Friday, September 19, 2014

The Pied Piper On The Road To Hell

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions."

I won't be attending the up-coming AGW (anthropogenic global warming), protest march in my area. (I also refuse to accept the Orwellian substitution of the phrase, "climate change" for AGW.) It's not because I don't care about the environment, or because I'm fiscally conservative (LOL), or because I'm convinced that Jesus is coming back any day now to make the whole thing a non-issue. Although I'm of the opinion that the AGW scare is a total fraud, that's not entirely why either. Nevertheless, I will share my reasons for not believing in AGW, before moving on to my additional motivations for refusing to support the AGW cause.

Why I'm Not a Believer

1. As outlined above, I don't reject the the theory of AGW because of any ideological conflict of interest. I have never, and will never, accept funding or any other benefit from the fossil fuel industry or any of its advocates. My personal "carbon footprint " is miniscule; I've never even owned a car. I can think of no vested interest on my part, that would be threatened by my acceptance of AGW's reality. On the contrary, AGW would only strengthen the case for a change to gift economy. I could even feel smug about my current life-style, if I wanted to. I am willing to be convinced. I've spent many hours looking for convincing evidence in support of the theory, and I remain open to receiving such evidence. I am unconvinced. Correlation does not prove causation. Yes, carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere appears to be linked to surface temperature. It is not clear that one causes the other. If one does cause the other, there is, presently, dispute as to which is the cause, and which the effect. It may be that both are effects of another cause; the Sun, for instance. AGW theory assumes that rising atmospheric CO2 causes surface warming. This is not proven, and is disputed by some dissenting scientists. It further assumes that human activities are the primary cause of an observed rise in atmospheric CO2. Also unproven, and disputed by dissenting scientists. If AGW theory holds water, then is it not reasonable to expect the models, based on that theory, to have some predictive value? I think so, and given the fact that, almost two decades later, the model-based predictions were wildly wrong, is it not rational to conclude that those models (at the very least) failed to account for important influences? Yes, it is. In addition to the above-mentioned, I have to wonder why, if the evidence is so strong, the AGW lobby finds it necessary to engage in data tampering, misrepresentation, bullying/professional blackmail, overt and thinly disguised threats,and other assorted dirty tricks, to advance their cause.

2. I am justifiably suspicious of AGW theory, due to the fact that it is far too convenient and profitable for powerful vested interests. AGW believers frequently claim that fossil fuel purveyors would be harmed by legislation allegedly aimed at curbing global warming. They further claim that AGW "denial" is primarily funded, and otherwise encouraged, by the fossil fuel industry. Like the AGW models, this theory fails to take important factors into account. Namely:
     a) The fossil fuel industry would not actually see a loss of profits because any costs incurred would be passed on to their customers.
     b) Those industries have a captive customer base. Transportation, for example, will be dependent on fossil fuels for the foreseeable future. People will continue to need light and heat, and in most cases, their options for energy supply are limited and beyond their control. (More on this later.)
     c) The major share-holders in the fossil fuel industry also have investments in other areas. They are, in fact, so mind-bogglingly rich and powerful that there's just no possibility that governments or popular opinion could oppose their actual wishes in any effective way. If the mainstream media are pushing the AGW narrative, (and they are), we can safely assume that it is with their consent and blessing. Any funding of AGW "deniers", on their part, is therefore, purely for show and intended to discredit legitimate objections. In any case, such funding is utterly dwarfed by the amounts at the disposal of the AGW lobby.
     d) Powerful fossil fuel industry players, are officially and financially supportive of AGW theory and currently proposed initiatives.
3. The "solutions" being proposed to fight AGW are either ineffective (see 2.b) above), or supportive of some other, more plausible, agenda, such as global government, increased taxation, conditioning people to feel ashamed of wanting to exist at all, etc.
4. Actions speak louder than words. The same groups and individuals who are pushing hardest for action on AGW are not acting as though they actually believe in it.

