A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

‘Climate crisis’ and the loss of freedom

Written November 8th, 2019 by Hasso Hering

Autumn leaves in North Albany on Nov. 7: Hard to see a “climate emergency” here.

Newspaper readers in Albany and around the world this week got treated to a “warning of a climate emergency.” The warning would be easier to heed if the recommendations of the authors were not as ominous as they sound.

The paper appeared in the “Viewpoint” section of a journal called BioScience and was written by two ecologists at Oregon State University and several others around the world. They argue that as scientists they have a moral obligation to warn humanity of any catastrophic threat. And they conclude: “An immense increase of scale in endeavors to conserve our biosphere is needed to avoid untold suffering due to the climate crisis.”

What to they want us to do? You can read their entire paper, but here are some highlights I thought worth noting.

“The climate crisis is closely linked to excessive consumption of the wealthy lifestyle,” the authors declare. Admittedly a little less consumption would not be a bad thing, unless your job depends on providing the goods and services that people need and want.

Specifically, among other things, the authors want the world to quit extracting fossil fuels or at least to steadily increase their price to restrain their use. That would certainly stop all our problems with traffic congestion. Unfortunately it would also prevent most Albany area residents from getting to work or back home again.

They also want us to quit eating meat from “ruminant livestock” to reduce the production of the greenhouse gas methane. This would have human health benefits, probably, and also free up land to produce food for humans instead of fodder for cows.

They say that “excessive extraction of materials and overexploitation of ecosytems, driven by economic growth, must be quickly curtailed… Our goals need to shift from GDP growth and the pursuit of affluence toward sustaining ecosystems and improving human well being by prioritizing basic needs and reducing inequality.”

They don’t say this, but the only way to accomplish these and other changes they want is to establish a firm government control over what people do. No matter where they live, if they are free to decide for themselves, people are not voluntarily going to quit trying to get ahead or improving their lives.

What the authors advocate, not just here but for the whole world, implies a system of totalitarian control where the people in charge, under the motto of “Fight the Climate Crisis,” force everybody below them to be equal and to be content with meeting their “basic needs.”

To citizens who value their freedom, that’s a prospect more frightening than any number of climate emergencies down the road. (hh)

44 responses to “‘Climate crisis’ and the loss of freedom”

  1. Bob Zybach says:

    This is crazy and a real embarrassment for OSU College of Forestry — at a time when locals are holding “funerals” for logs and in which the State is poised to give the College 80,000+ acres of coastal property previously dedicated to funding Oregon schools. For “research” and management. I’m guessing Global Warming is a high priority.

    This is religion and/or politics parading as, and further degrading, the word “science.” The goofy “Alliance of World Scientists” is a joke webpage that taxpayers may be funding. The so-called “11,000 scientists” are a bunch of people that responded to the webpage. Rebel News in Canada draws close — and entertaining — attention to these (mostly) nitwits; or “climate scientists” as they are being portrayed in the international media:

    What is particularly troubling is that OSU — and Oregon taxpayers — may be funding this hysterical ego-driven enterprise. I think Greta Thunberg may (or should) be one of the listed PhDs; someone has pointed out that Mickey Mouse from Namibia is one for sure.

    Read this post and watch the video. Then contact your State representative.

  2. Charlie Eads says:

    Scary stuff. A shorter version of the Communist Manifesto. I would have hoped for more outrage from more people. Thanks for taking a stand, Hasso.

  3. J. Jacobson says:

    Go ahead Hasso. Ride your “freedom” right into a ruined earth. Wouldn’t want to impose on your individuality to prevent catastrophe.

  4. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    You hit the nail on the head – the objective here is a system of totalitarian control.

    Some call it eco-fascism, where an authoritarian international government dictates what you can make, do, sell and say.

    Just listen to how some will react to your post. The message is clear – consideration of contrarian evidence and analyses shall not be tolerated.

    If your mind is still open on the issue of climate and energy, go to https://www.cfact.org/ and read the writings of their senior policy advisor Paul Driessen.

    If your mind is closed, let the childish name-calling and ostracizing begin.

