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Author Topic: Is Climate Science 2 save our species,or only help wealthy escape personal harm?  (Read 6561 times)

TeaPotty

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Will Climate Science ultimately be used to save our species, or only help the wealthy escape personal harm?

Why does IPCC report use carbon levels, temperature rise, market risk, etc to convey threat, but not project death toll from catastrophes, lack of food and water, overpopulation sustainability?


I'd also like to point out... a few days ago we found out West Anarctica is in irreversible collapse, and most major coastal cities now have their fate sealed. Most of society heard nothing or very little about this, & many Scientists can think of nothing better but writing articles of comfort, further distancing the threat from themselves and others. Truly willful and continual enabling of the masses to the same behavior that got us here so far, stamped in approval by Science.

In my opinion, society is now an Idiocracy, where Science &Technology are subverted to feckless greed, and Carbon fuels The Market we worship in servitude to our deaths.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2014, 05:20:20 PM by TeaPotty »

Neven

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Will Climate Science ultimately be used to save our species, or only help the wealthy escape personal harm?

Some of it will be used for the first, some of it will be used for the second. The IPCC reports unfortunately IMO serve the second.
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opensheart

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Great question, It certainly gets to the heart of several controversies.   I'm thinking of climate change, tobacco, lead, creation/evolution, the earth at the center of the universe etc.

I've just watched the Cosmos episode on the history/science of lead in gasoline, so that is fresh in my mind.   But there certainly have been others before Climate Change.   Like Coal, Tobacco, Lead paint,  the earth at the center of the universe, etc. 

At first people with money,power,resources hire and direct research to further their own money,power,purposes.  And they are quite pleased with the results.  But they take it as a personal insult if the same science turns against their money,power,purpose.  Which is really sad.

We may complain about the system.  About how Science should be pure, and everyone should listen to it.   That all the problems are because of how The Powers That Be misuse the system.  And how Science wins in the end.  But it takes so long.

So we focus our efforts on educating the masses.  Somehow believing that if enough people just understood, things would change.

Isn't there a disconnect there?  Were we not just complaining that things are done for the people at the top?   I mean if the major payers, supporters, users, opposers of science are the top 1%.   Why are we trying to reach the 99%?   Should we not accept how the system works and seek to influence the top people?

I don't mean confront them,  I mean nudge them in the right direction.   Taylor the information to them.  Why is it in there interest to do something?   Why don't we focus our efforts on becoming one of their inner circle advisers.  And seek to say just the right things, in just the right way, to lead them to take an action, for their own interests, that would also help save the planet?

Which would have more impact?  Convince the 99% that something should be done, or Convince the top 1% to order the 99% to do something.

Its just a thought...

I would edit my comment.
A thought in the middle of the night
often seems wrong in morning light.

Such an idea is worryingly manipulative.
And we seek to educate the common people because we want a world where educated common people make a difference.

 
« Last Edit: May 16, 2014, 02:23:00 PM by opensheart »

icefest

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I would argue that science and knowledge just are. 

Similar to tools such as knives or literacy, climate science is merely the knowledge of the causal relationships of climatic influences. A fact does not have a purpose, a fact does not care how it is used or interpreted. A fact has not inherently good or bad properties. A fact simply exists.

It is our use of these facts that determines who is helped.


Now for the two options you posited, they are hardly mutually exclusive. If climate science is used to save the wealthy then the species is saved. It is theoretically possible to save the species without saving the wealthy but functionally impossible. There is also a third option, i.e. neither option. 

I for one doubt that the wealthy will not be saved, even if this is at a great cost to humanity.  
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TeaPotty

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Should we not accept how the system works and seek to influence the top people?

I don't mean confront them,  I mean nudge them in the right direction.   Taylor the information to them.  Why is it in there interest to do something?   Why don't we focus our efforts on becoming one of their inner circle advisers.  And seek to say just the right things, in just the right way, to lead them to take an action, for their own interests, that would also help save the planet?

Which would have more impact?

