Buzzfeed: Feeling Empathy for Climate Change Suicide Bombers

The Unabomber Ted Kaczynski.

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Buzzfeed reporter Alison Willmore invites her audience to empathise with the desperation which drives fictional and not so fictional greens who commit atrocities the sake of the planet.

Climate Change Fiction Is Rethinking The Ecoterrorist

We don’t need to be on board with the extreme actions of characters in First Reformed and The Overstory to feel some empathy for the desperation that drives them.

Alison Willmore BuzzFeed News Reporter

Posted on April 28, 2019, at 9:59 a.m. ET

Toward the end of Paul Schrader’s most recent film, First Reformed, the main character straps on an explosive vest with the intention of blowing himself up — along with a church full of other people — driven by an inarticulate but intense desire to strike a blow on behalf of the environment.

The character’s name is Ernst Toller, he’s played by a dyspeptic Ethan Hawke, and he isn’t an ecological radical when the film starts. He’s a minister at a small church in upstate New York that’s more of a historical tourist attraction than a functional place of worship, and when we first meet him, he seems to think about climate change the way a lot of us do, or used to — as inexorably dire but also still distant enough a concept to not cast a shadow over our day-to-day lives.

That changes after he pays a visit to a troubled parishioner named Michael (Philip Ettinger), an activist for whom the effects of global warming are not abstract at all, and who’s in the grip of an existential crisis prompted by his wife Mary’s (Amanda Seyfried) pregnancy. How can it be justifiable, he demands of Ernst, to bring a child into a world you believe is going to crumble within their lifetime? He’s not being dramatic or alarmist. It’s a real question, one he shores up with all the data he’s accrued about sea levels rising and land mass shrinking, which he follows to logical conclusions about catastrophic change and civilization being shaken at its foundations. “The bad times will begin,” as he puts it. “This isn’t some distant future. You will live to see this.”

Ernst is the preacher, but Michael is delivering his own fire-and-brimstone sermon. Their conversation echoes the first chapter of journalist David Wallace-Wells’ best-selling climate change opus The Uninhabitable Earth, which opens with the assurance that our situation “is worse, much worse, than you think,” before pondering the question of children and whether having them signifies optimism or just “willful blindness.”

While Ernst goes into the meeting intending to talk Michael down from his hopelessness, he emerges, instead, infected with dread himself. And that dread begins blossoming, compounded by guilt, when he discovers Michael dead in the woods from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. By the time Ernst puts on that explosive vest, which he took from a box hidden in Michael’s garage, we understand his intentions as both extremist and an attempt at a logical response to an impossible problem: How are we supposed to behave in the face of the possibility that there is no future for us, because of our own choices as a species?

It’s interesting too to think of the young fandom that the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, has accrued, as profiled in New York magazine back in December. They’re kids who found themselves nodding along to his manifesto about how we need “a revolution against the industrial system,” creating “anti-civ” reading lists, and participating in open-air survivalist workshops in preparation for the end of civilization. The subjects of the article prefer the term “ecoextremism” and act cagey about their commitment to violence, but they do feel like real-world relations to all these fictional characters. The same feelings of quiet, constant panic in the face of an inevitable future that come through in this fiction are also bubbling up in our lives, and in these subcultures whose affiliations and actions may be beyond the pale, but whose desperation feels very familiar.

Read more:

Mocking the church, building audience sympathy for eco-terrorism, and empathising with people who praise the madness of the Unabomber, all in one article.

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April 28, 2019 5:27 pm

The only thing the world need saving from is eco-lunatics.
Trouble is – they’re multiplying like an un-contained virus.
And an un-contained virus is probably the biggest threat to humankind.
A circular cause-and-effect argument I know, but how am I wrong?

Jim Veenbaas
Reply to  Mr.
April 28, 2019 6:34 pm

You’re not too far off there. Super bugs and bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics is a much bigger threat to humanity than climate change.

Ron Long
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas
April 29, 2019 3:14 am

You’re right to mention “resistant to antibiotics” as a threat to humanity. I recently vacationed in Iquique, northern Chile, and contacted bacterial pneumonia. Researching whether or not my doctors were doing the right thing for treatment (they were) I discovered there are two types of bacterial pneumonia, that contacted inside a hospital and that contacted outside of a hospital. The type contacted inside a hospital, an environment of anti-bacterial and sterialization, is much worse than that contacted outside. I was cured quickly by anti-bacterial medicine, but that would not have been the case if contacted inside a hospital. It seems to be only a matter of time before bacteria evolves everywhere to be resistant to medicines, leaving us to hope for concurrent advances in new medicines.

michael hammer
Reply to  Mr.
April 28, 2019 10:46 pm

Actually the scientific term is positive feedback. It causes things to spiral out of control to a collapse. This is what the warmists say is going to happen in our climate and why they forecast 3+C of warming. Unfortunately (for them) natural systems all exhibit negative feedback unlike humans which frequently exhibit positive feedback. Hence the quote – people go mad in masses but only regain their sanity one at a time. (well something like that).

Reply to  Mr.
April 28, 2019 11:25 pm

“I am convinced that exploration of the psyche is the science of the future… This is the science we need most of all, for it is gradually becoming more and more obvious that neither famine nor earthquakes nor microbes nor carcinoma, but man himself is the greatest peril to man, just because there is no adequate defense against psychic epidemics, which cause infinitely more devastation than the greatest natural catastrophes.” – (C.G. Jung 1944)

Reply to  jorgekafkazar
April 29, 2019 12:48 am

Nietzsche announced the death of God. He said the result would be the horrors of the twentieth century with hundreds of millions of deaths at the hands of the ideologically possessed. link

Similarly, Jung grappled with the problem for the individual to buttress himself against the spiritually corrosive effects of Godless ideology.

