PORTENTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE May 26, 2015Posted by wmmbb in CLIMATE CHANGE.
Systematic climate change has political implications. All human beings live on the same planet. I notice (to my surprise) that people seem to respond directly to photos of the sky and clouds and the stars. We share the atmosphere and the ocean.
If you want to live in a gated community, the forebears should not have developed steam ships to sail to Botany Bay. That heroic narrative with its disregard of the consequences of pollution of the atmosphere and disregard for the processes of the earth is now terminal. I think by implication the heroic stories of the empire and the nation state has entered the last chapter. This is not so much a paradigm change, as the need for the invention of new paradigm.
Science and technology always has social and political implications. They are always resisted. The thing is, perhaps contrary to our previous evolutionary history, the clock is ticking. What Maurice Newman and Tony Abbott should be doing, rather than denial, is to invent a new story that will work for those with their political outlook. If they were leaders that is what they would be doing.
Perhaps the problem for scientists is the lack of cultural and political sophistication, which arises from alienation between science and the humanities. This might be illustrated by the use of the word “myth”. By the dictionary definition the word is used accurately, but it does not go to Homeric myths. The idea, I learn from emeritus classics professor, Michael Nagler, a myth “is a lie that is true”.
So does climate change portend the end of capitalism and the emergence of some form of tyrannical world government, vested in the United Nations, as the PM’s adviser publicly fears? I acknowledge that democracy and justice could pose a threat to the interests of privileged people. I suspect that capitalism will survive. And a new world order might be the very development that allows trade to survive and perhaps flourish in more authentic way. If you are of a fearful disposition, or wish to engender fear as your political agenda, then fear most inaction and deliberate ignorance in relation to climate change. Since human beings burn fossil fuels that produce the conditions for climate change, they have to change their ways, and do as one.
Is there a moral and constructive alternative?
Geoff Dalbelko,Director of Environmental Studies, Voinovich School, University of Ohio, considers the scientific nuances, the problems of governance, and the need for increased responsibility. Otherwise, “Too Hot to Handle” (From March 2014, following the release of the seven yearly IPCC Report):