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We need to work toward finding the right balances, between some environmental advocates using moderate and restrained methods of coaxing, persuading, and trying to reason with those who have failed or refused to help, while others use blunt and explicit warnings which will sound – to many – like aggressive and unpleasant threats.

          Different people respond in different ways, when they feel that someone is trying to pressure them into doing something they would rather not have to do; the only consistent theme is that no one likes, or wants, to be pressured in that way.


          And yet, reality has proven, far too many times, that simply asking for things politely, respectfully, and with reason and restraint, is just plain not enough to stop bad people from doing whatever suits them, and their selfish goals. The first major report, warning America that unlimited carbon emissions would seriously harm the planet and even threaten life on earth, was issued in 1965, by a highly qualified and well-credentialed Presidential commission. Ever since – for almost 60 years – reasonable, polite, and eminently qualified and knowledgeable scientists and others have been politely and respectfully asking and urging oil companies, Republicans in Congress, reporters and editorial writers at The Wall Street Journal, and anyone else in a position to possibly make a difference, to please do what they can, to help reduce the burning of fossil fuels.


          Clearly, all that politeness, restraint, and civility, didn't achieve a gnat's butt-end worth of good, in actually changing the behaviors and decisions of people who could make money, by making things worse. All it did was allow the bad people to keep doing whatever they wanted, in higher and better levels of quiet, comfort, and isolation from reality, while occasionally offering nods of the head, and middle-finger salutes, toward anyone who was trying to pester them to stop doing so much damage.

          Rather than saying that people trying to protect the environment need to shift into higher levels of aggression, combativeness, and confrontation, I'm going to suggest, instead, that we need to do more to figure out how to weave a range of different styles, messages, and tonal contents, into a more coordinated and powerful whole. So, I would point to people such as football coaches, chess players, and symphony conductors, as examples.

          A football coach does not have, and does not want, 11 quarterbacks on his team, all doing the same thing. Instead, he wants one good quarterback, with five big, heavy, powerful linemen to protect him, and five really fast and/or powerful runners with good hands. And that's just on offense; on defense, he needs several large and powerful linemen, several middle linebackers, and several deep defenders. The best coaches are not the ones who can train the best quarterbacks; they are the ones who start with whoever shows up to play, and figures out how to combine and merge the particular skills, talents, and potentials of whoever is available, into the best possible single unified team on offense, and the best possible single unified team, on defense.

          Similarly, no matter how much some chess player might wish s/he had one king and fifteen queens, that's not what s/he gets, in a game of chess. Instead, to be good, a chess player needs to figure out how to combine and merge the different strengths and abilities of each of the pieces, while using those same strengths and abilities to help defend against the weaknesses, limits, and vulnerabilities of each piece. In addition, as a game progresses, one piece, and then another, and then another will be removed, and taken out of play, with no predictable sequence of when and how each removal will happen; therefore, a good chess player needs to know how to shift, adapt, and redistribute the roles of – and burdens imposed upon – whatever pieces remain in play, at any given moment, in any particular game.

          As a final example, no symphony conductor will be recognized as great, or even as skilled, unless s/he can rise above being brilliant at working with strings, or brilliant at working with the brass section, or the woodwinds. Instead, when one takes on the role of trying to conduct an entire symphony orchestra, true skill requires being able to merge each and all of those sections, and the different types of instruments in each and all of those sections, into a unified and coordinated whole, in which all the instruments, in all the sections, play together, even though they may be playing twenty different notes at each of thousands of different moments in time, during the course of a symphony or concerto.

          In similar ways, each and every person who is working to try to slow down global warming should do whatever they think they can do best; and, they should show, and even genuinely feel, a basic level of core respect, for anyone else who is at least trying to make a positive difference by slowing down greenhouse gas emissions. Rather than pooh-poohing and tut-tutting those who talk, or behave, or act differently from them – and, rather than thinking, "They are competing against me, because I want more of the attention, recognition, and credit" – anyone who is trying to slow down global warming should adopt the attitude that every other person who is working on and for the good side – the side that is trying to protect the environment, and give not just THEIR children and grandchildren, but YOUR children and grandchildren as well, at least some chance to find happiness rather than starvation, misery, and endless wars – should be respected, for at least being pointed in the right direction, regardless of how clumsy their tactics might be. Rather than trying to get them to stop, a better approach would be trying to help them improve, and to accept that even though no teammate is perfect, at least they're your teammates, rather than your enemies.