The basically Marxist postmodern SJWs have taken over the universities and are taking over the legal system. We are in peril just like the Russians after the revolution.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  commieBob
April 29, 2019 3:43 am

And what is not obvious to the afore stated …. Marxist postmodern SJWs …. that have taken over the public schools, universities and the legal system is that they are in great peril of ….. “being reaped by that which they have sown”.

Reply to  jorgekafkazar
April 29, 2019 2:03 am

psychic epidemics, that is a very accurate description of the current hysteria.

Joel Snider
Reply to  Mr.
April 29, 2019 8:10 am

Unfortunately, a lot of these eco-lunatics hold political offices.

iain russell
April 28, 2019 5:30 pm

That’s Slimeworld for ya!

April 28, 2019 5:34 pm

Killing people that have no clue what you’re on about….
…yeah, that’ll work…and a sure way to endear your cause

Reply to  Latitude
April 29, 2019 3:53 am

This is the “Age of the False Victim” – too many delusional fools mistakenly think they are Victims of some fictional or minor harm, so now they have a (false) Righteous Cause.

In general, these self-proclaimed Victims are self–indulgent imbeciles who know nothing of history or the state of the real world outside their privileged Western existences. In reality, False Victims are among the most dysfunctional and repulsive forms of humanity.

Some False Victims turn to violence, and harm innocents in their desire to be heard – the adult equivalent of a spoiled child’s temper tantrum, with violence added for effect.

These spoiled brats should travel to the third world to see what real victims look like – people who have been slaughtered, kidnapped, enslaved, and otherwise horrifically abused because of their religion, culture or race.

There can be no justification for violence – even for real victims, who do exist, the tendency is for violence to be mid-directed and strike innocent targets. No violence is justified.

Global warming alarmists are among the worst of the lot. First, their alleged grievance is fictional – there is no real global warming crisis / wilder weather crisis, so they are truly False Victims. Next, their “green solutions” have done more harm than good to humanity and the environment– enormously so. Some have turned to violence. Details in Sections 5-8 at:


Regards, Allan

April 29, 2019 10:58 am


April 28, 2019 5:46 pm

As much as I do not like the idea of a military takeover, I sometimes think
that as the Father of Modern Turkey,, Kemal Attaaturk, said, prior to its
present ruler, that when the politicians have made a big mess of things, then
its the duty of the Army to take over, clean things up, and then hand
back the country to civilian government again

The film “Seven days in May” was very thought provoking.


Tom in Florida
Reply to  Michael
April 29, 2019 5:25 am

or as Jefferson said:
“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

Flight Level
April 28, 2019 5:48 pm

This threat poses a serious challenge to the existing mitigation tactics, schemes and logistics as it’s potential perpetrators might have a serious technical, scientific and IT background and seamlessly dissolve in the usual flow of seasoned frequent flyers.

R Shearer
April 28, 2019 5:55 pm

I’m just concerned for his voting rights.

Pop Piasa
April 28, 2019 6:01 pm

Buzzfeed is aptly named. You need a good buzz before swallowing what they feed you.

Michael Jankowski
April 28, 2019 6:05 pm

Lifted right out of Wikipedia…

Ted also said leftism is “one of the most widespread manifestations of the craziness of our world.” He said leftists were “mainly socialists, collectivists, ‘politically correct’ types, feminists, gay and disability activists, animal rights activists and the like.” He said, “a movement that exalts nature and opposes technology must take a resolutely anti-leftist stance and must avoid all collaboration with leftists.”

Reply to  Michael Jankowski
April 28, 2019 10:49 pm

I remember the case. A serial killer, murdered 3 people, came close with a bunch of others.

The FBI spent a million bucks taking his cabin apart and moving it somewhere to search for minute bombing clues, which they found in abundance. Open and shut case. Dead to rights, the dude had a surefire date with “Old Sparky.”

Then Clinton and his henchman Janet Waco figured out the guy was a lefty, so they cut a plea bargain with him. 3 squares and room.

Reply to  Mike McMillan
April 29, 2019 2:02 pm

This is wrong.
He was declared by the court to be not competent to stand trial, or, for that matter to be executed. He said very clearly that he WANTED to stand trial, and risk execution.

michael hammer
Reply to  Michael Jankowski
April 28, 2019 10:53 pm

Try: people who do not have the capacity to succeed, (or make enough of a name for themselves to satisfy their ego ) in the real world so they define, adopt and seek to impose an alternative world where they are the bigshots telling the real successful people why they are despicable failures.

Reply to  michael hammer
April 29, 2019 5:17 am

I’m not sure Mike,
I was leftish myself, and I even participated in a protest for governnment to act for climate !!! Forgive my youth…

I think the leftist ideology is preventing people from being successful mostly, rather than the other way around. Leftist are afraid that anything they could do would benegative and they unknowingly, for the most part, end up on the side of evil anyway.

April 28, 2019 6:07 pm

People are being preached to about an … “existential crisis”, but where is it?

The American Lung Association’s latest master work of science fiction describes a crisis in the state of the air we breathe, and yet the cover of it’s report has a picture of a family apparently enjoying the air of an outdoor recreation area. The only hint of doom in this photograph is the blood-red overcast. Even the visual is contradictory — a family enjoying the outdoors, and yet this picture of pleasure is colored red to suggest catastrophic warmth or the blood of suffering, I suppose. A sense of disaster, thus, is forced onto a scene where there is NO disaster!

