The Climate Crisis is Personal

Editor's note: If you appreciate posts like this and want ANC to continue publishing similar content, become a paid subscriber for as little as $1.35 a month.

We basically have three choices: mitigation, adaptation and suffering. We’re going to do some of each. The question is what the mix is going to be. The more mitigation we do, the less adaptation will be required and the less suffering there will be.”

John Holdren

When we hear the words “climate crisis,” we don’t think about our own brain, but we should. Why? Many of us think of the climate crisis as an environmental, scientific, political or even moral challenge. And it is all of these things but ultimately, it is psychological. It is neurological. Everything we do or do not do about our changing climate depends on what happens in our brains: what each of us thinks about it.

Do we think it is real? Do we think it is serious? Do we think it is personal? Do we think our actions matter? Do we think it is relevant to what we do today? Do we think there is hope?

And is not just cognitive. It is emotional, which is also brain-based. It is about what we value, what we feel and what we care about. Do we feel responsible? Do we care about our children and their children and their children’s children and future generations and poor, brown and black people in this nation and other nations? Do we care about non-human life and the fact that millions of plant and animal species will go extinct if we fail to act? Are we willing to think about these things for more than a few minutes and imagine how our actions – all our actions from this point on – will determine the future of life on earth?

Dr. Katharine Hayhoe thinks about these things. As a professor at Texas Tech University where she directs the Climate Science Center, she thinks about them all the time. And she has devoted her life to educating others about the collective challenge of the climate crisis.

This wasn’t always her plan. As a Canadian growing up in Toronto in the 1970s and 80s, she learned about global warming in school and understood the basics. Hayhoe spent part of her childhood in Columbia where her parents served as missionaries and educators and eventually found herself pursuing an astrophysics degree at the University of Toronto. She needed one extra course to complete her degree and took a climate science class that completely transformed her life-plan.

It was then she realized that “climate change was not just another environmental issue.” She realized, she said, “It was what the U.S. military calls a threat multiplier. It takes every issue we already care about and makes it worse.”

It was then she realized we needed to fix “this big global problem,” and that it wasn’t the Earth that was at risk, but human civilization, “and a good portion of other living things on this planet.” She said, when she realized this, she asked herself, “How can I not do everything I can to help solve this huge global problem that is so urgent? Surely, we will fix it soon and then I can go back to Astrophysics.”

Hayhoe went on to the University of Illinois, where she earned an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science and in the last 25 years, she has come to understand that she was correct. The problem is urgent and fixable but first we need to address the complexity of the human brain before we can enact the necessary solutions.

Humanity cannot respond to a problem it denies is real, which means, climate scientists have a job to do. It isn’t enough to conduct science and publish papers for other scientists to read. They need to communicate with non-scientists and help them understand what it means and what is at stake. And, it turns out, Dr. Hayhoe is one of the best in the world at this.

Consider this: She has received the American Geophysical Union’s Climate Communication Prize, the Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication, named a YWCA Woman of Excellence in Science, and received an honorary doctorate from Colgate University.

She has been named to a number of lists, including Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, Foreign Policy’s 100 Leading Thinkers and FORTUNE magazine’s World’s Greatest Leaders. And last month, she received the Champion of the Earth award, the United Nation’s highest environmental honor.

Hayhoe has published over 125 peer-reviewed abstracts and publications and served as lead author on key reports for the U.S. Global Change Research Program and the U.S. National Academy of Science.

She serves on the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research President’s Advisory Committee on University Relations and the National Center for Atmospheric Research Walter Orr Roberts Distinguished Lecture Committee. She chairs the Earth Science Women’s Network Advisory Council, and also serves on the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s Anthropocene Advisory Council and the advisory board for the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s How We Respond project.

And she also hosts and produces the PBS digital series, Global Weirding, has her own YouTube channel, a Facebook page, has done a TED Talk and spends a lot of time doing outreach to the public. For example, you can listen to my interview of Dr. Hayhoe on my Wake-Up Call show on KKRN at 88.5 FM or online at on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 at 4:00 p.m.

