Our perilous attitude

In the Dec. 7, 1989, issue of the Reporter, you printed a prose work that I wrote called “Greenie.” The title and the work, referred to global warming, or the greenhouse effect, as it was known then.  
I still keep a copy of that work posted on my on-line, environmentally themed arts and literature web zine called The Earth Comes First (http://www.theearthcomesfirst.com).

I keep it posted there to remind me that, even though it is 24 years later and a lot has been accomplished, as you pointed out in the [Earth Day issue, 4-18], we have a long way yet to go. To me, the debate over global warming is very frustrating. I have been talking and writing about the reality of it for decades, and I believe that people are now finally coming to see that it is a real danger and that it will, if left unchecked, destroy most life on this planet. What gets me is that I also think the majority of the people understand this — yet they do little or nothing about it. They seem to think that the problem is one that science has to solve and not just ordinary people, so they go about their lives, speeding along in gas-guzzling behemoths, failing to recycle everything possible, and voting for climate-denying politicians. Their attitude seems to be, “Well, it won’t kill me so I am OK”.

This is a perilous attitude to take, and the assumption that the problem is for science to solve is greatly misguided.

Maybe you won’t die from global warming, but your life could be shortened perceptibly by it in many ways, from increased air pollution to the detrimental effects of an amped-up sun.

Thinking that you are helpless to do anything to save our planet is very wrong. Anything you do individually, from walking or biking instead of driving (even just once in a while) to recycling, is beneficial.  You just have to realize that we are all in this together.

We made this mess and only we can fix it — if it is not too late.


John Darling


Cleanup Rocketdyne now

In a recent article in the VC Star, “Santa Susanna Groundwater Cleanup Could Take Centuries” (by Mike Harris, April 18), the author attended a meeting where Mark Malinowski of the state Department of Toxic Substances Control stated, “No significant contamination has been found beyond the site’s boundaries.”

A member of the community, William Bowling, then stated, “In 2008, they removed three football fields of contaminated soil off the adjacent Sage Ranch Park property, and then last year the EPA found radioactivity in a well on the campus owned by the American Jewish University, which also adjoins the site.”

To this vital bit of schooling, Malinowski replied, “Our evaluation of the EPA evaluation showed that was a questionable result. So it could be [a] false positive. One of the things we are reassessing is: Do we need to resample that location?”
This bureaucratic passing the buck and blaming the EPA (or any agency with whom your agency, company or department is supposed to be working) for doing shoddy work and/or issuing “false positive” statements is more than infuriating. It ruins the public’s confidence in government, while further exposing the public to dangerous radioactive waste (in this case) for many years longer than necessary while these ridiculous blame-calling idiots figure out who among them is telling the truth.

It’s just a hunch, but I would guess that EPA-bashing corporations known for polluting our land, air and water have more than a hand in getting people like Malinowski to trash the EPA at a public meeting. The fact that the forces of industry have such influence at such high levels in our environmental protection agencies is truly alarming.

I would urge the state Department of Toxic Substances Control to work with the EPA and its findings and to STOP calling their results “false positives.” The facts are IN (about the extent of radioactive waste present in the soil in and around the Santa Susanna Field Lab). It’s time to GET TO WORK AND GET RID OF THIS CRAP FROM OUR ENVIRONMENT!

Justin Markman


DIGG | del.icio.us | REDDIT

Related Articles


Mr. Darling's admonishment to all is much needed. He left out one very important aspect however. At bottom, the cause of the massive dumping of CO2 that underlies global warming is the burgeoning human population. 7 billion is already way too many and unsustainable, yet people continue to over contribute to the gene pool with abandon. They claim it's no one's business but their own, much as they claim what kind of car they choose or any other aspect of the their life-style. This attitude is selfish, shortsighted and invalid. It's everyone's business.

If we do not control our numbers nature will do it for us. And we won't like it.

"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function."
Al Bartlett

Check out his lecture on the doubling time of population and what that means to our lifestyle.

posted by cassandra2 on 5/09/13 @ 07:21 a.m.

Oh yeah, that's right, another admonishment to all from the liberal wackos. Just what we all needed to hear. Another slap on the wrist from big government will fix everything. And cassandra2's solution seems to be some form of mandatory population control like they have in China. Pay heed, the government may soon be visiting your bedroom and putting a stop to what's going on there if it might result in another human being walking the face of the earth.

