MadPx Mondays
A Brief History of Power
Climate Control

Climate Control

Ep 092

Dr Koontz and Rev Fisk open the show by discussing Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter and the change the internet has undergone over the last two decades, then discuss climate politics as another example of a strange social movement gaining traction by manipulating the visible and invisible.

Book mentioned: The Visible Hand, Alfred Chandler

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Many thanks to our sponsors, Blessed Sacrament Lutheran Church in Hayden, ID and Our Savior Lutheran Church and School in Pagosa Springs, CO

Dr Koontz - Agrarian, Egghead -  Concordia Theological Seminary Fort Wayne

Rev Fisk - Author, Fanatic - St Paul Rockford

Music thanks to Verny


Speaker 1] (0:06 - 2:51)

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[Speaker 2] (2:51 - 4:31)

Dr. Koontz, we are two weeks after, for the listener at this point, we're recording this the day of or within 48 hours of Elon Musk buying Twitter, and it is all the news, and in the Lutheran blogosphere—it's not really blogs anymore, whatever you call the Lutherans that talk to each other online—there seems to be two opinions on this. One is Jesus came back, and then the other one is the devil took over. And I kind of feel like there's a little more of a nuanced thing going on here, wherein we have someone who, like in one of our more recent episodes, we talk about power corrupting man, right?

So it's not as though this guy with with billions of dollars to throw around is someone we should just trust generally. I mean, he's a transhumanist and a bunch of other stuff, but he does seem to be concerned about the shuddering of free speech and have some kind of belief that to get the best ideas, you need all the ideas on the table. So for my part, I'm kind of encouraged by this move, although I'm not, you know, I'm not like 100% just believing it's all going to be great.

But golly, the reaction from the other side, it really says a lot. I mean, they're calling all sorts of stuff about how it's got to be shut down. The Biden administration is even changing its policy.

I think it's section 230 or something like that. They're beginning to look at now. I don't know if that's trust breaking down or what, but I would just love to hear your thoughts on Twitter, period.

Why you're not on Twitter, secondary, how you're on Twitter, because you kind of are sometimes. And then finally, why'd you stop sending me the best stuff off Twitter that you used to send me? Because I miss that.

I miss that.

[Speaker 1] (4:32 - 6:07)

Section 230 has to do with being neutral and not being a publisher and therefore not being responsible for what appears on your site. And it's key to the existence of social media. So even though they do censor, which means that they edit, which means that they really are publishers and therefore could be regulated like publishers are or regulated the way, alternatively regulated as a kind of public utility, which would another very different scenario altogether.

They want this gray area where they get to edit, but they don't have to be responsible for the other calls for death that they don't edit off of Twitter. So that's why they're now looking at changing that because someone whom they don't trust is in charge. And Elon Musk is a transhumanist.

He's probably a lot of things. He's probably also affected by and sort of like Joe Rogan. You can look at these depending on your framing of this as either a kind of limited hangout.

That is, this is where you get to be a semi-apolitical white male, but not really have conservative opinions necessarily that would affect people. But you get to say things that everyone sort of knows are still true, but no one is allowed to say them. So this guy says them, you could look at that as a limited hangout.

You could look at it as a remnant of a sort of, to me, both men are very reminiscent of the 90s or early 2000s.

[Speaker 2] (6:07 - 6:09)
Yeah. Yeah. They're like my brothers, dude. [Speaker 1] (6:11 - 6:36)

In their ideological randomness and avoidance of many, many dynamics. So race is not really a topic, but then you still, Joe Rogan still makes racial jokes in public, or did at one time, which no one my age would do regardless of his actual views on race. So they're both kind of retro figures in that way.

[Speaker 2] (6:36 - 6:39)
They're Gen X, man. I never put that together until just now. They're both Gen X. [Speaker 1] (6:40 - 11:06)

And that, the invocation of free speech is similar to that. It's a belief in something that I think very few people under a certain age still believe in. So Twitter was a remnant of that.

Jack Dorsey in his own way was also a remnant of that, although he was forced out. And I haven't really put together the interconnections between these figures, but most of the heads of FANG, which is Facebook, Amazon, what's the other A, something in Google. Anyway, the Silicon Valley companies basically are at this point often headed by Indian immigrants.

And I don't know if they're interrelated or how that relates to kind of the issues with caste that have also come up in some lawsuits in California related to tech companies. The listeners probably know that better than I do, but Jack Dorsey was in his own way, a kind of throwback as is Elon Musk in his own way. I don't really think that trust is the right way to frame this, which is the way that some people frame it.

Because I think that trust is still, you're still thinking about life as if it's some kind of big like pro wrestling show, and you're going to cheer for this guy and you hate this other guy and it's all going to work out. And it's the naivete about life that we've talked about, or I at least mentioned a couple episodes back relative to Q. That is that life is basically a spectator sport and you're going to watch good guys take on bad guys and wait for a heel turn. So that view is, I think it's naive. That's the nicest word you could use. Elon Musk control over Twitter involves both his investors, the nature of whom I don't know.

I haven't looked into it, but it involves as well all of these things being relative or limited goods. And for that reason, anything that upsets them enough to go look at a 230 the way they should have years ago when Twitter started to being rapidly censored and blue checks came into existence and things like that. Sure.

That's fine. Let's push things farther toward clarity about how much we actually can't each other. That's fine.

So I'm happy about that. Twitter itself was originally something like the social media remnant of the internet prior to its mass adoption, especially with the advent of smartphones. What is that now?

13 years ago. So it was a remnant because you could be anonymous and say whatever you wanted. So you can, if you dig down on Twitter, you can find people saying all kinds of things.

No one's allowed to say on Twitter anymore. And the date sample inevitably be like, October 12th, 2013 or something. So especially pre mid second term Obama radicalization of everything in American politics.