This speaks to the fact that the so called “existential crisis” is like the photograph — an okay situation falsely colored in an exaggerated way, in order to create an emotional impact about a crisis that exists only in creative minds.

David Hood
April 28, 2019 6:11 pm

While I have touched on this sort of thing before, I wonder at which point ‘acted’ and ‘real’ become so blurred that those ‘on the brink’ will see this sort of thing as a script or manifesto to act out in the real world.
God forbid this would happen, but were it to do so, COULD this and other films like it, point a very accusatory finger at the common theme?
Yes, a long bow to be drawn for sure, but as a topic of discussion now, it may be a topic for litigation tomorrow.
The thin line between fiction and fact in a balanced society, may well be inflammatory in an unhinged one….
just which society we currently live in at the moment, is questionable…..
Crying FIRE in a crowded venue is illegal for very good reason, and just plain stupid for other reasons, and the loony extremists out there certainly don’t need encouragement.
Am I being a touch too sensitive?
Probably, but complacency can end up bighting you in the rear-end.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  David Hood
April 28, 2019 7:14 pm

I also wonder how much prime-time TV shows influence the weak-minded and shape their outlook on society. Can’t help but think there might be a few twisted souls out there with a desire to commit a crime they saw on a cop show without making the mistakes that the villain on TV did, thereby evading the police.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Pop Piasa
April 29, 2019 6:17 am

I have always wondered that myself. Starting in the 70’s, there were several TV shows about a single mom raising her kids on her own. She struggled but it always turned out OK in the end. Feel good TV for sure. Did this implant the belief that it was noble to be a single mom and that life would work itself out for them? But reality has been a harsh lesson for those. Going forward, many TV shows become the blue print for life of far too many people. Now, back in the 50’s and 60’s the opposite was true. Too many shows with the perfect family, headed by the perfect mom and dad. The perfect house in the perfect neighborhood. That was equally destructive. So what’s to watch now? For me it is mostly NHL hockey from Oct to June. Otherwise it is “First 48”.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Pop Piasa
April 29, 2019 6:48 am

Just watch any recent episode of “Madam Secretary”, and you’ll see not much else than CAGW alarmism, and so many falsehoods. Even though it’s fiction, it deals with many real world issues. Gullible people could take the falsehoods as fact.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  David Hood
April 28, 2019 8:22 pm

“Crying FIRE in a crowded venue is illegal for very good reason…”

This is an example often used by people arguing that ‘Free Speech’ is Not A Good Thing, and is flawed because it places Free Speech in isolation.

What people usually forget in this argument is that Freedom of Speech does not automatically remove Responsibility for your own Actions.

Yes, you are actually completely free to shout FIRE where ever you want, but you are also completely responsible for whatever happens as a direct result of your shouting. You are an adult. Adults are responsible for their own actions because it is assumed at a social and legal level that adults are capable of thinking things through properly.

This is the bit usually ignored by all those trying to argue/counter argue Freedom of Speech. Protestors blocking entire streets like to claim this is their Freedom of Speech moment and Righties can’t complain because they are all for FoS, and, if speaking were their only action then they would be correct.

Problem is their other actions include blocking public access and occasional violence.

Core point – Adults are responsible for their actions. That includes the words themselves (FIRE! in a crowded area) and the actions taken while saying said words.

Say what you like, but remember, you have to take ownership of it as well.

David Hood
Reply to  Craig from Oz
April 28, 2019 9:17 pm

Yes Craig, you may be correct, to a point.
You may well shout fire in a crowded place and take the consequences, BUT you have no inalienable right to do so.
I agree that you CAN shout what you want, but not the ‘right’ to do so.
Free speech is one thing, but exercising it judicially, is another.
The ‘right’ to free speech which we would both agree upon as important and to be strongly defended, isn’t to be used in a manner that could/would DIRECTLY result in harm….hence the reason the Law in many countries is structured in the manner it is.

I’m not advocating that this film be banned, but with it ‘out there’ I would be keeping a wary eye on this sort of potentially inflammatory product in a sensitive period as seems to be occurring at the moment.

Reply to  David Hood
April 29, 2019 4:02 am

Here’s where your parsing fails, mr David:
That’s the subjunctive mood for discussing what is not and it translates directly to:
No damage, no claim.

The main logic fail, however, is context dropping. As any ethical matter can be resolved by the determination of ownership and damage, you should specify whose place. Otherwise any proposition you make is unreasonable.
If you are on your own property you certainly have the inalienable right to yell whatever you want to yell. If you are on my property, your rights may be abridged without resort to logical fallacy.
Beware: ‘public property’ is a self contradiction.

David Hood
Reply to  TruthMatters
April 29, 2019 5:09 pm

🙂 – Yes, TruthMatters, what you say is correct as far as I can follow it (my limitations) and I gave a quick and abridged ‘quote’ for a point I thought would be understood.
Calling FIRE in a crowed placed ANYWHERE when there is none, incites a level of panic – or at a minimum, attention or, if on my own property, then said attention may become the ire of the neighbours when found to be false.
My clumsy use of the “could/would” words was simply for two possible paths or outcomes, either of which could be a result of calling a false call to alarm.
MY context was that make enough noise and attention is gained – make enough incorrect (false) noise and the outcome is directed in a manner potentially harmful to those responding in good faith, to that call to action.
The ‘Courts’ DO find willful intent to be sufficient cause to allocate a guilty verdict, but treads that fine line between the ‘right’ to an action and the responsibilities for exercising that ‘right’.