I, like many others in the scientific community, have a deep and abiding skepticism about "global warming." There is as much disagreement as there is agreement among scientists and climatologists about the theory of global warming. Even the proponents of global warming have changed the term they use to describe it from "global warming" to "climate change." This, in effect, recognizes the fact that the earth is constantly undergoing changes in temperatures and climate characteristics as it has been for the billions of years it has been in existence. The changes we are going through now are just another phase in the earth's continuous evolution. I hate to break the news to you, but recycling a few aluminum cans and plastic bags is not going to alter this process.

Further, there is absolutely no proof whatsoever that greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels and other sources are a contributing factor to so-called global warming. This is simply a farce manufactured by the environmental extremists to advance their agenda and propagated by their allies in the liberal media.

There are two types of people on this earth: Those who need other people to tell them what to think and those who think for themselves. I am happy to be a member of the latter category.

posted by rasta_man on 5/09/13 @ 12:07 p.m.


There is not disagreement among climate scientists as to global warming.

A cottage industry of bogus science, paid for by the Koch Brothers, Exxon and others, manufactured doubt by buying it. This public relations product undermines public awareness of the threat we face and catches the uninformed and superficial consumer of public discourse such as Mr. Rasta_man.

Further the evidence that the burning of fossil fuels is the chief contributor to increasing CO2 is compelling. When one actually looks at the science, it leaves little room for intelligent doubt. Likewise even less room that human activity is the source.

The change of the term global warming for climate change occurred because it was thought to be more descriptive, as the results of GLOBAL temperature increases could result in LOCAL cold events e.g. record snow fall or the like. Some people have trouble grasping the concept global.

The precipitous rise in average global temperature is unprecedented in at least the last million years and the evidence confirms this. It parallels the precipitous rise in human population and use of fossil fuels It is not a normal phase of the earth's evolution.

China is alway brought up when population policy is raised as a bogeyman. But China's one child policy was necessitated by the their terrifying overshoot of the carrying capacity of the country.

I have never advocated mandatory control, fought all my life for reproductive self-determination. A population policy which STOPS ENCOURAGING overshoot would avoid our ever having to be in China's unfortunate situation. We need a population policy to avoid eventual mandatory limits using other means before that option becomes our only recourse as was China's.

There are many types of people on this earth, and the ones who are the least helpful are knee jerk advocates of pseudo information that feels good but delays and discourages difficult and necessary changes we'd rather not make.

posted by cassandra2 on 5/10/13 @ 12:24 p.m.

cassandra2 needs to stop drinking the Kool-Aid. She has clearly bought into the theory of global warming because her sources of information are skewed (the environmental extremists and the liberal media).

The people who keep the drumbeat of global warming going are the environmental extremists who want bugs and birds to take precedence over human beings. They are the ones who want whole swaths of civilization to be reclaimed by the ocean because that is "nature's will." That's why I give them very little credibility in terms of a rational discussion of the issue of global warming. cassandra2 apparently believes every crock of crap they put out there.

I repeat. There is no evidence whatsoever that global warming is anything more than a cyclical phase of the earth's continued transformation. The earth has gone through long periods of cold climate as well as long periods of warm climate. The cold climate will be back. The history of the earth's evolution confirms this.

If they think by forcing everyone into a Prius that this is going to stop any change in the earth's climate, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you too.

On the issue of population control, this is nothing more than an academic discussion. No one in the United States, except for maybe a few loonies on the left, are going to go along with mandatory birth control or any government-mandated limitation on the number of children you may have in your family. Think about it. You would have every organized religion, including the Catholic Church, and the entire (and ever-burgeoning) Hispanic population taking to the streets to protest this. Any proposal such as this would be dead in the water in a matter of minutes.

posted by rasta_man on 5/10/13 @ 01:51 p.m.

You need reading improvement. I clearly stated I was not in favor of mandatory limits on family size. But I am in favor using the tax code, the media and other means of persuasion to stop encouraging population overshoot.

I'm aware that religions that promote births, possibly to keep their own numbers up, are an obstacle to a sane population policy. But someone has to beard that lion sometimes.

No, it is you who are ingesting the crap perhaps from the conspiracy folk on the Internet or Murdoch's faux journalism or the industry shills paid by the Kochs et. al.. The evidence of global warming is clear and convincing.