Since I'm all for erring on the side of caution, if warranted, I was curious about what the "worst case scenario" predicted by the AGW proponents, would look like. Turns out, nobody, NOBODY, not one of the models, is predicting a runaway greenhouse effect. In other words, there is no "point of no return". If a clean, efficient and renewable energy technology is discovered any time in the next 50 years or so, the problem of AGW (assuming it's real) would be solved. Conversely, if such an energy technology is not found, all the taxes and laws in the world aren't going to make a significant difference in the long term. This is another reason I'm deeply suspicious of the motivations and truthfulness of the AGW alarmists. If they were truly concerned about the alleged threat, they would be demanding massive funding for scientific research to focus itself urgently on finding that new energy technology. That would get easily as much public support as putting a man on the Moon did. Top researchers in those fields would be worshiped like pop stars in the media. Public charities would be set up; benefit concerts and telethons would be arranged. That's what would happen if they really believed what they're warning us about. But they don't talk about that. No, they discuss carbon-credit trading schemes, and sweeping new taxes, not to fund research into new energy tech, but to drive down demand. Did you think all that money was ear-marked for fighting AGW? It's not. It's going straight into the general revenue streams of the taxing authorities. A tiny fraction of that gets invested in smart meters, and windmills, and solar panel arrays.Worthless, expensive shit. (You don't hear much about geothermal; probably because it's not stupid.) They fly to "climate change" conferences in private jets. They talk about depopulation. Global government, with total control. (Haven't they been saying they wanted those things for a hundred years at least?) The entities who claim to believe in AGW can't possibly know that a new energy technology can't be found. So why are they behaving as though it can't? It is at least possible; likely, even. It should, therefore, be pursued as a top priority, because anything short of that (assuming a continuation of the market-based economy) can only push the alleged problem further down the road. Depopulation/austerity will "have" to be resorted to. And a new energy tech will still need to be found.
If AGW is real, the "solutions", favoured so far, are futile in the long term and make no sense.
If AGW is a fabrication, intended to advance other agendas, I would expect the situation to look exactly as it does.
It's not as though the powers-that-be have never manufactured a "problem", steered the public reaction, and then reaped the result (intended from the beginning), which is always more power/money/control. It's been done loads of times. Why not? It works really well. The following are red flags, indicating that this maneuver is being used:
1. Multiple, obvious, ulterior motives on the part of powerful interests.
2. Heavy media saturation on the issue.
(Media ownership is very concentrated today and always promotes the wishes of the power elite. Many crucially important subjects are given little or no exposure, because having people thinking about those topics is not in the interest of the power elite.)
3. Within the mainstream "debate", if any, one "side" will either be censored out-right, or made to appear ridiculous or evil.
4. The "solution" never solves the problem. It will be officially aimed at managing it. It often makes the problem even worse. True solutions, when available, are not seriously considered. This is intentional, because as long as the problem persists, additional power/money/control can be extracted to fight/manage it.

When all of the above red flags are in evidence, I assume this is what's happening. All of the above red flags are in evidence with AGW.

 Now that I've got all that out of the way, I can explain why, even if AGW were real, the present hysteria over it would remain an unwarranted and dangerous distraction.
As previously mentioned, the worst case scenario (which even the most alarmist sources consider unlikely) is a 4.5 degree average temperature increase over the next 50 years. That would be disruptive, but it could not result in the extinction of humanity or destruction of Earth. Keep in mind that, so far, even the most conservative predictions have proven to be too high. Other concerns, that are being largely ignored in favour of AGW, will, if not addressed, make a few degrees rise in temperature, the least of our worries. Carbon dioxide is not a toxic pollutant; it's what plants need to grow. But nuclear radiation is, and so is spilled crude oil + chemical dispersant, pesticides, industrial waste, chemical spills, depleted uranium, etc. If recent, preventable disasters like Deep Water Horizon and Fukushima continue to occur, and there's no reason to think they won't, will enough of us still be around to fret about AGW? If market forces continue to generate mountains of toxic waste, due to technological or planned obsolescence and other perversities, will a slightly warmer climate still be our most pressing concern a few decades from now? If the unintended (or maybe not so unintended) consequences of GMOs result in a mass die-off of humans and/or bees, will you still lose sleep over global warming? How about WWIII? Obsessing over AGW, at this time, is like sweeping the kitchen floor while the house burns down around you.

And there's one more thing I'd like to point out to believers and non-believers alike. If the market-based society were abandoned in favour of a voluntary gift economy, the alleged threat of AGW would very quickly cease to be an issue. What's more, all the other serious problems I've listed would also be eliminated. I would march in support of that. Yet, I strongly suspect that most of the people freaking out over AGW would never back that solution. Why? Because too many of them are pampered, upper middle class, university indoctrinated, hypocrites. They can easily afford to assuage their guilty consciences with "green taxes" that will crush the less privileged (without solving the problem), but their concern for the planet is, ultimately, no match for their self-interested support for the economic status quo.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

How I Cured My Depression

On the heels of Robin Williams death by suicide, and as per usual, a slew of articles have appeared reminding everyone that depression is a serious disease that needs medical treatment. Many, if not most, of these articles also repeat the idiotic and discreditted theory, based on no evidence, that depression is caused by an imbalance of brain chemistry. I can't begin to tell you how furious this makes me feel, but I can tell you why it does.