And that has gradually gone away. So Twitter is just the story of Twitter and Twitter's terms of service and stuff like that is just a really great study in how America has changed so radically in the past 10 years. I'm not on Twitter because I find that most things are a waste of my time.

I have some favorite accounts, many of them, including BAP have been banned over time, which is probably why I don't send much anymore because there's not much to read anymore. I still read Ben Braddock, who is a remnant of that sort of side of Twitter, maybe with a little bit more of a positive spin. My own personal optimism generally, and, and willingness to work with people that aren't a hundred percent ideologically aligned with me has led some to suggest that I am Ben Braddock also because if you listen to his interviews, he has what is to me an obvious Pennsylvania accent, but that, that may or may not be the case, but I just don't read many accounts anymore, but I was always a reader.

I mean, I didn't even have an account just to, you know, put all my cards on the table here. I just, I just read in, you know, the private window. So Twitter doesn't block my ability to see things.

[Speaker 2] (11:07 - 13:47)
So one of the reasons this is on the front of my mind is because now again, two weeks ago for the listener, I had my first YouTube video taken down ever. I, in a two hour, three hour video, two and a half hour video, I had maybe, maybe a minute talking about, it was a quote from, now I forget who it even was, a US government official regarding the higher rate of events for minorities with the vaccines than, than with whites. And, and then I also mentioned something about a study looking into the increased rate of menstrual issues with women who've had the vaccines.

And I think what I did was I just said the word vaccines, which I've been really careful up to this point and been talking about inoculations as much as I could, inoculations and gene therapy. So I think I said vaccines and I think a audio crawler just kind of picked up that the word was dropped three or five times. And then, you know, a whistleblow first of four.

So first time, just a, it's a foul, right? But we take it down and don't put it back up. Second time they got, they got pictures.

It's yellow card, yellow card, red card. And, and so it's got me asking questions. And I've asked these questions before about platforms and what to do for my own media footprint and why, and this is good in the sense, like, why do I even need a media footprint as a, as a Lutheran pastor?

We have this, we have a brief history of power, which is probably got the biggest reach of anything that I'm doing right now. So, you know, what, what good is the YouTube for? Well, it's initially, it was for the sake of theology and that's, that's the reason why I would stay there.

But with Musk's purchase of Twitter, one of my questions again is, is Twitter going to be something that is a future valuable as opposed to YouTube, which I think Google is going to crunch harder than they were before because of Twitter's change. And, or what is the future of the internet, I guess, is another way to look at this question. Is it just more fragmentation?

Because you, you know, what does it get her a Tumblr as a Tumblr? What's the other true social is the Trump one. I mean, everyone's a parlor, you know, like everyone wants to make their own next thing and none of it's really going to be the next thing.

So is there any next thing? And, and for the sake of the listener, wherever they are, whatever community they're starting, whatever they're doing, they want to share their information. Uh, where, where would we do this now is many ways my, my question for myself.

And so I'll just leave it there for you to weigh in on.

[Speaker 1] (13:48 - 19:06)

Well, I, when you think about the internet, let's say even five years ago, let alone 10, it is a remnant of something that began in a very different way with hobbyists and enthusiasts in the eighties and the nineties. And then maybe began to go mainstream. Let's say roughly the late nineties, but by 2000, it's, it's still, it's still a valid question.

You could ask somebody, do you have internet or are you on the, you could, you would say, are you on the internet and perfectly normal human beings would say no. Right. Right.

Right. And they're probably still perfectly normal because of that. But in any case, it, it, it is, it is a kind of public discussion space that always leads to enormous change.

I, there are parallels to this in various ways. The one that I have most often thought of is the coffee house in 17th and 18th century Europe, which is a place where people from a variety of let's say classes or, or, or histories or backgrounds can get together and discuss things extensively in a way that had not been possible before that, or we're set in situations that were just more relaxed or let's say sociable rather than focused in the way that caffeine makes you.

So a pub doesn't do the same thing a coffee house does. And it's in coffee houses that people like Ben Franklin, but also a lot of names that the listeners are, would not be aware of, but sort of analogs of Ben Franklin in various countries would pick up ideas and exchange ideas and read papers and discuss things. And it, it leads to a lot of the very practical life changes.

Maybe a lot of the things about the enlightenment that the reader does like, or the reader, the listener does like, and hasn't really thought about as attached to the enlightenment comes out of this coffee house culture, which, which allows you exchange and openness. And that's what the internet was like. It's not like that anymore.

People have been herded onto social media instead of, instead of exchanging knowledge sociably the way that forums or what they used to be called, maybe chat rooms did for you where being on the internet was fundamentally social, but social in an extensive way centered on the information rather than on the person. Now it's really centered on the person. I mean, the reason that I am on Facebook is to connect with people.

It is not fundamentally to exchange information, although I mean, sometimes that does happen, but not often the sort of things that we talk about on the show. So I can talk about, you know, Arcana of Lutheran theology on Facebook, but if I went on Facebook and said, this is, this is how you should think about the first world war in the second world war. It's just one European civil war.

This is why, I mean, people wouldn't read it because the platform is not set up for extensive written communication. And I could easily say something as you did apparently in your video, I could easily say something that would get me put in jail or banned or something. And then that becomes its own struggle and investment of energy and whatever else.

I think the future may be attached to these things as legacy ways to get something out or to pass on information, but a combination, let's say of extensive things to which you probably subscribe either for free or for some price like podcasts or sub stack are growing without much or any regulation. And then besides that, I think it's always healthier to acquire information in a naturally sociable way, if at all possible. That is, I would rather talk to somebody for two hours than just talk.

I mean, I, I wouldn't do this show alone, let alone, I would, I would prefer to be live right with you that that's an even better dynamic. So if you have that in everyday life, that's, that's better than anything that the internet offers because there, there is an issue here with, I mean, I see this essentially constantly people acquiring everything that they know, think and are from the internet become warped by the medium in which they acquired the information. It's sort of like somebody that thinks he's really intelligent because he's never in his small social circle, met anybody as smart as he is.

