Friday, November 2, 2012

Interview with Danny Bloom

Interview with Polar Cities Research Institute Director Dan Bloom -- conducted by Jim Laughter 

Note to readers: As author of the new climate thriller, Polar City Red, that was inspired by climate activist Danny Bloom, I had the opportunity to pick his brain about the current state of the Earth’s ecosystem. Danny has long been a proponent of the theory that global warming will eventually render the Earth’s atmosphere uninhabitable, causing the near-extinction of the human race if we are not careful and do not take steps to alleviate the problems now. I wrote Polar City Red based partly on his ideas, and centered on much of the research that he provided to me. With this in mind, I want to dig even deeper into the mind of this climate activist and unravel a few of his inner thoughts. Hang on. I have a feeling this is going to be an exciting ride!

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JIM LAUGHTER: Dan, you were the inspiration for my novel titled ''Polar City Red'', and have been privy to every step of its development. Now, six months after publication, what's your take on the message of the book, and does it fall in line with how you see global warming affecting the Earth in the future?

DAN BLOOM: Jim, from the moment I began reading your novel chapter by chapter as you wrote it last year and this, I felt that finally someone has put the concepts of what polar city life might be like inside the covers of a fiction novel. The arguments and statistics that scientists use to illustrate climate change and global warming --and the arguments by the climate skeptics and climate denialists to say that climate change is a hoax -- can only go so far in convincing the public it is real and to take action. But to put the ideas and emotions into a fiction novel with real characters interacting with time and space and climate science, you are a pioneer in the science fiction field, what I like to call CLI FI for climate fiction. Your book puts all the science and stats into a work of fiction and makes it all even more real. Your book touched me deeply. I do hope it finds a wide audience world-wide, and someday in translation as well for readers in Japan and Germany and Sweden, among other nations.

JIM: Dan, according to your ideas, and taking into consideration humanity even back to the prehistoric caveman days, there have already been about 180,000 generations of humans on this planet. Now you predict the Earth can sustain only another 30 generations before the ecosystem causes humanity to become extinct or near extinct, with maybe just a few hundred thousand humans left on Earth. If this is true, what is your analysis, and more importantly, what is the solution to fix the problem?

DAN: You know, Jim, I cannot see the future, I can only guess and estimate and put forward some ideas. I do believe that we have about 30 generations left to fix the problems OR ELSE. And I am hopeful that we will find a way to fix the Co2 emissions problems and stop our use of coal and oil, and all fossil fuels. I am an optimist, and even as your novel ends in the epilogue on a positive, optimistic note, I also agree that humans can solve the problems future generations face, but it's going to take some serious work.

QUESTION: Dan, you’ve developed an idea that once global warming destroys the Earth’s ecosystem, the human race will be forced to escape to the Arctic Circle and other frigid areas of the world to survive, and they’ll do it living in what you’ve termed Polar Cities. Please explain how these polar cities will be established, how they’ll be governed, and how they’ll be maintained to ensure the survival of the human race.

DAN: Good question, Jim! Again, I am just postulating. I cannot "see" the future. But the way I see all this unfolding is this: Slowly, over the next few centuries, the global temperature of the Earth warms up 4 to 7 degrees . Life in the central regions become impossible for humans due to lack of growing seasons, lack of food, lack of power and fuel. Drought is imminent. As a result, slowly, individually and in waves, people start making the trek north to Alaska and Canada. They find refuge as climate refugees in polar cities. They will be governed by the USA, Canada, Russia, etc., and also by the UN, which will by then be based in Greenland. Who will get in and who will not be admitted will become vexing questions. I do not have the answers. I see a kind of scary sci fi scenario pretty much as you wrote in your novel, complete with marauding bands of scavengers and other murderous elements. It won’t be very pleasant. Life will be difficult, but at least it will be life.

QUESTION: Global warming to many people is like Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. We’ve heard about them all of our lives but no one has ever actually seen them. What can you say to convince the average person on the street that global warming is real, and that it will eventually affect everything in their lives or the lives of their future generations?

DAN: You know, Jim, there is not much I can say to wake people up. They need to wake up on their own. We cannot force people to wake up. Nature might do it, as the recent Superstorm Sandy showed amazing images of destruction. Your book is a big wake up call. We need movies, TV shows, college courses about polar cities. But all that comes later. I do not know how to wake people up. But I am sure that anyone who reads your book cover to cover will never be the same.

