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6roucho

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Revolution
« on: May 30, 2016, 09:54:05 AM »
I became entangled in a fierce argument today on Facebook about action on climate change.

The context was the forthcoming Australian federal election, and the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef. A disaster of the first order, caused by global warming. I said there was nothing any Australian government could do about that. No action taken in Australia can prevent climate change, and treating it as a domestic political problem is doomed to fail.

Of course, us ridding ourselves of an anti-science government is a good first step in that process, and we should take that step, but we’re way past first steps.

And of course, the abstraction between individual action and collective results is no argument for not taking individual action. But what can we do?

The real problem is that our global political system just isn’t equipped to respond to this class of threat. A democracy is about as good at combating climate change as it would be performing brain surgery, or riding a skateboard.

At the global level it’s not even a democracy. It’s worse than that: it's a committee of democracies. Therefore, any political activist serious about climate change should be a revolutionary. Anything less is just fooling around the periphery.

I don’t mean violent revolution. I simply mean we have to evolve.

The question is, what kind of political system would work?

6roucho

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Re: Revolution
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2016, 10:07:50 AM »
I wonder, if there was an asteroid threat, would there be asteroid deniers?

Would there be corporations whose business model is threatened by widespread public acceptance of the existence of the problem, who wield political power due to the vast funds at their disposal?

And would there be contrarians, eager to believe them?

And might that prevent concerted action being taken in time? Perhaps so, although in the case of an asteroid threat some country would undoubtedly act unilaterally.

I guess an asteroid is a global problem but one whose solution isn’t really global.

Maybe climate change is the same.

silkman

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Re: Revolution
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2016, 12:08:26 PM »
I once sat next to Ken Livingstone (left wing ex-London mayor with good climate change credentials) at a Climate Change Conference Dinner in Cambridge.

When asked who he thought were best placed to sort out the climate he nominated the Chinese. When asked why, he responded "Because they're not constrained by democracy"

He had a point.

As a follow up someone asked him if he would therefore like to see a dictatorship in the UK.

"Yes - as long as I could be the Dictator" was his reply.

I think he was joking........

Acts5v29

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Re: Revolution
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2016, 12:19:28 PM »
But what can we do?

The real problem is that our global political system just isn’t equipped to respond to this class of threat. A democracy is about as good at combating climate change as it would be performing brain surgery, or riding a skateboard.

At the global level it’s not even a democracy. It’s worse than that: it's a committee of democracies. Therefore, any political activist serious about climate change should be a revolutionary. Anything less is just fooling around the periphery.

I don’t mean violent revolution. I simply mean we have to evolve.

The question is, what kind of political system would work?

I have put forward a solution - which fits rather well to the problems you outline - that we need to change.  Self-interested human nature means that we won't... not while we govern ourselves. The solution is for Divine Intervention - not "religious" or faith-based - but actual intervention. 

Gray-Wolf

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Re: Revolution
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2016, 12:29:36 PM »
Sadly we are Moses and destined never to step into the promised land! We are all too corrupted by the structures we grew up under to move away from them? Our youth is appearing to care and show quite a socialist bent ( now there is no USSR to scare them away from such notions?) as is shown by our own Corbyn and Sander in the U.S. so will they force us toward a more equitable planet?

Since 79' ( in the UK) we have watched them dismantle all of the good works done post WWII whilst 'the elite' ( why 'elite'? they deserve a more fitting title imho?) became even more consolidated in their wealth.

It as is if they knew something was coming and they were taking everything they could prior to the event? If so then dangerous climate shift would be my best poke at a reason for their hasty planetary asset stripping before they retire to their 'safe places' to wait out the tribulations.

We either take back what is ours now or they win.


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ko.yaa.nis.katsi (from the Hopi language), n. 1. crazy life. 2. life in turmoil. 3. life disintegrating. 4. life out of balance. 5. a state of life that calls for another way of living.
 