She will also be speaking at UC Davis on Tuesday, November 5 at 5:00 pm. She will be talking about, “Barriers to Public Acceptance of Climate Science, Impacts, and Solutions.” On Wednesday, November 6, she will be speaking at Berkeley at 4 p.m. on Science in a Fact-Free World.” And on Thursday, November 7, she will be speaking Stanford at 2:30 p.m. about “her career, atmospheric climate science, science communication, and the impacts of a changing climate for people around the world.” Tickets for these events are available on her Facebook page.

In my interview with Dr. Hayhoe, she talked about two of the most dangerous myths about the climate crisis that most people have bought into. The first is that we don’t believe that climate change will affect us personally. According to the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, 67-69 percent of us believe global warming is happening and will harm plants, animals and future generations but only 42 percent of us believe it will harm us personally. Nearly half of us deny that we will be personally affected by climate change.

What is interesting about Yale’s Climate Opinion Maps is that we can find out what citizens in our county and congressional district believe about global warming. For example, in California’s Shasta County, only 61 percent of us believe that global warming is happening, compared to the national average of 67 percent. While 53 percent of Americans believe human activity is responsible for global warming, only 46 percent of Shasta County residents agree. While 97 percent of scientists agree that humans are responsible for the climate crisis, only 52 percent of Americans know this about scientists and only 45 percent of Shasta County residents know this. Only 35 percent of residents in Shasta County believe that global warming will harm them personally. Within the First Congressional District of California, 39 percent believe this.

Hayhoe said the second most dangerous myth that most people have bought into is that the solutions to the climate crisis “pose an imminent threat to us. The solutions are negative. They are punitive. The only solutions are to destroy the economy or to let the government control our personal choices. And most people say, ‘If those are the only solutions, then I don’t want to fix this problem.’ So that’s why it’s so important to not only talk about how climate change matters to us in the places where we live, but it’s also really important to talk about what are some viable, practical, positive, beneficial solutions to a changing climate that we can get behind and that we can engage in ourselves that we can support and we can encourage the leaders in our community and our state and our country to get behind.”

Hayhoe also said that one of the biggest challenges of the climate crisis is that we are afraid to talk to one another about it. She explained that the first reason we don’t discuss this issue publicly is that “we are worried that whoever we talk to is going to disagree with us and we might end up in an argument.” The second reason we avoid climate conversations is “we are afraid that it’s going to be really depressing” and we are afraid to talk “about a horrible problem” that we can’t fix.

Hayhoe said one way to understand the climate crisis is that it is “loading the weather dice against us.” The more we burn fossil fuels, the more CO2 we emit and the more the climate warms. This increases the likelihood that extreme weather events will occur. For example, the city of Houston suffered three 500-year floods in three years. She said, “Climate change is loading the dice against us, making many of our naturally occurring weather and climate events stronger, more frequent, more intense or longer.”

Hayhoe explained that human-caused climate change is not responsible for the droughts that California has experienced, but it has made the droughts much worse and “last longer.” She said Hurricane Harvey produced “almost 40% more rain” because of our greenhouse gas emissions. She also said the amount of land burned by wildfires has more than doubled over the past 40 years because of the hotter and drier conditions we are creating with our emissions.

Of course, the climate crisis is depressing but, in my view, there are many reasons to be hopeful. For one thing, 130 banks, responsible for one-third of the global banking sector and collectively holding $47 trillion in assets have joined with the United Nations to launch a new initiative for combatting climate change. And recently an ingenious new bioreactor that uses algae, which is 400 times better at sequestering carbon than trees, to capture and process carbon from the atmosphere was invented. Ethiopia recently planted 350 million trees in one day. Scientists recently reported if other countries followed Ethiopia’s example, we could reforest 2.2 billion acres of land worldwide, which could ultimately capture two thirds of human-made carbon emissions. Meanwhile, renewable energy capacity quadrupled worldwide over the past 10 years, with an estimated $2.6 trillion invested in its growth and, according to a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), unsubsidized renewable energy is now the cheapest source of energy generation in the world. And a new method of creating concrete has been invented that actually pulls C02 out of the air and turns it into synthetic limestone. This method could sequester 25 billion tons a year — meaning that, in 40 years, we could remove a trillion tons of CO2 from the air and sequester it for millions of years.

And Hayhoe, a lifelong Christian who is married to a Christian evangelical minister is extremely hopeful. She agrees with her colleague, John Holdren, who said, “We basically have three choices: mitigation, adaptation and suffering. We’re going to do some of each. The question is what the mix is going to be. The more mitigation we do, the less adaptation will be required and the less suffering there will be.”