QUESTION: When I wrote Polar City Red, I did it strictly as a fictional account of one possible outcome caused by global warming. How close to you think I got to reality?

DAN: As a mere reader, I think you hit the nail on the head! You used your novelist's imagination to take all the scientific statistics and theories and turn out an emotional adventure thriller that would make one hell of a TV movie of the week or even a National Geographic "what if" kind of documentary.

QUESTION: You’ve been an ardent student of Dr. James Lovelock, a prominent advocate of global warming; a man that has written books about global warming, and who predicted the almost immediate end of the human race due to the effects of global warming. Now Dr. Lovelock has revised his theory and says the end of humanity may come much later than his previous predictions. As his student, how has his change of heart affected your personal outlook on the dangers of global warming?

DAN: Good question. Actually, Lovelock, who has seen my polar cities website and images and wrote back to me saying, "this may very well happen and soon", still believes in climate change and global warming. But he just moved the time frame from 2100 AD to around 2500 AD or 3000 AD in his opinion. And that's fine. Nobody knows the real time frame. But it will happen. Climate chaos threatens the human species, but it won't happen real bad for another 100 to 1000 years. I am with Dr. Lovelock and he is with me. He said the best retreat is toward the poles. I got that idea from him. Polar cities, the concept, comes from Dr. Lovelock, directly. He is the genius here.

QUESTION: I saw an article that describes your vision of what Polar Cities will look like in the future. According to the pictures, they will be mostly underground structures designed for single and multiple families and will be sustained by geothermal energy and other non-fossil fuel energy sources. How do you propose to tap the energy sources of the Earth without causing further damage to the atmosphere and ecosystem?

DAN: You keep asking good questions, and I don't have the answers to that. But I can tell you this: we need to stop depending on coal and oil as soon as possible. We need to tighten the noose around coal and oil soon, yesterday! But to answer your questions, scientists can answer that best of all. You are a novelist and your novel answered the questions very well. I am just a dreamer with a sense of public relations. But I am not a scientist. I do hope wind and solar and ocean tide energy can be harnessed soon. No more oil or coal use, please!

QUESTION: If your Polar Cities theory becomes reality and humanity is forced to evacuate the lower hemisphere for a more northern climate, do you predict the surviving humans will live in an advanced technological state, or do you predict we’ll regress to a pre-industrial lifestyle? What is your reason for either answer?

DAN: Another great question! I predict that we will regress to pre-industrial lifestyles, and people will live very much as people lived in the 1500s. It won't be a pretty picture. But some of our descendants will survive and make it through. I am an optimist. I see your book as an optimistic book. The ending is perfect.

QUESTION: In my book, Polar City Red, I’ve drawn attention a number of governmental conspiracy theories where the U.S. and other worldwide governments have been creating underground cities since the 1950s in order to save the wealthy elite of the world, leaving the rest of us poor slobs to slug it out for ourselves. If your Polar City theory becomes reality, how will you ensure that the average citizen is deemed worthy to survive?

DAN: You are so right, and your novel describes it well. Polar city life will be run by those who power and connections, and the average Joe will not get in. It will really be the scavengers against the polar city residents. Humanity will descend into chaos, and there will be billions of dead people. From a world population of say 10 billion or even 25 billion when the bad stuff happens, maybe at most 200,000 will survive in polar cities. I do hope people read your book and wake up. No more business as usual. And again, Superstorm Sandy, while not caused by global warming, is a wake-up call, too. Or the images from it should be a global wake-up call about sea level rises and disaster preparedness.

QUESTION: Dan, what's next for you and your Polar City project? Will you continue to hammer away at the politicians and scientists that have their heads buried in the sands of denial, or will you think to yourself, “Hell, I’ll be dead and gone before all of this crap hits the fan. Let the future generations fend for themselves?”

DAN: Jim, this is now my life's work. I will continue 24/7 until I am dead. And then I hope others will carry on the Polar City ideas. I care about the future. I care about people 500 years from now. I don't know why, but I do. I really do care. I think it's because I love life so much and I love what human beings have achieved, too. I don't want to see this human species end. It would be a shame if it did. So I am speaking out until I am dead. Your book will last a long time, perhaps for 500 years in print and in electronic archives.

FINAL NOTE FROM JIM LAUGHTER: Thanks, Dan, for letting me pick your brain. I hope you enjoyed ''Polar City Red'', and I hope other people around the world will buy it, read it, enjoy it, and heed its warning.