I never wanted to force everyone into a Prius but I have chastised them for making bad choices and suggested that they use their vehicles as little as is practical for them.

You have an unfortunate tendency to argumentum ad absurdum, a common characteristic of the extreme right, careening from one absurd scenario to another.

Stop for a minute and do some real research. Most recently I checked into a DVD from the Great Courses series called Earth's Changing Climate. Professor Wolfson of Middlebury College. In far more detail than there's room for here, he showed in obsessive detail the evidence compiled over the years from international climate experts that a. the Earth is warming on the average b.it parallels the increased use of fossil fuels and the increase in human population c. all three factors experienced a precipitous rise in all three factors during the last thirty/forty years.

You on the other hand are mouthing slogans and bromides of a political nature which have no scientific basis.

posted by cassandra2 on 5/10/13 @ 04:16 p.m.

Mr. King's post is a diversion into the irrelevant.

I never advocated Eugenics, nor any kind of "undesirables" being singled out.

He obviously needs reading improvement.

A course in logic would help too.

posted by cassandra2 on 5/10/13 @ 04:22 p.m.

Thanks for your posts, King and the additional background information you've provided on the topics. As I've stated before, cassandra2 is a little too fond of chugging the Kool-Aid. She must get most of her information from MSNBC and extremely biased sources like the National Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and Earth First! These organizations thrive by sucking gullible little people like cassandra2 into their little webs of lies, exaggerations, and deceit.

When you are looking at an issue, I think it's important to examine it from all angles and test the information that is provided instead of accepting it at face value like cassandra2 does. As I said before, some people need to be told what to think. I think cassandra2 fits into this category well.

posted by rasta_man on 5/10/13 @ 06:45 p.m.

Nonsense you both believe in flailing and bashing and have no intention of examining the science in an unbiased manner. You start with an agenda and defend it was illogic and name calling.

Yes, the military is the one of the biggest entities using petroleum. That changes nothing about the science of climate change.

Yes, depleted uranium causes birth defects and other bad things. That is not relevant to CO2 pollution.

In the context of two party politics there are no good guys, only lesser evils. I voted for Jill Stein. Who did you vote for?

You sound like the conspiracy nuts from the Tea Party that infiltrated the local Occupy Movement and rendered it useless chasing its tail about smart meters.

posted by cassandra2 on 5/10/13 @ 07:37 p.m.

While I have no hope of making headway with the mindless bashing and throwing out pseudoscience links of the self-important fools posting above, I do care about this issue and the future of our planet. I won't make a list of links as it is my experience that readers don't open links. Please notice that none of theirs references a respectable science source or journal.

The science of global warming is solid. It's also deeply inconvenient. That's why there is so much resistance and some folks will use any means to avoid facing them.

posted by cassandra2 on 5/10/13 @ 08:07 p.m.

Oh come on, cassandra. Now you're reciting Al Gore's mantra (the inconvenient truth), which was nothing more than a snow job on the American public that made Gore lots of money because people like cassandra bought it hook, line, and sinker.

Another inconvenient truth that Mr. Gore doesn't want you to know about is that his mansion in Tennessee uses 20 times the amount of energy than the average American home uses. What a friggin' hypocrite!

posted by rasta_man on 5/10/13 @ 09:44 p.m.

I attempted to post a rebuttal of rasta and king's idiotic drivel yesterday, but the editor denied my post because I went over the word limit, and and also used a naughty word, one that rhymes with bullchit. I am not going to go to the trouble of editing and recapitulating because, as you well know, Cassandra, it is pointless to argue with ill-informed ideologues.

(Btw, rasta, you imply that you are a member of the scientific community. Who granted you your PhD. and what field is it in? I am sure that it is not climate science.)

However, Cassandra, I do not share your sense of futility at posting links. Who knows whether people open them or not? Perhaps there may be some readers who are curious about the bases for your opinions, or would genuinely like to know more about the debate, so I am going to offer a few links.