  5. J. Jacobson says:

    Hering, you never complained about the decades of profligate polluting because you were “free” to pollute all you desired. Now that the chickens are coming home to roost, your whining about “lost freedom” rings especially hollow and odiously shallow.

  6. C. Jeffery Evans says:

    “Totalitarian control?” No. But stepping up and demonstrating the ability, yes.

    There are dozens of things we can do right now that can have a dramatic impact and without resorting to totalitarian control.

  7. Don says:

    Where did the CO2 come from that animals eat? How things you going to manage vegetation to reduce wood fire with out animals?
    I will forward a choir of emails I sent to the professor and in response to another end I received.

  8. Colleen Anderson says:

    Amen, Hasso! Presumably the way to avert this “crisis“ is to go back to living the way our forefathers did, let’s see how well that works for even the farthest left climate combatants! All I ever see with any of these “solutions“ is, like you said, restrict our freedoms and take our money. I don’t think the goal of these agendas is to truly help the climate.

  9. Mark Avery says:

    Our Tax Dollars @ Work:
    Brother Can You Share a Dime ?
    Or Comments

  10. Lundy says:

    Hasso, your points about freedom are well taken. Are there any issues related to the Earth’s climate or other aspects of the planet’s environment that concern you, that make you wonder about what sort of world your descendants might inherit?

    • Josh Mason says:

      We’ve done this to ourselves and from the looks of it we’ll most likely continue to be ignorant of the science, refuse to accept accountability, and fail to take individual and collective action through policy. Freedom is earned not only through warfare.

  11. Robert Sattem says:

    I think it’s time for an experiment. Scientists love experiments. Say we turn off the electricity including cell phone towers. Stop selling fuel including natural gas. Transportation shut down. No driving. Transportation by bike, walking or row boat. If you own a large home you must close off everything except 1000 sf. One bathroom, one kitchen and the rest sleeping. Heat the best you can without natural gas or electricity. Same for cooking. We do this for 1 month but lets pick a long month like January. Included with this you cannot purchase anything encased in plastic such as water, juice, milk or pop. We try it first in the Corvallis area including OSU and maybe expand it to all of Benton County. Lets see how it works out.

  12. birdieken says:

    Windmills and solar panels seems a little dated and shows a lack of faith in the future. Climate change could be the problem that creates new technology, we don’t know. Technology has made life better even if it came at a price. When you look into the night sky, do you see what is, what was, or what will be?

  13. Sharon Edwards says:

    Jumping to the conclusion that their recommendations will take away our freedoms is a very interesting response. Freedom isn’t always about doing whatever you want to do; a “freedom for…”. There’s also a “freedom from…”. The scientists are suggesting a freedom from destroying our natural world and in a sense ourselves. Most adults can agree that boundaries are healthy and limits are often necessary for safety. Lives aren’t any less or even less enjoyable when we have limits. We have the freedom to limit ourselves for the good of all. Some scientists have also declared they have limits in this realm because really this is a spiritual crisis. I agree with that for sure. The values of freedom or health and wholeness for the earth and humankind reflects a state of the heart. Certainly none of us are innocent in this area. But, this report is certainly an invitation to take responsibility for our actions, knowing our actions reflect our true values. And, then, be willing to look our children and youth in the eye. Because, if you talk to our youth right now they are really really scared and for good reasons. Our love of freedom is handing them a bleak future.

    • Lundy says:

      Sharon, very much appreciate the thoughtful comments.

    • Delfina Hoxie says:

      Sharon, thank you for your sane approach to our ongoing problem. I am so tired of people that refuse to consider change. IMHO, if we do not change we will die.

    • Rich Olson says:

      Sharon. Thank you for your objective perspective. Too bad that is not practiced by more people. Deeply disturbing to read some of these reactions.

    • Cheryl P says:

      “Most adults can agree that boundaries are healthy and limits are often necessary for safety.”

      What ‘boundaries’ and ‘limits’ would those be and who gets to decide them?

      I know, we can start by limiting one vehicle per family. A simple two-door (or four-door if you have kids), one manufacturer, one color. And we really don’t NEED ‘smart phones’…just something to make/receive calls, and like our vehicles, one manufacturer, one type. And we don’t NEED tablets and iPads and eReaders and gaming systems and streaming services or cable…just go back to the days when you had ABC, CBS, NBC and public television. Get rid of computers and printers and go back to manual typewriters, Go back to push mowers. And hanging our laundry on a line.