-- Jim Laughter

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Earth has gone past the point of no return

I met a man about a year ago that influenced me to write my latest book, Polar City Red.  His name is Danny Bloom, a journalist and climate activist in Taiwan.  He has been my greatest advocate for the book.  But more importantly, he's been a tremendous advocate for the well-being of our planet, constantly ringing the warning bell that our planet is in trouble, and mankind is to blame.

Without getting specific to Polar City Red, I've invited Danny to comment on his view of how global climate change will affect the human race in the future.  I hope you find it as interesting as I did.

By Danny Bloom:

In two recent commentaries about climate change, Jeffrey Sachs (“Our summer of climate truth,” Aug. 1, page 9) and George Monbiot (“Rich world’s smugness will melt with the ice,” Aug. 31, page 9) emphasized that not only is climate change real and about to turn this planet into a global emergency ward, but if we are not careful, it may be curtains for the human race. Of course, these words, whether written by Sachs, Monbiot, or other climate Cassandras, generally fall on deaf ears. Life tomorrow will go on as usual in Taipei, in Washington and in London.

Sachs, who is an adviser to the UN secretary-general on the Millennium Development Goals and professor at Columbia University, pulled no punches in his piece. Monbiot went even further.

However, in my opinion both Sachs and Monbiot are still in denial about the real impact of climate change and global warming on this planet and on the future prospects for humankind.They talk about “solutions,” as if some magical fix will make everything all right. Sachs speaks as if it is not too late to stop climate change and global warming, and once the world switches to alternative energy sources such as wind, water or solar power, everything will be okay.

It is too late. What we need to do is prepare for any potential climate chaos that might turn Taiwan and the rest of the world toward barbarianism as climate change creates huge migrations to the north of the globe. It will not be a pretty picture. There will be no Taiwan, there will be no lower 48 in the US anymore. All human life will settle in northern regions to endure a punishing, terrible hell on Earth.

Listen, lawmakers, world leaders and policymakers: Nothing will ever be okay again. No more comforting words about how everything will be okay once we find a way out of this mess. What very few people want to acknowledge, even luminaries like Sachs and Monbiot, is that we have already lost the battle.

The human species is at risk of extinction in 30 more generations. Sachs does not want to face this possibility since his well-paid career as an Ivy League economics professor means that he has to keep offering “solutions” and “fixes.”

He cannot understand that while the planet will recover from climate change impacts in the future, the human species has now passed the tipping point and billions will die over the next 500 years as climate chaos engulfs all nations, including Taiwan. Monbiot might understand this, but cannot write such words. It would cost him his job as a columnist for the Guardian.

What humankind is facing is not pretty and very few academics or climate activists want to go there. Their jobs and careers depend on creating hope that we can find solutions to this mess. The sad and tragic fact is that there are no solutions, no fixes, as Monbiot actually hints at but cannot bring himself to say outright. In the near future, perhaps just 100 or 200 years from now, billions of people will head north to Arctic climes, from Russia to Canada to Alaska.

In the southern hemisphere, millions of climate refugees will search for shelter in New Zealand and Tasmania and even Antarctica. Sachs and Monbiot know this but cannot bring themselves to write it out in the public prints because they are in denial. Everyone is in denial.

Planting more trees and recycling chopsticks is not going to do the trick. Humanity is doomed. However, some remnants of civilized people will survive and repopulate the Earth. They will survive in makeshift polar settlements scattered across the northern and extreme southern regions of the planet. What we need is to set up task forces and government commissions worldwide to study and discuss this kind of “adaptation” in a fragile world. Taiwan cannot stick its head in the sand..
Dan Bloom is a writer in Chiayi.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Religion in Polar City Red