It is not too late to avert disaster but we need to listen to climate scientists like Hayhoe who are so generous and brave in speaking out to the world community about the most serious crisis we have ever faced.

I started this piece by talking about the human brain. As a psychologist, I am well aware that my clients benefit when they completely open and accepting of their experience and refuse to deny their reality. Our collective climate reality is not the problem and never will be. Our only real problem is our inability to admit what we are doing to ourselves, our children and future generations. As long as we deny the climate crisis, we are reducing our dwindling opportunity to avert its most catastrophic effects. Mitigation means we take action to reduce the severity, seriousness or painfulness of the climate crisis. Rapidly reducing and eliminating our reliance on fossil fuels is mitigation. Since we are denying the problem and therefore avoiding solutions, we are forced to rely increasingly on adaptation. But Holdren is right. The longer we delay, the more we will suffer.

We have a choice. We can continue to deny, delay and avoid or we can come together to solve this crisis. It is up to each of us. Earlier, I proposed a serious of questions: Do we think it is real? Do we think it is serious? Do we think it is personal? Do we think our actions matter? Do we think it is relevant to what we do today? Do we think there is hope?

I wish all of you consider each of these questions carefully and for all our sakes, I hope you find your YES. Bless you all.

Douglas Craig
Doug Craig graduated from college in Ohio with a journalism degree and got married during the Carter administration. He graduated from graduate school with a doctorate in Psychology, got divorced, moved to Redding, re-married and started his private practice during the Reagan administration. He had his kids during the first Bush administration. Since then he has done nothing noteworthy besides write a little poetry, survive a motorcycle crash, buy and sell an electric car, raise his kids, manage to stay married and maintain his practice for almost 30 years. He believes in magic and is a Dawes fan.
Comment Policy: We welcome your comments, with some caveats: Please keep your comments positive and civilized. If your comment is critical, please make it constructive. If your comment is rude, we will delete it. If you are constantly negative or a general pest, troll, or hater, we will ban you from the site forever. The definition of terms is left solely up to us. Comments are disabled on articles older than 90 days. Thank you. Carry on.

50 Responses

  1. Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

    A short segment on the news last night detailed the California wildfires. They stated the wildfire season is longer and more devastating because of global warming, they did go into details. If this is just natural evolvement, as some claim, we are screwed. But if it is human caused then we can do something about it. While we adults complain and debate the climate change issues there is a large group of people in the world who are saying ENOUGH! The young and that gives me hope. Those who doubt human caused AGW say these are just know nothing kids. Well every person who has made world changes was once a know nothing kid.

  2. Excellent article — now how can we get the following information, that you referenced, out to more people: “Ethiopia recently planted 350 million trees in one day. Scientists recently reported if other countries followed Ethiopia’s example, we could reforest 2.2 billion acres of land worldwide, which could ultimately capture two thirds of human-made carbon emissions.”
    I would like to see our local TV stations have a regular feature on their newscasts letting all of us know about such important happenings. Not all people read such newspapers as the New York Times. Thanks for all of your inspirational articles Douglas!

    • Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

      The Ethiopia, along with other nations, tree planting was on our local news here in Phoenix last month. I mentioned it on Open Conversation. I think the problem is that most other news has taken a back seat to Trump Phobia. WaPo eedition doesn’t even start into other news until way down the scroll.

  3. Avatar richard W. burcik says:

    The world-famous philosopher of science, Karl Popper, insisted that to be a valid scientific theory any hypothesis must be falsifiable. This includes the widely held conjecture of anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change. In short, a single set of scholarly findings that is not explained by the premise of man-made global warming which is attributable to the burning of fossil fuels can falsify this entire body of scientific speculation and this has recently occurred. Last summer the third of three peer-reviewed scientific papers that were conducted by three separate groups of expert investigators from three different universities and which have been published in eminent peer-reviewed scholarly journals have found no evidence to support the assertion regarding human-induced climate change. Instead, all three groups independently found that the warming that has happened was almost entirely attributable to galactic cosmic rays that affect the quantity of the Earth’s low hanging clouds. These expert investigators call this canopy or blanket the “umbrella effect”. The bottom line is that the entire climate change hysteria has now been falsified and is untrue. These three experimental results have conclusively shown that the IPCC and its computer simulation models (GCMs) are not valid.