That's going to warp you. And the internet has a similar effect on people. It makes them more abrupt.

Maybe I guess they would say spicier, but what in traditional terms would just be seen as a lack of politeness or consideration by traditional, I mean, five years ago, I mean, 10 years ago. So yeah, it's, it's, it's a warping medium. So it's, it's death as a means of reliable exchange of information or acquisition of information, at least nearly so broadly as it was 10 years ago, is not, I'm not, I'm not going to be at the funeral.

I'm not, I'm not in mourning over that. [Speaker 2] (19:07 - 19:12)

No, I just don't think it's going to happen. I would love to see the internet just go away. I mean, that would be incredible.

[Speaker 1] (19:13 - 19:14)
Yeah. I don't think it's going to go away. [Speaker 2] (19:15 - 20:29)

So it's going to continue to form the way people think and act. And, and there's no question that the, those who are being raised on these mediums are less humanly sociable in, in kind of radical like animalistic ways. They're, they're bestial.

And I watched this again with, with kids that my, my kids interface with at sports. And, and I don't think it's just that we homeschool and aren't the homeschoolers supposed to be the ones that are weird and not sociable. Right.

And so, so my kids are so normal and then these other kids can, you know, almost not speak sentences. And it's, it's disturbing for the future again. So for me, then the, it still seems to be a, it's a publishing space.

It's a distribution space. And in that regard, it's a banner space that is, you can, you can wave a flag and you can get a group that wants to move in one direction. What we've seen is the censoring of certain banners.

And that's, that's the, the open question that remains kind of there for the future. So well, I think we can, we can say with that from, I mean, you're definitely going to have your banner not fly as high if you question climate change. And so since we've been talking about world war one, why not segue into climate change for an episode or two?

[Speaker 1] (20:29 - 27:33)

Yeah. The reason that we're doing this and just for two weeks is because of the point of comparison I brought up with prohibition in the last episode, which is you can accomplish rather amazing things, even if your cause is relatively obscure, relatively odd, relatively hard to explain. And the means by which that occurs is happening currently among us with climate change, which you will find out, for example, is there is a separate Wikipedia article about almost anywhere, certainly in the United States down to the state level.

So including not just Delaware, but also Kansas climate change in climate change in, and for almost all the world's countries, that something that is not really empirically provable is being discussed as if it is obvious. And I see this, it's so obviously saturates media at this point that I see otherwise very conservative, perfectly normal people use it as an obvious everyday reference point in the same way that we went from, you know, SARS two, or, you know, the Wuhan flu to COVID. So it is the same kind of verbal meme that we just saw with medicine and that we certainly saw with prohibition, which took over the word, as we discussed last time, temperance, and turned it into not just temperate use of alcohol and promotion of that, but legal prohibition of the consumption of alcohol altogether by any adult in the United States.

I think what we're looking at is not a prohibitionism in the future concerning alcohol or even drugs. There is a legalization of, or a push for legalization, certainly of almost anything you could conceive of now that that is currently in America's largest cities, which then people in, you know, Iowa or Alabama, or even Arizona, let's say a somewhat populist, but generally conservative state are currently probably dismissing. It's just, that's some, that's something crazy that happens in Los Angeles.

But if we see anything about social movements, it's that they'll start somewhere that someone else thinks is crazy. And if the people are sufficiently numerous or powerful or capable enough, they can make that normal. That is exactly what is currently happening with the, with the term climate change, what was called back in the nineties when Elon Musk was young, global warming.

So depending on your age, you might still think global warming, depending on your age, you might actually remember global cooling. And we'll talk about that, but it's this kind of verbal meme that is currently spreading. And it has to do with this dynamic that we mentioned maybe last time, but I want to make a little clearer here because it'll set us up for when we do go back to the 1920s and look at them, which is this idea of how change occurs is in this tension between visible control and invisible control.

Now visible control is actually, according to this guy named Alfred Chandler, who wrote a book called the visible hand, trying to explain how we're not a free market. And we, we haven't been for a very long time. We're a managerially controlled economy, just in a different way from the Soviets.

It's a book he wrote in the 20th century when the Soviets were opposite us. He said, we're also managed. We're a managed economy.

We are dominated by managers. And he brings up James Burnham, whom we've mentioned, but he says, Adam Smith's invisible hand of the free market has been replaced by a visible hand. Now, what we're saying here is that if you want to affect great change, that the trick you're always going to pull is that you make visible what is invisible as much as you possibly can.

And you make invisible what is visible as much as you possibly can. So making visible what was invisible is, let's say you have a disease and people aren't really dying from it, but you want people to be afraid of it, even though they can't see it and they're not sure where it is. So you produce visibility for, for the invisible force.

That's, that's the role, for instance, I think, especially of mask mandates is that you, you are able to produce visibility for an invisible enemy. Similarly, visible control is often very irksome to people if they can see who is making them miserable. So you want to make invisible the visible.

So this is achieved very often. I mean, this is all over the agenda for climate change. There's no one agency that you can say, yes, they're running it all.

You can't, you can't go to the United Nations and say, even though there is an intergovernmental panel on climate change, that's sort of a coordinating body. You can't say if we just stop them, this push for climate change, we'll stop. We'll get to keep our internal combustion engines and our diesel trucks that we rely on for our economy.

Nope. There are plenty of others. There are governmental agencies.

There are private companies. There are quasi-governmental agencies or quangos, quasi non-governmental agencies. There are pure NGOs and that constellation of visible things that have incorporation documents or some kind of government status, that constellation is so large that it just seems like the night sky.

It's just there. Right. So what would otherwise be highly visible becomes in that way, invisible.

And that's going to be, that was key to prohibition is this constellation of semi-unified forces managed by certain key people. But this is why when people think about Elon Musk as a hero, or they think about Margaret Sanger as a demon, I'm not, I'm not sure they're totally wrong. I think that they are thinking about life and power as much, much simpler than they actually are.

