say anything!!!! They have to let the work speak for them but they know that the deniers will just call them liars and fools because of their work. It’s very, very difficult for them.
There was one climate scientist at the University of Texas who got death threats for her work. And the state of Texas is Officially opposed to climate science and makes life hard for honest climate scientists.
She had to leave the country and take a position abroad to continue her work.
Things are bad and going to get worse.
Humans are humans. Unfortunately, alteration of our environment to make ourselves more comfortable seems to be hardwired in our DNA. The native americans did damage to the environment before europeans arrived, but it was only to the extent that their technology would allow them. Humans, also, seem to be wired for violence, but societies have made laws and enforced mores to control this tendency. Society has to change its mindset involving technology. When Jimmy Carter was governor of Georgia in the early 70’s he would require any industrial business wishing to come to the state to do business to present a study showing any environmental degradation that would occur and how they planned to control and repair it. If the company couldn’t come up with a reasonable plan then they couldn’t do business in Ga. I believe a set of laws should be in place not only in the USA but all over the world that puts the responsibility to initiate closed loop industrial practices on the companies that profit from it. For example, if Apple makes a product that becomes obsolete by the introduction of new product then they must have procedure in place to collect as many of the old products as they can and completely recycle them. If they can’t figure a way to recycle them then they can’t put out the new product. This would force them to have a plan in place for reduced environmental impact before putting the first product out. This should apply to everything from can openers to giant earth movers. Just my humble opinion.
David, that’s a really good idea about forcing companies to think in terms of the future!
I’ve actually become a big fan of Jimmy Carter. He’s generally considered a failure as a president, but the truth is he was smart enough to see the coming ecological crises and brave enough to actually present it to the people–and of course was crucified for it. History will be kind to him, but all the presidents who had plenty of warning about what’s coming but refused to address it, they will be hated.
One thing I like to remember is that throughout history when “civilized” peoples invaded the homes of “primitive” people, they offered them all their grand technology and easier, superior way of life if they would just accept it. 100% of them rejected it. Not only did they reject it, they fought to the death to keep from having it inflicted on them.
When offered our technology, they universally could see through the false promises that it offered and wanted nothing to do with it.
We need to learn from them, and reject that technology, it’s our only hope!
Here is a video you may enjoy that reflects the blessings of
living a simple life that respects nature.
Thanks for that link Gary!
Takes a lot of guts to speak so honestly, especially on a blog that impacts you financially. Thank you for this. My husband and I recently sold our home and possessions to start RVing full-time in a Bambi, but we still have a lot we could and should do to lower our carbon footprint, and just generally consume less. I really appreciate this post because it inspires me to work harder at getting our lifestyle as lean and clean as it can be.
Thanks Kimberly, I’m very encouraged (and surprised) by all the positive responses I’ve gotten!
Thank you, Bob, for a posting about the truth that is so hard to read about and so hard to think about…
You’re welcome Karen.
Glad you wrote this….Most people don’t want to recognize the horrible things that the ‘white’ man has done and is still doing to the Native Americans…….
Thanks kat, like the old saying goes, those who don’t remember history are bound to repeat it.
This is very moving. I believe humanity does not learn from its past. Sad indeed…
World-Wide this continues. Displaced populations on the move…
Genocide by people who either think they have a divine or political right to occupy. I pray everyday for my oppressed Brothers and Sisters. Your post will continue in my thoughts today….Thank you, Bob for this.
Thank you Sameer.
It seems perfectly clear to me that we can never make any real progress toward permanent peace so long as we recognize the institution of war as legitimate and clothe it with glory.
William E Borah 1937
Still valid. Thanks Bob.
Great quote pdq. Thanks.
There is a sweet spot in any civilizations where the Resources are so abundant that every man, woman and child has all the fresh water, food and land for free. All they have to do is wake up and go out and collect it. Then humans population numbers reach a point where now there are two people trying to catch the same fish. It is beyond any of us. There is no way around it. All the leftover hippy philosophy will still lead to the same dilemmas. I can only imagine how free people must have been living, many years ago when the earth was a very big place, with few people and resources where abundant.
I wish there was an earth like planet I could go to and escape the madness of over population.
hotrod, humans and pre-humans lived sustainably on this planet for millions of years, the key was to live in harmony with the planet and not fight it or try to conquer it.
If we will get back to that, all will be well. Aldo Leupold wrote what he called a land ethic, it is our only hope:
Terrific post Bob! Most folks seem to need a mind rinse as mass media/mass persuasion
are extraordinarily powerful – particularly to the McMansion clowns with their “I need
more stuff and more comfort mantras”, yet think my son & I who live in a 23′ motorhome
are the ones out of touch… their disconnect amazes me!
P.S. Well said Magicwolf!
Casa de Wherever, we all need a mind rinse periodically. This summer was one for me, I had drifted away from what was most important and become too focused on myself.
I’m trying to correct that.
Hey, thank you.
Here is a link to a good documentary about planned obsolescence. The production is a bit lacking but the information is good. It had happened to pop up in an unrelated thread elsewhere after I was thinking about things being designed to fail. It’s 54 minutes long but I found that a good use of the time. I think it touches on the root of a lot that is wrong with today’s society in many areas and it reaches back in time to shed some light on the motivation of the horrid treatment of other people here and elsewhere and ties into what Bob is saying.