    • Avatar Randy says:

      Post links to your information.

    • Avatar Randy says:

      If there were even a shred of credible evidence showing AGW is the hoax Trump and the GOP claim it is we would have seen it long ago. Since such evidence does not exist what we see is repetitious STORIES about other STORIES targeting lazy minded people who rely on STORIES rather than factual science.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      This is complete and utter bullshit.

      First of all, not everyone believes that the only way to expand scientific knowledge is via Popperian strong inference. When a taxonomists discovers a new species of wasp, or astronomers discovers new galaxies beyond the previous limits of what was observable, it’s not via Popperian hypothesis testing.

      According to Popper, hypotheses need to be falsifiable. But a theory need only generate testable hypotheses. The utility of a scientific theory turns on its worth in generating testable hypotheses—if it doesn’t do that, it’s not of much worth.

      A null hypothesis that can’t be falsified DOES NOT falsify a theory. A theory’s utility is base on the preponderance of supporting evidence it produces. A theory can be modified or usurped based on new evidence.

      It’s silly to argue that a single unfalsified null hypothesis buries a theory. What if that single test that doesn’t reject a null hypothesis is flat wrong (Type II error)? The theory that birthed the hypothesis is dead? Ridiculous.

      • Steve, once again, you are the master of logic, and I learn something new and interesting from you. Thanks for taking the time to educate, inform and yes, entertain us here. Fascinating stuff.

  4. Avatar Randy says:

    This series of, “Wake-Up Call” interviews can be found on the KKRN website on Doug`s Wake-Up Call page and each one is highly informative.

  5. Avatar Russell K. Hunt says:

    It’s a big hoax designed to strip people of their assets. Your atmospheric sciences are assumptions. When the dinosaurs ruled, the air had 400% more carbon dioxide than now because of massive plant decay. Yet, the little mammals still rose to dominance without your voodoo beliefs.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      The “little mammals” rose to prominence owing in large part to mass extinction of the dinosaurs. That’s hardly a validation of your Pollyannaism.

      Also, “it’s a hoax” suggests that literally tens of thousands of scientists are in on a deliberate hoax that violates the very fabric of their belief system and training, but none of them are spilling the beans.

      A simpler, Occam’s razor explanation for your belief it’s all a hoax: One person is not taking his meds.

  6. Avatar Doug Cook says:

    As a psychologist Dr Craig should know better than to use scare tactics and fear mongering to bolster his climate change catastrophic claims. Like his assertion that sea level rise will increase to 6-10 ft by the end of the century. Who is that for? The gullible? Since sea level rise had been very consistent for the last 150 years at about 1.7- 3mm a year. That’s about 0.07 inches.
    The reality of Climate change predictions from the last 30 years continue to be underwhelming. The IPCC reports keep pulling back on their past predictions. The fact is that planet is in a rather stable climate, a one degree increase in a hundred years is of course nothing. Why on Earth anyone can believe we can change the climate is baffling to me. There is no increase in severe storm activity (according to NOAA) California’s wildfire issues is mismanagement, not climate change. Look at the facts, folks…not the politics or fear mongering.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Doug sez: “California’s wildfire issues is mismanagement, not climate change.”

      Whenever you see a complex relationship like the connection between wildfire and climate change reduced to a mutually exclusive (false) dichotomy, you can be sure that the statement is from a non-scientist who feels fully qualified to talk out of his @$$.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Alternatively, as a psychologist maybe Dr. Craig realizes that painting a picture of us slowly destroying the planet doesn’t move people to change, whereas hyperbole and worst-case scenarios do. I’m not saying that’s what he’s up to, but if anyone knows what makes people move from thought to action, it might be a practitioner of the behavioral sciences.

      Advancing scientific truth is not the same advocation as shaping public opinion and policy.

  7. Avatar Randy says:

    If any of these deniers had more than STORIES about climate science being “fake” or wrong they would produce it.

    NOAA-“With continued ocean and atmospheric warming, sea levels will likely rise for many centuries at rates higher than that of the current century. In the United States, almost 40 percent of the population lives in relatively high-population-density coastal areas, where sea level plays a role in flooding, shoreline erosion, and hazards from storms. Globally, eight of the world’s 10 largest cities are near a coast, according to the U.N. Atlas of the Oceans.”

