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04/15/2013

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Mr. Roboto

According to a recent article on global warming in the UK newspaper The Independent partially authored by Michael McCarthy, scientific evidence is emerging that human activity is indeed imperiling the very biosphere itself.

Brian

Yup, same-ol same-ol.

Either you get eternal optimists or people who agree that something needs to be "fixed", but nothing that would cause them any inconvenience.

Some possibly helpful interpretations...

#1-4: "I don't want to hear that so I'll pretend that he meant one particular phrase literally, attack him on that bogus interpretation, and ignore the actual obvious intent of his words." Or, "Look over there! It's Elvis!"

#5-6: "Poor deluded sole. He needs to find the happiness of infinite growth on a finite sphere. He can be safely ignored. Nothing to see here. Move along folks."


Short translations:
#1-4: "Idiot doesn't understand English. Fucking ignore him."
#5: "Fucking fool. Life is good. :-)"
#6: "Fuck you!"


Pretty much says everything you need to know about intelligent thought on the planet, doesn't it?

Clyde

I would guess that for every Ghandi there are at least a million, or ten, would-be Donald Trumps.
The evidence of 99% of human behaviour on Earth would suggest the species is not benign. The evidence is not emerging as much as some are beginning to realise what has been happening, in plain sight, for all to see, if they so wish.

Jim

We're still at the stage where only those who really focus on this stuff understand the essential hopelessness of it all. As you wrote, we'd basically have to change humanity itself to change the outcome.

On understanding how we're messing up the habitability of the planet, we're still on the cusp of a broader understanding of its full effects. Most of us in the OECD still feel cool breezes on temperate days, we still eat our frozen seafood for dinner, and we still have plenty of hot and cold running water. Denial can still exist in this era, even though it requires some rather adept mental gymnastics to do so. But I think the trends are pointing towards an exponential increase in environmental degradation and species loss. In maybe a generation, maybe two, even the hardcore deniers of today will understand what's happening (they'll just find another way to block cohesive group action).

JohnWDB

Liberal secular humanists believe the 2 centuries since the Enlightenment have been about liberating humanity from the bonds of archaic religious myths so that they can realize their inherent goodness. But it is their quasi-religious belief in inherent goodness that blinds them to the reality of human nature, despite overwhelming scientific evidence. As McCarthy says, it is "anathema" to suggest otherwise, or to be exiled for heresy.

McCarthy knew he was being provocative. To use the word "fallen" in his article, with all its religious connotations was to surely draw the ire of people who often purpose to eradicate mythic religious beliefs, which stifle "progress", completely unaware of their own secular religion. In this particular arena, it's the traditionally religious who are more enlightened, insofar as they readily accept the idea that human beings are a fallen lot of ne'er-do-wells. And, ironically, in this case it is the secular humanist who is anti-science.

Dave S. Nottear

I think the following is something we should give more consideration. I admit I feel the same thing multiple times daily. But I think we give "humans" too much credit here.


'...humankind's crimes again Nature...

"People are doing this. Let’s be clear about it. It’s not some natural phenomenon, like an earthquake... there is something fundamentally wrong with Homo sapiens himself."


It would take a long, boring post comment to really address this. To summarize, I would simply say we are a product of evolution. We do not make history, it makes us. Our consciousness is little more than a "recognition center(s)" in the brain that is now part of a system of ancient Reflex Arcs (old/fast reptilian brain). As a species we have very little "free will" (self-awareness And self-control) - we can't even get eye-witness testimony right.

I think this species/civilization stumbled on fossil fuels and is "blowing it" big time.

I think our leaders have enough data to be held accountable for the "crimes" we are committing, but the population is not competent mentally for this challenge. They do not understand evolution - how could they possibly understand themselves? Most of us are adult-sized children now, thanks to industrial civilization.

Nature at work. Fines double in Work Zones.

Petros

May your plea not fall on deaf ears...
One technical comment though:

I think the super-advanced programmers of the real world running our simulation one would be advanced enough to use object-oriented programming instead of simply procedural, and thus your plea should mention Homo Sapiens as a class instead of a subroutine.

On a more serious note, I do feel that cases like that of McCarthy's resignation may become more frequent as you have so well described in The Green Blog Goes Bye-Bye. Talking to a brick wall can get tiresome. Especially if the wall throws bricks back at you...

PS: I would post my pedantic bullshit on
Are We Living In A Computer Simulation? but comments have been closed.

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