Actually, that is what happened since the 70s and got us where we are now. All that resulted in was delay of action, Green NGOs were used to greenwash major polluting & irresponsible corporations, a well-funded campaign attacking Science, and a public that thinks we solved this problem a long time ago or that technology will eventually.

This is because Scientists don't realize that others in this world do not share their values or ethics, or even think rationally. Many of the wealthy do not care if many will die, do not care that ppl will suffer. Many of our citizens also have their own beliefs and worldviews, often religion-based, and will adhere to them no matter what argument they make.

If you think this is false, I suggest looking at history.
Humans cling to habits until they are forced to change. But if we wait till we are forced to change now, it will be too late. Someone has to take responsibility.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2014, 03:35:53 PM by TeaPotty »

TeaPotty

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If climate science is used to save the wealthy then the species is saved. It is theoretically possible to save the species without saving the wealthy but functionally impossible. There is also a third option, i.e. neither option.

I for one doubt that the wealthy will not be saved, even if this is at a great cost to humanity. 

I never asked about Wealthy being saved, I asked about escaping harm (at least temporarily, or until impossible). If efforts aren't made to maintain the current ecosystem balance, then obviously none or few will survive.

JimD

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opensheart

Quote
Isn't there a disconnect there?  Were we not just complaining that things are done for the people at the top?   I mean if the major payers, supporters, users, opposers of science are the top 1%.   Why are we trying to reach the 99%?   Should we not accept how the system works and seek to influence the top people?

I don't mean confront them,  I mean nudge them in the right direction.   Taylor the information to them.  Why is it in there interest to do something?   Why don't we focus our efforts on becoming one of their inner circle advisers.  And seek to say just the right things, in just the right way, to lead them to take an action, for their own interests, that would also help save the planet?

Which would have more impact?  Convince the 99% that something should be done, or Convince the top 1% to order the 99% to do something.

It won't be a surprise to anyone here that I think that the 1% are fully aware of the implications of AGW.  They don't need any convincing at all.  They are actively going about dealing with it in the manner they think best for their interests.  And I say that with a clear understanding of all of the statements implications. 

This is certainly true.


Quote
Quote from: icefest on Today at 07:10:53 AM

If climate science is used to save the wealthy then the species is saved. It is theoretically possible to save the species without saving the wealthy but functionally impossible. There is also a third option, i.e. neither option.

I for one doubt that the wealthy will not be saved, even if this is at a great cost to humanity. 

As a general rule, that is very seldom broken, the very wealthy run the system.  And for their benefit.   There is no reason to expect anything different this time.  But icefest is correct.  It does not matter 'who' survives as long as some do in the end.  The number one most important goal is survival of the species and it does not matter who it is.  We can sort out all of the nice feel good stuff after we succeed at that.  Harsh, but reality.  There can be no doubt that the most likely survivors of a deep collapse (which we are doing our best to trigger by all of our BAU and green-BAU plans) are going to be the most ruthless and toughest.

We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

FLwolverine

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……………...
As a general rule, that is very seldom broken, the very wealthy run the system.  And for their benefit.   There is no reason to expect anything different this time.  But icefest is correct.  It does not matter 'who' survives as long as some do in the end.  The number one most important goal is survival of the species and it does not matter who it is.  We can sort out all of the nice feel good stuff after we succeed at that.  Harsh, but reality.  There can be no doubt that the most likely survivors of a deep collapse (which we are doing our best to trigger by all of our BAU and green-BAU plans) are going to be the most ruthless and toughest.

Assuming you are not being facetious, assuming that you mean survival of the species should be the number one goal, my question is: why?

No, I do not think man is a blight on the planet - although we certainly seem act like one these days  - but really, why is the survival of our species so important? 

The planet does not need us in order to function. 