Am I wrong? Possibly
Do I think I’m wrong – not at this point.

Michael Ozanne
Reply to  David Hood
April 29, 2019 3:27 am

“Crying FIRE in a crowded venue is illegal for very good reason,”

But it isn’t, in particular if you smell smoke it is your civic duty to do that very thing. Those words are remarks in a SCOTUS judgement regarding enforcement of the Espionage Act of 1917 where expressions which in the circumstances were intended to result in a crime, and posed a “clear and present danger” of succeeding, could be punished. It’s not entirely clear that US vs Schenk would be decided the same if tried again today…. And Oliver Wendell Holmes later regretted the jusgement see his dissent in Abrams v. United States

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Michael Ozanne
April 29, 2019 4:00 am

“Crying LOUDLY outside of a crowded theatre will also get you hurt.”

‘Avengers’ fans rough up man who ‘loudly’ spoiled the ending

David Hood
Reply to  Michael Ozanne
April 29, 2019 5:26 pm

You may well be correct Michael Ozanne, but the point I have made was perhaps a little too obtuse and insufficiently clear.
As I responded to TruthMatters above, my admittedly clumsy and curtailed point was that if you call FIRE in a crowed place, when there is none, then you will ‘legally’ and morally be held to account.
Suggest there is a bomb in your luggage at the security check points at an airport, then you run the understandable and real risk of arrest and prosecution for that indiscretion.
Yell that you are going to kill someone and you again stand a jolly good chance of finding yourself being held to account.
Make a point of principle while being arrested, might just see you be treated in a different manner than had you complied first, then entered a conversation.
Repeatedly promoting a falsehood, allows those most susceptible, to follow a course of action ultimately destructive to themselves AND others.

This is not a frivolous matter, as showed via a discussion I had just last night with a friend.
She stated a series of ‘facts’ all too well known to those of us here at WUWT – and did so in full confidence that they were irrefutable fact.
Where did she develop her understanding and belief?
From repeated and varied sources, all of which carry the sticker of authenticity.
They then become no better than an ‘urban legend’ and as such, so very difficult to correct or give an acceptable argument for a better take on the underlying subject.
Why then do people use Hollywood films to bolster the narrative for – in this case – climate change?
For me, its pure entertainment, but for others, it acts and reinforces their belief and understanding of the dialogue used to promote the AGW/CAGW theme.

April 28, 2019 6:26 pm

This perspective is an extreme example of the Amity-Enmity complex of human behavior. Humans need one or more enemy groups. It’s in our nature, and having such outside threats brings internal group cohesiveness. If no outside threats are available (i.e. no threats from war, criminality, disease, want, etc.), some humans will invent a threat and vilify it with great vigor. So fear over ‘climate change will destroy Earth’ arises.

Reply to  donb
April 29, 2019 7:19 am

Humans don’t need an enemy. Politicians do.

April 28, 2019 6:32 pm

“constant panic in the face of an inevitable future” a pretty good definition of PTSD Syndrome.

It use to be associated with combat troops who have witnessed some form of emotional trauma, images of which remain and/or re-occur disturbing everyday functioning. More recently, PTSD is associated with trauma real and imagined. Some people are traumatized by some imagined event that has little to do with themselves personally.

The armed forces are now administering tests prior soldier’s going into combat and observing if, based upon their testing, they can be predicted to develop PTSD. Surprisingly, about 1/3 of the tests are predictive. In civilian life, there are seriously depressed people who do acknowledge their mental health issues who go on to develop PTSD.

Maybe Alison Willmore is giving us a preview of the depressed being drawn out by figments of their own imagination. Adding to the trauma is Buzzfeed itself, publishing assertions of calamity just around the corner, and: “you better watch out!”

Phil's Dad
April 28, 2019 6:52 pm

Would those who think there is no future please stop having children so those of us who think the world will still be standing in a generations time can get on with fixing what needs fixing without a constant background drone.

Reply to  Phil's Dad
April 29, 2019 3:55 am

Phil’s Dad April 28, 2019 at 6:52 pm
Would those who think there is no future please stop having children
This leads to Idiocracy and brawndo

John Endicott
Reply to  ghalfrunt
April 29, 2019 9:47 am

It’s the idiots that think there is no future having kids and instilling them with that same stupid notion that leads to Idiocracy and brawndo. Phil’s Dad suggestion is what helps avoid that fate.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  ghalfrunt
April 29, 2019 5:24 pm

“This leads to Idiocracy and brawndo”

Of course the opposite is true.

April 28, 2019 6:59 pm

I’m totally for suicide bombers against global warming. Not so much if they want to commit homicide at the same time.

As for Ted Kaczinsky (or whatever) – just a homicide bomber – no support whatever.

John Endicott
Reply to  gnome
April 29, 2019 9:48 am

Indeed. If the idiots want to remove themselves from the gene pool, as long as they aren’t trying to take others with them than I say let them go for it. It’s when they try to take out others that there’s a problem.

April 28, 2019 7:30 pm

Eric Worrall needs to stop dragging up any, and all, the bilge that the internet offers.
Give me something I can use.
Preferably the location of the vacuum leak that makes my SUV run rough at idle. 🙂

Rod Evans
Reply to  u.k.(us)
April 28, 2019 11:35 pm

Go for a diesel SUV next time, no vacuum to worry about.

