Climate Change Repackaged

16 January 2010

I saw this post on a friend’s facebook wall and, with his permission, am posting it here… Some good arguments:

The problem with selling climate change is that the world typically divides into two camps: those who care about ‘the environment’, by which they mean non-human organisms, on aesthetic or moral grounds, or more often on an unclear mix of the two, and those who don’t.

The former group, let’s call them Camp 1, champion the eating of lentils and the wearing of hair shirts because they wish to preserve the non-human parts of Nature at the cost of convenience to ourselves. The latter group, Camp 2, don’t share those same aesthetic/moral values and therefore live by their OWN codes of morals and aesthetics, which does not involve any particular consideration for non-human organisms.

Now we discover that the climate of the entire planet is rather unstable, partly or mostly due to our own (largely unwitting) actions. In fact our best guesses, based on the evidence we can gather, suggest that huge changes may be imminent which will wreak major destruction on (a) non-human organisms (so-called “Nature”) and (b) our own species.

Camp 1, the hair-shirters, respond to this with calls for less consumption, more protection of ‘Nature’, and spiritual improvement. In short, they continue to put out the same message. And of course this message does not reach Camp 2, because they still do not share the same aesthetic and moral values.

But tragically Camp 2 don’t realise that in fact this is not a hair-shirt, Nature-aesthetic issue AT ALL! It just seems to be, coincidentally, because some of the same policies (reducing our impact on the environment) are involved. But actually climate change is definitely a Camp 2 issue: massive destruction on a global scale is all just a part of Nature’s own feedback loops, and undoubtedly in millenia to come other forms of life will come to prosper. No, the reason we should act to stop climate change is because it is going to hurt US!

The problem is that most activists are Camp 1 type people who don’t even really understand Camp 2 people. It is pretty hard to understand people who don’t share your aesthetics and morals (Islamist jihadists, pedophiles, etc). So they continue to suggest we ‘protect Gaea’. Camp 2 people continue to ignore them and also don’t act on climate change.

I suggest that any and all people interested in saving what we still can of the planet immediately STOP presenting it as an environmental, ecological, green issue, and instead present it as a straightforward issue of SAVING OUR OWN NECKS for two reasons: number one because this is the most effective way to present the issue to Camp 2 types, and number two because, much as it might seem unpalatable, it’s true.

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Powell, Obama, McCain, Bush and Indigestion

19 October 2008

So Colon Powell has backed Barack Obama for US President. He had apparently been disturbed by the negative tone of Mr. McCain’s campaign, which has sought to promote the idea that Barack Obama is “palling around with terrorists,” as Sarah Palin so diplomatically put it (a Socialist palling around with terrorists nonetheless). Of course this is Sarah Palin whose foreign policy experience comprises her proximity to Russia (oh and Canada too) – although she’s never met Russian delegates (maybe she wouldn’t think Obama a socialist if she had?).

Not only that, but Palin has no idea what the Bush Doctrine is. Now then, Powell “once considered as a potential candidate for the White House himself, fell out with President Bush over being forced to make the case for Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction to justify the invasion of Iraq”. This is Bush, the conviction politician, who knew what he wanted and went for it – not because he listened to people, but because he listened to his gut:

Leaders make things happen and they don’t need to ask permission. Isn’t it the job of a good leader to think the big ideas, take the long view, and make his vision a reality? Well, yes, provided said leader has formed his thoughts through rigorous research, consultation with experts, and deep, careful thought. Bush’s method? “I’m not a textbook player,” he says, “I’m a gut player.”

So there we have it. Bush listened to his gut and went to war in Iraq. Great.

So there we go – Barak Obama who offers a “calm, patient, intellectual, steady approach” or McCain supported by pro-Iraq advisers – offering Bush’s gut something to think about. Surely, Dubbya, it couldn’t have just been indigestion when you were listening to your gut could it? I know who I’d be more inclined to believe.

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I think this review means I now have to read Bob Woodward’s “The War Within” – not sure if that’s a daunting or exciting prospect.


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