VIRESCIT VULNERE VIRTUS

Acts5v29

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Re: Revolution
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2016, 01:02:45 PM »


We either take back what is ours now or they win.

Even if the environmentally aware were able to do that overnight - which I somehow doubt  - the problem is still "us".  We are still short-sighted - just like those in the industrial revolution were which started the climate problem - and those who "knew something was coming" would "asset strip" the planet, thinking that the best way to go would be to go as comfortably as possible.

So have they "won" - i.e. have we all lost?  If so, what is the solution?

Buddy

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Re: Revolution
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2016, 01:26:57 PM »
Quote
I wonder, if there was an asteroid threat, would there be asteroid deniers?

I think the reaction would be VERY DIFFERENT.  In the asteroid example, there is not "group" of companies that will die and go away leaving everyone else better off (like there is in global warming caused by fossil fuel companies).

In the asteroid example...EVERYONE is better off attacking the asteroid.  And there is no well funded and entrenched lobby in the pockets of politicians.

In the US.....we have decided to make bribery LEGAL for our elected officials.  Companies and industries can give as much as they want to.....to politicians.  And then.....the politicians are more than willing to lie for the companies and industries.

That IS the system that is set up.

I think what politicians in the US are underestimating......is the "breaking point" of groups of individuals.  In coming MONTHS AND YEARS.....people (individuals....groups of scientists...etc) ARE going to stand up and be counted.

Some people wonder where the phrase:  "The emperor has no clothes" comes from.  It comes from situations that we find ourselves in NOW.  Where the fossil fuel industry is lying....with significant help from elected officials.  Only.....they are naked....they are bald faced lies.  And as more and more people stand up to the fossil fuel industry and their shills......they are discovered to be naked and without substance.

I'll take this time to again post something I encourage others to pass to their friends and continue to expose the fossil fuel industry and their shills for what they are:

 http://climatechangegraphs.blogspot.com/2014/05/judith-curry-and-joe-bastardi-2015.html

I would also encourage people to start going to (in the US) monthly meetings of the country and/or city where they live.  In the US....most cities and counties meet once a month.  GO THERE AND SPEAK.  Do you want your city and county to spend money keeping an old archaic energy system in place.....or do you want to move to the future?
FOX (RT) News....."The Trump Channel.....where truth and journalism are dead."

AbruptSLR

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Re: Revolution
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2016, 01:33:09 PM »
The solution is for Divine Intervention - not "religious" or faith-based - but actual intervention.

Deus ex Machina, or God from Machine, per Wikipedia: "The term has evolved to mean a plot device whereby a seemingly unsolvable problem is suddenly and abruptly resolved by the inspired and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability or object."

In addition to being a plot device for salvation, it is also used to refer to artificial intelligence.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

magnamentis

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Re: Revolution
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2016, 01:44:35 PM »
I became entangled in a fierce argument today on Facebook about action on climate change.

The real problem is that our global political system just isn’t equipped to respond to this class of threat.

may i add something here? the "real" problem is the monetary system on which the political system depends and has to deal with. the first flaw in the monetary system that has to be dealt with is "interest and interest paid on interest which is the main cause for the need of growth which again is almost a synonym to "greed", not semantically but in this specific context. people never have enough, many by nature and the system by default.

the first flaw in the political system that has to be addressed is "responsibility or the lack of it" which means that those who permanently drive us deeper into the mud are rewarded with reputation as well as high and safe pensions + all the speeches they hold and are excessively paid etc. in reality they should be held responsible and many of them should spend prison time instead of travelling the world and enjoy the "fruit" of their fail.

there is much much more to it of course but this two things, once thoroughly addressed could help a lot. and then if we consider that the people vote and indirectly rule our system, at least in theory, the question should be allowed, considering that many bright and wise men don't vote, if this below average majority should be in charge. it's not possible to come up with a final solution here but as a direction of thinking i would mention some kind of intelligence test and a minimum requirement of other kinds that would have to be discussed for the right to vote and/or elect people, joint with a restriction as tho who can be elected, while the top tier and the bottom tier of the population when it comes to brain power as well as financial influence could be excluded to avoid the extreme and mostly corrupt system of the super rich and the extremely stupid.