And Bob. Keep on.
Thanks for the link Magicwolf!
Was fishing last week, nice 3lb brown trout. Did not know trout took up smoking…removed two cigarette filters.
That’s amazing Buffalo Bob! We’re spreading our damage near and far!
I visited Chattanooga to explore Civil War sites but left very sad about “The Trail of Tears”….I just ordered all three of the books you suggested….A Great Post…TY
Thank you Mike!
The movie The Rabbit Proof Fence is set in Australia but it helped me understand what we did to our own native people by forcing them to accept our invasive way of life. What egos we have. Even today. When we visited Devil’s Tower in Wyoming in 2008 I was appalled at how we treat this sacred site. I compared it to people wanting to climb the steeple of our church because it looked like such a challenging thing to do.
One thing that gives me hope today is the minimalism/simplicity movements that are taking hold among the younger generations. Soon you will not be able to resell a McMansion because the kids don’t want them. Yay!
Linda, things are improving and there is a wave of change coming. I suspect that there are many more pro-environment people than we know, we just never her about them.
No argument from me, Bob.
Colorado owns some of that history and one of the most infamous was the Sand Creek Massacre.
Ken Burns did a fine documentary some time ago on the history and settlement of the western US, entitled “The West”. Worth watching.
I’m constantly telling my daughter how important it is to understand history. It’s so easy for people to ignore it and bury their mind in the latest smartphone or reality TV show.
Speaking of Jimmy Carter, he was the first president to put solar panels on the roof of the White House. And one of Ronnie Reagan’s first acts was to take them down.
I’ve been a recycler for a number of years, and better than 80% of my trash goes into the recycling bin. But I’m still amazed at not only how few people recycle, but also speak of it dismissively. I’m curious how challenging it is to recycle while full-timing.
Jim, recycling on the road is harder. Where I winter I’ve found places to recycle, but when I travel in the summer it can be tricky. When I get to a town I ask around to find where i can and usually there is some place I can. I have had to carry it around with me for awhile till I found a recycling center, but not often. All the National Parks accept recycling and I’m at those fairly often. Some tourist towns have recycling trash cans all along their town center and that helps a lot.
Bob, no one agrees with you more than I do. Your post brings to mind a famous attorney, William Kunstler, and how eloquently he had described how a soldier, for example, justifies atrocity by claiming he is just following orders.
In fact, everything about civilized society is about following orders, which orders are never in the interest of the earth or its people.
William Kunstler, in closing statements defending members of the American Indian Movement, spoke of “…the terrible myth of organized society, that everything that’s done through the established system is legal — and that word has a powerful psychological impact. It makes people believe that there is an order to life, and an order to a system, and that a person that goes through this order and is convicted, has gotten all that is due him. And therefore society can turn its conscience off, and look to other things and other times.
“And that’s the terrible thing about these past trials, is that they have this aura of legitimacy, this aura of legality. I suspect that better men than the world has known and more of them, have gone to their deaths through a legal system than through all the illegalities in the history of man.
“Six million people in Europe during the Third Reich? Legal.
“Sacco Vanzetti? Quite legal.
“The Haymarket defendants? Legal.
“The hundreds of rape trials throughout the South where black men were condemned to death? All legal.
“And that is the kaleidoscopic nature of what we live through here and in other places. Because all tyrants learn that it is far better to do this thing through some semblance of legality than to do it without that pretense.”
And if may I add now to what Kunstler has already said:
Fifty-million abortions. Legal.
Kunstler is no longer with us, but I suppose there is not an Indian alive who does not know him as a great defender of human rights and freedom. Kuntsler’s great myth of organized society rings more loudly today, thanks to the Internet, than at any other time in our history. Prosecutorial misconduct is out of control, judges are on the take, lawyers are motivated by money only, every other person in prison seems innocent, it goes on and on. Like a fish, the whole system stinks from the head first. SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) is made up of judges whose track records favor corporations, incrementally diluting our civil rights in favor of stockholders, Obamacare the most recent, egregious example, paving the way for healthcare stockholders to very likely own 40 percent of GDP within a few short years. SCOTUS sided with stockholders in the case of “corporations are people,” the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and many, many more. Appointees to the court have transformed a governmental branch devoted to civil rights and personal liberties into a practitioner of discrimination, a protector of government, and a whore to big business, and these high and mighty people won’t even hear death penalty cases — in a land where the majority of people on death row are innocent. Most despicable, SCOTUS no longer protects the most vulnerable among us. Thanks to SCOTUS, the American economy is very rapidly becoming even more of a predator economy, corporate raptors forcing consumers below the surface like groundhogs.
If Kunstler were alive yet today, he would eat the lunch of bigots who continually badger religious expression, who want every thought but their own censored, who lobby to outlaw guns, and who want to criminalize promotion of life for the unborn and elderly.
The height of hypocrisy, feigning devotion to civil rights and personal liberties while exposing one’s ugly underbelly that excludes non-LGBT, believers and persons of the cloth, life — anyone, really, who does not have value to further a political cause and agenda.
Thanks Jackal, many interesting thoughts.
Thank you for that!
You’re very welcome Don.
Thanks for the post.
Thanks bob. I left home last winter to camp in the desert largely in search of time and space to contemplate my dissatisfaction with my role and existence within the current set of living arrangements. And I found it. Four months of frequent solitudeclarified a lot for me. This winter I am doing it again.