      And let’s talk housing. No need to have more than 1000 sq feet…period. We can start by putting single folks in Studio apartments, and couples in one-bedroom. When you have a child, you get upgraded to two-bedroom house and if you have two kids of opposite genders, you get three bedrooms.

      And speaking of kids, you’re only allowed to have two and then mandatory sterilization.

      We really don’t need big screen televisions or remotes. We don’t need microwaves, bread machines, blenders, Kitchen Aid Stand Mixers or George Foreman Grills. We don’t need ice makers in the doors or our refrigerators, and bottled water or $6.00 decaf skinny latte cappuccino mochas with a triple shot of flavored syrup.

      We don’t NEED Lowe’s AND Home Depot. We don’t need WalMart. We don’t need McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, Taco Time, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Del Taco, Carl’s Junior, Wendy’s. Arby’s, Burgerville, Dairy Queen, Jack in the Box and so on and so forth.

      Think of how much easier shopping would be if we only had ‘one shampoo, one bar soap, one laundry soap, one toilet paper, etc? How many different brands of butter do we really need? And if we only have one brand, will it make us safer?

    • Josh Mason says:

      Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

  14. Shelley says:

    This is a power grab !! I’m sorry I believe in a cycle of years the earth goes through they’ve taken core samples and have said that .. I do believe in taking care of our environment, good foresting, recycling, names a few.. but government control even more than now!! NOT

  15. Mike Patrick says:

    I wonder how many of these so called scientists practice what they preach?

    • Lundy says:

      Lead author of the study Hasso cites is a vegan who rides his bicycle to campus and doesn’t travel via airplane.

  16. J. Jacobson says:

    I see that the majority of the respondents remain devoutly focused on the rear view mirror.

  17. J. Jacobson says:

    You will love your “individual freedoms” when the planet grows so warm that the forest fires of California will move northward, burning the Cascades down around you.

    • Ray Kopczynski says:

      Not to worry JJ — most of the respondents here don’t give a rip – they’ll be long gone…

      Change comes hard – always has and always will…

    • Bob Zybach says:

      J. Maybe you are unaware of Oregon’s catastrophic wildfire history. Also, no idea why you think wildfires would move north, no matter the weather. Typically they come with east winds, so maybe they would be coming in from Idaho in your scenario. Also, sounds like you are pretty set against the “individual freedoms” of others and are the perfect type of audience for this type of speculative/authoritative tripe. Glad you still have freedom of speech, though, so others can be made aware of your perspective.

  18. John Klock says:

    My comment to many of the individuals who responded to this story is this: identify your fears and address them. If I was afraid of all of the change that was going on in your world, I wouldn’t walk out the door either. It’s embarrassing how maladaptive so many people are. Embrace solutions as a basis for your lives rather than constant negativity, it doesn’t matter whether the issue is about the workplace or about climate change.

  19. thomas cordier says:

    All the hysteria is unfounded in reality. people like jj need to quit the Kool-Aid diet for a while

    • Lundy says:

      Regardless of context, Kool-Aid comments are disrespectful to those who lost their lives at Jonestown, including the sister of one of Hasso’s and my longtime colleagues. An educated, Christian fellow (compassion? empathy?) like yourself can probably choose better language.

  20. centrist says:

    I’ve considered how to join this thread long enough that most will have moved on.
    50s memories — what to do about smog, or its more-evil cousin black damp; geeenhouse gas emissions will cause the icecaps to melt.
    Response was ‘we can work this out; besides, God told us to make use….
    Fast forward to now,with a 1970 break. A movement “Earth First” proposed that Mother earth could only support so much population

    • centrist says:

      The pillow called before I could finish.
      The solution proposed is population control. I see three paths.
      The concern of many writers above is totalitarian authority. That’s a credible concern since it’s rare for a human to voluntarily die.
      A second path is simply disease. The Black Death removed 30% of Europe’s population. European disease removed 90% of North America’s indigenous population.
      More likely, the world population will do nothing. If the dire predictions come to pass, some may die while some will adapt.