J Mac
Reply to  u.k.(us)
April 28, 2019 11:37 pm

Have you tried using a propane torch (unlit) to ‘sniff out’ your vacuum leak? Start your engine. Open the valve on the propane torch but don’t light it. Slowly pass the propane gas coming out of the torch tip along the edges of the intake manifold and all vacuum hose connections to the carburetor or throttle body injector. When the propane gas gets ‘sucked in’ at the leak location, the engine rpm will increase notably.

Reply to  J Mac
April 29, 2019 5:03 am

If I knew where any of those parts were, I would be SO EXCITED about this diagnostic tip. How very often over the years I have regretted not taking an auto shop class… (Yeah, I know I could learn it now – I did just learn where my McPherson struts are, so maybe I’m not completely irredeemable.)

Please, people who Know How To Do Things, DO have children, and pass along your knowledge to them!

Serge Wright
April 28, 2019 7:36 pm

This is now starting to make sense.

The left’s love of Islam and willingness to forgive the endless acts of terror are because they share a common desire to blow up the west.

However, there is a better alternative for the lefties. Rather than to take out innocent people along the way, if you travel to a remote area and blow yourselves up in a safe place, you can escape the misery that you believe awaits and allow the rest of the world’s population to enjoy the warm beach weather in peace and tranquility.

Greg Cavanagh
April 28, 2019 7:48 pm

I spent the weekend watching flat earth videos. Fascinating stuff. They go to extremes to believe their own story and make the most ludicrous reasons as to why the earth can not be flat. After watching many of these, I’m not surprised at CAGW refuses to die. They truly will not believe anything but what they want to believe, the flat earthers have proven that beyond a shadow of a doubt.

The best set of vids that I watched was posted by SciManDan, so I’ll happily give him a plug.

Joel O'Bryan
April 28, 2019 7:48 pm

Well it is Buzzfeed.
MSNBC and CNN political reporting looks honest and sane compared to a typical Buzzfeed story.

April 28, 2019 8:12 pm

Burn down the village to save it.

Reply to  markl
April 28, 2019 11:00 pm

Quoting Janet Reno about the Branch Davidians, of course.

Terry Nichols is in the same cell block as Ted Kaczynski. Small world.

John Endicott
Reply to  markl
April 29, 2019 9:56 am

I think Mayor Goode may have said something similar in 1985. Something like bomb the rowhouse to save the neighborhood. (ok, that was probably in poor taste, mea culpa).

John Robertson
April 28, 2019 8:25 pm

Cultists gotta’ do what cults do.
Gang Green effects the body politic(civil society) in the same manner gangrene acts on a living body.

I am starting to wonder; Is madness contageous?

The Cult of Calamitous Climate is most strange,for good news,makes them ever more strident.
Now as the planet fails to warm as they predicted,catastrophe has failed to arrive..Are they relieved?
Are they happy?
Apparently not.
Instead the likes of Buzzfeed want to encourage the delusional and easily gulled to blow themselves up,taking as many of us “unenlightened ones” with them as they can.?

April 28, 2019 8:42 pm

Shades of “State of Fear”, Michael Crichton’s prescient novel about environmental extremists.

Craig from Oz
April 28, 2019 8:43 pm

Alison at Buzz makes one major rookie mistake with this article.

Namely no one actually went and saw First Reformed.

It only received theatre release in the US and apparently as of Feb 2019 had earning figures of $3.8 million worldwide. The film exists at the ends of the cinematic bell curves and only goes to show that if you sample enough movies you will find an example of everything. Sharknado, for example, not only exists but exists as a franchise but does in no way imply we should be spending extended time discussing the social-political implications of slicing your way out of a massive shark with a chainsaw.

A better example, and one that Alison the Buzz is for obvious reasons ignoring, would be the slightly better known Marvel movie, Infinity War. Here, a well meaning ‘man’, having observed first hand the destructing caused by uncontrolled population growth, sets out to solve the problem by removing from existence half of every creature in the universe (or words to that effect).

Now I think I can be safe in saying that a few more people saw this movie compared to Alison’s example, and hence we have a reasonable sample of the population with which to judge public opinion.

Hence, did the movie going public relate to the moral and ethical problems our character faced and ultimately sympathise with the somewhat extreme actions taken… OR… see him as a villain who destroyed everything that held meaning and must be Avenged?

Learn to code, Alison, or start watching movies the public actually relate to.

John Endicott
Reply to  Craig from Oz
April 29, 2019 10:04 am

I must admit, I’ve wondered how the far-left view Thanos. Surely he’s a hero in their books, doing what they themselves can only dream of doing. Did they not wonder why all the heroes were fighting against him and his plans?

April 28, 2019 8:49 pm

It wasn’t a good secret. Just sayin…..

April 28, 2019 9:21 pm

These apocalyptic minded pests have always been with us and their list of faceplants is endless. That said they are far from harmless. This moment of insanity will pass but it’s up to us to shorten it’s hold on the popular imagination. Our children and Grandchildren will thank us.

April 28, 2019 11:54 pm

It’s interesting too to think of the young fandom that the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, has accrued, as profiled in New York magazine back in December. They’re kids who found themselves nodding along to his manifesto about how we need “a revolution against the industrial system,” creating “anti-civ” reading lists, and participating in open-air survivalist workshops in preparation for the end of civilization. The subjects of the article prefer the term “ecoextremism” and act cagey about their commitment to violence, but they do feel like real-world relations to all these fictional characters. The same feelings of quiet, constant panic in the face of an inevitable future that come through in this fiction are also bubbling up in our lives, and in these subcultures whose affiliations and actions may be beyond the pale, but whose desperation feels very familiar.