I cured myself of depression. When I say "cured", I don't mean that I found a way to manage the symptoms; I mean really cured. I used to suffer from major, clinical depression. It was bad. I was a complete basket-case. I couldn't even go to school because I couldn't stop crying. I was first diagnosed in 1983, at the age of 17. I was prescribed tricyclic antidepressants, and they "worked". About six months after I stopped the drugs, my depression returned. When it got so bad that I couldn't cope any more, the drugs were prescribed again. For the next 15 years, I stayed on that merry-go-round. Drugs. Relapse. Drugs. Relapse. Drugs. Relapse. Drugs. Relapse. Drugs (Zoloft). Adverse reaction. Suicide Attempt. Relapse. I was prescribed antidepressants one more time after that, but I was too afraid to take them. I remember that day, when I finally gave up. I stopped fighting, stopped running from the pain, and instead did the exact opposite. I just didn't have the energy to struggle any more, so I opened myself up to it and let it come. I dove for the bottom. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that, instead of being annihilated by pain, as I fully expected to be, I felt relief and began to truly heal. I believe that a similar thing happens in "let go and let God"-style religious conversions, in which unconditional surrender is immediately attended by an experience of spiritual peace. Many people who have such an experience, interpret it as confirmation of a religious belief-system, but it doesn't really have anything to do with Jesus, or any other belief-based projection. If it did, it couldn't have happened to me.
That was 16 years ago. I have never had a recurrence of major depression since then. I have felt agonizing despair, and overwhelming sadness, but those come and go like normal feelings now. (With major depression they never leave, for months and years on ends. The whole world turns grey and life seems like a sick and pointless joke.) Depression is no joke. It is a very serious and disabling state of being. But it is NOT a disease; it is a call to authenticity, and an open door to positive disintegration. Since I successfully healed myself, whereas psycho-pharmacology spectacularly failed to, I think I'm in a far stronger position to speak to the real cause of depression. It is definitely not due to a brain chemistry imbalance, any more that anger is caused by over-production of adrenaline. Correlation does not equal causation.

Maybe you've seen news of the recently published experiment, wherein the researchers managed to breed mice whose brains did not produce seratonin. They had theorized that the mice would be depressed, but they weren't. You'd think this would lead some people to the same question I asked when I learned that antidepressant drugs are tested for efficacy on animals (usually rats or mice): How did they make the animals depressed? Wouldn't you think that, if it were possible (and it is) to consistently produce depression in mice, that the method used might point to the cause of depression in humans? I thought so, and still do. So how do you make an animal depressed? It's pretty simple. You torture it. You subject it to chronic stress and abuse over which it has no control. One method used is to repeatedly place the mouse in a water tank, from which it cannot escape, and force it to swim around until it is exhausted. Or put it in a cage with a hostile, robotic rat, or deprive it of food and water; or disrupt its sleep/wake cycle.

In a nutshell, depression is caused by on-going, or suppressed and unprocessed, emotional trauma. It usually has its roots in childhood. Our culture systematically traumatizes children (and adults) to varying degrees. Sometimes, the trauma is continuous, or too severe, and/or the one experiencing it is very emotionally sensitive. Then, the pain of the trauma can be felt to exceed one's ability to emotionally cope with it. An instinctive defense mechanism kicks in, wholly or partially suppressing awareness of the emotional injury. The injury doesn't go away or heal; it sits, sealed off like a cyst, waiting in the subconscious. Any subsequent, similar trauma (even a relatively mild one) will trigger its re-surfacing for processing and release. And there will be no shortage of such triggers. The trauma victim will be subconsciously drawn to situations that cause the original injury to resurface because that's the only way it can be released, and finally healed. Psychologists call this phenomenon, "repetition compulsion".

You can't cure the pain of depression by running from it. You have to face the pain. Unfortunately, that is the last thing anyone will ever recommend. Every suggested treatment I've ever seen, consists of some attempt at avoidance or escape. It's just like Alice in the looking-glass world, trying to reach the top of the hill by walking toward it, and always ending up back where she started. The solution I stumbled upon was the same one that worked for Alice.

I know, for someone suffering with depression, it must seem impossible that the monster, with which they battle for life itself, could be defeated by such a simple thing: stop resisting the pain. But you know that that is no simple thing. I know you've probably never done it, and I know why, too. The thought of it is terrifying. After all, you're barely hanging in there, as it is. The pain you resist appears as a bottomless abyss, from whose clutches, you would never escape if you gave in to it for one second. That's why you suppressed it in the first place. Appearances can be deceiving. Ironically, the pain you resist, if you stopped resisting it, would not even be as bad as what you're feeling now. And almost the moment you say, "yes" to it, it will be gone. The wounding that causes depression is the result of denying an authentic emotion. That's it. There is no need to recall the specific traumatic experience. I don't, and yet I am cured. Sixteen years is long enough to say that, I think.