( – promoted by buhdydharma )
The Climate Change summit in Copenhagen is off and running. The Climate Change deniers are going all the way to criminal trying to pretend that scientists debating science and tweaking models means something other than science being science. Climate Change opportunists are going supercritical in their efforts to use the issue as reason to corner the subsidies market for their cash cows. Climate Change Chicken Littles are streaking through the streets screaming hyperbolic inanities nobody in their right mind believes. It’s a regular Big Business these days, no matter where you may stand. Sad truth is that nothing effective can come of this kind of polarization. Which is the point of purposefully engineered polarization, of course.
So I thought it might be helpful to make note of a few observations and a few points of knowledge about where we are today and how we got here, in hopes of clarifying things if that’s possible.
First and foremost, let’s look at some angles in the pro-con debate…
1. Who are the pros?
The pro-Climate Change camp consists of a majority of scientists in the fields of geoscience, weather modeling, climate history, biology and general ecology who have been noting over the course of many decades some trends that they find extremely disturbing. And which tend to indicate that the overall temperature median of the planet is increasing, that this is affecting weather patterns drastically, that the increasing presence of greenhouse gases released by humans in the modern industrial age are primarily responsible, and that the pace of change is increasing as human pollutants increase.
2. Who are the cons?
The Climate Change deniers are for the most part PR hacks hired by industries that contribute the most greenhouse gases (and other pollutants), thus are most responsible for the human causation element. Those PR hacks, in concert with affiliations (paid and unpaid) with right wing religious leaders, corporatist politicians and the radical right wing of the conservative population, have managed to field a veritable army of denialists who either pretend there is no issue or that the issue is not of human making or within human ability to control.
3. Why are there deniers if science is so sure Climate Change is occurring?
There would no doubt be deniers – philosophical or merely pro-pollution – regardless of what science has to say. This is not a surprise. But science and its promoters cannot pretend that they don’t bear some responsibility for public confusion given the inconsistency of their pronouncements. A few decades ago science was all up in arms about “Global Cooling” and an imminent new major ice age. We were all going to freeze in the dark due to particulate air pollution. When that didn’t generate the desired public panic (and immediate shutdown of polluting industries), the scientists decided it’s “Global Warming” instead. We were all going to die of heat stroke on a desert planet stripped of vegetation and water and looking a lot like Venus. That didn’t generate the desired public panic (and immediate shutdown of polluting industries) either, so now it’s just “Climate Change” so they can get around the inconvenient fact that some places are warming, some places are cooling, some places are experiencing drought, some are being regularly flooded, etc., etc., etc.
The summit in Copenhagen is for the purpose of drafting international treaties that will, at long last, either shut down polluting industries or force them to clean up their act. At least, that’s what most people hope.
Cleaning up our act is something long overdue, as we’re fouling our planetary nest outrageously in the name of Growth and Greed for no good reason at all. It’s causing untold suffering and death from the accumulation of toxic pollutants in our air, water and earth. The very things most necessary to our existence, the existence of life itself. Our children are born increasingly fragile and sickly, our young people are increasingly infertile and/or sexually confused, our middle-agers are increasingly obese and riddled with cancer, our elderly increasingly can’t remember who they are or how they got so old. So let me make perfectly clear that I absolutely support laws and treaties designed to limit our pollutant burden and clean up the leftovers from the past. So long as those laws and treaties don’t themselves cause more suffering and death than pollution does. On this caveat I have some reasoning to offer…
1. I think we should stop using science to ‘prove’ that pollution is bad with data manipulation, harmful Chicken Little tactics, and pretenses to absolute knowledge we simply do not own. Science’s role should be to gather the data, document changes and trends, quantify health effects from our industrial activities and waste products, and help to discover and engineer new ways of doing things that don’t pollute the planet to death. All this hyped garbage that swings one way or the other depending on mood just leads to public mistrust of science and scientists. It’s self-defeating and harmful to the most powerful intellectual tool we have to help make life better for all.
2. Regardless of ultimate (and unknown) big-t Truth about earth’s climate inconsistencies over time, we should clean up our act because it’s the right thing to do, and deadly pollution is… deadly. As well as ugly and unnecessary and morally shameful and every other applicable epithet we can think of. We should not be killing ourselves, our neighbors and everybody’s children just to make industrialists/bankers/investors wealthier. That’s an indictment of our species as Suicidal and Proud Of It, which makes us too stupid and dangerous to rightfully exist at all. If evolution were a progressive and life-preserving process it should have gotten rid of us long, long ago. But since it didn’t, I see no good reason why we should do that job for it. Instead, we should grow up and take responsibility for our own oversized brains and evil tendencies.
3. We should NOT be fooled by promoters of polluting industries into wasting large amounts of whatever wealth we have on their particular cash cows, based on lies and spurious promises that they can make clean/safe what we already know for a fact is filthy/deadly. This includes all uses of fossil fuels as well as nuclear power. We must find alternative fuels/methods for transportation, accept that there’s no such thing as clean coal, and admit that nukes have long ago outlived whatever illusory usefulness they dishonestly claimed. We must put resources into development and deployment of renewable sources of energy – solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, tidal, ocean wave, thermal gradient, whatever other free, reasonably clean and usably efficient energy sources we can harness.
4. We must completely re-invent the human pastimes of agriculture and animal husbandry to make them sustainable, non-polluting and healthier for all concerned (including the planet itself). We must also diversify to encourage more local sourcing, end fossil fuel dependency and chemical pollution, enrich the growing mediums instead of sterilize the earth, conserve water resources, and design equitable distribution systems. Despite what some will tell you, this is entirely possible if we put our minds to it.
All of these things can be done if we just determine to do them. But nothing can be done if we choose instead to maintain the feudal system of corporate capitalism that relies on perpetual growth – “more people, more stuff.” Sustainability can handle some growth here and there, but that’s not its core cog. This requires a change in our dominant economic philosophies, our divisive tribal loyalties, and our competitive/nationalistic governing structures. That is a lot more difficult than simply writing up some laws and treaties that will be perpetually violated in the name of Almighty Greed. What we as a species with special abilities must do is EVOLVE. Intentionally, by design, because We Can.
We’ve all got ideas about certain aspects of this plan, so let’s get them out in the open for all to see, discuss and refine. Can such changes be imposed from top down, or should they grow from the bottom up? How do the best ideas gain ground popularly, and how can they be exported to the wider world? How should resources be allotted to support the efforts, and how do we wrest those resources from the Greedheads? What kind of politicians will this sort of planning appeal to, and how do we enlist some as well as get them into positions of power? What roles should those now engaged in problematic enterprises (i.e., MIC and the military itself) play, and how do we get them to change their missions?
…the floor is yours, Dharma Bums. Let’s get busy!