newsaction and eventsrantslinksabout

Thoughts on Blog Day


15/10/09

Today, a gazillion blogs turn their attention to climate change. Hopefully it will be a chance to reach more than just the converted.

Scanning the news each day, I have a pretty good idea what's out there and what's not, what's being said and what needs to be.

It would be nice to post something positive about the process of reducing our impact on the environment, but as regular readers will know, that continues to be a very hard thing to do. So
instead, I'd like to ramble on about my favourite under-reported topic...

Let's throw some balls into the air and see if we can join some dots before they fall back to earth:

At the beginning, be mindful of the end. Good advice that can apply to many things, from marriage, to a night out on the town, to the survival of a planet. Everything has to end. For a long time we have known that eventually the universe's different states will even out. All the work that could have possibly done will have been done, and the universe will be a silent, dark, lukewarm place. Now the question is: given that time's arrow is inexorably pointed in this direction, what should one do? Fighting it would be like trying to dig a hole in the sand with the tide coming in, whereas surfing the wave of entropy would be quite a thrill...

Let's chuck another ball up:

It's a rat race.

Last one:

In our hierarchical system, the hierarchy is determined by who has the most power. It may be a simplification, but true nonetheless: power is a function of energy. The more energy you can use in a given time, the more power you have.

Do you see where this is going? If you want to be at the top you have to accelerate forward towards the end as fast as you can, and always faster than your nearest competitor. This is precisely why, as the car of civilsation races towards the cliff edge of climate chaos, the powerful are arguing only about how much to reduce the acceleration - none of them have any concept of applying the brakes.
How can we blame them? They are the product of billions of years of competitive evolution. The wisdom that might have saved us is nearly extinct.

The upshot, the conclusion, to all of this, is that unless we can transcend our competitive instincts we are doomed. The only people who have the power to change this are the powerful. So who are the powerful? Us or them?



contact or comment


Previous RantsBlog-day The Technological Solution vs. The Real Solution Inverting the wish-pyramid of the human speciesThe debate: Can it change minds or is it just a big waste of time? The War Analogy Ice Trends Buy Nothing Day The Very Reasonable Case for Alarmism Why take global warming seriously? Less of a rant, more of a whimper  ● Global Spanking How to stop Global Warming: Our choice