Ps Howard zinn. The people’s history of the United States is an excellent book. Also “the eternal frontier: an ecological history of North America and its peoples” by Tim flannery. Also “1491” by Charles c Mann and “1493” by the same author. The Americas pre and post Columbus. I read a lot in my 4 months on the road.
Nancy, I guess you did read a lot! It sounds like we have the same interests.
I’m looking forward to seeing you again and going for walks!
It is imperative to note that the US Army still has 14 flag streamers used ceremonially for the “Indian Wars”.
Miami January 1790-August 1795
Tippecanoe 21 September-18 November 1811
Creeks 27 July 1813-August 1814; February 1836-July 1837
Seminoles 20 November 1817-31 October 1818; 28 December 1835-14 August 1842; 15 December 1855-May 1858
Black Hawk 26 April-20 September 1832
Apaches 1873; 1885-1886
Little Big Horn 1876-1877
Nez Perces 1877
Utes September 1879-November 1880
Pine Ridge November 1890-January 1891
Speaking only for myself those are nothing to be proud of. They can all be retired, but aren’t at this time.
Jonthebru, it’s a very sad thing.
Bob thanks for this important post and its all true. I hope one day U write about slavery as well. There were same white who risk helping salve run away so I am wondering if there were same white done the thing for the Indian during the genocide?.
Thanks Travelman, yes, there were many whites who abhorred our treatment of the Indians and worked hard to correct it. For example, when Chief Joseph surrendered he did it to two generals Miles and Howard. Both lied and made promises that they knew wouldn’t be kept, but Miles greatly admired Joseph and the Nez Perce. For the rest of his life Joseph fought to get the promises kept, and whenever he could Miles intervened on their behalf and they remained friends. Many other whites intervened as well, but of course nothing ever came of it and the promises were never kept.
Thank-you for the much needed and courageous blog. Many people value your opinion. Reguardless of ones denial of the human caused climate change disaster and total rape of the earth it seems impossible for a feeling person not to be sickened and saddened by the pictures that you have presented.
Have you visited the grave of Sacagawea near Ft. Washahie? It is a beautiful place.
“I’m going to the highlands, and I don’t believe i’m coming down.” From the song “Highland Dream.”
Thank you Craig! I have not visited her grave, I wasn’t even aware it existed; thanks for letting me know!
I agree with a lot of your thoughts except I think a lot of the “earth hating” you depict is done out of ignorance (whether intentional or not). I think today many Americans are much more “earth conscious” than in the past but how much thought do people really give to their actions? I live what most would call a middle class life but I try to minimize my impact on the planet as much as I can (recycling, LED bulbs, garden/animals for food, living close to work with minimal driving, frugal living, etc.). But the reality is, how much can a person do in this day and age? I can only have 8 chickens (and no rooster)because of city zoning restrictions. I am not allowed to raise animals to eat or sell commercially even though I have plenty of land to do it. I could put solar planels on my house but how will they be manufactured–by using energy/oil and creating pollution and garbage. How will I get the thousands of dollars to buy the panels? I have to work which means driving, consuming, etc and working for a business that does the same. Such is the dilemma we face. The days are gone when we could find acres of free land, build a log cabin and work with the land to provide our needs. What is the solution?
Steve, the worst of the environmental damage and human slaughter has all been done in the last 2000 years under the leadership of “Chrisitian” nations under the deluded belief they were doing gods will. The ridiculous doctrine of original sin held that the flesh, which included the physical earth itself, was sinful and must be hated and subdued. Until the middle of the 1900s, it literally was a hatred of the earth. So they slaughtered the Pagans in Jesus name and cut down every bit of wilderness they could because it was evil darkness.
Today, Christians have no choice but to backtrack on that stupid idea so they are either denouncing it or admitting it was wrong.
I’m in no position to pass judgement on anybody about anything, but I do think you should be proud you are doing everything you reasonably can to reduce your environmental damage and continue as best you can.
Thank you Steve for asking a question based in reality. What is the solution then? We can not change the past. We can only learn from the past and march on into the future. I’m not sure what the solution is. There is much hypocricy with this post as we just all can’t build a log cabin and work with the land to provide our needs. Some do in Alaska but very few make it. This is a very thought provoking post although much scientific theory exists depending on what you want to believe. I am not bashing anyone or intend to with this comment. Only writing what I’m thinking.
Barry, there isn’t a good solution, or if there is I have no idea what it is.
But, doing nothing, and continuing along like we are is totally wrong and profoundly, deeply immoral.
Even if I can’t tell you what the solution is, the minimum my sense of right and wrong requires me to do is stop being part of what I totally believe is deeply evil. Destroying our children’s future is monstrous and vile. The least I can do is try to stop contributing to it’s destruction. And if I can’t stop, at least do as little harm as I can.
I’m assuming you mean that there is some science that contradicts or disproves man-made global warming. The astounding thing there is NONE! All science is peer-reviewed, which means it’s published in reputable scientific journal and other scientists critique it and try to disprove it or duplicate it. It either stands the test, or faults are found and modifications made or it becomes accepted as a general consensus. If it’s not peer-reviewed, it’s not science.