Because what we saw with prohibition, with the women's Christian temperance union, and then that allied with certain things Republicans wanted to get done, who then allied with the suffragists and that all got women's suffrage and prohibition to be nearly simultaneous. That's the reason is that when you want to create great change, you have to do this exchange between the visible and the invisible. And therefore you have to be willing to deal with enormous varieties of parties in order to accomplish this great, almost alchemical change that you want to affect.

And that's what we're beginning to see. And as we're, as we're going to see over the next two weeks with let's say the history of climate change.

[Speaker 2] (27:34 - 27:54)

And this is in the past, I mean, left and right are terms we don't necessarily want to use, but this is what the left has done well as it's formed large groups of, of otherwise disparate parties into one movement that not everyone's necessarily even for what's being loudly shouted, but therefore getting pulled up by the whole.

[Speaker 1] (27:54 - 31:06)

Yeah. Yeah. That's exactly right.

I would say that the left is much less politically naive. It's not that the right is really, let's say different because in a, in a country, the size of the United States, you're always going to have different interest groups. So constellation or what is called in, let's say, just purely political terms, coalition is always necessary.

There is no utter unanimity in human groups over certain sizes or spatial distributions where, where right-wing movements have been more successful. Let's say we, we took the case of Spain in the 1930s a while back. It is because they operate with the same basic understanding of group dynamics and how you need to assemble people in order to change both, both hearts and minds and actions.

And, and to at least let's say very neutrally or even positively bring people into your coalition or if you want to look at it utterly cynically, you could do it or you couldn't, if you want to look at it cynically, change their minds, propagandize them effectively is that certainly in the United States, in great Britain, in, in most Western countries, the left has been much more effective at this partly because it started out maybe with, you know, a disadvantage. And so it had to be more creative, but social views that let's say in 1920 would have been shared by maybe Margaret Sanger and a couple of hundred other people largely concentrated in little left-wing enclaves.

In some cases, largely confined to the five boroughs of New York are now utterly normal views on the family views on what women should be doing with their time. And so those are, those are kinds of changes that are enormous and have been affected in the past hundred years. The one that I think is probably next up in our time as the cause of lots of other changes would not, obviously we can now see the war in Europe.

They're not apparently going to drag us into that. And it could even be that by the time this actually comes, this episode comes out, there would be a military resolution in Ukraine. They are not apparently using war powers the way that happened with the two world wars in order to affect the kinds of drastic changes that usually only wars can do.

They don't need that because they can create emergencies, visible emergencies in biomedical or environmental causes. And that will achieve what a war formally only could do and maybe more. And so even before 2020 and 2019, the UK parliament declared a climate emergency.

Now that has had relatively little effect on daily life so far, but this is exactly the same kind of sequence of events that we have seen before. And that was so successful at least for a while in the case of prohibition.

[Speaker 2] (31:08 - 32:48)

Right. So, so between the war in Ukraine as a, as a squirrel, not to diminish the fact that it's really a war, it's really people being hurt. It's, there's all sorts of horrible things and threats and all this that's really there, right.

But in terms of the global narrative control that the management is, is managing it was, it's a sideshow to COVID, the two medical tyranny, the institution of technocracy, the digital currency. And I think, I think that's the main show is the digital currency. So then, but COVID moved that ball more than the war in Ukraine has.

And climate change was what was set up to move that ball before the Wuhan leak gave them this unique opportunity to move the ball sooner than later. And now that's kind of played out sort of, although from my read they just are taking their foot off the gas so we can lift our head up so they can smash it down again. And by, by this fall, we'll be back into, into medical tyranny again.

I pray that's not true, but I, I don't, I can't, I can't see any way around that. But then underneath all of this there had been these laws passed, you know, 2024 kill switch for the vehicles, Washington state 2030 electric vehicles only in the state, you know, that kind of stuff is, is marching slowly underneath all with this 2030 goal. Now that's just a world, world economic forum.

They're not the end all be all. But climate change in that big grand story sort of is the, the real drum they're planning to hit to force us to have to get inoculated and follow gene therapy and slave control and get into the debt system and all this kind of stuff. It's all for the sake of mother earth.

[Speaker 1] (32:49 - 35:09)

Well, climate, climate change, even years ago, you could, you could see the power of it because it is, it is invisible. You're talking about things, the statistical significance of which is not really at all clear to a normal person. So you say over the past 50 years, the average temperature has increased by two degrees Fahrenheit.

What does that really mean? And, and what to an average person is the difference between a 58 degree day and a 60 degree day, right? So it's kind of abstract.

So because it's abstract and because it concerns statistics and statistical measurements and the distinction between short-term and long-term thinking at which we know human beings are generally pretty awful as a group, then it is so, so opportune. It is, it is for managerialism, a kind of paradise because almost nobody can do the work to figure out what any of this actually is or means or that has occurred. Right.

But you have people with weather apps or they're watching TV and they're watching the weather channel or the weather channel is on in the airport. And any time that it is, let's say warmer than average, because your average person doesn't understand heating degree days or, you know, things that measure, you know, the, the nature of an area for the purposes of agriculture, let's say like the, the Winkler index, which is used to determine which grapes can be grown in certain places. People don't understand that.

And they're not close observers of the weather generally, unless they're employed in agriculture, which is some minuscule percentage of every Western country, which is everyone who's affected by this. And we'll talk about that. This is climate change only matters for the third world in terms of, you know, in, in, in terms of wealth transfer, which we'll discuss.

So in every Western country, you have some minuscule percentage of people that actually watch the weather closely on their own. And that's really key because a manager is going to flourish where he's the only person with the data, right?