6roucho

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Re: Revolution
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2016, 01:48:04 PM »
But what can we do?

The real problem is that our global political system just isn’t equipped to respond to this class of threat. A democracy is about as good at combating climate change as it would be performing brain surgery, or riding a skateboard.

At the global level it’s not even a democracy. It’s worse than that: it's a committee of democracies. Therefore, any political activist serious about climate change should be a revolutionary. Anything less is just fooling around the periphery.

I don’t mean violent revolution. I simply mean we have to evolve.

The question is, what kind of political system would work?

I have put forward a solution - which fits rather well to the problems you outline - that we need to change.  Self-interested human nature means that we won't... not while we govern ourselves. The solution is for Divine Intervention - not "religious" or faith-based - but actual intervention.
Yep, we need to change. Our political system is what we make it.

Right now it's strangely perverse: on the one hand we're in the grip of the system, and feel powerless to influence it, thus the impasse on climate change action, but on the other hand politicians are driven by focus groups, so they follow voter opinion instead of leading it.

Maybe it's lack of political leadership that's the problem? Instead of politics being driven by strong leaders who can make unpopular decisions and still hope to be re-elected, we have hyper-democracies driven by fast-acting feedback mechanisms like the 24-hour rolling news cycle.

6roucho

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Re: Revolution
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2016, 01:52:32 PM »
I became entangled in a fierce argument today on Facebook about action on climate change.

The real problem is that our global political system just isn’t equipped to respond to this class of threat.

may i add something here? the "real" problem is the monetary system on which the political system depends and has to deal with. the first flaw in the monetary system that has to be dealt with is "interest and interest paid on interest which is the main cause for the need of growth which again is almost a synonym to "greed", not semantically but in this specific context. people never have enough, many by nature and the system by default.

I agree with that 100%, magnamentis. The money system we have evolved from a continuous flow of wealth from the new world to the old, which has now ended. Thus it will collapse. Then perhaps we'll get that political revolution. I hope it produces something better for the world, not worse.

GeoffBeacon

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Re: Revolution
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2016, 03:48:26 PM »
Groucho

Here is a conclusion by Philip Roddis from in Steel City Scribblings' "Privatise the world! Monetise everything!"

 
Quote
I’m a marxist only insofar as I’m convinced that (a) the ways societies organise wealth production are the ultimate determinants of human history and (b) the case for seeing capitalism, a once progressive force, as a life negating system that stands in the way of all that is good and wholesome could not be more compelling. Early in the last century there was, perhaps, the possibility of its overthrow by an industrial proletariat – in an advanced capitalist country, not the most backward economy in Europe – with least to lose and most to gain by doing so. It didn’t happen, and now the window is closed for good. Any uprising of the many would be against a few whose praetorian guard is so armed to the teeth and schooled in the arts of counterinsurgency as to make the outcome a murderously foregone conclusion. With a book by my former Workers’ Power comrade Paul Mason – yes, Postcapitalism – only half read on my Kindle, I confess I’ve no idea how a system which must be done away with for the human race to survive can be done away with. So why write as I do? Because it’s the truth.
Points

  • Capitalism was once a progressive force
  • Capitalism must go for the human race to survive
  • We cannot get rid of it

"The father of capitalism", Adam Smith, recognised faults in capitalism and that large companies influence and corrupt governments. See Adam Smith’s Critique of International Trading Companies…

Quote
Such companies, in Smith’s view, had corrupted and captured many European and non-European governments and undermined their societies’ ability to engage in peaceful transnational affairs and equitable self-rule. In contrast with Smith’s well-known concerns about the rise of commerce in modern Europe in his four-stage account of social development— which were outweighed, in his view, by the many material benefits and personal liberties brought about by the eclipse of feudalism—his narrative of globalization offers a trenchantly critical appraisal of commercial practices that ultimately undermine many of the gains that the initial rise of modern commerce once made possible
Climate change is already undermining these gains and is threatening most life on Earth.

