Living in History

  • We’re living through the hottest month and year in history. And it’s only going to get worse;
  • Wondering why Trump fans adore him despite his incoherency and insincerity;
  • And how conservative objections to LGBTQ books in a San Diego library was countered by the broader population.

Washington Post, 20 Jul 2023: We are living through Earth’s hottest month on record, scientists say

It’s not just a record-hot day or two, unprecedented heat waves or abnormally warm ocean waters: All indications are that this will be the hottest single month on Earth on record, and possibly in more than 100,000 years.

Every day this month has set records for average global annual temperatures, and already, 17 days in July have been hotter than any others in more than 40 years of global observations, climate scientists said.


NY Times, 18 Jul 2023: Heat Waves Grip 3 Continents as Climate Change Warms Earth, subtitled “Across North America, Europe and Asia, hundreds of millions of people endured blistering conditions. The U.S. special envoy for climate change called it ‘a threat to all of humankind.'”

Punishing heat waves gripped three continents on Tuesday, breaking records in cities around the Northern Hemisphere less than two weeks after the Earth recorded what scientists said were likely its hottest days in modern history.


On the one hand, it’s important not to normalize this, to take it for granted; we are living in unprecedented history, and we’ve seen examples of how, despite Covid deaths and deaths from weather events, people move on with their lives. That’s probably the appropriate response, given long-term survival. You can’t change the past, you move on.

But if humans are a truly intelligent species, the response to such events should be to take actions to ameliorate such future events. And humans have been failing spectacularly to do so. So many humans simply deny these events as random fluctuations, or part of a liberal conspiracy — that is, a conception that challenges ideas of Savannah morality.

This year, this month, will not go down in history as some key event. Because these climate records will keep getting broken, again and again. The climate scientists have been predicting this for decades. Yet many, to this day, refuse to believe them. Until we get to the point where the deniers complain that the scientists didn’t warn them soon enough. It’s happened before.


Part of the answer is that there are people like this.

Newsweek, 22 Jul 2023: Trump’s Response to Woman Asking About His ‘Faith’ Raises Questions

In response to that question, Trump rambled incoherently and never actually answered the question. The article adds tweets responding to the video, e.g. “I wonder if this woman even noticed that he came nowhere close to even touching on what the question was about, let alone the fact that not a damn word of this made sense?” and “In other words, the answer is nobody and nothing, and he is so uncomfortable having to fake knowing anything about Christianity that he is going to just talk a little b******t until the next question.”

Still I wonder, who are the people who listen to this person and still respect him? Is it possible there are tens of millions of congenital idiots among us? And/or, millions of people whose mental faculties have been corrupted and corroded by the addiction to religion? And want only reassurance that someone else will take care of them?


NY Times, 22 Jul 2023: They Checked Out Pride Books in Protest. It Backfired., subtitled “Two San Diego residents cleared out the Pride month display at their library and said such materials shouldn’t be available to children, one of several recent clashes over L.G.B.T.Q. issues in California.”

Christians, those honorable people who think they live by their commandments while rarely actually doing so, make trouble yet again.

Adrianne Peterson, the manager of the Rancho Peñasquitos branch of the San Diego Public Library, … who has run the library branch since 2012 and highlighted books for Pride Month for the better part of a decade, was taken aback when she read an email last month from two neighborhood residents. They informed her that they had gotten nearly all of the books in the Pride display checked out and would not return them unless the library permanently removed what they considered “inappropriate content.”

The community’s response:

Stacks of Amazon boxes containing new copies of the books the protesters checked out started to arrive at the library after The San Diego Union-Tribune reported on the protest. Roughly 180 people, mostly San Diegans, gave more than $15,000 to the library system, which after a city match will provide over $30,000 toward more L.G.B.T.Q.-themed materials and programming, including an expansion of the system’s already popular drag queen story hours.

The article goes on with further examples, in North Hollywood, Temecula, Chino.

In broad terms, this is about demographic change and the fear of conservatives that their values will be exterminated or overwhelmed.

The political shift reflects changes in San Diego at large. Long known as a military town with religious roots that date back to the first Spanish mission in California, the city had favored Republicans for most of its history. But like other parts of the state, San Diego has grown more diverse after decades of immigration and the establishment of a booming biotech sector.

It’s not that there are that many individual protesters.

The text of their email was identical to a template posted online by a right-wing group called CatholicVote, which has an office in Indiana and is not affiliated with the Catholic church. The group has promoted a “Hide the Pride” campaign that encourages supporters to check out or move books that depict L.G.B.T.Q. characters and families. Organizers have described such material as pornographic and obscene and said it should not be available to young library patrons.

I don’t know why religious conservatives aren’t content to live their lives according to their principles, and by their example, show how they are superior to a multicultural world. (Even though statistics about red states vs blue states, as discussed before, show the opposite.)

I rediscovered a word: atavism. That’s what I think the Savannah morality is. Will expand upon this in a later post.

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