global warming
There was a time when I was a fairly ardent believer in anthropogenic global warming (AGW). The first time I remember encountering the subject was in a science class at age 13. They had this little graph showing CO2 concentrations measured against average temperatures taken from atop Mauna Kea, I believe, and there was almost a 1:1 correlation. Then there was a history of global temperatures from about 1650 to the present, which showed a slow and steady rise in temperature coinciding with industrialization in the West. Since industrialization globally was proceeding at an exponential pace, the theory 'logically' predicted that warming would correlate in an exponential fashion. The science textbook had numerous references to back up its assertions and for someone who wasn't particularly interested in long-term climate trends, it all looked legit.

The science teacher said we were all going to suffer because of the mistakes her generation had made (the baby-boomers) and that we had to stop it. She was an ardent environmentalist and talked about many other subjects with which my parents and I agreed. She was against the destruction of wetlands and the overdevelopment of sensitive areas which is destroying the aquifer, the overabundance of golf courses and people fertilizing their lawns which contributes to nutrient runoff and red tide, and a certain loathing of the oil companies which is almost universal among Floridians in the decades-long campaign to secure offshore drilling rights. They always say that their drilling is clean and won't impact the beaches, but the experience of Louisiana and Texas suggests otherwise.

Bush was president, it was known that he was a big oil man, a global warming skeptic, and basically wanted to bomb everyone in central Asia. He was held up as the epitome of the 'boomers ruining the planet' meme before memes even really existed. Furthermore, he had the support of conservatives, of whom most of my neighbors and classmates' parents were (although it eroded considerably in his second term), and this was seen as something to be resisted. Conservatives were ruining our future because they were stuck in old outdated ideas and all they cared about was getting their retirement while everyone else was left to clean up the mess. I remember feeling disappointed and irritated about being screwed by the 'old people', but I didn't care enough about it to become militant. I was more interested in high strangeness and paranormal subjects, and was convinced that the planet was being scouted for an alien invasion at some point, and that that would supersede any of these other concerns.

There was also physical experience that sort of backed up the global warming claim. In the summer it is hot, and in December it is oftentimes still kind of hot. For about 6 months out of the year the sun has a certain "sizzle" to it. I had a sort of love-hate relationship with sunscreen; I hated the way it made my skin goopy and grimy, but it was better than being cooked and becoming totally debilitated. Staying covered up wasn't an attractive option either, because that usually just increased the temperature from hot to miserably hot. Several times, I remember coming home from sailing on a boat and basically being unable to move due to sunburn and just laying in bed moaning and wallowing in aloe vera for a day or so. My grandma scolded me for not using sunscreen so I worked out a compromise where I would apply the sunscreen when I started to turn pink. As I got older, I built up more of a tolerance to it where I could get through just about a full day without turning pink, but that is the limit, and the next day I either have to stay inside or get the sunscreen out.

My grandparents, who were getting older and more sensitive to heat, also reported that the sting of the sun on their skin was worse than they remember, and that it must be due to global warming. It was difficult for me and my friends to imagine anyone being able to live in this environment. It was one thing to spend a day mowing lawns and come home at the end of the day into the air conditioning and a cool shower (although even this was fairly miserable); it was quite another to be a pioneer with none of these things, unless maybe you lived close to a spring. We decided that the climate must have been more livable in the past and that this was another aspect of global warming. I didn't ponder until later that there was probably a reason why white people were concentrated in far northern (relative to me) climates throughout most of recorded history.

It wasn't until college that I got a slightly different view on global warming. In astronomy class there was a discussion with the professor about climate cycles going back millions of years, hothouse and icehouse earth theories, and how a Cryogenian 'snowball Earth' scenario was no longer a concern for the future because, according to the standard nuclear model of stellar evolution, solar luminosity increases as stars age and begin to fuse heavier elements in their cores. Long- term, Earth's climate was dictated by the solar energy flux and perturbations in Earth's orbit.

There was a bigger-picture view to climatology, and the scale and scope of the solar system was so much greater than the terrestrial system that the Earth had no choice but to follow suit. It was then mentioned in passing that there was a Medieval Warm Period prior to 1650, and that this was likely caused by a fluctuation in the Sun's output. I had never before heard of this medieval warm period; everything that I had ever been taught about climatology began with what I was now hearing was called the Little Ice Age. There had been some mention of the climate being warmer during the time of the dinosaurs, but this was due to very slow and gradual movements of the continents which take place over millions of years, certainly nothing that humans had been around long enough to pontificate about.

The professor was very careful not to stray too far from the party line: he said that CO2 was still a very potent greenhouse gas, and that, in the short term, AGW was overpowering any effects from the Sun. Due to my interest in astronomy and the space sciences, I became curious about space-based catastrophes, such as those proposed by Clube and Napier, and how they might influence the climate to a degree that was inexplicable by terrestrial mechanisms alone. Taking all of these things together, by the time I was 25 I had done a complete u-turn on my global warming stance. If the Electric Universe theory was correct, there was no way to predict solar luminosity without having a map of the various current flows around the galaxy, meaning Earth's climate was ultimately directed from the galactic level, and it can change suddenly and chaotically, because we really have no idea about how the galaxy actually works.

So I understand why some liberals are so militant. They sincerely believe that conservatives are going to destroy everyone with their ideology. They see their role as that of protectors of humanity; the fate of their children and families depends on it. But in fact they are being manipulated to be its destroyers. (Mind you, American conservatives believe in some comparably destructive nonsense. The whole "Jehovah is going to use the Jews to save the devout" shtick, for example, is why I generally can't stand conservatives either.)

I received essentially the same education today's liberals did, except now it has a more revolutionary (in the Bolshevik sense) tone. In my case, I didn't succumb to ideological-possession, although ideology did have an influence, but I was nonetheless subtly conditioned through the cherry-picking of data to conclude that the liberal position was correct. Ironically, it was the very same educational system that was meant to enslave me that opened the door a crack to alternative explanations through explorations of the hard sciences.

Once the crack was there, the Cassiopaean experiment greatly accelerated my ability to put the pieces together. That must be why the media manipulators are working so fervently to turn science into a propaganda ministry: so that no consciousness can escape, and so that even the organized, logical, and analytical ones will have little choice but to feed energy into the grand illusion.