Climate change - politics and activism

Applying the Dharma for the preservation of planet Earth and its inhabitants
Leeuwenhoek
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Climate Hawk

Post by Leeuwenhoek » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:01 pm

Speaking of labels - there is one I find useful. Unfortunately I haven't found a source that defines it to my satisfaction. But the general idea of the "Climate Hawk" describes people who:
  • "Care about climate change and clean energy"
  • Believe that the risks of climate change are sufficient to warrant a robust response.
  • Are also clean energy hawks.
An implication made more explicit by other pieces is that a climate hawk keeps all clean(er) energy options on the table. Nuclear electrical energy, fracking to replace coal with much cleaner natural gas, carbon capture and storage (cleaner coal). In that regard I'm in the climate hawk camp. From my reading of online media a good many socially engaged Buddhists do not appear to be climate hawks.

This article talks more about why the author chose the phrase "climate hawk" than what the phrase attempts to describe but the comments are worthy note none the less.
Introducing ‘climate hawks’ By David Roberts Grist, Oct 21, 2010
On Monday I asked, “What should we call people who care about climate change and clean energy?

... the class of climate hawks is not coextensive with the class of environmentalists. They are not the same group. In a Venn diagram, there would be substantial overlap but also substantial … underlap? nonlap? disjoint? Point is, there are plenty of people who understand climate change and support clean energy but do not share the rest of the ideological and sociocultural commitments that define environmentalism as historically understood in the U.S. (Which is fine!)

... it needs to be broad enough to encompass everyone worried about these issues, but at the same time shallow enough that it doesn’t imply a bunch of other positions or commitments. It has to be something a business executive in Akron, Ohio, or a Navy Admiral will apply to themselves. You can’t smuggle a bunch of other stuff in; people just won’t use it.

...I’d really like to avoid any “ist” or “ism.” An -ism is a tribe; an -ist is an identity. Those are substantial commitments. What’s direly needed is a way for people to be able to adopt climate and clean energy as concerns without being forced to make those additional commitments. This, I have to say, is what a lot of environmentalists don’t seem to get. Most people don’t want to be part of a tribe defined by ideological or political commitments. Environmentalism already strikes many folks as a kind of quasi-religion. We don’t want to create another -ism with similarly high barrier to entry. This, I’m sad to say, rules out “decarbonist,” which was one of my faves on purely descriptive grounds.

... it doesn’t carry any implications about The Truth. It doesn’t say, “I’m right, you’re wrong. I’m smarter and more enlightened than you.” Instead it evokes a judgment: that the risks of climate change are sufficient to warrant a robust response. By definition, everyone must make such judgments on their own. Rather than being a Manichean choice — you get it or you’re stupid — it becomes about values, about how hard to fight and how much to sacrifice to defend America and her future. That’s the right conversation to be having.

Yes, I’m well aware that “hawk” has militaristic overtones. ... But lefties shouldn’t be precious. The health of Mother Earth just doesn’t move that many people. For better or worse, more Americans respond to evocations of toughness in the face of a threat.

Why not “clean energy hawk”? For one thing, two words are snappier than three and easier to write. For another, it’s import
ant to keep the threat of climate change at the center of the conversation; clean energy is one way of fighting back against that threat, but there are many others. A climate hawk leans forward, wants to attack on as many fronts as possible.
-- https://grist.org/article/2010-10-20-in ... ate-hawks/

Leeuwenhoek
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Leeuwenhoek » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:34 pm

The closing lines from a wide ranging article adapted from a lecture:
Several years ago, as a communication scholar studying climate politics, I made the decision to personally seek out pragmatic and problem-solving intellectuals on the Left and the Right, working in the private and the non-profit sectors, discussing with them new ideas for achieving a zero-carbon economy fueled by cheap, abundant clean energy.

... When my five-year old son is my age, if the IPCC’s predictions prove accurate, no matter what we do in coming decades, he and his children will be living in a world dramatically transformed.