If you are aware of peer-reviewed science that disproves man-made global warming, I’d love to hear about it!! Now there have been many studies that found minor faults and modifications were made, but the theory and basic understanding of it along with nearly all the models, have stood the test of time remarkably well.
So well that consensus has been reached and it’s no longer debated in any meaningful way in the entire scientific community.
“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” John Adams
“Science” is not determined by consensus (97 percent of scientists…)Science is determined by reproducible experimentation. The Earth hasn’t warmed in so long (18 years + and still going) that the sky is falling crowd changed our “crime” from “Global Warming” (remember that one?) to “Climate Change” because the climate always changes…always.
You like the boys over at NASA? “Updated data from NASA satellite instruments reveal the Earth’s polar ice caps have not receded at all since the satellite instruments began measuring the ice caps in 1979. Since the end of 2012, moreover, total polar ice extent has largely remained above the post-1979 average.” http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2015/05/19/updated-nasa-data-polar-ice-not-receding-after-all/
Again with those pesky facts. Americans did bad things 100 years ago…so stipulated. You know what? I wasn’t one of them and I’m not worried about Americans doing those things again.
Our environment is measurably cleaner than 40 years ago than when the Cuyahoga River caught on fire. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jxV6BbREfY .
Environmentally what I worry more about is the EPA fining a Wyoming rancher $37,000 a day because he had the temerity to build a pond on his land. http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/08/28/a-wyoming-rancher-is-fighting-back-against-epa-after-being-fined-more-than-16-million-over-what-he-built-on-his-property/
Finally I was surprised (and a little disappointed) that you chose to introduce politics (your shot at the Republicans in comments)into your previously politic-free blog. Did you know Richard Nixon created the EPA, Bob?
John, I read everything I can get on the latest science of climate change and what I read is basically the opposite of everything you read. Apparently we must read very different things–probably from very different sources.
I’m a single issue voter and I believe the climate is the single most important issue our country has ever faced. The question is no longer what’s good for the country, it’s how many of our own children are we going to kill and the Republicans are dedicated to killing as many as they can.
I’ve voted a straight Republican ticket my entire life, today I’ll never vote for another Republican again. Right now, they are the only conservative party in the entire world that opposes the science of climate change. It’s a form of collective insanity they’ve brought on themselves.
We’re just going to have to agree to disagree.
One more thing, 2015 will almost certainly be the new #1 hottest year on record and by a large amount.
Thank you John for this post.
Bob, I am very very disappointed in the attack language you continue to use towards Christians and Republicans in your comments. Your point of view towards “Mother Earth” and the environment is valid to you and many others and should be expressed. The comments about the motivations of people you did not/do not know is irresponsible (not to mention your inaccurate statements regarding Christian theology). There is a reason religion and politics are not discussed on this blog and it is an excellent reason. I hope the rule is reinstated. I always appreciated how you welcomed all here. As a Christian and a Republican I sure do not feel welcome by you anymore.
The important point being is that this kind of wasteful behavior can’t continue; it damages everything from the land & water to the inhabitants. Maybe a good way to think of it would be that there are some serious environmental problems on the planet. This trash in the pictures above *is* human-generated. Google the Ghana electronics dump and ocean trash for more or if the pictures above don’t show up properly. Regardless of the climate debate, I think it reasonable to say that human-caused (negative) climate changes sure could be on the menu and most certainly will if this doesn’t stop. But that’s not to be taken personally by people who try to be responsible, it doesn’t mean you personally have to go crawl in a hole in guilt and shame just because you are human and it’s human-caused. Buying things that are later discarded is only one part of a large process contributing to the pictures above, much of which doesn’t even involve the average Joe, but we can’t stop it if we aren’t aware of it.
I think people don’t like to admit there may just be a problem because it pushes personal buttons. They feel they’re being accused and sometimes some of the language used by the ‘sides’ (CNN & Fox) can propagate that as well as belief systems which use guilt and shame as control tools. (I don’t necessarily mean anyone here.) It’s a little like race is perceived anymore; people tend to take on political and religious groups as their own whole identities, forgetting they are individuals. Any criticism of said group is then perceived as a personal attack.
This way of polarizing thinking is deliberately fostered and the flames fanned at every opportunity by the people pulling all the financial strings on this planet, they encourage the wedge-driving. If everyone is bickering amongst themselves over perceived differences, no real progress towards breaking free and taking our world back from the string-pullers can be made.
I can’t speak for him, but I’m pretty sure Bob was not criticizing everyone -as an individual- who may be of a certain religious group, political group or race. He talked as well, for example, about white people, but “white” and “native” are just the most broad of descriptive terms for the overall situation. I don’t feel or read it as that Bob is criticizing me personally or that I’m not welcome.
I am solid enough in my knowledge of who I am that I certainly don’t stand with those people who have done vile things, despite ‘sharing’ a vague race description. And while I feel such empathy for the victims, I do not feel guilt. I don’t think Bob is asking anyone to drown in guilt or not feel welcome, but that’s just my perception. Were he to do that, he’s white and he’d have to kick himself off his own blog 😉
Namaste, and I meant no offense to anyone.
Very, very well said Magicwolf.
I’ve read blog posts from travelers visiting these sites before, yours is the first one that echoes my feelings about the historical events they memorialize. Good post, good comments.