The Tetraheed Website and Concepts

        One person who contributed to this website has spent decades, working as a patent attorney. He is not a litigator, and he doesn't sue people. Instead, he helps inventors get patents on inventions; and, in a lot of cases, he helps inventors figure out how to improve and optimize their starting-point ideas, in ways that can make them better. While doing that kind of work, he kept seeing several patterns and principles, so often, and in so many ways, that he created a website, to try to explain and illustrate those patterns, and describe how people can use them.
       That website is at Anyone (regardless of whether they are actively interested in global warming) is invited and encouraged to take a look at it. Two of the most important points that are explained and illustrated in that website can be briefly summarized as follows:

​       1. No one should claim to understand a building, machine, or other structure or system which is complex and three-dimensional – and which has a depth dimension that cannot be seen while only standing in front of it – unless that person has walked all the way around that building or item, and has looked at it from every available angle.

          Too many people will claim and argue that they truly, honestly, and reliably know what something looks like, because they've seen it with their own eyes – when, in fact, they've seen only one side of it, and do not know what it looks like from other angles and viewpoints. This point seems obvious and intuitive; and yet, if it is pointed out, explained, and driven home with examples, illustrations, and challenges, there are ways to get people to recognize and accept it, in ways that can go deeper than just getting a dismissive brush-off pseudo-agreement. So, there is a quick and effective example of that, in the Tetraheed website, which starts with this simple picture, and asks, "What is it?"









          If someone is confronted with that concept, while they are arguing some point, they likely will shift to a second-level argument, which basically says, yeah, they realize something will look different, if seen from a different angle, but THEIR view is the BEST view, and anyone who looks at it from some OTHER angle is wrong, misguided, and evil. This is the classic position taken by too many people at the far ends of the bell curve, on too many social and political issues.

          In reality, any viewpoint, any perspective, and any description or depiction should be judged, based not on whether someone likes and prefers that particular viewpoint, perspective, or version, but by whether it presents accurate information, and offers a valid summary, picture, or other depiction of what something looks like, from that particular angle. You might not like what some particular building looks like, from some particular angle; but, if that is indeed what it looks like, from that angle, you should at least be aware of what it looks like, from that angle, if you want to claim that you truly understand that building.

       2. Any truly good relationship, between any two people, has four different and distinct parts, which can be summarized in the phrase, "One-two-sigma-delta".

       "One" represents one of the individuals, in that relationship. No matter what happens, in or to that relationship, she or he will still be an individual – an intact and complete person, with some set of strengths, capabilities, resources, assets, and other good things, but also with some limitations, weaknesses, shortcomings, needs, and problems.

       "Two" represents the other person, who will also continue to be an individual, who will have a substantially different set of strengths and assets, as well as weaknesses, shortcomings, and needs.

       The "sigma" part is named after the Greek letter  ∑ ,  which is used in math equations to represent a sum, or combination, or quantity that is calculated by adding up several different values. In a relationship with two people, the "sigma" (sum) part might be called the couple, the team, the partnership, the company, the family, or any other appropriate name, depending on the specifics. It refers to a new and different entity which is created, when two or more people begin actively working together, to try to reach some goal that they both agree upon and share. In the same way that a professional sports team is something more, and different, than just a collection of players, a "family" is different from just two people. A family, as its own distinct entity, needs a place to live; a family needs some kind of income; and a family needs to decide what to make for dinner, every night.

       If two people are dating, that relationship can and will reach, climb up to, and enter a better, stronger, and more fulfilling level, if and when both of those two poeple realize that they both have become sufficiently committed, to that relationship, that it has reached and matured into a stage of becoming a new entity, which most people think of as "we", or "us". As in, "we can do this, if we work on it, together". It is okay, and entirely reasonable, for either person, in that relationship, to continue to have his/her/their own set of enjoyable hobbies, amusements, and distractions from the daily grind of life; and yet, if both of the people in that relationship begin to realize that they do not want to, and are not willing to, allow shallow and short-terms wants and wishes to inflict permanent damage on that newly-formed entity called "we" or "us", then they will begin to see life differently, and on a higher and better level. People will behave differently, if they can reach a position where a crucial, central, and major part of the happiness they are finding, comes from knowing that they have become a solid, reliable, and contributing member of a team that is bigger than just them, which can accomplish things that no one person, all alone, can do. That is the nature, and the essence, of the "sigma" (sum) part of a good, supportive, fulfilling relationship.