That’s why I feel so compelled to speak out about misguided choices and flawed assumptions in scholarship, advocacy, and philanthropy, and to re-imagine what is possible.

I hope other academics and intellectuals will join my efforts. As Editor-in-Chief of the journal Environmental Communication, I invite evidence-driven studies, review papers, and commentaries that elevate critical discussion and analysis of the themes I have mapped out in this lecture, and that help identify new paths forward.

There is no ending or solving climate change, but we can do better, rather than worse at managing the far reaching risks.

Thank you. As always, I welcome your comments, feedback, and critiques.

-- The IPCC Report is a Wake Up Call for Communication Scholars
medium.com/wealth-of-ideas/about
Matthew Nisbet, PhD
Professor of Communication, Public Policy, and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University.

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:46 am

American members might like to discuss this one ...
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:popcorn:
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Leeuwenhoek
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Leeuwenhoek » Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:30 am

Skillful, effective change means developing effective policy and technological options that invite support among liberals, moderates and conservatives. This is a view that is suggested by teachings about building harmony in communities and sangas. Unfortunately a number of us observe a non-diverse focus combined with what Nisbet (quoted in recent posts) calls a " bunker mentality among climate advocates that is highly resistant to legitimate criticism or alternative ideas."

In a series of tweets Nisbet writes:
Like many climate advocates, our research has been motivated by a desire to jump start a greater sense of public urgency about climate change, believing that voter pressure was the key to major Federal policy action.

Nor have we examined closely the process by which political elites might come to agree on the same policy choices but for different reasons.

As scholars, our unhealthy obsession with the psychology and communication strategies of conservative "deniers" has also reinforced a bunker mentality among climate advocates that is highly resistant to legitimate criticism or alternative ideas.

The result is a discourse culture that substantially reduces opportunities for developing effective policy and technological options that brokers support among liberals, ... moderates and conservatives.

[emphasis mine]
Not surprising, but many western Buddhist's also seem influenced by patterns in the general culture. A major puzzle to me is the silence of so many politically engaged Buddhist around ideas of political viewpoint diversity, or what I call trans-partisanship, that IMO are modeled and suggested by the sutras. Today similar patterns play out in academic culture as well. This would predictably lead to a mindset that tends to be resistant to legitimate criticism or alternative ideas.

In my analysis many western convert Buddhists with a social engagement, particular the more vocal, are insufficiently mindful of the other "ideological and sociocultural commitments" they hold.

-----------------------------

David Chapman has written on this in some depth. Chapman's writing style tends to a bit of overstatement (by his own admission) but he seems headed in the right direction with his critique:
David Chapman wrote:“Buddhist ethics” is not Buddhist ethics: It is indistinguishable from contemporary American leftish public morality. It is not based on the moral teachings of traditional Buddhist authorities. It is also not a valuable, unique innovation; it simply re-labels mainstream secular ethics “Buddhist.”
-- https://vividness.live/2015/09/23/buddh ... d/#summary
Note, the problem is not the particular direction of the political tilt. The issue is a privileging of one view point over others in the context of a dharma that encourages a more inclusive and fluid non-duality.

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:17 am

I'm filing this under "politics and activism" because it is a very welcome sign of a long-delayed move away from political inertia:
New York Sues Exxon Mobil, Saying It Deceived Shareholders on Climate Change

New York’s attorney general sued Exxon Mobil on Wednesday, claiming the company defrauded shareholders by downplaying the expected risks of climate change to its business.

The litigation, which follows more than three years of investigation, represents the most significant legal effort yet to establish that a fossil fuel company misled the public on climate change and to hold it responsible. Not only does it pose a financial threat to Exxon that could run into the hundreds of millions of dollars or more, but it could also strike a blow to the reputation of a company that has worked to rehabilitate its image, framing itself as a leader on global warming.

