Talk between Sam Carana (SC), Guy McPherson (GM), Kevin Hester (KH) and Pauline Schneider (PS) for Nature Bats Last Show, October 6, 2020.
GM: We are delighted to have the inimitable Sam Carana on today’s show. We submitted written questions to Carana and went back-and-forth a couple times to pursue follow-up questions. Our frequent guest, Pauline Schneider, will be supplying the voice of Dr. Carana. You can find Carana’s blog at Arctic hyphen news dot blogspot dot com. Dr. Carana posts anonymously about abrupt, irreversible climate change. To preserve her anonymity, we will refer to her as female, Sam, and Dr. Carana. A caveat is in order: In doing so, we are acknowledging our respect for Carana’s work, and we are not indicating Carana’s credentials or gender. Dr. Carana, welcome to Nature Bats Last on the Progressive Radio Network.
1. GM: How long have you been disseminating information about abrupt climate change to the public under the Sam Carana moniker?
If I had to pick a year when I became particularly active on abrupt climate change, it would be 2007. I wrote a post in early 2007 with the title ‘ten dangers of global warming’. I mentioned tipping points and the possibility that global warming could drive humans into extinction, in particular as more animals and plants that humans depend on would disappear.
In 2007, I also wrote ‘Ten recommendations to deal with global warming’. I started more blogs and groups that year, partly as an inventory and partly as a way to encourage discussion. In 2007, I also started to recommend local feebates as the best way to make a difference.
In September 2007, I was shocked to see Arctic sea ice fall to a record low. At that time, I was also looking at how much methane there is in the Arctic Ocean. In those days, few people were worried about loss of Arctic sea ice, let alone that they were worried about eruptions of methane from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean or that they were making links between the two.
|From early presentation by Dr. Maslowski (Red and blue dashed lines show linear trends for 1996–2007)|
2. SC: How could I not want to share this? It's the most important issue we're all facing and it’s getting very little attention, which makes it self-obvious for me to present the information in the way I do, quickly, concisely, and with links that point at sources, and without diversions and without distractions.
That’s also why I share information on a free blog, without asking fees and without advertising. If you care about the message, then you want people to hear about it, so you don’t need to get paid to share the message, and you want to reach people without hurdles or diversions.
This is something that affects everyone, so the reasons to share it are contained in the message. I feel compelled to share what worries me, after all, it’s the most important message ever posted and there is so much urgency to act on the unfolding catastrophe which could soon leave us no time or room to act at all.
|from earlier post|
3. SC: If anonymous means that no author name is added, then I am doing the opposite. I actually do like to add the name Sam Carana when I create content, and I also like to add links to sources. That makes it easy to find things back, to see in what context they were used, etc.
But I understand what you mean, I don’t like to add further details, because I want people to focus on the message, rather than on the person who happens to be carrying the message. Adding personal details can result in diversions that can in turn delay the necessary action.
Also, I do welcome discussion. When I post on facebook, people can easily comment and make suggestions, and this can lead to changes in the content that can be made quickly, often instantly. Communication can be quick and direct, I mean it’s easy to take part in discussions on facebook, there’s no need to go through bureaucratic processes or to be wealthy or to be part of an elite or a privileged group, so that makes it more democratic.
4. SC: That's the threat if things keep going as they are now, Earth will become similar to Venus. See the image below, from an earlier post.
|from earlier post|
5. GM: You rarely submit to interviews. Why did you agree to join us in this on-air conversation?
5. PS: Just a note, these questions were sent to Sam previously, this is Pauline speaking now, now I'm reverting back to Sam.
5. SC: Just like you, I like to look at the bigger picture. Our conclusions are based on scientific findings and we clearly reference those findings and add links to original sources. And we both have to conclude that there are huge threats; threats of such a magnitude, severity and imminence that they make me think: "This should be frontpage news every day!"
Yet, what happens is this: Events are downplayed in the media or they get little or no attention at all. This has now been going on for well over a decade, even as the problems are escalating before our very own eyes. We're all demanding honesty on issues of this importance.
