Wednesday, December 17, 2008

When the real solutions are not socially acceptable, we turn to illusions

Topic: climate change.

Solution: stop human growth, reduce population, reduce unnecessary use of power -- this requires telling Joe Sixpack he can't have a giant pickup truck, Martha Upperclassuburbanwife that she can't fly to Rio, and your average dumb liberal cubicle dwelling apartment voter that social welfare programs must die so we stop breeding parasites.

That's socially unacceptable.

So instead, we get the faux solutions:


At the heart of much of the disagreement is that perennial struggle between rich and poor. Developing countries want industrialized countries – whose populations are responsible the lion’s share of greenhouse emissions – to lead the way by making the steepest reductions in emissions. They also want money and technology to help them make their own emissions cuts and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

According to the Guardian, in Britain, European Union officials have proposed making an 80 percent to 95 percent reduction in greenhouse emissions by 2050 in exchange for developing countries’ reducing their emissions by 15 percent to 30 percent over the next decade. They have not yet heard a reaction, but Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said that the developed world is unlikely to be impressed by the offer, which does not mandate any short-term cuts for rich countries.

“Unless the developed world comes up with strong, clear targets for 2020 themselves,” Dr. Pachauri told the Guardian, “I think it is unlikely the developing world will commit itself to reductions.”

CSM


First, I think we'll find when more accurate figures are available that the developing world -- a euphemism for third world countries with average IQs below 98 -- is creating as much carbon and worse pollution than the developed -- a euphemism for industrialized countries with average IQs near or above 100 -- world, through slash and burn agriculture, the burning of waste, deforestation and general disorganization.

Third world people outnumber first world people nine to one.

Second, I think they ask the impossible: the rich have spent a long time building an infrastructure and cannot simply reverse it; that's like suicide. So they propose a gradual de-escalation, but that's not enough for the third world, which wants to be under the illusion that it will be just like London and Munich tomorrow if "just given a chance" -- like every dishwasher who's an aspiring rapper, and every pasty white cubicle dwelling apartment voter who doesn't understand why CEOs get paid more than workers. It's just not fair, man!

Finally, let's look at this strategically. We're asking humanity's most productive people to slow down and let others catch up, but the others are politically unstable, greater in population, and much higher in dysfunction. Why stop? Let the best rise.


We all contribute to climate change, but none of us can individually be blamed for it. So we walk around with a free-floating sense of guilt that’s unlikely to be lifted by the purchase of wind-power credits or halogen bulbs.

Annina Rüst, a Swiss-born artist-inventor...built a translucent leg band that keeps track of your electricity consumption. When it detects, via a special power monitor, that electric current levels have exceeded a certain threshold, the wireless device slowly drives six stainless-steel thorns into the flesh of your leg. “It’s therapy for environmental guilt,” says Rüst, who modeled her “personal techno-garter” on the spiked bands worn as a means of self-mortification by a monk in Dan Brown’s novel “The Da Vinci Code.”

NYT


The 21st century equivalent of self-flagellation, but now it's for secular, not religious reasons.

Regardless, it's oblivious to the nature of the problem or its potential solutions. Cause yourself pain, feel better; is that any different than causing yourself pleasure, feel better? These are distractions.

The solutions are simple. We're just not mentally mature enough to face them.


Environmentalists who hope a slowing global economy will mean big falls in greenhouse gas emissions are likely to be disappointed.

Because despite a gloomy economic forecast for 2009, the annual growth in emissions of 3% is only likely to slow modestly, and may even rise over the long term because of the downturn's impact on global climate talks and the funding of renewable energy projects.

The Guardian


Shoot, we were hoping it was this easy. But it wasn't. The system won't self-regulate. We'll actually have to fix it. And that requires we come out of our comfort zones, face our fear of being judged inferior, and decide to cut ourselves back -- and accept the results as they fall.

But that's socially unacceptable, because society is filled with the underconfident, the socially retarded, the immature, the fearful, the withdrawn, the neurotic... a bumper crop of stupid. When will smarter people learn that dumber people ALWAYS oppress smarter people by blocking the path to necessary decisions?

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