The suit does not charge Exxon with playing a role in creating climate change, though the burning of fossil fuels is a major contributor to human-driven warming. Rather, it is a fairly straightforward shareholder fraud suit, the kind that New York attorneys general have long brought and successfully prosecuted under state law.
:reading: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/24/clim ... hange.html

:twothumbs:
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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sat Oct 27, 2018 1:51 am

'We have a duty to act': hundreds ready to go to jail over climate crisis

A new group of “concerned citizens” is planning a campaign of mass civil disobedience starting next month and promises it has hundreds of people – from teenagers to pensioners – ready to get arrested in an effort to draw attention to the unfolding climate emergency.

The group, called Extinction Rebellion, is today backed by almost 100 senior academics from across the UK, including the former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.

In a letter published in the Guardian they say the failure of politicians to tackle climate breakdown and the growing extinction crisis means “the ‘social contract’ has been broken … [and] it is therefore not only our right, but our moral duty to bypass the government’s inaction and flagrant dereliction of duty, and to rebel to defend life itself.”
It's a shame that it's necessary, but :twothumbs: for the action.

:reading: https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... te-crisisA

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:46 am

Making it real ...

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:coffee:
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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:10 pm

Young people will be more severely affected by climate change than older people, and they are beginning to say so.
Here's a good example -
Hi friend - the AYCC team wanted to share this message from high school legend Harriet, who is taking impressive action for climate justice and would love you to support her!

Heya!

My name is Harriet. I’m in Year 8 and I live in Central Victoria.

Tomorrow, I’m going on strike from school in protest of our politicians’ inaction on climate change and the Adani coal mine.

And I’m not alone. My entire class is joining me, along with kids aged 6 - 17 from cities and towns across Australia.

On November 30, we’ll join with students from all over to strike together as part of the Big School Walk Out. School students can come join us a Walk-Out event or organise your own!

We’re catching the train down to Melbourne: 12 noon, Friday November 30, outside VIC Parliament RSVP HERE
Sydney: 12 noon, Friday November 30, outside NSW Parliament RSVP HERE
Brisbane: 12 noon, Friday November 30, outside QLD Parliament RSVP HERE

This is a school student event for kids - adults are encouraged to spread the word to any young people you know who might be interested! ...
https://www.schoolstrike4climate.com/support-us

:twothumbs:
Kim

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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:46 am

And from the other end of the economic scale ...
We Have to Save the Planet. So I’m Donating $1 Billion.

I will give this sum over the next decade to help accelerate land and ocean conservation around the world.

By Hansjörg Wyss

Mr. Wyss is a philanthropist and conservationist.

...Every one of us — citizens, philanthropists, business and government leaders — should be troubled by the enormous gap between how little of our natural world is currently protected and how much should be protected. It is a gap that we must urgently narrow, before our human footprint consumes the earth’s remaining wild places.

For my part, I have decided to donate $1 billion over the next decade to help accelerate land and ocean conservation efforts around the world, with the goal of protecting 30 percent of the planet’s surface by 2030. This money will support locally led conservation efforts around the world, push for increased global targets for land and ocean protection, seek to raise public awareness about the importance of this effort, and fund scientific studies to identify the best strategies to reach our target.

I believe this ambitious goal is achievable because I’ve seen what can be accomplished. ...
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/31/opin ... llars.html

:twothumbs:

:thanks:

:namaste:
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Bundokji
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Bundokji » Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:29 pm

The following video is of Jordan Peterson being invited to Cambridge Union. One of the students asked him a question about global warming and climate change and i found Jordan's answer to be interesting. The question and the answer are between 20:25 and 27:00

'Too much knowledge leads to scepticism. Early devotees are the likeliest apostates, as early sinners are senile saints.' – Will Durant.