So, it feels good to be among people who do see the importance of such issues and events, and who are familiar enough with them, as well as with my posts, to seriously discuss things and comment on my work, so I have been looking forward to this conversation.
|from earlier post|
6. KH: Have you noticed any evidence of climate-change research data being tampered with?
6. SC: Not so much tampering with data, but what I see a lot is misrepresentation of the data, downplaying of the implications or simply ignoring things altogether. Most people will never look into the data, many only read headlines of news reports, or not even that.
Politicians have also blocked a lot of research that could have provided precious data that we now lack. This has contributed to the dire situation we’re in now, and there still are few data on, say, methane releases in the Arctic. What is also lacking is research into possible action to improve the situation. I have long suggested that politicians who inadequately act on the unfolding climate catastrophe should be brought before the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the Netherlands.
|from earlier post|
|from earlier post|
Slowing down of AMOC will result in an increasing amount of hot water accumulating underneath the surface.
As storms grow stronger, chances increase that a sudden inflow of hot salty water will enter the Arctic Ocean and reach sediments at the seafloor that contain huge amounts of methane.
8. SC: Politicians and news media are often ignoring the temperature rise, or downplaying the dangers. Instead, the precautionary principle should be applied, and this should be applied on three dimensions to issues such as methane eruptions from the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean.
The second dimension is probability. Methane hydrates destabilize as temperature rises. So, as temperatures continue to rise, the likelihood grows that such eruptions of methane will occur.
The third dimension is imminence. The longer we wait, the more urgent the threat becomes, as the temperature rise doesn't wait for us.
|from earlier post|
9. GM: I want to back up just a little bit and have the three of us discuss, and I'm sorry that Sam isn't here to contribute further to the conversation, but that's the nature of the beast when we have a recorded show and he's submitting written responses. Sam indicated there's "not so much tampering of data, but misrepresentation of the data, downplaying of the implications or simply ignoring things altogether." Kevin, I think you had something specific and important in mind when you asked that question. Can you follow up?
GM: In fact, Jason Box said: "If even a small fraction of the Arctic sea floor carbon is released to the atmosphere, we're f'd." So, it's even more dire than you just indicated, and you're absolutely right, since then he's been backpedaling as if he was looking over a cliff.
KH: I think in a lot of ways, you come into, what's happened to you personally, comes into the equation for all the other scientists, you put your head above the parakeets and see, you're in major trouble, and all you got is shit and abuse and attacks, which is exactly how this patriarchy works, if the patriarchy doesn't agree with what you're saying, it smashes you, because it's trying to keep itself alive as long as it can, like a leech living off a dependent organism, so what I think is that what happened to you is making a lot of scientists more circumspect about delivering their message.
PS: This is Pauline speaking, I think she did that deliberately. I think she would have said 'we were mistaken', if she wanted people to stop looking, but I think she was basically saying 'I'm being told to lie, you can find the information on your own, it's there'. Russians have learned, for many decades, to read between the lines, Americans still don't know how to do that. I don't know about the rest of the European countries, but Russians know how to read between the lines and she was trying to teach us how to do that.
GM: And he points that out on a youtube channel that gets very little attention, and as a consequence, he doesn't get a lot of negative attention for making statements such as that. Not that in my mind he should be particularly concerned, what has he got to lose?
GM: Right, I think we're taking time away from the original topic, but I can't let this go. If Scientists Warning is not a deep-state operation, then I can't imagine what it is, because every time I receive an email from Mark Austin, who claims to be, and almost certainly is, a NSA-contracted spy, every time I receive an email message from him, the first person who received the email message is Stuart Scott, always, every single time, it doesn't matter what the subject matter is. And Stuart Scott is part of the group that is doing hit pieces on me. He asked me to submit to an interview with him, so I did an audio interview that lasted several hours, and he cut it down to two short pieces, extracting only pieces that made it look as if I was in agreement with him or that I didn't look particularly intelligent. I asked him about it later and he ran screaming from the room,which was no particular surprise. Anyway, I think that's very disappointing on the part of Scientists Warning.