[Speaker 2] (35:10 - 35:10) Yeah.
[Speaker 1] (35:10 - 37:23)

And so this is, this is so key because everyone is, as it were reporting to him and then he gets to decide what is reality. And then on the basis of reality, what actions need to be taken. That's why when you look at climate change, I think you have to understand that the issue with our that's definitive of us is not a certain level of technological advancement.

Human societies always have different forms of technology that are relatively higher or lower by comparison, let's say to their ancestors or by comparison to some neighboring society. The thing that is definitive of us, I think is not therefore technology, which honestly on, on, on the level of everyday life, a lot of things don't work as well as they used to. I mean, we are, we are already, and this is called downshifting in it by some permaculture people, but, but also by some people that just want this.

And there's, there's a lot to be said about how many more forests we have and how many fewer farms we have. But the basic, the basic thing here is that I think managerialism or the practice of management is what is definitive of modern Western societies. It's not technological advancement.

We have the same stupid smartphones that are designed to be self-obsolescing that people in ivory coast and Indonesia have. We, it, it, we're not, we're not maybe on an everyday level, all that much more advanced than a quote third world country, especially if the person has some kind of moderate income and lives in the city, we are simply better managed or let's say more closely managed. That that's what defines us.

That's what defines modern Western societies is the dominance of managerialism and Alfred Chandler about whom we'll talk more in, in other weeks is the person that identifies this as a reality behind business in Western countries and in non-communist in his, in his lifetime, non-communist countries. So I think that's what we're going to see and what we'll kind of lay out over the rest of this week and next, how that looks and how that applies in the case of climate change.

[Speaker 2] (37:23 - 37:31)

So the term of technocracy is really not about the technology, but about the management through the technology.

[Speaker 1] (37:31 - 37:33)
Yeah. It's about theocracy, not the, not the tech. [Speaker 2] (37:34 - 37:34)
[Speaker 1] (37:34 - 37:35)
Right. Yeah.
[Speaker 2] (37:35 - 38:52)

I want, I want to push back on the climate change, not being empirically provable and just ask you to prove that statement a little bit. Sure. And, and based on what you said already I, I want to, I don't know if this is going to help or not.

And I want more than this, what I'm going to give you, but so one of the things that I have learned through nutrition study in the last two, three, four years, as I have embarked on this, this hyper carnivore thing is how much information out there in nutrition science is based on what's called the epidemiological study. And what an epidemiological study does is it looks at statistics with regard to usually one factor, maybe two across wide groups of population. And then based on that makes suppositions.

Uh, that is to say it is not a, a quality controlled laboratory controlled, uh, study. It is something that makes assessments based upon generalities and then tends to be quoted as if it's the same thing as a hard science. So most nutrition information out there, a large percentage of it there, well, this study, that study there, most of them are not actually hard science at all.

I'm thinking that's kind of what climate change is like. Yeah.

[Speaker 1] (38:52 - 45:31)

Yeah. Because climate science is measuring something that is maybe only slightly better understood than what is under the earth's surface or in the earth's seas. And that is what is in the earth's atmosphere.

And what it relies upon is not just observation as in the case of weather, right? So what you're, what you'll commonly learn and what I think is a fine logical distinction to make is that climate is weather over some large timescale and climate change over some large timescale can be observed at least indirectly through the observation of tree rings. And this, this goes even for us young earth creationists, this, you don't have to presuppose millions of years.

You can, you can draw it from diaries of, you know, weather by people who actually do observe the weather over time that for example, New England was colder in early colonial times than it is today. And you could observe that based on success or times for planting and harvesting for what are relatively speaking, nearly biologically identical crops. That would be an example.

Obviously that's indirect. The issue that you have is that the kinds of weather observation or scientific weather measurement do not exist such as we now have them in even rudimentary form until the late 19th century. So often the precision or the basis for comparison that you'll get, if you say like, this is, or let's say they say like the hottest day on record, right?

This is the hottest July 4th on record or something like that. Yeah. Is what they mean by on record is within the time that we've been measuring in a way comparable to today.

And because of that limitation, what is really being said in terms of climate change is climate change within a period of comparable observation. And what they really mean by climate change is man-made or it's usually said anthropogenic climate change. And so what you're dealing with here is comparison of one thing to another, and then assertion of agency and the initiating agent and what they mean by climate change, which is man- made, man-made, but especially Western man-made climate change is the advent of the industrial revolution, which in graphs where you observe, you know, let's say measurable carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

Okay. Which is obviously not happening on any kind of scientifically useful scale in 1782, right? So there aren't, you know, there aren't enough weather balloons in 1782 to measure the things that we're measuring in 1982, right?

But they will track the growth of carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere based on, you know, this or that measurement, you know, or this or that extrapolation. They will track that to the advent of the industrial revolution, beginning about the middle of the 18th century. Now, what they mean, what they really mean by this is that the industrial revolution, okay, is the burning of fossil fuels.

It is, it is empirical. It is historically accurate to say that in the same way that caffeine has an effect on discussion in European coffee houses in the 18th century, the ability to use along with the mechanical inventions to use them, the ability to use fossil fuels is going to power things that prior to that point are simply not possible. They just can't be done.

And so projects on a scale or with application, let's say the provision of inexpensive cotton clothing to, you know, the vast majority of the world's population at this point is simply not possible without using the biomass present in fossil fuels, but before the 18th century and certainly before the 19th century, very limited. What is actually at stake in climate change is therefore not some empirically verifiable statement about basically like pollution. That's what the average person understands by it.

And so you see that the same thing is being done here. That's happening with COVID is that we want to enlist your own best instincts and your sense that you're a good person. Same thing happened with the George Floyd riots, your sense that you're a good person in our cause.

So we're going to convince you that being a good person means driving an electric vehicle or, or being a frugal person at this point, because of gas prices means driving an electric vehicle. What's actually at stake is something is something else. What's actually at stake is the capacity of your nation to support itself, but also everyone else, because that's what industrialization does.

