More Cognitive Dissonance


In my last post, I expressed my concerns regarding methane emissions along with the growing speed which our collective predicaments appear to be gaining. Then I explained precisely why we have thus far not made any real progress on these predicaments based upon our collective denial, which has a considerable amount to do with our basic human psychology. In conclusion, the reality is that very few people are actually paying an ounce of real attention. What they are paying attention to are all the distractions - the hype, advertising, marketing, and propaganda.

Today I bring more evidence of the increasing speed of these predicaments as I recall some of my articles which I had privately hoped might be a long way off into the future. I'm not one to try to evade uncomforting news. If I was, I most certainly wouldn't be reading and watching these articles, reports, studies, videos, and other media to try to understand and comprehend fully where we are and where we're headed. I focus on the trajectory and while I do read the hopium "success" stories about how great we are and all of the stupendous progress we've made, the trajectory does not show this - it shows instead our collective denial. 

Attempting to bring sanity to what is essentially insane can be difficult, for sure. I wrote this article about hydrogen sulfide four months ago with the thought that the likelihood of ever seeing these effects in my lifetime were remote. Then, last week I saw this article which describes the scenario, quote: 

"We are passing a tipping point," said Goes. "The food chain has been turned upside down."
The changes are trouble for the people of the Middle East, eastern Africa, and southern Asia. An estimated 150 million people around the region rely on fishing for food and economic development. Yet the surplus of jellyfish and salps and the decrease in diatoms has depleted the food supply for edible fish."
"There will be cascading effects that will probably affect food availability for several countries in the region," Goes said. "Noctiluca blooms, jellyfish, and salps are also posing huge challenges to desalination plants along the coast that supply freshwater to coastal Oman." Masses of jellyfish have been known to clog seawater intake pipes.
And the change to Noctiluca-dominated waters has an unusual ripple effect on national security. Noctiluca scintillans are bioluminescent: they glow when stimulated and this is especially visible at night. This trait can be used to track the movements of ships that churn up the plankton as they cruise. Sailors and pilots have been following such sparkling tracks for decades.

"There are many examples of phytoplankton running amok around the planet," said Norman Kuring, a scientist in NASA's Ocean Biology Group. "The Baltic Sea has a new summertime normal of toxic cyanobacteria blooms. Green algae routinely clog the waters around China's Shandong Peninsula. Sargassum is becoming a real headache in the Caribbean. Lakes in the United States and globally are becoming increasingly eutrophic. There are troubling suggestions by respected scientists that our oceans may be headed towards a hypoxic, bacteria-dominated future."

These words bring to light the possibilities of clogged intake pipes for desalination plants, but don't discuss this same issue for nuclear power or other major industrial plants which utilize water from the world's oceans for cooling purposes. 

The drought situation in several different world regions also make it clear that things are ramping up considerably quicker than most people think:

I bet you thought I was going to post a story about the wildfires in California, huh? Oh, alright: the Dixie Fire is shown in this article as the 6th biggest in California's history, but the fire is now the 2nd largest (this article only 3 days later) and the largest single source wildfire in California's history. It may stay in this category for at least a while, as to top the August Complex wildfire, it would have to be more than twice as large as it is now. 

This week also marks the release of the IPCC's newest assessment which has gotten quite a bit of attention considering what seems to be a more realistic look at the climate situation. A quick rundown here gives the basic ideas, but this picture probably suffices:

Perhaps the strangest part of writing this article is the grief felt at letting go of some of the thoughts I once held to be true, now realizing that these thoughts are also part of the Grand Illusion that befuddles so many of us; even those of us who comprehend it. There is arguably no greater example of this phenomenon than the different threads one can see on social media, and here is what I wrote today regarding one such thread on Twitter from the New York Times and the replies, quote: 

"Reading this thread is sadly like so many of the other topics floating around today. It doesn't give me a good feeling, that's for sure. The sheer level of disagreement is poignant, for starters. But it is also interesting to note how people think that "fighting" climate change will somehow make a difference. Very few seem to grasp that in order to "fight" climate change, we need to fight ecological overshoot, which means living lightly like people did back in the 1800's before electricity was widespread. All I can say is, "Good luck putting THAT genie back in the bottle."

I have generally found Twitter to be a complete waste of time (which is why I rarely spend much time there). Nobody actually wants to read anything; they want you to give them a "rundown" of facts or review of material which cannot be done in a few characters on a social media platform. This knowledge took me YEARS to achieve and most of these people are stuck into reductionist and silo mentality thinking which doesn't allow them to zoom out and look at the situation(s) from a wider perspective. They can't see the forest for the trees. It is indicative of what society is rapidly turning into - uninformed folks making poor (or worse) choices based upon false beliefs. I see lots of discussion centering around "100% renewable energy" and all the typical bargaining rather than simply accepting that attempting to keep civilization humming along REGARDLESS of what type of energy is powering it is a death sentence, to us and to a large percentage of all the other organisms (both plants and animals) we share this planet with. Incidentally, this article from Ugo Bardi has a considerable amount to say about this situation.

Speaking of Ugo, he wrote about another topic of cognitive dissonance just yesterday - the ongoing hype of hydrogen, this time about Aquarius Engines' "new" hydrogen engine. I'll have to add this one to my article about the hydrogen economy myth!

Live Now!


  1. Erik and I are totally on the same page and neither of us ever wanted to be right.
    Added here, thx Erik:

  2. Love those cartoons cutting-to-the-chase!

  3. Erik, I don't know if you're familiar at all with this site ( but it is a great source for discussions on various psychological phenomena (especially cognitive dissonance) and their impact on human perceptions/beliefs.


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