On climate:

Mark Lynas
Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet

James Hanson
Storms of My Grandchildren

Peter Ward
Under a Green Sky: Global Warming, the Mass Extinctions of the Past, and What They Can Tell Us About Our Future

William F. Ruddiman
Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum: How Humans Took Control of Climate

and, finally, a book about how the corporate interests that control this kleptocracy are spreading lies such as the ones uttered by rasta and king in a desperate attempt to conceal the real scientific facts from the public:

James Hoggan
Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming

as well as
Naomi Oreskes
Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming

On population

A YouTube lecture by physics professor emeritus Al Bartlett

Arithmetic, Population, and Energy

and the classic book on the topic, the most important book ever published, imo

William R. Catton, Jr.

and a subsequent essay by Catton about denial

I would urge you to read Frosty Woolridge's 9 part series on overpopulation, commencing here:


Nobel Laureate Dr. Henry W. Kendall said, “If we don’t halt population growth with justice and compassion, it will be done for us by nature, brutally and without pity – and will leave a ravaged world.”

That sums it up in a nutshell.

posted by acerbas on 5/11/13 @ 04:11 p.m.

Addenda: a couple of articles that just popped up today



A human population approaching 7 billion can be maintained only by desolating the Earth. If wild habitat is given over to human cultivation and habitation, if rainforests can be turned into green deserts, if genetic engineering enables ever-higher yields to be extorted from the thinning soils—then humans will have created for themselves a new geological era, the Eremozoic, the Era of Solitude, in which little remains on the Earth but themselves and the prosthetic environment that keeps them alive.
~ John Gray

“When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money.”
~ Cree prophecy

posted by acerbas on 5/11/13 @ 04:38 p.m.

What idiotic rejoinders, a bunch of links to propaganda blogs and bogus books with no reputation for accuracy nor scientific merit whatever put out by a brace of Tparty ignoramuses.

Apparently an elitist is anyone who knows anything about the issues involved.

posted by cassandra2 on 5/12/13 @ 10:46 a.m.

No, cassandra, an elitist is a pretentious ignoramus who thinks they know more about the issues involved than the rest of the population. Then they want the government to implement all of their wacky beliefs on their behalf.

Reading yours and acerbas's posts makes me think we've found two classic examples of elitists among us.

posted by rasta_man on 5/12/13 @ 11:09 a.m.

@ The King

You can stick a fork in cassandra, King. She's done!

You see that's what happens with these liberal wackos. They act all high and mighty and preachy-preachy until you start arguing the facts with them and then when their alternative universe can't withstand all the reality checks, they simply go running for cover.

It's kind of like what's going on right now with the Benghazi investigation. Little by little, all these people who used to work in the Obama Administration are coming forward and speaking the truth. Obama and Hillary are now being exposed for what they really are -- liars and manipulators! And you'll notice they've both taken cover and have nothing to say on the matter.

This is a mini-Watergate in the making and is certain to get much bigger before it's over.

posted by rasta_man on 5/13/13 @ 01:02 p.m.

C'mon y'all. EVERY argument you skeptics bring up has been refuted by GRIST in their "how to talk to a climate skeptic". Their main source is RealClimate, hosted by actual climate scientists. I DARE you to check it out. http://grist.org/series/skeptics/

posted by ENVIROSCIGUY on 5/13/13 @ 08:59 p.m.

@ acerbas
So, which Elitists should be given the power to decide how many humans should be allowed to live?

Which ones should be given the awesome power to run the economy?

Al Gore, Obama, Hillary, Ted Turner, Warren Buffet...which Limousine Liberal would you prefer?
posted by The King on 5/12/13 @ 08:02 a.m.

Another straw man argument, which appears to be the only sort of fallacious reasoning that you and your pals are capable of. Show me where I said that anyone should have the power to decide how many humans should live, or run the economy, for that matter. That's sort of like asking who should have to power to determine the speed of light or the strength of gravity. Both of those issues will ultimately be decided by nature, which is a convenient metaphor for the operations of the laws of physics that govern everything.

As Gaylord Nelson, the father of Earth Day observed, "The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, not the other way around."

The physiocrats realized over 200 years ago, without the inputs from natural capital, that is, nature's bounty - air, soil, water, minerals, etc. - a human economy is impossible. So what happens when organisms, including people, draw down all the natural capital? This: http://dieoff.org/page80.htm

Nature, not humans, decided how many reindeer would survive (eventually, none) and she will do the same with respect to humans, as we polish off the remaining oil, soil, fossil aquafers, etc.). No need to invoke Obama, Nature bats last. http://guymcpherson.com/

So you doubters can bleat all you want. You can have your own opinions but you can't have your own facts, and the facts conclusively prove that warming is real, anthropogenic, and will most likely result in the demise of our destructive species. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

"Humanity is just a virus with shoes."
~ Bill Hicks

posted by acerbas on 5/13/13 @ 10:27 p.m.