A few days ago a man asked me how, as a Christian, I saw religion as a viable part of my latest book, Polar City Red. My answer was that  I didn't write Polar City Red to make a religious statement or to put forth a religious doctrine or idea.  It's a book about the consequences this planet will face if we don't get a handle on the emission of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere, which is caused by the burning of fossil fuels. It's a warning that mankind stands on the brink of extinction; that this old world is going to turn its back on us and invite us as a species to get off and let another life form have its turn.
But on the question of religion in Polar City Red, I think Christians automatically include faith in everything we do, so including a smidgen of faith in the book was only natural. Religion is an underlying theme in Polar City Red, not a major issue. Even though I’ve been involved in religion for many years, pastored for over 8 years and worked with Christian missionaries for over 30 years, there’s no preaching in Polar City Red. Readers don’t have to worry about reading this book and getting a sermon. If you want a sermon, you can seek the advice of your own pastor, priest, rabbi, Imam, guru, monk, shaman, or whatever particular religious viewpoint you follow.  Did I miss one? Witch doctor maybe?
I wish I knew how faith, or religion, or whatever you care to call it will translate to future generations. I’m a Christian man, raised in a Christian home, and I raised my three sons in a Christian environment. But I’m not selfish enough to believe that I have a monopoly on God. A study of history will tell you that more wars have been fought and more people tortured, persecuted, humiliated, and killed in the name of religion than any other cause in the world. And you don't have to be involved in some screwball cult like The People's Temple, the Moonies, The Children of God, or Hari Krishna to get caught up in an oppressive, legalistic religion. Mainstream religions that exert undo pressure on their members to follow doctrines and dogmas designed to boister the control they have on their members are just as dangerous as any cult or idoltry system. 
In my humble opinion, religion is man’s effort to corner God into justifying our actions. Faith, on the other hand, is God’s effort to reconcile mankind with himself, regardless the sign over the door or the number of times you pray every day. The Great Inquisition was waged in the name of religion, but did God have a hand in it or was it man’s effort to force a foreign belief system on other people? The Crusades and numerous other efforts to force one group of people to adopt an unfamiliar belief system were fought in the name of religion. Hitler killed six million Jews because he didn’t like what they believed. The Islamic nut-cases that flew airplanes into the twin towers in New York on September 11, 2001 did it in the name of their radical religion. But was it of God, or was it an effort to attack a free people in the name of an oppressive and narrow-minded religion?  If of God, I don’t want to have anything to do with it. And if these nut-balls are my neighbors in heaven, I hope they get 70 ugly virgins and there’s a shortage of Viagra. Either way, I’m locking my mansion doors!
I introduce a modicum of faith in Polar City Red but not a doctrinal system.  I have one character that is shunned by the local society because of his radical, legalistic viewpoints; a man that tries to force his beliefs on people just trying to survive in a hostile world. These people need faith, not religion, and certainly not someone that interprets the Bible to suit his own point of view. On the other hand, his wife is a lady who offers to share her faith with others while accepting their faith. Caught in the middle is their son who wants to believe his religious upbringing but finds himself befriended by the very man he thinks may have killed his father. I even have one character in the book that questions the identity of God in terms of creation and other universal ideas. Who can say who is right or wrong?
I believe this old world has more to worry about than who follows what religious system. I know what I believe in terms of religion. It shouldn’t matter one way or the other to anyone except me and my immediate circle of influence. I can share it with someone seeking faith but I don’t have the right to force it onto anyone else or to claim that it is the only road to God or salvation. A wise man told me many years ago that Christianity (or any other religion you want to say) is just people looking for people who are looking.
I have a feeling when global warming renders the Earth’s ecosystem defunct and humanity comes face to face with the choice of survival or extinction, humanity will start asking questions concerning the survival of our species, not which religion is right or wrong. Current religious systems and doctrinal mantras may very well fade into oblivion in future generations when man comes face to face with eternity and God says as he did in Genesis 6:7, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth…”
So in the matter of religion in Polar City Red, I just want readers to know they can read this book without having their individual faith attacked or belittled, and when they close the final page of Polar City Red, they’ll have a better understanding of the crisis our planet faces. And if you like this book, you can look forward to the prequel and sequel that I’m working on now, Escape to Polar City Red and Escape from Polar City Red. Sorry, I don’t have a time frame for when they’ll be finished but we’ll get there eventually, hopefully by next spring or summer.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hey friends....

Well, I'm not very good at this UTube thing, but I shot a short video about my new book coming out next month. Polar City Red is set to release April 22, 2012 in conjunction with Earth Day. You can preview it at my website,, but click on this UTube link, take a look, and let me know what you think.... Jim

UTube about Polar City Red

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Polar City Red interview

Hey friends... I thought you might be interested in reading a recent article that came out in Hollywood Stars entertainment magazine about a new book I'm writing. Polar City Red is a look at life after global warming destroys the habitable parts of the Earth, forcing human beings to migrate to the great northern frozen tundra. How will the human race survive on a planet that has rejected our presence? Enjoy the article and look for the book, Polar City Red, to come out this summer.