On the other hand, humans who survive the coming collapse are destined (I believe) to many decades, if not centuries, of suffering.  Yes, I know and agree with the argument that people can have meaningful, productive, satisfying, even happy lives without all the stuff and the lifestyle we have - probably there were people in the Dark Ages who had such lives - but I don't think we are going directly from the 21st century to the Dark Ages.  I think the living conditions of the Dark Ages will be an improvement for our descendants after the chaos that follows our collapse.  Why do we want to put them through that?  Generations yet unborn should suffer for the (hoped for but hypothetical) benefit of generations after them?

If I were of an age to have children, I hope I would decide not to, knowing what I've learned about climate change, not to mention peak oil.  If I live long enough, I hope I have the courage to advise my grandchildren not to have children (I think that ages 6 and 8 are a little young to have this information delivered).

I am not a concern troll.   I recognise that humanity will try very hard to continue because that's what a species does, that's what "life" does.   So I will continue to do my bit to make things less bad for the survivors.  But I really question the ethics and morality of creating more children to suffer through the disasters that lie ahead.

PS  Just to be absolutely clear, I do not advocate giving up or giving in or committing suicide or (god forbid) population reduction by any means (nature will take care of that).  But I don't think it would be so bad if humanity encountered a kind of biological EMP so that no more children could be conceived.  It would be very sad for individuals alive today, but we wouldn't end up being cursed by our descendants.

I've been thinking about this for a long time.  Thanks for letting me say it.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2014, 11:26:44 PM by FLwolverine »

TerryM

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Openheart


The question of influencing the elite was touched on in the Empire - America and the Future thread about a month ago. Icefest had linked to:


http://www.princeton.edu/~mgilens/Gilens%20homepage%20materials/Gilens%20and%20Page/Gilens%20and%20Page%202014-Testing%20Theories%203-7-14.pdf


and some of us questioned the efficacy of educating the masses when they apparently have no effect on how the country is run.


Terry

JimD

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Assuming you are not being facetious, assuming that you mean survival of the species should be the number one goal, my question is: why?

No, I do not think man is a blight on the planet - although we certainly seem act like one these days  - but really, why is the survival of our species so important? 

The planet does not need us in order to function. 

On the other hand, humans who survive the coming collapse are destined (I believe) to many decades, if not centuries, of suffering.  Yes, I know and agree with the argument that people can have meaningful, productive, satisfying, even happy lives without all the stuff and the lifestyle we have - probably there were people in the Dark Ages who had such lives - but I don't think we are going directly from the 21st century to the Dark Ages.  I think the living conditions of the Dark Ages will be an improvement for our descendants after the chaos that follows our collapse.  Why do we want to put them through that?  Generations yet unborn should suffer for the (hoped for but hypothetical) benefit of generations after them?

........


I've been thinking about this for a long time.  Thanks for letting me say it.

I appreciate the above and it is the kind of conversation I think we should be having instead of our usual stuff. 

It is no secret that I consider a deep collapse almost inevitable and a collapse certain.  The depth of the collapse, in my opinion, is dependent on how long the BAU and green-BAU folks hang on to their faith's in Progress.  The longer they are driving the car the deeper in the ditch we go.

Whether one looks at a much less industrial lifestyle as something horrible or desirable in terms of human development does not make much difference if it is unavoidable I guess.  I am not sure they will be suffering much less than is common in the world today - it is wise to remember that our western lifestyles are not universally shared by all and that the amount of suffering in the world is much higher than the average American is aware of.  There is no good in human thought or behavior that did not exist in the most primitive (or non-industrial) societies, and no evil that existed then that is not equaled today.

You seem to take a bit of exception to my statement that the only thing that matters is survival of the species.  To 'our' species there cannot be any other basic truth I think.  Everything that we have ever accomplished that was good and anything that we might be capable of in the future has no value if we do not survive.  IF we all perish it will be as if we never existed.

The Earth is a big and indescribably beautiful place.  It's complexity is awe inspiring... and intimidating at the same time. But only to us.  We know of no other creature which shares those thoughts.  So if we are not here to appreciate it does it matter?  Serious question?