GM: And not only that,the first demand they make, Extinction Rebellion, is complete honesty by the government. Oh yeah, that's going to happen! When has any government been honest, about almost anything? I can't imagine that your first demand, and they're counting on that, it's insane!
PS: Pauline here again. I think that what the deepstate does, or the governments of the world do, is they find these small grassroots groups that seem to have some promise and that are going in the direction that they want them to go into, and then they support them, or steer them, in the direction that they want them to go into. And if they start veering off, then they cut them off. For instance, if you start looking at all the little groups, the ones that ended up successful are the ones that are ridiculous. The ones that failed are the ones that were on the right track. I'm talking about Occupy Wall Street, it was making a difference, it was actually teaching people how to work laterally, rather than this normal hierarchical pyramid that we're used to, as if we have to have a daddy at the top, telling us what to do, we need daddy to protect us, to take care of us. That's garbage! Every anarchist, every agricultural anarchist for millenia knows that's garbage. We know it's garbage, we don't need a daddy to tell us the right from wrong. As a group of people who care about each other, we know how to take care of each other. The corporations don't want us to do that, because they want to monetize all of that.
10. SC: I like everyone to take a good look at how dire the situation is, and to act with integrity and compassion. The Climate Plan that I recommend focuses on government action and prefers implementation through local feebates. Here are the Ten Principles behind the Climate Plan:
- The precautionary principle, which should be applied broadly and on three dimensions, as I pointed out before. So, regarding severity, probability and imminence. This should lead to action, not inaction, and such action should aim to reduce the dangers.
- Relevance. The media often ignore climate change and seek to divert attention to trivial matters. In my posts, I deliberately point at issues that are often overlooked or downplayed, yet that can be extremely relevant in regard to climate change, especially from the perspective of the precautionary principle. In posts, I typically conclude that the situation is dire and calls for immediate, comprehensive and effective action.
- Science. Where there is doubt, science-based analysis should be undertaken, and this should include more scientific research where needed. Research should be relevant and to the point, it should continue on an ongoing basis, and it should incorporate the importance of the precautionary principle. Where more scientific research is needed, this should not be interpreted as a reason to delay action, as that would violate the precautionary principle.
- Healthcare workers typically pledge to “do no harm”. Politicians at the Paris Agreement also pledged to avoid harm. Again, this principle should not be interpreted as a reason to remain passive and to delay action. The precautionary principle makes it imperative for action to be taken, so I like to go one step further and interpret this principle as ‘Health is good!’
- Global agreement, local implementation. It’s great to have global agreement, but implementation can best take place locally. Each community should reach each of their targets independently and genuinely (i.e. without buying or fabricating offsets or credits domestically or abroad). If not, action from government in the respective area and beyond should follow.
- Democracy. Each individual should take responsibility, and be given that responsibility. This means people need to be well-informed and made conscious of their responsibility. Where people still don’t bother to act responsibly, local feebates can help everyone becoming effective in combating climate change.
- Open information. Share information to enable people to make decisions. I like to make people think. I welcome discussion. Unlike politicians who take decisions out of the hands of people, I like people to decide for themselves and I like that to be a well-informed and thought-through decision.
- Money should not overrule our lives. We should not trade away our principles. Feebates do not necessarily have to be financial. For example, if a local council adds extra fees to rates for land where soil carbon falls, while using all the revenues for rebates on rates for land where soil carbon rises, then biochar effectively becomes the currency that can help improve the soil's fertility, its ability to retain water and to support more vegetation. That way, real assets are built.
- The pre-eminence of principle. While it would be nice if there will be a good outcome, we should base our actions on principle. We should act because it is the right thing to do.