It enables you to get out of the trap that if you are a pre-modern society or a pre- industrial society, you're in with a population that is too large. The reason that the West doesn't succumb to the predictions about essentially like food apocalypse that the English priest Thomas Malthus asserted is because we began to provide for ourselves agriculturally and industrially in ways that he could not foresee. If we thoroughly de- industrialized that wouldn't be possible anymore.

Right. So also regarding Africa or lots of other places supported by Western food production. So the reason that manmade climate change is, although you could say, okay, maybe, yeah, it's, it's bad that you're belching all the smoke into the air.

You know, that's going to do something it's certainly going to do something to in places like Beijing or Los Angeles visibility or your capacity to, you know, see at various times like smog does exist. Smog is not what they mean by climate change by climate change. They mean the fact that you are using fossil fuels to power life is fundamentally a problem, right?

[Speaker 2] (45:32 - 45:44)

That's the green revolution that Yeah. So, so to try to tie this to the story you've been telling that means that we're headed for an amendment of prohibition against energy.

[Speaker 1] (45:45 - 46:22)

Right. Yeah. Yeah.

Which you're already seeing in jurisdictions that are more heavily managed than others. Right. So there, there are exceptions to this in the United States and I have been fascinated and, and sometimes, sometimes a little elated by the state of Florida relatively recently, but they're fun.

They're fun. They're fun. They are, they are different than a lot of places in that even things that you probably aren't paying attention to such as federal medical definitions of gender reassignment, even places like Texas and Wyoming are going along with that stuff.

[Speaker 2] (46:22 - 46:22) Yeah.
[Speaker 1] (46:22 - 49:12)

Yeah. So I, when I think about one of this, one of the, one of the spectrums within American politics, one that I think is more useful sometimes than left and right is just degrees of management. And sometimes that gets seen as like existence of bureaucracy or taxation or something.

And that's why people from Illinois often have very low self-esteem about their state because of levels of bureaucracy or, you know, property taxes or something. But I don't, I see that on a spectrum with other States. So a state like California that simply has more regulation, especially of an environmental nature than other States, right?

So you, you have to build certain charging capacities into new home construction in California, those kinds of things where they're trying to ban small gas engines. So you're going to have, you have to use, you know, an electric, you know, electric yard equipment, this kind of thing. Those are simply examples of prohibitions on capacities for work.

Yeah. Yeah. Because like, when you think about the difference between an electric 18 wheeler, right.

Attempted versus what most 18 wheelers actually are, which is diesel. You just have a vast difference in capacity. Those differences usually get phrased in terms of range.

So it's like, Oh, well I can go just as far with this electric SUV as you can with your, you know, gas or diesel SUV. That's not really the point because especially for the sake of the economy and distribution and logistics, commercial vehicles are a lot more important than personal vehicles. And I don't doubt that you can easily get around, you know, San Mateo in your Prius or your Tesla.

That's not the issue. The issue is how we get things from San Mateo or, you know, San Bernardino and a different part of the state to like Dallas. And the way that we do that really effectively is generally with diesel engines.

As those kinds of things get to be prohibited, reach and capacity and distribution is therefore prohibited. Work is therefore prohibited. Those are the stakes because the impact of climate change on people's everyday lives is going to be vastly different.

I mean, climate change, I'm referring to it as kind of like a movement or a set of priorities, sort of like when I talk about COVID, I'm basically never talking about like an actual virus. The capacities or the effect of climate change will be vastly different than what you're told. You're told a certain rather eschatologically tinged story.

What will actually impact your life is something vastly different.

[Speaker 2] (49:15 - 49:29)

You talk about the management of three different things. I think we should cover it. I want to shift directions in a way that's not on your list, but the types of management, perception, emotion, behavior, do you want to spend some time on those?

[Speaker 1] (49:30 - 52:39)

Yeah, I do. Because I think management and perception, maybe just to spell out what you're sold first is you are sold and there exists a sub-genre of science fiction at this point called climate fiction that is eschatological. I mean, it is dark and gruesome.

Some of it has been going on for a long time and credit where credit is due, even back in the 60s, there were people talking about the world getting way too hot. So global cooling was kind of a media meme, but it wasn't what everybody even thought at the time. So there's that.

There are images of polar bears stuck on ice flows that are getting smaller and smaller and they can't get back to land and where are they going to go when it's so hot. And there are going to be climate refugees. They're obviously basically exclusively from what we think of as a third world, but what in global terms would be the global South or the Southern hemisphere.

And those people are being inundated. It is a vision that is a combination of two things that are very biblical eschatologically, although used to very different purposes, which are fire and water. Everything is too hot.

The world is on fire. There are bushfires consuming Australia simultaneously. And that was actually just before COVID.

So Australia just had constant propaganda for two years, solid bushfires followed by COVID. Then once there is too much fire, then there will be too much water and things will be inundated. And you can find projections of this is inundated and that is flooded and Miami will go away and New York city will go away and everything.

And this is another thing where it's like conservatives joke about this, like, Oh, that would be great. The problem is stories like that have an actual effect on people's behavior and they will use the young. I mean, Greta Thunberg is not the only one going around.

There are student clubs and public high schools in places like Oakland, California, devoted to making young people panic about how the world is going to fall apart physically, not just morally, right? The worry that the old have physically, I won't have a world. You're robbing me of my childhood.

That is the management of perception is that if we don't do something, hell will come upon earth. It is almost a, it is a kind of revivalism of its own sort. So that's the management of perception is that if we don't take action, hell will come upon earth and it will be our fault and millions will die and millions will be displaced and the world will be destroyed except for maybe, you know, people's capacity to grow certain fruits farther North than they usually do.

Everyone else will lose. That's the perception that that is created both in fiction and in news media for the sake of climate change.

[Speaker 2] (52:39 - 52:41)
Yeah. A little Mad Max kind of action going on there. [Speaker 1] (52:41 - 55:13)
Yeah, right. Exactly. Right.