    “Global sea level has been rising over the past century, and the rate has increased in recent decades. In 2014, global sea level was 2.6 inches above the 1993 average—the highest annual average in the satellite record (1993-present). Sea level continues to rise at a rate of about one-eighth of an inch per year.”

  8. Avatar Candace says:

    Dr. Craig, I’d like to say that AGW deniers views don’t matter as far as affecting meaningful change however they do insofar as who they vote for to put in positions of power who share their views. Unfortunately I highly doubt that this group of people are ever going to be convinced to think anyway other than they currently do. I hope I’m proved wrong. That said, I think it’s best to focus on what the rest of us who don’t deny the existence (or even just the possibility) of AGW can do ourselves by voting for candidates committed to working towards a healthier planet while at the same time educating ourselves and talking with one another as to what our own personal roles look like. I believe in the power of individuals affecting collective grass-root change but if I’m honest it sometimes feels like my small, individual lifestyle changes, ie working towards zero waste, driving less, etc. don’t really matter. It sometimes feels daunting and ineffectual. I’m always searching for the “better and bigger”, practical “how to” manual. Still, I’m going to keep on with educating myself in ways I can help in anyway I can. Thank you for this column, it gives me hope. Hope is good.

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      Candace, Let me make one thing clear. The use of the term Denier is an attempt to close down the debate. It’s not working. I do not deny climate change… I embrace climate change and have the understanding that the climate has been changing for the past 4.5 billion years. Skeptics like me do not “deny” AGW, What we challenge is the catastrophic label and the alleged magnitude of the projected warming with the increase in of Co2. We challenge this on rather solid empirical grounds and with physical arguments and data analysis that is every bit as scientifically valid as that used to support larger estimates, often obtaining numbers that are more based on science than the CAGW believers. Please understand that by creating a catch-all label like ‘denier’, you quite literally are moving the entire discussion outside of the realm of science…the use of a dismissive label such as “denier” avoids any direct confrontation with the issues being challenged.

      Bottom line is, denier is a dialogue inhibitor, like the term ‘anti-semite’. We should make it practice to refrain from using absolutist terms when discussing large slabs of people, in political and science issues.

      • Avatar Candace says:

        Doug, point taken, however I would add that the term “denier” used in the context of the current AGW debate quite obviously has not shut down the conversation nor should it. Used in this context, within the constructs of this particular debate around AGW, the term “denier” is easily recognizable and understood by most to mean that one is denying the premise that AGW is progressing at an alarming rate. Seeing as my original comment was in response to, and directed at Dr. Craig, I’m not clear as to why you’re directing your comment to me personally (other than your taking umbrage with my usage of the term “denier”), but ok. While I’m not interested in inhibiting dialogue I currently am more interested in focusing on what I can do myself regarding what I believe about AGW than I am about about trying to change someone else’s mind on the subject.

        • Avatar Doug Cook says:

          I disagree, Candace. When I bring up climate change facts, I am simply called a denier and then recommend that I be ignored. You made the comment, “… that AGW is progressing at an alarming rate.” Really? What evidence do you have to support that claim? So far we have an idea that the earth ‘s temperature has increased by 0.7 to 1 degree over the last 100 years. Would you really call that an alarming rate? Even then, it is actually quite difficult to measure temperature changes from climate consistently. The problems arise from changes in measurement technology (mercury bulbs then, semiconductors and satellites now) and changes in the sites surrounding the measurement locations. I won’t bore you with getting in the weeds of measuring temperatures and the changes that have occurred in the last few decades. It is time for a much more open and fair reporting and debate about global temperatures and climate change. AGW is NOT progressing at an alarming rate. Fortunately, we can look at a variety of other climate indicators in an effort to verify whether temperatures are changing, for example…

          In 1986, James Hansen testified to congress that rising CO2 levels would cause US temperatures to rise by three to four degrees by 2020. This prediction was of course, way off. Temperatures have moved at most a fraction of that amount since 1986. It was predicted that that a warmer planet would cause ice to melt and the seas to expand, rising by up to four feet in 2050, NOAA data makes it clear that there is no change in the rate of sea level increase since measurements began. If temp increase would accelerate sea level changes, and we don’t see that acceleration… it seems reasonable to suggest the globe isn’t warming. These are large scale indicators that show that AGW is NOT progressing at an alarming rate

          • Avatar Candace says:

            Doug, this is what I said. “…”denier” is easily recognizable and understood by most to mean that one is denying the premise that AGW is progressing at an alarming rate.” That means exactly what it says. You are denying the premise that AGW is progressing at a rapid rate. Which you are and literally just did.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            Candace, I don’t agree with your definition of ‘denier’… we’ll have to leave it at that.