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:51 am

Bundokji wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:29 pm
The following video is of Jordan Peterson being invited to Cambridge Union. One of the students asked him a question about global warming and climate change and i found Jordan's answer to be interesting. The question and the answer are between 20:25 and 27:00
...
:jawdrop:

:rolleye:

I don't know much about Jordan Peterson but now I know that, on climate change, he is willing to publicly be a pig-ignorant defeatist.
If he will do that on climate change (which I do know something about), he will probably do it on any other subject so I'm not going to trust anything he says on subjects I know less about.
Almost everything he said - apart from his first word - was wrong in some way. I will just pick three big ones -
First claim: error bars too big? Nonsense. Predictions made thirty years ago are still on track, e.g. http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/ar ... testimony/
Second claim: Lomborg a genius and an expert. Nonsense Lomborg has been thoroughly discredited - start here https://www.desmogblog.com/bjorn-lomborg
Third claim: no-one knows how it can be done: Nonsense. There are lots of known solutions and Drawdown - a study like Lomborg's but far better - ranks them here https://www.drawdown.org/solutions-summary-by-rank

:rolleye:

:toilet:

... and if I haven't made myself clear enough yet, it's

:rolleye: :toilet: :crazy:

all the way down.

:namaste:
Kim

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fwiw
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by fwiw » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:19 am

I would be interested in your opinion about this meme, Kim
Attachments
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... in my opinion

chownah
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by chownah » Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:49 am

THis is an old study and so since the percent of renewable energy has increased since it was done all of the percentages should show a higher percent in the better levels of energy grid quality:
Electric cars produce lower global warming emissions than the average compact gasoline-powered vehicle.
https://www.ucsusa.org/clean-vehicles/e ... ctric-cars
Nationwide, EVs charged from the electricity grid produce lower global warming emissions than the average compact gasoline-powered vehicle (with a fuel economy of 27 miles per gallon)—even when the electricity is produced primarily from coal in regions with the “dirtiest” electricity grids.

In regions with the “cleanest” electricity grids, EVs produce lower global warming emissions than even the most fuel-efficient hybrids.

EVs charged entirely from renewable sources like wind and solar power produce virtually no global warming emissions.

Nearly half of Americans (45%) live in the “best” regions where EVs produce lower global warming emissions than even the most fuel-efficient gasoline hybrids on the market today (greater than 50 mpg).
Another third (38%) live in “better” areas where EVs produce emissions comparable to the best gasoline hybrid vehicles (41 – 50 mpg).

A minority (17%) reside in “good” regions where emissions from EVs are comparable to the most
chownah

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fwiw
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by fwiw » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:46 pm

Lower, certainly. But is it anywhere near low enough, that is the question.

If not, Peterson has a point
... in my opinion

Bundokji
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Bundokji » Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:01 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:51 am
:jawdrop:

:rolleye:

I don't know much about Jordan Peterson but now I know that, on climate change, he is willing to publicly be a pig-ignorant defeatist.
If he will do that on climate change (which I do know something about), he will probably do it on any other subject so I'm not going to trust anything he says on subjects I know less about.
Almost everything he said - apart from his first word - was wrong in some way. I will just pick three big ones -
First claim: error bars too big? Nonsense. Predictions made thirty years ago are still on track, e.g. http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/ar ... testimony/
Second claim: Lomborg a genius and an expert. Nonsense Lomborg has been thoroughly discredited - start here https://www.desmogblog.com/bjorn-lomborg
Third claim: no-one knows how it can be done: Nonsense. There are lots of known solutions and Drawdown - a study like Lomborg's but far better - ranks them here https://www.drawdown.org/solutions-summary-by-rank

:rolleye:

:toilet:

... and if I haven't made myself clear enough yet, it's

:rolleye: :toilet: :crazy:

all the way down.

:namaste:
Kim
Thanks Kim,

I found his input of value not necessarily because of the accuracy of his claims (which i know that many would love to debate), but because of the following two reasons:

1- It is inline with the context of this thread "climate change - politics and activism"

2- Because he puts his finger on the wound, that is, we do not know what to do about it.

In relation to the first point, the question raised to him, as a psychiatrist, is how climate change can provide a map of meaning, and how he answered quickly and without hesitation: no

Lack of meaning, in my mind, is associated with skepticism. If we all agree on everything the world would make more sense, would it not?