The Earth of course is just as insignificant as the human species is in an ultimate sense.  We are one species amongst a hundred million?  The Earth is one planet amongst hundreds of billions (or many more) in our galaxy of a hundred billion suns.  And that galaxy is one of 500 billion galaxies in our universe.  And we don't even want to get into how many universes Hawking says there are out there.

It is not possible for our galaxy, our Earth, our species - any species- to be more insignificant.  Our concerns for any of that demonstrate a form of hubris without a doubt.

We, after all, actually ARE stardust. And we will be again.  In any ultimate sense none of this matters in the slightest.

Be that as it may, if there is any reason or purpose for our existence - and I admit that there probably is not - it can only be fulfilled if we survive. 
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Anne

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We, after all, actually ARE stardust. And we will be again.  In any ultimate sense none of this matters in the slightest.

Be that as it may, if there is any reason or purpose for our existence - and I admit that there probably is not - it can only be fulfilled if we survive.
Antidotes to Fear of Death

Sometimes as an antidote
To fear of death,
I eat the stars.
Those nights, lying on my back,
I suck them from the quenching dark
Til they are all, all inside me,
Pepper hot and sharp.
Sometimes, instead, I stir myself
Into a universe still young,
Still warm as blood:
No outer space, just space,
The light of all the not yet stars
Drifting like a bright mist,
And all of us, and everything
Already there
But unconstrained by form.
And sometimes it's enough
To lie down here on earth
Beside our long ancestral bones:
To walk across the cobble fields
Of our discarded skulls,
Each like a treasure, like a chrysalis,
Thinking: whatever left these husks
Flew off on bright wings.

-  Rebecca Elson, an astronomer who died too young.

wili

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"You seem to take a bit of exception to my statement that the only thing that matters is survival of the species.  To 'our' species there cannot be any other basic truth I think."

Sorry, Jim, but that seems a bit small minded.

Surely any individual can assess her or his own worth in the larger scheme of things. One might say that this is ones central task in life.

Similarly a species (or at least members of our species) can (and I would say should) assess the net value of the species in its brief time on the planet. Does whatever one considers to be the 'good' we have done weigh equitably with the harms done? Or is it a lopsided scale? Or way, way the f off the charts?

There are all sorts of situations in this world where (most) individuals would not consider their own individual survival to be the most important consideration in deciding how to act. Why should the same apply to a species.

"The problems of three little people..." and all that.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

JimD

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Antidotes to Fear of Death

Sometimes as an antidote
To fear of death,
I eat the stars.
Those nights, lying on my back,
I suck them from the quenching dark
Til they are all, all inside me,
Pepper hot and sharp.
Sometimes, instead, I stir myself
Into a universe still young,
Still warm as blood:
No outer space, just space,
The light of all the not yet stars
Drifting like a bright mist,
And all of us, and everything
Already there
But unconstrained by form.
And sometimes it's enough
To lie down here on earth
Beside our long ancestral bones:
To walk across the cobble fields
Of our discarded skulls,
Each like a treasure, like a chrysalis,
Thinking: whatever left these husks
Flew off on bright wings.

-  Rebecca Elson, an astronomer who died too young.

Sweet!
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

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"You seem to take a bit of exception to my statement that the only thing that matters is survival of the species.  To 'our' species there cannot be any other basic truth I think."

Sorry, Jim, but that seems a bit small minded.

Surely any individual can assess her or his own worth in the larger scheme of things. One might say that this is ones central task in life.

Similarly a species (or at least members of our species) can (and I would say should) assess the net value of the species in its brief time on the planet. Does whatever one considers to be the 'good' we have done weigh equitably with the harms done? Or is it a lopsided scale? Or way, way the f off the charts?

There are all sorts of situations in this world where (most) individuals would not consider their own individual survival to be the most important consideration in deciding how to act. Why should the same apply to a species.

"The problems of three little people..." and all that.


Small minded?

Perhaps the opposite?

You like the idea of a few people not being important in the world because there is a greater 'good' or more important things going on than the individual.  But that is still an anthropomorphic viewpoint.

To most of the species (all?) on the Earth there is no question that humans are a complete bad and that we have never and never will produce a 'good'.