  9. Avatar Joe says:

    You say ” Climate change “. I say ” God’s will, pray for your sins.”

    • Avatar Tim says:

      What if the gluttonous use of energy is a sin? Wouldn’t it be better to stop sinning than try to pray it away?

      ——— old joke about ignoring God’s messengers ———

      A terrible storm came into a town and local officials sent out an emergency warning that the riverbanks would soon overflow and flood the nearby homes. They ordered everyone in the town to evacuate immediately.

      A faithful Christian man heard the warning and decided to stay, saying to himself, “I will trust God and if I am in danger, then God will send a divine miracle to save me.”

      The neighbors came by his house and said to him, “We’re leaving and there is room for you in our car, please come with us!” But the man declined. “I have faith that God will save me.”

      As the man stood on his porch watching the water rise up the steps, a man in a canoe paddled by and called to him, “Hurry and come into my canoe, the waters are rising quickly!” But the man again said, “No thanks, God will save me.”

      The floodwaters rose higher pouring water into his living room and the man had to retreat to the second floor. A police motorboat came by and saw him at the window. “We will come up and rescue you!” they shouted. But the man refused, waving them off saying, “Use your time to save someone else! I have faith that God will save me!”

      The flood waters rose higher and higher and the man had to climb up to his rooftop.

      A helicopter spotted him and dropped a rope ladder. A rescue officer came down the ladder and pleaded with the man, “Grab my hand and I will pull you up!” But the man STILL refused, folding his arms tightly to his body. “No thank you! God will save me!”

      Shortly after, the house broke up and the floodwaters swept the man away and he drowned.

      When in Heaven, the man stood before God and asked, “I put all of my faith in You. Why didn’t You come and save me?”

      And God said, “Son, I sent you a warning. I sent you a car. I sent you a canoe. I sent you a motorboat. I sent you a helicopter. What more were you looking for?”

      • Avatar Randy says:

        In this particular case of AGW and rising seas, it is largly the most wealthy that own the ocean front properties that are being damaged and it is the citizenry that keep funding the rebuilding of those private properties and the sea walls to protect them.

        • Avatar Doug Cook says:

          Randy…your own link states that we have had 8″ of sea level rise in the last 100 years. NOAA’a own sea level page shows no appreciable increase in sea level rise. It is my guess that you never went and explored that link. What properties are being damaged by the 1.7mm increase a year? What sea level rise that equals a width of a dime is damaging property. It certainly isn’t in the Maldives…after your claim of homes currently being flooded in the Maldives, you said that a few years ago, and still haven’t been able to produce a scintilla of evidence to prove your allegation…sure, you produce a lot of predictions, but no actual evidence.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      You say tomato, I say bananas…

  10. Avatar Randy says:

    Miami-Dade County Office of Resilience

    “Sea Level Rise projections
    For planning purposes, the county relies upon the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact’s Unified Sea Level Rise Projection for Southeast Florida. Regionally, sea levels are expected to be 14 to 26 inches higher than 1992 levels by 2060.”

  11. Avatar Randy says:

    When Dr. Katharine Hayhoe was asked how we can deal with the lies and ignorance of denial she said, “TALK ABOUT IT”. Whether at family get-togethers or standing inline at the check-out counter there is no good reason to avoid this crucial topic. We all get weary of hearing about the mounting disasters resulting from AGW ( human caused climate change) and this is a great site to view solutions.