Right. Which, which not coincidentally based on what happened in the seventies twice, which was actually an economic issue and a political decision about the distribution of oil. We were given it as if it were just a fact of life.

And now in the Mad Max movies, people are doing insane things in order to get, get oil perception creates emotion. And so it's the of emotion that is extremely powerful. And this is where I think the right often does not understand or is, or if it does understand it intuitively, it is scared of this.

I saw this definitely with people's reactions to Trump on the right. It's not just that they disdained of him. They also didn't like the level on which he was talking to people.

There is a fright on the right, or maybe a perception. This goes along maybe with a hankering for respectability as a girl, serious person. So you would never deign to engage human emotion when you talk, but the, the left, and certainly the climate change movement is not at all scared of human emotion.

So these, these perceptions create emotions. I mean, people have, they have anxiety. I, I have listened to NPR shows doing the dirty work for the listeners that they don't want to do.

I have listened to local NPR shows. I sort of love because they'll, they'll cover my new show that you won't hear on in national coverage, but, but also you'll just get really strange people to call in. So somebody will call into the Brian Lehrer show on WNYC.

And I mean, actually, I mean, it could be an actor or whatever, or maybe it's real person calls in from, you know, whatever prospect park and talks about, you know, her intense anxiety about climate change and how she can't go out. And, and maybe in like 2018, I would have thought, Oh, that's definitely an actor. But since COVID I'm like, well, that's probably a real person actually, because she's, you know, she's, she's been scared.

She's been told to be scared and she's taking it seriously because I guess most people are actually equipped to listen to dogmatic as unproven assertions, which is something that we'll talk more about next week. But I think she's actually scared when she calls in and she says, you know, if the mayor doesn't do something about climate change, the city's going to be underwater.

[Speaker 2] (55:13 - 56:01)

I think she actually believes that you're tying of this to eschatology is really helpful. And, and to see the left as sort of the, the wild eyed profit, the fire and brimstone is coming. If we don't repent of our sins, it's just changed the reference of those, right?

It's no longer about say, your sexual morality is now about your, your carbon footprint, but it's, it really is no different in its, in its execution of these things, right? The thing I want to kind of try to squeeze back into our narrative here. And I really, I really like the concept of climate control as the narrative inside the casino, right?

So can you, can you mush this together or your climate change narrative and that old story about how we're in a casino? Can you, can you squeeze that together?

[Speaker 1] (56:02 - 57:35)

Yeah. So this is, this is basically just a perception of scarcity and, and the sense that something is scarce drives human behavior really powerfully. It makes people desperate.

It also makes it alluring. So scarcity is the point of spending the money or the time or something in order to get maybe, you know, comped in a way, if you put enough time, money, investment, whatever energy into the casino or the attainment of certain privileges or access to certain rooms that otherwise people don't get into. So maybe like the, the beginner level, you know, I'm slightly better than just the people that just walk through the door is, well, I'm actually a good person.

So, you know, I, I, I believe science such a key verb believe. Yeah. And then, and then I have the right feelings about these things.

Right. So like when I hear climate change and somebody says that with a straight face, I mean, my behavior is pretty well-regulated after so much time in, in like very just presumptively left-wing or I would, I would say orthodox managerially orthodox environments. I'm not going to laugh, but I mean, I think it's pretty funny.

So somebody, I mean, somebody like actually freaked out to me about how, you know, climate change is going to destroy whatever Sausalito or something. I, you know, I, I would, I would laugh on the inside, I guess.

[Speaker 2] (57:37 - 57:43)

I mean, why would you not just laugh at some point? Don't we just have to like treat the mad prophet? Like, like he's mad.

[Speaker 1] (57:43 - 58:26)

The reason I wouldn't laugh is because I think that I have been in too many different dogmatically assertive environments to take them seriously, but also to, I, I think I have been in too many different places that were in their own way, equally dogmatic, both church circles, academic circles, et cetera, that I understand it's both impolite and unproductive just to laugh in people's faces. That's why, because I think you have the luxury of, isn't that funny or isn't that ridiculous? If you feel comfortable and there just aren't that many places where I do.

So that's just not, you know what I'm saying? So that, so that's why. [Speaker 2] (58:26 - 59:11)

I do. I just wonder at some point since they're under a mass formation psychosis and I forgot about you bringing all the old stuff. Yeah, but that's what's going on, right?

I mean, they're, they're hypnotized, they're brainwashed and they think they're having a reasonable conversation as they believe in their feelings in front of you with all of their assertion. Like at some point you got to give up on reason in terms of this conversation. And I mean, just to smile and laugh, you're like, well, I, yeah, I, that's pretty funny what you just said there.

I don't believe it. And, and just leave them with nothing other than your, um, your flabbergastedness at how crazy you think they are, as opposed to trying to, you know, maintain the visage of reason when that's been, it's been scuttled.

[Speaker 1] (59:11 - 1:00:10)

I guess I don't think that, I mean, I don't think they're crazy. I mean, the, the, the, the narrative of mental illness or wellness presume something stable and I haven't found many stable things. So in the case where, I mean, I, I would say with the same attitudes, with the same certainty, I have heard people assert extremely religiously conservative things as I have heard people assert extremely serious claims about manmade climate change.

I mean, in person, I'm, I'm talking about all of this in person, not just on the internet. Then after a while, I don't really think of anybody as particularly crazy or anything. I just, I just realized that I'm not going to get anywhere.

And I get, maybe that's the difference. I don't know. Maybe I could think they were quick. I'm, I'm always trying to get somewhere with the people I'm talking to.
[Speaker 2] (1:00:10 - 1:00:40)

Yeah, me too. And I'm honestly asking the question at some point, isn't just laughing at their over playing of their hand, kind of all you got left at the very least you have to be, you have to put yourself in a place where you dismiss the assertion as an assertion. Like you've, you've got to call out, like, there's, this is, we're in a religious assertion game right now.