So, global warming can provide a sense of purpose and meaning to people. By definition, the term "global" puts us all in the same boat. When we have a common threat, we are reminded of our common interest facing this threat. Whether this threat is imaginary or real does not change anything from that perspective.

In relation to the second point, there is indeed almost a consensus among human beings that global warming is happening, but correct me if i am wrong: there is little agreement on what it means and how to deal with it.

Firstly, in the context of global warming, the actions of one country are not necessarily experienced at the local level, but affect other countries. Also the actions of one generations are experienced by other generations. It is worth noting that global warming is the outcome of solutions our ancestors came up with to make their lives (and our lives) better. At that time, they did not know about the side effects of their solutions because the consequences are not immediate. One of the reasons why many people and nations are not taking global warming very seriously, because they do not know what would be the side effects of their solutions, but somehow, they are sure that their will be some.

Further to the above, even if we simplify the who thing and claim that we know what to do about it because we know the cause. If global warming is the result of greenhouse emissions, then the solution is simple: we should reduce these emissions, but then you encounter the problem of what constitutes a carbon finger print. As i remember, Brazil once claimed that its carbon fingerprint globally is minus because they have the amazon jungles! There is also the issue of responsibility. What we call nowadays "developed countries" seem to be more responsible for global warming, so why the rest should pay the price. There is also the issue of when did this responsibility began? If there are some goods and services produces carbon, who is responsible, the producing country or the consuming country? This is why when Peterson claimed that you cannot separate science from politics, i think he was spot on.

To sum up: climate change and global warming are indeed an interesting psychological phenomena. Are we really describing the world, or are we describing our perceptions which will always be different? When we use the term "pollution" for instance, are we describing the world or our egocentricity? Our feces appears dirty to us because if we eat it we will get sick, but it seems delicious and beneficial to other species such as pigs or trees.

So, back to the original topic of the thread, and what Peterson mentioned in answer: why should we care about global warming at the expense of more immediate threats? When we want to choose our form of activism, why should global warming be considered important considering that the world is full of problems. Who needs to justify his position? those who do not care much about climate change (which seems more natural) or those who are obsessed about it? would it be possible that all of these overwhelming scientific data are nothing but tools to rationalize some deeper emotional needs, connected to meaning, or lack of?
'Too much knowledge leads to scepticism. Early devotees are the likeliest apostates, as early sinners are senile saints.' – Will Durant.

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:03 am

This toolkit is an Aussie idea but should be almost equally useful everywhere else in the West - perhaps also in developing countries, although priorities there are likely to be different.
We get asked hundreds of questions every day. But there’s one question that comes up time and time again: What can I do in my everyday life to tackle climate change and make a difference?

With the lack of any real leadership from our federal politicians when it comes to strong climate policy, this presents a clear opening for a groundswell of grassroots action from the Australian public to become the real leaders when it comes to climate action.

The Climate Action Toolkit is designed to start this journey and provide tangible ways that you can start tackling climate change in your everyday life.

Download your Climate Action Toolkit now ...
https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/2018/ ... lXpSLJIjxA

:thumb:
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:22 am

fwiw wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:19 am
I would be interested in your opinion about this meme, Kim
It's a good illustration of a well-known pair of problems.
The technical problem is that yes, EVs' emissions are the emissions due to production of the electricity they use. See https://energyeducation.ca/encyclopedia ... pe_problem

The social or political problem is that too many consumers don't recognise (or don't care about) those emissions. In some cases they are merely virtue signalling https://www.urbandictionary.com/define. ... Signalling. In most, their intentions are good but their actions don't produce the benefit they want.