Hang on: wasn’t that supposed to be the evil, violent ravings of ultra-right neo-nazi gun-totin’ rednecks? Ah, but it’s OK if it’s the left: silly me.

April 28, 2019 11:55 pm

I recall the optimism of the 1950s when there was a feeling that science would produce unlimited cheap energy, make lives better for all and eventually lead to global population stability and a benign rather than authoritarian world government.
Then the authoritarian left exaggerated the risks of nuclear power so as to keep energy expensive and took over the UN so as to build global authoritarianism anew.
The process continues via the use of apocalyptic scenarios in order to destroy confidence and optimism so that authoritarianism can prevail.
I’d like to see mainstream movies describing the venality of those who spread such nonsensical fears rather than the media using its power to give succour to those who would destroy us and thereby acting as useful fools.

Reply to  Stephen Wilde
April 29, 2019 5:15 am

Stephen Wilde April 28, 2019 at 11:55 pm

if nuclear power generation is so cheap how come the new build is going to cost twice the price of current mixed generation £92/MWh index linked cf £65/MWh.

Or are you suggesting that nuclear power regulations should be relaxed (no more inspections that have kept some -4- offline for over a year due to “microcracks of 1mm – that after 2 years become 2mm, no more backup generators, simply store spent fuel in ponds, etc.)

Reply to  ghalfrunt
April 29, 2019 7:24 am

That’s been answered for you many times before, and no doubt you will ignore this one as well.
1) Constant delays during construction due to lawsuits by eco-nuts.
2) Constant redesigns caused by ever changing regulations due to lawsuits by eco-nuts.

John Endicott
Reply to  ghalfrunt
April 29, 2019 11:00 am

if nuclear power generation is so cheap how come the new build is going to cost twice the price of current mixed generation

You note that the new build will cost twice as much but you don’t think as to why that is.

M Courtney
April 28, 2019 11:58 pm

A few weeks ago this happened in real life.
An eco-activist shot up a mosque in New Zealand to promote the need for lower population.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  M Courtney
April 29, 2019 12:19 am

No. A right wing extremist murdered 50 innocent lives in NZ recently. He was trying to
promote white supremacist viewpoints.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
April 29, 2019 5:06 am

It seems that both of these things are true, based on the evil nutjob’s manifesto.

M Courtney
Reply to  Izaak Walton
April 29, 2019 5:45 am

He was a right-wing environmentalist. Did you not read his manifesto?

He equated climate change and population growth. And he set about reducing population amongst those races that he saw as breeding too fast.

He is a self-proclaimed eco-fascist.
Why doubt his claims into his own beliefs? He actually acted on them.

He is a Green.

Reply to  M Courtney
April 29, 2019 7:26 am

Fascism is a form of socialism, which is a left wing philosophy.

M Courtney
Reply to  Izaak Walton
April 29, 2019 6:06 am

And why do you suggest that “white supremacist viewpoints” are not Green?

Raising energy prices, banning DDT and diverting action from poverty relief to climate change are all Green policies. And they are all targeted at killing poor people in the Third World.

Do you think it’s a coincidence that the victims are generally not white?

Reply to  M Courtney
April 29, 2019 7:27 am

And here we go again. The belief that racism is a trait of the right. In my experience, by far the biggest racists have all been left wingers.

M Courtney
Reply to  MarkW
April 29, 2019 3:06 pm

That is a non-sequitur. Which of the policies I mentioned was right wing and why?

Of course, conserving the status quo and supporting tradition does tend to permit a bias towards racism. But that was not what I claimed here.
Racism is certainly not inherent in right wing policies. There are other reasons to not be right wing than the strawman that all right wingers are necessarily racist. They are not.

Perhaps you have a guilty conscience?

Reply to  MarkW
April 29, 2019 4:16 pm

First you make the erroneous claim that the killer is right wing, then you point out that his victims are non-white.
I leave as an excercise for the reader to draw conclusions.

Reply to  MarkW
April 29, 2019 4:16 pm

PS: Your “Of Course” is as ridiculous as the rest of your nonsensical rants.

Reply to  MarkW
April 29, 2019 7:24 pm

PS: The belief that conservatives are wedded to the status quo is just another myth that liberals tell each other to explain why conservatives reject the nonsense liberals keep trying to peddle.

M Courtney
Reply to  MarkW
April 30, 2019 2:48 pm

The belief that conservatives are wedded to the status quo is just another myth…

Conservative: The Definition according to Websters.
” tending or disposed to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions”

Arguments may seem non-sensical if you do not speak the language but that does not mean they are non-sensical.

Communication needs a sender and receiver. There is nothing wrong with the message I sent.

Coach Springer
Reply to  Izaak Walton
April 29, 2019 6:38 am

Now kids, embrace the power of “and.” Actually, the eco crap isn’t white supremacist and that guy had a lot of contempt for everything. Which is altogether consistent with Malthusian eco crap.

Reply to  M Courtney
April 29, 2019 7:25 am

And last week, muslim extremists killed a bunch of Christians to take revenge for those killings.

ferd berple
April 29, 2019 12:03 am

Compare 2019 to 1019. One thousand years ago.

You live in a hut with a dirt floor. No running water. No sewage system. No electricity. No idea what causes disease. You can’t read or write. You work 16 hours a day and in winter you often go many days without food. The land you work is not yours and you cannot leave the land. Many crimes are punishable by death and miscarriages of justice are common.

I expect the average person from 1019 looking at our world would be amazed that we are the least bit worried about climate change. I expect the average person from 1019 would welcome trading their problems for ours.