By the way, today (Saturday, January 14th) is the last day we are offering two of my co-authored novels, Escape to Destiny and Ghost in the Dark, as FREE kindle downloads. These are the first two books in our Galactic Axia Adventure and Young Reader series. Order these books free of charge. Enjoy them.... Tell your friends.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Free Kindle Books

I really didn't plan to use this blog for advertising, but since we're giving two of my books away free, I don't guess it's really advertising. For two days only (January 13th and 14th), if you have a Kindle reader or application, we're giving away Escape to Destiny and Ghost in the Dark. These are the first two books in the Galactic Axia adventure and young reader series.

Just click on these covers to go directly to the Kindle Store for your free copies of Escape to Destiny and Ghost in the Dark.

Oh yeah, and since I'm violating my own rule of non-advertising on this blog, I might as well mention that I've begun a limited editing and proofreading service. If you write, and you think you need someone to lookat your, I may be able to help. Please visit my Editorial Services page at my website.

OK, that's the last bit of advertising. Now for sports..... Or is it weather next? Can't remember.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Thanks for 2011

As we finish 2011 and go into 2012, I want to thank all of my special friends, especially you, for your educational e-mails over the past year. I am totally screwed up now and have little chance of recovery.

Why? You ask why? What kind of excellent advice did you send me in 2011 that changed my life. Here are a few of the wonderful changes to my life I've had the pleasure of experiencing. For one....

I can no longer open a bathroom door without using a paper towel, nor let the waitress put lemon slices in my ice water without worrying about the bacteria on the lemon peel.

I can't sit down on a hotel bedspread because I can only imagine what has happened on it since it was last washed.

I have trouble shaking hands with someone who has been driving because the number one pastime while driving alone is picking one's nose.

Eating a little snack sends me on a guilt trip because I can only imagine how many gallons of trans
-fats I consumed in 2011 and will in 2012.

I can't touch any woman's handbag for fear she has placed it on the floor of a public toilet.

I MUST SEND MY SPECIAL THANKS for the email about rat poo in the glue on envelopes because I now have to use a wet sponge with every envelope that needs sealing.

ALSO, now I have to scrub the top of every can I open for the same reason.

I can't have a drink anywhere except at home because I fear I'll wake up in a bathtub full of ice with my kidneys gone.

I can't eat at KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes, feet or feathers.

I can't use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.

THANKS TO YOU, I have learned that my prayers only get answered if I forward an e-mail to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes.

BECAUSE OF YOUR CONCERN, I no longer drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains.

I no longer buy fuel without taking someone along to watch the car, so a serial killer doesn't crawl in my back seat when I'm filling up.

I no longer use Cling Wrap in the microwave because it causes seven different types of cancer.

AND THANKS FOR LETTING ME KNOW I can't boil a cup of water in the microwave anymore because it will blow up in my face, disfiguring me for life.

I no longer go to the cinema because I could be pricked with a needle infected with AIDS when I sit down.

I no longer go to shopping centers because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.

And I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number for which I will get a huge phone bill with calls to Jamaica , Uganda , Singapore and Uzbekistan .

THANKS TO YOU I can't use anyone's toilet but mine because a big black snake could be lurking under the seat and cause me instant death when it bites my butt.

AND THANKS TO YOUR GREAT ADVICE I can't ever pick up a dime coin dropped in the car park because it was probably placed there by a sex molester waiting to grab me when I bend over.

I can't do any gardening because I'm afraid I'll get bitten by the Violin Spider and my hand will fall off.

If you don't send the link to this blog to at least 144,000 people in the next 70 minutes, a large dove with diarrhea will land on your head at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon, and the fleas from 120 camels will infest your back, causing you to grow a hairy hump. I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbor’s ex mother-in-law's second husband's cousin's best friend's beautician.

Oh, and by the way

A German scientist from Argentina , after a lengthy study, has discovered that people with insufficient brain activity read blogs with their hand on the mouse.

Don't bother taking it off now, it's too late.

P. S. I now keep my toothbrush in the living room, because I was told by e-mail that water splashes over 6 ft. out of the toilet.

Oh yeah, one more thing.... Anyone who doesn't order at least one of my books from my website will grow a second nose and suffer a lifetime of nasal drip. I know this to be true because -- well, just because.