       The fourth crucial part of any good relationship, is the "delta" part, named after the Greek letter  ∆ . In math equations,  ∆  is used to represent the difference between some quantity or value, at one point in time, compared to its quantity or value at a different point in time. As a simple example, if a car is traveling at 32 miles/hour at Time A, but then it speeds up to 38 miles/hour at Time B, then the  ∆V  (i.e., "delta velocity", the change in velocity) is 6 miles/hour. As another example, to help illustrate how wide the range of measurable conditions can be which can be described in delta terminology, if the outside air, in a certain neighborhood, is at 61°F at 8 am, and warms up to 68°F by noon, then that  ∆T  (i.e., the change in temperature) over those four hours is 7°F.

       In any relationship involving two people, the "delta" part focuses on the differences between those two people, which usually can be expressed in terms of understanding both: (i) the assets, resources, strengths, and good things that each of those people can offer and will bring to the relationship; and, (ii) the needs, wants, gaps, and deficits which add up and contribute to what each person wants, and is willing to work to get, from that relationship. Learning to respect and understand the "delta" part may well be the single most important factor in determining whether a couple, a family, or a partnership will be happy, stable, and productive, or whether the people in it will become embittered, unhappy, and angry; indeed, that statement is like saying that the single biggest factor that determines how happy or unhappy someone is, arises from whether they feel a sense of "conscious gratitude" for whatever the good things are in their life, or whether they do not, and instead, only feel resentment at not having more good things.

       The "delta" part of a relationship needs to be, not just tolerated, but actively welcomed, encouraged, fertilized, cultivated, and nurtured. The differences between us can and should make our lives and relationships interesting, varied, and challenging in good ways, instead of being dull, predictable, and monotonous to a point of deadening.

       In similar ways, more people need to learn (and to be encouraged) to be not just tolerant of, but actively respectful toward the generally moderate and reasoning people on both sides of several major divisions, which have been turned into hateful and destructive battlegrounds, where extremists at both of the extreme tips of the bell curve have done everything they can to gain as much attention and publicity for themselves as they can, including by claiming to be the true representatives of the position they are trying to take control over. As in any bell curve, most people dwell somewhere in the middle, rather than at the extreme tips of the curve. However, there always will be a small number of by malevolent and destructive schemers who try to find ways to make money, or gain power or influence, by exploiting those divisions, and making them even worse.

       One good way to analyze and understand those types of divisive, destructive, and even hateful actions is by noticing that steam engines offer an insightful and instructive analogy, or metaphor, for why some people choose to knowingly fan and fuel the fires of hate, rather than trying to build bridges of understanding. Steam engines cannot be powered by simple water; instead, someone needs to light a fire under that water, and get that water boiling hot, to a point where it begins turning into hot and compressed steam, because hot steam is what provides the power to run a steam engine. And, once that process has gotten started, that fire needs to be kept burning hot, by adding more and more fuel to it, for as long someone wants to keep that engine running, and producing power.

       Several of worst, most destructive, and hateful divisions that are harming and degrading our ability to work as a single unified nation, today, arise directly from politics. Rather than trying to analyze or address political divisions in this website, we refer any readers with an active interest in politics to a different website, which is at Among other things, it describes a number of innovative proposals that may be able to do some actual good, in helping moderates, centrists, and problem-solvers find ways to help defuse and turn down the levels of heat and anger, in several of the most hateful political battles raging today, including the battles over abortion, gun controls, immigration, and health care.

       Another major (and destructive, and hate-generating) division that has arisen, in the US, is the divide between people of science, versus people that we refer to – with no intended irony, disrespect, or ill-will – as "people of faith". Problems such as the recent angry debates over COVID vaccines (and over laws requiring masks and other precautions), and the refusal of most Republican politicians (nearly all claiming to be religious) to listen to the scientific warnings about global warming, offer examples of how bad the divisions and distrust have become, between too many people of science, and too many people of faith. There are at least half a dozen promising ways that those of us in the middle may be able to help build bridges, and create better understandings, at least among moderates, centrists, and problem-solvers (most of whom tend to regard the loud and angry protestors on both sides of that divide to be wasting time and energy by endlessly arguing, in ways that will not ever, ever change the minds of those who are arguing for the opposite values), when it comes to science-versus-faith arguments. Some of our contributors hope and intend to write, in the near future, about a number of ways that have occurred to us, to help "turn down the heat" in those battles, but those analyses go beyond the scope of this website, and would be yet another digression. So, we offer this paragraph – about trying to build bridges between people of science, and people of faith – like a place-marker next to a road, in the hope that at least some of us will be able to return to it, and do some good and useful work in this area, before long.

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