- Open mind. Be prepared for the unexpected. Be prepared to change your mind, if needed. Keep discussing and reconsidering these principles. I’ve learned that there still is a lot to be learned and discovered.
|from earlier post|
GM: Right, now that you said it, I think the correct quote goes like this: "It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society." In any event, that's exactly where we are. This is a profoundly sick society. The links between governments and corporations have been clearly illustrated for more than a hundred years. The existence of a shadowy group of characters in the United States and probably beyond and their influence on governmental decisions has been described for more than fifty years by reliable sources and all of this indicates that we do not have an emphatic, compassionate group of people who are making significant decisions. So, that's my biggest issue with the Climate Plan. On the surface, these ten steps make perfect sense. But we don't have a society that would allow for implementation of such a plan. I don't know how long Sam has been proposing the Climate Plan, but it's been a while, it's been long enough that the occasional billionaire knows about it, in fact, they probably all know about it, because this is how they make a whole lot of their billions, it's through knowledge. So, surely a bunch of people like Bezos and Buffet and Gates know about the Climate Plan, and they choose to put their money elsewhere, probably because they know that the Climate Plan cannot possibly be implemented and also allow them to retain their enormous privilege.
KH: I think the responses from the billionaires on the planet to the crisis is indicative of how bad it is. We're talking about going to another uninhabitable planet. It's insane. These people collectively have trillions of dollars. If money could fix this predicament, there actually is enough money, they could all tip in, whatever it took, if money could do it, but that ship sailed many, many years ago.
GM: And not only that, these are the folks who will have the ear of the government. If it just meant creating money, which is what we do every day, out of thin air, then we would create the money for it, wouldn't we? So, I don't think this is a monetary issue at all, I think this is an ethical issue, a profoundly ethical issue that - as a consequence - this society will not address, because this society is overwhelmingly controlled by sociopaths and psychopaths
KH: Yes, it's a mental health issue. These people are very ill, they're very unwell, they are pathologically unwell, and they have their hands on the steering wheel, the accelerator and the digimeter button. Another thing about the Climate Plan is looking after each other. This is what we've been advocating the whole time that we've been along this journey, these are the good old days, they are going away rapidly.
GM: Absolutely. Sam makes a statement about health care workers typically pledging to do no harm and politicians at the Paris Agreement also pledged to avoid harm. I was sent a paper today, and I immediately threw it in the garbage, the email garbage, never to be seen again, because the paper in the peer-reviewed literature was indicating that, if the global temperature rises from 1C to 1.5C above the 1750 baseline, then we are goingto be in trouble, as if that hasn't already happened, many years ago. Here again is the complete disconnect between the compassion shown by the Climate Plan of Sam Carana and the reality of what's happening out there in the world.
PS: . . sponsored by the world governments!
KH: Another thing that the discussion we just had brings up is that the peer-reviewed literature is ignoring the inertia in the climate system. There is a massive lag between the emissions that are in the atmosphere and where we are today. Talking about 1.5C is complete bullshit, because if you go back to 1750 we're already there. Also, there's been a lot of anthropogenic warming before that. Just look at agriculture and civilization, and burning of things, there's a lot of things that are ignored. This just goes to show how institutionalized the peer-reviewed system is.
GM: Right, absolutely! Ok, I want to take just another quick look or two at a the Climate Plan. Item 6, democracy. "Each individual should take responsibility, and be given that responsibility. This means people need to be well-informed and made conscious of their responsibility." Pauline, would you care to comment on the notion of democracy and when it was birthed, how long it lasted and how important it was at its time.
GM: In theory, there is no difference between a theory and practice, but in practice there is.
PS: So, in theory democracy was a wonderful idea, and I think it worked for a little bit, but you know humans are like cats and it's like herding cats, and I do appreciate this, because actually what she [Sam] meant to write is anarchy. In anarchy, each person, each individual does accept responsibility, not only for themselves, but also for the people around them, that's what anarchy is. Democracy is everyone gets a voice and we just throw it all in the kitty, you can do the maths, we see it in this country every day. We have a mess of voices and nobody cares about other people, it's all about me, me, me. But she's actually talking about true anarchy, which is people being together responsibly, educated in the fact.