Yet I can’t imagine anyone in 1029 saying the uncertain future is a good reason to not have children. In 1019 you had lots of children because 1/2 of them died before age 5. You needed to have lots of spares just in case.

Curious George
Reply to  ferd berple
April 29, 2019 11:58 am

Don’t underestimate old Romans. That would be two thousand years ago, not one.

Leo Smith
April 29, 2019 12:54 am

“I guess a rattle snake aint risponsible fer bein’ a rattlesnake, and ah ken iven feel sorry foh dat snake, but Ah still puts ma heel on um if i ketches ’em around mah chillun, jess the same”

The great thing about being simple minded is that the BS arguments don’t baffle your brain…

E J Zuiderwijk
April 29, 2019 1:05 am

Empathy for pure unadulterated evil. Whatever next? Worship the devil?

Reply to  E J Zuiderwijk
April 29, 2019 2:21 am

You could be on to something.

Reply to  E J Zuiderwijk
April 29, 2019 5:06 am

Remember Faust?
It get’s to even otherwise respectable notables. See below….

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  E J Zuiderwijk
April 29, 2019 2:23 pm

You know that some people do that, right?

April 29, 2019 3:11 am

Wouldn’t bombs contribute to “Global Warming” by releasing heat and CO2 when exploding? Green logic?

April 29, 2019 3:54 am

I find it extremely disturbing that anyone would go to the trouble of dragging some bad movie out of its forgotten dusty corner, and publicize it as if it’s new and we should all look at it. (It isn’t and we shouldn’t.) If this starts her essay with “we don’t need to be….”, then why is she condoning it by reviewing it?

People who are going to commit suicide will do it for any reason at all. We saw that last year with that lost soul in New York City’s Central Park. They don’t need an excuse but they will look for one, and now we have a movie about it? What kind of sick wacko IS this Allison Willmore that she even reviews a movie that condones it, by trying to explain it away?

April 29, 2019 4:24 am

Buzzfeed is listed as a friendly outlet by Britain’s Integrity Initiative. Oddly enough Ms May’s new Internet Harms Bill would shut down such reports as inciting harm.
Difficult enough to figure out what’s going on in Westminster these days….

Bill Joy, Sun co-founder defended Kaczynski in Wired, 2000,
“Kaczynski’s actions were murderous and, in my view, criminally insane. He is clearly a Luddite, but simply saying this does not dismiss his argument; as difficult as it is for me to acknowledge, I saw some merit in the reasoning in this single passage. I felt compelled to confront it. . . . “I started showing my friends the Kaczynski quote from The Age of Spiritual Machines . . . [and from] Hans Moravec’s book Robot: Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind.[4] Moravec is one of the leaders in robotics research, and was a founder of the largest robotics research program, at Carnegie Mellon University. Robot gave me more material to try out on my friends–material surprisingly supportive of Kaczynski’s argument.”

Note the Faustian sympathy there – it is based on maths and information theory.

April 29, 2019 5:15 am

Toward the end of Paul Schrader’s most recent film, First Reformed, the main character straps on an explosive vest with the intention of blowing himself up — along with a church full of other people — driven by an inarticulate but intense desire to strike a blow on behalf of the environment.

SNIP Should I start feeling empathetic towards Anders Behring Breivik next? How da SNIP (profanity, no matter how misspelled , is still not allowed – Mod we should feeling empathetic towards mindless cruel murderers, who destroy the village ‘to save it’?

The green-left. Always planning to start the thirties again. Always calling out others for hate speech.

Reply to  Hugs
April 29, 2019 9:01 am

My apologies. As we talk about persons who m***** people, I thought some expletives fit in. I’m Nordic and I speak English non-natively, so my emotional response to mother******s and similar is low compared to those Americans who have Italian background, let alone arab.

I will change my habbit. Thanks for your patience. And hugs.

April 29, 2019 5:38 am

If you want to control people one of the things you need to do is teach people to disregard the opinions of old people. All too often it is the old who have ‘seen it all before’. I remember the sixties and the seventies: “Three billion people! What will we ever do?”

Pamela Gray
April 29, 2019 5:48 am

I think the disease threats that will become the most lethal and bring devastation across large swaths of humanity will be either prions or viruses. Or both. And in particular, will cross the blood/brain barrier before you even know you are sick.

April 29, 2019 6:07 am

Anthony, please note Britain is preparing new internet regulations with consultation ’till June. I wonder if even mentioning this would fall under their purview?
Buzzfeed apparently is exempt from from any kind of integrity initiatives /sarc
A lot of people are really concerned that full censorship is on the way.

April 29, 2019 7:12 am

There is something in the liberal psyche that the desire to kill those who disagree with them is never far from the surface.

John Endicott
Reply to  MarkW
April 29, 2019 10:08 am

Like the 10:10 video. How warped does a group of people have to be to make and release that video without someone in the group ever at any point in the process standing up and saying “hang on, this is probably a pretty bad idea, is this really the message we want to send?”

Reply to  John Endicott
April 30, 2019 9:27 am

They stood up and said yes, this is the message we want to send. Like so many supporters of totalitarian systems.

Hate speech, not racist but hate speech anyway.

April 29, 2019 9:33 am

“Alison Willmore BuzzFeed News Reporter
Posted on April 28, 2019, at 9:59 a.m. ET”
“feel some empathy for the desperation that drives them.”