Bob, you present your position with such passion that I suspect regular readers who disagree will simply not post. On the Forum when climate change comes up, there are several who are not so shy. LOL
One thing I admire with your postings in both places is that you can pull up specific studies to support your position. You cite studies and scientific output that can be traced and checked for validity and who funded the study.
I often see climate change deniers talk about general “proof” conclusions, but the underlying scientific studies cannot be cited. Or, if a study is cited, it can be traced to a “foundation” that is funded by those controlling resources like the Koch brothers (speaking of those who profit).
In the 90s, my work in Montana put me in touch with many Native Americans. One thing that always astounded me was the pride with which many had served in the U.S. military — putting aside historical atrocities to serve their country present day. I doubt if I could demonstrate such “forgiveness” or grace in their situation.
Oh, and as I understand it, much of the slaughter of buffalo was officially encouraged as a way of starving Native Americans who depended on the food source.
Thanks for being a voice of reason and science and true history.
Thanks Carla, of course I agree with everything you said!
Far from hating you, I have long thought the same things. We need nature and we destroy her at our peril. Either we dial back on our own or she will do it for us. And when nature starts righting things, it gets ugly and painful. Unfortunately, I don’t see our species being smart enuf to fix it. Some of us are but most are not.
Disease decimated the native populations from 1st contact on. The bison slaughter was with the specific intent of starving the NA. It is an ugly story.
Tesaje, it is an ugly story, now it’s up to us to change the trajectory of our future.
Bravo! You speak the truth. I grieve over all the horrors our planet and humanity have endured at our own hands.
In the South, one can be brought to tears daily from pondering the atrocity of slavery, the genocidal treatment and removal of Native Americans,the unending fight for civil rights, the disgusting image of the Confederate hate flag, and on and on. And let’s not forget the Gulf Oil Spill, which cost 11 human lives and unimaginable loss to this beautiful area.
Forgetting, denying or ignoring any of this will be at our own peril. Hope you don’t mind my climbing up there on your soap box. I look forward to your next post!
Thanks Naomi! Well said!
According to NOAA’s revised data now, the US has actually been cooling since the Thirties, the hottest decade on record.
Jackal, so you’re betting the future of civilization on the word of a man without a college degree of any kind, and rejecting the scientific studies of tens of thousands of Phds and Nobel prize winners from all across the globe.
This man has never published a peer-reviewed paper anywhere of any kind and is funded in part. by the Heartland Institute a conservative political think tank. As a radio personality, the more attention he gets by saying ridiculous things the better off he is, and because he is never peer-reviewed he is not accountable for a word of it.
The scientists at NASA and NOAA are all liars, cheats and fools, but this man is the source of all truth.
You and I have a very different opinion of how science works, I put my trust in a giant consensus of peer-reviewed studies from around the world by the smartest people on the planet. You put your trust in the headlines and thoughts of a few, mostly uneducated media people. I think we will just have to agree to disagree.
Oh Bob! Doesn’t it do your heart good that you were ALMOST totally wrong???
(WARNING: This post is controversial and it’s likely you’ll be offended and angered by it. You might very well hate it and be tempted to hate me…)
Marie, yes it does!! I’m surprised and delighted by the response. I do suspect there were more negative responses than wrote in, but it is still very gratifying to me.
I just wanted to say “you did a fine job and you have done your home work” I took the time to view the two videos that your readers had links to, and had no idea were old computers went to die. I use Best Buy to recycle my electronics and it’s a free service they provide.
I do have a small carbon foot print but there is always room for improvement . I enjoy your blog, your travel photos are the greatest . Continue the great work.
Thanks Bob, that’s very kind of you.
Yes, we send our electronic trash overseas because none of us would risk our health or work for so little. In foreign countries, the poorest of the poor will gladly do it for us.
There’s absolutely no need for hostility. What’s with the character assassination? Obviously, you didn’t even bother to visit the NOAA site, where it explicitly now says that the earth has been cooling since the 1930s.
Ice Age cometh: Record return of Arctic ice cap as it grows by 60% in a year; top scientists warn of global cooling
Daily Mail UK
Sun, 08 Sep 2013 00:42 UTC
A chilly Arctic summer has left nearly a million more square miles of ocean covered with ice than at the same time last year – an increase of 60 per cent. The rebound from 2012’s record low comes six years after the BBC reported that global warming would leave the Arctic ice-free in summer by 2013.
Everyone has heard of Climategate by now. As Christopher Booker explains in The Telegraph:
“The reason why even the Guardian’s George Monbiot has expressed total shock and dismay at the picture revealed by the documents is that their authors are not just any old bunch of academics. Their importance cannot be overestimated. What we are looking at here is the small group of scientists who have for years been more influential in driving the worldwide alarm over global warming than any others, not least through the role they play at the heart of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).”
I used to lean towards climate change, but Climategate, a million square miles of new ice in Antarctica, and now new fraud by NOAA, among other things, has made me a skeptic. In other words, my mind is never made up, always subject to new evidence.
Even now, more and more, I’m believing there’s neither global warming nor global cooling, only major events as compensation to maintain earth’s design temperature, not unlike a fever compensates for an infection. If our creator designed our body with a temperature thermostat, it’s no leap to believe he included one for earth, too. I mean, think about it, one huge solar storm could incinerate the earth, if the earth did not have a way to compensate on its own. In fact, past solar storms might have wiped out all life on earth by now had it not been for such a thermostat. Even solar storms, themselves, are probably compensation to maintain the sun’s design temperature. From this perspective, all designs in bature, even the universe, are self-compensating.