GM: Edward Abbey wrote frequently about the correspondence between anarchism and democracy, he basically said they are the same thing. Do we need more democracy? You bet your sweet betsy. Through anarchism.
KH: The word democracy is very old, but the version that we have now, this contemporary version, has been bastardized by the monetary system and the corporations. When I hear the word democracy now, it makes me puke, because look at the democracy that you have in the United States, that's the very best democracy that money can buy, and if you've got the money, you own it.
GM: And he made that statement in 1977. We've learned a little bit about climate change since 1977, and he was given the Nobel Prize last year, right. And in those ensuing years, we have actually learned quite a bit about climate change.
GM: To be fair, he got the Peace Prize before he dropped all these bombs.
KH: Yeah, that was the deal.
GM: Exactly. OK, I want to make a comment on item 7 of the Climate Plan. "Open information. Share information to enable people to make decisions. I like to make people think. I welcome discussion. Unlike politicians who take decisions out of the hands of people, I like people to decide for themselves and I like that to be a well-informed and well-thought-through decision." Well, he says it right there in item 7, I like to make people think. Unlike politicians who take decisions out of the hands of people. Governments don't like people to think, it's really bad for the government when people think, look at the American cultural revolution in the 1960s and 1970s. What was a serious threat to the continuation of 'life-as-normal' for the sociopaths, the millionaires - at the time, that was a lot of money - who are pulling the strings of empire in the United States. We can't have people thinking, that's the worst thing ever to happen to any oligarchy of a country. So, that's just not going to happen, Sam, I'm sorry, I appreciate these great ideas, but the implementation, I just do see it ever happening in this country or any country in the world, because governments throughout the world have pretty much revealed themselves to be all headed in the same direction, which is the direction that the really wealthy people want the country to go.
KH: I like the expression that you used when we first met that we're all born into captivity. Just like most liing organisms on this planet are born into captivity. I read a report the other day that said that we've lost 68% of the wildlife on the planet in the last fifty years, and of course most of that would have been in the last ten of that fifty.
GM: Right, and it's accelerating. As we've discussed many times, the exponential function is something difficult for us to wrap our minds around, for any of us, because we're not hard-wired that way, evolution by natural selection did not in any way set us up to deal with the exponential function, to understand it by any stretch of the imagination.
KH: I believe that capitalism is a vortex of sociopathy and psychpathy to the top. So, the longer it went on, of course, the more unwell and sick the leadership would be, and that's where we're at, you know, in New Zealand, the Green Party members in New Zealand voted an economist to be their co-leader, you know, it's like voting for thieves.
GM: I guess the vote there for all of us is quick or painful. For death. Since we're voting for death.
PS: I understand that, a lot of our conversations look at these ideas and suggestions about what we could do to save our but, and we're able to really critically think our way through them with actual analysis that shows that this is not going to happen, it hasn't happened in the last forty years that we have been asking for these things to happen, they haven't happened yet, Einstein reminded us that, if you keep repeatng the same thing and expect a different result, that is the definition of insanity. What could we do then? There are things we could do. Maybe not to save our buts, but to have a gentler landing, or crach, or fall, whartever you want to call it, off the edge. You know, every day we are dealing with people who are homeless or houseless, every day we are dealing with people who are suffering from terrible diseases that they didn't ask for, every day people are losing their families, they are losing their jobs, their homes, I feel like what we could ask our goverments to do is to address that, that would be a real thing they could do. Instead, in this country, people still have this idea that you can lift yourself up by your bootstraps, and we've known from history, anyone with any sociological background, knows that's not a real thing. Not even the billionaires, they didn't get there by their bootstraps, they got there on the back of people.
GM: They make money the old-fashioned way, they inherit it. That's the way it works. And I like to spend a few minutes . . first of all, I want to make sure that we're done wrapping up the conversation for today, and then I like to talk a little bit about Ken Avidor, next month's guest, and put out a call to our listeners for a call for questions for an artist
Q & A between Nature Bats Last and Sam Carana author at the Arctic News Blog - by Kevin Hester