  12. Avatar Randy says:


    The above link should have been;

  13. Doug Craig Doug Craig says:

    As a psychologist for the last 33 years, I am familiar with the ability of the mind to deny, ignore or avoid a reality it finds threatening. The addicted mind, for example, will choose short-term, fleeting pleasure over psychological or physical health and well-being. Our relationship with food, alcohol, tobacco and drugs leads many of us to an early death because of an inability to recognize how our own minds can lie to us about what is true and real. Motivated reasoning or selective bias leads us to seek out and find data that confirms what we already believe and helps us discount any information that puts our beliefs into serious doubt. We should not be surprised that the coal, oil and gas industry (just like the tobacco industry) realized many decades ago that their extremely profitable products were also extremely harmful. They knew as far back as the 70s that our greenhouse gas emissions would heat up the planet, melt glaciers, raise sea levels, obliterate islands, flood coastal communities, create millions of climate refugees, dry out the forests leading to more severe wildfires, and cause droughts. We should also not be surprised that these global corporations and their lobbies invested heavily in a decades-long disinformation campaign to prevent governments from taking effective action to prevent these disasters and decrease their profits. Even here we see the effect of these efforts. Instead of coming together to solve the climate crisis, we continue to argue about it while our local elected leaders deny, avoid or ignore the problem. And who does this hurt most of all? Our children and future generations. Non-human life. Poor people throughout the world. And ultimately all of us. And who does it help? The white, wealthy men who run these companies or sit in positions of financial and political power and successfully manipulate their followers through the (mostly conservative) media to ensure that we delay action until it is too late. To learn more about this:

  14. Avatar Candace says:

    Doug Cook, lol. The word deny is rooted in the Latin word denegare, which means “to deny, reject, refuse.” I suppose I could just as easily have said “rejection of “ or refusal of” the premise that AGW is accelerating at an alarming rate. Duly noted. Happy to leave it at that.

  15. Avatar Randy says:

    I try not to respond to Doug Cook at any personal level because of his endless games of distraction and denial but I do like to answer his redundant questions with direct lnks to the science for the benefit of others.

    Facts on flooding in the Maldives

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      Well…once again Randy you fail to show me any evidence of flooding in the Maldives which you claimed was happening years ago. Your links toss out a bunch of ‘coulds’ and ‘maybes’ and ‘might happen’…but no proof that flooding is occurring right now. So what is it? Were you lying about homes being flooded because of sea level rise? Or did you repeat a story about a story?

  16. Avatar Maryann says:

    This article link below has a very clear graph of atmospheric CO2 going back thousands of years (ice core data). From 1958 to present they use NOAA data from samples gathered at the top of Mauna Loa. There are links to NOAA in the short article also. What we have here is an unprecedented high concentration of CO2, since before the dawn of humankind. But, I’m sure if our local “smarter than the average American” population says it’s nothing to be concerned about, or to mitigate, adapt, or just plain deal with….then that is because they’re onto something that NOAA and 97% of climate scientists (many of whom have studied the atmosphere for decades) have overlooked.

    It must be nice to be so smart that you know better than hundreds of scientists who have spent their whole lives studying the data from ice cores, satellites, and high elevation atmosphere labs, without spending the kind of time, dollars, and effort the specialists have put into it. It’s kind of like going to world-famous specialists for a medical diagnosis and then arguing with their conclusion,when 97% of them agree. Reasonable people don’t do that. People who want to live don’t do that. What we have here is a somewhat higher percentage of unreasonable people who are so attached to their views they are willing to do nothing and stack the deck against their own children and grandchildren, if their long-shot bet is wrong.

    • Avatar Randy says:

      The “deniers” are a mix of strategic liars and willing dupes.

      • Avatar Maryann says:

        I guess “willing dupes” covers people who just can’t or won’t consider a future that is less than “positive” by their definition. There is a lot of new age thinking that doesn’t prepare people for dealing with difficult circumstances. An example is the “make your own reality” folks, who literally just try to imagine every day that all is positive….and all information to the contrary is rejected. There was a poignant example in the Frontline episode about the Paradise fire (aired last night, 10/29). A laid-back positive-thinking mother rejected her daughter’s attempts to persuade her to evacuate. The daughter ended up having to leave by herself, because her mother refused to believe things were as “negative” as her daughter perceived. There are times when second-guessing our family members physical perceptions of reality is not a good survival strategy. This is one of those times, in a less acute way than in the Paradise fire, but still the scientific data amounts to a physical perception of our long-term reality. We have to get real. It’s time to follow the ones who are willing to perceive physical reality as it is. We must focus on the way ahead.