My mind is not closed. I’ve been vacillating on this climate change bullshit for years now. I really would like to know for sure what is going on. Climategate, NOAA’s manipulation of climate data, and the growing Antarctica ice sheet has me leaning towards cooling.
Is the earth warming or isn’t it? I wouldn’t bet money one way or the other because I just don’t know for sure. And as long as there are so many closed minds, unwilling to have a constructive conversation, I probably never will know.
Natural sun cycles will bring worst cold in 200 years Written by John L. Casey, Orlando Sentinel on 05 Jan 2014
John L. Casey
Former NASA consultant, climatologist John L. Casey: ‘a radical shift in global climate is underway, 30-year cold spell will strike earth.
Jackal, I’m familiar with all these issues and have read the peer-reviewed studies on them. My understanding of all these issues is the exact opposite of what you have presented here. I’d be interested in seeing the links to peer-reviewed studies that support all your positions, but I couldn’t find any.
I can’t really comment without them.
jackal, nothing is very clear in the links you gave, but let me try to bring science to the issue. The issue of a future ice age is called a Maunder Minimum. Very briefly the Maunder Minimum was a period of time where the sun basically stopped having sun spots and is believed to have caused the last Little Ice age. A new Maunder Minimum is a possibility, not likely, but a possibility.
However, the very same scientists that are telling us it is a possibility are also assuring us even if it happens, that it’s impact will be more than offset by man-made warming. In other words, it’s unlikely to happen but even if it does it would only cause a slight delay in the disaster we are creating, but it won’t be much and it won’t be for long. Here are two articles with quotes from the articles that say exactly that:
The sun’s activity is in free fall, according to a leading space physicist. But don’t expect a little ice age. “Solar activity is declining very fast at the moment,” Mike Lockwood, professor of space environmental physics at Reading University, UK, told New Scientist. “We estimate faster than at any time in the last 9300 years.”
Lockwood thinks there is now a 25 per cent chance of a repetition of the last grand minimum, the late 17th century Maunder Minimum, when there were no sunspots for 70 years.
But Lockwood says we should not expect a new grand minimum to bring on a new little ice age. Human-induced global warming, he says, is already a more important force in global temperatures than even major solar cycles. Temperatures have risen by 0.85 °C since 1880, with more expected, according to the most recent assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
See this article in the Gaurdian (LIA = Little Ice Age):
Human Influence on Climate Change is Bigger than the Sun’s
The bottom line is that the sun and the amount of solar radiation reaching Earth are very stable. Even during the Maunder and Dalton grand solar minima, global cooling was relatively small – smaller than the amount of global warming caused by human greenhouse gas emissions over the past century.
A new grand solar minimum would not trigger another LIA; in fact, the maximum 0.3°C cooling would barely make a dent in the human-caused global warming over the next century. While it would be enough to offset to about a decade’s worth of human-caused warming, it’s also important to bear in mind that any solar cooling would only be temporary, until the end of the solar minimum.
The science is quite clear that the human influence on climate change has become bigger than the sun’s. At this point, speculation about another mini ice age is pure fantasy.
You do know there is a difference between climate and weather, right?
Jackal, over-simplified, climate is global and long-term, and weather is local and short-term.
Bravo! A very important post!
Ok, here is what everyone should be doing to save the earth and put us back on the road to happiness.
This guy should be an example to everyone in what he is and has been doing for awhile. And he does exist and is true to what he does. Not something I would do but…..
And https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suelo ( I know this is a Wikipedia reference but there are plenty more references to him to know that he does exist.
Bob, do you know him. He is around Moab. I figured you may have run into him in your travels.
So, let’s get rid of the vans, solar panels, baby wipes, and poop buckets……you don’t need them anymore. This guy has the answer
Steve, we all have to examine our own conscience and do what our hearts tell us to do. My goal isn’t to tell you what to do, only to encourage you to do SOMETHING!! It just so happens that living in a van will make you happier and healthier so why wouldn’t I encourage people to do it?
The only thing I believe to be 100% immoral, is to do nothing.
Forgive me for putting words in your mouth, but what I hear you saying is if you can’t go 100% all the way, you don’t need to do anything at all. Either live in a cave, or keep on living just like you always have. Maybe give it a little lip-service, but you don’t need to make any big changes.
I’m afraid I have to disagree with that thinking.
In my opinion, every person who is aware of the depth of the environmental problems facing us is morally obligated to do everything they possibly can to 1) stop doing damage as much as they can 2) start doing all the good they can.
However, I’m not telling anyone what they should do, that’s between them and their conscious. I’m only saying, “Look, here is something huge and radical you can do, and as a bonus you’ll be happier than you’ve ever been. At least consider it!!!”
Maybe that makes me a bad person, but i don’t think so.
Great post Bob. I sympathize and agree with you. Keep it up!
Thanks Jim, I appreciate it!
A discussion, political or otherwise, should be like a game of chess. If an opponent loses a pawn, you don’t expect him to pout, get hostile, or act impetuously. You do, however, expect him to accept reality and keep playing. The problem today, however, is that one can hardly have a discussion with someone who is opposite politically, because their mind is already made up, they are never open to new evidence, they hate all perceived opponents, and if you were to checkmate them, god forbid, they would stand up, upturn the table, scatter all the pieces, maybe even pull a gun and shoot you. That is the reality of the world we live in today.