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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:09 pm

Sorry to take some time to reply, but here you are ...
Bundokji wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:01 pm
Kim O'Hara wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:51 am
:jawdrop:

:rolleye:

I don't know much about Jordan Peterson but now I know that, on climate change, he is willing to publicly be a pig-ignorant defeatist.
If he will do that on climate change (which I do know something about), he will probably do it on any other subject so I'm not going to trust anything he says on subjects I know less about.
Almost everything he said - apart from his first word - was wrong in some way. I will just pick three big ones -
...
Thanks Kim,

I found his input of value not necessarily because of the accuracy of his claims (which i know that many would love to debate), but because of the following two reasons:

1- It is inline with the context of this thread "climate change - politics and activism"
...
In relation to the first point, the question raised to him, as a psychiatrist, is how climate change can provide a map of meaning, and how he answered quickly and without hesitation: no

Lack of meaning, in my mind, is associated with skepticism. If we all agree on everything the world would make more sense, would it not?

So, global warming can provide a sense of purpose and meaning to people. By definition, the term "global" puts us all in the same boat. When we have a common threat, we are reminded of our common interest facing this threat. Whether this threat is imaginary or real does not change anything from that perspective.
I think he is right in saying the climate threat won't provide us with a common purpose, but I'm not sure I agree with his reasons or yours. For me, the primary obstacle is that the threat is so diffuse in both space and time that it won't bring us together. If you're facing drought and I've just survived floods and our friends in Florida has a crazy hurricane a couple of months ago, those separate events don't bring us together in the same way that (e.g.) a global pandemic would do.
2- Because he puts his finger on the wound, that is, we do not know what to do about it.
In relation to the second point, there is indeed almost a consensus among human beings that global warming is happening, but correct me if i am wrong: there is little agreement on what it means and how to deal with it.
Okay, I will correct you: experts in climate science do know what the problems are and how - physically - to correct them, while experts in social science do know what the social and political obstacles are. And the unsolved problems are basically social and political, not scientific or technical.
Firstly, in the context of global warming, the actions of one country are not necessarily experienced at the local level, but affect other countries. Also the actions of one generations are experienced by other generations. It is worth noting that global warming is the outcome of solutions our ancestors came up with to make their lives (and our lives) better. At that time, they did not know about the side effects of their solutions because the consequences are not immediate.
True.
One of the reasons why many people and nations are not taking global warming very seriously, because they do not know what would be the side effects of their solutions, but somehow, they are sure that their will be some.
Not really true. That argument is mostly an excuse for inaction.
Further to the above, even if we simplify the who thing and claim that we know what to do about it because we know the cause. If global warming is the result of greenhouse emissions, then the solution is simple: we should reduce these emissions, but then you encounter the problem of what constitutes a carbon finger print. As i remember, Brazil once claimed that its carbon fingerprint globally is minus because they have the amazon jungles!
At this stage we just have to reduce emissions as fast as possible. That's a very simple objective, in concept at least.
There is also the issue of responsibility. What we call nowadays "developed countries" seem to be more responsible for global warming, so why the rest should pay the price. There is also the issue of when did this responsibility began? If there are some goods and services produces carbon, who is responsible, the producing country or the consuming country? This is why when Peterson claimed that you cannot separate science from politics, i think he was spot on.
No. The science is clear, the politics is sometimes toxic, and we can (and must) separate them.
To sum up: climate change and global warming are indeed an interesting psychological phenomena. Are we really describing the world, or are we describing our perceptions which will always be different? When we use the term "pollution" for instance, are we describing the world or our egocentricity? Our feces appears dirty to us because if we eat it we will get sick, but it seems delicious and beneficial to other species such as pigs or trees.
Climate change is a real, physical set of changes in the world which we can observe and measure. We can choose to see it or not, we can tell the truth about it or not, but it is as real as the change from day to night.
The label is not the thing itself, and often (as in "pollution" or "terrorist") says as much about our attitudes as about the thing itself.
So, back to the original topic of the thread, and what Peterson mentioned in answer: why should we care about global warming at the expense of more immediate threats? When we want to choose our form of activism, why should global warming be considered important considering that the world is full of problems.
Each of us chooses issues and causes to which we pay attention and perhaps engage ourselves in. That choice is very personal, and I don't think we can say anyone "should" engage in one cause rather than another.
That said, I choose to engage with climate change. Why? A personal set of not-very-personal reasons including -
• I recognise it as an underlying cause of many more immediate present problems - Syria, for instance - and future problems - e.g. climate refugees, so limiting climate change will reduce the suffering of many millions of people for decades to come.
• I am not a scientist but scientifically literate and a professional explainer (a teacher :smile: ) so I can contribute more effectively to this cause than to (e.g.) to one requiring carpentry or medical skills.
• I am fortunate enough to live in a first-world country but have visited SE Asia and know that my own community doesn't need my help as much as the poorer communities who, in fact, will suffer disproportionately from climate change.
[/list]
So, sure, I could put my time into local soup kitchens ... but I think this is a better use of my time.
Who needs to justify his position? those who do not care much about climate change (which seems more natural) or those who are obsessed about it?
As I just said, each of us chooses issues and causes to which we pay attention and perhaps engage ourselves in. That choice is very personal, and I don't think we can say anyone "should" engage in one cause rather than another.
would it be possible that all of these overwhelming scientific data are nothing but tools to rationalize some deeper emotional needs, connected to meaning, or lack of?
No.
As I just said, climate change is a real, physical set of changes in the world which we can observe and measure.
What we choose to do about it is up to us.

