top of page
Search

7 Reasons Why Climate Change & URGENT ACTION NOW Are Incompatible (Part 2/2)

Updated: Jun 12, 2022



Welcome to this article. I’m glad you’re here. These articles are about sustainability, philosophy, psychology, history, religion, evolution, etc. If this is too abstract, subscribe here for more actionable content.


[In the previous article (part 1), we listed seven reasons why URGENT ACTION NOW fails. Today, we’re continuing by looking at the background, namely our evolutionary background in the same context.]



---


In the background …


There’s something deeper and harder to change.


The idea of considering the environment AT ALL is only a few decades old.


Until the 1960s, nature was generally seen as an inexhaustible resource to exploit, and an enemy to fight. Before then, we – barring indigenous cultures – had the ‘dominion’ over land, animals, water, forests, and soil. It was ours.


The term ‘sustainability,’ a shorthand for ‘Sustainable Development,’ is only 35 years old, as mentioned here. It’s a postmodern idea.


And if you accept Darwinian evolution, a painstaking gradual process taking millions of years, how can you expect us to URGENTLY ACT NOW based on this novel idea – that we should (1) consider the environment at all, and (2) re-tool all human activities in a way that puts the health of the environment at the top?


Even though we should, based on what the science tells us. Renewables, stopping deforestation, ecological economics instead of neoclassical economics, ‘Beyond Growth’ as even the OECD says now, and the list goes on.


But I disagree with the URGENT ACTION NOW message – whether it’s from the IPCC or Greta.


What is their view on evolution? I’d like to know.


They are brokers of urgency who have no accountability. They are calling for utopia.


They want to win a battle “for a better future” but there are no baddies and goodies, it’s a de-personalized, non-binary battle, not a David vs Goliath, Gandhi vs the British, Hong Kongers vs the Chinese, Chicago Bulls vs LA Lakers.


In history, there were attempts to organize human societies according to vague, this-will-benefit-all ideals that were deemed perfect.


For example, the 1917 Russian Revolution where Lenin tried to realize a Marxist utopia. What happened in Russia, then the Soviet Union, China under Mao, Cambodia under Pol Pot, Cuba, North Korea, and Venezuela is well documented. It failed completely, killing millions.


Now, you might object and say -


Hang on a sec, what about Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr? They brought rapid change for the better. You can’t just cherry-pick events from history - e.g. Lenin or Pol Pot - and use them to prove that radical change only brings disasters, because it doesn’t.


Good point.


True, there were events in history that changed things urgently and for the better.


But those wins weren’t about COMPLEX issues. They were binary, personalized, concrete, pick-your-side issues, not hazy, faraway, vague, open-ended ideals.


Gandhi bravely untied 300 years old British knots, awakening Indian sovereignty.


Martin Luther King Jr began tearing down the walls of segregation between whites and blacks. (Can it be more black and white than that?.)


These were all successful, rapid, and positive shifts in society.


And with climate change, we ARE moving with urgency, given how new this problem is.


It’s only now that people are realizing the scale of the challenge – and doing something about it. Even the OECD (!) says that growth is a problem, not a solution; ESG reporting – however imperfect – is becoming the norm for larger businesses, not just a tick-box token. Senior conservative politicians, e.g. Barnaby Joyce in Australia, are now publicly linking increasing floods with human-caused climate change. Unheard of even five years ago, when our former PM waved a lump of coal in the Parliament house, three years after the Paris agreement (to which Australia is a signatory).


Are we doing enough?


Probably not – but NO ONE knows what’s enough.


Enough – relative to what? To how we saw this issue 20 years ago or to how our planet was 250 years ago in pre-industrial days?


We have a huge, complex, non-binary, and NEW problem.


We are not equipped to deal with huge, complex, non-binary, and NEW problems collectively.


This is normal, evolutionary speaking.


So, from that perspective, I see a huge urgency, all things considered.


And that’s pretty cool and hope-injecting.


Jan


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe here for other content and freebies.


15 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

A Nasty $4.6k Amazon Scam

Welcome to this article. I’m glad you’re here. These articles are about sustainability, philosophy, psychology, history, religion, evolution, etc. You can also subscribe here for other content. /// Th

bottom of page