  17. Doug Craig Doug Craig says:

    Regarding Sea Level Rise expertise, please note that my latest interview was with Dr. Orrin Pilkey, one of the world’s leading experts on this issue. This show will broadcast on KKRN on November 12. If someone has an open mind and listens carefully to my interview, I believe they would agree with Dr. Pilkey that the coming decades will see steadily worsening flooding of coastal communities. For those of us who hold a high respect for science and truth, there is only one possible conclusion. Sea Level Rise is already a serious problem and will only grow worse for decades and centuries to come. Pilkey describes New Orleans and Miami as “doomed cities.” Of the 25 cities most at risk from Sea Level Rise, 20 of them are in Florida. Pilkey began his career with the study of abyssal plains on the deep-sea floor. As a result of the destruction of his parents’ house in Waveland, Mississippi, during Hurricane Camille (1969), he switched to the study of coasts, a field in which he is well known internationally. His research centers on both basic and applied coastal geology, focusing primarily on barrier island coasts. Early-on, he co-edited (with William Neal, Professor of Geology at Grand Valley State University) and co-wrote a 22-volume Living with the Shore series of books, intended to inform the public about the hazards of beachfront living. The Rising Sea, written with Rob Young in 2009, focuses on the global threat from sea level rise. The World’s Beaches (2011) is an informative “Global Guide to the Science of the Shoreline” that looks at the role of beaches in history, beach classifications, threats that beaches face today, and the future of beaches in a rising sea. Global Climate Change: A Primer is a 2011 volume co-authored with Orrin’s son, Keith, and provides an excellent discussion of the subject, along with debunking climate change myths. Pitfalls of Shoreline Stabilization (2012) offers a global view of the pluses and minuses of holding shorelines in place during a time of rising sea level. In The Last Beach (2014), with Andrew Cooper, Professor of Coastal Studies in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Ulster, the authors discuss the grim future of beaches and the challenges of saving beaches. The 2016 volume, Retreat from the Rising Sea: Hard Decisions in an Age of Global Climate Change, co-authored with his daughter, Linda Pilkey-Jarvis, and son, Keith Pilkey, focuses on sea level rise and the need to retreat or move back off the shore. Pilkey’s latest book just published this year is Sea Level Rise: A Slow Tsunami on America’s Shores. Stay tuned…

  18. Avatar Randy says:

    The Miami Hearld details what is currently happening to Miami as the ocean keeps rising. Dr. Pilkey says now is the time to begin the retreat from traditional coastlines because there is not enough money to stop what is coming and every dollar wasted trying to fight rising seas is a dollar that could, should. be spent relocation to higher ground.

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      Randy, where in your link does it show ‘what is currently happening to Miami…” Nothing in your link says anything has happened yet, other than some beach erosion from hurricane Irma, which has nothing to do with CAGW. But of course, you rarely read your own links, but will believe STORIES about STORIES.

  19. Avatar Randy says:

    City of Miami

    “Floods and Sea Level Rise in Miami
    City of Miami uses the Southeast Florida Climate Compact Unified Sea Level Rise Projections2 to inform our adaptation plans. According to these standards:
    by 2030, sea level is projected to rise 6 to 10 inches above 1992 mean sea level
    by 2060, sea level is projected to rise 14 to 34 inches above 1992 mean sea level
    Residents may experience flooding in their daily lives due to heavy rainfall, sometimes referred to as rain bombs, and seasonal high tides, called King Tides.
    King Tides are higher-than-normal tides which occur annually and predictably in September through November in Miami.3
    Heavy rainfall coupled with high tides can overwhelm current stormwater infrastructure and prevent proper drainage.Floods and Sea Level Rise in Miami
    City of Miami uses the Southeast Florida Climate Compact Unified Sea Level Rise Projections2 to inform our adaptation plans. According to these standards:
    by 2030, sea level is projected to rise 6 to 10 inches above 1992 mean sea level
    by 2060, sea level is projected to rise 14 to 34 inches above 1992 mean sea level
    Residents may experience flooding in their daily lives due to heavy rainfall, sometimes referred to as rain bombs, and seasonal high tides, called King Tides.
    King Tides are higher-than-normal tides which occur annually and predictably in September through November in Miami.3
    Heavy rainfall coupled with high tides can overwhelm current stormwater infrastructure and prevent proper drainage.”