One faint hope that I cling to is that somewhere in the “advanced world” an example of how to live pleasantly within environmental limits will be offered on the world market - not confronting capitalism and the power of the market but using it. (Is this dreaming?)

This requires a bit more than individual action. Low carbon, environmentally sound settlements, with associated economies, need to be prototyped.  See “A market in prototype neighbourhoods”. This is  a bit like fitting Neven's "Il faut cultiver notre jardin" into a market economy.

Sadly initial attempts at sustainable living in the UK have been greenwash as outlined in “Three failed eco-towns
Il faut cultiver notre cité-jardin
The Sustainable Plotlands Association

P-maker

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Re: Revolution
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2016, 04:11:16 PM »
Magnamentis:

Quote
avoid the extreme and mostly corrupt system of the super rich and the extremely stupid

I guess  you refer to Donald T, who might easily fall into both categories, when it comes to climate change  issues.

I would however refrain from excluding characters like him from the public debate, since his most recent statements about climate change are so obviously thought-provoking, that no inflamatory and/or revolutionary speaker could do better...

Laurent

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Re: Revolution
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2016, 05:06:32 PM »
I would not trust anything coming from the IPCC for the questions of carbon budget. They are completely wrong ! We don't have a carbon budget we are in debt since we passed the 290 ppm CO2 limit, that was around 1870... That does mean we will have to absorb all what we have emitted since then and more in order to avoid more than 5 meters of sea level rise... The revolution can start if people are aware of the climate situation. If there is no information, there would be chaos (would it be worse...may be not) Does the politics can do something about it... I think they can't, simply because we are not in democracy, it is the oligarchs that play the game and politics are in front. A possibility would be to manage a new system of voting and taking decisions at a national level, like random chose among the population, short term mandate, revocation if failed to achieve the set goals, etc. Would it be enough... () no, even with a real democracy, local powers will still be there, green washing will still be very tempting because we are all in competition for everything. I don't think that is possible quickly enough. What we can do, if we want to avoid coming back to Indian tribes (and shamanism (religion is often the last thing we look at, but very important)). We could set a multinational, where the hierarchy would be inverted, it would own the land and buildings (locally, via local subsidiaries), that won't change much for people they would still own there accommodation via usufruct (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usufruct), we could adopt the rules that we want to see at a national level locally first, then the ideas will spread. Because it would be a network of collective organisations (max 50 people please) (we will have to adopt some management values like a certain ecological footprint applied in a defined radius) we would be (eventually) able to resist the global inertia that will keep us on death tracks.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2016, 05:12:51 PM by Laurent »

Acts5v29

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Re: Revolution
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2016, 05:40:31 PM »

Climate change is already undermining these gains and is threatening most life on Earth.

One faint hope that I cling to is that somewhere in the “advanced world” an example of how to live pleasantly within environmental limits will be offered on the world market - not confronting capitalism and the power of the market but using it. (Is this dreaming?)

It sounds nice, and I would vote for it, but isn't that now too slow to implement and small scale? Perhaps another option as a start would be to have a world-wide Sabbath - or abstinence - day where everyone turns of everything for 24 hours one day each week.  We could do that individually, the naisayers might even feel shamed into making some semblance of an effort, and industries which cease for 1 work-day per week would be popular trailblazers....  but the fact



We don't have a carbon budget we are in debt since we passed the 290 ppm CO2 limit, that was around 1870... That does mean we will have to absorb all what we have emitted since then and more in order to avoid more than 5 meters of sea level rise...

...trumps any good idea.

I don't wish to sound pessimistic, but we really need to think about the inevitable.  There are enough scientific minds here to see where we're heading, so how about considering what can be done in the event?