:namaste:
Kim

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:01 am

"The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us"
George Monbiot

It was a moment of the kind that changes lives. At a press conference held by climate activists Extinction Rebellion last week, two of us journalists pressed the organisers on whether their aims were realistic. They have called, for example, for UK carbon emissions to be reduced to net zero by 2025. Wouldn’t it be better, we asked, to pursue some intermediate aims?

A young woman called Lizia Woolf stepped forward. She hadn’t spoken before, but the passion, grief and fury of her response was utterly compelling. “What is it that you are asking me as a 20-year-old to face and to accept about my future and my life? … This is an emergency. We are facing extinction. When you ask questions like that, what is it you want me to feel?” We had no answer. ...
This part of the same article nearly went in the neoliberalism thread but I think this is the best place for it.
A fascinating analysis by the social science professor Kevin MacKay contends that oligarchy has been a more fundamental cause of the collapse of civilisations than social complexity or energy demand. Control by oligarchs, he argues, thwarts rational decision-making, because the short-term interests of the elite are radically different to the long-term interests of society. This explains why past civilisations have collapsed “despite possessing the cultural and technological know-how needed to resolve their crises”. Economic elites, which benefit from social dysfunction, block the necessary solutions.

The oligarchic control of wealth, politics, media and public discourse explains the comprehensive institutional failure now pushing us towards disaster. Think of Donald Trump and his cabinet of multi-millionaires; the influence of the Koch brothers in funding rightwing organisations; the Murdoch empire and its massive contribution to climate science denial; or the oil and motor companies whose lobbying prevents a faster shift to new technologies.

It is not just governments that have failed to respond, though they have failed spectacularly. ...
:reading: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... -breakdown

:thinking:
Kim

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Kim O'Hara
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Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:07 am
Location: Tropical Queensland, Australia

Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sun Nov 18, 2018 2:17 am

One for the Americans amongst us -
‘Green New Deal’ Gains Momentum, But Few Progressive Caucus Democrats Pledge Support

Just three Democrats in the Congressional Progressive Caucus have pledged this week to support Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s bid for a so-called Green New Deal, the only policy proposal scientists say is ambitious enough to avert catastrophic climate change in the coming decades.

Democratic Reps. Carolyn Maloney and José Serrano, who represent the low-lying New York City districts neighboring Ocasio-Cortez’s, joined Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) to become the first sitting lawmakers to back the Democratic star’s resolution to establish a 15-member select committee on the all-encompassing climate policy in the next Congress. ...
:reading: https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry ... 2bd5897f22

:thumb:

(and :candle: )

:namaste:
Kim

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