Erich Fromm, in the 1940s, wrote “Escape from Freedom,
” examining the nature of humans who are content to join the tribe, perfectly willing to give up all their freedom in order that they belong. It does not matter whether the tribe is good or bad, it only matters to join a tribe, any tribe, good or bad, so long as one can belong somewhere. Frederick Nietzsche said it best: When a hundred men band together, each loses his mind and gets a new one. Ever since I read Eric Fromm’s book when I was a very young man, I’ve resisted the urge to join the tribe. This immediately gets you in trouble in the workplace, where one is expected to check his soul at the door, even sacrifice his life for the team. It’s why all people who are truly free are entrepreneurs. In my first comment above, attorney Kunstler eloquently described the dangers of joining the tribe, which has been responsible for murdering millions of Holocaust victims, for example. Everything about joining a tribe is evil. It does not matter if a tribe starts out with good intentions, because in the course of its incarnation, all tribes eventually become evil, after its good intentions run its course. This is so because members of the tribe will fight harder to maintain the tribe than those outside who want it dismantled. This is why, once a government agency is created, it is virtually impossible to disband it. Those within the structure will fight to their death to preserve it, while those on the outside will not fight to their death to disband it.
So I have respect for your lifestyle, because you are beholden to no one.
You even know how to play chess. If you’ve not read Eric Fromm, you would be surprised how you are already living by all of his principles.
And for anyone who is not living yet with complete freedom, there is nothing to blame except for having checked one’s soul at the door of a tribe.
As for global warming, I’ve not joined a tribe on either side of the equation. I just don’t know if there’s global warming or global cooling, because I can only know as much as I read. And because much of what we read is sanctioned by a tribe, and because all tribes eventually are evil, most of what we read is suspect if not totally inaccurate.
jackal, I have read Eric Fromm and I am a big fan. He’s one of the truly great minds of the last century.
My ideas about science are very different than yours. You see it as a wholly owned branch of government and corporations that are puppets doing what they are told. I see it as one of the very last bastions of truly free thinking in the world today. Now there are certain blind spots that science simply closes it’s mind to under the guise of purity. But climate change is not one of them.
The science is in and is conclusive and it has been for almost 200 years. The more carbon you pump into the air, the hotter the planet gets. Nothing is more certain in the entire scientific world than that simple fact. Here is a quote from wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_effect
The existence of the greenhouse effect was argued for by Joseph Fourier in 1824. The argument and the evidence was further strengthened by Claude Pouillet in 1827 and 1838, and reasoned from experimental observations by John Tyndall in 1859. The effect was more fully quantified by Svante Arrhenius in 1896. However, the term “greenhouse” wasn’t used to describe the effect by any of these scientists; the term was first used in this way by Nils Gustaf Ekholm in 1901.
In 1917 Alexander Graham Bell wrote “[The unchecked burning of fossil fuels] would have a sort of greenhouse effect”, and “The net result is the greenhouse becomes a sort of hot-house.” Bell went on to also advocate the use of alternate energy sources, such as solar energy.
Alexander Graham Bell could look out his window in 1917 and see global warming coming. Maybe he was a liar and a fool and a puppet of the government and corporations, but I don’t think so.
Thank you so much for sharing your views on this monstrous, life-destroying civilization. Our species just can’t seem to live and play well with others can it? The vast majority of Homo sapiens just can not abide by the rules of nature established over billions of years and will no doubt reap the consequences, some say within 15 years time. Thanks for sharing your travels with us all.
Thank you Cynthealee, we think a lot alike!
I’ve followed your work, and been on the CheapRVLiving Forum for a long time. But I must say that this is the first time I see myself in your words. Except for one thing. You have had the courage to say them. To write them. I live in a conservative community, was raised by conservatives and have friends who live and believe by what they are fed by Fox and Friends. I feel very differently about most things, and for years have simply swallowed my views to keep the peace. I think many people do. Just keep the peace. But that means keep the status quo. I do my part, I live off grid in a tiny 140 sq ft cabin, grow veggies, can my food, study traditional medicine from both native peoples, and the western herbalist tradition. But you have me really wondering how much that matters, ‘if good people of conscience say nothing’… or do nothing. You have inspired me, a basically shy person, to think about speaking up. To maybe actually do it. Not to attack or verbally shame or wound, because that is not my nature. But to use my voice, because I think that we all need to use our voices to defend the earth. She doesn’t speak for herself except by storms, melting ice caps, and sea level changes, acidity, and mass extinctions, and we have shown that we are not so perceptive in understanding that voice. Anyway, I thank you for such a thought provoking post. You voiced what I have long felt and kept silent about. Thank you.
Bob,I have been enjoying your website since coming back from Wyoming a couple months ago and looking for a way to do more traveling. It has become my favorite internet destination and I am better for the time I’ve spent there. Thank you for sharing your anguished post for our planet and our nation. I find myself the worst offender and have little hope for the future except for the God of the Bible–Amazing grace, how sweet the sound which saved a wretched polluter and destroyer of the planet, like me. I once was lost in selfish consumerism and consumptive exploitation, but now I’m found in other-centered love and service and restful appreciation; was blind to my extravagant lifestyle and bloated carbon footprint, but now I see the way to simplicity, minimalism, harmony, a bright future.
Thanks Ralph, I love you’re re-write of Amazing Grace!!
Hi again Bob. I am infinitely in your camp on this one. Read people. Form your opinions from the written word. Not something you heard on the noontime soaps. I chucked my tv out the door long ago. Thanks for the informative post Bob..HoboJoe
Thanks Hobo Joe! I agree, the source of your information is very very important. If I say something about climate change, I’m ready to back it up with a well-known journal that quotes the study and the author, not innuendo floating around the web.
Oh boy Bob, this ones a dusey..hows the weather up there in the cononico?? little water.
Mike, we did get a lot of rain and the road into here did get pretty muddy. A friend of mine got stuck in it. I’m just always prepared to wait it out and let it dry.
The storm passed and now we are back to gorgeous weather!
Is it very muddy?
Yes, it got very muddy!
So in other words don’t be a consumer but if you have to be buy from Amazon at Bobs link so he can make some change!
B-Bop, the consumer lifestyle is very harmful to our mental and emotional well-being. Our purpose in life switches from people and living life to it’s fullest to things. We’d all be better off if we used things to live instead of living for things.
At the same time, we each should do our best to do all we can for the earth, that will mean different things to different people.
As we are getting rid of a lot of worthless stuff, we also find there is stuff we need to get for our new life. It wouldn’t hurt my feelings if you used my links to do that!!
Checkin in withya Bob, very good article. I agree but disagree with your point about Republicans. Both sides of the political spectrum are driven by greed. Nonetheless I do strongly support your position of Americans over indulgences and consumerism, just observe the size of Americans these days. Obese and ignorant lemmings really! Anyway I have worked in Wyoming and the surrounding areas and am greatfull for the natural beauty there, and wonder what North America would be like today without the influence of western culture. If Native American writings are interesting to you please read some of John Trudell’s writings and look into his life’s story.
Thank you for taking the journey in life you have chosen and sharing it with all of us!
I wish you the best of health and peace.
Poison air, water and the curse of Nuclear power will cull the population of this Earth.
Has Fukushima Japan been forgotten already?
I live in a 20 yr old mobile home that is super insulated ( windows , doors,roof ), on 2 acres with fruit trees, blue berry bushes and a garden spot( edible landscape ). Soon to integrate some solar power on my home. I buy used clothes and recycle / reuse what I can.
Rob, I’m sorry for writing poorly and not being clear, I don’t hold greed against Republicans, I blame them for closing their minds to simple science in devotion to their ideology, it has nothing to do with greed.
It sounds like you are doing great things for the environment! Thank you!
Thank you for this post…I have shared it on my FB page…itself a controversy, which angers many. Oh well! https://www.facebook.com/cindy.nevarez.777
I doubt anyone would truly be angered at you for posting this…although of course there are reactionary kill-the-messenger types out there.
I think you are very brave for going into these museums and monuments of death…and then documenting them for the rest of us.
I won’t go in because it would make me so angry that I would break down and sob right there in front of everyone.
My son-in-law posted something interesting on his FB page the other day….to “celebrate” columbus day. A meme of flags; the confederate flag next to a pic of slaves; the swastika flag next to a pic of concentration camp refugees, and an american flag next to a group of natives. Quite the attention getter…
Anyway, Bob; keep on rocking in the “free” world!
Thanks Cindy, I was really tempted to do just forget it and not write about it but as I was driving away the whole analogy of the Nazi concentration camp just popped into my head and I almost always take that as a sign I need to speak up.
It sounds like you did good with your son! You should be proud!
I have enjoyed all of this post and the comments so much. I love your website; your posts; everything. My favorite! Thanks Bob..for being you!
Thanks Linda, that’s very kind of you to say! I appreciate it!
Couldn’t have said it all better myself….
Keep up the great work….
I’m really sorry to be so late, somehow your comment got lost in my spam blocker.
I’m glad you liked the post!
Couldn’t have said it all better myself….
And then I discovered manzanar….
Rather disgusted to be white and American at this moment,,,
Keep up the great work….
Thanks RV Diva, the solution is probably that we each be the very best we can be and overcome our past cultural conditioning. Easier saod than done but a worthy goal.
Thanks so much for listing the book Neither Wolf Nor Dog. It affected me more emotionally than I would have ever thought.
Also another book I’m reading that I think you may like..The Indigenous Peoples’ History of the U.S.by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz.
Both of these books serve to uncover the untruth that that we all learned in our government sponsored schools.
Thanks for the tip Bob, I’ll check it out.
Appreciated the heartfelt commentary and read with interest the comments by your fans and critics that followed your article, especially those regarding “climate change”.
Have you and/or your readers given serious thought as to what is happening over our heads daily regarding our planet’s weather, climate, and ecological integrity and health?
May I suggest a serious consideration of the information presented in Mr. Dane Wigington’s site: http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/
Glen, I have given it a lot of thought and actually wrote a series of posts about it on the blog. Thanks for the link, I’ll check it out.
Bob, would you direct me to those posts.
Forgive me Glen, can you remind me what posts you’re looking for.
I’m sorry, but I still don’t understand. can you tell me more about what we are talking about.