But, like I said, we are totally insignificant.  As is the Earth and the galaxy.  And the universe.  In that sense none of our concerns or actions (whether defined as good or bad) have any real significance.

To know what we are truly worth we would have to have an answer to the 'why' of our existence.  Do we have meaning?  Or not? Are we a total accident as rare as life appears to be, or are we just one of billions of species essentially just like us.  Is there a God, or are we just alone on the seas of a limitless incomprehensible ocean.  Like a grain of sand in the Sahara, surrounded by countless others, but utterly alone and of no value.

When I was about 8 years old I was disinvited to Sunday school because I insisted on having an answer to the question of, "If God made us.  Who made God?"  I am still waiting for an answer.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

wili

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I see where you are coming from. It certainly does come down to what scale you think is significant to look at.

We have no chance to be a threat to the sun, the nearest stars or their planets, the galaxy... So to me, those are morally irrelevant scales to look at.

The only things we could pose a threat to we have utterly destroyed or are in the process of doing so.

You can say it's not a big deal in the biggest picture of things that one can imagine. But I can't see how that 'biggest picture' actually does have any moral relevance.

And of course we can't know if there are in fact any other planets that have any kind of life forms out there. So we may well in fact be wiping out the only thriving living community in the universe, as far as we know.

If not small minded, then perhaps choosing rationalizing over reasoning in this case (something we all do, myself included, much more than we would like to admit).

I can't speak much to the theological issues, except that, since my teenage daughter seems to be pretty much convinced that she is god, I propose that the answer to your question of who made god is that I (with a bit of help form my wife!) made her! ;D
« Last Edit: May 19, 2014, 09:03:45 PM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

jai mitchell

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Climate science will be used neither to save the species OR the wealthy.

Climate science will be used to understand the physical processes of climate change.  Climate sciences will also reveal what those changes will be under different emissions and emissions reduction scenarios.

In addition, earth sciences will show what changes will occur to the seas and oceans as well as the land and sky from a geological and geochemical perspective.

All of these sciences provide inputs as to what the effects on human society will be.

Your question may (I think) better be stated as:

What will be the sociological response to climate change?  will it be to save humanity or save the wealthy elite and let the rest of society die?

There is another option:  Every many, woman and child for themselves.

I understand that action for change comes through dialogue and because, in most cases, the elites want to allow it to happen, figuring out some kind of angle that lets them maintain positions of power and rule. 

If the U.S. government can do to Haiti what it did, what is to prevent the wealthy elites running this country from trying to enslave/empoverish all of humanity for their neo-feudal goals?
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TerryM

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If we are all citizens of one form of oligarchy or another our hope must be that the wealthy become convinced that their survival and well being is predicated on finding solutions to climate change and that these solutions don't include killing the rest of us off.
At the moment they seem more concerned with expanding fracking, drilling the Arctic, building immense pipelines and promoting "clean coal". Renewables are proving profitable but we have to convince them that a dollar earned by strip mining Alberta is not equivalent to a dollar earned by investing in roof top solar.
In the last 20 years the wars fought and governments overthrown have served to assure western business domination of fossil fuel resources. The advantage for us is that to a large extent these resources have been consolidated into the hands of a very small number of entities. What's required now is that we somehow convince these western businesses that it's in their best interest to leave the bulk of their assets buried.
It sounds like an impossible undertaking, but it may be the only way out of the situation that we are in.
Terry

sidd

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" ... we somehow convince these western businesses that it's in their best interest to leave the bulk of their assets buried."

 
"Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully."

--Samuel Johnson

JimD

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" ... we somehow convince these western businesses that it's in their best interest to leave the bulk of their assets buried."

 
"Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully."

--Samuel Johnson

Well it would focus their minds if they had any hint that we were still capable of that kind of resistance, but unless a few of them are found hanging from lightposts they will just laugh things like that off - and pass on the threat info to their Blackwater security personnel who they keep on retainer.  You don't want to meet those guys.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein