Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Humanity can't control itself even when it agrees there's a problem

Why it can't control itself:

It would require either cooperation, or agreement to suppress those doing indirectly destructive things.

Since we each fear for ourselves, we pick rules that do not allow us to stop anyone doing anything indirectly destructive.

As a result, we cannot control ourselves, and will get for our pains either ecocide and planetary instability, or dictators so authoritarian that Hitler and Stalin will be forgotten as amateurs.


The cream of the UK climate science community sat in stunned silence as Anderson pointed out that carbon emissions since 2000 have risen much faster than anyone thought possible, driven mainly by the coal-fuelled economic boom in the developing world. So much extra pollution is being pumped out, he said, that most of the climate targets debated by politicians and campaigners are fanciful at best, and "dangerously misguided" at worst.

In the jargon used to count the steady accumulation of carbon dioxide in the Earth's thin layer of atmosphere, he said it was "improbable" that levels could now be restricted to 650 parts per million (ppm).

The CO2 level is currently over 380ppm, up from 280ppm at the time of the industrial revolution, and it rises by more than 2ppm each year. The government's official position is that the world should aim to cap this rise at 450ppm.

The science is fuzzy, but experts say that could offer an even-money chance of limiting the eventual temperature rise above pre-industrial times to 2C, which the EU defines as dangerous. (We have had 0.7C of that already and an estimated extra 0.5C is guaranteed because of emissions to date.)

The Guardian


If a person stops being able to understand reality, we call them psychotic and throw them in mental wards.

If a person stops caring about the effects of their actions in reality, we call them sociopathic and throw them in jail.

Q: If a species stops caring about the effects of denying reality, what do we call them?

A: An evolutionary dead end.

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