And we're not really talking about science, which they, yeah, observable things, right.

[Speaker 1] (1:00:40 - 1:02:37)

I mean, there's a basic distinction that, that Philip Melanchthon makes in his dogmatics, all the additions, but this is especially in the last one that I'm thinking of that I think is really helpful for talking about human knowledge. That is that we handle things in theology differently than every other human endeavor, because here we, we are dealing with the, what he calls the dicta, the simply stated things of God's self-revelation and Holy Scripture. That's something different from every other discussion, which is a matter of observation, experience, recording, growth, et cetera.

When things are therefore doubtful because they're matters of observation, experience, recording, et cetera, I have an attitude of, let's say, openness that I think is, is probably behind things like scientific endeavors or the notion of free speech, political deliberation generally. But the more I live, the less common I find that attitude. And I just kind of accept that people are going to be religious and assertive about practically anything.

And, and this happens in theology to where the person really has no ground for such certainty, such also the things that often accomplish, you know, accompany certainty negatively, such as anger, rage, rudeness, and so forth. Those, those are just, I just expect them to appear. So in that case with people whose dogmatisms either vary from mine or are stronger than mine or whatever, you know, laughter, laughter would be fun.

I guess it's, I guess it's just been trained out of me after this much time. Yeah. Yeah.

[Speaker 2] (1:02:38 - 1:02:55)

Yeah. Well, I think, I think what this back and forth has brought out though is that we're not dealing with crazy in the sense of they have no reasons. They're living in a very constructed story and that story makes sense from their perspective.

[Speaker 1] (1:02:56 - 1:02:56) Yeah. Right.
[Speaker 2] (1:02:56 - 1:03:11)

What we are dealing with is a heightened level of fanaticism about every story that there are no stories that are not fanatical right now. And if you're on the wrong side, then that becomes very, very evident. I think that's maybe what people mean when they say, oh, they're crazy is they're, they're fanatical.

[Speaker 1] (1:03:12 - 1:03:19)

Yeah. And it's a fanaticism or, or a set of obvious priorities and actions that you don't share.

[Speaker 2] (1:03:20 - 1:03:20) Yes.
[Speaker 1] (1:03:20 - 1:06:30)

And that, that also has to do with, with the last kind of management that we'll touch on today, which is management of behavior, which obviously, I mean, we did this kind of in an order from, from source to fruit, perception, emotion, behavior is, I'll just give you an example, which a lot of, some of this, some of this, this, this predates climate change being as big or as obvious in the media as it now is, but is this really, I mean, rather obviously religious and in its scrupulousness obsession with different kinds of recycling and always recycling and making sure that you compost and that things are correctly separated when you throw away, let's say your meal at your, you know, vegan cafe. That's something that if I just shift between two groups that I've spent a lot of time in, which is very left-wing, well-educated people.

And then Lutheran pastors is that when you get among Lutheran pastors who are whatever the average age is, whatever, 55, he's almost certainly a white male. So in modern American terms, that means he votes Republican. Those, those are two utterly opposed and mutually incomprehensible political groups.

So, so that's why I can't laugh anymore. Cause I don't know who I'm talking to. They'll just mock.

I mean, the group of Lutheran pastors will just mock the composting and the different kinds of plastics and this kind of thing, just, Oh, that doesn't matter. It all goes into the landfill. And maybe that's all true.

That truly doesn't matter that that's, that's not why you would scrupulously compost in front of your, you know, completely different group of human beings because the behavior is flowing out of some deep source. And that, that is, if you take away one thing from this week, not just that climate change has a long history, which we'll talk a little bit more about next week, but that when you're dealing with human beings, you're dealing with something. You're dealing with something very deep and, and generally not understood even by that person, let alone by others of which behavior is just the outflow.

So if I find this spring and it has a certain temperature, then what is the rock underneath? And what is the source of the water and what kind of pressure caused it to get all the way up to the surface? And why did it come out there?

And where is it going to go before it needs to see, these are all questions you want to know about people. And I think a lot of times, both when people think about present political realities, they think in terms that are just too easy, like, Oh, he's crazy. Or they think in terms that are naive and therefore make it seem like this person is just bad and can't be changed.

But if there's, if there's one lesson about everything from prohibition to the planned parenthood to climate change, it's that people are, are deep and hard to understand even to themselves, but they are therefore for that reason, very malleable because you can play on things in them that they themselves don't even understand in order to radically change them.

[Speaker 2] (1:06:31 - 1:07:44)

I think, uh, the recognition that people are deeply religious about what they're doing. And to see that what's happened is we have this narrative of atheism and, and it's not means it doesn't mean everyone's an atheist, but that we live in a practically atheist story in which at the best God is this far off power. Uh, sometimes maybe a nice feeling inside of you, but everything really does come down to your works in your, uh, in service to your local gods.

And, uh, especially then the individual who is strongly invested in composting, everything recycling this and that, uh, they're, they're serving the local gods, the gods of nature and firmly believing that by placating them with the right set of works, they can keep nature at peace, which I think one of the major points of Christianity is that nature is not going to be at peace. Like no matter what you do, uh, there's going to be some sort of, uh, repercussion that is sent upon you in order to, to break you. And, uh, maybe we can pick it up there next time.

Uh, as we go back to recycling the narrative, you're listening to a brief history of power. You know where to find us, or you wouldn't be here.

MadPx Mondays
A Brief History of Power
Every week Dr. Adam Koontz and Rev. Jonathan Fisk check their privilege against the backdrop of the wide and varied annals of history. You don‘t have to believe the Babel about the sons of Noah being a rosetta for understanding the postmodern global politic to agree that an intellectual dark web exists because history always rhymes, no matter what you try to do about it. You might not save the world by listening, citizen, but that doesn‘t mean you won‘t save someone. Because knowing is only the first half of the battle.