  21. Ean says:

    Hasso, are you can in favor of legalizing all drugs too? Meth? Heroin? Are anti drug laws not authoritarian limits on our freedoms?

    • centrist says:

      Quite a leap from a climate discussion to pro-drug. Looks like HH provoked folks to think, by phrasing thoughts in a particular way.
      Society promotes behaviors that support continued existence. Society discourages detrimental behaviors.
      It’s pretty apparent that something is happening worldwide that affects climate. What isn’t clear is whether humanity has the power to change the course

      • Ray Kopczynski says:

        You meant the will to do so?

        • Bob Zybach says:

          No, Ray, the ability to do so. Rain dances didn’t work and electric cars won’t either. People can’t control the weather or the climate, no matter how much we would like to do so.

  22. Patrick Bateman says:

    Ah, but further evidence of why Lee Newspapers was wise to show Hasso the door.

    • Ray Kopczynski says:

      Yet you still read his postings?

      While I don’t expect to agree with him 100%, personally, I believe the DH still needs his writings on paper and IN the paper!

  23. Rhea Graham says:

    The Air Force has had a goal for decades of “owning the weather” by 2025. Here’s a great link, please look all the way through it and be sure to watch the YouTube video at https://youtu.be/ZO5Adt4nhCk HAARP – CBC News (COMPLETE) – US military weather weapon

    #WeatherWarfare #SolarDimming #SolarRadiationManagment #SuperStorms #TheyArePracticingOnUs

  24. Rhea Graham says:

    Here is the link for the page the video is on … that has more information on #WeatherModification

  25. Bill says:

    Interesting comments. Children afraid? Get them out of the house to mow a lawn, trim flower beds, trim a tree, help an elderly person, or volunteer for a charity through your school.
    Climate change is very real. Get down on your knees and pray to God to lead us. Humanity cannot survive if they think they can go it alone. Wake up. Electric cars in cities, no plastic products, solar and wind power, along with limited nuclear power, curfews for youth, no AK guns, necessary farming and logging and fishing practices for the people who know about that environment better than city politicians, and finally have some faith for God’s sake. Young and old.

  26. Cap says:

    The ultimate loss of freedom is untimely death and extinction from climate change. Those affected: humans, other animals, birds, insects, fish, etc. But, you are saying it is more important to be able to surpass the “Joneses” in material acquisitions!

    • Hasso Hering says:

      Not at all. I just don’t want a bunch of officious busybodies on the public payroll bossing me and everybody else around.

      • Cap says:

        Yes, I know that is how you think, Hasso. You don’t want us to be governed. That has never worked on this old, precious planet of ours. Having no government brings about complete chaos and destruction.

  27. Larry Stover says:

    Hard to take this seriously when we have been subjected to draconian predictions of a dire future starting at least in the 1960s with Paul Erlich’s Population Bomb (predicted millions of people would starve to death in the 1970s) and up to Al Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth, with none of the worst predictions coming true. Gore apparently doesn’t take his own medicine when he is flying in private jets and has four homes-huge carbon footprint.


HH Today: A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley
Albany Albany City Council Albany council Albany downtown Albany Fire Department Albany housing Albany parks Albany Planning Commission Albany police Albany Post Office Albany Public Works Albany riverfront Albany Station Albany streets Albany traffic Albany urban renewal Benton County Benton County parks bicycling bike lanes Bowman Park Bryant Park Calapooia River CARA City of Albany climate change coronavirus COVID-19 Cox Creek Cox Creek path Crocker Lane cumberland church cycling Dave Clark Path DEQ downtown Albany Edgewater Village global warming gun control Highway 20 homeless housing Interstate 5 Kitzhaber Linn County marijuana Millersburg North Albany Obama ODOT Oregon coast Oregon legislature Pacific Power Portland & Western Republic Services Riverside Drive Santiam Canal Scott Lepman Talking Water Gardens The Banks Tom Cordier Union Pacific urban renewal Water Avenue Willamette River

Copyright 2022. All Rights Reserved. Hasso Hering.
Website Serviced by Santiam Communications
Hasso Hering