Another science fiction wannabe author using colorful inflammatory words that are improper where the author uses them.
“desperation noun
des·​per·​a·​tion | \ ˌde-spə-ˈrā-shən \
Definition of desperation
1 : loss of hope and surrender to despair
2 : a state of hopelessness leading to rashness”

Alison tries desperately to paint the bomber as acting under desperation caused by “climate change”.

Except, “climate change” dangers are all surmised or theorized.
There are no current signs of dangerous or catastrophic climate change caused by anthropogenic CO₂ emissions.
Nor are there any proven historical examples of “climate change” as defined by alarmists.

There are, instead, many examples of benefits from higher CO₂ levels.

Alison’s deadly anti-hero may be desperate, but that desperation is driven by pure delusion, not reality.

“Michael (Philip Ettinger), an activist for whom the effects of global warming are not abstract at all, and who’s in the grip of an existential crisis …
“The bad times will begin,” as he puts it. “This isn’t some distant future. You will live to see this.”

“will begin” and “This isn’t some distant future” are polar opposites statements that contradict each other in the activist’s sentence. Sloppy thinking for anyone, though not unusual in many activists.

The modeled or predicted dooms are “some distant future”; and have been for over thirty years. “will begin”, is emotional opinion; a belief, or worse a desire for the world to suffer.

Starved of the deadly justice due to civilization advancement, the activist “Michael” kills himself. Which somehow convinces the preacher “Ernst” to fall into Michael’s delusional claim; causing the preacher to strap on the vest and bring climate change punishment to himself and many innocents.

Innocents they were, innocents they are and innocents they remain while gullible deluded fools kill them because their deity CO₂ should will dooms upon them. Thus the innocents are murdered upon the CO₂ altar for alarmist infamous glory.

The word Alison Willmore should have used instead of desperation is delusional.

April 29, 2019 9:41 am

Here is my problem. Global warmists can do and say everything they want because they are good people and they’re simply trying to save the earth. If I disagree, or say “yes, but” or offer evidence to the contrary, I lose my friends and alienate family members because I am then an evil agent of Big Oil. So I keep my mouth shut among people I know and only argue with strangers on Facebook.

Reply to  accordionsrule
April 29, 2019 11:19 am

accordionsrule April 29, 2019 at 9:41 am
“if I disagree, or say “yes, but” or offer evidence to the contrary, I lose my friends and alienate family members because I am then an evil agent of Big Oil.”

Exactly, what is your problem?
– It certainly isn’t honesty.
– Nor is it a willingness to defend truth.
– You apparently prefer to mingle with people who despise science and truth while impugning and ridiculing anyone who disagrees. One would expect family members to know that “evil agent of Big Oil” are absurd accusations.

It appears your problem is an unwillingness to push back against peer pressure, in fear that friends and family will lose their good opinion of yourself. And as many others have discovered, those given to alarmism tend to be especially vicious in their vituperous personal attacks.

That is not solvable by any of us. Some very famous knowledgeable scientists have failed to escape the situation in which you find yourself.
Good luck with your problem and may it somehow amicably solve itself.

John Endicott
Reply to  ATheoK
April 29, 2019 12:08 pm

I can see accordionsrule’s dilemma. Not so much with friends, because if your friends view you that way because of a difference of opinion then they were never your friends to begin with. But rather with family. While you can choose your friends (so find better friends and dump the crazy ones), you can’t choose who you are related to. And if you are living with relatives that have such diametrically opposed views that can make life rather difficult. The simplest solution for peace on the home front sometimes is to avoid the topics that cause the most friction. Relatives you aren’t living with/seeing on a regular basis on the other hand can just lump it if they’re that unhinged.

John Robertson
April 29, 2019 10:28 am

Being gulled by the Fear Meme is an intelligence test.
Climate Change is a wonderful version of The Emperors New Clothes, as it is never defined.
Check for yourself,ask any fearmonger to define this CC of which they speak.

The beauty of allowing this popular meme to run unchecked is that so many self expose their stupidity.
“I believe in science” being one of those glorious moronic statements.
“Unprecedented” Since yesterday, being another.

The bureaucrat signature of CAGW/CC is unmistakable.
Every sanctified solution does nothing to solve the claimed problem.
But every one of these “solutions” expands bureaucratic power and theft by government.

A Carbon Tax.
Taxing air.
The ultimate dream of ever parasite infesting the “state”.

As I said an Intelligence Test,proving that most of the fools and bandits who seek to “lead us” should never be allowed to rise above street sweeper or dog catcher, in elected office.
The Calamitous Climate Meme has hit a crescendo with this springs floods, do these “experts” ever wonder what a Flood Plain might be?
Spring Floods..unprecedented!

If we see weather conditions like those that lead up to the 1926-27 Mississippi Flood, will that too be “evidence of climate change”?

Is mass hysteria catching?

April 29, 2019 1:24 pm

Some wise man once said the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. That’s exactly what we see in this article and it reminds me of college discussions about overpopulation in the 1980s that caused some men to commit to never having children. In each decade it has been a different shame-inducing issue. Leftists want people to feel hopeless, helpless, and guilty of the worst atrocities just for breathing. We understand the logic of the characters choice? No, it sounds like the minister lost faith and hope, and decided to join the forces of evil. We also understand he had cruddy probabilistic reasoning – pick sure destruction and murder over only the potential for destruction. What we see is death cult.

Pat Frank
April 29, 2019 1:36 pm

Every single one of those eco-murders should be charged against Micheal Mann, Gavin Schmidt, Phil Jones, Kevin Trenberth, and all the rest of the AGW purveyors, who cynically stoked the feelings of the foolish and mindless into rage and desperation. They should all be charged and imprisoned for inciting murder.

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