The writer did forget one BIG thing and that is the IGNORANCE of right wing trolls such as is displayed in the idiotic comments above. Frankly, I don't give damn if these moron die out. The sooner they go suck on a tailpipe the better. Once their stupidity is cleansed from the gene pool the better it will be for mankind.

posted by jackpoint on 5/14/13 @ 04:40 a.m.

@ jackpoint

jackpoint is your typical misinformed, Kool-Aid chugging, left wing troll who has nothing intelligent to add to the conversation, so he does what most wild-eyed liberals do when they're backed into a corner -- call people names.

These are the people, mind you, who claim to be so tolerant, forgiving, and open-minded. But, this whole attitude changes when their wacky ideas are challenged by scientific facts and figures. like what has been presented by The King.

As soon as this happens, they turn into crazed, maniacal, foaming-at-the-mouth lunatics (like jackpoint) who want their adversaries to "die out," "suck on tailpipes," and be "cleansed from the gene pool." So much for tolerance and open-mindedness, eh?

posted by rasta_man on 5/14/13 @ 02:12 p.m.

@ acerbas

Oh, so humanity is nothing more than "a virus with shoes," eh, acerbas?

This speaks volumes about how the left regards human beings. To them, lower forms of life (like animals, bugs, plants, and trees) take precedence over living, breathing human beings who were created in God's image and likeness and have immortal souls.

This would certainly explain the left's love affair with abortion where human life is snuffed out on a daily basis in the name of not creating an inconvenience to the mother who is the one who decided to engage in the sex act to begin with that caused the baby to be created.

It would also explain the position of organizations like the Sierra Club, the Surfrider Foundation, the National Resources Defense Council, and Earth First! when it comes to protection of so-called "endangered species," even if it comes at the expense of human beings and the creation of jobs and economic opportunity.

posted by rasta_man on 5/14/13 @ 02:24 p.m.

Wonder how much Rasta puke is being paid to act like a moron? Wait, I just re-read all her idiotic posts! That is no act! And I am sure no one would pay her anything because she is a simple minded TeaBot sucking up to whomever she sees as king. Do us a favor: Leave the gene pool.

posted by jackpoint on 5/14/13 @ 05:50 p.m.

RastaPuke, go suck a tail pipe. I am sure you have a lot of experience SUCKING.

posted by jackpoint on 5/14/13 @ 05:51 p.m.

@ The King

Yeah, a classic example of the limousine liberal mentality was at the last Academy Awards when all the entertainment industry elitists (actors, directors, producers, etc.) flew on their Learjets to L.A. from New York, sending enormous amounts of jet fuel exhaust spewing into the atmosphere.

Then they promptly hopped into their rented Priuses for the short half-mile trip from their Beverly Hills hotels to the Kodak Theater for the Awards show. What a bunch of phony-baloney hypocrites!!!

And these are the people that Obama is always inviting to the White House for his endless galas and fundraisers. Even though he has shut down the White House to the average American because of his sequester cuts.

posted by rasta_man on 5/14/13 @ 05:59 p.m.

Are any of you interested in a serious debate on population or climate? I guess not. Duh...

I get much better from my high school students.

posted by ENVIROSCIGUY on 5/14/13 @ 08:37 p.m.

@ Jack-off Point

Why don't you go do what you do best and pound your pud, Jack-off Point? Your juvenile comments are not worthy of a response from me.

And ENVIROSCIGUY, you are borderline illiterate. You say you want to debate global warming, but you've not yet offered one scintilla of evidence of its existence. Yet, The King and I have presented lots of information that counters your claims and you refuse to acknowledge any of it or even read it. So, I have to conclude that you're an illiterate.

posted by rasta_man on 5/14/13 @ 10:22 p.m.

@ The King

ENVIROLIEGUY will never respond to your questions/challenges because he has no game whatsoever. He's content living in his little academic bubble where everything would be peaches and cream if only stupid mankind would adhere to his lame theories about the world.

He's a lost cause, bro, but your attempts to educate him to the realities of the world are commendable.

posted by rasta_man on 5/15/13 @ 10:16 a.m.
Post A Comment

Requires free registration.

(Forgotten your password?")